10 Best Online Family Nurse Practitioner - NO GRE Required Programs For 2023

Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Does the idea of becoming a nurse practitioner and caring for families interest you? Have you begun your search for the right program to help you reach that goal? If not, what is holding you back? Perhaps you are among many prospective graduate students who have not taken the GRE, and you don't want to. If this describes you, keep reading! In this article, I will share some of the best online family nurse practitioner-NO GRE required programs for 2023. I'll give you some information about some schools that offer this option, tell you the admission requirements and potential cost, and at the end, I'll answer some frequently asked questions about online family nurse practitioner-NO GRE required programs.

What Exactly Is A Family Nurse Practitioner - NO GRE Required Program?

A family nurse practitioner-NO GRE required program is a graduate nursing program that prepares registered nurses to fill advanced practice nursing roles in caring for patients throughout their lifespan. What makes it different from other FNP programs is that family nurse practitioner-NO GRE programs do not limit admissions to applicants who have taken the GRE, also known as the Graduate Record Examinations. Instead, schools offering these programs allow any qualified applicant the opportunity for admission to the FNP program, even in the absence of GRE scores.

5 Top Benefits Of Pursuing Online Family Nurse Practitioner - No GRE Required Programs

For some people, taking the GRE may not be a bad idea, as good scores may indicate a person's potential for success in a graduate-level program. However, there are also some benefits to pursuing a degree through online family nurse practitioner-NO GRE Required programs. A few things to consider about the GRE that may make a program with no GRE required an excellent choice include the following.

1. FNP Schools that require standardized testing, such as the GRE, for student admission will naturally give students with high test scores the first option to enroll in their programs. Therefore, if you have taken the GRE and did not score well, choosing a program that does not require GRE scores may be the better option for you.
2. The GRE has separate test content sections designed to assess a test-taker's ability to perform skills that are often considered essential for success in graduate programs, like a family nurse practitioner program. The test includes questions concerned with analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning. While many people can perform these skills independently on the job, some may not score well on an exam that measures the skills. Pursuing a degree at one of the best online family nurse practitioner - NO GRE Required programs we have found removes any concern about taking the test and the chance of not scoring well.
3. Standardized tests like the GRE are often called "high-stakes" tests. "High-stakes" test is a term used to describe an exam that may influence decisions about a student or prospective student, such as whether they meet graduation or admission criteria. Some research indicates that standardized, high-stakes tests are not a reasonable method for choosing applicants for admission because some students simply do not test well on these types of examinations, despite having the ability to perform well in a classroom or clinical setting.
4. If English is not your primary language, or if you are not fluent in English, you may find the GRE difficult to understand, which may affect your test scores negatively. The GRE is administered in English, but it is not designed to test language proficiency. However, without a good understanding of the English language, test-takers may find it challenging to comprehend the exam questions. Keep in mind, some colleges and universities that do not require GRE scores may still require prospective students whose primary language is not English to demonstrate English proficiency. For instance, applicants may be required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or the IELTS (International English Language Test) to verify the applicant has a sufficient understanding of the language to succeed in their chosen program.
5. According to the American Test Anxieties Association, up to twenty percent of students experience high test anxiety, and another eighteen percent experience moderate to high test anxiety. The association also reports that many students have said that they feel more stressed about schoolwork and tests than anything else in their lives. If you are among the many people who experience test anxiety and are worried about scoring poorly on the GRE, one of the available online family nurse practitioner-NO GRE Required programs could be a perfect fit for you.

How Long Are Online Family Nurse Practitioner - No GRE Required Programs?

The best family nurse practitioner-NO GRE Required programs online vary in the amount of time it takes to complete. Some programs can be completed in as little as two years, while others may take five years or more. The amount of time it takes to complete an online FNP program will be influenced by several things, including your degree level at admission (ADN, BSN) or the degree program you enroll in (MSN, DNP). Also, the number of credit hours the school allows students to enroll in per semester and whether you register on a part-time or full-time basis will determine how long it takes you to complete the program.

