The field of nursing is vast, with many opportunities to learn and grow. In addition to the foundational nursing knowledge and skills, there is always new research, methods, and policies that keep nurses learning constantly. Furthermore, there are advanced nursing positions – such as that of a Nurse Practitioner (NP) – where nurses have the opportunity to care for patients on a higher level and make a greater impact. With those advanced positions, comes a need for a higher level of education.
Many registered nurses are looking to take that next step in their careers, but might be concerned about the time commitment of graduate degree program. Fortunately, for prospective Nurse Practitioners (NPs) or Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs), there are online options that make earning a master’s degree both feasible and flexible.
You read that right. Becoming an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, or more specifically a Nurse Practitioner, does not require you to go to class in-person or balance your career with on-campus commitments. You can become a Nurse Practitioner online, through a flexible master’s degree program.
Where does one start when looking for a Nurse Practitioner online program that fits their career goals and meets their already busy scheduling needs? Getting started on this journey begins with the research phase. Identify the criteria important to you and look for online nursing programs that check all of those boxes. Some common criteria to look into while researching are flexibility, curriculum, and career outcomes.
A common concern that many working nurses have when deliberating an advanced degree is, “Will I have the time?” Often, they are already juggling work, family, and all of life’s other responsibilities. Thanks to modern technology, online options have become more common for advanced degree programs. Online classes eliminate much of the wasted time of commuting to and from class that traditional in-person classes require. Nurse Practitioner online programs are also designed with the working nurse in mind. Therefore, being able to complete day-to-day coursework wherever is most convenient for you, allows you to build a schedule that is flexible and works best with the shifts that you work.
For those who are used to traditional, in-person courses, the switch to a Nurse Practitioner online program might cause you to question the quality of education. Fortunately, while the learning format might be different, the curriculum still provides an in-depth and high-quality education for students. Nurse Practitioner online programs are just as robust and informative as traditional, in-person programs. So, when weighing your options, focus on the topics and skills covered in the curriculum, not the fact that courses are online. If the topics covered in the NP program align with the work you want to do, then those are the programs to consider. Furthermore, many Nurse Practitioner online programs offer a hybrid option, with in-person opportunities offered. In Goodwin’s Family Nurse Practitioner online program, for example, students participate in immersive experiences and clinical practice, which enhance the online curriculum and enrich the learning experience.
- Career Outcomes:
Nurse Practitioner online programs provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to perform and excel in advanced, specialized positions. For example, APRNs can provide care to specialized demographics such as families, adult-gerontology, women’s health, pediatrics, neonatal and mental health. They may work in a variety of healthcare settings post-graduation, including hospitals, outpatient facilities, physicians’ offices, urgent care clinics, and long-term care facilities. As you consider your graduate studies, it is important to consider your career goals. Find a program that aligns with where you want to work, or the population with which you want to help. If you wish to work as a primary care provider, helping families across the age spectrum, for example, you may consider a specialized Family Nurse Practitioner program. If you wish to help people struggling with mental health disorders, you may consider a focused Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner degree.
Goodwin’s Nurse Practitioner Online Programs:
For those looking to take the next step in their nursing career and become a Nurse Practitioner online, there are flexible and affordable options right here at Goodwin University. Both the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-APRN) program and the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP-APRN) program are offered entirely online (apart from immersion weekends and clinicals). This level of flexibility makes becoming a Nurse Practitioner attainable for already-working nurses who need a master’s education. Goodwin’s FNP program dives into the advanced healthcare practices needed to treat adults, women, and children of all ages. The PMHNP online program covers the skills needed to diagnose, treat, and advocate for patients with mental illness.
Not only are the Nurse Practitioner online programs at Goodwin flexible, they also offer courses that will truly prepare you for the workforce. FNP and PMHNP students study current nursing and professional concepts, physical assessment skills, pathophysiology, pharmacology, and policy and politics of healthcare. Furthermore, Goodwin’s career services team will support you and help you to achieve your professional goals.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.