15 Top Online Accelerated Nursing Programs for Non-nurses

If you’re interested in becoming a registered nurse, searching for schools that offer Online Accelerated Nursing Programs for Non-nurses can be overwhelming.

And if you already have a degree in another field, it might seem impossible to pursue an online nursing degree without starting over at square one—or worse, spending more time and money than necessary on your education.

Luckily, though, there are options out there for people who want to either get started with their nursing career or continue their studies while working full-time.

We’ve rounded up some of the best accelerated online nursing programs available so that you can find the one that’s right for you.

We have ranked these online accelerated nursing programs based on their reputation, cost quality, affordability and online course presence.

Please note that only schools that offer online/distant learning in accelerated nursing degree programs have been included; so, let us begin.

What You Can Expect

Online accelerated nursing programs can be a great way to get your bachelor’s degree, or even an advanced degree. If you are interested in becoming a nurse, but don’t know what school to go to or don’t have time to attend traditional classes, online programs may be right for you.

Online accelerated nursing programs typically boast small class sizes that allow students more one-on-one time with instructors and staff members.

This provides ample opportunity for extra help and tutoring as needed—something that isn’t always available at larger universities with larger student bodies.

Additionally, many online accelerated nursing programs offer the same amount of clinical experience as on-campus schools do, allowing students to gain valuable hands-on training before they graduate and become full-fledged nurses.


Coursework is the core of your online nursing degree program. You’ll learn about how the nursing degree and practice works in an accelerated nursing program and how it’s different than traditional classroom-based programs.

The main difference between online and campus-based coursework is that it takes place entirely on the Internet, rather than in person or through video conferencing technology.

This means you can study from wherever you have access to high-speed internet—your home, office or library—and still get credit for the class work you complete.

Most online courses have been designed specifically with non-nurses in mind; they reflect exactly what students need to know about their subject matter without any unnecessary jargon or technical language that would be baffling to someone without a medical background.

These courses are self-directed – meaning that students are responsible for keeping up with assignments and deadlines (which are typically set at least once per week).

Project assignments may require outside resources such as textbooks or journal articles; however, most of these materials will be provided by your school upon your application, so there shouldn’t be any hidden costs involved during any part of your degree program—only costs associated directly with tuition payments.

The Accelerated Nursing Program Application Process

  • Apply to a school that offers an accelerated nursing program.

  • Apply to the school of your choice, and submit your application fee, transcripts and letters of recommendation, resume and personal statement.

  • Wait for confirmation that you have been accepted into your chosen accelerated nursing program.

    This can take up to two weeks on average; however, it may take longer if there are communication issues between the institution and yourself (e-mail address error/unrecognized) or if there are extensive delays in receiving documents from other institutions (transcripts).

How Long Are Online Accelerated BSN Programs?

Online accelerated nursing programs for non-nurses are typically 12 to 24 months in length. The length of time it takes to complete your degree depends on several factors, including how much experience you have and how quickly you can learn.

If a school offers additional short-term options that allow students who already have some healthcare experience to finish their bachelor’s degree faster, this option is often an appealing one for people who already work full-time or have other responsibilities outside of school.

However, if you’re interested in pursuing an accelerated degree program but don’t know how soon you can start taking classes without putting too much pressure on your schedule, it might be helpful to consider how much time it will take for all the paperwork on both ends (the school’s end and yours) before classes begin so that both parties are prepared when they begin working together.

Types of Accelerated Nursing Programs

You’ll find accelerated nursing programs of all kinds, including:

  • Accelerated BSN programs: These programs provide a fast track to earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Some schools offer online accelerated BSN programs that can be completed in as little as 18 months.

    An online accelerated BSN is typically less expensive than a traditional program (or just as expensive), and may allow you to start working sooner than if you were enrolled in a traditional on-campus program.

    So, if you want to become a nurse faster, an online accelerated BSN might be right for you.
  • Accelerated MSN programs: If you already have an undergraduate degree and want to earn a master’s degree while working full-time, an MSN program is likely the fastest way for you to achieve that goal—you could complete your master’s in two years or less.

