Programs should be structured as follows:
-Pre-requisite courses in bio 1/2, chem 1/2, organic chem 1/2, physics 1/2, microbiology, nutrition, etc - like many PA programs. If we aren't given that in NP programs it needs to be required prior to matriculation. And there should be a 10 year expiration.
-GPA should be a 3.25 minimum.
-The GRE should be required for all programs.
-A minimum of 1 year of RN work experience should be required for all programs like CRNA schools
-NP programs should have a gross anatomy, pathophysiology, physiology, pharmacology, physical assessment and multiple integrative medicine courses.
-No part-time option should be available during the clinical portion and a minimum of 2000 hours should be required.
-Vetted clinical rotation sites and preceptors should be provided - this would obviously limit the online option. Students could be given the opportunity to find their own and if they are deemed subpar then they will be placed with one per the discretion of the program.
I am just thankful for my first degree prior to my BSN because I took all the "hard-core" science classes. It does make a difference. I am in an ACNP program and I am going out of my way to read constantly. I took a gross anatomy course through the local medical school. I have read and am currently reading many medical texts required by the local medical school. Are NP schools lacking considerably? Yes. But I am also tired of people acting like they have no choice but to suffer through the terrible education as if there's nothing they can do to supplement it. Either go to PA or Med school, or put in the extra time. Even most medical students will tell you the majority of their learning was done outside of the classroom. They read and study like crazy for their board exams. On their own time.
NP education has to change but it needs to come from the bottom up. Students need to put in the extra time/effort and then advocate for that as a requirement once they've graduated.