Most Affordable Online Nurse Practitioner Degrees

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What Are the Goals of a Nurse Practitioner Degree?

Nurse practitioners (NPs) need a valid license, an advanced degree, and several years of nursing experience to practice. NPs enjoy strong job prospects. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for NPs to grow 26% between 2018 and 2028. In 2019, these professionals earned a median annual salary of $115,800.

Because of their training and experience, NPs often assume leadership positions in hospitals. Additionally, some NPs focus on research, adding to the body of knowledge that influences and improves nursing practice, while others work as educators, training a new generation of nursing professionals.

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FAQ

What is the difference between a registered nurse (RN) and a nurse practitioner?

An NP enjoys a greater degree of autonomy than an RN. NPs can see patients independently, order tests, diagnose illnesses, and, in many states, prescribe medications.

Do you need a bachelor’s degree to be a nurse practitioner?

Most NP programs require applicants to hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution. Some programs accept RNs with an associate degree and extensive nursing experience. However, they may need to enroll in advanced nursing classes before they can begin postgraduate studies.

Do you need a license to be a nurse practitioner?

All states require NPs to hold a license to practice.

Are nurse practitioner programs online?

Many schools offer online NP programs, but these programs typically require an in-person internship. Most programs allow online enrollees to complete their internship at an approved site in their community.

Accreditation for an Online Nurse Practitioner Degree

Accreditation indicates that a school meets high standards with respect to faculty qualifications, academic rigor, and student learning outcomes. Schools may receive regional or national accreditation. Regional accreditation typically applies to nonprofit, degree-granting institutions, while national accreditation applies to for-profit, vocational, and technical schools. Regional accreditation is generally considered the more prestigious of the two.

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) oversee the accreditation process. Accreditation benefits students in several ways. For instance, only learners at accredited institutions qualify for federal financial aid, and many schools and credentialing bodies only recognize and accept accredited degrees. Additionally, many employers prefer or require candidates to hold an accredited degree.

Programs within a school may also receive accreditation, such as business, social work, and nursing programs. Students researching online nurse practitioner degrees should look for programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Top 10 Most Affordable Online Nurse Practitioner Degrees

Rank School Location
1 Nicholls State University Thibodaux, LA
2 Angelo State University San Angelo, TX
3 Georgia Southwestern State University Americus, GA
4 Columbus State University Columbus, GA
5 Morningside College Sioux City, IA
6 Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, TX
7 Midwestern State University Wichita Falls, TX
8 Clayton State University Morrow, GA
9 Spring Arbor University Spring Arbor, MI
10 Delta State University Cleveland, MS

2020 Most Affordable Online Nurse Practitioner Degrees

We ranked the following online nurse practitioner degrees by factors like quality and affordability. Although not an exhaustive list, these schools offer some of the most affordable nurse practitioner degrees in their regions.

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. Nicholls State University
    Location

    Thibodaux, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public institution in Thibodaux, Louisiana, Nicholls State University enrolls 6,500 students each year. Nicholls offers an online nurse practitioner degree with family nurse practitioner and psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner tracks.

    Depending on their track, online nursing students take 42-51 credits of coursework and complete 600 clinical hours. Core classes for both tracks cover topics like advanced practice nursing, leadership for nurse practitioners, and population-based primary care. Students also complete a focused scholarly project or thesis.

    Prospective nursing students need a BSN degree from an accredited nursing program with a minimum 2.7 GPA on the final 60 credits. Nicholls also requires a current Louisiana RN license. Nicholls State University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The nurse practitioner degree holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  2. Angelo State University
    Location

    San Angelo, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1928, Angelo State University is a public institution in San Angelo, Texas. ASU offers an online nurse practitioner program that trains family nurse practitioners. The program prepares nurses for advanced practice roles through online coursework and clinical requirements.

