Two nurse practitioner students discussing the top nurse practitioner programs in the country.

The Top Nurse Practitioner Programs in the United States

Where can you get the best training to be a nurse practitioner? We will look at the top five nurse practitioner programs in the United States according to US News & World Report.

Before you can enter these programs you will need to have a Bachelor’s degree in nursing. Each graduate program will include course work in addition to clinical practice. All costs are current estimates and may vary, as well as be subject to change. The five, in alphabetical order, are:

1. The University of California – San Francisco

This school offers two full-time nurse practitioner programs. The Master of Science degree will take two years to complete. Each student studies within one of 13 specialties. A post-Master’s program of five quarters results in certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner. This teaching hospital is the only single-subject exclusive graduate school in the University system. The California resident/nonresident annual tuition costs are $24,767/$37,012.

2. Columbia University – New York City

Seven specialties are offered in this nurse practitioner program, resulting in the Master of Science degree. The School of Nursing shares a campus with the schools of Public Health, and Dental and Oral Surgery, as well as the College of Physicians and Surgeons. It has relationships with over 200 clinical sites in the city and three major medical centers. The length of study will vary by specialty but may range from 39 to 48 credits, up to two years. The current cost per credit is $1,364.00 or $53,196.00 to $65,472.00 total.

3. The University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

Eight nurse practitioner specialties are available here through either the Master of Science or Post-Masters Certificate programs. These nurse practitioner programs are generally offered on a part-time basis, with expected graduation within three years. Emphasis is placed on multicultural communities and using the latest research findings. Annual tuition and fees for resident/nonresident students are $10,352/$20,927.

4. The University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia

At Penn, you may obtain a Master’s degree as a nurse practitioner with nine available concentrations. Penn's nursing program is known for a high intellectual standard, as seen in its emphasis on science and research. The program targets nursing to a diverse population and takes 16 months to complete. Full-time graduate tuition for all students is $36,620.

5. The University of Washington – Seattle

Here you can obtain either a Master of Nursing or a Master of Science degree. The School of Nursing at the University of Washington has been top rated for an unbroken 27 years. For a Master of Nursing degree, you will need 38-41 credits; for the Master of Science degree, 46-49 credits. The current resident/nonresident quarterly tuition and fees for 18 credits are $8,851.00/$15,632.00.