Thomas Edison State University By Thomas Edison State University • May 19, 2015

A Look Inside an Accelerated Nursing Student’s Schedule

Nothing about an accelerated nursing program is easy. In fact, many students with non-nursing bachelor’s degrees who want to transition into nursing are surprised at how intensive it can be.

Chances are, your experiences as an undergraduate are vastly different from an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. On top of attending class, there are critical-thinking and leadership skills to master. In addition to classroom discussions, you must learn how to make quick, sometimes life-and-death decisions, all while understanding a patient’s symptoms and treatment options.  After a long day of clinical work, there will most likely be an assignment or deadline looming. 

However, a sneak peak at a nursing student’s schedule in our Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN Program can help you eliminate any surprises. The 12-month program will be extremely demanding physically, mentally and emotionally, but it will prepare you to launch a career in nursing. Since the course work combines an in class and online format with a clinical portion, take into consideration how much, or little, time you will have for activities outside of your studies.

Here is what you can expect your schedule to be as a student in our accelerated nursing program.


Monday and Tuesday, On-campus

8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The program includes five classroom-based courses over four, 12-week terms beginning in October, January, April and July. In the first term, students take two of these courses. Classroom courses include:

Course work incorporates 180 hours of clinical practice, as well as clinical assignments, for two days each week for 8 hours each day. Courses are considered hybrid, in class and online, and incorporate online discussion forums, exams and simulation experiences. Classes are taken concurrently with two online nursing courses (see below) each term. At the end of each course, students take a specialty Evolve exam. These exams are used as learning resources and evaluation tools to help students prepare to sit for the NCLEX-RN.


Wednesday and Thursday, Capital Health (Trenton or Hopewell Campuses)

7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The clinical portion requires students rotate through Capital Health’s Trenton and Hopewell campuses to gain experience in urban and suburban direct patient care environments. Clinical experiences are highly stressful and require students to practice safe, client-focused care for two days per week for 10 hours each day. All clinical experiences require mandatory attendance whether held in the clinical laboratory or clinical practice settings. 

In NUR-410: Nursing Care of Vulnerable Populations, students are also required to complete an additional clinical experience at the Mercer County Visiting Nurse Association (VNA). This clinical setting focuses on community and home visits to coincide with the learning objectives and outcomes of the classroom-based course. At the VNA, students’ regular clinical hours may vary during the rotation, as students work the same shifts as their assigned nurse preceptor.

Friday through Sunday, no scheduled Friday classes or clinical courses

From Friday to Sunday, students are not required to come to campus or work at any clinical facilities. However, this “free time” can best be used to complete additional or outstanding course work. In addition to on-ground classes and clinical work, students are also enrolled in two asynchronous online courses per term, for a total of eight online courses in the program. Online courses include:

Each course requires active participation in online discussion forums. There are additional assignments and course projects, ranging anywhere between three or more written assignments including research papers, analysis papers and critique papers. 

If you have made the life-altering decision to become a BSN-prepared registered nurse, 12 months will pass quickly. The only question is, are you ready?


View the Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN Timeline

Thomas Edison State University

Written by Thomas Edison State University

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