Online Nurse Practitioner Schools

Completion of a graduate degree program in nursing can help an experienced registered nurse become a nurse practitioner. Find out about online degree programs, admissions requirements, specializations and courses, accreditation and career options. Schools offering Family Nurse Practitioner degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Earning a nurse practitioner master's degree online is possible, with multiple institutions providing hybrid programs designed to fit your needs. See which one is right for you, as well as the requirements and contents of the program, in this article.

Can I Complete My Entire Nurse Practitioner Master's Degree Online?

Some schools offering online master's degree programs in nursing enable you to complete most, if not all, of your lecture-based coursework through correspondence studies. Other colleges and universities present hybrid programs, which require you to attend a certain number of courses on campus. A computer with an Internet connection should be your main technical need for attending online classes and completing assignments from a distance. Some institutions might ask you to purchase certain software packages for specific courses.

A lengthy practicum designed to give you hands-on experience at a medical facility is likely going to be an additional requirement for degree conferral. You are usually able to complete your practicum at a location close to where you reside, but some schools require it to be completed in certain states.

Which Schools Offer Online Nurse Practitioner Master's Degree Programs

When looking for schools which have online master's degree programs for aspiring nurse practitioners, you have a host of options. These universities are just a few:

  • University of Cincinnati provides an Online Master of Science in Nursing program with three different nurse practitioner specializations
  • Medical University of South Carolina has a Master of Science in Nursing- Nurse Practitioner program available online
  • Drexel University houses an online Master of Science in Nursing with eight specializations in nurse practitioner fields

How Do I Get Into an Online Graduate Degree Program?

A bachelor's degree in nursing and a state-sanctioned registered nursing license are typically the primary requirements for admission into an online nurse practitioner master's degree program. Some schools may also specify a certain number of years of work experience in nursing. Many universities will expect you to have earned at least a 3.0 grade point average in your cumulative undergraduate career and possibly a 3.25 or better in your nursing major courses to gain admission to a graduate degree program.

A completed application, 2-3 letters of recommendation and a copy of your registered nursing license are typically standard application materials required by most schools. Some universities might ask for a detailed resume highlighting your experience and accomplishments, as well as a statement of your professional goals and a letter demonstrating why you want to be a nurse practitioner. Many schools encourage you to send your application materials through an online process.

What Requirements Do I Need to Fulfill to Earn A Degree?

Colleges typically ask online nurse practitioner students to choose an area of specialty. Your elective classes will often be determined by the specialty you choose. Some topics of concentration include:

  • Adult health
  • Adult psychiatric and mental health
  • Family health
  • Women's health

Whatever the specialty of your online master's degree, you will likely take core courses in advanced nursing practices, health and ethics. Some courses that might be common to all nurse practitioner tracks include:

  • Health issues in nursing
  • Advanced physiology
  • Health research methods
  • Nursing seminar

How Might Nursing Accreditation Affect Me?

Some online master's degree programs only accept students whose baccalaureate degree came from a program accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). You'll also want to look for accreditation from one of these two agencies when you choose your graduate program.

Some nurse practitioner certification exams are only open to nurses who attended NLNAC-accredited or CCNE-accredited graduate degree programs. This matters because in some states, NP certification is needed to qualify for your state authorization to practice as a nurse practitioner, explains MedlinePlus, from the U.S. National Library of Medicine (www.nlm.nih.gov).

What Career Options Will My Degree Provide for Me?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nurse practitioners have strong job opportunities, especially in regions that have few medical personnel (www.bls.gov). Your area of specialization affects the age and gender of the patients you might work with.

As a family nurse practitioner, you'll often work with doctors treating patients of all ages. If you are an adult care nurse practitioner, you'll likely be working with patients 12 and older. As an adult care psychiatric and mental health nurse, you may work with elderly patients afflicted with Alzheimer's disease and dementia. As a women's health care professional, you could help women improve or maintain their reproductive and gynecological health.

While online nurse practitioner master's degree programs are widely available, they often include a clinical component that can usually be completed in the student's local area. These programs can provide preparation for certification exams and help you further your career as a nurse practitioner while giving you flexibility in your 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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Kaplan University

    Kaplan University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Kaplan University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Regent University

    Regent University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Regent University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado State University Global

    Colorado State University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado State University Global:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Queens University of Charlotte

    Queens University of Charlotte responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Queens University of Charlotte:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Penn Foster High School

    Penn Foster High School responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Penn Foster High School:

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Pennsylvania

    Campus Locations:

    • Pennsylvania: Philadelphia
  • Walden University

    Online Programs Available

  • Vanderbilt University

    Campus Locations:

    • Tennessee: Nashville