How to Become a Nurse Practitioner Without a Nursing Degree

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Nurse Practitioner: Possible Ways to Start a Career

To become a nurse practitioner without a nursing degree, you might become a registered nurse with a non-nursing bachelor’s diploma. Alternatively, you could enroll in a master of science nursing program. Acquiring real-life experience or getting a nurse practitioner certificate is also a solution. By the way, there’s also an option of obtaining an APRN license.

Enroll in an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing

The easiest way to start is to enroll in an ABSN program. This type of program is designed specifically for non-nursing bachelor’s graduates and those who have some college experience and want to change their career paths and start working as nurses. 

An ABSN program is a great education option that provides a blended learning curriculum, hands-on lab training, and clinical rotations to students with non-nursing college experience. It is possible to pursue such a program within 12-16 months, which is much faster than pursuing a BSN.

Pursue a Master of Science in Nursing Degree

The next step after pursuing an ABSN program is to earn an MSN degree. It is critical to becoming a nurse practitioner, as this profession requires comprehensive knowledge and skills that bachelor’s graduates don’t have. 

There is a wide range of nurse practitioner specializations, so before applying for a particular program, think about your career goals and what clinical or non-clinical area you want to work in.

Become a Registered Nurse to Gain Experience

Gaining some relevant clinical experience is the next step on your path to becoming an NP. Earning a master’s degree is not enough to become a nurse practitioner. Usually, it is required to have at least a year of post-graduate nursing experience before applying for an NP position. 

The easiest way to get that experience is to become a registered nurse. It is a great chance to apply your theoretical knowledge in practice, work with a team of professionals, and get a better idea of the real tasks, issues, and challenges at work.