If you’re planning to enter the nursing field, these are perhaps the best times.There is currently a severe shortage of nurses in the US and it is estimated that there will be a requirement for over 1 million new and replacement nurses by 2012. Opportunities abound for new and experienced nurses to earn professional satisfaction and personal rewards in nursing. Professionals from different fields who decide for a career change for whatever reason are increasingly turning to accelerated programs in nursing.
Accelerated BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) programs train those with bachelor’s degrees in other disciplines to be nurses in a year to 18 months. The number of accelerated BSN programs offered by various college in the US has grown substantially, from just 31 in 1990 to 197 by 2006. These programs are now available in almost every state. And with the shortage of trained nurses on the increase, accelerated nursing degree programs continue to multiply.
To help you decide whether to go in for the Accelerated BSN Program, heres some more information.
People from many professions are seen to enter the Accelerated BSN Program. These include marketing professionals, stockbrokers, accountants, teachers and nutritionists.
The accelerated programs are selective. To cite an example, in 2003, there were 196 applicants for 40 places in the combined BSN/MS program at Pace University’s Lienhard School of Nursing in New York City and Pleasantville, New York.
Though most accelerated nursing programs offer admission to candidates with a bachelor’s degree in almost any field, many students may be required to complete science prerequisites at the matriculate level typically anatomy, physiology, chemistry and microbiology to gain admission. Candidates must also have a very good undergraduate GPA.
As with any accelerated program, the Accelerated BSN Progam also requires the candidates to work hard to cope with the intensive training schedule. Normally, there are no breaks between terms. Prospective candidates should show clear evidence of their ability to last the up to 18 months rigorous training.
Accelerated nursing programs can often hit the finances of the students and the families hard. Tuition fee for these intensive programs can come up to $30,000, and students may also find it impossible to work even part-time during their training program. Candidates should line up enough funds to last the entire program without any income from part-time work.
Student loans are an option that can be considered. Banks and other retail financial institutions are only too willing to advance money to Accelerated BSN Program students because of the generally good and ever improving career prospects in the nursing field. Some colleges also offer limited scholarships but further details are not immediately known. There is also an increasing trend among colleges to partner with hospitals to ease the financial burden of the students. Typically, these partnerships involve the partner hospitals offering to pay off all or part of the student loan or paying the tuition fee up-front to the students. The students in return are required to work in the benefactor hospital for a few years.
Accelerated BSNs, like other nurses, have many career options other than patient care in hospitals. These comprise school nursing, occupational health, rehabilitation, home care, case management and hospice care. Starting salaries for graduates typically range from $45,000 to $60,000. Good enough for a start?