The Best Nurse Practitioner Programs In California 2023| (2023)

Deciding to become a nurse practitioner (NP) in California comes with a litany of benefits, with the main advantage being the average salary. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), NPs in California earn $151,830 annually, which is the highest among all other states.

NP employment in the state is also projected to grow by 55.5% between 2020-2030, making California an attractive state for starting your career as an NP.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best ADN-to-MSN (RN to NP) bridge programs, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you.

Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including: Academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Featured Online NP Programs

Using Our Rankings: What to Look For in a Nurse Practitioner Program in California

To choose the right California NP program, there are a variety of important factors to explore. While programs may have various similarities, elements such as admission requirements, specializations, accreditation, and program lengths can help you determine the program that works best for you. Review each program individually to determine if it is the right fit.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements vary from one institution to the next. Reviewing these prerequisites can tell you whether or not you meet the school’s expectations. You can avoid wasting time applying to programs whose admission standards differ from your background and experience.


California NP programs require students to pick a specialization. However, not every school offers the same options. If you know the specialization you want to pursue, make sure the schools that interest you offer it.

For those who are unsure what to focus on, many programs offer the ability for students to explore their options.

Program Curriculum

Researching a program's curriculum will help you determine if the covered material connects to your academic goals. While courses may be similar among schools, some may offer different academic experiences, such as electives, that are of interest to you.

Clinical Experience

Although all NP programs require students to complete a clinical rotation, specific requirements may vary from one institution to the next.

Pay attention to when and how long the experience lasts to make sure it works with your schedule. You may also need to find your own site, as some NP programs may not set it up for you.


Accreditation signifies that the program provides a high-quality educational experience and properly trains its students. Accredited programs also offer benefits that non-accredited programs cannot provide, opening graduates to more employment opportunities and higher earning potential.

Program Length

Most NP programs in California take a similar amount of time to complete. However, that may fluctuate depending on your scheduling needs.

Schools may offer enrollment options for full-time students, part-time students, and those who need to hold a job during their studies.

School Graduation Rate

Colleges and universities often base their graduation rates on four-year, undergraduate programs, indicating they can successfully prepare their students within the typical four-year time period. These numbers still provide insight into the success of the institution, which often carries over into its graduate programs.

Online Learning Format and Requirements

Online learning often offers courses synchronously (in real-time), asynchronously (on your own time), or as a combination of the two. Schools may also require students to attend certain on-campus activities.

The more you understand a program's format, the easier it will be to decide which makes the most sense for your schedule and learning style.

Why Is NP Program Accreditation Important?

Selecting an institution that offers an accredited program provides the following benefits:

  • Accreditation highlights the program's high standards. Organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing accredit only programs that provide students with the highest quality preparation.
  • Students in unaccredited programs may not be eligible for federal financial aid.
  • Accredited programs do not always accept transfer credits from unaccredited ones.
  • Doctoral programs often accept only applicants who hold a degree from an accredited institution.
  • Employers prefer to hire graduates with a degree from an accredited program.

Learn More About the Best Nurse Practitioner Programs and Schools in California

See our methodology to learn more about how we create our rankings.

#1 The Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in California of 2023

Samuel Merritt University

  • Oakland, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Samuel Merritt University started as a nursing program within a hospital. It is now an independent university with multiple campuses in California. The school emphasizes serving underserved populations. The program provides a list of potential local clinical placements, but students are responsible for finding their own.

The school offers a $10,000 scholarship to all new full-time students in its MSN - FNP program.

The online program is restricted to students in Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia.

  • Program(s): MSN - FNP
  • Campus: Oakland, CA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $1,560/credit
  • Admission Requirements: BSN, current and unencumbered RN license, college-level statistics course, demonstrated interest in working with underserved populations, two references. Conversational fluency in another language is an asset
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 20 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate (2021-2): 85.45% (BSN), 80.58% (MSN)
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $139,136

Average Tuition



Retention Rate

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Students Enrolled


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Percent Online Enrollment


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Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#2 The Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in California of 2023

Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

The Charles R Drew University of Medicine and Science offers an FNP course as either an MSN program or a post-master's certificate program. This private research university is dedicated to reducing health disparities.

The program has a unique structure among the top California NP programs. Each month, theoretical content is taught over one long weekend (Saturday through Tuesday), while the rest of the courses are available in-person or online. The first semester starts with 10 credits, while the remaining semesters have heavier course loads.

