Bachelor of science nursing (BSN) and associate's degree in nursing (ADN) graduates are eligible to sit for the registered nurse (RN) examination, which grants RN licensure and affords greater career opportunities. Licensed practical nurse (LPN) graduates may seek out accelerated LPN to BSN or ADN programs for this reason. Accelerated BSN or BSN to master of science in nursing (MSN) programs are an option for those seeking a career change.
Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
An accelerated BSN, also known as a second degree BSN, is an option for prospective students who have already completed a bachelor's degree in a discipline other than nursing. Universities offering accelerated BSN programs take into account the liberal arts and science coursework already completed by the prospective student. If the student has not previously completed the universal nursing prerequisites---anatomy and physiology, nutrition, statistics, chemistry, developmental psychology and microbiology---she may be required to do so before matriculation to the accelerated BSN program or the prerequisites may be scheduled into the program, though this would add additional time toward completion of the degree. Most accelerated BSN programs can be completed in 15 to 18 months of full-time study. The entirety of the program is focused on nursing coursework and clinical rotations.
Accelerated ADN to BSN
An accelerated associate's degree in nursing (ADN) to BSN can be completed with two years of full-time study. An ADN differs from a BSN in that it is completed in just two years of study and the primary focus is nursing coursework. Completion of an ADN to BSN program requires additional liberal arts, science and nursing coursework. The ADN to BSN student spends the first year fulfilling liberal arts and science requirements set forth by the university for all bachelor's degree candidates. The following year is spent completing advanced nursing coursework. Summer sessions of study are also often a requirement of ADN to BSN programs.
Accelerated LPN to BSN
An accelerated licensed practical nurse (LPN) to BSN program grants the LPN advanced standing for previously completed nursing coursework. As LPN programs require only one year of study, an LPN to BSN program generally requires three years of full-time study; summer sessions may also be necessary depending upon the student's LPN program. An LPN program differs from a BSN program in that only basic nursing courses are undertaken during the 12 months of the program. Therefore, prerequisites for advanced nursing coursework require completion during the first year of LPN to BSN program study. In addition to nursing coursework, LPN to BSN students must fulfil the liberal arts and science requirements set forth by the university for all bachelor's degree candidates. Completion of the program qualifies the student to sit for the National Council for Licensure Examination - Registered Nurse.
Accelerated LPN to ADN
An accelerated LPN to ADN program generally requires two years of full-time study. ADN programs are usually structured to include completion of the universal nursing prerequisites for higher level nursing coursework. LPN students do not have the chance to undertake these prerequisites during their 12 months of study, therefore, these courses are completed in an LPN to ADN program. The LPN to ADN student also completes additional nursing coursework that is helpful in preparation for the NCLEX-RN.
Accelerated BSN to MSN
An accelerated BSN to master of science in nursing (MSN) is an option for prospective students who hold a bachelor's degree in a discipline other than nursing and are certain that they will require an MSN for advanced certification purposes. The program requires four years of full-time study. The first two years of the program are spent completing the undergraduate-level nursing coursework, while the final two years are spent completing the graduate-level nursing coursework. Prospective students are generally required to complete all nursing prerequisite coursework prior to application to this program.