Nursing has become one of the most sought-after professions in the United States and other parts.
Even the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Employment projects that nurses will be in huge demand between 2020 and 2029. Due to this, many people are considering nursing as a career option.
Furthermore, the shift in the economy contributes to the increased demand for nursing graduates.
An accelerated nursing program is the best choice for people who have completed a bachelor’s degree program and are looking to delve into nursing.
When started, here’s an overview of accelerated nursing programs, the pros, and the cons.
Accelerated Programs: The Transition to the Nursing Career
The accelerated program is gradually gaining momentum worldwide. Non-nurse graduates can easily transition to the nursing profession within a short timeframe.
Students can earn an ADN, ABSN, or MSN through this blended program. Depending on the program type and school, you can undertake an accelerated nursing program for 12-18 months.
Due to the fast-track process and extensive curriculum, students can’t work and study simultaneously. Accelerated nursing programs started due to the rising need for nurses in the country.
The growing demand for nursing personnel has caused many to embrace the fast-paced model.
When the First Accelerated Nursing Program Started
Accelerated nursing programs started in 1971, and it has been in existence since then, for over 50 years now. As of 1990, the USA offered 31 accelerated nursing programs.
This increased to 293 in 2013. Over the years, the number of programs has been more than the number of entry-level programs offered at 4-year nursing schools.
Types of Accelerated Nursing Programs
Accelerated Nursing Programs exist in 3 forms: Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN), and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN).
Of the three types, ABSN is the most popular program. Each program has its coursework and prerequisites. Let’s consider these programs.
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
Students offering this program gain foundational knowledge and clinical skills required for their nursing careers. ADN is usually for two years, though, in some universities, it ranges from 12 – 16 months.
Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and post-bachelor non-nursing students can apply for this program. If you’re looking to advance your nursing education or start a new nursing career, you might consider the ADN program.
Admission requirements for the program include high school chemistry, biology, algebra, transcripts, personal essay, SAT scores, and a high GPA of 2.7 or more.
ADN nurses can work in rehabilitation centers, labor and delivery sections in the hospital, and nursing care facilities.
Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN)
If you’re a non-nursing degree holder looking to switch to nursing, ABSN is your best bet. It’s also a good program option for ADN graduates aspiring to be RN or registered nurses aiming for career advancement.
ABSN graduates can proceed to pursue advanced degree programs like MSN.
Typically, ABSN takes 11- 18 months to complete. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field and undertake science prerequisites to be eligible for this program.
Other admission requirements include a statement of purpose, resume, and interview. ABSN graduates can work in emergency rooms, schools, and intensive care units.
Accelerated Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN)
Are you a registered nurse seeking career advancement? Earning an MSN degree boosts your employability and opens doors for professional opportunities. Compared to other careers, nurses with MSN degrees have higher job growth potential (approximately 45%). You can consider the program if you want to take up roles in the education sector, health policy, and advanced nursing fields. It takes 36 months to complete an MSN program. You can work as a midwife or clinical specialist with an MSN degree.
Why Accelerated Nursing Program May Be a Game changer
If you have doubts about enrolling in an accelerated nursing program, you should consider the pros and cons before making an informed decision.
Here’s why an accelerated nursing program may be appropriate for you.
Pros of Accelerated Nursing Program
The program is accelerated.
This is probably the most significant advantage of an accelerated nursing program. Compared to a traditional nursing program, an accelerated nursing program takes a short time to complete.
While this can be challenging, it’s worth it if you’re dedicated and ready to work.
You’re assured of a rewarding career.
In today’s competitive world, earning an accelerated nursing degree program is a plus. Besides taking home a massive sum of money as salary, nursing gives you a sense of purpose as you’re changing lives.
Gain hands-on experience
While the accelerated nursing program entails online coursework, you’ll need to experience real-life situations. Clinicals and simulation labs form a significant part of accelerated nursing programs.
Nursing students work in a hospital or healthcare facility where they are under the close supervision of preceptors. Through clinicals, you can explore different sections of nursing.
This will help you choose the section you want to specialize in in the nearest future.
Rising need for nurses in the economy
Presently, there’s an increasing need for registered nurses in the economy.
Undertaking an accelerated nursing program gives you a competitive edge, so you’re highly preferred to individuals with other nursing options.
Due to the demand for nurses, you won’t regret earning an accelerated nursing degree.
Cons of Accelerated Nursing Program
Accelerated nursing programs are expensive.
An accelerated nursing program can be pretty costly compared to other nursing options. Its fast-paced clinicals and coursework make the program expensive.
Hence, it’s advised to consider your budget before any decision-making. While a nursing career is rewarding, you should ascertain if it’s worth it.
Accelerated nursing programs are time-consuming and tedious
Due to the accelerated model, the program can be pretty challenging and overwhelming.
You may need to learn specialized nursing procedures, prepare for countless exams and do clinical rotations. This can take a toll on you mentally, emotionally, and physically.
This sums up all you need to know about accelerated nursing programs, from when they started to the different types, pros, and cons.