Earning a Doctorate of Nursing Practice is a big career step for nurses. While many certifications only require a master’s, a doctorate degree can significantly expand a nurse’s skill set and prepare him or her for high-level responsibilities as an advanced practice registered nurse or nurse executive. Through a DNP education, nurses can expand their knowledge of nursing theory, sharpen leadership skills, and refine abilities to develop and implement care delivery improvements.
As a growing number of nurses consider earning a DNP, students are faced with the fundamental decision of completing their education on a campus or from home. There are many factors that prospective students must take into account, as various personal and professional obligations can affect the selection process.
Yet there are a number of advantages to online nursing doctoral programs. Whether you make your decision based on convenience, flexibility, cost or some other quality, be sure to explore how an online education can positively impact your learning. Bradley University’s online DNP program is designed to meet the needs of nursing students and provide the benefits of online education.
Coursework completed on your time
Perhaps the biggest advantage of attending an online DNP program is that you can complete your degree on your own time. Because nurses earning a DNP are often already working professionals, as well as individuals with personal lives, there’s a lot that could complicate attending school on campus. If nurses have a conflict with class times and dates that can’t be avoided, it may seem like an obstacle to an education. Life also happens: Sick children, work surprises and other events can take you away from lectures, potentially even forcing you to miss an exam or important supervised exercises.
Nurses in an online DNP program don’t have to worry about missing class because work or family life precludes attending lessons in person. Top DNP programs like Bradley’s are offered 100 percent online, so students can complete the coursework when their schedules allow them to, and still earn their degrees on time. It’s essential that students look for an online DNP program that is offered asynchronously, meaning students read, watch, interact with and listen to various types of content at their own pace while adhering to due dates for assignments and course completion.
Comparatively lower cost
Online educations can also be more cost-effective, which is another draw for students raising families and with other bills to pay. Differences in tuition between on-campus and online programs vary and are dependent on the school, but the other expenses to earning a degree are lessened in online programs. For instance, commuting to and from class is eliminated. Not only does commuting cost gas or train fare, but time is money, and the hours spent on the road or in some other transit can be huge drains. On-campus students may also need to pay for parking passes.
An online education just requires a device and an internet connection, allowing students to complete work in their office, at home, in a coffee shop or in a local library.
Same learning and career outcomes
The best DNP programs are those that have no divergence between the learning and career outcomes of online and on-campus formats. In fact, prospective students should not settle for any less than an online education that is of the same high quality as any campus-based alternative. Bradley’s online DNP program is structured to provide a parallel experience and ensure students come away with the same skills, knowledge, mentoring and career options regardless of how they complete coursework.
Guaranteed access to faculty
There’s a misconception that online students have less communication and interaction with faculty and other staff than if they were on campus. However, while students attending in person can approach a professor after class, the best DNP programs ensure online students enjoy the same level of access to faculty. At Bradley, online students benefit from faculty who are available to dispense insight, guidance and help that allows students to gain the most from a DNP education.
Career advancement opportunities
Completing an online DNP allows nurses to continue pursuing their career instead of leaving to return to school. The importance of the flexibility of an online degree cannot be stressed enough, as concurrently earning a degree and moving up the ladder allows nurses to discover and capitalize on career advancement opportunities. With a DNP, nurses are qualified to take on leadership roles, and elevating their careers to the level of a director, executive or board member is made all the more possible when nurses can keep those careers on track as they attend school.
Learn more about Bradley’s online DNP
Bradley offers an online nursing doctoral program that aims to confer all the advantages inherent in such formats. This is done, in part, by offering courses entirely online and asynchronously, as well as a robust curriculum, outstanding faculty and experiential learning opportunities. A DNP education can be incredibly valuable to nurses who want to grow professionally and personally, and Bradley strives to facilitate such improvement through its online DNP program.