How to Become an RN Fast

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Wondering how to become an RN fast? There are three main pathways. You could complete a non-degree licensed practical nurse training program, but this will limit career opportunities. An associate degree also limits career growth. With an ABSN program, you can earn a BSN quickly and enjoy career advancement opportunities.

two nurses talking in hall

Whether you’re a teacher desiring a change or an accountant 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, Xavier University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program in Ohio could be the answer.

No matter your 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. Our nursing program has no waiting list and three yearly start dates.

So, if you want to learn more about how to become an RN fast, you can explore different nursing pathways here. You’ll also get the answers to common questions, such as, “How long is schooling for an RN?” and “Is becoming an LPN before an RN worth it?”

Why Choose Nursing as a Career?

There are so many reasons to choose nursing as a career. As a nurse, you will use critical thinking and clinical reasoning to determine appropriate care and evaluate patient outcomes. Nurses manage the minute-by-minute care of their patients as part of a collaborative team of healthcare professionals.

Nurses also enjoy:

  • Strong job growth rate
  • Lucrative salary potential
  • A vast range of nursing specialties to choose from
  • Diverse workplace settings
  • Opportunities for career advancement

In short, if you crave a career you can be proud of, it may be time to consider how to become an RN fast.

Know Your Why

Nursing isn’t the type of career you want to enter lightly. Before leaving your current profession, you must understand your motivation 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.

Individuals who choose nursing often do so for selfless reasons; they genuinely want to care for others, and they are problem solvers. However, it also offers incredible potential for career growth and specializations. In short, it’s a career choice you could be proud of.

nurses with durags and masks looking at clipboard

What can you do with a BSN? There are tons of options! Explore some of them here.

Is Becoming an LPN Before an RN Worth It?

There are different pathways toward a career in nursing, but they’re not all created equally. First, consider the licensed practical nurse (LPN) career pathway. An LPN is a nursing professional but is not a registered nurse (RN). Because of this, their scope of responsibility and career growth potential are very limited.

An LPN does not need a college degree. Instead, an aspiring LPN can complete a state-approved education program and obtain an LPN license. The education program typically takes one year to complete and includes supervised clinical experience.

LPNs are limited to activities such as:

  • Checking vital signs
  • Providing basic care, including changing bandages
  • Maintaining health records
  • Relaying patients’ concerns to RNs or other providers

An LPN must complete a nursing degree program if they desire career growth.

How to Become an RN Fast with an ADN

On the hospital hierarchy, a step up from an LPN is an ADN-prepared RN. An ADN is an Associate Degree in Nursing. How long is schooling for an RN with an ADN? Degree programs can vary, but they typically take two years to complete. Graduating with an ADN will qualify you to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. If you are granted nursing licensure, you will be able to carry out the full scope of responsibilities of a typical RN, including:

  • Patient assessments and diagnosis
  • Medication and treatment administration
  • Treatment plan development
  • Operation and monitoring of medical equipment
  • Patient education
  • …and more
three nurses in hallway

There is more significant career growth potential and opportunities to specialize for RNs compared to LPNs. However, without a four-year degree, an ADN-prepared nurse may experience limitations. Employers generally prefer to hire bachelor’s degree-prepared nurses, as a higher level of education is associated with better patient outcomes.

You might become an RN fast with this route, but you’ll face more challenges if you aspire to advance your career. For example, if you want to earn a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing, you’ll first need a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

How to Become an RN Fast Online with an ABSN Program

If you decide earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing is wise, your career pathway depends on your starting point. You could enroll in a four-year BSN program as a high school graduate. On the other hand, if you already have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you don’t necessarily have to go back to school for four more years.

Instead, you can choose an accelerated nursing program, such as the ABSN program at Xavier. Our 16-month ABSN program builds on your non-nursing bachelor’s degree to make the accelerated path to nursing possible. Despite the accelerated timeline, you’ll receive the same quality nursing education as you would in a four-year program. You’ll graduate prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN.

Wondering how to become an RN fast online? You can do that at Xavier. Comprising of 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.

Online Coursework

The online coursework lays the foundation of your nursing education. Online coursework can give you a leg up, as you can review the lessons and complete the interactive activities as often as you need to feel confident with the concepts.

Nursing Labs

You’ll attend nursing skills and simulation labs at your location of enrollment. You’ll learn how to apply core clinical skills safely and effectively during your skills labs. In simulation labs, you’ll provide care, demonstrate high-level thinking and reasoning, and engage in complex skills. all of which serve to build your critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

nurse using stethoscope on manikin

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’ll provide direct patient care under the watchful eye of your preceptor.

This quick guide teaches how to get into an accelerated nursing program.

Application Advice

As part of your ABSN program application, you must 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.

Putting together a letter of intent can be stressful for some students. This letter allows us to go beyond your academic qualifications and understand who you are. When our admission team 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 commit seriously 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 authentic and write from the heart when describing your motivation.
  • Be direct by using clear, concise language that gets to the point.

Remember that you’ll have a dedicated admission counselor to walk you through each part of the application process. You can always ask your counselor for help if you get stuck.

Your Future in Nursing

Once you have graduated from Xavier’s ABSN program, the final obstacle is the NCLEX-RN exam. However, your Xavier education will have prepared you more than to take the exam confidently.

nursing student in front of Xavier wall smiling at camera

You can start working as a nurse once you have passed the exam and are officially an RN. Whether filling a position offered during clinical rotations or looking for a position after graduation, you will have reached your goal before you know it. The job outlook for RNs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is expected to grow 6% from 2022 to 2032, which means employers expect to hire about 177,400 new nurses.

As a nurse, you also can work in various settings and take on many different roles. So, no matter your strengths and interests, a nursing career exists for you.

Are You Ready to Become an RN Fast?

When you’re ready to pursue your dream career in nursing, the Xavier University College of Nursing is here to help! We have three ABSN Learning Centers in Ohio and three start dates each year so you can start your degree immediately.

Contact our admission counselors today to get the answers to all your nursing education questions and discover if our ABSN program could be a good fit for you.