Baylor University offers two options for prospective students trying to choose among online family nurse practitioner-NO GRE Required programs.

1. The BSN to DNP-FNP pathway is a 75-credit hour course that takes a little over three years to complete.
2. The post-master's DNP-FNP pathway is a thirty-one to thirty-seven credit course. Students can complete the program in as little as two years.

The online family nurse practitioner program at Duke University is designed in a BSN to MSN format. The program can be completed in two years of full-time enrollment or three years of part-time enrollment.

How Much Will Online Family Nurse Practitioner - No GRE Required Programs Cost?

Tuition rates for students enrolled in the online family nurse practitioner program at the University of South Alabama are based on whether they live in-state or out-of-state. In-state tuition is $378 per credit hour. Out-of-state tuition costs $756 per credit hour. Completing the FNP program requires forty-five credit hours, which means tuition ranges from $17,010 to $34,020.

Rider University’s FNP students must complete forty-eight credit hours at the cost of $830 each, making the cost of the online family nurse practitioner program approximately $39,840.

The University of Iowa offers four FNP degree paths. Any of the programs can be completed in three to four years, depending on your program choice and whether you enroll in part-time or full-time study. The total program tuition for each plan is listed below.

Plan of Study Time to Complete In-State Tuition Out-of-State Tuition
BSN to DNP-FNP 3-year plan of study $75,978 $141,816
BSN to DNP-FNP 4-year plan of study $86,047 $164,139
Post-Graduate Certificate-FNP $13,873 $13,873
Post MSN/APRN to DNP-FNP 3-year plan of study $32,677 $51,649


The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) is an independent organization through which regulatory bodies for nursing act and collaborate on matters that deal with public health, safety and welfare, and the development of nursing licensure exams. The NCSBN has developed an APRN Consensus Model, which provides some guidance for states that wish to adopt some uniformity in the education, licensure, accreditation, certification, and regulation of advanced practice nursing roles. Although every state has not adopted each element suggested in the Consensus Model, many have. Likewise, although the coursework required of students enrolled in the best online family nurse practitioner-NO GRE Required programs may vary somewhat from school to school, most colleges and universities align with one another when developing course curriculum for their programs.

Sacred Heart University offers a 3-year MSN-FNP online program that requires forty-two credit hours for completion. Besides core courses like Health Care Policy and Ethics, students must complete advanced classes in Pharmacology, Pathophysiology, and Health Assessment for the NP, Family and Community Context for Health Care.
Maryville University students can choose from four curriculum models to obtain an online FNP degree. Examples of some of the coursework Maryville students may take, depending on the path of study they choose, include Adult-Gerontology Health Care, Health Promotion/Disease Prevention, Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Practice, and Principles of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

Clinical Training

Perhaps the most essential part of any of the online FNP-NO GRE Required programs you can choose from is the clinical practicum hours you will complete. The clinical training of any nursing education program is where you apply everything you have learned throughout the program in a healthcare setting with patients. Schools may have some variation in the number of clinical hours students in their online FNP programs must complete, but all FNP programs require some clinical practicum training. It is up to the program director to approve clinical sites and preceptors, but most programs allow students to participate in clinicals in healthcare settings near their hometown. The following are a few examples of the differences in clinical training requirements.

Regis University’s MSN-FNP students are required to complete 664 clinical hours. They also have the option to spread their clinical hours over two to four semesters, with the program director's approval.
At Duke University, students in the same program must participate in 728 preceptor-supervised clinical hours.
To complete the online FNP program at Simmons University, students must have a minimum of 672 clinical hours.

Admission Requirements

Each state’s board of nursing establishes procedures and rules, including minimum admission criteria for students who wish to enroll in any nursing program. In general, the minimum admission requirements for students planning to pursue a degree as a family nurse practitioner will likely include the following.

