15 Best 12-Month Accelerated Nursing Programs|Top Schools

Did you know that you can be a nurse in 12 months? No? Read on to find out the schools with the best 12-month accelerated nursing programs.

Nursing school is tough, but you can get through it faster if you enroll in any of the 12-month accelerated nursing programs.

These programs allow students to complete their degree in less time than traditional BSN programs.

In this article, we’ll cover what an accelerated nursing program is, as well as how long they take and what courses are required.

We’ll also talk about some of the top schools that offer 12-month accelerated BSN programs across the globe so you can choose one that’s right for you.

What is an Accelerated Nursing Program?

An accelerated nursing program is a way for students to complete their bachelor’s degree in nursing in less than four years.

In accelerated programs, students typically take classes during the summer, during the school year, or even during winter and spring terms.

At some schools, you may also be able to earn extra credits by participating in clinical practicum experiences.

The best way to find out if an accelerated program is right for you is to visit your school’s website and look up their admissions requirements. There will likely be a section devoted specifically to accelerated programs, which will include details on how they are structured and how many credits each term consists of.

Different nursing schools offer accelerated nursing programs. Some are two years or slightly longer, while others are one year long, or less.

For this article, we are only focusing on schools that offer 12-month accelerated nursing programs.

This means that you can study in any of these 12-month accelerated nursing programs and become a nurse afterward.

Advantages of Studying in an Accelerated Nursing Program?

  • You can complete a nursing degree in less time.

Studies show that accelerated nursing programs are more likely to be completed than traditional programs, which means you’ll save money on tuition (or not), but still finish faster.

This is particularly beneficial for students who need to work full-time or don’t want to take out any loans. You can save time and money by completing your degree sooner.

  • You will be more likely to finish your degree if it is an accelerated program versus a traditional one. 

A study conducted at Oklahoma State University found that students enrolled in the 12-month program were more likely to graduate within two years than those in a regular 4-year program (45% vs 20%).

The study also found that there was no difference between their respective GPAs and MCAT scores, suggesting there is not necessarily any disadvantage associated with completing the coursework faster than expected.

Typical Requirements for Enrolling in Accelerated Nursing Programs

To be eligible to enroll in any of the 12-month accelerated nursing programs on this list, you’ll need to have successfully completed a Bachelor’s degree.

While most schools don’t require that you have previous experience as a nurse or healthcare professional, it can help if you do.

A few other requirements may vary by school — for example, some require a minimum GPA or GRE score while others don’t—but the basics are pretty similar across the board:

  • You must have at least three years of college under your belt before applying.

  • Your GPA should be at least 3.0 (or equivalent for non-US citizens), although it varies by school and program type (bachelor’s vs master vs doctoral).

List of the Top 12-Month Accelerated Nursing Programs

The following are nursing schools with the best 12-month accelerated nursing programs:

Northern Arizona University

  • Location: Flagstaff, Arizona.

Founded in 1899, Northern Arizona University (NAU) is a public research university with an enrollment of over 19,000 students.

The school is known for its focus on undergraduate education and offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 50 majors. It also offers master’s degrees in business administration and nursing as well as doctoral programs in nursing practice and education.

The school has been recognized for its sustainability efforts. It has received a Bronze rating from Sustainability Tracking Assessment & Rating System (STARS). In addition to this recognition from STARS, NAU was named one of the “50 Most Beautiful Campuses” by Travel + Leisure magazine.

View the nursing program.

Southern Connecticut State University

  • Location: New Haven, Connecticut.

Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) is an affordable and convenient option for students looking to complete their nursing degrees. SCSU offers a 12-month accelerated nursing program, which students can complete in 12 consecutive months.

This option requires previous college-level work completed before matriculation into the program. However, if you don’t have any college credits under your belt yet, there are several ways to earn them while enrolled in your nursing program at Southern Connecticut University:

  • Take advantage of credit transfer opportunities through partnerships with community colleges around the state of Connecticut as well as other universities nationwide.

  • Earn transferable credits by taking courses at another accredited university that have been approved toward SCU’s RN-to-BSN degree requirements (this includes online classes).

View the nursing program.

Jacksonville University

  • Location: Jacksonville, Florida.

Jacksonville University’s 12-month accelerated nursing program is designed to help you earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in just 12 months.

The program begins with a summer session that lasts 5 weeks. In this session, you’ll be able to get acclimated to campus life and the rigors of nursing school before the fall semester begins. You’ll also get to meet your classmates, who will become your support system as you continue through the program.

During the fall and spring semesters, you’ll take classes in anatomy and physiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, microbiology and immunology, health assessment, and clinical skills. You’ll also have opportunities to participate in clinical practice experiences at area hospitals and clinics.

In addition to completing all required courses for this degree, students must complete a capstone project during their final year of study. This project allows students to demonstrate their knowledge and skills gained throughout their time at JU.

View the nursing program.

Edgewood College

  • Location: Madison, Wisconsin.

