MSN-NP: American Sentinel vs University of Florida

  1. I am an emergency department RN at an HCA facility. American Sentinel's online MSN-NP (which is CCNE accredited) program is a recommended by HCA. HCA provides full tuition reimbursement for successful completion of the MSN-NP program.

    It is my understanding that I could become licensed as an NP through this program and then complete the online University of Florida MSN to DNP program. The UF college of nursing website states that prior MSN education only need be CCNE accredited.

    I like this route as I can find my own preceptor in my ER and even chose a variety of preceptors to work with. I am a well respected RN in this department, I imagine that
    my preceptors will be very comfortable allowing me learning opportunities. This seems to make more sense then attending UF's online program where clinicals are set up for students.

    However, I realize, University of Florida is a well respected university. Will I regret not
    doing the online program with UF? Or am I really just paying for the name? If I can set up
    good clinical experience for myself, will the didactic quality be comparable? Am I correct about CCNE being the standard for acceptance of MSN to DNP?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated!!! Thank You!
  2. Visit LovelyBlue profile page

    About LovelyBlue

    Joined: Feb '15; Posts: 13; Likes: 17
    from FL , US

    5 Comments

  3. by   Mijourney
    I personally would stick with UF. I do not believe American Sentinel and UF are in the same league. American Sentinel is not accredited by gold standard regional authorities as UF is. American Sentinel has only been around since 2006 having been originally a conglomeration of three separate entities. Check out their websites and review their histories including the accreditations. Just my opinion.
  4. by   LovelyBlue
    Thank you for your suggestion. According to my research, regional accreditation is important for undergraduate programs. At master's level, it seems not to matter. It is accreditation by CCNE which is vital for the MSN to be quality certified. According to UF's website, in order to apply for admission to its MSN to DNP program, my master's should be completed at a CCNE accredited institute with separate course in pharmacology, physical assessment, pathophysiology (which Americam Sentinel fulfills).

    Nurse Practitioner programs in general are fairly new as compared to other advanced degrees. Just because a school may have a long reputation for prestige, doesn't mean they aren't piecing together an NP program like everyone else.
  5. by   elkpark
    "Fairly new"? NP programs have been around since the late 1960s. How long would it take before they're not "fairly new"? And UF has had nurse practitioner programs since the mid-1970s; they are hardly "piecing together" their programs ("like everyone else"?? Do you not believe there are any solid, established, respectable NP programs?). It sounds like you've already made your decision, so why ask here? My recommendation would also be to avoid the for-profit "schools" like the plague and go to UF, which is a well-known and respected institution with a long, solid history, one of the top nursing programs in the Southeast. However, no one here can tell you whether you will ever regret attending Sentinel. Maybe it doesn't matter to you that, for the rest of your career, many people will roll their eyes when they see your CV. Plenty of people won't care, so maybe that's good enough.

    Best wishes.
  6. by   LovelyBlue
    No need to be so indignant. The question is not concerning how you view my resume.
    Last edit by LovelyBlue on Jul 7
  7. by   broughden
    Quote from LovelyBlue
    No need to be so indignant. The question is not concerning how you view my resume.
    Elkpark is understandably indignant because you asked for input and opinions, and then in your very next post seem to discount that input based on your own erroneous assumptions.

    NP programs have been around for decades now, they are far from new.
    And while having HCA pick up the cost if you attend American Sentinel for the MSN portion is understandably enticing, AS is a for profit school with all that entails.

    You asked, "If I can set up good clinical experience for myself, will the didactic quality be comparable?"

    Of course not. Human nature being what it is of course the NP's you work with on a daily basis in your own ED or hospital are going to be kinder, gentler and far less likely to critique your technique if they like you and work with you daily.
    It's not a reflection on them. It's not a reflection on you. It's just human nature.

    Secondly, getting outside of your own hospital and work environment will offer invaluable experience in how other system and providers provide healthcare. Getting as broad an experience as possible in your field is always preferable. Even if you plan on staying at your one HCA hospital for your entire career, getting broader experience will make you a better provider.

    If you can manage to gain admittance to UF's program you should consider yourself lucky and pursue it full steam ahead.

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