If you’re someone that has recently completed their bachelor’s or master’s in nursing with interest in pediatrics, a pediatric nurse practitioner (PNP) within the DNP (Doctorate in Nursing Practice) degree program can be the next best step.
Opting for online degree programs has its rewards, but how do you make the right choice? That’s what this article is about.
What Makes a Good Online DNP Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Program?
Any online DNP-PNP program should have certain positive features. Here is what you should be looking for:
Nature of The Program
Online DNP courses can be of various types, depending on the institution you opt for. Some, for instance, are bridging courses. These allow an individual holding an MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) degree to pursue the DNP program directly. The focus in these programs is both on academics and teaching nursing leadership.
Others come forward as the next step after Bachelor in Nursing (BSN). These allow students to take part in online DNP-PNP programs instead of pursuing a Master’s degree.
There are more such ways to classify the DNP programs available online. While the ultimate goal is to get the relevant degree and learn the skills that one needs in the industry, each course has its characteristics. The nature of the course can assist you in becoming the kind of pediatric nurse you want to be.
Then, there are various accredited Universities with DNP programs online that offer a pediatric DNP degree program track focusing on primary care and another prioritizing acute care. The latter prepares candidates to handle critical illnesses and complex situations in ICUs, emergency units, and so on.
Baylor University is one of these, presently accepting candidates from 26 U.S. states. You may check whether the state you reside in is eligible and other qualifications on their website.
The qualifications needed to enter a program offered by these universities are generally straightforward. Although, it’s best to inquire about them when applying.
Scope of Placements
Now that you have an idea about how courses can be different, the next step is to consider the scope of placements. The best online DNP pediatric nurse practitioner programs have dedicated placement teams. Their work is to assist you in getting placements.
Practical training is a fundamental aspect of pediatric nursing and a concern to employers. The better the placement support, the more you must prioritize a given university.
Accreditation and Reputation of The Institution
Accreditation and reputation are two essential characteristics that you should look for in an institution you want to join for your online DNP-PNP program. Only accredited universities can help you get the expected employment, the tools you need to achieve them, financial aid, and more.
And then comes reputation. It will help you know how and why only some of the many accredited universities stand out. If you’re going for an online program, don’t miss out on checking how reputed the course or the institution offering it is.
Presence of A Hybrid Course
You might be wondering, what’s the point of getting hybrid classes in online coursework? Well, hybrid courses give you the flexibility to learn from online lectures, classes, and other sources. At the same time, you can take part in on-campus fieldwork, practicums, etc. certain days of the week.
Time management and flexibility are among the many reasons you are enrolling in an online DNP pediatric nurse practitioner program. A hybrid course ensures both and allows easy access to both online and offline learning.
Timing Works In Your Favor
Since time management is crucial, an easy way to sort out the best online DNP-PNP programs is to see if you are comfortable with its timing. If you’re doing a part-time job, for instance, the lectures, discussions, etc., should not clash with it. Also, is the time to finish the course in tune with your expectations?
Remember that flexible timings are a prime reason why you’re opting for the online course instead of a traditional one. So even if a certain program fulfills other criteria but not the timing aspect, it’s never too late to research for a better one.
The Cost Justifies The Benefits
All the other things considered, there’s just one more aspect to think about. Does the institution you have in mind offer the most value for what it is charging for the course?
Now this “value” may differ from one individual to the other, so it’s best left at your discretion. For some, it might be the presence of responsible faculty, while others may prioritize the standard of financial aid.
Online DNP pediatric nurse practitioner programs help candidates pursue their dream careers. That too, without the limitations of regular courses. These open up a variety of future career options and teach students more than just patient care.
Many institutions offer the best DNP programs, at least in theory. Based on your current situation and future aspirations, you'll have to decide which would be the most suitable.