Accelerated BSN programs are designed for people who already have a bachelor’s degree in another discipline and want to change careers. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the number of accelerated BSN programs is on the rise. In 1990, there were only 31 programs nationwide. Today there are over 200.
These programs have stringent admissions criteria, in part because of the number of candidates who want to attend. You must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 and many programs have a higher minimum requirement. Candidates are thoroughly prescreened because only students who can commit to a program and complete it are desired.
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Typical programs take approximately 12 to 18 months to complete. Your length of study may be contingent upon which prerequisites you have already completed in your original bachelor’s program. For instance, while you may have already taken many required liberal arts classes, you may not have sufficient credits in classes such as nutrition, microbiology, or anatomy and physiology to move onto nursing classes such as pharmacology, ethics, and practice specialty classes in medical, surgical, or psychiatric nursing.
These programs require a serious commitment from students. The subject matter in your nursing classes is complex and class and clinical schedules are significantly time consuming. Family and work obligations may need to be modified while you are in school.
Once you receive your BSN, you are prepared to take your RN licensing exam and begin your career in multiple professional roles and healthcare settings. Nurses who complete an accelerated program are highly competitive in the job market. Employers value their maturity, experience, professionalism, and commitment to the profession.