Accelerated BSN Programs

  1. Hi everyone!,
    Is anyone in this forum currently enrolled in an accelerated BSN nursing program? If so, could you tell me the pros and cons, your experiences, the good, the bad and the ugly? I would greatly appeciate it:chuckle
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  2. 15 Comments

  3. by   sam027000
    I am currently in an acclerated BSN. My program required a previous bachelors degree and nursing prereqs for admission. I think about 200 people applied for 45 spots. The program is a 13 month program and I only have 12 months to go

    The program is very tough!! Right now I have a lab from 1-5 on Monday, class from 8-4 on Tues & Wed, class from 7:30-5 on Thurs, and Fri is usually for mandatory meetings/orientations, etc. We currently have Sat & Sun off b/c we haven't started clinicals yet. When clinicals start in March they will be Sat & Sun 6a-6p in addition to our regular classes/labs. On top of that is all of our reading, case studies, care plans, lab work, etc.

    I usually get up at 6a everyday and head to school. I would estimate that I spend at least 5 hours a day on hw everyday after class and all day (8-10 hrs) on Sat & Sun. I am currently making A's & B's. You cannot receive a class grade lower than a 77 or you're removed from the program.

    I feel like I am really good at time management b/c I am able to get into bed by 10 or 11 most nights and get a full nights rest. I also try to take mini-breaks and do fun stuff like check allnurses or walk the dog, etc. I know a lot of my classmates are struggling with time management and end up staying up until 3-4 at night and then having to be at school at 7:30-8.

    Good things so far are that in only 12 more months I'll be taking NCLEX, my classmates are like family after only a month, the faculty really want you to pass and do well.

    Bad things so far are that I hardly ever get to see my husband, vacations and family events are not going to be on my schedule until after graduation, you constantly worry about being a good nurse after rushing through a program, you cannot work at all, stress level is VERY HIGH, you are forced to be a quick learner b/c if you're not you'l fail. We've already had two people drop b/c they couldn't make it work with family committments, budget constraints, etc.

    The cons list seems longer, but I think we all knew what we were getting into. They call it accelerated for a reason. Getting in and out in a hurry was important to me so I was willing to make the sacrifices.

    In a year I'll be looking back and thinking man that year went by fast and now I'm an RN!!
    Last edit by sam027000 on Feb 3, '07 : Reason: typos
  4. by   fullofgrace
    I am in an accelerated program right now (started a month ago) and all I can say is that it is most brutal yet most exciting time I have ever had!

    Brutal: I am in school from 8:00am till 10pm every day (classes, clinicals, and studying), and my weekends are spent in the library.

    Exciting: I cannot believe how much I learned in just one month! The transformation is amazing, and I am amazed by the new things I learn every day. This is definitely the most stimulating academic and HUMAN experience I have ever had.

    11 months to go!

    Edit: My program is only one year long - 12 months!
    Last edit by fullofgrace on Feb 5, '07
  5. by   Pompom
    I am finishing up my accelerated RN-BSN program, 18 months long,1 night a week from 6p-10p. Sounds easy but there is a tremendous amount of independent work for this program. I truly learned what the "B.S." part of the degree means! If you like to write papers in APA format out the waazoo then this is the one for you.
  6. by   Megsd
    I'm in my second quarter of a 15 month program and so far I love it. We started with 24 (and lost one so far), and we're all really close. We generally have a class section to ourselves so our class size is much smaller than for the traditional students. Our clinical groups are also smaller. In our second clinical we're considered "senior" students and are checked off on pretty much every skill, which makes it great because we can do pretty much anything that comes up if our instructor or RN is with us.

    The schedule is very busy. My schedule first quarter was class 1-5 Monday, 9-6 Tuesday, 8-12 Wednesday, and clinical 7-12 Thurs/Fri. This quarter I have class 4-7 Monday, 8-3 Tuesday, 1-3 Wednesday and clinical 7-4 Thurs/Fri.

    Last quarter I studied about 2-4 hours every day when I got home, but always managed to keep a weekend day free for me, and always went to bed by 11. This quarter my course load is lighter and I don't need to study quite as often.

    The cons to my program are it's pretty new (we're the third class) so sometimes it feels like they're not quite sure what they're doing, and we're just the guinea pigs. We also get thrown into everything really quickly (trial by fire) which can be hard for type A personality people who like to know what's going on (which most of us seem to be).

    But all in all I am having a BLAST and am really glad I did this program. I will graduate in November with my BSN and 10-14 credits toward my MSN for whenever I want to go back.
  7. by   opradiva
    This is a great thread!

    I, too, am applying for two accelerated programs that are out of state, and one ASN in-state. I really would prefer the out of state ABSN because I want to get done as soon as possible. I've been out of school for some time, and i have yet to finis my first degree. I will be done with it at the end of June if all goes well. Then hopefully, I will begin the ABSN. I hear it's very difficult to get through. As the other posters have said, time management is key. You have to be an independent learner, which I am. I know that competition must be fierce! My only worry is (another poster mentioned this) being away from friends and family. I have the feeling that I may be getting married soon. If that does happen, and if I do get into an ABSN, I'M GOIN'! In the past, I've put things off for others, but now I am so motivated to do this, and nothing will stop me. I hopeful that I will get in.

