The accelerated nursing degree program is another innovative idea to deal with the ongoing nursing shortage. The idea is to send a nurse through nursing school at a faster rate than traditional schooling to increase the number of nurses in the healthcare industry. This has been going on for a number of years and the number of schools that have been offering this program has been growing exponentially.
In order to qualify for the accelerated program, an individual must complete a bachelor’s degree in any subject with or without having acquired an RN prior to entering the accelerated program. Many registered nurses looking to advance their career without having to return to school fulltime have turned to the accelerated BSN degree program.
In 1990 there were 31 accelerated baccalaureate programs (BSN) and 12 accelerated master’s nursing degree programs (MSN) in the U.S. Today there are 168 accelerated BSN programs and 50 MSN programs and more than 46 new accelerated BSN programs are still being created (AACN).
The accelerated BSN program lasts approximately 12 to 18 months compared to 3 to 4 years for the standard RN to BSN program.
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What is an Accelerated Nursing Program?
Accelerated Nursing Program Overview:
Other RN’s that already have a bachelor’s degree in another area of study choose the accelerated program to earn their BSN without repeating the basic requirements that typical bachelor degree programs require.
While the accelerated BSN degree program does not require the individual to retake many of the liberal arts requirements that were completed for their prior bachelor’s degrees, occasionally they must complete some science requirements before matriculating such as anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and microbiology.
The accelerated BSN program is intense and demands a certain type of individual. The accelerated student is extremely hard working, self-motivated, and focused on goals as they are now entering a program that will demand a tremendous amount of time and effort from them.
Many new accelerated nursing students have limited clinical experience before entering the BSN program. When in the program, the student must complete a large amount of credits and be exposed to many hours of clinical experience. In order to be accepted into the program, most schools require a minimum 3.0 GPA from their previous bachelor’s degree.
If someone chooses to continue further towards an accelerated MSN, this coursework generally takes three years to complete which is included with the BSN (AACN). From there they can become a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialists, nurse anesthetists, or a nurse midwife.