Why You Should Enroll in an Accelerated Nursing Program

Have you been thinking about becoming a nurse, but since you’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree in another field, you’re reluctant to start your education over from scratch? Have you been working in another industry, and you’re hesitant to take that leap toward making a career change? If this is the case, an accelerated nursing program can alleviate these concerns. These programs are specifically designed for those who have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing discipline, and they allow you to focus solely on nursing instead of retaking general education courses. This can go a long way toward helping you reach your goals without the frustrations of feeling like you’re wasting your time.

There are numerous benefits, both inside and outside of the classroom, that come with enrolling in an accelerated nursing program. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Time Savings

One of the biggest advantages of enrolling in an accelerated nursing degree program is the amount of time you can save on your studies. Instead of having to take another four years to earn a bachelor’s degree or three years to earn a master’s, you can significantly cut that time down. In fact, depending on the program, you may even be able to complete a degree in about a year and a half. As a result, students get the nursing education they want without possibly relearning information they already know. Also, it allows students to jump quickly into the nursing workforce, which is great because according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 6 percent increase in registered nursing jobs from 2022 to 2032—which is faster than the average of all occupations.

Money Savings

Hand in hand with the time savings of an accelerated nursing degree program are the financial benefits. Since students spend significantly less time in these programs than they normally would, they’re able to also save quite a bit of money. And the smaller tuition bill means students are able to take out less money in student loans, or possibly avoid loans altogether if they receive enough financial assistance with different scholarships and grants.

Luckily, there are a variety of sources where students can receive funding for their accelerated nursing degree program. In some cases, students can receive a scholarship directly from the school they attend. For example, schools like the University of Rochester, Grand Canyon University, and the University of Pittsburgh offer scholarships for students enrolled in their accelerated nursing degrees.

Similarly, professional nursing associations may also offer scholarships and grants for students in order to promote and advance the field. One organization that provides funding to invest in the next generation of nurses is the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, which provides scholarships for both undergraduate and graduate students. Also, employers, such as Monument Health offer scholarships to create a robust pipeline of future nurses to hire.

Cohort Model

Since accelerated nursing programs are so intensive, it’s not surprising that students may feel a lot of pressure and get burned out. But because these programs are based on a cohort model, where students spend their entire studies with the same group of people, they don’t have to feel so alone in their stress. The model can be extremely motivating for students, because they are surrounded by people who are going through the exact same pressures that they are. Also, people can lend moral support to each other, as well as help each other in the areas where they may have challenges.

The cohort model of accelerated nursing programs also gives students the opportunity to build their professional network. After going through such an intense experience together, people leave the program with a bond that can endure for years to come. This is a great way to start your career, as it may have both personal and professional benefits.


In addition to the cohort model, what makes accelerated nursing programs a unique experience is the access to diverse classmates. Since these programs are made for those who may have earned bachelor’s degrees in other disciplines, and may have pursued different types of careers before getting interested in nursing, they mix together students from various backgrounds who bring their own unique experiences with them. This provides another layer of learning that can make nursing school much more valuable.

Also, there is a level of diversity that students experience with their professors. These knowledgeable and experienced instructors may come from different areas of nursing, so they bring their unique perspectives to the classroom. Whether they come from a leadership position or have dedicated their careers to a specific kind of nursing practice, these professors have a wealth of personal experience to share.

Robust Hands-On Training

While much of the learning experience of accelerated nursing programs takes place in the classroom, there is also intensive learning that is experiential, so students really develop an understanding of how the classroom concepts they study are applied to real-world patient care. One way this is done is through simulation labs that students participate in regularly, where they have access to state-of-the-art technology to practice evidence-based nursing principles in a low-risk setting. The training gives the students the freedom to learn through trial and error without putting any patients at risk.

Also, when students reach the point in the program where they participate in clinical experiences at healthcare facilities, under the supervision of practicing nurses, they get the opportunity to see how all of their learning is applied to actual patient care. This allows students to become immersed in the daily practice of nursing as they assist medical teams caring for patients with various health needs.

Accelerated nursing programs are certainly not easy, there’s no doubt about that. You can expect an intensive experience that will challenge you in many ways. However, the advantages that students enjoy as they embark upon a nursing career can far outweigh the challenges. These programs are a great way for aspiring nurses to prepare for a career as they form lifelong connections with the colleagues they study with, as well as the professors who teach them.