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Best Emergency Nurse Practitioner Programs – 2021

If you are interested in a career as an emergency nurse practitioner (ENP), learning more about this exciting and fast-paced career path is important. ENPs are advanced practice nurses who work in emergency medicine in facilities like emergency rooms and trauma centers. As an ENP, you can expect to earn an average annual salary of $112,030, and you can also expect a much higher than average job outlook. Below, we have ranked the best of the best online and on-campus emergency nurse practitioner programs in the country to help you make better choices about your education.

Degree Options Available to Become an ENP

1. Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

Program Cost: An MSN degree is the fastest path to becoming an ENP. You can expect to pay tuition totaling anywhere from $9590 to $90,230 to complete your education.

Program Length: The program length depends on your current degree and whether you choose to study full time or part time. If you already have a BSN, it will take you about two years, though online ENP programs may offer fast-track options.

Curriculum: MSN curriculum teaches you about everything from preventative health and patient education to disease management strategies. However, because of the focus on emergency care, your practical training (clinicals) will take place in an emergency room setting. You will learn to put the information you learn in the classroom to the test with actual patients in trauma centers and emergency rooms under the direct supervision of a licensed ENP or physician.

2. Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Program Cost: A DNP degree takes longer to earn than an MSN, but it gives you a few significant advantages. Because of the additional courses you will need to take, the total tuition cost climbs to anywhere from $14,270 to $133,440.

Program Length: The average amount of time it will take you to earn DNP degree is anywhere from three to four years depending on the type of program you choose. Online programs offer more scheduling flexibility than campus-based programs.

Curriculum: DNP degrees contain the same curriculum as MSN degrees, but they place additional focus on nursing competencies as they apply to healthcare policies, evidence-based practice, health information systems, systems leadership, and even collaboration with other healthcare professionals. You will participate in unpaid clinical training in which you will demonstrate your knowledge and ability by working with patients in real emergency care settings, as well. The number of clinical hours you must complete will vary from one school and state to the next.


1) Emory University - Atlanta, GA

Programs Offered: MSN, Post -BSN to DNP, and Post Graduate Certificate

MSN Concentrations: Emergency Nurse Practitioner

Post-BSN to DNP Concentrations: Emergency Nurse Practitioner

Post Graduate Certificate Concentrations: Emergency Nurse Practitioner

2) University of South Alabama – Mobile, AL

Programs Offered: MSN, DNP (Online (BSN to DNP, MSN to DNP, and MSN to DNP Specialty Certification)), and Post-Graduate Certificate

MSN Concentrations:Dual Role (Family NP/Emergency NP)

DNP Concentrations: Dual Role (Family NP/Emergency NP)

Online BSN to DNP Concentrations: Dual Role (Family NP/Emergency NP)

Online MSN to DNP Concentrations: Dual Role (Family NP/Emergency NP)

Online MSN to DNP Specialty Certification Concentrations: Dual Role (Family NP/Emergency NP)

Post-Graduate Certificate Concentrations: Dual Role (Family NP/Emergency NP) and Emergency NP

3) Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN

Programs Offered: MSN, BSN-DNP, and Post-Master's Certificate

MSN Concentrations: Emergency Nurse Practitioner

BSN to DNP Concentrations: Emergency Nurse Practitioner

Post-Master's Certificate Concentrations:Emergency Nurse Practitioner (FNP/ENP) and Emergency Nurse Practitioner Post-Master's Certificate for Family Nurse Practitioners

4) Loyola University of Chicago – Chicago, IL

Programs Offered: BSN-DNP

BSN-DNP Concentrations: Family with Emergency specialty

5) Rutgers University – Newark, NJ

Programs Offered: Post-BSN to DNP and Post-Master's Certificates

Post-BSN to DNP Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner in Emergency Care

Post-Master’s Certificate Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner in Emergency Care

6) Drexel University – Philadelphia, PA

Programs Offered: Post-Master's Certificate

Post-Master's Certificate Concentrations: Emergency Nurse Practitioner

7) Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Programs Offered: BSN to MSN, MSN to DNP, and Certificate

