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Requirements to Become A Nurse Practitioner

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Nurse practitioners (NPs) are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), who serve as primary care providers to mitigate the effects of the national physician shortage. They hold advanced degrees — either an MSN (master of science in nursing) or DNP (doctor of nursing practice) — plus national certification in a patient population focus and state APRN licensure. An NP’s role may differ depending on the nurse’s state of practice.

Certain states allow NPs to work independently, while others require them to work either under direct supervision or in a collaborative agreement with a doctor. Aspiring NPs should consider this and several other factors regarding their education options.


What Degree Do You Need to Become a Nurse Practitioner?

Nurse practitioner requirements include a master’s or doctoral degree. Graduate candidates typically hold a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). However, colleges and universities also deliver bridge programs that allow associate degree holders to earn their master’s credentials in about four years.

How Long Does it Take to Become a Nurse Practitioner?

Timelines differ based on the candidate’s educational and professional experience levels. Licensed RNs who hold a bachelor’s degree can earn their master’s in as few as 12 months, provided they have already completed between 400 and 1,000 required clinical hours. These RNs can also earn professional certification and state APRN licensure in one or two years.

Can You Earn a Nurse Practitioner Degree Online?

Many colleges offer affordable online nursing degrees to meet prospective students’ diverse career goals and specialization interests. In addition to standard master’s and doctoral programs, distance learners can also choose from the bridge, dual-degree, and accelerated tracks.

Online Options

A lot of people now seek to study online. This allows them to study on their own time, while they continue to work and bring home a paycheck. MSN and DNP programs specific to each of the various population focus areas are available online.

Program advisors place students with local hospitals to complete practical training and post-baccalaureate practice hours. Very often this is done at the nurse’s existing place of employment.

Hybrid programs will require you to attend class on campus once every semester or so, while fully online programs will help you to arrange practical experience rotations in your own geographical area without ever having to attend class in person.

RN Job Outlook Video Bureau of Labor and Industry

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurses earned a median salary of $70,000 in 2017 — roughly $33,000 more than the median salary for all occupations in the U.S. for that year. On top of excellent pay, registered nurses can also look forward to solid job prospects. The BLS projects that employment for registered nurses will grow 15% by 2026, adding approximately 438,000 new positions during that period.

However, the competition for these jobs may be high, as many students have elected to enter the field of nursing in recent years. A bachelor’s degree in nursing can help you stand out from other candidates, and an ADN-to-BSN online program can help you graduate more quickly. This page provides an overview of what to expect in these programs, including admission requirements, courses of study, and possible career paths. It also offers advice about how to help pay for your education.

Content inspired from Nursing Journal


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