People interested in becoming nurse practitioners should be encouraged by recent statistics showing that the need for nurse practitioners is growing at a rapid pace. However, even though career opportunities are likely to be plentiful for those pursuing nurse practitioner degrees, earning the degree is no small task.
Luckily, today’s technology makes it possible to earn the degree online, which can help those interested in the degree avoid some obstacles that may have before prevented them from becoming nurse practitioners. While online degrees may not be the best choice for everyone, there are certain circumstances that may make it ideal for certain students.
Here are some things to consider when choosing whether to get your family nurse practitioner degree online.
Do you have a job that you want to continue? Online degrees offer much more flexibility that in-person programs. For those who want to be full-time students or potentially earn their degrees faster, an online degree may not offer a lot of value. For those who are already working and want to continue their jobs, online courses can be scheduled around work. Having the ability to take your courses and do your schoolwork whenever you are available can enable you to earn the degree without sacrificing your current job and earnings.
Do you have other commitments that make in-person learning inconvenient? Stringent school schedules can be inconvenient even for those who are not employed. If you have other commitments - such as those to children or parents - earning your nurse practitioner degree online can provide a less stressful way to continue to honor your commitments to others while also earning your degree to help secure your own future.
Do you live near a good nurse practitioner program? While quality of substance and effectiveness of delivery were significant issues with online learning programs early on in their development, it is much easier today to find rigorous, high-quality degree programs that are successfully implemented online. Programs for family nurse practitioner licensing and practice are no exception. Given the demand for family nurse practitioners, these programs may in fact be superior to many other online degree programs. For people who do not have easy access to a good in-person program, an online option may therefore be a perfect fit.
Do you have other concerns about the difference between in-person and online courses? If you are not sure whether you should pursue your degree in-person or online, educate yourself on the specific differences between these types of programs and think about what is most important to you. Today, many online programs offer the same student support that is offered through in-person programs and provide field placements in a similar way as in-person programs. These aspects of online programs help make them comparable to in-person programs.
Takeaway: It is easier than ever to earn a high-quality family nurse practitioner education online. While there will always be specific differences between in-person and online programs, advancements in online learning are closing this gap and helping to define the value proposition of online programs.