South Atlantic Region Accelerated BSN Program Comparison

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Do you want to go into nursing but don’t want to waste your prior bachelor’s degree? Are you already researching accelerated BSN programs but getting lost on how to compare which programs are best? You’ve found the right place!

Our analysts have spent time gathering data and information on available ABSN programs in the South Atlantic region (Delaware, Washington, DC, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia), and it is summarized here. This South Atlantic Region Accelerated BSN Program Comparison provides a wealth of information and comparisons for 54 nursing programs--including Utica College's Accelerated BSN program in Florida.


Of note, three of these South Atlantic accelerated nursing programs—those at the University of Virginia, Georgetown University, and Georgia Health Sciences University—actually award a masters in nursing degree, specializing in the clinical nurse leader (CNL) role.

The South Atlantic ABSN programs included in this analysis (in alphabetical order) are:

Anderson University Armstrong Atlantic State University Barry University Bowie State University Clemson University Coppin State University Duke University East Carolina University Eastern Mennonite University Emory University Florida Atlantic University Florida International University Florida State University Francis Marion University George Mason University Georgetown University Georgia Health Sciences/Georgia Regents U Georgia Southwestern State University Georgia State University Jacksonville University Jefferson College of Health Sciences Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Kennesaw State University Lynchburg College Marymount University Medical University of South Carolina Norfolk State UniversityNorth Carolina A&T State University North Carolina Central University Nova Southeastern University Queens University of Charlotte Remington College Salisbury University Shenandoah University Stevenson University The Catholic University of America The George Washington University Towson University Trinity Washington University University of Central Florida University of Delaware University of Florida University of Miami University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill University of North Florida University of South Florida University of Virginia Utica College Valdosta State University Virginia Commonwealth University West Virginia University Western Carolina University Wheeling Jesuit University Winston-Salem State University

US News & World Report National and Regional Rankings

Eighteen out of these 54 Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs are nationally ranked, with Duke University leading the pack at eighth. Johns Hopkins is ranked 12th nationally, and Emory University and Georgetown University are tied for 21st place.

The South Atlantic colleges that have ABSN programs fall within US News & World Report’s North and South regions. Eighteen of these South Atlantic schools that have ABSN programs are regionally ranked, and the remaining 18 are not ranked regionally or nationally. The highest regional rankings are:

  • Wheeling Jesuit at 11th
  • Queens University at 18th
  • Anderson University at 21st, as ranked in the South region.
  • Utica College is ranked 120th in the North region.

Program Cost

Tuition ranges widely for ABSN programs at these colleges.

  • Georgetown University is the most expensive at $138,600.
  • The ABSN programs at the University of Delaware, the Catholic University of America, and Emory University are also each over $75,000 in tuition.
  • Conversely, public colleges like Florida Atlantic University, Coppin State University, and North Carolina A&T State University generally have the cheapest ABSN tuition.
  • Utica College, along with several other schools, falls in the middle third in terms of ABSN program expenses.

Credit Hours and Program Length

Most students are used to bachelor’s degree programs taking four (or more) years and having 120 or more credit hours of classes. Since a prior degree is usually required, all of these ABSN programs take at most 27 months and 85 credit hours or less to complete.

The median program length is 16 months, and Utica College falls right at this average. ABSN programs at nine schools take 24 months or more to complete. These schools include:

  • Nova Southeastern University
  • Lynchburg College
  • Georgetown University
  • The University of Virginia
  • Stevenson University
  • Trinity Washington University
  • The Catholic University of America
  • Francis Marion University
  • Towson University

These extra eight-plus months can seem like a lot of time to a nursing student anxious to begin her career. On the other hand, 10 schools’ programs take only 12 months to complete. An ABSN program lasting only one year may seem too rushed and cause undue stress for some nursing students.

Credit hours needed for these ABSN programs range from only 40 for East Carolina University to 85 for Nova Southeastern University. Utica College’s ABSN program falls at the average at 62 credit hours.

