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Good online NP Program

Updated | Posted

Has 11 years experience.

I got accepted into Maryville university AGACNP program to start in July. I am concerned about some of the reviews that I have been seeing. Is this school worth going to? Should I decline acceptance and go to a different school. What is a good school to attend? Any an all help would be welcome.

ArmyRN79, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in Progressive Care, PACU, ICU, Operating Room. Has 15 years experience.

I knew a nurse who went through this program a couple of years ago and didn’t have any negatives things to say about it. I looked into Maryville as well, but found them pretty expensive. I recently applied to Purdue Global University for their post MSN/FNP certificate to start in September. I know a fellow nurse who is going through the program now and has nothing, but good things to say about it. I also like the fact that starting in 2020 in order for them to get recertified with CCNE they will have to start finding clinical placements for their NP students. Which honestly is my biggest worry with any online program.

Dodongo, APRN, NP

Has 7 years experience.

I think it's a terrible idea, especially for an AGACNP, to attend any program that is 100% online. You need to be trained to do procedures; hands on training. Programs like this give NPs a bad reputation.

46 minutes ago, Dodongo said:

I think it's a terrible idea, especially for an AGACNP, to attend any program that is 100% online. You need to be trained to do procedures; hands on training. Programs like this give NPs a bad reputation.

Wouldn’t they get that training in clinical?

desertrose501, BSN

Has 11 years experience.

There will be 750 hours of clinical training required.

Dodongo, APRN, NP

Has 7 years experience.

First of all, it makes NPs look poorly trained to MD/DO and PAs. Which is a big deal considering, for the most part, physicians are highly involved in the hiring process for most groups.

Second of all, my job as a preceptor is to reinforce ideas and help to coalesce what has already been presented to you. Your school should be where you are learning the basics. I don't get paid to teach you. But these 100% online schools expect preceptors to teach you everything. I am supposed to teach you physical exam (which, yes, is different at the provider level), how to write a note, formulate a differential, do procedures, all in a few hundred hours. No. The school is taking advantage of you. What are you paying for exactly?

Dodongo, APRN, NP

Has 7 years experience.

You should be looking for a school that does not have a 100% acceptance rate, has live lectures (or at least recorded... bare minimum), multiple on campus visits to assess your abilities and teach you hands on, *proctored* exams (would you proudly tell patients and other providers your exams were open book?), etc.

This isn't a game.

2 hours ago, Dodongo said:

You should be looking for a school that does not have a 100% acceptance rate, has live lectures (or at least recorded... bare minimum), multiple on campus visits to assess your abilities and teach you hands on, *proctored* exams (would you proudly tell patients and other providers your exams were open book?), etc.

This isn't a game.

Ah, this makes sense.

desertrose501, BSN

Has 11 years experience.

Wow, I didn't realize that I was treating this like a game. I mean doing research on schools, questioning every decision, plus 11 years of nursing experience including 4 in a ICU surely isn't enough when it comes to a NP program. Glad I have you, DoDongo, to set me straight. What would I have done with out you pointing out that this decision, the one that is going to effect my life and career, I have been treating so lightly. I should have known better.

SopranoKris, BSN, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 6 years experience.

To the OP: I would caution against Maryville because they do not provide any hands-on skills training prior to starting clinicals. This is especially important in the ACNP role. The on-campus skills sessions allow you to get experience suturing, doing intubations, inserting art lines/central lines, chest tubes, etc., before you do it in the clinical setting. In my program, I will have 2 separate campus visits before the ACNP portion of my clinical rotation. I will also have 1,080 clinical hours (1,120 if I opt to do the additional radiology & anesthesia rotation).

I will also say this: Maryville has a LOT of group work for their assignments in core courses. Because they accept nearly every applicant, you may be stuck with a few slackers in your groups, which can affect your grades. I know of students who left that program because of the heavy amount of group work involved. It's hard enough to do group projects face-to-face. Even more difficult to accomplish when everyone is online.

Considering how expensive the tuition is at Maryville, you might be better off going to a different program that has on-campus skills and more affordable tuition.

Dodongo, APRN, NP

Has 7 years experience.

3 hours ago, Adrienne Hathaway said:

Wow, I didn't realize that I was treating this like a game. I mean doing research on schools, questioning every decision, plus 11 years of nursing experience including 4 in a ICU surely isn't enough when it comes to a NP program. Glad I have you, DoDongo, to set me straight. What would I have done with out you pointing out that this decision, the one that is going to effect my life and career, I have been treating so lightly. I should have known better.

