Nursing is an ideal calling for hard-working, compassionate people with a desire to be in a growing field with opportunities around the country. As demand for qualified nurses continues to grow, few fields offer the job security that nursing does. Individuals who want to spend less time in classrooms and get to work sooner will find accelerated programs an ideal way to achieve a degree. Whether you choose to attend classes on a live or virtual campus, seek an undergraduate or graduate degree, finding the perfect accelerated nursing program has never been easier.
Students face a lot of choices when trying to choose an institution to pursue a degree. Committing to a program is a significant life choice and individuals need to feel secure in their selection. The following list of frequently asked questions provides a general starting point for students beginning their search of accelerated nursing programs:
A: Accelerated programs for either a BSN or a MSN can vary depending on enrollment type, but a typical accelerated BSN program can take about 11-18 months to complete, while an average MSN program takes about three years. Accelerated nursing programs cover vast amounts of material quickly to expedite graduation and may require more time spent studying and attending class than more traditional programs.
A: A BSN will most likely require various general studies courses as well as courses such as anatomy and physiology, microbiology, biology, and nutrition. Masters programs require a bachelors in related area. Acceptance to both BSN and MSN programs is also based on GPA.
A: Uniforms, typically scrubs and white shoes, as well as equipment costs for items such as stethoscopes. Additionally there may be costs for travel and parking at clinics for field work.
A: Required licensing varies from state to state, as well as particular area of specialization. General requirements for basic licenses include a background check, graduation from an accredited nursing program and is dependent upon earning a passing score on the NCLEX-RN or NCLEX-PN exams.
A: Demand for nurses of all disciplines is expected to continue rising. For example, the expected job growth for various specialties is strong, such as certified nursing assistants (11%), nurse anesthetists (31%), registered nurses (15%), nurse midwives (31%) and nurse practitioners (31%).
A: The median salary for nurses varies not only when considering field and level of education, but also state by state. Earning potential increases with advanced degrees and certifications. For example, a registered nurse earns an average of $33.65 an hour whereas a certified nursing assistant makes about $13.23 an hour.
In determining whether an accelerated nursing degree is the right fit, students comparing institutions will find that the coursework between programs is very similar in order to satisfy national accreditation requirements. The method each university or college employs to convey the information will be unique and students should take a peek at the course catalog for a full explanation of what to expect while attending. Practicums, internships or assistantships are generally required for graduation, as well as a capstone project or thesis. The following is a list of courses and descriptions that are integral to most accelerated nursing programs.
(Undergraduate) This course is a basic requirement for a BSN and is designed to give students the skills to facilitate effective communication in health care facilities. The course provides the basic framework for interpersonal communication and explores the factors that affect clinic dynamics.
(Undergraduate) Part lecture, part lab, the purpose of this course to help nursing students develop the skills to collect and communicate data in regard to health promotion and nursing interventions.
(Graduate) This course will educate students on the management of adult populations with chronic and acute health problems, from adolescence to old age. Students will be exposed to technologies used in the field to track patient care and will expose students to diagnostic procedures.
(Graduate) Coursework focuses on the development and dissemination of developments in nursing. The class focuses on the relationship between information and the practical application of research and generally accepted knowledge. Students will focus on developing a personal philosophy and foundation upon which to base their profession.
(Graduate) Students today must prepare themselves for the litany of modern technology utilized in the nursing field for everything to diagnose and treat patients to tracking a patient’s medical history.
(Graduate) Study the process and effects of aging with the goal of managing the health of geriatric clients. Students will discuss issues and factors affecting the elderly population, such as the effects of lifestyle and heredity on mobility and independence.
For many students, the hardest part of attending college is figuring out how to pay for it. Fortunately, there are a variety of ways and institutions through which paying for college can be made manageable. Federal aid can be sought through FAFSA, in the form of need based grants (undergraduate studies only) and student loans. Additionally, graduates who go to work for a non-profit may be eligible for loan forgiveness through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. Private scholarships are also available through individual institutions and private organizations. The following are several examples of scholarships future nursing students may utilize to make their education possible:
Nursing students looking to pay back their loans should check out the HRSA’s National Health Service Corps, Students to Service Loan Repayment Program. Upon graduating, students who go to work in a health field in high need areas around the country may qualify for tax-free, loan repayment assistance. Qualifying applicants work for two years, providing health care in either a part-time or full-time capacity.
Commissioned officers with the US military can apply for this full tuition scholarship for students looking to pursue a career as a health care professional in a variety of fields. In addition to free tuition, the scholarship covers education expenses and a monthly stipend.
The AMWA work to support women pursuing a degree in the healthcare field by offering four $500 scholarships a year. AMWA student membership is required for application.
The TFC Scholarship is available to both undergraduate and graduate students who are enrolled in an academic program designed to educate students in providing patient care.
The AAOHN offers a variety of scholarships designed to promote leadership, research and the next generation of working professionals. Scholarships include the Liberty Leader scholarships, the Annette Haag Leadership scholarships and more.
One eligible student a year will receive a $3,000 scholarship. It is decided based on submission of an essay as well as a student’s GPA, work experience and extracurricular activities.
Education assistance can go beyond tuition help. The following resources are free and are a benefit to students involved in any nursing field and at any level of study:
Students and professional nurses in the modern age have the benefit of being able to sharpen skills on the go with a variety of nursing apps that benefit folks “at any stage of their career.” Check out this list of the 25 best nursing apps that feature guides to anatomy and updates on medical news.
The LNRN website aids education by providing resources for self-guided study. The website focuses on assessment of skills and e-learning, and hosts a digital library.
Nurse.com is a website that offers online education, articles and blog posts to help working professionals and students stay informed and competitive as a working professional. They offer a variety of coursework and other media to stay informed of the latest news and techniques for gaining a professional edge.
A collection of online databases and resources to keep nursing students and working professionals informed in a variety of disciplines. They have e-books and anatomy guides for self-guided, informal study.
A website that focuses on guiding working professionals toward successful careers with tips on staying a competitive professional. They host a job database and articles relevant to being a working professional, with resources for recent graduates.
The Brilliant Nurse website helps graduates prepare for the NCLEX licensing exam through study skill guides, practice questions, skill assessment tests, and test prep courses.