When an individual who has already gone through the process of getting a bachelor’s degree wants to explore another career in nursing, an accelerated nursing program is the perfect fit. Accelerated programs are designed to give those students who already have a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field to get right to the meat of their nursing program. While all nursing students receive the same education, training, and knowledge, the accelerated program takes less time to complete, so the student can start working with patients in a shorter amount of time than a full program. The only difference with this faster program in terms of education is that the individuals who already have prerequisite courses in generalized studies don’t have to repeat the process. Other reasons students with bachelor’s degrees apply for the accelerated nursing program are quick entry, maximized efficiency, diverse student cohorts, strong focus on clinical skills, second-career friendly, high demand, financial benefits, and advanced career opportunities. Below are some of the benefits of accelerated programs and how they set nurses up for success
These programs provide quick entry and are completed in a short time frame. Quick entry into the program is a benefit for those who want to start working as a registered nurse as quickly as possible. These programs are designed for those who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field and want to transition to nursing quickly. The curriculum of this program provides students with the necessary nursing knowledge and skills in a short time frame. Quick entry is an attractive quality of the accelerated program as it allows those looking to make a career change to quickly change their profession.
The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) is designed to teach students the essential skills of being a registered nurse in a short time frame with an intensive schedule. Other factors that maximize efficiency for students include focused learning, continuous learning, clinical experience, and small cohort sizes.
The ABSN program also has a rigorous and concentrated curriculum that teaches the essentials of nursing in a shorter time frame than a traditional BSN. This allows the students to finish their education in nursing faster so they can get out into the workforce and start treating patients.
Focused and concentrated learning
The ABSN is designed to build on students’ prior knowledge in another field and concentrate specifically on nursing essentials. This allows the students to focus solely on learning nursing and related aspects of nursing. For the course to be finished in such a short timeframe there are often consecutive semesters that do not have long breaks such as in traditional BSN programs. This means that the learning environment is continuous and helps students stay engaged in the program and retain more information.
Clinical experience is often integrated into the ABSN program quickly so the students can start to get hands-on experience with patients with theory work. The early clinical work in the program allows the students to use their theoretical learning with the clinical studies so they connect the two more efficiently. The ABSN program often has a small cohort size which promotes more personalized attention from instructors and fosters a collaborative learning environment among the students.
Diverse student cohorts
The ABSN program attracts students from a variety of different fields and disciplines which makes the course a rich and diverse learning environment. The diversity comes from several factors including varied educational backgrounds, previous careers, life experiences, age ranges, and cultural and ethnic diversity. With the focus on students who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, ABSN programs have students who come from diverse backgrounds and bring a wide range of skills, knowledge, and perspectives to the program.
Most students in ABSN programs are making career changes to nursing, so they have varying degrees of knowledge and experience in the workforce. They may have worked in fields such as psychology, business, or engineering and then decided to make the switch to nursing. This kind of diversity in the student population makes for a rich learning environment.
ABSN students will often have diverse life experiences where they may have worked in industries in other countries. This diversity leads to deeper classroom discussions and an overall richer learning experience. There is also often a vast range of ages in ABSN programs because the requirements are a previous bachelor’s degree in another field. Some students may have just acquired their degree and want to fast-track their nursing education while other students may be more mature with years of work experience looking to make a career change. This age range can lead to interesting points of view and diversity in learning.
Cultural and ethnic diversity
Accelerated programs often attract individuals from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds who all have a bachelor’s degree and wish to pursue a career in nursing. This culturally diverse learning environment is beneficial for students in nursing as it prepares them for treating patients of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds as well as provides them an opportunity to learn about other cultures. An important aspect of being a registered nurse is having cultural intelligence which involves understanding, appreciating, and adapting to different cultural beliefs in patients. Nurses need to be able to handle cultural differences with sensitivity and respect so they can provide patient-centered care. Every registered nurse must respect the values, traditions, and preferences of the different populations they serve and treat.
Cultural competence is crucial in nursing to enhance patient outcomes, build trust, and promote effective communication in a diverse healthcare environment. It contributes to a more inclusive and patient-centered approach to care. Some key components of cultural intelligence include cultural awareness, knowledge, sensitivity, cross-cultural communication, and adaptability.
Cultural awareness is the ability to recognize and understand one’s own cultural biases and be aware of the cultural background of patients and colleagues.
