If you are seeking a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, put yourself on the fast track by enrolling in an accelerated BSN program. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the country will need more than a million new and replacement registered nurses by 2020. To fill in those gaps, many nursing schools offer accelerated programs for non-nursing graduates.
Accelerated BSN Programs
So what does an accelerated BSN program involve? Here is a brief summary from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing:
- Offers the quickest route to an RN license for adults with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree.
- Generally takes 12-18 months to complete versus three to four years for a traditional BSN program.
- Usually requires a minimum 3.0 GPA and thorough pre-screening process.
- Involves intense, fast-paced instruction; full-time courses do not break between sessions.
- Students are encouraged NOT to work because of the rigorous program.
- Students receive the same number of clinical hours as their counterparts in traditional programs.
Typical students are self-motivated, older, and have higher academic expectations than traditional entry-level students. Faculty also finds students in an accelerated nursing program to be excellent learners who are not afraid to challenge their instructors.
Choosing an Accelerated Nursing Program
So what should you look for in an accelerated nursing program? Whether you choose a local state college or a prestigious private university, be sure the nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or both. These agencies review and set national standards for nursing education. Graduating from an accredited institution can make you more attractive to employers.
Next, check the school’s pass rates for the NCLEX exam, the test you will take to earn your RN license. Ask for the pass rates for at least the past five years. You also may want to check the backgrounds of your instructors. Those with extensive nursing experience generally make the best teachers.
The path to a long-term nursing career begins with your commitment to an accelerated BSN program.
Learn more about the Purdue University Northwest Professional Nursing Pathways Program.
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