  • Program(s): MSN - FNP or post-master's NP certification
  • Campus: Los Angeles, CA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $601/credit and $5,000/semester
  • Admission Requirements: BSN, 3.0 GPA, one undergraduate course in statistics with at least a C, at least one year of experience as an RN, three recommendations, proof of computer literacy, resume/CV, and personal statement
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 16 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate (2021-2): 80.33%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $112,296

Average Tuition





Retention Rate


Admission Rate


Students Enrolled


Institution Type


Percent Online Enrollment


Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.



Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#3 The Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in California of 2023

University of Southern California

  • Los Angeles, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus
The University of Southern California

's MSN - FNP program is available as a full-time or a part-time program. It explores the determinants of health care, including biomedical, cultural, and economic influences.

The program requires 784 clinical hours and four intensives. Like the other top NP programs in California, there are required on-campus intensives. Classes are held weekly in real time (synchronously). School staff help facilitate clinical placements in students' local communities. The program has 729 already-affiliated sites in 14 states.

Some students, including those with transcripts more than five years old, may be required to complete a 2-unit bridge in anatomy and physiology.

  • Program(s): MSN - FNP
  • Campus: Los Angeles, CA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation(s): Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $42,740/year
  • Admission Requirements: BSN or MSN, 3.0 GPA, statistics course with at least a C, current and unencumbered nursing license, at least one year of experience as an RN, must reside within the United States when applying and while attending.
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 21 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $163,225

Average Tuition





Retention Rate


Admission Rate


Students Enrolled


Institution Type


Percent Online Enrollment


Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.



Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

How Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in California Work

When compared to in-person programs, online NP programs in California are either entirely online or require minimal campus visits. On-campus requirements may include meeting with instructors, attending lectures, or completing labs.

Online programs offer courses that are synchronous, asynchronous, or both. Synchronous courses happen in real time, with students and instructors meeting at a set time.

Students enrolled in asynchronous courses complete the work on their own time through the use of podcasts, videos, web quests, and other online tools.

Although you may spend little to no time on campus, students still need to complete their clinical rotations in person. Some programs may help you set this experience up, while others expect students to find a placement on their own.

Applying to a Nurse Practitioner Programs in California

Before applying to an NP program in California, your first step is to make sure you meet the institution’s acceptance requirements. While specific prerequisites can vary between programs, many accept applicants who meet the following general requirements:

  • Admission Requirements

    Applicants must hold an unrestricted and unencumbered California registered nurse (RN) license, an associate or bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited program, and at least one year of clinical experience.

  • Admission Materials

    General admission materials include transcripts from your associate degree in nursing (ADN) program or bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program, letters of recommendation, a resume, and a personal essay.
  • GPA Requirement

    3.0 GPA or higher

Paying for a Nurse Practitioner Programs in California

Factors that influence the cost of a California NP program include the length of the program, in-state vs. out-of-state tuition differences, online vs. in-person courses, part-time vs. full-time status, and whether you can work while studying. Luckily, there are financial aid opportunities for students that can limit their out-of-pocket expenses.

Students needing help in paying for their nursing degree can apply for scholarships, grants, and/or loans to reduce the cost of tuition. Scholarships and grants provide funds based on merit, need, or academic performance, while loans are borrowed money that must be paid back upon completion of the program.

What Can You Do as a Nurse Practitioner in California?

Starting in 2023, qualified NPs in California will be able to practice independently without the supervision of a physician. Independent practice allows them to prescribe medication, interpret the results of diagnostic tests, and develop and carry out treatment plans for their patients.

NPs also have a variety of specializations available to them as they pursue their nursing career in the state. Specialty areas include adult-gerontology, acute or primary care, emergency, family, neonatal, pediatric, psychiatric-mental health, and women's health.

California NPs can also expect to earn an annual average of $153,830, which is significantly above the national average of $123,780. While the average NP salary in California is the highest in the country, NPs also need to consider the state's high cost of living.

Explore all the different types of speciality practice areas in our nurse practitioner specialties guide

Frequently Asked Questions About NP Programs

Can you become a nurse practitioner online?

It is possible to complete many of the requirements to become an NP online. Some NP programs require a certain number of on-campus visits, and all NP candidates are required to complete their clinical rotations in person.