    Online MSNs are ideal for students who want flexibility but still prefer hands-on teaching styles over purely online learning methods.

Who Is Eligible for the Online Accelerated Nursing Programs for Non-Nurses?

You are eligible if you have a bachelor’s degree in any field and have been out of school for at least two years.

You also must be able to demonstrate that your GPA is 2.5 or higher, and that your TEAS score was 75 or higher.

How to Become an RN in an Accelerated Nursing Program

To become a nurse in an accelerated nursing program, you will need to apply for the program and get accepted. Then, you will need to apply for financial aid and scholarships.

After getting accepted into the program, you will complete all of your prerequisites before attending any courses. This may include taking classes in anatomy, physiology and genetics online or at your local community college while completing clinical hours with a doctor who has agreed to work with the school’s students.

You will also be required to earn at least 50 credit hours (depending on the program, this could be more or less) before graduating from most accelerated nursing programs.

In addition to this requirement, many schools require that their students maintain a minimum GPA throughout their coursework as well as pass all tests that are given throughout each semester.

List of the Top Online Accelerated BSN Programs

As promised, here is our list of 15 of the best (and mostly affordable) online accelerated nursing programs that you can enroll in now, to begin your journey in professional nursing practice.

University of Texas

Location: Arlington, Texas.

Tuition Estimate: $425 per credit hour.

When you think about the top online accelerated nursing programs, you have to think about the blended ABSN program at the University of Texas. This program combines online classes with hands-on training in Texas hospitals. This is a great choice for people who want to get their online BSN degree quickly.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in something other than nursing, you may be able to transfer up to 70 credits into this program. In other words, these are the things you need to do before you can start nursing school.

If you haven’t already taken these classes, you can do so online, but you have to do that before you start your nursing classes.

The average time it takes to finish this program and become a nurse is 15 months. If you take 14 nursing classes, you will need to earn 51 credits. You also have to take one of two courses that aren’t required.

Choose the one that interests you. The course material covers a wide range of topics and is laid out in a way that makes sense.

Methodist College

Location: Peoria, Illinois.

Tuition Estimate: $677 per credit.

Methodist College’s weekend lectures and clinical practice sessions enhance the online day programs that students complete throughout the week. Because these sessions will be in person, you will have a lot of chances to learn by doing, which will help you improve your professional skills.

Students can finish the ABSN program by studying either part-time or full-time. The program will be finished by a group of students who go to school full-time for five semesters. You won’t be in a cohort because you’ll finish the required coursework for the classes you’re taking while going to school part-time at your own pace.

To be eligible, you must have gotten a bachelor’s degree in something other than nursing and have a grade point average of at least 2.0. You have to finish a 70-credit course over the fall and spring semesters to get your degree.

It starts with an overview of nursing in general and then moves on to education for nurses that is based on evidence. The goal is to get you ready to work as a nurse who understands different cultures in different places. You can sign up for the NCLEX-RN test once you have finished all of your classes.

You have to do the internship in Peoria as part of the program. Working in a clinical setting is a great way to learn because you get to try things out for yourself.

This is a great chance to meet new people in your field and build your professional network. If you want to work full-time while getting this degree, you will need to schedule between three and six hours of extra study time each week on top of the time you spend in class.

Kent State University

Location: Kent, Ohio.

Tuition Estimate: $400 per credit hour.

If you think nursing is your calling and want to change careers, you may want to look into the ABSN degree that Kent State University offers in a partially online format. There are three different time slots: during the day, in the evening, and on the weekends.

You can sign up for this program and finish it in four or five semesters, depending on how busy you are with other things. You should book a place to stay close to the school because you will have to go there for classes and lab simulations.

You can’t join this program unless you’ve already taken all the required classes in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and chemistry. Also, when you finish your bachelor’s degree, you must have a grade point average of at least 2.75. You will also need to take a college-level algebra class.

The classes for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing start with the basics of nursing and end with a class that prepares students for the NCLEX-RN test.

