Many of the nurse practitioner training programs are available either on a full-time and part-time basis or online through a distance learning program. Getting a nurse practitioner degree online makes it possible for practicing registered nurses to keep their jobs and support their families while being in school to seek career advancement through higher education.
Nurses who are seriously considering career advancement by becoming a nurse practitioner can obtain their formal education through enrolling in schools that offer a Master’s program in Nursing. Most of the time, nurses attend universities or private colleges in order to obtain their Master’s degree but due to recent technological advancements, there are now ways to earn a degree without actually having to be physically present in a classroom. Reportedly, there is an increase in the number of students who prefer to enroll in schools that offer online programs. However, students who want to earn their degree through enrolling in online or distance learning programs must first verify if the nurse practitioner program is accredited by the national board of nursing.
Registered nurses normally work for 8 to 12 hours per shift and enrolling in a traditional school makes it difficult for them to attend their classes all the time. This is why an online nurse practitioner program is ideal especially for those who still want to continue working regularly. Online programs are also suitable for travelling nurses who often relocate and travel within the year in different parts of the country.
One of the many advantages of an online program is it allows individuals to continue with their everyday routines while earning their Master’s degree in Nursing at the same time. It offers students flexible schedules since they get to decide when they will do their school work, when to study, and when to take their exams. They can still fit all their daily activities into their schedule without causing too much stress since most of their coursework can be done online. Because stress levels are much lower for students who are in an online program, they complete assignments, papers, tests, and reports at a more relaxed environment.
Another great advantage of taking a nurse practitioner program online is the elimination of long commutes since students take their classes right in the comforts of their own homes. Nurses who are working full-time while trying to earn their nurse practitioner degree do not have to go to school after their work which can be extremely convenient for them. This is possible through video lectures and conferences, online forums, message boards, e-books, online chat rooms and discussion boards. Information can be easily obtained in the web since students are given unlimited access to research sites, medical articles, and blogs. Lectures and educational materials given by professors can also be easily downloaded and made into hardcopies if the student chooses to do so. There are also less school expenses since students in online nurse practitioner programs do not have to pay for unnecessary costs such as dorm expenses, commuting costs, administrative costs, school supplies and expensive textbooks.
Online nurse practitioner programs will still require their students to complete their clinical training hours at an accredited health facility such as hospitals, nursing homes, or long-term care facilities through a supervised internship.