May 23, 2024

Top Online Nurse Practitioner Programs 2024

The Best Online Nurse Practitioner Programs 2024

Online nurse practitioner programs are available for almost every specialty and allow you to continue working, earning money, and upholding your family responsibilities while earning your degree. While didactic classes are taken online, your clinical hours can often be completed at your workplace or at a designated facility in your area.

To help you choose the right online nurse practitioner program for you, we've ranked the top programs for 2024. 

Popular Online Nurse Practitioner (NP) Programs

Sponsored
Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

Grand Canyon University

GCU's College of Nursing and Health Care Professions has a nearly 35-year tradition of preparing students to fill evolving healthcare roles as highly qualified professionals. GCU offers a full spectrum of nursing degrees, from a pre-licensure BSN degree to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Fast Facts About Nurse Practitioners

Salary   Nurse practitioners earn a median annual salary of $126,260 per the BLS.
Program length  2-5 years
Requirements

BSN or Bachelor's in another field
RN license
Prerequisite courses

Online Nurse Practitioner Program Ranking Methodology 

Every online nurse practitioner program has its own benefits and features, and the program that is best for one potential attendee may not be the right choice for another. In ranking our list of top programs, we considered the following factors:

  • Cost of attendance
  • Program length
  • Admission requirements
  • A variety of available programs
  • Ranking according to U.S. News & World Report
  • Additional accolades that the program has received
  • Accreditation
  • Clinical hour requirements and placement opportunities

Top Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

1. Drexel University

Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions offers top-ranked faculty, innovative learning technologies, and action-based learning in support of the development of clinical skills.  

Drexel also offers a variety of programs that are available on a full-time and part-time basis, including Adult-Gerontology, Family, Pediatrics, Psychiatric Mental Health, and Women's/Gender-Related Health.

  • Tuition: $1,134 per credit
  • Program Length: 57 credits; four 10-week quarters per year
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Application Deadline: August 1st
  • Requirements: BSN from an accredited program; cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above from BSN; two years of current bedside nursing experience; current, unrestricted RN license.
  • Contact Phone Number: (215) 895-2400
  • Email Information: duonline@drexel.com
  • Online Options Available? Yes 

2. University of Alabama - Birmingham

The University of Alabama’s Capstone College of Nursing offers a blended format combining online courses and in-person clinical experiences.  

Admission requires a BSN and licensure in one of the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.

Depending upon the concentration chosen, programs are available as either part-time or full-time. UAB assists in securing clinical placements and preceptors for all NP students among its over 5,000 clinical affiliates. 

  • Tuition:
    • In-state: $434 per credit hour
    • Out-of-state: $1,076 per credit hour
  • Program Length:
    • Dual Psychiatric Mental Health and Family Nurse Practitioner program – 66-72 hours, 8 semesters full-time only 
    • Mental Health NP or Family Nurse Concentrations – 45-51 credit hours, 8 semesters part-time or 5 semesters full-time
    • Neonatal NP - 45 credit hours, 6 semesters
    • Women’s Health - 45 credit hours, 6 semesters
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: 
    • Fall: February 14th
    • Summer: October 10th
  • Requirements: RN licensure, BSN with at least a 3.0 overall GPA
  • Contact Phone Number: (205) 934-5428
  • Email Information: online@ua.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes 

Popular Online Nurse Practitioner (NP) Programs

Sponsored
Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

Grand Canyon University

GCU's College of Nursing and Health Care Professions has a nearly 35-year tradition of preparing students to fill evolving healthcare roles as highly qualified professionals. GCU offers a full spectrum of nursing degrees, from a pre-licensure BSN degree to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

3. George Washington University

George Washington University’s online NP program offers the following specialty programs: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP, Family NP, and Psychiatric Mental Health NP. 

Each program has a brief on-campus component and is available as either a part-time or full-time program. Students are responsible for finding their clinical placements and preceptors, but the school will provide information on local sites that have current affiliations. 

