Guide to Nurse Practitioner Fellowships & Residencies (2021)

The rise of nurse practitioner fellowships and residencies is both a signal and a cause of the profession’s continued growth.

While not a requirement in order to practice, fellowships and residencies provide a nurse practitioner the opportunity to bridge educational knowledge with hands-on experience. Often, the first few months out of school and in the workforce are the most difficult for a nurse practitioner, who in some settings may be expected to perform as many as 80 percent of the same duties a physician would. Fellowships and residencies smooth the transition, offering extra hands-on experience and allowing for further specialization.

Fellowships and residencies primarily consist of semi-supervised clinical hours with a specific educational focus. A long-serving part in the physician education pipeline, the residency and fellowship system is relatively new to the nurse practitioner profession. For physicians, medical school is followed by a residency, which is then followed by a fellowship. But for nurse practitioners, the choice is optional, and usually results in attending either a residency or a fellowship, not both.

A residency is generally a post-graduate program in a major field, such as primary care, while a fellowship is a post-graduate program in a sub-specialty, such as gastroenterology. Housed within a healthcare setting, and most commonly within a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), residencies are often broken into two parts: a didactic curriculum and hands-on practice. Rotations in a specialty area may be included as well.

Choosing which fellowship or residency to attend is a personal decision, as is choosing whether to attend at all. Fellowships and residencies are almost always paid positions and come with typical employee benefits, but sometimes these are not at the same level as what an independent nurse practitioner would receive. Candidates will have to weigh the benefits of added clinical knowledge and a supportive practice environment against a slightly reduced salary and a less flexible setting.

But those nurse practitioners who complete fellowships and residencies will see their skill sets, as well as their career options, objectively improve.

Applying for Nurse Practitioner Fellowships & Residencies

Nurse practitioner fellowship and residency programs generally look for candidates who have completed their education less than 12-18 months prior to enrollment. The application cycle typically mirrors the academic calendar, with applications opening in January for a September start date.

Each fellowship or residency will have different application and admission requirements, but some commonalities do exist. Candidates will generally need to provide: a resume; an application form; letter(s) of recommendation; a personal statement and/or essay(s); and certification and/or licensure eligibility.

Nurse Practitioner Fellowships & Residencies in Primary Care

University of Rochester – Highland Family Medicine

University of Rochester’s Nurse Practitioner Residency Program provides Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) graduates with the training they need to provide high quality, cost-effective, family-centered patient care to a diverse and complex population. In addition to work at preceptor continuity clinics, residents will perform specialty rotations that may include: pediatrics; geriatrics; urology; women’s health; oncology; pain management; and immunology.

  • Location: Rochester, NY
  • Duration: 13 months
  • Application Deadline: January 1, 2021 (estimated)
  • Compensation: Salary and benefits

Family Health Center of Worcester

The Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) residency program at Family Health Center of Worcester is an intense clinical program that prepares FNPs to meet the needs of a culturally diverse and clinical complex patient population.

Within a family practice model, residents will be exposed to a wide range of health services, including chronic disease management; medication-assisted treatment; integrated behavioral healthcare; LGBTQ+ care; global health; and HIV services.

  • Location: Worcester, MA
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Application Deadline: February 28, 2021 (estimated)
  • Compensation: Salary plus benefits

Community Health Care

Community Health Care’s Family Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) Residency first launched in the fall of 2012. Each year, the program’s two residents will rotate between five clinic locations, and work with an interdisciplinary faculty that focuses on family medicine, OBGYN, and pediatrics in an FQHC setting. Internal and external specialty rotations include topics such as psychiatry, cardiology, dermatology, internal medicine, urgent care, and more.

  • Location: Tacoma, WA
  • Duration: 13 months
  • Application Deadline: March 5, 2021
  • Compensation: Salary plus benefits

Community Health Center

The Family Nurse Practitioner Residency Program at Community Health Center (CHC) is designed to integrate nurse practitioners into the CHC model of care. The cornerstone of the program is in precepted continuity clinics, where residents will develop their own patient panel, under the guidance of a preceptor.

Month-long specialty rotations include adult behavioral health; child and adolescent behavioral health; dermatology; geriatrics; and pediatrics. Upon completion of the program, residents are expected to commit to an additional year of employment with CHC.

  • Location: Middletown, CT
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Application Deadline: March 15, 2021
  • Compensation: Salary plus benefits

Atrium Health Center for Advanced Practice

Atrium Health’s Center for Advanced Practice (CAP) hosts the Advanced Practice Provider Fellowship for both freshly graduated NPs who want additional experience and seasoned NPs who want to transition into a new specialty. Each fellow will perform specialty and elective rotations, and receive procedural-based training from an established network of providers. The primary care has four possible tracks: family medicine; rural family medicine; urgent care; and rural urgent care.