• Possess an active, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse in the state where the student will be engaged in clinical practice hours required for the program
• Submit letters of professional reference: Most schools of nursing ask for three professional references prepared by someone with a graduate degree in the healthcare industry who can give an honest opinion about the applicant's potential for success in the program
• Official transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended
• Resume’ or curriculum vitae

Duquesne University FNP applicants must have at least one year of full-time experience working as a registered nurse before registering in specialty nursing courses or clinicals. Prospective students wishing to enroll in the FNP program must possess a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from an accredited university with an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher and complete an undergraduate-level statistics course with a least a "C" average.

Regis University offers online family nurse practitioner-NO GRE Required programs for applicants who possess either an associate degree in nursing or a baccalaureate degree in nursing. Admission criteria for associate-prepared nurses include completing 15 bridge credit hours with a minimum "B" average and college-level statistics course before starting the program. RNs entering the program with an associate degree in nursing may also be required to take some general education courses. The requirement for general education courses is determined case by case. The final decision is made after weighing the student's prior undergraduate coursework. BSN to MSN-FNP applicants must complete a college-level statistics course before beginning classes. The Regis University school of nursing also requires all prospective students who wish to enter the FNP program to submit a statement of purpose explaining why they have chosen to pursue an advanced practice degree as a family nurse practitioner.

3 Must-Follow Tips To Get Into Top Online Family Nurse Practitioner - No GRE Required Programs

So, you have decided that you want to enroll in one of the best online family nurse practitioner-NO GRE Required programs, what now? Admission to a graduate program, like online FNP, is very competitive. Despite the high interest in the programs, many graduate nursing programs limit the number of students they accept in their program per enrollment period. If you are well-prepared and know what the admissions board looks for in applicants, you can increase your chances of acceptance.

Meeting the minimum admission requirements is the first step and something that most FNP applicants will be prepared to do. You must make yourself stand out from the crowd of applicants so that the admission committee will pay attention to you.

Here I want to share a few “must-follow” tips to help you get into a top online FNP program without GRE.

1. Be a leader.

Showing your previous clinical experience is an essential part of the application process. However, a family nurse practitioner's role will require you to demonstrate personal responsibility and a level of independence that shows you can handle this role. Part of being a leader means that you have made yourself move beyond the norm or out of your comfort zone to accomplish roles beyond being a staff nurse. Admissions committee members will be interested to know if you have been willing to take on duties or responsibilities that required you to "step up," so to speak.

If you have not yet taken the opportunity to push yourself a little harder, now is the time. Volunteer to be on a committee and seek a leadership role once you are accepted. Lead a workgroup. Anything you can do to prove that you have leadership experience and a willingness to stay in a leadership role will make you an attractive candidate for admission.

2. Be prepared to show you have what it takes to finish the FNP program.

Online family nurse practitioner programs, like any graduate program, can be quite rigorous. Being able to balance family and financial matters as well as all the responsibilities that go along with the program is vital to your success. Nursing faculty have been where you are. They know what it takes to succeed and will be looking for those qualities in you.

You will likely need to submit an admission essay or statement of purpose along with your initial application and supporting documentation. After required documents are received and reviewed by the admissions committee, you should expect to participate in an interview with the nursing faculty and/or members of the admission committee. While your undergraduate grades and clinical experience are significant factors, your admission essay/statement of purpose and the admission interview will tell the admissions team a lot about you. Be prepared to answer questions about your family responsibilities and whether you have help with young children. It is likely you will also be asked how you plan to pay for your degree. Because working a full-time job may not be conducive to success in the program, you will need a plan to show that you can pay for the program without stretching yourself too thin.

3. Know how to communicate your understanding of the role of a family nurse practitioner.

Being an FNP means having a great deal of responsibility. If you genuinely want to pursue this career, you should be able to articulate a clear understanding of what will be expected of you when you graduate and begin your role as a certified family nurse practitioner. The faculty and committee members who make final decisions about an applicant's acceptance seek individuals who understand and appreciate the importance of the role they will be taking on. You should be able to discuss the scope of practice of family nurse practitioners, including being familiar with state laws that govern their practice.

