“The extra in-the-trenches learning of a residency not only solidifies skills, but also acts as a testing ground for future work experience. We want to be able to groom the next generation of nurse practitioners to be not only well-prepared clinicians, but well-prepared to work in these types of clinical environments….we want to be able to ensure we have clinicians who have this passion, as well as preparation.”
– Anne Saxe, Professor in UCSF’s School of Nursing, quoted in “Are Residencies the Future of Nurse Practitioner Training?”, UCSF’s Science of Caring, 2013
In 2007, the first advanced practice nursing residency program was introduced in Connecticut. Since then, APRN residency and fellowship programs have spread across the US, with residencies and fellowships now available in most states. The largest fellowship to date is housed at the Center for Advanced Practice at Carolinas Healthcare System in North Carolina, which accommodates 68 fellows at any given time.
While some providers (such as the Department of Veteran Affairs) still use the term “residency” to describe post-graduate, on-the-job training for advanced practice nurses, the National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties (NONPF) and the American Nurses Association (ANA) released a statement along with several other national nursing organizations saying that the term “residency” can be a bit off the mark in describing NP post-graduate mentoring experience and has the potential to be confused with medical residencies, which are a standard licensing requirement for physicians. (Med Page Today, “War of Words for NPs: ‘Fellowship’ or ‘Residency’?”, 2016).
In general, a residency has been the term used for programs designed to advance knowledge in a clinical practice specialty, while a fellowship focuses on a subspecialty. This is less often the case now as professional associations and advocacy groups like NONPF and ANA embrace the term fellowship for all paid post-graduate mentored experience opportunities.
Regardless of terminology, both residencies and fellowships refer to voluntary post-graduate positions through which advanced practice nurses shadow other healthcare providers in order to earn critical, on-the-job experience.
Fellowships Prepare NPs to Serve as Primary Care Providers
As the healthcare landscape shifts and advanced practice nurses gain more responsibility as primary care providers, residency/fellowship programs are expected to continue growing in popularity. Over the past several years, the US has experienced an extreme shortage of primary care physicians—and the shortage is only expected to continue over the next decade, according to research published by the Association of American Medical Colleges (Association of American Medical Colleges, “New Research Confirms Looming Physician Shortage”, 2016).
Because of this shortage, nurse practitioners are increasingly needed to take on primary care roles, especially as the scope of practice has expanded to include prescriptive authority in many states. In 2012, around 60,400 NPs were recorded as primary care practitioners throughout the US, especially in rural areas. NPs have been recognized as particularly important for uninsured patients that need better access to affordable preventative care, an issue that may become even more pressing as the Trump administration rolls out plans for repealing the Affordable Care Act.
According to the 2015 article “Tapping Nurse Practitioners to Meet Rising Demand for Primary Care,” NPs can manage between 80-90% of care typically associated with primary care physicians. To build the case further for NPs as primary care providers, research shows outcomes and patient satisfaction, are virtually identical between patients that see NPs versus those that visit physicians exclusively.
Increased Funding Could Help Create More Fellowship Opportunities for Nurse Practitioners
Currently, most nurse fellowship programs are internally funded, but legislation has been proposed to allocate federal funds to nurse fellowships just as is traditionally done for physician residencies. In addition, during September 2010-2013, the Health Resources and Services Administration funded three nurse practitioner residency programs through federal grants (MedPage Today, “For NPs, Residency Programs Gain Favor,” 2016). As the conversation continues and fellowships become more common among advanced practice nurses, legislation is expected to accommodate federal funding for nurses hoping to gain on-the-job training.
While physician residencies are mandatory, advanced practice nurse fellowships are voluntary, begging the question of whether such programs justify the expense. However, according to a 2016 survey of nurse practitioners enrolled in post-graduate fellowship programs published in the Journal for Nurse Practitioners, post-graduate training and mentored experience can contribute to a higher level of job satisfaction among NPs.
In addition, though pay is lower than it would be for a full-time position, most fellows receive benefits similar to those of fulltime staff and are paid 60% of the going salary.
NP Residency Programs by State
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
Nurse Practitioner Fellowship Programs by State – 2017
Here at GraduateNursingEDU.org, we recognized a need for a central resource for nurse practitioners interested in finding out more about fellowship programs in their area. We made every effort to put all fellowship opportunities in one place, though others may be available. Since the fellowship is still emerging as a recognized and widely available opportunity for NPs and other advanced practice RNs to learn through mentorship while making the transition from their graduate program to the clinic, there are few resources for finding them, and currently no centralized hub or database. Though we pulled out all the stops in performing an extensive search, others may be available and we cannot guarantee this is an exhaustive list.
The following list of nurse practitioner residency/fellowship programs were available as of February 2017:
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in Alabama at this time.
- Nurses Diversified Systems Inc.—Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Residency for Advanced Practice Registered Nurses
- Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences–Cardiology Nurse Practitioner Fellowship
- University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine—Nurse Practitioner Fellowship/Certified Nurse Midwife Fellowship/Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Fellowship
- Barrow Neurological Institute—Advanced Practice Neuroscience Nursing Fellowship
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in Arkansas at this time.
