Choose the Best Nurse Practitioner Program For You

An online nurse practitioner program is a great option for those looking to supplement their nursing education and advance their career. Nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses that fall into different categories with a specific focus and purpose. They work directly with patients across the lifespan to diagnose and treat illnesses.

While requirements for becoming a qualified nurse practitioner, generally vary from state to state, candidates must hold both a graduate degree such as a master’s in nursing, and nursing license from an approved licensing body.

Though there are a few ways to earn your nurse practitioner degree, an online nurse practitioner programs may offer more flexibility and accessibility than non-distance learning options. Nursing professionals pursuing an online degree can fit their continuing education into their schedule.

Sponsored Online Nursing Programs

Nursing@Georgetown

Nursing@Georgetown is an academically rigorous, evidence-based program that culminates in a Master of Science degree in Nursing, delivered online by Georgetown University’s nationally ranked School of Nursing & Health Studies.

Nursing@Simmons

Nursing@Simmons is an online Family Nurse Practitioner program designed for currently licensed RNs who are at various stages of their career.

Nursing@USC

The USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Department of Nursing offers an online Master of Science in Nursing program for aspiring family nurse practitioners through Nursing@USC.

Sponsored Online Nursing Programs

Nurse Practitioner Programs Online

The field of nursing is constantly evolving to meet complex health care needs and demands and to achieve positive patient outcomes. By completing a nursing practice program, nurses may gain the skills and education necessary to become experts in specific care areas, opening up a wealth of career possibilities.

Any nursing professional who aspires to be a nurse practitioner, despite their desired specialization, must first complete a graduate-level program at an accredited school. Below is a list of accredited schools and the programs they offer.

Duke University

Program Name: Online Masters of Science in Nursing
Specializations/Concentrations:

  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner in Acute and Primary Care
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Health Informatics
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing and Health Care Leadership
  • Nursing Education
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Acute and Primary Care
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 42-49 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 560 - 840 Hours Depending on Specialization
Length of Program: 24-48 Months
Additional Features: Students will be required to come to campus at least once every semester for intensives where face-to-face interactions, simulation and hands-on activities will be conducted.

Learn more about the master of science in nursing (MSN) program at Duke University.

George Washington University

Program Name: Online Master of Science in Nursing
Specializations/Concentrations:

  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner in Acute and Primary Care
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Leadership and Management
  • Nurse-Midwifery
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 36-50 Credits Depending on Specialization
Clinical Practice Hours: 600-700 Hours
Length of Program: 24-36 Months
Additional Features: GW Nursing offers a progressive MSN program that blends online learning with in-person training on campus.

Learn more about the Master of Science in Nursing program at George Washington University.

Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies

Program Name: MS in Nursing
Specialty Areas:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP)
  • Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)
  • Nurse-Midwifery/Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (NM/WHNP)

Enrollment Options: Full-Time and Part-Time for FNP program; Part-Time for AG-ACNP, WHNP, and NM/WHNP program
Coursework Credits: 40-49 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 600-1,000+ Hours
Length of Program: 19-27 Months

Admissions Requirements:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree or CNL/entry-level MSN from a CCNE- or ACEN-accredited program
  • Hold a current U.S. registered nurse (RN) license
  • Have a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and a 3.0 science GPA
  • Have successfully completed a college level three-credit course in statistics with a grade of C or better
Learn more about Nursing@Georgetown’s MS in Nursing programs.

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Ohio State University

Program Name: Online Nursing - Master of Science
Specializations/Concentrations:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Clinical Nurse Leader

Enrollment Options: Full-Time
Coursework Credits: 40-50 Credits Depending on Specialization
Clinical Practice Hours: Degree candidates can complete clinical hours in their local communities.
Length of Program: 36 Months
Additional Features: The program is available in a distance learning format and only to particular states.

Learn more about the traditional master of science in nursing program at Ohio University.

Stony Brook University

Program Name: Online Master of Science in Nursing
Specializations/Concentrations:

  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Women's Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Midwifery

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 45 Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: Degree candidates can complete clinical hours in their local communities.
Length of Program: 24-36 Months
Additional Features: The program is available as a distance education with on-site requirements.

Learn more about the master of science in nursing programs online at Stony Brook University.

Texas A&M University

Program Name: Online Master of Science in Nursing
Specializations/Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner
Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 48
Clinical Practice Hours: 45 Hours to be Completed On-Campus
Length of Program: 24-36 Months
Additional Features: On-campus intensives required.

Learn more about the MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program at Texas A&M University.

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University of Alabama

Program Name: Online Master of Science in Nursing
Specializations/Concentrations:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 45-72
Clinical Practice Hours: 540-1080 Hours
Length of Program: 30-48 Months
Additional Features: The program is available in a distance learning format and only to particular states.

Learn more about the MS in Nursing - Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Alabama.

