If you’re considering our 16-month Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program in Ohio, you’re probably wondering what makes Xavier University known for nursing. We get it. Going back to school for nursing is a major life decision―and where you attend does matter. As you read through this post, you’ll discover why so many students choose our university for their nursing education.
Based in Cincinnati, Xavier University offers more than 90 majors and 60 minors across four colleges. It consistently ranks among the nation’s best universities. In 2020, U.S. News & World Report ranked our university #5 on its list of best colleges in the Midwest.
Jesuit Education Philosophy
Founded in 1831, Xavier University is the fourth oldest Jesuit-based higher learning institution in the United States. We’re also one of only 27 institutions in the country to be part of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities (AJCU).
Rooted in the liberal arts tradition, a Jesuit education aims to develop competent, compassionate leaders who strive to build a better world. It’s a teaching philosophy that emphasizes academic excellence, ethical living, service to others, and social justice.
Every Jesuit Catholic school adapts this teaching philosophy so that it aligns with the institution’s overarching mission. At Xavier, we emphasize cura personalis—the Jesuit value that focuses on caring for the whole person. This means we prepare our students at the intellectual, moral, and spiritual levels.
And you don’t have to be Catholic to attend our university. Our doors are open to anyone who desires knowledge in the service of others and has a willingness to always do more.
The overall vibe here is very inclusive and supportive. As someone who wasn’t brought up Catholic, I felt incredibly welcomed by the Xavier community.
―Sarah B., ABSN Program Graduate, 2018
Holistic Approach to Nursing
Now that you have an understanding of our Jesuit education philosophy, you’re probably wondering how it ties into our nursing curriculum. As a student in our 16-month ABSN program, you’ll learn the safe, effective application of core nursing skills as well as discover how illness can impact patients from a physical, psychological, social, cultural, and religious perspective.
Furthermore, you’ll learn how self-care, self-responsibility, and self-reflection have a significant impact on your job performance and overall career satisfaction. After all, when nurses have the right work-life balance, they’re able to provide the best possible patient care.
It’s also worth noting that our College of Nursing is among the select few institutions in the country to have the endorsement of the American Holistic Nurses Credentialing Corporation. This means that Xavier nursing graduates are automatically eligible to take the Holistic Certification Exam after passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®). Nursing graduates of non-endorsed schools must pass the NCLEX-RN and actively practice as a holistic nurse before they can pursue certification.
Holistic Nursing Specialty
Holistic nursing officially became a specialty area of practice in 2006. Generally speaking, holistic nurses implement well-rounded treatment plans for their patients, valuing each person’s physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and environmental strengths and challenges.
I chose Xavier because they go by the holistic model of patient care. And you can get certified in holistic nursing. I think it’s important to not only care for a person’s diagnosis, but also their mind, body, and spirit.
―Lauren L., ABSN Program Graduate, 2018
Greater Enrollment Capacity
While registered nurses are in high demand across the country, it’s common for nursing schools to turn away thousands of qualified applicants annually. Why? These schools are struggling to find the necessary resources (e.g., nursing faculty and clinical placements) to expand their class sizes.
This isn’t the case for Xavier. We are the only university in Ohio to have three ABSN program locations (Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus), with each one offering three start dates a year. Plus, we partner with some of the best health care facilities in Ohio to ensure our nursing students always have access to valuable clinical experiences.
Our ABSN program’s online learning component also enables us to accommodate more students per cohort. After all, online courses don’t require the same amount of face time or classroom spaces as traditional courses. Keep in mind, however, you’ll regularly meet up with your professors and peers during hands-on skills labs and in-person clinical rotations.
Given our ability to educate a high number of qualified nursing students per year, we see a lot of folks relocating to Ohio to attend Xavier. We receive applications from individuals who live all over the country, from Washington to New York.
Take, for example, Sarah B., a 2018 ABSN program graduate. She relocated to Cincinnati from Vancouver to attend our ABSN program. “I wanted to get into an ABSN program that would allow me to dive into the nursing profession as fast as possible,” she said.
When researching programs, I discovered they all have different prerequisite course requirements―but Xavier only has four.
There’s also Ayana J., an ABSN student who is slated to graduate from the program in May 2020. She moved from Connecticut to Ohio because of our four prerequisite requirements and multiple start dates a year. “I wasn’t apprehensive about going back to school. I found it to be an exciting move because it’s something I really wanted to do,” she noted.
So if you’re thinking about relocating for nursing school, Ohio is a great place to earn your BSN. Not only is there a lower cost of living in the Midwest, but you’ll also find the state is home to several of the nation’s best health care facilities, including Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and the Cleveland Clinic.
