Accelerated Nursing Programs – Get Your Nursing Degree Faster


If you already have a bachelor’s degree or a master’s degree that’s not a nursing degree and you want to get into a nursing career, accelerated nursing programs are probably the best bet for you. Using the credits from your already existing degrees, you will be able to go straight into a BSN (Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing) or an MSN (Master’s Degree in Nursing) or even become a Registered Nurse without having to start right at the bottom which would take much longer.

Accelerated nursing programs for a BSN will last between 11 and 18 months, while an MSN will usually take you 3 years. The programs are designed to build on existing education, although non-nursing. They will put together everything that one needs to become an RN, BSN or MSN but starting at a rather advanced level. The assumption is that at your current level of education, you will be able to cope with getting in at a higher level.

Things to consider before you enrol

There are some pros and cons to accelerated nursing programs.

Where to find Accelerated Nursing Programs

Most local nursing schools will have a good accelerated nursing program on offer. Remember that they are not the same accelerated nursing degrees, which take longer, start at basic level and require you to have some hands-on time at a health facility.

You can also do an online search for accelerated nursing programs. Online searches for anything are bound to bring mixed results – the good and the bad, and it’s important that you choose carefully. If you choose a school online, make sure that it has a strong reputation for this kind of program.

To increase your chances of getting into an accelerated nursing program, you need a strong GPA, usually 3.0 or higher. You should also try and get as many educational and work references as you can; these programs are considered to be for the more mature people and the more of these that you produce, the easier it is to convince a school to admit you. As mush as possible, let the references point to your passion and motivation for your interest in the program.

You also need to verify what exactly each school offers, because there are some basic minimums: they must offer the basics of health assessment, pharmacology, anatomy, biology and physiology. Check how they do their practical courses as well – do they refer you to a health facility or do you have to make the search for yourself? And what kind of supervision do they offer during this part of your course? You want to get the best training possible and this will only happen if you go to a good health facility and are supervised well.

If you do all this, and you do it right, there is a lot that you can do after your course. There is a high demand for all kinds of specialized nurses, so make sure that as you choose your specialization, you think about this too. Choose an area where you are most comfortable and happy working – you are coming from a non-nursing background and the challenges can be hard to cope with initially.

Accelerated nursing programs are a great way to change careers even if that’s not where you started off at first. They are a great way to explore what you are good at too and expand your scope of specialization.