BSN to MSN Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner with Emergency Specialty

MSN to DNP Concentrations: Emergency Nurse Practitioner

Certificate Concentrations: Emergency Nurse Practitioner Certificate

8) University of San Diego - San Diego, CA

Programs Offered: DNP (BSN to DNP & MSN to DNP), & Post-Master's Certificate

BSN to DNP Concentrations: Family Nursing Practitioner in Emergency Care

MSN to DNP Concentrations: Emergency Care for Family Nurse Practitioner

Post-Master's Certificate Concentrations: Emergency Care for Family Nurse Practitioner

9) The University of Alabama at Birmingham - Birmingham, AL

Programs Offered: Post-MSN

Post-MSN Subspecialty Concentrations: Emergency Nurse Practitioner

10) Western University of Health Sciences - Pomona, CA

Programs Offered: Post Graduate Certificate

Post Graduate Certificate Concentrations: Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP)

ENP Board Certification

Before you can work as an emergency nurse practitioner, you must first obtain board certification in your chosen specialization. There are two different certifications you can earn. The first is the ENP certification which is provided by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners National Certification Board, or AANPCB. The second is the ENP certification provided by the American Nurses Credentialing Center, or ANCC.

After completing your ENP program, you will need to pass an examination to receive your credentials before you can go to work as an emergency nurse practitioner. The examinations cover various aspects of your chosen career. You will be required to answer multiple-choice questions, and you will also be given hypothetical cases in which you will need to come up with a diagnosis or treatment plan.

CertificationCertifying BodyLink
Emergency Nurse Practitioner Certification (ENP)American Academy of Nurse Practitioners National Certification Board (AANPCB)
Emergency Nurse Practitioner Certification (ENP-BC)American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)

What does an ENP Do?

Though specific ENP duties can vary somewhat from one medical facility to the next, you will spend your time at work diagnosing, stabilizing, and managing critically injured or ill patients of all ages in emergency settings. Some ENPs work in hospital emergency rooms or trauma centers, and some even work as flight nurses on medical transport helicopters to provide lifesaving services to patients during and after their transport to emergency departments.

ENP Scope of Practice

Your scope of practice as an ENP can vary somewhat based upon local, state, and national licensure requirements, and you might also find that limitations exist based upon the credential you receive. In almost every case, ENPs assess, diagnose, and manage acute and critical illness and injury. They also manage the resuscitative stages of emergency care, provide triage services, offer differential diagnoses, and arrange for the transfer of care when required. In some states, such as California, you may be able to furnish even controlled medications if you obtain the proper credentials.

Emergency Nurse Practitioner Salary

The national average emergency nurse practitioner salary is $53.86 an hour, which is equal to $9,340 a month or about $112,030 a year. The exact amount you will earn depends on the state in which you work, your employer, your experience in the healthcare industry and as an ENP, and even the city in which you work. Immediately upon receiving your ENP credentials, you will earn much less than an ENP who has 20 or more years of experience. Along those same lines, you are likely to earn more in the state of California than in Alabama, and you will earn more in busy metro areas than in more rural emergency rooms.


ENP Job Outlook

The job outlook for ENPs across the country is very good. As the population of the country – particularly in busy metro areas – continues to expand, the demand for emergency nurse practitioners who can provide their highly specialized skills will grow significantly. At the national level, the employment of nurse practitioners is expected to grow 31% between the years of 2016 and 2026, which is much faster than average when compared to all other professions – including professions in the healthcare industry.

Important ENP Organizations

1. American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners (AAENP): The American Academy of Emergency Nurse Practitioners (AAENP) seeks to help establish industry-wide guidelines for the safety and quality of emergency healthcare. As a member, you can receive discounts on your ENP examination through the AANPCB, receive discounts on various exam prep materials, gain access to discounts on cadaver labs, and receive a free digital subscription to the Advanced Emergency Nursing Journal.

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