Applying to nursing school doesn’t have to be complicated, and our admission counselors can prove it. By choosing our ABSN program, you’ll work closely with your assigned counselor who will provide you with personalized support throughout the admissions process.
Plan on developing a close working relationship with your admission counselor. This individual will connect with you regularly to make sure your application is moving along smoothly. He/she will also be readily available to address any questions or concerns you have about the program.
“If I’m your counselor, I’ll be the person you talk to every time you call in,” said Julie Zarobinski, admission counselor for the Xavier ABSN program.
There are only four main steps in our admission process.
- Your admission counselor verifies your eligibility.
- You and your counselor develop a personalized enrollment plan.
- You satisfy the four ABSN prerequisite course requirements.
- You submit your application before the designated deadline.
To begin our ABSN admission process, you need a non-nursing bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited higher learning institution, along with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7.
When it comes to the four prerequisite courses (microbiology, anatomy and physiology I and II, and statistics), you must earn a grade of “C” or higher in each one. You can complete these courses online through our university.
Working with my Xavier admission counselor was great. She sealed the deal for me. I wanted to attend a university with a sense of community and where I was going to be supported.
―Ayana J., ABSN Program Student
Quick Admission Decision
We admit students into our ABSN program on a rolling basis, which means we review applications as they come in rather than waiting for the submission deadline to pass. This approach lets us provide you with an admission decision with a few weeks of applying. It also means that the earlier you submit your application, the better your chances of getting a spot in your preferred term.
Accelerated Learning Path
As a full-time Xavier ABSN student, you’ll complete a rigorous blend of online courses, hands-on nursing labs, and in-person clinical rotations in various areas of nursing practice. And together, these learning components will give you the academic foundation and clinical preparedness required to sit for the NCLEX-RN® exam and enter the profession with confidence.
Everything flows really well. You learn a skill online, apply it in lab, and then go to clinical to see how that skill plays out in real life.
―Erin C., ABSN Program Graduate, 2018
Online Course Convenience
While assignment deadlines still apply, our online ABSN courses bring some flexibility and convenience to the rigors of nursing school. Because there’s no specific classroom schedule for this portion of the curriculum, you can learn the fundamentals and theories of nursing whenever it best fits into your daily routine. Overall, these online nursing courses set the foundation for the hands-on skills you’ll develop at our ABSN Learning Center and local health care facilities.
Online learning was different from what I thought it would be. But it was great, I could go at my own pace.
―Lauren W., ABSN Program Graduate, 2018
Hands-On Skills Practice
As an ABSN student, you’ll attend nursing skills and simulation labs at your designated ABSN Learning Center almost every week. Outfitted with real hospital equipment and advanced patient simulation technology, our nursing labs provide a realistic backdrop for you to develop your core clinical skills and problem-solving abilities without the fear of harming an actual patient.
Essentially, it’s an environment where it’s perfectly OK to make and learn from your mistakes. Just ask current student Ayana J. “Before this program, I had never used a stethoscope. I wore mine backward during the first week,” she said. “No wonder I couldn’t hear anything. But my clinical instructors and peers have been very helpful and supportive through it all, making my nursing school fears less scary.”
Being able to practice my skills in lab has allowed me to go into the clinical setting with more confidence.
―Diana S., ABSN Program Student
Real-World Clinical Experience
We provide some of the best clinical placements of any nursing school in Ohio. And it’s because we have a strong, expansive network of health care partners in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus.
As a Xavier ABSN student, your clinical rotations start during the first semester. Often, you’ll take what you learned in lab and apply it in a real-world setting shortly thereafter. These settings include hospitals, mental health facilities, nursing homes, and outpatient clinics.
Overall, clinical rotations are at the core of your nursing education, exposing you to different patient populations in various areas of practice. Clinicals are active learning environments where you and members of your cohort perform tasks a nurse would typically do in a given situation.
In her final semester of the program, Lauren L. was caring for patients as a whole. And, it was her approach to clinicals that led to a job offer in the oncology unit at a local hospital. “You can’t go into clinical as a student. You have to go in as a nurse,” she noted.
Lauren L. had long wanted to work in oncology. So during her role transition experience, she brought her ‘A’ game to every situation. She made sure she performed her assessments on time, handled patient charts correctly, distributed medication properly, and spent time communicating with patients. “I did everything I could to show that I was interested in oncology and could do the job as a new nurse.”
While we can’t guarantee placement in a specific health care facility, we do place every student in a quality clinical setting that promotes personal and professional development. Here’s a list of our various clinical partners:
- Bon Secours Mercy Health, Cincinnati
- Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati
- TriHealth, Cincinnati
- Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland
- OhioHealth, Columbus
- Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus
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.
