Last Updated on December 22, 2022
Are you a current nursing student who wants to boost your chances of acceptance into a top program? Are you a licensed nurse looking for a fulfilling career move while also boosting your earning potential? Either way, an accelerated nursing program might be the ticket for you. In just 7-9 months you can finish an accelerated degree and start working on your dream job.
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Earning a nursing degree is a major investment in education. Students who study nursing benefit by gaining problem-solving, critical-thinking, communication and technological skills. These skills may help them to find a job or qualify them for higher salaries compared to those who do not have the same level of education.
Are you looking to get into nursing school but worried about getting in? Don’t stress—you have options!
Nursing schools all have different requirements, but there are plenty of accelerated nursing programs with high acceptance rates. Accelerated nursing programs are designed for people who already have a Bachelor’s degree but want to switch careers, and they’re usually offered at the graduate level.
In this article, we’ll talk about what accelerated nursing programs are and how they work. Then we’ll give you a list of some of the best accelerated nursing programs with high acceptance rates around the country (in no particular order). Here’s what we’ll cover:
Accelerated bSN programs with high acceptance rates
Finding nursing schools with high acceptance rates is no easy task. As the healthcare industry continues to experience growth, more students are searching for degrees at all levels of the field, including nursing degrees. This makes some schools, and the field in general, extremely competitive.
Don’t worry though! There are still many nursing schools with high acceptance rates. Check out the list below to find the perfect school for you.
Did You Know?
The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects the percentage of change in employment for registered nurses to increase 16% from the years 2014 to 2024.i
If you want to start a career in nursing, accelerated BSN programs are a great option. These programs allow you to get your education faster than with traditional programs, which means you can start working as a nurse sooner.
However, it’s important to find an accelerated program that has a good track record of accepting applicants. This can help ensure that the program is legitimate and will prepare you for success in the field.
In this article, we’ll cover some of the best accelerated BSN programs in the country and how you can increase your chances of getting accepted.
Easiest accelerated nursing programs to get into
As opposed to some of the nursing programs with low acceptance rates, there are still nursing schools out there with high acceptance rates. Many of these schools are actively seeking nursing students and usually offer a number of degree levels in their nursing program.
Below is a list of some of these nursing schools with highest acceptance rates, a short description about each one, and some of the nursing degrees offered. Be sure to check with a number of different schools to find the perfect program for you.
- Clemson University
2. Regis University
3. University of Texas-El Paso
4. Lubbock Christian University
5. Clarion University of Pennsylvania
6. Oklahoma Wesleyan University
7. University of Toledo
8. Lamar University
9. Youngstown State University
10. West Virginia University
and many more…..
1. Clemson University
Nursing Program Acceptance Rate: 100%
Clemson University is committed to world-class teaching, research, public service, student development, and continuing education. By combining the scientific and technological aspects of a major college with the highly engaged academic and social environment of a small college, Clemson is redefining the term “top-tier research university”.
Some of the nursing degrees offered at Clemson University are:
- Nursing Bachelor of Science (BS)
- Nursing Master of Science (MS)
- Nursing – Adult / Gerontology Nurse Practitioner (MS)
- Nursing – Family Nurse Practitioner (MS)
2. Regis University
Nursing Program Acceptance Rate: 100%
Established in 1877, Regis University encourages students to become leaders that make a positive impact in society through a vision-centered education and commitment to community service.
U.S. News and World Report has ranked Regis as a Top University in the West for 18 consecutive years.
Some of the nursing programs include:
- Nursing RN (Registered Nurse) to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing)
- Nursing – Leadership in Health Care Systems: Management Focus
- Nursing – Leadership in Health Care Systems: Education Focus
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
3. University of Texas-El Paso
Nursing Program Acceptance Rate: 100%
Striving to redefine excellence in education for more than a century, the University of Texas El-Paso has developed into a powerful public research university. The school has grown exponentially over the years because of its affordability, accessibility, and commitment to academic excellence.
As one of the nursing schools with high acceptance rates, UTEP offers bachelors, masters, doctorates, and graduate certificate programs in nursing. Some of these degrees include:
- Traditional BSN
- Nursing Systems Management Masters
- Doctor of Nursing Practice
- Post-Masters Nurse Practitioner Certificate
4. Lubbock Christian University
Nursing Program Acceptance Rate: 96%
Lubbock Christian University offers students expert faculty and instructors who are excited to help you learn. LCU prepares you for Christian service to your family, church, and community by fostering academic achievement, spiritual fulfillment, personal responsibility, and leadership development.
Some of the nursing programs at Lubbock Christian University are:
- Pre-Nursing Program
- Partnership Program with the Covenant School of Nursing
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)\
5. Clarion University of Pennsylvania
Nursing Program Acceptance Rate: 96%
Founded in 1867, Clarion University of Pennsylvania is a public state university with an annual enrollment of 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students. By combining a tradition of academic excellence with online technology, Clarion offers a range of high-quality degree and certificate programs.
Some of the nursing degrees offered at Clarion include:
- Associate of Science in Nursing (AS)
- BSN in Nursing (RN to BSN)
- MSN in Nursing: Family Nurse Practitioner
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
6. Oklahoma Wesleyan University
Nursing Program Acceptance Rate: 95%
As one of the nursing schools with high acceptance rates, Oklahoma Wesleyan University offers students a challenging, evolving, and caring Christian atmosphere. Whether you are starting or finishing, OKWU can help you achieve your goals by integrating faith, learning, and living.
The nursing degrees offered at Oklahoma Wesleyan University are:
- Nursing – BSN
- RN to BSN
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
7. University of Toledo
Nursing Program Acceptance Rate: 93%
The mission of the University of Toledo is to improve the human condition; to advance knowledge through excellence in learning, discovery, and engagement; and to serve as a diverse, student-centered public metropolitan research university.
In order to bring that mission to its more than 12,000 students enrolled in distance learning courses, most UT online courses are taught by the same tenured faculty that teach the on-campus courses.
