Nurse Practitioner Residencies: A Look at Your Options

One of the biggest hurdles you will encounter as a nurse practitioner is your first few months of practice.  Moving from clinical hours in your NP program to real-life practice can be quite a shock.  The learning curve is steep, and it takes a few months before you begin to feel comfortable working as an NP.  A growing trend, completing a nurse practitioner residency, aims to smooth the transition from education to practice.

Nurse practitioner residency was first introduced in 2005.  Since then, a few residency opportunities have cropped up across the country.  If you are an NP student graduating soon, check out these residency opportunities to facilitate your transition to practice.

1. Midlevels for the Medically Underserved (MMU)

Launched in 2016, MidlevelU's residency-like program for nurse practitioners and physician assistants is off to a strong start. MMU matches NPs and PAs with facilities treating medically underserved populations across the country. These facilities help providers grow in confidence and competency as they transition from education to practice. 

2. Penobscot Community Health Center  Bangor, Maine

The Penobscot Community Health Center nurse practitioner residency program helps Family Nurse Practitioners make the transition from education to becoming a skilled primary care provider.  The clinic treats patients of all ages giving NP residents a well rounded experience. 

3. Lahey Hospital and Medical Center  Burlington, Massachusetts

Presented as a fellowship, rather than a residency, Lahey Hospital and Medical Center hosts a fellowship program for nurse practitioners interested in dermatology.  The program is a two-year  course including both coursework and clinical curriculum in a 40 hour-per-week residency style training designed to help NPs master the field of dermatology. 

4. Health Partners Institute for Research and Education  Bloomington, Minnesota

The Health Partners nurse practitioner residency is a 12-month program for the NP interested in psychiatry.  The program focuses on improving the nurse practitioner's ability to assess diagnose and treat psychiatric illness.  A generous stipend and benefits are also included.

5. Mayo Clinic  Rochester, Minnesota

The Mayo Clinic offers a wide variety of nurse practitioner residencies from psychiatric-mental health to neonatal.  The program only accepts students from certain universities so eligibility to the Mayo Clinic's residency program is limited. 

6. Mayo Clinic  Scottsdale, Arizona

The Mayo Clinic of Arizona offers a 12-month cardiology residency program for nurse practitioners.  The program allows NP program graduates to be more competitive in cardiology positions.  Two students are admitted to this competitive program each year. 

7. Community Health Centers  New Britain, Connecticut

America's first nurse practitioner residency, Community Health Centers facilitates the transition from education to practice for Family Nurse Practitioners.  The program prepares students to practice autonomously, expanding on knowledge gained in the nurse practitioner program.  The program is designed for students looking to work in medically underserved settings. 

8. University of California San Francisco 

The University of California San Francisco nurse practitioner residency is focused on primary care.  Throughout the residency, NP graduates advance their skills by working with disadvantaged adult populations.  The program lasts 12 months and accepts two students each year. 

9. Community Health Care  Tacoma, Washington

A primary care residency, the Community Health Care NP residency also offers specialty rotations each month to enhance the NP's knowledge.  The program is intensive requiring 40 hours each week but can lead to a full-time position working in the clinic including a sign-on bonus. 

10. Family Health Center  Worcester, Massachusetts

Since 2009, the Family Health Center has helped nurse practitioners in Massachusetts build on their skills post-graduation.  The program is primary care focused but offers weekly specialty clinic opportunities.  NP residents are expected to remain as providers working in the clinic for one year following the 12 month residency. 

11. Emory University  Atlanta, Georgia

Emory University's new nurse practitioner residency prepares NP graduates to work in the ICU.  The 12 month program teaches nurse practitioners to manage increasingly complex patients and is designed for providers with or without critical care experience. 

12. University of Maryland Medical Center  Baltimore, Maryland

The University of Maryland Medical Center offers a critical care nurse practitioner residency to new NP graduates as well as nurse practitioners new to critical care.  Students may choose either a critical care or trauma track and rotate through different settings depending on area of interest.  Applicants must be Acute Care Nurse Practitioner graduates. 

13. Santa Rosa Community Health Centers  Santa Rosa, California

Santa Rosa Community Health Center offers a primary care nurse practitioner residency in conjunction with Sonoma State University. Through the residency, students continue their family practice experience facilitating the transition to primary care provider. 

14. Johns Hopkins Medicine  Baltimore, Maryland

Johns Hopkins offers a unique nurse practitioner residency for students interested in gastroenterology and hepatology.  The program is integrated with the school of medicine so nurse practitioners as well as medical fellows receive similar training.  The program accepts both recent NP graduates and nurse practitioners looking to transition their careers to gastroenterology. 

15. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center  New York, New York

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center offers a one-year nurse practitioner residency to NPs interested in pain management and palliative care.  The program prepares NPs to sit for the advanced certification exam in palliative and hospice nursing through the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association.  A background in oncology is preferred. 

16. Carolinas Health Care System  Charlotte, North Carolina

The Carolinas Health Care System offers a wealth of both acute and primary care nurse practitioner residencies.  From urology and cardiology to pediatrics and internal medicine, these one-year programs help nurse practitioners transition into practice or change disciplines. 

17. St. Luke's University Health Network  Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

St. Luke's University Health Network provides a 15-month trauma and critical care residency to nurse practitioners.  The program includes a mix of didactic and clinical training.  It offers a wide range of experiences through fifteen, one-month rotations. 

18. Harvard Medical School  Boston, Massachusetts

Harvard Medical School offers a palliative care nurse practitioner residency on both adult and pediatric tracks.  The program prepares NPs for palliative care practice and utilizes multiple training sites. 

19. Carilion Clinic  Roanoke, Virginia

The Carilion Clinic Emergency Department offers a one-year residency program to nurse practitioners looking to work in emergency medicine.  The program is intensive and trains nurse practitioners through rotations in numerous subjects like trauma, opthalmology and orthopedics.  NP residents are full-time hospital employees eligible for benefits as well as paid vacation. 

20. MD Anderson Cancer Center  Houston, Texas

MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the top two cancer centers in the nation, offers a one-year residency for nurse practitioners interested in oncology.  The residency includes the entire spectrum of cancer care from prevention to end-of-life care.  

21. Capital Health  Trenton, New Jersey

Capital Health offers a one-year neuroscience nurse practitioner residency.  NP residents complete rotations in areas from neurosurgery to neurovascular neurosurgery and outpatient neurology.  The program accepts Acute Care, Adult and Family Nurse Practitioner program graduates. 

22. Houston Methodist  Houston, Texas

Houston Methodist offers nurse practitioner residency program in both transplants and neurosciences.  Both programs are 12-months in length and offer education in acute and ambulatory care settings. 

Are you considering a nurse practitioner residency?  Where will you apply?


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Any fellow programs in surrounding area of Dallas I am willing to drive one and half hours.


The NP residency programs out there are not enough to cater for the number of new graduate. I applied to a couple to them after completing my NP program and passing my boards but I did not get any of them although I was willing to relocate. I am an FNP and I wanted to work in the primary care setting but I ended up working in neurology because no practice was willing to hire me as a new graduate. It's a shame that NP's are not given the support they need after school in terms of adequate training compared to what the medical residents receive.


How could someone go about establishing a new new-grad residency for NPs? I would be up to the challenge of creating one! Any thoughts?

Mario Cendan

I think a residency program should be included in the np's curriculum.


Thank you Maddi, you hit the nail on the head; this NP program, I personally feel should be scrapped if not scrutinized for the poor quality training it provides to interested RNs. New NPs are not fully trained compare to other medical disciplines and there is no support when you start a new NP job. Clinical rotations are insufficient and less hands on. This is pathetic.


We need more NP residency programs but not just for new grads but it also needs to be offered to NP's who are already in practice in the acute care setting. I firmly believe that the majority of NP's who are practicing in acute care settings have not received appropriate training. Those of us who have many years In critical care as bedside nurses are often left behind because is the assumption that we have experience.y experience is that there is no one to train us. Itvis a constant battle with doctors to help educate us and our nursing administration just assumes that a warm body is a warm body. It is that ridiculous mentality that is part of the nursing tapestry. I am tired of all the opportunities being given to new people coming on board and those of us who are already in the trenches are forgotten about. We are usually given the responsibility of training others when we ourselves have never had appropriate training. Additionally we should not be part of any nursing department because we are treated as bedside nurses. My NP orientation consisted of being oriented with brand new graduate nurses. The orientation consisted how to draw blood, where to out EKG leads on a pt and so on and so forth. Despite my having near 20 years of working as an ICU nurse this is what my orientation was. My advice is that those who are in the drivers seat of our profession is to WAKE UP! Let's really start getting on board with training us in the medical model. Please let's fight to get more NP fellowships started for experienced as well as new NP's!
Thank You



Justin G

Those residencies in Houston look interesting. Would like to relocate in the near future!!