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Best Direct-Entry Nurse Practitioner Programs (Online & Campus) For 2021


Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org


FOLLOWING ARE THE 16 BEST DIRECT-ENTRY NURSE PRACTITIONER PROGRAMS (ONLINE & CAMPUS) IN THE NATION FOR 2021

(These Direct-Entry NP programs are ideal for individuals with a Bachelors in a Non-Nursing major who wish to become a Nurse Practitioner by taking the accelerated path.)

1. Emory University - Atlanta, GA (Campus)


Concentrations Offered: Adult/Gerontology Acute Care, Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Emergency Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Neonatal Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Acute Care, Pediatric Primary Care, and Women's Health

About the School: Are you a non-nurse, inspired by the primary care providers who have been at the frontline of the COVID-19 battle? Do you desire a switch over to advanced practice nursing but not sure where to start? Well, the most prudent step would be to enroll in one of the best direct-entry nurse practitioner programs in the nation. Emory University’s NP programs can prove to be a befitting choice to kickstart your career as an NP. Designed for students with a bachelor's in a non-nursing field, here you can earn an MN and then an MSN rather quickly.

Program Details: Emory’s direct-entry nurse practitioner programs are considered as some of the fastest programs you can take as a non-nurse to earn your RN license and then become an NP in your chosen population foci. Even though you do not have a nursing background, your training including the well-designed clinical experiences prepare you to provide advanced care in diverse clinical settings. So, in the first 15 months, you work towards earning an MN, after which you can take the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse. The MN portion forms a strong base for the MSN and NP courses by mainly focusing on nursing leadership, evidence-based practice, and interprofessional education. The program then continues with the MSN and NP courses. With eight NP concentrations, you can choose to specialize in your area of interest and become certified as a nurse practitioner. The 60-credit MN plus MSN coursework minus the specialization coursework takes around four semesters if pursued full-time or seven semesters if you prefer the part-time schedule. After completing the MSN coursework, you continue with the program to complete the additional credits of the specialty-specific courses, which finally lead to the NP credential.

Admission Requirements: To be eligible for admission into either one of these direct-entry nurse practitioner programs at Emory, first foremost you must have a bachelor's from an accredited university with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Additionally, before you start with the pre-licensure MN coursework, the college requires you to complete seven prerequisite courses in physical sciences, math, and social sciences with a minimum grade of C. If you have already completed any of these pre-requisites, it must not have been taken more than seven years before the start of the program. Also, you must submit a resume and all previous office transcripts along with your application.


2. The Ohio State University - Columbus, OH


Concentrations Offered: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (Campus), Primary Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (Campus), Family Nurse Practitioner (Campus), Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Campus), Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (Online), and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (Campus)

About the School: The nurse practitioner field can be extremely rewarding in terms of earning potential and job fulfillment. As someone from a non-nursing background, if you are wondering how to enter this field, then Ohio State University’s direct-entry nurse practitioner programs have got you covered. Within a short duration, here you can gain the clinical expertise required to offer advanced nursing care in a variety of clinical settings. The six NP tracks prepare you in adult/gerontology primary care, pediatrics, family health, psychiatric mental health, neonatal care, and women’s health, depending on the concentration you choose. Whatever your area of emphasis maybe, despite enrolling as a non-nurse you will leave the college with exceptional skills in research, evidence-based practice, and health promotion & disease prevention. Active collaboration between its faculty, the university’s teaching hospitals, and the community has played a key role in the successful outcome of this direct-entry path.

Program Details: These direct-entry NP programs for non-nursing majors at OSU can fulfill your dream of serving the community by taking you from being a non-nurse to a certified nurse practitioner within three years of full-time study. The first step towards a nursing career is taking the NCLEX-RN exam and becoming registered as a nurse. Well, halfway through the program, around the 1.5-year mark you will be prepared to take the licensure exam and become registered as a nurse. So, typically before starting the program, you must fulfill pre-requisite courses in anatomy, physiology, nutrition, microbiology, and pharmacology, after which you begin with the pre-licensure courses or the BSN equivalent courses. Thereafter, you take the MSN core and NP specialization courses. The courses are mainly offered in a combination of the on-campus and online format. Therefore, it is required that you live in the Columbus area all through the program. Constituting an integral part of the program is the clinical training that takes place at various clinical sites throughout Ohio and even outside the state.