Cultural knowledge requires learning about different cultural practices, beliefs, and healthcare traditions to provide culturally competent care. Successful RNs understand that cultural knowledge is part of the lifelong learning process in nursing.
Cultural sensitivity involves being attuned to the cultural needs and preferences of individuals and adapting communication and care strategies accordingly. RNs are responsible for assessing patients with cultural needs and finding treatment plans that fit in with their beliefs and values.
Effective cross-cultural communication
Cross-cultural communication involves developing communication skills that bridge language and cultural barriers, ensuring clear and respectful interaction with patients and their families. This could also include knowing when resources such as an interpreter to ensure that the communication is barrier-free and there are no errors in care.
Nurses must be flexible and open-minded when it comes to cultural beliefs that may differ from their own. They need to adjust treatment plans and interventions to align with the belief systems of their patients to ensure holistic patient care.
Cultural intelligence and competence is one of the key areas taught in the Wilkes Accelerated Nursing program. Wilkes University is an accredited school that offers the ABSN to students who want to move into the field of nursing quickly after obtaining a bachelor’s degree in another field. The curriculum offered is challenging and stimulating, providing students with a fast-paced mixture of theoretical and hands-on education through online work and clinical placements.
Strong focus on clinical skills
One of the benefits of ABSN programs is that they provide clinical experience for students early in the course. This allows individuals to work with patients while studying the theory that will help them become successful registered nurses. Clinical skills are provided in several ways including intensive clinical rotations, simulation labs, skilled clinical instructors, comprehensive curriculum, and clinical competency assessments.
Intensive clinical rotations
The nature of the ABSN program is a fast-track to nursing so it often includes concentrated and extended clinical rotations. These rotations provide students with the opportunity to work in diverse healthcare settings, gaining exposure to different patient populations and medical scenarios. These rotations should also mirror the type of fast-paced environment most registered nurses will find themselves in early on in their careers.
High-quality simulation labs are a common feature of accelerated programs as they replicate clinical scenarios. These labs allow students to practice and refine their skills in a controlled environment before working with actual patients, which builds confidence and competence.
Skilled clinical instructors
ABSN programs are fast-paced, so they require instructors who are seasoned and able to teach students the skills they need in a hectic environment. These instructors play a crucial role in mentoring students, providing feedback, and ensuring the development of strong clinical competencies. Instructors are often experienced nurse practitioners who have moved into the realm of teaching to further their own education and develop the field of nursing by teaching the next generation. These medical professionals have a deep commitment to nursing and want to make sure the new nurses coming up in the workforce are well-trained and highly skilled.
The accelerated program is designed to cover a wide range of clinical skills necessary for nursing practice. From basic nursing procedures to more advanced skills, the curriculum is structured to ensure a thorough understanding and application of clinical skills. It is designed this way so that students can learn the foundational theory of nursing while developing the skills necessary to treat patients.
Clinical competency assessments
Assessments are a valuable tool that help students understand where they stand when it comes to the skills and knowledge they need to be registered nurses. These programs incorporate assessments to evaluate students’ clinical competencies so the students can work on their weaknesses immediately after being evaluated, and instructors know where to concentrate for specific students. Nursing students must meet certain clinical standards for their degrees and licenses.
Designed for those looking at changing careers
The ABSN program is the perfect fit for students who have already gone through the formal process of attaining a bachelor’s degree but want to focus on nursing as a career. This program also benefits older students who may have been in the workforce in different fields and don’t want to go through the traditional 4-year program all over again.
High demand for RNs
The United States is suffering from a shortage of medical professionals, and now is the optimal time for those interested in nursing to apply for an ABSN program if qualified. This accelerated program brings registered nurses one step closer to other advanced career opportunities such as nurse practitioners, administrators, and directors. Registered nurses are highly regarded and respected in the medical field and with additional education and training, they can go on to open their own practices without the supervision of a general practitioner.
The combination of an intense but focused curriculum, continuous learning, early clinical experience, and smaller class sizes helps maximize the efficiency of the ABSN program and guides students toward success in the field at a faster rate. The individuals who apply for this program have already gone through the bachelor’s degree program in other areas and often have previous work experience and a maturity that guides them through the accelerated program with efficiency and enthusiasm. The nature of the program encourages diversity in the student body which makes for a richer and more interesting class dynamic.