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We Must Demolish NP Diploma Mills

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What is AANP doing with those programs??? I think we should unite to take an action on such diploma mills.

amoLucia

Specializes in LTC.

Good luck there.

As long as there's money to be made, you'll face an uphill battle.

FullGlass, BSN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Adult and Geriatric Primary Care. Has 3 years experience.

I just spoke to one my instructors from nursing school and she said she will only precept students from schools she knows are good quality, due to issues with students from these crap schools.

juan de la cruz, MSN, RN, NP

Specializes in APRN, Adult Critical Care, General Cardiology. Has 27 years experience.

AANP doesn't have control of the operation of NP programs just as AMA has nothing to do with the accreditation of medical schools. The responsibility for accreditation of all types of nursing?degrees?including NP programs?lies under the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) with their Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) arm.

I do feel like CCNE?should not be solely accrediting NP programs because of their larger involvement in all the other nursing degree programs at the college/university?level making it seem that they are not focused on the distinct issues and needs of?NP education.

For CRNA's and CNM's, their leadership don't rely on CCNE?accreditation alone. They have COACRNA and ACME respectively that also make?sure that?educational standards are maintained.? I wish we NP's have our own accrediting body for our programs. I feel that this will solve our problems with substandard programs.

https://www.aacnnursing.org/CCNE

https://www.coacrna.org/

https://www.midwife.org/Accreditation

?

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 14 years experience.

I think one of the big things that needs to change is making students arrange their own clinical experiences. For one, with the amount of money these programs are making there's no reason they can't form connections and establish preceptors for student. For two, I would think letting students find their own preceptor and clinical experience could cause a wide variation in the clinical education the student receives. I could be wrong, obviously I'm not an NP so my judgement is based off of what I've read and heard from others who have become NP's.

JBMmom, MSN

Specializes in Long term care; med-surg; critical care. Has 9 years experience.

I know there are many STRONG opinions on this site about NP education and the current state. I am finishing up my last semester through a program that I researched prior to applying for admission. It was well?rated on sites like US News and World Report and it is the online branch of a long-standing brick and mortar program,??Because I was the sole income in our family I was unable to enroll in a brick and mortar program, there were none within?commuting distance from my home, and relocating three middle/high schoolers was not an option.?

So, here I am finishing up what I feel was a sub par education. The lectures were recorded months or years in advance with no real interaction. The online discussions were basically students teaching other students with minimal interaction from the professors. There were too many useless group projects. I got more feedback from professors in the placement on my commas, and the use of bullet points than my actual proposed interventions for patients in the acute care setting.?

I for one was glad, though, to set up my own preceptorships. That's the only thing that has made my education worthwhile. I found fantastic preceptors in hospitalist medicine, emergency medicine, critical care, nephrology, pulmonology and vascular surgery. I have even been encourage by three preceptors to apply for positions they said they would support me as a candidate after our work together. So, I'm not that indicates that I provided competent care in my role thus far.?

Am I happy with the education itself? No. Am I okay with the end result based on my potential prospects for NP employment? Yeah, I guess so. I don't know whether my school would fall into the diploma mill category, but they are definitely paying professors a lot for very little substantive teaching.?

I'm not saying you're wrong, but I would be interested in your definition of diploma mill schools. What criteria should we use? What are some example of diploma mill schools?

On 2/5/2021 at 10:45 PM, Zyprexa_Ho said:

I'm not saying you're wrong, but I would be interested in your definition of diploma mill schools. What criteria should we use? What are some example of diploma mill schools?

Good question?and I will just put my opinion here. When you search "nurse practitioner" on Google, all these programs that advertise?"you can become a practitioner within xx months! Apply now! No GRE required!" probably fall into that category. Also, I personally feel that all the programs that allow you to work aren't rigorous enough. Have you seen a medical student who works for a part-time? Have you seen a CRNA student who works for a part time??Of course, there may be one or two?but working during professional school is?usually?unimaginable and unlikely. On the other hand, there are so many NP students who work?part-time, or even?full-time.

I was once in the substandard NP Program and I was able to work full time while?getting?A's in all of my exams. Honestly, I never studied enough to get an A but it was so easy since everything was online. Now, I am in one of the most rigorous programs in the nation and I am UNABLE to work. Why? the courses are?more rigorous in every single way (I can explain about this more in detail...). I am so sorry if going back to school without?continuous income?sounds too harsh to some nurses, but this should be the way if you truly want to become a good provider. There is no professional school that allows so much of free time (even enough for you to work full time), except for those NP diploma mills. No physician, pharmDs, dentists, optometrists, vets, or CRNAs had such leeways during their school.