The required 59 credits must be taken and passed. The curriculum is meant to help students learn skills like critical thinking, clinical reasoning, and communication that will help them become caring nurses.

Nursing graduates from Kent are well-known for being job-ready, which is clear from the college’s high placement rate.

The college has an average first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate of more than 90 percent. Kent’s nursing graduates do well on the NCLEX-RN exam.

Marian University

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana.

Tuition Estimate: $335 per credit hour.

Marian University is motivated to assist job changers thrive in their new profession as a nurse. With a faith-based curriculum and convenience of online coursework that is perfectly supplemented by on-campus simulation experiences, you are equipped to treat patients with holistic nursing care.

The on-site classes are conducted twice a week at the college’s Indianapolis and Nashville campuses, so you must choose to enroll at the location most convenient to you.

The expedited 16-month BSN curriculum spanning across four semesters is meant to give you job-ready skills. This is achievable as you proceed directly into clinical rotations from the first semester itself.

Throughout the program, you will get profound insight into Marian concepts of holistic nursing care that treats the mind, body, and soul. Please note you need to finish all the needed prerequisite courses prior to enrolling for this program.

With an emphasis on hands-on learning, your training includes 700 hours of clinical rotations at a range of clinical settings, if you choose to enroll in an online accelerated nursing program in this school. Depending on where you enroll, you will finish your experience at either St. Vincent or Saint Thomas Health.

If you opt to finish the pre-requisite courses online through Marian’s Adult Programs, you may be qualified to reserve a space for yourself in this ABSN program.

Emory University

Location: Atlanta, Georgia.

Tuition Estimate: $1,608 per credit hour.

The Distance ABSN program at Emory University has recently expanded to include a second-degree BSN online option. Students who live outside of the Atlanta metropolitan region but are otherwise eligible for this program can enroll via distance learning.

You’ll be prepared for a nursing job in as little as 54 weeks of full-time schooling. It begins three times a year in September, January, and April, depending on the calendar.

In a cohort structure, you take one course at a time, with the help of a cohort of students. Every day, you and up to 30 other students will participate in online classes.

To be eligible for graduation, you must finish 47 credits of rigorous study in a short amount of time.

Students are encouraged to ask questions and bring up concerns relevant to nursing as a means of fostering critical thinking in the classroom.

During the first five months of the program, you will take foundation courses in health assessment, acute and chronic care as well as psychiatric, maternity, and pediatric, and adult nursing.

Emory requires you to sign a promise that you will not work any part-time or full-time jobs from the date of enrollment until you complete the program.

For orientation, two two-week periods of lab simulation exercises and one week of the capstone project in the final stages of the program (which is mostly online), you must travel to the campus, even though it is mostly online.

Northeastern University

Location: Boston, Massachusetts.

Tuition Estimate: $1,186 per credit hour.

If you don’t come from a nursing background but are interested in becoming a nurse, you can start with an ABSN program in Northeastern University.

Northeastern University’s accelerated BSN program uses a mix of online classes, simulations, and clinical experiences. Because the program is so demanding, you should try to have as few outside commitments as possible while you are in it.

To graduate from nursing school, you have to earn 67 credits in a program that teaches you how to care for a wide range of people.

This includes using technology in healthcare and making decisions based on evidence.

During these 16 months of study, you will get hands-on experience in areas like pediatrics, mental health, care for the elderly, and women’s health. This will give you the skills you need to work in any healthcare setting.

Depending on where you enroll, you must be ready to go to simulation lab sessions at least once a week in Uptown Charlotte or Boston.

This online fast-track BSN program takes new students in January, May, and September. You must apply for the program at least two months before it starts in order to be eligible.

University of Wisconsin

Location: Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Tuition Estimate: $41,500 for the entire program.

Since 2003, more than 1,100 people have changed careers and become nurses with help from the University of Wisconsin.

This is your fast-track option for getting the skills and knowledge you need in just one year. But there are some rules you have to follow in person as well as the ones you can find online.

The on-campus visits include an orientation over a three-day weekend at the start of the program, two weeks for simulation and clinical requirements, and one week for the capstone project at the end.

