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Accelerated BSN

Is an Accelerated Nursing Program Worth It?

If you’ve wondered, “Is an accelerated nursing program worth it?” you will find that the value ABSN tracks like Loyola’s bring in terms of education, connections, and future opportunities will set you up for a successful career trajectory in nursing.

Loyola ABSN nursing student working in sim lab

When it comes to earning a second bachelor’s degree in nursing, you may find the cost of tuition a little daunting, leaving you to wonder: “Is an accelerated nursing program worth it?” It is if you enroll in the 16-month Accelerated Bachelor of Science track at Loyola University Chicago.

Before we discuss the value of our ABSN track, it’s important to note that no matter what track you choose, paying for nursing school requires some financial planning. It helps if you think of nursing school as a wise investment in your future rather than a short-term cost. After all, given today’s nursing shortage, a nursing education can provide a sound return on investment.

As of May 2021, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics anticipates our country’s registered nurse employment rate to grow by 9% between 2020 and 2030. On the local front, the Bureau lists the Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights metropolitan area as having one of the highest registered nurse employment levels in the country, with an annual mean wage of $77,600.

Did you know?
By choosing our ABSN track, you’re investing in an accredited education with high NCLEX-RN® pass rates. In fact, our 2021 BSN graduates achieved an NCLEX pass rate of 88.58%. You’re also paying to acquire clinical skills that today’s health-care employers demand.

The Advantages of a Loyola Nursing Education

Overall, our accelerated nursing track is a way for you to complete a top-class nursing education in an accelerated timeframe. Once you graduate from our ABSN track and pass the NCLEX-RN exam, you’ll be able to practice nursing in a wide variety of settings from hospitals to nursing homes to school systems. More specifically, a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Loyola University Chicago prepares you to:

  • Provide competent, compassionate care to diverse patient populations.
  • Navigate the unique religious and cultural needs of patients.
  • Incorporate ethics, values, and public policy into nursing practice.
  • Collaborate with other health-care professionals to increase the quality of patient care.

So what about Loyola ABSN makes for a special student experience?

Earn Your BSN Degree Sooner

With two start dates a year at both our Downers Grove site and Maywood campus, our ABSN track’s enrollment capacity helps take some of the wait out of starting nursing school. By accepting admissions on a rolling basis rather than according to deadlines, we are able to provide an answer and find a start date for you sooner. Additionally, by building on your existing bachelor’s degree in another field of study, our ABSN track makes it possible for you to earn your BSN from a highly respected university in as few as 16 months.

Receive a Top-Notch Nursing Education

When you enroll in Loyola’s ABSN track, you will be entering a fast-paced learning environment entirely focused on providing you with the best possible nursing education. Our three-part curriculum is based on nursing coursework, structured to suit all learning styles and able to be completed online (at our Downers Grove site) or in person (at our Maywood campus). In-person skills and simulation labs are overseen by clinical experts and provide a realistic, controlled environment for you to practice your clinical skills, from taking patient vital signs to providing wound care. Lastly, clinical placements at top health-care sites across the Chicago metropolitan area expose students to a variety of clinical settings, health-care systems, and patient populations. In keeping with our university’s Jesuit values, our ABSN curriculum combines faith and reason with intellectual rigor so that you graduate a compassionate nurse leader focused on the greater common good.

Access Employment Opportunities

Throughout the course of your clinical placements, you will gain experience at top area health-care facilities in the Chicago metropolitan area as well as networking with professionals and decision-makers. With plenty of resources and opportunities available through this aspect of the ABSN track, as well as Loyola’s well-known reputation for producing expert generalist nurses, you will be able to choose from plenty of opportunities within this regional hub for health-care careers.

Pros and Cons of a nursing career

Discover some of the top pros and cons you can encounter in a nursing career.

The Value a BSN Degree Brings

While there are different paths you can take to become a registered nurse, not all of them are created equal in terms of career growth. Take, for example, an associate degree in nursing. This two-year education can lead you to RN status, but it won’t give you the same professional advancement opportunities as a bachelor’s degree in nursing. More specifically, having a BSN enables you to:

  • Earn a high starting salary with a good benefits package.
  • Pursue a wide variety of career paths from critical care to administration.
  • Practice in diverse health-care settings from hospitals to urgent care clinics.

Furthermore, the American Association of the Colleges of Nursing recognizes a BSN as the minimum education requirement for professional nursing practice, with research that shows the more BSN-prepared nurses a health-care facility employs, the better the patient outcomes. Perhaps this is why health-care facilities across the country are reducing the number of associate-prepared nurses they hire.

Your Options for Financing Your Degree

If your goal is to become a nurse, you shouldn’t let cost get in the way of your dream career, especially given the different financing options that may be available to you.

FEDERAL STUDENT AID LOAN TYPES

Federal Direct Subsidized Loan

Available to eligible undergraduates who demonstrate financial need. Loan amounts vary by student, and interest begins to accrue after a student graduates or leaves school.

Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan

Available to eligible undergraduates regardless of financial need. Interest begins to accrue after the first loan disbursement.

Nursing Student Loan

Available to undergraduate and graduate nursing students who demonstrate financial need and meet priority filing deadlines.

Parent PLUS Loan

Available to eligible parents of dependent undergraduate students. Borrowing parent must have a good credit history and apply for the loan on a yearly basis.

While federal, state, and university grants/scholarships may be limited when you’re a Loyola ABSN student, you still might be able to finance your education via federal and/or private loans. We encourage you to first apply for financial aid by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) — it’s the only way to know what type of loan you’re qualified to receive. It’s also a good idea to research private lenders, such as banks or credit unions, and try to borrow from an institution with low interest rates and good terms.

Discover How an Accelerated Nursing Program Is Worth It

Our Financial Aid Office can help you identify the best options for financing your accelerated nursing education. You can contact them at 773.508.7704 or lufinaid@luc.edu. To learn more about the value of our 16-month ABSN track, contact our admissions team today at 866.891.0218 and begin the conversation.

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