11 Best Accelerated RN-to-NP Programs For 2023

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

Are you a registered nurse who wants to get a higher degree? Perhaps you are someone with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field but who wants to pursue advanced practice nursing as a career. Would you like to have an advanced practice nursing career that allows you to have more independence and an active role in your patients’ care? Maybe you have considered getting a higher degree but worry that it will take too long to achieve your goals. If this sounds like you, accelerated RN to NP programs may be just what you are looking for. In this article, I will introduce you to the best accelerated RN to NP programs for 2023. As you read further, you will find information about applying for the programs, cost of tuition, and learn about the coursework and clinical experiences in the programs.



(These Accelerated RN-to-Nurse Practitioner programs are ideal for Registered Nurses with a Bachelors in a Non-Nursing field who wish to become a nurse practitioner.)

1. Ohio State University - Columbus, OH (Online)

Concentrations Offered:

Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, and Neonatal Nurse Practitioner

As a registered nurse, you realize the potential this career holds in terms of opportunities and job satisfaction. If you have already completed your undergraduate degree in a non-nursing field, then by enrolling in one of the best accelerated RN-to-NP programs you can scale up to a nurse practitioner’s position in hardly any time. Ohio State University’s NP programs are typically designed for nurses like you, who in-spite of having a non-nursing bachelor’s degree have chosen nursing as their career and are now keen to move forward. Here, the training is grounded in evidence-based knowledge and is a result of the collaborative efforts between the faculty, teaching hospitals, and community preceptors. The college offers aspiring NPs three online accelerated RN-to-NP programs in family health, psychiatric mental health, and neonatal care, so you can decide on a path that matches your interest.

These accelerated RN-to-Nurse Practitioner programs apart from being a seamless path towards an NP degree can be especially beneficial for nurses seeking the convenience of online classes. Regardless of the track you enroll in, because you have not already completed your BSN you must first complete the BSN equivalent bridge courses before heading into the graduate coursework. The graduate courses start with the MSN core in pathophysiology, innovation leadership in advanced nursing practice, concepts in advanced practice nursing, quality improvement & informatics, and health promotion & disease prevention. Regardless of the track you choose, after two years of the program, you will be eligible to take the certification exam within your chosen population foci.

2. Ball State University - Muncie, IN (Online)

Concentrations Offered:

Family Nurse Practitioner

Are you a registered nurse with a bachelor’s in a non-nursing field who aspires to make a difference in the lives of people through advanced practice? If this sounds like you, then you may want to learn about Ball State University that offers one of the sought-after online accelerated RN-to-nurse practitioner programs in the nation. Through this program not only will you obtain the certification of a family nurse practitioner but because it is a seamless online pathway, you will save considerable time and money. Well, if you are wondering how this pathway can enhance your career, then you must know that upon graduating not only will greatly increase your earning potential, but you will also be able to practice autonomously in the many states that authorize NPs to treat patients without the supervision of a physician.

To be eligible for this program, you must have a registered RN license in the state you plan to practice and an ADN or diploma in nursing. Also, you must have completed a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field. Because you do not already have a BSN, the program first requires you to complete the BSN equivalent courses, after which you proceed to complete the MSN and FNP courses worth 47 credits. The graduate-level courses include research core, nursing core, and FNP-specific courses. Upon graduation, you earn an MSN and the eligibility to take the FNP certification exam.

3. University of Texas at Austin - Austin, TX (Campus)

Concentrations Offered:

Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PCPNP), and Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

So, as an RN with a non-nursing bachelors, you may ask if you achieve the same level of clinical expertise as those who enter an NP program with a BSN? Well, yes you can! Through the accelerated RN-to-NP programs offered by the University of Texas at Austin, you can achieve the same level of evidence-based skills & knowledge as someone who starts an NP coursework with a bachelor’s in nursing. Here, depending on where you find your calling, you can gain specialized skills in the care of families, infants & children, or patients suffering from mental illnesses. The accelerated format for all the three NP tracks is offered on-campus and is meant for RNs with a bachelors in another discipline.

Regardless of the NP track you choose; the program starts once a year in the fall. After you complete the one year of BSN equivalent courses, you will spend almost 1.5 to 2 years completing the MSN and NP courses. Since you already have a non-nursing bachelor’s the program does not confer upon you a BSN. The curriculum is mainly based on nursing science, professional foundations, modes of systematic inquiry, and skills in advanced specialized nursing practice.

4. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi - Corpus Christi, TX (Online)

Concentrations Offered:

Family Nurse Practitioner

Ever thought as an RN if you could go straight to an NP position with a non-nursing bachelor’s? Well, you certainly can take your career as a registered nurse directly to advanced practice levels. By enrolling in one of the best accelerated RN-to-NP programs, you can graduate with exceptional NP skills rather quickly. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi offers one such NP program that enrolls RNs with an associate in nursing and a BS in another discipline. Here, you will gain the professional skills & knowledge to treat individuals, families, and communities across the lifespan.

To be eligible for this program you must have completed 58 credits in general education and support courses. Once accepted into the program you complete the undergraduate courses during the first or bridge year of the program. The prescribed 19-credit bridge courses teach you about health assessment, caregiving, nursing research, community, and leadership. Thereafter, you proceed to take the MSN core and FNP courses, comprising a total of 49 credits. Through the graduate-level courses, you will gain expertise in research methods, health policy & cultural diversity, advanced pharmacological concepts, health promotion, health assessment, and the management of acute & chronic illnesses.

5. Marquette University - Milwaukee, WI (Campus)

Concentrations Offered:

Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Dual Primary Care & Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, and Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner

As such to become an NP you must earn your MSN degree for which the obvious starting point seems to be a bachelor’s in nursing. Well, as an RN if you are wondering what your options are with a non-nursing bachelor’s, then you must learn about the accelerated RN-to-NP programs offered by Marquette University. Here, you can enroll in any of the 5 NP tracks without a BSN. All you need to be eligible is a valid RN license, an ADN, and a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. The program is designed for working nurses and offers the flexibility of part-time and full-time schedules. Also, with the rolling admissions, you can apply throughout the year.

The college offers accelerated RN-to-NP programs in adult/gerontology acute care, adult/gerontology primary care, primary care in pediatrics as well as acute care in pediatrics. Additionally, you can pursue the dual specialization track in both, the acute and primary care of infants and children. Regardless of the track you choose, the program first takes you through 12-credits of undergraduate courses in the foundations of nursing, community & population health, and quality & patient safety in healthcare. While the single tracks require completing around 42 graduate credits, if you choose the dual specialization you must complete around 51 credits to earn your MSN-NP degree within three years.

6. Northern Arizona University - Flagstaff, AZ (Online)

Concentrations Offered:

Family Nurse Practitioner

So, as an RN with bachelor’s in a non-nursing field do you found your calling in advanced primary care? If yes, enrolling in one of the best online accelerated RN-to-NP programs can be your best. At Northern Arizona University you can skip the BSN and directly take your career as a registered nurse to become a certified family nurse practitioner. The program is offered through convenient online classes, allowing you to pursue higher education without keeping your current job on hold.

This accelerated RN-to-FNP program comprises 48 credits in core and specialization-specific courses. As a graduate of the program, you will demonstrate enhanced skills in clinical practice, communication, critical reasoning, and leadership. The curriculum educates you on theoretical foundations, applied pathophysiology, principles of evidence-based practice, pharmacology, rural theory & health policy, healthcare systems & primary care of families across the lifespan. The program also includes the completion of a clinical practicum and an evidence-based capstone.

7. University of Michigan-Flint - Flint, MI (Online)

Programs Offered:

RN to MSN and RN to DNP

RN to MSN Concentrations Offered:

Family Nurse Practitioner

RN to DNP Concentrations Offered:

Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

As an RN if you are keen on advancing your nursing career but instead of a BSN have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, then University of Michigan-Flint’s accelerated RN-to-NP programs can prove to be a lifesaver. Here, through two pathways and four online accelerated RN-to-Nurse Practitioner programs you can become an NP, prepared either at the masters or doctoral level. The nursing school, being part of a premier university provides access to vast resources at three of its campuses in Dearborn, Ann, and Arbor. Apart from being an online program, the flexibility to chose between part-time or full-time classes makes these programs a rather popular choice.

Counted among the best accelerated RN-to-NP programs in the nation, here, you can choose to become an FNP, AACNP, AGNP, or PMHNP through an MSN or a DNP pathway, depending on your career goals. To be eligible for any of the tracks you must have an associate in nursing, an active RN license, and a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. The undergraduate courses that you must first take form a bridge between the ADN and the graduate-level courses. If you choose the MSN pathway, not only will you be ready to kickstart your NP career within two to three years, but you also build a solid foundation for a doctorate in nursing, should you aspire to deepen your nurse practitioner knowledge in your chosen population focus.