  • Location: Charlotte, NC
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Application Deadline: March 15, 2021
  • Compensation: Stipend plus benefits

Nurse Practitioner Fellowships & Residencies in Acute Care

Atrium Health Center for Advanced Practice

Atrium Health’s Center for Advanced Practice has an acute care fellowship program that allows NPs to develop the knowledge and experience needed to perform life-saving procedures in high-acuity patient populations.

The curriculum is focused on the most common areas of difficulty for NPs making the transition from education to practice, while also allowing fellows to develop specialty-specific skills. Acute care tracks include cardiology; emergency medicine; and palliative care.

  • Location: Charlotte, NC
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Application Deadline: March 15, 2021
  • Compensation: Stipend plus benefits

Columbia University

The Columbia NP Fellowship Program is for new and experienced acute care NPs looking to develop their skill set in critical care medicine. Located in Manhattan, the program offers a unique exposure to a diverse and medically complex patient population that experiences a wide range of critical care issues.

Fellows will engage in team-based clinical management of complex ICU patients, work with the application and management of ECMO for respiratory failure, participate in rapid response teams, and receive training in complex invasive procedures.

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Application Deadline: August 21, 2021 (estimated)
  • Compensation: Stipend and benefits

Nurse Practitioner Fellowships & Residencies in Emergency Care

Emory Critical Care Center

The Emory Critical Care Center Post-Graduate Residency is designed to prepare acute care nurse practitioners (ACNPs) to practice the specialty of critical care medicine as members of an interdisciplinary team. The program combines a highly detailed competency-based curriculum with hands-on clinical learning.

Resident rotations include surgical ICU; medical ICU; neurosurgical ICU; cardiac care unit; infectious diseases; and trauma/surgical ICU. The program requires a 60-hour per week commitment.

  • Location: Atlanta, GA
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Application Deadline: June 1, 2021 (estimated)
  • Compensation: Stipend plus benefits

University of Maryland Medical Center

The Nurse Practitioner Critical Care Fellowship at the University of Maryland Medical Center is a fast-paced program that upskills nurse practitioners who wish to work in critical care. The program utilizes simulation, didactic learning, and precepted clinical rotations to develop advanced decision-making in the management of critically ill patients.

Clinical rotations include neuro-critical care unit; medical ICU; trauma ICU; surgical ICU; lung rescue unit; critical care resuscitation unit; and stroke neurology unit.

  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Duration: Nine months
  • Application Deadline: July 31, 2021
  • Compensation: Salary plus benefits

The Carilion Clinic – Virginia Tech

The emergency medicine fellowship at the Carilion Clinic – Virginia Tech offers nurse practitioners the specialized clinical experience they need for a successful career in emergency medicine.

Four fellows each year engage in a dynamic curriculum that covers a wide range of clinical rotations, including ophthalmology; EMS and air transport; anesthesia; cardiology; critical care medicine and the ICU; and rural emergency medicine.

  • Location: Roanoke, VA
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Application Deadline: September 15, 2021 (estimated)
  • Compensation: $53,000 plus benefits

Nurse Practitioner Fellowships & Residencies in Adult-Gerontology

Community Health Center

The Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner Residency Program at Community Health Center (CHC) is designed to integrate nurse practitioners into the CHC model of care. In addition to working at precepted continuity clinics, residents will undergo specialty rotations that cover adult behavioral health; dermatology; geriatrics; health and healthcare for the homeless; HIV care; orthopedics; and women’s health. Upon completion of the program, residents are expected to commit to an additional year of employment with CHC.

  • Location: Middletown, CT
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Application Deadline: April 1, 2021
  • Compensation: Salary plus benefits

Nurse Practitioner Fellowships & Residencies in Cardiology

Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences

The Cardiology Nurse Practitioner Fellowship offered by the Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences in Arizona is designed for nurse practitioners with a strong interest in the cardiovascular field. The program consists of 300 didactic hours and 1,700 clinical mentored hours.

Fellows will experience all aspects of adult cardiovascular disease management, including advanced heart disease failure; cardiac transplantation; adult congenital heart disease; and cardiothoracic surgery.

  • Location: Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Application Deadline: February 14, 2021
  • Compensation: Stipend plus benefits

Nurse Practitioner Fellowships & Residencies in Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

The Nurse Practitioner Fellowship Program at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine’s Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology is integrated with the division’s program for physicians, and both programs provide comparable training experiences.

