Nurse Practitioners of New York

Becoming a Nurse Practitioner: Which NP Program is best for you?

Posted over 1 year ago

The Nurse Practitioner profession have been ranked 7th of twenty-five best jobs of 2019 by US News.  NPNY would like to offer some insight into early career decisions from one of our distinguished members. 


Becoming a Nurse Practitioner:  Which NP Program is best for you?


Career choices are often not an easy undertaking.  Deciding on a profession that is well-suited to one’s goals and aspirations can be a daunting task especially for young adults.   If one is interested in becoming a nurse practitioner (NP), understanding the various NP educational programs and the different paths to becoming a NP presents another major challenge.   

The NP profession consists of following specializations:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontological Nurse Practitioner
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner

Individuals who enter NP programs without being a registered nurse, may require more guidance, preferably from a practicing NP.  Meanwhile, registered nurses (RNs) who pursue a NP degree tend to follow the trajectory of their foundational nursing training and clinical experiences.   For example, pediatric nurses may select NP programs such as pediatric or neonatal, or family nurse practitioner programs because they are aligned with their clinical experiences.  Similarly, psychiatric nurses may want to become a psychiatric and mental health nurse practitioner.  When deciding which NP program to pursue, reflecting on one’s professional background, experience, and preferences is recommended.  Clinical specialty may be of utmost importance to some while others may prefer a specific clinical setting such as inpatient or ambulatory care.

Each NP role has a defined scope of practice and practicing NPs may want to expand their scope; thus, will seek a post master’s degree in that specialization.  For example, an adult NP may want to include the pediatric population in their practice. They can either become a family nurse practitioner or a pediatric nurse practitioner. NPs who want to work in a hospital setting, often become acute care NPs.

As you can see, there are many programs for nurses or individuals who want to become NPs. Deciding which NP role makes sense for you requires some investigation into the programs as well as meeting with NPs who are in the role you are considering.


Maria T. Brillant, MS, MA, RN, ANP, NEA-BC

Senior Director, Advanced Practice Nursing at NYU Langone Health