Some of the nursing degrees at the University of Toledo include:
- Nursing – RN to BSN
- MSN in Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
- MSN in Family Nurse Practitioner
- MSN in Nurse Educator
8. Lamar University
Nursing Program Acceptance Rate: 88%
Lamar University is part of the Texas State University System and has been educating students since 1923. As a comprehensive public institution educating a diverse student population, Lamar University prepares students for leadership and lifelong learning.
Some of the nursing degrees at Lamar University are:
- Nursing – BSN
- Nursing – RN to MSN
- MSN – Nursing Education
- MSN – Nursing Administration
9. Youngstown State University
Nursing Program Acceptance Rate: 87%
Youngstown State University places students at the center of its world-class programs to assist you in the pursuit of career enhancement. As an urban research university, YSU emphasizes a creative and integrated approach to education.
One of the ways that Youngstown State keeps students at the center of its programs is by being one of the nursing schools with high acceptance rates. Some of the nursing programs at Youngstown State are:
- Nursing – BSN
- MSN – Adult Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist
- MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner
- MSN – Nurse Anesthetist
10. West Virginia University
Nursing Program Acceptance Rate: 85%
Like the resourceful people who first settled West Virginia’s hills, West Virginia University finds creative solutions and blazes trails to new discoveries. Through WVU Healthcare’s online patient portal, more than 50,000 patients can access their records and view lab results.
Some of the nursing degrees at West Virginia University are:
- Nursing – RN to BSN
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
- BSN to DNP
11. University of Missouri
Nursing Program Acceptance Rate: 82%
As the first public university west of the Mississippi River and the first state university in the Louisiana Purchase territory, the University of Missouri was founded in 1839. Considered one of the nation’s top-tier institutions, UM has a reputation of excellence in teaching and research.
The University of Missouri offers a number of nursing degrees, such as:
- Nursing – BSN
- MSN in Leadership in Nursing and Healthcare Systems
- MSN in Nurse Educator
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
is it hard to get into accelerated nursing programs
The American Journal of Medical Quality projects a shortage of nurses will spread across the United States through 2030. Even still, many nursing schools still have low acceptance rates.
In fact, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, nursing schools turned away 68,938 qualified applicants from bachelors and graduate programs in 2014.
If there’s an approaching shortage of nurses, why do schools still have a low acceptance rate? It’s because these schools don’t have enough:
- Clinical Sites
- Classroom Space
- Clinical Preceptors
However, that doesn’t mean that all nursing programs have a low acceptance rate or that it’s impossible for you to get into a nursing school. It simply means that you have to do more research to find the nursing schools with high acceptance rates.
what is the easiest accelerated nursing program to get into
Finding the perfect nursing school for you can be challenging, as there are so many options available, including direct entry MSN programs. Though many programs have low acceptance rates, there are many nursing schools with high acceptance rates that are actively seeking students.
Check out any of the sponsored listings on this page, including those mentioned in the list, to learn more about each school.
Students with a previously completed bachelor’s degree in any discipline have the opportunity to pursue an accelerated bachelor of science in nursing degree. The idea behind these program is to satisfy all necessary general education learning outcomes with knowledge obtained in the student’s first bachelor’s program, and going on to focus entirely on their nursing courses in their accelerated nursing program. We found the top accelerated nursing programs in the country, based on a school’s cost, acceptance rates, and graduation rates. Look below to explore top-ranking accelerated nursing programs.
1. Linfield College
Chartered in 1858, Linfield operates a main campus in McMinnville, Oregon, and a nationally renowned nursing school in Portland. Linfield established its Good Samaritan School of Nursing in 1982 as a component of the Good Samaritan Hospital — an institution in Oregon since 1873. Today, in conjunction with Legacy Health System, Linfield offers programs accredited through the Oregon State Board of Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The School of Nursing offers its online RN-to-BSN program through a partnership with Linfield’s Online and Continuing Education Department. Students begin their studies at Linfield with a transition to professional nursing course. The college uses a generous transfer policy for students with prior experience, with no expiration of course credits.
Students enrolled in the online RN-to-BSN program at Linfield must complete an integrated experiential learning course during the fourth (and final) semester of the program. Candidates must arrange their clinical placement with a service learning coordinator during their third (penultimate) semester. Online students may complete the service learning requirement locally or through Linfield’s international service learning program.
Applicants currently enrolled in a community college in Oregon may benefit from Linfield’s co-admission partnership agreements with local institutions. Linfield charges a per-credit rate for online tuition. The college also offers discounts to Legacy Health members and specific scholarships for students enrolled in its RN-to-BSN program online. Linfield is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.
2. Northeastern University
One of three professional divisions comprising Bouvé College of Health Sciences at Northeastern, the nursing school offers bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and continuing education programs. The school maintains partnerships with healthcare institutions in the communities surrounding its campus in Burlington, Massachusetts, to provide immersive clinical options for nursing students.
Northeastern’s online RN-to-BSN degree requires students to complete a combination of advanced nursing core coursework and residency credits, emphasizing professional skills in communication, ethics, and pathophysiology. All nursing students at Northeastern must also complete a community or public health practicum under the supervision of a nurse leader.
This online nursing degree requires students to complete 45 credits at Northeastern, as well as a 72-hour clinical experience. The program runs on a hybrid model. Students may enroll full or part time, completing their degree in one or two years. Applicants must hold an active RN license, a regionally accredited associate degree, and a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Additionally, the program requires applicants to complete prerequisites and bring in at least 83 transfer credits.
Northeastern also offers an accelerated BSN degree option online. The university charges tuition per credit, depending on which of these programs a student pursues. Northeastern is regionally accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Its School of Nursing delivers programs approved by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Nursing and it is also accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
3. University of Rochester
In 1925, the University of Rochester became one of the first schools in the nation to offer a nursing diploma. The school still incorporates its original model into its nursing programs, emphasizing the correlation between nursing research, practice, and education. Rochester’s community healthcare partnerships and generous financial aid packages contribute to its ranking among the best nursing schools in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Rochester offers an online RN-to-BSN that is in full compliance with New York’s “B.S. in 10” law, which requires nurses to obtain a bachelor’s degree within 10 years of receiving initial licensure in the field. This online nursing degree comprises major-related coursework, as well as arts and sciences classes. Students complete one modular course at a time, with full-time students graduating in four years.
