There are many different pathways to earning your nursing degree, but which nursing program is the right one for you? If you already have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or at least 60 college credits, an accelerated path may be your best choice. Accelerated nursing programs allow you to leverage your previous education and/or non-nursing degree so you can earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree sooner—sometimes in as few as 16 months.
This blog will help you determine if an accelerated nursing program is right for your lifestyle. While previous education is the first step in determining whether this program is a fit, there are other factors that you will need to consider in order to enroll and be successful. Below, we will explore how an accelerated program works, the benefits it can provide to students with previous non-nursing college experience, and what is needed to thrive.
We will look at Felician University’s new hybrid Accelerated BSN program in Parsippany, New Jersey as an example. By the end of this blog post, you will have the tools to determine if an accelerated nursing program is the right choice for you.
How Does an Accelerated Nursing Program Work?
Many accelerated nursing programs, like Felician University’s online-based ABSN program, use a comprehensive learning model that combines:
- Online curriculum
- Hands-on labs
- Clinical rotations
In as few as 16 months, this comprehensive learning model provides you with the experience you need to graduate and prepares you to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).
Because Felician University’s ABSN program includes online and on-site learning, you must live in or near Parsippany, New Jersey in order to enroll.
The online portion of Felician University’s hybrid Accelerated BSN program features an interactive e-Learning platform to deliver the core nursing coursework.
Following the core coursework, you will then turn the nursing fundamentals and theories learned online into psychomotor skills through hands-on labs at Felician University’s new, state-of-the-art ABSN site in Parsippany, New Jersey.
Once you complete your online nursing theory and practice it in-person during lab, you will put what you learn into real-life practice through diverse clinicals at top healthcare facilities in the New Jersey area.
What Are the Benefits?
An accelerated nursing program has the potential to take your career and your life in a different direction, helping you grow and influence positive change. It opens up opportunities that may have otherwise been unavailable to you. There are intense months of studying, but the results are incredible. Let’s take a look at what benefits an ABSN program, like Felician University’s, can offer you.
1. Accelerated Outcome
An accelerated nursing program is especially worth it if you are looking to earn a degree sooner. At Felician University, the ABSN program does not only offer you a quality Bachelor of Science in Nursing,it offers you the ability to earn that degree in as few as 16 months.
Why is that important? The main reason is because you can enter the workforce sooner and get started on your new future as a nurse. Traditional on-campus programs can take up to four years to complete. An accelerated, 16-month option is an amazing opportunity for students who already have a previous degree in a non-nursing field to start their new career faster.
Flexibility is another huge benefit of an accelerated nursing program. It is not only because an ABSN program provides you with flexibility in your education, but also your future as a nurse.
While the ABSN program’s online curriculum is accelerated and rigorous, it does allow you the flexibility of studying whenever or wherever works best for you. Of course, you still must finish assignments by the due dates set by the instructor.
Nursing is not like a traditional 9 to 5 job. There is more flexibility in your work hours and schedule. For instance, hospitals usually have different shift options, so you can work longer shifts or shorter shifts. Some shifts may also be more lucrative than others.
3. More Opportunity
Felician University’s ABSN program in Parsippany, New Jersey provides you with more opportunities in your nursing education and career. How so?
The ABSN program is accessible, offering three start dates each year. That means you don’t have to wait to enroll, because there are more spots available for qualified students.
Diverse Clinical Experience
Felician University’s accelerated nursing program provides you with diverse clinical rotations in top-area hospitals, so you can gain first-hand experience in a variety of practice areas, including areas such as:
- Acute care
- Adult health
- Intensive care
- Maternity care
- Mental health
- Long-term care
- Public health and disaster management
4. More Career Options
Earning your BSN and becoming a registered nurse does not mean you can only work in a hospital. There are many different organizations in need of nurses with a BSN, such as cruise ships, military bases, nursing homes, outpatient clinics, physician offices, and school systems.
Plus, there are more than 100 nursing specialties you can choose from once you graduate from an accelerated nursing program. You can pursue a job as a holistic nurse, forensic nurse, parish nurse, school nurse, or trauma nurse.
Earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing also serves as the first step toward furthering your education, giving you the chance to pursue an advanced degree as a nursing educator or nurse practitioner.
5. Job Security and Salary
Is an accelerated nursing program worth it? In order to answer that literally, let’s look at the numbers. The demand for nurses with their BSN is growing, so the need is there. Felician University’s ABSN program serves as a great outlet to help the nursing shortage in the New Jersey area. In New Jersey, the Department of Labor and Workforce Development projects a need for 3,000 new registered nurses between 2014-2024—and that’s just the short term.
As the demand for nursing increases, so does the pay. In New Jersey, the average annual salary for registered nurses was $82,010, as per the data of BLS in 2018.
What Traits Do I Need to Succeed?
In order to be successful and get the most out of an accelerated nursing program like Felician University’s ABSN, there are certain traits that are helpful to possess. So, as you research whether an accelerated nursing program is right for you, it’s important to ask yourself the following questions.
Can you dedicate yourself to the program full time?
In order to be successful in an accelerated nursing program like Felician University’s ABSN, it is best that you are able to dedicate yourself, fulltime, to your studies.
Are you highly organized?
Because this is an accelerated program, you build upon your learning very fast, so it is essential to stay on top of your work. If you are someone who is diligent with your organization—whether by using a day planner, phone reminders, or whatever works best—then an accelerated nursing program may be right for you.
Are you motivated?
If you are someone who doesn’t give up and pushes ahead even when times get tough, you should know that accelerated nursing programs provide an environment where hard workers can thrive.
Are you a critical thinker?
Are you a problem solver who knows how to think on your feet? Critical thinking skills can help you earn your BSN and become a very successful nurse.
Do you know this is what you want to do?
Do you know for sure if you want to become a nurse? It is important to feel confident about entering this new profession. Before enrolling, try to really consider and understand why you want to enter the field of nursing. If your answer is only because you want to try something new, this may not be your fit. If, however, this is what you feel you have been called to do and you can help others then an accelerated nursing program is worth it.
Find Your Fit
If you like what you have read so far and want to learn more about leveraging your previous education to earn a BSN in as few as 16 months, contact our admissions team at Felician University’s ABSN program today.