Your Guide to Earning Your BSN at Loyola University Chicago

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 (866) 891-0218.

Earn a BSN in 16 months

As registered nurse employment continues to grow, so do the number of nursing program options that are available for earning a BSN. If you come from a non-nursing background, let us guide you through the process of earning your BSN from Loyola University Chicago through our 16-month program.

Our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program builds on your undergraduate/graduate degree in a non-nursing field of study so you can earn a quality BSN in 16 months. Whether you studied biology, communications, education, finance, psychology, or anything in between, if your cumulative GPA is 3.0 or higher, you may be eligible for admission to our ABSN program.

There is a caveat, however. The coursework completed in your previous major degree program determines the number of ABSN prerequisite courses you’ll need to complete prior to starting nursing school. A biology major, for example, may have more of the prerequisites completed than someone with a communications background.

Starting the Journey

Our full-time, four-semester ABSN program consists of fundamental nursing coursework, nursing skills and simulation labs, and clinical rotations in Chicago area health-care facilities. Enrolling in this program requires a serious commitment on your part, with an expectation of your spending a significant amount of time on your studies every week.

We’ve found that the first semester of the program tends to be the toughest for students, which may be due in part to becoming acclimated to the volume of information they must learn, absorb, and retain right out of the gate.

Loyola ABSN student Taylor

For example, Taylor, a 2019 ABSN program graduate, would review and organize all of the discussions, assignments, and upcoming exam schedules at the beginning of each new semester. “This was really helpful for staying prepared throughout the program,” she said.

Second semester is when our ABSN students begin their first clinical rotation, which is where students begin to apply what they learned in their coursework. Our faculty are dedicated to supporting students through it all.

“It’s clear the instructors want to see you succeed in the program. They really advocate for our learning experiences during clinical,” said Akia, a 2019 ABSN program graduate.

Thanks to our network of clinical partners across Chicagoland, you’ll have the chance to learn from some of the area’s best health-care providers. Your first clinical rotation will focus on mental health and medical/surgical nursing for the adult population.

Select a Study Option

When it comes to our ABSN program, you have the option to complete your theory nursing courses online or face-to-face in the classroom. But no matter which course delivery option you choose, you’ll receive the same quality 16-month nursing education taught by experienced, highly supportive faculty. Note that both program options require students to regularly attend nursing skills and simulation labs in person, and to take proctored exams at a designated location.

Staying the Course

nursing student headshot

While you may be a good fit for our ABSN program, timing is everything. It’s important to consider your day-to-day responsibilities and evaluate your schedule to make sure you have the time to take on the responsibilities of a nursing student.

“This program is only something you should do if you’re prepared to make it a top priority for the next 16 months,” said Akia. She emphasized that managing your time wisely is vital to your success.

We find the most successful ABSN students to be highly motivated. They are also mindful of their own well-being and make time for self-care.

Your Clinical Preparation

As an ABSN student, we’ll teach you how to:

  • Provide compassionate, high-quality nursing care to patients across the life span.
  • Think critically and problem-solve in complex patient care situations.
  • Apply standards of nursing care across areas of nursing practice.
  • Understand and apply ethical standards during clinical rotations.
  • Work effectively with the health-care team to contribute to positive patient outcomes.

Reaching the Destination

Once you complete the ABSN program and earn the BSN degree, you’ll be prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN® exam with confidence. And once you pass, you’re officially eligible for licensure as a registered nurse who can work in a variety of health-care settings, from hospitals to schools to assisted living communities.

Sometimes students are extended job offers (on the condition they pass the NCLEX-RN) before they graduate from our ABSN program. Akia is a great example. Prior to graduating from our program, she accepted a job in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, working as a nurse in a trauma unit.

Overall, when you choose Loyola University Chicago to earn your BSN degree, you’ll be prepared to enter the profession with confidence. You can also pursue an advanced nursing degree in the future if you so desire.

Ready to Hit the Road?

As you can see, an ABSN program is a great way to earn your BSN and transition into the nursing profession. It’s an intense education path, but if you’re committed, it enables you to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 16 months. To learn more about our ABSN program at our sites in Downers Grove or Maywood, Illinois, contact an Enrollment Advisor today!