Working in the healthcare industry is a rewarding and challenging experience. Being a nurse is an extra special role, with intense, one-on-one work helping care for patients every day. Should you decide that you’d like to switch careers or advance your career in nursing, you might consider a second degree nursing program.
According to the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN), second degree nursing programs are accelerated BSN programs that offer a quick route to licensure as a Registered Nurse (RN). They are primarily designed for adults who have already completed a bachelor’s or graduate degree in a non-nursing discipline, but who want to further their nursing education. But is a second degree nursing program the right next step for you? Let’s explore this topic more in depth.
In the United States, nursing is an ever-growing field with more employment opportunities than ever. And along with the high demand for nurses comes the need for highly educated nurses who hold a bachelor’s degree. But perhaps you’ve already earned your bachelor’s degree. Perhaps you’re already working in the healthcare field but would like to change your role to superhero, a.k.a. nurse. Or, perhaps you’re longing for a fresh new start in a completely different industry, but are unsure where to start. These are some of the many reasons you might explore second degree nursing programs.
Who are second degree nursing programs right for?
Second degree nursing programs are just what their name entails: programs offering a nursing degree to people who have already earned a primary degree, but in a different field. That said, second degree nursing programs are a great fit for someone who already has a bachelor’s degree in another major, but is looking to take on a new career path in nursing. Second degree nursing programs are also known as direct-entry programs, or accelerated BSN programs, as they are available to entry-level, non-nurses looking to dive into nursing fast (without a four-year program).
As noted above, second degree nursing programs are typically accelerated – taking up to 18 months full-time to complete – and cover an extensive amount of nursing material in a very short amount of a time. Classes may be longer than those found in a traditional BSN program, and are generally less flexible than other BSN colleges (usually full-time, without breaks, to allow for faster degree completion). This is because of the intensive coursework that will be needed to earn a full bachelor’s degree in less than two years’ time.
Keep in mind that this new nursing coursework will be additional to any of the coursework completed at your previous college or institution. However, many schools offering second degree nursing programs will allow you to transfer any general-ed or applicable credits to go towards your BSN degree. In addition to the non-nursing bachelor’s degree requirement, second degree nursing programs may also have a list of prerequisite general education courses and a minimum GPA requirement. At Goodwin College, for example, second degree nursing students may transfer previous, prerequisite college credits to complete their BSN even faster.
What are the benefits of an accelerated BSN program?
As exciting as the prospect of earning your second degree may be, the notion of committing to another four-year program can be overwhelming. It’s no wonder why. Four-year nursing programs can be pricey! Students, especially going through school a second time around, often have to balance full-time schoolwork with their lives and still manage to pay the bills. Not to mention, wait lists for enrollment into nursing schools are typically very long.
But with the increasing emphasis on higher education in nursing, there is no doubt that earning a BSN degree is your best bet to reaching the career of your dreams. The fast-track style of education offered in accelerated and second degree BSN programs makes it possible to pursue intensive nursing courses and earn a bachelor’s degree, over a much shorter period of time.
A faster program is great – but what if there were a BSN program that was also willing to work with you and your schedule, rather than giving you a schedule you have to work around?
Goodwin College is an accredited nursing school in Connecticut that does just that. Our flexible nursing programs are tailored to meet the different needs of our busy students, while positioning them for their RN license in less than two years’ part-time. We also offer three academic sessions per year for faster degree completion, and nursing students have the potential to finish their bachelor’s degree in as little as three years full-time. If you have already gone to college and completed general education courses, you can learn about transferring those credits here for an even faster degree path.
The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program at Goodwin can be completed part-time in just 20 months. Further, nursing students can also transition their ADN to a BSN degree part-time, in as little as 16 months. The RN to BSN program at Goodwin College is available to students who already have their nursing license and associate degree. For added convenience, our BSN courses are offered online or in a hybrid on-campus, online format, so that you can still hold onto your current job without having it interfere with your coursework. The RN to BSN program at Goodwin allows students to complete their bachelor’s degree quickly and efficiently, without sacrificing a quality education.
Goodwin College also offers an accelerated BSN program for those looking to earn a second nursing degree. This ABSN program can be completed in as few as 16 months full-time, putting you on the path to become a registered nurse in just a matter of months. If you have earned a bachelor’s degree previously – in a non-nursing major, from a regionally-accredited college or university, with a 3.0 minimum GPA – this is undoubtedly the right nursing degree path for you.
Goodwin’s flexible nursing degrees are specially designed around nurses and their busy lifestyle, so that you’ll never have to delay earning your degree due to other life obligations. Why not start today? We accept nursing applications three times each year, and there are no wait lists to enroll in our nursing school.
Interesting in jumpstarting your career in nursing? Call 800-889-3282 today to learn more about our fast-paced nursing program, or visit here to learn why Goodwin College is a leader in nursing education in Connecticut.
Goodwin University is a nonprofit institution of higher education and is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Goodwin University was founded in 1999, with the goal of serving a diverse student population with career-focused degree programs that lead to strong employment outcomes.