There will be NPs who claim that they are STILL amazing providers even after they graduated from whatever program and they are 100% competent in carrying tasks out. But we are providers, not just technicians. NPs should be the leaders in nursing and healthcare, not just those nurses who take care of?tasks?that were unwanted by physicians. The only way to make our voice heard and meaningful is through raising the?education standard high?for NPs and keep the bar high to enter. Eventually, when we gain more respect and reputation as providers,?I am sure that there will be more scholarships and loan programs for nurses to complete programs without working at the same time.?

Just now, cprimavera said:

Good question?and I will just put my opinion here. When you search "nurse practitioner" on Google, all these programs that advertise?"you can become a practitioner within xx months! Apply now! No GRE required!" probably fall into that category. Also, I personally feel that all the programs that allow you to work aren't rigorous enough. Have you seen a medical student who works for a part-time? Have you seen a CRNA student who works for a part time??Of course, there may be one or two?but working during professional school is?usually?unimaginable and unlikely. On the other hand, there are so many NP students who work?part-time, or even?full-time.

I was once in the substandard NP Program and I was able to work full time while?getting?A's in all of my exams. Honestly, I never studied enough to get an A but it was so easy since everything was online. Now, I am in one of the most rigorous programs in the nation and I am UNABLE to work. Why? the courses are?more rigorous in every single way (I can explain about this more in detail...). I am so sorry if going back to school without?continuous income?sounds too harsh to some nurses, but this should be the way if you truly want to become a good provider. There is no professional school that allows so much of free time (even enough for you to work full time), except for those NP diploma mills. No physician, pharmDs, dentists, optometrists, vets, or CRNAs had such leeways during their school.

There will be NPs who claim that they are STILL amazing providers even after they graduated from whatever program and they are 100% competent in carrying tasks out. But we are providers, not just technicians. NPs should be the leaders in nursing and healthcare, not just those nurses who take care of?tasks?that were unwanted by physicians. The only way to make our voice heard and meaningful is through raising the?education standard high?for NPs and keep the bar high to enter. Eventually, when we gain more respect and reputation as providers,?I am sure that there will be more scholarships and loan programs for nurses to complete programs without working at the same time.?

I see where you're coming from, but also I think there are several issues with it as well.?

If people should be expected to definitely not work full time and probably not work part time, how accessible are these programs going to be? In this day and age without a graduate degree, most households are two adult working households. And forget it if you have children, especially as a single parent. It would seem like programs you are describing would only be accessible to those who are already very well off financially. And that would be a shame.

I also see a very big difference between NPs (excluding CRNAs) and other professions. The assumption is that ARNPs are?advancing?their existing practice. We should have some sort of a base built in working as an RN in these disciplines that is?advanced?by graduate school education. That is a very different educational path than other professions (PharmD, MD/DO, etc.). We should expect there to be some differences between an NP Program and those other professions because of a prior practice base.

Also, when talking about CRNAs, they make?considerably?more money than other ARNPs, so to take out some loans in living expenses while they complete their program (alike PharmD, MD/DO, etc.) is a bit more reasonable. But to ask other ARNPs to do the same for 2-3 years while making half what a CRNA makes is a bit... much.

I do think there should be more regulation of these programs and there are some "worst offenders" like Walden, but I would hope that most state schools would be considered a reputable program.?

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 14 years experience.

On 2/6/2021 at 12:05 AM, cprimavera said:

Good question?and I will just put my opinion here. When you search "nurse practitioner" on Google, all these programs that advertise?"you can become a practitioner within xx months! Apply now! No GRE required!" probably fall into that category. Also, I personally feel that all the programs that allow you to work aren't rigorous enough. Have you seen a medical student who works for a part-time? Have you seen a CRNA student who works for a part time??Of course, there may be one or two?but working during professional school is?usually?unimaginable and unlikely. On the other hand, there are so many NP students who work?part-time, or even?full-time.

I was once in the substandard NP Program and I was able to work full time while?getting?A's in all of my exams. Honestly, I never studied enough to get an A but it was so easy since everything was online. Now, I am in one of the most rigorous programs in the nation and I am UNABLE to work. Why? the courses are?more rigorous in every single way (I can explain about this more in detail...). I am so sorry if going back to school without?continuous income?sounds too harsh to some nurses, but this should be the way if you truly want to become a good provider. There is no professional school that allows so much of free time (even enough for you to work full time), except for those NP diploma mills. No physician, pharmDs, dentists, optometrists, vets, or CRNAs had such leeways during their school.

