blue graphic design with text overlay 10 thinsg to consider about an absn program

What to Consider About an Accelerated BSN Program

Staff Writer
Reviewed by Dr. Clancey Sollis
Oct 26, 2023

Ready for a career pivot? Check out Joyce University’s accelerated BSN program for non nurses. Our intensive, hybrid, fast track nursing program is designed to transform students with no nursing background into confident, qualified registered nurses (RNs) in as little as 20 months.

If you’re driven, self-motivated, and ready to begin a rewarding nursing career with the potential to grow and lead, you’re in the right place. Read on for 11 things to consider as you decide if a Joyce accelerated BSN is right for you.

1. What is an Accelerated BSN nursing program?

An accelerated Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree (or aBSN) is the fastest way to earn your bachelor’s nursing degree, prepare to pass the NCLEX, and qualify for RN licensure without any prior nursing experience. At Joyce University, you can leverage your previously-earned, non-nursing bachelor degree toward a nursing BSN and graduate in as few as 20 months.

Accelerated nursing programs are very rigorous, and it’s important to make sure that you’re ready for the time commitment you’ll need to succeed. We recommend that our accelerated nursing students develop strategies for managing time, balancing coursework with home and personal obligations, and self care. To help promote a healthy school-life balance, Joyce is set up to enable you to take most of your aBSN courses online and on a flexible schedule, with in-person labs and simulations at our state-of-the-art Nursing Simulation Center. Joyce also helps you practice your skills during your clinical experiences at long-term care facilities, hospitals, and more.

Earning an accelerated BSN is no walk in the park, but it pays off. From cutting-edge technology to networking and job placement opportunities, learn more about the top 5 benefits of a Joyce BSN.

2. Is an aBSN program the same as a BSN program?

A Joyce aBSN program earns you the same qualifications and degree as a traditional BSN program, just faster and with no course prerequisites.

Traditional BSN programs take 4 years to complete, but at Joyce University you can transfer prior college credits and earn the same degree in less than 2 years. If you’re deciding between a traditional vs. an accelerated nursing program, consider how much time you want to spend and whether you need a refresher on general education courses. With a Joyce accelerated BSN, all course requisites are built into the curriculum making it easier for you to start sooner.

You have options. Compare all the Joyce nursing programs to find the right fit for you.

3. How long is an accelerated BSN program?

An accelerated BSN at Joyce University can take you from zero nursing experience to a licensed registered nurse in 20 months.

Let’s break it down. The program requires a total of 120 credits, but you can transfer up to 35 credits from your prior bachelor’s degree. That leaves about 85 credits of program coursework that you’ll complete within 5 or 6 semesters, with 3 semesters per year at Joyce.

Accelerated BSN coursework includes 22-24 classes covering everything you’ll need to understand holistic nursing. This education will prepare you with the knowledge and skills necessary for daily life as a nurse. You’ll also bring your theoretical knowledge to life with 517.5 clinical training hours.

It’s a lot of work, but students who dedicate 40 hours per week to their education, will be able to finish the faster track of nursing program classes, clinicals, and NCLEX prep in less than 2 years. Our aBSN faculty and staff will have your back every step of the way.

Learn more about the accelerated BSN curriculum here.

4. Are there prerequisites for an accelerated BSN program?

Our aBSN program has no course prerequisites, but there are a few general admissions requirements. Prospective students must have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75. Whether you studied business, communications, dance or physics, there’s a place for you in Joyce University’s accelerated BSN.

All Joyce students must take an entrance exam, a background check and drug screening, and complete an online readiness screening before they can officially enroll. Read more about the admissions requirements for all of our nursing programs here.

Don’t have a bachelor’s degree? Don’t worry. You can still get a BSN from Joyce. Check out our traditional BSN program, which covers all the same coursework as our aBSN program and fulfills the general education class requirements of a bachelor’s degree. Most students graduate from our BSN program in just 3 years, so it’s still a fast track nursing program, compared to traditional four-year programs.

5. Can I get a BSN without having an RN?

You can absolutely get a BSN without being an RN. In fact, our accelerated BSN is designed for non-nurses, so you don’t need any medical knowledge to start.

If you’re already an RN and want to improve your earning potential, skillset, and hireability with a BSN degree, read up on our RN to BSN completion program.

