How to Become a Nurse Practitioner Online

As a nurse, one of the best ways to advance in your career is to pursue a master’s degree and become a nurse practitioner. While this education will take at least a year (and more than one year in some cases), the time and money you sink into your education will lead to better jobs, higher salaries, and more rewarding options for your career as a nurse. So why don’t all nurses become nurse practitioners? Many are worried that they don’t have the time to work as a nurse and also take classes. This becomes easier if you go to school online, and luckily, there are a number of accredited online nurse practitioner programs available.

Your first step to becoming a nurse practitioner through an online program is to find out your state’s nurse practitioner requirements. This is a state-controlled profession, so regulations may vary a bit from location to location. No matter where you live, however, you need a master’s degree to become a nurse practitioner. You can enter an RN-to-MSN program if you currently have just an associate’s degree in nursing, or you can enter a regular master’s degree program if you currently have your bachelor’s degree in nursing. There are also MSN programs for people who have bachelor’s degrees in other fields.

After you learn about the nurse practitioner requirements in your state and determine your program options, you can begin looking at the online schools that fit your needs. Although there is no campus to tour, you can still “tour” the school by getting a sneak peak into classes and asking lots of questions. Get a feel for all of the programs you’re considering and apply to your top few choices. Every school has specific application requirements, even online, so be mindful of that when you apply if you want to be accepted!

Once you’ve been accepted into a program, the real work begins. You can choose to go to school as a part-time student if you plan to still continue working full-time, in which case, your degree program could take six years or more. As a full-time student, it could take as little as one year to get your degree. For most full-time and part-time students, it takes between a year and a half and four years to get a master’s degree and become a nurse practitioner. Along the way, you’ll take classes online as well as participate in clinical learning for hands-on experience.

At the end of your education, you’ll be required to take a nursing exam in order to get your license as a nurse practitioner. You’ll still be a registered nurse, but you’ll now be able to diagnose and treat a number of medical conditions, prescribe medications, and even work independently of a doctor in many states. Getting a master’s degree in any field isn’t easy because of the work and dedication it takes to prepare for your career at this level, but becoming a nurse practitioner online doesn’t have to be more difficult than taking classes at a typical college campus.

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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