Accelerated Programs Offer a Fast Track to Nursing


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If you are reading this and you are considering a career in nursing, an accelerated or fast track nursing program may be the answer for you, especially if you already have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a non-nursing discipline. An accelerated nursing program allows you obtain your BSN in as little as a year or your MSN in as little as three years. How can this be accomplished?

Accelerated nursing programs utilize the coursework you have already taken such as biology, anatomy, and the social sciences. In addition, accelerated nursing programs do not take breaks between semesters or courses, and usually require that you carry a heavier course load, while at the same time participating in an intense clinical training process. Due to the increased demands of the clinical training and heavy course load, programs require entering students to have at least a 3.0 GPA in order to ensure that the individual has a quality academic platform on which to build. Due to the intense level of coursework and the demanding hours of clinical practice, students entering these programs are advised to not work while completing the program requirements.

Nurses who enter the workforce after completing an accelerated BSN or MSN program are in great demand by medical facilities. Employers appreciate the nurses from these programs because they come to them with clinical knowledge as well as the experience they bring from their previous field. Often times, the second career nurse moves quickly into nurse management due to their prior work experience and extensive educational background. Nurses who complete the accelerated or fast track MSN program are also commonly recruited by educational institutions and medical training programs as new faculty members due to their educational backgrounds.

Accelerated or fast track programs are not only for those who have a prior non-nursing degree. There are also programs that allow you to enter into an accelerated BSN program with no prior college coursework and earn your degree in approximately two to three years. As with all other programs of this type, there are no breaks between semesters or courses. The accelerated program requires the same amount of clinical practice hours as the traditional four year BSN program.

The nursing shortage in our country continues to increase each year due to the number of retiring nurses and the increase in elderly patients requiring medical care as the Baby Boomers age. A second degree in nursing through an accelerated or fast track nursing program is one way to fill the ever increasing demand for highly skilled nurses. In addition, it provides those who wish to enter the field of nursing with the option of beginning their new career much more quickly than possible through traditional routes.

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