Top RN to NP Programs | 2023 – | Team Cansler

A two-year Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) offers many benefits: You can quickly become a registered nurse so you can start performing basic nursing duties. To advance the care you provide, earn a higher salary or move into a specialty, or gain more autonomy and independence, an RN to NP program may be your next step.

An RN-to-NP program is a master’s degree open to licensed nurses with one to two years of clinical experience. Graduates earn the Nurse Practitioner (NP) designation and become candidates for far greater opportunities as Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN). ADNs may participate in RN-to-NP bridge programs that offer accelerated completion of undergraduate-level courses not covered by their ADN program. NP programs are also available to registered nurses with BSN degrees.

Fast facts on RN to NP programs


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for registered nurses as of May 2021 was $120,680.

program length

2-4 years


  • A DNA
  • An unencumbered nursing license
  • A minimum average of 3.0
  • Completion of the courses required for admission
  • At least 1-2 years of clinical experience
  • letter of recommendation
  • A statement of intent

Top RN to NP Programs

The American Association of Nurse Practitioners states that there are approximately 400 accredited nurse practitioner programs in the United States. The right program for you will depend on location, tuition, and the specialty you wish to pursue. In determining the top ten for this list, we considered the following factors:

  • acceptance rate

  • Number of degrees awarded

  • student-to-faculty ratio

  • Availability of online classes

  • Average grade point average for a bachelor’s or associate degree

1. Regis College

Regis College offers a flexible online learning environment with three different entry points, including one for those who have an associate’s degree in nursing. Applicants who earned their ADN from a regionally accredited institution and program must complete a college-level statistics course prior to beginning classes and hold an active, unencumbered RN license.

The school offers specialty nursing practitioners in the areas of paediatrics, family practice, psychiatric mental health, women’s health, and adult acute and primary care and gerontology.

2. University of Alabama at Birmingham

The RN-to-MSN path at the University of Alabama offers applicants with an ADN degree and a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field the opportunity to become a nursing practitioner through a distance-access format that combines online courses and intensive on-campus courses .

The program offers nine different nursing specialties, two of which are recognized by US News & World Report.

  • Instruction: $682/credit hour

  • Program length: 3 years

  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

  • Application deadline: February 18th

  • Contact information:

  • Online options available? Yes

3. Clarkson College

Clarkson College’s RN-to-MSN program is for registered nurses with a graduate or associate’s degree in nursing. Offered online, it allows students to complete coursework while completing a Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) degree. Upon completion of undergraduate requirements, students transition to a custom RN-to-MSN curriculum that includes minimal campus visits.

Graduates of the program have the option to complete an additional 21-29 hours of study to become certified in specialties including Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, or Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner.

  • Instruction: $5,460 full time/$2,751 part time

  • Program length:3 years

  • Accreditation: ACEN

  • Application deadline: July 18th

  • Contact information:

  • Online options available? Yes

4. University of Central Florida

Licensed registered nurses who have earned an associate’s degree in nursing and a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field are eligible to apply to the University of Central Florida’s Doctor of Nurse Practitioner program.

This is a full-time graduate program offered at the school’s Orlando, Florida campus. Admission requires the completion of 3 prerequisite courses:

Dimensions of professional practice, public health nursing and nursing research.

  • Instruction: $288.16/credit hour

  • Program length: 9 semesters

  • Accreditation:CCNE

  • Application deadline: 1st-15th January

  • Contact information:

  • Online options available? Yes

5. University of Rochester

The University of Rochester School of Nursing offers an RN-to-BS-to-MS program that advances skills through a flexible, accelerated path. The program combines online and evening face-to-face events that allow ADN-prepared nurses to earn their bachelor’s degree and then pursue one of three master’s degrees.

  • Instruction:$1,200 per credit hour for the RN to BS share; $1,680 for the master’s portion

  • Program length: 16 months for the bachelor’s degree and two to three years for the master’s degree

  • Accreditation: CCNE

  • Application deadline: April 15th

  • Contact information:

  • Online options available? no

6. Loyola University in New Orleans

This 100% online Master of Science in Nursing is an accelerated program available to registered nurses with an associate degree in nursing and a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field.

Upon completion of the bachelor’s degree programs, students pursue a Master of Science in Nursing as part of a Family Nurse Practitioner track.

  • Instruction: $818/credit hour

  • Program length: 3 years

  • Accreditation: CCNE

  • Application deadline: Multiple start dates

  • Contact information:

  • Online options available?Yes

7. Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi

Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi offers multiple pathways to a Family Nurse Practitioner degree, including an RN-to-MSN program and an RN-to-MSN Bridge program.

The course is offered 100% online and is designed to be part-time to enable students to work full-time.

  • Instruction:$12,485

  • Program length:3 years

  • Accreditation:CCNE

  • Application deadline:February 15

  • Contact information:

  • Online options available?Yes

8. William Paterson University

The Registered Nurse to Master of Science in Nursing degree is offered 100% online and follows either a Family Nurse Practitioner path or an Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner path.

The curriculum has an embedded baccalaureate load and awards a BSN degree before seamlessly transitioning to the MSN program. It can be completed in as little as 28 months.

  • Instruction:$28,469.70

  • Program length:28 months

  • Accreditation:CCNE

  • Application deadline:January 2nd

  • Contact information:

  • Online options available?Yes

9. West Coast University

West Coast University’s online RN to Master of Science program is available to registered nurses with an associate degree in nursing. The program allows students to pursue undergraduate degrees and progress directly to specialized masters classes in majors such as Adult Gerontology Acute or Primary Care Nurse Practitioner, Family Nurse Practitioner, and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner.

The program is 100% delivered online and can be completed at an accelerated pace in 24 months. The school also offers comprehensive career services after graduation.

  • Instruction:$45,415
  • Program length:2 years

  • Accreditation:CCNE

  • Application deadline:The programs start every 8 weeks

  • Contact information:

  • Online options available?Yes

10. Seton Hall University

Seton Hall’s College of Nursing offers an RN to MSN bridge that allows registered nurses with an associate degree in nursing and a non-nursing baccalaureate to earn a master of science degree in nursing.

After students complete prerequisites and two bridge courses, they proceed to the MSN degree, which opens doors to a nursing career.

  • Instruction:$1,431/credit

  • Program length:3 years

  • Accreditation:CCNE

  • Application deadline:

  • Contact information:

  • Online options available? Yes

What Can You Do After an RN to NP Program?

As Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN), nurses can work in a variety of medical settings and provide far more comprehensive care than registered nurses. You are qualified for:

  • Treatment and diagnosis of diseases, injuries and chronic diseases

  • Order and interpret laboratory and diagnostic results

  • Counsel patients about their health, including creating care plans and suggesting lifestyle changes

  • Collaborate with doctors and other healthcare workers

In some states, nurses are allowed to work independently, run their own clinics, perform medical procedures, and prescribe medications.

Frequently asked questions about RN to NP programs

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