8 Best Emergency Nurse Practitioner Programs – 2024

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

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.


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.


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. Vanderbilt University - Nashville, TN

Programs Offered:

MSN, BSN-to-DNP, and Post-Master's Certificate

About the School:

If you are someone who likes the fast-paced environment of an emergency room, then becoming an emergency nurse practitioner can serve you well. Not only will you enter a highly lucrative field of advanced practice nursing, but you’ll also find this career rather fulfilling. Vanderbilt University offers some of the best online emergency nurse practitioner programs in the nation that can be a great launchpad for your career as an ENP. Here, based on your previous education, you can enroll either in the MSN, BSN-to-DNP, or post-masters certificate.

MSN Program Details:

This MSN program integrates FNP courses into the ENP curriculum. So, when you start with the program, you first complete FNP courses and then continue with the program to complete courses in emergency nursing care. The coursework comprises a total of 52 credits, including the FNP and ENP courses.

To begin with, the topics you learn include advanced pathophysiology, advanced health assessment, advanced pharmacotherapeutics, and the foundation of advanced practice nursing. In addition, you’ll learn about the concepts of advanced emergency nursing, evidence-based healthcare, and the primary healthcare of individuals across the lifespan. The coursework also includes courses that teach you about the improvement of healthcare delivery, pathophysiology & collaborative management in emergent and critical care. Further, this ENP program also includes three clinicals in emergency care.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details:

Similar to the MSN program, you’ll complete a coursework that combines FNP and ENP courses. Leading to the terminal nursing degree of a doctorate, this BSN to DNP program makes you a leader in healthcare. The skills and knowledge that you gain through this emergency nurse practitioner program will position you as an agent of change. The program is majorly offered online with only a few campus visits required.

Post-Master’s Certificate Program Details:

If you are already certified as an FNP, then you can obtain your ENP certification by completing as little as 14 credits and 434 hours of clinical practice. The coursework barely takes two semesters and leads to the ENP certification. This emergency nurse practitioner program makes you an expert in pathophysiology & collaborative management in emergent & critical care and concepts in advanced emergency nursing.

Interesting Highlights For Potential Vanderbilt University ENP Students

• Vanderbilt ranks among the best in the nation for its high-quality graduate nursing education as per the U.S. News & World Report.
• This emergency nurse practitioner school boasts of an excellent placement rate, having graduates desired by employers for their excellent professional preparedness.
• Vanderbilt’s culturally diverse environment is not only enriching but also enhances cultural sensitivity to be able to work in diverse communities across the country.
• Here, the faculty actively engages in pathbreaking research and scholarly activity. So, as an ENP student, you can participate and gain valuable clinical insights.

2. Emory University - Atlanta, GA

Programs Offered:

Post BSN DNP / Post MN DNP

About the School:

If you’ve decided to apply to one of the best online emergency nurse practitioner programs in the nation, then you must not forget to add Emory University’s ENP pathways to your list. The school’s student-centric approach and personalized attention make your learning experience rather effective. With mostly online classes, here you can easily fit your education into your busy life. To take the next step in your nursing career, the school offers you a post-BSN/MSN to DNP program.

Post BSN DNP / Post MN DNP Program Details:

Whether you’ve already completed your MSN or you have a BSN, this DNP- emergency nurse practitioner program can be your stepping stone to a career in emergency care. Further, by gaining the highest levels of skills, you’ll be able to play varied leadership roles where you’ll influence healthcare by solving some of the pressing healthcare challenges.

To be eligible for this program, you must have either a BSN or an MSN and an active RN license. The program takes 2.5 years to complete, after which you’ll be able to explore employment opportunities at some of the prominent healthcare facilities in the nation.

The post-BSN curriculum comprises a total of 83 credits, including 1,140 hours of clinical practice. If you enter the program after an MSN, the credit requirements will depend on the courses you’ve already completed. Regardless, you’ll learn about advanced pharmacology, patient-centric care, design methods, analysis, advanced health assessment, and population health. You’ll also obtain proficiency in evidence-based practice, quality, safety & systems-based practice, and information & healthcare technologies. In addition, the program also includes FNP courses, teaching you skills in primary care for individuals of all age groups. Also, you’ll complete practicums in both, family health and emergency care.

