Consider How Long It Takes To Complete Prerequisites
In order to find out how to become a nurse with a bachelors degree, it is important to look at the timeframe of an ABSN program like Madonnas. How soon you can start depends on how many prerequisites you will need to complete.
Here is where your existing bachelors degree can come into play and speed things up during the admissions process by fulfilling your course requirements. Most nursing programs have an expiration date on transferrable credits, especially when it comes to science credits. The nice thing about Madonnas ABSN program is that there is no expiration date on ANY prerequisites except nutrition courses.
Wondering what prereqs you may need to take? Weve got you covered.
That means if you have taken any of the above courses, successfully passed them all, and the credits can be transferred, then all you have to take are the nutrition courses, and you can start the ABSN program. This means your previous degree could save you weeks, even months, in Madonnas ABSN program!
Diploma In Practical Nursing
Earning your diploma in practical nursing is the fastest way to jumpstart your nursing career as a licensed practical nurse . LPNs provide basic nursing care and work closely with registered nurses and physicians in a wide variety of healthcare settings, including hospitals, doctor’s offices, nursing homes, hospice and urgent care clinics.
Demand for LPNs is expected to grow by 12 percent through 2026, adding more than 88,000 new jobs, according to 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The median annual wage for LPNs was $46,240 in May 2018, with the top ten percent earning more than $62,160. Find the average licensed practical nurse salary in your state.
Many nurses start out by becoming an LPN before choosing to advance their education and nursing career through an associate, bachelors or masters degree program.
Compare LPN vs. RN and discover the main differences so you can better determine if youd like to start out as an LPN or start working towards becoming an RN right away.
Become A Nurse Educator
Teaching is one of the best jobs for nurses who love helping people but want to move away from full-time patient care. You have already earned valuable experience in the field, and you could potentially pursue a role training the next generation of nurses.
A good nurse educator has:
- An advanced degree and strong academic background
- Deep clinical experience
- A desire to make a difference
- Eagerness to share their expertise with others
If this sounds like you, a career as a nurse educator could be a great fit. You can work as a staff development educator in a clinical environment, or as a professor or faculty member at a university or college. In most cases, you will need a masters degree in nursing to qualify for a position as a nurse educator.
Herzing University offers multiple nursing education program options for registered nurses looking to take the next step in their career. You may be able to transfer current college credit into a nursing education program to reduce both time to complete and cost.
Nurse education pathways with Herzing
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Become A Lifelong Learner
With new technologies and treatments, the healthcare industry is constantly evolving. Working on the front lines of healthcare requires nurses to stay informed and educated so they can remain effective as their responsibilities change. Nurses who pursue their careers from the perspective of lifelong learners can take advantage of new opportunities and roles as they arise.
- Takecontinuing education courses: Nurses are required to complete continuing education courses, usually every two years. Check with your state nursing board for requirements.
- Get certified: If you decide to specialize in a certain area of nursing, consider earning professional certification. This cements your commitment to the field and demonstrates your skill set to employers.
- Earn an advanced degree: Earning a masters degree will qualify you for a career as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse midwife, and certified nurse anesthetist.
Becoming A Nurse With A Science Degree
Leveraging your science degree to become a nurse puts you in a great position. If you already hold a science degree, such as a bachelors in biology, you might be ready to jump into your ABSN coursework sooner than someone who doesnt hold a science degree. Thats not to say you wont have to take any prerequisites, but youll be a step ahead.
In addition to prerequisites, ABSN students are required to take additional support and signature courses that help provide you with a more holistic view of the nursing profession. The support and signature courses can be taken before you start the nursing program. We would suggest all prereqs and support and signature courses be taken prior to getting enrolled in the nursing program for you to be able to only concentrate on the nursing courses once accepted.
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Choose A Nursing Path
Nursing can take you in many directions, from starting out as a certified nursing assistant or staff nurse to working your way up to nurse administrator.
When choosing your career path, think about the type of work environment you prefer. For example, RNs can be found in hospitals, doctors offices, and other medical settings, but certified nursing assistants often work in nursing homes. What type of setting will inspire you most?
You should also consider what role you want to play. If you want to support medical staff as part of a team, a CNA or LPN/LVN could suit you well. If you want to manage other nurses and assistants or oversee systems, a career as an RN or advanced practice nurse is likely a good fit.
Because there are so many facets to healthcare, nurses often specialize in certain areas, such as geriatrics or critical care. If you have a passion for a certain type of nursing, consider the type of education youll need to get there.
- Step 2:
So How Long Does It Take To Become An Rn
The answer to this question is: It varies. The factor that will impact your timeline the most will be which degree you choose to pursue. Depending on the specific nursing program that you enroll in, it could take anywhere from 16 months to four years to become a registered nurse.
