20 Oct ABSN | Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Non-nursing students who hold a Bachelor or Master’s degrees in a non-nursing discipline can take accelerated pre-licensure BSN degree program to become a qualified healthcare professional. The accelerated BSN program is usually the fastest way to earn a baccalaureate degree in nursing and a license as a nurse, as it takes 11 to 18 months of completion. This program is currently available in 46 states in America and Washington D.C, and the AACN reported that around 255 accelerated BSN programs are offered nationwide.
The accelerated BSN program considers the student’s previous learning experiences he/she had in his/her non-nursing degree. Since this is an accelerated program for a baccalaureate degree, the instruction is intense and with no breaks between each session. The accelerated pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing program also consists of the same number of clinical hours, similar to a traditional BSN course. Most of the accelerated BSN programs have admission standards that are quite high, requiring students to have at least a 3.0 GPA and should also pass the pre-screening process of the institution.
Accelerated BSN programs are attracting a lot of interest at the moment from non-nursing graduates who want to fast-track their way into the healthcare profession.
With an aging population in the United States and a growing shortage of qualified nurses, healthcare is one of the most attractive fields to get into at the moment. Good jobs are expected to becoming increasingly available over the next two decades.
College graduates with degrees in other field are starting to realize that they have a better chance of securing a job and earning a good salary in the medical field with the right nursing qualifications. They are putting the degrees they have already earned to good use by undertaking an accelerated baccalaureate Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) degree.
Getting accepted into ABSN programs is not easy. Competition is becoming increasingly tougher because more and more graduate students are seeing the advantages of a career in nursing. You must already have a bachelor’s degree in another field and many nursing schools require a 3.0 GPA or higher for entry. If your degree is not science-related, you will also be required to complete science prerequisites in anatomy, microbiology and chemistry.
If you are accepted into a ABSN program you can expect to be working flat-out for 12-18 months. As the name suggests, accelerated BSN programs are designed to bring you up to speed in the nursing profession fast. Most courses are full-time although some nursing schools do have part-time courses. You will need to be prepared to undertake heavy class workloads and intense clinical practice during your accelerated BSN program.
Other commitments in your life will need to become secondary so you can concentrate on your nursing studies. For anyone with children or a busy family life, this can be quite a burden at times. Many nursing school do not have breaks in-between semesters so expect to be studying hard and working long hours. Accelerated BSN programs can also be quite expensive because of the way the courses and clinical work is structure. Make sure that you have enough money put aside for your living expenses, tuition fees, books and uniform.
But the rewards for undertaking an accelerated BSN program far outweigh the the difficulties of the course and the long study hours. Most students who apply for accelerated BSN programs are older, motivated and have higher academic expectations high school-entry baccalaureate students. These students are very focused on the end result.
Typically, accelerated students excel in the class room and are keen to obtain clinical hospital experience. Faculties generally find them to be excellent learners who are not afraid to challenge their instructors. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds and these experiences can benefit everyone. The compressed baccalaureate BSN program format is a key motivator for these second-degree students who can bring fresh new qualities to nursing. Accelerated BSN students are committed to their studies, become actively engaged in research and also tend to take a great interest in their universities and on-campus projects.
The types of students who apply for accelerated BSN programs include those with PhDs, MDs from other countries and fine arts majors. Second-degree students usually excel in class and perform very well post-graduation. They are actively pursing a nursing program that by its very nature is competitive, well-respected and can fast-track them into a new career.
Students in accelerated programs tend to be very competitive, maintain high grade point averages and almost always pass the NCLEX-RN licensure exam on their first attempt. You must sit and pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) to become a Registered Nurse (RN). Obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree puts you in a far better position than just having an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) degree.
At this time, a BSN is considered an entry-level degree into nursing. Once it was good enough to just have a nursing diploma to secure a well-paid nursing job. Then the minimum requirement was becoming a Registered Nurse (RN). But hospital jobs are so competitive now that you should at least have your BSN before looking for a position in healthcare.
Without a BSN, your nursing career choices definitely become limited. This particularly applies to nursing administrative roles if that is where you see your career headed. All better paid nurses today have BSN degrees and many of these have been obtained through accelerated BSN programs. Though not new to nursing education, accelerated BSN programs have grown rapidly in the past 20 years. As far back as 1990, just 31 accelerated BSN programs and 12 Master’s nursing programs (MSN) were available in the United States.
Today, there are 230 accelerated BSN programs available while accelerated Master’s nursing programs have grown to 65. According to the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) another 3o+ accelerated BSN programs are in their planning stages. This number of accelerated nursing degree programs exceeds all other entry-level nursing programs being considered by nursing schools. It demonstrates how in demand these programs have become in the health profession.
Graduates of accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs are highly sought-after by hospitals and medical centers who value their skills and education. These graduates are usually more mature, have strong clinical skills and learn quickly once they are employed. If you have the passion and drive for a career in healthcare then accelerated BSN nursing programs might be just the thing to fast-track your career in nursing.