Tech and Trends:- Are you an RN who has thought about going back to school to become a family nurse practitioner? There are likely several things holding you back, such as time and money. The good news is that, with online schooling, a lot of barriers involved in going back to school are easier to overcome. Here are four reasons to seriously consider pursuing your Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) degree online.
Since online schooling became a thing, colleges and universities have consistently targeted working individuals interested in advancing their degree. That’s because with the flexibility that online schooling offers, it’s the best choice for full-time workers. Many online FNP programs will require some hands-on training and clinical experience, but most of the work is completed online, making it a good fit for nurses with long hours and a family.
Most programs don’t have set lecture times, giving you the flexibility to choose when you complete your weekly homework. That means that you can still hold down your full-time job while expanding your knowledge and building your career.
Online schooling often comes with a more affordable tuition bill. One reason for this is that many online classes use electronic textbooks, so you don’t have to pay as much for course materials. Plus, any campus fees you’d pay at a brick and mortar university don’t apply to online students.
With more accredited programs online, it’s becoming easier for distance learners to get financial aid through federal grants, scholarships, and loans. And, of course, you get to avoid transit fees and gas bills that come with a long commute.
When online schooling started, there were a lot of schools based solely online that wanted nothing more than to profit from students. Today, there are many more legitimate options, with more and more online-based schools becoming accredited.
Even more than that, brick-and-mortar colleges that have been around for decades are putting their programs online to benefit distance learners. That means that if you choose to go to school online for your FNP degree, you can choose from established schools with a quality track record that dates back to before the age of the Internet.
Another reason online schooling has become so popular among those pursuing an FNP degree is because family nurse practitioners have more opportunities than ever before. According to BLS.gov, the growth rate for nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and nurse practitioners is projected at 31 percent through 2022, which is much higher than normal.
What may be even better news for FNP grads, however, is that an increasing number of states are allowing family nurse practitioners to enter private practice without being under a physician’s supervision. In 2013, 17 states already allowed FNPs to work without a supervising physician, giving them more freedom and control over their practice.
Before entering an FNP degree program, be sure to check your state’s requirements on education and licensing to ensure the program you’re choosing meets the criteria for the state you’ll be working in.