What do accelerated BSN programs look for?

  1. This question is for anyone who attended or is attending an accelerated BSN program. What do accelerated BSN programs look for? I know that each program is different and my best bet is to contact the school directly, but maybe you could share some general advice/ideas about how to make myself into the best possible candidate.

    I'm currently working on an online bachelor's, and taking science pre-reqs at a local community college. My grades are very good, but I don't know if the lack of a prestigious degree will hurt my application. Is there anything else I can do other than get good grades? I do plan on volunteering in a hospital to get some medical experience. I was thinking of taking a CNA course, but a CNA job pays less than what I'm currently making so it would be too much for me to take on a stressful job like CNA for a pay cut.
    Does anyone have any other ideas of what I need to do to get accepted to an accelerated BSN course?
    Last edit by JeanettePNP on Jan 2, '07
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    About JeanettePNP

    Joined: Feb '06; Posts: 1,947; Likes: 1,348
    Pediatric Nurse Practitioner; from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience in Pediatric pulmonology and allergy


  3. by   CityKat
    I'm in an accelerated BSN program and graduating in May 2007. I didn't do anything different. I got high marks, wrote a good essay, volunteered at my local hospital for over a year and that was it. I don't know if volunteer experience is necessary in the programs you are looking at. I know for one of my programs I was looking at, it was. All accelerated means is that you have completed all of your prerequisites at a college prior to attending their college and you plan to take 14 units or more to push through in a quicker amount of time. You are only going to be taking nursing classes, because the rest of the necessary prereqs are completed. You will more than likely have 14-18 unit semesters in accelerated. However, you can drop down and take 12 or less if you like, but you will finish later. If you have a masters in mind and aren't sure you can handle a high unit load, then take the slower route. IMO, it isn't worth it to jeopardize your GPA through nursing school if you have a masters in mind. Then again, it depends on your "time line."
    Good luck
  4. by   sam027000
    The accelerated program I was accepted into required a previous bachelors degree with a minimum gpa of 2.8 and that all nursing prereqs be completed before application. A pool of qualified applicants was developed based on these requirements alone. Then the pool of qualified applicants was invited to interview. The interview lasted about 5-10 minutes and consisted of 3 questions:
    1) Why do you want to be a nurse?
    2) Why do you want to attend this accelerated program?
    3) Where do you see yourelf in 5 years?

    Admissions were based on your grades and interview. I had completed a cna class, volunteered at a hospital, and began self-study on patho & pharm to help increase my chances. I was never asked about any of those things or given the opportunity to really expound on them in the interview or application, so it seems like the program admissions were truly based on strictly grades/ interview. I was fortunate to have pretty good grades and was accepted into the program. I am so excited and can't wait to start in Jan.

    Good luck to you!
  5. by   Elizabeth Hanes
    Agreed with sam, in my experience, most (not all) accelerated programs require you to have a previous bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA. The accelerated program I'm in emphasized "diversity," and our class does seem to have that. Many of us have no prior healthcare experience whatsoever. Mainly, they seemed to be looking for great grades and oustanding writing skills. (We did not have a personal interview.) Good luck!
  6. by   chickapin
    Mine required a bachelor's (as it's an accelerated 2nd degree program), a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA, and all prereqs had to be completed with at least a C before applying. No essay, no letters of recommendation, no volunteering! It was great. At least at my school, the accelerated program is easier to get into than the upper-division program. There are so many applicants to it that the min. GPA is like 3.7. Last I heard, with both programs combined there were about 900 applications for 72 seats (though at one time they told us 600ish). I think there were 300 or so accelerated applications for 24 spots. Craziness.
  7. by   PeachyERNurse
    Jjust make sure your online degree is from a nationally accredited school. Otherwise, most universities won't accept it and you won't be eligible for an accelerated BSN program.
  8. by   Annaiya
    The accelerated program I've applied to emphasises that it is for people who are going into nursing as a second career, so they prefer people who are not right out of college. Also, because the program is so intensive they say they are looking for people who can demonstrate that they can make it in the intensive environment. I don't think it matters so much where you get your undergraduate degree from (as long as it is an accredited school), but it is more important that you have a high gpa.