University of Connecticut

Program Name: Online Master of Science in Nursing
Specializations/Concentrations: Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 44
Clinical Practice Hours: Degree candidates can complete clinical hours in their local communities.
Length of Program: 24-36 Months
Additional Features: Coursework is delivered fully online with three on-campus visits required over the course of the program.

Learn more about the Neonatal Nursing Master's Degree Online program at the University of Connecticut.

University of Southern California

Program Name: Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program from the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work Department of Nursing
Concentration: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
Enrollment Options: Full-Time and Part-Time
Coursework Credits: Traditional - 49 credits or Bridge Program - 51 credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 784 Hours
Length of Program: 21-33 Months

Admissions Requirements:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from an accredited college or university
  • Minimum 3.0 grade point average in your BSN or MSN program
  • Completion of a 3-credit course in statistics, with a grade of C or better
  • Must be a U.S.-licensed registered nurse (RN) and reside within the United States upon application and throughout the duration of the program
  • One year of clinical experience
Learn more about Nursing@USC’s FNP Program.

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Vanderbilt University

Program Name: Online Masters of Science in Nursing
Specializations/Concentrations:

  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner in Acute and Primary Care
  • Emergency Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse-Midwifery
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Acute and Primary Care
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Women's Health Nurse Practitioner

Enrollment Options: Full-Time or Part-Time
Coursework Credits: 37+ Credits
Clinical Practice Hours: 630 Hours
Length of Program: 24-36 Months
Additional Features: The program is offered in a modified-distance format. Online conferencing and clinical practicum placement in your home region may be required.

Learn more about the online master of science in nursing (MSN) program at Vanderbilt University.

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Types of Nurse Practitioner Degrees

Online nurse practitioner students have a variety of specialties to choose from. To determine which specialty area is the best fit for you, consider the medical arenas that interest you or the patient population you’d ultimately like to work with. Once you’ve decided on a specialty, your online nurse practitioner program will include courses that equip you with the knowledge and training needed to provide care in your desired area. Learn more about the different types of nurse practitioner programs below.

Online Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Programs

From newborns to seniors, a family nurse practitioner provides complete, advanced care for the whole family. As an online FNP program student, you will learn skills including how to diagnose and manage acute and primary health care problems, disease prevention and management, counseling, and how to provide health and wellness education for families. Students will advance their skills in clinical decision making, leadership in health care policy, and health promotion with an evidence-based, family-centered approach.

Online Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) Programs

An online women’s health nurse practitioner program prepares students to provide gynecologic and primary care to women. As an online WHNP student, you will learn and acquire the skills and experience needed to treat and prevent illnesses and health concerns unique to women. Areas of focus will include primary care, prenatal and postpartum care, menopause, reproductive health care, and general wellness. After certification, women’s health nurse practitioners can provide woman-focused care in primary care clinics, hospitals, emergency care clinics, nursing homes, and other settings.

Online Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AG-ACNP) Programs

Students who enroll in an online adult-gerontology program learn how to diagnose and manage acute and chronic primary health problems in adult patients. They are responsible for providing complete, advanced care for adults across a wide range of primary care needs. These often will include helping patients maintain and promote their health, diagnosing health concerns, writing prescriptions and engaging in health care policy. Learn more about online acute care nurse practitioner programs.

What to Expect in Your Online Nurse Practitioner (NP) Program

Nurse practitioner programs vary from school to school. Courses may also vary depending on the specialty you choose. Learn more about the educational requirements for your program and what you can do with your degree below.

Education Requirements for Online NP Programs

Despite what specialty you choose, most online MSN programs require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree, current nursing license, and documented clinical experience. Direct-entry online nurse practitioner programs are also available to help students with a degree of any kind, not necessarily in a medical field, begin their nursing education.

NP Program Curriculum

As an online NP student, advanced nursing classes are part of your nursing program curriculum. Aside from your credit load, you are also required to complete clinical and practicum hours to gain the experience needed to be an expert in your desired field. Your studies will prepare you to take nurse practitioner certification exams, including those administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Many online nurse practitioner programs also include on-campus immersions, where you are required to complete a certain number of classes or hours on campus.

Refer to your school’s program website for a list of courses you will be expected to take.

Career Path for Nurse Practitioners

There are a variety of specialties within the nurse practitioner spectrum that open up opportunities in different career fields. Careers may include nurse midwives, anesthetists, educators, neonatal, cardiac, pediatric practitioners and more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that employment of nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners will grow 26% between 2018 and 2028, as of January 2020.

Nurse Practitioner Program FAQs

How long is a nurse practitioner program?

Online programs vary from school to school. Generally, they are available on a part-time or full-time basis and can be completed within 2 to 4 years.

How much is nurse practitioner school?

Depending on the specialty you choose to focus on and the complexity of the program, your tuition costs will change. Refer to your school’s program website for tuition information. Be sure to check out their financial aid page as well for information on scholarships, grants, or other types of financial aid.

How much do nurse practitioners make?

As of 2018, the median annual wage of a nurse practitioner is $107,030, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It is important to note that your salary may change depending on your area of specialty.