How Do Online Nurse Practitioner Schools Work?

Online nursing practitioner schools offer online graduate degree programs in nursing that allow students to take their courses fully online. Abandoning the traditional classroom format, students who take their classes online are able to access their courses from the comfort of their own homes or anywhere else they have reliable Internet access. This frees up students to continue to work as registered nurses and alleviates the pressure associated with commuting or relocating nearer to a university. The convenience these schools offer for the working adult, even if you only take a few classes online, is the reason that more and more students are choosing online schools.

Online nursing practitioner schools offer courses that are challenging and in-depth, and typically require hands-on clinical training in addition to online courses. This credit-bearing clinical training is scheduled at a health care center near the student and is meant to give nursing practitioner students real-world experience in their profession and supplement their online learning.

Students access their courses by logging on to a software program for online students provided by the university. Using a username and password, students enter the program, where the courses they are taking are listed under tabs. The student can then click on each tab to view their syllabus, research assignments, test and quiz dates and study guides, along with audio/video recordings and other useful material for online students. Online nursing practitioner students have access to their courses 24/7. Many online nursing practitioner schools use a service to provide all textbooks online, so you may not even have to lug books around with your laptop.

Students communicate with their professor and fellow students using e-mail, live chat or discussion boards, although most professors will make themselves available by phone during certain hours. Because coursework at the graduate level is more rigorous, writing-driven and research-driven, students are encouraged to use their distance-access to libraries and search online research databases when they are completing their assignments.

Many online master of science in nursing (MSN) programs are competitive and RNs may be asked to meet certain requirements before being accepted into a university’s online program. For instance, to enter South University’s online MSN program, students must write an essay, provide a resume outlining relevant work/volunteer experience and provide three letters of recommendation—one academic, one clinical and one general. This is along with meeting standard requirements that any online university would have. Some of those standard requirements are transcripts from all colleges attended; a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from an accredited school with an accredited nursing program; a specific GPA and a valid RN license.