Upon admission into the online RN-to-BSN program, students can automatically apply 32 transfer credits based on prior nursing major coursework. Applicants may transfer in a maximum of 96 credits based on prior learning, enabling some online students to graduate in 16 months. Distance learners must complete a capstone course to conclude the program.
Students receive an iPad once they begin taking core nursing courses online. The university offers multiple financial aid options, including scholarships, employee discounts, and regional merit awards. The program provides an average tuition assistance rate of 50-55%. The university accepts applications on a rolling basis, with program start dates in September, January, and May. Nursing programs at the University of Rochester hold accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
4. Sacred Heart University
As New England’s second-largest Catholic-affiliated university, Sacred Heart provides liberal arts programs that embrace education and spirituality. All academic programs incorporate The Human Journey — Sacred Heart’s signature core curriculum.
The RN-to-BSN track at Sacred Heart prepares graduates to meet education requirements for entry-level nursing jobs. The curriculum for this online nursing degree includes a combination of nursing major, liberal arts, natural science, and elective requirements. Students must also complete a Catholic intellectual tradition seminar.
Applicants must meet prerequisites and have an RN license, an associate degree or nursing diploma, and a minimum GPA of 2.5. Additionally, students must submit a resume, a professional statement, and two letters of recommendation. They must also complete a background check. Applicants may transfer in up to 90 credits, including 30 credits of lower-division undergraduate nursing coursework. Students who graduated before 1986 may also have the opportunity to apply 30 credits from an associate degree toward their online RN-to-BSN degree.
Students complete all coursework asynchronously. The program offers six start dates throughout the year. The university maintains small class sizes for personalized instruction in its online courses. The nursing program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
5. Quinnipiac University
Quinnipiac’s nursing school offers the only program in New England — and one of only 12 in the U.S. — that holds an endorsement from the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation. The nursing school promotes a collaborative approach to clinical practice, incorporating interdisciplinary healthcare coursework through the Center for Medicine, Nursing, and Health Sciences.
Students must complete nursing core and elective courses to earn their online RN-to-BSN. The online nursing degree curriculum emphasizes contemporary issues, research, evidence-based practice, and diversity. The program delivers all of its coursework asynchronously through the Blackboard learning management system.
Students applying to Quinnipiac may transfer in up to 88 credits from a regionally accredited institution. Applicants must hold an RN license in good standing and an associate degree or nursing diploma from a regionally accredited school. Additionally, applicants need a minimum 2.7 GPA. Quinnipiac accepts applications on a rolling basis and enrolls students in the fall and spring semesters.
Quinnipiac offers an online orientation to introduce distance learners to resources such as its library, financial aid services, and technology support. The university charges the same per-credit tuition rate for online coursework, regardless of a student’s state of residence. Quinnipiac’s nursing programs hold accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
6. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences
Choosing from Massachusetts campuses in Boston and Worcester, as well as an additional location in Manchester, New Hampshire, MCPHS students can gain access to some of the best healthcare facilities in New England. The college operates five clinics for nursing and medical students, enabling learners to gain hands-on experience in their field of expertise. During an average year, nursing students enrolled on campus and online treat more than 22,000 patients in Manchester and Worcester.
Students must complete a total of 122 credits, including professional nursing and general education coursework, to earn their online RN-to-BSN degree. The online nursing degree curriculum also requires 135 clinical hours. Students conclude the program with a capstone project exploring leadership in the nursing profession.
The program awards qualified first-year students up to 42 credits for prerequisite coursework and 25 credits for a completed associate-level nursing degree. MCPHS charges per-credit tuition rates based on a typical course load of 12-18 credits during the fall and spring semesters; students enrolling in less than 12 or more than 18 credits during these terms may pay more per credit.
Students enroll in this online RN-to-BSN program in the summer term, and the program requires an initial orientation on campus. After that, courses are delivered entirely online. The college maintains a student-to-faculty ratio of 13-to-1, with 90% of full-time faculty holding terminal degrees. MCPHS students can talk to college mentors, coaches, and advisors.
7. Labouré College
Established in 1892 in Milton, Massachusetts, Labouré focuses on providing nursing and healthcare programs in the Catholic tradition. Labouré is the longest-running education institution for nurses in the Boston area. It also qualifies as one of the most affordable nursing schools in Massachusetts.
The online RN-to-BSN program at Labouré uses an accelerated format, with each semester split into two seven-week sessions. The curriculum combines nursing-specific classes with general education coursework, culminating in an integrative seminar and a senior capstone. Topics explore professional nursing, evidence-based practice, and leadership and management in healthcare. Students pay the same flat rate for all RN-to-BSN courses.
Applicants must submit all official college transcripts with their application and hold a current RN license. Non-licensed applicants may qualify for conditional admission if they receive specific permission from the program chairperson. Students can enroll at one of six entry points. Learners who bring in ample transfer credits may graduate within four semesters. The program accepts a maximum of 90 transfer credits.
Labouré’s online nursing program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Students complete coursework online by participating in discussion boards and live virtual meetings with peers and instructors. The college maintains multiple support resources, including academic tutoring and coaching, career services, and technology tools. The Student Success Center also assists students with disabilities.
8. The Catholic University of America
Beginning operations in 1932, the Conway School of Nursing at the Catholic University of America offered the nation’s first professional coursework in nursing education. Today, the university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in nursing online and on campus in Washington, D.C.
The school’s RN-to-BSN program follows a traditional format, enabling students to complete primary elements of the degree online. The curriculum includes classes in the arts and sciences, nursing, and electives. Courses explore evidence-based care, transition to professional practice, and management of healthcare delivery. Students may complete an optional practicum in complex nursing.
