Answer: Yes – There are numerous online FNP programs that have Spring and/or Summer admission.
There are several online FNP programs at the MSN and DNP levels that allow candidates to start the program in the spring or summer terms/semesters. In addition, some online programs no longer follow the traditional 15-week semester or 10-week quarter systems, and instead have shorter terms that span 7 or 8 weeks in length. This splitting of the traditional 15-week semester allows some programs to offer multiple start dates per year. Consequently, some schools allow students to start a program at four to six different points in the year, maximizing their options and giving them flexibility in terms of when they can apply and begin their graduate education.
Registered nurses often have very busy and unpredictable work schedules and obligations. Programs that have multiple start dates can be advantageous because they allow RNs who are unable to apply for traditional fall admission to apply just a few months later, instead of waiting another year before applying. While these less traditional academic calendars are being implemented at more nursing schools, not all universities have adopted them, and there are still many schools that only accept students once a year in the fall, spring or summer semester.
Many, but not all, online FNP programs follow a cohort model, in which a group of nursing students progress as a class through the program. Online FNP programs that follow a cohort model and have multiple start dates often admit a separate cohort of students for each application date. For example, programs that have fall and spring admission dates and which follow a cohort model will have separate fall and spring cohorts.
The cohort model is advantageous for students who benefit from being part of a community of students that progress through classes at the same pace, and who can provide mutual support through shared academic experiences and knowledge. However, this model may not be ideal for students who think they might have to take some time off during their studies, as programs that use a cohort model may not offer all classes year-round. Therefore, a program that uses a cohort model that only accepts students once a year may not be ideal for students who cannot commit to completing their MSN program through an uninterrupted course of study, as if they have to take time off, they may have to wait an entire year to restart the program.