B&M vs Online

  1. I see a whole lot of hate for the online Nurse Practitioner programs. I'm wondering if anyone has any statistics regarding poor performance based on whether a NP went the traditional route versus online?

    Or are we assuming that they are lesser simply because they "must be" inferior?

    Personally, I don't think that anyone should be going through an NP program without at least 3-4 years of solid nursing experience. I'm far more concerned about a young NP straight out of school who has no real-world healthcare experience than I am about an experienced RN going the online route for their NP.

    Thoughts?

    And to disclose, I am one of those online, for-profit school NP students that seem to draw all the negative attention. Of course, I've also been a nurse for about 14 years and have been in hospital administration for the last several years.
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  2. 68 Comments

  3. by   BCgradnurse
    I don't think just because a program is on-line automatically makes it inferior. Many people learn well in that format. I prefer the B&M format cause that is the best way for me to learn. I also enjoy and benefit from the camaraderie of other students and the ability to work and study with others. I do have an issue with any program that does not have rigorous admission and performance standards and will admit any one who can pay.

    FWIW-I am one of those DE NP graduates that also seems to garner all the negative attention. My practice and my patients are doing just fine.
  4. by   Owlgal
    Can I ask, though, how we know that these online programs will admit "anyone who can pay"? See, to me that is an aspersion that cannot be readily supported. Aren't these programs sufficient enough so that their graduates pass boards? -- Or are we saying that boards aren't enough?

    I see questions on here from new NPs (and I don't know whether they went online or B&M for their education) that seem pretty basic questions for an adult professional. Things like what lidocaine percentage to use, salary negotiations, ethics, etc. And then I think, "Holy crap, this person is, what, 25 years old with zero healthcare experience prior to NP school!" -- no wonder physicians are all up in arms about NPs.
  5. by   BostonFNP
    Quote from Owlgal
    I see a whole lot of hate for the online Nurse Practitioner programs. I'm wondering if anyone has any statistics regarding poor performance based on whether a NP went the traditional route versus online?

    Or are we assuming that they are lesser simply because they "must be" inferior?

    Personally, I don't think that anyone should be going through an NP program without at least 3-4 years of solid nursing experience. I'm far more concerned about a young NP straight out of school who has no real-world healthcare experience than I am about an experienced RN going the online route for their NP.

    Thoughts?

    And to disclose, I am one of those online, for-profit school NP students that seem to draw all the negative attention. Of course, I've also been a nurse for about 14 years and have been in hospital administration for the last several years.
    I am more concerned about an experienced RN going through a crappy NP program than I am about a direct entry NP going through a quality NP program.

    The real point here is that online vs B&M is the wrong question, it is quality vs non-quality. There are some fantastic quality online and hybrid programs and there are some crappy ones. The same is true for B&M.
  6. by   BostonFNP
    Quote from Owlgal
    And then I think, "Holy crap, this person is, what, 25 years old with zero healthcare experience prior to NP school!" -- no wonder physicians are all up in arms about NPs.
    Because this time of the year interns definitely know exactly what to do right!
  7. by   Jules A
    Quote from Owlgal
    Can I ask, though, how we know that these online programs will admit "anyone who can pay"? See, to me that is an aspersion that cannot be readily supported. Aren't these programs sufficient enough so that their graduates pass boards? -- Or are we saying that boards aren't enough?

    I see questions on here from new NPs (and I don't know whether they went online or B&M for their education) that seem pretty basic questions for an adult professional. Things like what lidocaine percentage to use, salary negotiations, ethics, etc. And then I think, "Holy crap, this person is, what, 25 years old with zero healthcare experience prior to NP school!" -- no wonder physicians are all up in arms about NPs.
    I definitely don't think boards are enough, anyone with any book sense and a decent testing ability can pass, but I guess thats the best we have.

    Personally I'd rather see a sharp, experienced RN go to lesser respected school than someone with no RN experience go to what is considered an excellent program because there are few "excellent programs", imo. Some of the grads from top schools in my specialty have been boobs. I recently read a post here where someone claimed to have gone to one of the best nursing schools in the world and laughed like a hyena because if we are expanding US rankings globally I might have also and again it wasn't impressive especially with the lack of admission criteria and lack of clinical experience in professors.

    It isn't speculation that several of the for profit schools have rolling admissions and will waive the gpa requirement. I'm sorry but add that to no RN experience and I have zero respect for that or the fact that our profession endorses it. Admission requirements might be similar to board exams not the best but at the very least it is something raising the bar. Imo there is no bar anymore and its embarrassing. The article in another thread about NPs from Texas is a glimmer of what I believe will become well known in the future and its unfortunate.

    That said I paid for a decent name because I didn't want attend one of the several we know that are mocked, ego I guess. I'm not sure the actual education would be much different.
  8. by   JellyDonut
    I know a girl who was a med/surg for two years and went to an online for profit school with a less than impressive GPA that was a bit south of 3.0. Her online program had open book quizzes and no real tests. Still she struggled through, because "school is hard". She passed her boards on the 2nd or third try and was hired in a trauma unit with nary a shred of experience. The story gets ugly from there and a little funny at times.

    So yes, I do believe some of the for profit schools are total garbage and just pump through students who do not qualify for more reputable schools. Are there some graduates who do well? I am sure there are, even a broke clock is right twice a day!