There will be NPs who claim that they are STILL amazing providers even after they graduated from whatever program and they are 100% competent in carrying tasks out. But we are providers, not just technicians. NPs should be the leaders in nursing and healthcare, not just those nurses who take care of?tasks?that were unwanted by physicians. The only way to make our voice heard and meaningful is through raising the?education standard high?for NPs and keep the bar high to enter. Eventually, when we gain more respect and reputation as providers,?I am sure that there will be more scholarships and loan programs for nurses to complete programs without working at the same time.?

In another thread a few months ago, I was talking about how NP programs needed to be rigorous and that all these online programs where you only need to be able to convert oxygen into carbon dioxide should be more regulated. I also talked about how I had read and heard that many programs don't even include lectures it's just all on you to figure it out. I was informed by multiple posters that online programs were plenty rigorous, that NP education was in good shape, and that in graduate school you should be expected to teach yourself.

It was contradictory to what I had researched but who am I to argue, I'm not an NP nor am I in grad school. I do think though that if things don't change we're going to be swimming in NP's and salaries are going to take a big plunge.

0.9%NormalSarah, ADN, RN

Specializes in ICU. Has 2 years experience.

1 minute ago, TheMoonisMyLantern said:

It was contradictory to what I had researched but who am I to argue, I'm not an NP nor am I in grad school. I do think though that if things don't change we're going to be swimming in NP's and salaries are going to take a big plunge.

I had been considering pursuing my FNP after a few more years of practice, but this is the reason I probably will not. The market is just becoming saturated. I realize I could work my butt off to try and just be a better candidate in the market, but without being guaranteed a job, it makes the expense and effort so not worth it.

I’m actually more interested in the AGACNP so I could stay in critical care or cardiology, but it gives me pause to do this with an online program. I’d have to, we are very settled and there really aren’t programs in commuting distance, but part of me wonders how good the education could be through an online program. I just don’t know the answer.

Neuro Guy NP, DNP, PhD, APRN

Specializes in Vascular Neurology and Neurocritical Care. Has 9 years experience.

13 hours ago, 0.9%NormalSarah said:

I had been considering pursuing my FNP after a few more years of practice, but this is the reason I probably will not. The market is just becoming saturated. I realize I could work my butt off to try and just be a better candidate in the market, but without being guaranteed a job, it makes the expense and effort so not worth it.

I’m actually more interested in the AGACNP so I could stay in critical care or cardiology, but it gives me pause to do this with an online program. I’d have to, we are very settled and there really aren’t programs in commuting distance, but part of me wonders how good the education could be through an online program. I just don’t know the answer.

Don't do an online program. As for those who worry about accessibility etc, why is this not a concern for other health professions, like PA, PharmD, MD, etc? Either you can make the necessary arrangements to study, or you can't. I don't mean this to sound elitist, but NP isn't for everyone and the answer ISN'T to lower the bar so that every Tom, Dick, and Harry can apply. I have seen too many students start my program (I'm a professor) and either fail out or drop out because they cannot handle the time requirements of our full time program AND work full or part time +/- family commitment.?

There unfortunately are too many RNs who just think that NP is the next best thing and don't take the time to truly calculate the cost, including opportunity cost, time commitment needed, emotional/financial/physical burdens of school, and what they propose to do after school. And then come the sob stories. It's as if folks are building the house without drawing thorough blueprints and are surprised when the walls start crashing down midway through the project. Just the other day I had to really break it down to this FNP applicant who works Monday through Friday at doctors office that she won't be able to get through the program. We're a full time program and even if she goes to a part time program, when on earth does she think she's going to do primary care clinicals which are open during business hours only? This is the kind of total lack of introspection that I am talking about and the reason we denied her admission, because she's not ready for NP school for this reason.

NP absolutely needs to be like CRNA to increase quality, respect, and demand. Not everyone is cut out for every venture and just because you want to doesn't or at least shouldn't mean you're entitled to do it if you don't meet the standards or can't properly commit. Hell, I want to be a soccer player in one of the European leagues and make millions, but guess what? I don't qualify!

On 2/3/2021 at 2:37 PM, cprimavera said:

What is AANP doing with those programs??? I think we should unite to take an action on such diploma mills.

Why not become an NP yourself? ? A lot of RNs get their degrees in diploma mills. ?Ever heard of Unitek? ? Have you???

On 2/5/2021 at 7:45 PM, Zyprexa_Ho said:

I'm not saying you're wrong, but I would be interested in your definition of diploma mill schools. What criteria should we use? What are some example of diploma mill schools?

