You don’t have to be stuck waiting to start nursing school. Some of the traits of the easiest accelerated nursing programs to get into include multiple start dates, online coursework, strong clinical partnerships and admissions support and a rolling admissions schedule.
Nursing is one of today’s ‘it’ professions. It’s a high-demand, rewarding occupation that’s experiencing some of the fastest employment growth in the country. As a result, more and more individuals are trying to switch their careers to nursing. The only problem is that most nursing schools don’t have room for them. So, where does that leave you if your passion is to become a nurse?
Believe it or not, you don’t have to be stuck waiting to start your nursing education. You just need to know where to look. And, as you begin your search, you’ll find the easiest accelerated BSN programs to get into tend to have these five traits in common.
1. Multiple Start Dates
While many nursing schools enroll for their accelerated BSN programs only once a year, there are plenty of institutions that admit students two and three times a year.
2. Online Coursework
Nursing schools tend to have either an on-campus or hybrid-online ABSN program. Some schools even offer both formats. But what you’ll find is that the easiest accelerated BSN programs to get into are the ones that follow a hybrid-online learning format.
As nursing professors across the country near retirement, it’s tough for schools to fill their positions. Many registered nurses would rather practice than teach because they tend to earn higher salaries on the hospital floor.
By having students complete their core ABSN coursework online, nursing schools can increase the bandwidth of the faculty they have and don’t need to add more classroom space. Thereby, hybrid-online programs can accept more students per term.
3. Strong Clinical Partnerships
A lack of classroom space and faculty members aren’t the only capacity problems many nursing schools face. They also don’t have enough clinical placement options per term to accommodate a high number of students.
It can be tricky for schools to navigate through all of the variables that go into scheduling clinical placements, especially on the side of the health care partner. Several factors, including staff nurse availability, patient acuity, and contractual agreements, can play a role in where students complete their nursing practicum.
Therefore, it’s worth finding out what type of clinical partnerships a school has with its local health care facilities. You want to be in a program where students have access to a wide variety of patient care locations throughout the community.
4. Admissions Support
As nursing schools continue to see an influx of applications with each passing year, admissions teams are at capacity and, as a result, have become less responsive and supportive to prospective students. But that’s not always the case with ABSN program admissions teams.
Some schools structure their accelerated BSN programs in such a way that enables their admissions counselors to be highly attentive to prospective students. So be on the lookout for schools that will pair you up with an admissions counselor whose job is to make sure you submit the most competitive application possible.
5. Rolling Admissions
Look for accelerated BSN programs that admit students on a rolling basis, which means schools review applications as they come in. Through this approach, schools can provide you with an admissions decision within just a few weeks of applying. More importantly, if you get your application in early, you increase your chances of getting into your preferred program term.
In trying to identify the easiest accelerated BSN programs to get into, there are several other factors to consider, especially when it comes to a nursing school’s admissions process. After all, every school has unique program requirements.
Most accelerated BSN programs require you to have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree to apply. But there are some schools where you only need a certain amount of college credits to qualify. While most ABSN programs have a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA requirement, some schools will consider students with a slightly lower GPA.
Prerequisite course requirements are another consideration because some ABSN programs have as few as four and others have as many as 10. Not to mention, prerequisite grade requirements also vary by school.
It’s worth mentioning that there’s no correlation between an ABSN program’s admissions requirements and the quality of nursing education it provides. Just be sure the program you choose is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Nursing schools in California probably have the most student competition of all the higher learning institutions in the country. In fact, many highly qualified applicants living in the state are so tired of waiting to start nursing school that they are relocating to places such as Oregon and Utah to go to school.
Based on some of the research we’ve done, it appears your chances of getting into an accelerated BSN program are higher in states such as Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas.
Popular schools with strong brands don’t necessarily offer a better nursing education than lesser-known schools. In fact, some of the best-known nursing schools receive as many as 400 applications per year for their nursing programs but only have the means to accept 100.
It’s also safe to assume that as the demand for registered nurses with a BSN degree continues to grow, health care employers probably care more about your level of preparedness upon entering the profession and less about the prestige of the school you attended. Just make sure the school and program you attend maintain the proper accreditation status.
Want help finding an accelerated nursing program?
To help save you some research time, we can help you find the easiest accelerated BSN programs to get into. If you have a bachelor’s degree or at least 60 college credits in another field of study, simply complete our online form and we’ll put you in direct contact with the schools for which you qualify.