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Interested in becoming a nurse practitioner but already have your degree in something else? You can

columbia nursing

You have completed or on your way to completing a BS/BA degree. You’ve done some research about the nurse practitioner role and find it to be your calling! What now???

Here are some options you can take if NP is your overall goal:

  1. Attend a four-year university graduating with a Bachelor in Non-nursing (plus taking all the nursing prerequisites) then...

  • ​​You can first attend an Accelerated Bachelor of Nursing (ABSN) program to obtain your BSN, eligible to take NCLEX and become RN licensed (about 1-1.2 years)

  • Then next attend a Master's nursing program (the kinds that accept students with a BSN) where you will choose a specialty -- these programs grant NP licensure (about 1.5-2years)((There are some programs out there that have joint ABSN + MSN programs so that you can get all the schooling done, get the degrees you need, and then work as a NP at the end. Schools like Emory University and UPenn have this joint option))

  • You can also go on to obtain the Doctorate in the future if that is something you would like to pursue. If you would like me to go into more of what the Doctorate entails and what things you would be able to do in the future with a Doctorate, leave me a comment!

  1. Attend a four-year university graduating with a Bachelor in Non-nursing (plus taking all the nursing prerequisites) then...

  • Attend a direct entry master's in nursing program (often called direct entry master's in nursing, or master's entry in nursing programs -- these MSN programs are for those with non-nursing majors) -- these programs CAN grant NP certificate (Columbia University does not. They require that you go on to the Doctorate in order to obtain NP licensure)

  • ^^^ direct entry master's programs that grant NP licensure at the end are like MGH Institute, UCSF, and some other programs

  • For Columbia, after receiving Master's, you will go on to obtaining DNP degree in order to obtain NP licensure

Here are pre-requisite courses I took during my senior year of college and the year after college while applying to schools (yes, you can apply to programs while still finishing up pre-req classes as long as they are completed before the start of the program) -->

  • English Composition or a course listed as Writing Intensive

  • Psychology (Intro, Developmental, or Life Span)

  • Statistics completed (some schools may require to have taken this within the past 5 years)

  • Human Anatomy or Human Anatomy & Physio I (some may or may not require lab component)

  • Human Physiology or Human Anatomy & Physio II (some may or may not require lab component)

  • Microbiology (some may or may not require lab)

  • Nutrition

  • Always make sure which courses are required for each program as they can all differ!

I hope this clears some things up! But as always, make sure to do your research at each program before deciding to apply to them. Each program is unique (which makes it all the more confusing!) in what their requirements are if you decide to apply after a four year non-nursing degree. Each school also grants different degrees and licensure at the end, so it's important to research those.

Here are some helpful links:

Please let me know if there is anything you need me to clear up for you in the comments section! Best of luck in your journeys!



P.S. Follow my on Instagram @meagzmeagz for an insight to my life in NYC as a FNP student!

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