Becoming a Nurse Practitioner will require a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Nurses with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a nursing diploma may find online nursing programs that result in a MSN. Those wishing to become Nurse Practitioners will be able to choose a concentration which matches their career goals.
What's The Best Nursing Program Accreditation?
First, before committing to an online MSN program with a Nurse Practitioner concentration, be certain the college or university holds appropriate accreditation. The gold standards for nursing are the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACNE). Accreditation assures you that the program meets quality educational standards for the nursing profession.
How Long Does It Take?
As you can imagine, program lengths may vary; but, on average, most Nurse Practitioner programs may be completed in 2-3 years on a parttime basis. Programs average between 42-55 credit hours of coursework, with additional hours of clinical experience.
What Are Core Competencies?
As with any profession, there are certain core courses you should study. Some of these core competencies may include: Research Methodology, Evidence-Based Practice, Case Studies, Healthcare Statistics, Ethics and Policy Development and Healthcare Ethics and Policy. Additionally, some programs may require prerequisite coursework before admission into a graduate nursing program. As you review schools which interest you, be certain to check if the program has a prerequisite component. Schools may offer course transfer credits from any previous college or university you may have attended.
Is There Standard Coursework?
Specific coursework will vary from school to school; but, in general, students may be expected to complete online didactic coursework in: Advanced Clinical Assessment and Diagnosis, Nursing Information Technology, Health and Wellness Promotion, Advanced Practice Issues, Application of Nursing Theory, etc. Some programs may also require a Capstone Project, where a student identifies an issue based on what they've learned in their studies, conducts research in case studies, evidence based practices and submits a report or presentation based on their findings.
What About A Nurse Practitioner Concentration?
MSN programs will offer concentrations in Nurse Practitioner specialties Best Medical Degrees has researched several online nursing programs which may help you in your specialty choice, such as 10 Best Value Online Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Programs, 10 Best Value Online Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Programs, 10 Best Value Psychiatric Mental Health (PMHNP) Nurse Practitioner Online Degrees, 10 Most Affordable Online Nurse-Midwifery Certificates , 20 Most Affordable Nurse Anesthesia Degree Programs, etc.
What About Clinical Experiences?
One question frequently asked about online, Advanced Practice Nurse degrees, is "How do I do a clinical experience with an online program?" Not to worry. Colleges and universities, for the most part, have created programs which allow students to conduct their clinical practicum in their home communities. These experiences will be conducted under the supervision of a qualified and school approved preceptor. Nursing programs have processes in place to establish agreements with healthcare facilities to establish a clinical experience. You should discuss this with your academic advisor early on so that your practicum will be in place.