Aspiring BSN students accepted to the Conway School of Nursing must complete 60 credits through the Nursing Exploratory Program, after which they can apply for admission into the upper-division BSN track. Students must earn a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, meet chemistry and biology prerequisites, and earn a minimum composite score of at least 75% on the HESI entrance exam during the fall semester of their sophomore year.
Students who choose to enroll part time may extend their degree completion timeline beyond four years. The program accepts a maximum of 12 completed college transfer credits. The Catholic University of America’s nursing programs hold accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
9. New England Institute of Technology
One of the most prestigious technical universities in Rhode Island and southeastern New England, NEIT enrolls more than 3,000 students in more than 50 programs on campus and online.
NEIT’s online RN-to-BSN track includes 67 quarter credits and caters primarily to students with prior experience, allowing learners to transfer in both general education and nursing credits. This online nursing degree culminates in a leadership and management course and a capstone practicum experience. In coordination with a faculty advisor, students may select a practicum site and preceptor of their choice.
Depending on their number of transferable credits, some distance learners can complete the program within three years. Applicants must hold an associate-level nursing degree or diploma with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.77. They must also earn a minimum grade of “C+” in certain biology, psychology, sociology, and English prerequisite courses. Applicants must also maintain current, unencumbered nursing licensure and demonstrate academic eligibility for the NCLEX-RN exam.
Students complete the majority of program coursework entirely online. Distance learners can access 24/7 technology support; career services; and the Academic Skills Center, which provides tutoring, coaching, and enrichment courses. NEIT charges all students the same per-credit tuition rate for RN-to-BSN courses, no matter where they live.
10. Loyola University of Chicago
When it opened its doors in 1935, the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing at Loyola became the first collegiate nursing facility in Illinois. The school now offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in nursing. Loyola also features specialized programs for aspiring dieticians, as well as degrees in exercise science and health systems management.
Loyola’s online RN-to-BSN degree completion program provides a fast track to a professional nursing career. This online nursing degree includes a combination of nursing, universal core, and professional nursing e-portfolio coursework. Applicants can bring in up to 66 transfer credits with them when they enroll, though they must complete at least 30 credits through Loyola’s nursing school.
Students may enroll in part-time or full-time study. Full-time students with significant transfer credit can graduate in one year. Each online course lasts 6-8 weeks, and many students graduate in three years. Applicants must have an active nursing license and a GPA of at least 2.5.
Students complete courses asynchronously through the Sakai learning management system. Loyola encourages distance learners to attend one of its monthly online orientation sessions through the Zoom platform. Distance learners pay the same per-credit tuition rate, regardless of their state of residence. Loyola accepts applications on a rolling basis and offers fall, spring, and summer start dates.
11. Endicott College
Endicott operates a main campus in Beverly, Massachusetts, and more than 20 academic sites across New England. In its early years, Endicott helped pioneer women’s rights in higher education and the workplace. Since graduating its inaugural class in 1941, Endicott has become a coeducational facility, expanding its offerings to include more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs.
Endicott features a hybrid RN-to-BSN program that blends evening face-to-face classes with online coursework. Students must accrue a total of 126-128 credits to earn their nursing degree. The curriculum explores interdisciplinary topics including nursing, biology, psychology, and statistics, culminating in a nursing internship, a seminar, and a two-part senior thesis requirement. Students must also complete a semester-long clinical practicum during their senior year.
Applicants must have a combined score of at least 1150 on the SAT or a composite score of at least 24 on the ACT. Additionally, applicants should hold a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. Prospective students should apply by the deadline to ensure their spot in the program, though Endicott may accept additional students throughout the year as space allows.
Students complete asynchronous online courses through the Canvas learning management system. RN-to-BSN students can join Endicott’s resident chapters of the Student Nurses Association and Sigma Theta Tau — the international honor society of nursing. Endicott’s nursing programs hold accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
12. Drexel University
Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Drexel helped pioneer distance education and was one of the first universities in the U.S. to offer a fully online degree. A provider of higher education programs for more than 125 years, Drexel began incorporating online learning in 1996. Today, students can choose from 140 certificates and accelerated professional degree programs in more than 25 academic disciplines.
Drexel’s hybrid RN-to-BSN track emphasizes both evidence-based and experiential learning models. Students must earn a total of 180 quarter credits to graduate from the RN-to-BSN program; however, the program allows students to apply up to 130 quarter credits based on previous experience. Transfer students can complete remaining core nursing coursework in just 12 months.
Students pursuing this nursing degree explore core nursing concepts, along with sociology, science, psychology, and statistics. The curriculum also includes an emphasis on communication in healthcare. Students take a transformational leadership course through Drexel’s Global Classroom in collaboration with other students around the world. The RN-to-BSN track culminates in a senior nursing capstone requirement.
Nursing programs at Drexel hold accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Drexel offers online “test drives” throughout the year, allowing prospective distance learners to familiarize themselves with the virtual learning environment. The university charges distance students a fixed tuition rate, regardless of their state of residence.
13. University of Portland
Established in 1901 in Oregon, UP’s location near the Willamette River inspired its nickname, “The Bluff.” The university offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs and over 1,300 courses in the tradition of the Catholic Congregation of Holy Cross. UP serves more than 4,000 students and hosts numerous Carnegie and Fulbright scholars.
The university’s hybrid RN-to-BSN degree completion program consists of 66 credits. Students must complete a combination of core and nursing major requirements, exploring topics such as policy and leadership, interdisciplinary care management, and evidence-based nursing practice. Prerequisites for this online nursing degree include a core course in the theological dimensions of suffering and death. All students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Applicants must hold an RN license upon entrance to the program or obtain one by the start of their second semester. Additionally, prospective students should hold an associate degree in nursing. Transfer students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 to qualify for admission.
