Accelerated BSNApplication AdviceNursing Career

How to go From a Bachelor’s in Biology to a BSN in 16 Months

While our Accelerated BSN program accepts students from all fields of college study, many come from a biology background. In fact, a lot of our incoming students studied biology because they intended to go to medical school, but then decided they would rather be a nurse. Sound familiar? Let us help you go from a bachelor’s in biology to a BSN in as few as 16 months.

Biology and nursing go hand in hand - papers and clipboard on desktop

Located in Parsippany, New Jersey, our full-time ABSN program lets you pick up where you left off with your biology degree, making a quick transition into nursing possible. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, here’s what else you need besides your degree to qualify for the program:

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 in all undergraduate coursework
  • A grade of C+ or higher in each of the seven ABSN prerequisites

You’re off to a good start.

Because of your biology degree, there’s a good chance you’ve completed most, if not all, of our ABSN prerequisite courses, which are:

Prerequisite CourseCredit Hours
Microbiology + Lab4
Anatomy & Physiology I + Lab4
Anatomy & Physiology II + Lab4
Principles of Chemistry4
Statistics I3
Lifespan Development3

If there are some prerequisite courses that you still need to complete, your admissions counselor can create a completion plan based on your preferred start date in the ABSN program. We admit students into the program four times a year in January, March, May, and August.

Application Process

Once you’ve satisfied all of the ABSN program requirements, you’re ready to begin the application process. While the application process may seem intimidating, it doesn’t have to be — just be sure to work with your dedicated admissions counselor every step of the way. Your counselor’s job is to ensure that you submit the most competitive nursing school application possible.

As part of your application, you’ll need to submit the following:

  • Official college transcripts
  • Prerequisite completion form
  • Professional resume
  • Personal goal statement
  • Letters of recommendation

You’re ready for nursing study.

Once accepted into our 16-month ABSN program, we suspect you’ll have a much easier time with your nursing coursework than someone from a liberal arts background. Why? Because your biology studies taught you the foundations of life, which is something registered nurses apply every day on the job.

Syringe being filled from vial

How Nurses Use Biology

RNs use their biology knowledge to make informed decisions about patient care management because they:

  • Provide care based on a patient’s body composition and family medical history.
  • Ensure a patient gets the right medication for his or her medical status.
  • Determine dosage calculations when administering medication to a patient.
  • Restore balance in a patient’s body so he or she can regain proper health.
  • Maintain patient environments that are free of contamination and infection.

Hybrid Learning Model

As an ABSN student, you’ll complete a rigorous blend of online courses, hands-on nursing labs, and clinical rotations in diverse areas of practice. Here’s what you can expect from these three distinct learning components:

  • Online courses serve as the foundation of your nursing education, teaching you the fundamentals and theories of the profession, from nursing modalities to legal issues in healthcare.
  • Nursing labs at our ABSN program site in Parsippany provide a realistic, risk-free platform for developing your hands-on skills and clinical judgment.
  • Clinical rotations at Atlantic Health System and other local healthcare facilities afford real-world experience in diverse areas of nursing practice, from acute care to public health.
Doctor standing speaking with nurse

During the fourth and final semester of the ABSN program, you can expect to complete a clinical immersion course. Sometimes referred to as a “preceptorship” or “role transition experience,” this course provides you with concentrated clinical experience in a specific area of nursing practice.

You’ll work the same shifts as your preceptor, who is a registered nurse, assisting him or her with patient care. You may even get to take care of patients by yourself.

Overall, to keep pace in our ABSN program, you should expect to devote between 40 and 60 hours a week to your professional nursing studies.

You’re ready for the profession.

Upon your completion of the ABSN program, you’ll be prepared to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®) with confidence. In case you didn’t know, the NCLEX is an exam that every nursing school graduate must pass to be able to legally practice the profession.

Administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), the NCLEX helps determine if you’re prepared for entry-level nursing practice. In other words, the exam serves to protect the public. Once you pass the NCLEX, you’re a registered nurse — credentials that can take you down an extraordinary career path rife with opportunity.

You can choose to work in any number of practice settings, from hospitals and private practices to military bases and cruise ships. You can also pursue certification in a nursing specialty, such as flight nursing, geriatric nursing, holistic nursing, labor and delivery nursing and the list goes on.

Nurse sitting down with elderly patient

It’s also worth mentioning that as an RN, you’ll be part of a fast-growing occupation, one that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic (BLS) expects to grow by 15 percent between the years 2016 and 2026. In fact, as of May 2017, the metropolitan area with the highest employment level for RNs is the New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ metropolitan division.

Furthermore, as of May 2017, the median pay for RNs is $70,000 per year, or $33.65 per hour. When it comes to the state of New Jersey, the mean wage for RNs is $82,010 per year, or $39.43 per hour. However, you probably shouldn’t expect this level of pay as a newbie nurse.

Ready to put your bachelor’s in biology toward a BSN?

If you’re ready to go from a bachelor’s in biology to a BSN in 16 months, contact our admissions team today to set your nursing education in motion.

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