Interesting Highlights For Potential Emory University ENP Students

• As an Emory graduate, you’ll join a large network of more than 12, 000 alumni who are serving in a variety of positions across the nation.
• Your clinical training will take place at some of the reputed health systems in the nation, where you’ll hone professional skills working alongside clinical experts.
• At Emory, you’ll be able to access several financial aid opportunities to make your education affordable.
• This ENP school offers global learning opportunities that prepare you with a global outlook.

3. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Newark, NJ

Programs Offered:

Post BSN-to-DNP and Post-Master's Certificate

About the School:

Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey’s accredited ENP programs are not only one of the most sought after but also among the first ENP programs in the nation. With an accomplished faculty that is supportive and invested in your education journey, you'll leave the college with excellent training in primary and emergency care. Here, based on what your previous nursing degree is, you can enroll in either a post-BSN to DNP or a post-master certificate program.

Post BSN-to-DNP Program Details:

This BSN-to-DNP-emergency nurse practitioner program can take your nursing career to the advanced levels, preparing you as an expert in emergency nursing care. The 81 credits that comprise the curriculum lead to dual certification in FNP and emergency care. The FNP-ENP coursework aims at preparing evidence-based healthcare leaders who are committed to health improvement across diverse patient populations. The coursework includes MSN, FNP ENP, and DNP courses. The doctoral courses include topics such as clinical inquiry for evidence-based practice, healthcare informatics, healthcare economics & business, leadership, epidemiology & population health, quality & safety, and management & analysis of health data.

Post-Master’s Certificate Program Details:

This post-master’s ENP certificate program is open to advanced practice nurses with an MSN or a DNP. The coursework comprises 36 credits and 945 clinical hours. Through this program, you’ll learn about adult gerontology primary care, the family centered primary care, and emergency acute care.

Interesting Highlights For Potential Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey ENP Students

• Rutgers nursing school has been applauded by the U.S. News & World Report for offering one of the best graduate nursing programs in the nation.
• The nursing school has been recognized as a Center of Excellence. Therefore you can rest assured of receiving an excellent quality education.
• Here, you will be mentored by nationally as well as internationally acclaimed faculty who influence health through innovative research.

4. University of San Diego - San Diego, CA

Programs Offered:

BSN-to-DNP, MSN-to-DNP, and Post-Master's Certificate

About the School:

A strong foundation in FNP training along with strengthening the ENP core, is what the University of San Diego’s accredited emergency nurse practitioner programs offer. With three paths to choose from, you can enter either the BSN to DNP, MSN to DNP, or post-masters certificate. Regardless of the program you enter, you will gain excellent professional preparedness to work in various critical care settings, including emergency departments, critical access hospitals, correctional facilities, etc. Upon completion of either of these programs, you’ll be eligible for the FNP as well as ENP certification.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details:

This BSN-to-DNP program is an 81-credit curriculum that builds on your baccalaureate in nursing, taking it straight to the doctoral level. The program is meant for BSN-prepared registered nurses who have the grit to handle the challenges of emergency care. Grounded in primary care, the coursework trains you in topics such as advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology in health management, advanced pharmacology, evidence-based practice, epidemiology, strategic planning, health policy analysis, program planning & evaluation, and financial decision-making for health care settings. The program ends with a DNP scholarly practice.

MSN-to-DNP Program Details:

This emergency nurse practitioner program takes your graduate-FNP education to the highest level. The 49-credit curriculum is offered on a full-time basis. The coursework mainly comprises DNP core, and emergency care courses and finally ends with a DNP scholarly practice. You’ll learn about the doctoral-level concepts in the philosophy of reflective practice, evidence-based clinical practice, the pathogenesis of complex diseases, epidemiology, strategic planning & quality initiatives, health policy, program planning, and financial decision-making for health care settings. Upon completion of this program, you’ll be eligible to take the ENP certification.

Post-Master’s Certificate Program Details:

The 15-credit post-master’s certificate curriculum includes 540 hours of clinical practice. The program mainly teaches you primary care and emergency care for patients across the lifespan.

Interesting Highlights For Potential University of San Diego ENP Students

• The faculty that teaches you is nationally and internationally recognized. Also, the personalized attention that you receive over here will prepare you for professional success.
• Being grounded in Catholic values, the University of San Diego’s nursing school imparts an education that prepares you to care for the whole person, tending to the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the patient.
• The university has been classified as a “high research university” by the Carnegie Foundation. This means you’ll study in an environment where discovery and innovation are fused in every aspect of your ENP training.
• University of San Diego’s nursing school has more than 40 years of experience in educating competent nurses. So, as an ENP student, you can expect a learning experience that has evolved and is in line with the constant changes in the healthcare industry.