  • Tuition: $1,530 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 48 to 54 credit hours and 600 to 700 clinical hours
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline:
    • Fall: July 1st
    • Spring: December 1st
  • Requirements: Minimum GPA of 3.0, 1-2 years of professional nursing experience, BSN from an accredited nursing program, active nursing license.
  • Contact Phone Number: (202)994-7901
  • Email Information: nursing@gwu.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes

4. Seton Hall University*

Seton Hall University offers nationally ranked online programs designed to prepare Nurse Practitioner candidates to practice in a variety of specialty areas, including Adult-Gerontology Primary Care, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care, Pediatric Primary Care, and Psychiatric-Mental Health. 

NP programs at Seton Hall were recently ranked #15 on the “Best Online Master’s in Nursing Programs” list by U.S. News & World Report for 2022. Current NP tracks include Adult-Gerontology Primary Care, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care, Psychiatric-Mental Health, and Family. 

  • Tuition: $1,500 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 48-49 credit hours,
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: 
    • Fall: August 15th
    • Spring: December 15th
  • Requirements: BSN from an accredited nursing program with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above (3.2 or above for Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner), registered nurse licensure, professional liability insurance, letters of reference, and completion of prerequisites.
  • Contact Phone Number: (973) 542-6200
  • Email Information: Gabriele.zengewald@shu.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes 

>> Show Me Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

5. Duke University

Duke University’s School of Nursing offers a variety of distance-based or online programs that require on-campus attendance at least once each semester for two-to-five-day intensive programming, as well as 11 credit hours of clinical core courses. 

Students will also be required to complete a final clinical residency under the mentorship of an experienced clinician in their respective area of expertise.  

Specialty areas include Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care, Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.

  • Tuition: $2,166 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 42 to 49 credit hours
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: Rolling
  • Requirements: Registered Nurse licensure, BSN from an accredited program with a preferred 3.0 GPA or an Associate’s Degree in Nursing with a bachelor’s degree in any field, resume, personal statement, recommendations, transcripts, prerequisites
  • Contact Phone Number: (877) 415-3853
  • Email Information: SonAdmissions@dm.duke.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes

6. The University of Mississippi

The University of Mississippi’s School of Nursing is a nationally ranked program that offers flexible Nurse Practitioner programs in both online and hybrid formats.  

The programs boast high pass rates on national certification exams, as well as low tuition costs. 

Programs are available in specialties including Acute Care Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Acute/Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. 

  • Tuition: $525 per credit hour plus $150 per semester distance learning fee.
  • Program Length: 45-58 credit hours
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline:
    • Summer: February 1st
    • Fall: March 15th
    • Spring: September 15th
  • Requirements: BSN degree from an accredited institution with a minimum cumulative nursing GPA of 3.0, undergraduate or graduate-level statistics course, one year of experience as an RN, unrestricted RN license.
  • Contact Phone Number: (601) 815-0124
  • Email Information: admissioncounselor@umc.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes

7. Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University’s School of Nursing offers a variety of learning formats that use online and distance technologies to deliver high-quality education in a range of Advanced Nursing Practice Specialties. 

Students without nursing backgrounds are required to enroll full-time and attend classes on campus during their first year, while Registered Nurses with BSN or MSN degrees learn via a modified distance format that includes didactic lectures available online, block visits to campus over extended weekends, and clinical experiences arranged in their local region.  

Vanderbilt offers 11 different NP specialities, including multiple dual-focus degrees. Students can also enroll in the specialty program track and take “general” courses before enrolling in an NP-specific track. 

  • Tuition: $1,997 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 38-66 credits
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: October 15th priority deadline, then rolling
  • Requirements:
    • Statement of purpose,
    • GPA of 3.0 or better
    • Complete academic history
    • Three letters of academic or professional reference
    • Completion of prerequisite courses
    • RNs must have graduated from an accredited school and have an unencumbered RN license
  • Contact Phone Number: (888) 333-9192
  • Email Information: vusn-admissions@vanderbilt.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes

8. Stony Brook University

The Stony Brook School of Nursing is a top-ranked school recognized for excellence and innovation in education, leadership, research, advocacy, and practice. 

