Online Nurse Practitioner Graduate Programs in Pennsylvania
Online nurse practitioner programs are a flexible option to advance your nursing education. They’re generally targeted toward current professional nurses, especially those with BSN-RN credentials. Online NP programs build on existing knowledge of bedside care. By doing so, they aim to foster the skills and knowledge a nurse practitioner might use every day.
Courses might focus on things like diagnosis, creating treatment plans, and prescribing medication. They may also discuss patient education to support long term health. That doesn’t even touch on the variety of concentration options you might choose. And because you could find all this online, you could fit your education into your life, no matter what shift you work.
Online nurse practitioner programs may take a holistic perspective. They do that by focusing on a unique combination of patient care, diagnosis and treatment, and patient education topics. The specific courses you take in an online nurse practitioner program may vary. Some examples include topics like pharmacology—that is, the study of drugs and how they interact with people—psychology, anatomy, and pathology. Programs may also focus on what it’s like to work in a variety of care settings. Some programs may even offer concentrations focused on treating certain kinds of patients or medical issues. However each share a similar goal, to prepare students to take on advanced nursing practices and treat patients independently or in collaboration with physicians.
Many—but not all—programs ask that prospective students are registered nurses with experience in the field. Programs like that may rely on knowledge earned on the job or in nursing school as a basis for learning. Other programs may be available to help new nurses earn their RN status during their online NP program. Because of that additional step, those programs may take a little longer to complete. Make sure you're clear on which type of program it is when you're applying, to ensure it's a good fit.
Online nurse practitioner programs aim to be flexible. That could be an important factor for nurses. The ability to access your courses from anywhere, on your own schedule, could help you earn a degree while being there for your patients every day. (Or every night, if you work night shift!) Even better, your online program may keep that personal touch you’d find on campus. They could do that through features like discussion boards, social networking, and video streaming.
When selecting nurse practitioner online programs, be sure to find out if there are any offline components. This could be things like lab sciences that you'd need to do at a satellite campus, or even field observations or clinical rotations. Because online programs may not be anchored to a local school, it’s possible you may need to set some of these up yourself, with the support of your program. Schools vary so follow up with preferred programs for details.
Online nurse practitioner programs may be available at several different degree levels. Each one could incorporate a few different degree types, and be appropriate for nurses of different levels of experience. Program level options generally include the following.
One unique aspect of online nurse practitioner programs is that many ask or even require students to choose a concentration. Concentrations typically align with career specialties. They focus on certain types of patients and care settings. As such, the one you select may impact your curriculum in significant ways. Here’s a basic run down of some options you might see.
Some online nurse practitioner programs may be designed to help students prepare to pursue certification. Nurse practitioners generally need to earn a nationally-recognized certification before they seek employment. The specific certification you need could vary by state or practice specialty. As such, the specific requirements may vary. However, it usually includes passing an exam, clinical review, and education. Certification usually has to be renewed. For more information on what this might entail, follow up with your online nurse practitioner programs. You could also get in touch with the organization that issues the certification in question.
Ready to start your search for accredited online nurse practitioner programs? If so, GradSchools.com can help you find NP programs online. Narrow your search using the menu above. Just select your preferred degree level! Then review the sponsored programs. If you want to learn more about a particular program, click on the name! Then reach out to them and get in touch, or even start applying!
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