So You Want to Be a Nurse Practitioner? Choose the Right Program

Marie Napolitano, PhD, FNP; Tracy A. Klein, PhD, FNP


October 22, 2012

In This Article

Finding a Nurse Practitioner Program

Nurse practitioner (NP) programs in the United States are increasing in number and in the quantity of students enrolled. With the demand for more primary care providers in the United States, recognition of the effectiveness of NPs as providers, and the appeal of the NP role as a career choice, there should be no shortage of applicants to NP programs. Registered nurses are the predominant applicants to NP programs; however, second-degree applicants are increasingly attracted to the NP role associated with either a master's or doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree.

Choosing an NP program can be daunting. Program features, such as degrees offered, curricula, and preceptor requirements, can vary considerably by school. The applicant should take the time and ask the right questions of NP programs and state boards of nursing before selecting and applying to a program. This article will identify the essential NP program offerings that should be explored and evaluated before completing the application.