long or short program?


Just looking for some honest advice from current or past students of an accelerated RN program. I'm worried about it being too intense. I have a BS degree and experience as a cna and a doula, but I also have two children (8 &10) and my husband works alot. The program requires one 6 hour day in lecture, 6 hours online, and 12-24 hours/ week lab& clinicals. Please, I would appreciate any feedback on the subject. I would love to do this, but it may be too much---maybe I should go ahead and do the traditional 2 year program?



534 Posts

I am in a traditional program. We had an accelerated group join us this past quarter.

I am honestly glad that I had the opportunity to have summers off. I got to do an amazing internship, and I think that the accelerated group is burned out. We lost around 20 this quarter, and though I don't know for certain, I think most of them are a part of the acclerated program.

I honestly would say that I am glad that I am where I am. I've had time to digest a lot and I feel pretty confident in my skills and such. If you can do accelerated, more power to you. But I don't feel any jealousy towards those who finish in 2 years than me, who will be finished in 3. Graduate in spring.

Good luck to you.


80 Posts

I am currently in an accelerated program. Its 12 months long and I am so glad I chose to go this route. However, I don't have a family so I would say it is easier for me to stay on top of my school work. I do still find time to go out once and a while so its not like I study 24/7. Needless to say, there are many people in my program that have families and they are doing really well in the program. I think the main point is if you have a good support system and can have people watch your kids and help out around the house then you will be fine. You will be a little stress...ok really stressed but I don't think its as bad as what some people make it out to be. Make sure you choose a program that wants you to succeed and aren't out to make you fail. Good luck on whatever you choose but if you can stay organized, have a great support system then you will be done one year quicker than going the two year route.

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

My preference is always the quickest route but I don't have kids and unless your husband is willing to really be on boad and help that makes it much harder. Some programs have a wait list, will you be able to get in to either one or might applying to both be a good idea? Good luck!


162 Posts

thanks for sharing. I really needed a "day in the life" view of the accelerated student. Honestly, If I didn't have kids, there wouldn't be a question. I'd try to finish as quickly as I could. But I want to well in school and be involved with the kids' activities. I know that even traditional nursing programs really take up alot of time and can stress a family. I'm going to look at all the facts and hope to make a decision soon.

Thanks again.


281 Posts

I'm an an ABSN program, and though it is tough, it is definitely the way to go. I don't have any kids, so it's easier, but there are several people in our program that do, and they are all doing very well. You just have to adjust your life a little. Make it happen, and you will be out of school much sooner, and then you will have more time to spend with your family.


1,714 Posts

I'm in an accelerated (4 semester) program, and I don't think it's too bad - but I neither work nor have children. I only know two people in my program who have kids (there are probably more, but most of them are not accelerated). They're still here. We take exactly the same classes as the regular students, just more of them, and they have a little more schedule flexibility and can take the second summer off if they choose. That will be one thing to think about - do you have anyone to watch your kids when they're out of school in the summer or for other breaks? And if they get sick on a clinical day, your husband will HAVE to take off work to stay home with them - we are allowed one clinical absence per semester, and it has to be excused in advance with documentation (death in immediate family, hospitalization or self or child). You then have to make it up at your instructor's convenience. If you miss a second day for any reason you fail the class. I'd be bored if I was in the regular program, and at 28 I don't need summers off. It's hard to know how time consuming kids are when you don't have them. I usually always recommend the ABSN programs, but you do need to have a good support system. Good luck whatever you decide!


1,465 Posts

If you're not working, you can do it. I did the 10 mth accelerated program for LPN and I had two kids still at home. You will really need to take advantage of opportunities to study and will find some innovative ways to study. And like MB37 mentioned you will need some backup plans for sick days and such since your dh probably will be working. I think absences are the biggest reason why people do not succeed in school.

Music in My Heart

2 Articles; 4,102 Posts

Specializes in being a Credible Source. Has 13 years experience.

Every month that you're in school (not working) is costing you several thousand dollars in lost wages. I'd choose an accelerated program if you think you can handle the pace. It's tough to be sure but if you can handle it, the payoff is there.

With our application, we needed to commit to spending at least 70 hours per week on the program and had to demonstrate our ability to be unemployed during the course of study.


15 Posts

I am so happy that you got feedback, I posted something similar to this in the other forum and no one responded :( I just got my books in today for the accelerated program and I did feel a little overwhelmed, but then I assured myself that this is what I have wanted for so long (taking prereqs and applying to school, waiting list, etc) and that I am happy that i have the opportunity to finish in a year as opposed to 2 years. I will be, and you will be too, very dedicated, which will make all the difference. Good luck to you.


1,465 Posts

Remember too that this is not forever. It is a limited time of alot of work and stress. But keep your eye on the goal, take it one day at a time and you will do it. Your kids will also have a great role model to look up to.


162 Posts

Thanks so much to everyone! I really appreciate hearing from so many view points. I talked today with a friend who is beginning the last semester of the regular program. She has met a few accelerated students and they are pretty burned out. Some say they would do it again and others regret going the acc. route. It's an individual thing. I also checked into summer day care for school aged kids. It will run about $110-$130/week/kid. So for the 8 weeks of summer semester it could cost up to $2000! EEK. I am not eligible for grants or loans due to my previous degree. So it may be really hard to come up with that much. I think that I will apply for both programs. I know that I will get in the regular program. Admission is based on a point system and I have 18. Last semester they took anyone with 16 points or more. If I get in the acc. I can decide then.

thanks again to all!

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