In the nursing industry, there is plenty of opportunity for career advancement, and online NP programs can help you achieve your dream nursing role. They are aimed at practicing RNs who are ready to move into a more specialized nursing role, but it can also help to consider your future training options if you are not yet an RN, or do not know where you would like to focus your work. Online NP programs offer a flexible study option that uses blended learning, and allows you to continue working in your current role while you complete the program. If you are considering studying one, or are planning your educational journey for your nursing career, here are few points to consider when taking online NP programs.

Courses to help advance your career

The online NP programs are BSN-MSN/NP programs that will give you the clinical expertise required to prevent, assess, treat, and manage acute and chronic diseases within your chosen area. Depending on which pathway you choose, the online NP programs can take between 24 and 30 months to complete. The pathways are:

  • Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner degree: 28 months to complete
  • Family nurse practitioner degree: 30 months to complete
  • Paediatric nurse practitioner degree: 28 months to complete
  • Adult-gerontology, primary care, nurse practitioner degree: 24 months to complete

Which pathway you choose to study will define what your specialism is, and therefore the roles that you can apply for as an NP in that area. Each program consists of different courses, including theoretical perspectives for advanced practice and moral and ethical decision-making, and each course can be studied one at a time, with a course taking 7 weeks, followed by a 1-week break before moving on to study the next course.

Training to become a nurse is a demanding yet rewarding process, and can take many years depending on the level you want to reach. Generally, to become an RN, you will need to study a BSN, which can take around 4 years. You will then need to take the licensing exam for the location in which you want to practice, before being granted your licence and able to gain valuable experience. General nursing is a great time to experience many different kinds of nursing, and to see where your interests and passions lie. This can help you decide which area you would like to specialize in, before selecting your MSN accordingly. Once you have completed your MSN, there are more certification and licensing exams that you must pass before you can begin practicing as an NP. Following this, you can even choose to continue your education and pursue a DNP.

Rewarding career outcomes

When you study one of the online NP programs, you will gain the skills and knowledge that are required to work in NP roles. NPs are advanced practice nurses, performing many of the clinical and diagnostic functions of a doctor, without being trained as one. This makes them nonphysician clinicians. NPs can specialize in a variety of nursing areas, such as gerontology, mental health or paediatrics. They can even practice independently in some locations, without the supervision of a physician. NPs are important members of medical teams, providing both medical and emotional support to patients and their families. A large part of their work focuses on educating patients and promoting and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices.

Nurses can also take a more holistic approach than some other medical professionals. This means that they see the patient as an individual, rather than just their medical complaints. As a nurse, you may take more than the physical into account when dealing with a patient, such as the psychological, cultural, and religious beliefs, and the social environment of the patient. The online NP programs can prepare you to work in one of the following specialisms:

Adult-gerontology, primary care, nurse practitioner

AGNPs either focus in primary or acute care, and the online NP programs train you to work in the former. Gerontology is the study of aging, and AGNPs treat patients who are aged around 21 years old and upwards. When it comes to primary care, an AGNP would treat patients who are not usually ill, and there is a focus on promoting and encouraging healthy life choices in order to maintain the health of the patient. As a primary care AGNP your tasks can also include managing transitions between care settings, assessing caregiver competence, and educating the patients and their caregivers.

Family nurse practitioner

As a family nurse practitioner, you will understand the importance of family-centred healthcare, and will be able to treat patients across all ages, genders, body systems, and diseases. Your tasks could include assessing and diagnosing patients, prescribing medication, managing treatment plans, and patient education.

Psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner

PMHNPs offer a range of mental healthcare services to many different people, groups, and communities. You can choose to practice generally, or specialize in areas such as psychotherapy or forensics. The responsibilities of a PMHNP may involve assessing and diagnosing patients, prescribing and managing medication, providing emergency psychiatric services, and conducting therapy.

Paediatric nurse practitioner

PNPs provide primary and acute care to young people, from birth to around the age of 21. As a PNP your tasks may include preventative health, growth and development, developmental check-ups, physical assessments, providing emotional support to patients and their families, and treating a variety of illnesses and injuries.

These are the roles that online NP programs can train you to work in. They are advanced nursing roles and therefore require higher levels of education and training. You may also choose to pursue a DNP, which can lead you to working in even more specialized areas of nursing, such as a chief nurse anaesthetist or nurse educator.

