9 Best Online Nurse Practitioner (NP) No GRE Programs | 2024

Discover the best online nurse practitioner (NP) programs that don't require the GRE. Learn about their prerequisites, costs, and salary expectations after graduation. Programs

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As the demand for skilled and versatile nurse practitioners (NPs) continues to rise, so does the variety in educational offerings from the best nursing schools in the country. Among these offerings are Online NP No GRE programs.

These innovative programs, available as a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), are meticulously designed for RNs seeking to transition into more autonomous, responsible, and often higher-paying NP roles. The absence of the GRE requirement makes these programs particularly appealing, removing a significant hurdle for many potential students.

From understanding the prerequisites and requirements for enrollment to navigating the financial aspects of tuition costs and salary expectations, we've gathered all of the information you need to make an informed decision on your education. Whether you are a practicing RN looking to advance your career or a healthcare professional exploring new opportunities, you've come to the right place.

What Is an Online NP No GRE Program?

An Online NP No GRE Program refers to a graduate-level nursing program, either an MSN or DNP, that can be completed online and does not require Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) scores for admission.

These programs are designed for registered nurses (RNs) who wish to advance their careers by becoming NPs, a role that involves more responsibility, autonomy, and often a higher salary compared to regular RN positions. The "No GRE" aspect makes these programs more accessible to those who may not have the time or resources to prepare for the GRE.

Online NP No GRE Coursework

The coursework in an Online NP No GRE program is designed to provide nurses with advanced knowledge and skills in nursing practice, patient care, and specialized areas of healthcare. The curriculum typically includes:

  • Advanced Health Assessment: This course focuses on comprehensive health assessments, including physical, psychological, and social aspects of patient care.
  • Pathophysiology: Nurses study the changes in body systems and functions that result from diseases.
  • Pharmacology: This involves learning about various medications, their effects, and proper administration.
  • Primary Care Practices: Courses that cover the basics of providing primary healthcare, including diagnosis and treatment of common health issues.
  • Specialized Electives: Depending on the program, there may be electives in areas like pediatrics, geriatrics, women's health, or mental health.
  • Healthcare Policy and Ethics: Understanding the legal and ethical considerations in healthcare delivery.

Online NP No GRE Clinical Training

Clinical training is a crucial component of an Online NP No GRE program, providing practical, hands-on experience in a healthcare setting. This training includes:

  • Supervised Clinical Hours: Students are required to complete a certain number of clinical hours under the supervision of experienced healthcare professionals.
  • Diverse Settings: Clinical training can occur in various settings, such as hospitals, clinics, private practices, and community health centers.
  • Patient Care: Students gain experience in diagnosing and treating patients, developing care plans, and working as part of a healthcare team.
  • Specialty Practice: Depending on the NP Program's focus, clinical training may include specialized areas like family practice, pediatrics, or psychiatric care.
  • Skill Development: Clinical training helps in developing advanced nursing skills, including patient communication, critical thinking, and decision-making.

Best Online NP No GRE Programs

The following programs have been selected based on allnurses' methodology of surveying our readers to understand what they value most, including graduation rates, student-faculty ratio, price, mode, duration, and admission rates of hundreds of the most prominent nursing schools in the United States.

1. Duke University

Duke University's MSN Program offers a comprehensive and flexible approach to advanced nursing education. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and is designed to cater to a variety of nursing professionals with a diverse range of majors and specialties.

The MSN program at Duke University includes eight advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) majors and three non-clinical majors. These majors are offered as distance-based or online programs, providing flexibility for working professionals. The majors include:

  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care
  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Health Informatics
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing and Healthcare Leadership
  • Nursing Education
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Acute Care
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner – Primary Care
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Women's Health Nurse Practitioner

2. University of South Alabama

The University of South Alabama offers an online MSN program designed for nurses seeking specialization in various NP fields including adult-gerontology, family, neonatal, pediatric, psychiatric, and women's health. These programs emphasize the development of leadership, administrative, and quality improvement skills, all integral to advanced nursing practice.

Program Highlights:

  • Online Flexibility: All coursework is delivered online, allowing students to continue working while completing their degree.
  • Clinical Skills Lab: A state-of-the-art simulation skills lab is available on campus for skill development and competency mastery.
  • Doctoral-Level Courses: Four courses in the MSN program are offered at the doctoral level, providing a head start for those pursuing a DNP degree.
  • Learning Outcomes: Graduates should be able to integrate advanced nursing knowledge, demonstrate competence in advanced roles, use scientific inquiry for patient care improvement, influence health policy, and contribute to the nursing profession.

3. Northern Kentucky University

Northern Kentucky University's MSN program is a fully online course designed to elevate the careers of RNs. Established in 1992, this program offers a range of concentrations, including Primary Care Nurse Practitioner and Nursing Executive Leadership.

Program Highlights:

  • Flexibility and Affordability: The program is tailored for working RNs, offering a part-time curriculum that can be completed fully online.
  • Diverse Concentrations: Six different concentrations are available, catering to various interests and career paths in nursing.
  • Experienced Faculty: The program boasts faculty members who are dedicated to student success and have extensive experience in their fields.
  • High Success Rates: Graduates have an average passage rate of 92 percent on ANCC and AANP certification exams.
  • Program Length: Depending on the concentration and whether students are full or part-time, the program requires 33 to 47 credit hours and can be completed in two years or less.

