What is an ABSN: Choosing the Right Nursing Program

Each blog post is dated and contains accurate information as of that date. Certain information may have changed since the blog post publication date. If you would like to confirm the current accuracy of blog information, please visit our ABSN overview page or contact admissions at (844) 347-2503.

What is an ABSN? An ABSN is an accelerated nursing program that confers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree at a faster rate than a traditional, four-year nursing program. Through an ABSN, you receive a high-quality education that allows you to start your nursing career sooner.

nurses in meeting

The decision to switch your career to nursing is exciting, but it’s not the only decision you need to make. Once you choose to make it your life’s work to help others recover from and manage medical conditions, you should chart your career pathway. Every nurse needs a nursing degree and licensure, so picking the right nursing program for you is essential.

As you research nursing schools, you may come across different ABSN programs, but what is an ABSN? Which nursing degree program is right for you? Below, you can learn about ABSN programs and get some helpful guidance as you seek to answer the question, “What nursing program is right for me?”

At the College of Mount Saint Vincent, our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program provides an accelerated pathway toward obtaining a degree and clinical licensure, enabling you to join the workforce sooner. No prior healthcare experience or education is necessary!

skyline of NYC

Curious to learn more about attending Mount Saint Vincent? Check out this guide to nursing in New York City!

What Is an ABSN Program?

There are several pathways to obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BS in Nursing) degree, one of which is an ABSN. So, what is an ABSN? An ABSN is an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, which allows you to earn your BS in Nursing faster than a traditional, four-year BS in Nursing program.

You may also ask yourself, “What is an ABSN degree?” An ABSN isn’t actually a degree; rather, it’s a program that confers a BS in Nursing degree on an accelerated timeline. By enrolling in an ABSN program, you will receive the same high-quality education as in a traditional nursing program, except you can enter the nursing workforce sooner.

An ABSN program is for people with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree who want to switch careers to nursing. Instead of completing four more years of school, ABSN students can leverage their prior education to graduate much faster than in a traditional program.

While the length of ABSN programs can vary slightly, Mount Saint Vincent’s ABSN allows you to earn a BS in Nursing in as few as 16 months. Through the ABSN, you will gain a strong nursing foundation that prepares you to confidently take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), earn your license and become a skilled registered nurse.

two ABSN students working in sim lab

If you’re wondering, “How does an accelerated nursing program work?” check out this helpful blog!

How Do You Know if an ABSN is Right for You?

If you are considering enrolling in an ABSN program, several conditions will determine your eligibility. Each nursing school has its own requirements for the ABSN program; however, there are many similarities. Some ABSN programs are strictly for those who have already earned a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, while others are also open to transfer students.

Mount Saint Vincent’s ABSN program is for students seeking a second degree. According to our admission requirements, eligible students should have a prior non-nursing bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution with a 3.0 GPA. In addition to an existing degree, you must meet other requirements to be fully eligible for the Mount’s and other ABSN programs.

However, keep in mind that GPA is not the only important qualification. The Mount takes a holistic approach when reviewing applications. Many circumstances can influence someone’s GPA, and we may choose to make exceptions under certain circumstances.

Meeting Prerequisite Requirements

Prerequisites are an essential step in the ABSN admission process because they ensure that all students entering the program have the same foundation for healthcare education. When you begin the admission process, you must talk to an admission counselor to help identify which prerequisites you must complete before your ideal start date.

At Mount Saint Vincent, the prerequisite requirements include:

  • General Chemistry
  • Anatomy and Physiology I and II
  • Microbiology
  • Psychology Across the Lifespan
  • English language at the college level
  • Mathematics at the college level

Students must receive a B or higher for all science prerequisite courses and a C or higher for all non-science perquisites. You should speak with your admission counselor to determine where you can complete these courses and update them on your progress.

Obtaining Required Certifications

Mount Saint Vincent and other nursing schools require eligible students to obtain basic healthcare certifications before admittance into the ABSN program. Like prerequisites, these certifications ensure that all students enter the program ready to learn essential nursing skills.

students in study group

At Mount Saint Vincent, eligible students must receive the following certifications:

  • CPR certification (American Heart Association BLS for healthcare providers or American Red Cross CPR/AED for professional rescuers and healthcare providers)
  • First Aid Certification (American Heart Association or American Red Cross)

It’s beneficial to include these certifications while completing your prerequisites. The Mount’s admission counselors can help you plan accordingly.

Other Ways to Stand Out

In addition to meeting the minimum admission requirements, you can take additional steps to help make your application stand out. Previous healthcare experience, whether volunteer work or certification, is a stand-out. While it is not necessary for admission, it demonstrates a desire and eagerness to enter the nursing field.

Other general volunteer work can also help your application. Volunteering your time to charities or non-profits shows the admission team you possess a sense of altruism, which is integral to nursing.

What Nursing Program Is Right for Me?

Now that you know the answer to “What is an ABSN?” it’s time to consider the question, “What nursing program is right for me?” Should you choose an ABSN or a traditional, four-year BS in Nursing program?

Only you can determine the answer, but you’ll want to consider your prior qualifications. If you’ve already earned a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and want to switch to a second career in nursing, then the ABSN program at the Mount could be a good fit for you.

medical staff in meeting

When you choose the Mount for your nursing degree, you can look forward to:

  • Three start dates per year
  • A dedicated admission counselor to help you navigate the process step by step
  • Multiple convenient locations in New York City: the Brooklyn campus, the Bronx campus in Riverdale and the Queens location in Long Island City
  • Graduation in as few as 16 months (no prior nursing education or experience needed)
  • Responsive instructors dedicated to your success
  • Advanced instructional technologies, like realistic robotic simulators

Begin Working Toward Your Nursing Degree Today!

Now that you understand what an ABSN program is, are you ready to get started on your nursing degree? Contact Mount Saint Vincent today, and you’ll be assigned a dedicated admission counselor to answer all your questions and help you prepare to apply. Get started today!