Accelerated Nursing Program Challenges

Accelerated nursing programs are gaining popularity for those who wish to pursue a career in nursing, but already have a degree or experience in a non-nursing field. These programs offer nursing school students the ability to achieve academic goals within nursing school that build upon any other level of education that has already been attained. With the projected stability of careers in nursing, accelerated nursing programs are offering a second chance at success and fulfillment for those affected by the recession, life changes and/or job dissatisfaction.

RN to BSN programs, RN to MSN programs, second-degree BSN and dual degree nursing school programs offer a wealth of information and experience to nursing school students, presenting a large amount of information through classroom instruction, simulations and clinical hours. These programs are not simple, however, and it takes a special type of student to be able to balance the workload involved in an accelerated nursing program. Many students, and instructors, find it difficult to navigate the interpersonal dynamics involved when returning to an academic environment after participating within the workforce for a number of years. Additionally, the financial support available for these programs is competitive, and sometimes can be difficult to find.  Many accelerated nursing programs encourage students to focus solely on the degree program, leaving little time for work or family obligations.

Since many accelerated nursing program students are accustomed to the security of a paycheck, the ability to reduce or eliminate the time needed to earn a living can be impacted.

These challenges, however, are not insurmountable. Many accelerated nursing programs are changing in order to accommodate the needs of second-career students. From online nursing schools that offer accelerated nursing programs to nursing schools that offer classes on nights and weekends, the ability for students to enroll and successfully complete an accelerated nursing program is rapidly increasing. 

The challenges of accelerated nursing programs are personal to many students, from financial and life obligations to the ability to adapt back into an academic environment. While many times, these hurdles may deter the final decision to enroll in an accelerated nursing program, the best students are those that make the commitment and are unstoppable in their dedication to becoming nurses. Hospitals and medical facilities, in fact, may prefer a nursing school student who has proven, through the completion of an accelerated nursing program, the ability to succeed, despite challenge.