4. Maryville University

Maryville University offers several online MSN programs structured to provide advanced nursing education and clinical experience. They focus on developing skills in areas like health assessment, disease management, and health promotion.


  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)
  • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)

5. Walden University

Walden University offers a CCNE-accredited MSN program designed for driven, change-focused nurses. The program is structured to accommodate a busy schedule, making it ideal for professionals who need to balance their education with other commitments.

Key Features:

  • Specializations: The program offers five NP and four specialty practice specializations, tailored to the current demands of the field and nurses' evolving aspirations.
  • Practicum Support: Walden provides enhanced practicum support through its Practicum Pledge™, ensuring students find a suitable practicum match.
  • Flexible Learning Options: The Tempo Learning option allows students to personalize the length, cost, and pacing of their MSN program.
  • Holistic Approach: The curriculum emphasizes a holistic approach to patient care and encourages students to play an active role in creating positive changes in healthcare delivery.

6. University of Texas at Arlington

The online MSN – FNP program at UTA is designed to prepare nurses to take on the role of a healthcare provider and health management resource in a variety of clinical settings. This program enables nurses to expand their advanced practice nursing skills and help patients achieve optimal health across their lifespan.

Key Features:

  • Development of research, diagnostic, and clinical skills for health management needs of patients and families at each stage of life.
  • Specialized knowledge in pharmacology, diagnostics, health assessment, advanced research, and clinical management.
  • Clinical experiences in local areas, preparing students to assume a role as an advanced practice primary care nurse.
  • Focus on collaborative relationships with other healthcare providers, considering economic, psychosocial, cultural, and environmental factors in healthcare delivery.

7. Regis College

Regis College offers an online MSN program, which is a virtual extension of their highly regarded on-campus program. This program is one of the largest NP programs in Massachusetts and is designed to cater to active nursing professionals. The curriculum is rooted in current medical practices and emphasizes critical thinking skills necessary for excelling as an NP.

Program Highlights:

  • Duration: The program can be completed in 28-36 months.
  • Total Credits: It requires 46-64 credits, with 64 credits for the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) concentration.
  • Specializations: The program offers six specializations, allowing students to focus on areas of nursing that serve populations with unique needs.
  • Career Paths: Graduates can pursue various roles, including primary care nurse practitioner, research specialist, acute care nurse practitioner, nurse manager, and more.

8. Texas Tech University

The TTUHSC School of Nursing offers a comprehensive range of master's programs in nursing, designed to prepare graduates for advanced roles in healthcare. These programs are offered online, providing flexibility for working professionals, and include preceptor-guided clinical learning experiences that can be completed in or near the student's home community.

Program Highlights:

  • Specializations: The master's programs cover various areas, including family nurse practitioner, adult gerontology acute care, pediatric acute care, pediatrics, and psychiatric mental health.
  • Modes of Delivery: The programs are delivered online, making them accessible to nurses across the country.
  • Clinical Learning: Clinical experiences are guided by preceptors and can be arranged close to where students live, providing practical, hands-on training in a convenient setting.

9. Spring Arbor University

Spring Arbor University offers a comprehensive online MSN program designed for working nurses. This program is accredited by the CCNE and is tailored to meet the needs of busy professionals seeking to advance their nursing careers. Here are some key features of the program:

  • Program Design: The program is uniquely structured for working nurses, allowing them to earn their degree without interrupting their work schedule. It offers a blend of flexibility and rigorous academic standards.
  • Specializations: Students can choose from various NP specializations, including Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner.
  • Flexible Scheduling: The program follows a 7-1-7 model, offering courses in 7-week terms with a 1-week break in between. This model is designed to accommodate the busy schedules of working professionals.

Online NP No GRE Prerequisites & Requirements

To enroll in an Online NP No GRE program, there are specific prerequisites and admission requirements that candidates must meet. These prerequisites are essential to ensure that students have the foundational knowledge and skills needed for advanced nursing practice.

Online NP No GRE Prerequisites

The prerequisites for an Online NP No GRE program typically include:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN): Most programs require applicants to have completed a BSN from an accredited institution.
  • RN Licensure: Applicants must hold a current and unencumbered RN license.
  • Nursing Experience: Some programs require a certain amount of clinical nursing experience, often a minimum of one to two years, preferably in a relevant field.
  • Undergraduate GPA: A minimum GPA is often required, usually around 3.0, although this can vary by program.
  • Prerequisite Courses: Certain undergraduate courses may be required, such as anatomy, physiology, Microbiology, and statistics.

