I'm halfway through the program. So far, it's OK. With any online graduate program, you're going to have to do a fair amount of self-teaching in the foundation courses. I was able to keep working full time until I started clinicals.
This semester is my last portion of the FNP part of the program. Since we've started clinicals, we now have lectures which are live, but recorded in case you can't attend. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many of our classmates have their acute care clinicals suspended by their sites. We're all worried about not being able to finish the second half.
Overall, it's been a good experience. I've enjoyed going to campus for skills intensives. Not sure when we'll be able to do the second one yet with the gathering ban. We were supposed to go in July. But we learned a lot of hands-on skills before starting the FNP clinicals last year. My OB/Gyn preceptor was happy with my pelvic/PAP skills, which is what I was most nervous about before starting. I wish they had taught us more about E/M coding before we had our first rotation. We're in our second rotation and finally had a module about it. They are good about listening to our feedback and making changes.
We are the first cohort that has a comprehensive final at the end of the FNP portion. We'll see how that goes. I did like a quiz we did where they gave us case material we hadn't learned yet and allowed us to use resource material to come up with a proper diagnosis & treatment plan. Just like what we'd do in real life. I felt like it was a good gauge of how we'll function "in the real world".
We no longer get study guides for exams now that we're in didactics. We get "reading guides". Our classmates work together to make our own study guide based off the lectures and reading guides. These have been very helpful. In the foundation courses, you get comprehensive study guides which are very detailed. I won't say "easy A" because it wasn't easy, but if you do the work to complete the guides, you should earn top scores.
I find the clinical courses to have the most "work" involved, just due to the sheer volume of paperwork, evaluations, SOAP notes and Typhon entries. USA requires more info in Typhon than any school I've come across at my clinical sites. Most of the other NP & PA students I've met on-site only have to enter about 4 to 6 items. We have to fill out nearly every field plus a mini-SOAP on each patient. It can be very time consuming.
But on the whole, I like the program. I feel like they're preparing us well for boards & future practice.