Nursing is one of the fastest-growing careers, with employment for registered nurses (RN) expected to grow 12% from 2018 to 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). While salary levels vary by state, RNs who earn their bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) have the opportunity to earn more than their peers, with the highest 10% bringing in more than $106,530 a year.
A BSN is quickly becoming the industry standard for RNs, but earning a BSN degree can take anywhere from three to four years. Students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree and want to transition to a career in nursing have another option available to them – an accelerated BSN program.
What is an accelerated BSN program?
An accelerated BSN pathway is designed to provide a fast track to a BSN degree for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field. An accelerated program can be completed in as little as 20 months, helping you advance your career faster and putting you on the path to a higher salary.
Many BSN programs also allow you to earn credits toward your Master’s of Science in Nursing (MSN) to provide even more advancement opportunities in the field while saving you time and money on both degrees.
If you’re looking to earn your BSN degree quickly, here are five tips for getting into an accelerated program:
1. Choose the right school
Because accelerated programs move quickly and demand a lot of your time and effort, it’s important to select a school that will work with you and support you in your career transition. Look for a school that offers smaller class sizes, supportive faculty and staff, and flexible course schedules. For students concerned about the cost of an accelerated program, look for a school that offers financial aid options and scholarships for nursing students.
2. Make sure you meet program requirements
Qualifications for an accelerated BSN program will vary depending on the school, but students enrolling in Herzing University’s accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Because the curriculum in accelerated programs can be very challenging, schools also require a certain grade point average (GPA) for admission. Herzing students must have a 2.5 GPA or higher from the college they earned their bachelor’s degree.
3. Take the TEAS
The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) is designed to assess students’ readiness for entering the health science fields. You might be required to take this test on your own for admission into an accelerated nursing program. To qualify for Herzing’s ABSN program, students must receive a composite score of 66 on the TEAS. High-scoring students might qualify for additional scholarship opportunities, such as the Nurses Circle of Achievement Scholarship.
4. Determine which credits will transfer
Students enrolled in an accelerated BSN program can receive transfer credit for general education courses they completed during their previous undergraduate studies. Once you have selected a school, schedule a meeting with an admissions advisor to discuss your previous work and education experience and determine which credits will transfer over to your new program. For example, if you previously earned a degree in another healthcare-related field, you might be able to receive credit for basic science courses you completed in your original bachelor’s program.
5. Be prepared for fast-paced learning
An accelerated BSN program is just that – accelerated. Make sure you have the time, energy and work ethic that’s needed for this demanding profession and the fast-paced learning and training that comes along with it. While the curriculum is difficult and moves quickly, Herzing University’s faculty and staff work with you at every turn, offering support when you need it.
If you’d prefer an alternative route, there are other nursing paths you can explore, including becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), earning your associate degree or enrolling in a traditional BSN program.
Learn more about Herzing University’s accelerated nursing program and get on the fast track to becoming a registered nurse.