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Types of Accelerated Nursing Degree Programs

The last few years have seen increased demand for nurses mainly due to the growing healthcare needs of aging baby boomers, nurses leaving the workforce, and increased access to medical services. The expanded job opportunities and high employment rates make a career in nursing a more attractive option for aspiring nurses and those planning to switch careers.  You can enhance your chances of a great career with an education at Berry College, explore

The growing shortage of nurses has made nursing schools create room for more students and make nursing programs more flexible. For instance, working professionals wanting to switch careers can take advantage of accelerated programs like the online accelerated BSN open to Iowans to complete their nursing education faster and become registered nurses. Accelerated nursing programs are usually designed for undergraduates of non-nursing disciplines who want to work in nursing. If you want to shift into a nursing career in the shortest time possible, here are three main types of accelerated nursing programs you should consider:

1. Accelerated Associate Degree in Nursing (AADN)

An accelerated Associate Degree in Nursing (AADN) equips you with the knowledge and clinical skills needed to practice nursing. This entry-level program is great for post-high school LPNs and post-bachelor non-nursing students. An accelerated Associate Degree in nursing program usually takes between 12 to 16 months to complete, including online academic coursework, on-campus hands-on simulations, and in-person clinical practice at a medical facility.

Successfully completing an accelerated ADN program makes you eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam, which is mandatory to become licensed as a registered nurse. Graduating from an accelerated ADN program also allows you to pursue an advanced nursing program, such as an RN-to-BSN program.

2. Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Another type of accelerated nursing program for students with a non-nursing undergraduate degree is the accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN). An accelerated BSN program is usually available to students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in other disciplines besides nursing and want to become registered nurses. It’s also a great option for students with an ADN degree and registered nurses who want to advance their nursing education.

Earning your BSN degree through an accelerated BSN program makes you eligible to pursue an advanced nursing degree like a Master’s of Nursing or take on leadership roles in the field of nursing. An accelerated nursing program includes online academic nursing coursework and in-person clinical training on-site. This accelerated program allows you to fast-track your nursing degree using the knowledge you already have from your previous undergraduate studies, allowing you to become a qualified RN in as little as 24 months.

3. Accelerated Master of Science in Nursing (AMSN)

An accelerated Master of Science in Nursing (AMSN) is designed specifically for students with a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a non-nursing field and ADN-holders who want to pursue advanced nursing careers. The accelerated MSN program takes anywhere between 12 to 36 months to complete, helping you take on specialty nursing roles in education, health policy, and advanced practice nursing.


Accelerated nursing programs are a great option for undergraduates of non-nursing fields interested in shifting into a nursing career. These programs allow you to earn your nursing degree and become a licensed registered nurse in a fraction of the time it would take through traditional nursing programs. Graduating from an accelerated nursing program helps expand your job prospects, enjoy greater job satisfaction, and increase your earning potential.

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