Admission Requirements: Admission into either one of these accelerated nurse practitioner programs at OSU requires you to have completed a bachelor’s degree in any discipline with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Additionally, you must have completed all the specified pre-requisite courses before the application deadline. Attached with your application, you must submit all your previous transcripts, current resume, a personal goals statement, three letters of recommendation, and a recorded video interview.


3. University of Cincinnati - Cincinnati, OH


Concentrations Offered: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (Campus), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (Campus & Online), Family Nurse Practitioner (Campus & Online), Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (Online), and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (Online)

About the School: If you have always aspired to become a nurse practitioner but somehow are currently pursuing a non-nursing career, now is the time to make the shift. The demand for nurse practitioners has been on the rise, more so with the COVID-19 pandemic catching us unawares. This promising career opportunity has propelled many professionals like you to explore online accelerated nurse practitioner programs to enter the field of direct patient care. The University of Cincinnati offers five such NP tracks designed for non-nurses, with some offered online while others on-campus. Here, through interdisciplinary learning experiences, hi-tech simulations, and varied clinical experiences, you will be prepared for your role as an advanced practice nurse. The small-sized technologically enhanced classrooms further add to the learning experience, leaving no stone unturned in transforming your career into direct-patient care.

Program Details: These accelerated nurse practitioner programs at UC take as little as five semesters to earn your master's in nursing, after which you can pursue additional credits to complete the NP coursework in your chosen specialization. Before starting with the direct-entry coursework, you are required to complete pre-requisite courses which can be taken from any other accredited college, provided they were completed within 10 years. Preferably employment during the five semesters of the program is not recommended, however, if need be you must not exceed working more than 20 hours per week as the curriculum is quite rigorous. This 64-credit program comprises the pre-licensure and the MSN core courses after which you can continue with the NP track of your choice. If you are keen on this direct-entry NP program you can choose the pre-accelerated direct entry coursework of three semesters which basically includes the pre-requisite courses. This way you will be guaranteed admission into the program and you may also be eligible for a GRE waiver.

Admission Requirements: At UC, to become a nurse practitioner with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree you must have a minimum grade of 3.0. Also, you must submit a resume and a goal statement. You must earn the pre-requisite courses with a minimum grade of B. If need be you may have to make yourself available for in-person or a telephonic interview.


4. Simmons University - Boston, MA (Campus)


Concentrations Offered: Family Nurse Practitioner

About the School: Well, you can be of any discipline, if you are keen on becoming a nurse practitioner then there has never been a better time than now. You can kickstart your career in advanced practice by leveraging your non-nursing bachelor’s and earning an accelerated MSN and NP degree from Simmons University in as little as three years. One of the sought-after direct-entry NP programs for non-nurses, Simmon’s accelerated FNP program prepares you for the advanced primacy care of individuals & families across the lifespan. The college’s close relationships with prominent area hospitals and research facilities provide you with diverse learning opportunities which can often translate into employment post-graduation.

Program Details: This direct-entry nurse practitioner program at Simmons is designed for non-nursing BA/BS degree holders and requires completing 96 credits. Before you start with the program, you must complete pre-requisite courses in statistics, psychology, microbiology, anatomy & physiology, and chemistry. Upon starting with the program, you must first complete the pre-licensure coursework and then proceed to complete the MSN-FNP courses. After completing the pre-licensure courses, you will be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse. You then continue with the MSN-NP courses, designed to train you in the advanced primary care of individuals & patients across the lifespan. In addition to didactic courses, the curriculum also includes 600 hours of clinical training before the NCLEX-RN and another 770 clinical hours in various primary care settings where you treat patients of all age groups. The program is an on-campus offering with some courses offered during the day and the others through evening classes.

