You may have heard about accelerated RN programs and wonder what they are, and how they help people get into the nursing field.
First, what they are not. They aren’t a way to skip getting a bachelor’s degree in nursing. What they are is a faster way for a person with any bachelor’s degree to get into nursing. Accelerated RN programs accept students who have a bachelor’s degree, and build on the core coursework they’ve already completed.
Accelerated RN programs are available in 43 states as well as Washington, D.C., and most of the 220 programs are approved by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
There are also 65 programs offering an accelerated Master’s program, for those wishing to get a graduate education in nursing.
These accelerated nursing programs allow college graduates to attain an RN license in 12 to 18 months, and those who want to earn their master’s degree to do so in three years. These programs provide the same education as regular nursing programs, and provide a rigorous education. Because of the short schedule, the education is even more rigorous, and there are few if any breaks, but the student completes the training sooner and gets into the workforce faster.
The requirements for the RN license do not change with accelerated RN programs; students complete the same number of clinical hours and must still prepare for and pass the NCLEX-RN exam.
One problem with accelerated programs is that they can be difficult to get into. While there are over 200 programs in the United States, there are invariably more applicants than spaces, and preference goes to applicants who have maintained a 3.0 GPA or greater through their bachelor’s degree coursework.
The advantage of accelerated rn programs is that there is a great need for RNs, and jobs are readily available for those who are eager to go to work.
If you are ready to become an RN, and are willing to go through the rigors of an accelerated program, you can be working within 18 months with one of these accelerated programs rather than going through an RN bachelor’s degree program.
To determine whether accelerated RN programs are right for you, check out a few programs and look at the requirements, course offerings and schedules. If you think you’d like to study in an accelerated program, go ahead and apply.
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