Most Affordable Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

Nurse practitioners provide primary and specialty healthcare. They assess patients, diagnose illnesses, and prescribe medication. Nurse practitioners also benefit from high demand.

Most Affordable Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

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Nurse practitioners (NP) provide primary care to patients of all ages. They may also specialize in areas like pediatrics, gerontology, and psychiatric mental health. RNs can increase their earning potential and move into a high-demand field by earning a nurse practitioner degree.

While RNs earn a median pay of $73,000 per year, advanced practice RNs like nurse practitioners make nearly $116,000 per year. Nurse practitioners also benefit from high demand. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) ranks nurse practitioners as one of the fastest-growing professions in the country.

An online nurse practitioner degree appeals to working nurses seeking a flexible schedule. Nurses can often complete clinical requirements at their current place of employment while in an online program.

Keep reading to learn more about the most affordable online NP programs, common courses, and scholarships for nurse practitioner students.

FAQ on Nurse Practitioner Programs

What is the difference between doctor and nurse practitioner?

Doctors and nurse practitioners both provide primary care to patients. However, doctors attend medical school, while nurse practitioners train in graduate nursing programs.

How many years does it take to be a nurse practitioner?

Earning a nurse practitioner degree generally takes 2-4 years, depending on the program. Learners complete coursework and clinical requirements. After earning a degree, NPs must pass a national certification exam.

What does a nursing practitioner do?

Nurse practitioners offer primary and specialty care. They assess patients, diagnose illnesses, and prescribe medication. Nurse practitioners also create treatment plans.

Is a nurse practitioner higher than an RN?

Yes, nurse practitioners are APRNs, or advanced practice RNs. They take on more responsibilities than RNs, including prescribing medication, and they earn a higher salary.

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What Are the Goals of a Nurse Practitioner Degree?

A nurse practitioner degree builds advanced clinical skills. Students learn how to conduct advanced health assessments, diagnose conditions in a clinical setting, and educate patients on health promotion. In addition to classroom training, NP students strengthen hands-on skills through clinical practicum requirements. Students in an online nurse practitioner degree program can often complete clinical requirements in their local area.

Nurse practitioners provide primary and specialty healthcare. Within a nurse practitioner program, degree-seekers can specialize their skills by choosing a focus area. Many programs offer specializations in areas like family medicine, pediatric health, and adult and geriatric health.

Why Get a Nurse Practitioner Degree?

High earning potential and strong job demand are just a couple of the many benefits of working as a nurse practitioner. The following list outlines five benefits of becoming a nurse practitioner.

Nurse practitioners provide primary and specialty care. As advanced practice RNs, they take on leadership roles and greater responsibilities than registered nurses.

APRNs like nurse practitioners earn among the highest salaries in nursing. According to 2019 data, APRNs earn a median salary of nearly $116,000 per year.

Nurse practitioners can specialize their training by working in roles like family nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, or adult/gerontology nurse practitioner. These specializations prepare graduates for focused career paths.

Nurse practitioners benefit from strong demand. Between 2019-2029, the BLS projects a 45% increase in jobs for APRNs, including nurse practitioners.

Nurses gain primary care skills through an NP degree program. During their program, students learn how to provide primary care to patients across the lifespan.

What Are the Requirements for a Nurse Practitioner Degree?

Most nurse practitioner programs require a bachelor's degree in nursing and a current RN license. Some programs may offer an RN-to-MSN option for nurses without a BSN. Applicants may also need to submit recommendation letters and transcripts. Some programs recommend or require a minimum number of years working as an RN before entering an NP program.

During a nurse practitioner program, learners complete coursework and clinical requirements. Depending on the program, nurse practitioner students may complete 600 or more clinical hours as part of their training.

After earning a nurse practitioner degree, graduates must apply for a license and national certification. Several organizations certify nurse practitioners, including the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board, the American Nurses Credentialing Center, and the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.

Professional Organizations for Nurse Practitioner Students

Professional organizations help nurse practitioner students expand their network and prepare for the workforce. Organizations like the American Association of Nurse Practitioners provide targeted resources for nurses planning to work as nurse practitioners. Many professional associations also offer professional development support, career resources, and networking opportunities.

AANP represents more than 116,000 nurse practitioners. The association publishes professional resources, provides information on how to become a nurse practitioner, and lists research opportunities. Members gain access to educational tools, practice and career support, and up-to-date information. Members can also use the AANP Job Center to strengthen their career skills and identify opportunities. Founded in 1896, ANA advocates for the 4 million registered nurses in the U.S., including nurse practitioners. The association provides practice resources, accreditation information, and educational events. ANA also hosts events with networking opportunities and posts job openings in its career center.

Scholarships for Nurse Practitioner Students

Nurse practitioner students may qualify for many scholarship opportunities. Professional associations, private foundations, and government agencies all support nurses moving into advanced practice roles. The following list outlines several scholarship opportunities for nurse practitioner students. Nurses can also research scholarships based on their school, state, or specialty.

