macbook pro displaying group of people

Chris Montgomery / Unsplash

Nurses play a central role in the healthcare system, and their role is comprehensive, far-reaching, and impactful for patient outcomes. Nurses care for individuals through health promotion, patient advocacy, patient and family education, illness and injury prevention, and support. Nurses save lives and collaborate with other healthcare providers to enhance the quality of care for patients.

To become a highly skilled registered nurse (RN), you may take the traditional bachelor’s in nursing (BSN) pathway if you have not enrolled in classes before. It is generally the first degree you earn after completing a traditional BSN program. Consider accelerated BSN programs online to earn your degree as efficiently as possible.


How Fast Can I Earn My BSN? 

The timeline of a BSN degree will vary by school. However, most entry-level BSN programs take four years to complete. Depending on the program, you may complete the ABSN program in 15 months.

Benefits of Earning Accelerated BSN Programs Online

An online accelerated BSN offers many important benefits as you pursue your chosen path in nursing. Here are a few key benefits of ABSN programs. 

Job Security

Through 2029, registered nurses are predicted to be among the top jobs in demand, with jobs growing at a pace faster than average at 7%. Many states have not yet mandated a BSN degree for RN licensure, but many employers strongly prefer nurses with a BSN degree. Nurses with a BSN are also better prepared to continue their education in nursing through graduate school.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), employers value graduates of ABSN programs since these graduates are often more mature, more dedicated, and possess skills that can be easily transferred into nursing.

Higher Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national median salary for registered nurses is $73,300. Healthcare settings vary widely across the country, and this figure encompasses them all. Washington (the state with the highest average salary) has a BSN-prepared nurse who earns nearly $94,000, while Hawaii (10th highest average salary) has a BSN-prepared nurse who makes almost $77,000.

Baccalaureate-educated nurses advance in their careers to take on other positions. Nursing professionals can work at hospitals, ambulatory care centers, physician offices, schools, community clinics, and nursing homes. The BSN is becoming increasingly important as a point of contact between patients and physicians.

New Work Environment Opportunities

Nurses who have graduated from online ABSN programs can pursue several positions beyond the bedside. Some require experience practicing as a clinical nurse, while others do not. Many of these roles are performed in hospital settings, while others may be under the supervision of a pharmaceutical company, health insurer, or non-healthcare-related business organization. 

  • Nursing managers act in a supervisory role, overseeing other nurses and ensuring they deliver high-quality care. 
  • Nurse case managers coordinate home care services and conduct case review conferences. 
  • Research nurses assist investigators in gathering data from participants, managing selection protocols and other key tasks. 
  • Quality specialists improve patient safety and patient experience in the hospital setting, using and developing processes that ensure the best patient outcomes. 
  • Nursing informatics specialists work with nursing and information technology teams to ensure clinicians can access data systems efficiently. 

Advancement Potential

Nurses with a BSN degree can pursue graduate-level training. A Master of Science, Nursing (MSN) degree allows nurses to advance their careers in clinical or leadership positions. Depending on the role, nurses with MSN degrees may operate within collaborative environments or with greater autonomy and independence.

On the clinical side, nurses can become advanced practice registered nurses with specialties in emergency care, critical care, certified registered nurse anesthetist, certified midwifery, nurse practitioner, and other roles across the continuum of care.

Master’s-prepared nurses who become nurse practitioners can provide patient care in alignment with a concentration of their choosing, such as family care, adult-gerontology primary care, or psychiatric/mental health care. Nurses with MSN degrees can also seek administration, education, policymaking, or informatics positions.

Better Patient Outcomes

Online ABSN programs prepare students for evidence-based clinical care, community, and leadership education. This ultimately translates to better patient outcomes. Several studies cited by the AACN indicate that patients have a better survival rate when they are under the care of BSN-educated nurses. 

What Are Online Accelerated Second-Degree BSN Programs? 

You might consider online accelerated second-degree BSN programs if you have a bachelor’s degree in a different, unrelated field and desire to pursue a career as a registered nurse or advanced practice nurse.

What Can You Do With a BSN?

With a BSN, you could become a bedside nurse in hospitals, clinics, and physician’s offices. You could pursue a career as a clinical research nurse, health policy nurse, nurse educator, nurse health coach, nurse informaticist, or nurse recruiter.