Admission Requirements: To be eligible for this program you must have a regionally accredited BS or BA degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, the application must include a personal statement, current resume, three letters of recommendation, and all official transcripts of previous institutions.


5. Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN


Concentrations Offered: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (Hybrid), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (Hybrid), Family Nurse Practitioner (Online), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care (Hybrid), Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Online), Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (Hybrid), and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner/ AGPCNP (Hybrid)

About the School: At Vanderbilt University, you can enter as a non-nurse and leave the college with exceptional advanced practice skills in your chosen NP specialty. Designed for students with a bachelor’s degree in another field, you can use your liberal arts knowledge that you have already gained to complete your nurse practitioner training within six semesters. Counted among the best direct-entry NP programs in the nation, here you can choose from a wide range of NP roles to jump start a promising career in advanced nursing practice. Vanderbilt is known for the supportive learning environment, whether it is the pre-licensure or NP courses, the faculty is involved and stays committed to student success throughout the program.

Program Details: These direct-entry nurse practitioner programs at Vanderbilt, regardless of the specialization track offer the prelicensure courses in the face-to-face format for which you must reside closer to the college campus. However, once you enter the specialty-specific courses you can take the courses online and you need not live within close vicinity of the campus. The program starts with three semesters of courses that prepare you for the NCLEX-RN exam after which you complete the MSN and NP specialization courses that will take you an additional three semesters. After you take the NCLEX-RN exam, you must get registered as a nurse as the college requires you to be an RN before starting with the MSN and NP specialty-specific courses.

Admission Requirements: At Vanderbilt, because you are entering these direct-entry NP programs with a bachelor's degree, the college expects you to have completed pre-requisite courses in human anatomy, physiology, microbiology, lifespan development, statistics, nutrition, and psychology. Apart from having completed these pre-requisite courses, the college reviews applications holistically. To start with, you must have a bachelor’s with a minimum GPA of 3.0. You must also submit all previous transcripts and three letters of reference.


6. University of Rochester - Rochester, NY


Concentrations Offered: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP) (Campus), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP) (Campus), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) (Campus), Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (FPMHNP) (Online), and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP) (Campus)

About the School: Have you ever wondered, what are the options if you want a career shift from a non-nursing field to nursing? If you have, then what better than a career as a nurse practitioner that will make you rise in respect and career. Well, to become a nurse practitioner for someone with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, the University of Rochester direct-entry NP programs for non-nursing majors can be the best bet. Not only does the college offer several NP tracks for you to specialize in an area of your interest. Here, in just three to four years you can earn a BSN, MSN, and NP degrees. As a non-nurse pursuing advanced practice nursing, it is vital that you are provided with exceptional clinical training. Therefore, here you will be provided with learning experiences not only at the University of Rochester Medical Center but also at several other clinical sites throughout the neighborhood.

Program Details: These direct-entry NP programs at University of Rochester prepare you for adult gerontology acute & primary care, family health, psychiatric mental health, or pediatric care, depending on the specialization you choose. The first year of the program is the accelerated year which entails completing the BSN courses, after which you take the NCLEX-RN to become a registered nurse. Thereafter, you proceed with the MSN and NP specialty-specific courses. The MSN-NP courses, regardless of the specialization take around 47 credits 672 clinical hours.

Admission Requirements: The college reviews your application at the bachelor’s and master’s levels. This means if you fulfill the criteria for the BSN courses and not for the master’s in nursing, you may be admitted only to the bachelor’s level and not the masters. To fulfill the admission criteria for this program you must have a bachelor's in a non-nursing field and a prior health experience that is relevant to your specialization. You must have also completed pre-requisite courses in anatomy & physiology, microbiology, nutrition human growth & development, and statistics.


