Walden University - the latest on the FNP program

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    Hello all... ...long time reader, first time poster.....

    ...seeking info on the Walden FNP program....

    So, I have a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Texas at Austin, and I am a Registered Nurse in Texas (Associates level).
    I have been researching programs to bridge from my RN with non-nursing Bachelors degree to MSN-Nurse Practitioner. ....Ball State, Samford, Frontier, Walden, etc.

    I have applications out, and most of these seem pretty competitive to get into. Walden, however, seems to be a pretty straight shot in if you meet their qualifications. I spoke with an adviser this morning and was told that all is currently well with clinical rotations in Texas and, further, licensing as an FNP in Texas.

    I have read older posts where folks were voicing concerns over being able to genuinely become licensed as a Family Nurse Practitioner in Texas after completing the Walden program. Walden tells me that they currently have FNP students in Texas, and that everything has been straightened out. I do intend to contact the BON, etc, but I wanted to see if any Walden FNP students from Texas are out there and hopefully get some feedback.

    The Walden FNP program is so new that they have not yet graduated any Nurse Practitioners (just started September 2012). So, there are not yet any "proven cases," but there are people who have done the research and who have made the tremendous commitment to pursue their FNP through Walden. I would love to hear from you on your knowledge, experience, and verification of legitimacy of the program.

    Anybody out there in this program and well on their way, and possibly in Texas, and can confirm that this is a legitimate road to FNP for a nurse in Texas?

    Thanks so much,
    Michael
    HappyWife77 likes this.
  2. 59 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    I'm not familiar with this particular program, but I do know that many organizations have simply stopped dealing with online programs when it comes to providing sites for clinical experience/rotations. They are not willing to expend resources needed to deal with problems associated with these arrangements. So, if you are expected to negotiate/arrange your own clinical experiences - I would advise you to choose a different route.
    HappyWife77 likes this.
  4. 0
    OP, I know you're probably looking at those online programs from an accelerated degree standpoint, but if you have the time, why rush it? I was an ADN nurse, and did an ADN-BSN articulation program that took 1 year. I then applied to graduate school for the semester following my BSN completion, and completed my NP track in 3 years (part-time). Between those two degrees, I paid a total of 17K, and I worked as a RN during the whole time. Everyone's situation is different, but if you have the time to complete a degree at a school that you know has graduated numerous NPs and they were able to pass boards, why not attend one of those schools for a fraction of the cost of attending an online school?
  5. 0
    Quote from kguill975
    OP, I know you're probably looking at those online programs from an accelerated degree standpoint, but if you have the time, why rush it? I was an ADN nurse, and did an ADN-BSN articulation program that took 1 year. I then applied to graduate school for the semester following my BSN completion, and completed my NP track in 3 years (part-time). Between those two degrees, I paid a total of 17K, and I worked as a RN during the whole time. Everyone's situation is different, but if you have the time to complete a degree at a school that you know has graduated numerous NPs and they were able to pass boards, why not attend one of those schools for a fraction of the cost of attending an online school?
    The tuition this particular school charges is about the same of my local brick and mortar ones. They have also recently started to only accepting students with 2 or 3 (I can't remember right now, haven't had my morning coffee yet lol) years full time RN experience within the past five years for both the BSN to MSN and the RN to MSN. I don't know of any online schools that are faster to complete than any locally, and I've looked into this quite extensively, but perhaps there are. When I was searching for a program, I didn't even look into how long it would take. I did my BSN as fast as I could, but for NP I don't mind taking my time at all.
    I have concerns myself about finding my own preceptors in my area. Sad to say, it seems like some my local brick and mortars are getting in on this act as well. However, the local and state NP organizations in my area have recognized this and some are implementing or have implemented programs to help this situation.
    If you have any concerns, please join the Facebook group for this and read how others in the program are doing. It is a violation of TOS to give a direct link but search for "Walden University MSN FNP." I have read much positive comments on this particular school so far than my own brick and mortar BSN program. It is very valid concern to be worried about a program that has just started out like this; it may be best to wait and see.
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    Thanks for the input everyone. In my research I have found that there are tons of schools offering MSN/FNP programs online with little or no campus visits. It looks like all of them require the student to arrange clinical rotations in the city where the student resides. I believe this is the current standard for this type of program. Further, all of the online programs advertise 2.5-3.5 years to complete an FNP. They are in no way "accelerated" or "fast-track." You spend just as much time in an online program as you do a traditional classroom setting program. So, this being the case, I see absolutely no reason for me to spend any time aquiring a BSN, when I already have a bachelor's degree in another field and am being offered an option to bridge from RN to MSN. If I did not have a bachelor's degree already, I may feel differently. Now, all of these "bridge" programs require additional classes since you do not have a BSN, but those additional classes are still many fewer than the requirements of a BSN program. I know a handful of people who have successfully completed FNP programs completely online, including setting up their own clinical rotations. I just do not know anyone who has used Walden, so I hoped to make contact with someone in that program for feedback. My original question was not so much in terms of online school versus classroom school, as it is specifically to see if anyone from Texas is doing the Walden program, how their experience has been, etc.
    75495RN likes this.
  7. 4
    Keep in mind, their "advisors" are not what you think an advisor is. They are salespeople and I have got more than one inaccurate answer from them, which is why I didn't choose to go there.

