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Online Accelerated BSN Programs may be available in your area. Check current course listings.

About Accelerated BSN Programs

The bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree is a preferred route for entering the nursing profession because of all the opportunities it presents to those who hold the qualification. It is possible to become a nurse without a four-year degree; however, those who want to take on a leadership role in a nursing department at a hospital or elsewhere will invariably need a BSN degree. Of course, many people enter nursing as a second career. Thus, the thought of going through another four-year program is not inviting for those who are coming to the nursing field later in life or who have already earned a degree in another subject. Fortunately, accelerated BSN programs offer such individuals the ability to earn the BSN degree in less than four years.


An accelerated BSN is designed for those who already hold a bachelors degree in another subject. Because all of the general studies courses will have been fulfilled in their earlier degree, students can skip these classes in the accelerated BSN. This means that the only classes needed in the accelerated BSN program are those that count specifically toward the nursing field. In turn, the time required for completion is much shorter. In fact, students in accelerated BSN programs can finish their degree in as few as 16 months, depending on the program that is chosen.

It should be noted that even those with a four-year degree in another subject might need to take some prerequisite courses before they enter the accelerated BSN. These classes will not contribute towards the actual credit requirements for the accelerated BSN, but they are still necessary to enroll in the program. Typically, these courses are in the sciences and involve topics such as human biology and basic chemistry. Those who have had these courses as part of their undergraduate degree may not need to take them again. Students should consult with the accelerated BSN program advisor on their campus for specific information on these requirements.

Due to their structure, most accelerated BSN programs do not allow students to work in addition to going to school. The course load is quite heavy because that is the only way to get through the program in two years or less. Furthermore, there will be many intern hours required at hospitals in other settings. This makes it impossible, therefore, for students enrolled in the accelerated BSN to work full time or even part time and maintain their studies.

Students in accelerated BSN programs, therefore, will basically give two years or less to their studies. Yet such a sacrifice is worth it, as the day of graduation quickly approaches and students see the benefit of the short-term intensive study in preparing them for a rewarding career in nursing. The compressed nature of these programs is ideal for those who want to get their BSN degree quickly, and the intensive study helps many people equip themselves thoroughly for a rewarding career in the nursing profession. Potential nursing students should consider accelerated BSN programs carefully, as they may be the very best choice for completing their studies.

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New graduates celebrate with their families at their nursing commencement ceremony.