What is the fastest way to become a nurse practitioner?

You can become an NP in as little as six years. The process includes completing a two-year ADN program, 1-2 years of clinical experience, and finishing a 2-3 year MSN bridge program. This route requires nurses to enroll as full-time students.

Can nurse practitioners work independently in California?

Starting in 2030, NPs will be able to practice independently without the supervision of a physician after three years of a transition oversight period or 4600 clinical hours. Once they have completed this requirement, NPs will be allowed to prescribe medication and controlled substances, diagnose and treat, and interpret diagnostic tests.

How much do NPs get paid in California?

NPs in California earn $151,830, which is the highest salary for the position compared to all other states. The top three metropolitan areas in the state that offer the highest salary include San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara ($197,879), Napa ($184,700), and Vallejo-Fairfield ($180,380).

Page last reviewed October 24, 2022. Note: The ranking list and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by our Rankings Team.

Related Pages


The Best Nurse Practitioner Programs In California 2023| ›

Many NP programs are changing to the DNP degree by 2025. Discover how this move will impact nurses.

What is the easiest NP program to get into? ›

5 Easiest Nurse Practitioner Specialties To Get Accepted Into
  • MSN - Nurse Practitioner University of Southern California Online. ...
  • MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner Spring Arbor University. ...
  • MS in Nursing - Family Nurse Practitioner Walden University. ...
  • Master of Science in Nursing - FNP Wilkes University.

Will DNP be required by 2025? ›

Many NP programs are changing to the DNP degree by 2025. Discover how this move will impact nurses.

What state has the highest demand for nurse practitioner? ›

New York

What is the hardest part of nurse practitioner school? ›

Following are the 10 biggest challenges you will face as a nurse practitioner student and ways to overcome them.
  • Clinical hour requirement. ...
  • Clinical Placements. ...
  • Certification Exam. ...
  • Demanding and complex schedule. ...
  • Continuing to work full time. ...
  • Coursework. ...
  • Specialization. ...
  • Graduate Requirements.

What is the best type of NP to be? ›

  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Cardiology Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Aesthetic Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Pain Management Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Emergency Department Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.

What is the ideal age to become a NP? ›

The mid to late 20s is a great time to apply to NP school if you know, as a young nurse, this is the career path you want to pursue.

Will DNP replace MSN? ›

Right now, an MSN degree is sufficient, but you'll need a doctoral degree to earn APRN licensure in the field after 2025. While a DNP is a popular option, students can also choose to earn another doctoral degree, including: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Doctor of Education (EdD)

What percentage of nurses hold a DNP? ›

More than 64% of today's nursing workforce is prepared at the baccalaureate and higher-degree level, but only 1.2% have a DNP degree and 0.6% a PhD, according to American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) statistics.

Why PhD over DNP? ›

Those more interested in teaching or exploring theories and making analyses might choose a PhD in Nursing for a career path. If you're more interested in interacting with other nurses, healthcare professionals, and patients on a regular basis, a DNP might be a better fit for your career aspirations.

What type of NP makes the most money? ›

As a hospitalist NP, you can expect to have one of the highest-paying nurse practitioner jobs. The average yearly wage is about $117,880. And while hourly rates vary based on region and specific hospitals, it is $56.67 on average.

What city pays nurse practitioners the most? ›

There is a wide range of salaries for nurse practitioners, from the lowest-paying city, Punta Gorda, Florida, where NPs make an average annual salary of $86,800 to the highest-paying city of San Jose, California, where the average annual salary is $197,870.

What state are nurses the happiest? ›

Top Happiest 5 states for nurses in the US
  • #5 Colorado. Quality of life ranking: #10. Average RN salary: $69,990.00. ...
  • #4 Alaska. Quality of life ranking: #19. Average RN salary: $88,510.00. ...
  • #3 Oregon. Quality of life ranking: #18. ...
  • #2 Wisconsin. Quality of life ranking: #3. ...
  • #1 Minnesota. Quality of life ranking: #2.

What is the most stressful nursing department? ›

The most stressful nursing jobs include ICU nurse, ER nurse, and NICU nurse. In these roles, nurses work in an intense environment with high stakes. They manage emergency situations and care for critically ill patients.

What is the hardest class in the FNP program? ›

Primary care for the older adult is another one of the hardest classes in family nurse practitioner school. The course focuses on disease prevention, health promotion, and management of common acute and chronic diseases in the older adult.

