Furthering your nursing education to become a nurse practitioner is no easy task. How will you finance your education? Will coursework fit into your family’s schedule? Fortunately, for aspiring NPs, online nurse practitioner programs can be the answer to the logistical challenges of the nurse practitioner education. Online programs offer students greater flexibility than their bricks and mortar counterparts. As an added bonus, many online nurse practitioner programs are also more affordable than those with a traditional classroom component. Which online FNP programs come with the lowest price tag?
The ThriveAP team has looked at the estimated cost of tuition for each online family nurse practitioner program in the country. These seven schools offer the lowest cost of education for aspiring FNPs.
Though the University of Central Missouri is the least expensive online FNP program in the country, it’s biggest drawback is that students must complete their clinicals within the state of Missouri or the greater Kansas City Area, making this program exclusive to those residing in the region. With online instructors being the same professors teaching on campus, online and on-campus students are proudly given the same quality of instruction. Applicants must currently be RNs with at least one year of post baccalaureate nursing experience. This requirement may be completed while taking core theory courses for the program.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s online FNP program is one of four schools offering its curriculum through Louisiana’s Intercollegiate Consortium for a Master’s in Science of Nursing (ICMSN) Graduate nursing students in the ICMSN are taught a comprehensive curriculum from faculty at all four schools, allowing students to enroll in courses at any one of the participating universities and receive credit. Though the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is the least expensive in the ICMSN, its program is only offered to RN’s who are licensed and reside within the state lines.
Also part of the ICMSN, Southeastern Louisiana University’s program is offered 100% online with no campus requirements. The program boasts an excellent record with a national certification pass rate of over 90% for the past five years. Students can enroll in the program with a part time or full time curriculum but must finish the program within six years of initial enrollment. Applicants must be licensed RNs in the state of Louisiana (here are some other outstanding options for FNPs to-be in the southern states).
Kaplan University is among the most affordable schools for aspiring FNPs. The university, however, has a major limitation. Though Kaplan University is well-known for its online offerings, it’s FNP program excludes enrollment from those residing in Arkansas, Hawaii, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and West Virginia (here’s the reason for these regulations). Students are required to complete at least 50% of the program requirements online or through a transfer credit awarded via a prior learning assessment. Students also have the option to complete portions of the FNP program on-campus if desired, though not required.
Ranked as number 39 among 147 online graduate nursing programs, ASU has made the list for Best Online Programs for the fourth consecutive year. Graduate nurses applying to the program must be licensed to practice as a RN in the state of Texas as well as be citizens of the United States. Though students may complete their clinical practica in their own communities, they must do so inside the state’s borders, making this program exclusive to residents of the Lone Star State. On-campus attendance requirements are minimal.
Ideal for those interested in rural primary care, UND’s FNP track only requires attendance in traditional classrooms on campus once per semester and there are no state exclusions. Despite the majority of the program being online, passing rates on the national certification exams have remained exceptionally high at an average of 100%. Students have the option to attend the program full or part-time, with an average completion time of two years. Students are allowed to identify their preceptors within their own communities. Applicants must have at least one year of RN experience and be licensed by their state of residence.
The University of South Alabama’s Master of Science in Nursing Program has several pathways, as well as specialization, and subspecialization, options within the MSN program. All MSN coursework is completed online and clinical hours may be completed within the student’s own community; however students may be required to come to campus at the end of each semester for final exams and as well as to orient into the next semester. Applicants must hold licensure as a RN as well as must have two years of nursing experience. International students are welcome to apply to the program. Applications from students residing in South Dakota and New York are not being accepted at this time.