Florida Accelerated Nursing Programs
Florida Accelerated Nursing Programs Overview
An accelerated nursing program allows motivated individuals with undergraduate degrees in other fields to join the nursing profession quickly and affordably. With an accelerated nursing program, a person with a background in a completely different subject can receive adequate training to make a smooth career change into nursing. This type of program lets students apply credit from previously completed courses directly toward a nursing degree, thereby saving time and money. Popular accelerated nursing program options in Florida include Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree programs.
Format of an Accelerated Nursing Program
Accelerated nursing degrees offer the opportunity for an individual with a bachelor’s degree in another subject to take the coursework necessary to sit for the exam to become a registered nurse (RN). Also known as a “second-degree nursing program,” an accelerated nursing degree provides an accredited fast-track into a professional career. As a result, most accelerated programs are highly selective and follow an intensive course format.
The most popular accelerated programs range from an average of 12 to 15 months in length. Coursework may include classes in physiology, patient-centered care, pharmacology, and research-based practice. In addition, most accelerated programs offer clinical training in a hospital or medical setting under the supervision of a registered nurse or faculty member. Upon completing the curriculum and required clinic hours, students take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLE-RN) and go on to seek employment in Florida-based healthcare facilities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nursing demand is expected to grow faster than average for all professions, making the accelerated BSN one of the most desirable degree programs in the country.
What to Expect From an Accelerated BSN
Because an accelerated degree offers a fast-track to becoming a practicing RN, students should expect a challenging curriculum within the program. This is to ensure that students receive thorough preparation and training to work competently with real-life patients. An accelerated BSN is at least 12 months in length and may require up to 40 hours of engagement per week to complete the required coursework and to receive the same skills training as first-degree programs. Some programs build upon your existing degree and may divide the required courses into credit hours (with an average of 60 credit hours needed to earn an accelerated nursing degree). Other programs also offer “transfer” credit from your previous bachelor’s degree. Since a standard undergraduate degree can take at least 120 credits to complete, many students view the accelerated BSN as an excellent chance to switch careers without needing to undergo another four-year program.
Florida accelerated nursing programs tend to combine lectures, seminars, simulations, and clinicals to prepare students for real-life scenarios in medicine. Another key focus of the accelerated program is to prepare students to obtain a state nursing license and to work within the state of Florida. As a result, additional program courses may include health policy, family-centered nursing, elderly nursing, and test preparation classes for the NCLE-RN. According to the Florida Board of Nursing, the majority of Floridian students go on to find employment in hospitals, nursing homes, and military facilities. It is important to note that before participating in any clinical activities or working in hospitals, the state of Florida also requires you to demonstrate proof of liability insurance and to pass a criminal background check and drug screening.
Accelerated BSN Admission Requirements
Because accelerated BSN programs are small, the admissions process is competitive. While specific admissions requirements vary by institution, the overall process is selective in order to ensure that candidates can handle the rigorous course-load and eventually meet Florida state licensing requirements to become registered nurses.
In general, admission into an accelerated BSN program requires a bachelor’s degree (in any field) with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students should be prepared to provide official transcripts and proof of prerequisites in math, science, and liberal arts. For example, some schools require that applicants demonstrate a minimum grade of “C” or higher in college math, biology, or statistics. Schools may also require at least two letters of recommendation along with an interview to determine compatibility with the program.
Prior to applying, you should contact the individual school to ensure that you meet the minimum undergraduate GPA requirement and have taken the prerequisite courses.
Accelerated BSN Programs in Florida
Florida Atlantic University
Program name: Prelicensure Accelerated BSN
Program Length: 15 months
The Florida Atlantic University accelerated BSN is an intensive program designed to help students pass the requirements NCLEX-RN and to excel in patient care. Enhanced with the latest recommendations from the Carnegie Foundation Report for Health Professions, this program offers clinical and simulated training in both acute and emergency care.
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Second Degree Program
Program Length: 16 months
The Jacksonville University accelerated BSN is a fast-paced program formatted to prepare students for careers in advanced and critical care. The intensive curriculum equips future nurses to handle a variety of settings, including hospitals, family practice, and mental health or psychiatric facilities.
Program name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing – Accelerated Option (AO)
Program Length: 15 months
The Barry University accelerated BSN is one of the most famous second-degree programs in the nation. It offers the benefits of a small class size as well as one-on-one mentoring to strengthen individual student needs. While intensive, the program divides different course styles across four semesters to give students well-rounded training for their future careers.
University of Miami (Coral Gables Campus)
Program name: Accelerated BSN
Program Length: 12 months
The University of Miami accelerated BSN allows students to prepare for the challenges of modern-day nursing on 41,000-sq.ft. research campus and simulation hospital. Students receive mentoring from registered nurses, scientists, doctors, and researchers to receive hands-on training in patient care. The program enrolls a cohort of 70 students each January and May.