    Students learn to provide holistic care, promote health, and prevent diseases. Online learners study topics like advanced nursing, evidence-based practice, and advanced health assessment. Students also complete practicum and family primary care courses. Learners can complete clinical requirements at an approved local site.

    Prospective students must reside in Texas and hold a BSN degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Angelo State University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the graduate nursing programs at ASU.

  3. Georgia Southwestern State University
    Location

    Americus, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Based in Americus, Georgia Southwestern State University offers an online nurse practitioner program with a family nurse practitioner track. The degree prepares nurses for advanced practice nursing roles through a flexible online format.

    Online nursing students complete theory courses online and 765 clinical hours in their local area. Clinical hours allow students to build hands-on skills working with patients. Full-time students can complete the 44-credit MSN program in 22 months.

    Applicants need a BSN degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Georgia Southwestern State University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The nurse practitioner program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  4. Columbus State University
    Location

    Columbus, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public institution located in Columbus, Georgia, Columbus State University dates back to 1958. The school offers an affordable nurse practitioner degree online that trains family nurse practitioners. Online learners complete asynchronous coursework, allowing them to balance their studies with personal and professional obligations.

    The 44-credit program includes 15 core credits, 20 specialty credits, and six credits of practicum coursework, which translates into 765 clinical hours. The curriculum emphasizes healthcare delivery and health promotion for patients at different stages of life.

    Prospective students need a BSN degree from an accredited nursing program with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Columbus State University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

  5. Morningside College
    Location

    Sioux City, IA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A private liberal arts college, Morningside College hosts students on its 68-acre campus in Sioux City, Iowa, and online. Affiliated with the United Methodist Church, Morningside dates back to 1894 and offers an online MSN program with a family nurse practitioner specialization. The program integrates certification into the curriculum so graduates can pursue advanced practice roles.

    Online nursing students learn to diagnose and treat patients and administer treatments. The 47-credit program includes 600 clinical hours and three onsite residencies. Learners study topics like primary care, evidence-based research, and pediatric primary care, preparing for family nurse practitioner certification.

    Applicants need a BSN degree from an accredited nursing program with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Morningside College holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The Nylen School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  6. Texas A & M University-Corpus Christi
    Location

    Corpus Christi, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Known as Island University, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi operates from an island on the Texas Gulf Coast. The university is a public institution that hosts 12,000 students through on-campus and online programs, including an online family nurse practitioner program. Designed for full-time nurses, the program enrolls students on a part-time basis.

    The 49-credit MSN program incorporates 630 clinical hours that students can complete at an approved local site. Learners study topics like health promotion, health assessment, and acute chronic care. MSN students culminate the degree with an integrated clinical capstone course.

    Prospective students must hold a current Texas RN license. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The College of Nursing and Health Sciences holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  7. Midwestern State University
    Location

    Wichita Falls, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public institution located in Wichita Falls, Texas, Midwestern State University dates back to 1922. MSU enrolls students on its 255-acre campus and online. The online nurse practitioner degree offered through the Wilson School of Nursing expands the skills of registered nurses. Graduates qualify to sit for national certification exams.

    The family nurse practitioner curriculum includes 18 core credits, 24 clinical credits, and six credits of a thesis or evidence-based project courses. Online learners complete clinical hours at a family practice clinical site approved by the program.

    Applicants need a BSN degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA on the final 60 credits and a current RN license. Midwestern State University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Wilson School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  8. Clayton State University
    Location

    Morrow, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Morrow, Georgia, Clayton State University is a public institution that offers a variety of online degrees, including an online family nurse practitioner degree. The program trains professional nurses for advanced practice roles through online coursework and clinical hours.

    The 47-credit program requires 585 clinical hours and emphasizes collaborative learning, community-based nursing skills, and care for vulnerable populations. Online nurse practitioner students take courses on topics like advanced health assessment, evidence-based nursing practice, and healthcare policy. Students culminate the degree with a nurse practitioner practicum.

