How to Select the Best NP Programs with No GRE

For professionals who want to earn a lot of money in their career and enjoy their pick of jobs for decades to come, they should think about becoming a nurse practitioner and earning their Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) tells us just how wise of a career move becoming an NP is these days. BLS reports that the demand for nurse practitioners will increase by a shocking 35% by 2024, which is much, much faster than average when compared to other professions.

Growth in demand for NPs is happening for many reasons. More Americans have health insurance now, and this is increasing the need for health care services. Also, Americans are living much longer than decades ago and they want to live more active lives well into their 70s and beyond. This is greatly increasing the need for health care services too.

Also, there is a strong need to control health care costs across America today, and nurse practitioners can do most of the work that doctors do at ½ the cost. Most doctors’ offices today now have several NPs and/or physicians’ assistants who see patients as often as the doctors do. Research shows that NPs usually can provide the same level of care as regular doctors.

What You Can Do With a Nurse Practitioner Degree

All nurse practitioners must earn their Master of Science in Nursing to practice in this field. NPs serve as primary care health care providers under the supervision of a doctor. They deliver advanced nursing health care services to patients and families in all types of settings.

NPs play a vital role in assessing patient health, figuring out the best ways to improve patient health, and generally talk with patients and families about how to promote better health in their lives.

NPs offer direct care to people in all age groups, and they bring the medical knowledge that is needed for the diagnosing and treating of illnesses with the skills and values of the nursing profession. Most NPs are leaders, researchers and consultants who are able to incorporate new health care knowledge into their nursing practice. Most NPs also play an important role in community development and health policy development in their areas.

Their exact duties will vary somewhat on where they work, but you can expect to do physical examinations of patients, prescribe drugs, order and diagnose lab tests, and consult with other healthcare professionals to determine the best way to handle certain health issues.

The majority of NPs work in the following areas:

  • Adult and geriatric health
  • Pediatric health
  • Mental health
  • Neonate health
  • Primary care

Statistics show that 15% of NPs work in their own practices, and some states allow them to practice on their own without doctor supervision.

Online NP Degree Options


As you think about the above information, you can now evaluate some of the recommended online nurse practitioner degree programs with no GRE requirement:

#1 Duke University

Duke University offers one of the best online MSN degree programs in the country with no GRE requirement, and all of your classes can be taken online. However, there are several on campus intensive sessions during the 2.5 year program that you are required to attend.

Duke University offers several types of NP degree programs, depending on your interests:

For the family NP program, these are the required courses:

  • Nurse as Scholar I and II
  • Population Health in a Global Society
  • Professional Transitions: Advanced Nursing Practice
  • Advanced Physiology Across the Lifespan
  • Physical Assessment and Diagnostic Reasoning
  • Clinical Pharmacology
  • Advanced Practice Nursing in Primary Care
  • Advanced Practice Nursing Care in Older Adult Patients

More information:

  • Campus: Durham NC; online
  • Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition: $750 per credit hour
  • GRE/GMAT Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 36 months
  • On Campus Requirements: Yes
  • Programs Offered: MSN

#2 Drexel University

The accredited and fully online MSN FNP degree from Drexel University is designed for students who want to earn their MSN online and continue to work their part time job. This coursework is made to introduce you to primary care for individuals and family, from birth to death. The focus of the three year program is on acute and chronic illnesses.

Major focuses of study will be on clinical strategies and interventions; health maintenance; good health promotion; how to prevent disease, and common health issues that are seen the most in family medicine.

While most of your classes are online, you will need to schedule time to visit campus at least four times. You will have two on campus clinical orientations to ready you for your required clinical rotations, and also two other on campus intensives in your second and third years.

During the on campus intensive sessions, you will do simulated, clinical learning sessions that are done in the state of the art lab on campus.

Your required classes for graduation are:

  • NURS 500 Confronting Issues in Contemporary Health Care Environments
  • NURS 502 Advanced Ethical Decision Making in Health Care
  • NURS 544 Quality and Safety in Healthcare
  • RSCH 503 Research Methods and Biostatistics
  • RSCH 504 Evaluation and Translation of Health Research
  • NURS 548 Advanced Pathophysiology
  • NURS 549 Advanced Pharmacology
  • NURS 550 Advanced Clinical Assessment & Diagnostic Reasoning Across the Lifespan
  • NURS 556 Pharmacology for Family Nurse Practitioners
  • NURS 664 Professional Issues for Nurse Practitioners

More information:

  • Campus: Philadelphia PA; online
  • Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission
  • Tuition: $650 per credit hour
  • GRE/GMAT Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 36 months
  • On Campus Requirements: Yes
  • Programs Offered: MSN

#3 Chamberlain University

At Chamberlain University, you can earn your online MSN degree with no GRE requirement in as few as eight semesters. This program has 100% online classes, and the family nurse practitioner curriculum features theory and practical applications through simulations, clinical experiences, and online discussion.

This CCNE accredited program is good for working professionals because the classwork is all online and there are no set class times, and there also is no group work. You also can start the program at six convenient times per year.

After you finish your core classes, you will start your practicum. These are the classes where you start to apply your knowledge in the real world. These classes are very different because you have to practice your skills on real patients at your practicum site.

There are five courses in your practicum that total 625 hours. Each course has 125 practicum hours, and you have to complete each within seven weeks.

Your required core courses are:

  • NR-500 Foundational Concepts & Applications
  • NR-501 Theoretical Basis for Advanced Nursing Practice
  • NR-505 Advanced Research Methods: Evidence-Based Practice
  • NR-506 Healthcare Policy
  • NR-512 Fundamentals of Nursing Informatics

More information:

  • Campus: Downers Grove IL; online
  • Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $450 per credit hour
  • GRE/GMAT Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 30 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Programs Offered: MSN

#4 George Washington University

For professionals with a bachelor’s degree who want to learn additional nursing skills, you should consider the accredited program at George Washington University. This program offers three nurse practitioner tracks:

  • Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

This program recently was ranked as one of the best online NP programs in the country, according to US News and World Report.

The family NP program will prepare you as an RN to be a leader in primary care to families and individuals in all age groups. You will enjoy rigorous didactic and clinical experiences that will prepare you to be a highly competent and professional NP.

Your required classes:

  • NURS 6207: Evidence Based Practice for Health Care Researchers
  • NURS 6208: Biostatistics for Health Care Researchers
  • NURS 6233: Genetics for Healthcare Providers
  • NURS 6202: Concepts in Population Health
  • NURS 6203: Nursing Leadership
  • NURS 6205: Health Policy, Quality and Political Processes
  • NURS 6220: Advanced Physiology and Pathophysiology

More information:

  • Campus: Washington DC; online
  • Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Tuition: $870 per credit hour
  • GRE/GMAT Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 36 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Programs Offered: MSN

#5 University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati offers a primary care nurse practitioner program for RNs who want to continue to work for at least their first year in this 2.5 year program. All of the didactic classes are online and you need to complete your clinical practicum classes in your community under the supervision of your mentor and supervisor at the university.

Required classes include:

  • Theoretical Basis for Clinical Reasoning
  • Health Care Policy
  • Advanced Health Assessment
  • Pharmacology
  • Care of Well Women and Children
  • Differential Diagnosis
  • Practicum I and II

More information:

  • Campus: Cincinnati OH; online
  • Type: Non-Profit
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition: $460 per credit hour
  • GRE/GMAT Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 36 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Programs Offered: MSN


One of the most important parts of choosing an online nurse practitioner program with no GRE is ensuring that the university and program are properly accredited. You should be checking for accreditation from the US Department of Education for the university you are considering:

  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC-CIHE) Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)

Licensing and Certification

Once you have finished your NP program and have your master’s degree, you will need to pass your national certification exam for nurse practitioners to work in your state. To learn more, you should check with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.