deciding on online DNP

Posted
by Barbara Straub Barbara Straub (New) New

Looking at options. Time and Financing are key considerations. Older, I do not want to take on debt. Aspen University monthly payment plan is enticing and overall less expensive. If the end game is to obtain DNP, does where I go really matter? Any Aspen DNP students por grads with opinions? Other options? Thanks

kmRN33

kmRN33, ADN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Onc/Tele/Neuro. Has 15 years experience. 10 Posts

I finished the MSN program last year and decided not to do my DNP, instead I transferred to NP school,I think they are extremely affordable. I received support and help when in needed it (especially with transitions from apa 6 to 7!). Other thoughts to consider is if your state recognizes national or regional accreditation. Aspen has national accreditation (CCNE) like USC, Georgetown, and Duke...

Edited by kmRN33

DrCOVID

DrCOVID, DNP

Specializes in psych/medical-surgical. Has 13 years experience. 461 Posts

Depending on your specialty, I think the school does matter to make yourself competitive. Just look at this; 

 https://www.AANP.org/about/all-about-nps/NP-fact-sheet

Would you want to go to a papermill for family care? Especially when you are likely to be super unprepared with a program that lacks some serious hands on preparation.

Besides, even the big brick and mortar schools are mostly distance anyway. As you spend more time in clinic as the program progresses.

  On 5/27/2020 at 11:30 AM, DrCOVID said:

The number one thing I would say is start looking at clinical sites. This was a huge problem at my school (as for somehow, the medical school and pharmacy schools both have clinics set up for students, while nursing did not). This mean most students had to find their own spots. I would recommend networking NP events where you can face to face with providers and ask about precepting with whoever you like. If your school has affiliations, (big university state systems should) then you don't need to worry about it. My smaller private costly program didn't...

I know the program structures are different, but here are some more things to think about - What specialty are you choosing? This affects where you will do clinic and your capstone project. You do all your hours whatever you are certifying in. Capstone has to be related to your specialization area as well.

Start thinking about your capstone project. You have to pick a clinic to do it with, and I would highly recommend a smaller private practice, than a big government organization. I bet you can imagine the mistake I made. Getting through the red tape at a FQHC or the VA is an absolute nightmare when you are a student and have other things to do and a tight timeline. Google "Vanderbuilt DNP projects"; this will give you a great idea of what you are looking at doing. Ask about implementation time frame too, as many students thought they could get away with 5 weeks. My school ended up requiring at least 10 weeks, which in the middle of covid19 was a nightmare.

We had a lot of group projects. When you start, find the people you mesh with and keep close contact. Ones with good work ethics... this was another huge problem in my group LOL... Be prepared for lots of writing and APA manual work.

Some of this will vary depending on your program structure, but:

Year 1 is mostly classroom didactic and we did advanced patho, pharm and A&P. Year 2 you start rotating through clinics and conceptualize and start work on your capstone. Year three you do mostly capstone hours and patient clinic along with the diagnosis courses for your specialty and board prep.

I think my program was 600 capstone hours (IMO wayyy too much) and 600 patient care clinical hours. Or 500/700...

The faculty might have told you about some of these things. Having faculty that are accessible and a smaller class cohort was nice. Find the ones that are reasonable and work with you. I got really lucky, as there are some big PhD ladies that are super mother hens and not fun to work with. Feel free to ask me anything here or directly!

  On 12/25/2020 at 4:26 PM, DrCOVID said:

 But none of my cohort was able to work full time and do both the capstone and pt care hours and the hours required in year 3.

  On 1/17/2021 at 7:50 PM, DrCOVID said:

Yes, it is relatively difficult. The larger/more government related, the worse (think many hoops to jump through, approval process). I got lucky ending up in a small private practice and helped another student with her hours by referring her to my clinic.  Even my faculty tried hard to get us in several hospitals that gave us the cold shoulder. Especially for some specialties like psych, options are limited. I would probably try to find a local private practice and go talk to the owner in person. 

Edited by DrCOVID

NurseMaricel

NurseMaricel

39 Posts

Hi Barbara,

I am also debating between Chamberlain and Aspen, and I am here to find more information especially from former students. I am a practicing NP now for 4 years, and really looking forward to obtaining my DNP. Aspen is 21K. How are you? Do you mind sharing whatever info you have about the school and student experience?

Thanks.

ViolettaCCU

ViolettaCCU, MSN

Specializes in Cardiac ICU. Has 22 years experience. 137 Posts

Hello and thank you for your post about DNP schools. I am in my 4th class at Grand Canyon University and it is a nightmare! I am seriously considering going to a different school. I completed my MSN through and, despite the antiquated articles provided by GCU, I completed it in 15 months.

In the current DNP program, I am tired of being responsible for their curriculum errors. An example of this is a template they provided for our use. We had points taken off as the template had incorrect spacing and page numbers at the bottom, instead of APA 7th edition format.

I started in Feb 2021 and won't finish until Aug 2023 with 1000 practicum hours - all at $1950 per course. When signing up, GCU did not present that the last 3 courses last 4 months each - they only posted the start and finish dates up to those courses. I really thought I would be completed way before Aug 2023. A student can take a 2-week break, yet a new class starts only month so a student must take a leave of absence to take a break. Leave of absences are allowed only twice per year.

I am so frustrated and disgruntled! Can anyone tell me about their experience in a DNP program that is better than mine will ever be? My focus is in education.

Thank you,

Violetta

MentalKlarity, BSN, NP

Specializes in Psychiatry. Has 9 years experience. 247 Posts

Maybe don’t look at for profit programs? I’m sure your local state school is cheaper and more legit

ViolettaCCU

ViolettaCCU, MSN

Specializes in Cardiac ICU. Has 22 years experience. 137 Posts

Thank you for your input, MentalKlarity. I live in Illinois and nothing is cheaper - especially colleges and universities, unlike other states. I am about 1/2 through my program - I am persistent, if anything. GCU, a private Christian school, has been transitioning from profit to non-profit.

londonflo

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 45 years experience. 2,121 Posts

On 7/5/2022 at 12:40 PM, ViolettaCCU said:

GCU, a private Christian school, has been transitioning from profit to non-profit.

and is now back to PROFIT. Once upon a time Grand Canyon University was a private non-profit Christian university in Phoenix, Arizona.  They were changed to 'for profit' because they used the same advertising, and other structures as for profit. They were trying to reap the same rewards available to non-profit but the government found they were still emulating the for-profit programs.  "a leopard does not change it's spots".

ViolettaCCU

ViolettaCCU, MSN

Specializes in Cardiac ICU. Has 22 years experience. 137 Posts

Hmm...I feel I've been brainwashed! Any suggestions for other online DNP programs?

londonflo

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 45 years experience. 2,121 Posts

On 10/4/2021 at 1:28 PM, ViolettaCCU said:

I completed my MSN through and, despite the antiquated articles provided by GCU, I completed it in 15 months.

And yet you went on to another program at the same institution.