    Prospective MSN students need a BSN degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a current Georgia RN license. Clayton State University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  9. Spring Arbor University
    Location

    Spring Arbor, MI

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A private Methodist institution in Michigan, Spring Arbor University dates back to 1873. SAU offers online and on-campus nursing programs, including an online nurse practitioner degree. The curriculum provides a Christian perspective on nursing care and trains students to assess, treat, and manage acute and chronic illnesses.

    Students can choose from family nurse practitioner and adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner tracks. In both tracks, students complete one seven-week course at a time. Courses cover topics like moral and ethical decision-making, theoretical perspectives for advanced practice, and role development and leadership. Online learners benefit from a dedicated student success coach.

    Prospective students need a BSN degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA on the final 60 credits. Spring Arbor University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the nurse practitioner program.

  10. Delta State University
    Location

    Cleveland, MS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public institution in Cleveland, Mississippi, Delta State University enrolls 3,500 students annually. The institution's Robert E. Smith School of Nursing offers an online MSN degree with a family nurse practitioner track.

    The program combines online courses with campus seminars to offer a hybrid route to an MSN degree. Learners study topics like nursing ethics, differential diagnosis, role synthesis, and informatics in clinical practice. Students must complete clinical requirements in Mississippi or Arkansas.

    Prospective students need a BSN degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA, a GRE analytical score of at least 3.0, and at least one year of clinical nursing experience. Delta State University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Robert E. Smith School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  11. Saint Joseph's College of Maine
    Location

    Standish, ME

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A private Catholic institution in Standish, Saint Joseph's College of Maine dates back to 1912. The school offers an online MSN degree with a family nurse practitioner track. Full-time students can complete the degree in just over two years.

    The curriculum blends coursework with clinical experience. Learners study topics like nursing informatics, interprofessional collaboration, and nursing leadership. The program builds the critical thinking skills necessary for advanced practice roles in nursing. SJC offers tuition discounts and tuition reimbursement options for nurses.

    Prospective MSN students need a BSN degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a current RN license. Saint Joseph's College of Maine holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the nurse practitioner degree.

  12. Albany State University
    Location

    Albany, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A historically black university located in Albany, Georgia, Albany State University dates back to 1903. The public institution offers on-campus and online nursing degrees, including an online nurse practitioner degree with a family nurse practitioner concentration.

    The 44-credit curriculum examines topics like advanced health assessment, nursing research, and nursing theory. Learners also study primary care for children, women, adults, and families. In addition to coursework, online learners complete an integrated clinical practicum and a preceptorship in rural/urban family practice settings to gain hands-on experience in the field.

    Applicants need a BSN degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Albany State University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing accredits the online nurse practitioner degree.

  13. University of Mobile
    Location

    Mobile, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A private Baptist institution, the University of Mobile hosts students on its campus in Prichard, Alabama, and online. UMobile offers an online nurse practitioner degree that delivers coursework through a faith-based lens.

    The 46-credit curriculum covers topics like diagnostic reasoning, care of women and children, and health policy. Students must complete on-campus intensives once per semester. Learners also complete 560 clinical hours at an approved local site, gaining hands-on experience in the field.

    Prospective students need a BSN degree from a regionally accredited school with a minimum 3.0 GPA on the final 60 credits. UMobile prefers applicants with at least one year of clinical experience. The University of Mobile holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The MSN program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  14. The University of Texas at El Paso
    Location

    El Paso, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public institution that hosts over 25,000 students, the University of Texas at El Paso offers on-campus and online nursing degrees through the School of Nursing. The online nurse practitioner degree offers four concentrations: family nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner with a primary care focus, adult-gerontological acute care nurse practitioner, and pediatric nurse practitioner with an acute care focus.

    The flexible program offers seven-week courses. Depending on their focus area, nursing students complete 46-49 credits and 675-776 clinical hours. UTEP incorporates innovative simulation lab experiences to enhance students' knowledge and skills.

