Accelerated BSN Programs
If you have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field but want to become a nurse, you may be able to start a nursing career in just a matter of months with accelerated BSN programs. Discover how these programs differ from a standard Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree programs, and use our list of accelerated BSN programs to contact schools that catch your eye.
If you already have a non-nursing degree but want to become a nurse, you’ve come to the right place. Thousands of people just like you choose nursing as a second career for a variety of reasons. Whether you are looking for campus-based accelerated nursing programs, online accelerated BSN program options, or even if you are just starting to explore what options are available, we can help.
Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
Whether you want to make more money or simply desire a more satisfying career, getting a second degree in nursing can be a very rewarding decision. As an added benefit, nursing students who already have a non-nursing degree are admired by both schools and prospective employers.
As the nursing shortage continues to grow, schools have responded by developing programs that build curriculum around the degree you already have, infusing the workforce with new nurses faster than traditional programs can. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), one of the most rapidly expanding segments of nursing education is the Accelerated or Second Degree Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN). This option is the fastest route to move from a non-nursing career to full licensure and practice as a Registered Nurse (RN). Find accelerated nursing schools near you today!
We have already investigated the options for accelerated nursing programs, and recommend that you request information from each one of the featured schools on our page. These schools offer fast-track BSN programs that use both online and classroom curriculum, which is built upon the fact that you already have a degree.
Whether you are looking for BA to BSN programs or BS to BSN programs, you should be able to find the second degree nursing programs you are looking for. These schools accept students from all over the United States, and by submitting your information to schools you can start choosing from the best accelerated nursing programs — leading you to enter the nursing workforce in as little as 11-18 months.
If you’re an RN looking for bachelor’s completion programs, the page you want is our RN to BSN page. Keep in mind that even online accelerated BSN programs do have clinical requirements, so it’s important to thoroughly explore all your options.
Characteristics of Second Degree Nursing Students
According to an AACN Fact Sheet, accelerated BSN (ABSN) nursing programs tend to attract students who are highly motivated learners. Accelerated BSN students often demonstrate a maturity level and clinical knowledge that is valued by educators and employers.
The previous degree ABSN students have earned make them well-rounded students and eventually nurses who are able to use their past career and academic strengths in their nursing practice. Many people who look to nursing as a second degree are often drawn to the role of Nurse Educators, building upon the solid base of education and experience they possess. If this sounds like you, you may want to explore options for Direct Entry MSN programs as well.
As a general rule, nursing students who choose Accelerated RN programs are willing and able to make a full time commitment to school. Just as it sounds, these second degree nursing programs are intense in nature, combining clinical and classroom work into a shorter time period than traditional programs. If you are excited about learning new skills, and possess the resources to attend classes full time, this route into the profession of nursing may be the perfect fit for you.
The featured schools on this page were selected because they offer online accelerated BSN programs, in addition to offering multiple locations to meet the clinical requirements of the programs. It’s recommended to request information from multiple schools, keeping in mind that these programs may allow for clinical components to be completed off campus.
Many of the top accelerated nursing programs are now partnering with healthcare facilities in an effort to expand clinical options. Online accelerated BSN programs offer a direct route to obtaining your BSN quickly, without sacrificing the quality of your education, as adding nurses to the ranks is the most effective way to remedy the urgent and increasing nursing shortage.
What are the Benefits of Accelerated BS to BSN Programs?
According to the 2010 HRSA Report on the Registered Nurse Population, the percentage of nursing students who earned a degree prior to beginning nursing school has been rising steadily over the last decade. (See Table 1.1 below)
Nurses with Degrees Prior to Initial Nursing Education (Table 1.1)
**Source: Data derived from 2000-2008 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses
Considering the diverse opportunities within the field of nursing and the nursing shortage, it is no surprise that many degree holding adults are leaving their current professions to become nurses. For adults considering a career change, minimizing the time spent in training for a new job is very important. That is why many adults choose to enroll in an Accelerated or Second Degree BSN Program, taking advantage of programs that build upon previous learning experiences.
You’re probably starting to ask yourself, “How do I find the best accelerated nursing programs near me?” Well, that’s why we’re here! We’ve selected the best nursing degree options to highlight on our site in an effort to help minimize the time you spend looking for accelerated nursing schools.
