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Accelerated Registered Nurse Programs Can Alleviate Nursing Shortage

Higher Education Articles March 15, 2013

Every state is experiencing a shortage in nurses, but some areas are hit harder than others. This means that nursing schools are accepting more students into their programs every year, so students can graduate from the nursing programs and fill all of the open positions.

Unfortunately, demands are higher than the supply of professional nurses, which are currently graduating through standard nursing programs. As a response to the shortage, several nursing universities and colleges are offering accelerated registered nurse programs to students who are interested; so they can earn their nursing degree quicker compared to traditional nursing programs, which allows them to enter the work force earlier.

Types of Accelerated Register Nurse Programs

Universities and community colleges can provide information on the types of accelerated nursing programs they offer to those who are interested. Students are able to earn their Associate of Arts degree in nursing at community colleges that are engaged in the fast-track programs. For instance, students can complete the accelerated nursing programs within thirteen months at Maryland’s Howard Community College, and will be considered for the National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) admission.

Also, there are accelerated nursing programs that lead to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree. The BSN and MSN programs are geared towards graduates who do not have any nursing experience along with unrelated degrees. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, students can transition into becoming a nurse by taking classes, which use a student’s prior college experience to teach them the fundamentals of nursing, so they can specialize in a specific nursing field.

Students who want to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing will have to complete a fourteen months accelerated registered nurse program, but several universities and colleges offer programs that span for eleven to eighteen months. According to the MGH Institute of Health Professionals, it will take approximately three years to complete a Master of Science in Nursing program for those who are interested. Once students have completed the program, they will be able to take the NCLEX-RN examination to become a registered nurse, and may be able to continue their education by taking advanced practice speciality program courses.

Accelerated programs are not easy, so students need to be fully committed. Students need to cram in a lot of information within a short period of time, and individuals who are enrolled in accelerated programs will not have the time to take any additional academic courses or work part-time or full-time jobs. Students will need to commit a large amount of time in the program, and without the commitment, students will have a hard time passing and succeeding the program.

Availability of Accelerated Registered Nurse Program

Students who are looking to pursue the accelerated registered nurse program should check with universities and colleges in their area to see if there is availability for these programs. Currently, there are forty-eight states that allow universities and community colleges to offer accelerated registered nurse programs, including the District of Columbia and Guam.

Those who are interested in pursuing fast-track programs to get into nursing will have a hard time finding financial aid to pay for the program, but there are several healthcare organizations and colleges that have teamed up to provide tuition repayment to students who complete the program. Students who cannot afford to pay their college tuition should seek financial aid information at their school.

New accelerated registered nurse programs are introduced at universities and colleges each year. Currently, there are 235 Bachelor of Science in Nursing and 63 Master of Science in Nursing programs, so prospective students have a lot of options to select from that meets their needs.

Employment Opportunity for Graduates of Accelerated Registered Nurse Programs

Healthcare organizations actively seek out professional nurses who have completed the accelerated registered nurse programs. The nurses in these programs have shown their dedication in receiving the necessary education needed for the profession, can handle deadlines and time constraints, as well as bringing exceptional clinical skills to the job position. With a huge amount of nurses entering the workforce to take on open positions; nursing homes, hospitals, healthcare facilities, and other medical organizations are getting highly qualified nurses that will advance in their employment.

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