If you already have a bachelor’s degree but are interested in transitioning into the nursing field, you may be asking yourself, “Is a second-degree BSN worth it?” If fast-tracking your entrance into an in-demand and rewarding profession with a competitive edge sounds appealing to you, we say it’s definitely a path worth considering.
While enrolling in a second-degree BSN program such as the one University of St. Thomas Houston offers does require a major dose of dedication and financial investment, we explain why it’s well worth it below.
1. Accelerated timeframe
If you’ve already earned a bachelor’s degree but want to transition into nursing, it’s only natural that you’d want your existing education to count for something. You also prefer to hit the ground running as you pursue a new career path and enter the nursing workforce as soon as possible!
The University of St. Thomas ABSN program builds on your previous learning experiences and has the capacity and ability to prepare more career-ready nurses sooner than traditional, four-year BSN programs. If you have a non-nursing undergraduate degree, our program offers a transition into nursing in as few as 12 months.
The demand for nurses is expected to grow across the country over the coming decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor reports. Texas is not immune to this shortage: during the next 10 years, Texas will need 269,000 nurses but will have only 253,400 – with 16,000 positions left unfilled, according to a recent report.
In response to this need, the University of St. Thomas launched its ABSN program earlier this year. ABSN@UST makes a nursing career more accessible for students with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees, giving them the opportunity to earn a BSN in as few as 12 months.
Not to mention, because our hybrid learning model features an online learning component, ABSN@UST is able to offer three program starts per year — in January, May and August —with no waitlist. That means once you receive your acceptance into our program you can start as soon as you’re ready — no waiting for just one start date to roll around.
3. Focused curriculum
One of the benefits of ABSN@UST is that it condenses a traditional BSN curriculum into 12 months. That becomes possible because we are a second-degree program; that is, once you are enrolled in our full-time program, you dive right into the core nursing coursework, lab experiences and clinical rotations that will ready you to pass the NCLEX and enter the profession with confidence.
We designed our hybrid curriculum to help you start thinking like a nurse and stand out in the nursing job market:
- Online coursework is completed on our interactive e-Learning and is where you’ll learn key nursing theory concepts. Not only do you benefit from the ability to complete coursework from anywhere, at any time (within the deadlines set forth by your instructors), you’ll stand to gain a deeper understanding of course content through participation in discussion forums. In working in our innovative e-learning platform, you’ll also gain critical technical skills that will help you excel in today’s ever-changing healthcare workplace.
- Skills and simulation labs are where you’ll apply the nursing theory. Practicing on computer-based manikins, you can expect to build confidence and gain hands-on, experiential learning opportunities in key nursing skills, knowledge and clinical judgement areas — all in a risk-free mock clinical environment.
- Clinical rotations put lab experiences and online coursework into practice in real-world patient care settings at top healthcare facilities around Houston. As an ABSN@UST student, you’ll also be in close proximity to the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical complex in the world, and some of the Lone Star State’s best and brightest healthcare professionals across a variety of specialty areas.
4. Streamlined admissions process
Especially if you’re entering the nursing profession with no prior healthcare experience, the proposition of becoming a nurse — let alone applying to nursing school — can seem daunting. When going through the process of getting into nursing school, having someone in your corner from start to finish can go a long way toward boosting your confidence and getting you over any mental blocks that may be preventing you from taking the leap.
At ABSN@UST, we believe that that kind of support is well worth it for those who want to pursue a second-degree BSN. Our dedicated team of admissions counselors work exclusively with prospective accelerated nursing students from their initial call inquiring about the program all the way through their application submission and leading up to their first day of nursing school. Along the way, admissions counselors help students with:
- Planning your education and professional goals.
- Creating an academic plan aimed at your start date goal.
- Ensuring you submit all materials by your target start date application deadline.
5. Experienced and supportive faculty
Experienced career guidance and academic support don’t stop once you’re admitted to our program. As an ABSN@UST student, you’ll learn key nursing skills and concepts from highly experienced nursing faculty whose primary objective is to see you through to your ultimate goal of becoming a nurse.
We should also point out that just because you are completing the nursing theory portion of your accelerated nursing school coursework online doesn’t mean you won’t have convenient access to your instructors. Nursing faculty are always eager to answer student questions through our online platform, emails, phone calls, and, in some cases, during office hours at our ABSN learning site. You can also expect regular face-to-face interactions with clinical instructors during your clinical rotations, which begin the first semester of the program.
6. Boosts your job marketability
Perhaps one of the most tangible advantages of enrolling in a second-degree BSN program is the professional benefits you stand to gain once you graduate. After all, what is the purpose of earning a nursing degree if not to use it to become a nurse? More so than other nursing degree options out there, a BSN opens the door to myriad opportunities in a high-demand profession and sets you apart from other applicants with ADN or LPN certification.
Not to mention, completing a second bachelor’s degree in 12 months is no small feat and takes real drive and commitment. Earning a second-degree BSN through ABSN@UST shows potential employers that you’re highly motivated and dedicated to success.
Get ready to get going on your nursing career
If you can’t wait to become a nurse and have a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, a second-degree BSN is worth it. After you complete the ABSN@UST program in as few as 12 months, you’ll possess the nursing skills and knowledge to pass the NCLEX and enter the nursing field with confidence – and in less time than if you earned the same degree from a traditional BSN program to boot!
Take a bold step and contact an admissions counselor today to learn more about why enrolling in ABSN@UST is worth it for your future nursing career.