Accelerated Nursing Programs
The federal government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that over 580,000 new nurses will be needed by 2018. With a tremendous shortage of qualified nursing staff at the moment, the nursing occupation has excellent growth potential for the next decade. One way that some colleges and universities are attempting to produce more registered nurses (RN) is through accelerated nursing programs.
A professional looking to apply to an accelerated program typically will need a bachelor’s degree at minimum. The degree’s subject is often not important, but some programs do require that applicants have a bachelor’s degree in a health care-related field. RN candidates should be empathetic. They should be able to work with a smile on their face despite the circumstances. Not all patients will live. It can be difficult for some people to come to terms with a patient’s death. An RN needs to be able to follow regulations and rules exactly every day. Poor attention to detail can lead to a patient or the RN becoming injured. RN’s should be in relatively good physical shape since they may need to assist or move patients at times.
After enrolling, a professional can typically choose from either a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing (BSN) or a master’s of science degree in nursing (MSN). A traditional BSN requires roughly 4 years to complete. An accelerated program compacts the entire BSN curriculum into 12 to 18 months. An accelerated MSN program will take between 2 and 4 years. Most accelerated MSN graduates will receive both their BSN and MSN at the completion of the program. A majority of MSN programs cover baccalaureate-level coursework in the first year and then place the student in graduate study for the remaining years.
As of 2009, 230 accelerated BSN and 65 accelerated MSN programs were in existence. In the planning stages were 33 BSN and 6 MSN accelerated programs. The growth is likely to continue until the shortage of qualified nurses is more adequately addressed.
Curriculum in accelerated programs is similar to traditional coursework. Some subjects may be covered in less detail than in traditional programs. Common subjects can include:
A nurse must be licensed in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and even U.S. territories. Although specific requirements can vary, the common element is the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). The NCLEX-RN is required to obtain a license everywhere. Some states have additional requirements.
The BLS reports that about 2.6 million RN’s were employed in 2008. Hospitals had the highest concentration of RN’s with 60% working there. The number of RN’s is predicted to grow by 22% from 2008 to 2018. The significant growth means RN’s will see high demand for their skills in nearly all regions of the country. RN’s that are willing to relocate will be able to pick from a number of jobs. Foreign language skills can also help an RN communicate more easily with patients.