What Is an Accelerated Nursing Program Like?

Each blog post is dated and contains accurate information as of that date. Certain information may have changed since the blog post publication date. If you would like to confirm the current accuracy of blog information, please visit our ABSN overview page or contact admissions at (866) 892-6463.

Expectations and Experiences: What Is an Accelerated Nursing Program Like?

What is an accelerated nursing program like?

While we can tell you what to expect from our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program, the only way to really know what the learning experience is like is to hear what our students have to say.

This post covers both.

Admissions Expectations

Whether you’re interested in our 16-month ABSN program in Indianapolis, Indiana, or Nashville, Tennessee, you must have the following to begin the admissions process:

  • A non-nursing bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 or a 3.0 GPA for the last 60 credits completed

Once you begin the admissions process, you’ll have a dedicated admissions advisor supporting you every step of the way. He or she will help you create a prerequisite completion plan that targets your preferred start date in the program—January, May, or August.

If you’re relocating for our accelerated nursing program, your advisor will provide you with the resources you’ll need to make the move.

Admissions Experience

Marian Curriculum Graphic

Explained by Kristen Walker, ABSN Class of 2019, Indianapolis
The admissions process was pretty smooth for me. The advisors here are really helpful. My advisor checked in with me once a week to see if I had any questions and if there was anything she could do to facilitate the process. It was nice to have a dedicated single point of contact to help me navigate my entry into nursing school.

Curriculum Expectations

As a full-time student in our four-semester ABSN program, you’ll spend between 40 and 60 hours a week on your nursing education. You’ll complete a rigorous blend of online coursework, nursing skills and simulation labs, and clinical rotations at area hospitals and healthcare facilities—not to mention your first clinical begins in the first semester. Overall, this blended learning format provides the knowledge and skills required to sit for the NCLEX-RN® exam with confidence.

Marian - By The Numbers graphic

Curriculum Experiences

While every student in our ABSN program completes the same curriculum, each individual has a different view of the learning experience. We sat down with graduates from our ABSN program in Indianapolis and Nashville and asked them to share their perspectives on what the accelerated learning experience was like for them.

Online Coursework

Hannah - ABSN student class of 2019
Explained by Hannah McNabb, ABSN Class of 2019, Indianapolis

Hannah - ABSN student class of 2019

When it comes to the online learning aspect of the program, you have to be a self-starter.

All of the information is there for you in the learning management system, but you have to be the one to go in and listen to the modules and complete the discussions. Everyone in the program operates on a different schedule, so you need to create a study plan that works for you.

Online Coursework

Ruth Lamb - Marian ABSN student
Online learning lets you study at your own pace and complete your coursework at 2 a.m. if you should so desire.

Explained by Ruth Lamb, ABSN Class of 2016, Nashville

The program’s online learning component isn’t something to worry about. You can listen to an online lecture a thousand times if you wanted to, which I thought was great. If I missed something, I would go back and listen again.

Nursing Skills and Simulation Labs

Kristen - ABSN student class of 2019
Explained by Kristen Walker, ABSN Class of 2019, Indianapolis

Kristen - ABSN student class of 2019

Skills lab is helpful because it introduces you to specific procedures and core skills that are required in the nursing profession.

We would review the policies and procedures of a specific skill and then apply that skill on a fellow student or a medical manikin/clinical task trainer.

The skills you learn in lab set the foundation for what you do in simulation, which pieces together everything you’ve learned up to that point in a highly realistic patient care scenario. At the end of almost every class, there was a simulation day at the main Marian University campus where we got to apply our skills on a high-fidelity manikin.

Every simulation lab experience has specific learning goals in mind. There are times when the instructor gives you the patient’s medical diagnosis, and then there are times when you and your classmates need to figure it out.

For each simulation, the instructor assigns students to play a specific role. You could find yourself playing the part of a nurse, doctor, technician, or even a family member. If you’re not an active participant in a simulation, you get to watch from a viewing room and take notes on what went well and what didn’t during the experience.

Overall, the benefit of skills and simulation labs is that you and your cohort can make and learn from your mistakes.

Clinical Rotations at St. Vincent

Allysia - ABSN student class of 2019
Explained by Allysia Campbell, ABSN Class of 2019, Indianapolis

Every semester, we would be on a different floor of the hospital. While simulation has you think through scenarios and do what you think is best for a patient, when you’re in clinicals, you’re in the real world where patients see you as the nurse.

After spending four semesters at St. Vincent, you know the hospital, including its values, protocols, and staff. Given this knowledge, St. Vincent likes to see Marian University students become St. Vincent nurses. Thereby, it helps to think of your time in clinicals as a really long job interview.

Clinical Rotations at Saint Thomas Health

Dan - ABSN student class of 2019
Explained by Dan Francis, ABSN Class of 2019, Nashville

Dan - ABSN student class of 2019

I found Saint Thomas Health to be a great learning facility where everybody was eager to teach and help nursing students.

While it’s intimidating to be on the floor for the first time and have patients looking back at you, it helps that standing right next to you is your clinical instructor. It made it easier for me to get through situations knowing that if I didn’t know something, I could turn and ask.

Want to Know More?

If you want to know more about what an accelerated nursing program is like, you can contact our admissions team or download our free guide that explains everything you need to know about our ABSN program in Indianapolis and Nashville.