Sonoma State? ?Sam Meritt? ?

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 14 years experience.

17 minutes ago, Ace Savanahh said:

Why not become an NP yourself? ? A lot of RNs get their degrees in diploma mills. ?Ever heard of Unitek? ? Have you???

Undergrad nursing education certainly has its problems as well when it comes to diploma mills. There's a for profit chain school in my area that charges $30,000 for their LPN program and $60,000 for their ADN program, they also have an RN-BSN program though I don't know what the cost is. The admission requirements are practically non-existent??and they entice people by advertising how few pre-reqs there are to take and how you can start your nursing courses immediately. That can be very seductive to people desperate to change their lives and to achieve their goals. It seems that a lot of NP schools are utilizing the same tactics.

8 hours ago, Neuro Guy NP said:

Don't do an online program. As for those who worry about accessibility etc, why is this not a concern for other health professions, like PA, PharmD, MD, etc? Either you can make the necessary arrangements to study, or you can't. I don't mean this to sound elitist, but NP isn't for everyone and the answer ISN'T to lower the bar so that every Tom, Dick, and Harry can apply. I have seen too many students start my program (I'm a professor) and either fail out or drop out because they cannot handle the time requirements of our full time program AND work full or part time +/- family commitment.?

There unfortunately are too many RNs who just think that NP is the next best thing and don't take the time to truly calculate the cost, including opportunity cost, time commitment needed, emotional/financial/physical burdens of school, and what they propose to do after school. And then come the sob stories. It's as if folks are building the house without drawing thorough blueprints and are surprised when the walls start crashing down midway through the project. Just the other day I had to really break it down to this FNP applicant who works Monday through Friday at doctors office that she won't be able to get through the program. We're a full time program and even if she goes to a part time program, when on earth does she think she's going to do primary care clinicals which are open during business hours only? This is the kind of total lack of introspection that I am talking about and the reason we denied her admission, because she's not ready for NP school for this reason.

NP absolutely needs to be like CRNA to increase quality, respect, and demand. Not everyone is cut out for every venture and just because you want to doesn't or at least shouldn't mean you're entitled to do it if you don't meet the standards or can't properly commit. Hell, I want to be a soccer player in one of the European leagues and make millions, but guess what? I don't qualify!

There is a huge difference between increasing the quality of the education and making sure that intelligent people make it into and out of these programs, but accessibility also has to do with the fact that many people have the requisite intelligence to be good NPs but not necessarily the financial ability to take that kind of time off, etc to do a program like you're talking about.

I mention this only to prove a point, but I am a former American Mensa member, but I would never become an NP if I had to take three years of time off and accumulate six figures of debt to do it... Only to make 80-100k/year. That would be financial suicide for me.

18 minutes ago, Ace Savanahh said:

Sonoma State? ?Sam Meritt? ?

I haven't heard of those. Maybe it's a good thing. I plan on going to a state school with a good regional reputation, but in order for it to be financially accessible I fear that I'm going to be taking a small risk in not working in the same region as I get my degree.

1 hour ago, Zyprexa_Ho said:

There is a huge difference between increasing the quality of the education and making sure that intelligent people make it into and out of these programs, but accessibility also has to do with the fact that many people have the requisite intelligence to be good NPs but not necessarily the financial ability to take that kind of time off, etc to do a program like you're talking about.

I mention this only to prove a point, but I am a former American Mensa member, but I would never become an NP if I had to take three years of time off and accumulate six figures of debt to do it... Only to make 80-100k/year. That would be financial suicide for me.

I haven't heard of those. Maybe it's a good thing. I plan on going to a state school with a good regional reputation, but in order for it to be financially accessible I fear that I'm going to be taking a small risk in not working in the same region as I get my degree.

Sonoma State is CA state University. ?I went to one as well. I think nursing is a simple degree if the teachers are good. ?I had really good and really bad instructors in my BSN program where some of my community college instructors were wayyyyy better. ?I got a BSN to go for my?NP so I was looking at diploma mills. ?I’m going to a state school though?

Edited by Ace Savanahh

TheMoonisMyLantern, ADN, LPN, RN

Specializes in Mental health, substance abuse, geriatrics, PCU. Has 14 years experience.

I think there are exceptional students that go to every type of program and will become safe practitioners but I do feel that the bar needs to be raised higher.

Zyprex_ho (love your name) I agree that accessibility should be considered due to the fact that NP's make considerably less than CRNA's and MD's on average. Surely, there has to be a sweet spot where the bar is raised but isn't placed to high.

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