How to Get into an Accelerated Nursing Program

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Wondering how to get into an accelerated nursing program? First, you’ll need to find the program for your needs, even if it might mean relocating. Then, you may need to complete some prerequisites. You’ll also need to put together your application package, including letters of recommendation.

nursing student in front of Xavier wall smiling at camera

If you’re thinking about becoming a nurse but would rather not enroll in another four-year bachelor’s degree program, you have another option. An Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, such as the one at Xavier University, can allow you to graduate with your degree in as few as 16 months. But are accelerated nursing programs hard to get into, and just how hard is accelerated nursing school?

There’s no question that you’re in for a lot of hard work, but the friendly admission counselors at Xavier are here to make the process as streamlined as possible for you. Here, you’ll learn all the fundamentals of how to get into an accelerated nursing program and you’ll get the answers to some other questions, as well, such as, “Are accelerated nursing programs worth it?” and “What prerequisites do I need?”

Are Accelerated Nursing Programs Hard to Get Into?

It depends. In general, yes, but if you’re a strong student (no matter the field you chose for your first degree), you do have a good chance of getting in. Plus, when you choose the ABSN program at Xavier, you’ll receive exceptional support from our admission counselors, who will help you navigate the process step by step.

Nursing programs in general can be challenging to get into. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), nursing schools turned away 91,938 qualified applicants from both baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs during 2021. This was due to myriad factors, including a shortage of faculty, clinical sites, clinical preceptors, and classroom space. To increase your chances of being one of the accepted applicants, you should carefully follow all guidance provided by your admission counselor.

Xavier ABSN Acceptance Rate

Xavier can maintain a high ABSN acceptance rate. We have the faculty, clinical partnerships, and preceptors to make it happen. Furthermore, our ABSN program’s online learning component allows us to teach larger cohort sizes. And finally, our ABSN program enrolls students three times a year at three Ohio locations.

xavier absn student smiling with hands crossed

Given our high enrollment capacity for qualified individuals, many students relocate to Ohio to attend our ABSN program. After all, there’s no waitlist for nursing school here.

However, that’s not to say we admit every student who applies to our ABSN program. Nursing school is challenging, especially when completed at an accelerated pace. Therefore, we only accept individuals who we believe can keep pace with our rigorous nursing curriculum and have the qualities to become a successful nurse.

What Are the Requirements to Get into Nursing School?

Every nursing program has a unique set of admission requirements. To begin our ABSN admission process, you must have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7.

You must also satisfy four prerequisite requirements to enroll in our ABSN program. Some accelerated nursing programs have as many as 10 prerequisites. So, the more prerequisites you must take, the longer it will be before you can begin nursing school.

Xavier ABSN Prerequisites

  • Microbiology
  • Human Anatomy or Anatomy & Physiology I + Lab
  • Human Physiology or Anatomy & Physiology II + Lab
  • Statistics

Depending on your previous area of undergraduate study, you may have already met some of our prerequisites. An admission counselor can review your transcripts to see if you have any transferable credits. When you’re ready to start your ABSN prerequisites, you can conveniently complete them online through our university.

Tips for How to Get into an Accelerated Nursing Program

xavier absn student listening in stethoscope

Like admission requirements, every nursing school has a unique set of criteria for selecting students. While you must meet the basic eligibility requirements for our ABSN program, we take a holistic approach to reviewing nursing school applications. We realize it takes more than good grades and a high GPA to be a successful nurse—commitment, compassion, and selflessness are also vital to career success.

Nursing school in and of itself requires a lot of hard work and dedication—even more so when it’s at an accelerated pace. So, when completing your ABSN program application, we want to see that you have the time, energy, and resources to commit to full-time nursing study.

As we review applications, we’re looking for highly determined individuals who are problem solvers, critical thinkers, and receptive learners. In other words, you must identify issues, develop solutions, set priorities, make decisions, and internalize new information. We’re also looking for authentic applicants who know why they want to become a nurse.

Xavier ABSN student studying at table

Learn more about nursing school requirements in this blog post.

Applying to the ABSN Program

Let’s dig into the details of how to get into an accelerated nursing program. Xavier’s ABSN program reviews applications on a rolling admission basis. That means you can apply year-round. You’ll need the following items:

Letter of Intent

While your transcripts show us your academic qualifications, your letter of intent tells us what kind of person you are. It’s one of the best ways to stand out with our admission committee. For the most part, we want to know why you want to become a nurse and how you plan to get through nursing school. As you start to write your letter, 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 transparent and write from the heart when describing your motivation.
  • Be direct by using clear, concise language that gets to the point.

Current Resume

Before putting your resume together, outline the qualities of a great nurse, such as confidence, compassion, and commitment. Then, think of instances where you were able to apply these traits in experiences. For example, if you’ve ever worked in a high-stress work environment, highlight your ability to handle pressure.

Recommendation Letters

Contact your academic and professional references as soon as possible. Be courteous when requesting a recommendation letter; after all, they’re doing you a favor.

What to Expect from Life as a Xavier ABSN Student

xavier absn student reading textbook

Once accepted into our ABSN program, your journey as an accelerated nursing student begins on orientation day. During orientation, you’ll meet the other students in your cohort, receive your student identification badge, go over program basics, and get an overall lay of the land.

Here’s a look at the details of the accelerated nursing program:

Your Cohort

Work on developing rapport with your fellow cohort members right from the start. It’s a good idea to see about forming study groups within your cohort. Study groups can build camaraderie and keep everyone on track.

Nursing School Faculty and Staff

To graduate as a practice-ready nurse from Xavier, you will study under instructors who apply effective teaching strategies and provide support. If you get stuck on a concept, ask your instructor or academic success coach for help right away.

ABSN Learning Centers

Whether you enroll for our Cincinnati, Cleveland, or Columbus location, each of our ABSN Learning Centers features a resource-rich clinical learning environment and utilizes advanced nursing simulation equipment, such as our medical manikins. As an ABSN student, you’ll regularly attend nursing skills and simulation labs at your location of enrollment.

ABSN Curriculum

The curriculum follows a sequence of online coursework, hands-on nursing labs, and in-person clinical rotations. It’s a rigorous learning path that requires you to spend 60 or more hours on your education per week to be successful. Overall, our ABSN program provides the academic foundation and clinical readiness required to apply to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®) and enter the profession as a practice-ready nurse.

Xavier nursing student working with sim manikin

What are clinicals in nursing? Learn all about them in this blog post.

How Hard Is Accelerated Nursing School?

As you can see, life as an ABSN student is jam-packed with coursework, studying, in-person learning, and NCLEX prep. How hard is accelerated nursing school? It’s definitely going to be a challenge, but if you’re committed to achieving your goal and willing to ask for help when needed, graduation is a milestone that you can reach.

Are accelerated nursing programs worth it? To answer this question for yourself, consider why you decided that becoming a nurse was the right move for you. Perhaps you wanted to make a positive difference in the lives of others who are facing tough diagnoses. Perhaps you wanted to give back to your community or to have a career that you can be proud of. An ABSN program is definitely worth the time and effort if becoming a nurse is the right choice for you.

Ready to Work Toward Your New Career?

When you’re ready, we’re here to help. Contact an admission counselor at Xavier today to find out if our ABSN program is a good fit for your needs. With three learning locations in Ohio, online classes, rolling admissions, and three start dates per year, Xavier offers flexibility and convenience.