Being a student in our 16-month ABSN program is definitely not a walk in the park. It’s more like a sprint up a steep hill. If you’re committed to your education, however, you can get through this accelerated nursing program without feeling completely winded. Consider these five pieces of advice from nursing students who will graduate from our Hybrid ABSN program next month.
Before doling out any advice, it helps to understand the intent of our ABSN program. As a second-degree option, the program gives college grads and career changers an accelerated path to the nursing profession. So, if you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you can leverage your education and earn a quality BSN in as few as 16 months.
Akia’s Advice for Nursing Students
Prior to enrolling in our Hybrid ABSN program, Akia studied health and public affairs as an undergraduate. She decided to become a nurse because she wanted a career that was challenging, rewarding, and would allow her to help others during their most vulnerable times.
Akia moved from Tennessee to Illinois to attend our Hybrid ABSN program. While the program’s 16-month timeframe is what got her attention, it was our enrollment staff that solidified her decision to apply to our university.
“From the moment I expressed interest, the enrollment team at Loyola was so welcoming and enthusiastic about answering all of my questions. That’s when I knew Loyola was where I would like to pursue my degree in nursing."
Now in her fourth and final semester of our Hybrid ABSN program, Akia offers the following advice to future accelerated nursing students.
“This is a very rigorous program, and it will take up the majority of your time. It’s only something you should do if you’re prepared to make it your #1 priority for the next 16 months.”
“The online learning portion of the program requires tons of discipline. It’s very easy to get behind or distracted because you have the freedom to choose when and where you’re going to complete the assignments and lectures.”
“Time management is vital to your success in the program. You must stay organized at all times so that you can pace yourself and eliminate undue stress.”
Akia also noted, "The semesters fly by, so it’s important to take advantage of every learning opportunity provided to you in skills labs, nursing simulation, and clinicals. The professors and clinical instructors are extremely supportive. It’s clear that they want to see you succeed in the program."
Taylor’s Advice for Nursing Students
Taylor applied to our ABSN program having previously studied health and wellness with a focus on psychology. Her passion to become a nurse came from a very personal place.
“I had shoulder surgery from a sports injury and my dad had heart surgery. I saw how amazing and knowledgeable the nurses were and wanted to do the kind of work they did.”
While positive reviews about our university and professors initially drew Taylor to us, she also liked that she could earn a BSN in 16 months.
As a fourth semester student, Taylor has great insight on our Hybrid ABSN program, offering the following advice to potential accelerated nursing students.
“At the beginning of each semester, organize all of the discussions, assignments, and exams for that term. This is really helpful for staying prepared.”
“I love the online coursework. I can watch lectures at home in my PJs and pause them when I need to.
But the flexibility of online learning isn’t for everyone. It works for me because I am self-motivated and organized. I also haven’t had any issues getting ahold of an online professor.”
Taylor also mentioned that our ABSN program admission process was pretty simple. “The enrollment advisors were very invested in communicating with me and constantly keeping me informed throughout the process.”
Avoid This Nursing School Pitfall
The first semester of nursing school tends to be the most overwhelming for ABSN students. After all, they’re adjusting to a new daily routine, a new way of studying, and a new way of taking exams.
It’s during this time-frame where they experience the most common pitfall of nursing school. They allow their self-care to fall to the wayside, putting themselves on a very slippery slope.
To be successful in our ABSN program, you need to make your studies a top priority. However, that’s not to say you should eat, sleep, and breathe nursing school. By doing this, you could very well find yourself on an emotional rollercoaster fueled by caffeine, junk food and the like.
Our ABSN Program Format
Over the span of four, full-time semesters, you’ll complete 66 credit hours of professional nursing study, which entail the following learning components:
- Core courses teach you the fundamentals and theories of the nursing profession.
- Nursing labs develop your hands-on skills and clinical judgment in a realistic, risk-free setting.
- Clinical rotations provide you with real-world experience in diverse areas of nursing practice.
To keep up in this rigorous program, you’ll need to devote a minimum of 40 hours a week to your education. Upon your completion of the ABSN program, you’ll be prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN® exam and meet the challenges of a complex, ever-evolving health-care system.
Your ABSN Program Options
When it comes to our ABSN program, you have the option to complete your core courses online or in the classroom. These courses cover everything from pathophysiology to pharmacology to professional ethics.
No matter which course delivery mode you choose, you’ll have to apply your coursework knowledge during hands-on skills labs and in-person clinical rotations.
If you’re interested in our online course delivery option, you must apply to our Hybrid ABSN program in Downers Grove, Illinois. If it’s the traditional classroom experience you’re after, you must apply to our on-campus ABSN program in Maywood, Illinois. Keep in mind, however, that our on-campus option fills up quickly.
Want More Nursing Student Advice?
If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, we encourage you to contact our enrollment team today to see if our 16-month ABSN program is a good fit for you.