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Most accelerated Nursing programs are designed for students who have completed a Bachelor’s degree in another field, but want to obtain an accredited Nursing degree in order to become a Registered Nurse. Accelerated degrees allow students to take larger credit loads in order to graduate in the fastest amount of time. This can be a difficult amount of work for some people, but if you have decided that you want to become a nurse, and are ready to push yourself hard, you can become a Registered Nurse in as little as 12 to 15 months. To help you decide whether an accelerated program is right for you, check out our guide that goes into detail about Accelerated Bachelor’s Degree Programs: The Advantages and Disadvantages.

Requirements for Becoming a Registered Nurse

The requirements for becoming a Registered Nurse (RN) are different depending on the state that you live in, though the standard requirements are the completion of an accredited Registered Nurse degree program, passing of the NCLEX-RN exam, and obtaining a state license. In addition to studying general healthcare, nursing programs will help prepare students to pass their NCLEX-RN exam, giving them additional value. As the Baby Boomer generation gets older the demand for nurses in the United States will continue to grow. Because of this demand, an Associate’s degree in Nursing will often suffice to start nursing, though all nurses will be encouraged to finish their Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) by completing an RN to BSN degree. For some of the cheapest online Bachelor’s degrees, check out our list of the 30 Cheapest Online Bachelor’s Degrees. In addition to affordable general education courses, these schools also offer some of the cheapest accelerated nursing programs, let’s take a closer look at a couple of these great deals.

What’s an Accelerated BSN Program?

A typical bachelor’s degree takes 4 years to complete, but if you already have an RN license and clinical experience, nursing students can get their bachelor of science in nursing in two years or less (studying full-time). That’s an accelerated bachelor of science program. You’ve already gotten your prerequisite courses out of the way, and your transfer credits can make an RN-to-BSN program quick.

In some accelerated programs you can even take specialties, like pediatric or mental health nursing.

You’ll need the usual evidence-based nursing courses, like

  • microbiology
  • health sciences
  • pharmacology
  • pathophysiology

You’ll also need hands-on experience in clinical rotations for a fast-track baccalaureate degree, but if you’re already working in professional nursing, you can usually get that at your workplace. Your eligibility for the licensure examination doesn’t matter, because you already went through it. Many accelerated programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Some things you should look for in a school of nursing ABSN program include NCLEX pass rate, start date, financial aid, and their enrollment and admission requirements. You should also look for a full-time program if you want to finish quickly. The field of nursing is wide open!

Arkansas State University

Arkansas State University is a public research university based in Jonesboro, Arkansas. For students who have already finished their bachelor’s degree, but want to go back to school to become a Registered Nurse, Arkansas State University offers a Second Degree Accelerated BSN that allows students to complete their degree in one year. At a cost of $236 per credit hour, Arkansas State University offers the most affordable path for Bachelor degree holders to obtain their BSN to qualify them to become a registered nurse. Their accelerated degree requires the completion of 67 credit hours in one year, which would normally take students two years or more to complete.

Central Methodist University

Central Methodist University is a private liberal arts university located in Fayette, Missouri. For students who have already obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in another field, CMU offers an accelerated Nursing program that allows students to gain the knowledge that they need to become RNs. Their accelerated degree program is more selective than their normal programs, with students required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 for all of their college coursework. CMU’s accelerated BSN degree requires the completion of 55 credit hours in one year. At the competitive cost of $250 per credit hour, CMU offers an affordable streamlined route for Bachelor Degree holders to become full fledged RN’s in a little bit over one year.

If you’re interested in an MSN or doctor of nursing practice, your nursing career could go even farther! Unlike a non-nursing doctorate, the DNP can take as little as 2 years. You can be doing patient care as a nurse practitioner in all kinds of care facilities.


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