There are several schools in Texas that offer second degree or accelerated BSN programs. These fast-track nursing programs are a way for you to secure an education that prepares you for examination, licensure and work as a Registered Nurse. The first step to finding a degree program to earn you Bachelor's of Science in Nursing is to request information from the schools in your area, so that you can review the information and decide which programs you would like to apply to.
We have taken the time to compile a thorough list, so you can spend your time preparing for application, admission and your subsequent studies. Feel free to request from as many schools as you'd like, and keep in mind that the featured schools offer distance learning and online options which may be more flexible than traditional programs.
The colleges and universities in Texas that offer accelerated BSN programs help prepare aspiring nurses to work in a variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, ambulatory care settings and home healthcare. These schools are also taking steps to follow some of the key recommendations from a 2006 Strategic Action Plan to Increase the Supply of RNs in Texas by 2020.
Two of the key provisions include the development of accelerated track programs into professional nursing for students with degrees in non-nursing majors; the pursuance of distance education methodologies to improve access to professional nursing programs. As a second degree nursing student, you can help bridge the gap between the supply and demand for nurses in Texas, while simultaneously embarking upon a rewarding and fulfilling career.
Overview of the Accelerated BSN Programs in Texas
Accelerated BSN programs provide students who already have a non-nursing degree with a relatively quick route to becoming an RN. These programs build on the previous experience of undergraduate work, and students receive credit for general college courses, such as English, social sciences, math and biology they have already taken. Students then take a comprehensive sequence of clinical and nursing theory classes designed to prepare them for the NCLEX, which is the mandatory licensing examination required for a nursing program graduate to become a Registered Nurse.
Admission into a Texas accelerated BSN program requires a four-year degree from an accredited institution. In addition, each school has a requirement for prerequisites in order to officially be accepted into the accelerated BSN program. Typical prerequisites, include chemistry, microbiology and nutrition. To help applicants meet the prerequisites requirements, schools offer the prerequisite courses back to back before the formal program begins.
The Curriculum of an Accelerated BSN Program in Texas
The curriculum for a second degree BSN program is intense and requires a full-time schedule. On average, it takes about 10 to 15 months to complete the program. Common courses include:
- Nursing Assessment
- Current Issues in Nursing
- New Technology in Nursing
- Anatomy and Physiology
Students are also required to complete clinical practicums in healthcare settings. Clinicals usually make up approximately 100 hours of course work, and allow nursing students to put theoretical learning into actual nursing interventions. Students who are enrolled in online programs are also required to complete practicums. Accredited online accelerated BSN schools have partnerships with hospitals and medical clinics in the student’s local area for placement. The main advantage of taking a program online is that you can often complete the course study at convenient time intervals that meet your schedule. After completion of all course study and practicums, you are then eligible to sit for the NCLEX exam. Passing the NCLEX exam is essential for licensure as an RN to work in Texas. According to the Texas Board of Nursing, RN's must demonstrate continual competency by taking continuing education classes after licensure.
Career Path, Job Outlook and Salary
The Accelerated BSN program prepares nurses to work with a variety of populations, including neonatal, geriatric, pediatric and the mentally ill. Positions are available in a wide variety of healthcare settings, including home healthcare, assisted living facilities, medical centers, travel nursing and schools. The future job outlook for nursing professionals is good. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2012), RNs in Texas earn a mean wage of just under $68,000 annually, with both the Houston and the Dallas metro areas enjoying some of the highest nurse employment levels in the United States.
As the demand for RNs is expected to continue to grow at a rate of 26 percent (BLS, 2010) through 2020. An aging population, advanced medical techniques and a strong focus on preventative healthcare are all fueling this positive growth. As a matter of fact, the projected growth well outpaces many other industries.
Obtaining your Bachelor's Degree in Nursing through an accelerated BSN program is an effective way to enter nursing as a new career, without losing the experience and college credits previously earned. Request information today, so that you can begin the process of researching all the available options for earning your second degree as a nurse. If you have additional questions, or would like to know more about nursing as a profession, please check out the Texas Board of Nursing, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help in any way, as you embark upon your nursing education.