What are the benefits of an online FNP program?

Articles | Nursing Resources

A man studies from home

According to research from the National Center for Education Studies, more than 5.7 million Americans are currently enrolled in distance-learning courses. Nursing is the second-most common major, analysts for Aslanian Market Research and Learning House found. Of all the online nursing degrees available, the Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner degree is perhaps the most valuable. Due to primary physician shortages and ever-increasing patient populations, the demand for these highly-skilled advanced practice specialists continues to grow exponentially. There are more than 146,000 licensed FNPs practicing in U.S. healthcare facilities, according to the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. That number is sure to grow as the trends mentioned above intensify.

Registered nurses searching for ways to advance would be wise to pursue the FNP path, as the role offers a comfortable median salary of $100,000 and is poised to grow in importance in the years to come, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That said, this data does not answer the question, “Why enroll in an online FNP program?”

For the many students familiar with this unique instructional track, the benefits are obvious. RNs only recently considering online FNP programs such as the one at Bradley University should get familiar with the advantages of the distance-learning approach.

Reduced travel time

The average full-time American college student spends more than an hour on the road or navigating public transportation en route to classes, according to the BLS. While part-time learners might make fewer trips, the time wasted on highways and byways is still considerable, as these individuals must maintain careers and tend to their families in addition to pursuing their education.

Travel is a non-issue in online FNP programs. Students just have to sign into web-based learning platforms to participate in eye-opening graduate courses and learn from top nursing professionals.

Flexible scheduling

Campus-based degree programs typically unfold during normal working hours, as class times are dependent upon instructors and others who keep normal schedules. This arrangement works well for full-time students, most of whom are strictly focused on attaining their degrees and entering the fields of their choosing. However, for part-time learners with full-time jobs and responsibilities, attending class during the day is rarely an option.

For this very reason, many part-time students turn to online graduate degree programs, as these offer flexible scheduling and interactive modules that facilitate self-paced and -planned instruction. In fact, an estimated 19 percent of U.S. students navigating distance-learning tracks are doing so while maintaining jobs in their ideal fields, using their spare nights and weekends to bolster their credentials and move up their respective occupational ladders, according to Aslanian Market Research and Learning House.

RNs looking to move into FNP positions can acquire nursing-familyey need via flexible online master of science in nursing – family nurse practitioner programs such as the one at Bradley University, while also keeping up with existing professional and familial responsibilities.

Lower costs

This year, the average full-time college student will pay roughly $22,000 in annual expenses, an amount that includes tuition and related fees, room and board, books and supplies, transportation and associated personal costs, according to the College Board. While part-time students seeking new knowledge mid-career are not normally confronted with this full amount, they may be responsible for part of this expense in the event they choose on-campus programs. Although tuition and fees may decrease, room and board, supplies and transportation might still play a part in the budgetary equation.

Of course, students enrolled in online programs do not have to deal with many expenses like room and board, transportation, on-campus dining and more. These fiscal advantages make instructional tracks like the Online Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner Program at Bradley University ideal for RNs who want to expand their knowledge bases without sacrificing their budgets.

Top-tier education

Although the benefits outlined above present a strong case for online FNP programs, prospective students are likely to return to one question: “Am I investing in quality education?” The answer is yes.

Online graduate programs offer just as many learning opportunities as campus-based options. Students have access to proven experts who can impart the critical knowledge and experience required for success in the FNP role. Additionally, connecting with these individuals is easy, as advanced learning tools facilitate optimal collaboration and connection. Students can, of course, connect with each other using these same conduits, leading to engaging peer-to-peer interaction.

On top of this, FNP educational tracks such as the Online Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner Program at Bradley University are fully accredited by key oversight organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, which means students graduate with credentials that demonstrate premier clinical knowhow.

Moving forward

Online FNP programs offer undeniable benefits. RNs yearning to advance in the nursing field without sacrificing their families, finances or jobs should consider enrolling in the Online Master of Science in Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner Program at Bradley University. They can expand their knowledge on a wide range of topics, ranging from acute and chronic FNP practice to health informatics, without stepping foot on a campus. The 67-credit-degree track ends with a capstone research project and five preceptor-supervised clinical practicums, which can be administered locally.

The online MSN-FNP program at Bradley is an ideal choice for registered nurses hoping to move upward mid-career and expand their skill sets to better serve their patients. Find more information on the program at the Bradley University website.

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