9 Best Cardiology Nurse Practitioner Programs – 2024

Written By: Darby Faubion, RN, BSN, MBA

Nurse practitioners are a valuable part of Advanced Practice Provider care teams. However, many schools only offer advanced practice programs focused on general primary-care pathways, such as Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP, or Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, to name a few. To meet the demand of educational pathways for nurse practitioners to provide more specialized care, colleges and universities have begun to implement post-graduate certificate programs, fellowships, and residencies. Cardiology nurse practitioner programs are one example of how the demand is being met. If you are a nurse practitioner who likes to be challenged and is not afraid to tackle complex cases, like those related to heart health, this article is for you. In the following sections, I will share some popular cardiology nurse practitioner programs for 2024, discuss admission criteria and curriculum requirements, and answer some frequently asked questions.

Top 5 Benefits of Cardiology Nurse Practitioner Program

When you choose a specialty focus area, such as cardiology, it says a great deal about your dedication and determination to provide care to clients who need that specific type of care. No doubt, you want to choose a program that will prepare you to become an expert capable of delivering the best care possible to your patients. The objective of cardiology nurse practitioner programs is to make sure you have all the tools you need to make this type of care possible. Listed below are a few benefits of cardiology NP programs.

1. Learn from experienced professionals:

Cardiology NP programs, like those mentioned in this article, offer the guidance and expertise of healthcare professionals who have a proven track record in cardiac care. When you enroll in cardiology nurse practitioner fellowship programs, residences, or post-graduate certificate programs, you are allowing yourself to learn from some of the top professionals in cardiac care. This means you will be well-prepared to provide the care your clients need.

2. Become a specialist in a vital area of healthcare:

Without proper cardiac functioning, every body system can experience a negative impact. Cardiology nurse practitioners are a valuable part of the healthcare team, providing specialized care to clients. Cardiology nurse practitioner programs prepare advanced practice registered nurses to perform in a specialized role, helping improve patient outcomes.

3. Create job security:

Choosing to specialize in a field like cardiology means you have the chance to become an expert in your chosen field. Being an expert in cardiac care will allow you to increase your marketability, which creates job security. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities want to employ providers who are the best in their field, which is an advantage when it comes to long-term employment.

4. Earn a higher income:

The role of a cardiology nurse practitioner comes with a lot of responsibility. Although all cardiac patients may not be experiencing critical or life-threatening issues, cardiac care is still a very specialized practice area. Employers realize that cardiology patients require such care and compensate cardiology NPs accordingly.

5. You can make a difference:

Cardiology nurse practitioner programs prepare nurse practitioners to play an integral role in their clients' health and well-being. The care you provide as a cardiology NP can make a difference in your patients' quantity of life and the quality of life they experience.

How Long Are Cardiology Nurse Practitioner Programs?

Duke University

offers two cardiology nurse practitioner programs. Current MSN students can choose to add the cardiology specialty certificate to their curriculum while pursuing a Master of Science in Nursing. Advanced practice registered nurses who wish to achieve a cardiology specialty certificate can apply for admission and earn the certificate by completing eight credit hours of cardiovascular specialty courses. The certification can be achieved in as little as twelve months, including coursework and 168 hours of cardiovascular synthesis.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette:

The graduate certificate in cardiovascular nursing at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL) is a twelve-credit hour program designed to be completed in six months.

Mayo Clinic College of Medicine & Science

offers a cardiology nurse practitioner fellowship that accepts two applicants yearly. The fellowship program is a twelve-month didactic program consisting of a minimum of three hundred classroom hours and 1,700 supervised clinical hours.

How Much Do Cardiology Nurse Practitioner Programs Cost?

Students enrolled in a graduate nursing program at the University of South Alabama may opt to add the cardiovascular subspecialty to their current schedule. The university also offers the post-graduate certificate subspecialty for prospective students who wish to specialize in cardiology. The cardiology subspecialty includes eight credit hours of coursework at a rate of $594 each. The average cost of the cardiovascular nurse practitioner program/post-graduate cardiovascular certificate is $4,752.
The University of Washington Department of Surgery offers an Advanced Cardiology Fellowship designed for nurse practitioners and physician assistants who desire to work across cardiovascular specialty and subspecialty areas. It is a twelve-month fellowship.

