Online NP Programs vs. Traditional Classroom

  1. 0
    I've got one year left on my bachelor's degree, currently working MICU. I will have 5 years of full time experience by the time I'm done with an NP (MSN) degree.

    Question is, with that level of experience, would it be advisable to get my education in a traditional classroom rather than online?
    What experience do people have with online NP programs?

    • Did you feel well prepared for practice?
    • Did you feel well supported during your schooling?
    • Were you comfortable working full time while you were in school?


    My bachelor's is completely online, aka, no on-campus time. I feel like it's been easy to stay on top of the work (if profoundly uninteresting), so I don't think that I needed face-to-face instruction for this level. I want to make sure that I have the support I need for my Master's/NP, however.

    Any thoughts?
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  3. 5 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I completed my MSN/PNP program totally online through the University of South Alabama and loved it! I think I was very well prepared! In fact, I want to do my DNP with them as well. I passed my boards with no problem. Like you, I loved the flexibility with having kids and loved that I could plan my own clinicals when it was good for me. As you have experienced, online learning doesn't really allow you to get behind. There were a lot of other resources they provided for further understanding. What program would you be doing? I felt supported and communicated with my instructors frequently by email or phone. They were very available. At the time, I did not have to work, but will have to for my DNP. However, that is the nice thing about online is that you can arrange your school schedule to match your personal schedule. The one thing that really helped is when we had to go to campus which was only one time to check off on assessments, etc., I met five other women who not only became great friends, but we stuck together throughout the entire program splitting up study guides, etc.

    Good luck!!!
  5. 0
    I just wanted to say be careful which school you choose online...online learning is fabulously convenient, but now I'm stuck in a situation where the school makes us find our own clinicals...via the yellow pages, literally. I live in a huge city in the southeast and they have "no affiliations" with any hospital within hundreds of miles. Worse, the school doesn't pay the doc/hospital/etc so I can't even coax them with that--even though they charge us $$$ for the class.

    Be careful--they will say anything to ease your fears until you're halfway through the program and can't transfer! Make sure the online school either has doctors ALREADY that will accept that school's students, or that you personally know someone who will take you on. Not maybe, but WILL take you on.
  6. 0
    Quote from RNvampire
    I just wanted to say be careful which school you choose online...online learning is fabulously convenient, but now I'm stuck in a situation where the school makes us find our own clinicals...via the yellow pages, literally. I live in a huge city in the southeast and they have "no affiliations" with any hospital within hundreds of miles. Worse, the school doesn't pay the doc/hospital/etc so I can't even coax them with that--even though they charge us $$$ for the class.

    Be careful--they will say anything to ease your fears until you're halfway through the program and can't transfer! Make sure the online school either has doctors ALREADY that will accept that school's students, or that you personally know someone who will take you on. Not maybe, but WILL take you on.
    Finding a preceptor is a major issue for both online and traditional programs. Our tax dollars will support any MD resident in the US, regardless if they are from a US school or outside the US. Clinics and hospitals will always take a student who has $$$ support versus a NP student.
  7. 0
    Campus-based programs can have problems with finding preceptors for students too. The clinical preceptorship offered by practicing NP's, or PA's and MD's who precept NP students, is a voluntary act. No school offers financial reimbursement to "volunteer" faculty. However, campus-based programs that are well established in the community tend to have a network of grads with various specializations who are very much willing to precept as a way to "give back" to the profession and their alma mater. It also gives them some credit toward recertification. That's how some well established campus-based programs are able to arrange preceptors for their students.
  8. 0
    My particular school had many affiliations and help to find a preceptor. Personally, I found my preceptors through my own contacts, and then contacted the local professional organization and sent out a blanket email regarding assistance with clinical hours. I had a very positive response and didn't have any troubles getting preceptors or hours. I don't think it is necessary to pay people. As professionals, they usually want to give back to students and help as they are able. Again, it may depend on the online program. USA has done online learning for a while. You are right Juan de la cruz about campus-based programs. I have heard about them not having success all of the time with their resources. With online learning, at least you have some flexibility and can seek preceptors in areas that are good for you, and do clinical hours at times that work with your schedule. I believe that seeking preceptors early is a good idea.

    At any rate, I would do it all over again and didn't have any troubles finding preceptors for my online program. Just as you (Schuur451) have probably enjoyed your flexibility with your bachelor's program, you can enjoy the same thing with your master's. Best of luck!


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