Schools Offering Accelerated Online Nursing Degree Programs

Popular Accelerated Online Nurse Schools

  • Purdue University Global - Certificates, Associate's, Bachelor's, & Master's Programs. Building on Purdue's mission to provide access to affordable, world-class education, Purdue University Global delivers a fully personalized online experience that's tailored to working adults, which helps nurses unlock new career opportunities while working around their job schedules.

  • Walden University - Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral Degrees. Specializing in post-graduate learning, Walden offers a variety of Master's level education programs.

  • Grand Canyon University - Bachelor's, Master's Degrees. Grand Canyon is known as being one of the most popular Christian-based colleges. In addition to offering campus based educational opportunities they also offer an array of online education opportunities.

There is a high demand for qualified nurses in the United States and a definite shortage of nurses to fill this need. In order to cut down the amount of time it takes to train nurses and send them out into the workforce, many nursing schools have developed accelerated training programs for candidates that already have achieved a non-nursing Bachelor's Degree. There are some important factors to consider to ensure that an accelerated nursing school program is right for the student.

The Basics of an Accelerated Nursing School Program

An accelerated Nursing School Program is designed for the student who has already achieved a Bachelor's Degree in some field besides nursing, but who is now considering a nursing career. These programs will allow a student the opportunity to qualify as a Registered Nurse (RN) with a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) in anywhere from 11 to 18 months. It is possible to obtain a Master's Degree in nursing in about three years.

As of 2009, nearly 250 schools offered accelerated Bachelor's programs and more than 60 schools offered accelerated Master's programs. With the high demand for trained nurses continuing to increase, there is little doubt that more accelerated nursing schools will be added to these numbers as time goes by.

The goal of these accelerated programs is to confer a four year nursing degree, the Bachelor's of Science in Nursing, in just 11 to 18 months instead of the usual four years. If a student wanted to continue to a Master's Degree in Nursing, that would take about three years. This is possible since credit is given for courses taken to obtain the previous Bachelor's Degree, allowing the student to focus specifically on nursing courses during the accelerated program.

What to Expect From an Accelerated Nursing School

Due to the accelerated nature of the program, entrance requirements to these nursing schools are high. Students must have maintained a 3.0 grade point average or higher during their previous schooling. There is also a rigorous prescreening process. Staff and faculty at an accelerated nursing school want to set students up for success, so they do their best to screen out those candidates who won't be able to keep up. Also, the heavy class load means that a working student will not be able to enter the program.

However, since this program is designed for students trying to obtain their second degree, candidates for the program tend to be older and highly motivated. This means that they are more focused and demanding than the typical first year college student. They not only handle a more challenging classroom environment better, they require it. The faculty of an accelerated nursing school program will usually run classes designed to challenge such high achievers. Additionally, these students are anxious to begin the clinical phase of their training and tend to benefit highly from it.

One area of concern for the older student entering such an accelerated nursing program can be current family responsibilities. The high demands of this type of program means that the student will not be able to work, so financial issues like paying bills or paying for health insurance may present a problem. However, the much shorter time frame involved means that the student will graduate and get into the workforce that much more quickly, so that may help to alleviate some of these concerns.

Additionally, students from accelerated nursing school programs tend to be in high demand. Employers have experienced that these graduates are more mature and better focused, that they adapt quickly to the demands of the workplace and that they have a high level of skill and knowledge.

The Benefits of an Accelerated Nursing School Program

There are many benefits to an accelerated nursing school program for the right candidate. With the right motivation and drive to succeed, a student can cut three years off the time needed to achieve a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing. Since credit is given for previously taken classes, this can also mean a reduction in costs as well as time. Also, being in the program with other highly motivated individuals and faculty members can translate into a much more stimulating and beneficial experience and a nursing education of significantly higher quality.

These benefits should be weighed against some of the possible drawbacks. This is an accelerated course which can sometimes mean more stress. Also, may be financial challenges since the student will not be able to hold a job during the program. However, an accelerated nursing school program can be an excellent option for a student with the right set of circumstances.