Online BSN to FNP Programs

  1. 0 I've seen a few programs that are web based for NP school and wanted to get some honest feedback on what everyones' take on such programs are.

    Honestly, I have my own reservations but I am not familiar with the dynamics of these programs. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
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  3. Visit  revolution} profile page

    About revolution

    Joined Sep '08; Posts: 42.

    27 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  ANPFNPGNP} profile page
    0
    Quote from revolution
    I've seen a few programs that are web based for NP school and wanted to get some honest feedback on what everyones' take on such programs are.

    Honestly, I have my own reservations but I am not familiar with the dynamics of these programs. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
    Personally, I don't think that any NP program that's 100% online is a good thing. I think it cheapens the education and we all suffer as a result. I'm very familiar with students who graduate from some online programs that I won't name. I've known students who had other people take their tests online, because the testing wasn't supervised. People say, "We still have to pass the FNP exam!" I say, "SO WHAT!" A high school student could study and pass that FNP exam...it's that easy!

    One online trained NP told me she did the majority of her clinical hours with a neurologist and never once saw a child or OB patient, much less primary care patients. She attended an online FNP program. She also told me she never met her professors nor any students in her classes. This should infuriate every FNP who struggled to find appropriate preceptors during their training.

    I live in a city where there is a large online FNP program and it's reputation sucks. Very few doctors are willing to hire their graduates and it has everything to do with the program being 100% online. So, maybe there is some justice in the world!
  5. Visit  pedspnp} profile page
    5
    what "A high school student could study and pass that FNP exam...it's that easy! " I think that is enough to infuriate any FNP who worked their butts off through school. So much for advancing the NP profession. I dont know of any high school graduate who would know that asthmatics should not take ace inhibitors or what is the first line treatment for HTN.
    Sugah Britches, VentNut_RN, DDRN4me, and 2 others like this.
  6. Visit  traumaRUs} profile page
    1
    I graduated from a combined online/brick & mortar school for my APN. I did not know any of my class mates and that didn't hurt me at all. However, I looked for a variety of clinical preceptors so that I could push myself to get outside my comfort zone. My nursing background was heavily level one trauma center and I was able to get clinical time in a surgical practice, a nursing home, community-based crisis intervention organization, an ICU with an APN-driven vent wean team, and the ER where I worked.

    I think any experience is what you make of it. If you stay in the same type of nursing that you are familar with then yes, I agree, your education isn't going to be stellar. However, if you look for new experiences, then you can and do learn a lot via an online program.
    MissMe2011 likes this.
  7. Visit  pedspnp} profile page
    1
    Quote from traumaRUs
    I graduated from a combined online/brick & mortar school for my APN. I did not know any of my class mates and that didn't hurt me at all. However, I looked for a variety of clinical preceptors so that I could push myself to get outside my comfort zone. My nursing background was heavily level one trauma center and I was able to get clinical time in a surgical practice, a nursing home, community-based crisis intervention organization, an ICU with an APN-driven vent wean team, and the ER where I worked.

    I think any experience is what you make of it. If you stay in the same type of nursing that you are familar with then yes, I agree, your education isn't going to be stellar. However, if you look for new experiences, then you can and do learn a lot via an online program.
    I agree, it is what you make of the experience, my on-line program really encourages the students to get a variety of experiences. If they see that you are staying in the same place for all your clinical experiences that really throw's up a red flag. I do not mind seeking out my own clinical sites, really come on when you are at this stage why do you want some one else to decide where to go. Seeking my own clinical sites is a great way to net-work. Graduation is coming up soon and it never hurts when looking for that first NP job.:typing
    traumaRUs likes this.
  8. Visit  revolution} profile page
    0
    I've noticed there are NP programs through the University of Phoenix which is normally geared towards "working adults".

