Augmenting your education for bad NP programs

by SublimeEMTP SublimeEMTP (New) New

Hi all, I am currently doing the online FNP program through UTA. I'm about to start my third class, and I've quickly discovered that this program is little more than a "FNP mill". Lots of writing papers, discussions boards, and completing assignments that really provide little in the way of the advanced knowledge I feel I need for the position. From what I've heard, many of the programs are like this. Kind of at this point where I am not sure what to do. I am not having any trouble doing the program, in fact I'm working insane hours at work right now between two jobs and I am still able to make A's, I just don't feel I am getting what I need. I don't want to show up to clinicals and feel lost.

Does anyone have similar experiences or advice on how to augment my FNP education? Do you just feel that you learn what you need to during clinicals despite the poor educational model of these programs? I don't want to be a provider that doesn't know what their doing.


Edited by SublimeEMTP



1,487 Posts

Before I became world famous as a Psych NP ( ok people, let me have a little fun), I did an Adult NP program. This is not an endorsement of doing 2 NP programs, please don't do what I did.

I went to a well regarded private on campus school, and I still felt very leery because a lot of the coursework was crappy fluff.

So I hit upon the idea of doing an intensive top 10 review. People can walk into a PCP office with anything, from the sniffles to widely metastatic cancer. But there are certain presentations that are much more common than others in this setting. This information was relatively easy to find, and I began preparing myself to handle the 10 most common conditions. It's been a lot of years, but colds and sore throats were on the list, as well as diabetic management, HTN, back pain, anxiety/depression, COPD, well woman check, ie pap smear and birth control, and a few others. You get the idea.

I wanted to understand in depth the diagnostics and work ups for these conditions, and how they are managed. How to rule out potentially serious things, and when to refer.

Breaking it down like this made me feel a lot more confident. Yes it was extra work. A ton.

NP programs are mostly a ton of crap, which annoys me to no end.

Hope this helps.



188 Posts

I am in a brick and mortar FNP program. I could go on for days about how inadequate it is. I have no suggestion other than to supplement the best you can. You realize the flaw in the education and that right there means you're likely to be a good provider someday with your supplementation of education.



Has 17 years experience. 134 Posts

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. Many did it and are successful. Choose to focus your time, energy and conversation around people who inspire you, support you and help you to grow you into your happiest, strongest, wisest self. Good luck.

umbdude, MSN, NP

Specializes in Psych/Mental Health. Has 5 years experience. 1,215 Posts

If you're just starting your third class, maybe you're still taking some of the fluff courses? The advanced clinical knowledge probably won't come 'til later and likely during your clinical. There are so many resources depending on what you're looking for. You just need to dig around a bit.

If you feel that NP textbooks are too light, find books that are designed for medical students (eg, medical physiology, Harrison's internal medicine) for more in-depth explanation. I used the USMLE pharmacology review book (more detailed explanation on pharmacokinetics & dynamics) as a reference to supplement my advanced pharmacology class. I took a 12-week online (free) medical neuroscience course via Coursera to up my knowledge in neuro anatomy & physiology. I have several psychopharmacology manuals and texts (I'm a PMHNP student) that I use as references.

Schools' libraries usually have great resources. You might be able to find many online texts and articles published by various medical associations. Clinical practice guidelines are usually free.

Professional NP Facebook groups are useful supplements. Many members of closed FB groups discuss case scenarios and practice issues and some responses are solid.

There are also medical case studies or board exam reviews relevant to your specialty. These are great tools especially when you're in your specialty courses.

Finally, you can find conferences that pique your interests. Students usually get a discount.