Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Nevada

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Nurse practitioners in any state are highly qualified healthcare providers that have dedicated themselves to education and clinical training. To become a nurse practitioner, registered nurses must pursue graduate-level education and choose a specialty. With the right education and hands-on training under the guidance of licensed healthcare professionals, graduates of these programs are able to work more autonomously and provide much needed relief to an overburdened healthcare system by treating patients holistically.

Across the country, the demand for nurse practitioners is growing each year. By illustration, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS Dec. 2015) predicts a 35 percent increase in openings for NPs between 2014 to 2024, five times the average growth expected across all occupations (7 percent). That growth should certainly extend to the Nevada area, where timing is ideal to train as a nurse practitioner.

Fortunately for those nurses already working as RNs, it is easier than ever to pursue the advanced education required to become a nurse practitioner. Both in and outside of Nevada, there are online nurse practitioner programs available that allow nurses to work and study concurrently.

Notably, Nevada NPs enjoy relatively a generous scope of practice compared the other states. The American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP 2016) reported that NV is a “full practice” state in this profession, meaning the following: “State practice and licensure law provides for all nurse practitioners to evaluate patients, diagnose, order and interpret diagnostic tests, initiate and manage treatments—including prescribe medications—under the exclusive licensure authority of the state board of nursing.” Neighboring states such as California and Utah have “restricted practice” and “reduced practice” environments, respectively; in other words, NPs in those states have less independence in their occupation and require more oversight by law compared to Nevada’s practitioners.

Read on to discover one typical pathway to becoming an NP in Nevada, as well as what to expect from an online NP program and how to become professionally credentialed.

How to Become a Nurse Practitioner in Nevada

Nurse practitioner requirements vary from state to state. The following steps, which are the most common for prospective nurse practitioners, require a minimum of six years of postsecondary schooling. Additionally, since aspiring NPs typically garner one- to two-years of experience working as an RN prior to enrolling in a graduate program in nursing, becoming an NP in Nevada can take seven years or more from start to finish. Here is one possible pathway to joining this high-growth career in Nevada:

  • 1
    STEP 1: Earn an Undergraduate Nursing Degree (Duration: 2 – 4 Years)

    Becoming a nurse practitioner requires an undergraduate degree. As an initial step, nurses in Nevada can earn an associate degree in nursing (ADN) in two years, but eventually, most NPs earn a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), which takes four years to complete, either in a dedicated program or concurrently with a graduate degree in an RN-to-MSN “bridge” program. BSN programs include courses such as community health nursing; nutrition, health & wellness; pathophysiology; evidence-based practice; information systems in healthcare; pharmacology; and health assessment. Please note that to earn admission to an online NP program in NV, candidates typically need at least a BSN to qualify.

  • 2
    STEP 2: Apply for RN Licensure & Get Nursing Experience (Duration: Less than 1 year)

    Upon completion of an undergraduate program, nurses must apply for their RN license prior to practice. The Nevada State Board of Nursing handles licensing for RNs, a process which includes submitting a completed application, sitting for the NCELX-RN test, being officially fingerprinted, and submitting an application fee. Undergraduate nursing programs generally submit official transcripts directly to the NSBN to secure eligibility to take the examination. Since most online NP programs require applicants to have at least one year of experience (ideally in their intended NP specialization), RNs typically garner some hands-on time in a healthcare setting prior to applying to a graduate nursing program.

  • 3
    STEP 3: Earn a Graduate Degree in Nursing (MSN or DNP) (Duration: 2 – 4 Years)

     Aspiring nurse practitioners in Nevada must earn either a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree or a doctor of nurse practice (DNP) from an accredited program. The two main program-approval entities nationwide are the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN). The duration of these graduate programs depends on whether the nurse is able to attend a full- or part-time program. They average between two and four years of full-time study. Check out the section below on online NP schools in NV to examine typical curricula in distance-based MSN and DNP programs.

  • 4
    STEP 4: Obtain Specialty Certification (Duration: Less than 1 year)

    Nevada nurse practitioners must have a specialty certification in order to prove competency in their chosen population foci (e.g., adults, women, neonates, families, etc). Organizations such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP), and the National Certification Corporation (NCC) offer exams for this type of certification. To qualify, candidates must show proof of their graduate NP credential, send verification of several hundred hours of experience in their specialty, and pass a comprehensive examination. Certification from one of the national credentialing bodies is required before Nevada NPs are able to earn their state APRN license.

  • 5
    STEP 5: Apply for a Nevada APRN License (Duration: Less than 1 year)

    With specialty certification in hand, nurses in Nevada are able to apply for licensing as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse through the Nevada State Board of Nursing. This requires that nurse practitioners submit a completed application; a fingerprinting card; proof of current Nevada RN licensure; transcripts from an accredited graduate nursing program with specific coursework (e.g., advanced health assessment, pathophysiology, pharmacotherapeutics); and a $200 fee. The Nevada APRN license requires NPs to keep a professional portfolio to maintain the credential.

