With the growth of higher education as a whole, sometimes it can be difficult to make sense of the trends and find out what really is in demand, and what is just moving along with the crowd. One of the seemingly most popular areas of study are the accelerated nursing programs which are available these days. However, are these programs, and the accelerated BSN degree they provide, really in high demand, and what’s the story behind their success or lack thereof?
First, one great way to judge whether something is in high demand or not is to see how many programs are currently offered and whether that has been increasing or decreasing. Right now, there are over 200 fully accredited accelerated nursing programs available, and they are based in at least 43 of 50 states in the U.S. There are another 65 or so programs which offer advanced, postgraduate degrees in the same online, accelerated format, and there are dozens more on both tiers which are currently in the works and will be available within a few years.
This is a massive growth in the amount of programs available. It seems like just 5 or 10 years ago your options could be counted on your hands, but the explosion has been rapid and prodigious. These aren’t small-time schools either, there are many well known, highly respected universities which offer online accelerated nursing programs right there, and that adds legitimacy to everyone involved.
It’s also important to see why an accelerated BSN is in such high demand. One reason is that the field of nursing is changing, and education is moving from a nice touch to something that is required. Two or three decades ago, about one quarter of registered nurses had a BSN, or a higher level diploma. Today, that has doubled to half, and the number is still increasing, which means that bachelors in nursing is very important so that you can keep up with the competition and establish yourself in the field.
The quickest way to get yourself in the game is of course one of the accelerated nursing programs. So as the need for a BSN grows, the need for the accelerated pacing grows along with it. You can go back to school and finish your program in as little as a year if you already have a bachelors in another field, or two years if you’re starting from scratch. Either way, it’s much quicker than the four year, full-length programs that others will be taking.
So to answer the original question, yes, accelerated nursing programs are in high demand. The need for BSNs for nurses is growing quickly, and these has put more prospective students back into school. They can finish quicker with the accelerated pacing of one of these programs, and there are now literally hundreds of top rated schools and programs to choose between, meaning you’ll be able to find a great match no matter what you’re looking for.