Washington state has over 2530 licensed nurse practitioners who earn a mean salary of $95,260 annually, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012). Demand for nurse practitioners in Washington is likely to increase in the coming years, as access to services expands. It is anticipated that patient loads will grow as a result of healthcare reform, including the individual mandate that takes effect in January 2014. As a result, more primary care providers could be needed, including Nurse Practitioners. Earning your NP degree now is a great way to stay abreast of these changes, and to build upon your nursing skills and knowledge.
Nurse practitioners in Washington have a large degree of professional autonomy. A collaborative practice agreement with a physician is not required to diagnose and treat patients, nor to prescribe medication. The professional organization for NPs (and all advanced practice nurses) in Washington is APRNs United of Washington State, which is a great resource to contact as you expand your nursing career.
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.