How Long Is an Accelerated BSN Program or a BSN Express Program?

An accelerated BSN program can help someone with a degree who'd like to switch to being a nurse learn the necessary skills. The length of time it takes to complete this degree will depend on your educational background and professional experience; read on to learn more. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Accelerated BSN Program Overview

Designed for students who already have a bachelor's degree in another field, an accelerated BSN program - sometimes called a 'BSN Express' program - usually takes 12-18 months to complete. These programs can run longer, depending on the school or university you attend and whether you are going full- or part-time. In order to qualify for acceptance, most programs require a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field. You may also be required to have a 3.0 grade point average upon entering the program, though some schools may accept a 2.5. The accelerated BSN program gives you credit for completing liberal arts requirements from your previous bachelor's degree and focuses on providing you with a science background as well as practical skills in nursing. Some schools may also allow students to take classes toward a Master of Nursing (MSN) degree while pursuing their BSN.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Online Availability Partially available online, though clinical rotations must be completed on location
Continuing Education Nurses can seek CE certificates in speciality areas like gerontology, ambulatory care, and pediatrics
Possible Careers Critical care nurses, rehabilitation nurses, cardiovascular nurses, clinical nurse specialists
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 16% growth (for registered nurses)

Prerequisites for Entry

If you majored in a non-nursing-related subject in college, it's possible you may lack the undergraduate experience in the natural sciences and human health necessary for a nursing career. Most accelerated BSN programs are fast-paced and feature challenging subjects that you must learn quickly. Thus, in order to qualify for entry into most accelerated BSN programs, you must complete a number of prerequisite courses in the sciences and mathematics, often including the following:

  • Anatomy
  • Physiology
  • Human growth and development
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology

Typical coursework

If you haven't completed the above prerequisites in your previous bachelor's degree program, you'll need to spend additional time completing classes prior to enrolling in an accelerated BSN program. After your prerequisites are met, you'll move on to courses that emphasize subjects such as health assessment and pathophysiology, management of pharmacotherapy, care management and medical ethics. Accelerated BSN programs may have different tracks available to students, such as research, specific languages or genetics.

You'll also be required to participate in several practicum or clinical experiences to gain experience working directly with patients. These practicum experiences are usually for a semester or longer and include a rotation in several different areas of nursing. By rotating through a number of areas, such as gerontology, pediatrics or long-term patient care, you'll gain exposure to several fields of possible specialization within nursing.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Grand Canyon University

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  • Regent University

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  • Keiser University

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  • Southern New Hampshire University

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