Nurses looking for a cheap nurse practitioner master's degree will be in good hands with the University of Alabama. This is a hybrid degree that is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and provides two concentrations: Mental Health and Primary Care. It is possible for students to take on both concentrations, which will lead to them spending an additional year within the program. Nurses must be able to study full-time in order to take on this degree; part-time is not currently available. Students can expect to complete 53 credit hours of coursework, 1,050 clinical hours, and a comprehensive written and oral exam; there is also an option for completing a thesis. Sample courses include Issues in Community Health for Rural Populations, Psychiatric Treatment Modalities, and Advanced Health Assessment.
10 Most Affordable Master’s in Nurse Practitioner Online in 2021
Working nurses don’t have time to go back to school; that’s why they need access to online Master’s in Nurse Practitioner degrees. These advanced degrees allow a nurse to specialize in a particular field and enhance their knowledge of nursing. The degrees are also important because employers are demanding candidates with advanced educational experience.
Nurses work full-time; in fact, many work overtime. They simply do not have space in their schedule to attend a traditional campus program. Online programs work best for these nurses because they not only have the freedom to choose when and how they study, but they also are able to afford these programs easier than traditional programs. This ranking will provide professionals with all the necessary information needed in order to make a decision on which online master’s in nurse practitioner is right for them.
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Most Affordable Online Nurse Practitioner Master’s
Our Methodology, Explained
Grad School Hub compiles rankings based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics play a significant role in how we source our educational data. After collecting insight for each institution, we organize information into five weighted categories.
Metric Data Used Percentage Academic Quality Full-time faculty percentage, student-to-faculty ratio, student retention and graduation rates 30% Affordability Tuition rates, median student debt, and financial aid 10% Reputation Admission and enrollment rates 30% Program Offerings Number of program options 20% Online Enrollment Score Portion of learners taking at least one online course 10%
A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible on our Ranking Methodology page.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Career Options for an Online Master’s in Nurse Practitioner Degree?
An online Master’s in Nurse Practitioner can open the doorway to some interesting career options for nurses. Because this is a professional degree, there are not as many options outside of nursing, but the ones that exist within the field are incredible opportunities.
Most professionals will reenter the nursing field as a Nurse Practitioner. This is the main design of the degree and it is the most popular career path forward. These nurses work in specialized fields within a healthcare setting, school, or even in the government.
Another option is that of a nurse administrator. This is a position that is often earned after a few years of work experience as a nurse. Nurse administrators are responsible for overseeing an entire team of nurses within their specialty and handle all of the management and administrative tasks for that particular department.
Nurse consultants are also found within the field and are often hired because of their background as a nurse practitioner. These are freelance nurses who come into a facility to improve one or more aspects of the day-to-day operations, such as risk management, budgeting, or communication.
How Much Can You Earn in this Field?
The average salary for a nurse practitioner is about $95,000. This can range, however, from $90,000 to $125,000. Experience accounts for the highest salaries, as does the type of specialty that a nurse holds, with some, such as cardiac nurses, earning more than $140,000 in some states.
The starting salary for a nurse practitioner with an MSN may be as low as $75,000, especially if they have not yet sat for National Board certification as a nurse practitioner. However, after certification is completed, that salary rises to around $85,000. The actual salary, plus potential benefits, can vary by size of healthcare facility and setting.
Nurse administrators, which is a position available in this field, often average between $60,000 and $200,000 a year. Many nurse practitioners move into administration after five to ten years of work experience and are well paid for their experience.
What are the Various Disciplines of a Nurse Practitioner?
A nurse practitioner deals first and foremost with nursing, medicine, and healthcare. They are primary care practitioners that are responsible for seeing all patients who come into their healthcare facility or clinic and make initial assessments prior to the doctor’s arrival. They are the first professionals that individuals encounter when going to a doctor’s appointment and are extremely knowledgeable about their area of expertise.
Nurse practitioners often have their own specializations as well. This can range from psychiatric mental health, family, maternal care, and more. This means the secondary disciplines that these nurses focus on will be those particular subfields of medicine.
All nurses, regardless of specialization, will also come into contact with other disciplines, such as management, leadership, organizational leadership, psychology, law, human resources, technology, and more. Because all of these disciplines make up small parts of a nurse’s day, they must be considered as viable parts of the nursing field.
Are Online Nursing Programs Available to All Out-of-State Students?
Not all online nursing programs are available to out-of-state students. There are several reasons for this, but the main reason is that some states do not recognize out-of-state graduate nursing programs as a gateway for students to sit for National Certification exams as a nurse practitioner.
Nursing is not federally regulated; this is a job that falls to the state Board of Nursing. This is the board that decides what the standards are for that particular state and its nurses. Only the Board of Nursing can make a determination as to what online programs will be applicable when a student decides to sit for licensure.
This also becomes an issue for practicums, which are also known as clinical hours. Many programs require that students complete their clinical hours, which can range from 600 to 1,000 hours, in the same state as the school is located. This is part of the state’s requirements for licensure.
At this time, there are several states who will not recognize nursing programs from any other state. A full list is not available, so students are advised to check with their state to see what the requirements are to become eligible for the Advanced Practice Registered Nurses certification exam.
Most program websites will let students know up front which states will and will not accept their programs. This is also sometimes listed as states in which the program cannot admit students from. If the information isn’t available, students should call the nursing school directly to inquire if their home state will accept the program.
What are Some of the Requirements Needed for this Degree?
An online graduate degree in nursing practitioner is a professional degree and therefore it has some specific requirements that are standard among graduate schools. Students should note that while not meeting every requirement will keep them out of a program, it is rare that a school will offer conditional acceptance. Professionals are advised to research application requirements prior to applying.
The first requirement is simple: students must hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing from a regionally accredited university. Most schools also require that the program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education as well. This is done to ensure that all students begin the program with the same level of education.
Students must also possess a valid nursing license in order to enter into these programs. This is mandated because the completion of this degree is to award advanced certification to nurses who already work in the field. Nursing licenses are also necessary because some states will not accept an online degree from another state. Students must check with their state’s Board of Nursing to ensure that a program will be applicable.
Finally, schools require at least one full year’s worth of work experience in the field. Students must be working nurses in order to enter most of these programs, with some schools requiring at least two years of experience and a letter of recommendation from a supervisor. This is because advanced nursing practice courses assume that professionals have real-world experience and will not go over basic fundamentals.
Nurse practitioners play a large role in the healthcare system in America. Without them, patients would not receive medical care as quickly or as professionally as they do so now. While traditional programs still exist, professionals should also consider earning an online Master’s in Nurse Practitioner; this will allow them to continue to contribute to America’s healthcare system while earning a degree to advance their career.
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This concludes our ranking of the Top 10 Most Affordable Master’s in Nurse Practitioner Online.
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