- Glide Health Services—Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Residency Program
- University of California San Francisco—Surgical and Critical Care Nurse Practitioner Fellowship
- University of California San Francisco—Diabetes Fellowship Program for Advanced Practice Nurses
- Santa Rosa Community Health Centers—Family Nurse Practitioner Residency
- San Francisco VA Health Care System—Nurse Practitioner Residency
- Shasta Community Health Center—Nurse Practitioner Post Graduate Fellowship Program (Rotations in Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Psychiatry, and Urgent Care)
- University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus—Advanced Practice Fellowship Nurse Practitioners
- Colorado Center for Nursing Excellence—APRN Rural Fellowship
- University of Colorado School of Medicine—Advanced Practice Provider Fellowship—Clinical Care Emergency Department for Nurse Practitioners
- Community Health Centers—Family Nurse Practitioner Residency Program
District of Columbia
- GW School of Medicine & Health Sciences—The Jane R. Perlman Nurse Practitioner Fellowship in Emergency Medicine
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in Delaware at this time.
- University of Miami Miller School of Medicine—Oncology Fellowship Program for Nurse Practitioners
- Jackson Medical Center Residency and Fellowship Programs—Acute Care Adult NP Residency Program
- Emory Woodruff Health Sciences Center—Nurse Practitioner Post Graduate Residency Emory Critical Care Center
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in Hawaii at this time.
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in Idaho at this time.
- North Shore University Health System—Jane R. Perlman Nurse Practitioner Fellowship in Emergency Medicine
- American Association of Nurse Anesthetists—Advanced Pain Management Fellowship Program for Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists
- Health Linc—Family Nurse Practitioner Residency Program
- University of Iowa Health Care—Nurse Residency Program/ Nurse Residency Transition Program
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in Kansas at this time.
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in Kentucky at this time.
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in Louisiana at this time.
- Penobscot Community Health Care—Nurse Practitioner Residency Program
- University of Maryland Medical Center—Post-Graduate Critical Care Surgery Fellowship for Nurse Practitioners
- Johns Hopkins Medicine—Gastroenterology and Hepatology Fellowship for Nurse Practitioners
- Indian Health Service—HIS Nurse Residency Program for Nurse Midwives, Nurse Anesthetists, and Nurse Practitioners
- Boston Children’s Hospital—Pediatric Health Services Research Fellowship Program
- Boston Children’s Hospital—Palliative Care Fellowship for Nurse Practitioners
- Harvard Medical School—Palliative Care Fellowship Nurse Practitioner
- Massachusetts General Hospital—Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner Fellowship
- Lahey Hospital & Medical Center—Nurse Practitioner Fellowship in Dermatology
- Dana-Farber Cancer Institute—Clinical Fellow Nurse Practitioner in Adult Palliative Care
- Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center—Advanced Practice Nursing Fellowships Available in Cardiovascular; Clinical Informatics; Endocrinology; Gastroenterology; General Medicine; Gerontology; Global Health; Hospice Care & Palliative Medicine; Hematology/Oncology; Infectious Diseases; Nephrology; Pulmonary, Critical Care, & Sleep Medicine; Rheumatology
- Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates—Behavioral Health Fellowship Program for Master’s-Prepared Psychiatric Nurses
- Family Health Center of Worcester—Family Nurse Practitioner Residency
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in Michigan at this time.
- Mayo Clinic—Nurse Practitioner Emergency Medicine Fellowship
- Mayo Clinic—Nurse Practitioner Clinical Residency Program
- Mayo Clinic—Nurse Practitioner Clinical Residency Acute Care Program
- Health Partners Institute—Psychiatry Nurse Practitioner Fellowship Program
- North Mississippi Medical Center—Advanced Practice Clinician Fellowship
- Children’s Mercy Kansas City—Pediatric Hematology Oncology Fellowship for Advanced Practice Nurses
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in Montana at this time.
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in Nebraska at this time.
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in Nevada at this time.
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in New Hampshire at this time.
- Capital Health—Neuroscience Nurse Practitioner Fellowship
- Rutgers Cancer Institute—Oncology Nursing Fellowship Program
- Children’s Specialized Hospital—Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics Fellowship Training Program for Master’s-Prepared Nurses
- Children’s Specialized Hospital—Pediatric Rehabilitation Fellowship for Master’s-Prepared Nurses
- Children’s Specialized Hospital—Advanced Practice Nursing Clinical Fellowship in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics for Master’s-Prepared Nurses
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in New Mexico at this time.
