**Deciding between FNP schools - HELP**


I've been applying to MSN/FNP online schools and just got accepted to USC's program!! woohoo!I would have to take the bridge course because I've been out of school 5+ years (this course is a combo of all the major sciences, yuck! micro, o-chem, anatomy, and physiology) - do other schools require this type of course if you've been out of school a while or if you didn't do the best in the sciences for undergrad (I got A's and B's but got a D in micro and had to retake it)?? I would have to take the bridge course before actually starting the FNP portion.

I have a few other schools in the works and was wondering what everyone thought of these schools and if anyone had insight on their FNP programs - most are online...

1. USC - University of Southern California (I know their reputation is great - but the cost is 84k for the 2year program! - one of the higher tuitions I've found. Also - their FNP program isn't accredited quite yet. It's supposed to be by September, but it's still a gamble. Any thoughts on this??)

2. Simmons College (It's 60k for the program, all online, and based out of Boston) I haven't been accepted yet, but am hoping to be! It might be my top choice, but that could just be because I've talked to them the most and it seems like a good program. Any thoughts on their FNP program?

3. Bradley University - again, it's 60k and all online. Thoughts about this program??

4. Maryville University - also 60k I think and all online. Thoughts on this program?

5. Azusa Pacific - it's 37k for their program, and on campus. Any thoughts or info about this school/program?

6. South University - 37k online. I have a co-worker who did their online program and didn't seem too enthusiast about it, but she said she was going through some things which took away from her studies. Any thoughts on this program?

7. Frontier - 30k online. I've heard mixed reviews about their FNP program - any thoughts?

8. University of Cincinnati - 67k online. This school/program got #5 on US News for top best online nursing programs/NP programs I think, which sounds pretty good - when others on my list are #50, 60 and in the 90s...any thoughts on this school and FNP program?

Thanks so much - all the advice and input is appreciated!! It's so hard to know which schools are good - and I've missed a lot of deadlines because I chose this path a little late, and I'd really prefer to not wait another year to attend other/cheaper schools. I just want a good education, want a school that will prepare me for the NP boards/job, but one that doesn't cost a total fortune... Thanks all for your input! :)


8 Posts

Congratulations on your acceptance! The FNP program is challenging, but doable. I do have one piece of advice- ask about the clinical requirements before you get started. I started my online FNP degree at UT- Arlington. It is all online, but you can only do clinicals in the state of Texas. I ended up moving a semester before my adult rotation and I was told I had to withdraw from the program or come back to Texas- which was impossible.I ended up having to transfer and I now I am a year behind schedule. Be sure that you can do you practicum hours wherever you are if the school you choose is out of state. Most grad schools only take 6-8 transfer hours and you definitely don't want to repeat anything. I was able to transfer all my class credit hours (I had 19), but I am not exactly in love with my current school.

Good luck! USC sounds awesome, but yikes! That tuition!


43 Posts

Thank you angiebfnp18, ADN, BSN, RN ! Yes, I've checked with the schools and asked about clinical and if they have specialists who help find preceptors and sites - some do, others don't. I just hope I can find preceptors that will take me - I'll have to ask around and reach out to my contacts! Any thought on the fact that USC's FNP program isn't accredited yet?? They said their faculty and curriculum is, but the program has to be established for an entire year, which it will be in September before they can be fully accredited. They said they just have to prove that the students are moving through the program and they anticipate getting accredited. I'm sure a school with a reputation like them will be accredited, it's just a bit scary and a gamble - any thoughts on that?


482 Posts

Out of all of those schools, USC has the best reputation, but WOW, thats a LOT of money. The only other ones that I have heard of are UC and APU, never heard of the rest you mentioned.

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Duplicate threads merged.


43 Posts

Thank you Simplistic ! Yes, I know USC has a great reputation, so I'm sure their FNP program will get accredited - it's just a bit scary to take that gamble!! This is an odd question, but does reputation matter when trying to get a job as an FNP? Would it look better to have attended USC vs one of the other random online programs?? I would think it would but it's so much money. Thank you again for your response!!

Specializes in FNP, Retail Health, Primary Care, Corrections. Has 11 years experience.

I'm currently in the South University Online FNP program. It's all self study so reading reading reading non stop. You will only get out of it what you put in honestly. I looked at Simmons and was all set to start there, and a friend talked me into going to South with her (then she ended up not going). I'd be wary of a program that isn't accredited. Could you start somewhere​ else and then transfer after they become accredited?


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Has 20+ years experience.

Maryville has a good reputation, and a very decent rating in those national reports. I considered them as my 2nd or 3rd choice. Graceland University is very respectable, too. Frontier is very mother/child oriented; it's emphasized in the curriculum, it seems.

Some schools, especially in the South, seem to (unintentionally?) favor regional students, vs. those thousands of miles away. They'll take just as much of your money, though, so beware of them.

It's a good thing if you can choose a school within your region, though--it gives name recognition when you're job hunting, and that can help when you encounter out-dated notions of "degree mills online".

The schools near you may also have local resources to help you with such things as finding preceptorships (unofficially, just word of mouth referrals, but these can be a Godsend). You can also drive, if you like, instead of fly, to required seminars, and may even have relatives you can stay with....things like that add up.

Some fancier big-name schools may not live up to their superior reputation (and therefore be worth the extra cost), as whatever made the brick-and-mortar school top-notch may not be translating at all to their online format, or vice-versa. I have worked with 2 students from instant-recognition schools (1 brick 'n mortar, and one online) whom I would not allow to touch a family member!

In other schools, the online version is much BETTER than their conventional program, and attracts a more determined student; this can elevate a "whose that? never heard of 'em!" place to a great option...There would be lower tuition, too. Graduation rates, certification pass rates, and so on, can help you compare.

You'd have to do your homework before choosing--which is just what you are doing :-)


16 Posts

I've heard a few things.....

Be weary of South. It's a for-profit school and I have been told by several who went there that you are just paying for A's and credits. You don't learn anything, but it's guaranteed that you will graduate and get really good grades....but passing boards is another story. There are 2 nurses on my unit who graduated from South 1 1/2 years ago and still can't pass

boards but yet they had a 4.0 in the program. Google reviews on the school and that should help your decision.

I also have a friend at Simmons and she loves it. It's expensive, like $1400/credit but she says it's well structured and the teachers are great.

Ive applied to University of Cincinnati for fall 2017 FNP. I've never heard anything bad about the program. My supervisor at work is graduating from UC in May and his wife graduated from there a few years ago. You do have to find your own clinical sites in your state and some states have restrictions due to not enough sites available, so check that your state is allowed to apply. Btw,UC is $40k not $67k!!!!

im transferring 12 credits (hopefully) from my MSN Clinical Nurse Leader program. UC allows up to 12 to be transferred in. That will save me about $12k! Good luck with your search and applying!!!


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I love Frontier! I'm in my 5th term of the FNP program.


17 Posts

hey guys, any more info about Simmons, I am applying there and just need to know that I'm not making a mistake. My biggest fear is to find myself in a self taught program (I know it's online ) but I know that some schools do really help you, teach you and others just throw books at you to read and get an exam that no one helps you know what's gonna be on it or not. So which one is Simmons?


16 Posts

A friend of mine goes to Simmons. She loves it! She said it's hard but well structured and the instructors are helpful.