    Some B&M schools graduate deadbeats as well, but at least they have some qualifiers to enter the programs. Some more lax than others, but at least they turn some away for the integrity of their program.
  9. by   KatieMI
    Positives of high quality online programs:

    - no early morning/late evening drives, parkings, etc. Can be quite a plus for those living in the middle of nowhere and with biweekly drive 2 hours one way for clinicals
    - b/o above - more time for study/family/work
    - less money spent on inevitable coffee here/latte there
    - no $$$ for "facilities fee" (not that much but still it's my money!)
    - no classmates (of any kind)
    - exams may be taken in your pajamas, in bed, with your hairs being colored and dinner going
    - the volume of material might be higher than in B&M. A professor is human, too., it is impossible to go through 200 slides Powerpoint in 90 min. When students are online... well, here you guys go. Same goes about guest lectures, presentations, etc
    - no "office hours", so help is usually available same day if you need it
    - all interesting stuff stays with you and can be copied at your leisure

    Negatives:

    - lack of motivation in form of teacher hanging over you. One has to have very developed individual study skills
    - no classmates (for those who cannot live without study groups and hanging in library)
    - group projects, when they happen, suck.
    - less structure. The semesters/units are kind of "free - formed", sometimes with no clear landmarks like "term week"
    - (not often but...) more study materials. WAY more. "You guys are sitting home anyway so why don't you read this extremely interesting 15 articles and write a small 5 pages paper about what you have learned from them"
    - professors do not see each other and therefore do not cooperate between each other. That's a biggie because sometimes you get 5 large assignments to be done in 1 week, with work scheduled and 20 clinical hours

    And, yeah, there can be proctored exams online. As well as non-proctored and open book, but one has zero chances to pass them unless he really thought through material, not only "read the book".
    Last edit by KatieMI on Jul 12
  10. by   Owlgal
    When I was looking for a school, I'll be honest, I just checked that they were accredited and that it would work with my schedule. I work FT, but as I've been in management for quite a while, I don't typically work more than 45 hours a week. I'm not terribly challenged at this point in my career -- and have grown to detest being in middle management. It has, however, given me a greater understanding of the internal workings of hospitals and hospital systems. I know the hows and whys of getting paid and of quality and safety. All good things to know.

    The online classes have been fairly easy, thus far. Nursing theory, leadership, ethics, etc -- all research driven content that relies heavily on reading and writing papers. Next semester I'll be in the advanced pathophysiology and pharmacology and expect that I'll really have to study. Advanced health assessment, with a clinical component will be in the spring (2018), which I'm looking forward to -- but I'll have to arrange for my own clinicals (a minor worry). By the time full-on clinicals start next summer, I'll really have to be looking for a weekend option for clinicals (urgent care, maybe?) but I'll have to find a new job by the time maternal/peds clinicals roll around -- nothing is open on the weekends, probably. I'm salaried now in the low $80k range, so I'll take a pay cut. But that's life. I'm in this for the long-game. Meaning that even though I probably won't see a huge increase in pay right away for being an NP versus sticking with management (my last management job, I made over $100k),... you CAN do part-time NP work as you edge towards retirement, and that's simply not an option when you're in management.
  11. by   Dodongo
    The importance does not lie in whether the didactic content is delivered online or if you're sitting in a lecture hall. It's the quality of candidates admitted to the program and the quality of the program itself.
    Last edit by AN Admin Team on Jul 12
  12. by   juan de la cruz
    Quote from Dodongo
    how are so many medical school students able to skip lecture and do well? | Student Doctor Network

    The importance does not lie in whether the didactic content is delivered online or if you're sitting in a lecture hall. It's the quality of candidates admitted to the program and the quality of the program itself.
    I'd have to agree with this. I've worked with various NP's of mixed stats in terms of RN experience, school attended, direct entry, etc. In the end, I feel that certain individuals have the knack, talent, intelligence, or whatever to succeed as NP's.

    Case in point, we fired an NP who allegedly got a BSN from a school that rhymed with "supernova", worked in the ICU at a hospital that ryhmed with "Tompkins", and got an AGACNP at a school that rhymed with "transylvania". In the end, the person had the least amount of common sense and had little innate clinical inquiry to formulate a thought process in making the simplest clinical decisions.
    Last edit by AN Admin Team on Jul 12 : Reason: quoted edited post
  13. by   BostonFNP
    Quote from juan de la cruz
    I'd have to agree with this. I've worked with various NP's of mixed stats in terms of RN experience, school attended, direct entry, etc. In the end, I feel that certain individuals have the knack, talent, intelligence, or whatever to succeed as NP's.
    Absolutely, the variability between individuals is much greater than that between programs and experience has been my experience.
  14. by   Julius Seizure
    Quote from BostonFNP
    The real point here is that online vs B&M is the wrong question, it is quality vs non-quality. There are some fantastic quality online and hybrid programs and there are some crappy ones. The same is true for B&M.
    Quote from Jules A
    That said I paid for a decent name because I didn't want attend one of the several we know that are mocked, ego I guess. I'm not sure the actual education would be much different.
    This was a concern of mine in choosing a school to attend. My options included a fairly low-ranked (for whatever thats worth) school that doesnt have much of a reputation outside of the state that would have had more in-person class time (but also online content), or a higher ranked school that scheduled classes in block format with a lot of online content to supplement the limited in-class time. It has successful graduates, a good pass rate, stricter entry requirements, was higher ranked, and a more well-known name. (Again, for whatever thats worth).

    I was concerned that people would be like "Oh wow, great school....Oh, it was a distance program, online?" and judge it as "one of those online programs", regardless of any other positive attributes.
    Last edit by Julius Seizure on Jul 12

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