Do you think it matters to employers from where you get your APN or master’s? I’m not sure if they care if students attended a traditional brick-and-mortar versus online school? Or, does it not matter as long as you pass the boards?
Dear Considering APN,
Where you get your master’s degree, including an advanced practice nurse degree, does not matter as long as the school is properly accredited. Online programs are very popular these days and well accepted. Be aware though while online programs do offer more flexibility in terms of schedule, some say they are actually more work. This is probably because, unlike a traditional classroom setting where an instructor can evaluate and grade a student based on classroom participation, you may have to do more writing in an online program as a way to demonstrate your knowledge and comprehension of a subject.
Accreditation for nursing programs at various levels is granted by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
To help you make a decision in choosing a major, financing your education and figuring out how to juggle it all, read, “How to get back to school”. The important thing is that you get started and move forward.
One last note: If you are even considering pursuing an advanced practice degree versus a regular MSN or a master’s in another major, be sure to do some informational interviewing with other APNs before doing so. Some nurses automatically assume that if they are going for a master’s degree they should go for an APN. What you need to know is you have to be committed to elevating your level of practice and keeping it up afterward. It’s a great path for many nurses but not right for all. Do your research. To learn how to conduct an informational interview read “The scoop on informational interviewing”. Find nurses to interview by asking around, approaching those you work with or through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.