Becoming an NP generally requires a Master's Degree in Nursing. Normally, someone who wants to be an NP will first attend an undergraduate school of nursing, where they will be awarded a Baccalaureate degree in nursing, and also obtain licensure as a registered nurse. They then generally work for a period of two or more years prior to their entry into an NP program. The NP program itself will vary in length from 1-2 academic years, depending on the nature of the program and the school which is chosen.
There are some programs available for individuals who have completed a Baccalaureate degree, but who are not registered nurses. These programs are longer in length than the standard Master's program, result in eligibility for licensure as a registered nurse, and also for eligibility in sitting for the certification boards as an NP. Generally these programs are very selective in which candidates they will take for entry into their programs.