How to Transition from Military to BSN and Become a Nurse

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Transitioning from military to BSN is an excellent decision. Becoming a nurse starts with finding the right nursing program. Then you’ll need to talk with an admissions counselor, complete admissions requirements, and apply. After getting accepted, you’ll need to earn your degree, take the NCLEX, and get licensed.

man in military uniform shaking woman's hand

After completing your military service, finding the right civilian career can be challenging. As a veteran, you developed countless invaluable skills while serving our country. However, finding the best application for those skills stateside can be difficult.

One career that’s a natural transition for many veterans is nursing. Going from military to BSN is a great idea because veterans are loyal, team-oriented, and motivated leaders, making them excellent nurses.

Earning your nursing degree from an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program like ours at Felician University can mean a rapid change to a nursing career. Read on to learn how to transition from military to BSN in as few as 16 months.

1. Choose the Right Nursing Program

The first step in transitioning from veteran to BSN is choosing the best nursing program for you. Traditional nursing programs take four years to complete and are designed for students without college experience. On the other hand, accelerated nursing programs take less time — between one and two years — and are made for students who already have college credits.

If you have at least 60 non-nursing college credits or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you may be a great fit for Felician’s ABSN program in New Jersey. At Felician, you have two options for the ABSN program: a 16-month Hybrid ABSN that incorporates online coursework or an 18-month On-Ground ABSN that uses in-person coursework. Choose the option that’s ideal for you.

There are many other factors to consider when choosing the right program. Consider the following aspects of a nursing program:

  • Accreditation and state approval
  • Quality of clinical and lab experiences
  • Opportunity for online learning (a hybrid option) if desired
  • Multiple yearly start dates
  • Admissions requirements and prerequisites
  • NCLEX pass rates
close-up of woman thinking how to choose a nursing program, surrounded by medical icons

Still have questions? Learn more about choosing a nursing program.

2. Make a Plan with an Admissions Counselor

Once you’ve decided where you want to apply, the next step is to set up a call with an admissions counselor. At Felician, you’ll be paired with a dedicated ABSN admissions counselor who will guide you through the admissions process, making the veteran to BSN transition easier.

Your admissions counselor will help you with the following:

  • Confirming your eligibility
  • Identifying any gaps in requirements or incomplete prerequisites
  • Planning an ideal start date
  • Guiding you with your ABSN application
  • Providing financial aid resources as you go from military to BSN
  • Answering any questions along the way

3. Complete Admissions Requirements and Prerequisites

On the military to BSN journey, the next step is to finish any ABSN requirements or prerequisites that your admissions counselor identified as incomplete. You’ll be asked to take seven prerequisites, each with a grade of C+ or better. We’re also looking for students with at least 60 non-nursing college credits and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

4. Apply to Nursing School

Felician nursing student sitting on floor using laptop

Once you’ve met the ABSN requirements, it’s time to apply for nursing school at Felician. Fear not, for your admissions counselor will walk you through the application process. To apply, you’ll need to provide the following before the admission deadline:

  • Completed application form
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  • A resume and letter of intent
  • Two professional or academic recommendations

5. Earn Your BSN Degree

Once you’ve been admitted into the ABSN program, the hard work of nursing school begins. The ABSN program will consist of coursework, skills and simulation labs, and clinical rotations. You’ll learn about many topics, ranging from pharmacology and pathophysiology to pediatric and mental health nursing.

Thankfully with the ABSN program, you’ll be able to complete your degree in as few as 16 or 18 months, depending on which track you choose. Before you know it, you’ll be ready to graduate and start your new post-military nursing career.

6. Pass the NCLEX and Get Licensed

The final step to moving from the military to nursing is passing the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) and earning your nursing license. The NCLEX is a rigorous exam, and you’ll need to allow plenty of time to study, generally starting a few months before your exam.

Rest assured that the ABSN program at Felician prepares you to sit for the exam starting in the first semester. The knowledge you gain from the program will translate to your exam prep.

After passing the exam and meeting any other requirements for your state, you’ll receive your nursing license. Now you’re ready to begin working as a registered nurse!

Felician ABSN student smiling and holding laptop

How Military Service Equips You for Nursing

As a veteran, you carry many valuable skills from your service experience. The skills and qualities you possess can help you become an excellent nurse. Here are a few of the ways military service prepares you for nursing:

  1. Loyalty: Your loyalty means you’re going to look out for your patients and ensure they receive the best care.
  2. Discipline: Your discipline will help you get through the challenges of accelerated nursing school and stay on track with your studies.
  3. Accountability: Your accountability means you’ll own your mistakes and thus learn from them more quickly.
  4. Communication: Your communication skills will come into use with patients, families, other nurses, and the rest of the healthcare team.
  5. Teamwork: Your teamwork skills will be essential in a nursing career as you collaborate with other healthcare professionals.

How Felician Supports Veterans

Felician is honored to have veterans choose our program after their military service. We will offer support and guidance with the transition to nursing school. Plus, we will ensure you receive any available financial aid resources for veterans.

We will help you get into nursing school and make nursing school affordable. After all, you have served this country in the most incredible way and deserve a fulfilling civilian career.

Start Your Nursing Journey Today!

Now that you know how to move from military to BSN, it’s time to start your new civilian career as a nurse. With your skills and passion for serving others, you have what it takes to be an excellent nurse. Felician’s ABSN program in New Jersey can help you reach your goal sooner and graduate in as few as 16 or 18 months.

You can choose from three start dates for the Hybrid ABSN, while the On-Ground ABSN starts in May. If you have at least 60 non-nursing college credits or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you’re well on your way to jumping into an accelerated nursing program.

To learn more about moving from military to BSN through our accelerated nursing program, reach out to our admissions counselors today.