Flexible online study

The online NP programs provide a flexible learning option for practicing RNs who want to continue working while they gain qualifications to advance their career. If this sounds like you, then online NP programs could be for you. They offer a combination of learning and teaching techniques, while giving you control over your learning environment, pace and scheduling. Online learning can be incredibly beneficial, as not only is it flexible, but it can also help you save money and develop important personal skills. Some of the specific benefits include the following:


Being a student can be very expensive, and this can put a lot of people off pursuing further education, especially is you already have qualifications and a job. However, in an industry like nursing where there is plenty of room for career advancement, online NP programs may be able to help you save money. Tuition fees, rent, accommodation, travel, and living costs are just a few of the expenses that come with being a student, and when you study online you may be able to reduce or remove some of these costs. For example, the tuition fees for online courses can be cheaper than in-person courses, and you may still be eligible for financial support from your university. Additionally, doing a large portion of your learning from home means that you won’t have to commute to classes as much, or worry about renting campus accommodation. Furthermore, the ability to continue working while you study means that you can earn money alongside your course.


When you study online NP programs, you will learn the technical skills required to succeed in the roles you apply for. However, there are plenty of personal skills that nurses also need, and online learning can actually help you develop these. Soft skills are a set of personal, non-technical skills that are applicable in any workplace, and show employers that you are a confident and capable worker. They include traits such as:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Conflict resolution
  • Self-motivation
  • Organization

Many of these traits are particularly useful for nurses, such as organization. As an NP, you will have multiple patients at one time, and need to remain organized so that each one gets a high level of care. When learning online, you will also be responsible for scheduling and managing your time, and completing your course while still working at your home. This is just one of the ways that online courses can be very beneficial, and can also give you practical examples to provide to a potential employer in a job interview, to back up your resumé and help you stand out in a pool of applicants.


When studying in person, you may be confined to what your local university offers, and if they do not provide the subject, qualification level, or teaching style that you need, then you may have to change your plans. When you study online NP programs, the use of blended learning means that a large part of the studying is done at home, making your physical location less of a barrier. This also means you have more control over your learning environment, and can create a place in which to learn that promotes productivity and suits your personal requirements.

Personal and professional development

Online NP programs provide you with the opportunity to develop not only professionally, but also personally. There are various skills and qualities that a nurse needs in any role, and at any level, and these programs can help nurture and develop these skills within you, as well as teaching you how to apply them to any new scenarios you may encounter. Some of these skills include:


Patient advocacy means keeping the best interests of the patient at the heart of everything you do, as well as keeping them sage and providing the highest possible quality of care. Advocacy is at the heart of the Hippocratic Oath, and means that you speak up on behalf of your patients, and work to protect their rights.


Nursing is demanding – both physically and emotionally. Having good physical stamina will help you through long shifts spent on your feet, as well as when lifting and moving equipment and patients. Furthermore, emotional stamina can help you stay safe and healthy, creating healthy boundaries and helping avoid issues such as compassion fatigue.

Communication and teamwork

As a nurse, you will be speaking with many different people. Education is large part of being an NP, and you will often be conveying complex medical information to people who are not trained in your field. You need to know when and how to adapt your communication techniques, as well as being able to listen and observe. NPs can also work as part of a multidisciplinary medical team, and you need to be able to collaborate with your colleagues in order to come to the most suitable solutions for your patients.

Willingness to learn

Regardless of your role or how long you have been a nurse, you always need to be ready and willing to learn new ideas, methods and techniques. The medical industry is constantly evolving, and medical professionals need to be able to adapt with it in order to provide the most up-to-date care for their patients.

These are just a few of the many qualities you will need to work as an NP, and the online NP programs can help teach you how to apply these skills, and how to constantly develop them throughout your career.

best skincare expert in LA | reading and spirituality

Online NP programs are a great way to advance your career in a way that is flexible and works around your life and schedule. Training to work at this level of nursing is rigorous, as NPs are advanced practice nurses, and therefore the education required is also advanced. Pursuing an MSN can increase your job opportunities and earning potential, and can also provide you with experiences and networking opportunities that you might not have access to outside of your course. NPs are vital healthcare professionals who help a huge range of people every day, from patients to their loved ones. If you are passionate about helping others, are interested in a particular area of nursing or want to boost your nursing career, then online NP programs may be able to help you reach your goals.

mindanao herald news