What Is the Top School for a Master's Degree in Nursing for Nurse Practitioners?

A master's program for nurse practitioners can lead to the certification needed for roles at medical facilities and private practices. You may even be able to start your own practice. Find out what a top-rated master's degree program in nursing will be like and learn about some of the best schools in this field. Schools offering Family Nurse Practitioner degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Makes a Top School Offering a Master's Degree in Nursing for Nurse Practitioners?

Since both licensure and certification are required for nurse practitioners, a school's programs should prepare you for state licensing exams, as well as certification examinations in your specialty. Certification is offered through the American Nurses Credentialing Center and the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Clinical experience is required for certification as a nurse practitioner, so look for schools that provide rotations in diverse healthcare settings, including hospitals, emergency rooms, community care centers and intensive care units. Some top schools also provide simulations that allow you to gain needed skills before you start your clinical work.

You can find out if the school's faculty members are active nurse practitioners in your selected specialty. You should also look for schools associated with recognized medical centers and respected research programs in medicine. Employment statistics are important, so find out where graduates work and how many of them landed jobs shortly after graduating.

Three Top Schools for Nurse Practitioner Master's Programs

Duke University in Durham, NC

Ranked as the second-best graduate school for nursing in 2019 by U.S. News and World Report, Duke University offers several Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degrees that include nurse practitioner specialties. Before you do your clinical rotations at healthcare facilities, you participate in simulations that help you learn the skills you need. Your professors are also active nurse practitioners. Your degree options include:

  • MSN - Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care
  • MSN - Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care
  • MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN - Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Acute Care
  • MSN - Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care
  • MSN - Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN - Women's Health Nurse Practitioner

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University was considered the best graduate school for nursing by U.S. News and World Report in 2019. The school's MSN programs prepare you for certification in your specific nursing specialty. You can choose from both part-time and full-time programs that fit your schedule. The following degrees are available:

  • MSN - Family Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN - Adult-Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN/Master of Public Health - Nurse Practitioner, Public Health Nursing
  • MSN - Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN - Adult-Gerontological Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

University of Pennsylvania was ranked third among graduate nursing schools in 2019 by U.S. News and World Report. It was also ranked the eighth best national university in 2019. The school offers MSN programs for nurse practitioners in various specialty areas. You get extensive clinical experience in different types of healthcare facilities, and you have opportunities to pursue additional research in your area. Nurse practitioner degree options include:

  • MSN - Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN - Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN - Women's Health/Gender Related Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN - Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN - Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN - Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN - Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner

More Top Schools for a Master's Degree in Nursing

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
University of California-San Francisco4-year, PublicSan Francisco, CA$13,000
University of Washington4-year, PublicSeattle, WA$16,500
University of Pittsburgh 4-year, PrivatePittsburgh, PA$23,000
University of Maryland-Baltimore4-year, PublicBaltimore, MD$14,000
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor4-year, PublicAnn Arbor, MI$23,000
Emory University4-year, PrivateAtlanta, GA$42,000
Columbia University4-year, PrivateNew York, NY$48,000
Vanderbilt University4-year, PrivateNashville, TN$48,000
University of Alabama-Birmingham4-year, PublicBirmingham, AL$8,000
University of Illinois-Chicago4-year, PublicChicago, IL$17,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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