Online NP No GRE Requirements

Once admitted, students must meet the following requirements to complete the program:

  • Course Completion: Students must complete all required coursework, which typically includes advanced practice nursing core courses and specialty courses.
  • Clinical Hours: Completion of a specified number of supervised clinical hours is mandatory. The exact number can vary, but it's usually several hundred hours.
  • Capstone Project or Thesis: Some programs may require a capstone project or thesis, demonstrating the application of learned knowledge to a practical problem in nursing.
  • Maintain GPA: Students are generally required to maintain a certain GPA to remain in good standing, often around 3.0.
  • Licensing Examination Preparation: While not always a formal requirement of the program, students must prepare for the nurse practitioner licensing examination, which is necessary for practice post-graduation.
  • Professional Standards and Ethics: Adherence to professional standards and ethical guidelines in all coursework and clinical practice is essential.

Online NP No GRE Costs & Salary Expectations

The costs of Online NP No GRE programs and the salary expectations after completing these programs vary based on several factors, including the institution, program length, and geographic location. Understanding these financial aspects is crucial for prospective students.

Online NP No GRE Costs

The costs associated with Online NP No GRE programs include:

  • Tuition Fees: These can vary widely depending on the institution and program length. On average, tuition can range from $500 to over $1,000 per credit hour. Full programs typically require 30-50 credit hours.
  • Additional Fees: Beyond tuition, there may be fees for technology, student services, lab work, and other resources.
  • Textbooks and Supplies: Students should budget for textbooks, software, and other necessary supplies.
  • Clinical Placement Fees: Some programs may charge additional fees for arranging clinical placements.
  • Travel and Accommodation: If any on-campus visits are required or for clinical placements, students might incur travel and accommodation costs.

Online NP No GRE Salary Expectations

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national average NP salary is $124,680. However, this will fluctuate on many factors including location, years of experience, concentration, and more.

The top-paying states for NPs are:

  • California: $158,130
  • New Jersey: $143,250
  • Massachusetts: $138,700
  • Oregon: $136,250
  • Nevada: $136,230

Unfortunately, the BLS doesn't specify between different types of NP concentrations. However, according to ZipRecruiter, the average salaries for NP specialties are:

  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP): $124,024
  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP): $128,141
  • Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP): $125,190
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP): $139,590
  • Women's Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP): $130,333
  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP): $223,503

While salary data from the BLS and ZipRecruiter provides insight, it's recommended prospective NPs research their location, desired employer, and other contextual factors that could impact their expectations.

Online NP No GRE Pros & Cons

Online NP No GRE programs offer a unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Understanding these can help prospective students make informed decisions about their education and career paths.

Online NP No GRE Pros

  1. Accessibility and Convenience: Online programs provide flexibility for working nurses, allowing them to balance their studies with professional and personal responsibilities.
  2. No GRE Requirement: Eliminating the GRE as an entry requirement makes these programs more accessible to those who may have test-taking anxieties or who have been out of school for a while.
  3. Diverse Specializations: Many online programs offer a range of specializations, enabling nurses to focus on areas of interest such as family practice, pediatrics, or mental health.
  4. Career Advancement: Completing an NP Program can lead to higher salaries, increased autonomy, and more advanced career opportunities in the nursing field.
  5. Expanding Healthcare Access: NPs play a crucial role in expanding access to healthcare, especially in underserved areas, making this a socially impactful career choice.

Online NP No GRE Cons

  1. Self-Discipline Required: Online learning requires a high level of self-discipline and motivation, which can be challenging for some students.
  2. Limited Hands-On Experience: While clinical hours are part of the curriculum, some online programs may offer fewer opportunities for hands-on experience compared to traditional, in-person programs.
  3. Networking Challenges: Online students may have fewer opportunities for in-person networking with peers and faculty, which can be important for career development.
  4. Technology Dependence: Students must have reliable internet access and be comfortable with digital learning platforms.
  5. Clinical Placement Responsibility: In some online programs, students might be responsible for arranging their own clinical placements, which can be challenging and time-consuming.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What are the key differences between full-time and part-time enrollment in online NP programs?

Full-Time Enrollment: Typically involves a more intensive course load, allowing students to complete the program faster. It's ideal for those who can dedicate significant time to their studies.

Part-Time Enrollment: Offers a more flexible schedule with fewer courses per term, suitable for working professionals or those with other commitments.

Q: How do online NP programs prepare students for national certification?

Online NP programs include comprehensive coursework and clinical training that align with the competencies required for national certification. They cover essential topics like health sciences, health promotion, and evidence-based practice, ensuring graduates are well-prepared for certification exams.

Q: What types of financial aid are available for students in online NP programs?

Students may access various financial aid options, including federal loans, scholarships, grants, and sometimes employer tuition reimbursement. It's important to research and apply for financial aid early, considering both need-based and merit-based opportunities.

Q: Are online NP programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)?

Many reputable online NP programs are accredited by the CCNE, ensuring they meet high standards of education in nursing. Accreditation is crucial for quality assurance and often necessary for licensure and certification.

Q: How does informatics integrate into online NP programs?

Informatics is increasingly important in healthcare. Online NP programs often include courses on informatics, teaching students how to use digital tools and data for improved patient care, healthcare administration, and evidence-based practice.

Q: What is the role of a practicum in an online NP Program, and how does it work?

A practicum, or supervised clinical experience, is a core component of online NP programs. It provides hands-on experience in healthcare settings, allowing students to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world practice. Students typically complete practicums in their local area, with program support for placement in relevant healthcare environments.

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