Accelerated BSNCareer AdviceNursing Inspiration

It’s Time to Make a Career Switch to Nursing

Happy New Year! January is a great time to identify ways to change your life for the better. So if you’ve ever considered making a career switch to nursing, now’s the time to get started. Nurses are in high-demand all over the country, and we can put you on an accelerated path to the profession.

The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) at Concordia University―Portland makes it possible for qualified students to graduate from nursing school in as few as 16 months. To be eligible for the program, you must have a minimum of 60 college credits. We build on this previous education, so you don’t have to start the undergraduate experience over from scratch.

First Things First: Are You Eligible?

If you decide to pursue a career switch to nursing via our ABSN program, the first step in the process is to contact one of our enrollment specialists to verify your eligibility. He or she will review your academic history and let you know if your college credits and GPA meet our admission requirements. This individual will also discuss other program requirements with you, including your completion of the:

  • General education courses
  • Prerequisite courses
  • State-approved CNA training (license is not required)
  • Kaplan admission test (waived if you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree)
  • Criminal background check

It’s important to note that our enrollment specialists will ask you questions that may seem a little personal, but there’s a specific reason for them. For example, being in an accelerated nursing program is like holding down a full-time job, so your enrollment specialist might ask about your home life. Our goal is to help you figure out if you’re a good fit for our nursing program.

“The first thing we say to a potential student is, ‘Tell me a little about yourself.’ Not many schools do that. In reality, we want to know you as a person in the same way that we want our potential nurses to get to know their patients,” said Jenny Chodola, ABSN enrollment specialist, Concordia University-Portland.

Next Steps: The Admissions Process

Once your enrollment specialist confirms your eligibility and determines that you’re a good fit for the program and you fulfill all of the admission requirements, he or she will provide you with highly personalized support throughout the admissions process. You can expect him or her to help you develop an academic plan that works toward an ABSN start date in January, May, or August.

“If you’re a good fit, we’re going to help you every step of the way,” Chodola said. “We’re here to help alleviate all of the stress.”

Kevin, a 2018 ABSN program graduate, said that his enrollment specialist was very helpful and eager to speak with him, which is something he didn’t experience with the other schools he contacted.

“The enrollment staff here make you feel really prepared, said Kevin.”

Nursing School is a full time job

“They let you know what classes you may be missing before you can apply. They let you know that you need to get your Basic Life Support (BLS) certification so you gain fundamental life support skills and knowledge. They tell you what immunizations and other non-class requirements that you need to have. They were very communicative and made it very easy for me to stay on track so I could get my application in by the time that I wanted to submit it.”

How the ABSN Program Works

Once accepted into our accredited ABSN program, you’ll complete a rigorous, fast-paced blend of online and onsite curriculum that prepares you to sit for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX) with confidence.

  • Online coursework completed via an intuitive e-Learning platform teaches you the fundamentals and theories of the profession anytime, anywhere.
  • Nursing skills and simulation labs at our high-tech site in Portland provide a realistic, risk-free environment for developing your clinical skills.
  • Clinical rotations at local health care facilities afford real-world experience in diverse areas of nursing practice, from acute care to pediatrics to mental health.

“I felt very prepared to take the NCLEX,” said Stephanie, a 2018 ABSN program graduate. “When the exam turned off at the 75-question mark, I was feeling pretty good that I’d passed.”

Why Switch to Nursing?

You’ll find several benefits that come with being a registered nurse, especially for those with a BSN degree or higher.

  1. Rewarding profession: Nurses are in the business of improving and saving lives. Not only do they advocate for their patients at the bedside, but also help shape the health and wellness of the individuals, families, and communities they serve.
  2. Diverse career paths: Nurses have the luxury of working in all different types of settings, from military bases to cruise ships to school systems ― pretty much wherever there’s a need for patient care. There are also a wide variety of nursing specialties including flight nurse, travel nurse, dermatology nurse, or forensic nurse.
  3. High job security: Nurses are and will continue to be in high demand for years to come. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurse employment will see a 15% growth between the years 2016 and 2026, which is a much faster rate than the average for all occupations.
  4. Solid earning potential: Nurses in the United States, according to Yahoo News, earn an average salary of $63,000, which is more than double the global average of $26,698. As of May 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists Oregon, as being one of the top five paying states for registered nurses, with an annual mean wage of $88,770. (Just don’t expect this to be your pay as a newbie nurse.)

Don’t Put Off Until Tomorrow What You Can Do Today

If you think you have what it takes to accelerate into nursing via Concordia’s 16-month ABSN program, then be sure to start your New Year off right by contacting our enrollment team today!

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