Best Online Accelerated BSN Programs

Did you earn your bachelor’s degree in a completely different field only to realize that nursing is where your true passion lies? Applying for an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is a smart, business-savvy decision.

Online programs make it even easier to pursue this full-time educational path, without the added stress of commuting. Read on to learn more about the best accelerated BSN online programs!

What is an Accelerated BSN Program?

Accelerated BSN—sometimes referred to as ABSN—programs allow those non-nursing bachelor’s degrees to more quickly earn the qualifications of a four-year BSN program but on a compressed timeline. Upon graduation you will be eligible to sit for the RN licensure exam (NCLEX-RN).

Rather than starting over with an all-new, four-year degree, these programs are designed to bridge the gap between your current level of education and where you need to be to take the next step as a nurse. This usually includes more responsibility, new and more advanced job possibilities, and increased opportunities for career advancement.

Nurses with BSN degrees may also choose to attend graduate nursing school, and generally tend to earn better wages and work in higher-ranking positions than associate degree prepared RNs.

What Does an Accelerated BSN Program Entail?

Each school will create its own unique curriculum, but most ABSN programs follow a similar model to ensure the requisite information is being taught. This type of nursing program will typically focus on the following core subjects:

  • Introduction to Nursing
  • Pharmacology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Mental Health
  • Nursing Research 
  • Med-Surg (Medical-Surgical) Nursing
  • Pediatrics 
  • Community Health
  • Women’s health—focusing on caring for women before during and after pregnancy

What Are the Prerequisites for an ABSN Program?

Every ABSN program, just like every university or college, will set its own application requirements and standards for admission. Generally speaking, students should expect to meet a minimum GPA requirements and provide the following materials with their application:

  • Higher education transcripts
  • Completion of prerequisite courses (typically introductory science classes, such as chemistry, microbiology, anatomy, and physiology)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • A written statement outlining your career goals

Despite any differences in application requirements, the ideal candidates for these programs usually share many key characteristics. They’re dedicated, passionate students who want to join or advance in the medical field as soon as possible.

After obtaining their BSN degree, graduates will have to pass the NCLEX-RN to receive licensure from a state to practice. From there, they’ll be able to pursue nursing jobs, specializations and graduate-level programs (depending on their specific career goals).

The Best Online Accelerated Nursing Programs

The basics are consistent across most ABSN programs—nursing is, after all, a highly standardized field—but there are plenty of individual differences within programs and schools. It’s time to weigh your options and find an ABSN degree that will actually work for you.

We’ve compiled four of the best distance accelerated BSN programs currently available in 2021, along with their unique advantages and application requirements.

Baylor logo

Baylor University

Baylor is an esteemed, private university located in Waco, Texas. Their Louise Herrington School of Nursing is ranked as the #1 nursing school in Texas, and #25 for the United States’ Most Innovative Schools. This accelerated nursing program is flexible, remote and perfect for students looking to begin their nursing careers.

Prerequisites for this nursing degree program are as follows:

  • Microbiology
  • Anatomy and Physiology I & II
  • Chemistry
  • English Composition I & II
  • English Literature
  • Federal Government
  • Bible-Based Religion
  • World Religion
  • History
  • Nutrition
  • Statistics
  • Intro to Psychology & Developmental Psychology
  • Intro to Sociology

This program didn’t earn such esteemed rankings without offering a few highly-valuable advantages. Just to name a few, here are some of the benefits of this online ABSN program:

  • Assistance with clinical placement – Baylor’s faculty assists online students in finding appropriate healthcare facilities to fulfill their required clinical hours. Not only are these hours necessary for credit completion, but they also ensure graduates of the program are prepared for a career outside of nursing school.
  • Practical skills – Baylor students emerge with more than just technical knowledge of the medical field. They learn the ins and outs of the job through practical skill development in addition to textbook studying. You’d cover such topics as professional nursing, fulfilling patient needs, clinical care for all life stages and healthcare issues and policies.
  • Experienced faculty – Classes are taught by some of Baylor’s finest faculty, including nationally recognized leaders in the medical field.

Marymount logo

Marymount University

Located in Arlington, Virginia, Marymount University is a private institution that U.S. News ranks as #31 for Regional Universities South. Requirements for this program include a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, and successful completion of the following prerequisite courses:

  • Anatomy and Physiology I & II
  • Chemistry
  • Developmental Psychology 
  • Microbiology with Lab
  • Nutrition
  • Sociology
  • Statistics

If you meet the admission requirements, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of this ABSN program, including:

  • NCLEX preparation – Over the past 5 years, Marymount graduates consistently pass the NCLEX at a high rate of 90%. Students at Marymount are thoroughly prepared for their licensing exam, and learn a well-rounded curriculum that covers all elements of nursing.
  • Mentorship and support – Every student is appointed their own Success Advisor during their time at Marymount. Advisors help students choose the right classes, provide mentorship within the department and keep them on track for efficient program completion.
  • Flexible GPA requirements – While most ABSN programs have a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0, Marymount allows admission with a 2.8 or above. This flexibility is proof that Marymount is concerned with your aptitude and passion for nursing, rather than focusing on your performance in a previous major.