Graduates of the program will have the skills and knowledge to provide high-quality care in the specialty of gastroenterology and hepatology in any setting. In addition to core rotations, fellows will receive exposure to specialty areas such as pancreatic diseases; gastrointestinal oncology; and nutrition.

  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Application Deadline: March 1, 2021
  • Compensation: $50,000 plus benefits

Nurse Practitioner Fellowships & Residencies in Neuroscience

The Capital Institute for Neurosciences

Each year, the Capital Institute for Neurosciences accepts one recent graduate for its Neurosciences Nurse Practitioner Fellowship. In addition to didactic learning, the program involves clinical rotations that cover outpatient neurology; inpatient neurology; neurosurgical ICU; neurologic emergency medicine; neurosurgery; neuroradiology; and endovascular neurosurgery. Fellows will be expected to commit to eight-hour days, with one night call per week and one 24-hour weekend call per month.

  • Location: Trenton, NJ
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Application Deadline: January 15, 2021
  • Compensation: Pending

Nurse Practitioner Fellowships & Residencies in Oncology

University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

The Post-Graduate Fellowship in Oncology Nursing at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is designed to provide nurse practitioners with clinical experiences that cover the entire spectrum of oncology care, from prevention to end-of-life. In addition to the core curriculum, fellows will sample a specialty curriculum that explores areas such as cardiology; integrative medicine; psychiatry; palliative care; and stem cell transplants.

  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Application Deadline: Pending
  • Compensation: Salary plus benefits

Nurse Practitioner Fellowships & Residencies in Palliative Care

Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

The Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center equips nurse practitioners with the expertise needed to become leaders in palliative care. Fellows train side-by-side with physicians and physician assistants, and their respective programs.

Situated at a world-renowned cancer center, the learning and clinical environment emphasizes palliative care as an integral part of the patient-centered experience. An oncology background is preferred, but not required, for this program.

  • Location: New York, NY
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Application Deadline: January 1, 2021
  • Compensation: Pending

Nurse Practitioner Fellowships & Residencies in Pediatrics

Community Health Center

The Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program at Community Health Center fully integrates its residents with the CHC model of care. In addition to weekly didactic sessions and precepted continuity clinics, residents will experience specialty rotations that cover topics such as dermatology; child and adolescent behavioral health; newborn nursery; genetics; and school-based health. Upon completion of the program, residents are expected to commit to an additional year of employment with CHC.

  • Location: Middletown, CT
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Application Deadline: April 1, 2021
  • Compensation: Salary plus benefits

Nurse Practitioner Fellowships & Residencies in Psychiatric Mental Health

Regions Hospital Psychiatry Advanced Practice Clinician Fellowship

The psychiatry APC fellowship at Regions Hospital is designed for NPs who are looking to become experts in psychiatry and its related subdisciplines. The clinical rotation schedule includes topics such as adult inpatient psychiatry; adult outpatient psychiatry; toxicology; addiction psychiatry; neurology consults; and partial hospitalization. Fellows will work a minimum of 40 to 45 hours per week and prepare for any other academic requirements outside of that time span.

  • Location: St. Paul, MN
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Application Deadline: Pending
  • Compensation: $54,757 plus benefits

Community Health Center

Community Health Center offers a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) residency that fully integrates the resident into CHC’s high-performance health system. The program includes clinical rotations where residents develop their own panel of patients, working with the support of a preceptor. Upon completion of the program, residents are expected to commit to an additional year of employment with CHC.

  • Location: Middletown, CT
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Application Deadline: March 15, 2021
  • Compensation: Salary plus benefits

Nurse Practitioner Fellowships & Residencies in Specialty Care

Atrium Health Center for Advanced Practice

Atrium Health’s Center for Advanced Practice (CAP) also hosts a specialty care fellowship program that includes inpatient and outpatient settings. Fellows will learn a versatile set of skills, participating in high-acuity patient experiences that are combined with office-based services. Specialty tracks for NPs include urology; oncology; and geriatric medicine.

  • Location: Charlotte, NC
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Application Deadline: March 15, 2021
  • Compensation: Stipend plus benefits
Matt Zbrog

Matt Zbrog

Writer

Matt Zbrog is a writer and researcher from Southern California, and he believes a strong society demands a stronger healthcare system. Since early 2018, he’s written extensively about emerging topics in healthcare administration, healthcare research, and healthcare education. Drawing upon interviews with hospital CEOs, nurse practitioners, nursing professors, and advocacy groups, his writing and research are focused on learning from those who know the subject best.