Are Accelerated Nursing Programs Right For You?

As waiting lists at traditional nursing schools get longer and longer, many people who already have bachelor’s degrees are considering an increasingly popular alternative: accelerated nursing programs. If you already have a Bachelor’s Degree in an unrelated field, you can apply to a school which offers an accelerated BSN in nursing.  These programs typically take about a year to a year and a half to complete. It sounds perfect, right?

Before you go running to your nearest nursing school to sign up, there are a few things to think about before you commit to an accelerated bachelor’s of science in nursing. First let’s talk about the advantages of these accelerated nursing programs. You will graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN Degree), which means you will command a higher salary than you would with a two year Associate’s Degree in Nursing. You will also get this degree in less time than it would take you to get an ADN degree. In both cases you are an RN (once you pass the NCLEX) but nurses with Bachelor of Science degrees tend to earn a higher hourly wage. 

Now let’s discuss the disadvantages. Accelerated nursing degrees are intensive programs and you will not be able to do anything else while you are attending school. You will not be able to work, and you will have to spend all of your spare time studying. Most accelerated nursing programs will not even accept you unless you give a signed commitment that you will not work while going to school. You will have massive amounts of science and math related memorization and frequent tests and clinicals. Also, these nursing programs are typically quite expensive; $30,000 to $50,000 tuition is not unusual at all. 

If the alternative to these programs means waiting many years to get into a typical nursing school, you may want to give it some serious consideration and at least talk to the admissions counselors at some schools that offer these types of accelerated nursing programs.

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