I'm glad you now know better.

1 hour ago, SopranoKris said:

To the OP: I would caution against Maryville because they do not provide any hands-on skills training prior to starting clinicals. This is especially important in the ACNP role. The on-campus skills sessions allow you to get experience suturing, doing intubations, inserting art lines/central lines, chest tubes, etc., before you do it in the clinical setting. In my program, I will have 2 separate campus visits before the ACNP portion of my clinical rotation. I will also have 1,080 clinical hours (1,120 if I opt to do the additional radiology & anesthesia rotation).

I will also say this: Maryville has a LOT of group work for their assignments in core courses. Because they accept nearly every applicant, you may be stuck with a few slackers in your groups, which can affect your grades. I know of students who left that program because of the heavy amount of group work involved. It's hard enough to do group projects face-to-face. Even more difficult to accomplish when everyone is online.

Considering how expensive the tuition is at Maryville, you might be better off going to a different program that has on-campus skills and more affordable tuition.

Just curious, is your program online with the addition of those campus visits (and of course clinical)? Did you feel pretty prepared by the campus visits? I ask because my program will be very similar to this.

SopranoKris, BSN, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in Critical Care. Has 6 years experience.

9 hours ago, CozyCatRN said:

Just curious, is your program online with the addition of those campus visits (and of course clinical)? Did you feel pretty prepared by the campus visits? I ask because my program will be very similar to this.

Yes, my program is online with the addition of the campus visits.

22 hours ago, Dodongo said:

You should be looking for a school that does not have a 100% acceptance rate, has live lectures (or at least recorded... bare minimum), multiple on campus visits to assess your abilities and teach you hands on, *proctored* exams (would you proudly tell patients and other providers your exams were open book?), etc.

This isn't a game.

I Couldn't agree more.

To the original poster, do yourself a favor. Hold off and apply to a decent school with a reputation, clinical placement and some sort of standards to be upheld. Especially for ACNP. You need a school that actually takes the time to teach students and hold them up to a certain standard for practice. Your experience will serve you well, but what are you paying for through Maryville? They're expensive, don't offer any hands on simulation training, and don't place you in clinical sites. You're essentially paying to write a bunch of discussion posts and papers. Put your money where it will be well spent.

desertrose501, BSN

Has 11 years experience.

6 hours ago, Telenurse1990 said:

I Couldn't agree more.

To the original poster, do yourself a favor. Hold off and apply to a decent school with a reputation, clinical placement and some sort of standards to be upheld. Especially for ACNP. You need a school that actually takes the time to teach students and hold them up to a certain standard for practice. Your experience will serve you well, but what are you paying for through Maryville? They're expensive, don't offer any hands on simulation training, and don't place you in clinical sites. You're essentially paying to write a bunch of discussion posts and papers. Put your money where it will be well spent.

I absolutely agree with this. I did not want to attend a diploma mill. I had concerns about Maryville and wanted to see what other options were out there. I have found a collage that while online, does have proctored exams, I have to attend clinical sessions once a semester and I feel a lot better about. I still have to find my own clinical sites but this collage has a list of approved sites. Thanks for all your help.

JBMmom, MSN

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

I am currently at Maryville for AGACNP. If I could go back and do it again, I probably would have made a different choice, but I ended up here for a few reasons and I'll make the best of it. I have some excellent preceptors lined up and I have shared some of my concerns with them about the lack of teaching, my preceptors feel confident we can overcome any deficits we encounter. I've also found some very good on-line resources to supplement my learning, but I agree that I feel like I'm mostly paying for nothing. I did do research, and there were many websites that highly rated Maryville and their NP programs. The deciding factor for me was three recent graduates in my area that gave very good feedback about the program, who were employed immediately upon graduation, so it seemed like solid evidence at the time. Good luck finding a program that works for you.

At this point, I would consider Maryville online PMHNP program due to the fact that with my less than stellar GPA, I may not get into anything else. I'm just a tiny but below a 3.0 but all of the PMHNP programs I have contacted (brick and mortar, online/distance learning programs within NYC and outside NYC) do heavily weigh the GPA or that's what they indicated to me. For the out of state programs, many of them are not authorized to take NY students at the moment so I guess many things have changed. So Maryville seems like my last choice at this point. If not, then I may just have to get a masters in nursing administration (with no desire to be in administration). Just a bit frustrated at this point.