    Is there such thing as a part-time NP program or program that allows students to work somewhat their normal 'day job' without dedicating 100% of their time to a program?
  9. Visit  pedspnp} profile page
    0
    yes their is, BALL state, Northern Kentucky University offer pt. I think most programs do. I am on line at NKU. I have tried the traditional on campus program but have found that I learn way more on line. I do have one on one contact with my faculty and advisors. It just depends what works for you. My faculty advisor is one of the reviewers for the pediatric nurse practitoner exam. I remember having her for a class. and her exams were thorough (hard). Even though they were online they were timed and that added a stress element to it. we would have about 60 questions and 60 minutes to complete. So no time to go thumbing through your notes or book.
  10. Visit  CNM2B} profile page
    0
    I am going to be going to Frontier for their CNM program starting in winter. Frontier requires 2 trips to Kentucky for their program--one in the beginning for 4 days, and then one halfway through (prior to beginning clinical) for 8 days, where we will learn hand skills. Many of the exams are administered via proctor, so it keeps that element of a 'brick and mortar' school. Also, clinical sites are thorougly vetted before you can begin clinical and site visits are made by a faculty member throughout your clinical experience. The clinical requirements are very stringent and so the graduates I've met have been very happy with their experience. So, for me, I think their program is a good mix.
  11. Visit  revolution} profile page
    0
    Do these online programs set up clinicals for you or is it up to the student?

    I think I read it's called a "preceptor". I'd personally rather have the school set up rotations and a curriculum rather than it be left up to the student, especially for an advanced practice nurse.
  12. Visit  traumaRUs} profile page
    0
    There are two thoughts to the preceptorship idea:

    1. If you are an experienced RN, you may have had many years in one specialty and instead need experiences in something outside your usual norm. Personally, I wanted to set up my preceptors because I wanted to stretch myself a little professionally. Yes, I could have done all my hours in the ER where I was employed (obviously not during my work time) but would I have learned as much as if I purposely set out to get something different?

    2. If the school sets up your clinical experiences, are the preceptors excellent, hands-on teachers who have up to date practices or do all they do is precept? Also, with this, you are stuck with the rotations that the schools thinks is important when maybe you would like to explore other areas.

    Personally, since its my educational bucks, I want some say in it - lol.
  13. Visit  ANPFNPGNP} profile page
    0
    Quote from np2b?
    what "A high school student could study and pass that FNP exam...it's that easy! " I think that is enough to infuriate any FNP who worked their butts off through school. So much for advancing the NP profession. I dont know of any high school graduate who would know that asthmatics should not take ace inhibitors or what is the first line treatment for HTN.
    We treat asthmatics with ACEI's all the time. It's just that it's difficult to distinguish between the cough caused by ACEI's and the cough caused by asthma. There have been RARE reports of asthmatics on ACEI's having bronchospasms related to the drug. Now, the older beta blockers can be a problem, but the newer ones can be used in asthmatics, but should be avoided in patients with severe asthma.

    Any high school student can pick up a copy of the Fitzgerald FNP study guide and learn all of this information. It doesn't take a genius to memorize the JNC 7 guidelines, etc. The FNP exam has a 92% pass rate. It would definitely be feasible for a high school student to study and memorize all this information and pass that test with no problem. BTW, I'm not the only one who believes this. I have several FNP friends and they feel the exact same way about that test. I've taken the FNP, GNP and ANP exam, so I speak from experience.
  14. Visit  ANPFNPGNP} profile page
    0
    Quote from np2b?
    Even though they were online they were timed and that added a stress element to it. we would have about 60 questions and 60 minutes to complete. So no time to go thumbing through your notes or book.
    What if another student from your online program had a pediatrician friend taking those pedes tests for him/her? I have a real problem with students being able to take tests without being supervised. There are just too many ways to cheat.
  15. Visit  Dr. Tammy, FNP/GNP-C} profile page
    7
    Quote from ANPFNPGNP
    Personally, I don't think that any NP program that's 100% online is a good thing. I think it cheapens the education and we all suffer as a result. I'm very familiar with students who graduate from some online programs that I won't name. I've known students who had other people take their tests online, because the testing wasn't supervised. People say, "We still have to pass the FNP exam!" I say, "SO WHAT!" A high school student could study and pass that FNP exam...it's that easy!

    One online trained NP told me she did the majority of her clinical hours with a neurologist and never once saw a child or OB patient, much less primary care patients. She attended an online FNP program. She also told me she never met her professors nor any students in her classes. This should infuriate every FNP who struggled to find appropriate preceptors during their training.

