Nurse practitioners examine and treat patients, often under the guidance of a licensed physician. These workers may prescribe medicine, request laboratory tests, make referrals, and create treatment plans for patients, and may specialize in assisting a specific group, such as the elderly, children, or mentally ill individuals. Overall, this profession allows candidates to care for people in need, but includes lower educational requirements than a career as a medical doctor mandates.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the nursing practitioner profession will grow by 36% before 2026, which the sites notes as much higher than average growth. Additionally, nurse practitioners earn an average of $103,880 per year. These earnings prove over twice as high as what the Social Security Administration noted as the average U.S. income in 2016 ($48,642.15). Essentially, by pursuing a related degree, candidates increase their employment and salary potential, based on current wages and projected career opportunities.
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Delta State University
Total Tuition: $10,500
Students at Delta State University can explore affordable online nurse practitioner programs through the school’s doctor of nursing degrees. In particular, the post-master’s for family nurse practitioners calls for three semesters and 31 credits. However, learners can personalize this time frame by pursuing full-time or part-time degree options. Either way, students take coursework related to clinical practice, such as advanced statistics for clinical practice. The program requires candidates to create and complete a scholarly project. Based on this project, students must write a paper, and can pursue public delivery through a presentation or appearance in a peer-reviewed journal. This project must include 420 clinical hours. Delta State’s nursing programs hold accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The University of Alabama
Total Tuition: $10,800
The University of Alabama delivers a master of science in nursing with three concentrations, including a nurse practitioner focus. Students can complete these affordable online nurse practitioner programs with 40-42 credits, or choose a 53-credit dual concentration that combines family nurse practitioner studies with psychiatric mental health. This dual concentration option may include a thesis. UA delivers this program in a blended format, meaning students must fulfill face-to-face components. Applicants must hold a valid registered nurse license in Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, or Alabama. Nursing programs at this school boast accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Columbus State University
Total Tuition: $11,550
Columbus State University’s master of science in nursing for family nurse practitioners requires 44 credits that students can complete in two years of full-time study. This affordable online nurse practitioner program calls for 765 clinical hours, which learners can fulfill near their homes, and a practicum where candidates practice professionally with supervision. The department delivers all coursework asynchronously, so students can complete assignments at convenient times. Applicants must hold a valid registered nurse license. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits this program. Additionally, U.S. News and World Report ranked this institution among the top 20 schools for innovation within its region.
University of Southern Mississippi
Total Tuition: $12,060
Students can complete the 45-credit master of science in nursing for family nurse practitioners at the University of Southern Mississippi online, with the exception of at least two on-campus requirements. Specifically, candidates must visit campus for orientation and a semesterly clinical component. Furthermore, learners must complete all clinical details for this program in Mississippi. To graduate, students should take a comprehensive exam and hold a 3.0 GPA for program classes. This affordable online nurse practitioner program boasts accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The program, additionally, comes from the school’s College of Nursing, which delivers Mississippi’s only nurse anesthesia program.
Georgia Southern University
Total Tuition: $13,860
Georgia Southern University provides a 37-credit postmaster of science in nursing practice that learners complete in six semesters. This affordable online nurse practitioner program prepares students to treat patients with compassion, through sufficient understanding of health policy. Candidates pursue this degree at a normal or accelerated pace, though the quicker pace comes with higher requirements. For instance, accelerated-pace applicants should hold a 3.3 GPA, while other candidates need a 3.0. The department delivers courses synchronously and asynchronously, and supplies study abroad options to Costa Rica and Italy. School students, additionally, obtain a health insurance plan. Nursing programs at this school hold Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accreditation.
Indiana State University
Total Tuition: $14,970
Another affordable online nurse practitioner program comes from Indiana State University’s master of science in nursing with a family nurse practitioner concentration. Students must complete 47-50 credits, as well as clinical hours within their license state, to earn this degree. Required coursework may include a diagnostic lab, a preceptorship, and a pharmacology class. Upon graduation, learners should understand how to treat illnesses, maintain upstanding care practices, and sustain a comfortable relationship with patients. Students in certain states, such as Alabama and Louisiana may not enter this program. Furthermore, the departments requires students to fulfill all program elements in under five years. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. accredits this program.
Grand Canyon University
Total Tuition: $15,000
Grand Canyon University delivers a doctor of nursing practice that emphasizes educational leadership. Specifically, the program gives learners insights for guiding others in effective nursing practices. Candidates must complete 45 credits and a milestone project for this affordable online nurse practitioner program. For this project, which includes three classes, learners build a program that tends to a researched health care issue. Students also explore eight-week courses in population management and data analysis. This program holds accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Online GCU learners can use the school’s academic resources, including 300 learning tools and more than 900 college resources, on topics such as time management techniques, APA citation, and the writing process.
Old Dominion University
Total Tuition: $15,480
Students considering affordable online nurse practitioner programs should explore Old Dominion University’s 51-credit master of science in nursing. For this program, candidates can choose a general nurse practitioner focus, as well as a pediatric or neonatal nurse practitioner concentration. However, students must visit campus for certain program components, including training, class testing, and a comprehensive exam. Learners must also complete the clinical elements in-person, but in any state that observes the guidelines of the National Council for State Authorization of Reciprocity Agreements. The U.S News and World Report ranked this program at #58 on its list of online graduate nursing programs. Additionally, ODU’s nursing programs hold accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
University of Wyoming
Total Tuition: $15,598
The University of Wyoming delivers an 84-credit doctor of nursing practice program that allows candidates to choose a family nurse practitioner concentration. Curriculum includes a practicum, project, and seminar, in addition to classes that concern pharmacotherapy and pathophysiology. Learners may complete this program in three years, but cannot pursue the degree part-time. Degree seekers must also attend on-campus sessions and fulfill clinical components in Wyoming, southern Montana, or northern Colorado. Regardless of clinical placement, however, candidates must hold a Wyoming license, and must complete the National Council Licensure Examination within their first year of study. This program boasts accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Total Tuition: $15,750
The Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers a doctor of nursing practice with two concentrations. One option requires 38 credits and guides advanced practice registered nurses (APRN) to leadership doctorates. The second possibility educates all non-APRN candidates on organizational systems leadership through 40-42 credits. Both options require clinical hours and practicums, as well as courses such as epidemiology and biostatistics. The program holds accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The school provides 24-hour crisis assistance and several health services for students, including free medications and discounted diagnostic testing. Candidates can also attend career fairs and browse interviewing/resume tips from the school’s Career Center.