Why This Matters

  • 46% PROJECTED JOB GROWTH THROUGH 2031

    Over the next 10 years, jobs for nurse practitioners are projected to grow at a rate of 46%, which is much faster than the average for all occupations.

  • 9 CAREER SPECIALTIES TO CHOOSE FROM

    The American Association of Nurse Practitioners lists nine specialties and 13 subspecialties that NPs can focus their career on.

  • EARN $40,000+ MORE PER YEAR WITH A MASTER’S DEGREE

    Registered nurses earn $77,600 on average, compared with $120,680 per year for nurse practitioners.

Our Research

This list features some of the best online nurse practitioner master’s degree programs at top colleges across the country. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for post-secondary institutions. The schools on our list have accreditation from professional organizations the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

We evaluated each school’s program on tuition costs, admission, retention and graduation rates, faculty, and reputation as well as the student resources provided for online students. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of online nurse practitioner master’s degree programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like the U.S. News & World Report among others to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

The Top 41 Online Nurse Practitioner Master’s Degree Programs

Best Nurse Practitioner Master's Degree Programs 2023
01
Intelligent Pick
The George Washington University
01
Best Catholic Institution
Georgetown University
01
Most Customizable Program
Duke University
01
Most Affordable
The Ohio State University
01
Best Student Support Services
Duquesne University
01
Best Private Institution
University of Southern California
01
Best Student-to-Faculty Ratio
Rush University
01
Best Public Institution
Texas A&M School of Nursing
01
Best in the Southeast
University of Alabama
01
Best Scholarships
Frontier Nursing University
01

University of West Florida
01

Stony Brook School of Nursing
01

Maryville University
01

Cox College
01

Seton Hall University
01

University of Cincinnati
01

AdventHealth University
01

Cedarville University
01

Drexel University
01

Georgia College & State University
01

Morningside University
01

Gonzaga University
01

Simmons University
01

Regis College
01

Fort Hays State University
01

East Carolina University
01

Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
01

Stephen F. Austin State University
01

Baker University
01

Troy University
01

Indiana Wesleyan University
01

Xavier University
01

Winston-Salem State University
01

Angelo State University
01

Auburn University
01

Purdue University Global
01

University of South Alabama
01

Clarkson College
01

Samford University
01

Olivet Nazarene University
01

Sacred Heart University

 

What You Should Know About This Degree

Registered nurses and nurse practitioners both collaborate with other healthcare professionals to deliver healthcare services to patients. However, registered nurses typically provide basic patient care, such as recording patients’ symptoms and helping to perform diagnostic tests. Nurse practitioners have a broader scope of practice than registered nurses and deliver advanced medical care, such as assessing, diagnosing, and treating medical conditions, with some states allowing them independent practice authority.

To become a registered nurse, most workers need an associate or bachelor’s degree. Registered nurses must also obtain a nursing license by passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) and a state license for the state in which they practice. To become a nurse practitioner, eligible candidates must also earn a master’s degree from an accredited nursing program after obtaining registered nurse licensure.

A potential student should look for programs accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Career options rise dramatically after earning a master’s degree due to a strong and growing demand for nurse practitioners. Jobs for nurse practitioners are projected to grow at a rate of 45% over the next 10 years, compared with 7% for registered nurses.

What’s Next?

Here are some questions to ask when researching online nurse practitioner master’s degree programs:

  • Am I eligible for this program? Most nursing master’s degree programs require candidates to hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited college or university as well as a nursing license. However, some students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and a valid RN license may be admitted into a “bridge” program. Many programs also ask applicants to submit transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a personal statement. Before applying, check the program’s admissions requirements to confirm that you meet their qualifications.
  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? The amount of time it takes to complete a master’s program in nursing depends on various factors. However, full-time students usually earn a master’s degree in two years.

As you research programs, note what application materials you must submit for each program. You should also keep track of application deadlines. You can usually find information about each program’s application process online or by contacting the admissions department.

It is also important to consider how you will finance your graduate education. Tuition and fees vary by program. Some funding opportunities may include scholarships, loans, and grants. If you work, you should also ask your employer about educational assistance programs.