There are a number of routes into nursing, with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) one of the most popular ways to become a registered nurse (RN). However, if you already have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated subject, you may be able to take an accelerated BSN (ABSN). For numerous reasons, this option is well worth considering as an effective way to start your nursing career.
Use your existing credits
You can be accepted onto an ABSN if you hold a bachelor’s degree in any subject, so the time spent on your existing degree will not feel wasted. If you embarked on your existing bachelor’s degree without a clear career goal in mind or you choose nursing as a second career, the credits of your current degree will be counted. This allows you to take on the faster ABSN rather than having to make time for another bachelor’s degree.
No nursing experience is required
An ABSN is an option worth considering regardless of your previous education and experience. It does not matter if your bachelor’s degree is in a subject unrelated to nursing or if you have worked in a completely different field up until now. An ABSN is still an option that will provide you with the thorough grounding you need to start a career as an RN.
Make use of your existing skills
Your previous study and career will not have been wasted, no matter what area it is in, as it will undoubtedly have helped you build up the soft skills vital for successful study and becoming a good nurse. If you look at your experience so far, you will see examples of how you have gained skills in communication, organization, problem-solving, good time management, and attention to detail. All this experience will help you succeed at an ABSN and in your nursing career.
The option of online study
ABSNs are widely available to study in person across the country, but it is not essential to have a course near you. ABSNs are also available through online study like the one at the Louise Herrington School of Nursing Online at Baylor University. Their non-nursing degree to BSN online program comprises 100% online coursework, two campus visits, and clinical placements that the university will help you arrange in a convenient location. Online study has the advantage of allowing you to study at a time convenient to you and avoids the time-consuming and costly commutes to a physical place of study. The content is as rigorous and challenging as anything a physical course can offer and will provide just as thorough preparation for a nursing career.
BSN degrees typically take around four years to complete, while an ABSN can be completed much more quickly. Generally, they take around half the time of a BSN but can be completed in as little as a year. This means that as well as getting started in your new career at the earliest possible moment, you will also be taking less time away from the workplace and will soon be able to get back to earning. This makes family financial planning much more straightforward and more manageable.
Lower tuition fees
A shorter course means lower tuition fees, making an ABSN a viable option even for those who would struggle with the cost of a BSN. There are also other financial benefits. As mentioned above, you will be able to start earning a living as a nurse much quicker. And if you choose the online study option, there will be reduced commuting costs, and generally, online study materials are cheaper than physical copies. An ABSN is still a financial commitment, but it does allow you to qualify more cheaply than you might have expected, and with nurses always in demand, it will be an investment well worth making.
A soft skill-boosting course
Many may worry that an ABSN is not as thorough as a BSN and will not prepare you as well for nursing. However, this is not the case. An ABSN has to prepare students for the same standard of nursing as any other route into an RN position. This means that ABSN students hone their skills across several areas such as retention of knowledge, time management, and organizational skills to gain the expertise necessary for qualification. These skills will continue to benefit you throughout your nursing career and impress prospective employers in your first position and when you are aiming for promotion.
A step on the road to promotion
It is recommended that nurses work for at least a couple of years as an RN. But after that, many nurses start to consider where they want their career to head. Nursing is a career with many different options. You may want to become a family nurse practitioner with your own practice, or you may be aiming for nurse leader roles. Alternatively, you may want to become a nurse educator, training the next generations of nurses, or it may be that a research role interests you. Because an ABSN is a shorter course, you will start to work as an RN sooner than your colleagues on the BSN course and can begin thinking much sooner about the direction of your career and what promotions to aim for.
If nursing is a career that interests you, there is no better time to get started. You will need to decide on how you will qualify, but if you already have a bachelor’s degree, an ABSN is an option you should definitely consider. Decide too whether you are going to study in person or whether it is more convenient to study on a high-quality online course from a top university. No matter what option you choose, you will be embarking on a rewarding, fulfilling career where every day makes a difference.