The Wide Array of Accelerated Nursing Programs
When it comes to the severe shortage of qualified nurses, several different solutions are being attempted. Accelerated nursing programs are one way to allow professionals to begin their nursing career more quickly. Coursework is typically condensed or provided in a shorter format. Although it is not for every student, an accelerated format can shorten the amount of time needed before a nurse can graduate.
There are currently 3 main formats for accelerated nursing programs. These formats include:
- Accelerated master’s degree in nursing (MSN)
- Accelerated bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN) with another bachelor’s degree
- Accelerated master’s degree in nursing with another bachelor’s degree
An accelerated MSN is typically taken on a full-time basis by the student. Most nursing students will be able to complete all of the coursework in 3 to 4 years. Upon their graduation, students will receive both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing.
For professionals who have at least a bachelor’s degree in another field, an accelerated BSN course lasts about 12 to 18 months.
Professionals with a bachelor’s degree or higher degree can enroll in an accelerated master’s degree program catering to professionals with previous educational experience. These alternative accelerated master’s degree programs typically can be finished in roughly 2 years.
Although accelerated MSN programs for students with no previous educational experience are the most popular, retraining programs for students with degrees in other fields are rapidly increasing. Health care is a relatively stable occupational field with steady growth. Many students choose to switch to it after having a difficult time finding jobs in their original career.
Accelerated coursework is best suited to students who can attend college full-time. Part-time students should choose a traditional program where the pressure to move through content will not be as high. Students who need to ask a lot of questions and receive individualized attention from the professor should also choose a traditional course. Students will need a considerable amount of time outside of the classroom to study as well.
Because the classroom sections need to cover a lot of material in each session, students must be able to take notes quickly and efficiently. They’ll need to keep their notes for the entire duration of the program. At the end of the course, notes will be helpful in studying for the nursing license examination.
Students who learn best visually or from hands-on experience should be advised that they may need to schedule an internship or other training period on their own. Accelerated programs typically shift some of the responsibility for internships onto the student. This may allow a student to pick an internship that is more suited to their interests.
Accelerated nursing programs are not a good educational fit for every prospective nurse. The condensed format and less hands-on training can make it difficult for students who don’t learn quickly. However for students who can learn swiftly, an accelerated nursing course will have them graduating and in a nurse’s job much faster than students in a traditional program.