Students enrolled in the hybrid RN-to-BSN program at UP complete asynchronous courses through the Moodle learning management system. The university’s distance learning resources include a tech support portal, academic tutoring and counseling services, and an online writing lab. The school’s nursing program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
14. Pace University
Operating campuses in New York City and Westchester, New York, Pace administers one of the largest internship programs in the New York City area. The university encompasses six major academic areas, delivering nearly 200 undergraduate and graduate degree and certificate options.
Pace offers an online nursing degree through its College of Health Professions. Most students complete this accelerated degree completion program in two years, though students with ample experience can complete the degree in 12 months. Online RN-to-BSN curriculum requirements include nursing core, arts and sciences, and elective classes.
Applicants must hold an RN license or qualify for the NCLEX-RN exam within two semesters of acceptance into the program. Additionally, students must hold an associate degree in nursing or a nursing diploma and a minimum GPA of 2.75. They must also submit a professional resume and official college transcripts. Pace does not require applicants to take an entrance exam or keep a waitlist. The university immediately admits students who meet entrance requirements.
Students complete courses asynchronously through Blackboard. Pace offers an online orientation for new students to help them gain familiarity with the virtual classroom. Most distance courses last 15 weeks, with students typically spending 9-12 hours per week on each course. Resources for online students include an IT help desk, tutoring and counseling services, library access, and disability assistance.
15. Pennsylvania State University
A pioneer in distance learning, Penn State World Campus launched in 1998. The university serves more than 100,000 students and offers over 150 programs online. Penn State offers its online RN-to-BSN in an accelerated format. Students complete 120 credits of program, major, and general education requirements, culminating in a clinical experience. Through elective courses, students can customize their studies with seminars in forensic nursing or nursing management and advanced coursework in healthcare informatics, data management, and clinical care.
Applicants must have an RN license to qualify for admission. Additionally, students need to submit official high school transcripts or a GED certificate with their application. Transfer students must complete at least 36 of their final 60 credits at Penn State. Each accelerated course lasts for 7.5 weeks. The program offers start dates in the fall, spring, and summer.
Students complete courses through the Canvas learning management system. Penn State World Campus offers comprehensive support services, including 24/7 technical assistance, tutoring and advising options, and career counseling. The online RN-to-BSN program at Penn State holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
16. Salve Regina University
Founded in 1934 by the Sisters of Mercy, Salve Regina delivers programs in the Catholic tradition at its Rhode Island campus and online. The university enrolls nearly 2,700 students and offers more than 80 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs, including an online nursing program that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Students pursuing an online RN-to-BSN in nursing at Salve Regina must earn a total of 128 credits. Upon admission, students automatically earn 58 credits for prior registered nursing experience. The program requires students to complete a combination of advanced nursing, co-requisite, and general education coursework, culminating in a nursing capstone. Additionally, students must complete a university seminar course.
Applicants should hold an associate degree in nursing or a nursing diploma, provide official transcripts, submit a nursing license, and possess a minimum 2.7 GPA. Salve Regina reviews credits for potential transfer on a case-by-case basis; however, all students must complete a minimum of 30 credits in residence to graduate from the RN-to-BSN program.
Full-time students with transfer credits can finish the program in one year. Students may choose from one of six flexible start dates throughout the year. The university offers preferred rates and further discounts to members of the military, veterans, and their families.
17. University of Virginia
Located in Charlottesville, UVA’s School of Nursing enrolls nearly 800 students and offers four distinctive nursing degrees, including traditional and hybrid RN-to-BSN options. Nursing programs at UVA hold accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
UVA’s RN-to-BSN track takes the form of a two-year, part-time hybrid program. Students complete the majority of courses online, convening on campus once a month for mandatory in-person sessions.
Applicants to the RN-to-BSN pathway program should hold an associate degree in nursing or a nursing diploma. Prospective nursing students who do not hold an RN license must achieve licensure by the time they begin RN-to-BSN coursework. UVA charges higher out-of-state tuition rates; however, the university offers need-based financial aid options to those who qualify.
Students can access courses and distance learning resources through UVA’s SIS and Collab microsites. The university’s comprehensive interactive networks offer technical help, tutoring, math and writing labs, and virtual library access. Students interested in earning this partially online nursing degree can apply to enroll in the fall semester. Participants can explore study abroad opportunities through UVA’s Center for International Studies and the Center for Global Health.
18. Michigan State University
With an inaugural class of 17 students in 1950, the College of Nursing at MSU remains at its East Lansing location. The college is committed to providing nursing programs that combine research, teaching, and service. The College of Nursing features multiple BSN pathways, MSN concentrations, and doctoral degrees, all of which are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The online RN-to-BSN program at MSU requires participants to earn a total of 120 credits. Students may transfer in as many as 60 credits based on associate-level experience and earn 30 credits automatically for passing the NCLEX exam and/or holding an RN license. The remainder of the online nursing degree consists of 32 credits in nursing and leadership skills, culminating in a three-part integrative seminar course.
Distance learners must also complete 117 clinical hours to earn their BSN degree. Students work under the supervision of a preceptor in nursing leadership and take courses in community and population health nursing. Learners may only enroll part time, with most students completing the five-semester program within 18 months. Applicants must hold an RN license and an associate degree in nursing or a nursing diploma with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75 to qualify for admission.
Students complete RN-to-BSN coursework through the D2L platform. MSU’s distance learning resources include technical support, test proctoring services, and online library access. While the university charges tuition based on a student’s state of residence, all military service members, veterans, and their families pay in-state tuition. MSU also offers an annual scholarship tailored to nursing students.
19. Belmont University
Located two miles from downtown Nashville, Tennessee, Belmont features a scenic campus and an enrollment of more than 8,000 learners. The university encompasses 12 academic colleges and departments, each offering Christian learning and service programs. Belmont’s School of Nursing offers BSN, MSN, and DNP degrees, and learners can choose from traditional, accelerated, and hybrid options. All nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The online RN-to-BSN degree at Belmont requires students to earn a minimum of 128 credits, including up to 30 credits automatically applied for previous associate-level or nursing diploma coursework. The hybrid RN-to-BSN track is suitable for students who have at least 64 transferable college credits, though students must complete the final 32 credits of their degree at Belmont. The program offers start dates in the fall and summer.
