How To Become An Rn Fast: 3 Potential Paths To Pursue
By Kirsten Slyter on 06/21/2021
The best things in life are worth waiting for.
Youve likely heard it a million times, and while you get the sentiment, this old adage just doesnt sit right with you. You know what you want, and youre not one to wait around for it. You prefer life in the fast lane, plus you have bills to pay and professional goals to reach. You simply dont have the luxury of waiting.
Youre motivated to launch your registered nursing career and want to find a nursing program that will help you earn your scrubs as soon as possible.
Youll be happy to hear that nursing is a field with a variety of entrance options to suit your preferences. So if you want to become a nurse fast, you can find a path to fit your needs. Once youre working, you can always go on to advance your education further in the future.
Keep reading to learn more about your options for how to become an RN fast and see which path sounds like the best route for you.
Should I Pursue A Bachelors Degree In Nursing
If youre already an RN and are looking to advance your career, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing could be a good fit for you, especially if you are planning to work in the healthcare field for the long haul. BSN programs can be completed online while you still work as a nurse, so you can move forward in your career without having to take time off. Some hospitals even offer tuition reimbursement programs for nurses who choose to continue their education.
While employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 12%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , it is important to note that for decades, the U.S. has been dealing with a nursing shortage of varying degrees. Earning a BSN, not only prepares students to enter the field and fill the demand for nurses, but it may also help them to stand out to employers among an increasingly competitive group of candidates.
Having a BSN may also put you closer to a masters degree or a doctorate, should you decide to pursue an advanced degree like Master of Science in Nursing or a Doctor of Nursing Practice .
Alternatives To An Undergraduate Degree In Nursing
Start as a nursing degree apprentice
Nursing degree apprenticeships usually last for four years. As part of the course, you would be released by your employer to study at an approved education institution and to get experience in different practice settings. Apprentices are expected to have knowledge and skills to the same standard as those taking the traditional degree route in order to gain registration. Applicants to an apprenticeship course will also have to meet similar entry requirements.
Start as a nursing associate
Although a nursing associate is not a registered nurse, some people take on this role as a step towards becoming one. Youâd help nursing care support workers and registered nurses â for example, by performing and recording clinical observations, as well as supporting those faced with bad news.
From here, you could take a shortened nursing degree or complete an apprenticeship in nursing. The experience will stand you in good stead to do well, particularly during the clinical practice element, and may help you to be sure that this is the right career for you.
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Bsn Level Nurse Salaries
How much you earn as BSN nurse is dependent on factors such as where you live, your employer, number of years of experience, your specialty track, and more. The median annual wage for RNs in May of 2018 was $71,730, according to the BLS. The median annual salary for those working in government was $78,390, while the highest 10% of RNs earned more than $106,530.
As of 2018, BLS statistics show that registered nurses employed by pharmaceutical and medicine manufacturing industry earn more than nurses in any other industry, with a mean annual wage of $95,400.
Program Options For Going To Nursing School
You have two options for earning your nursing degree if you already hold a bachelors degree and they include:
- Associates degree program : This will take you two years to complete . However, please note that although an ADN and BSN nursing degree both allow you to work as a registered nurse there are some differences. See the differences between the ADN & BSN degree here.
- Second Degree/Accelerated Degree program: This is your best option! This program allows you to earn a bachelors degree in nursing in 1 ½ 2 years . These programs are being highly popular because of the demand of people who are pursuing nursing as a second career. The best way to find a second degree or accelerated degree program is to look at local nursing schools in your area and see if they have this type of program. Here is a list of nursing school by states.
The second degree/accelerated degree programs take approximately 5 semesters to complete, and sometimes a semester is during the summer. However, it is important to note that it could take an extra semester if you havent met the nursing programs pre-requisite course requirements. For example, say your bachelors degree is in English and you didnt take Anatomy & Physiology 1 & 2 or Microbiology while earning your English degree. You would have to complete these classes before you enter into the nursing program.
