15 Best Online Nurse Practitioner Programs for 2024

best online np programs

Nursing is a very popular and growing field because qualified registered nurses (RNs) are constantly in demand. As fulfilling and rewarding as working as a nurse can be, working as a nurse practitioner (NP) can bring even more satisfaction. Pursuing an NP certification will take time and dedication; however, the rewards are many.

Online nurse practitioner programs can be a perfect choice for many individuals. The great news is that there are many online NP programs available. Researching the best online nurse practitioner programs is the first step towards not just finding the best online NP programs but also finding out if this is career you wish to pursue. Continue reading and learn more about the best online nurse practitioner programs.

What is an Online Nurse Practitioner Program (BSN to DNP)?

A nurse practitioner program allows RNs to advance their education with a nursing degree at a much higher level. An online nurse practitioner program is a program a student can complete over the internet. Nurse practitioner programs generally take about two to four years depending on if the student has a bachelor’s degree in nursing or a master’s degree. It can also depend on if the student is part-time or full-time.

Individuals with a bachelor’s degree often choose a BSN to DNP program. The courses are also almost all online. At the end of the program, students must complete an internship at a local medical or healthcare facility. Nurse practitioner programs typically offer various areas of specialization, including:

  • Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Who Needs an Online Nurse Practitioner Program?

Anyone who meets the academic and admission requirements can enroll in an online nurse practitioner program. However, online nurse practitioner programs are most appealing to certain students.

  • Students who cannot attend campus every day
  • Students who can’t quit their job to attend an on-campus program
  • Students who have many time-consuming responsibilities
  • Students who want to advance their education

15 Best Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

Although there are many excellent online NP programs, we’ve put together this list of what are considered as the 15 best online NP programs. You can read more on our detailed methodology here.

1. Drexel University

MSN Family Nurse Practitioner

Located in Philadelphia, PA, Drexel University offers an online Family Nurse Practitioner program through its College of Nursing and Health Professions. This 57-credit program has students completing four 10-week quarters each year. Students learn about both individual primary care and family care. Upon completion, students will have earned a Master of Science in Nursing and will be qualified to sit for the Family Nurse Practitioner certification.

Students interested in enrolling in this program must have a bachelor’s degree. This program includes courses in advanced pharmacology; advanced pathophysiology; quality and safety in healthcare; research methods and biostatistics; diagnostic reasoning; and professional issues for nurse practitioners. Tuition is $1,037 per credit.

2. Duke University

MSN Nurse Practitioner

Duke University in Durham, NC offers an online MSN program that allows students to specialize in several nurse practitioner specialties.

  • Neonatal
  • Adult Gero Acute Care
  • Family
  • Adult Gero Primary Care
  • Women’s Health
  • Psychiatric Mental Health
  • Pediatric Primary Care
  • Pediatric Acute Care

This program, which requires completion of 42 to 49 credits, has a rolling application deadline. Although this is an online program, students are required to be on campus at least once per semester. In addition to the online coursework, they’re required to complete a clinical residency at a medical facility of their choosing. This must be under the supervision of licensed clinician. Tuition is $12,896 per semester.

3. University of Mississippi

Family Nurse Practitioner

The University of Mississippi Medical Center offers an MSN program with a Family Nurse Practitioner track. Courses include Biostatistics; Health Policy and the Healthcare System; Advanced Nursing Practice; Health Informatics for the Advanced-Level Nurse; and Healthcare Leadership to name just a few.

This program requires completing 45-58 credits, which include online and hybrid courses as well as an on-site internship consisting of at least 630 hours under the supervision of a licensed NP. Tuition is $525 per credit hour and $150 per semester for online students. UM also offers other nurse practitioner tracks:

  • Acute Care Adult-Gerontology
  • Psychiatric/Mental Health
  • Acute/Primary Care
  • Neonatal
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care
  • Family Nurse

4. Vanderbilt University

Nurse Practitioner

Vanderbilt University offers an online nurse practitioner program that requires students complete 38-66 credits. In addition to completing the required online courses, students are also required to complete a designated number of hours of clinical work. This program offers a variety of Advanced Practice Nursing Specialties.

  • Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Midwifery Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Students complete courses based on their area of specialty. Successfully completing this program prepares students for the nurse practitioner certification exam in their chosen area of specialty. Tuition for this online program is $1,883 per credit hour.

5. Stony Brook University

Family Nurse Practitioner

Situated in Stony Brook, NY, Stony Brook University offers a nurse practitioner program that offers specialties in neonatal health; family health; adult-gerontology primary care; pediatric acute care; pediatric primary care; adult-gerontology acute care; women’s health; and psychiatric mental health.

Although it is an online program, students still have to complete some on-site courses as well as an internship. Tuition is about $471 per credit hour. Applicants must have a current RN license. This 45-credit-hour program includes course topics like:

  • Family theory and interventions
  • Nursing research
  • Healthcare technologies
  • Advanced theory and clinical practice
  • Advanced health assessment

6. University of Texas at Arlington

Family Nurse Practitioner

The Nurse Practitioner program offered at the University of Texas at Arlington is offered in an online format that allows nursing students to advance their education at their own pace. Students can choose from five areas of specialty: primary care; adult-gerontology acute care; pediatric primary care; family nurse; adult-gerontology primary care; and pediatric acute care.

The program requires completion of 41-46 credit hours. This is an accelerated program that allows nursing students to complete faster than normal. Tuition is about $654 per credit hour.

7. Georgetown University

Nurse Practitioner

The School of Nursing at Georgetown University offers an online MSN program that also offers four different specialties: women’s health; adult-gerontology acute care; nurse-midwife; and family nurse. The curriculum for this program combines synchronous courses; asynchronous didactic courses; and on-site clinical courses.

The program, which requires completing 40-49 credits, can be completed in 23-27 months. Tuition is about $2,358. Applicants must have a BSN degree and a current RN license. Active practitioners teach this program. The Board Certification rate for graduates is 100%.

8. University of Southern California

MSN Nurse Practitioner

The University of Southern California offers an online MSN program for aspiring nurse practitioners. It offers the option of studying part-time or full-time. Full-time students can complete this program in 21 months. They’re required to complete online courses as well as a clinical placement to obtain hands-on training in this field.

Students are required to collaborate with a healthcare provider. At the end of the program, students will have completed 680 clinical hours and 50 credit hours of courses. Some of the course topics include:

  • Clinical management of adult patients
  • Advanced health assessment
  • Clinical pharmacology
  • Family primary care
  • Health policy principles

9. Purdue Global

Family Nurse Practitioner

Purdue Global offers an online postgraduate certificate program to RNs who wish to become family nurse practitioners. This 12-course program can be completed in 18 months for students studying 15-18 hours per week. Tuition for this program is $420 per credit. An upper-level master’s degree in nursing is required for entry into this program. Possible courses students might take include:

  • Primary care of women’s health
  • Advanced pathophysiology and physiology
  • Primary care across the life span
  • Advanced health assessment
  • Diagnostic reasoning
  • Primary care of children and adolescents health

10. University of Florida

Family Nurse Practitioner

The University of Florida in Pensacola has an online MSN program that leads to certification as a family nurse practitioner. This 45-credit-hour program can be completed in 27-30 months. Courses in the online program last from 8 to 16 weeks. This program can only be taken full time.

The curriculum is a combination of theory-based and practical courses. Students can transfer in up to nine credits. Tuition is about $500 per credit hour. This accredited program is ideal for RNs holding a BSN but wish to advance their education and nursing knowledge.

11. Cedarville University

Family Nurse Practitioner

Located in Cedarville, OH, Cedarville University is a Christian University offers an online Family Nurse Practitioner degree. The curriculum, which includes biblical-integrated coursework, includes courses like:

  • Client and family education
  • Treatment of chronic and common acute health problems
  • Health promotion
  • Healthcare management
  • Assessment and diagnosis

The program is offered to both full- and part-time students. Students must complete between 35 and 79 credits. Tuition is around $750 per credit. Students can also choose from several NP areas of specialty such as pediatric nurse practitioner; nursing leadership in healthcare; adult gerontology acute care; and family care.