Geraldine "Polly" Bednash Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Nurse practitioner students with a minimum 3.2 GPA can apply for the scholarship. Applicants must attend an AACN member institution for their graduate degree. The scholarship application includes a short essay on career goals and future plans.
Amount: $5,000

AfterCollege/AACN Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship, offered four times per year, supports nursing students. Degree-seekers in an accelerated graduate program or an RN-to-MSN program receive preference. Applicants must show current enrollment in an AACN member institution. Finalists for the scholarship must provide recommendation letters, academic awards, and their published articles to the committee.
Amount: $2,500

NHSC Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The National Health Service Corps Scholarship Program offers full tuition waivers to nurse practitioner students. Recipients must attend an accredited nursing program that leads to national certification as a nurse practitioner in family medicine, adult medicine, geriatrics, primary care pediatrics, psychiatric mental health, or women's health. Recipients also agree to a service obligation after completing their program.
Amount: Tuition plus a stipend

Most Affordable Online Nurse Practitioner Degrees 2021

Texas A&M University

School Information
Location College Station, Texas
Admission Rate 58%
Graduation Rate 82%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Busy students attend Texas A&M University because they can earn graduate degrees at an institution that prioritizes learning flexibility. Remote learners can choose from 38 online master's degrees, including the MSN family nurse practitioner program, delivered from the College Station, Texas, location. The program’s appeal includes a flexible online format that allows degree-seekers to work and pursue other interests.

Applicants typically need a bachelor’s degree or a related credential to apply to master’s programs. The many benefits of a master’s such as the family nurse practitioner program include higher pay and more job opportunities, a big draw for program enrollees and a lot of people. Preparation for a doctoral program is another benefit of this degree.

Competitive tuition rates are a key selling point at this school, which charges residents of Texas $6,677 per year and those who live out of state $18,700 per year. Paying for tuition is always a concern, and grants and scholarships are avenues for exploration. Many students may also want to consider loans as an option to afford tuition.

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Georgia College and State University

School Information
Location Milledgeville, Georgia
Admission Rate 80%
Graduation Rate 64%
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Many students want to attend graduate school online, and Georgia College and State University offers that privilege from the Milledgeville, Georgia, campus. With a total of 18 remote master's degrees available, the institution is a leader in online education for graduate students. The master of science in nursing is ideal for learners interested in the field.

Online education's flexibility and adaptability make it an attractive choice for many graduate students. Professionals, caretakers, and other busy enrollees can attend virtual sessions and complete assignments at convenient times. The MSN program provides this opportunity without sacrificing the rigor that prepares students for higher-level work and further education.

Though this number can vary between programs, applicants get admitted at a rate of 80% each year. It’s typical for degree-seekers to need a bachelor's in the major or a related one to apply to a master’s program. Contact the school to see how to apply to this program and submit the required documents.

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George Washington University

School Information
Location Washington, District of Columbia
Admission Rate 41%
Graduation Rate 82%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Prospective graduate students who need extra flexibility in their degree program should consider George Washington University. The District of Columbia school offers a MSN in adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner among its 50 online master's degrees. This degree does not require relocation or daily transportation, which contributes to the popularity among full-time workers and others who need flexible schedules.

Unless otherwise stated, a bachelor’s degree in the major or the equivalent is usually required for admission. The many benefits of a master’s such as the nurse practitioner MSN program include higher pay and more job opportunities, a big draw for program enrollees and a lot of people. A doctorate or another terminal degree is the next step for some people who graduate from this program.

Residents of the District of Columbia and out-of-state learners pay $31,770 per year in tuition. Degree-seekers can use resources from the financial aid department to determine if they qualify for funding like grants and scholarships. In addition to financial aid students don’t need to pay back, they may also want to consider federal or private loans.

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Samford University

School Information
Location Birmingham, Alabama
Admission Rate 83%
Graduation Rate 76%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Percent Online Enrollment 30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Samford University is a private school with many programs to offer from the Birmingham, Alabama, campus. People who need flexibility are drawn to the institution because of the eight master's degrees available online. One of these is the MSN family nurse practitioner program.

Online education's flexibility and adaptability attract many graduate students to this graduate program. They can earn the degree by attending sessions and completing coursework at convenient times that often do not require real-time interaction. Candidates gain invaluable knowledge that employers value and they may use to enter a doctoral program.

Applicants receive acceptance letters at a rate of 83% each year, with variations expected across programs. Degree-seekers need a bachelor’s degree for admission to most master’s programs. Consult with the program to find out more about entrance and application requirements like transcripts, interviews, and recommendation letters.

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University of Southern California

School Information
Location Los Angeles, California
Admission Rate 11%
Graduation Rate 92%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission
Percent Online Enrollment 17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of Southern California offers students an online master of science in nursing degree that is a top-ranked program in its class. The master’s degree equips enrollees with advanced training valued by employers in their profession. The online MSN program gives graduates the credential they need to pursue a terminal degree like a doctorate.

The school invests in an online platform that prioritizes user-friendliness and efficiency. This flexibility gives students more control over their schedules and makes it easier to juggle multiple priorities. No matter if enrollees study remotely or on campus, they benefit from a supportive learning environment that includes faculty and community support.

The application requirements for this program include a bachelor’s degree and transcripts, but the department can provide more information. School data shows the acceptance rate stands at 11%, but some programs may differ. Tuition costs $46,272 per year for people who live in California, and students can help fund their education with grants, loans, and scholarships.

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