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Pros And Cons Of Associate Vs Bachelors Degrees In Nursing
I obtained my associate degree in nursing in 2011. I choose this degree based on its prompt level of employment entry. I wanted to start working as a nurse as quickly as possible. My plan was to go back to school at a later date for an advanced degree.
Many nursing Associates degrees can be obtained within two years if you go full time. Upon graduation, most students are able to enter the workforce in two years, versus the traditional four-years it take to complete a Bachelor degree in nursing. Associate degrees are ideal for individuals looking to enter the nursing workforce as soon as possible.
There are some drawbacks of going the nursing Associates degree route, two of which stand out. These drawbacks are the career limitations of having an ADN and the lack of leadership preparation you will get in an ADN program. In addition to the difference in curriculum and preparation, many institutions are now looking for bachelor degree nurses only and prefer not to hire associate educated nurses.
Some hospitals, including those who are striving for or have Magnet status, and those in the Veterans Administration will no longer hire an associates nurse. Demand for nurses who meet the educational standards of an ACEN accredited schools baccalaureate program are on the rise.
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:
- National Black Nurses Association
- National Hispanic Nurses Association
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Are There Online Options
While most BSN accelerated programs are brick and mortar, more online options have become available. By completing the track online, students are typically responsible for setting up their clinical experience in order to meet the required hours at the bedside. This may include the responsibility of approaching the facilities affiliated with your program and finding a preceptor to shadow when completing your hours.
*Note: It is a good idea to begin your search of online BSN accelerated programs by speaking to those who work at the facilities near you. This will help assure that you are applying to a program that will accommodate your locale.
Value Of A Bsn Degree
Going back to school for nursing requires you to do some serious financial planning. But as you run the numbers, keep in mind that a BSN degree is a smart investment in your future. Just be aware that our ABSN program is a rigorous, full-time learning path that requires dedication and hard work to succeed. Thereby, we dont recommend working while in accelerated nursing school.
Now lets get into some of the reasons why a BSN is worth its weight in gold. For starters, nursing is a high-demand, fast-growing profession rife with reward and opportunityespecially for those who hold a BSN degree or higher. After all, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing recognizes a BSN as the minimum education requirement for professional practice. Therefore, many health-care employers now require their registered nurses with an Associate Degree in Nursing to go back to school and earn their BSN within a specified time frame.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing conducted a survey in August 2018 that asked 627 nursing schools about employer preferences regarding education levels. Of the schools that responded, 45.6% of health-care employers require their new nurses to have a BSN, while 88.4% had a strong preference for BSN program graduates.
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Becoming A Nurse With A Liberal Arts Degree
If you already hold a liberal arts degree, its likely youll have to complete more ABSN prerequisites specifically microbiology, anatomy and physiology and statistics. The good news is these prerequisite courses will give you a good benchmark of how youll do in your ABSN program and give you a chance to sharpen up your understanding of key math and science concepts that will be vital to your success as a nurse.
Becoming A Nurse With A Bachelors In Another Discipline: Your Second Degree Nursing Options
You have a degree, but it didnt lead to a career that you want to spend your life in, and now youre thinking about nursing. The good news is you wont need to spend another four years doing a second baccalaureate degree. Typically the second degree nursing student is, of course older, but also much more motivated than their younger, entry-level nursing student counterparts according to Robert Rosseter of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Interestingly, three themes were identified in a recent journal article looking at those who decided to pursue the second degree in nursing: What I bring to nursing Seeking satisfying work and The missing piece. Sound familiar? ~ Raines, D., What Attracts Second Degree Students to a Career In Nursing? OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 16 No. 1.
Your options will vary depending on where you live, but you could have as many as four: a nursing diploma program, an associate degree , an accelerated second bachelors , a more traditional second bachelors in nursing, or a direct entry masters programs .