12. Mount Carmel College of Nursing

Family Nurse Practitioner

Mount Carmel College of Nursing offers an online Family Nurse Practitioner program that can be completed in 18 months (five semesters). Students must complete 48 credits of coursework and 500 hours of clinical work. Students can benefit from the 10:1 student/teacher ratio. The curriculum includes courses like:

  • Quality, safety, and effectiveness
  • Advanced pharmacology
  • Advanced physiology
  • Leadership in nursing roles
  • Primary care
  • Research methodology

In addition to having a BSN, applicants must also have completed one recent year of nursing experience.

13. George Washington University

MSN Family Nurse Practitioner

George Washington University offers an online Family Nurse Practitioner program through the GW School of Nursing. This program can be taken either full- or part-time with four different start times available. Students are required to complete 48 credit hours and 600 clinical hours. Two of the program’s components must be completed on campus. Course topics include:

  • Nursing leadership
  • Health policies
  • Advanced health assessments
  • Advanced pharmacology
  • Genetics for health care providers
  • Family nurse practitioner

Upon completion of this program, graduates can sit for the NP certification exam and are knowledgeable of all aspects of healthcare.

14. Seton Hall University

MSN Nurse Practitioner

Seton Hall University, located in Nutley, NJ, offers a NP program that offers several nurse practitioner areas of concentration.

  • Psychiatric/mental health
  • Adult-gerontology primary care/acute care
  • Pediatric primary care
  • Family care

All these programs are offered 100% online. In addition to the coursework, students must complete 600 hours of clinical work. The number of credits or clinicals required may vary by area of specialty. Graduates are prepared to provide healthcare to patients throughout their lifespan. They are also prepared to sit for the national certification exam. Tuition is about $1,500 per credit.

15. University of Alabama – Birmingham

MSN Nurse Practitioner

UA offers and online MSN program to students interested in becoming nurse practitioners. This program offers several areas of specialties.

  • Women’s health care
  • Family care
  • Neonatal
  • Adult-gerontology primary care
  • Adult-gerontology acute care
  • Pediatric acute care
  • Pediatric primary care
  • Psychiatric/mental health care

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements often vary from one school to the next. One requirement that’s usually consistent with most schools is that the applicant must be a registered nurse. Most schools also require the individual have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Some schools will allow the individual into the program if he or she is a graduate of a ADN program and has a couple of years of hands-on nursing experience. The program must be from an accredited college.

There are additional admission requirements. These might include:

  • A minimum of RN work experience
  • A minimum GPA
  • Completion of prerequisite courses
  • An online application submitted
  • Transcripts
  • Letters of recommendation

Salary and Job Prospects for Graduates of an Online Nurse Practitioner Program

Besides being able to help sick individuals, nurse practitioners also have the potential to earn good wages and see very good job prospects. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurse practitioners could see a job growth of 38% between 2022 and 2032.

This growth is quite a bit higher than all other occupations. As of May 2022, the bureau reports that nurse practitioners earned an average salary of $121,610. These wages ranged from $87,340 at the low end and $165,240 at the higher end.

Why an Online Program?

Although on-campus NP programs are typically the same as online programs in terms of coursework and academic requirements, online programs offer many benefits not found in on-campus programs. Students can save a lot of money by not having to commute.

  • Online programs don’t require you to travel back and forth each day.
  • You’ll save on gas, food, and lodging.
  • Online programs offer more flexibility.
  • Online programs offer the convenience of working at your own pace.
  • You may also save on tuition and student fees.
  • You’re not restricted to local colleges and universities.

Getting Started

Once you’ve decided you want to pursue an NP degree and want to do it online, you’re ready to get started. Your first step is researching different nursing schools or colleges that offer some of the best online nurse practitioner programs. Of utmost importance is finding a school that’s accredited.

Accreditation is important and will be important when finding an NP job or when you’re trying to get into one of the best online NP programs. Two accrediting agencies are the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN.

If you’ve found an accredited online program that appeals to you, make sure it offers the courses you’ll need for your NP career goals. If you’re hoping to work in a specialized are of Advanced Practice Practical Nursing, you’ll need to make sure your chosen program offers the courses you’ll need for this.