How Can I Become a Nurse Practitioner in Delaware?
With highly populated cities and clusters of rural communities that rely on city healthcare providers, Delaware relies on healthcare professionals who can provide primary care services to people with diverse health needs. Nurse practitioners are an important part of healthcare teams throughout the state, seamlessly blending the personalized nature of nursing care with the efficiency and in-depth knowledge of physicians.
You should be ready to pursue graduate-level education if this is one of your career goals. Delaware schools give you the chance to earn a Master’s nurse practitioner degree or a doctorate degree, which have significantly different degree requirements.
Master’s Nurse Practitioner Degree Average Requirements
- Credit hours required: 48 credits
- Average cost: $1625 per credit hour
- Clinical hours required: 500 or more hours
- Timeframe: 3 to 5 semesters
Doctoral programs require about twice the credits of the average Master’s degree program. You may move right into a doctorate with a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, but you may also go into a doctoral program after earning a Master’s degree.
Doctoral Nurse Practitioner Schooling Average Requirements
- Credit hours required: 40 to 50 after a Master’s degree
- Clinical hours required: At least 1,000 hours, including hours completed in a Master’s degree program
- Timeframe: 3 to 4 years after finishing a Master’s degree
Ready to build on your nursing experience and knowledge? Use our comprehensive list of Delaware nurse practitioner programs below to contact local options.
What Types of Nurse Practitioner Programs Are Available in Delaware?
Regardless of whether you earn a Master’s degree or a doctoral degree, you must be trained to work with a clearly-defined population. In the state of Delaware, schools offer concentrations like psychiatric-mental health care, adult care, adult-gerontological care, and family care. Certain specialties may require more credits than others. For example, psychiatric-mental health nursing is a huge area of medical knowledge that requires knowledge of child, adult, and family psychology.
Coursework is set up to combine hands-on nursing skills and academic theory. If you earn a doctorate, you complete courses at the Master’s degree level and additional coursework in research and advanced theory. Looking into curricular requirements may help you select from a list of schools.
Examples of Master’s Degree Courses
- Advanced Adult Health Assessment
- Primary Care
- Acute and Chronic Care of Adults
- Advanced Geriatric Assessment and Health Promotion
- Evidence-Based Practice in the Health Professions
- Politics and Policy in the Healthcare System
- Teaching and Learning in Nursing
Commonly Required Doctoral Nursing Courses
- Responsible Conduct of Research
- Advanced Quantitative Research in Nursing Science
- Advanced Qualitative Research in Nursing Science
- Philosophical and Theoretical Basis of Nursing Science
As a doctoral student, you may take on additional responsibilities. Doctoral students are often assigned to teach undergraduate nursing courses and work on faculty research studies. Schools may award funding to doctoral students in exchange for the time they put in each semester. Funding packages generally include a monthly stipend in addition to full or partial tuition.
How Can I Pay for Nurse Practitioner School in Delaware?
If you’re employed as a registered nurse, you may bring great value to your place of employment as a nurse practitioner. For that reason, you may qualify for loan assistance and reimbursement programs through your company. There are many other state and federal options to consider.
Financial Aid for Nurse Practitioner and FNP Programs
- BestNursingDegree.com Scholarships: $2,500 scholarships are awarded four times throughout the year. Check out what’s available during this application cycle.
- NURSE Corps Scholarship Program: Students selected for this program receive a sizable scholarship to advance their nursing education. Upon graduation, you must spend two years working in a Health Professional Shortage Area.
- NHSC Loan Repayment Program: This program runs in almost the exact same way as the NURSE Corps Scholarship Program. However, selected students are rewarded with loan repayment after their service, rather than a scholarship.
- Delaware State Loan Repayment Program: If you are willing to work anywhere in Delaware, look into this program. If you agree to a two-year commitment at an approved site in Delaware, you may receive up to $35,000 in loan forgiveness funds.
Licensing and Practice Requirements for NPs in DE
Your education is the most time-consuming part of becoming a nurse practitioner. After you graduate, you can apply for licensure as a nurse practitioner. To get your license, you must supply proof of adequate experience and education to the Delaware Division of Professional Regulation. You need to have graduated within the last two years from an approved program, have 600 years of nurse practitioner experience over the last two years, or 1500 hours of experience in the last four years. When you start, you need a collaborative agreement with a physician if you have less than two years of experience or fewer than 4,000 hours of experience. Due to these restrictions, the American Association of Nurse Practitioners reports that NPs in Delaware have reduced freedom to practice.
Nurse Practitioner Careers in Delaware
Your clinical rotations should prepare you for the nurse practitioner workforce. Both online nurse practitioner programs and traditional programs should assign you to a variety of local employment settings. Your options depend on your area of specialty. Psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners may work for counseling centers, primary care clinics, emergent mental health care centers, and government social service agencies. Those in other specialties often work at public or private clinics, urgent care centers, and hospitals.
The nursing landscape of Delaware mirrors what is being reported in other parts of the country. The demand for nurse practitioners is expected to increase a staggering 32% between 2012 and 2022 (O*Net, 2016). The average income for a Delaware nurse practitioner is $101,440 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016). Due to practice restrictions in Delaware, owning a nurse-run clinic may not be possible until you have completed your required collaborative period.
Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare industry, providing evidence-based care to patients in a personalized, meaningful way. Learn more about how you can work toward nurse practitioner licensure by reaching out to Delaware nurse practitioner programs.