How Do I Choose – Accelerated or Traditional BSN?

How Do I Choose - Accelerated or Traditional BSN?


How Do I Choose - Accelerated or Traditional BSN?

Many students struggle with how to choose Accelerated or Traditional BSN programs, but the process is not as difficult as most think. In the rapidly growing field of nursing, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment of Registered Nurses will increase nearly 9% by the year 2030. As the number of RNs increase, the number of opportunities for bachelor’s-level nurses and advanced practice registered nurses can only increase as well. Given the opportunity for those holding a BSN to specialize in their specific area of practice, the incredible job security, the many job advancement opportunities, as well as the bump in pay, there has never been a better time to go for your BSN. With all of these great reasons to do it, all you have to decide now is which route is right for you. Evaluate your individual situation and choose wisely! If you need help choosing- check out our updated Top 15 Best Online/Hybrid Accelerated BSN.

Should I Choose a Traditional BSN?

What does traditional BSN mean? For those dedicated nurses who know they want to be in this field when they start a bachelor’s program, the traditional BSN is the most common way to achieve this goal. In 4 or 5 years, traditional BSN students engage on-campus in a dynamic clinical and didactic experience learning how to care for patients, getting a chance to explore their potential contribution to a variety of medical fields. Nearly 700 colleges and universities offer residential BSN programs in the United States and with the number of diverse, comprehensive, hands-on, and theoretical learning opportunities available to students, there is no doubt you will find a school that is a perfect fit for you.

At the end of a BSN degree, student nurses are able to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam, the same exam that meets associate’s degree RN students at the end of their program. Clearly, the extra 2-3 years of hands on training, theoretical and evidence-based instruction, and clinical research that the BSN offers, makes the NCLEX-RN exam that much more accessible than what the 2 year ASN/ADN programs can provide.

Should I Choose an Accelerated BSN?

An accelerated BSN (ABSN) has the same overall requirements as a BSN. Let’s be clear. The degree is accelerated because students have prior education or work experience that counts for credit. You can’t come out of high school and say – hey, I want to take the shorter degree. Students in accelerated programs have already fulfilled some of the education requirements for the BSN. Therefore, it takes them less time to complete the degree than students starting from the beginning.

Is ABSN harder than BSN?

If your scholarly path has taken you thus far in a direction that isn’t nursing related, never fear, you have options. The online or hybrid accelerated BSN degree is a simple way for second-degree seekers to apply the classes they have taken already, and get a shiny new career, in half the time. Don’t be fooled that the online accelerated (or even a residential accelerated) BSN is any easier than the traditional 4 years of study, that couldn’t be farther from true. It is exactly because of the fast paced nature of the science and medicine-heavy accelerated BSN that these oftentimes under 2 years of intense study might be indeed the hardest yet.

Is it Easier To Get into An Accelerated Nursing Program?

In the past 25 years, the number of accelerated BSN programs has multiplied eight times. Part of this extraordinary growth is due to the nursing shortage throughout the country. Another part is a result of non-traditional students who have already completed many of the classes. The general courses required for any bachelor’s degree are already out of the way for many of these students. They finished them when they received their first undergrad degree.

With so many older and second-degree students pursuing the online accelerated BSN, these programs can be very competitive. In addition, they require a tremendous amount of focus to get through and master the skills needed to complete the degree. However, graduates are amazing nurses because of the intense preparation. Rewarding experiences and an excellent salary! Now that you know the difference between the two check out some of the online accelerated BSN program prerequisites.


Sandra Janowicz

Keeley Jones
Registered Nurse

Carrie Sealey-Morris