Accelerated BSN Students: Please share your experiences!

  1. F0r those who are either going through the program or have already graduated:

    1) Did you feel prepared to work as an RN after graduating?
    2) Would you do an accelerated BSN again if you were to do it over again?
    3) Will it be possible to work at least one day during the weekends?
    4) How many days of clinicals do you have?
    5) Did you have any time for social life?

    Please share any other experiences. Thank you.
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  2. 25 Comments

  3. by   NurseWeasel
    I'm in a 5-semester accelerated BSN program. PM me if you want details. This program is fairly new and I hate to say (but must) that if I had it to do over again I'd definitely do something else. In particular, there is a regular ASN program near me that is well established and has a record of putting excellent nurses into the community. I'd go there and then get my BSN online (I already have a bachelors degree in another field). But... back to your questions.

    I won't graduate til December but I don't feel like we got the education we should have. Long story, and yes I'm being proactive and educating myself outside the program (extra books, etc) to compensate... but not everyone is doing so and I believe that is going to hinder them someday. I'm too obsessive to be less than excellent at anything I do, so it won't be a problem for me, but I'd pull a potential student for this program aside and have a little chat before they signed up, given the opportunity.

    Yes I would do an accelerated BSN again - just not this program with this school. I would move to another part of the country and go to a well established, 1 year program, and really devote my life to school, and graduate with a great education, prepared to be a great nurse. I don't have 'issues' with accelerated BSN programs in general - I think they're a GREAT idea.

    Our program has probably 1/4 to 1/3 of the students working... most part time, but several working FULL TIME while in it. It's tough for them but they have no choice financially, and they're doing fine grade-wise and learning the material. It's a testament to the quality of student in our program, how well we're doing DESPITE the poor quality of the program and the fact that some of us have to work.

    Every semester has been different with the clinicals, but on average it's been 2 days a week (although that's going to increase dramatically during the last 2 semesters). We do have at least some semblance of a social life. We're all second-degree students, so we're 'older' (youngest is 24, oldest 60). Many of us are married, many of us have children in the home. So of course there are more factors than just school influencing our social life, but we do find that we have time for our families, jobs, and the occasional evening out. Overall it's been MUCH less stressful in the 'time' department than we expected... but the stress over the program and instructors has more than made up for that, lol.

    If you're considering an accelerated program that's well established with a good track record of NCLEX pass rates, I say most definitely go for it. I will NEVER advise anyone to go to a new program (less than 5 years old) again. They need time to work the kinks out, and believe me, you don't wanna be a guinea pig with your education. *scowl*
  4. by   crc123
    I actually got in to a 16 month Accelerated BSN program, which starts in May. I guess my biggest concern is that I may not be as clinicaly prepared when I graduate since the clinicals are not everyday. It's about 2-3 days a week during the summers. In the fall and spring semester, its only 2 days a week. I'm just hoping that whatever experience I may not get as a student I will get from working . I can't believe I'm writing this, but I can't wait to start school! :roll
  5. by   EmeraldNYL
    1) Did you feel prepared to work as an RN after graduating?
    Yes, but I made sure to pick a place of employment that would give me a very good orientation. I had a five month orientation to the ICU, and I still feel overwhelmed and incompetent at times. However, I ask a LOT of questions and go home and read about stuff I saw that day. The learning curve is steep but definitely doable.
    2) Would you do an accelerated BSN again if you were to do it over again?
    Yep. It was the year from hell, but it was totally worth it.
    3) Will it be possible to work at least one day during the weekends?
    No. At least, I really wouldn't recommend it if you value your sanity and your grades.
    4) How many days of clinicals do you have?
    Three days a week, from 6:45-2. We also had to go prep the night before for med-surg clinicals.
    5) Did you have any time for social life?
    Yes, although it was limited. I definitely put my life on hold for a year.
  6. by   275Main
    My best piece of advice would be to go to a program which is already established. Do not enter a program in its first couple of years, wait until the kinks are worked out. Some people in my program worked part time but most did not work. Do not expect to be able to hold onto a full time job. We had clinicals three days a week for eight hours and the times varied based on what rotation you were in and in the final summer we have between 36-40 hours of clinical time a week. My program is a fourteen month program but really is only for twelve months if you account for the breaks.
  7. by   PJMommy
    My answers are nearly identical to Emerald's except mine was a 12-month program. I also work ICU now and yes, the learning curve is straight up, but I'd do it all again.
  8. by   pnurseuwm
    Hey everyone, I just got accepted to two of the 3 accelerated programs I applied for! :hatparty: WHOOPIE!
    I was accepted at Loyola (in Chicago) and at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (my home town). Still waiting on Drexel. But I know I'm going to UWM, simply because it's cheaper and it's 5 minutes from my house
    The accelerated BSN at UWM is 16 months and starts this fall.
    I'm very happy but a little worried as far as grades go. I really want to be a nurse anesthetist and those programs really emphasize top grades to be even considered as an applicant! I've decided that I'm going to have my head in my books as much as possible.
    I've also decided to move out of my parents house. I feel so cramped and they do NOT respect my study time or space. In order to do well, I know I'm going to have to have my own place..... heck, just for peace of mind. My mother doesn't agree with me moving out, but I'm going to do it anyway.
    Any more experiences and advice concerning accelerated programs are welcome!
  9. by   Sheri257
    Quote from NurseWeasel
    I'm in a 5-semester accelerated BSN program. PM me if you want details. This program is fairly new and I hate to say (but must) that if I had it to do over again I'd definitely do something else. In particular, there is a regular ASN program near me that is well established and has a record of putting excellent nurses into the community. I'd go there and then get my BSN online (I already have a bachelors degree in another field). But... back to your questions.

