Nursing Degrees & Schools / ABSN
An Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) helps individuals who already possess a bachelor’s degree in another field become Registered Nurses (RNs). Deciding it is time for a career change can be scary for some professionals. But, if someone already holds a baccalaureate in another discipline, they can easily convert that knowledge into a job in the healthcare field.
In this article, we will explore:
- What is an ABSN?
- What will you learn in an ABSN program?
- What are the requirements and prerequisites for ABSN programs?
- What are the most popular certifications for nurses with an ABSN?
- How much does and ABSN cost?
- Are nursing school waitlists common?
- What are the job and salary outlook for nurses with an ABSN?
What is an ABSN?
Accelerated BSN programs facilitate a change from one unrelated field to a career in nursing. This builds on the foundation of general courses previously completed as part of a bachelor’s degree. Students enrolled in these fast-track nursing education models focus on nursing best practices, allowing them to finish their schooling and begin their new careers within one to two years.
Nursing professionals who hold an ABSN have options beyond bedside nursing. They can work as nurse educators, nurse informaticists, forensic nurses, or clinical researchers to name a few.
What will you learn in an ABSN program?
An ABSN program is designed to fast-track nursing students through the educational process. Since individuals who qualify for these accelerated programs already hold bachelor’s degrees in other concentrations, they can skip all the prerequisites associated with earning a BSN and get right to the heart of the clinical nursing subject matter.
The nursing-specific courses taught in an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program may be condensed to accommodate a faster pace. Some of the most common classes taught in ABSNs include:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Community health
- Nursing fundamentals
Each ABSN program is different. Nursing students must choose the one that best aligns with their career goals and timeline for completion.
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What are the requirements and prerequisites for ABSN programs?
Accelerated BSN programs have prerequisites candidates must meet before enrolling. Each ABSN is different, so it is best to check with the individual programs before applying to ensure all qualifications have been met. Here are some of the most common requirements and prerequisites:
- Prerequisite courses include subjects like anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and statistics. If these courses were completed as part of an original bachelor’s degree program, check with the nursing program to ensure they will accept those credits.
- Entrance exams are common for ABSN programs. Subject material covered includes English, math, reading, and science. Nursing students can prepare for entrance exams like the ATI TEAS and the HESI using a variety of resources available online.
- Grade Point Average is weighed heavily by ABSN programs, with most requiring a minimum GPA for applicants. Most range between 3.0 and 3.5.
What are the popular certifications for nurses with an ABSNs?
Once nursing candidates complete an ABSN program and become licensed RNs by passing the NCLEX-RN exam, they can pursue certifications if they choose. To qualify for most certifications, licensed RNs must first complete designated hours in a nursing specialty or have experience in the specialization (or both). Continuing education credits can be a part of the process for initial certification and to maintain credentials once earned.
Several nursing associations offer certifications for RNs, including the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
How much does an ABSN cost?
Shorter programming does not equal lesser cost. Individuals pursuing an ABSN can expect to pay more for the privilege of pushing through faster. The cost to complete an ABSN varies depending on the program chosen. Most public colleges and universities are usually cheaper than private schools. Most nursing schools offer financial aid, scholarships, and low-interest student loans for qualified applicants.
Are nursing school waitlists for ABSNs common?
Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree programs are highly competitive. Limited seating can result. ABSN candidates can do several things to help their applications stand out in the crowd. One of the most important things they can do is ensure their grade point averages (GPAs) meet the minimum requirements of the school to which they apply.
Take the time to craft a compelling statement explaining the desired career shift to nursing. Candidates who have personal statements from other professionals included with their applications might fare better than the applicants without them.
Lastly, applicants must be patient and prepared to wait, even if they are highly qualified and meet every entrance requirement. Sometimes hundreds of applicants vie for 50 or fewer seats in these programs.
What are the job and salary outlooks for nurses with ABSNs?
According to the most recent data form the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurses with ABSNs can expect to earn a median annual wage of $82,750. The BLS predicts demand for RNs will grow by 6% between 2021 and 2031.
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