Is medical school harder than NP school? ›

These are 3-5 year programs, where you will take both the NCLEX to earn your RN but also complete a master's or doctorate program to become an NP. It's not just the duration of training, but also the competitiveness and rigor of each path. Getting into medical school is by far the most competitive of the three.

What is the most difficult nurse practitioner specialty? ›

Critical Care Nurse Practitioner

Possibly one of the most difficult nurse practitioner specialties, a critical care nurse practitioner has to learn to deal with life and death situations daily due to treating the most acutely ill or traumatized patients.

What is higher than a NP? ›

Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) vs Nurse Practitioner (NP) After gaining experience in the nursing field, you may be ready to assume more responsibility. Becoming an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) allows you to do just that.

Do patients prefer MD or NP? ›

75% prefer to be treated by a physician. 75% said they prefer to be treated by a physician—even if it takes longer to get an appointment and costs more.

Do you have to be smart to be a nurse practitioner? ›

When you ask yourself “am I smart enough to be a nurse practitioner?" What you should be asking is "do I have the drive to excel in nurse practitioner school?" There is no IQ test needed to become a nurse practitioner and people from all sorts of educational and clinical backgrounds go into this field.

How long should I stay at my first NP job? ›

The learning curve for your new profession will be intense, so staying in one place for at least a year will get you to a point where you can begin to feel competent in your new setting. Leaving your first job too soon can cause your second position to be just as jarring as the first.

Does anyone regret becoming an NP? ›

More and more, NPs are balking at the irregular hours of the profession, with those with families feeling it the most acutely. Mothers report that they regret becoming a nurse practitioner when it comes to the job stealing critical time from their family life.

Can you be called a doctor with a DNP? ›

Unfortunately, some ANPs who have achieved a DNP degree refer to themselves as “doctor” in clinical settings. This is problematic. Although it is true that DNPs have earned a doctoral degree from an accredited institution, they are not physicians.

Does DNP make more money than NP? ›

Do DNPs make more money than NPs? DNP salaries are generally higher than NP salaries, reflecting their additional training. However, nurse anesthetists, even those with MSNs, often earn more than family practice DNPs. Individual salaries depend on specialty, location, experience, and many other factors.

What can a MD do that a DNP Cannot? ›

M.D: Job Duties. ○ An M.D. can prescribe medications in all 50 states and DC. ○ While a DNP can prescribe medication under their advanced practice registered nurse license, restrictions are depending on the state. ○ An M.D. can practice to the full scope of their license in all 50 states and D.C.

Is a DNP financially worth it? ›

According to the 2020 National Nursing Workforce Survey, registered nurses whose highest education was a DNP reported a median salary of about $100,000, 11% higher than the $90,000 median for those who had earned as much as a master's degree.

What is higher than a DNP? ›

Is a DNP the same as a nurse practitioner? No, a DNP is a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree and a nurse practitioner (NP) is the title bestowed on a nurse who has at least an MSN degree and has completed the nurse practitioner clinical and didactic requirements.

Is it better to get a DNP or PhD in nursing? ›

Typically, nurses with a DNP degree have a higher annual salary than those with their PhD. That's in part due to the settings in which they work; since DNPs often practice clinically and see patients, they have a higher earning capacity than nurses in higher education or governmental positions.

Do you have to write a dissertation for DNP? ›

The DNP degree is a practice doctorate.
DNP-PhD Comparison.
Doctor of Nursing PracticePhD in Nursing
Mentored Teaching ExperienceOptionalMinimum of 140 hours
Clinical Hours400 minimum within scholarly projectNone
Scholarly ProjectYesNo
15 more rows

What is the advantage of having a DNP? ›

A DNP can provide graduates with the knowledge and skills needed to effectively navigate the industry and provide guidance to nursing professionals. Mentorship can not only help improve nurses' job performance but also increase the quality of care they provide to patients.

Do you need a thesis for DNP? ›

Students complete a scholarly project instead of a traditional dissertation. The scholarly project is the national standard for D.N.P. program completion and is a national accreditation requirement.

What is the lowest paid Nurse Practitioner? ›

The average annual salary for a Nurse Practitioner is $118,040. The bottom 10% of average annual NP salaries is $79,470. The top 10% is $163,350 per year. The median annual wage for a Nurse Practitioner is $120,680.

