Qualifying for an Accelerated Nursing Program

Accelerated nursing programs are quickly becoming a solution to the country’s nursing shortage. These fast-track programs allow students with previous instruction, such as a RN licensure or Bachelor of Arts degree to fulfill the requirements of nursing degrees, putting more nurses to work at a faster rate than through typical nursing school programs. The AACN supports accelerated nursing programs for the ability to build on previous education and training, regardless of the original concentration of study and help nurses achieve career goals.

Most students that enter into accelerated nursing programs have already attained a level of education and experience through other programs, whether in nursing or another field of study. These students tend to be older, non-traditional students seeking to further current career objectives or those wishing begin a new career in nursing. Letters of recommendation from previous instructors or supervisors are often part of the qualification process, validating a student’s drive, experience and determination within an educational or work setting.

Because of the level of commitment needed in an accelerated nursing program, potential students must demonstrate the capacity to learn and retain information quickly.  Most RN to BSN programs require a 3.0 GPA as well as a number of completed general education courses. For BSN to MSN or BSN to PhD accelerated nursing programs, students must have a high GPA, letters of recommendation and the ability to focus on the program itself. Many of these advanced nursing degree programs recommend that students do not work while completing the requirements for a MSN or PhD.

Accelerated nursing programs combine focused academics and clinical experience in total experience designed to help students quickly achieve the education needed to work as a nurse. Because of the nature of these programs and the type of students attracted to an earlier start in the field of nursing, the level of competition is higher than a standard nursing program. Qualifying for an accelerated nursing program is challenging, but a faster start into the field of nursing can be its own reward.

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