The accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a program that strives to address the ongoing nursing shortage by providing potential nursing students a shorter route to earning their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Students who opt for this type of nursing degree must have already earned a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing. Having this degree enables students to complete the nursing coursework required for the second degree in 12 to 24 months, which is far shorter than the four years that a Bachelor of Science in Nursing takes traditional nursing students. A disadvantage that some liberal arts majors may find is that they may be required to take a number of science prerequisites before they are officially allowed into the accelerated nursing program. Additionally, many accelerated programs are very competitive with their entry requirements, and some accelerated programs require the student to have a history of caring for others, or possess other demonstrated skill that proves they will work well with patients. Even with these additional restrictions, choosing this type of nursing program is attractive to many students who are searching for a new career field, particularly in the current economic climate.
How To Find The Top Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs
When looking for the best accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees or the best online accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs, one very important factor for the potential student to keep in mind is the issue of flexibility. Due to the shortened amount of time that students have to learn the knowledge necessary to earn their nursing degree, many accelerated nursing programs have very rigid course and clinical schedules. For students with family and work obligations, this can make earning a second degree very difficult. That is why, when ranking the top accelerated programs, Kent State University’s College of Nursing ranks so high. Kent State offers students the option to attend daytime classes or night and weekend classes. Additionally, they offer University Hospital Cohort that allows students to take classes on Friday and Sunday, with hospital clinical rotations taking place on two other days of the week.
As is the case with Kent State’s nursing program and the University of Michigan School of Nursing’s accelerated program, the best accelerated programs have access to a large hospital where nursing students can engage in hands-on learning. However, students can gain an excellent nursing education through accelerated programs at smaller colleges and universities as well, as long as the programs are accredited by the State Board of Nursing.
Careers and Salaries For Individuals With An Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a need for an estimated 580,000 new nurses by the year 2018. With that type of job opportunity, the accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing careers available to graduates are plentiful. Careers will be particularly numerous for nurses who specialize in cardiology or elderly medicine, as these are two of the fastest growing medical fields. Most accelerated nursing programs do not offer the option to specialize, but nurses can gain specialization through work experience or graduate degrees.
Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing salaries are the same as other nurses with a bachelor’s degree, and the range depends upon the region of residence and years of work experience in health care. Salaries generally range from $50,000 with less than one year of work experience to $67,000 with 20 years of work experience. Greater salary opportunities are available for graduates of accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs who earn graduate degrees or hold management positions.