Nurses are the backbone of the medical field. Without their stalwart and unbreakable spirit, medical care teams suffer. Nurses not only help patients who are sick, injured, and disabled; they also serve as advocates, liaisons, and support systems for patients in need. Highly educated nurses are some of the greatest assets to the medical team. In fact, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, hospitals with an adequate staff of BSN-educated nurses experience less incidence of patient mortality, lower rates of secondary infection, and higher rates of rescue. Earning a BSN, in other words, helps nurses provide a higher quality of care, benefitting both patients and nurses alike.
For some, nursing is an immediate calling. Many students begin their nursing studies at the start of their higher education journey. However, for others, nursing is a passion discovered over time. Many are inspired to make a career change into nursing. For those who are interested in shifting careers and becoming a nurse, an accelerated nursing program can be a great fit. But where do you start? What are the requirements of accelerated nursing programs, as well as the prerequisites? Read on to find out.
What is an Accelerated Nursing Program?
Accelerated nursing programs, also known as accelerated BSNs, are fast-paced and intensive degree programs that prepare students to enter the nursing field quickly. These programs are designed for students who are interested in making a career change, and therefore offer a comprehensive curriculum that prepares graduates to pass the NCLEX-RN exam and enter the nursing field.
Accelerated Nursing Program Prerequisites
As mentioned, accelerated nursing programs are ideal for those who are making a career change. As such, one of the prerequisites for accelerated nursing programs is that interested students already hold a baccalaureate degree from a fully accredited Academic Institution. This can either be a bachelor of science (BS) or a bachelor of arts (BA). Other admissions requirements can vary, depending on the school.
At University of Bridgeport, applicants are required to have achieved a “C+” or higher in all Math and Science prerequisites during their bachelor’s degree program. They must also have a minimum 3.00 Quality Point Ratio (QPR) from all of their attended higher education institutions. Additionally, applicants are required to have completed a selection of prerequisite courses before the first day of classes of the first semester of the ABSN program. Learn more here.
ABSN Prerequisite Course Requirements
Prior to beginning the accelerated BSN program, students are required to have completed the following courses:
- Anatomy and Physiology I
- Anatomy and Physiology II
- Introductory Chemistry
- Introduction to College Algebra
- English Composition
- Introduction to Psychology
- Lifespan Development
- Principles of Sociology
At University of Bridgeport, it’s important to know that, at the time of application, only three of these prerequisites may be in progress or outstanding. So, it’s important to make sure you have at least seven of these courses completed before applying to the ABSN.
ABSN Coursework Requirements
As ABSN students are expected to have already earned a bachelor’s degree, students in this program need only 56 nursing credits to graduate. (General education credits from their previous degree are applied to the ABSN degree, helping to “accelerate” the pace of the bachelor’s in Nursing.) Accelerated nursing courses are taken over the course of one, standard school year and two Summers.
In the first Summer session, students complete five courses over two terms. These courses include:
- Intro to Professional Nursing
- Health Assessment
- Fundamentals of Professional Nursing
In the subsequent full year of study, students complete eight classes spread across two semesters. These classes include:
- The Research Process in Nursing
- Health Maintenance and Restoration I and II
- Nursing Care of the Childbearing Family
- Nursing Care of the Childrearing Family
- Health Policy and Health Systems
- Psych/Mental Health Nursing
- Leadership and Management
In the final Summer term, students complete three courses that prepare them for entrance into the field of nursing. These include:
- Health Promotion II: The Community
- Transition to Professional Practice
- Current Issues and Trends in Nursing
While an accelerated nursing program is very appealing, it is not right for everyone. Not all students are eligible to pursue the accelerated BSN route. If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, for example, you might consider the traditional BSN degree path. A traditional BSN program is designed for aspiring registered nurses without any prior collegiate education. It typically takes four years to complete; however, there are flexible BSN programs available. The only differences between this type of program and an accelerated nursing program are the pace and the prerequisites involved. The coursework – and the advanced level of knowledge and skills you can attain – is similar across different BSN programs. You can learn about UB’s Bachelor’s in Nursing program here.
Accelerated Nursing Program Clinical Requirements
In addition to the required coursework, students are expected to complete clinical training in an accelerated nursing program. ABSN students begin their clinical work in their second semester. Clinical placements can vary, based on the accelerated nursing program. University of Bridgeport maintains strong relationships with hospitals and clinics throughout Connecticut. Sites for ABSN students at University of Bridgeport include schools, medical offices, hospitals, and more. Clinical hours include laboratory training, hands-on training with patients, and simulation experiences.
ABSN Career Outcomes
Graduates of an accelerated nursing program can expect to benefit from holding a bachelor’s degree in Nursing. According to the AACN, more than 41% of hospitals and other healthcare providers require new nursing hires to hold BSNs. Those who hold a BSN are also qualified to hold management and leadership positions later in their careers. These positions can mean higher pay, greater responsibility, and greater impact in the nursing field.
As key members of their patients’ care team, nurses typically spend more time with patients than any other medical care provider. Therefore, it’s important that they’re prepared for the unique challenges that this career presents. BSN nurses are highly trained, expertly skilled, and sought after for their leadership skills and extraordinary competence. If a career in nursing is calling to you, consider beginning your career change journey by earning a BSN through an accelerated nursing program in CT.
Interested in accelerated nursing programs in CT? Learn more about University of Bridgeport’s School of Nursing’s admissions requirements here.