How Hard is it to Join an Accelerated Nursing Program?

Xavier is one of the few nursing schools in Cincinnati to offer a second-degree ABSN program. For that reason, many of the people we talk to are unfamiliar with this type of program. Once they understand it is a fast track into nursing, we are often asked the question: How hard is it to join an accelerated nursing program?

While it may seem like a pretty simple question, it is actually quite complicated, given all of the different factors at play. Not only does the level of difficulty depend on the person, it also depends on the program he/she is applying to.

Factor 1: Academic History

To qualify for our ABSN program, you must have an existing bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Whether you have a BA or BS, we leverage this education so you can transition into the nursing profession within an accelerated timeframe. In other words, you are not starting your college education over from square one. Once you begin the program, your sole focus is on professional nursing study.

Factor 2: GPA Requirement

Our nursing curriculum is very challenging, especially when it comes to the pathophysiology, adult health and critical care courses. Therefore, demonstrated academic competency has significant influence on whether or not an individual is adequately prepared for the rigor of our program. Students who have a high undergraduate GPA and a strong knowledge of the sciences tend to have the most success in the ABSN program. Therefore, you must have a cumulative GPA of 2.7 or higher to be considered.

If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and the drive to become a nurse, our ABSN program can fast-track your career. Download our ABSN Program 101 Guide to help you successfully navigate the accelerated path to nursing.

Factor 3: Prerequisite Courses

Another eligibility requirement for our ABSN program involves the successful completion of four prerequisite courses. You can complete these prerequisites online through our university or through another approved school. Taking these courses through Xavier, however, gets you familiar with our university and acquainted with the online learning platform that is used in the ABSN program—doing so may also lead to earlier consideration for our accelerated nursing program.

Factor 4: Time Commitment

Given the rigorous, fast-paced learning format of our ABSN program, you need to make sure you can devote a significant amount of time and energy to your courses. Being in the program is very much like having a full-time job where the hours vary from week to week. No matter how qualified you are, if you don’t have the time or resources to keep pace, it will be difficult to succeed in the program. Furthermore, because you will complete the didactic portion of the program online, you need to have enough self-discipline to stay on top of your studies.

Factor 5: Student Competition

Xavier accelerated nursing student in sim lab

For more than a decade, our nation has faced a mounting nursing shortage. Among the many factors contributing to the deficit is the inability of nursing schools to grow enrollment capacity quickly enough to keep pace with demand. As a result, nursing programs are more competitive than ever, with an increasing number of students vying for a small number of open seats each year.

Xavier, on the other hand, has one of the highest enrollment capacities for qualified students in the Greater Cincinnati area. Not only do we offer three start dates a year for our ABSN program, we also have a high number of spots available in each of those incoming classes. While student competition does factor into the overall ABSN equation, it poses less of a constraint for those who apply to our program.

Factor 6: Nursing School Waitlist

Given the limited capacity at most nursing schools, even qualified students run the risk of becoming wait-listed. How long they wait depends on several variables, including the number of clinical placements available. At Xavier, our strong clinical partnerships with TriHealth, Mercy Health, Cincinnati Children’s Medical Center, and The Christ Hospital Network allow us to consistently secure high-quality clinical placements for all of our ABSN students. Therefore, we can get qualified students moving on their nursing education as soon as possible.

Ready or Not?

As you can tell, it is difficult to provide a simple answer to the question: How hard is it to join an accelerated nursing program? But hopefully, with some insight into the different factors at play, you can begin to discern whether or not the 16-month ABSN program at Xavier is the right choice for you.

Ready to get moving on your nursing education? Schedule an appointment with one of our dedicated admission counselors today.


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