    Applicants need a BSN degree from an accredited institution, a valid RN license, and at least one year of direct patient care experience. The University of Texas at El Paso holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.



  15. Cedarville University
    Location

    Cedarville, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1887, Cedarville University is a private Baptist institution in Ohio. The school offers an online nurse practitioner degree that prepares family nurse practitioners for primary care roles. The program incorporates a Christian worldview while training students in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of patients across the lifespan.

    Online learners study evidence-based practices to promote health and manage illnesses and injuries. Cedarville offers part-time and full-time enrollment options. Nursing students complete fully online courses and four required on-campus experiences. Students also complete 600 clinical hours at an approved local site.


    Prospective students must hold a BSN degree from a regionally accredited institution with a preferred minimum 3.0 GPA. Cedarville also requires a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Cedarville University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the master's in nursing programs.

  16. University of Central Missouri
    Location

    Warrensburg, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Central Missouri is a public institution in Warrensburg that enrolls over 14,000 students each year. Students can earn an MSN degree online with a family nurse practitioner track that prepares graduates for national certification.

    The 44-credit family nurse practitioner program covers topics like healthcare leadership, population health, and nursing research. Online learners also study primary care for families and adults and complete a primary care practicum to gain clinical experience.

    Prospective students need a BSN degree from an accredited nursing program with a minimum 3.0 GPA and at least one year of experience as a registered nurse. The University of Central Missouri holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  17. Indiana State University
    Location

    Terre Haute, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1865, Indiana State University is a public institution in Terre Haute. ISU's Department of Advanced Practice Nursing offers an online MSN program with a family nurse practitioner concentration.

    The family nurse practitioner curriculum comprises 47-50 credits and emphasizes the practitioner-patient relationship and the educational function of advanced practice nurses. Students complete clinical hours in their local area. Part-time students can complete the degree in under three years.

    Applicants need a BSN degree from an accredited nursing program with a minimum 3.0 GPA. ISU prefers applicants to hold extensive RN experience. Indiana State University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The Department of Advanced Practice Nursing holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

  18. East Carolina University
    Location

    Greenville, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1907, East Carolina University is a public institution in Greenville, North Carolina. The school offers an online nurse practitioner degree with psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner and neonatal nurse practitioner concentrations. The program prepares graduates for national certification and licensure.

    In both tracks, students take online courses and complete one on-campus intensive experience each semester. Online learners also complete three clinical practicums, including 550 clinical supervision hours.

    Applicants need a BSN degree from an accredited nursing program with a minimum 3.0 GPA. ECU also requires GRE or MAT scores. East Carolina University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The master's in nursing program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  19. Wheeling Jesuit University
    Location

    Wheeling, WV

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A private Catholic institution in West Virginia, Wheeling Jesuit University dates back to 1954. The school offers an online MSN degree with a family nurse practitioner track. The curriculum combines online coursework with clinical and practicum requirements.

    The affordable nurse practitioner program builds the knowledge and skills required to improve patient outcomes. Online learners gain communication, leadership, and problem-solving skills. Graduates can pursue family nurse practitioner certification.

    Prospective students need a BSN degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Wheeling Jesuit University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the nurse practitioner degree.

  20. Georgia College and State University
    Location

    Milledgeville, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public institution located in Milledgeville, Georgia College and State University offers an online MSN degree with family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, and women's health nurse practitioner concentrations. The program encourages evidence-based practice, civic participation, and lifelong learning.

    Students complete most coursework online, but they must meet some on-campus requirements. For example, students complete an on-campus lab immersion week as part of the advanced assessment course. The program prepares students for primary care roles in rural and underserved areas.

    Applicants need a BSN degree from an accredited nursing program with a minimum 2.75 GPA, at least one year of clinical practice experience, and a current Georgia RN license. Georgia College and State University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  21. Rivier University
    Location

    Nashua, NH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A private Catholic school in Nashua, New Hampshire, Rivier University dates back to 1933. Riv offers an online family nurse practitioner program that gives students the skills and knowledge they need to work as primary healthcare providers.

