What are Accelerated Nursing Programs?

Accelerated nursing programs have emerged in response to the shortage of licensed nurses in the country.

Nursing is one of the most vital and fastest growing fields in the health care industry, not just in the U.S. but in the world. Nurses perform a variety of important duties at hospitals, clinics and other health care facilities, such as taking care of patients; providing assistance to doctors in check-ups, medical procedures and surgeries; as well as maintaining paperwork and carrying out various administrative tasks.

Most nursing programs require full time education; conventional Baccalaureate nursing degrees take up to four years to complete while Master’s degrees take another two to three years. There has always been a shortage of licensed nurses, and accelerated nursing programs emerged to respond to this demand.

What are accelerated nursing programs?

Over the past few years, several schools for nursing have begun offering accelerated nursing programs, also known as graduate-entry accelerated courses or second degree nursing programs, in order to meet the growing demand for qualified nursing professionals. These programs include associate, bachelors and masters in nursing degrees, as well as several certifications, and are aimed at providing those who already have some previous education or work experience, even in a non-nursing industry, with a quick entry to a nursing career. The fast track nursing programs are designed to equip aspiring nurses with the required knowledge and skills that will allow them to assess and manage the needs of the sick and injured.

Accelerated nursing programs incorporate bridging courses with core content so that students can acquire the necessary nursing training within a shorter period compared to traditional nursing programs. Since these classes are condensed, they can be more intense with more workload than usual.

Some of the subjects include health assessment, pathology, physiology, pharmacology, toxicology and medical record keeping and insurance, among others.

What are the entry requirements?

Nursing schools take the applicant’s previous education or work experience and aim to build on these, instead of having them start over. The nursing requirements for fast track programs depend on the program. Generally, most colleges require applicants to possess a high school diploma, while those applying for a Master’s program must hold bachelor’s degrees in nursing or a related field.

What are the benefits of fast track nursing programs?

  • Time – Many of these accelerated nursing programs can be completed in 12 to 18 months. Those who do not have the luxury of time and are eager to launch their nursing careers will see this as a huge advantage over conventional nursing programs which demand a minimum of 24 months to complete.
  • Cost – The precise cost varies depending on the nursing program the student chooses; however, fast track nursing programs, in general, offer substantially reduced costs for tuition and fees.
  • Requirements – The majority of these accelerated programs have requirements that are easier to meet than high-level conventional nursing programs.