RN to Nurse Practitioner Training and Degree Programs

Through an RN to nurse practitioner program, you'll earn a Master of Science in Nursing and can take on an advanced practice nurse role. Explore the coursework and clinical practice required for these bridge programs. Learn about the expanded responsibilities of advanced practice nurses and their certification options. Schools offering Family Nurse Practitioner degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an RN to Nurse Practitioner Program?

An RN to nurse practitioner program is a bridge program leading to a master's degree in nursing. These programs are commonly referred to as RN to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs. Not to be confused with traditional MSN program, which require applicants to hold bachelor's degrees, bridge programs are designed for RNs who hold nursing diplomas or associate's degrees.

Typically, you'd first complete the undergraduate general education and nursing phase of the curriculum, and then transition to the master's degree phase of the program; however, the amount of credits you'll need depends on the level of education you've completed. You could then earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or you could forgo the bachelor's degree and focus instead on earning the master's degree. Some MSN programs are offered completely online.

Online Availability Fully online programs are available
Common Courses Health Assessment, nursing profession, nursing ethics, epidemiology, pharmacology
Common Specialties Acute care, pediatric nursing, gerontological nursing

What Classes Will I Take?

The classes you'll take depends on the type of nurse practitioner you want to be; for example, many students choose a concentration in a specific discipline of nursing, such as family, adult or psychiatric/mental health nursing. In addition to your classes, you would complete a clinical project or thesis and a clinical practicum at a hospital or clinic. The RN to MSN curriculum could include the following courses:

  • Health Assessment
  • Nursing profession
  • Nursing ethics
  • Epidemiology
  • Pharmacology
  • Clinical management

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses (APNs) who have more clinical and supervisory responsibilities than RNs. As a nurse practitioner, you could diagnose patients, prescribe medication and serve as a primary care provider. You'll be qualified for an ANP position in a variety of medical settings, including hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation facilities, nursing homes and mental health centers.

After you graduate, you may be eligible for certification through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), which offers certifications in nurse practitioner specialties such as acute care, pediatric and gerontological nursing (www.nursecredentialing.org). While eligibility requirements vary by specialty, most include 500 hours of supervised clinical practice in the specialty.

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

  • George Mason University

    George Mason University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at George Mason University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Johns Hopkins University

    Johns Hopkins University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Johns Hopkins University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • American University

    American University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at American University:

    • Master
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

  • Benedictine University

    Benedictine University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Benedictine University:

    • Master

    Online Programs Available

  • Widener University

    Widener University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Widener University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Loyola University New Orleans

    Loyola University New Orleans responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Loyola University New Orleans:

    • 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

  • Saint Mary's University of Minnesota

    Saint Mary's University of Minnesota responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • University of Saint Mary

    University of Saint Mary responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at University of Saint Mary:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Sacred Heart University

    Sacred Heart University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Sacred Heart University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Certificates

    Online Programs Available

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