How Long Does It Take To Become A Nurse Practitioner?

With the availability of scholarships, grants, and other forms of financial aid, those interested in nursing are in luck. As a nurse, one of your options for advancement in your career is to become a nurse practitioner. With this certification, you’ll qualify for higher-paying jobs with more responsibilities. Getting a degree to become a nurse practitioner does take time, though, which is important to realize before you start any program, be it at a campus college or online.

To become a nurse practitioner, you need at least a master’s degree from an accredited school, with some places requiring a doctorate in nursing (laws in some countries and states vary). How long it takes you to get a master’s degree depends on your current level of education, your student status (full- or part-time), and your program of choice.

The quickest way to become a nurse practitioner is to participate in an accelerated master’s degree program, which will qualify you to work in most states. Usually, a master’s degree in any field adds two years of full-time schooling to your education, but with an accelerated program, you’ll complete courses at the same school where you got your associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree and can cut up to a year of time off of your schooling.

In any case, you’ll need to be certified as a registered nurse before you can be certified as a nurse practitioner. If you participate in an accelerated master’s degree program, you can be certified as soon as you receive an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree level of education. However, you may have already gone through one of these degree programs (for full-time students, an associate’s degree usually takes two years, while a bachelor’s degree usually takes four years). For nurses with a bachelor’s degree who aren’t in an accelerated master’s degree program, it typically takes two additional years to get a master’s degree.

If you opted just to get your associate’s degree, you can take one of two routes. First, you can go on to get your bachelor’s degree, which will typically take an additional two years, and then move on to get a master’s degree, adding a total of three to four years of full time education to your schedule. A quicker way to get your master’s degree if you have an associate’s degree is to join an ADN-to-MSN bridge program. With this type of program, you’ll move more quickly through the coursework, but the disadvantage is that you may not actually be awarded a bachelor’s of science in nursing, so if you’re working as you go to school, it will take longer to qualify for a pay raise or better job.

Getting a doctorate, of course, takes longer, and you’ll be looking at more time if you opt for part-time schooling instead of full time schooling. Any way you slice it, becoming a nurse practitioner takes time, so make sure you’re ready for the commitment.

The Best Nurse Practitioner School Programs

Georgetown University
Georgetown University

MSA

Available Programs:

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Walden University
Walden University

HLC

Available Programs:

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Purdue University
Purdue University

HLC

Available Programs:

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South University
South University

SACS

Available Programs:

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Bradley University
Bradley University

HLC

Available Programs:

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Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University

HLC

Available Programs:

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Simmons College
Simmons College

CCNE

Available Programs:

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Maryville University
Maryville University

Available Programs:

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