You will spend three weeks on campus as a whole.

Make sure you meet all of the requirements before you apply to a school with a very competitive admissions process.

You will learn about health assessment and evidence-based practice at the start of the course. You will also learn about the law and ethics, mental health, nursing for adults, children, pregnant women, and the community, as well as how to lead and manage nurses.

If you do well in this class and finish it, you’ll be ready to take the NCLEX-RN exam.

To get your degree in a year, you have to finish one credit every week, which means you have to study 8–12 hours a day. Few students drop out of the program, which means that students are happy with their education.

Thomas Edison State University

Location: Trenton, New Jersey.

Tuition Estimate: $535 per credit hour.

In just 15 months, Thomas Edison State University’s accelerated BSN program can get you ready for a job in the rapidly growing field of nursing. With this program, you can take classes on the web without being there at the same time.

To be eligible for this program, you must have earned a 3.0 GPA in your last degree. To improve your chances of getting in, you must also get at least a “B” in 33 credits of science and statistics classes that you need to take first.

The nursing program has a total of 60 credits, which are made up of 25 online didactic courses and 35 in-person courses.

There are five theoretical nursing classes, as well as lab sessions and learning in the field. In the end, you’ll be able to show that you’ve gotten better at clinical reasoning and getting along with other people.

When the program is over, students will know how to use healthcare informatics to improve patient care.

Three courses from this program can be applied to the TESU Master of Science in Nursing degree. This credit transfer will save you both time and money if you want to get an MSN.

If you are an ABSN student, you may be able to get a scholarship.

Roseman University of Health Sciences

Location: Henderson, Nevada.

Tuition Estimate: $756.83 per credit hour.

Roseman University of Health Sciences helps nurses who want to get a second degree. The 18-month ABSN program is taught with a mix of different methods.

Through the online learning platform, you can get to most of the courses at any time. Each block of coursework has 15 different topics, and you only study one block at a time. Depending on the topic, a block could last anywhere from two to eight weeks.

For this program, you must have at least 54 undergraduate credits and a GPA of 2.75 or higher.

As you move through your degree program to become a nurse practitioner, you will take classes in everything from health assessment to care for adults to mental health to care for mothers and babies to leadership in the field of nursing.

In order to help students do well, the college gives tests every two to three weeks on what you’ve learned in class.

This systematic way of evaluating will help you figure out which skills you have mastered and which ones you still need to work on.

Ex-military people get special benefits, like being able to transfer their military credits and work with dedicated faculty. They can even get course credits for some nursing classes just by passing the tests.

University of Wyoming

Location: Laramie, Wyoming.

Tuition Estimate: $2,400 per semester (15 credits); if your program has more credit load per semester, you should expect to pay more in tuition.

If you already have a bachelor’s degree in something other than nursing, you can take an accelerated online nursing program through the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing or the University of Wyoming Outreach School.

To do well in this program, you need to want to learn a lot and stick to a strict schedule. But at the beginning of your program, you will have to go to classes in person, even though most of your work will be done online.

As part of your degree requirements, you will also have to do clinical training in Wyoming health care facilities that have been approved by your instructors.

This 15-month, 58-credit-hour program starts in May and ends in August of the next year. Acute and chronic diseases, population nursing, healthcare informatics, evidence-based nursing, and pharmacology are all important parts of nursing.

To get into this program, students must have a valid license as a CNA or LPN. This program’s online coursework is a great way for people who live in rural areas of Wyoming to become registered nurses without having to move to Laramie.

Wilkes University

Location: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Tuition Estimate: $61,665 for the entire ABSN program.

Wilkes University offers online accelerated nursing programs for non-nurses who want to change their careers. These programs include an online ABSN program, RN – BSN program, Master’s, and Doctorate degrees.

Wilkes is known as one of the top nursing schools due to the high quality of its online nursing programs, and is highly recommended for non-nurses who want to switch their careers to nursing.

The program’s coursework is 100 percent online; with only clinical training and practice taught in-person. Wilkes is a great choice for any person considering a nursing career path.

