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How do I Choose the Best Online Nurse Practitioner Program?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 12 October 2018
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There are plenty of good universities that offer a well-respected online nurse practitioner program. To many people, online programs are preferred because they are still working at the same time they attempt to earn their master’s degree in practical nursing. A few factors should be considered when selecting a program. These are accreditation, state licensing board view of the program, and support for practicum work in the community.

Obviously, accreditation is extremely important when people look at each online nurse practitioner program and each university should receive accreditation in a couple of ways. They should be recognized by an agency approved by the US Department of Education, and they should also have recognition from the state board of nursing.

Recognition of an online nurse practitioner program by one state board doesn’t mean all state boards recognize it. A student could find a terrific school organized in Tennessee that has the approval of the Tennessee state nursing board. However if that program is not approved by the student’s own state licensing board, it might be hard to get licensure in the home state. When in doubt about whether a program will work for home state licensing, contact the state board and inquire.

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Another issue that students will need to consider when they choose an online nurse practitioner program is how practical work and research are handled. Ideally, programs should have a local contact that provides supervision or helps provide an opportunity for people to complete any practical study hours needed to complete a degree. If programs don’t have this it may mean more legwork for the student in finding a place to obtain any supervised training needed. Such a scenario is less supportive than what people would find in a traditional bricks and mortar university. Fortunately, there are many programs that do offer significant support to students and help them organize supervision during training as needed, and might have a local professor contact available for this purpose.

Once the main details are out of the way, students can look at other considerations. For instance, how do they feel about the faculty, the material they’ll study? What do students have to say who have completed the program? Ask for former student references from the school to find out. Price is important too, as these programs can be costly, and there are not many scholarships to be had for online schools, though financial aid in the form of loans or grants could be available.

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