Is An Accelerated Nursing Program Right For You?
Welcome to the journey through an accelerated nursing program! I hope you are ready to see a sneak peek into what life is like when you accept a position in one of the fastest, nationally recognized, and high NCLEX passing rate programs available for a BSN. If you read the first blog post, you will learn that it took me a while to come back around to the medical field.
What to Expect From an Accelerated Nursing Program
As you can imagine, an accelerated nursing program is not for everyone. By no means am I saying that not everyone can do it, because let’s be honest, if you want something bad enough and dedicate yourself to it, you can certainly do more than you ever imagined. However, sometimes it isn’t the right fit for your life and that is perfectly fine. For my life, there was no other way. I needed to be able to enroll, see a light at the end of the tunnel from day one, and start my new life as soon as possible.
Accelerated Means Fast-Paced
If you like to do things fast, if you catch onto concepts like a largemouth bass to a spinner in your favorite honey hole, if you are a fan of espresso and enjoy seeing the concepts you learned yesterday be put into practice with real human patients today, then maybe an accelerated program is right option for you. It is a challenge; we take our courses 3-4 at a time in an 8 week structure. So, imagine your 16-week semester packed into 8, I’ll give you a second to process.
Once you have decided that your class schedule makes sense, you have adjusted to your new study habits and feel like you have a groove going you get to start a completely new opportunity. After your first 8 weeks, you are now hands on with humans for the rest of your year. Yes, you read that right. Real. Human. Patients. If you aren’t at least a little nervous about this part, we can’t be friends.
Try not to stress too much though, because there are some seriously wonderful professors, classmates (that by this point seem more like family) and clinical instructors that will lead the way and ensure you care for your patients in the best way possible. You go from nervously knocking on your patient’s door, forgetting your name and role in patient care to confidently assessing a patient from head to toe, reviewing charts, answering quiz questions from professors/clinical nurses and being a vital part in your patients care in a matter of weeks. If that isn’t a fast turn around and an insanely cool way to watch yourself and your peers grow, I am not sure what is.
Top 7 Things to Know About an Accelerated Nursing Program
- Accelerated curriculum is not easy, but it is incredibly rewarding, and it is totally possible to be successful. You get the results that you put the effort in for.
- Classes are 8 weeks (with the exception of some intensive ones)
- Clinical rotations happen simultaneously with didactic courses
- You get to experience many different floors, disciplines, and styles in a short amount of time.
- Your professors and faculty are there to help you achieve a high level of success academically, skills wise and serve as role models in the professional work environment. Plus, they are absolute God sends who genuinely care about you.
- It goes by even faster when you are in the program than what you anticipated as you watched from the outside.
- Yes, when you graduate you have an additional bachelor’s degree, go on and get excited to add “RN, BSN” to the name badge, I know I am.
Do I recommend an accelerated program? Absolutely, if it fits your lifestyle, learning style and goals. Are there challenges? You bet, there is with anything in life. However, if you have a good support system, coping mechanisms that are healthy (i.e. the gym), you got this!
My Final Thoughts
Evaluate your goals, evaluate your life, talk to those that love you, talk to your mentors, reach out to an accelerated student, ask the hard questions and then jump into one of the craziest, most rewarding adventures that you will ever have.
Harmony Latham is a Creighton University accelerated BSN/RN nursing student who is based at CHI Health St. Francis in Grand Island, Nebraska.