BSN Salary and Job Outlook

The Bachelor of Science for Nursing (BSN) degree is the gold standard for nursing education because it gives you the skills and knowledge to succeed. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as a registered nurse, you may earn a median annual salary of $77,600. For the lowest-earning positions, you might earn $59,450. As a high-earner in the field, you might earn a salary of $120,250.

How Much Does an Online Accelerated BSN (ABSN) Cost?

The costs for an online accelerated BSN (ABSN) program vary depending on the university. Here are a few examples of the costs you can expect from these programs.

  • Capella University costs less than $10,000.
  • Walden University’s ABSN program costs $2,980 and $75 for tuition and subscription period technology.
  • Online degrees at Grand Canyon University range in cost from $395 to $470, depending on the program.
  • Baylor University’s accelerated BSN cost around $1,150 per credit hour. 
  • The tuition for the online ABSN program at Purdue University Global costs about $40,950.
  • BSN-prepared nurses in Washington earn close to $94,000 compared to Hawaii’s $77,000.

BSN Scholarship Information 

AfterCollege/AACN $10,000 Scholarship Fund

The AfterCollege-AACN Scholarship Fund offers $10,000 in support to students who are seeking a degree in nursing. 

Bridge Your Career

This $500 nursing scholarship goes to a nurse with the commitment and understanding of education and how it can achieve improved patient outcomes.

A Place For Mom Senior Wisdom Scholarship

The Senior Care Scholarship for $2,000 is available to students enrolled in nursing degree programs at an accredited four-year university.

Caroline E. Holt Nursing Scholarship 

This one-time $2,500 award supports three students in an accredited nursing school based on need. 

Senior Caregiver Scholarship 

This $2,000 scholarship is offered to an eligible student who has been a caregiver for a senior friend or relative. 

Doctor Thomas P. and Edwina H. Devlin Medical Scholarship Fund

This scholarship provides grants for tuition, books, and equipment for deserving students who are attending medical or nursing schools.

Barbara Rhomberg Nursing Scholarship

Non-traditional, full-time nursing students pursuing undergraduate degrees are awarded the Barbara Rhomberg Excellence in Nursing Scholarship annually. 

Geraldine “Polly” Bednash Scholarship

Two $5,000 scholarships will be distributed to top nursing school applicants.

American Association of Critical Care Nurses Scholarships

AACN’s Continuing Professional Development Scholarships help you continue your professional and personal growth. 

BSN Requirements 

Every BSN program is different, so you should research the school to determine the admission requirements. Here are a few of the typical admission requirements:

Prior Education

Most BSN programs require a bit more education than Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs, which only require a GED or high school diploma. Some BSN programs require students to have finished their two-year general education requirements before applying. 


If you’ve researched, ADN programs accept students with GPAs as low as 2.5. A student’s high school GPA is usually the determining factor. It is, however, more challenging to enroll in a BSN program. GPAs of 3.0 or higher are commonly accepted, but GPAs below 3.5 are not generally considered.


You may have to complete certain courses to apply for a BSN program. You might be required to take anatomy and physiology, biochemistry, chemistry, developmental psychology, and statistics as part of the program. 

Entrance Exams 

ABSN programs require students to demonstrate competence in the field. You may need to take a TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills) to determine your skill set. 


You will probably need to write a personal statement or essay as part of your application process. You may need to share why you are pursuing the ABSN degree program.  

Letters of Recommendation

You may only need to submit a letter of recommendation to one of the competitive nursing programs. If you are required to submit a letter, you should consider professional references.

Common Courses in BSN Programs

ABSN programs require 60 credit hours and 546.5 clinical hours. In addition to foundational skills, the coursework teaches complex and specific nursing applications for children and adults. A sample of the ABSN online coursework includes:

  • Foundations of Professional Nursing
  • Adult Health Nursing
  • Maternal Child Health Nursing
  • Complex Care of Adults

Final Thoughts

ABSN programs online offer all the benefits of achieving your nursing degree in an area that has already seen strong interest. According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), student enrollment in nursing continued to increase in 2021. Regardless of the reason for your interest in pursuing nursing, accelerated bachelor of science in nursing programs allow you to achieve your goal faster.

Scroll to Top