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Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in Washington – 2020


Nurse practitioners in Washington are highly paid: On average, nurse practitioners in The Evergreen State make nearly $127,000 a year. They have a broad scope of practice that allows them to diagnose, treat, prescribe, and admit patients to healthcare facilities; Washington healthcare consumers can even designate an NP as his or her primary healthcare provider. The demand for graduates from accredited nurse practitioner schools in Washington is expected to increase by more than 30 percent in the next 10 years. You’ll find information of the best nurse practitioner programs in Washington for 2020 on this page below.


What are the 6 Best Nurse Practitioner Programs in Washington (Online & Campus) for 2020?


1) University of Washington - Seattle


Programs Offered: DNP and Graduate Certificate

Do you aspire to graduate from one of the best nurse practitioner programs in Washington that is also committed to removing health disparities locally and globally? Well, then enrolling in the University of Washington can be considered a prudent choice. Here, at every level, the focus remains on the health and wellness of the community. In fact, the school of nursing’s collaboration with the university’s Public Health department serves as a resourceful alliance that provides NP students with several training opportunities to engage in meaningful health improvement services. Out of all the other nursing schools, this Washington NP school provides students with the widest range of NP specializations, offered in conjunction with a doctorate and graduate certificate.

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

Based on your interest, you can choose to specialize in any one of the six specializations offered in adult-gerontology, pediatrics, family health, or psychiatric mental health. Regardless of the track you take, your work will be delivered through a combination of online and on-campus classes. You can enter this DNP either after a BSN or an MSN. You should also hold an active RN license. Usually, after a BSN most students complete the MSN core, DNP, and specialization specific courses in three years. In addition to the clinical training, the program requires you to complete a final DNP project by collaborating with a local healthcare agency or organization. As a post-BSN student, to earn your DNP degree you require competing anywhere close to 90 credits, whereas, after an MSN, graduation requirements depend on your previously completed coursework.

Graduate Certificate Concentrations: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Acute Care, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Primary Care, and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

This graduate certificate is open to certified clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, or nurse anesthetists, looking at expanding their nursing practice. In 12 to 15 months of completing a face to face coursework, you will be prepared to take the certification exam in any of five specialties.


2) Seattle University - Seattle


Programs Offered: DNP and Post-Graduate Certificates

No matter what your educational background is, at Seattle University you can pursue advanced practice nursing with or without a nursing degree. If you are a non-nurse with an undergraduate degree-seeking a rewarding second career in nursing, you can seamlessly become an NP in WA in four years of full-time study. Whereas as an RN, you can earn a doctoral degree in three years and explore advanced job roles in healthcare. As a graduate of SU, you will be in demand with employers across the healthcare sector for your compassionate care and leadership skills.

DNP Concentrations: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Primary Care, Family Nurse Practitioner Primary Care, and Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Primary Care

This DNP-nurse practitioner program in Washington is open to BSN or MSN prepared RNs as well as non-nurses with a baccalaureate degree in any other field. Depending on your area of interest, you can choose to certify in the care of adults & the elderly, family health, or psychiatric mental health. Typically, for non-nurses, the first-year entails completing the pre-licensure courses to earn the RN credential, after which you will complete the three years in MSN, DNP, and specialty-specific courses which comprise 71 credits. RNs entering the program require completing somewhere around 75 to 80 credits in specialty-specific and core courses including advanced pharmacology, pathophysiology, nursing leadership, epidemiology, economic and financial analysis in healthcare, population-based healthcare, and healthcare policy.

Post-Graduate Certificate Concentrations: Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

To be eligible for the adult-gerontology acute care track, you require to be an FNP or an adult-geriatric nurse, prepared with a master’s or doctoral degree. The other tracks are open to certified NPs keen on expanding their practice by specializing in another population foci. Graduation requirements are individualized, to be based on a gap analysis.

3) Gonzaga University – Spokane


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

By graduating from one of the prestigious nurse practitioner schools in Washington like Gonzaga University, you can be placed at some of the highest-paid nursing positions in the industry. Also, with the school having an experience of 30 years in distance education, here NP education is designed keeping the working nurse in mind. With an evidence-based curriculum, supportive learning environment, and flexible class schedules, you will graduate with practice-ready skills without keeping your current job on hold.

MSN Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner - FNP and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner - PMHNP

This online NP program in WA trains you to provide holistic nursing care to patients within your chosen specialty. So, you can choose to certify either as an FNP or PMHNP, regardless of which you will be prepared to work in various types of clinical settings. To graduate, you require completing 47 credits and 660 clinical hours, spanning across nine semesters. Although the entire didactic coursework is offered online, you require to visit the campus for immersions where you sharpen professional skills through simulation learning.