7. University of California-San Francisco - San Francisco, CA (Campus)


Concentrations Offered: Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

About the School: So, you chose a non-nursing field as your primary career, but now you want to shift and help people improve their health, then what better than becoming a nurse practitioner. Because you already have a non-nursing bachelor’s you can transfer some of the general education credits towards your nurse practitioner degree and start your second career in nursing sooner than you think. University of California-San Francisco’s advanced practice tracks, known to be among the best-accelerated nurse practitioner programs in California offer specializations in adult-gerontology primary care, family health, pediatric primary care, women’s health, and mental health. Here, regardless of the NP role you choose, you will seamlessly graduate from a non-nurse to a nurse practitioner who is prepared at the master’s level.

Program Details: At UCSF, by enrolling in any one of these direct-entry nurse practitioner programs, you will be prepared to explore employment options as a clinician, educator, health policy expert, or researcher. You complete the coursework through on-campus didactic classes and extensive field experiences at various sites throughout the greater San Francisco Bay area. The program spans three years, with the first year leading to the NCLEX-RN exam and nurse registration. In the remaining two years you complete the MSN core and NP specialty-specific courses. Before you start with the direct entry program, you must complete pre-requisite courses in microbiology, physiology, anatomy, psychology, nutrition, and statistics. While employment during the first year of the pre-licensure coursework is not advised, during the second and third year your class schedule allows you to work part-time as a registered nurse.

Admission Requirements: These direct-entry NP programs for non-nursing majors at UCSF are open to students with a non-nursing bachelor’s having a minimum of GPA 3.0. Other requirements include official transcripts, a personal goal statement, and four to five letters of recommendation.


8. Yale University - West Haven, CT (Campus)


Concentrations Offered: Adult/Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP), Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Acute Care (PNP-AC), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner - Primary Care, Psychiatric - Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP), and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)

About the School: What if you can shift your current career to nursing, all within just three years of study? Well, as someone currently working in a non-nursing field if you have decided to become certified as a nurse practitioner, then you may want to learn about the direct-entry nurse practitioner programs offered by Yale University. Here, the training is exclusively designed for students coming with the experiences of working in a non-nursing field. Yale’s accelerated NP programs stand out in integrating preventive and curative practices into a curriculum that is grounded in clinical competence. Furthermore, the college offers several interdisciplinary learning experiences with the School of Medicine, thereby preparing you to work in diverse types of healthcare environments. With several NP specializations, you can choose the advanced practice role in your area of interest.

Program Details: With a curriculum that balances arts and science, at Yale, you leave the college with exceptional skills in evidence-based practice and critical thinking. These accelerated nurse practitioner programs start with one year of pre-licensure courses that entail completing 41.5 credits and 673 hours of clinical practice. Thereafter you are required to take the NCLEX-RN exam and become certified as a registered nurse. You will then continue with the program to take graduate and NP specialty-specific courses. The graduate courses additionally require around 45 credits, after which you will be eligible to take the certification exam within your chosen population focus.

Admission Requirements: To be considered for admission into either one of these direct-entry nurse practitioner programs, you need to have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, along with all previous official transcripts, you must submit a resume, a personal statement, and letters of reference.


9. Marquette University - Milwaukee, WI


Concentrations Offered: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (Hybrid), Pediatric Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (Campus), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (Hybrid), Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (Campus), and Dual Primary Care and Acute Care Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (Campus)

About the School: Marquette University’s direct-entry NP programs are designed for adult learners who are keen on making a switch to advanced practice nursing from a non-nursing field. All you require to enter the highly rewarding nurse practitioner field is a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and a little more than 2-years of full-time study. With five well-known accelerated nurse practitioner programs offered by the college, you can choose any specialty based on your interest and graduate with employable skills that are in demand to provide advanced patient care in today’s complex healthcare environment. Regardless of the track, here, you will be trained for clinical excellence at the college’s simulation lab and various top healthcare sites across the state.

Program Details: Whether your goal is to serve the community or simply make a career shift into a promising health care field, by enrolling in either one of these direct-entry NP programs for non-nurses at Marquette, you will be able to gain specialized skills, in addition to earning a master’s degree in nursing. The Direct entry basically leads to an MSN which takes 18 months to complete. To complete your NP training, during the final semester of the direct entry program, you must apply for the post-master’s certificate. Admission into the NP certificate program, depending on the specialty you choose may require you to have an RN license and work experience as a nurse. To complete the BSN equivalent and MSN courses you require completing 75 credits, after which you must earn the additional credits of the post-master’s certificate program. The post-masters NP tracks train you in the specialized care of adult/elderly and infants and children, depending on the track you choose.