5. University of South Alabama - Mobile, AL

Programs Offered:

MSN, BSN-to-DNP, MSN-to-DNP, and Post-Graduate Certificate

About the School:

The University of South Alabama can be counted among the sought-after emergency nurse practitioner schools for its high-quality graduates who are courted by employers across the state and beyond. With four program options, you can enter either the MSN, BSN to DNP, MSN to DNP, or post-graduate certificate program. Regardless of the program you choose, you’ll be prepared to work in a variety of settings, including emergency departments, urgent care clinics, emergency transport services, etc.

MSN Program Details:

This MSN is ideal for registered nurses who want to obtain proficiency in both roles of primary as well as emergency care. The program comprises 57 credits and also entails completing 840 practicum hours. While the majority of coursework is offered online, you’ll need to visit the campus to complete three on-campus intensives.

Aside from this, you can also enter this emergency nurse practitioner program if you are an RN with a non-nursing bachelor, in which case, you’ll need to complete additional 12 credits of bridge courses.

Upon completion of this MSN program, regardless of how you enter, you’ll be eligible for dual certification in FNP as well as ENP.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details:

This BSN-to-DNP program leads to the highest clinical degree of a doctorate and the FNP/ENP certification. To graduate, you’ll require completing around 69 credits in FNP and ENP courses. On a full-time basis, most students complete this program within 10 semesters, whereas if you choose the part-time schedule, you will graduate within 12 semesters. You’ll complete support courses, FNP/ENP specialty courses, DNP courses, and a DNP residency. You’ll learn about advanced nursing assessment, health promotion, evidence-based practice, healthcare policy, organizational & systems leadership, quality improvement, and data management. Also, you’ll complete four practicum experiences in family and emergency nursing care.

MSN-to-DNP Program Details:

This MSN-to-DNP ENP program is meant for MSN-prepared advanced practice nurses who want to advance to the highest level of clinical practice. By completing only 36 credits, you’ll gain doctoral-level knowledge and skills. The curriculum entails completing courses in evidence-based practice, healthcare policy & finance, organizational & systems leadership, quality improvement, and data management in complex healthcare systems. This program is offered entirely online.

Post-Graduate Certificate Program Details:

If you already have a graduate nursing degree and want to gain the specialized knowledge and skills required for emergency care, then this certificate program will be perfect for you. By completing as little as 24 credits, you’ll obtain proficiency in emergency nursing care. On a part-time basis, you can complete this ENP program within two years.

Interesting Highlights For Potential University of South Alabama ENP Students

• USA college of nursing has a rich history of more than 50 years of training high-quality nurses.
• This ENP school offers affordable tuition rates that help you graduate without breaking the bank.
• The school maintains a small student-to-faculty ratio where you’ll receive individualized attention and make meaningful connections with peers and faculty.

6. Loyola University Chicago - Maywood, IL

Programs Offered:


About the School:

If you are a registered nurse who is keen on advancing your career in critical care, then enrolling in one of the best online emergency nurse practitioner programs in the nation will be a prudent step. Loyola University Chicago offers one such program that trains you to offer critical care in the emergency department. Also, because the school offers courses through online coursework, you’ll be able to juggle other life responsibilities.

BSN-to-DNP Program Details:

This BSN-to-DNP program is designed for BSN-prepared registered nurses who want to take the next step in their nursing career. The 79-credit ENP program also includes 525 hours of clinical experience in emergency care and 525 hours of practice in the emergency department. Your curriculum mainly includes core courses, APRN courses, FNP courses, and emergency-care-specific courses.

You’ll learn about research for advanced clinical practice, population-focused health, social justice & ethics in healthcare, and leadership in advanced practice nursing. You’ll also learn about healthcare policy & economics and evidence-based practice. Also, you’ll complete courses in family health and emergency care.

Interesting Highlights For Potential Loyola University Chicago ENP Students

• This ENP school offers several financial aid opportunities that can help offset your education costs.
• Loyola’s school of nursing has more than 85 years of experience in training competent nursing professionals. The rich experiences testify to its commitment to improving patient care.
• Loyola maintains strong connections with the community. These partnerships and tie-ups help you explore a variety of service learning opportunities where you learn while you serve, particularly the underserved populations.

