What is a Nursing Cohort?

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Many nursing schools offer a nursing cohort program, which may leave you wondering, "What is a nursing cohort?" When you understand what a nursing cohort is, you can take advantage of its many benefits, such as a sense of community, emotional support, and teamwork.

nursing smiling standing in front of other nurses

A nursing cohort is a group of nursing students that start simultaneously and graduate together. Nursing cohorts typically take the same classes throughout the program, which is why your cohort is an invaluable resource as you work toward earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). They will be by your side throughout your education.

Xavier University’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) utilizes nursing cohorts to promote student success. Here, students can earn their BSN in as few as 16 months. Students are prepared to become knowledgeable, skilled nurses through online coursework, nursing skills and simulation labs, and clinical rotations.

Taking advantage of the many nursing cohort benefits will help you find success in nursing school. Below is an explanation of why cohorts are important, so you will gain a better understanding of the question, “What is a nursing cohort?”

stethoscope with blue background

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Why Nursing Cohorts Matter

Why are cohorts important in nursing school? Cohorts foster a strong sense of community and increased motivation among nursing students. As everyone progresses through the program, students build a comradery that inspires each other to keep working and pursuing their goals.

This increased motivation is vital because it encourages students to rise and meet nursing school’s challenges.

Nursing cohorts are also a way to build a professional network. Your cohorts may someday become your coworkers, whether right after graduation or years down the line. Your cohorts can provide you with job leads when necessary. Additionally, a familiar face in a new environment can help ease the natural anxiety you feel when starting a new job.

It is essential to utilize every opportunity to build a professional network, even while in nursing school. You never know when your paths may cross again. When you can build relationships during nursing school, you create more opportunities for your future career.

A BSN education opens many doors for nursing students. According to The American Association of Colleges of Nursing, a BSN education is the preferred entrance into a nursing career. When your education is combined with a nursing cohort program, you enter your career with a unique advantage.

Now that you can answer the question, “What is a nursing cohort?” you are prepared to incorporate the lessons to become a better nurse.

The Benefits of a Nursing Cohort

3 nursing students posing in hallway

There is strength in numbers. When you collaborate and lean on your cohorts for support, you can navigate nursing school together and meet the challenges ahead. Get to know your classmates through your coursework, simulation labs, and clinical rotations to experience the nursing cohort benefits outlined below.

Sense of Community

Your nursing cohorts will provide you with a sense of community. Throughout the program, you will meet like-minded peers with similar career goals who can inspire you throughout your nursing education. This is an opportunity to form lasting bonds.

Group Learning

Study groups, whether they are formal with many students or studying with your friend, are a great way to prepare for assessments, clinical rotations, and the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). When you learn and study together, you retain more information and can utilize each other’s different strengths to foster more productive study sessions.

Emotional Support

Nursing school is an exciting time, but as with any degree program, it is challenging. When you form bonds with your cohorts, you can offer emotional support to one another. As you go through classes together, you will face similar obstacles and can encourage each other along the way.

New Perspectives

As you collaborate and study with your nursing cohorts, you gain new perspectives on subjects. Everyone’s unique experiences influence their approach to problem-solving. Working with your cohorts allows you to gain new approaches and understandings that you otherwise would not have the opportunity to learn. This will aid you throughout nursing school and your career.

xavier absn student in lab setting

Comfort in the Program

Building relationships with your cohorts will make you feel more comfortable during your courses, simulation labs, and clinical rotations. This comfort makes it easier to ask questions and be yourself. You are all in this together, and the comfort will make you a more attentive student so that you can get more out of your courses.


Nursing cohorts help teach students how to work together, which is essential to nursing. Nurses must be able to collaborate with other nurses, physicians, and patients to provide high-quality patient care. Through nursing cohort programs, students can develop leadership skills that will serve them throughout their careers and prepare them for advancement opportunities.


Nursing cohorts create a sense of structure in your education. If you enroll in an accelerated program, such as Xavier University’s ABSN, you will be learning at a fast pace that can feel overwhelming at times. However, the structure of a nursing cohort can be grounding and provide consistency. You all have the same start and end date in a cohort, keeping your goals clear and facilitating life planning upon graduation.

Xavier ABSN student working with sim manikin

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Join Your Fellow Cohorts at Xavier University

When you are armed with the answers to “What is a nursing cohort?” you can achieve nursing school success.

Because Xavier University’s ABSN program is for those with a pre-existing non-nursing bachelor’s degree, your cohorts will have a variety of experiences you can learn from. You may even find that your previous education can prepare you and your cohorts for aspects of nursing in unexpected ways.

Xavier University’s ABSN is unique because we can support larger cohort sizes than other nursing programs. We utilize online coursework and offer three start dates a year — January, May, and August — and locations in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland, increasing your potential for professional networking and providing more room to experience the many nursing cohort benefits.

Contact an admissions counselor at Xavier University today, and take the first steps toward joining your nursing cohort and earning your BSN.