According to the US Bureau of Labour and Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 6% between 2022 and 2023, which is one of the fastest growth rates in all occupations. As the number of people above 65 increases in the US, there is an increasing demand for registered nurses.
A traditional BSN program comprises four years of education, followed by the nursing licensing exam. Many students deem this route exhaustive, with a further graduate nursing degree required to advance in their career. The best part about a career in nursing is that you can enter at any point during your education. You can become a nurse even after you have completed an undergraduate degree in another discipline, like public health or nutritional sciences.
If you’re an undergraduate of another discipline but passionate about nursing, accelerated nursing programs are now offered in universities across the country. An Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, ABSN, offers you the opportunity to earn the same degree as a BSN but at an accelerated pace.
We will now discuss in detail the scope of an ABSN degree as well as its benefits.
What we will cover?
What is ABSN?
An Accelerated Bachelor in Science of Nursing allows you to earn a bachelor’s degree in less than 2 years, instead of the usual four. Students even have the option of enrolling in an ABSN program online as well.
Usually completed within 15 to 24 months, the ABSN curriculum builds on the foundations of your previous undergraduate degree. ABSN programs are one of the quickest routes to earn a bachelor’s degree in the shortest time, but also one of the most challenging degree programs you may attend. Accelerated degree programs also have much more competitive prerequisites than conventional nursing programs, with a minimum GPA of 3.0.
However, the benefits of an ABSN degree significantly outweigh the challenges, as it opens the doors of opportunity for fresh nursing graduates to enter the workforce or pursue a higher degree at a younger age. Other benefits of an ABSN degree are listed below:
Increase market value as a nursing graduate
Once a graduate, an ABSN degree holder is much more valued in the industry than a conventional BSN student. Because their degree is proof of their competency as a hardworking and dedicated individual who has completed an undergraduate degree in less than 2 years instead of the usual 4 years.
Because of the full course load, ABSN students are discouraged from working full-time. ABSN courses are also slightly more expensive than BSN programs, but the cost can be recovered much more quickly as students can take up employment earlier with an accelerated degree. Students are spending less time as students, and therefore their educational investment is much less as compared to a BSN program. ABSN programs also allow graduates to join the workforce at a younger age, which helps them navigate the duties of a fresh nurse much more easily.
A focused program
As mentioned, ABSN programs are usually completed within 2 years. With no extended breaks between semesters, students don’t lose their focus on their studies. A full course load ensures students are on their toes till they reach the finish line. Constant academic presence also allows students to seek out their professional mentors, who can give them emotional support as they complete a challenging degree program.
ABSN programs are cohort-based
Students of an ABSN program are taught in a cohort, meaning the same group is taught throughout the duration of the program. Students also do not compete for courses or professors, as the curriculum and courses are offered at the same pace for each individual. Less competition and a cohort model allow students to develop lifelong friendships, offering each other moral support as they navigate an academically challenging degree program.
Pathway to a Strong Professional Network
Enrolling in an ABSN program will expose you to a diverse group of students, many of whom may be graduates of non-healthcare professions. This will help you connect to other professionals and get their insight on the value of a nursing career.
An ABSN degree also boosts the profile of healthcare professionals. Potential students can be managers or educators, but an ABSN channels their career towards nursing management or nursing education.
Facilitate the pursuit of post-graduate nursing degrees
ABSN students complete their bachelor’s program in 2 years or less, making them eligible to enroll in post-graduate studies earlier than conventional nursing students. Having an advantage of two whole years allows professionals to climb the ladder of a nursing career at a better pace than their peers.
Some ABSN programs even include courses from master’s programs, allowing students to transition to a master’s degree in nursing very easily. Ambitious professionals can achieve their career goal of becoming a specialty nurse, such as a respiratory care nurse, an ICU nurse, or a family practice nurse, in a shorter time with an ABSN program as compared to a conventional BSN program.
Healthcare jobs are considered one the highest paying jobs in the United States, with registered nurses earning as high as $89,000 per year. With annual salaries of nursing assistants and licensed practical nurses below $50,000, more and more nursing students are opting to pursue a second or even a third nursing degree to climb up their career ladder.
If you’re a pre-medical student who is passionate about your studies and wants to reap the rewards of a nursing career early on, an ABSN program is exactly what you need. Taught at a faster pace than a BSN, ABSN programs offer you an edge in getting your degree two years quicker than your peers. You can achieve your career goals at a faster pace and can contribute to society as a young and healthy licensed professional. A career in nursing offers excellent financial benefits as well as the satisfaction that comes from helping others in their time of need.