What Is the Curriculum Like in A Cardiology Nurse Practitioner Program?

Cardiac care is perhaps one of the most intriguing and specialized areas of nursing care. As such, it is understandable that the curriculum should involve in-depth study and clinical experiences. Although curriculum may vary from one school or program to the next, they all share the goal of training advanced practice providers to deliver exceptional care to help clients achieve the best heart health possible.
Cardiology nurse practitioner programs may be offered as a post-graduate certificate program, a fellowship, or a residency. Certificate programs are often shorter and require less coursework, while fellowships and residencies may last one or two years. A few examples of some of the top cardiology NP programs for 2024 and their curriculum are listed below.

Emory University:

The Emory Division of Cardiothoracic Surgery offers a formal training program, the Emory Cardiothoracic Advanced Practice Provider Fellowship, to train certified APPs to provide high-quality surgical and clinical care for cardiothoracic surgery patients. The fellowship is a twelve-month program, and participants receive a certificate of completion when all objectives are complete. The program includes live and web-based curriculum.

Didactic Coursework Includes: Clinical Focus Includes:
Cardiac and Pulmonary Anatomy & Physiology Cardiac Surgery
Coronary Artery Disease Thoracic Surgery
Valvular Heart Disease Aortic Surgery
Heart Failure & Cardiomyopathy Structural Heart
Cardiopulmonary Bypass & Cardiac Perfusion Cardiac & Pulmonary Transplant
Pulmonary Disease & Malignancy Cardiac Perfusion
Acid-Base Balance Critical Care Management


Piedmont Healthcare

, The Piedmont Heart Physician Assistant/Nurse Practitioner Fellowship in Cardiovascular Critical Care was designed to encompass every aspect of cardiovascular critical care. Participants in the fellowship work with cardiovascular specialists to learn the skills needed to contribute to the care and management of patients experiencing various types of advanced cardiovascular pathophysiology. The fellowship includes a fifteen percent didactic curriculum and eighty-five percent clinical. Coursework and clinical rotations include coverage of the following.

◦ Cardiogenic shock
◦ Cardiac Arrhythmias
◦ Advanced Percutaneous Therapies (including mechanical circulatory support)
◦ Coronary Artery Bypass Grafting
◦ Valve Repairs/Replacements
◦ Left Ventricular Assist Device
◦ Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation

What Are the Admission Requirements?

The admission criteria for cardiology nurse practitioner fellowship programs, residencies, and post-graduate certificate programs are determined by the educational or healthcare facility where the program is offered. Although some admission requirements may vary slightly, the minimum admission requirements tend to be similar from one institution to the other.

General admission criteria typically include:

◦ Possess a Master of Science in Nursing or Doctorate in Nursing Practice degree
◦ Possess current licensure and certification in specific NP roles
◦ Submit official transcripts from all graduate-level coursework
◦ Provide two or three letters of professional reference
◦ Submit resume or curriculum vitae

A few examples of admission requirements for the cardiology nurse practitioner programs mentioned in this article are listed below.

University of Washington Department of Surgery:

Applicants must be eligible for APRN licensure, demonstrate effective interpersonal, critical thinking, and leadership skills. Nurse practitioners have a record of excellence working with an interdisciplinary team within a collaborative team environment. Additionally, training and experience providing cardiovascular care to clients, including assessment, diagnosis, evaluation, and management of cardiovascular disease processes, are required for consideration for admission.

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette:

The Graduate Certificate in Cardiovascular Nursing is a twelve-credit hour, six-month program that combines online coursework with clinical experiences. Students are admitted once yearly, with classes beginning in March of each year. Applicants must be enrolled in or have completed a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctorate in Nursing Practice program (DNP) and possess license and certification as a nurse practitioner. Eligible applicants are nurse practitioners who are certified in one of the following population foci: Family Nurse Practitioner, Adult/Gerontology NP, or Acute Care NP.


(The following Certificates, Fellowships, and Residency Training Programs are ideal for individuals who aspire to become a Cardiology Nurse Practitioner.)

1. Duke University - Durham, NC

Program Type:


2. University of Louisiana at Lafayette - Lafayette, LA

Program Type:

Graduate Certificate

3. Mayo Clinic College of Medicine & Science - Rochester, MN

Program Type:

Cardiology Nurse Practitioner Fellowship

4. University of South Alabama - Mobile, AL

Program Type:

Cardiovascular Subspecialty

5. The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center - Columbus, OH

Program Type:

Postgraduate Fellowship for Advanced Practice Nurses and Physician Assistants.

