Are you thinking about making a career change to nursing? If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at Loyola University Chicago can prepare you for the profession in as few as 16 months. But there are some things you need to know about how to transfer a non-nursing degree to a nursing BSN program—allow us to explain.
Whether your degree is in accounting, biology, or communication, our 16-month ABSN program in Maywood or Downers Grove, Illinois, makes the accelerated transition into nursing possible by building on your college credits. No prior nursing training or health-care experience is required.
To begin our ABSN admission process, you must have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited institution, along with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Before you can start the program, you must satisfy 10 prerequisite course requirements. Your previous field of study typically affects the prerequisite courses you need to complete. A communications major, for example, may have more prerequisites than someone with a biology degree.
Prospective ABSN students work closely with an assigned enrollment advisor who provides them with personalized support throughout the application process. Our advisors help guide applicants every step of the way, ensuring they meet each milestone.
How the ABSN Program Works
Our rigorous ABSN program spans four full-time semesters and includes:
- Fundamental Nursing Courses
- Hands-on Nursing Labs
- In-person Clinical Rotations
Together, these three components equal 66 credit hours.
Often referred to as the didactic portion of the program, these courses build the foundation of your nursing education, preparing you for the hands-on skills you will develop during labs and clinicals. These courses cover fundamentals and theories, focusing on everything from clinical nutrition to mental health patterns to ethics for health care professionals.
You have the option to complete your fundamental coursework online or in-person. To complete these courses online, you must enroll in our Hybrid ABSN program at our Downers Grove site. For the traditional classroom learning experience, you will need to enroll in our On-Ground ABSN program at our Health Sciences Campus in Maywood. Both course delivery options provide the same quality nursing education, taught by experienced, highly supportive instructors.
Nursing skills and simulation labs are where you convert your coursework knowledge into hands-on skills and then pull it all together within the scope of broad clinical practice. These labs help develop your individual and team-based nursing competencies and clinical judgement in a risk-free environment.
Replicating the hospital environment, our nursing skills labs feature advanced equipment, medical supplies, and manikins that enable you to practice your skills in a lifelike setting without adverse consequences. By participating in labs, students learn how to safely and effectively apply core nursing skills, including catheterization, nasogastric tube insertion, and wound care.
Our nursing simulation labs provide a realistic platform for you to intervene in diverse nursing scenarios without the fear of harming an actual patient. Challenging you to problem-solve, collaborate, and think critically, these learning activities provide an easier transition to caring for real patients.
If you are a student in our Hybrid ABSN program, your nursing labs take place at our ABSN Learning Center in Downers Grove. If you are a student in our On-Ground ABSN program, your nursing labs take place at our Health Sciences Campus.
Quality clinical placements are critical to nursing preparedness. We maintain partnerships with some of the best health-care facilities in and around Chicago. While there is no guarantee about where you will complete your clinical rotations, our health-care partners include Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Loyola University Health System, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and Rush North Shore Medical Center.
With clinical placements, you will gain real-world experience alongside an instructor and up to seven of your peers in diverse areas of professional practice, including adult health, pediatrics, obstetrics, community health, and mental health.
Clinical Role Transition
During the fourth and final semester, you will work under the guidance of a nurse preceptor for 120 hours of concentrated clinical experience, taking an active role in patient care management.
ABSN Program Goals
The goal of our ABSN program is to prepare baccalaureate generalist nurses. After completing the program, you will be able to:
- Synthesize knowledge of liberal arts and nursing science as a basis for professional nursing practice.
- Integrate levels of quality, prevention, safety, and leadership into professional nursing practice.
- Provide effective, culturally competent professional nursing care to individuals, families, and communities across the lifespan.
- Communicate and collaborate with patients and interprofessional teams to deliver safe, patient-centered, and evidence-based care to individuals, families, and communities.
- Incorporate values, ethics, and legal knowledge into professional nursing practice.
- Integrate scientific evidence and patient preferences in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of professional nursing care.
- Apply information technology effectively in professional nursing practice.
- Understand how governmental and institutional policies influence the health-care system and population health.
Ready to Become a Nurse?
Loyola University Chicago’s Hybrid and On-Ground ABSN programs offer two start dates a year—January and August. We review applications for each term on a rolling basis (as they arrive). If you are ready to use your non-nursing college credits to earn a BSN in as few as 16 months, or if you want to learn more about this program, contact an enrollment advisor today.