Answer: Yes – There are online FNP programs with 100% online instruction, that do not require students to visit the campus at any time during their enrollment. Nevertheless, students should note that all FNP programs require students to complete clinical practicum hours in-person at a local medical facility.
Online FNP programs can be divided into three different categories based on their requirement to physically attend courses or activities on the university campus. Online FNP programs that have 100% online instruction do not require students to visit the campus at any point during the program. Some online FNP programs require students to make a limited number of visits to the campus during their enrollment. These visits, which may be called on-campus intensives or immersions, may involve hands-on assessments, workshops, clinical labs, and networking events. On-campus intensives typically last between one and three days (sometimes over a weekend), but some schools have intensives that run for a week. Finally, there are FNP programs that require students to make visits to the campus to attend in-person lectures, complete labs, or to sit for proctored exams.
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Due to the variance in campus visitation requirements among FNP programs with an online component, OnlineFNPPrograms.com defines an online FNP program as one that requires three or fewer visits to campus per year. Any program that requires more than three visits to campus per year is classified as a hybrid program by OnlineFNPPrograms.com.
Online FNP programs with 100% online instruction use learning management systems to deliver course content, administer exams, and facilitate interactions between students and course faculty. Online FNP programs can be comprised of synchronous instruction, asynchronous instruction, or a combination of both. Synchronous instruction is defined as courses that require students to be present for real-time lectures and/or discussions with course faculty via live video, audio, or web chat. Asynchronous instruction employs pre-recorded lectures, reading materials, and other course content that are available 24/7, so students can access them on their own schedule. Some online FNP programs utilize only asynchronous instruction, while others employ a mix of synchronous and asynchronous instruction.
Online FNP programs that require on-campus intensives give students the opportunity to interact with peers and course faculty in person. This may be ideal for students who want the flexibility of online education while still having elements of a more traditional graduate nursing experience. Programs with 100% online instruction are ideal for students who do not have the time, scheduling flexibility, and/or resources to travel to campus. When choosing between FNP programs that use 100% online instruction versus those that require campus visits, students should consider their professional and personal obligations, their geographical location, and whether they will be able to travel to campus during the specific dates of their program’s required intensives (which are usually set well in advance so that students have time to prepare for them).
Prospective students of online FNP programs should note that all graduate nursing programs, regardless of whether they are online, hybrid, or on-campus, require students to complete clinical practicum hours at a local medical facility.