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Accelerated BSN Programs in Connecticut (CT) – Online & Campus

Explore our guide to accelerated BSN Connecticut programs, from profiles of quality programs to the ABSN timeline and more.

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Panoramic view of a Connecticut city skyline with various tall buildings, including modern and historic architecture, on a clear day. Green trees are in the foreground, and a highway with road signs is visible at the bottom of the image. The sky is partly cloudy.

You’re pivoting. You want to become a nurse — but what will your friends and family think? You’re about to graduate, or you’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree that is not in nursing.

First, know you’re not alone. There are enough people who want to transition into nursing after completing an unrelated undergraduate degree that there are nursing programs designed specifically for them. These accelerated BSN programs for non-nurses, including accelerated BSN programs in Connecticut, can quickly get you where you want to go by acknowledging and giving you credit for where you’ve already been.

Accelerated BSN Connecticut programs are considered “accelerated” because the general education courses you completed for your first bachelor’s degree count toward those required for your BSN. The only classes left for you to take are nursing courses.

This degree is also an excellent option for licensed nurses who have completed several general education courses and have some nursing experience, but not a BSN. If you fit into either of these categories, read on to learn more about your path to becoming a BSN-prepared nurse.

Inside Accelerated Online & Hybrid BSN Programs in CT

Knowing the critical components of a high-quality accelerated BSN program in Connecticut is the first step in helping you along this path. Below, we’ve spotlighted two programs (in no particular order) that integrate online components to increase flexibility for nursing students.

Sacred Heart University

The accelerated Connecticut BSN program at Sacred Heart University is a unique year-round program that can be completed in 15 months. Students start in May and finish in August the following year. The program, for students who have already earned a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, consists of 58 required credits, with the rest of the bachelor’s degree transferred from the previously earned degree. Students will have access to five state-of-the-art nursing labs and a high-fidelity simulation center to help hone crucial nursing skills needed for work in various healthcare settings.

The program is CCNE-accredited, and the classes are delivered in two to seven weeks, following a strict study schedule. Though this program is not technically considered an online or hybrid program, aspects of it are available online, such as the online testing platforms students will use to prepare for the NCLEX-RN exam.

Quinnipiac University

The Accelerated BS in Nursing (ABSN) from Quinnipiac University enables students with a previously earned bachelor’s degree to pivot toward a fulfilling career in nursing. The hybrid program’s two start dates are in January or August. Students will complete the 12-month program with their cohort.

The CCNE-accredited curriculum concentrates entirely on essential nursing coursework and clinical practice. Students will learn on-site at the North Haven campus, remotely through online courses, and off-campus at clinical experiences in various settings throughout the state. Graduates can sit for the NCLEX-RN and the appropriate national exam to become board-certified holistic nurses through the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation. Admission into the ABSN program requires students to have a completed bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0, and completion of four prerequisite courses. Students are also eligible for tuition assistance through the CT Health Horizon grant.

Inside Traditional Accelerated Connecticut BSN Programs

Like the hybrid programs spotlighted above, the traditional on-campus accelerated BSN Connecticut programs below are not listed in any particular order, but are examples of high-quality programs, nonetheless. Take note of their components and commit to attending similar high-quality programs as you research additional schools.

Southern Connecticut State University

Southern Connecticut State University offers an Accelerated Career Entry (ACE) program for individuals already holding a BS/BA in any non-nursing field from an accredited college or university. This program is for students who wish to transition into healthcare and earn their BSN. Students will graduate with their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 12 months. Admission to the program requires the completion of nine prerequisite courses with a minimum C+ grade, submission of required documentation and transcripts, submission of a personal essay, a completed BA/BS degree from an accredited institution, and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. There is no limit to how many credits can be transferred into SCSU.

The curriculum includes Therapeutic Nutrition, Nursing Research, Evidence-Based Nursing Interventions, Integrated Pathophysiology and Pharmacology, Mental Health Nursing, and Leadership, Management, and Health Care Issues in Nursing.

University of Bridgeport

The University of Bridgeport offers an accelerated BSN program in Connecticut that students can complete in 15 months. The program uses previously earned, non-nursing bachelor’s-level course education to count toward the BSN’s general education requirement. The rest of the ABSN program covers the remaining 56 nursing credits. Students will learn to provide patient-centered, evidence-based nursing care and promote healthy lifestyles through health education and population-focused interventions.

Admission to the ABSN program is competitive and requires a conferred BA/BS degree from an accredited university, a cumulative GPA of 3.0 across all institutions attended, and the completion of multiple prerequisite courses, including Anatomy and Physiology, Intro to Chemistry, Microbiology, College Algebra, Statistics, English Composition, Intro to Psychology, Lifespan Development, and Principles of Sociology. Students seeking financial aid may qualify for scholarship assistance through the CT Health Horizons initiative. Students can meet multiple criteria but MUST meet at least one of the eligibility criteria to qualify for tuition reimbursement.

