Encouragement Needed

  1. I am currently at a local state school's FNP program, going more or less at a part time rate as I work full time. The school is mostly online, though I've yet to go to campus for anything.

    Anyhow, I suppose I'm looking for encouragement and voices from others out there. Do you enjoy your program? I find mine quite frustrating with little to no interaction from professors and very minimal feedback. Currently I am in a summer class that will finish in 15 days. I've submitted a total of 4 discussion board posts, 2 papers (one is due tomorrow), and various CE certificates of completion, but have only received grades for 2 discussion boards. I feel like there is a lack of guidance in nearly all of my classes from the professors and am feeling very discouraged and debating whether I really want to continue onwards.

    Is this a common experience for online FNP schools? My undergraduate experience was the exact opposite with professors always willing to chat and responded fairly promptly to e-mails. I just feel a huge lack of guidance or caring, but can't figure out if it's just me, my school, or what.

    Thank you for any feedback!
  2. Visit ReWritten profile page

    About ReWritten, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jun '08; Posts: 70; Likes: 49
    from US
    Specialty: ER

    6 Comments

  3. by   CocoaLoverFNP
    Hi Rewritten,

    I also graduated from a local state university. Most of my professors love to talk to their students. I only met one that absolutely did not care if we failed the class. She would not even reply to our emails. However, she is a great and funny teacher! I loved listening to her OB stories. She is just not an email person i guess. However, I would never regret going to that university. I learned a lot of things! This includes, but not limited to, the ff:

    1) Networking! = this is a very very important skill to learn. While my state university did not do all the work in finding preceptors, i am glad to meet many MDs, NPs, and MAs during the process of looking for preceptors. In my area, doctors are more willing to precept so this was not an issue.

    2) Independence = My teachers would always emphasize the importance of understanding what "adult learning" really means. If I didn't know how to study effectively on my own, I don't think I will pass the board exams or learn new concepts/meds as a new NP.

    3) Discipline = As an adult learner, I had to stick to my schedule. I had to learn time management skills.

    I could go on and on... But don't lose hope! There are definitely other school that are more involved with their students. They are expensive though and some did not have good reputations. I do not think you can work full time with these schools though.

    You can definitely switch schools if you are not happy with your current school. You have to do what's best for you.
  4. by   CocoaLoverFNP
    FYI: I went to a 4-year undergrad BSN school (no online component) and I could tell the big difference from my MSN school (in-class and some online). Both were state universities.
  5. by   ReWritten
    Thank you for you reply, CocoaLover.

    My BSN was all on-campus school, and this is the first time I've ever really taken online courses, and I'm really not enjoying the lack of face time. I've only had 2 professors bother to really put forth interacting with the class by way of providing youtube links for extra info, or even making videos themselves. I feel like most just provide the syllabus and bluntly state "follow this", and I won't hear from them again for another few weeks to check in.

    Is it common to feel like I'm teaching myself to be a nurse practitioner? I'm all about adult learning and self motivation, but it makes me anxious that the only support I feel are only from the physicians/fellow nurses I work with in the ER and not my own professors.
  6. by   CocoaLoverFNP
    Quote from ReWritten
    Thank you for you reply, CocoaLover.

    My BSN was all on-campus school, and this is the first time I've ever really taken online courses, and I'm really not enjoying the lack of face time. I've only had 2 professors bother to really put forth interacting with the class by way of providing youtube links for extra info, or even making videos themselves. I feel like most just provide the syllabus and bluntly state "follow this", and I won't hear from them again for another few weeks to check in.

    Is it common to feel like I'm teaching myself to be a nurse practitioner? I'm all about adult learning and self motivation, but it makes me anxious that the only support I feel are only from the physicians/fellow nurses I work with in the ER and not my own professors.
    In my opinion, it is normal to feel that way. After attending a 4-year school without online component, the graduate school seemed to make me feel like i'm alone. My professors will only talk to the class as a group but will always remind us to call him/her for issues (except one instructor). We were forced to work in groups. We were also asked to study on our own first and ask questions on blackboard (to allow other students to answer your question, not the professor). I think this is necessary to become a good NP as you will learn your own strengths and weaknesses as a future NP. You will also learn how to work with your other classmates (collaboration). To tell you honestly, I learned more in clinicals. The books and in-class lectures became boring to me since I enjoyed learning "hands-on" after a while. The adjustment took about a year. The lectures were very long and I prefer reading/watching at my own chosen time. I study best in the evenings vs. mornings. Also like to study in chunks while our lectures are scheduled all day every week/other week.

    So my advice is to give it some time. I liked the independence and the fact that i could control my schedule (except those days we were required to go to school). I was able to work PRN at the hospital. We went to school 2 to 3 times per month to get tested (simulated patient), to share our thoughts/concerns/feelings, and also to listen to an 8-hour long lecture! But i loved that because I got to see my classmates and instructors once in a while. Is your school designed this way too?

    I really don't like to see my professors/classmates everyday since I learn best on my own. I study effectively if I read the materials first then go to class for discussion. I just couldn't do all that when I was at my 4-year BSN university. Does that make sense? Let me know if it is confusing.

    However, like I said, if you realize along the way that going to the state university is not working out, you should switch to a different school. There are a LOT of them out there. I just hope you are not too far along in your current school.
    Last edit by CocoaLoverFNP on Jul 20, '15
  7. by   malenurse122879
    Sounds like you're at UT-A with me....
  8. by   ReWritten
    I'm not at UTA, but I have heard similar complaints from coworkers in their master's programs. At least we are all in the same metaphorical boat.

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