Being a family nurse practitioner is much more than having a job “working under a doctor.” It involves caring for clients across the lifespan with various acute and chronic illnesses, being a patient advocate, researcher, and so much more. When you discuss the role of an FNP, be sure to reflect a passion for the position and a desire to help the profession grow, even when faced with challenges.


(These FNP programs do not require applicants to take the GRE.)

1. Duke University - Durham, NC

2. Duquesne University - Pittsburgh, PA

3. University of South Alabama - Mobile, AL

4. Baylor University - Waco, TX

5. University of Iowa - Iowa City, IA

6. Maryville University-Saint Louis - St. Louis, MO

7. Simmons University - Boston, MA

8. Sacred Heart University - Fairfield, CT

9. Regis University - Denver, CO

10. Rider University - Lawrenceville, NJ


Career Opportunities Post Completion of This Program

After graduation from online family nurse practitioner-NO GRE Required programs, it is possible to find career opportunities in various settings. A few places you may find a family nurse practitioner at work include:

• Private physicians’ offices
• FNP-owned office
• Hospitals
• Specialty clinics
• School clinics
• Home Health Agencies
• Hospice Agencies
• Community Health Centers

Earning Potential

As reflected in the chart below, different sources report varying salaries for FNPs. According to the information referenced here, the average annual wage for a family nurse practitioner is $104,288, equivalent to $50.14 hourly or $8,690 per month. However, some factors, including prior years of experience in the nursing field, geographical location, and the need for primary care providers, may give graduates of online FNP-NO GRE Required programs an edge when negotiating a higher wage.

Website Per Hour Per Month Per Year
Ziprecruiter.com $50.91 $8,820 $105,898
PayScale $46.09 $7,990 $95,877
Salary.com $53.41 $9,260 $111,090

Job Outlook

One of the best resources for finding statistics about specific careers is the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Although the BLS does not provide information for FNPs specifically, it does offer data about the nurse practitioners' job outlook, in general. According to the BLS, the employment of nurse practitioners will grow by forty-five percent from 2019 to 2029. Approximately 24,000 job openings for nurse practitioners are expected yearly during the projected decade. With this in mind, it is safe to assume that graduates from some of the best family nurse practitioner-NO GRE Required programs online will not have a problem finding stable employment.

The Bottomline

With endless possibilities for career opportunities and a growing need for family health care practitioners, this could be the perfect time for you to pursue your dream of becoming an FNP. If you have a love for nursing but want to have more independence in your practice, consider enrolling in one of the best online family nurse practitioner-NO GRE Required programs for 2023.


What is one of the most important things I should look for when choosing an online FNP-NO GRE required program?

One of the most important things you should look for in an FNP-NO GRE program is whether it is accredited or not. There are strict standards that schools must meet for accreditation. Therefore, if the programs you are looking at are accredited, you can have confidence that skilled nursing educators will teach you the most up-to-date information.

After graduating from an online FNP-NO GRE program, what is my next step?

The first step after graduation is becoming certified as an FNP. Certifying agencies, such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), administer certification exams. You can visit the American Association of Nurse Practitioners website for more information on certification examinations and agencies.

Can graduates of an online FNP-NO GRE program practice independently?

At this time, twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have approved full-practice authority for FNPs. For up-to-date information about practice authority and other state laws and regulations regarding FNP where you live, visit the American Association of Nurse Practitioners’ website or contact your State Board of Nursing.

Do schools that offer online FNP-NO GRE programs help students with clinical placement?

Colleges and universities that offer the program may allow students some freedom to choose clinical sites and preceptors, as long as they meet program guidelines and faculty approval. However, some schools not only offer help with clinical placement choices but require that you have a clinical advisor who mentors you through the process.

Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years' experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels.