How Can I Become a Nurse Practitioner in Washington?
Are you ready to work more closely with your patients, have a direct say in the care they receive, and take on primary care or acute care duties? Your nursing experience and education may have paved the way for nurse practitioner schooling.
In Washington, you can become a nurse practitioner with a Master’s degree or a doctoral degree. Though there are many similarities between these programs, there are several key differences that can help you choose the degree that’s right for you.
Whether you’re interested in FNP programs or other specialized nurse practitioner programs, you can get started now.
Get in touch with Washington nursing schools below to learn more.
Average Master’s Degree Requirements in Washington
- Credit hours required: 40 credits
- Average cost: $800 per credit hour
- Clinical hours required: 500 or more
- Timeframe: Two years
Average Doctoral Requirements in Washington
- Credit hours required: 80 credits
- Clinical hours required: 1,000 or more
- Timeframe: Four years
What Types of Nurse Practitioner Programs Are Available in Washington?
Either a Master’s degree or a doctoral degree can qualify you for licensure as an advanced practice registered nurse. It’s important to choose an accredited nurse practitioner program, since state licensing boards require graduation from an accredited program.
You may want to narrow down your list of potential schools by deciding which patient population you want to work with. Options vary between institutions, but common specialties include family care, adult care, gerontological care, psychiatric care, community health, and neonatal care.
Some courses, including those listed below, are required for all nurse practitioner students. They cover the core set of skills needed to work in advanced practice.
Common APRN Course Options in Washington
- Nursing Inquiry for Evidence-Based Practice
- Research in Advanced Nursing Practice
- Lifespan Physiology and Pathophysiology
- Clinical Reasoning and Assessment Across the Lifespan
- Advanced Pharmacology
- Child Care Management
- Adult Care Management
- Pediatric Pharmacology
- Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Practice Nursing
- Clinical Immersion
Your specialized courses set you apart from students in other areas of study. These courses should specifically relate to the patient population you have decided to work with.
Your clinical hours also relate directly to your chosen patient population. Online nurse practitioner programs have the same clinical requirements as conventional programs, so you may need to collaborate with your school and local healthcare institutions to get your required hours.
How Can I Pay for Nurse Practitioner School in Washington?
- Back to School Nursing Scholarship: Four times per year, BestNursingDegree.com awards scholarships of $2500 each to nursing students at different levels of education. Learn more and apply for the current scholarship cycle.
- NHSC Loan Repayment Program: If student loans are unavoidable during your undergraduate or graduate years, try to make headway on them with this program. Students selected for this program have up to $50,000 of loans repaid when they spent two years working at an NHSC-approved site.
- NURSE Corps Scholarship Program: In exchange for an upfront scholarship that may cover all of your educational expenses, you must agree to work in a Health Professional Shortage Area after graduation. The required commitment is two years.
- Washington State Nurses Foundation: As a registered nurse, you may already be a member of this group. Look into the multiple scholarships they award each year to RN and nurse practitioner students.
Licensing and Practice Requirements for NPs in Washington
After completing their nurse practitioner degrees, Washington students must pursue licensure through the Washington Nursing Commission. You may get your nurse practitioner license after supplying proof of your graduate degree and your national certification.
Washington allows nurse practitioners full freedom of practice by permitting them to work within their full scope of practice (AANP, 2016).
Nurse Practitioner Careers in Washington
No matter how long you’ve been a registered nurse, it can be a significant transition to move into a leadership role as a nurse practitioner. You can learn from other nurse practitioners and leaders to make this transition easier. Consider joining ARNPs United of Washington State to take advantage of networking resources.
Thanks to changes in healthcare across the country, the demand for nurse practitioners is high in Washington. By the year 2024, O*Net expects job openings to increase 28% in Washington (2016). Currently, the average salary for a Washington nurse practitioner is $103,910 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2016).
This is the time to invest in your future and find out what you can do with your nursing experience.
Get more information on nurse practitioner education by contacting Washington programs today.
We have provided a listing of all the NP programs in WA, as well as some featured programs that offer online classes. Obtaining information from many different schools is a good idea, as different programs have different requirements and focus tracks. Some of the top NP programs in Washington include:
- Pacific Lutheran University. Located in Tacoma, Pacific Lutheran University offers both a traditional MSN program and an entry-level MSN program. The entry-level program does not guarantee admission to the nurse practitioner track, but interested students may apply if space allows. Pacific Lutheran offers a Family Nurse Practitioner track.
- Seattle University. Seattle U offers a Primary Care Nurse Practitioner track that allows students to choose from four distinct specialties: Family Nurse Practitioner, Psychiatric Mental Health with an Addictions focus, Adult/Gerontological Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Midwifery. Family Nurse Practitioner students can elect to either write a thesis or complete a scholarly project as their capstone experience.
- Washington State University. Located in Vancouver, Washington, Washington State University has Master's-level NP programs including: a Family Nurse Practitioner track and a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program. The school is set to launch a DNP program in the fall of 2012.