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

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Wondering how to become a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree? Learn how to find the right program, what requirements and prerequisites you need for nursing school, and know what to expect from Notre Dame of Maryland University’s accelerated BSN program.

NDMU nursing student standing in hallway

After you’ve settled into the routine of your career, you might feel dissatisfied or like it’s time to make a change into a new field. While changing careers can be challenging, if it is in a field you are passionate about then it is often worth it. Are you ready to learn more about how to become a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree?

We are here to help. That’s exactly why Notre Dame of Maryland University’s Accelerated 2nd Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program supports you every step of the way. No matter what stage of life you’re at, it’s never too late to start your journey toward becoming a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree. Keep reading to learn more about the process and how to get started.

1. Find a Program Designed for You

If you already have a bachelor’s degree, we get that you don’t want to spend more time than you must earning your BSN degree. Finding the right program will help your motivation and fuel your drive to succeed. In addition to meeting admission requirements and completing all the prerequisites, you must consider the big picture of your time going back to school. You must determine if you are willing to relocate, acknowledge the time commitment, and research how you will pay for it.

Our program is built for students who hold non-nursing bachelor’s degrees and wish to get into the nursing field quickly. The Notre Dame of Maryland University Accelerated BSN program condenses a 36-month nursing school curriculum into 15 months, which is why it requires a lot of focus, drive, and dedication to be successful in the program.

2. Understand the Admission Requirements

NDMU nursing student taking notes from computer

The next step in how to become a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree starts with finding out the program admission requirements for the school you are interested in. You can do this by looking at their website and their program overview or calling our admissions counselors to discuss your academic experience and future career aspirations. Here are four ways an admissions counselor will help you get started:

  • Initial overview. Your admissions counselor will be the main point of contact throughout the rest of the admissions process. They’ll be there with you each step of the way with your needs and goals in mind.
  • Make an academic plan. They will also work with you to create an academic plan of action that fits with your life and help you figure out which of our three start dates will work best for you.
  • Complete any needed ABSN prerequisites. Your admissions counselor will also help you identify which prerequisite courses you may need to take, if any, before submitting your application.
  • Apply to accelerated nursing school. With your application, be sure to include your official college transcript(s) from previous institutions, an up-to-date resume, and a personal statement stating why you are pursuing nursing.

Once you are admitted to our ABSN program, you can expect the high level of support you received earlier in the admissions process to continue throughout your time at NDMU. In both the hybrid and campus-based ABSN programs, nursing faculty and clinical instructors always have your back and are available to make time to help make your time in the program run smoothly.

3. Know What to Expect

One of the main things to know about how to become a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree is knowing what nursing school will be like. Your instructors will hit the ground running. So don’t be surprised if they throw a lot of material your way through lectures, reading assignments, and other work during your first semester. The coursework you complete in the first semester of nursing school sets the stage for the rest of your nursing education, so expect to kick things off quickly.

2 NDMU students working on a manikin

Your first semester of nursing school will also involve skills and simulation labs, which you can expect to attend multiple days each week. In these labs, you’ll learn how to develop and apply basic nursing skills such as wound care and intubation. These universal skills prepare you for any nursing position. Clinical rotations also begin in the first semester of the Notre Dame ABSN program. Clinicals will give you hands-on experience for real-world nursing.

Keeping up with coursework, practicing nursing skills during the lab portion of the program, and making sure you make the most of your clinical rotations can seem like a lot to balance, but know you’ll have a support system to help you succeed. Our admissions counselors start supporting you before you even enroll in the program. They’ll answer any questions you have and help you gather everything you need to apply to the Notre Dame ABSN program.

Know You're Not Alone

Life is short, and if you’re not in a career you love there’s no better time to change that than now. Making the jump into a new field can feel overwhelming, but you’re not alone. You will be joined by other like-minded students in your cohort, in addition to your professors who want to see you succeed.

Nearly half of people interviewed for a survey conducted by Indeed said they’ve made a big career shift in their lifetime. By switching to a career in nursing, you’re taking a leap of faith, and with current trends in the field, odds are you’ll land on solid ground.

Why Nursing Is a Good Idea

A career in nursing is an investment in your future. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031. Nurses are in high demand, and that demand doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. About 203,200 openings for registered nurses are projected each year for the next 10 years. With a career in nursing, you’ll have relative job security and a job that allows you to wear many different hats while knowing you are helping others.

It’s Never Too Late to Start a Career You Love

NDMU student smiling in blue scrubs and stethoscope

Now that you have a better idea of how to become a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree, are you ready to take the first step toward a new career in nursing? Contact our enrollment team or complete our online form to have one of our admissions counselors contact you.