Many registered nurses (RNs) interested in continuing their education and advancing their career enroll in nurse practitioner (NP) programs. One reason RNs pursue NP positions is the higher earning potential. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Nebraska NPs’ mean salary of $103,800 is well above the $64,470 mean salary for RNs in the state. Other reasons to choose an online NP program in Nebraska include greater potential job satisfaction and opportunities for advancement.
Regardless of where they live, all NPs go through similar steps on the path to licensure. This resource answers some commonly asked questions about the licensing process and how to become an NP. After learning more, you can refer to this page to learn more about the various specializations available to NPs, along with potential careers, salaries, and work environments.
Many aspiring NPs in Nebraska begin their careers by finding a great online NP program. Keep reading to learn more about online NP programs in Nebraska, career options for graduates, and the state’s licensing process for nurses.
Online Nurse Practitioner Programs Based in Nebraska
Candidates may choose from two types of online NP programs in Nebraska: a master's of science in nursing (MSN) and a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP). While both options lead to the same outcome, some healthcare facilities prefer to hire graduates with a DNP, as the industry gradually shifts in that direction. Although some schools offer online BSN-to-DNP options, these programs require multiple years of full-time study. In addition, Nebraska's NP licensing process is time-sensitive, and any slight setback could hurt BSN-to-DNP students’ educational timelines. Ideally, students should complete an MSN before they pursue a DNP.
Every program requires nursing students to earn in-person clinical hours in their field of study, and some specializations require additional clinical practice.
MSN and DNP programs take different amounts of time to complete. Most online MSN NP programs require 2-3 years of study and up to five years when pursued on a part-time basis. DNP program lengths vary, depending on whether the candidate has already completed a BSN or is a current licensed NP. BSN-holders may earn their DNP in 3-5 years, while the latter option takes just two years to finish.
A nurse’s chosen specialization also impacts program length. Every program requires nursing students to earn in-person clinical hours in their field of study, and some specializations require additional clinical practice. Many NPs select specializations in family, pediatric, acute care, or adult gerontology.
Keep in mind that program and curriculum specifics vary from school to school. Spend time researching potential online NP programs in Nebraska before deciding which degree and specialization to pursue.
Complete List of Online Nurse Practitioner Programs in Nebraska
Nebraska Nurse Practitioner Career Information
According to the BLS, nurse practitioners in Nebraska earn a mean salary of $103,800 -- more than those in neighboring Kansas, South Dakota, and Missouri. However, Projections Central projects a 22.3% job growth rate for NP positions over the next decade, which is significantly lower than the national figure and projections for nearby states.
Projections from the Nebraska state government vary. The State of Nebraska projects a 12.1% growth rate for APRNs from 2017-2025; higher than figures for RNs and LPNs. This coincides with a projected 0.6% decline in nurse supply over the same period. Nebraska also projects a gap of -592, meaning the state may be short nearly 600 APRNs by 2025.
The following data represents NPs as a whole, and professionals in some specializations could see higher salaries or growth rates than others.
Nurse Practitioner Salary and Projected Job Growth in Nebraska and Nearby States
The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services requires all NPs to hold an APRN license. Fortunately, the state’s APRN application guidelines are relatively simple. First, the applicant must possess a current Nebraska RN license. Out-of-state RNs who completed an online NP program in Nebraska may pursue licensure through one of two routes. Nebraska is a Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC) state, so RNs from other NLC states may transfer their license easily. Nurses who are not from NLC states must meet Nebraska's standards for RN licensure.
Nebraska only accepts NP certifications from the following certifying bodies: American Association of Critical Care Nurses, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American Nurses Credentialing Center, National Certification Corporation, and Pediatric Nursing Certification Board.
Next, NPs must earn national certification related to their specialization. Nebraska only accepts NP certifications from the following certifying bodies: American Association of Critical Care Nurses, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American Nurses Credentialing Center, National Certification Corporation, and Pediatric Nursing Certification Board. Once the applicant obtains national certification, they may apply for an APRN license.
NPs should renew APRN licenses by the end of October of every even-numbered year. Nebraska maintains several requirements for license renewal. NPs must maintain national certification, keep their RN license current, meet continued competency requirements, and pay a renewal fee. Nebraska does not directly require continuing education hours for APRN renewal over the first two years. APRN application fees are either $25 for May-October of even-numbered years or $68 for every other month.
Other Requirements for Nebraska Nurse Practitioners
While NPs do not need to complete specific continuing education (CE) credits for license renewal during their first two years in practice, Nebraska RN licensure and national certification both require CE. To renew an RN license, nurses must have completed 20 hours of continuing education over a two-year period. RNs must also complete at least 500 hours of professional practice over a five-year period. CE and work experience requirements vary by certification, and additional requirements depend largely on the individual professional’s specialization and certification.
While NPs do not need to complete specific continuing education (CE) credits for license renewal during their first two years in practice, Nebraska RN licensure and national certification both require CE.
Every two years, and within five years of becoming licensed, NPs must complete 40 CE hours within their specialty to qualify for renewal. At least 10 of these hours must be in pharmacotherapeutics. NPs seeking renewal after five years of licensure must complete 40 CE credits with the same requirements, along with at least 2,080 professional practice hours. 500 of these hours must come from a direct nurse/patient relationship.
Nebraska authorizes all NPs to prescribe medication within their scope of practice. NPs meet prescriptive authority requirements during the license renewal process. APRNs pay a $30 renewal fee every two years.
Information for Out-Of-State Nurse Practitioners
Out-of-state NPs that work in an NLC state enjoy an easy route to licensure in Nebraska. RN licenses transfer, so NPs need only submit their current license verification forms and pass a criminal background check. While out-of-state NPs must hold national certification and at least a graduate degree, these are standard requirements regardless of where NPs work. Out-of-state NPs must also pay an application fee. NPs from outside of Nebraska may obtain a temporary NP license while the state processes their criminal background check.
While Nebraska grants prescriptive authority to all NPs, they may only prescribe medication within their specialty. Therefore, all out-of-state NPs moving to Nebraska earn prescriptive authority. However, out-of-state NPs must then complete 10 CE credits in pharmacotherapeutics every two years.
Resources for Nebraska Nurse Practitioners
Nebraska Nurse Practitioners NNP offers resources for current professionals and students, including continuing education opportunities, a job board, and exclusive conferences. Eligible student members may apply for scholarships.
Nebraska Nurses Association Established over 100 years ago, NNA provides nurses with advocacy, professional development, and education. The association also hosts networking events.
Nebraska Board of Nursing Nebraska's licensing body for nurses administers information on CE requirements, licensure application and renewal deadlines, and fees for various licenses.
Nebraska Center for Nursing Created in 2000 to address Nebraska's nursing shortage, Nebraska Center for Nursing collects and analyzes nursing data to learn more about current nurses and find a way to attract new professionals.
Nebraska Action Coalition The Nebraska Action Coalition works to transform healthcare to benefit both healthcare workers and patients. Past efforts include increasing RN-BSN education and improving access to NPs.