8 Things I Wish I Knew Before Going Into an Accelerated Nursing Program

Congratulations! You’ve been accepted into an accelerated nursing program.

While you’re just a step away from achieving your lifelong dream of being a nurse, there are certain things you should know before commencing your studies.

What I Wish I Knew Before Going For ABSN

Guess you’ve heard a lot about accelerated nursing programs.

Is a nursing program worth it? Can I study and work while I study? What I wish I knew before going into an accelerated nursing program.

We’re sure these are some of the questions on your mind.

Whether you intend to train as an emergency or labor delivery nurse, this post answers all your questions, clears every misconception, and broadens your knowledge about ABSN.

  • It’s never too late to be a nurse.

Many hold on to self-limiting thoughts that they’re too old to be a nurse, considering it’s a second-degree program. Yes, you might have previously earned a degree in a field and worked for a while.

However, that shouldn’t deter you from pursuing nursing as a second degree.

Also, age factors in, and you assume that being a nurse isn’t attainable.

The truth is you’ve never too old to start again. Based on reports, ABSN students seem to be more driven and dedicated to studying than their counterparts.

Whether you’ve worked before in a different field, aspiring for an accelerated nursing program is a rewarding and fulfilling experience.

  • You don’t need to have healthcare experience to be eligible for ABSN

There are several assumptions about ABSN. Many presume you need to have prior health care experience to apply for an ABSN program. Unlike other nursing programs, ABSN programs require no healthcare background.

As an applicant looking to do an accelerated nursing program, you need to have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or obtain a minimum grade point of 60 credits.

Your college credits and other supporting documents are the requirements for ABSN.

  • It would help if you had a work-life balance to cope with nursing school stress.

Sometimes, nursing school can be overwhelming with too much workload. This stress can take a toll on your physical and mental health, leading to burnout.

According to a 2014 study involving over 150,000 first-year college students, it’s reported that 34.6% got overwhelmed with schoolwork. While nursing school is demanding, you should find a healthy work-life balance to perform efficiently—practice self-care.

This advice is necessary to reduce the suicide rate among nursing students.

Get enough sleep. Eat healthily and exercise often. Your psychological well-being depends on how you care for your body. Thus, stay in good physical shape. Make a to-do list.

This list will enable you to prioritize schoolwork, rest, and social activities. Make meditation a regular practice as it helps with burnout. While you’re in school, you might be compelled to meet family and friends’ expectations.

Don’t feel guilty about setting boundaries for your time. Learn to say no to commitments.

  • You need to discover effective study methods that work for you

As a nursing student, you’ll need to study a lot. For quick retention and assimilation, you may need to read often.

It’s not surprising that most nursing students are often seen lost in the pages of books and notes. Everyone has their learning style and studying habits. Find the one that works best for you.

Meanwhile, as a nursing student, you need to be organized to help you plan your schedule. Consider breaking up your coursework into smaller sections so your reading list won’t pile up.

Imbibe the act of note-taking. This process helps study retention. You can join a study group as well. Ask questions from your tutor.

Furthermore, study all that’s taught in class. Ensure you don’t pile up notes to read at a later time. Lastly, pay rapt attention to lectures and be focused.

  • Clinical rotations may not start immediately.

The first few months of nursing school encompass your coursework, studying, exams, and writing papers. Only a few nursing schools start clinical rotations soon.

While hands-on clinical is good, students must have well-grounded knowledge of nursing before their clinical. In the first semester, students are taught the basics of the nursing profession to have a solid foundation when they begin their clinical.

While some facilities may not be welcoming to nursing students, focus on the knowledge and healthcare experience you would gain.

In addition, use your clinical to discover your area of interest, specialization, and job placement.

  • You must pass the NCLEX exam.

To practice nursing and obtain your license, you must pass your National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).

Sitting for the test, you may have to answer over a hundred questions within a specified timeframe. However, many nursing students dread this exam, it’s a requirement for RN, and you shouldn’t give room for fear.

You’ll have to take the exams, ensure you prepare and study hard.

  • Comprehension is key, not grades.

While you must pass NCLEX and other nursing exams, you should prioritize comprehension. Why? Anyone can study hard to ace an exam.

The goal is to gain profound knowledge about nursing, not pile upgrades. Instead of worrying about grades, have an in-depth understanding of your coursework and build critical thinking skills.

You’re gradually setting yourself up for success as you build your knowledge base.

  • Nursing school requires time, effort, and commitment

Nursing school can be challenging with the workload, patient care, and studies.

For an ABSN program whose curriculum is packed into 16 months of coursework, you’ll need to dedicate so much time and effort to it.

You may have to cut down on social activities and treat the program like a full-time job. Nursing school can take a large chunk of your time; thus, it’s not advised you work and study simultaneously.

Nevertheless, some students have been able to wing it. Though nursing school is quite stressful, it’s rewarding and worth the time and stress.


Guess you now know what to expect as an accelerated nursing program candidate. While you won’t have all the correct answers before nursing school, this will help you start on the right foot.

You can also lookup the cost of ABSN programs.

Nursing school is rigorous, but you’ll perform excellently well with determination, commitment, and hard work.