What is the highest paid DNP specialty? ›

Of these positions, nurse anesthetists are the highest paid, earning a median annual wage of nearly $200,000, and the most competitive, requiring a master's or DNP and CRNA certification. Other jobs with higher DNP salaries include: Medical and Health Services Manager.

Are nurse practitioners millionaires? ›

So, are nurse practitioners rich? Once again, rich is a relative word, but nurse practitioners can earn a healthy average wage. The starting salary for a nurse practitioner is $82,969 per year. This income is an excellent way to start your NP career at a very livable wage that will increase with experience.

What city in California pays nurse practitioners the most? ›

Highest paying cities in California for nurse practitioners

California nursing salaries vary from region to region across the state. The area where nurse practitioners are paid the highest is San Jose, where the average NPs salary is $197,870 and 1,220 nurse practitioners are currently employed.

How much do FNP make in California? ›

Salaries by years of experience in California
Years of experiencePer year
1 to 2 years$186,853
3 to 5 years$189,220
6 to 9 years-
More than 10 years-
1 more row
6 days ago

Are nurse practitioners in demand in California? ›

California Nurse Practitioners

CareerOneStop (August 2022) predicted that the employment rate for NPs in this state will rise to 19,700 between 2018 and 2028. At a growth rate of 31 percent, this equals 4,600 new NP jobs statewide over the course of the decade.

Why California is the best state for nurses? ›

For example, California tops the list for both the highest RN annual wages and cost of living. For some nurses, the exceptionally high annual salary of $120,560 may offset living expenses. Significant differences emerge when looking at salaries in relation to living expenses in specific areas within states.

Are California nurses happier? ›

It found that in general, nurses in California reported being happier and having better workloads. As for patient outcomes? Signs pointed toward a link in improvement, but limitations were also prevalent.

Where is the best place to work as a nurse in California? ›

1. San Francisco, California. As one of the highest-paying cities for nurses, this city by the bay offers plenty of job opportunities to help offset the high cost of living. San Francisco is an area with diverse health care needs for a population of nearly one million people.

Which nurses have the most burnout? ›

Critical care nurses suffer the highest rates of burnout.

This is mainly due to the nature of the job, as critical care nurses work specialize in the emergency department (ED) and intensive care unit (ICU). As such, their work environment is constantly fast-paced, meticulous, and demanding.

What is the hardest floor to work on as a nurse? ›

Most Stressful Nursing Positions
  • Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurses. ICU is an extremely high-pressure environment and these nurses work with patients who have significant injuries and disease with added morbidity risks. ...
  • Emergency Department nurses. ...
  • Neonatal ICU. ...
  • OR nursing. ...
  • Oncology Nursing. ...
  • Psychiatric Nursing.
Jan 27, 2021

What is the most demanding nursing specialty? ›

The Highest-Demand Nursing Specialties
  • Neonatal Nurse. Babies who are born prematurely commonly experience a variety of health issues early on, and this is where a neonatal nurse comes in. ...
  • Clinical Nurse. ...
  • Dialysis Nurse. ...
  • Nurse Practitioner. ...
  • Nurse Advocate.

What is the hardest part of NP school? ›

Following are the 10 biggest challenges you will face as a nurse practitioner student and ways to overcome them.
  • Clinical hour requirement. ...
  • Clinical Placements. ...
  • Certification Exam. ...
  • Demanding and complex schedule. ...
  • Continuing to work full time. ...
  • Coursework. ...
  • Specialization. ...
  • Graduate Requirements.

What percentage of people pass the NP exam? ›

Which FNP certification exam should I take?
American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
Questions: 175 – 200Questions: 150
Length: Approximately 4 hoursLength: 3 hours
2021 Pass Rate: 87%2021 Pass Rate: 84%
Jun 12, 2022

Is FNP harder than nursing school? ›

Courses and content are more challenging. The level of knowledge you're required to have as a Nurse Practitioner is a huge step up from a RN. You'll take a lot of the same courses as you did with your BSN, but will go into each topic with a lot more depth because you'll be diagnosing and treating health problems soon.

Can you go from an NP to an MD? ›

After you become a nurse practitioner you will still need to go to four years of medical school and 4 years of residency if you want to be a doctor. If you are already a nurse practitioner and want to go through the process of becoming a doctor make sure that you are spending your time and money wisely.