    I live in a city where there is a large online FNP program and it's reputation sucks. Very few doctors are willing to hire their graduates and it has everything to do with the program being 100% online. So, maybe there is some justice in the world!
    I'm so sorry you feel that way. I would, however, like to invite you to revisit a portion of your advance-nursing curriculum regarding the concept of generalization with regards to making characterizations about reality in which no evidence exists.

    Now, to the OP, let me give you my point of view from the perspective of:
    1) Someone who is actually engaged in an FNP program via distance,
    2) Does not support the idea that an individual with just a high school education can negotiate NP boards (as this has never occurred before) and supports the utility of best evidence, which no real evidence exists (the expert posits of the former poster and the posters' friends notwithstanding) that supports the notion that a high school graduate can indeed pass boards.
    3) Understands as both educator (program and institutional director), student and clinician that the quality of any educational program varies and is based largely on what you put into your studies.
    4) Have worked with both online FNP and traditional onsite FNP graduates who have both impressed and frightened me, including one from an Ivy league traditional FNP program who I would not let take care of a sick fish.

    Having said that, I am in the final phases of FNP training at University of Southern Indiana, which I completely recommend without reservation. There are several benefits to this program. All course work is provided by professors who maintain an active practice as an FNP. This is important because not all programs have strong clinicians teaching all components. Some institutions that I checked only have a few, and most are lost in the world of academia. That's OK, though, if you are contemplating a research-based degree. The FNP focus, however, is in the clinical environment translating best evidence into practice.

    All courses at USI are televised and recorded. If you are able to make the live lectures, they always have a live monitor, which you communicate via chat in real time and the monitor sends the questions you have to the professor, who in turn provides an answer to your question in real-time.

    The reading is heavy, and takes approximately 40-50 hours per week of time to keep up with assignments, SOAP, EBP projects, etc. Clinical constitutes a huge portion of the program. In all there are 665 hours, 45 of which is for assessment, 20 hours for radiology and the rest of the 600 hours is split over the life cycle and ob/gyn management (e.g.: Peds 150 hours; adults; 150 hours; older adults 150 hours; ob/gyn 150 hours). Additionally there is a breakdown of system pathology that must be completed. For example, a certain percentage of ENT, Resp, END, CVS, etc). Each clinical term requires two site visits or team meetings between the preceptor (which you have to find on your own) the clinical advisor and you. During this time clinical content in the form of mandated objectives are compared and contrasted to what the student has completed.

    The above poster alluded to a distant NP student doing all of her hours with a neurologist and didn't see any peds. This would not fly at USI nor would the preceptor and agency be approved in the first place. The faculty has about a 1:10 for clinical faculty and student ratio and they keep weekly tabs on your clinical progress with you and your preceptor and are always available in real-time for questions that come during your clinical time.

    Your primary preceptor has to be in family practice (not ER or urgent care) and has to have clients across the life cycle continuum. If your preceptor doesn't do OB, you have to find an additional OB individual for the final year during spring. Additionally, you have to do time with specialty rotations that you and your clinical faculty determine would be beneficial that falls outside of primary care such as dermatology, radiology, orthopedics, neurology, etc.

    All exams are administered via online and are proctored by faculty. Each ISP address is recorded and all students have about one minute per question. True, cheating can and probably has occurred via this mechanism of testing, just like cheating has occurred with onsite testing with onsite supervised proctors in the classroom setting. The only difference between the two in regards to cheating are the ingenuity and process by which those who are dishonest choose to cheat.

    The only real difference between USI (which has both onsite and online FNP--they are both the same) and a traditional classroom setting are these:
    #1) You may not get the same clinically experienced professors at onsite training programs than you do by going through USI. Again this varies. You must evaluate each institution.
    #2) You may not get the same supervision by going through onsite training programs than you do at USI. Again, this varies and the clinical faculty at USI keep close tabs on your clinical training and progression.
    #3) You will spend more money in gas by going through an onsite program versus USI.
    #4) You will spend more time and effort coordinating your work and family schedule going through a traditional onsite program than going through USI.
    #5) You will not have the same face to face time with other students by doing an online program, yet you will interact daily with them via discussion board postings which are mandated.
    #6) You will spend less on tuition at USI then any other institution in the United States (online or traditional).

    I hope this has helped.
    AndeeVB, VentNut_RN, lesrn2005, and 4 others like this.


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