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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

5 Ways to Choose a Nurse Practitioner Program

Guest Post Written by Ally Wagner 

Those of you looking for an advanced education as a nurse have no doubt run across a lot of information on nurse practitioner programs and degrees, many of which are offered online. Because each student, degree, and program are different, we thought now would be a good time to go over what to look for in a nurse practitioner program and have listed just five tips below.

1. The MSN – The Master of Science in Nursing is a huge part of becoming an NP. In some states, it is the degree required, while others can require a doctorate level degree in nursing. Even if choosing to go for a doctorate in nursing, an MSN can be a huge part in getting one. Take a look at the schools you are interested in to see if they offer the degree you are looking for.

2. Specialty – Because many nurse practitioners choose to go into a special field in medicine, they can also choose to get a degree in that area. If interested in an area of medicine such as family practice, psychiatry, pediatrics, or other, see if your school offers a degree that can help teach you it.

3. Rankings – Having a third party evaluate your nurse practitioner school can be a great way to see which fits your needs. Rankings can help you figure out which schools have the best graduation rates, job placements, and more. To get a detailed list of some of the best ranked schools out there, click here.

4. Degree type – If you are already a registered nurse or want to streamline the whole process, knowing which type of degree you want is crucial. For example, those who are already registered nurses but want to become nurse practitioners would be interested in a RN to MSN or DNP program. Those who are just starting out a college education may choose to get an accelerated program, such as a five year MSN.

5. Know before you go – Each of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, have their own rules and regulations for what type of program nurse practitioners have to complete. For a list of each of the boards, click here to get more information on each. Be sure that the degree and program you plan on attending qualifies you to be a nurse practitioner in your state before enrolling.

Ally Wagner is studying to become a nurse and also contributes to Nurse Practitioner Programs which helps those studying to become nurse practitioners.

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