Accelerated Nursing Programs and Clinical Experience

One concern about accelerated nursing programs is the time involved with clinical training. In a typical nursing program, clinical hours make up a portion of the overall instruction time, allowing student nurses to participate in real-life medical care under direct supervision of instructors. In the average RN to BSN accelerated nursing program, the time to complete the program requirements is significantly shorter than in an entry-level nursing school program. In addition, many of these programs are offered at online nursing schools, at times appearing to emphasize academics over hands-on training, creating doubt about the overall educational benefit of accelerated nursing programs.

Clinical experience in an accelerated nursing program, however, is not deemphasized in favor of textbook instruction. Many of these programs build upon the academic experience earned by those that have already completed a degree in another concentration, such as a Bachelor of Arts, or the basics of an Associate of Science in Nursing degree. With such levels of education already obtained, the accelerated nursing programs are designed to focus on the remaining education and training needed to complete the standard requirements, both academic and clinical, of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

Many of those already employed in nursing or another field choose an online nursing program in order to continue to quickly achieve career goals in a flexible program that can work around any job or life obligations. The online programs may integrate more medical simulations than in-person clinical experience, but these simulations also allow for more complex medical scenarios to occur than what can happen during a typical clinical rotation. In fact, because of these scenarios and the realism of the simulations, many standard nursing school programs are using the same simulations to train nurses within a hospital or other clinical environment.

Accelerated nursing programs are a viable option for those seeking to move ahead with career goals in the nursing field, or begin nursing as a second career. These programs are accredited by both CCNE and NLNAC, assuring nursing school students and future employers that the fast pace of the programs are comparable to standard nursing school programs.

Preparing for Nursing School

With the fall semester quickly approaching, many new nursing degree students have begun preparing for the academic road ahead. Nursing school is a commitment to education and training that impacts not only the student, but patients within a hospital, clinic or other medical facility. It is challenging and requires dedication and preparation throughout the course of study. From time management to self-care, preparing for nursing school can make a big difference in the educational experience for all student.

Between classroom instruction, clinicals and study time, the life of a student nurse can be defined by the hours available for sleep. Time management is an important part of any nursing program, especially for students with family or job obligations. Balancing these schedules may be the hardest part, but this balance can also help prepare a student nurse for a career in nursing in which multi-tasking is a skill to master. Students should make arrangements with employers and/or childcare providers prior to beginning a nursing school program. A benefit to online nursing schools is the flexibility involved with classroom instruction, allowing students to prioritize other areas of life along with the focus on school curriculum.

Talk to nurses, upper-level nursing school students and other medical professionals about the role of a nurse and the life of a nursing school student. The knowledge gained through the experience of others can help navigate the challenging environment of nursing school. Be sure to budget not only time, but money, for books, fees, and late-night study sessions at local book stores and coffee houses. Whether in a college, university or online program, should always remember to take some time for self-care. Be social when possible, or plan a way to de-stress after a test. A nursing school student is only as good as the self-care he/she provides.

Preparing for nursing school at a brick-and-mortar institution or online can make a difference in the experience and overall outcome of the programs studied. Nursing school is a challenging and rewarding environment, and the end-result of the countless hours of instruction and study is a fulfilling career in nursing.

Virtual Reality and Nursing

Nursing and technology continue to grow hand-in-hand as more medically-based computer programs and Internet applications help provide opportunities for education, training and overall patient care. Not only are hospitals and medical facilities using virtual reality training equipment to educate nurses, but online nursing schools are integrating computer-based scenarios to help recreate the feel of a clinical experience. From the ability to understand medical scenarios and provide medical care, virtual reality simulations are giving nurses practical experience and training beyond what can be learned through textbooks and general classroom exposure.

Technology has always been a part of hands-on, clinical training and academic curriculum for nurses. Some of the earliest known virtual reality medical devices are those that helped to teach CPR. These mannequins simulated the look and feel of a patient in distress, allowing nurses to understand the delicate nature of performing CPR on others. Today, these same mannequins are much more advanced, providing nurses with the experience to diagnose, treat and respond to specific cardiac, respiratory or other disorders that may occur.

Nursing colleges, universities and online nursing schools are integrating these virtual reality devices and programs into curriculum and clinical lessons, as well as computer-based scenarios that increase the level of experience of nursing students achieved. Online nursing schools can not only give nursing students the academic foundation needed, but also provide "real world" scenarios of medical care needed even before the student nurse begins clinical education. With the competitive nature of nursing jobs across the country, these various methods of introducing and perfecting nursing skills can be a way to stand out above the competition once a nursing student begins searching for a position within a hospital or other medical facility.

With virtual reality simulations growing as methods to teach, train and acknowledge the skills necessary for nurses to provide medical care, the level of care possible grows accordingly. These technological devices and scenarios help keep nursing skills up to date, assuring patients, family and friends of the best medical care possible in times of illness, accident or injury.

Nurses use Online Master's Degree Programs to Advance Careers

Advanced practice nursing positions have been affected by the nursing shortage, much like RNs and LPNs. The education and experience required of an advanced practice nurse can complicate a career in nursing, especially when it comes to continuing a challenging nursing education path while still remaining employed. Across the country, however, the need for nurse educators, midwives, acute care and many other specialized nursing positions continues to grow.

Addressing these concerns, many colleges and universities, with the support of legislature and hospitals are providing accelerated nursing programs to students that wish to complete the requirements of a Master of Science in Nursing degree. These RN to MSN programs build upon the basics learned in RN education, but emphasize concentrations related to nursing fields such as Clinical Nurse Leader, Nurse Practitioner or other advanced practice nurse positions. By offering accelerated nursing programs on higher levels of education, students are encouraged to succeed in a challenging environment that quickly prepares them for the actual experience of working in advanced nursing positions.

Students that have already attained a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing focus can easily transition into MSN programs, layering life and career experience with the latest education and information regarding health care, technology, administration, management and specialized populations of people. With one of the main bottlenecks of the nursing shortage surrounding the void of Nurse Educators available to teach and train incoming cohorts of new nursing students, many graduates of Master of Science in Nursing programs are encouraged to step into the role of Nurse Educator.

The rapid implementation of online accelerated nursing programs have given hope to the health care industry and those already employed within. For current nursing school students that wish to grow a career in nursing, these programs help save time and money and open up a whole new realm of possibilities in the field of nursing.

South University

South University

Accelerated RN to BSN

Accelerated RN to MSN

Earn a BSN degree in 18 months with accelerated nursing degree courses. Qualified applicants can earn a BSN degree in 1 ½ years with accelerated 5 ½ week courses.

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