Accelerated nursing programs are ways for you to get your nursing degrees and qualifications in as little time as possible. An RN qualification, for example, could take as much as four years to complete, but if you complete your RN qualification through an accelerated nursing program than you will find that you will only take about one year to complete the program. This is in response to the shortage of nursing professionals in the country and an attempt to convince more prospective students to get involved with the field of nursing. Below are the facts you need to know about accelerated nursing programs.
Requirements For Accelerated Nursing Programs
There are a number of requirements that you will have to meet if you want to take part in an accelerated nursing program. If you do not meet these requirements than you will probably have to become a nurse through normal channels. If you do meet these requirements then you will be able to get started as soon as possible. In some cases the requirements can be made up for and you may be able to fulfil some of the requirements fairly quickly before applying for an accelerated nursing degree program. Here are the requirements:
- The first requirement is that you hold a bachelors’ degree in absolutely any subject (apart from a few highly specialized subjects such as fine arts). In most cases it really doesn’t matter what your bachelor’s degree is in as long as you have one. However it must be noted that you must have achieved a satisfactory grade point average (typically 3.0 and higher) if you want to use your bachelor’s degree to get you into an accelerated nursing program. This is to encourage people who previously had no thought of becoming nurses to join this ever growing yet still under served profession.
- There are a number of prerequisite courses that you will have to have done if you want to take part in an accelerated nursing program. These courses include but are not exclusive to anatomy and physiology with lab, microbiology with lab, an introduction to chemistry with lab, basic statistics and two to three introductory social sciences, such as sociology, psychology or anthropology. As you are required to already hold an undergraduate degree you will most likely already have done some if not all of these courses. If you have not you will be given the opportunity to complete them.
- You also have to write a personal statement of intent when applying for these programs in which you say why you want to be a nurse and what your motivation is. These statements, or essays, tend to have different requirements depending on the program that you are applying for, so it is important that you tailor your statements to each of the programs you are interested in and not simply send out the same statement to all of the programs. You will have to observe all of the rules of good writing when creating these statements. Remember to be honest.
- You will also have to provide letters of recommendation that state that you have the right intent and motivation to become a nurse through an accelerated nursing program. Good people to turn to for letters of recommendation are former professors and supervisors that worked with you during your undergraduate years. Make sure that you turn to people who are likely to give you positive recommendations and who you got on well with and who knew you well. They may be required to answer questions about you so it is important that they actually know who you are.
- You may be required to write an entrance exam in order to confirm that you have the basic academic skills needed in order to complete an accelerated nursing program. There are several tests that may fall into this category but the most likely test that you may have to write is the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS). This entrance exam is usually comparatively easy, so if you have successfully completed an undergraduate qualification then you should have very little trouble with the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) at all. This is just a precaution on the part of the course conveners.
- Something that may make it easier for you to get into a program is volunteering at a hospital before you apply. This will show that you are prepared to work in the environment and also that you have tried it out and decided that you can handle the pace of work. It is seldom required that you have practical experience in order to apply for an accelerated nursing program, but it can certainly make it a whole lot easier for you to get into an accelerated nursing program. On top of that if you are serious about becoming a nurse you should want to work in these arenas anyway.
Steps To Follow To Get Into Accelerated Nursing Programs
There are a number of very easy things that you can do to get involved with an accelerated nursing program. These programs are great at making sure that you reach you educational goals in the world of nursing as quickly as you possibly can, which is why there are so many options available out there to help you achieve this. Accelerated nursing programs are not always easy to get into but if you follow the steps that are outlined below then you should have very little trouble getting into one.
The first thing that you have to do is to find out what accelerated nursing programs there are in your area so that you can begin making inquiries and perhaps even applying at the schools that you are the most interested in.
Once you have found the programs that are available in your area you need to start applying for the ones that you are interested in. At this point it is very important that you note that most accelerated nursing programs will not admit you if you have not yet completed an undergraduate program at a university of some kind. In this case you will have to complete a year or two of general studies that would have been covered in an undergraduate degree before you will be permitted to continue with the accelerated nursing program that you are interested in pursuing.
There may be some prerequisite courses that you will need before you can enter an accelerated nursing degree. These courses may include things like microbiology, organic chemistry, human anatomy and physiology, communications and psychology if there are prerequisite courses required for the accelerated nursing program that you are interested in becoming involved in then you will first have to complete the necessary courses. These include courses that you have not already completed as part of your undergraduate training. There are many general benefits to taking these courses so treat these prerequisites as a helpful opportunity to improve your future.
There are a number of documents that you will have to submit such as your application to become involved in the accelerated program and your transcripts of previous studies completed. You will also have to attend an interview for most programs, so be prepared for that eventuality. Once you have been accepted into the program a decision will be made about what work you have done for previous qualifications can count towards the accelerated qualification that you are now interested in pursuing. The more you have studies before attempting the accelerated program the more chance you have of getting credits.
Some Good Schools That Offer Accelerated Nursing Programs
Here are a few good schools that offer accelerated LPN programs as well as other accelerated nursing programs:
University of Washington
School of Nursing
1959 NE Pacific St.
Seattle, Washington 98195
2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
University of Pennsylvania
School of Nursing
Claire M. Fagin Hall
418 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
2200 North Squirrel Road
Rochester, MI 48309
Johns Hopkins University
School of Nursing
525 N. Wolfe St.
Baltimore, MD 21205
University of Missouri
1201 Rollins Street
Columbia, MO 65211
University of Michigan
School of Nursing
1220 Student Activities Building
515 E. Jefferson St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1316
University of Texas Health and Science Center Houston
Houston, TX 77030
University of North Carolina
School of Nursing
Carrington Hall, CB #7460
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7460
If you are lucky enough to live in areas near to these schools, then go for it! However there are many other good schools available out there that are not included on this list of accelerated nursing degree programs, so look around carefully.