About Accelerated Programs for BSN and MSN
Hollis Forester, RNC-NP
Many people decide after they have completed their education they really want to be a nurse. Several years ago, nursing schools started admitting these students, to “accelerated” programs. For those who have completed another course of study and have a degree in another major, these accelerated programs allow for completion of a nursing BSN in as little as eleven months. At first there were only a few of these programs, but they have grown in popularity and as of 2008, the number of BSN accelerated programs number 218, with over 20 new programs under development. Forty three states have BSN accelerated programs, including Puerto Rico and Washington DC.
Master’s degrees in nursing can also be completed with accelerated programs. Currently there are over 50 programs in the U.S. that offer an MSN accelerated program, with several new programs under development. You can complete this program in about three years. Master’s degrees in nursing can open the doors to highly paid administrative positions and to teaching appointments. One of the major reasons there is currently such difficulty for prospective students to get into nursing programs is that there is a severe lack of nursing instructors and these accelerated programs can offer the possibility of educating another generation of instructors so there are adequate numbers of nursing educators and we can take one more step toward alleviating the nursing shortage.
If you have a degree in another subject and would like to enter nursing, usually a GPA of 3.0 is acceptable. The nursing programs and future employers appreciate these accelerated students. The schools find that students that come to nursing with another degree are often very motivated, older and more mature than other students. They have also proven themselves as students. They know how to study, but more than that, they know how to really learn a subject. They are also eager and dedicated to learning the art and science of nursing. They bring to their education, and later to their jobs a wider world view, because of their previous education. Knowledge of philosophy, literature, business, or the physical sciences can expand your general knowledge base and make you a more empathetic nurse, one who is able to relate to patients on a different level than someone who has only concentrated in nursing.
The hospitals who employ these nurses report they often have stronger skills, and are often a “quick study.” They learn their jobs quickly and effectively.
If you have a degree in another major and are interested in nursing, consider these accelerated programs to help you complete your goal more quickly and to get you out to the nursing field where you can offer your patients empathy, quality nursing care and the benefit of your wide range of experience.