    What nixed Walden for me, is when I was sent a waiver to sign that if I finished my degree, that I might not be eligible to practice as an NP in my state. Keep in mind I live in a state where I have many, many friends that have completed online NP programs and are practicing here with no problem. So it's not he fact that it's online, I think there is something up with Walden.

    They were also required to send me a list of how many graduates they had versus those that enrolled and the list they sent me wasn't even from the program I was applying to. I called when their stats were almost 4 years old. I said, "I don't understand...does Walden not keep track of how many people graduates from their programs?" They kept telling me they would research it and never got back with me.

    When I called the Board of Nursing in my state there were some issues with Walden in particular.

    I would encourage you to do your homework.
    Nurse_Diane, SShannon81, Crux1024, and 1 other like this.
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    Hey there I'm from Texas as well and I am planning on doing this program I have a friend of mine it just graduated from Walden. he said they were very helpful in the program is totally doable the only thing that they require for you to do is to have somebody towards the end of the semester that you can setup your clinicals with. Texas Tech is the same way and there are plenty of people that graduated from Tech. Sorry for the short note and if there's any miss spell's I'm talking to my phone and it's typing it out good luck
    75495RN likes this.
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    Michael,
    Did you find more information about Walden? I also called Walden and they seem very nice and helpful. Where did your friends go for NPs? Did you make decision yet?
    I am looking for BSN-MSN FNP, I am also in Texas, Thanks.
  10. 0
    Quote from GoodKick01
    Michael,
    Did you find more information about Walden? I also called Walden and they seem very nice and helpful. Where did your friends go for NPs? Did you make decision yet?
    I am looking for BSN-MSN FNP, I am also in Texas, Thanks.
    There is a FNP in my hospital who did Ball State University's online FNP program a couple of years ago, and she has been helpful in answering a lot of my questions. Then I have a family friend who did his FNP online through Samford University in Alabama. There is another FNP in my hospital that did Ball State, but I have not been able to get in touch with her.
    I actually started the application with Walden, but have not really followed through yet. My hang-up is still the fact that I can't contact a person who has successfully completed the program and has become licensed in Texas (since they haven't graduated anyone yet). I did my LVN to RN bridge through Excelsior a few years ago, and I initially had concerns about that program. But, with Excelsior, I worked with RN's who had obtained their RN through Excelsior, so I had no doubt it was legitimate and could be done.
    I do not doubt that Walden is legitimate, but until I see proven licensed FNP graduates in Texas, I can't help but hesitate to "pull the trigger" on enrolling there.
    Walden folks have always been very nice and helpful when I have contacted them, and are always quick to respond to any questions I have. I have no complaints about them at all. Again, I just am struggling to fully commit to a lengthy program when I can't see actual success stories yet.
    Also, after some "soul-searching" and prayerful consideration, I am thinking seriously about another route anyway. My family life is complicated due to my wife's health problems. We have two young children and I am the only person in the household working (and I work a lot). I began to think that maybe it would be safer for me to finish my BSN first, sort of as a way to "hedge my bets." I worry about things like going 3/4 way through the Walden FNP program, and then finding out it won't work for Texas, or breaking my leg or getting sick and not finishing, or having to stop because of health problems in the family, etc, and having nothing to really show for it since I would still technically just be an RN/ADN working on a masters. If I finish my BSN first, at least then I am adding letters after my name as I go, in the case that I had to stop at some point. I am even considering doing a different online non-clinical MSN (management, education, informatics, etc), which would be easier to work into my already busy life (avoid the 550-750 hours of FNP clinical rotations squeezed into a short period of time). Then, again, I am adding letters after my name and furthering my education in a way that I remain highly employable and promotable, even in the case that I were to, say, hurt my back and couldn't do bedside nursing anymore. Then, I could do a post-masters FNP certificate or something if I still wanted to. With my family situation, I just have to make sure that whatever I am doing moves me further ahead while minimizing risk of setbacks, failures, etc. Since my wife can't work, I have to find a way to further my education and earning potential without drowning my household in debt in the process, and while minimizing risk or further financial burden. ...well, just rambling now, but it helps to say all this (or type) outloud to see how it sounds. Thanks for listening.....
  11. 1
    Quote from msa9179