All of its Nurse Practitioner programs provide graduates with either a Master of Science in Nursing degree or a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and are offered through distance education with on-site requirements. 

The available programs include Adult-Gerontology Primary Care, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care, Family Health, Neonatal Health, Pediatric Primary Care, Pediatric Acute Care, and Psychiatric Mental Health.

  • Tuition: 
    • In-state: $471 per credit hour
    • Out-of-state: $1,020 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 45 credit hours
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline:  Varies by program
  • Requirements: Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0, minimum of one year’s recent relevant experience preferred, unofficial transcripts, three online letters of recommendation, prerequisites, and current Registered Nurse license.
  • Contact Phone Number: (631) 444-3200
  • Email Information: gradadmission@stonybrook.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes 

9. Florida Atlantic University

While FAU only offers three online NP programs, Adult/Gerontological NP, Family NP, and Psychiatric/Mental Health NP, they consistently are ranked as some of the best online programs by U.S. News & World Report. In 2020, FAU boosted a 100% first-time pass rate on the AGNP certification exam. 

While the core courses are all online, the clinical requirements must be completed in person at an approved clinical site. The program is unique in that FAU will find all clinical sites and preceptors, removing some of the stress of securing those on your own. To note, all of the clinical sites are located in South Florida only (Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties) so you must be local when it comes time to complete the clinical requirements. 

  • Tuition: 
    • In-State: $371.82
    • Out-of-state: $1026.81
  • Program Length: 25-49 credit hours
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: February 15th
  • Requirements: Bachelor’s in Nursing from an accredited program, GPA of 3.0, copy of CV/resume, one letter of recommendation, Registered Nursing license, Philosophy of nursing essay. 
  • Contact Phone Number: (561) 297-2535
  • Email Information: kchadwel@health.fau.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes 

10. Georgetown University*

Georgetown University’s nationally recognized online MS in Nursing programs* prepares registered nurses to provide high-quality nursing care in four separate specialty areas: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Nurse-Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner.  

The Nurse Practitioner program combines asynchronous didactic content, synchronous class sessions, and in-person Objective Clinical Intensives. 

Monthly information sessions are held with current faculty and admissions counselors, allowing time for questions and answers which you may find helpful when determining if this program is a good fit for your nursing career. 

  • Tuition: $2,550 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 40-49 credits, 23-27 months
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: July 13
  • Requirements: BSN degree, current registered nurse license, minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and science GPA, prerequisite courses
  • Contact Phone Number: (877) 910-4692
  • Email Information: onlinenursingadmissions@georgetown.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes 

About Online Nurse Practitioner Programs 

Though nurse practitioner programs are traditionally taught from brick-and-mortar classrooms in which lecturers provide in-person education, innovative technology has enabled the same course material to be provided online, opening new possibilities for nurses to continue working to support themselves and their families at the same time that they advance themselves professionally and increase their earning potential.

Program Length

  • Registered nurses who have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree can expect the program to take 2 to 4 years.

Program Requirements

In order to be admitted to an online nurse practitioner program, candidates must be registered nurses, and in most cases, they must have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Some programs have additional requirements, which may include a minimum GPA, a minimum amount of full-time RN work, or completion of prerequisite courses. Each program will have its own requirements, so it is important to speak to an admissions counselor about them. 

Cost

Program costs will depend upon whether the school is private or public, as well as on the program’s reputation, the quality of its faculty, and other factors. 

Classes

The curriculum will depend upon the student’s chosen specialty area, but students can expect to take classes including: 

  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Principles of Nursing Research
  • Advanced Pharmacology for Nurse Practitioners
  • Advanced Pathophysiology
  • Advanced Health Assessment
  • Healthcare Policy for the Advanced Practice Nurse
  • Leadership Strategies
  • Differential Diagnosis for the APRN
  • Role of the Nurse in Advanced Practice

Is an Online Nurse Practitioner Program Worth It?