6. Is the aBSN Program Online?

The Joyce accelerated BSN is mostly online, with the added benefit of in-person labs and clinicals for hands-on training. Our programs are designed by and for nurses, and we know that flexibility matters. The online aBSN coursework consists of synchronous and asynchronous delivery which means that you can complete much of your coursework on a schedule that fits your lifestyle. In-person labs, simulations, and clinicals give you an opportunity to put your classroom knowledge to work to enhance your clinical judgment and reasoning.

As a Joyce student, you’ll have 24-hour access to virtual library resources and labs. Accelerated BSN students get free one-on-one virtual and in-person tutoring support, and classes delivered by highly skilled nursing professors. Learn more about the benefits of our hybrid aBSN format.

You don’t even need to be local to our Draper, Utah campus to complete your online accelerated BSN. We’ve organized the in-person portion of our program to take place during 3-6 day long intensives during the last few semesters so that distance learners can travel in, stay a few days, then return home for online coursework. Other than a few trips to campus for labs and simulations in our high tech simulation center, most students from Utah, Colorado, and Arizona can complete their aBSN online and from home. Learn more about our Residency Requirements for distance learners.

7. What is the cost of an aBSN program?

As of 2023, a Joyce aBSN with 85 program credit hours costs $60,355.. Your actual tuition cost can vary depending on how many credits you transfer from your prior bachelor’s degree. With BSN-prepared nurses making an average annual salary of $113,013, this makes an accelerated BSN an affordable ways to enter the nursing field quickly. For an individualized tuition estimate, talk to a Joyce financial aid officer. See the complete tuition and fee chart.

Other expenses to consider include books, supplies, and technology fees. Joyce University’s hybrid format with online aBSN classes means that you’ll save on commuting costs and moving expenses, but we recommend that you keep these other costs in mind when comparing the costs of various accelerated nursing programs.

8. Is there Financial Aid for aBSN Students?

The majority of our nursing students qualify for some form of financial aid. Between veterans benefits, work study programs, scholarships, and grants, we’re here to help you find a way to fund your accelerated BSN program. Our financial aid office is full of helpful resources, and you can also check out this list of possible scholarships and grants for nurses.

9. How Much Does a BSN Make?

According to the ZipRecruiter, the national average annual salary for a BSN-prepared Registered Nurse is $113,013, making an aBSN a great investment in your future and in yourself. And that’s just the average — nurses in some specialties and locations make closer to $150k per year. Read more about the highest paid nursing specialties and jobs here.

Compared to associate-trained RNs, BSN nurses typically earn more and are more likely to be hired quickly for high-paying positions. According to Payscale, ASN nurses make an average of $75,000 annually. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reported that half of all employers require that their nurses have BSN degrees or higher, and that 88% strongly prefer to hire BSN nurses.

In the same amount of time that it takes to earn an ASN degree, you could finish our 20-month aBSN and qualify for higher-paying career and leadership opportunities, plus increase your marketability.

10. How does an accelerated nursing program work?

Let’s talk aBSN program structure. In order to acquire a BSN degree at a faster pace than traditional bachelor’s programs, you’ll transfer credits from a previous non-nursing bachelor’s degree and check off those basic undergrad requirements. Then you’ll only have to complete the core nursing portion of the program.

We make the accelerated BSN flexible by offering a blend of online scheduled lectures, asynchronous lectures (which you can complete on your own schedule), and in-person labs, simulations, and clinical experiences. Over the span of 14 courses and 5 semesters, you’ll learn what it takes to be proficient in holistic nursing care, skills, and nursing knowledge to pass the NCLEX and become eligible for RN Licensure.

It’s fast-paced and intensive, but you’ll be amazed at how quickly an accelerated nursing program will give you the confidence to start a career as a nurse.

11. What can I do with a BSN degree?

Once you finish your aBSN degree and qualify as an RN, a whole world of opportunity will open to you. The demand for BSN nurses is rising, and many Joyce graduates have their pick of specialties and job opportunities. Learn more about choosing a specialty.

You may find your passion as a clinical nurse in a hospital position like labor and delivery orthe ICU, or with a specialization in pediatrics. You could also take roles in hospices, home health, nursing homes, schools, medical research, legal consultancy, or telehealth. There are plenty of nontraditional approaches to nursing, too — you could be a travel nurse, and RNs work everywhere from amusement parks to cruise ships.

There’s a nursing job to fit whatever schedule and lifestyle you prefer, and your accelerated BSN is just the beginning of where your nursing career can go.

Is a Joyce aBSN Right for You?

An accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Joyce University could launch your nursing career in as little as 20 months.

Check out our article Why Choose Joyce’s aBSN for more details about our program, and get in touch with an admissions officer.

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