    There is a FNP in my hospital who did Ball State University's online FNP program a couple of years ago, and she has been helpful in answering a lot of my questions. Then I have a family friend who did his FNP online through Samford University in Alabama. There is another FNP in my hospital that did Ball State, but I have not been able to get in touch with her.
    I actually started the application with Walden, but have not really followed through yet. My hang-up is still the fact that I can't contact a person who has successfully completed the program and has become licensed in Texas (since they haven't graduated anyone yet). I did my LVN to RN bridge through Excelsior a few years ago, and I initially had concerns about that program. But, with Excelsior, I worked with RN's who had obtained their RN through Excelsior, so I had no doubt it was legitimate and could be done.
    I do not doubt that Walden is legitimate, but until I see proven licensed FNP graduates in Texas, I can't help but hesitate to "pull the trigger" on enrolling there.
    Walden folks have always been very nice and helpful when I have contacted them, and are always quick to respond to any questions I have. I have no complaints about them at all. Again, I just am struggling to fully commit to a lengthy program when I can't see actual success stories yet.
    Also, after some "soul-searching" and prayerful consideration, I am thinking seriously about another route anyway. My family life is complicated due to my wife's health problems. We have two young children and I am the only person in the household working (and I work a lot). I began to think that maybe it would be safer for me to finish my BSN first, sort of as a way to "hedge my bets." I worry about things like going 3/4 way through the Walden FNP program, and then finding out it won't work for Texas, or breaking my leg or getting sick and not finishing, or having to stop because of health problems in the family, etc, and having nothing to really show for it since I would still technically just be an RN/ADN working on a masters. If I finish my BSN first, at least then I am adding letters after my name as I go, in the case that I had to stop at some point. I am even considering doing a different online non-clinical MSN (management, education, informatics, etc), which would be easier to work into my already busy life (avoid the 550-750 hours of FNP clinical rotations squeezed into a short period of time). Then, again, I am adding letters after my name and furthering my education in a way that I remain highly employable and promotable, even in the case that I were to, say, hurt my back and couldn't do bedside nursing anymore. Then, I could do a post-masters FNP certificate or something if I still wanted to. With my family situation, I just have to make sure that whatever I am doing moves me further ahead while minimizing risk of setbacks, failures, etc. Since my wife can't work, I have to find a way to further my education and earning potential without drowning my household in debt in the process, and while minimizing risk or further financial burden. ...well, just rambling now, but it helps to say all this (or type) outloud to see how it sounds. Thanks for listening.....
    I know exactly where you're coming, because I've been there. I was an ADN nurse, did a RN-BSN bridge part-time, and it took me 2 years. I immediately started a part-time NP program that took me 3 years to complete. I'm a single mom of a special needs daughter, and I worried about all the same things you're worried about. All I can say is, TAKE YOUR TIME! I know you want to be done so you can get back to your life, but the stress of trying to do it all "right now" will have you miserable. I completed my part-time programs, while working 56-60 hours a week until clinical became intense toward the end, but I never stopped working the minimum to be full-time with benefits. As long as you have support from your job during the clinical portion, you can do it!!!
    adventure780 likes this.


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