I chose to earn my BSN, which takes four years, says ChiChi Akanegbu, who completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Regis College as a part of the Class of 2020. After that, I needed to take my board exams, which added a bit of time.
Also Check: Colleges With 2 Year Nursing Programs
Is There Financial Aid Available
The ASDBS Program is intended for students pursing a second bachelors degree. Therefore, many of the federal and state need-based financial aid programs, such as Pell, are not available for ASDBS students. Mercy College does not offer merit scholarship for this program. Students may have the option to utilize federal student loans to help fund their education. Mercy has a much lower tuition rate than most private colleges so many students can self-fund by utilizing our payment plan or through support from their employer. We encourage you to meet with a Financial Aid Counselor to discuss your funding options.
External funded scholarship opportunities:
Career Outlook: Your Skills And Maturity Are Assets
Unfortunately, there can be misconceptions about accelerated nursing programs. To the uninitiated, it can seem like theyre easy or that students dont gain the same expertise as those in traditional programs.
Dont let the naysayers discourage you. In fact, the outcomes for accelerated programs are promising.
According to the AACN, some employers look for graduates of these programs because of their skill and maturity. Criner agrees, noting that a younger nurse may have less experience dealing with difficult personalities or sensitive situations.
You have this advantage. You had a life before, Criner says. As someone with more experience, Im more apt to say, Lets find a solution.’
Some employers look for students from accelerated programs because of their skill and maturity.
Accredited programs are designed to prepare students to take the National Council Licensure Examination . Schools often publicize NCLEX-RN passing rates for their students this can be helpful when deciding which school to attend.
So is all that hard work worth it? Well let the numbers speak for themselves.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, registered nurses have a rosy outlook, with a predicted 12% increase in job growth through 2028.
And a nurse with a BSN has many careers to choose from.
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Explore Your Other Patient Care Options
If none of these options sound appealing, you may want to re-evaluate whats really giving you doubts about life as an RN. There are many types of registered nurses with unique roles in patient care, and you may find less stress in an alternative.
For example, if working as a trauma nurse proves to be too taxing, becoming a school nurse or clinic nurse might be the change of pace that you need.
As you evaluate your options, keep these related nursing specialties in mind:
Our Accelerated Nursing Students
“The fact that we all bring different things to the table, in a program like this, that just really sold me on it.”
Willow Olivares, on the Accelerated Nursing Experience
Learn among a close-knit cohort of second-degree nursing students with diverse backgrounds and talents from all over the U.S. and the world. About 25 percent of graduating students are male, with students coming to the school from as far away as Oregon, Ethiopia and the Philippines. Many grads already hold advanced degrees, and some had established successful careers in other fields, including public health, the arts, and the military.
In your cohort, conduct clinical rotations in med-surg, obstetrics, pediatrics and psychiatry at the University of Rochester Medical Center, a four-time Magnet-designated hospital, and learn from supportive faculty who provide innovative learning experiences.
Prepare to pass the NCLEX-RN by honing your critical thinking and clinical judgment skills in an inclusive environment with like-minded peers who value equality of opportunity, diversity, inclusivity, and honest, respectful examination of ideas. Learn more:
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The Fast Track To Your Nursing Career
Our small class sizes mean you can spend one-on-one time with your instructors in both theory and practice environments.
Regardless of what degree you currently hold, well give you credit for it. Our Bachelor of Nursing After Degree program recognizes the work youve previously put in and focuses solely on what youll need to know as a nurse. And our small class sizes mean you can spend one-on-one time with your instructors in both theory and practice environments.
Delivered over six consecutive semesters, the program is designed to provide an accelerated course of studies. Youll attend from September to August for two years, with appropriate breaks between and occasionally within semesters. In no time at all, youll be working in your dream career.
What’s So Different About Second Degree Programs
For one thing, students in second-degree BSN programs are generally older then the fresh-from-high-school 18 year olds who usually populate college classrooms. That means they are likely more focused and motivated to do well, without distractions. Expectations are just higher for these non-traditional students in accelerated programs.
In the accelerated nursing program, coursework will focus on nursing, with some classes that expand on the scientific knowledge the student may have obtained as an undergraduate, say in biology or chemistry. The student usually doesn’t take the liberal arts courses required in a traditional four-year degree.