Wilkes logo

Wilkes University

Wilkes University is a privately owned college in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Students looking to earn their BSN in a short amount of time can enroll in Wilkes’ online ABSN program, so long as they meet the school’s admission requirements, which include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 GPA
  • A written statement of nursing career goals
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Five pre-requisite courses 

Advantages of this program include:

  • An especially accelerated program – Students of Wilkes University’s online ABSN program will be prepared for a career in nursing within a single year, making it one of the fastest BSN programs in the country.
  • Competitive tuition – Your total cost of tuition at Wilkes University will fall between $56,000 and $60,000, a competitive rate for a private university with such a rigorous program.
  • Excellent NCLEX pass rates – Wilkes University consistently garners above-average passing rates for graduates of their ABSN program. The online coursework prepares you well by covering a large number of topics, including foundations of nursing, evidence-based care, leadership skills, and cultural and economic diversity among patients.
  • Guaranteed clinical placement – Members of Wilkes’ Placement Team are trained to help all students find clinical placement sites within their community, ensuring graduation requirements are met and enough practice is done to prepare students for a career in healthcare.

Elmhurst logo

Elmhurst University

Elmhurst University is a private liberal arts college located in the suburb of Elmhurst, Illinois. The school not only offers in-person classes, but also a distance ABSN program. Requirements for this program include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • A minimum 2.8 GPA
  • 25 credit hours in the following prerequisite courses:
    • Anatomy and Physiology I & II
    • Microbiology with Lab
    • Statistics
    • Chemistry with Lab
    • Lifespan Psychology
    • Abnormal Psychology

Just a few advantages of this unique program include:

  • Award winning – The distance ABSN program at Elmhurst is the only one of its kind in Illinois, and U.S. News ranks it the #3 Most Innovative School in the Midwest and the #7 Best Undergraduate Teaching in the Midwest. The program is also accredited by the CCNE.
  • Full time and fast paced – This full time program can be completed in as little as 16 months. Elmhurst also accepts a large variety of credits from other programs, allowing graduates to complete their core requirements with greater ease.
  • Support – Every student will have full access to a staff of advisors. Your advisor will be there to help every step of the process, from application to graduation.

FAQ About Accelerated BSN Programs

Making the right career choice can be difficult if you don’t have all the necessary information. Read up on some of the most common queries and concerns to find an ABSN program that works for you—or to decide if an ABSN degree is right for you at all.

Can you really earn a nursing degree online?

For the most part, the answer is yes! Many universities offer their ABSN coursework 100% online. Beyond coursework, however, all ABSN programs require on-campus residency to fulfill clinical hours and prepare for a career in nursing. 

How long is an accelerated BSN program?

Every program is different, but the purpose of this path is to provide a quicker degree option. To that end, ABSN programs usually take between 11 and 18 months to complete.

What jobs require a BSN degree?

Compared to an associates degree in nursing, a BSN provides a wider range of job opportunities in the nursing field. This is because BSN programs include coursework in leadership, population health, and evidence-based practice. Additionally, BSN educated nurses are more likely to be promoted within healthcare organizations, based on the skills taught in these advanced programs.

How much do BSN nurses make?

BSN nurses will typically earn higher starting salaries than those with associate’s degrees. The average salary for a BSN-educated nurse is about $86,000 per year, which is well above the national average for all RN nurses, $67,000 per year.

Earn Your Accelerated BSN From a Distance

Remote education is becoming increasingly popular, particularly when it comes to online ABSN programs.

Many universities are striving to make higher education more accessible. Non-nursing bachelor’s graduates can earn an esteemed BSN degree at a number of accredited universities, oftentimes within a single year. It really is easier than ever to begin a career in nursing, without having to upend your life to do it.

The future is waiting—advance your education today!
 

Sources:

Nurse.org. Guide to Accelerated BSN (ABSN) Programs 2021. https://nurse.org/articles/accelerated-bsn-programs-fast-track-into-an-rn-car/ 

Baylor.edu. Accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing.  https://onlinenursing.baylor.edu/programs/accelerated-bsn-online

Marymount.edu. Online Accelerated BSN Program. https://online.marymount.edu/programs/online-accelerated-bsn-program

Online Nursing Degrees. Accelerated BSN Programs. https://onlinenursingdegrees.wilkes.edu/programs/accelerated-bsn-programs

Elmhurst. Accelerated BSN Nursing Programs. https://onlinedegrees.elmhurst.edu/programs/accelerated-bsn-online-v3?mrasn=712754.885351.zbH2g8YP

AACN Nursing. Accelerated Baccalaureate Programs. https://www.aacnnursing.org/Nursing-Education-Programs/Accelerated-Programs 

PayScale. Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree. https://www.payscale.com/research/US/Degree=Bachelor_of_Science_in_Nursing_(BSN)/Salary