accelerated BSNs?

  1. Hi all--I'm a 40-y-o newbie here who'll be starting nursing school next year (after doing some prereqs this year). While I was originally planning on going the ADN route and then bridging down the road to my MSN (I would like to go into advanced-practice nursing), one of the local universities is now offering an accelerated BSN program for second-degree students. It's a 12-month program (not counting prereqs), with a fall, spring and summer semester, and a mini-semester during the winter break (of just one 3-credit class). Seems fairly comparable, schedule wise, to the traditional program, but there are 18 hours of clinicals a week (2 9-hour days)...plus the usual assortment of lectures and labs. Has anyone here gone the accelerated BSN route, and how intense was it? Would love to hear your experiences. Thanks in advance...
    --karen
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   kaolivo
    I am doing an accelerated BSN program in the fall. I am attending Hahnemann University in Philadelphia. I have the same questions as you. Where are you going? So far all I heard was that it is extremely intense, because there is alot of information in such a short period of time. Let me know if you find out any information about this program, I am so nervous and anxious.
  4. by   natsfanrn
    Just giving this a little *bump* in hopes that someone can offer some insight. Thanks
  5. by   tonicareer
    I live in Indiana and a couple of college (not near me) in our state are beginning these Second degree programs next year. They are charging huge tuition for it though, and students are not allowed to work because of the intense program. Basically my state is very behind the times in everything. I am trying to fund an associate program for myself. I can't get financial aid because I have a degree already (in a nonnursing major). The government needs to make funds available to people like me if they want to help the nursing shortage. Most young people don't have an interest in nursing. Due to the declining birth rate they need older people who want to go into nursing. Most of us don't have the money. Scholarships are targeted at the young, hospitals won't fund older students, state/federal aid is for only first degree students. I am going broke paying tuition at a community college and buying books, plus there is a major increase in tuition due to budget cuts to schools. (Indiana) What are your thoughts?
  6. by   angelac1978
    hey Tonicareer, try checking your state's board of nursing website. I know here in Kentucky, you can qualify for up to $3000 per academic year to go to nursing school. The only "catch" if you want to call it that is that for every year you receive the grant, you have to work in the state as a nurse for 1 year. I am in the same boat as you, have a BS in geography and will be going back to get my ADN. Also, you can qualify for some student loans regardless of previous degrees, I hate to go that route but may for books and supplies etc. Also, you may look into working for a hospital as a CNA or other type of aide. Many hospitals in kentucky offer tuition reimbursement to further your education. Hope this helps!
  7. by   tonicareer
    Thanks but Indiana doesn't allow loans to people who already have degrees. Looked into cna and they won't reimburse or allow time off for classes (high unemployment rate here) i can't get fed loans either i applied.
  8. by   abi
    I'll also be starting the accelerated program at Columbia U this wk. So far, from all i've heard, it's very intense, but it's well worth it. I'll let you know more when classes start.
  9. by   canavywife
    Actually I graduated a couple years ago from an accelerated program in WI. It wasn't too bad either. The only time I remember it being really tough to time manage was during the summer portion where we had 3 eight hour days of clinical, 2 hours post clinical disc., and q fri we had a 4 hour class. All this time spent in class not to mention coming home from clinical to prepare for the following day (care plans etc.)

    I worked (as did most other accel.nrsg students) one/two shifts a week on weekends at the same hospital where i had clinical that summer, it seemed like I never left that place. During this time I was also trying to manage to get a few weekends off to go cross country to visit my boyfriend who livesd 2000 miles away, and planning a wedding a month before graduating...yes this can be done.

    In general, I am VERY happy I chose the accelerated route rather than go ADN. It gives you more options in case you decide to go back for more education. I would recommend it.

    Make sure you have good time-management skills and are prepared, time does seem to go by fast. I remember always looking at the semester ahead of me and getting really intimiated that I would not be able to do it all. It definitly teaches you some good time management skills and it can be intense at times but then again so is nrsg on the floors!
    Good luck to you!
    TMS
  10. by   natsfanrn
    TMS--
    Thanks for your insight. I am definitely leaning toward going the accelerated route...providing that I get accepted into the program. Did you feel that you learned as much and/or were as well prepared entering the workforce as students in traditional BSN programs?
    --karen
  11. by   canavywife
    To answer your ??? about preparedness...yes in general I did feel prepared. I say "in general" because when I moved to CA after only knowing nrsg in WI I was in a new grad program at my first job where I was the ONLY BSN. BSN students focus on many other aspects of nrsg and don't allow as much intense clinical skill prep (at least my school didn't)I would say that ADN students have a huge advantage when it comes to "clinical and technical" skills. BUT those skills are also easy to learn and gain experience when you first start working so please keep that in mind. Nrsg is Nrsg and if you leave school with some good critical thinking skills, basics etc. most students will do fine in the real world.

    Comparing the traditional student's curriculum and the accelerated student's..I would never go the other way. In fact there were still a few classes that I wished they would drop from the entire program, classes that really were common sense. I felt like I got everything that I needed, and in addition the profs didn't seem to give us as much "busy work". Could be because they realized we had gone thru and had a previous degree and had all the "busy work" we could handle. My sister went thru the traditional program at my school at the same time I went the the accelerated so I had the inside scoop....=)

    I don't know, but suspect your accelerated program will be much like mine was, our school had offered that option for years now and it is a good thing! Nrsg school is difficult either way and just as intense (from watching my sis experience it) when going thru it in the traditional way. I just wanted to do it the fastest (and least expensive way possible, less semesters, less $$)
    again, good luck and let me know if you have any other ??
    TMS
  12. by   Brownbetty
    Hello There,

    I am currently in the Accelerated BSN 13-month program at Johns Hopkins and it is very intense. I will be done in July. If you really want this you can do it. We talk all the same classes and same amount of clinical time at the 2 year second degree traditional BSN program so there are no shorts. You must be dedicated and be willing to give up some aspects of your life for a relatively short period of time. I must admit within the last month I started to feel burned out but a wonderful 4 day weekend dedicated to having fun did the trick and I am ready to wrap up my last semester. I think it is worth it and am glad I chose this route. Email me if you have anymore questions.
  13. by   teamrn
    I went the 'accelerated route' to get my BSN. I had my previous degree in General Science which gave me my prereqs, and I entered an accelerated program at Creighton University in 1980. At the time it was one of the 2 schools in the country to offer this way to a BSN. It was tough, required committment, and you needed to be on most of the time. Sure, there was some down time; however, who can't put it into hi gear for 12 months?

    As far as preparedness, I felt-and most likely it was just me-that when I came out on my 1st job (which incidentally was ICU), I was strong on theory, but a little weak on clinical. However, good preceptors those 1st few months made the difference.
  14. by   TCW
    I will be applying to an accelerated BSN program in a couple of months and while I am excited and feel I can tough it out for 15 months I was wondering about financial aid... I am well aware that I won't be able to receive any grants because of my 1st degree, but I was wondering if those of you who have chosen this route had a difficult time getting up the money. I don't have a problem taking out student loans...I just want to feel confident that I will have enough money to pay for my schooling!

    Tonya

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