NCLEX Pass Rates

Every ABSN graduate must take the NCLEX in order to be licensed to work as a registered nurse. No student wants to go through all the work of earning a BSN degree only to have to take the NCLEX multiple times or not pass it at all. NCLEX pass rates are a measure of how well the college prepares its BSN graduates for nursing.

The most recent pass rates available for these 54 colleges with ABSN programs in the South Atlantic were pulled from the board of nursing website of each state. In most cases, the NCLEX pass rate included for analysis is for all BSN graduates of that school, including traditional four-year nursing programs.

  • The average 2013 US NCLEX pass rate was 85.18%
  • The lowest NCLEX pass rates are Trinity Washington University at 44% and Catholic University of America at 68%
  • The University of Virginia has a 100% pass rate
  • Georgetown University and Duke University have a 98% pass rate
  • Utica College’s NCLEX pass rate for the ABSN program is 94%

Didactic Coursework

Didactic coursework is the part of your nursing program that would traditionally be held in a classroom and involve lectures and text book reading and work. These days, some nursing programs offer a few didactic classes online, but very few programs have all or most of these classes in an online format.

The benefit of having all or most didactic coursework online is that you can fit the work into your schedule and in a location that works best for you. Of course, any reputable accredited pre-licensure nursing program still has in-person labs and required clinical hours, and this is true for all of the programs reviewed here.

  • Utica College is the only South Atlantic region ABSN program to offer didactic coursework entirely online.
  • Georgetown University, the Medical University of South Carolina, the George Washington University, and the University of Delaware cite their ABSN programs as hybrid or a blend of online and classroom learning and appear to offer more of their didactic classes online than the remaining South Atlantic ABSN programs.
  • Nine of the 54 programs have ground-based-only programs.

Prerequisite Courses

Besides a prior bachelor’s degree being required for most of these South Atlantic schools, ABSN programs also require some science and other prerequisite courses that may not have been completed when you earned your prior bachelor’s degree. While not specified here, sometimes these prerequisite courses must also have been completed within seven years, or sometimes even within five years, of admittance to the ABSN program, so it is important to carefully research prerequisite requirements.

Most ABSN programs require Anatomy & Physiology and Microbiology.

Many also require:

  • Human Growth & Development
  • Statistics
  • Psychology
  • Nutrition
  • Additional courses such as Ethics.

The number of required prerequisite courses for these South Atlantic ABSN programs ranges from five for Duke University, Georgia Southwestern State University, the University of Virginia, and Virginia Commonwealth University to 17 for Barry University and Clemson University. Utica College, like several others, requires nine prerequisite courses. These include:

  • Microbiology
  • Anatomy and Physiology I
  • Anatomy and Physiology II
  • Chemistry
  • Statistics
  • Ethics
  • Psychology
  • Nutrition
  • Life Span Development

Number of Annual Starts

If you have most or all of your prerequisite courses completed and are anxious to begin an ABSN program to start your nursing career, waitlists and a limited number of start dates for a program can be frustrating.

  • Utica College is the only South Atlantic ABSN programs that offers three annual starts each year. You can choose from spring, fall, or summer, depending on where you are in completing prerequisites and when you want to begin classes.
  • Seventeen of the 54 programs offer two annual ABSN start dates
  • 36 schools offer only one start date per year

Top 20 ABSN Program Rankings

The ABSN programs are listed below in order of their overall score:

The George Washington University University of Miami Utica College Duke University Medical University of South Carolina Johns Hopkins School of Nursing Kennesaw State University Marymount University Salisbury University University of Central FloridaUniversity of North Florida University of South Florida Florida State University Lynchburg College University of Florida Western Carolina University Armstrong Atlantic State University Emory University Florida International University George Mason University

How Does Utica College's Accelerated BSN Program in Florida Rank?

Utica College tied for third place with Duke University and Medical University of South Carolina.

While we have not given stronger weight to any single metric, some of these considerations may be more or less important to you personally. If so, you may need to make some adjustments for your top schools to consider. However, this analysis can still help you as you research South Atlantic ABSN programs and save you time digging for the information on your own.

Contact us today to learn more about Utica College's Accelerated BSN program in Florida.

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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.

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