Rankings Methodology

Last Updated/Verified: Feb 27, 2024

Part of our mission to advance the nursing profession involves helping prospective students find the right educational program. With this in mind, we have studied and analyzed online nurse practitioner programs across the country to find out what makes them stand out.


We’ve created our rankings methodology by building a database of online nurse practitioner programs of all degree levels and specializations across the entire U.S., through various means, including making a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.

Once this data was obtained, we filtered out the programs that had:

  • Programs with no enrollment information via IPEDS
  • Programs that have closed or will be closing at the time of data collection

Once non-qualifying programs have been filtered, our rankings process utilizes a “points” system based on the following factors:

  1. The diversity of nurse practitioner programs offered
  2. Accreditation status
  3. Years of experience/tenure of faculty
  4. Annual tuition/fees in relation to the local cost of living
  5. The size of the institution’s nursing department
  6. Acceptance rate & competitiveness of the institution
  7. Graduation/completion rate

Once all the points have been tallied, we rank the schools from highest to lowest total points.

Data Sources Utilized

  • U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Postsecondary Education (OPE)
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS)
  • The Council for Community and Economic Research
  • National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

Concerns, Questions, and Corrections

We understand there can be many considerations involved in deciding which school best supports students on their path to becoming nurse practitioners. Our program rankings are provided as a tool for nurses considering advanced education, and are designed to be used in addition to other factors to find the right school.

Please send comments, questions, or corrections to us via our contact form

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