Online ABSN Features

Get Started in Nursing Sooner 

Online Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) programs are structured specifically for people who have already completed a bachelor’s degree in a separate field. By leveraging that previous knowledge, an ABSN program can be completed in anywhere from 12 to 18 months. That’s less than half the time of a traditional BSN program and is one of the defining features of an ABSN.. 

Benefit from Online Coursework and Robust Student Support 

A significant advantage of online ABSN programs is the online delivery model. While there may be some required login times, all coursework is completed 100% online, which allows for greater flexibility for students with families or other responsibilities. Do note, however, that these programs consist of a full-time plan of study and cannot be completed at your own pace. 

In-person clinical training, which is a key component of the program, can be arranged to occur close to the student’s place of residence. The only other in-person component of an online ABSN program is the on-campus residency/skills assessment, which typically occurs just once or twice throughout the program. 

Most online ABSN programs offer robust support options to help students succeed, including a dedicated student success advisor and assistance with finding a suitable clinical placement site and preceptor. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Online ABSN Programs

An online accelerated BSN program could be the best choice for you if you: 

  • Have a bachelor’s degree in another field 
  • Have work experience and are looking to change careers 
  • Want to take advantage of your previous prerequisite coursework to shorten the time to completion for earning your BSN 

Although the online degree format requires in-person clinical training and at least one skills residency on campus, the coursework can be completely 100% online. This remote coursework option eliminates the time and cost it takes to get to class and may be particularly appealing for students who have families or other responsibilities. As well, the clinical training component of an online BSN program can be arranged to occur near the student’s home, whereas in a traditional model, it occurs near the school 

Both programs are high-intensity, full-time educational experiences that include a clinical component. The main difference is the delivery method (online coursework versus in-person coursework). Many learners prefer online coursework to in-person coursework because study periods are more flexible. 

Although coursework is completed online, you will have to come to the campus for at least one skills assessment and training period, known as an on-campus residency. The length of the on-campus residency varies and the number of visits could be 1-3 in total depending on the specific program. Your hands-on training will continue with a clinical placement near your home, under the guidance of a preceptor that will be vetted and approved by the university program. This clinical placement experience will allow you to meet the clinical course objectives and achieve the competencies needed to be an entry level professional nurse. 

Moreover, students will also receive direction and evaluation from the university clinical faculty from afar. There will be frequent check-ins between the student and faculty, faculty and preceptor, and all three together to ensure competencies are being met. 

Applicants vary, but many ABSN students are from non-nursing backgrounds looking to transition quickly to the field. Applicants must have a prior bachelor's degree in any discipline and complete prerequisite coursework prior to starting the program.  ABSN students may be looking to change careers after working for years in another industry, or they could be recent college graduates who want a fast route into nursing. 

Applicants must have a full bachelor’s degree including specific prerequisite course credits to apply to an ABSN program. ABSN programs leverage prior college coursework to give students the quickest route to entry to the nursing field, despite having little to no field experience. 

Prerequisite requirements vary, but you should expect to complete most of them prior to applying and will need to have successfully completed all of the requirements prior to starting the program. A few common prerequisite courses include Anatomy and Physiology (1 & 2), Nutrition, Chemistry, Microbiology, Sociology, and Psychology. 

ABSN programs are of the same educational caliber as their traditional BSN counterparts, which is why they confer the same degree. The coursework is rigorous and relevant to today’s dynamic healthcare environment. 

Yes, several reputable universities offer ABSN programs online. All of the programs featured on this site are fully CCNE accredited and are offered by some of the nation’s top universities. Accredited programs are necessary to ensure that graduates are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. Online ABSN programs offer additional benefits including the facilitation of clinical placement, personalized support services for students, as well as on-campus residencies to maximize learning. 

With many online ABSN programs, graduates are ready to start a rewarding career in just about a year. You can become a nurse quickly and touch countless lives in your community. 

RNs with BSN degrees typically have more options than RNs with associate degrees and can work in a variety of healthcare environments, including: 

  • Hospitals 
  • Emergency rooms 
  • Surgical units 
  • Long-term or memory care 
  • Hospice 
  • Private practice 
  • Homecare services 
  • Schools  
  • Public health departments 
  • Clinical research units 


Take the first step toward your ABSN today.

To help you find your perfect fit, we’ve compiled a list of high-quality, accredited online ABSN programs. Simply enter your Zip code below to find which program(s) are available in your area.