Is becoming an NP easier than PA? ›

The average program length to become an NP is 15-24 months with 720 clinical hours as a nurse first. Physician's assistant training programs are highly competitive and require undergraduate coursework in science as well as several years of hands-on medical experience with direct patient contact and care.

Why be a PA instead of a NP? ›

Physician assistants train as generalists. PA students complete at least 2,000 hours of rotations (versus 600 for NPs) and receive hands-on experience in a wider variety of medical specialties. Meanwhile, nurse practitioners typically train in a specialty area based on patient population (e.g., pediatrics or OB/GYN).

What is the lowest GPA to NP program? ›

The minimum GPA for nurse practitioner school is usually a 3.0. Sure, there are programs out there that say that you can be accepted with a lower GPA, but this lower GPA tends to be for their non-practice advanced degrees.

What GPA do you need to get into NP? ›

Admission Requirements

Most MSN programs require a BSN, an RN license, transcripts showing a 2.5-3.5 GPA or higher, personal essays, and recommendation letters. Some NP schools request GRE or MCAT scores and interviews.

What states the easiest to get a nurse practitioner license? ›

Below you will find a list of some of the fastest states to obtain a permanent, NP license:
  1. Utah. Time frame: 4-6 weeks.
  2. New Hampshire. Time frame: 4-6 weeks. Important Details: ...
  3. Virginia. Time frame: 4-6 weeks. Important Details: ...
  4. Kansas. Time frame: 4-6 weeks. Important Details: ...
  5. Vermont. Time frame: 4-8 weeks. Important Details: ...
Nov 2, 2020

Can I get into NP school with a 2.7 GPA? ›

A: The minimum overall bachelor's GPA requirement is 3.0. The minimum science prerequisite G.P.A. requirement is 2.7.

Is NP or PA school more competitive? ›

NP school is the least competitive of the three and it has the loosest requirements. Some programs require 1 to 2 years of prior nursing experience, while others don't require any. GPA isn't highlighted as a primary factor, with most GPA cutoffs around 3.0, but this isn't a hard rule.

Can I become a nurse with a 2.5 GPA? ›

Yes, it is possible to get into a nursing program with a 2.5 GPA. Many programs accept students with a lower GPA. It may take some extra work from you, though, especially if you are applying to a school that typically requires a higher GPA.

Do you have to pass the Nclex to be a NP? ›

The first step to becoming a nurse practitioner is earning a BSN. Next, you'll need to pass the NCLEX and get licensed, gain experience as an RN, and enroll in a program to earn your MSN or DNP.

How can I raise my GPA in NP school? ›

Improving Your Chances of Applying to NP School with a Low GPA
  1. Retake Courses. No one wants to hear this, but the most sure way to boost your GPA is to retake classes. ...
  2. Get Certified. ...
  3. Join a Committee. ...
  4. Volunteer. ...
  5. Shadow Time. ...
  6. Speak with the Applications Office. ...
  7. And Finally, Never Give Up.
May 22, 2020

What is passing for the NP exam? ›

AANP Family Nurse Practitioner certification exam consists of 150 questions. Scoring works on a scale of 200 to 800 points with a minimum passing score of 500.

Is there anything higher than a NP? ›

A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a terminal educational degree, while a nurse practitioner (NP) is a professional role and job title. Nurse practitioners can be prepared at the master's level or earn a DNP degree. As you explore advancing your nursing career, you may be comparing DNP vs master's NP programs.

Does PA or NP get paid more? ›

Do PAs make more than nurse practitioners? PAs and NPs earn similar salaires. According to the BLS, NPs earned a median salary of $120,680, and PAs earned a median salary of $121,530 in 2021. Outpatient care centers are the highest-paying workplaces for both roles.

What state is best for nurse practitioners? ›

California comes in at the top of the list for one of the best states to be a nurse practitioner. California has a population of nearly 40 million people but is projected to be short at least 8,000 primary care physicians by 2030.

What are the most restricted states for NP? ›

Restricted practice states: According to the AANP, restricted-practice states as of January 2020 were California, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

What state pays nurse practitioners the least? ›

Where Are Nurse Practitioners Paid The Least? Tennessee is the state that pays Nurse Practitioners the lowest average annual salary. The average annual wage for an NP in Tennessee is $95,120.


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