How to Become an RN Fast

Xavier ABSN student wearing blue scrubs

Whether you’re a teacher who’s tired of rowdy kids or an accountant who’s tired of crunching numbers, changing careers doesn’t have to be a long process, especially if you’re considering nursing. If you want to know how to become an RN fast, our Accelerated BSN program in Ohio is the answer.

No matter your current profession, if you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, our ABSN program makes it possible to earn a quality BSN in as few as 16 months. Plus, we’re a nursing program with no waiting list.

So, if you want to learn more about how to become an RN fast with Xavier’s ABSN program, we outline 5 easy-to-follow steps to help you get there.

1. Know Your Why

Nursing isn’t the type of career you want to enter lightly. So, before you decide to leave your current profession, you need to understand your motivation for wanting to become a nurse. Why people choose this occupation is often very personal to them—maybe they were born into a family of nurses, or they found themselves inspired by an experience with a nurse.

While nursing is a good-paying career that’s full of growth and opportunity, you shouldn’t choose the profession for such reasons. If you do, you’re bound to be unhappy with your decision. Individuals who thrive in nursing are those who are selfless and truly want to care for others.

2. Make Your Move

If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, a solid cumulative GPA, and your heart set on a nursing career, it’s time to set your education in motion. Whether you live 10 or 10,000 miles away from one of our three ABSN locations, our admission team is here to see you through your journey to nursing school.

Our admission process can be summed up in four steps:

  1. Verify your program eligibility with an admission counselor.
  2. Work with your counselor on a personalized enrollment plan.
  3. Satisfy the four ABSN prerequisite course requirements.
  4. Complete and submit your application before the deadline.

As you begin the ABSN admission process, you should plan on developing a close working relationship with your admission counselor. Think of this individual as your nursing school champion. He or she will connect with you regularly to make your application is moving along smoothly—ultimately guiding you on how to submit the most competitive application possible.

Xavier ABSN - Student studying on laptop

Application Advice

As part of your ABSN program application, you’ll need to submit your letter of intent, current resume, letters of recommendation, and official academic transcripts. You can work on your application materials over several online sessions, but you can only submit your application once.

Putting together a letter of intent can be stressful for some students. This letter allows us to go beyond your academic qualifications and get a sense of who you are as a person. When our staff reads your letter of intent, they want to know why you want to become a nurse and how you plan to get through nursing school at an accelerated pace. They want to see that you’re ready to make a serious commitment because 16 months of accelerated nursing school isn’t easy.

As you start to write down what makes you an ideal candidate for our program, consider the following:

  • Be memorable when you describe what inspired you to become a nurse.
  • Be passionate when explaining your commitment to the profession.
  • Be real and write from the heart when describing your motivation.
  • Be direct by using clear, concise language that gets to the point.

3. Relocation

Nursing schools across the country have been turning away thousands of qualified applicants every year due to a lack of capacity—the number of applications far outweighs the number of seats available. To add insult to injury, nurses have and continue to be in high demand throughout the United States. So given the fact that our ABSN program can enroll a high number of students per year, we see a lot of individuals willing to relocate for nursing school.

Ayana left her career in corporate finance to become a nurse. She relocated to Ohio from Connecticut to attend our ABSN program—and it was for reasons that include our seamless admission process.

It also helps that our ABSN program locations are within Ohio’s top three metro areas for nurse employment.

Cincinnati Location

Launched in 2017, our Cincinnati ABSN program continues to draw students in from across the country and around the globe. We see a lot of students relocating to Ohio from states such as California, Colorado, and Texas and have even welcomed students from as far away as Africa and the Dominican Republic.

Our clinical partnerships in Cincinnati include Mercy Health, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, The Christ Hospital Health Network, and TriHealth. While we can’t promise employment, Moore says several ABSN students have secured different employment opportunities with these partners.

Columbus Location

Established in 2019, our ABSN program near Columbus also brings in a good percentage of relocators. This location sees a lot of nursing students relocating from states such as California, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

A lot of relocators end up staying in Columbus after they graduate from our program. We’ve even seen students relocate their families here so they can work for one of our health care partners.

Our clinical partnerships in Columbus include OhioHealth and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. While employment is never a guarantee, you have the opportunity to network and build rapport with these health care providers. Our clinical partners know that our graduates are well-rounded and well-prepared, so they like hiring Xavier nurses because they know they’re getting a top-notch employee.

Cleveland Location

Launched in May 2020, our Cleveland ABSN program is in the process of welcoming its third cohort this month. More than half of this cohort in Cleveland is made up of relocators, with many of them coming from California—which makes sense when the nursing schools there have two- and three-year waitlists. Relocating is worth it when it allows you to become an RN fast.

4. Complete Nursing School

Our 16-month ABSN program builds on your non-nursing bachelor’s degree to make the accelerated path to nursing possible. It doesn’t matter if you previously studied accounting, biology, communications, teaching, or anything in-between, you have a shot at a successful nursing career.

Northeastern ABSN student in simulation lab

Students are drawn to our accelerated nursing program because we’re essentially condensing three to four years of nursing education into 16 months. It’s a timeframe that’s short enough for them to feel like they can get through the program, but long and detailed enough for them to enter the profession prepared.

Comprising four, full-time semesters, our ABSN program follows a hybrid learning format. We divide the curriculum into a logical sequence of online coursework, hands-on nursing labs, and in-person clinical rotations in leading health care facilities.

Online Coursework

The online coursework lays the foundation of your nursing education. While you may have been able to rely on memorization during your first degree, you can’t when it comes to learning nursing concepts. Even though the nursing coursework is online, it doesn’t mean that it’s entirely flexible. Sure, you can study at 10 a.m. or 10 p.m., but given the rigorous nature of the program, you need to be able to keep pace and meet the assignment deadlines.

Nursing Labs

As an ABSN student, you’ll attend nursing skills and simulation labs at your location of enrollment. It’s important to live within driving distance of your respective location because you’ll need to be on-site several times a week.

During your skills labs, you’ll learn how to apply core clinical skills safely and effectively and in simulation labs, you’ll participate in a variety of realistic patient interventions, all of which serve to build your critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Clinical Rotations

We partner with leading health care providers in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland so that our students, no matter their location of enrollment, have access to quality clinical placements when available in diverse areas of practice, from pediatrics to mental health to adult care.

During your clinicals, you will work alongside experienced nurses to gain a real-world understanding of how nursing theory applies to the care of individuals, families, and communities.

Labs and Clinical Disclaimer

Please be aware that due to COVID-19 restrictions and limitations, our labs and in-person clinicals could change at any time without prior student notification.

5. Your Future in Nursing

Once you have graduated from Xavier’s ABSN program, the final obstacle must overcome before becoming an RN is the NCLEX-RN exam. However, the education you receive at Xavier will have more than prepared you to take the exam with confidence.

Once you have passed the exam and are officially an RN, you can start working as a nurse. Whether that means filling a position offered to you during clinical rotations, or looking for a position after graduation, before you know it, you will have reached your goal. The job outlook for RNs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is expected to grow 9% from 2020-2030 which means over 194,000 RN positions will likely open each year.

As nurse, you also have the opportunity to work in a wide variety of settings and take on a many different roles. So, no matter your personal strengths and interests, there is a nursing career out there for you.

ABSN program graduate, Lauren

Are You Ready to Become an RN Fast?

If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and want to become an RN fast, contact our admission team today! We are currently enrolling students at our ABSN program locations in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, with spring, summer, and fall terms available.

Xavier ABSN simulation lab

ABSN 101 Guide

Download our ABSN 101 Guide to help you successfully navigate the accelerated path to nursing.