Admission Requirements: To meet the admission requirements of either one of these direct-entry NP programs for non-nursing majors at Marquette, you must have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, you must submit official transcripts, three recommendation letters, a resume, and a personal goals statement. Furthermore, you must also complete prerequisite courses before starting with the program.


10. Northeastern University - Boston, MA


Concentrations Offered: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP (Campus), Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP (Campus), Family Nurse Practitioner (Hybrid), Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (Online), Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (Campus), and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (Campus)

About the School: Are you a non-nurse keen on entering one of the best direct-entry nurse practitioner programs to make a quick entry into the field of advanced practice nursing. If yes, then you may want to shortlist Northeastern University’s direct entry program that is offered with several specialization options. Here, the NP training is well-known for imparting skills that matter, be it critical thinking or evidence-based knowledge, you will be prepared to provide specialized care in any type of clinical setting. The college not only boasts of preparing you for an NP career in an accelerated format but also takes pride in being one of the few direct entry programs that confers a BSN along with an MSN and NP degree.

Program Details: Depending on where you find your calling, you can choose from any of the six direct-entry nurse practitioner programs offered by the college. So, you can transition from being a non-nurse to being a care provider for adults, the elderly, families, newborn, or mental health patients. Whatever path you may choose, you first start the program with the pre-licensure courses which usually can be completed within 16 months. These courses comprising 64 credits require your full-time commitment. Any employment during this phase is not recommended. Upon completing this part of the program, you are awarded a BSN after which you must take the NCLEX-RN exam to become a registered nurse. Thereafter, you are required to gain work experience as a nurse by working for 1 or 2 years. During this period, you can opt to complete the non-clinical MSN courses. However, the clinical and NP specialty-specific courses can be taken only after you complete the work experience. Upon completion of the graduate coursework, you will earn the MSN and the eligibility to take the NP certification exam within your chosen population focus.

Admission Requirements: At Northeastern University, to become a nurse practitioner with a non-nursing degree, regardless of the specialization track you must have a BA/BS degree from an accredited university with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, you must submit three letters of recommendation and a compelling personal goals statement. Furthermore, experience in patient care, if any will greatly enhance your odds of admission. Also, you must maintain a minimum grade B in all the undergraduate courses for a seamless transition from pre-licensure to the graduate portion of the program.


11. San Francisco State University - San Francisco, CA (Campus)


Concentrations Offered: Family Nurse Practitioner

About the School: To become a nurse practitioner with a non-nursing degree the most prudent next step will be to enroll in one of the best direct-entry NP programs in the nation. San Francisco State University offers one such program that builds on your non-nursing bachelors and accelerates your career in advanced primary care. The program culminates in a BSN, MSN, and FNP degree, so, even though you start with no experience in nursing, you graduate with the professional skills and knowledge required to treat patients across the lifespan in a variety of primary care settings. The college offers a culturally rich environment, embracing students from all ethnicities and cultures. Apart from making you a culturally relevant NP, the college focuses on evidence-based knowledge and ethical decision making. You will build a strong foundation in the key competencies of teamwork, collaboration, quality improvement & safety, and healthcare informatics.

Program Details: Typically designed for students possessing a non-nursing bachelor’s, this direct-entry FNP program starts with four semesters of pre-licensure coursework, after which you obtain your RN license and proceed to take the MSN and FNP courses. Alternatively, if you wish to take a break and work as a registered nurse, you can join back the FNP curriculum within 5 years of graduation. With this option, to complete your FNP training you must complete five additional courses that take a total of one year. Before you start with this direct entry program you must complete pre-requisite courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, statistics, and chemistry. The program requires earning 92 credits in pre-licensure, MSN core, and FNP-specific courses.

