How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse Practitioner?

How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse Practitioner

Do you also want to know the time it takes to become a nurse practitioner? Are you also confused about whether you should choose a nursing practitioner career path or not? We will clear up all your doubts.

It takes 6 to 8 years to become a nurse practitioner. It is one of the best options if you cannot become a doctor but want to join the medical field. Job opportunities and salaries are continuously rising in this field. Let’s uncover more about it without waiting any further.

What is a Nurse practitioner?

Nurse practitioners are advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs) who hold specialized graduate degrees alongside practice. They are equipped to diagnose and treat various medical conditions, prescribe medications, and offer special care to patients.


Nurse practitioners can specialize in various subjects. Following are the most popular types of NP’s.

  • Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (AGNP)
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (PNP)
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (WHNP)
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP)
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (ACNP)
  • Neonatal Nurse Practitioner (NNP)
  • Oncology Nurse Practitioner (ONP)
  • Emergency Nurse Practitioner (ENP)
  • Gerontological Nurse Practitioner (GNP)


Here are the duties you need to perform while becoming a nurse practitioner. These may vary depending on your job and specialization.

  • Patient assessments
  • Diagnosing and treating illnesses
  • Ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests
  • Providing preventive care
  • Developing treatment plans
  • Managing chronic conditions
  • Prescribing medications
  • Collaborating with healthcare teams
  • Conducting health education
  • Performing physical examinations

Estimated Time to Be a Nurse Practitioner

It takes around 6 to 8 years to become a nurse practitioner. You first spend 4 years as a bachelor and then become a registered nurse. After that, I will have 2 years to graduate and then get my license. This whole process can take up to 6 years as a whole.

Moreover, different factors can influence your decision to become a nurse. Like if you have already done an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or are doing nursing in an accelerated program. Let’s check out the steps to becoming a nurse practitioner in detail.

How Do You Become a Nurse Practitioner?

Becoming a nurse practitioner is a combination of both study and experience. Below, we share the steps you need to go through to become a nurse. Let’s’ check them out in detail.

Get a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step in becoming a nurse is to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. It is the foundational education that provides the necessary knowledge and skills to pursue a career in nursing. You can apply for this degree from a non-nursing program as well.

Become an Rn

The second step is to become a registered nurse. You can do so by passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become a licensed registered nurse (RN). Then you gain practical experience through working in the field.

Obtain a Graduate Degree in Nursing

The third step in becoming a nurse practitioner is pursuing a graduate degree in nursing. Most NPs hold either a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. It specializes in a specific area of healthcare that aligns with your interests and career goals.

Get Licensed

After completing your graduate program, you need to obtain nurse practitioner licensure by passing the appropriate certification exams. Licensing requirements vary by state. So familiarize yourself with the regulations in the state where you intend to practice.

Job Outlook and Estimated Salary of a Np

The demand for nurse practitioners is on the rise. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), demand will increase by 40% from 2021 to 2031. It is driven by the increasing need for primary care providers and the expanding scope of practice for NPs. 

Job opportunities exist in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, and private practices. The estimated annual salary for nurse practitioners is between $114,558 and $134,118. It is increasing day by day due to the rising need for nurse practitioners.

Final Words

It takes around 6 to 8 years to become a nurse practitioner. Becoming a nurse practitioner is a fulfilling and challenging journey that requires dedication, continuous learning, and a passion for patient care. The multiple specializations within the NP field allow individuals to join multiple career paths.

It is an amazing profession due to the rising job opportunities. Moreover, due to the high demand for nurse practitioners, salaries are also rising continuously in this field.

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