One of the major benefits of Accelerated BSN programs is how fast you can earn your nursing degree. Most programs offer completion in less than two years, which is half of the time it takes to earn a traditional BSN.
The fact that you already have a degree, though it may not be healthcare specific, means that you have taken many of the general studies and elective courses required of traditional nursing students. What could be better than building upon the education you have already invested in, while expanding your knowledge to enter one of the fastest growing job sectors in the nation?
Accelerated Bachelor’s in Nursing (BSN) Programs
Are you thinking about becoming a nurse and want the quickest route into this growing field? There are so many careers that BSN graduates can pursue, it’s no wonder so many students choose accelerated paths for degree completion.
The most obvious benefit to accelerated bachelor’s of nursing programs is how fast you can earn your nursing degree – but it’s also exciting to think of all the careers you can choose from when you’re done!
It’s important to know that accelerated bachelor’s of nursing programs are geared towards students who can dedicate themselves full-time to their studies. The shorter timeline will make your education and training more intense – but it can be worth it, if you’re ready to start working as a nurse ASAP.
Keep reading the following sections that explain some common characteristics of the best accelerated nursing programs.
At any point, you can search accelerated BSN programs by state at the bottom of the page, or you can use the quick search box on the top of the page to find schools that match your location and degree preferences. We also recommend researching articles about the nursing profession, and the many specializations you can focus on.
How Long Are Accelerated BSN Programs?
You can typically complete an accelerated BS to BSN program in about 11-18 months. This path is for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field of study. And remember, there are certain course prerequisites you must take if you didn’t already take them for your previous degree.
Most schools will review your transcripts to make sure you have background courses completed in such areas as:
You will also spend a lot of time in clinical classes or in the simulation lab to learn basic nursing skills.
Accelerated Bachelor’s in Nursing Application Requirements
When you submit your application to nursing school, you will likely be required to provide additional documents, such as:
- College transcripts from previous institutions
- Letters of reference and recommendation
- Personal essay that describes the reasons you are pursuing nursing
- Applicable fees
- Some schools may have additional G.P.A. or testing requirements prior to admission
The cost of your BSN program will depend on the school you go to. Private colleges and public universities range in costs depending on location, reputation of the school, etc. During your application process, you’ll want to discuss financial aid options with every school on your list of accelerated nursing programs.
Bachelor’s in Nursing Program Courses & Learning Objectives
During the course of your studies, you will learn a lot of information in a relatively short period of time. Let’s take a look at examples of courses and learning objectives that your accelerated BSN program may include.
ABSN programs may include these courses:
- Concepts of health & illness
- Mental health nursing
- Contemporary health care
- Research based practice
- Nursing concepts
- Foundations in nursing
- Policy and ethics
- Leadership and interpersonal skills
Many of the best accelerated nursing programs help students:
- Work with technology within the scope of the nursing profession to deliver quality care
- Seek ways to become leaders in healthcare settings
- Develop special skills to work in clinical settings that interest the student
- Use their knowledge and training to contribute to the improved care in their community or population of focus
- Contribute to the healthcare community in positive ways that inspire others and one’s own growth in their nursing career
- Work with patients from different cultural backgrounds
- Develop critical thinking and analytical skills that apply to nursing
Once you complete an accelerated BSN program, you can consider several careers. Many schools will ensure you gain clinical experience in several types of healthcare settings. This will help you figure out exactly what kind of nursing job or area of focus is right for you. When you are comparing ABSN programs, be sure to bring this up with each school’s career advisor.
2017 Career Outlook for Nurses with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing
Accelerated BSN and BS to BSN programs can lead to many nursing careers. Sure, there are many secure jobs in healthcare that do not require a bachelor’s degree… But if you want to work in a nursing leadership role, or advance beyond entry-level positions, we recommend earning your bachelor’s in nursing – no matter which type of program is right for you. If your life won’t allow an accelerated pace, then look into traditional BSN programs.
In order to work as a nurse, you will have to pass the NCLEX and become a Registered Nurse (RN). Once you receive this credential, you can qualify to work as a nurse. Sure, you can do this with an associate degree, but having a bachelor’s degree gives you a better chance of earning advanced positions. If you want to become a nurse educator, or work in public health, a bachelor’s degree is preferred.