As a Xavier ABSN student, you’re destined for success. From the first to the last day of class, our nursing faculty make it their mission to see you through your goal of becoming a nurse. After all, to graduate as a practice-ready nurse, it’s important to learn from instructors who not only implement effective teaching strategies but also provide high levels of support—which is exactly what you’ll find with our faculty.
While in the program, you also have access to an academic success coach who serves as a student advocate. This individual can connect you with a variety of resources to enhance your overall nursing school experience. So whether it involves an academic or time management question, your academic success coach is a one-stop resource.
I LOVE the Xavier nursing faculty, absolutely love them. They are in your corner and want to see you succeed.
―Brianna P., ABSN Program Graduate, 2018
Given our ABSN program is a second-degree option for students who already have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, our cohorts represent a good mix of recent college graduates and career changers.
While our ABSN students come from different fields of study, they all share the same goal, which is to work hard and accelerate their nursing career. Sarah B., a 2018 ABSN graduate, said she learned a lot from her peers who came from different educational backgrounds. “There’s a lot of value in having a diverse group of people contributing to the conversation,” she said.
Current student Ayana J. sees nursing school as a team effort. She believes that being around people who provide support and encouragement are key to student success. “I’m surrounded by like-minded students, and we’ve all bonded,” she noted.
Before entering the profession, every nursing school graduate must pass the National Council Licensure Examination to get his/her nursing license.
The NCLEX is unlike any test you’ve taken before. It features complex multiple-choice questions where all of the answers are correct, and you must choose the most correct one. It’s also not an exam you can start studying for a few weeks in advance. NCLEX preparation begins on your first day of nursing school and ends when you pass the exam.
At Xavier, we teach and continuously reinforce the type of nursing content presented during the NCLEX. You also have access to what’s called the ATI nursing education platform. It’s an online resource that features several study tools to help deepen your understanding of the curriculum. These features include tutorials, e-books, simulations, and an NCLEX test prep service.
We took an ATI predictor exam, which gauges your level of readiness for passing the NCLEX, and our entire class scored above the national average, which is phenomenal.
―Lauren L., ABSN Program Graduate, 2018
Our nursing graduates are well-respected in the health care community. Xavier nursing alumni are seen as knowledgeable, professional, and ethical. Not to mention, they enter the workforce prepared to meet the current and future challenges of an ever-evolving health care system.
By choosing Xavier for your BSN, you’ll enter the workforce able to demonstrate:
- Thoughtful, compassionate, and competent patient care across the lifespan.
- Care that meets the unique faith and cultural needs of patients.
- Critical thinking that’s vital to professional judgment and ethical decision-making.
- Leadership in interdisciplinary patient care situations.
Nursing Employment in Ohio
Once you’re a registered nurse, you can seek employment pretty much anywhere there’s a need for patient care. While hospitals remain the most prominent employer of nurses, you can choose to work in any number of inpatient and outpatient settings, from private practices to nursing homes to schools.
In 2018, the Ohio Department of Development’s list of top Ohio employers shows that health care is a major economic driving force throughout the state, thanks to organizations such as:
- Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 2nd largest employer
- Mercy Health, the 5th largest employer
- University Hospital Health Systems, Inc., the 7th largest employer
- OhioHealth, the 8th largest employer
- Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, the 11th largest employer
Overall, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects registered nurse employment in Ohio to grow by 10% between the years 2019 and 2029, with 8,360 job openings projected annually.
Health Care Scene in Ohio
Once a manufacturing mecca, Ohio is quickly becoming a hub for health care innovation. World-class researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors are showing an increased interest in the state due to all of the amazing work taking place within our hospitals. Work that includes innovations in gene therapy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, cardiac care at the Cleveland Clinic and pediatric care at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
#3 children’s hospital in the nation (U.S. News & World Report, 2019-2020)
#3 in the nation for pediatric nephrology (U.S. News & World Report, 2019-2020)
Cleveland Clinic – Main Campus
#1 hospital in Ohio (U.S. News & World Report, 2019-2020)
#2 hospital in the world (Newsweek, 2019)
#4 hospital in the nation (U.S. News & World Report, 2019-2020)
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
#7 children’s hospital in the nation (U.S. News & World Report, 2019-2020)
#4 in the nation for pediatric cancer (U.S. News & World Report, 2019-2020)
Ready or Not?
Now that you know all the different reasons Xavier University is known for nursing, the next step is to contact our admission team to get all of your questions answered about our 16-month ABSN program in Cincinnati, Cleveland, or Columbus.