5 Benefits of an Accelerated Nursing Program

benefits of an ABSN program
benefits of an ABSN program

Nurses play a central role in the healthcare system, and their role is comprehensive, far-reaching, and impactful for patient outcomes. Nurses care for individuals through health promotion, patient advocacy, patient and family education, illness and injury prevention, and support. Nurses save lives and collaborate with other healthcare providers to enhance the quality of care. 

The hybrid accelerated bachelor of science in nursing (ABSN) teaches nurses the foundational and entry-level skills needed to enter the profession of nursing as registered nurses (RNs). Nurses enrolled in an ABSN online program learn and develop the needed competencies and fundamental nursing principles in lab and clinical settings in addition to the coursework. As a result, graduates better understand the nurse's role in the provision of safe patient care, effective communication, patient teaching, health promotion, and utilization of the nursing process. 

Learn more about the benefits of enrolling in a hybrid accelerated nursing program to discover if the ABSN online degree is right for you. 

What is an accelerated nursing program? 

A hybrid Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) at Rockhurst University is a full-time program that prepares you to become a skilled nurse in just 16 months. A second degree accelerated BSN program is specifically designed for healthcare professionals who have previously earned a Bachelor’s degree in another field and now want to become RNs.

This intensive, full-time program readies students for the nursing workforce as BSN-prepared nurses. An online ABSN offers required coursework 100% online, alongside an on-campus residency and the clinical hours needed to graduate.

At Rockhurst University, students take part in a 10-day clinical immersion on campus in the first semester. Students receive hands-on instruction from licensed RN preceptors alongside faculty, build clinical skills in a simulation lab, demonstrate competencies and provide direct patient care in supervised rotations.

Admission Requirements for earning a hybrid ABSN online at Rockhurst University:

  • Bachelor’s degree in any field
  • Resume
  • Must complete two of four science prerequisites for your application to be reviewed
  • Science credits must be no older than seven years; older credits trigger a HESI or ATI TEAS admission exam
  • Cannot repeat science courses more than once
  • Minimum of grade C in all prerequisite coursework
  • Minimum 2.7 GPA in all prerequisite coursework

ABSN Online Coursework

Rockhurst University’s hybrid ABSN program requires students to complete 60 credit hours and 546.5 clinical hours. The coursework covers topics that range from foundational nursing skills to complex and specific care applications for children and adults. A sample of the ABSN online coursework includes:

  • Foundations of Professional Nursing
  • Adult Health Nursing
  • Maternal Child Health Nursing
  • Complex Care of Adults

Learn more about Rockhurst University's online ABSN program

Are accelerated nursing programs worth it? 

There are many accelerated nursing program benefits that make an ABSN online worthwhile. There’s no better time to accelerate your path to a BSN and become a registered nurse. With a growing demand for RNs, a positive job outlook, above-average salary opportunities, flexibility, and autonomy, nursing is an attractive career path for motivated and passionate healthcare workers. 

One of the most significant returns while working as an RN is directly impacting the health and well-being of thousands of individuals and their families. Nurses change lives, and those who pursue an ABSN are on the fast track to enjoy the following benefits:  

1. Fulfill a growing demand in the market

Nurses are a critical part of the healthcare system and make up the largest section of the health profession. With the current job outlook projections, professionals who complete an accelerated BSN program online can virtually guarantee their skill set will be essential in today’s workforce and continue to provide value in the next ten years.   

The healthcare system needs more RNs right now. The United States is currently experiencing a nursing shortage. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic increased pressure on an already overwhelmed healthcare system. As a result, nurses experienced higher rates of burnout, and health care organizations struggled to fill the gap.  

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the maturing labor force and current healthcare demands will create a total of 194,500 openings for RNs every year until 2030. 

In addition to the need for RNs, the BLS also projects growth across multiple nursing roles, including:

  • Licensed practical nurses (LPNs): An additional 60,700 new LPN roles will be created by 2039, for a growth of 9 percent.
    • Education requirements: must have at least a postsecondary nondegree award and a state license.
  • Nurse anesthetists (APRN): An additional 49,800 nurse anesthetist roles will be created by 2030, growing 13 percent.
    • Education requirements: must have at least a master’s degree in their specialty role, be a licensed registered nurse in their state, pass a national certification exam, and have a state APRN license.
  • Nurse practitioners (APRN: An additional 335,200 nurse practitioner roles will be created by 2030 to grow 52 percent.
    • Education requirements: must have at least a master’s degree in their specialty role, be a licensed registered nurse in their state, pass a national certification exam, and have a state APRN license.
  • Nurse-midwives (APRN): An additional 8,200 nurse midwife roles will be created by 2030, for a growth of 11 percent.
    • Education requirements: must have at least a master’s degree in their specialty role, be a licensed registered nurse in their state, pass a national certification exam, and have a state APRN license.