    :Melody: opradiva
  8. by   Cammykiss
    I'm in an accelerated RN-BSN program too! It is three semesters, 8/06-12/07. Last semester was rough, a lot of new things all at once. My class started at 21, now down to 17, although we are all very tight. Work together, play together, commiserate together. Great experience. Last semester had off one day a week from class/clinicals and I worked about 30 hours/week. This semester, have no free day, which is killing me, and I work about 24 hours/weekly, only on weekends. Definitly would recommend some medical/nursing background before starting. Not necessary, but those of us who have it are brething a little easier and not stressing as much.
  9. by   HM2VikingRN
    I am in an Accelerated program at MN State Mankato. First quarter was skills oriented. This quarter the rubber has really hit the road with lots of short papers and 3 full clinical days plus Th/Fri class. It is doable but you have to be always thinking and looking for opportunities to practice critical thinking and problem solving.
  10. by   3Triages
    Thank you guys! I really appreciate your honesty. How soon did everyone apply to these programs? (6 mos, 1 yr, etc). When I recently attended an open house, the admissions rep gave the impression that one needs a GPA of 4.0 - I only have a 3.0 but some volunteer experience from my undergrad degree. Is there any advice that u would give to an applicant to improve their chances of gaining admission to these competitive programs?
  11. by   fleur-de-lis
    I have 6 months to go on a 15 month accelerated BSN program. My biggest piece of advice is that if you are used to getting straight A's, get over it. Quickly. The sooner the better. The last 2 semesters were hell on me trying for that elusive 4.0. I got it the first semester, but ended up with 2 A's and 2 B's last semester. I could have studied half that much and ended up with the same grades! This semester, I have decided that B's are my friends. I am learning just as much, but not stressing like I did in the past. And, I actually have somewhat of a life (as much as possible in this type of program!)

    To the OP - The programs are very competitive. Your experience will help though, play it up. Even if they don't ask for it, send references from someone you volunteered for if possible. And keep volunteering, in a hospital if necessary. Also, get to know the people who make the decision. Go down and talk to them so they can put a face with the name. Might help! You might do a search on this forum for this topic, there are other threads on accel. programs as well.
  12. by   smile123
    Quote from 3Triages
    Thank you guys! I really appreciate your honesty. How soon did everyone apply to these programs? (6 mos, 1 yr, etc). When I recently attended an open house, the admissions rep gave the impression that one needs a GPA of 4.0 - I only have a 3.0 but some volunteer experience from my undergrad degree. Is there any advice that u would give to an applicant to improve their chances of gaining admission to these competitive programs?
    You do not need a 4.0 GPA for admission into the accel'd BSN programs. But the cutoff is usually 3.0 GPA U/G. They look at your pre-reqs GPA too, especially, the hard sciences (A&P, microbiology). It's the entire package: your essay, recommendations, volunteer work (yes, that does help), and transcripts (with GPA). Do note that accel'd programs are usually for people that already have their bachelor's degree. Even the accel'd programs have different criteria or weights they assign for points to determine who gets in. (For example, one of the schools I applied to did not require any volunteer work, so there were people in my class that had no health care experience (volunteer or otherwise), but everyone had at least a 3.0 GPA U/G.) They did look closely at the essay. Good luck!
  13. by   sup9876
    Quote from Megsd
    I'm in my second quarter of a 15 month program and so far I love it. We started with 24 (and lost one so far), and we're all really close. We generally have a class section to ourselves so our class size is much smaller than for the traditional students. Our clinical groups are also smaller. In our second clinical we're considered "senior" students and are checked off on pretty much every skill, which makes it great because we can do pretty much anything that comes up if our instructor or RN is with us.

    The schedule is very busy. My schedule first quarter was class 1-5 Monday, 9-6 Tuesday, 8-12 Wednesday, and clinical 7-12 Thurs/Fri. This quarter I have class 4-7 Monday, 8-3 Tuesday, 1-3 Wednesday and clinical 7-4 Thurs/Fri.

    Last quarter I studied about 2-4 hours every day when I got home, but always managed to keep a weekend day free for me, and always went to bed by 11. This quarter my course load is lighter and I don't need to study quite as often.

    The cons to my program are it's pretty new (we're the third class) so sometimes it feels like they're not quite sure what they're doing, and we're just the guinea pigs. We also get thrown into everything really quickly (trial by fire) which can be hard for type A personality people who like to know what's going on (which most of us seem to be).

    But all in all I am having a BLAST and am really glad I did this program. I will graduate in November with my BSN and 10-14 credits toward my MSN for whenever I want to go back.
    What school was this? I am looking into nursing programs. I have my BBA and am looking into changing careers. I've been trying to find something in the NYC area that is accelerated but not to the point where I find myself in school 24-7. This actually sounds perfect. I was debating going for my Associates level RN and then looking for an accelerated BSN program or going straight into a BSN program. Any advice?
  14. by   Slimlady727
    Quote from sup9876
    what school was this? i am looking into nursing programs. i have my bba and am looking into changing careers. i've been trying to find something in the nyc area that is accelerated but not to the point where i find myself in school 24-7. this actually sounds perfect. i was debating going for my associates level rn and then looking for an accelerated bsn program or going straight into a bsn program. any advice?

    there are plenty of programs here in nyc that are accelerated. pm me with questions.

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