Are Accelerated Nursing Programs Worth It?

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Utica ABSN student wearing stethoscope

If you’ve ended up here, you may be wondering if an accelerated nursing program is worth it. If you already have a bachelor’s degree or are in the process of completing one in a non-nursing field, and you want to switch paths to become a nurse, the answer may be yes. Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs are appealing because you can apply your existing education to a new degree and complete your B.S. in Nursing in a timely manner. However, you still wonder if the commitments in both effort and cost are worth it.

To help you decide if an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program is the right path for you, we’ve gathered the information you’ll need to make an informed decision, including answers to these questions:

  • What is an ABSN program?
  • How do you evaluate if an ABSN is worth it?
  • Why choose Utica ABSN to earn your B.S. in Nursing?

What is an ABSN Program?

If you want to obtain your Bachelor of Science in Nursing, you could take the traditional, four-year route. However, if you already have some college credit, you may have the option of entering an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, or ABSN, program. This type of program allows you to obtain your B.S. in Nursing in as little as 16 months, offering classroom and laboratory learning as well as placements in clinical rotations. Although it can be an intense experience due to the fast-paced nature of the programs, it is worth it to be able to obtain your B.S. in Nursing in a timely manner, allowing you to start your dream career as a nurse as soon as possible.

Factors to Consider When Evaluating if an ABSN Program is Worth It

There are several factors to help you decide if an accelerated nursing program is worth it. ABSN programs allow their graduates to enter the nursing profession in a timely manner while also receiving a quality education and the support they need to succeed. These programs produce competent nurses, who can start working sooner, which also means getting paychecks sooner. However, it is important to evaluate individual programs to ensure you’re getting the best quality of education possible.

You Can Entering the Nursing Profession More Quickly

One of the biggest perks of ABSN programs is the fact that students can receive their B.S. in Nursing quickly. Some programs, including Utica’s ABSN program, allow students to graduate in just a little over a year. Our program builds on students’ previous learning experiences, offering a way for those with undergraduate degrees or at least 65 non-nursing credits to transition into nursing in as few as 16 months. And with start dates in January, May and August every year, you’ll likely have the option to begin the program sooner.

Four Utica ABSN students

You’ll Have More Professional Opportunities with a B.S. in Nursing

Graduating sooner means you’ll also be able to start working sooner. And as it turns out, a lot of doors open when you have obtained your B.S. in Nursing. Within their places of work, nurses who have their B.S. in Nursing tend to have more autonomy and make more critical care decisions than their peers who don’t.

Also, because a growing body of research recommends increasing the number of Americans who hold a B.S. in Nursing to ensure patient safety, many healthcare employers are eager to achieve Magnet status. This is a recognition that the American Nurses’ Credentialing Center designates to healthcare settings to recognize nursing skill and quality. Magnet and Magnet-aspiring organizations are either hiring nurses with a B.S. in Nursing first or requiring candidates to have one. Magnet organizations tend to have lower burnout and turnover rates and higher job satisfaction among their nursing staff.

It seems that having B.S. in nursing is a good decision in terms of career satisfaction, but are accelerated nursing programs worth it financially? The answer is a resounding yes. RNs earn a mean annual wage of about $75,330, with some sources reporting the starting salary difference between nurses with and without a B.S. in Nursing to be nearly $30,000. While the cost of a B.S. in Nursing may seem intimidating upon first glance, based on this information it’s clear it won’t take long to break even.

A B.S. in Nursing also sets the stage for pursuing a graduate degree or advanced specialty in the future. An advanced nursing degree is certainly an investment, but you can expect a high return, as many positions requiring a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) offer six-figure salaries.

You’ll Receive a Quality Education

ABSN programs are worth it when considering time and financial investments, however it is also important to consider whether you’re receiving a quality education. Accelerated programs are fast-paced in nature and during this short time you will be completing classroom and laboratory learning as well as completing clinical rotations. It is important to consider a school’s curriculum as well as its ties to local hospitals. While most reputable ABSN programs can’t guarantee clinical (or job) placement at any given facility, the more you prove yourself capable during your clinicals, the more likely nursing managers will consider you for future positions.

Utica ABSN student studying

NCLEX Preparation

Once you graduate, you also must pass the NCLEX. Look into how institutions prepare students for the NCLEX, as a program’s pass rates are an important measure of its quality. In 2019, the national average first-time pass rate for students who graduated with a B.S. in nursing was 91 percent. While the exam is notoriously challenging, our hybrid curriculum is designed to help you excel on it and to help you start thinking like a nurse. We also offer NCLEX preparation resources, including Kaplan test prep.

Student Support Resources

Accelerated nursing school requires dedication, but you should have access to plenty of support resources and experienced staff to help you succeed. Utica ABSN students have access to an academic success coach, who can help with strategizing ways to meet your academic and professional goals while maintaining a healthy life balance. Our experienced instructors are also eager to answer student questions via our online platform or during regular office hours for faculty located at one of our ABSN sites.

Finding a school that offers access to supportive faculty members, clinical instructors and personalized success coaches can make all the difference in your experience. Any ABSN program that offers these types of resources is likely dedicated to your success.

Utica nursing students in skills lab

Why Choose Utica ABSN to Earn Your B.S. in Nursing?

If you’re looking to reap the rewards of a B.S. in Nursing on an accelerated timeline, Utica’s ABSN program is a great investment. Utica University is an accredited, nonprofit university with a tradition of preparing nursing students to enter the profession since 1946 at our main campus in Utica, New York. Since then, our ABSN program was established, which was first launched in Syracuse, New York, in 2013 and later expanded to a second location in Albany, New York in 2022.

Our rigorous blended learning model meets New York state licensure and regional accreditation requirements and is designed to ready you for today’s ever-evolving healthcare landscape.

The online learning component of our program will help you understand, at your own pace, how nursing theory concepts relate to patient care. During the skills and simulation labs at our ABSN program sites, you can practice nursing skills in a risk-free environment. You’ll then apply these skills to high-tech medical manikins in simulated high-risk patient care scenarios. These experiences build your confidence and skillset before you interact with actual patients. Through clinical rotations you’ll have access to diverse clinical settings, healthcare systems and patient populations that will prepare you for a career inside or outside the hospital.

A B.S. in Nursing is Worth It

So, is an accelerated nursing program worth it? If your goal is to transition into the nursing field as soon as possible, it absolutely is. If you are ready to commit to earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing in as few as 16 months, contact us today to speak to an admissions representative.

The Ultimate Nursing School Admissions Checklist

Ready for nursing school but stressed about applying? We recommend downloading our free admissions checklist to learn the important ins and outs of applying to accelerated nursing school.

The ultimate nursing school admissions checklist