Nursing is an exciting career path with immense opportunities. More and more people are diving into the nursing field each year, and there are a number of nursing programs that make becoming a RN practical for almost anyone. Among the various types of programs, accelerated nursing programs have gained in popularity in recent years. Accelerated programs usually take only one year to complete, assuming that you meet all of the prerequisites. Although accelerated programs help you gain your certification faster than other nursing programs, they are not always for everyone.
Many accelerated programs are designed for individuals who already have a bachelorís degree. It was designed to attract people from different academic backgrounds into the field of nursing. The idea was that since these individuals already have core competencies, such as English and math, they could excel in nursing which can combine all of their knowledge while helping people.
Accelerated programs are typically not a great idea for single parents and those who require a full time income. The one thing about accelerated nursing programs is that they have a lot of information that gets crammed into a short period of time. Most accelerated nursing professors recommend that you do not work while enrolled in an accelerated nursing program, and if you have to work they suggest limiting yourself to a small amount of part time hours per week. Individuals who have others to support or need a full time income may have a much more difficulty in completing the intense program.
Although it is not a requirement of all accelerated nursing programs, many of the accelerated BSN programs require you to be a RN first. Therefore, if you are not a nurse already, you would have to go to school for nursing and become a certified RN before you could enter an accelerated nursing program.
Many nurses coming from a two year RN program have a difficult time adjusting to the course intensity level. Since many students are accustomed to working full time and taking classes part time, it is an extreme adjustment in your life, requiring complete commitment and attention. If this is you, a traditional program may be better suited for your needs.
Some individuals need to study at their own pace, and are unable to pick up new information quickly. Accelerated nursing programs move extremely quickly and unfortunately it is easy to fall behind. However, some people are designed to learn better at a slower pace. Although there is nothing wrong with these individuals or their way of learning, they may find it difficult to keep up with the speed of the accelerated nursing program. Another type of learner who would benefit from taking a traditional nursing program over an accelerated program is one that just does not function well under stressful situations. For many people this type of environment is not conducive to learning. Being able to retain information learned under time constraints is a skilled many have not honed yet. Unfortunately, with the pace of an accelerated course you might not have time to acquire this type of skill.
It is safe to say that not everyone with a bachelorís degree was always a studious college student. If you were one of those students, it is important to realize that it is less possible to get away with during an accelerated nursing program. These programs are designed to build off the basic building blocks core competencies from your college education. If you do not remember any of your college courses, do not start an accelerated program until you have done a little refresher. Luckily some accelerated programs have prerequisite refresher courses.
Accelerated programs often have a much more difficult entrance process than traditional nursing programs. Many require a 3.0 GPA or better and usually request transcripts. Accelerated Nursing Programs sometimes require entrance interviews as well. Entrance interviewers look for candidates that will be able to handle the grueling work load while possessing the maturity to complete the program.
It has been mentioned numerous times that accelerated nursing programs are extremely fast paced programs. However, it is crucial to emphasize the importance of understanding how accelerated programs work, before you find yourself in over your head. Potential students that do not have a year to be focused on this program should opt for a traditional nursing program instead. If you are trying to care for a parent, plan a wedding, or take on any other endeavor that will demand a great deal of your time, it is a wiser move to take your time and succeed in a slower-paced, traditional program. Having time to study is critical in accelerated programs, and since so much material is being packed into a short amount of time, you should expect a lot of take home work and studying.
Accelerated nursing programs can often appear like the perfect solution to taking your nursing career to the next level. It is important to remember that there are some serious disadvantages to accelerated programs that should be considered. While accelerated programs may be quicker, they are not designed for everyone.
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Lisa Parker is a freelance writer who writes about the nursing industry and products involved in nursing such as scrubs.
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