absn vs. bsn programs

Is an ABSN Program Harder Than a Traditional BSN?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for nurses is expected to grow by 9% between now and 2030. However, this statistic doesn’t reveal the true need for nurses. According to the Health Resources and Services Administration, by 2030, the number of registered nurses needed in the United States will grow from 2.8 million to 3.6 million. Additionally, an aging baby boomer generation will demand the skills of registered nurses who hold a bachelor’s degree. The pandemic has also made it clear how vital nurses are to the medical system, in daily practice but also in times of emergency.

For those motivated to help, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) may be of interest. Those who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field, and are looking to change career paths, may be encouraged by the accelerated programs available. But is an accelerated BSN (ABSN) program more challenging than a traditional BSN program? Read on to learn more about what an ABSN program entails.

Who is an ABSN for?

The ideal candidate for an ABSN has already earned a bachelor’s degree in another, non-nursing field. The ABSN is designed to get aspiring nurses into the field quickly, without committing to another four years in school. An ABSN nursing program prepares graduates for entry-level practice in nursing, in a wide variety of healthcare settings. The accelerated program allows the student to earn a BSN quickly while adequately preparing them for the licensure exam. After completing an ABSN program, graduates are able to provide system and evidence-based practice. They’ll be able to promote healthy lifestyles through health education and promotion. Most importantly, they’ll be able to eventually grow in their career to one day manage a team.

ABSN vs. BSN Program Length

If you’re considering an accelerated bachelor’s degree in Nursing, you’ve likely already attended college. A standard BSN takes approximately four years to complete, or eight semesters. By contrast, most accelerated BSN programs can be finished in fewer than two years’ time. For example, the accelerated nursing program at University of Bridgeport can be completed in as few as 15 months. In a total of four semesters, students can complete the BSN classes they need to begin a brand new and exciting career (versus spending four years in nursing school).

Coursework for an ABSN vs. BSN

You’ll be glad to know that despite its accelerated pace, the curriculum for the ABSN does not stray from the requirements needed to be eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN Exam). The primary difference between the BSN and ABSN curriculum is that a traditional BSN student must complete general education credits during the course of their studies. As it is an expectation that those in the ABSN program have already completed their general education credits, these credits are able to be transferred. As a result, the coursework that students complete in the ABSN degree program is focused on nursing.

Curriculum in an ABSN Program

Students in an ABSN program must have completed 64 credits in general education in their previous studies and earn an additional 56 credits in nursing in order to earn their BSN. In total, students must complete 120 credits in order to complete their program. It is required that students have completed a series of prerequisite courses, including:

  • Microbiology
  • Sociology
  • Statistics
  • Lifespan Development
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Chemistry
  • College Algebra
  • General Psychology
  • English

These classes must be completed prior to beginning the career-oriented ABSN courses.

Without the general education requirements, an ABSN student can focus entirely on developing their nursing knowledge and skills. In their first term, students complete introductory coursework including:

  • Intro to Professional Nursing
  • Health Assessment
  • Nutrition

In their second term, students complete coursework in Pharmacology and Nursing Fundamentals. In the following terms, students complete a variety of core nursing and advanced nursing courses. These classes include, but are not limited to:

  • Family Nursing
  • Leadership and Management
  • Research
  • Health Maintenance
  • Health Policy
  • Trends in Nursing
  • Mental Health Nursing

In addition, students must complete a practicum in professional practice. This lecture course includes clinical experience.

Those who hold a BSN are qualified to provide expert care to their patients, serve as health educators, manage care teams, and work in specialized nursing environments. They’re able to become registered nurses and, if they so wish, even eventually pursue graduate study. Nurses who hold a BSN are able to answer the desperate call for nursing professionals in the American medical system with skill. Those who wish to enter the field quickly, and who have a bachelor’s degree in hand, should confidently enter an accelerated BSN program knowing that the curriculum is neither more difficult nor lacking in depth. The ABSN program will prepare students for a career in nursing and provide them with the skills they’ll need to provide excellent care to their patients.

Considering accelerated nursing programs in CT? Complete your ABSN at University of Bridgeport in as little as fifteen months. Learn more, here!