Your on-site classes will have both classroom lectures and laboratory sessions, where you will learn about human anatomy and physiology, and how to administer certain treatments to patients through advanced simulation technology. Some typical courses might be these:
- Nursing essentials
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How Can I Become A Nurse If I Already Have A Bachelor’s Degree
Why did you choose your original degree program? Did you pursue a course of study that you were passionate about? Did you follow a path that you thought would lead you to high salaries or important titles? After graduation, some degree holders realize that their original plan doesnt fulfill all of their needs. Feelings of regret can drive them to seek out new ways to apply their existing knowledge and skills.
Want To Make Yourself More Marketable Here Are A Few Tips
- Learn another language: Many hospitals need nurses who speak more than English, with Spanish being the second language in highest demand.
- Get certified: If you have expertise in a specialized area, earn professional certification.
- Be flexible: Be open to working for different employers, even if you have your heart set on one in particular. The experience you gain could be valuable.
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Financial Aid For Accelerated Bsn Programs
Financial aid is an especially important topic if you plan to attend an accelerated BSN program that doesnt allow students to work during school.
You may recall filing a FAFSA form when you attended school the first time. To be eligible for federal financial aid, youll need to complete this application again. If you have extenuating circumstances, such as high day care costs, youll need to provide this information to specific schools to factor into your potential aid award.
Nursing is also one of a handful of professions in which loan forgiveness may be an option.
In some cases, students will try to pick up side jobs to supplement their income. For instance, Mooney worked as a nanny near her home, but she warns it can be difficult to juggle work and school.
It allowed me to study while the kids were doing their homework, she says. This was stressful because the fixed hours prevented me from meeting classmates for study groups or staying late after class to talk to a professor.
Earning A Nursing Degree At An Accelerated Pace
You have two basic options when you want to work as a registered nurse : you can earn an associate’s degree in nursing, or a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. The associate’s degree is the traditional degree most RNs opted for in the past, but increasingly, employers are expressing a preference for nurses with more education. Some hospitals are hiring only nurses with bachelor’s degrees, or may state a preference for candidates with BSNs.
But for most people who are already in the working world, the idea of taking time off work, or having to crowd an already busy schedule with attending classes to earn another four-year degree is daunting. Fortunately, some options make earning a nursing degree a bit easier.
Accelerated programs in nursing were few prior to the turn of the 21st century, but nowadays, they’re popping up everywhere. Depending on the institution, and also depending on how many of your courses from your previous bachelor’s degree will transfer, an accelerated BSN program could take anywhere from 11 to 18 months. Remember that every student is an individual and their learning track will be different based on what classes they’ve previously taken and the classes they have yet to take.
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No Time For School Other Ways To Advance
You can still advance your career even if you dont have time to commit to a new degree program right now. Some quick career boosts include:
- Joining an association or organization in your specialty: Nursing associations are a great way to network, earn continuing education credits, keep up with the latest news in the field, and advance your career.
- Connecting on social media: Building your , Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram is a great way to connect with other nurses and potential employers. Just make sure to keep your content professional and related to nursing.
- Finding a mentor: It can be helpful to talk to a nurse who has been in the field for years, who is currently working your dream job, or who has achieved goals youd also like to reach. Setting aside time to find a mentor and talk with them can be educational and inspiring.
- Attending a conference: Nursing conferences are a fantastic way to gain new knowledge and meet people.
Where To Study Your Bsn
The Bachelors of Science in Nursing is most often conferred at a four-year nursing school, or a medical university that features a school of nursing. Youll have a dizzying array of school choices, each of which offers something different, including program cost, program of study, location and even particular focus and more. The school could be small or large, offer career guidance and job placement and various options for financial aid and scholarships.
Also Check: Best Nursing Specialties For New Grads
What Are The Admission Requirements For Absn Programs
Most nursing schools require a non-nursing bachelors degree to qualify for their ABSN programs. However, there are some schools that are willing to accept students who have between 54 and 65 college credits. Minimum cumulative GPA requirements for ABSN programs range between 2.75 and 3.0.
Its also common for nursing schools to have ABSN prerequisite requirements, ranging anywhere from four to 10 courses, that must be satisfied prior to admission. But for the most part, you should expect to see courses such as anatomy, chemistry, microbiology, nutrition, physiology and statistics on the list of requirements.
What Can I Do With A Bsn Degree Besides Patient Care
Life as a registered nurse isnt always easy. While working with patients can be rewarding, its not without its challenges. Some nurses find they are more suited for roles outside of patient care, and there are many that still allow them to make a difference.
You certainly arent alone. According to Shiftmeds 2021 Annual State of Nursing Survey, 38% of nurses plan to pursue non-patient facing roles in healthcare. Nearly half consider themselves somewhat likely to leave nursing in the next two years.
If youre an RN with an Associate or Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, there are many alternative non-clinical nursing jobs you can pursue. Here are some ideas to help you find a nursing career in which you can thrive.
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