Admission Requirements: Admission into this program requires you to have completed a non-nursing bachelor's with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Additionally, you must submit a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and have the pre-requisite courses completed with a minimum grade of C.


12. MGH Institute of Health Professions - Boston, MA (Campus)


Concentrations Offered: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatrics Nurse Practitioner, Women's Health Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric/Mental Health Lifespan Nurse Practitioner

About the School: Have you been deeply inspired by nurses? Do you desire to play an integral role in direct patient care? Well, if you are wondering how to become a nurse practitioner with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, then the accelerated NP programs offered by the MGH Institute of Health Professions can be a lifesaver. Here, within three years of study not only will you earn your master’s in nursing, but you will also be prepared to offer specialized care within your chosen population focus. With six accelerated NP programs, you can get trained either in adult-gerontology acute care, adult-gerontology primary care, family health, pediatrics, women’s health, or psychiatric mental health. Under the expert mentorship of clinicians and nurse leaders, you will learn skills in collaboration, leadership, evidence-based practice, and critical thinking.

Program Details: Before you start with any of these direct-entry NP tracks at MGH Institute, you must complete pre-requisite courses in human growth & development, microbiology, nutrition, anatomy, physiology, and statistics. Upon starting with the program, you complete 91 to 93 credits in undergraduate, graduate, and NP-specialty courses. The curriculum educates you on pathophysiology, nursing practice, health assessment, pharmacology, pathophysiology, public health nursing, healthcare policy & politics, and nursing research. You also learn about interprofessional ethics, professional issues, and transitions in life & health. Upon completion of the program, you will gain the eligibility to get certified within your chosen population focus.

Admission Requirements: To apply, you must have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Additionally, you are required to submit official transcripts, reference letters, a personal goals statement, and a resume.


13. Azusa Pacific University - Azusa, CA (Campus)


Concentrations Offered: Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner-Primary Care, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

About the School: If you are keen on transitioning to nursing, then what better than becoming a nurse practitioner. Not only does this career provide the fulfillment of helping people, but you will never face a dearth of job opportunities, considering the pressing demand for primary care providers across the country. Azusa Pacific University’s direct-entry nurse practitioner programs can be a befitting choice for non-nurses like you who are keen on entering this field. By building upon your previous non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you will be able to earn the nurse practitioner credential sooner than you think. Being a military-friendly school, if you are coming from the military, here you will find support in terms of funding and in adapting to college life. Moreover, the school’s Christian environment provides students coming from all faiths and backgrounds personalized attention under the able mentorship of an experienced faculty.

Program Details: At Azusa, to become a nurse practitioner with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you are required to complete around 107 to 128 credits. The first four terms of the program, during which you complete the pre-licensure courses, classes are offered only on a full-time basis. After you complete the pre-licensure courses, you must take the NCLEX-RN exam and obtain your licensure before entering the MSN portion of the program. The MSN and NP portion can be completed either on a part-time or full-time basis. The NP tracks lead towards certification as either adult-gerontology, family nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, or psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, depending on your chosen population focus. Before you start with this direct-entry program you must have completed pre-requisites in anatomy, physiology, organic chemistry, microbiology, psychology, human growth & development, statistics, and research methods.

Admission Requirements: To be eligible for either one of these direct-entry nurse practitioner programs for non-nursing majors at Azusa, you must submit all previous official transcripts, including that of a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and the pre-requisite courses that you have completed. You must also submit two recommendation letters, a personal statement, and a resume.


14. University of Vermont - Burlington, VT (Hybrid)


Concentrations Offered: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP) and Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)

About the School: If you feel passionate about attending to the special needs of the geriatric population, then the best way forward is to become a nurse practitioner. As a non-nurse, if you are wondering if you can even make this dream a reality, then you are in the right place. University of Vermont’s direct-entry NP programs take your non-nursing bachelor’s degree straight to the doctoral level, so that, when you leave the college you are prepared to offer direct-patient care at the highest level. You may ask why do you need a doctorate when you can become an NP at the master’s level? Well, as a doctorally prepared nurse practitioner not only will you be able to impact change in healthcare delivery, you will also be able to secure your career as the DNP is increasingly becoming the preferred qualification for advanced practice nursing.