University of Saint Joseph

The Accelerated Second Degree (ASD) in nursing from the University of Saint Joseph is an accelerated BSN Connecticut is proud to offer. Upon graduation from this 15-month program, students are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. They will also be able to demonstrate knowledge and skills in leadership, implement an evidence-based and theoretically guided framework for nursing practice, and utilize data to promote safety and optimal patient outcomes. Students also learn to collaborate with other members of the health care team to advocate for high-quality and safe patient care, and how to demonstrate competent nursing practice in diverse settings caring for various populations.

Applications for the May cohort are due by February 1. Students must earn a B- or better in all prerequisite courses and must have completed coursework in the previous five years. Once admitted, students need to pass a background check and drug screening test. As with other universities in Connecticut, tuition support for ASD Nursing students is available through CT Health Horizons.

Timeline of an Accelerated BSN Program in Connecticut (CT)

Putting off your education for a semester or more because prerequisites weren’t completed, stressing about finding clinical placements (if applicable), or missing a qualifying step for your certification exam can derail your progress toward becoming a BSN-prepared nurse. That’s why understanding all the moving parts of an accelerated BSN Connecticut program is so important. We’ve broken these down in six month increments below to help you get a clearer picture of what to expect.

Six Months Before

ABSN programs require students to have a previously earned BA/BS from an accredited university. Before applying to an ABSN, be sure to complete your non-nursing bachelor’s degree. You’ll also need to review your preferred program and complete any prerequisite courses. Ensure your general education credits will transfer and count for the general education requirements in your ABSN program. Gather all necessary documents to complete your application to your preferred program.

First Six Months

The first six months of accelerated BSN programs for non-nurses will likely focus on teaching you the basics of nursing. You’ll learn about nursing fundamentals, health assessment skills (most likely with lab requirements), nutrition (if needed), and the integration of pathophysiology and pharmacology. Education covering health policy and health systems may also appear in the first half of your program.

Last Six Months

Once a nursing foundation has been established, the second half of an ABSN curriculum will likely cover more advanced topics such as nursing research, management and leadership issues in professional practice, and management of complex health issues. You’ll also learn about different populations and their various health needs (gerontology, mental health nursing, pediatrics, etc.). Near the end of the program, students will also participate in a senior project or practicum. Clinical requirements will be woven throughout the entire program.

Six Months After

Once you have graduated from your accelerated BSN, Connecticut requires nursing students to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. This certification is necessary before students can start applying for nursing jobs. Students should network as much as they can both during and after their ABSN program to help find a position as soon as they obtain their license. Students who wish to earn a graduate degree in nursing right after their ABSN should research graduate programs and prerequisites near the end of their ABSN program for a seamless transition upon graduation.

Benefits & Challenges of Accelerated BSN Programs for Non-Nurses

Completing an accelerated BSN program in Connecticut has many benefits, including a high ROI and condensed timeline. But there can also be some challenges, particularly if this is your first foray into the field of nursing — keep reading to learn how to recognize and overcome these challenges to reap the many benefits these programs have to offer.

Benefit: High Return on Investment

Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees in Connecticut can range from under $25,000 to about $78,000 for the entire program. For a program on the lower end of the spectrum with financial aid or the CT Health Horizons benefits, an ABSN degree can be quite affordable. The shortened length of the degree also allows students to start earning sooner.

Benefit: Fast Track to Nursing Career

In addition to a high return on investment, accelerated BSN programs are just that — accelerated. Most can be completed in 12-15 months (see above examples in Connecticut). Though it’s faster to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing to begin with, this is the next fastest option for professionals who want to change careers and enter the nursing field.

Benefit: Preparation for Advanced Degrees

ABSN degrees are usually condensed into a short time frame, which means students cover a lot of material in a short amount of time. This can help prepare students for more intense advanced degrees, such as an MSN or DNP. The condensed timeframe also ensures that all knowledge gained is fresh for those looking to enter a graduate nursing degree immediately after graduation.

Challenge: Adaptation to Nursing Culture

One downside to an ABSN is the short period in which students must adapt to nursing culture. Where traditional BSN students are integrated over four years, ABSN students only have one year to transition. This difficulty can be mitigated if students are open to learning, observant, and willing to ask questions. Finding a mentor can also ease the transition.

Challenge: Intensive Pace

An ABSN’s intensive pace can be draining and challenging for students who are not prepared. To avoid burnout, students can create a schedule that helps them have adequate time to study, complete projects, and practice self-care. Students should also learn to prioritize tasks and seek support when needed.

Challenge: Transition & Preparation for Licensing Exams

Students who haven’t been exposed to four years of preparation for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam can feel anxious and unprepared for the exam and the official transition into the nursing field. Since all ABSN students are in the same boat, schools help students prepare, and you can also research and prepare for your test on your own.