Online NP programs may be an excellent fit for you as well as your work and family obligations. However, it does have some limitations that are important to consider when determining if an online NP program is right for you. 

Pros

  • Flexibility
  • Autonomy
  • Many programs and universities to choose from
  • Lower tuition fees than brick-and-mortar programs
  • Convenient 
  • Can be less competitive than in-person programs
  • Continue to work and maintain career
  • Self-paced learning

Cons

  • Lack of face-to-face with professors and other students
  • Must remain motivated for independent study
  • Ability to navigate advanced technology
  • Difficult to stay motivated
  • Possible technology glitches
  • Non-traditional learning environment 
  • Still requires in-person clinicals
  • Finding your own clinical sites and preceptors

Why Enroll in an Online Nurse Practitioner Program?

Choosing to expand your knowledge and enhance your skill set not only allows you to provide higher-level care but also makes a significant difference in your earnings potential, provides you with a greater degree of independence and responsibility, and enhances your standing in your community.

Cheap Online Nurse Practitioner Programs >> Top Nurse Practitioner Programs >> Highest Paying NP Specialties >>

Popular Online Nurse Practitioner (NP) Programs

Sponsored
Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

Grand Canyon University

GCU's College of Nursing and Health Care Professions has a nearly 35-year tradition of preparing students to fill evolving healthcare roles as highly qualified professionals. GCU offers a full spectrum of nursing degrees, from a pre-licensure BSN degree to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Walden University
Walden’s online programs for nursing meet rigorous standards for academic quality and integrity, and the School of Nursing teaching faculty all hold doctorates. With three degree completion options, you can choose a bachelor’s in nursing path that makes sense for your busy, unpredictable schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY, RI and CT. Certain programs have additional state restrictions. Check with Walden for details.

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

FAQs About Online Nurse Practitioner Programs 

  • What type of NP makes the most money?

    • The highest-paying NP specialty is a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP). PMHNPs earn around $157,580 per year, according to Indeed. However, individual income will vary depending on the type of facility you work in, your geographic location, and how much experience you have.
  • What is the most affordable FNP program? 

    • Of all the Nurse Practitioner specialties, Family Nurse Practitioner is one of the most popular and most widely available. Though prices can change depending on location, quality of faculty, and other factors, in most cases, you will be able to find the most affordable program by seeking an in-state public school program that offers discounted tuition rates for residents.
  • Is being an NP better than being a PA? 

    • Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants are both healthcare professionals who have the education and high-level clinical training to provide primary patient care. Nurse Practitioners tend to focus on a specific patient population, while Physician Assistants focus on a specific area of medicine. Nurse Practitioners are able to work independently in many states, while Physician Assistants are required to work under the direction of a doctor. Both professions are financially and professionally rewarding: choosing the one that is better for you is an individual decision.
  • Is MSN the same as NP? 

    • Though Nurse Practitioners always have a minimum degree of a Master of Science in Nursing, you can have an MSN degree without becoming a Nurse Practitioner.
  • Which NP program is best? 

    • Choosing the Nurse Practitioner program that is best for you is a personal decision. When weighing your options, elements you should consider include the program’s reputation, its flexibility, the cost of tuition, the proximity to your home or workplace, and the availability of a program geared towards the specialty of your choice.
  • Is NP or PA school harder? 

    • Both NP and PA programs are rigorous and demanding.
  • How do I become a nurse practitioner without a nursing degree?

    • Direct-entry programs are specifically available to candidates who have bachelor’s or graduate-level degrees and who enter the programs with the idea of learning nursing basics and becoming Registered Nurses in the course of their education. These students generally graduate and then pursue postgraduate clinical training in order to earn their certification and state licensure.
        NP Career Overview >> Nurse Practitioner Salary Guide >> Highest Paying NP Specialties >>

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