Welcome to OnlineNursePractitionerPrograms.com: your complete guide to nurse practitioner degree programs. Our blog is maintained by Elizabeth Scala, MSN/MBA, RN, who is a registered nurse and bestselling author of Nursing from Within. Below, you’ll find answers to commonly asked questions as well as support resources to help you find the information you need.

  1. How can I become a nurse practitioner?
  2. What are popular career specializations for nurse practitioners?
  3. What are the nursing licensure requirements and average salaries in my state?

How can I become a nurse practitioner?

In order to work as a nurse practitioner, you’ll need an advanced degree. A Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a necessary prerequisite and a resume must-have for prospective hires. More information on these degree programs is outlined below:

  • DNP: For registered nurses interested in a terminal degree in nursing practice that offers an alternative to research-focused doctoral programs. Program length is typically 3-4 years.
  • MSN: For registered nurses (RN) interested in advanced nursing practice in a specialized area. Program length is typically 2-3 years.
  • MSN Bridge Programs: For associate degree and diploma nurses with a bachelor’s degree in another discipline to obtain an MSN. Program length is typically ~18 months.

Once you decide what degree best fits your educational and professional goals, your next step is to research schools. You should make sure that the school you choose is both accredited and offers the program you’re interested in. The following schools are popular options:

SchoolPrograms

Kaplan University

Accreditation
  • HLC
  • NCA

Simmons College

Accreditation
  • NEASC

Grand Canyon University

Accreditation
  • HLC

Capella University

Accreditation
  • HLC
  • NCA

Click here to see more nurse practitioner degrees.

What are popular career specializations for nurse practitioners?

Nurse practitioners must choose an area of specialty in which to work and become certified in this particular field. Below we’ve listed more detailed information about the most common areas of specialty:

Area of Specialty: Certification:
Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP) Complete an MSN program; pass the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP-BC) exam
Adult Health Nurse Practitioner (ANP) Complete an MSN program; pass the Adult Health Nurse Practitioner (ANP-BC) exam
Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) Complete an MSN program; pass the Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM-BC) exam
Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Complete an MSN program; pass the Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS-BC) exam
Emergency Medicine Nurse Practitioner (ENP) Complete an MSN program; pass the Emergency Medicine Nurse Practitioner (ENP-BC) exam
Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Complete an MSN program; pass the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-BC) exam
Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP) Complete an MSN program; pass the Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP-BC) exam
Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP) Complete an MSN program; pass the Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP-BC) exam
Oncology Nurse Practitioner (ONP) Complete an MSN program; pass the Oncology Nurse Practitioner (ONP-BC) exam
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) Complete an MSN program; pass the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP-BC) exam
Psychiatry and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) Complete an MSN program; pass the Psychiatry and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-BC) exam
Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP) Complete an MSN program; pass the Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP-BC) exam

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What are the nursing licensure requirements and average salaries in my state?

Each state offers a variety of degree programs that prepare individuals to become nurse practitioners. Click on your location below to find useful salary information, certification criteria, nursing board regulations, and a list of nurse training programs in your area.

AlabamaIndianaNebraskaSouth Carolina
AlaskaIowaNevadaSouth Dakota
ArizonaKansasNew HampshireTennessee
ArkansasKentuckyNew JerseyTexas
CaliforniaLouisianaNew MexicoUtah
ColoradoMaineNew YorkVermont
ConnecticutMarylandNorth CarolinaVirginia
DelawareMassachusettsNorth DakotaWashington
FloridaMichiganOhioWashington, D.C.
GeorgiaMinnesotaOklahomaWest Virginia
HawaiiMississippiOregonWisconsin
IdahoMissouriPennsylvaniaWyoming
IllinoisMontanaRhode Island

Both your location and education can affect your income. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a nurse practitioner can make as much as $100,000 per year. Not only will continuing your education give you more tools to help people, but it can also increase your overall salary potential.

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