Pros and Cons of Accelerated Nursing School Programs

By: JoannaB1


Accelerated learning programs are increasingly gaining in popularity. In recent years, a number of new programs within a wider range of professions have become available to those looking to further their education. Among these newer programs is the ability to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. While the idea of obtaining a nursing degree quickly is very attractive, an accelerated program may not be for everyone. Below, some of the advantages and disadvantages associated with enrolling in an accelerated nursing school program are discussed.

Advantages

One of the greatest advantages of an accelerated nursing degree program is the time factor. Students anxious to start their professional lives sooner rather than later, often find that concentrated courses fit well with their career plans. Rather than having to plan on four years of schooling, the coursework can be completed anywhere between one to two years.

There are also options when it comes to class scheduling and settling on the right learning environment. Students can select programs that occur in a traditional classroom setting, take place online, or participate in a combination of the two. Students who need to work while pursuing a degree often find that the online learning works best for them. Many fully accredited schools offer online studies in nursing, some without any minimum requirement of hours spent on the actual campus.

While some may wonder if an accelerated nursing school program thoroughly covers all of the basics, the coursework is just as demanding and comprehensive as that associated with a traditional four-year program. In fact, high quality accelerated nursing programs are specifically structured to meet the standards imposed by most licensing organizations. Students who successfully complete accelerated studies are just as likely to secure a license with the same ease as a student who went through a four-year course of study.

For many students, cost is one of the biggest factors that come up when considering an accelerated nursing school program. While some programs appear to be more expensive than the traditional route, a closer look at the overall expense usually reveals a different story. When the actual cost between the accelerated program and a traditional four-year program are compared, there is often very little difference and, sometimes, none at all. What is different between the two are the time saved and the ability to begin a nursing career without having to go through four years of studying.

Disadvantages

There is no doubt that an accelerated nursing school program is the ideal option for many students. However, it is not the right choice for everyone. Before making a decision, it is important to consider some potential drawbacks and decide if they apply to your situation.

The shorter time frame for completing the coursework can be grueling. Even when the program includes flexible scheduling for attending lectures, labwork, and taking exams, there is often very little time left for anything else. For those who have to work while earning the degree, a nursing program of this type can be physically and mentally demanding. In many cases, it would be better to pursue the degree part time by taking classes a few nights each week with some weekend course work. While this course of action might take longer to complete the coursework and earn the degree, there is a much less chance of experiencing a burnout while you work toward your goal.

Many accelerated nursing programs require that the candidate already hold a degree of some type. This makes it much easier to focus on core courses directly related to the subject matter. For this reason, anyone who does not already hold a degree, or have at least basic credits that will transfer and satisfy the general education requirements of the sponsor school, will not be eligible. Before making the decision to go with an accelerated nursing degree program, make sure you meet all the criteria required before you actually apply. Doing so will save you both time and money.

One other potential drawback to the accelerated nursing school program is that there is not often time to work as a patient tech or devote to a full externship. While some feel that this is not a problem, others find that the time devoted to this type of on the job experience makes the transition from the classroom to working world as a nurse a little easier.

There are many pros and cons associated with an accelerated nursing program. By carefully taking both the advantages and the disadvantages into full consideration, you can make an informed decision about whether an accelerated nursing program is the right choice for you.

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Joanna Brown is a freelance writer who writes about the nursing industry and products involved in nursing such as nursing uniforms .

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