Updated Accelerated Nursing School Requirements: What You Need to Know

Each blog post is dated and contains accurate information as of that date. Certain information may have changed since the blog post publication date. If you would like to confirm the current accuracy of blog information, please visit our ABSN program overview page or contact us at (866) 892-6747.

5 must-haves for getting into accelerated nursing school

Many prospective students of the Utica College Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program decide to apply because of our 16-month hybrid learning model and the fact that we offer three start dates per year.

Once they learn about the advantages of our ABSN program, admissions representative Chris Kimball says their next questions are usually, “What do I need to do to qualify to apply?” and “What are the minimum prerequisite requirements?”

While we have a page dedicated to these accelerated nursing school requirements on our website, it’s worth noting that some of our admissions requirements have changed effective September 17, 2018, in our effort to help you succeed in our program and become the best possible nurse you can be once you graduate.

We outline our updated accelerated nursing school requirements and offer a few other tips for nursing school success below.

1. GPA Requirement

We want to do everything we can to prepare you for the intensity of a nursing career once you graduate. That’s why our nursing curriculum is so rigorous, and why we have a minimum cumulative GPA requirement of 2.8 or higher on a 4.0 scale for any students considering submitting an application for enrollment in our program on or after September 17, 2018.

(Note: If you already started the admissions process prior to this date, please refer to the admissions requirements your admissions representative discussed with you. If you have any questions about this or any of the revised admissions requirements, please contact your admissions representative.)

The updated GPA requirement signals to our admissions team that you have a history of demonstrated academic competence and can handle our intense accelerated nursing school curriculum, especially the notoriously tough science courses like pathophysiology, adult health and critical care.

“Our goal is to prepare you to be successful in the program and ultimately to become the best nurse you can be once you graduate. That starts with ensuring you’re academically prepared to handle the rigors of accelerated nursing school,” says Utica College ABSN site director Chris Payrot.

2. Prerequisites

Accelerated nursing school prerequisites not only set the foundation for professional nursing study and the rest of your nursing career; they also help you dip your toe into the nursing field so you can determine if nursing is the right career choice for you.

Not to mention they’re a requirement for acceptance into our ABSN program. For enrollment consideration into Utica College’s accelerated B.S. in Nursing program, also effective September 17, 2018, you must earn a grade of “C” or better in the following general prerequisites and a 3.0 overall GPA for the following science prerequisites:

General PrerequisitesNatural Science Prerequisites
StatisticsAnatomy + Physiology I + Lab
Life Span Development PsychologyAnatomy + Physiology II + Lab
Chemistry + Lab
Microbiology + Lab

The natural science prerequisites often prove to be the most challenging for prospective ABSN students, especially for those who don’t come from a science background. In general though, if you’re able to excel in the anatomy and physiology prerequisites, you stand a good chance of managing the rigors of our accelerated nursing program.

A few other things to keep in mind about completing prerequisites for the Utica ABSN program:

  • You can’t skip them.
  • You’re allowed only one retake of any two ABSN prerequisite courses.
  • You must have completed any natural science prerequisite courses within the last 10 years.
  • You must complete them at a regionally accredited institution. Check with our admissions team to see if your credits are transferable. Or, you can complete your prerequisites 100% online through our Prerequisite Priority (PREP) program.

3. Academic Background

No matter which program location you choose, we can fast-track your nursing education by leveraging the degree or college credits you’ve already earned. While the academic background qualifications for the Utica College ABSN program haven’t changed, they vary depending on which program you’re considering:

  • For our accelerated nursing program in Syracuse, New York, you must have an existing bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution.
  • For our ABSN programs in the Tampa Bay and Miami-Fort Lauderdale areas in Florida, you must have at least 65 credits from an accredited institution for consideration.

In other words, you won’t be starting over completely on your college education; rather, we designed our program to build upon what you’ve already learned, whether your major was accounting or zoology. That way, once you enroll in our ABSN program, you can focus strictly on your nursing studies.

Aside from the above academic accelerated nursing school requirements, Kimball says having the following (although not requirements for admission to the program, per se) also increases your odds of succeeding in the Utica College ABSN program:

4. Time Commitment

Given the intense, fast-paced format of our ABSN curriculum, devoting a significant amount of time and energy to your courses is vital to your success in our program. In fact, many students have compared it to holding a full-time job, with hours varying week to week. For that reason, we recommend you not work while enrolled as a student enrolled in our ABSN program.

Additionally, no matter your academic qualifications, if you lack the time or resources to stay on track, you’ll find it much more difficult to succeed. Even though components of the program are online, you still have to have enough self-discipline to stay on top of your studies, Kimball says.

“When you are doing an online-based program, time management is huge,” Kimball says. “You have to be able to focus. You can’t have Facebook open when you’re doing your online work and you can’t allow yourself to get distracted.”

5. Outside Support System

A support system outside of the ABSN program is another huge key to your success in accelerated nursing school, Kimball says. It’s vital your friends and family members understand how intense the program is and the time commitment involved — even when you aren’t at the ABSN program site or completing clinical rotations.

“When you’re doing work at home, you are in school,” Kimball says, “but if the people in your life aren’t supporting that, that can be problematic.”

Preparing You for a Bright Future

No matter how you slice it, nursing school is intense. While our accelerated nursing program has more rigorous admissions standards, bear in mind they will help you succeed as a nursing student in our program and in your future nursing career once you graduate.

From the application process to graduation, our admission representatives, nursing faculty and clinical instructors are also here to help you achieve your ultimate goal as a nurse. If you’re ready to make your dream a reality, schedule an appointment with one of our dedicated admission representatives today.

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