Where do i begin? I am graduating from RODP in December. I personally love the program, its not perfect, but it's good. As for online degree..have no worries! I can assure you that it is not a problem. Every clinical I have done they have inquired as to me working there when done.
But now, the bad news: Getting your preceptors. I need to stress this to you and any other students looking into the RODP program. Do not even enroll if YOU..PERSONALLY..cannot secure a preceptor for women's care and peds. I am not being dramatic, its the truth. Remember, these programs are set-up for the RN who has a large network of contacts. The school does not aid in anyway getting your preceptors for you. By you being responsible for your preceptors, the student is able to make their own schedule and get their hours in around their schedule. I have all my preceptors done/secured, but it was not easy. There are MANY students who have enrolled, done the prereq's and thought the school did the clinical placement...they do not. They will email you a list of providers who have said yes before, but most are not accepting students. If you cannot get these secured for when you need them? You will not be continuing..You MUST have your own contacts and you must get them when you need them.
My advice? Make SURE..NOW..you have a preceptor (MD or master's level PA/FNP) who will sign off saying you can be at their facility..they have student openings..for you to do 120 hours of women's care clinicals as well as 120 hours of pediatrics.
With all of the PA schools and medical students, these placements are DIFFICULT at best. Many clinics have several years of waiting lists. If you can find those, get them to commit to you NOW for next year or whenever..then and only then ..would i chose this path.
Remember: this must be outpatient clinics/offices. ER's and nursing homes can count for only a small amount of hours while hospitals count for none.
I have spent many days and hours, sitting in waiting rooms, pleading for an preceptor. I have mailed hundreds of letters and got very comfortable in being a salesman..selling ME as a student. All of us have had to do this. Its very hard, but its part of RODP. That is the price for making your own schedule, staying close to home, and attending school part-time or full-time..whatever your needs are.
Hope that helps.