Edgewood College’s 12-month accelerated nursing program is designed to help students who are ready to jump into the nursing field.

The program is available in both online and on-campus formats. Students will learn how to care for patients, how to work with other health care professionals and teams, and how to use current technology in their jobs as nurses.

They’ll also get plenty of hands-on experience working with patients at local hospitals and clinics.

The curriculum is designed with flexibility so that students can complete courses at their own pace, giving them more time for other activities like work or family life.

View the nursing program.

University of Saint Mary

  • Location: Leavenworth, Kansas.

The University of Saint Mary offers 12-month accelerated nursing programs. Students can take a mix of online courses and in-person lectures during the first year, then transition to primarily online courses in the second year.

The program is designed for current RNs who have worked for at least two years but have not yet earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Students can complete their bachelor’s degree in as little as 12 months through this program.

View the nursing program.

University of Rochester

  • Location: Monroe County, New York.

The University of Rochester’s 12-month accelerated nursing programs are designed for students who are ready to dive into the field of nursing and make a difference in people’s lives. The program offers a comprehensive education in all aspects of nursing, including:

  • nursing theory and practice, 

  • clinical skills, 

  • pathophysiology and pharmacology,

  • leadership and management skills, 

  • research methods and critical thinking skills, and

  • health promotion/disease prevention strategies.

In addition to this rigorous curriculum, which is taught by expert faculty members who have extensive practical experience in the field, you’ll also have the chance to participate in clinical experiences at local hospitals and healthcare facilities.

So, you can apply what you’re learning in class directly when you get the chance to. You’ll take part in both traditional classrooms learning as well as hands-on practice experiences that will give you an edge when the time comes to find employment after graduation.

View the nursing program.

Stony Brook University

  • Location: Suffolk County, New York.

Stony Brook University’s 12-month accelerated nursing programs are some of the best in the US. This program is designed to give students an education that will prepare them for a career as nurse practitioners.

It provides an intensive, hands-on experience that will help prepare you for clinical settings and give you the skills needed to succeed after graduation.

This program includes both classroom learning and clinical experience, so you can get the most out of your time at Stony Brook University.

View the nursing program.

Creighton University

  • Location: Omaha, Nebraska.

Creighton University’s 12-month accelerated nursing program is designed for students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree and are ready to begin their nursing education.

This program provides the foundational knowledge necessary to pass licensing exams and excel in your chosen field. You’ll receive hands-on training from experienced instructors, who will help you develop your skills as a nurse and prepare you to succeed in your career.

Students who complete this program will be able to apply to take the NCLEX-RN exam, which is required by all states to become a registered nurse (RN).

View the nursing program.

University of Nevada, Reno

  • Location: Reno, Nevada.

The University of Nevada, Reno is a public institution that offers one of the best 12-month accelerated nursing programs.

The accelerated program is designed to help students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree complete their coursework requirements and graduate in just 12 months. Classes are held on the main campus in Reno, NV, as well as at satellite locations in Carson City, Las Vegas, and Henderson.

The university’s College of Health Sciences offers four options for students looking to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing: Traditional (four years), Accelerated BSN (12 months), RN-BSN Bridge Program (three years), and the RN-BSN Bridge Plus Program.

All programs require prerequisite courses in biology with lab, chemistry with lab, and physics with lab. Students must also take two classes from a list of electives that includes human anatomy and physiology, microbiology, nutrition science, health promotion and disease prevention, public health and social justice issues affecting diverse populations, mental health nursing issues, behavioral problems in children and adolescents, psychiatric mental illness and substance abuse disorders in adults.

View the nursing program.

Pace University

  • Location: New York, New York.

The College of Health Professions at Pace University is one of the most outstanding health schools in New York. Its initiatives have had a substantial influence on the formation of a nursing workforce that works to enhance health outcomes locally, nationally, and internationally.

Students have the opportunity to participate in demanding patient situations thanks to the world-class Interprofessional Center for Healthcare Simulation.

Its nursing students have a history of passing the NCLEX-RN with excellent scores, with the most recent pass record of 97.7 percent.

The Accelerated Bachelor of Science Degree, Nursing Major program at the institution is a one-year full-time program for those wishing to change occupations.

The program starts in January and finishes in September each year. After earning your BSN, you can sit for the licensing test to become a registered nurse.

Nursing fundamentals, newborn nursing, women’s health, psychiatric mental health nurse, adult medical and surgical nursing management, and other basic topics would be taught throughout your education. 

View the nursing program.

Binghamton University

  • Location: Binghamton, New York.

The Decker School of Nursing at Binghamton University offers one of the most highly-rated 12-month accelerated nursing programs in the state.

Graduates of the institution have gone on to attain high positions in nursing practice and education after graduating with honors. Albany Medical Center is a popular employer of top graduates of this school.

Decker University offers a Baccalaureate Accelerated Track, which is one of New York’s most popular ABSN programs and allows you to become a nurse in as little as 12 months.

