Is an Accelerated Nursing Program Right for you?

June 3, 2015

Catching up with the midwives on the ward Some people like to get things moving as fast as possible. If you want to become a nurse, you may be interested in earning your degree as fast as possible. One option, which you may want to consider is an accelerated nursing program. Learning about the different programs and the pros and cons can help you determine if an accelerated nursing program is the way to go.

What is an Accelerated Nursing program? 

There are a few different accelerated degree programs for nurses. The type of program you choose depends on your goals and previous education.

  • Accelerated BSN Programs

Accelerated BSN programs are designed for students who already have a registered nursing license and want to earn their four-year degree. In many cases, a bachelor’s degree takes four years to complete. But accelerated RN to BSN programs are completed much quicker. The length of the program may vary by school, but many can be completed in 18 months. An accelerated BSN program would be beneficial for nurses who want to move into case management, education and administration.

  • Second Degree Programs

If you already have a four-year degree but are considering changing gears, a second degree accelerated program might be an option. Second degree accelerated nursing programs are intended for students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in another field outside of nursing.

The program allows students to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing and become licensed as a registered nurse. The program length varies, but most are between a year and 18 months. Classes include core nursing classes and clinical rotations. After completing an accelerated second degree nursing program, students must pass the state nursing exam to become licensed as a registered nurse.

Pros and Cons

Accelerated nursing programs can be a great option for some people. But like most career paths, there are both pros and cons involved. For instance, some accelerated programs offer a flexible schedule, which allows students to attend school in the evening or on weekends. Keep in mind, some programs are not as flexible, and a structured full-time school schedule may be needed to complete the program.

One of the main advantages of completing an accelerated nursing program is it saves time. You can complete a program quicker than you can a traditional nursing program, which allows you to increase employment opportunities sooner.

Although it can have advantages, accelerated programs are not for everyone. Most accelerated programs are rigorous. A lot of information is crammed into a shorter period. You need to be prepared to devote a lot of time to school and work hard. Competition to get into a program can also be tough

Since accelerated nursing programs can be challenging, it is important to ask yourself if you have the time to devote to school. Consider whether you are self-disciplined and motivated enough to maintain the pace needed to complete an accelerated program. If you are highly motivated to reach your career goals quickly, you may be a good candidate for an accelerated nursing program.