The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a demand of more than 58,000 new nurses by the year 2018. With greater than 100,000 vacant positions and an ever-growing need for health care workers, the career opportunities for the nursing field remain bright (BLS, 2013).
While many people are still struggling to find employment, others are returning to school to train in fields that continue to grow. Registered nurses top Forbes’ list of “The 10 Occupations Hiring The Most Right Now” with 186,625 job postings that include, staff RNs, operating room RNs, oncology RNs and others.
One way to produce competent nurses quickly, while still maintaining the quality in nursing education was to create the accelerated degree programs. The accelerated bachelor’s degree in nursing (accelerated BSN) program is the quickest way for individuals with undergraduate degrees in other disciplines to obtain a nursing degree.
To learn more about the programs available in D.C., request information from the featured schools below.
Accelerated BSN Curriculum
The accelerated program is fast-paced with courses offered full-time, often without breaks in between sessions. Those entering an accelerated nursing program are typically self motivated adn dedicated, with higher expectations than most entry-level students. You can bring these traits, along with your educational experience and career history, to the field of nursing if you choose a fast track BSN program.
Entry into accelerated BSN programs is competitive, typically requiring a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. The curriculum is rigorous, and is aimed to provide you with the nursing skills needed to care for patients, families and communities in a holistic and patient centered way.
Most accelerated bachelor’s degree programs run between 11-18 months, though most programs allow you to decide upon your own pace. Fast track BSN programs have pre-requisite courses in natural science such as, microbiology, organic chemistry, anatomy and physiology, and courses in math such as, undergraduate level algebra and introduction to statistics. Most likely, you have already earned some, if not all, of these credits, since you already hold a non-nursing degree.
Accelerated BSN programs require a substantial credit load and intense clinical experience. Courses vary by institutions, but most programs will have courses on pathophysiology, introduction to research, pharmacology, health assessment and promotion, pediatric nursing, adult and elder nursing, community nursing, and leadership and management.
Career Outlook as a BSN
Nursing can be a rewarding, flexible and diverse career; you will have the opportunity to care for people across the life span, and the chance to work in a variety of settings: hospitals, private clinics, physician’s office or home environment. One advantage of being a second-degree student is that you will able to bring your previous experiences, knowledge and your history of prior learning to the program—adding a new dimension to nursing.
The salary of a registered nurse depends upon the experience, organization and location. The median annual wages of registered nurses in the D.C. area are $75,500 (O*Net, 2012), and the estimated percentage increase in jobs from 2010-2020 is 20 percent (Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 2010).
To become a registered nurse in the District of Columbia, you will need to graduate from an accredited nursing program and to have passed the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. Most schools offer NCLEX prep courses, and according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, most students who graduate from an accelerated BSN program are able to pass the NCLEX-RN licensure exam on the first attempt.
Graduates of accelerated BSN programs are well recognized by nurse employers who value the many layers of skill and education these graduates bring to the workplace. Many hospitals partner with schools and offer tuition repayment to graduates as a way to recruit qualified nurses.