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    A Little Dive Into AANP's 2022 FNP Online Education Statistics

    The release of the 2022 AANP Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) exam statistics came with a concerning story. The pass rate took a significant dip to 74.0% from the previous year's 84.0%. A glance at the historical data, from 2015 to 2022, makes it clear that this was not part of an overall trend, but something specific to the 2021 and 2022 program years for the AANP FNP programs.

    It’s of note that the ANCC programs, which tend to be more classroom based didn’t have the same trend.

    After the release of the numbers, there were a lot of talks, editorials, and articles about the reasons behind the numbers.  Our take was that for most programs, the abrupt switch to fully remote online education lacked the experience and tools with which to implement.

    The Rocky Transition to Online Education in 2021 and Its Continuation in 2022

    The shift to online education in 2021 was a hurried one. The terrain of online platforms was unfamiliar to many staff members. The online resources, which were expected to bridge the gap, lacked essential feedback mechanisms and clearly outlined student goals and objectives.

    As we moved into 2022, the lingering effects of the initial rocky transition were apparent. The hesitation to fully adopt online education was noticeable. The decrease in enrollment and the lack of new education resources coming online signified a retreat rather than an advance in embracing online education.  2020 and 2021 saw a combined 5.5% drop in AANP program applicants.


    The Unmet Need for Interactive Feedback and Supportive Digital Tools

    The need for continuous, interactive feedback is at the core of an effective online education system. However, the swift transition left little room for such essential interactive mechanisms. The faculty found themselves struggling to keep track of student progress, lacking the tools to provide timely updates and alerts.

    Moreover, the available online education products did not meet the mark. They failed to provide administration and faculty with actionable feedback. Nor did they offer automated remediation, making the transition even more challenging for both faculty and students.

    Navigating Beyond Technical Challenges: The Human and External Factors

    The decline in pass rates was not just a result of technical or administrative hurdles. It was also a narrative about the human aspect of education. Faculty members were caught off guard with the sudden change in workload.

    The students situations were aggravated by external factors like near-abusive work environments, abrupt staffing changes, and shifts in pay and locations. We all have dozens of weird anecdotes about some of the absurdities care systems engaged in.  The employees most often paid the price for those, and most often, nurses.  These challenges revealed a broader scene of chaos and unpreparedness, extending beyond the confines of virtual classrooms and affecting the very fabric of the educational ecosystem.

    As we now look to the 2023 outcomes, the hope is that the lessons learned from recent turbulent years will steer the path towards a smoother, more effective online education landscape.

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