Written By - Derick de Souza

Reviewed By OMC Staff

The educational requirements for Nurse Practitioners (NPs) are changing in the United States. Although a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is the most common educational requirement for nurse practitioners, there is a trend toward doctoral-level education for NPs.

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is quickly becoming recognized as the ultimate degree for nurse practitioners. Some nursing organizations and academic institutions advocate for the DNP to be the standard for all advanced practice nurses, including nurse practitioners. The goal of this change is to align nurse practitioner education with that of other health professions that are moving toward doctoral-level training.

Nurse practitioners should consult authoritative sources such as the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP) or the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) for the most up-to-date information on nurse practitioner educational requirements.

Remember that regulations and requirements differ by state, so it is critical to check the specific guidelines applicable to the region where you intend to practice as a nurse practitioner.

Do nurse practitioners need a doctorate?

Featured Online Programs

Southern New Hampshire University

PROGRAM: Online Masters Degrees

Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing universities in the country. Founded in 1932, we’ve been relentlessly reinventing higher education ever since and have gained national recognition for our dedication to helping students transform their lives and the lives of those around them.

We’re proud to provide affordable, accessible education that students can pursue on our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH, over our innovative online platform or at our regional centers in Manchester, Nashua, Portsmouth and Salem, NH, and Brunswick, ME.

SNHU has earned the GetEducated.com Best Buy and Best of Business – Best Online Degree awards and is consistently ranked as a top Military Friendly® School by G.I Jobs®.

degree by subject

Find Online Masters By Subject

Find Your Master’s Program

Start Your Next Step Today

Let’s help you find the right online master’s degree. You can browse through thousands of schools and their online programs. Start exploring the top 20 best online master’s programs now.