Online nurse practitioner masters programs help registered nurses learn new ways to help their patients. And they do it in a format flexible enough to work in a busy nurse’s life. Programs build on RN's existing bedside care expertise to prepare them to take on tasks often handled by doctors. They focus on diagnosing, treating, and educating patients. In other words, nurse practitioner programs take a holistic view of medical care. They aim to help ensure patient health and comfort, through treatment and education. And by offering all of this online, they meet real nurses where they are. So you could attend graduate school whatever your shift, be there for your patients every day, and still get the education you’re looking for.
Earning your nurse practitioner masters online could be a unique educational experience. Not to mention a convenient one. Online programs offer both portability and flexibility. These could be things you need to fit your nurse practitioner education into your life. You could access your classes online from your own computer, when and where is convenient for you. In a nurse’s busy schedule, being able to attend class alongside your shift schedule… that could be a pretty big perk.
Many online programs even offer some of the same perks you might find on campus digitally. Examples include social networking and discussion, research and library services, career counseling, and more. Plus, because nursing is often a hands on activity, online nurse practitioner masters programs work hard to bring video demonstrations, virtual labs and other learning opportunities to your home. The specifics of how your online program is administered might vary. For more information about how your school does it, reach out to them.
To earn your nurse practitioner masters degree, you generally need to be an RN with a bachelor's degree and professional experience. That doesn’t mean you can’t become a nurse practitioner coming from another field, though. Some masters programs may incorporate RN education and certification requirements in their curriculum. More often, though, programs are designed with professional nurses in mind, who want to take that next step.
Because most nurse practitioner masters programs are aimed at current RNs, they tend to use that background as a foundation. Courses aim to build medical and scientific expertise related to different types of patients and medical care. They might also discuss how to diagnose different conditions, treat them, prescribe medication, and more. The specifics, however, might vary, depending on the care setting, the type of care, and the type of patients that program is looking at.
Nurse practitioner masters programs online might be offered in a variety of flavors. Some programs are more generalized, aiming to prepare nurses for any situation they might face in the field. Other programs are more tailored, focusing on specific healthcare settings, issues, or patient populations. What that means for you: you could choose an online nurse practitioner masters program focused on what you need to know to help your patients.
Keep in mind that individual programs might vary from the above descriptions. Additionally, some schools might not have all these options, or might have some not listed here. If you have questions or want to know more, get in touch with your online nurse practitioner masters program for details.
Most online nurse practitioner masters programs have some kind of observation or clinical experience requirement. These are completed in professional healthcare settings under the guidance of a clinical instructor. Clinicals act as a forum for students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills they’ve developed over the course of their program, while also gaining practical experience.
While looking into nurse practitioner masters programs online, you might want to ask them how this is handled. Many schools arrange this type of experience on the behalf of the student using a network of approved locations. Others may leave it to the student to arrange. Schools vary so follow up directly for details.
Another thing to think about is certification. Currently, most states have certification requirements for nurse practitioners. The specifics might vary by location and specialty. Some online nurse practitioner masters programs may be specifically designed to help students sit for these exams and fulfill other licensing requirements. If this is something you wish to pursue, be sure to check if your online program compliments your state's requirements. Follow up with your state nursing board or your selected online program to find out more about your particular requirements, and how your online program might help you fulfill them.
Are you ready to start searching for accredited online nurse practitioner masters programs? Start your search here at GradSchools.com. Read up on each of the sponsored listings here. Once you find online NP masters programs you might be interested in, click on the program to learn more about it and get in touch. Then start your application!