    I won't graduate til December but I don't feel like we got the education we should have.
    Interesting that you mention this. I looked at a five semester BSN versus the ADN program in my area, but decided to go with the ADN, mostly for similar reasons that you mentioned. While this is an established BSN program and they require a higher GPA, their NCLEX pass rate is very low compared with other programs in the area. That made me really nervous. You have to wonder what's going on in a program where higher GPA students are failing the NCLEX in greater numbers. I also was worried about the program's reputation for not giving students enough clinical training.

    Anyway, I found your comments interesting since they reflected a lot of my own concerns in a somewhat similar situation. I simply wasn't confident that I would be fully prepared, even though I could get my BSN much quicker. Of course, that means it will take longer, but I'll go the ADN-BSN route eventually.

    :spin:
    Last edit by Sheri257 on Mar 28, '04
  10. by   Wheaties
    whats an accelerated bsn program?
  11. by   Sheri257
    Quote from Wheaties
    whats an accelerated bsn program?
    Basically it's a BSN that don't require the traditional four years. You can get a BSN much quicker, hence the name "accelerated." From what I've read, they can take anywhere from two semesters to five. Some require a separate bachelor's degree, but other's dont.

    Last edit by Sheri257 on Mar 28, '04
  12. by   jenrninmi
    Quote from RD2bRN
    I actually got in to a 16 month Accelerated BSN program, which starts in May. I guess my biggest concern is that I may not be as clinicaly prepared when I graduate since the clinicals are not everyday. It's about 2-3 days a week during the summers. In the fall and spring semester, its only 2 days a week. I'm just hoping that whatever experience I may not get as a student I will get from working . I can't believe I'm writing this, but I can't wait to start school! :roll
    I don't think any school has clinical rotations every day. The norm is 2-3 days/week. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
  13. by   Megsd
    Is there a website that will show pass rates for the NCLEX (I hope I typed that right) exam for different programs? That seems like a really good thing to look at.
  14. by   hobbes
    Quote from pnurseuwm
    Hey everyone, I just got accepted to two of the 3 accelerated programs I applied for! :hatparty: WHOOPIE!
    I was accepted at Loyola (in Chicago) and at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (my home town). Still waiting on Drexel. But I know I'm going to UWM, simply because it's cheaper and it's 5 minutes from my house
    The accelerated BSN at UWM is 16 months and starts this fall.
    I'm very happy but a little worried as far as grades go. I really want to be a nurse anesthetist and those programs really emphasize top grades to be even considered as an applicant! I've decided that I'm going to have my head in my books as much as possible.
    I've also decided to move out of my parents house. I feel so cramped and they do NOT respect my study time or space. In order to do well, I know I'm going to have to have my own place..... heck, just for peace of mind. My mother doesn't agree with me moving out, but I'm going to do it anyway.
    Any more experiences and advice concerning accelerated programs are welcome!
    I'm in the exact situation as you with regard to eventually wanting to apply to CRNA school and for this reason I didn't want to go the accelerated route. However, life circumstances will require me to get a degree faster than I would like so it's really going to be tough. My program starts in the fall and I'm going to at least try and read the Patho or Pharm books over the summer to get a head start. It's going to be real tough, but if you set your mind to do it you can. Good luck.

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