    The flexible online nurse practitioner program teaches students how to prescribe medication, conduct research, and educate patients. Riv also offers an online psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner degree that trains students to treat mental health disorders. Both programs combine online coursework with onsite clinical experiences.

    Prospective MSN students need a BSN degree with a minimum 2.67 GPA. Rivier University holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education. The nurse practitioner degree holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

  22. University of Louisiana at Lafayette
    Location

    Lafayette, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Louisiana's second-largest university, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette enrolls over 19,000 students each year. UL Lafayette offers an online MSN degree with a family nurse practitioner concentration. The program focuses on prevention and primary care, preparing nurse practitioners for in-demand roles in the healthcare field.

    The affordable family nurse practitioner degree requires 42-45 credits of online coursework and at least 600 clinical hours. The program also requires online learners to complete a focused scholarly project or thesis. Learners study topics like health assessment, diagnostic reasoning, and population-based primary care.

    Prospective students need a BSN degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 2.75 GPA. UL Lafayette also requires GRE scores. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the online nursing program.

  23. Southeastern Louisiana University
    Location

    Hammond, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public institution in Hammond, Southeastern Louisiana University enrolls over 15,000 students each year. Southeastern offers several on-campus and online nursing programs, including an online MSN degree with family nurse practitioner and psychiatric/mental health nurse practitioner concentrations.

    The nurse practitioner program requires 42-51 credits depending on the student's concentration and at least 600 clinical hours. Southeastern works with online students to arrange clinical sites in their local area. Students build knowledge and skills in research, nursing theories, and advanced clinical practice.

    Prospective nursing students must hold a current Louisiana RN license and submit GRE scores. Southeastern Louisiana University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Commission for Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the nurse practitioner program.

  24. American International College
    Location

    Springfield, MA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Founded in 1885, American International College is a private liberal arts institution in Springfield, Massachusetts. AIC offers an online family nurse practitioner degree through the School of Health Sciences.

    Students learn to diagnose and manage health problems while serving as primary care providers. Learners study topics like nursing research, health assessment, and primary care clinical management. The 46-credit curriculum also includes an advanced practice capstone as a culminating experience.

    Applicants need a current RN license and a BSN degree. AIC prefers candidates with a minimum 3.0 GPA. American International College holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the MSN program.

  25. Walsh University
    Location

    North Canton, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A private Catholic institution in North Canton, Ohio, Walsh University offers several on-campus and online nursing degrees, including an online family nurse practitioner program. Nurses working full time can earn their degree in under three years.

    Learners study topics like health assessment, clinical pharmacology, and care of women. Students complete 650 clinical hours at an approved local site, gaining hands-on experience in the field. Students culminate the degree with a capstone course.

    Prospective students need a BSN degree from an accredited nursing program with a minimum 3.0 GPA. Walsh prefers candidates with at least one year of RN experience. Walsh University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the online nurse practitioner program.

Career and Salary Outlook for Nurse Practitioners

The BLS projects a faster-than-average growth rate for NP jobs between 2018 and 2028. These professionals also enjoy above-average salaries, making a median annual salary over $115,000, with the top 10% of earners making more than $184,180. However, salary varies by factors like location, employer, and experience.

Private physicians hire the most NPs, followed by medical and surgical hospitals and outpatient care centers. The top five states that hire the most NPs include California (13,570), New York (13,450), Texas (10,730), Florida (10,380), and Ohio (7,460).

Specialties for Nurse Practitioners

NPs can pursue specialties to advance their careers and improve their earning potential. NPs can specialize in areas like gerontology and families. Some states allow family NPs to open their own practice. However, many family NPs work in hospitals, community clinics, and private physicians’ offices.