Prospective RN-to-BSN students must submit official transcripts, a personal essay, and a recommendation with their application. Belmont charges a fixed, per-credit tuition rate to all distance students, regardless of their state of residence.
Students complete courses online and asynchronously through the Blackboard Learn platform. Learners can also access courses and an online student portal through the university’s mobile app. Resources for distance learners include academic advising; math, writing, and language learning centers; and online library access.
20. Widener University
Founded in 1821 as an all-male institution, Widener now offers coeducational programs, including six degrees available online. Nationally recognized for community engagement by the Carnegie Foundation, Widener also earned the National League for Nursing Center of Excellence Award for 2017-2022. Nursing programs at Widener hold accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Widener’s online RN-to-BSN track offers an accelerated program option, allowing students who have completed 59 credits of prerequisites to graduate in one year. Distance learners can also automatically apply 33 transfer credits toward their BSN degree based on previous nursing coursework. The program does not require a clinical or on-site practicum.
This online nursing degree follows the curricular framework set by the American Association of Colleges of Nurses. Coursework emphasizes project-based methods and service learning opportunities. Students interested in enrolling in the fully online RN-to-BSN program should hold an RN license and an associate degree in nursing or a nursing diploma from a regionally accredited university with a minimum 2.0 GPA.
Widener assigns a personal student services coordinator to each learner upon enrollment. Distance learners can also access a new student orientation course online as early as four weeks before starting their program. The university delivers courses asynchronously. Resources for online learners include 24/7 technology support, career services, and financial aid advising.
21. Adelphi University
Founded in the 1940s in Garden City, New York, Adelphi’s College of Nursing and Public Health offers multiple undergraduate and graduate programs. The college emphasizes the importance of delivery, practice, innovation, and efficiency in its nursing programs. In addition to educating students in Garden City, Adelphi’s nursing and public health school serves more than 2,000 students at a Hudson Valley location and online.
Adelphi’s hybrid RN-to-BSN degree covers topics like community and global health, evidence-based nursing practice, and health assessment throughout the lifespan. Students may apply up to 34 credits based on previous study through associate-level coursework or by taking a placement exam in adult nursing, maternal and child nursing, or psychiatric mental health nursing.
Applicants should hold a New York nursing license and possess a minimum 3.0 GPA to qualify for admission. Additionally, students must complete prerequisites in math, science, and nursing theory to qualify for this nursing program.
Students complete the majority of the program’s required courses online or through blended learning, with a few classes offered on campus. The university groups students into cohorts, and nursing students move through the RN-to-BSN track together for the duration of the program. Distance learners complete courses through Moodle and have access to support services like tutoring, career counseling, library access, and an IT help desk.
22. Long Island University
A branch of Long Island University, LIU Post occupies a 329-acre estate on Long Island’s North Shore. LIU Post’s School of Health Professions and Nursing features 16 programs that emphasize interdisciplinary curricula, professional collaboration, patient-centered care, and technology integration. These nursing programs hold accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Students pursuing LIU Post’s BS in nursing must complete a sequence of college core, co-related, and nursing major courses. The program focuses on contemporary nursing skills for the workplace, including high-fidelity simulations and electronic patient records systems. Students thoroughly examine evidence-based practice, nursing management, and the transition into professional practice for licensed nurses.
Applicants with less than 24 completed college credits must score at least 1050 on the SAT or 20 on the ACT and submit high school transcripts for consideration. Transfer students with more than 24 college credits must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA. Transfer applicants must also provide official college transcripts and two letters of professional recommendation.
Student support services include academic advising, library access, and test proctoring services.
23. Emmanuel College
New England’s first Catholic-affiliated women’s college, Emmanuel opened in 1919 thanks to the efforts of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. The college enrolls about 2,200 students and offers more than 60 undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs at its Boston location and online. Emmanuel features nursing programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, including a fully online RN-to-BSN degree.
This online nursing degree features nursing major and prerequisite courses, with subsections in scientific inquiry, social analysis, and general studies. The program culminates in a health promotion capstone practicum requirement. Students can transfer in as many as 96 credits based on previous coursework toward their online RN-to-BSN, including 40 credits that are automatically applied based on an associate degree in nursing.
Students complete all courses online in an accelerated format, enabling some learners to graduate in 16 months. The program provides access to practicum opportunities at numerous medical facilities, including Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Students may also opt to complete their practicum in Italy through an international immersion experience.
Applicants must hold a current nursing license and provide official college transcripts for consideration. Prospective students must submit a resume, an essay, and two professional recommendations and sit for an entrance interview. Prospective RN-to-BSN students may apply to begin classes in the fall or spring and enroll as full-time, part-time, or non-matriculated learners.
24. Rider University
Founded in 1865, Rider operates campuses in Princeton and Lawrenceville, New Jersey. The school enrolls more than 5,000 students from around the world. Rider offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs across eight fields of study. Students may choose from 12 online bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and certificates, including an online RN-to-BSN track that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Rider’s online RN-to-BSN curriculum includes core, nursing major, and elective courses. The program incorporates clinical practice into its online curriculum, eliminating the need for separate clinical immersions; however, this online nursing degree does culminate in a capstone in evidence-based microsystem practice change, which students typically complete in a healthcare setting.
Students complete each seven-week course in an accelerated format online. Applicants must hold a current, unrestricted RN license and a nursing diploma or associate degree in nursing from an accredited institution. They must also submit official transcripts demonstrating a minimum GPA of 2.5 and undergo a background check. Rider welcomes prospective students to “test drive” an online course in the RN-to-BSN program.
Admitted students can enroll in Rider’s self-paced online orientation course. Distance learners complete all coursework through the Canvas learning management system. The university offers various support services, including free tutoring, career development, and student accessibility and disability services. Rider accepts applications on a rolling basis, and students can begin the online RN-to-BSN program in the fall or spring.