6. Emory University - Atlanta, GA

Program Type:


7. Piedmont Healthcare - Atlanta, GA

Program Type:

Piedmont Heart Physician Assistant / Nurse Practitioner Fellowship

8. University of Washington Department of Surgery - Seattle, WA

Program Type:


9. University of South Florida - Tampa, FL

Program Type:


What Kind of Career Opportunities Exist for Cardiology Nurse Practitioners?

After completing cardiology nurse practitioner post-graduate certificate, residency, or cardiology nurse practitioner fellowship programs, cardiology NPs may work in various settings.

• Cardiology Clinics:

In cardiology clinics, cardiology NPs assess clients, order lab tests or other procedures, and initiate or change care plans based on the client's needs.

• Pediatric Cardiology:

Some cardiology NPs choose to specialize in a sub-specialty, such as pediatrics. They may work in a pediatric cardiology clinic or on a pediatric cardiology unit in a hospital. Nurse practitioners who specialize in pediatric care typically care for clients who are eighteen years old or younger.

• Cardiac Care Unit:

This is a specialized unit within a hospital dedicated to clients with serious or acute cardiac problems that require continuous monitoring by expert staff. Some clients in a CCU may be recovering from surgery related to cardiac issues. Others may have experienced a heart attack or unstable cardiac activity that requires round-the-clock monitoring.

• Emergency Rooms:

It is not uncommon for cardiology nurse practitioners to work in emergency rooms or be on-call for emergencies. Many people who are experiencing heart-related symptoms will go to an emergency room for immediate attention.

• Academia:

Nurse practitioners who have graduated from specialty programs, such as cardiology nurse practitioner programs, are a great asset to nursing education. Some cardiology NPs may transition to a career in nursing education altogether. Others may continue to work in cardiology clinics or CCUs while offering their expertise as guest lecturers or part-time nursing faculty at colleges or universities.

Earning Potential for Cardiology Nurse Practitioners

Cardiology nurse practitioners are among some of the top money earners when it comes to nurse practitioner salaries. On average, they earn approximately $136,846 yearly, which averages $65.79 hourly or $11,400 monthly. Cardiology NPs who have previous experience working with cardiac care patients may be able to negotiate a higher wage.

Per Hour$65.79
Per Month$11,400
Per Year$136,846
(Source: Ziprecruiter.com)


If you are a nurse practitioner who is interested in becoming part of an elite group of professionals in the healthcare industry, the role of a cardiology nurse practitioner could be an excellent option for you to explore. By becoming a cardiology NP, you can increase your earning potential, create job security, and, most of all, have a significant impact on the overall outcome of your patient's health. If this sounds like something you can see yourself doing, the popular cardiology nurse practitioner programs for 2024 mentioned in this article are a good place to start researching and planning.


Do cardiology nurse practitioner programs offer cardiology subspecialties?

Some cardiology NP programs do offer subspecialty options. A few examples include Advanced Heart Failure, Transplant Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, and Cardiovascular Translational Research.

What is the difference between a cardiology nurse practitioner post-graduate certificate, residency, and fellowship?

Each of these programs offers advanced practice RNs the opportunity to learn skills that are directly related to cardiac care. Post-graduate certificate programs are often shorter programs, requiring only a few credit hours to complete, and participants pay tuition and fees. Residencies are programs that focus on improving a participant's skills before seeking board certification. Fellowships are typically designed to teach a subspecialty. Residencies and fellowships differ from post-graduate certificate programs, as participants in these programs usually receive the same benefits as employees at the facilities where they learn. These benefits may include salary, insurance, and vacation or sick leave.

Are nurse practitioners who want to provide cardiac care required to complete a cardiology nurse practitioner program?

Nurse practitioners are not required to participate in a cardiology NP program to work in cardiac care. However, if you desire to have a long-term career caring for cardiac patients, these programs offer a great way to learn how to provide the specialized care your clients may need. Like other specialty NP programs, cardiology nurse practitioner programs prepare nurse practitioners to transition to a more advanced role.

Darby Faubion, RN, BSN, MBA
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

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