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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
How To Become A Registered Nurse When You Already Have A Ba
Don’t let a seemingly unrelated Bachelor of Arts degree stand in the way of your nursing dreams. Your B.A. degree may actually give you a significant leg up in obtaining a B.A. in nursing or a B.S.N. For instance, you could complete some nursing programs in a shorter amount of time and you may qualify to skip some course requirements, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Like students who complete traditional nursing programs, a second-degree nursing candidate must pass an examination and obtain a license to become a registered nurse.
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What Are The Prerequisites For The Bsn Accelerated Programs
Besides having a bachelors degree, many accelerated programs require a number of core prerequisite courses. Common subjects include microbiology, statistics, and sometimes anatomy and physiology. If it has been a few years since you completed these courses, be sure to check if the school requires the classes to be taken within a certain amount of years.
Most programs have an entrance exam as a requisite for entering the nursing program, and the same holds true for accelerated applicants. The entry exam covers the subjects that are needed for entry to nursing school: math, reading, science, and English. Whether its the HESI, ATI, or TEASE, there are many resources to help you review and score well on the entrance exam.
GPA is an important consideration for accelerated BSN programs, as many programs will require a minimum GPA for application. Usually, the minimum GPA for consideration into the program ranges from 3.0 to 3.5.
Already Have A Bachelors Degree But Want To Go To Nursing School
If you already have a bachelors degree and want to go to nursing school then you have some great options. Many people choose to switch careers throughout their lifetime, and nursing is a popular career choice due to the competitive pay, flexible schedule, and health benefits.
In this article, I am going to give you information on how to go back to school and earn a nursing degree if you already have a bachelors degree. Furthermore, I am going to discuss program options, how long it will take you, and the most common requirements.
I have made a video discussing this popular topic, and you can watch it below. Dont forget to !
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What Do Lpns Do
LPNs are valuable players on the nursing team. But what exactly do they do? These healthcare professionals are responsible for taking patient vitals, distributing medications and administering basic patient care, such as changing bandages and IV drips, among other duties, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.2
They typically work under the supervision of an RN or doctor and are sometimes responsible for overseeing nursing aides. The most common place of employment for LPNs is nursing and residential care facilities like nursing homes, according to the BLS.2 Other settings for LPNs include hospitals, physicians offices, home healthcare services and government facilities.
This Is How To Become A Nurse If You Already Have A Degree
For those who are considering a career change into nursing and already have a bachelors degree in another subject finance, restaurant management, even music an accelerated BSN as a second degree may be an excellent option for you.
Accelerated BSN programs are popularly known to offer Associate Degree Nurses a fast-track option for obtaining their Bachelors of Science in Nursing. However, there are also many programs across the country that offer an accelerated program for students who already have a bachelors degree – even if its not in nursing. Read on to learn the details of the BSN Accelerated Program for second-degree students.
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Workforce Need For Nurses With Bsn Degree
Nurses are returning to college to pursue their bachelor of science in nursing degree in record numbers. Increasingly, employers are requiring RNs to have attained a BSN before they are hired or within two years of their employment start date. Many research studies over the past 30 years have shown that patients cared for by RNs with bachelors degrees have better health outcomes. Successfully completing a BSN opens up a wealth of career opportunities for the registered nurse and lays the foundation for continuing on to graduate studies.
Can I Be A Nurse Without A Degree
Can i be a nurse without a degree? An LPN/LVN certificate is for students who want to enter the nursing field without the time and cost of earning a college degree. Recent high school graduates who want a nursing career without committing to a traditional college degree. CNAs ready to expand their responsibilities and job opportunities.
What Happens After I Earn My Bsn Degree
Once you successfully complete the 53 credit hours and graduate earning your BSN degree, there is still one last step before you can work as a registered nurse. As with any nurse education program, you must pass the NCLEX exam, which can be taken any time after graduation. It is up to you to figure out how soon you want to take it, but know you have only three tries to pass the NCLEX each year, so you want to be as prepared as possible.
Madonnas ABSN program has practice exams throughout its 16 months so you can be as prepared as possible to sit for the exam.