25. Monmouth University
Based in West Long Branch, New Jersey, Monmouth is located just one mile from the Atlantic Ocean and about one hour from both New York City and Philadelphia. The school boasts a 13-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio and oversees eight departments and schools, including its School of Nursing and Health Studies.
The nursing school at Monmouth offers a variety of programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and certificate levels. Among these is an on-campus RN-to-BSN track that targets students who already hold an associate degree in nursing or a diploma in nursing. This program works to prepare registered nurses for advanced roles in the field by teaching students to act as independent, responsible practitioners who are accountable to their patients.
To graduate, students must complete a combination of general education requirements, lower-division nursing classes, interdisciplinary requirements, and major nursing requirements. Students who hold a valid associate degree or nursing diploma meet their lower-division nursing requirements. Upper-level major coursework features classes that cover issues and trends in professional nursing, research methods in nursing, and a community health nursing lab.
Learners may attend on a part-time or full-time basis, and many classes are offered in the evenings to accommodate working nurses. Students can access a variety of services, including academic advising, tutoring and writing helping, and resume tips. The school’s RN-to-BSN track is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 19 percent increase in the number of nursing jobs from 2012 to 2022. As a solution, schools are encouraging students to enroll in accelerated nursing degree programs that get them on the fast track to getting a license and a job. Whether students have had long-time goals of becoming a nurse or are looking for a career change, accelerated nursing programs are the fastest way to get the training needed to obtain a license and start working in the field. This page outlines the different kinds of accelerated nursing degree, including what students can expect to study and how the programs prepare them for the rigors of nursing.
accelerated nursing programs out of state
Accelerated nursing bachelor’s degrees are for those who have completed at least a bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than nursing. Building on what students learned in their previous degree programs, students who enroll in accelerated BSN programs take only the nursing-specific courses that those who major in nursing are required to complete. Through classroom instruction and hands-on clinical experience, students who pursue these programs learn what they need to pass the nursing licensing examination in a short period of time.
Accelerated BSN: In-Depth
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), there are more than 250 accelerated nursing bachelor’s degree programs around the country, and several more are in the process of being developed in order to train enough new nurses to meet the growing demand. These programs have been gaining popularity in recent years, according to a survey administered by the AACN. The agency reports that in 2012, there were 15,002 students enrolled in accelerated BSN programs, up from 13,605 just two years prior. And as schools work to attract more students into these programs, the enrollment numbers will continue to grow.
Students who enroll in an accelerated BSN program can generally expect to complete their degrees within about 11 to 18 months, depending on the specific nursing school they attend. These programs attract students from diverse educational backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common — they are motivated to draw from their previous knowledge of social, natural and behavioral sciences, as well as the humanities, and apply it to nursing theory. Armed with the critical thinking skills they gained in their previous degree programs, accelerated BSN students learn principles specific to the nursing field and how those theories actually apply to the delivery of quality patient care in the real world.
Each school has its own specific qualifications that it looks at when evaluating applicants to its accelerated BSN program. However, the following are some common requirements that are expected of prospective students, as well as an overview of the application process.Requirements
- Bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing discipline.
- A minimum GPA of 3.0.
- Completed prerequisite science courses, such as biology, statistics, anatomy and chemistry.
How to Apply
- Submit application and fee.
- Send official transcripts.
- Write personal statement.
- Include current resume.
- Complete background check (after admission).
|Human Responses||Covers the body’s physiological responses to illness and how nurses assess them. Also includes information on how the body regulates internal systems.|
|Health Assessment||Focuses on how patient assessments are performed and the skills nurses should possess to determine patient needs. Specific topics may include assessment strategies and what to do with the information obtained through the assessment process.|
|History of the Nursing Profession||Discusses the evolution of the nursing profession. Includes information on changes in nursing practice over the years, as well as the legal and ethical standards that these professionals are expected to adhere to.|
|Care of Children||Provides an understanding of the unique needs of children and the techniques nurses use when treating this patient population. Also covers how nurses can work with the families of the children to whom they provide care.|
|Nursing Research||Students in this course can expect to learn different nursing theories and how nursing research is conducted. They also learn how to read and critique a research study, and how to craft a study from beginning to end.|
12-month accelerated nursing programs
Students who are interested in delivering advanced nursing care to patients can earn an accelerated master’s degree. Like their accelerated BSN counterparts, those who enroll in an accelerated MSN program are expected to have at least a bachelor’s degree in another academic discipline. In addition, schools that offer these programs require students to complete science and math course work that will provide a foundation to help them understand the complex concepts they will encounter in the program.
Accelerated MSN: In-Depth
Accelerated MSN programs allow students to get the theoretical knowledge and hands-on training they need to pursue advanced clinical care nursing jobs when they graduate. As a result, the goals of the program are twofold: These master’s degree programs are designed to give students the basic training they need to pass the nursing licensing examination — which is required after completing the first half of the program; and after students are licensed by their state, the accelerated MSN program picks up where the first half of the curriculum left off, giving students an advanced education in nursing that will allow them to obtain a higher-level job than they would have qualified for after completing a bachelor’s degree.
According to the AACN, there are about 71 accelerated BSN programs at nursing schools around the country. These programs, which take about three years to complete, are also seeing an increase in enrollment. In 2012, there were over 6,100 students enrolled in accelerated MSN programs, up from about 5,900 the year before.
Students interested in enrolling in an accelerated MSN degree program should meet the following criteria:Requirements
- Completion of at least a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing.
- A minimum grade point average of 3.0.
- Completion of prerequisite science and math courses — such as anatomy, biochemistry, psychology, statistics and physiology — with at least a C grade.
- Completion of the GRE or GMAT (depending on the school).
When applying for these programs, hopeful nurses should:How to Apply
- Submit their application with the school’s required fee.
- Send official transcripts from bachelor’s degree program.
- Write a personal statement.
- Submit recommendations.
- Include a resume.
