For professionals who already have some type of bachelor’s degree and are interested in nursing, you do not necessarily have to complete another full, four year degree. There are many rigorous and high quality accelerated BSN programs both online and on campus that are designed for those who have already completed much of the basic coursework required for a bachelor’s degree.
Why Accelerated BSN Are More Common
The short answer is the country needs more nurses. As our population is growing older and medical technologies advance, the US has a high demand for nursing professionals. By allowing professionals who already have a bachelor’s degree to earn a degree in as little as a year, more nurses are able to enter the workforce faster. See BSN vs MSN comparisons.
The American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN) states that accelerated bachelor’s programs in nursing is one of the fastest-expanding education areas. Getting your accelerated BSN is the fastest way for you to transition from your non-nursing job into full licensure and practice as an RN, typically in 12-15 months full time. See also 9 Advantages of a BSN Program.
Common Characteristics of Accelerated BSN Students
ACCN states that typical accelerated BSN students are more motivated, are older and have much higher academic standards than regular nursing students. Accelerated program students usually are highly motivated in class and are aggressive in gaining valuable clinical experiences. Most faculty report that they are some of their best students, and usually are not shy about challenging instructors.
Those who graduate from accelerated BSN programs are highly valued by hospitals. These employees tend to bring many skills to a job. Employers usually report that such graduates have higher levels of maturity, have very strong clinical abilities, and learn fast.
Number of Students Enrolled in Accelerated BSN Programs
A 2012 survey determined that there were 15,002 students enrolled at that time in accelerated BSN programs across the US, which was up from 7829 in 2004. The survey also found that many accelerated BSN program graduates move on to earn their MSN as well, with some of them becoming nursing educators. This profession also is in very high demand.
Common Requirements for Accelerated BSN Programs
The precise requirements for admission into an accelerated BSN program will vary by institution. However, there are some common requirements that you can expect:
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution in any major.
A GPA of 2.5-3.0+, depending upon the program.
Written transcripts from all universities you have attended.
You may need to submit standardized test scores such as the GRE for some programs. Other programs do not require test scores.
Some programs will require you to have certain prerequisites before starting your classes. These could include statistics, human anatomy, microbiology, psychology, and nutrition.
Typical Curriculum in Accelerated BSN Program
An accelerated program in nursing will be from 12-15 months full time, and often includes the following types of classes:
Public Health Nursing
Professional Nursing Overview
Note that you also will need to complete your set number of clinical hours that your program requires. If you are doing an online program, you can usually do your clinical hours at a local health center or hospital.
If you are strongly considering an accelerated BSN to improve your career prospects, we have compiled an extensive list of excellent accelerated BSN programs below. These are the five programs that we recommend the most.
Online Accelerated BSN Programs
If you already have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, then you may be interested in taking part in an online accelerated BSN program. There are numerous accredited schools across the country that offer these types of degrees. The benefit of studying online is that it allows you to continue to work as you study.
There are, indeed, thousands of people who are currently looking at doing the same. It is very important, therefore, that you look into the different schools that are on offer and decide which school actually has the program that is most suited to your personal needs. Below are a few selected schools we found.
Chamberlain College of Nursing
Highly Recommended & Featured Partner! Chamberlain’s RN to BSN Online Degree Completion Option allows registered nurses to earn a BSN degree in as few as 3 semesters. Practice experiences in the RN to BSN Online Degree Completion option involve a variety of activities that include direct care and indirect care experiences. The RN to BSN Online Degree Completion Option combines the flexibility and convenience of online learning, which allows you continue to work while furthering your education.
- Campus: Online
- Type: For-Profit
- Accreditation: North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
- Per Credit Hour: Inquire
- GRE Required: No
- Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
- On Campus Requirements: No
- Programs: RN to BSN Online Option (Accelerated)
1. University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh
The online program offered by the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh is known to be one of the best in the country. This particular program is designed for those who already hold a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing related field. As such, those who have absolutely no nursing experience can still take part in this degree program and become prepared to be one of the best nurses this country has. Some clinical coursework does have to be completed, but most of this is done virtually, through purpose-built lab settings. It is very important to remember that this program is not self-directed or self-paced and certainly not easy to complete.
• Campus: Oshkosh, Wisconson – Online
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: $41,500
• Minimum time commitment: 12 months
• Degree requirements: Prerequisite courses, lab component, participation in bootcamp, GPA of 2.75 minimum, accredited bachelor’s degree, TEAS V, criminal background check, CNA (certified nurse assistant) in home state of applicant
• Programs: Accelerated Online Bachelor’s to BSN
• Request Information Direct: University of Wisconsin – Oskosh
2. Thomas Edison State College
At Thomas Edison State College, people who already have a bachelor’s degree can complete their BSN in accelerated time. This can be completed both in school or online. The school is exclusively for adult learners. This has led to the school having a certain standard of graduates, as well as having high expectations from all of its students. It is a rigorous course that requires a great deal of dedication and commitment in order to complete.
• Campus: Trenton, New Jersey – Online
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: $33,580
• Minimum time commitment: 120 credits
• Degree requirements: Criminal background check, health check, drug screening, insurance, CPR
• Programs: Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN Program
• Request Information Direct: Thomas Edison State College
3. Indiana State University
Indiana State University has long been classed as one of the best schools in the Midwest. They offer an online accelerated BSN program that does not require any on-campus activity.
• Campus: Terre Haute, Indiana – Online
• Type: Public
• Accreditation: NLNAC
• Tuition: $286 per credit hour for in state students and $358 for out of state students
• Minimum time commitment: 15 months
• Degree requirements: Bachelor’s degree in other field
• Programs: Accelerated 2nd Degree Nursing
• Request Information Direct: Indiana State University
4. Chatham University
Chatham University was founded in 1869. It is one of the country’s best universities. They offer an online accelerated BSN program suitable solely for graduates of the UPMC St. Margaret School or Nursing, the UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing and/or the Conemagh School of Nursing. These graduates are in incredibly high demand.
• Campus: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Online
• Type: Private
• Accreditation: CCNE
• Tuition: $709 per credit
• Minimum time commitment: 26 credits
• Degree requirements: Graduation from specific school
• Programs: Accelerated RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing
• Request Information Direct: Chatham University
5. Gwynedd Mercy University
If you want to get involved in a nursing career, you can do so through an accelerated BSN program. The online education offered by Gwynedd Mercy University will fill the gaps between your original bachelor’s degree and a BSN. You will even take part in in-home laboratory experiences so you can apply your knowledge.
• Campus: Bensalem, Pennsylvania – Online
• Type: Private
• Accreditation: ACEN
• Tuition: Varies
• Minimum time commitment: Varies
• Degree requirements: Bachelor’s transcripts, college transcripts, prerequisite course
• Programs: Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing
• Request Information Direct: Gwynedd Mercy University