With an aging American population, the gerontology field offers rich professional opportunities for NPs. Within this specialty, NPs can further specialize in primary care or acute care. Primary care gerontology NPs often work in hospitals and clinics or private practice. Many acute care gerontology NPs work in nursing homes or hospice care centers.

In addition to licensure, most states require specialty NPs to be certified by a recognized accreditor in their specialization before they can treat patients within a specific practice arena.

Courses in Nurse Practitioner Programs

NPs typically need a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree. Most MSN programs require at least 30 credits of graduate-level nursing coursework in addition to 400-1,000 clinical practice hours. The length of time it takes to earn an MSN depends on factors like enrollment status, program format, and specialization. Courses vary by program, but the following list outlines classes commonly found in MSN programs.

Advanced Health Assessment

In this course, students develop the diagnostic skills and knowledge needed to make accurate and timely health assessments. They learn to gather, interpret, and synthesize data to develop a comprehensive health evaluation and craft an individual treatment plan. The course focuses on evidence-based practice, which helps students develop critical thinking and reasoning skills.

Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology

This course explores different types of diseases from cellular, molecular, and systemic perspectives. Students learn how to integrate relevant data about a patient’s underlying physiological condition into an effective and comprehensive treatment protocol.

Biostatistics and Epidemiology

Students explore various epidemiological methods that can help them understand the effects of environmental factors on disease outbreaks and human health in general. The course provides students with hands-on opportunities to use advanced computer software that can help them link fundamental epidemiological principles with relevant statistical methodologies.

Healthcare Ethics

In this course, students reflect on current healthcare practice and analyze how it succeeds (or fails) to address the health needs of society’s most vulnerable populations. The course challenges students to develop a professional philosophy that advances the human condition and addresses the needs of underserved populations.

Health Policy

This course examines how advocacy, industry regulation, and public policy influence the delivery of healthcare services in the United States. Learners study topics like healthcare reform, national health expenditures, patient access, and health disparities as they relate to advanced nursing practice and overall health outcomes.

Certifications and Licensure for Nurse Practitioners

All states require NPs to hold licensure before they can practice, and some states require licensed NPs to hold additional certification in their specialization. The nursing field recognizes several organizations that offer specialized certifications. For example, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board administers certification programs for family, adult-gerontology, and emergency NPs.

The following list represents a small sample of available certification programs for qualified NPs.

Scholarships for Nurse Practitioners

Government agencies, private nursing organizations, and colleges and universities throughout the country offer several types of financial assistance programs to undergraduate and graduate nursing students. In addition to scholarships and grants, nursing students can pursue low-interest student loans or take advantage of federal loan forgiveness programs.

American Association of Nurse Practitioners Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Students currently enrolled in an accredited MSN program with an NP specialization qualify for this scholarship. Applicants must have completed at least one semester of their program before submitting the application.
Amount: $2,500-$5,000

Dr. Margaret C. Freda Graduate Nursing Scholarship Award

Who Can Apply: Administered by the March of Dimes, this program accepts applications from graduate nursing students pursuing a specialization in maternal-child nursing. Applicants need at least one more academic term to complete in their program at the time of application.
Amount: $5,000

Elaine Gelman Student Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Administered by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, this program accepts applications from MSN students enrolled in an accredited pediatric nursing program. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to craft innovative solutions to existing pediatric health issues.
Amount: $1,000

Nurses Educational Funds, Inc. Scholarships

Who Can Apply: NEF administers several scholarship programs for undergraduate and graduate nursing students. Scholarships are available for MSN students pursuing specializations in areas such as geriatric nursing, nurse leadership, and psychiatric mental health nursing.
Amount: Varies

Oncology Nursing Foundation Master’s Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship accepts applications from licensed RNs currently enrolled in or applying to an accredited nursing master’s program. Applicants must demonstrate a commitment to pursue a career in oncology nursing after graduation.
Amount: $5,000

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