Guide / Online vs Campus FNP Degree Programs

Online FNP Programs vs. Campus-based FNP Programs - 2024

by Staff

Updated: April 25th, 2023

Deciding Between Online vs. Campus-based Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) Degree Programs

When deciding between an online Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) degree program and a campus-based FNP degree program, there are several factors to consider:

Flexibility and Convenience

Online programs offer greater flexibility and convenience as they allow students to complete coursework at their own pace and on their own schedule. Nurses can study at their own pace and schedule, which allows them to continue working while pursuing their degree. Online programs also allow students to study from anywhere in the world, which can be especially beneficial for nurses who live in remote or rural areas.

Campus-based programs require students to attend classes on a fixed schedule, which may be more challenging for those who work full-time or have family commitments.

Quick Pros & Cons View

Online FNP Programs

  • Flexibility: Online programs offer flexibility to study at your own pace and schedule, which is ideal for students who have work or family commitments.
  • Accessibility: Online programs offer accessibility to students who live in remote or rural areas, or who have limited access to transportation.
  • Convenience: Online programs offer the convenience of studying from home or anywhere with an internet connection, which eliminates the need to relocate.

  • Limited networking opportunities: Online programs may have limited opportunities for face-to-face interaction with peers and faculty, which can make it difficult to build professional relationships.
  • Self-motivation: Online programs require self-motivation and discipline to succeed, as students are responsible for managing their own learning.
  • Limited clinical placement options: Some online programs may have limited clinical placement options, which can make it difficult to gain hands-on experience.

Campus-Based FNP Programs

  • Face-to-face interaction: Campus-based programs offer face-to-face interaction with peers and faculty, which can be beneficial for learning and building professional relationships.
  • Structured learning environment: Campus-based programs offer a structured learning environment, which can be helpful for students who thrive in a traditional classroom setting.
  • Clinical placements: Campus-based programs offer clinical placements and internships, which provide hands-on experience and opportunities to network with healthcare providers in a particular area.

  • Time constraints: Campus-based programs can be time-consuming, as students must attend classes on campus and may need to relocate to do so.
  • Higher cost: Campus-based programs can be more expensive than online programs due to higher tuition fees, as well as expenses like room and board, transportation, and textbooks.
  • Limited flexibility: Campus-based programs may not be suitable for students who have work or other commitments that require them to be in a specific location at specific times.

Clinical Experience

Both online and campus-based programs require students to complete clinical hours. Campus-based programs may have more opportunities for in-person clinical experiences, while online programs may require students to find their own clinical placements. Consider which option works best for you and your schedule.


While it’s not always the case, online FNP programs can sometimes be more affordable than campus-based programs. Online programs often have lower tuition fees compared to traditional programs, and students can save money on expenses such as room and board, transportation, and textbooks. Additionally, many online FNP programs offer financial aid options, scholarships, and grants to help students manage their education costs.

However, it’s important to note that the cost of an online FNP program can vary depending on the school, program, and location. Some online programs may have additional fees or require students to pay for technology or equipment. Additionally, some campus-based programs may also offer online courses or hybrid programs, which can be more affordable than traditional on-campus programs.

Ultimately, the cost of an FNP program will depend on various factors, and students should carefully consider their options and research different programs before making a decision.

Student Support

Consider the level of support provided by the program, including academic advising, access to resources and technology, and student services. Online programs may offer more support through virtual resources, while campus-based programs may offer more in-person support.

Professional Goals as a Family Nurse Practitioner Program Graduate

When considering professional goals in the context of choosing between an online and campus-based Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) degree program, several factors come into play. The choice between online and campus-based programs can significantly impact a nurse’s professional goals. Here are some professional goals that are specific to the differences between online and campus-based FNP degree programs:

Networking Opportunities

Campus-based FNP degree programs offer more opportunities for networking with peers and faculty members, which can be valuable in building professional relationships and pursuing leadership positions. Campus-based programs also offer clinical placements and internships, which provide hands-on experience and opportunities to network with healthcare providers in a particular area.

Quality of Education

The quality of education is an important consideration for nurses pursuing an FNP degree program. While online programs can offer similar coursework and academic rigor as campus-based programs, some students may prefer the structure and face-to-face interaction of a traditional classroom setting. On the other hand, an online program may provide access to a broader range of resources, including recorded lectures, online discussions, and virtual simulations.

Ultimately, the decision between an online FNP degree program and a campus-based FNP degree program depends on your personal preferences, schedule, and career goals. Consider each option carefully and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.