- Submit to a background check (after admission into a program).
|Writing Workshop||Gives students the tools they need to communicate with their peers in writing. Includes information on techniques for effective written communication in the workplace, as well as in a scholarly context.|
|Ethics and Public Policy in Health Care||Provides information on how laws influence the delivery of care, and the common legal concerns that nurses must consider when working with patients. In addition, students in this course also learn about ethical decision-making in order to stay within the guidelines of the nursing profession.|
|Advanced Pharmacology||This course is designed to build on the knowledge that nursing students already have of pharmacology. Topics may include pharmacokinetics, pharmacotherapeutics, and the state and federal laws that govern how medications are dispensed.|
|Gerontology Acute Care||For students who are interested in working with older patients, this course provides information on the acute care needs of this population. This course covers the complexity of working with geriatric patients, the problem-solving abilities that nurses need when treating complex illnesses of older patients, and how changes in the health care system affects the way nurses work with the older population.|
|Mental Health Nursing||Explores the theories associated with providing mental health care to patients. Provides an understanding of mental health nursing theory, chronic psychiatric disorders and the challenges that nurses face when working with those who have mental health disorders.|
In addition to course work, students in accelerated MSN programs may be required to declare a concentration area and take complete the required coursework in that specialization.
The Accelerated BSN to Ph.D.
These programs put students on the fast track to providing the highest level of nursing care, or to become leaders in the field such as educators, researchers and health care managers. By training students at this level, nursing schools are making strides toward alleviating the burden of the nursing shortage, which is in part the result of the many nurse educators and other senior-level nursing professionals who plan to retire in the next few years. Accelerated BSN to Ph.D. programs take four years to complete and allow students to choose a specialization based on their career goals and interests.
Accelerated BSN to Ph.D.: In-Depth
For those who want to influence the nursing field by conducting research, teaching the nurses of the future and affecting public policy, accelerated BSN to Ph.D. programs provide a fast track toward meeting these goals. In addition, students who are interested in gaining the knowledge and skills they need to enter advanced clinical nursing practice also enroll in these programs. As a result, some programs allow students to choose between a clinical track and a leadership track, which provides them with the specialized knowledge needed to meet their specific career objectives.
The following requirements are generally what nursing programs expect from those who apply to accelerated BSN to Ph.D. programs:Requirements
- A bachelor’s degree in nursing from an accredited nursing program with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 (may be higher depending on the specific program).
- Completion of the GRE, depending on the program (a minimum score may be required).
- Clinical experience.
- A current nursing license.
When applying to an accelerated BSN to Ph.D. program, students may be expected to complete the following steps:How to Apply
- Complete application.
- Pay application fee.
- Submit transcripts from nursing degree program.
- Submit GRE score.
- Submit proof of a valid nursing license.
- Obtain and submit letters of recommendation.
- Complete a personal essay or nursing position paper.
- Submit current resume or CV.
- Participate in an interview with members of the admissions committee.
|Health Care Disparities||This course provides students with a look at the social components of health care delivery and the societal issues that may contribute to some people having access to better care than others. In addition, students get a more in-depth look at the legal and ethical concerns that influence health care delivery.|
|Health Care Management and Entrepreneurship||This course includes theories related to health care management and provides information on how nursing professionals can use their expertise to become health care entrepreneurs. In order to get a look at how these concepts work in real life, students may be required to read case studies.|
|Theory Development in Nursing||Focuses on the anatomy of a nursing theory, and how researchers develop theories and test them using evidence-based research methods.|
|Epidemiology||Provides a look at epidemiological studies and how nurses contribute to tracking infectious diseases that threaten the public’s health. In addition, students may learn about how to educate a community about disease prevention, treatment and control.|
|Information System for Health care||Students in this course gain an understanding of how information technology is used for the delivery of health care. The course provides an overview of different types of nursing and health care systems and how they are used.|
Surviving an Accelerated Nursing Program: Pitfalls & Escapes
Although students who enroll in accelerated nursing degree programs on all levels reap a number of benefits, particularly being able to jump-start their careers in a relatively short amount of time, these programs are not for everyone. Just like any other degree program, students who enroll in accelerated nursing degrees face a number of challenges because of the rigors associated with these degrees. The following are some common pitfalls that students experience when they enroll in accelerated nursing degree programs. It’s important to not only look at the benefits of an accelerated nursing degree, but also consider the challenges in order to make an informed decision.
- Pitfall #1: TimeEscape Although all degree programs take time and effort to complete, accelerated nursing programs can be especially demanding because they condense so much material into such a short schedule. Unlike their counterparts in regular nursing degree programs, students in accelerated programs must be prepared to complete all of their course work without any breaks between sessions. Many students often burn out as a result of this demanding schedule.
- Pitfall #2: Other obligationsEscape Students who are juggling their degree programs with family responsibilities may have a hard time in an accelerated environment. Many adult learners are tasked with the need to maintain some kind of work-life balance as they earn their degrees; however, accelerated programs make this concern much more difficult to address. Although the work that students do in these programs can ultimately benefit their families, students may have difficulty spending quality time with their loved ones throughout the duration of the program.
- Pitfall #3: Academic demandsEscape In order to train nurses for the demands of their jobs, degree programs are designed to be challenging. However, because students have to learn such complex material in a shorter period of time, accelerated programs increase academic demands exponentially. Students must consider whether they are able to handle the amount of pressure they’re likely to face in such an academically demanding environment.
- Pitfall #4: CostEscape Students enrolled in accelerated nursing degree programs are generally unable to hold a job as they pursue their degrees, which can make this option cost prohibitive for many people. In addition, the AACN reports that although schools are working to increase financial aid opportunities for these students, there are currently not many scholarships available for those in accelerated programs. This can put a financial strain on many potential nurses.
- Pitfall #5: PersonalityEscape Students who are considering accelerated nursing degree programs should take an honest look at their personality to ensure that they’re making the right choice. Students who are prone to procrastination or cannot handle stress very well are likely to become too frustrated to perform well in these programs. The intensity of accelerated learning is not for everyone, so some students may find that they’re better suited for the more traditional degree option.