Are Accelerated Nursing School Programs for You?

By 2012 the US Department of Labor projects the medical system will need more than one million new and replacement Registered Nurses . So many nursing schools across the country are exploring ways in which to increase school capacity and reach more new students. One way is accelerated nursing programs which provide nursing programs for non-nursing graduates. These schools offer a Baccalaureate and Master’s Degree programs which build on previous learning experiences. Thus they provide a means for those individuals who have undergraduate degrees in some other fields of expertise to transfer into nursing programs.

Such accelerated programs offer the student the quickest route to a license as a Registered Nurse (RN) for those who have already completed a Bachelor’s or Graduate’s degree in some other field. Such programs take between 11 to 18 months to finish and include prerequisites, While a fast track master’s degree program will generally take the students about 3 years to finish.

At present such accelerated nursing programs are available in 43 states and also in the District of Columbia and Guam. By July 2006 there were 173 accelerated bachelor degree programs and just under 50 accelerated master’s degree programs at nursing schools across the country. And as of July 2006 there around 40 accelerated bachelor degree programs in the planning stage as well as 17 new accelerated master’s programs.

What will accelerated nursing program do for me?

These programs accomplish the training required in a short time as they build on your previous learning experiences. The instruction provided on these programs is often intense as the courses are offered to students full time with no breaks between sessions. However the students on these programs will receive the same number of hours as those of their counterparts who are using traditional nursing schools.

Admission standards for these programs are high and they will typically require that the student has a least a 3.0 GPA, and the student will usually have to go through a screening process. But those who eventually are accepted are encouraged NOT to also try and hold down a full time job, as the rigors that are associated with this intense training will make it hard for them to complete the degree requirements.

The nursing schools which provide these accelerated programs are specifically designed for those individuals who have already proven their ability to succeed at a college. Most students who have already finished either a bachelor’s degree, or are graduate degree students tend to be attracted to these fast track programs as they are the natural next step in their higher education training and a successful nursing career.

– Debbie North