Tips to Apply to Nurse Practitioner School

Deciding to go back to school to become a nurse practitioner is the easy part – now you have to actually find a program that fits your educational needs and be accepted! The more prestigious the school, the harder it is to get accepted, but don’t let that stop you from applying to the best nursing schools in the country. Use the following tips to improve your chances of getting into the school of your dreams!

Tip #1: Secure good letters of recommendation.

Certification as a nurse practitioner requires at least a master’s degree, and when applying to graduate school, good letters of recommendation are essential. You probably already have employers, professors, or colleagues in mind to write these letters, but before you ask, really take some time to scrutinize your options. If possible, find alumni of your program of choice to write your letters, even if they don’t know you quite as well as other writers you’re considering. Schools hold alumni recommendations in high esteem, and unless you know a professor from the program, these are often the best letters to get you into that school. If you don’t know any alumni, don’t sweat it. Strong letters from others in the nursing field can help to get you accepted as well.

Tip #2: Read the application guidelines carefully.

Following directions is as important today as it was when you were in grade school. While it is true that some schools aren’t so harsh as to throw out applications that arrive a day late or missing a piece of information, it does move you to the bottom of the pile. You’ve already made a bad impression, and unless the rest of your application is extremely impressive, your chances of acceptance most likely decreased.

Tip #3: Visit the school and be enthusiastic while there.

If you have the chance to visit the schools you’re considering, do so. This includes online schools – you can take a virtual tour and meet with staff members via chat room or phone. While this does help you in narrowing your choices, it is also often a way to get your foot in the door. If you’re enthusiastic about your education and make a good impression on staff members during your visit, they’ll remember you and recommend that you be accepted. Even staff members who aren’t on the admissions committee will often email those who are when they’ve met someone promising, so take advantage of every contact you make.

Tip #4: Have a plan.

Lastly, in order to get the most acceptance letters possible, have a clear plan for your education and subsequent career. Yes, plans can change, but by showing that you have a goal, schools will be more willing to take a chance on you. You want your application to show that you’re someone who will excel in school and do great things after graduation.

The Best Nurse Practitioner School Programs

Walden University
Doctor of Nursing Practice
RN to MSN: Adult Gerontology NP
RN to MSN: Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP
Walden University — Students in the Doctor of Nursing Practice online program from Walden University study advanced methods in the practice of nursing across a variety of healthcare environments. Registered nurses with a master’s degree in nursing are able to obtain their diploma in an accelerated format.
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Kaplan University
MSN in Nurse Practitioners
Kaplan University — The Kaplan University MSN for Nurse Practitioners program prepares students to apply advanced methods in nursing in a dynamic healthcare environment. Courses include Advanced Nursing Roles, Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing, and Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in a Diverse Community.
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South University
MSN in Nurse Practitioner
South University — The South University Master of Science in Nursing program offers a Nurse Practitioner specialization which is designed for Registered Nurses who wish to advance their skills, manage their patients care, and make critical decisions using evidence-based information. The program is offered online.
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Bradley University
MSN to FNP
BSN to DNP in Nursing Leadership
BSN to DNP in Family Nursing Practice
Bradley University — Bradley University features several nursing bridge programs. They include programs such as the BSN to DNP in nursing leadership, MSN to FNP, and the BSN to DNP in family nursing practice. The programs innovative curriculum is designed to meet local, national, and global health care needs.
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Grand Canyon University
MSN in Nurse Education
MSN in Nurse Leadership
MBA/MSN in Leadership
Grand Canyon University — The Grand Canyon University College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers a wide variety of Master's programs tailored to meet the students specific interests. Specializations include Education, Nurse Leadership, and Leadership in Health Care Systems.
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Georgetown University
MSN in Family Nursing
MSN in Midwifery
Georgetown University — Georgetown University's online MS in nursing (MSN) programs in family nursing and midwifery follow the School of Nursing and Health Studies nursing model, which includes a mission of providing morally reflective healthcare scholars and leaders who strive to improve the wellbeing and health of all people with sensitivity to cultural differences and issues of justice.
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Simmons College
RN to MSN for Family Nurse Practitioner
MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner
Simmons College — Simmons College offers an online MSN for Family Nurse Practitioners degree, a 36- to 47-credit program consisting of a Nursing Leadership Core, which features a theoretical curriculum, and a Nursing Practice Core, which puts theory into practice in real-world situations.
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American Sentinel University
MS in Nursing
MSN in Case Management
MSN in Infection Prevention
MSN in Nurse Informatics
MSN in Nurse Leadership
American Sentinel University — Students of American Sentinel University's online masters in nursing programs are able to finish their degrees after completing 21 undergrad credits plus 36 graduate credits. Degrees offered include the basic RN to MSN as well as several MSN specialties in case management, infection prevention and control, nurse informatics, and nurse leadership.
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University of Cincinnati
MSN in Clinical Nursing
MSN in Family Nursing
MSN in Women's Health
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University of Cincinnati — Founded in 1889, the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing features three tracks to achieve the Master of Science Nursing degree: traditional, accelerated, and RN to MSN LINK program. The college offers numerous onsite and distance learning specialties, including clinical nursing, adult nursing, family nursing, women's health, and more.
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Maryville University
Doctor of Nursing Practice
MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner
MSN in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Maryville University — Sacred Heart University offers several nurse practitioner degrees for the aspiring students: Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Whichever course of study that a student decides on, the curriculum is designed to prepare its graduates for all of the challenges that they will face in the day-to-day operations of the nursing profession.
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