Accelerated BSNAdmissions

How to Become a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor’s Degree Explained

How to Become a Registered Nurse with a Bachelor’s Degree Explained

If you already have a degree but want to change careers, you may be wondering how to become a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree. Lucky for you, the process is actually a lot simpler — and can happen a lot sooner — than you might think, especially if you decide to pursue your second degree in nursing through Marian University’s Accelerated Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program.

Designed with career changers and second-degree seekers in mind, it follows a rigorous 16-month curriculum comprised of online theory courses, in-person skills and simulation labs, and clinical experiences through St. Vincent in Indianapolis and Saint Thomas Health in Nashville.

The online component makes our program an ideal choice for career changers like you because you can listen to lectures and complete assignments from anywhere, at any time. Plus, because it’s a program tailored for adult learners in similar situations as yourself, you’ll find plenty of support built right in — your whole cohort may even be professionals seeking a second career just like you!

Ready to learn more about how to become a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree through the Marian University online-based ABSN program? Below we outline the qualifications you’ll need and additional factors to consider before enrolling.


To qualify for the Marian University ABSN program, you must hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution. If you do, then your next step would be to contact an admissions advisor who will work with you to make an admissions plan unique to your needs. He or she will also determine if your past credits and GPA meet Marian’s eligibility requirements and determine what prerequisites you may need to take.

Once you meet these requirements and complete the prerequisites listed below, you can complete the program in as few as 16 months.

The Admission Requirements You’ll Need

  • Cumulative college GPA of 2.8 or a 3.0 for the last 60 credit hours completed
  • Complete all ABSN prerequisite courses within the GPA requirements

The Prerequisite Courses You’ll Need

  • Introductory Microbiology
  • Human Anatomy
  • General Human Psychology
  • Elements of General and Biological Chemistry
  • Abnormal Psychology
  • Human Growth and Development
  • 12 Hours in Humanities

I have a bachelor’s degree. How long will take to become a nurse?

If you already have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, online-based accelerated options like the one Marian University offers allow you to earn a BSN in as few as 16 months.

As mentioned above, to qualify for the Marian University ABSN program you must complete a set of prerequisite courses. It’s important to factor how much time it may take you to complete those into your overall estimated program length, which can vary depending on the type of bachelor’s degree you already have.

Previous Non-Science Bachelor’s

A clear advantage of already having earned a previous bachelor’s degree before applying, even if it was in no way tied to the sciences, is that you may have already met many or all of the general education prerequisites and jump right into the science prerequisites.

ABSN student studies for classIf you lack a science background, you’ll have to take a handful of science-specific courses before applying to our ABSN program.

We highly encourage prospective students take these courses through Marian Adult Programs (MAP), which allows you to complete all the ABSN prerequisite courses in an exclusively online, accelerated format. MAP offers courses in five-week terms nine times a year and in eight-week terms six times a year.

Another benefit of completing your ABSN prerequisites through MAP? Doing so grants you provisional acceptance into the program, provided you meet the minimum grade requirements.

Previous Science Degree

Having a previous science degree is probably the fastest track to enrolling in Marian University’s second-degree ABSN program. Not only will you have likely already completed your general education prerequisites, but you may also be able to skip some of your science prerequisites as well.

While your admissions advisor will walk you through the exact number of prerequisite courses you’ll have to take, those who hold previous bachelor’s degrees in sciences such as Biology, Chemistry, or Organic Chemistry should be able to move through the admissions process relatively quickly. As long as you earned your degree within the last seven years, your science prerequisite credits should transfer.

Other things to consider

In addition to meeting all of the above qualifications and completing your ABSN prerequisites it’s also important to bear in mind other aspects of our program when mapping out your nursing school schedule if you want to become a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree.

Program speed

Whether or not they have a science background in their previous field of study, many prospective students choose to earn their nursing degree through Marian University’s ABSN program because they can enroll in and complete the program quickly.

Shelbi, an ABSN student

“Since Marian has an accelerated nursing program, it really fit into my schedule. I already have another degree and I didn’t want to spend another four years going through school,” says Shelbi Auman, ABSN Class of December 2017.

Having three start dates a year — in January, May, and August — means you get to start working on your nursing degree as soon as you’re ready. Not to mention, once you begin your first day in our program, you’ll be roughly 16 months away from qualifying to take the NCLEX licensure exam!

Time commitment

Because it packs a traditional BSN curriculum into 16 months of course study, many students compare our program to working a full-time job. It’s important you keep in mind that accelerated nursing school is a major time commitment. Evaluating your lifestyle and needs is crucial.

You’ll also want to consider the type of student you are. If you’re disciplined, organized, and like the ability to study at your own pace, the Marian University ABSN program may be a great fit for you.

If you’re on the fence about becoming a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree and wondering if accelerated nursing school will work for your lifestyle, we encourage you to reach out to one of our dedicated admissions advisors for more information. Start by completing the form on this page or calling us today!

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