Traditional vs. Accelerated Nursing Programs

November 4, 2012 in Nursing Programs

nursing programs

You have many choices when it comes to nursing schools and nursing programs associated with them.  It is important that you look into specific programs and find out if they are a good fit with you.  Make sure you consider your “life” when you make this type of choice because depending on the program you choose, you will have very little time for anything outside of school.

There are the traditional nursing programs which include either degree program (an associate degree or a bachelor degree).  These usually have the same schedule as other degree majors with approximately 16 week semesters and breaks between those semesters.

Then you have accelerated programs which can also bestow an associate degree or bachelor degree.  This type of program is set up to hasten your degree goal.  It will not have the breaks between the semesters and you will have more days per week in the classroom.  The school must provide you with a minimum number of hours for lectures and clinicals to complete in order for you to sit for your licensing exam (NCLEX).  These minimum hours are set by accreditation agencies and the state boards of nursing.

Either program is a good one.  They both provide you with the essentials that you will need to be a great nurse.  It all depends on you and what you have going on in your life to which program would be a good fit.  The advantage of the accelerated program is that you will be done faster, but the disadvantage would be that you will have less time to study or for other obligations in your life.  If you decide on an accelerated program, you will also have less wiggle room and a simple flu can affect your attendance which will weigh heavily on you.

When making your decision make sure to ask, What is the program competition rate? And What percentage of the graduating students pass the NCLEX on their first sitting?  Get an “actual” number.  These two questions should help guide your decision into a program.

The goal of a nursing school and taking the NCLEX, these two things try to judge if you will be able to practice safely as a new graduate in the proper setting.  The NCLEX itself is to determine if it is safe for you to begin practice as an entry-level nurse.

Do not expect that as soon as you start your first job, you will know everything.  You are always learning and it may take you a year to start feeling as if everything is falling into place.  Good luck to you all.

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