EDUCATION
June 23, 2022

Top Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

Top Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

One of the most rewarding aspects of becoming a nurse is that every day offers the opportunity to learn and grow. While the fulfillment that comes from being a registered nurse may inspire you to professional advancement, the costs and time commitment required for pursuing a Nurse Practitioner (NP) degree can be daunting. Fortunately, there are exceptional online Nurse Practitioner programs that offer a real solution.

Online Nurse Practitioner programs are available for almost every Advanced Practice Nursing specialty, and offer you the ability to continue working, earning money, and upholding your family responsibilities at the same time that you earn 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.

Fast Facts About Nurse Practitioners

Salary   Nurse practitioners earn a median average annual salary of $120,680 per the BLS
Program length  2-5 years
Requirements ADN or BSN
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 assembling our list of top programs, we paid particular attention to objective criteria, paying special attention to ensuring that each is accredited and has proven outcomes for its graduates. 

Our selection process considered the following factors:

  • Cost of attendance
  • Program length
  • Admission requirements
  • Variety of available programs
  • Ranking according to U.S. News & World Report
  • Additional accolades that the program has received

Show Me Nurse Practitioner Programs

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 also all available on a part time basis. 

  • Tuition: $1,037 per credit
  • Program Length: 57 credits; four 10-week quarters per year
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Application Deadline: July 1
  • Requirements: BSN from 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: (877) 215-0009
  • 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 that combines online courses with 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.

  • Tuition: $440 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
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: March 1, August 1, December 1
  • Requirements: RN licensure, BSN with at least 3.0 overall GPA
  • Contact Phone Number: (800) 467-0227
  • Email Information: online@ua.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes 

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.

  • Tuition: $1,395 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 48 to 54 credit hours and 600 to 700 clinical hours
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: June 1  
  • Requirements: 1-2 years of professional nursing experience, BSN from an accredited nursing program.
  • Contact Phone Number: (571) 553-0138
  • 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. 

  • Tuition: $1,383 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 42-48 credit hours,
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: August 1, December 1
  • Requirements: BSN from an accredited nursing program with cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above, registered nurse licensure, professional liability insurance, letters of reference, completion of prerequisites.
  • Contact Phone Number: (973) 542-6200
  • Email Information: Gabriele.zengewald@shu.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes 

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: $12,896 per semester
  • 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: March 31, October 15
  • 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 take advantage of 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.  

  • Tuition: $1,883 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 38-66 credits
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: October 15th priority deadline
  • Requirements: Vanderbilt uses a holistic approach to application reviews, with requirements depending upon whether candidates are already Registered Nurses. All applications require a statement of purpose, a GPA of 3.0 or better, a complete academic history including official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended, three letters of academic or professional reference, and 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, Women’s Health, Neonatal Health, Pediatric Primary Care, Pediatric Acute Care, and Psychiatric Mental Health.

  • Tuition: $471 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 45 credit hours
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: January 20 – Neonatal NP; October 7 – Family NP; December 2 – Psychiatric/Mental Health NP, Adult-Gerontology Primary and Acute Care NP; December 16 – Pediatric Primary and Acute Care NP. DNP programs – February 3
  • 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: anp.nursing@stonybrook.edu
  • Online Options Available? Yes 

9. The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation provides a high-quality nursing curriculum in an innovative distance education format. 

There are five different specialty area options, including Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. 

  • Tuition: $654 per credit hour
  • Program Length: 41- 46 credit hours
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: July 22
  • Requirements: Online application, BSN from accredited program, prerequisites, official transcripts, Active RN license, two years of nursing experience in area of concentration
  • Contact Phone Number: (866) 489-2810
  • Email Information: N/A
  • Online Options Available? Yes  

10. Georgetown University 

Georgetown University’s nationally recognized online MS in Nursing programs prepare 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. 

  • Tuition: $2,358 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 

Show Me Nurse Practitioner Programs

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

Most online Nurse Practitioner programs take between two and four years to complete. 

Some are offered on a part-time basis while others are only available to be taken full-time; some are offered 100% online while others blend in-person and online classes. 

In all cases, students are required to complete a certain number of clinical hours in addition to their classroom education, which generally takes between 40 and 60 hours. 

The amount of time that it takes to earn an online Nurse Practitioner degree will also depend upon whether you have already earned your Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

  • If you are a Registered Nurse with an Associate’s Degree in Nursing, you can expect the program to take 4-to 5 years.
  • Registered Nurses who have their 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 (though some programs will accept graduates of ADN programs who have a minimum number of years of hands-on nursing experience).

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 regarding the requirements. 

Show Me Nurse Practitioner Programs

Cost

Program cost 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

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: It 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 >>

FAQs About Online Nurse Practitioner Programs 

  • What type of NP makes the most money?

    • Though salaries will depend upon many different factors, including the type of facility, the years of experience that the individual NP has, and geographic location, the Nurse Practitioner specialty that commands the highest median salary is Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.
  • 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 upon 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 Practitoner Salary Guide >> Highest Paying NP Specialties >>
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