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Transferring a Non-Nursing Degree to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program

Higher Education Articles March 25, 2015

Leading nursing schools across the United States offer a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) program, which credits may be transferred by holders of non-nursing degrees. “Accelerated degree program” is a term commonly used to describe this kind of arrangement.

Can a Non-Nursing Degree Be Transferred to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.) Program?

Accelerated bachelor degree programs allow entry into the nursing field to applicants that have completed the appropriate undergraduate course prerequisites. A second degree BSN option is offered by many schools to augment their regular nursing degree programs.

Accelerated BSN Programs

Students with non-nursing degrees can benefit from accelerated BSN programs that are devised to achieve the program goals faster than a conventional four-year degree program. The program involves full-time study with no semester breaks.

The program offers clinical experience requirements similar to those of four-year BSN programs. However, the program may have higher admission standards, with a 3.0 grade point average (GPA) required for admission at some schools. The program has more stringent pre-screening processes than that of conventional nursing programs.

Length of the Program

Students need six semesters to complete the regular BSN program while taking about four semesters to complete the accelerated BSN program.

Students flock to accelerated BSN degree programs thanks to the demand for registered nurses. A much-faster-than-average job growth rate of 19% has been predicted for registered nurses over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).

Educational Requirements

Schools allow students to apply 60 credit hours from a previous degree program towards the BSN program. However, students must take some prerequisites at the prospective school, and that would add length to the overall completion time of the degree. Healthcare courses in pharmacology, communications research, ethics, and chemistry may be available amongst these prerequisites.

Future of Nursing

Graduates of an accelerated BSN degree program may be preferred compared to traditional nursing graduates by employers for nursing jobs as they bring a higher level of education and skills to the workplace (American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)). According to employers, these graduates have strong clinical skills, are faster learners on the job, and are often more competitive and mature.

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Quick Fact
In 2018, workers with a bachelor's degree or higher had almost twice as much
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*Bureau of Labor Statistics

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