Is the high tuition price tag of some nurse practitioner programs worth facing steep student loan payments? How does the level of education at pricier universities compare to their less expensive counterparts? Ponying up a significant amount of cash can have added benefits when it comes to your nurse practitioner education. Here’s how.
1. Stress-Free Clinical Sites
One of the major differentiators among nurse practitioner programs is that some identify clinical sites for students while others do not. Students left to find their own clinical sites often face challenges in doing so. Willing preceptors can be difficult to come by. The process of securing one’s own clinical placements is stressful, and can even delay graduation if none is found.
Universities with top dollar price tags are far more likely to match nurse practitioner students with clinical preceptors, eliminating the headache of finding one’s own.
2. Supplemental Programming and Degree Opportunities
Looking to study abroad? Or, maybe you’re a business minded NP interested in pairing your MSN with an MBA? If your educational interests extend beyond the nurse practitioner education, high dollar schools are more likely than their less expensive counterparts to offer supplemental programs and degrees to NP students. Programs like Columbia University’s Global Initiative program, for example, allow NP students to pursue international interests. Similarly, Vanderbilt University, offers additional educational opportunities such as a joint MBA/MSN degree for students interested in the business side of healthcare.
If you’re a prospective nurse practitioner looking for a more robust, varied education path, top dollar universities are likely to deliver.
3. Options for Second Career Students
Direct entry programs present a path to the nurse practitioner degree for students without a background in healthcare. In the first year or so of these programs, students complete curriculum required for an RN degree. In the second portion of the program, students complete a nurse practitioner curriculum. Direct entry programs give individuals with a bachelors degree in a non-nursing field the opportunity to fast track the NP education. These programs are typically quite expensive and offered by more prestigious universities.
For aspiring NPs, fast-tracking the nurse practitioner education may be worth paying the high tuition accompanying most direct entry programs.
While a degree from Yale, Penn, or any of the other Ivy’s is not required to practice as an NP, attending a prestigious university is a priority for some NPs to be. The name of the university you attend does stick with you throughout your career and can certainly make an impression on your resume. Rest assured, if the tuition of such universities is out of your reach, there are still plenty of affordable schools that do an excellent job of preparing nurse practitioners to be.
While costlier nurse practitioner programs certainly have some ‘extras’ to offer, there are a number of high quality, affordable NP programs out there. Think through your budget as you choose a nurse practitioner program. Is what you hope to gain by attending a more expensive NP program worth the expense?
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