University of Rochester

Location: Monroe County, New York.

Tuition Estimate: $69,600 for the entire program, or $1,420 per credit.

The University of Rochester is considered a great choice for online accelerated nursing programs for non-nurses. They offer a Distance Accelerated Nursing program (Distance ABSN) that allows non-nurses looking to switch their careers to nursing to enter the field.

The only disadvantage to this school’s program is the high cost; in other aspects like quality, and coursework, the University of Rochester shines as one of the best providers of online accelerated nursing programs for non-nurses in the world.

Madonna University

Location: Livonia, Michigan.

Tuition Estimate: $979 per credit hour.

The accelerated BSN program at Madonna University is based on Catholic and Franciscan values. It helps students in the Detroit area get their BSN degrees and become RNs quickly and at a low cost. The didactic coursework for the 53-credit program is done online, but students must meet certain deadlines.

The nursing program at Madonna University, which is in nearby Southfield, Michigan, is enhanced by clinical rotations at Ascension Michigan health care facilities in the Detroit metro area.

Students with bachelor’s degrees and those who have been to college before but don’t have a bachelor’s degree can apply to Madonna’s ABSN program. Start times for programs are given out three times a year, in January, May, and August.

University of Massachusetts (UMass)

Location: Dartmouth, Massachusetts.

Tuition Estimate: $679 per credit hour.

With UMass Dartmouth’s Second Degree Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, people who already have a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing can quickly earn their BSNs and become eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) (NCLEX-RN).

This full-time program is taught in a hybrid way that combines online lectures with in-person labs and clinical practice at healthcare facilities in Massachusetts that are connected to the program.

In addition to general education courses taken as part of a bachelor’s degree, the degree requires 61 credits of nursing courses.

In order to get into the Second-Degree ABSN program, you have to finish five prerequisite courses in anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, and statistics with a GPA of at least 3.2. At UMass Dartmouth, you don’t have to take any prerequisites.

Utica College

Location: Utica, New York.

Tuition Estimate: $867 per credit hour.

The Online Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) students at Utica College can get their BSNs and take the NCLEX-RN exam thanks to UC program locations in Florida and New York.

The 16-month program includes online nursing classes, 225 hours of lab work in Syracuse, New York, and Tampa and Miami, Florida, and 588 hours of clinical work.

There are start dates in January, May, and August. Applicants must have at least 65 college credits from a college or university that is recognized by the state or have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing (57 earned at a four-year school).

Students must pass prerequisites in anatomy and physiology, psychology, microbiology, and chemistry in order to get into UC. They can do this at another approved school or through UC’s online Prerequisite Priority (PREP) program.

Pros of Studying in an Online Accelerated Nursing Program

Online accelerated nursing programs are an excellent way to earn your BSN. Here are some of the pros:

  • You can study on your own time, at your own pace. If you have other obligations, it may be difficult for you to attend classes in person.

    Online accelerated nursing programs allow you to study from home or anywhere that has internet access.
  • You’ll complete the program sooner than if you attended in person.

    Since online classes allow students to move through the material at their own speed and aren’t limited by travel time or scheduling conflicts with lectures, they can get through coursework faster than those who attend class regularly on campus or in online classes where each topic is taught over several weeks or months instead of days or weeks (and sometimes even just hours).

    This means that students who choose an online accelerated program can earn their bachelor’s degrees more quickly than those who attend traditional on-campus programs—and save themselves lots of money on tuition.

Wrapping It Up

Having seen the online accelerated nursing programs for non-nurses, there are many benefits to taking an accelerated nursing program.

You’ll be able to complete your bachelor’s degree in half the time, and with less stress than in traditional programs.

Many of these programs also offer flexible class schedules so that you can fit school into your busy life without having it interfere too much.

The best part about online accelerated BSN programs is that they allow students who already have a background in healthcare (such as LPNs) or those who are currently working full-time jobs while going to school to become registered nurses more quickly than they would otherwise be able to do.

What are your thoughts about the online accelerated nursing programs for non-nurses?

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