Licensed RN's can enroll in nurse practitioner or family nurse practitioner programs if they want to direct their careers towards advanced practice in the field of nursing.
These programs are mostly commonly offered by schools of nursing at four-year universities. Nurse practitioner and family nurse practitioner programs are available at the graduate level and typically include a combination of academic study and clinical practice. Top schools include Ivy League, public, and well-known private schools that are highly ranked by U.S. News and World Report and the Princeton Review for either their overall educational quality or their nursing programs specifically.
1. University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia
The University of Pennsylvania placed eighth among all national universities in U.S. News & World Report's rankings for 2017. As of 2017, USN&WR ranked the university as the second best nursing school in the country for master's programs, and placed it in first for its adult nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner, and geriatric nurse practitioner programs. According to Washington Monthly, the University of Pennsylvania was also one of the top five national universities in the U.S. in 2016. It also made the Princeton Review's list of the best three hundred eighty one colleges in the country.
The University of Pennsylvania's School of Nursing offers master's degree programs for nurse practitioners in numerous specialties, including adult acute or pediatric care, women's health care and psychiatric-mental health care. The University of Pennsylvania's family health nurse practitioner program offers a global nursing and health care track that includes options for faculty-supervised international study.
In addition to its nurse practitioner programs, the School of Nursing offers undergraduate, accelerated and advanced practice master's degrees, as well as Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and postdoctoral programs.
2. Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD
In 2017, Johns Hopkins University's School of Nursing ranked #1 among all nursing master's programs on U.S. News & World Report's list.
The school's adult, family and pediatric nurse practitioner specialties all ranked among the top 10 in their respective categories. The university's hospital was ranked among the top three hospitals in 4 different specialty areas by USN&WR for 2017.
Johns Hopkins offers master's degree programs for nurse practitioners in several specialties, including family primary care and pediatric primary care. The university also awards a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Nurse practitioners and other nursing professionals can find continuing education and networking opportunities through the Institute for Johns Hopkins Nursing. Students also have access to hands-on training at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.
3. University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI
The University of Michigan's School of Nursing was the first school to offer a master's-level concentration in international health, which includes hands-on service work with the Peace Corps.
The University of Michigan ranked as one of the Princeton Review's best 381 colleges in 2017. The nursing school ranked #10 for its master's programs on U.S. News and World Report's list, for 2017.
The university offers master's degree programs in acute care nursing and community health nursing. The master's degree program in acute care nursing offers an acute care nurse practitioner option. Students in the master's degree program in community health can pursue a sub-specialty for adult nurse practitioners or family nurse practitioners. Among the school's several graduate programs is a master's degree in parent-child nursing with a sub-specialty for pediatric nurse practitioners.
Additional school features include the Office of Global Outreach, complemented by the institution's status as a World Health Organization Collaborating Center.
4. Columbia University in New York, NY
Columbia University's School of Nursing has four research centers that provide unique opportunities for students. Among nursing schools offering master's degree programs, Columbia University was tied for #8, per U.S. News and World Report's rankings in 2017. Among nursing schools offering DNP degrees, it was ranked #4. The school also earned a #10 ranking in family nurse practitioner.
Through the Columbia University School of Nursing, students can earn a master's degree, Doctor of Nursing Practice or Ph.D, Specialty areas for master's degree students include adult-gerontology acute care, adult-gerontology primary care, and midwifery. The school also offers a family nurse practitioner (FNP) program, as well as a pediatric primary care nurse practitioner program.
Within the FNP program, students learn about a wide variety of primary care related topics, including pediatric, geriatric, obstetric, and gynecological health.
Top Nurse Practitioner Schools
Aspiring nurse practitioners can also find relevant training programs at the following top schools:
|Duke University||Center of Nursing Collaboration, Entrepreneurship and Technology||Durham, NC|
|Oregon Health and Science University||Simulation and Clinical Learning Center||Portland, OR|
|University of California - San Francisco||School of Nursing has a near 100% retention rate for nursing students advancing through the program to earn their degrees||San Francisco, CA|
|University of Maryland - Baltimore||Developed the world's first university program in nursing informatics||Baltimore, MD|
|University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill||School of Nursing houses a biobehavioral laboratory with observation space, portable monitoring equipment and an epigenetics lab||Chapel Hill, NC|
|Vanderbilt University||School of Nursing at Vanderbilt University ranked 13th by U.S. News & World Report among schools with master's programs in nursing in 2017||Nashville, TN|
Graduate level nursing programs that train nurse practitioners, including family nursing specialists, are available at top universities across the country.