Program Details: At the University of Vermont, you can become a nurse practitioner with a non-nursing degree by enrolling in either the adult-gerontology or the family health track. Regardless of the specialization you choose, to earn your DNP you will take around four years. The courses are offered through a combination of online and on-campus classes, with online classes delivered in synchronous and asynchronous formats. The program starts with one year of undergraduate courses which lead to the RN licensure. For graduation, you require completing around 112.5 credits, after which you will be eligible to take the certification exam within your chosen population focus. Some of the concepts you master include pharmacology, pathophysiology, professional nursing issues, public health, biostatistics & epidemiology, health care ethics, policy & politics, and health care finance.

Admission Requirements: The college requires you to have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree to be eligible for admission. Also, you must submit three letters of recommendation, an essay, and a resume. Additionally, pre-requisite courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, nutrition & statistics are required to be completed before starting with the program.


15. University of Texas-Austin - Austin, TX (Campus)


Concentrations Offered: Psych/Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

About the School: The best direct-entry NP programs like the one offered by the University of Texas-Austin can be the best path to become a nurse practitioner for someone with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. The school of nursing that offers this direct entry program is highly ranked and features in the US News & World Report’s list of best graduate schools. It takes you through rigorous training, including extensive clinical learning at various sites across the state. Also, its partnerships with community-based clinics not only serve as potential sites for clinical learning but also provide students the opportunity to improve community health outcomes through community service. Through excellence in education and nursing research, the school has produced many nurse leaders who have now chosen nursing as their second career.

Program Details: This direct-entry NP program trains you in the care of psychiatric mental health patients. The course constitutes the foundation year and the second and third year of the MSN-NP coursework. The first or foundation year trains you for the NCLEX-RN exam and offers classes only on a full-time basis. The MSN-NP courses, during the remaining part of the program, can be taken part-time as most students prefer to juggle study with a job as a registered nurse. The program requires completing around 86 credits, after which you will be eligible to take the PMHNP certification exam.

Admission Requirements: If you are interested in applying to this program you must have a bachelor’s degree outside of nursing with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Also, the college requires you to have taken the GRE within the last 5 years. Additionally, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, a resume, and completion of all the pre-requisite are required to fulfill the minimum admission requirements.


16. University of Massachusetts Medical School - Worcester, MA (Campus)


Concentrations Offered: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP, and Family Nurse Practitioner

About the School: As a non-nurse, graduating from one of the best direct-entry NP programs can get you prepared with the skills and knowledge required to offer evidence-based care to a diverse patient population. The University of Massachusetts offers three NP tracks that you can pursue to jump into the field of advanced patient care. Taking pride in the impressive performance of its graduates on the NP certification exams, the college leaves no stone unturned in grooming non-nurses for a successful career shift to nursing. Here, your RN preparation includes simulation learning in its state-of-art simulation lab. The faculty is highly experienced in acute and primary care, so whether you choose the acute care track or train to become a primary care provider, you will learn from active nurse practitioners who practice in various types of settings.

Program Details: These three direct-entry NP programs for non-nursing majors at UMMS, prepare you to become a Doctorally prepared NP in you chosen population foci. The entire program spans four years and requires 126 credits. Regardless of the track you take, the curriculum focuses on leadership, research translation, and advanced clinical knowledge. You learn concepts in biomedical sciences, pharmacology, health assessment, population health, health policy for healthcare professionals, and quality & safety in a healthcare organization. Also, you will take courses in health promotion & disease prevention, leadership for advanced practice, genetics, genomics, and community service learning.

Admission Requirements: To gain entry in either one of these three accelerated nurse practitioner programs, the college requires you to have a non-nursing undergraduate degree with a minimum GPA of 3.0. As such, there is no GRE requirement for admission. The pre-requisites include courses in anatomy & physiology, microbiology, statistics, nutrition, and human growth & development.

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