8. East Tennessee State University - Johnson City, TN (Online)

Concentrations Offered:

Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner

If you are an RN, aspiring to pursue NP education but have a baccalaureate in a non-nursing field, then enrolling in East Tennessee State University’s NP program can be a befitting choice. Here, straight from being a registered nurse, you can become either a psychiatric mental health NP or practice advanced care in family health. Regardless of the track, the fully online format of the program can easily fit into your busy life schedule. The college not only boasts of providing exceptional interprofessional learning experiences but also takes pride in the impressive performance by its graduates on the NP certification exams.

To enroll in this accelerated RN-to-NP program, regardless of the NP track, you must have an ADN with an active RN license and a BA/BS degree in another discipline. Before beginning the graduate-level courses, you must complete 12 credits in the bridge coursework which includes health promotion & research, leadership, advancing to professional practice and population, community & public health nursing. The MSN-NP coursework that follows requires you to complete around 51 credits and 540 hours of clinical practice, after which you will be eligible to take the certification exam within your chosen area of emphasis.

9. Lewis University - Romeoville, IL (Campus & Online)

Concentrations Offered:

Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Online)

Whether you are passionate about caring for the elderly or addressing the healthcare needs of individuals with physical or mental illnesses, with the accelerated RN-to-Nurse Practitioner program at Lewis University you can seamlessly take your RN career to the NP level even with a non-nursing bachelors degree. At Lewis, in addition to competitive tuition costs, the college offers several financial aid opportunities. So, if eligible you can either avail of Employer Tuition Assistance, scholarship, or a discounted rate through the Illinois Organization of Nurse Leaders.

To be eligible for either of these NP tracks, you must have an ADN with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Also, in addition to being registered as a nurse, you must have earned a non-nursing bachelor's from an accredited university. The program requires you to have completed bridge courses with a minimum grade of B. These courses include statistics, concepts of professional nursing, evidence-based practice, and promoting healthy communities. The program then leads to MSN core courses and specialization-specific courses. Some of the core courses that are common for all the NP tracks include applied biostatistics, healthcare organizations, systems & policy, population health, and healthcare informatics. While the psychiatric mental health track is available online the other NP tracks in AGACNP, AGPCNP and FNP are offered in-person.

10. Bradley University - Peoria, IL (Online)

Concentrations Offered:

Family Nurse Practitioner

As an RN if you are keen on advancing your career, but are wondering if you can leap to an NP position with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, then you are in for some good news. With Bradley University’s online accelerated RN-to-NP program you can enter the field of primary care, without requiring a BSN. The program is 100% online and requires no campus visits and also allows you to complete clinical within your own community. At Bradley, even though you will never visit the campus, its faculty is well-trained in delivering a personalized learning experience. Being experts in their field they bring in their rich professional experiences to the online classroom.

To be considered for this accelerated RN-to-FNP program you must have an accredited ADN and a non-bachelors nursing degree along with an unencumbered RN license. Most students complete this 59-credit program in 3.3 years. As such the MSN-FNP program requires completing 50 credits, so the additional nine credits are required to complete the bridge courses. The bridge or the BSN equivalent courses teach you the concepts of professional nursing, research in nursing, and community health nursing theory. The MSN-FNP courses include key concepts in advanced pathophysiology, analysis & development, evidence-based practice, advanced health assessment, health informatics, healthcare policy, advanced pharmacology, and primary care of patients with acute & chronic illnesses. Upon completing the program, you can explore job opportunities in hospitals, urgent care clinics, health departments, and primary care private practices.

11. Monmouth University - West Long Branch, NJ (Campus)

Concentrations Offered:

Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontological Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric and Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Monmouth University’s accelerated RN-to-NP programs are a boon for registered nurses who have a bachelor’s in a non-nursing field and are aspiring to complete their NP training quickly. The college’s supportive environment and small-sized classes prove to be effective in offering a personalized learning experience. Keeping the working nurse in mind, the college offers classes either in the online or hybrid format. With three NP tracks, you can choose either the FNP, AGPCNP, or PMHNP concentration, depending on your interest. Regardless of the track, the real-world experience that the college provides through its 500+ clinical partners prepares you for the many challenges of this career. Also, with an impressive pass rate on the certification exam, the college is committed to the success of its NP students.

These accelerated RN-to-NP programs require you to have an active RN license and a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. Each track prepares you for autonomous nursing practice, leadership, and professionalism. While the FNP track trains you in the care of individuals & families across the lifespan, the AGPCNP track is meant for those interested in the care of the aging, whereas the PMHNP prepares you for the comprehensive care of mental health patients. Graduation requires completing 42 credits, including 12 credits in MSN core, 16 credits in APN concentration, and 14 credits in specialty-specific courses. Because you are entering this program without a BSN before you take these graduate courses you must complete nine credits in bridge courses.