- University of Rochester Medical Center—Fellowship Program for Nurse Practitioners in Emergency Medicine
- Columbia University Medical Center—Critical Care Nurse Practitioner Program
- Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center—Pain and Palliative Care Nursing Fellowship
- New York Presbyterian—Post-Graduate Residency Program for Nurse Practitioners
- Columbia University Department of Medicine—Fellowship in Hospice & Palliative Medicine for Nurse Practitioners
- James J. Peters VA Medical Center—Palliative Care Fellowship Program for Advanced Practice Nurses
- Duke University School of Nursing—Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Post-Master’s Veteran’s Experience
- Duke University School of Nursing—Post-Graduate AGNP Residency Specializing in Primary Care for Veterans
- Duke University School of Medicine—Advanced Practice Provider Post-Graduate Residency in Neurology for Nurse Practitioners
- Carolinas Health Care System—Advanced Practitioner Fellowship in Urology
- Carolinas Health Care System—Palliative Care Medicine Fellowship for Nurse Practitioners
- Carolinas Health Care System—Surgical Critical Care Fellowship for Nurse Practitioners
- Carolinas Health Care System—Behavioral Health Fellowship for Nurse Practitioners
- Carolinas Health Care System—Advanced Clinical Practitioner Family Medicine Fellowship program
- Carolinas Health Care System—Pediatric Medicine Nurse Practitioner Fellowship
- Carolinas Health Care System—Adult Cardiology Fellowship for Advanced Clinical Providers
- Carolinas Health Care System—Geriatric Nurse Practitioner Fellowship
- Carolinas Health Care System—Emergency Medicine Fellowship for Nurse Practitioners
- Carolinas Health Care System—Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Fellowship
- University of North Carolina—Orthopaedic NP Fellowship Program
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in North Dakota at this time.
- Cleveland Clinic—Advanced Practice Nurse Surgical Wound & Reconstruction Post Graduate Transition Fellowship
- Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center—Advanced Practice Provider Fellowship Program
- Ohio State Wexner Medical—Postgraduate Fellowships for Advanced Practice Nurses (Cardiology, Critical Care, Oncology, Primary Care)
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in Oklahoma at this time.
- Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic—Family Nurse Practitioner Residency Program
- Luke’s Hospital Network—Critical Care & Emergency Medicine Advanced Nurse Practitioner Fellowship
- Penn State Medicine—Critical Care Fellowship/Oncology Fellowship
- University of Pittsburgh School of Health Sciences—Advanced Practice Provider Surgery Residency Program for Nurse Practitioners
- Penn State Health—Advanced Practice Clinician Fellow in Emergency Medicine for Nurse Practitioners
- University of Pittsburgh Medical Center—Critical Care Advanced Practice Provider Residency for Certified Registered Nurse Practitioners
- Brown Alpert Medical School—Emergency Medicine Physician Extender Development Program
- Lexington Medical Center—APRN Fellowship Program for Nurse Practitioners (Rotations in Cardiology, Endocrinology, Rheumatology, Gynecology, Rural health, Pediatrics, Pulmonary, Radiology, Orthopaedics, Urgent care, Occupational Health, and Gastroenterology).
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in South Dakota at this time.
- Jude Children’s Research Hospital—Robbie Simpson Fellowship for the Advanced Practice Nurse in Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
- Vanderbilt School of Nursing—VA National Quality Scholars Fellowship Pre-Doctoral/Post-Doctoral Nursing Fellowship Position
- Vanderbilt School of Nursing—Doctor of Nursing Practice Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Intensivist Fellowship Program
- Vanderbilt School of Nursing—Doctor of Nursing Practice Genetics Fellowship for Family Nurse Practitioners
- MD Anderson Cancer Center—Post Graduate Fellowship in Oncology Nursing (Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner)
- MD Anderson Cancer Center—Advanced Practice Registered Nurse Fellowship for Clinical Nurse Specialists or Nurse Practitioners
- Houston Methodist—Nurse Practitioner Residency Program in Transplants/Nurse Practitioner Residency Program in Neurosciences
- Texas Children’s Hospital—Hematology-Oncology and Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation Training and Fellowship for Pediatric Nurse Practitioners or Family Nurse Practitioners
- UT Southwestern Medical Center—Postgraduate Advanced Practice Provider Emergency Medicine Fellowship
- University of Utah College of Nursing—Veterans Affairs Medical Center Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Residency Program
- Intermountain Medical Center—Trauma and Critical Care Postgraduate Fellowship for Advanced Practice Clinicians (Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants)
- University of Vermont—Palliative Care APRN Fellowship for Advanced Practice Nurses and Clinical Nurse Fellowships
- AASLD—Nurse Practitioner Clinical Hepatology Fellowship
- Carillion Clinic—Advanced ACP Fellowship in Urgent Care and Rural Health for Nurse Practitioners
- Carillion Clinic—Orthopaedic Surgery ACP Fellowship for Nurse Practitioners
- Community Health Care Family Nurse Practitioner Residency
- Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic Family Nurse Practitioner Residency Program
- International Community Health Services—Family Nurse Practitioner Residency Program
- Seattle Children’s Hospital—APP Fellowship for Pediatric or Family Nurse Practitioners (Urgent Care/ED focus available)
- Virginia Mason Medical Center—Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner in Hospital Medicine
- Swedish Health Network—ARNP Gastroenterology Fellowship
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in West Virginia at this time.
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in Wisconsin at this time.
We were unable to locate any nurse practitioner fellowship opportunities in Wyoming at this time.