It’s important to recognize that each nursing role requires varying levels of education, from a diploma program to a graduate degree. Working as a nurse anesthetist, nurse practitioner, and nurse-midwife requires additional education beyond the BSN. However, a BSN is a stepping stone to advanced nursing careers. 

2. Enhance your marketability and career potential

A BSN program is attractive to future employers. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN), “Employers are expressing a strong preference for new nurses with baccalaureate preparation.” 

In AACN’s recent survey on the Employment of New Nurse Graduates, findings show that 46% of employers require new hires to have a bachelor’s degree while 88% strongly prefer baccalaureate-prepared nurses. As a result, obtaining an online ABSN helps students build a portfolio that demonstrates to future employers they have the skills, experience, and fortitude to excel in the nursing field. 

3. Increase your earning potential 

Registered nurses earn higher salaries than licensed practical nurses. With baccalaureate degrees, nurses with baccalaureate degrees enhance their lifetime earning potential. The median annual wage for registered nurses (RN) is approximately $75,330 per year. 

Nursing professionals with a BSN degree earn higher salaries than LPNs. Additionally, the BSN can act as a stepping stone to advanced nursing roles. Professionals with a BSN can earn specialized master’s degrees or even doctorate degrees and eventually enter APRN roles. The BLS also reports the median salaries across multiple nursing roles, including:

  • Licensed practical nurses (LPNs): The median annual wage for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is approximately $48,820 per year.
  • Nurse anesthetists (APRN): The median annual wage for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is approximately $183,580 per year.
  • Nurse practitioners (APRN): The median annual wage for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is approximately $111,680 per year.
  • Nurse-midwives (APRN): The median annual wage for licensed practical and licensed vocational nurses is approximately $111,130 per year.
     

4. Contribute to better health outcomes 

Nurses are responsible for direct patient care and case management. In addition, they establish nursing practice standards, develop quality assurance procedures, and direct complex nursing care systems. As a result, nurses with baccalaureate preparation are perfectly positioned to contribute to better health outcomes for patients.  

Nurses promote safe and quality patient care, help address the overall health of people and communities, and help ensure healthcare is affordable and accessible. In addition, studies demonstrate that professional nursing contributes to better patient outcomes and higher patient satisfaction rates. 

5. Enjoy more independence and leadership opportunities 

The BSN curriculum helps nurses make better decisions in their practice. Compared to ADN-prepared RNs or LPNs, nursing professionals with a BSN degree engage in more evidence-based practice and focus on leadership, community, and population health. As a result, BSN-prepared nurses may enjoy more leadership opportunities in the workplace compared to those with an associate’s or diploma degree. 

For example, in an ABSN online program, students enroll in Complex Care for Adults, a course that provides students with the advanced knowledge required to care for patients with complex, multi-system alterations in health due to acute birth, disease, or trauma complications. In addition, students in the ABSN online program have the opportunity to apply these concepts and skills in clinical and simulation lab settings and build a resume that demonstrates their ability to work autonomously. 

Become A Skilled Registered Nurse At Rockhurst University

If you’re ready to begin a career as a nurse and have already earned a bachelor’s degree in any other field, Rockhurst University offers an accelerated path to a rewarding new role in health care that leverages your education and values your experience.

Rockhurst’s Hybrid ABSN online is a full-time program that prepares you to become a skilled nurse in just 16 months. This intensive program prepares you to enter the nursing workforce as a BSN-prepared nurse. The coursework is 100% online and paired with hands-on clinical hours.

In your first semester, you’ll take part in a 10-day clinical immersion on campus. While there, you will receive hands-on instruction and build your clinical skills in our new state-of-the-art simulation lab and supervised rotations providing direct patient care. After the residency component, courses and clinical rotations continue throughout the program.

With an accelerated BSN from Rockhurst University, you earn a quality degree backed by more than a century of nursing education. Affiliated with Saint Luke’s Health System and guided by Jesuit values, Rockhurst University prepares aspiring nurses to care for the needs of the whole person through rigorous academics, rich and varied clinical experiences, and a spirit of inquiry and reflection.

Learn more about Rockhurst’s Online ABSN to see if this program is right for you.