Nurses continue to be in demand within the state of California, and many residents are looking into the possibility of joining the profession. One segment of nursing students that tend to do well in both school and the jobplace, are those students that originally obtained degrees in non nursing fields. As more Californians re-think their career options, and consider becoming an RN, they are finding that accelerated BSN programs in the state are widely available. This is good news, as there were over 14,000 students enrolled in Accelerated BSN programs in 2011, according to the AACN.
We at BestNursingDegree.com have taken the time to compile a list of all the Accelerated and Second Degree Bachelor's of Science in Nursing programs in California to help guide you to the school that is right for you. We recommend requesting information from multiple schools, in order to get the information you need to make a sound decision about your education. In addition, since there are often more applicants than there are admission slots, having more schools to choose from may broaden the likelihood of being admitted right away. Keep in mind that there are also several accredited BSN programs that offer accelerated content in an online format, which can often result in a more flexible program of study.
Overview of the Accelerated BSN Program in California
Accelerated BSN programs are an innovative approach for those with a non nursing bachelor's degree who want to transition into the field of nursing. According to Nurse.com more than 43% of RN positions require a BSN or higher. Accelerated programs build on previous learning experiences and are a rapid route for entering the nursing profession. Students can usually complete an accelerated BSN program witihin 15 months, as previous coursework and credits are normally taken into account.
In order to be accepted into an Accelerated BSN program in California, students must meet the prerequisites. Prerequisites include courses in social sciences and arts, which you most likely took while you were earning your non-nursing Bachelor's, along with many courses in natural sciences. Specific requirements to meet nursing school admission may including microbiology, chemistry and anatomy, which you may need to take prior to actual acceptance into the BSN program. To assist students in meeting these requirements, most schools in California offer back-to-back prerequisite courses prior to the start of the BSN program.
The accelerated BSN program is fast-paced and prepares nurses to work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, nursing homes and private doctor offices. The framework of the program is focused on the assessment, maintenance and restoration of the health of individuals, families and communities.
The Curriculum of an Accelerated BSN Program
The curriculum of an accelerated BSN program includes a wide variety of subjects that are geared toward the nursing profession. Typical courses include:
- Issues in Professional Nursing
- Mental Health Nursing
- Pharmacology I and Pharmacology II
- Statistics and Research
- Nursing Assessment and Care Planning
Students are also required to complete a practicum. Depending upon which school in California you attend, practicum hours vary but range around 130 hours. Students are able to apply knowledge learned to real-life medical settings in hospitals, clinics and other healthcare settings. If you are thinking of taking courses through an online accelerated BSN program, you may find that your program has established partnerships with local healthcare organizations in California, to allow for the possibility of completing your clinicals locally.
In order to attain licensure to practice as an RN in California, nursing students must pass the National Counsel Licensing Examination (NCLEX). The test is computerized, and it is recommended that graduates take the exam soon after completing the program. Many schools in California offer excellent classes and workshops to help students prepare for the NCLEX, and these classes are usually offered immediately after program completion. Additionally, it has been found that graduates of accelerated BSN programs often pass the NCLEX on the first attempt according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2013).
Job Outlook and Salary for BSN Students
According to O*net (2013), the employment of California RNs is projected to grow 22 percent through 2020, resulting in almost 50,000 new jobs before the end of the decade. The need for nurses is being fueled by an aging baby-boomer population, technological advancements and the emphasis on preventative healthcare. In addition to positions in hospitals, nursing homes and clinics, nurses can also work in schools, military organizations and government organizations. Another option for nurses is travel nursing. Nurses can take temporary assignments and travel to a variety of healthcare settings for employment.
O*net also reports that the median annual income for California nurses is one of the highest in the nation, at over $90,000 in 2013. The earning potential, combined with the solid job market make nursing an enticing profession for many people who initially obtained degrees in other fields. If you are one of these, we thank you, and commend your choice to look into nursing education as a route to a new and rewarding career. Please take a moment to request information from the schools we've found, so that you can begin to take steps toward finding the best school and degree program for you.