Accelerated BSN Programs

by VickyRN Asst. Admin

83,972 Views | 87 Comments
  1. 24
    Accelerated bsn programs are an innovative approach to nursing education, available for individuals who hold a non-nursing bachelorís or higher degree and who are interested in moving into the field of nursing. Approximately 205 of these type programs are currently available nationwide.

    Direct-entry msn programs in nursing are also available for people with a bachelorís or higher degree in another profession, but this is the subject of another blog.

    Accelerated bsn programs typically run 12 to 18 months, assuming all science and other prerequisites have been satisfied. These programs furnish the fastest route to a baccalaureate degree in nursing. Students take the same nursing courses and must undergo the same clinical hour requirements as traditional bsn programs, but the curriculum is much more compact, rigorous, and intellectually and physically demanding.

    Admission standards for accelerated bsn programs are competitive with programs typically requiring at least a 3.0 gpa and a meticulous prescreening process.

    Accelerated programs do require prerequisites. Applicants with a prior degree almost always meet the liberal arts and social sciences requirements. However, many students do not meet the natural or mathematical sciences requirements, including statistics, microbiology, anatomy, and physiology.

    Accelerated bsn programs are a full time commitment: students should not work during the duration of the program. This requires keen financial planning and strategizing. Sufficient funding to cover school and living expenses must be acquired before starting these programs. Four years of full time nursing school are compressed into an average of 15 months, with a very challenging credit load and intense clinical experiences. This leaves no time for outside employment.

    Typical second-degree students are older, seasoned, responsible, motivated, and hold high academic expectations. Some are recent college graduates who are looking for the quickest route to the bsn. Accelerated students tend to excel in classroom theory and are eager in the clinical arena to gain practical experiences. They bring to nursing rich life experiences, diverse perspectives, unique skills sets, and prior education. These students take accountability for their own learning, maintain high grade point averages, and almost always pass the nclex-rn on the first attempt.


    References

    accelerated programs: the fast-track to careers in nursing

    list of accelerated bsn programs
    Last edit by Joe V on Feb 3, '13
    Tinker88, shondaRN, roseni, and 21 others like this.
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    VickyRN joined Mar '01 - from 'Under the shadow of His wings...'. VickyRN has '16' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Gerontological, cardiac, med-surg, peds'. Posts: 12,043 Likes: 6,391; Learn more about VickyRN by visiting their allnursesPage


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    87 Comments so far...

  5. 4
    Great blog. But, I don't think people should be discouraged from working if they absolutely have to. I know many people who went through accelerated nursing programs while working full time because there were no other options for them. I'm one of those people. I worked full time hours between 2-3 jobs up until the last semester. Many of my classmates did the same. I made all As and Bs (with the exception of a C in Med/Surg...hey it was REALLY hard). Sure, it sucked cuz I had no life outside of school and work, but it was only for 15 months so it wasn't a big deal.
    hicalli, >30yrsRN, MaritesaRN, and 1 other like this.
  6. 1
    Quote from NewbieEDRN
    Great blog. But, I don't think people should be discouraged from working if they absolutely have to. I know many people who went through accelerated nursing programs while working full time because there were no other options for them. I'm one of those people. I worked full time hours between 2-3 jobs up until the last semester. Many of my classmates did the same. I made all As and Bs (with the exception of a C in Med/Surg...hey it was REALLY hard). Sure, it sucked cuz I had no life outside of school and work, but it was only for 15 months so it wasn't a big deal.
    Wow... this is amazing. Kudos to you. Did your school of nursing discourage students from working during the accelerated program?
    bellabop13 likes this.
  7. 4
    My accelerated BSN program (22 years ago!) absolutely discouraged working during the program with good reason. Virtually everyone who tried to work dropped out. Mine was a 12 month program and intensely rigorous. I didn't know anyone who survived it with more than a part time "few hours a week" outside job.

    BTW, no regrets! 22 years later, still the best decision I ever made! With all the expense it was still the cheapest way to get back to full time employment as soon as possible.
  8. 2
    Quote from Quickbeam
    My accelerated BSN program (22 years ago!) absolutely discouraged working during the program with good reason. Virtually everyone who tried to work dropped out. Mine was a 12 month program and intensely rigorous. I didn't know anyone who survived it with more than a part time "few hours a week" outside job.

    BTW, no regrets! 22 years later, still the best decision I ever made! With all the expense it was still the cheapest way to get back to full time employment as soon as possible.
    Most accelerated BSN programs that I am familiar with strongly discourage or even forbid outside employment during the program. Thank you for sharing your experience, Quickbeam.

    Another advantage to the accelerated BSN - those with prior baccaulareate degrees receive credit for their education. This is unlike those with prior degrees entering an ADN program - all these students have upon graduation is an associates degree and this will limit their career choices within nursing.
    Multicollinearity and Kimber7RN like this.
  9. 1
    I'm doing an accelerated program starting this fall. We are all strongly discouraged to work as well, although I think some people (myself included) will fit in a few PT hours. But my job is completely undemanding so I'll be able to study during it.

    I can't imagine trying to work full time during this program. I'm already anticipating having no life outside of school as it is. The one common thread I hear about my program is that the volume of material is what is overwhelming. For the first ("easy") quarter we're already 8 hours a day for 4 days plus 2 hours a day on one day, and that's with 1 clinical, not the 3 clinicals we'll have 2nd & 3rd quarters.
    VickyRN likes this.
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    anyone do an online program? are they recognized? any recommendations?
    I have a BS and know I will need some refresher prerequisites as I graduated in 1987 - yikers! looking to go back for nursing and just trying to figure out the best way. I don't mind taking a couple of years to get prerequisites done as my kids are just 3 and 4 so to start the accelerated program when they are in school is best anyway. Any thoughts? advice?
  11. 0
    Thanks Vicky for this blog. I am applying to accelerated programs and I do not plan to work. What do you suggest I try to do to get scholarships and grants? I am trying to limit the amount of loans I would have to take out. Thanks again
  12. 2
    I have been looking for a change. I am currently a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT), Certified Asthma Educator (AE-C), and a Certified Pulmonary Function Technician (CPFT) Licensed Emergency Medical Technician with both a 2 and 4 year degrees.

    I looked into several of these Accelerated BSN Programs and was very disappointed. One program wanted me to get my CNA certification first. I'm sorry but after being an RRT for 9 years, working acute care, ICU and now ER, I think getting my CNA would be a few steps backward.

    My local university just started an 18 month Accelerated BSN but they will not honor my science classes because they were done at a local vocational school. They were good enough for a junior college to give me an Associate Degree in Respiratory Science but not good enough for the local U.

    So now, I have been rejected from two Accelerated BSN Programs and one program never even bothered to contact me. I will have to laugh if I am accepted into a PA-C program. I have an application pending with a school.
    joyouter and VickyRN like this.
  13. 6
    It's not really four years in fifteen months - it's only the NURSING portion of a four-year degree, which is more like twenty-four months (or four to five semesters which would include one summer session). It couldn't be four years - or we'd be retaking all the liberal arts foo-foo they made me take for my BS degree.

    That said, it was still fairly intense - and still the best decision I ever made.

    GO BLUE DEVILS!!
    Tinker88, hicalli, LadyBird2967, and 3 others like this.


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