Nursing is a growing and dynamic profession. Technology and other evolving factors have contributed to the growth and development of many areas of nursing practice, including non-clinical positions as well. In order to keep up with the fast pace of technology and the increased need for nursing professionals, many schools – both online and traditional institutions – have expanded their enrollment and new nursing programs have been established.
If you’re interested in joining the nursing profession or want to further your education beyond an R.N. license, our lists of nursing programs below will help you get started. Each page provides a wealth of information including certification requirements by state, salary data from The Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a list of nursing degree programs in your area, both online and on-site.
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:
List of Nursing Programs by Degree Level
An MSN was the standard for becoming a nurse practitioner. However, many states have been slowly moving towards the DNP degree as the required credential for nurse practitioners. It is important that you research your state and field requirements in order to become fully qualified for your desired position.
- MSN – Acute Care: This is a master’s degree that teaches how to provide short-term, often urgent, medical care and treatment to patients.
- MSN – Adult Nursing: An MSN in adult nursing prepares students for treating the injuries and conditions found in adult patients.
- MSN – Adult Psychiatric Care: This is a master’s degree that helps prepare nurses to treat and care for the psychological state and ailments of adult patients as well as providing care associated with the stages of aging.
- MSN – Family Nursing: This degree trains nurses to handle situations where care is needed for a family member, or when multiple family members develop the same illness.
- MSN – Psychiatric Nursing: This is a master’s degree that helps prepare nurses to treat and care for the psychological state and ailments of their patients.
- MSN – Women’s Health: This degree prepares students to provide treatment and assistance to women of all ages, particularly primary health care needs.
- MSN – Nurse Midwifery: This is an MSN program that helps prepare nurses to assist and care for women during all states of pregnancy: pre-conception, gestation, and delivery.
- MSN – Infection Prevention & Control: This MSN program trains nurses to handle the prevention and control of disease and infection in both community health and healthcare delivery.
- MSN – Nurse Informatics: This program trains students to tackle the management of information and communication in providing health care, improving efficiency, reducing costs, and raising the speed and quality of care.
MSN Bridge Programs
- BSN to MSN Bridge Programs: BSN to MSN programs offer an accelerated path to getting a master’s degree in nursing for those who already possess their bachelor’s degree and RN credentials.
- RN to BSN to MSN Bridge Programs: RN to BSN to MSN programs are designed for registered nurses who have yet to obtain their BSN and MSN degree.
- RN to MSN Bridge Programs: RN to MSN programs offer an accelerated path to getting a master’s degree in nursing for those who possess their RN credentials and a bachelor’s degree in another field of healthcare.
- DNP – Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: This is a terminal degree focused on providing short-term, often urgent, medical care and treatment to patients.
- DNP – Family Psychiatric & Mental Health Nurse Practitioner: This DNP program helps prepare nurses to treat and care for the psychological state and ailments of their patients.
- DNP – Gerontological Nurse Practitioner: This DNP program focuses on the provision of care for illnesses and conditions of patients as they enter old age.
- DNP – Neonatal Nurse Practitioner: This is a terminal degree focused on the provision of care to newborns, especially in the areas of birth defects, premature birth, and infection prevention.
- DNP – Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner: This DNP program helps prepare nurses to provide urgent and critical care and treatment to children.
DNP Bridge Programs
- BSN to DNP Bridge Programs: BSN to DNP programs are for students who possess their BSN and RN credentials and want to obtain both an MSN and DNP degree.
- MSN to DNP Bridge Programs: MSN to DNP programs offer an accelerated curriculum for nurses who already have their MSN degree.
List of Nursing Programs in the United States and D.C. Area
Titles and even the criteria for a particular field of nursing can vary greatly from state to state. Please use the links below to learn more about the general requirements for becoming a nurse practitioner in your state of residence.