7. Samford University - Birmingham, AL

Programs Offered:

MSN, MSN-to-DNP, and Certificate

About the School:

If you are keen on gaining the specialized skills required to offer care in the emergency room then, Samford University can help you achieve this goal without the need to relocate. With a 100% online coursework and clinical experiences within your geographical location, you can conveniently complete your education from the comfort of your home. Counted among the best ENP programs in the nation, here you can enter either the MSN, MSN to DNP, or certificate program, based on your previous nursing degree.

MSN Program Details:

This MSN program is rigorous coursework that comprises 54 credits. Leading to the FNP/ENP certification, you’ll complete courses in advanced physiology, advanced physical assessment, population health, pharmacotherapeutics, and common diagnostic procedures. Also, you’ll take courses in healthcare leadership, research, and theory & quality improvement. Besides, courses in family health and emergency care prepare you for your chosen role in advanced practice nursing.

MSN-to-DNP Program Details:

Through this MSN-to-DNP program, not only can you greatly enhance your employability, but you’ll also be able to improve health outcomes in both, primary care as well as critical care settings. This ENP program comprises 37 credits and 540 clinical hours. You’ll learn doctoral concepts and skills in family health and emergency care.

Certificate Program Details:

If you are a certified family nurse practitioner who wants to expand your practice in emergency care, then this certificate program is for you. By completing as little as 12 credits, you’ll earn the eligibility to take the ENP national certification exam. In addition to didactic training, the program also includes 360 hours of clinical training.

Interesting Highlights For Potential Samford University ENP Students

• All of Samford’s accredited ENP programs stand out for their excellent pass rates on both, the FNP as well as ENP certification exams.
• To make your education affordable, the school offers several funding options, including scholarships, grants, and Nurse Faculty Loan Program.
• You’ll learn the under the mentorship of highly accomplished faculty, who leave no stone unturned in ensuring you achieve a positive academic outcome.

8. Drexel University - Philadelphia, PA

Programs Offered:

MSN and Post-Master's Certificate

About the School:

To become an ENP, you’ll require to first gain the skills and knowledge in providing primary care to individuals across the lifespan after which you’ll learn about the nuances of critical emergency care. Through Drexel University’s accredited emergency nurse practitioner programs, you’ll be able to obtain proficiency in both these in-demand fields of advanced practice nursing. As one of the nation’s first such dual specialization programs, the school has been a leader in training graduates for competent emergency care. Here, based on your past education, you can enroll either in the MSN or the post-graduate certificate program.

MSN Program Details:

This MSN ENP program is meant for BSN-prepared registered nurses. To graduate, you’ll require completing a total of 63.0 credits. The curriculum requires completing core courses, support courses, FNP courses, and ENP courses. You’ll learn about advanced ethical decision-making in healthcare, quality & safety in healthcare, research methods & biostatistics, advanced pathophysiology, advanced clinical assessment, and advanced pharmacotherapeutics. Besides, you’ll take FNP and ENP courses, after which you’ll be eligible to take the FNP and ENP certification exams.

Post-Master’s Certificate Program Details:

To qualify for this ENP program, you must have a master’s degree. To graduate, you require completing a minimum of 15 credits, however, the exact credit requirements will be based on the courses previously completed by you. Your coursework will mainly focus on emergency/trauma care for critically ill patients.

Interesting Highlights For Potential Drexel University ENP Students

• The NP school reports an excellent pass rate on the FNP and ENP certification exams, thereby indicating a rather successful academic outcome.
• Drexel’s online FNP program which forms the ground for the ENP training ranks among the top in the nation as per the U.S. News & World Report.
• Drexel’s online format is highly interactive and engaging, so even though you’ll take classes virtually, you’ll still obtain an immersive learning experience.
• Drexel University has earned the distinction of being a high research university as per the Carnegie classification. So, not only will you be able to explore research opportunities, but you’ll also study in an environment of discovery and innovation.


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)https://www.aanpcert.org/certs/enp
Emergency Nurse Practitioner Certification (ENP-BC)American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)https://www.nursingworld.org/our-certifications/emergency-nurse-practitioner-renewal/

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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