Post-BSN to DNP Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

As a registered nurse, if you are keen on achieving a doctorate in nursing then with this BSN to DNP pathway you can graduate as a DNP-prepared nurse practitioner, certified in either family health or psychiatric mental health. Upon completion of this program, you will acquire the highest level of skills and knowledge to lead and impact change within the healthcare system. Graduation necessities completing 78 credits and 1000 hours of clinical practice over a period of five years.

Post-Master's Certificate Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

By completing this post-master’s certificate, you can become an advanced practice nurse who can think critically and make ethical decisions to better health outcomes. Focused on Jesuit guided principles of excellence and social justice, to qualify for this program, you must be an RN with an MSN degree. Depending on the specialization you enroll and the previously completed coursework, you will have a plan of study individualized to suit your needs.

4) Washington State University - Spokane


Programs Offered: Post-BSN to DNP and Post-MSN to DNP

Are you exploring nurse practitioner programs in Washington that prepare you to excel in today’s complex healthcare environment? Well, Washington State University can be a rather sought-after choice to become an NP in WA due to its interprofessional collaboration, a growing research portfolio, and practice-focused education. Here, you will be well-prepared through rigorous clinical training at the college’s simulation lab and clinical sites throughout the state. Also, NP students contribute to community health by providing nursing care to the underserved and low-income areas. If advanced nursing practice is your desired next step, then you can consider earning the terminal nursing degree through WSU’s BSN to DNP or MSN to DNP pathway.

Post-BSN to DNP Concentrations: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner

This BSN to DNP path is designed for BSN prepared RNs and is offered in a hybrid format with face-to-face classes held at multiple campus locations. Depending on your preference, you can complete this program either on a part-time or full-time basis. You can choose an area of interest that aligns with your goals and graduate by completing 74 credits and 660 hours in specialty-specific practice & 480 hours in DNP-specific clinical practice.

Post-MSN to DNP Concentrations: Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner

APRNs and non-APRNs prepared at the master’s level can enter this program and achieve a doctorate to gain specialized skills in psychiatric mental health or family health care. If you are an APRN who is keen on earning the DNP while retaining your current specialization, then you require earning 33 credits to graduate. For the other two paths, requirements will be tailored based on your previously completed coursework.

5) Pacific Lutheran University - Tacoma


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

Are you passionate about rural healthcare? Do you seek to enroll in a Washington NP program that strives to improve the health and well-being of the underserved and rural populations? If your answer is yes to both these questions, then you must look no further than Pacific Lutheran University that trains NPs to fill the gap of primary care in rural WA. Also, to support and strengthen NP training which greatly contributes to the state’s advanced nursing workforce, the school receives a generous grant from the federal Health Resources & Service Administration.

BSN to DNP Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

This BSN to DNP comes with specialization options in family health and psychiatric mental health. While the FNP track requires completing 80 credits to earn the DNP, with the PMHNP track you must earn 90 credits. The curriculum for both programs encompasses courses that educate you on health promotion and disease prevention for individuals of all age groups. Regardless of the track you enroll, for most parts of the program, you attend classes, one evening and one full day in a week. With full-time classes, you can complete this program in three years, whereas on a part-time basis you can take up to four years.

MSN to DNP Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

Ideally meant for MSN graduates with a minimum GPA of 3.0, you may enroll in this program either as a licensed RN or APRN. With this MSN to DNP path, you can achieve the highest level of knowledge in your chosen specialty which includes FNP or PMHNP. To determine graduation requirements, you can request for a gap analysis along with copies of your transcripts.

Post Graduate Certificate Concentrations: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)

This post-graduate certificate is designed for APRNs prepared either at the masters or doctoral level. Upon completion of this program, you will be eligible to take the certification exam with your chosen population foci.

6) Seattle Pacific University - Seattle


Programs Offered: DNP

Are you particularly looking for nurse practitioner programs in WA that offer opportunities of an urban location along with the comfort of small-sized classes? If so, Seattle Pacific University can be a befitting choice as not only does its location in Seattle serve as a perfect learning ground for several clinical opportunities, you also enjoy personalized attention in its small-sized classes. Through its DNP program, the college prepares you for NP roles where you work towards improving health outcomes for a diverse patient population. As an NP graduate, you can explore advanced nursing positions in independent practice, evidence-based leadership, nursing education, and public health.

DNP Concentrations: Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner and Family Nurse Practitioner

As an RN, you can take your nursing career to the highest possible level with this DNP program that comes with specialization options in adult/gerontology care and primary care of individuals across the lifespan. Graduation requires completing 93 to 100 credits and a minimum of 1000 clinical hours which takes around three to four years. Your curriculum mainly includes graduate core, APRN, and specialization specific courses. Towards the end of your coursework, you must complete a DNP scholarly project and a DNP immersion practicum.

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