BSN to NP Programs

Would you like to become a nurse practitioner? Many nurses who are interested in career advancement want to expand their roles by providing clinical care, rather than pursuing administrative roles. If you are a BSN graduate, this is one path you may want to consider.

Nurse practitioners are advanced practice nurses who have at least a master's degree in nursing and are certified to practice in a particular field like family practice, pediatrics, geriatrics, or women's health, for example. Nurse practitioners work in a variety of settings including clinics, private practices, hospitals, nursing homes, health departments, schools and occupational health sites - basically anyplace where they can provide primary health care and preventive health services.

Educational Requirements to Become a Nurse Practitioner

The first nurse practitioner program dates back to 1965, when Loretta Ford, a registered nurse (RN), in conjunction with Henry Silver, MD, established a pediatric nurse practitioner program at the University of Colorado in Denver. A shortage of pediatricians providing well-child care, combined with Ford's conviction that nurses already had many of the skills needed to provide this care, led to early nurse practitioner certificate programs. These programs focused on training nurses to do a physical exam and diagnose and treat common illnesses. This knowledge would build on what the nurses already knew about child development, nutrition, and preventative care.

As studies repeatedly documented the effectiveness of NP care, the scope of the practice of nurse practitioners evolved in many directions. In addition, programs moved into graduate schools and the master's degree in nursing became the standard for entry into the field. It is expected that by 2015, new NPs will be prepared at the Doctor of Nursing Practice level, which in most cases, is a three-year graduate program. NPs who are already certified are likely to be grandfathered in -- much in the same way that the early certificate-prepared NPs were grandfathered in years ago. Many BSN to NP graduate programs are already making the transition to granting the DNP degree.

In general, work experience is not a requirement for admission to graduate programs in nursing, although it certainly may boost the strength of a candidate's application, and may help to focus the student's interest in a particular area of future practice.

Costs and Benefits of BSN to NP Programs

The time commitment of two to three years of full-time study along with tuition costs for this program is considerable. Many nurses continue to practice at least part time while advancing their educations, and in some cases, employers may provide tuition reimbursement benefits. Grants, scholarships, and loan information should be available from financial aid offices at each university. The benefits of becoming an NP include increased job satisfaction and autonomy as well as increased employment options and higher income.

NP salaries range from an average annual salary of $77,192 in South Dakota to $106,481 in California, according to a national survey released in January 2010. This compares to a mean annual wage of $66,530 for RNs nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Outlook for Nurse Practitioners

The job outlook for NPs is bright. Over the years, the quality and cost-effectiveness of NP care has been well documented and has been followed by increased awareness and acceptance by the public, insurers, and professional colleagues. A shortage of primary care providers, especially in urban and rural settings continues, creating increased demand for advance practice nurses in those areas.

In addition, NPs are now practicing in many sub-specialties, including allergy, dermatology, endocrine, gastroenterology, neurology, cardiology, orthopedics, pulmonary, and oncology, among others. Additionally, some of the greatest opportunities in the future will likely be in the care of an aging population and managing chronic illness.

Schools offering BSN to NP Programs

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
1 Program(s) Found
  • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
  • In a 2013 survey, 83% of students said they would recommend the university to others.
  • Most degree-seeking online and campus-based students are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
  • Average class sizes is 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
  • Founded in 1937 in Davenport, Iowa as the American Institute of Commerce (AIC).
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
2 Program(s) Found
  • Delivering quality education and personalized attention to students since 1899.
  • Provides a range of campus experiences and services online including advising, tutoring, student community, and career services.
  • Counseling services and a 24/7 crisis hotline is available at no charge to all students.
  • Career assistants help students and alumni with resumes, cover letters, job hunting, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
1 Program(s) Found

Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

  • Online Courses
4 Program(s) Found
  • The program culminates in a Master of Science degree, delivered online by Georgetown University’s nationally ranked School of Nursing & Health Studies External link.
  • The school was founded in 1903, dedicated to its mission, “to improve the health and well-being of all people.”
  • The program is a blend of highly interactive online class sessions, social connections between peers and faculty, and real-world clinical experiences.
  • Programs include health systems administration, international health, and more.
Show more [+]
  • Online Courses
 
Featured Schools
 
Nursing Programs