  • 6
    STEP 6: Apply for Prescriptive Authority Registration

    Those who wish to apply for prescriptive authority must do so separately through the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) registration numbers, which are necessary to prescribe controlled substances, are available directly from the DEA. This credential is valid for two years.

Admissions Requirements

All nurse practitioner programs in Nevada, online or on-campus, have strict requirements as to who is eligible to apply. Applicants to online NP programs must already be registered nurses in good standing with their respective boards of nursing.

During the application process, nurses should expect to submit similar applications, no matter which program they choose. These applications tend to call for the following materials:

  • Personal identifying information (e.g., name, address, phone number)
  • Proof of RN licensure in good standing
  • Undergraduate transcripts from an accredited bachelor of nursing program (BSN) with proof of specific coursework
  • Personal statement or essay (500-600 words)
  • Professional letters of recommendation
  • Interview (in-person or web-based)
  • Application fee

Although some schools require GRE scores, currently there are no online programs in Nevada that have this requirement.

Some NP programs begin only in the fall, so applicants should be prepared to submit their applications early in the year (typically by March) for fall admission. Other programs offer rolling admissions, so it’s important to verify the timeline of matriculation prior to applying.

Nevada Online Program Accreditation

A nurse practitioner program’s accreditation status is indicative of whether it meets the educational standards of the accrediting body. In order to earn an APRN license through the Nevada State Board of Nursing, nurses must graduate from a program that has been accredited by at least one of the following:

The accreditation process involves the assessment of the program’s curriculum, faculty, and facilities. Accrediting institutions, both on-campus and online, must go through a rigorous self-assessment as well as a site visitation and/or assessment from the accrediting body itself. Contact individual accreditation bodies to learn more about the process.

Online Nurse Practitioner Schools Based in Nevada

There are three universities in Nevada which offer accredited online NP programs:

  • University of NevadaCampus Location: Las Vegas, NV

    The University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), with its campus in "Sin City," offers two online nurse practitioner programs at the master’s level: a post-master's certificate in the family nurse practitioner specialty and a master of science in nursing (MSN), also in the FNP specialty. Both programs have coursework in diagnostic reasoning & clinical decision-making; advanced health assessment; family theory & health promotion; and nurse practitioner business & roles. Although both programs are web-based, they also require a mandatory campus orientation and a one- to three-day onsite session per semester (depending on the class). For those students requiring flexibility, both programs also offer full- as well as part-time options, making it an ideal choice for nurses who want to continue working. UNLV also offers an online doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program, requiring a mandatory on-campus orientation and two additional one-day visits to hash out the student’s DNP project. Offered in both BSN-to-DNP and MSN-to-DNP formats, this program includes coursework in the analysis & economics of healthcare delivery; translational evidence for healthcare systems; and collaboration, communication & negotiation for the nurse leader.

    Meet The Professors

    Alona
    Alona Angosta

    Dr. Alona Angosta, PhD, APRN, FNP, NP-C is a tenured associate professor at the UNLV School of Nursing, where her research interests include health promotion and disease prevention focusing on obesity and cardiovascular disease, lifestyle interventions, and the intersections of health and technology. Dr. Angosta teaches in the FNP pathway and has previously taught courses such as primary care and the family; advanced physical assessment; children, adult & women’s health; and geriatric & chronic illness.

    jennifer
    Jennifer Kawi

    Dr. Jennifer Kawi, PhD, MSN, APRN, FNP-BC, CNE is an assistant professor at UNLV as well as a board-certified advanced practice nurse with a specialty in chronic pain management. Dr. Kawi has been the recipient of many awards during her nursing career, including the UNLV School of Nursing Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research and a Senatorial Certificate of Commendation for recognition of commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of Southern Nevada.

  • Touro UniversityCampus Location: Henderson, NV

    Touro University has one of its campuses in Henderson, Nevada, and offers an MSN program which is mostly online. The program focuses on the FNP specialty and requires seven trimesters of classes, in addition to 630 clinical hours. Coursework includes training in research & ethics in advanced practice nursing; cultural understanding & population health; and pathophysiology. Throughout the duration of the online FNP program, students are required to attend three one-week campus sessions for evaluations and clinical intensives. Additionally, Touro provides an online DNP program with a leadership track requiring no campus visits (note that this is not a nurse practitioner program, but does accept nurse practitioners). Open to candidates with MSN degrees, this school’s DNP program has classes such as principles of research methods & biostatistics; evidence-based practice; and health policy.

