What’s the fastest way to become an RN? It starts with finding the right program, meeting its qualifications, and being committed to your studies. If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, the Accelerated 2nd Degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at Notre Dame of Maryland University makes it possible to earn your BSN in 15 months.
Our ABSN program allows students like you with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees to leverage their existing education. Our students graduate prepared to take the NCLEX nurse licensure exam, which we will discuss later in this article.
Whether you choose our online-based or classroom-based ABSN program, you can expect a comprehensive curriculum featuring:
- Engaging coursework that teaches you the fundamentals and theories of nursing practice.
- Hands-on skills and simulation labs at our state-of-the-art facilities in the Baltimore area.
- Clinical rotations through our renowned practice partners.
- Experienced faculty mentors who want you to succeed.
Read on to discover five steps on how to become an RN fast.
1. Know Your Why
The first step toward becoming an RN fast is knowing why you want to be a nurse. If you’re driven to help others, work well under pressure, and consider yourself to be compassionate and empathetic, then nursing may be the right path for you.
Nursing offers a flexible schedule, comfortable salary, and rewarding work. If you’re ready to give quality, life-changing care to people who need it, our program may be a good fit.
2. Talk to Our Admissions Staff
The second step on your journey toward becoming a nurse is speaking with admissions. Our admissions staff will be able to answer any questions you have and tell you more about the program. They’ll assist you with gathering required materials, meeting requirements, and choosing a realistic start date.
3. Complete Prerequisite Requirements
One of the first steps to applying to our ABSN program is meeting our six prerequisite course requirements. Your prerequisites must be satisfied before you begin your ABSN coursework, so the sooner these classes are complete, the sooner you can push forward with earning your BSN.
Our ABSN prerequisites are:
- Basic Statistics
- Survey of General, Organic & Biochemistry
- Anatomy & Physiology I
- Anatomy & Physiology II
Depending on your previous field of study, you may have already satisfied some of these prerequisites, so be sure to ask our admissions team if you have any transferable credits. Keep in mind, these courses must be completed with a minimum grade of C or higher within five years of enrollment.
Your assigned admissions counselor will be happy to review your academic history and unofficial transcripts from your previous degree program to help you make an ABSN prerequisite completion plan that aligns with your target start date and helps you get enrolled as soon as possible. We offer three start dates per year in January, May, and September.
4. Take Online Courses
Our Hybrid Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN program gives you the flexibility of taking online courses, which can also impact how fast you complete your studies and become a nurse.
Our intuitive online learning platform allows you to complete your modules at your own pace, meaning you don’t have to wait to move on after you’ve mastered a concept. You’ll still have assignment deadlines and skills labs on a set schedule, but online learning can help you move along at a pace you feel comfortable with.
Not only does this option allow you to control the speed at which you complete your coursework, but it also means that you can complete your ABSN coursework from anywhere you’d like — an added bonus. Additionally, you’ll have access to materials as often as you need them. You’ll also have unlimited opportunities to review concepts, listen to lectures, or go through interactive exercises.
Now, this doesn’t mean you’re completely on your own. While our Hybrid ABSN program does allow for autonomy in how and when you study, you’ll still be able to connect with your nursing instructors. Our nursing faculty can answer any and all questions you may have about nursing topics via online chat through our LMS platform, email, phone, or in-person meetings.
It’s also important to note that while you’ll be able to submit your nursing coursework online, you’ll still need to sit for proctored exams and attend simulation labs at our ABSN program site.
5. Pass the NCLEX the First Time
Once completed, our Accelerated BSN program prepares you to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®), an exam every nursing graduate must pass to legally practice the profession. The sooner you pass the exam and get your nursing license, the sooner you can enter the field.
That being said, if you want to become an RN faster, you’ll need to enroll in a nursing program that’s going to set you up for success.
In their blog post, Nurse.org outlines a few steps you can take to ensure you do well on the test, including:
- Get familiar with the NCLEX format
- Focus on the questions at hand, not the whole test
- Manage test anxiety
- Invest in test prep resources
- Prepare for exam day with sleep and thoughtful eating
These tips can be very helpful when the time comes to take your test, but you’ll be able to walk into it confident in your abilities — thanks to the knowledge you gained through the Notre Dame of Maryland University ABSN program.
Start Your Nursing Journey Today
If you want to pursue the fastest way to become a registered nurse and have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, the NDMU ABSN program can prepare you for a career in as few as 15 months. After earning your BSN from our School of Nursing, you’ll be equipped with the skills and knowledge to sit for the NCLEX with confidence and enter the profession as a practice-ready nurse.
Reach out to our team of dedicated admissions counselors today to learn more about why enrolling in our 15-month ABSN program in Maryland is worth it for your future nursing career.