Earning your BSN can also qualify you for higher pay in many cases. The 2017 BLS report notes an average pay for nurses of $67,490 per year.. However, nurses on the high end, in the top 10% — presumably the most educated and experienced — earned an average wage of $101,630 – quite a jump (BLS, 2017). Plus, in some areas, nurses can expect multiple job offers upon graduation. This was the case in a recent news report about students at Indiana University’s Northwest Nursing School.
Take a moment and search accelerated BSN programs by state, browse our helpful articles, or research other nursing programs.
We want to be your resource for finding the best nursing degrees, whether you need a complete list of accelerated nursing programs or other information. Let us know if we can assist you in any way in your search for the right nursing program.
We welcome you to join the thousands of students who are already expanding their career opportunities by obtaining a second degree in nursing! The accelerated nursing programs listed on this site are a great way to fast track into the diverse and ever-changing profession of nursing. If you have additional questions about nursing as a second degree, please request information from any of the schools listed on the Accelerated BSN or Direct Entry MSN pages, or email us at email@example.com. We have an on-staff RN/BSN who is happy to help answer your questions and guide you in your nursing journey.
Expert Advice: Opinions on Second Degree Nursing & How Life Experience Can Enrich a Nursing Career
Nurse Teeny is a community health nurse for aging and disability services in her county. Before going into community health, she was a Critical Care RN Resident on a Progressive Care Unit. She also earned her MSN in Clinical Nurse Leadership in May 2012. Nurse Teeny also maintains the blog, the Makings of a Nurse.
I had my entire medical career planned in junior high school, from the college I would attend – Stanford – to the academic track I needed for admission to medical school. I even knew my specialty: pediatric oncology. The greatest gift I have ever received, though, is a life that didn’t go as planned. I am not a pediatric oncologist, nor did I attend Stanford. I am a second-career nurse.
In high school, I was able to shadow a physician. My mentor had a warm bedside manner, but she admitted a sense of frustration over her limited time for hands-on patient care. The nurses I met, on the other hand, seemed to have much more contact with patients and families on an ongoing basis. I began to wonder whether nursing might be a better fit for me. Ultimately, I decided that I still had plenty of time to figure out my future, and when it came time to choose a college, I picked one for what it would offer me right then and there – an education that celebrated critical thinking and a love of learning.
I chose cultural anthropology for my major and gender studies for my concentration. For four years, I studied topics ranging from southern religion to the migration patterns of Homo erectus. I learned how to respectfully and intelligently disagree with those whose political or religious beliefs differed from my own. I realized that to successfully relate to people, I had to open my eyes and my mind and learn how to put aside personal differences in pursuit of mutual goals. This education has served me well in the multidisciplinary health care field, in which finding common ground requires collaboration, cooperation and often a healthy dose of humility.
After graduation I moved overseas on a postgraduate fellowship to observe the role of faith in West African health care settings. I came home and attended seminary on a challenge scholarship and explored my place in this world from the perspective of vocation. I worked in family support for individuals with developmental disabilities. All of these experiences resurrected that nagging voice from high school that I might belong in health care after all.
I realized I belonged specifically in nursing when I moved home to care for my father during the final months of his life. Throughout our family’s trials, my father’s nurses consistently advocated for us, coordinated care, and communicated with us. Through them I realized what a pivotal role a nurse could play in transforming a discouraging, terrifying experience, into a journey that was both tragic and life-affirming.
Had I attended nursing school as an undergraduate student, I would have eight years of clinical experience under my belt. I would most likely have landed my first job with less effort. Instead, I submitted 166 applications as a new grad last year in the midst of an economy that was unkind to new nurses. Do I regret it? Not on your life.
I have learned for the sake of learning, traveled, and explored my own faith. I have lived the role of family advocate. I have learned what it means to grieve and express genuine empathy.
There are many ways to become a nurse and to practice nursing – that is the beauty of this profession. But, nursing is a serious responsibility that requires technical, critical thinking and interpersonal skills. Was I ready at age 22 to shoulder the responsibilities of this career?
I certainly could have learned on the job – as many nurses have done successfully – but would I have loved it and appreciated it as much as I do now? Not a chance. Nor would I have developed the courage to challenge the status quo, the education and intellectual curiosity to seek out opportunities for continued learning, and the life experience to understand and appreciate the vulnerable human moments that I am invited into on a daily basis.