    Meet The Professors

    Mary Bemker

    Dr. Mary Bemker, PhD, PsyS, RN is an associate professor in the Touro University School of Nursing, as well as licensed nurse in four states. Dr. Bemker was instrumental in establishing Touro’s MSN program, where she led the effort to have the program accredited. Dr. Bemker's research interests include adolescent issue prevention and early intervention. Additionally, she’s been recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow (Rotary International) and a Fellow of the American Association of Social Psychiatry

    Rebecca Weatherly

    Dr. Rebecca Weatherly, DNP, RN, MSN is an assistant professor of nursing at Touro University, where her teaching experience is largely in the clinical portions of the curriculum. She has been practicing nursing for more than 37 years and brings to her teaching a wealth of practical and educational experience. She specializes in maternal newborn nursing and admirably, made home visits to high risk patients when she was working in clinical practice.

  • University of NevadaCampus Location: Reno, NV

    The University of Nevada, Reno also offers an online DNP for nurses who hold a bachelor's degree (BSN) or master’s degree (MSN). Nurses who want to pursue this degree can choose from the three following specialty areas:

    • Adult-gerontology acute care (AGNP-AC)
    • Family health (FNP)
    • Psychiatric-mental health (PMHNP)

    The DNP program requires a two-day, on-campus meeting the first year for orientation to the program and one-to-three days each semester for onsite immersion days.

    Meet The Professors

    Christine
    Christine Aramburu Alegria

    Dr. Christine Aramburu Alegria, PhD, APRN, FNP-BC is an associate professor and DNP coordinator at the UNR’s Orvis School of Nursing. Dr. Alegria is a certified FNP and her research interests include identity, relationships, and health promotion in marginalized populations, in particular the transgender and obese populations. She also investigates the role and potential of the DNP in today’s dynamic healthcare environment.

    Lisa
    Lisa Thomas

    Dr. Lisa Thomas is an associate professor at UNR. Her PhD dissertation involved the sociodemographic, market, and political factors that influence nurses who work in non-nursing jobs. Dr. Thomas has published a number of professional articles in journals such as American Journal of Infection Control; the American Journal of Infection Control; and Policy, Politics, and Nursing Practice.

    Finally, online NP students seeking a program Nevada (but aren’t residents of the state) are encouraged to verify the “state authorization” status of the program of interest. Due to differing restrictions on the provision of online education, distance-based programs in one state may not be available to residents of select other states.

    To learn more about the wide variety of distance-based nurse practitioner programs in NV and across the country, check out the online NP programs page.

Campus Visitation Requirements for Online NP Programs in Nevada

Online nurse practitioner programs do not uniformly report their campus visit requirements. Before applying to any online nurse practitioner program, prospective students in Nevada are encouraged to reach out to program coordinators to check how many on-site days are required when it’s not indicated on school websites.

Complete List Of Online NP Programs In Nevada

School Name Program Name Degree Offered
Select All
MSN
Post-Master Certificate
Type
Select All
FNP
Accreditor Campus Visits Required (Yearly) Requires ADN? Requires BA/BS? Requires BSN? Requires MSN?
University of Nevada
Las Vegas , NV
Post-Master's Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate Post-Master Certificate FNP CCNE >3 no no no yes
University of Nevada
Las Vegas , NV
Master's in Nursing; Family Nurse Practitioner Program MSN FNP CCNE >3 no no yes no
University of Las Vegas
Las Vegas , NV
Advanced Graduate Certificate Post-Master Certificate FNP CCNE >3 no no no yes
University of Las Vegas
Las Vegas , NV
Master of Science - Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner MSN FNP CCNE >3 no no yes no

Preceptorships and Licensure

Online learning can be extremely effective and convenient, but all nurse practitioner programs must also include an element of clinical experience. Before graduating from a nurse practitioner program, students must seek out a preceptor site, meaning a healthcare environment with supervised clinical instruction under licensed nursing professionals. This is completed ideally in a student’s intended NP specialization. Nevada online programs will generally offer assistance in the form of preceptor directories, but students should be prepared to find their own preceptorships. This preceptorship is required in order to become licensed as an NP in Nevada, as indicated by the NV Board of Nursing.

After graduating from an NP program and completing a national certification exam in his or her chosen specialty, nurses are eligible to apply for nurse practitioner licensure in Nevada. As mentioned in the introduction, the AANP (2016) reported that NPs in Nevada are among the most autonomous in the country and enjoy a “full practice” environment. According to the NV Nurse Practice Act, Nevada NPs enjoy a relatively independent and generous scope of practice. Among Nevada NPs’ professional privileges are:

  • Autonomous practice without direct physician supervision
  • Ability to act as primary care provider
  • Independent prescription rights
  • Prescription of physical therapy
  • Signing of death certificates
  • Signing of handicap placards
  • Approval of worker’s compensation claims

In conclusion, becoming a nurse practitioner in Nevada may an ideal way for a nurse to expand his or her independence and pursue a lifelong career that can be both financially stable and personally fulfilling.

Online NP Programs for NV Nurses

Simmons College

Online RN to MSN - FNP

Online Bachelor's to MSN - FNP

Online BSN to MSN - FNP

Maryville University

Online MSN - FNP

Online MSN - PNP-PC

Online MSN - AC-AGNP

Online MSN - PC-AGNP

Online BSN to DNP - FNP