Accelerated BSN Programs: What You Need To Know

By Ashley Prince, Nursing Student and ThriveAP Contributor 

It hit me recently that this time last year, I preparing for my admissions interview with Baldwin Wallace’s ABSN program. While the application process did not bring back many fond memories (can you say personal statements?) it did get me thinking of all the things that I wish I knew before I signed up.

Here’s a little “insider’s” look on what you definitely need to know when considering the ABSN route:

1. What’s the definition of “accelerated”?

I had no idea what I had gotten myself into when I signed up for a 12 month program. When they say fast, they mean fast. I’ve been able to hang on, but we’ve lost a lot of students because of the pace. So make sure you know what fast means in terms of semester length, credit hours per term, and hours of class per week.

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2. What’s the attrition rate?

Everybody wants to know how many people pass the NCLEX– but look beyond that number to see how many people didn’t even get to take it. A good program is tough enough to weed out a few people, but you should take a closer look if only half of the starting class gets pinned.

3. Are there grades/drop out policies?

This program is a little more “higher stakes” than undergrad if you will, because many of us are on career plan B, C, even O or Q. Knowing that you can only get so many C’s, or what happens to your big investment if you don’t make it need to be spelled out beforehand.

4. Where are clinicals, and what are the hours?

Our clinicals are all over the place. Some start at 0630, some don’t end until 11 pm. They’re all scattered between many different hospital systems, and sometimes variety isn’t the spice of life. This would’ve been nice to know, especially if you’re a mom and need to organize childcare.

5. Where do your graduates work, and how do you help them get hired?

Does the clinical site love the students and frequently scope them out? Do you get a special certification during the program that gives you an edge? Or, does the program send you out into a world where nurses eat their young? To get the best answer, talk to the recent grads at the info session hovering by the free coffee like her life depends on it (oh wait, that’s me).

What else do you want to know about ABSN programs? Let me know! 


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