While it is possible to become a nurse practitioner after getting a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, it is certainly not something that one expects to do. That being said, this does not mean you will have to cut corners while working earning this advanced practice title. While there are no short cuts to becoming a nurse practitioner, there are streamlined learning options that you can take advantage of.
The best part of entering a Direct Entry nursing program is that you do not need to have a BSN degree. In fact, you can hold any bachelor’s degree in any major and still enroll for the Direct Entry Nurse practitioner program without any hassle.
Here’s how you can become a nurse practitioner while having graduated with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree.
How to Become a Nurse Practitioner Without a Nursing Degree in the US?
For aspiring nurses, the Direct Entry nurse practitioner programs are the best choice for aspiring NP nurses coming from other professional fields and degrees in other areas besides nursing. Also, many nursing schools, colleges, and universities normally also offer these programs online to aspiring nurses.
The major benefit of enrolling in a Direct Entry nurse practitioner program is that this whole process takes just a little over two years, which is relatively shorter as compared to nursing students who go through the traditional route to earn their credentials as a nursing practitioner. That being said, the duration of the program is ultimately going to depend on which school you take admission to and the nursing program. This is another reason why you should pay careful attention while applying to a nursing school.
Direct Entry NP Admissions Requirements
While the admission requirements for a Direct Entry NP program will vary from state to state in the US, there are some requirements and documents that all aspiring nursing applicants need to fulfill and submit along with their admission form, such as the following:
- An application to your nursing school of choice
- A 3.0 GPA or above
- GRE scores
- Transcripts from your undergraduate experience
- 2 or 3 recommendation letters
- An essay or personal statement on why you wish to pursue a career as a nursing practitioner
Some colleges and universities that offer the Direct Entry NP program may also require you to submit your transcripts as a show of proof that you completed the required prerequisite courses. These prerequisite courses may include biology, statistics, and human anatomy. That said, some programs will require students to finish these prerequisite courses along with other coursework.
It should be noted that while the Direct Entry NP program is a great choice for those students who hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, they will still have to complete certain courses depending on their undergraduate degree as a prerequisite for admission in a Direct Entry NP program.
Since some schools use “accelerated” and “Direct Entry” interchangeably when it comes to the context of advanced nursing programs, an “Accelerated” nursing program could mean already having an RN license to apply, so you will need to do some research to make sure you’re going for the right program.
Non-Nursing Bachelor’s Degree to BSN to MSN
The roadmap for all those who want to enter the nursing profession with a nursing degree is by going for a Direct Entry nursing practitioner program that can take around 16 to 18 months, which gets you a BSN and NCLEX (NCLEX-RN® exam), which is soon followed by the MSN, which will take another 16 to 18 months to complete. Overall, a Direct Entry nursing practitioner program typically takes around 36 months to complete for those who have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree.
Once you’ve completed the Direct Entry NP program, you will also need to pass the national certification program for qualification for advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) licensure.
Nurse practitioners are always in high demand in the US. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for nurse practitioners is only going to grow in the coming years. If you’re interested in joining a Direct Entry NP in a nursing school near you, then we’ve also compiled a list of the best choices for Direct Entry NP admissions right here.