This rigorous curriculum prepares students for both the nursing profession and the NCLEX-RN test. The institution puts forth a lot of effort to guarantee that its graduates have above-average exam outcomes.

Over three semesters of curriculum, students enhance their knowledge and talents via practical experiences in hospitals, community health centers, and long-term care facilities in and around the greater Binghamton region. 

View the program.

Dominican College of Blauvelt

  • Location: Orangeburg, New York.

Dominican College of Blauvelt is a Dominican higher education institution devoted to delivering a Dominican-style values-based education.

Its proximity to New York City (27 kilometers) makes it a convenient location where you may live close to home, making its nursing school a popular choice for students seeking an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing. 

In a three-semester format, the 12-month accelerated nursing program follows the conventional nursing curriculum.

The program runs from May through August each year and is accessible on a full-time weekday schedule.

The institution accepts ABSN applications until November 1st, so make sure you’ve fulfilled all of the qualifications before then. It’s reassuring to know that over 90% of its students get financial aid, which includes federal and state grants as well as college-based need-based aid. 

View the nursing program.

University of Buffalo – SUNY 

  • Location: Buffalo, New York.

The School of Nursing at the University of Buffalo was founded in 1940 as a stand-alone institution of the university, and it has since amassed a slew of accolades.

The school maintains its education current by updating the curriculum every year and adding new programs. Its students enjoy the benefits of a small, intimate university while simultaneously having access to the resources of a big research university.

The Accelerated Baccalaureate for Second-Year Students was established in 2003 and has since grown in popularity.

The curriculum is highly competitive and may be completed in as little as 12 months. After finishing the program, students will be prepared to take the licensure exam and become registered nurses.

Clinical rotations totaling 700 hours are completed at one of the school’s Buffalo-area partner hospitals. Students undergo a three-week preceptorship at the end of the program, during which they acquire hands-on experience in a clinical environment under the direct supervision of a nurse. 

View the nursing program.

Niagara University

  • Location: Lewiston, New York.

The Department of Nursing, which is part of Niagara University’s College of Arts and Sciences, was founded in 2003. In Lewiston, New York, Niagara Institution is a Vincentian-run Catholic university.

The institution offers a holistic, value-based nursing education that instills in its students a strong concern for the dignity and rights of those who are less fortunate. Furthermore, the college’s proximity to the cities of Buffalo and Toronto lends it an international flavor.

Its Accelerated Nursing program is one of the 12-month accelerated nursing programs offered on a rolling basis. The institution maintains small class sizes to ensure that students receive one-on-one attention.

The college’s state-of-the-art simulation equipment allows students to refine their knowledge and abilities by simulating the birthing process, a woman’s breathing, pulse, and even facial expressions. The good news is that Niagara has offered a 30% tuition reduction to students interested in this program. 

View the nursing program.

Honorable Mention

  • Adelphi University

Location: Garden City, New York.

We’re making an exception for this school and adding it to our list of the best 12-month accelerated nursing programs.

The accelerated nursing curriculum at this school lasts 14 months. However, we believe it is a fantastic institution, and it is without a doubt one of New York’s greatest nursing schools.

Adelphi College of Nursing and Public Health has been teaching trained nurse caregivers for more than 70 years, with a positive influence on the community and nation. The college’s graduates are working as effective nurses in a variety of settings, with over 8,000 graduates. 

Its 14-month full-time Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program prepares graduates for a successful nursing profession via intense classroom work and hands-on study.

The program is just offered once every year, with a summertime start date, and applications must be submitted by January 15th. Because of the curriculum in areas including Mental Health Nursing, Community Health Nursing, Nursing Care of Older Adults, and Childbearing Women, graduates are well-prepared to work in a range of clinical settings. 

View the nursing program.

What to Consider Before Deciding?

Ultimately, the school that is best for you depends on where you live and what your budget is. For example, if you live in a region where there are limited nursing schools, and one of them offers an accelerated program with low tuition—and has high academic requirements—then that could be a good fit.

The same concept applies when considering what kind of student loan debt you’re willing to take on. If your goal is simply to get into nursing school as soon as possible so that you can start earning money as soon as possible (after all, it’s expensive being a student!), then consider attending a more expensive university with lower academic standards than others nearby.

If this sounds like something you want to do, don’t worry too much about choosing between these schools with 12-month accelerated nursing programs: they’re all excellent options.

But before making any big decisions like this one, ask yourself if you are willing to sacrifice some of your time? (maybe all of it?) Are you willing to sacrifice some of your money? And most importantly, are you willing to sacrifice some of your grades to achieve these goals sooner rather than later?

This is because in as much as accelerated nursing programs help you graduate quickly; they are quite demanding and time-consuming. Think about all these when making this big decision. These questions will help guide you on which school might be right for you.

Wrapping It Up

There are a lot of great schools to choose from if you’re looking for a 12-month accelerated nursing programs. None of them may be perfect, but they all offer different benefits.

It all comes down to what you want out of your education and how much time you have to commit as well as what kind of experience you want while getting it.

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