Challenges of an Online Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN)

The Covid-19 pandemic has successfully made a dent in the healthcare industry. It is an irreversible change and we can just hope that these lessons can be put to good use in the future. The statistics paint a grave picture that shows dissatisfaction among healthcare workers, especially nurses, with their profession. Nurses experienced burnout, and many quit in the process. This shortage has created a void that has a benefit in the long run if looked at from a positive perspective.



Read Also: The Plight of Nurses: Essential Yet Overworked, and Underpaid

The high demand for nursing has become a beacon for many new aspirants starting their careers or looking to switch. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are offering better salaries and perks to nurses to fill this void. This and many other factors have inspired aspirants to enroll in formal nursing degrees and begin their careers on a high note.

Accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing

An accelerated bachelor of science in nursing is a fast-track educational program that cramps up all the curriculum of a BSN program and teaches it in 24 months or less. This program is extremely famous with candidates having a non-nursing college degree hoping to begin their careers in nursing.

The first ABSN program began in 1971 in the US and, since then, has gained immense popularity. The pandemic has catalyzed enrollments as the demand for immediate recruitment of nurses was seen. This fast-track degree was made more accessible as universities began offering online ABSN programs that were a perfect blend of eLearning and a physical learning experience.

Online accelerated programs and degrees appeal to every aspirant but they have received their fair share of criticism because of how difficult they are. We’ve listed some common challenges candidates of online accelerated BSN face to prepare you well.

1.     Accelerated BSN is truly ACCELERATED

You are about to take on a degree that will teach you a 4-year long curriculum in 24 months or less (some programs are only 12 months). Nursing degrees are already very tough and require a strong passion and dedication. If you opt for an online accelerated program, you will have to work twice as hard. Your life may start to revolve around your degree solely, and the rest will take a backseat.

Read Also: 4 Ways FNPs Advocate for Holistic Healthcare

However, the months you will spend enrolled in an online accelerated program will tire you completely, but the biggest advantage is that you will begin your career as a nurse much quicker than if you had opted for a traditional nursing degree. Just devote your time and put in all your efforts, and you will begin the career of your dreams more quickly than you had hoped for.

2.     ABSN programs are costly

Online accelerated BSN programs are extremely costly. The most obvious reason for it is its speed. These programs are made possible because universities and schools hire highly trained and experienced professors who can keep up with the pace and complete the entire nursing curriculum in a very short period. Planning the curriculum and its delivery also requires extensive preparation, making accelerated programs expensive.

The immediate costs may put off many candidates but focus on the bigger picture here. It is worrying when you have to move things around to pay upfront for such degrees; the costs are way higher than in traditional programs. In a four-year BSN degree, you would be spending more time as a student and prolonging the time of getting a return on your educational investment. If you enroll in an accelerated program, you will get into the workforce quicker and regain your educational costs quicker, making it a high reward investment.

3.     ABSN requires an intense time commitment

The demanding nature of online accelerated BSN programs takes up your entire day. The time needed to complete this degree can mess up your personal and/or other responsibilities. Previous graduates and experts encourage students currently enrolled in this program not to work and solely focus on this program.

This is tricky as many people have liabilities and dependents on them. They need to work alongside pursuing an educational degree to make ends meet. This is why many private grants are offered to deserving students. Many colleges and universities offer financial aid on easier payback terms. The flexibility offered by online programs means uploaded lectures can be viewed at the student’s convenience of time.

Read Also: Acute Shortage Of Nurses In The US Is Affecting The Quality Of Health Care

4.     ABSN covers bare minimum nursing education

Accelerated BSN programs’ curriculums cram up just the basics. Only the crucial information and knowledge you need to become a nurse are incorporated into the study material. These basics usually take up all the time and there is very little time left to explore specialized nursing courses and electives. Many traditionalists look down upon such programs. This is because they believe that the time constraint and the limited knowledge will lower the quality of nursing graduates such programs will produce.

The truth is time indeed is the biggest advantage of accelerated BSN programs. Traditional nursing degrees take almost double or more time to complete than an online ABSN. This means a graduate of an accelerated degree program will complete their basic nursing education quicker and climb up the career ladder to graduate degrees that lead to various specialized nursing roles.

Read Also: More Online Nursing Degrees Are Being Offered to Meet the Acute Shortage of Nurses

5.     ABSN graduates are not seen as “real nurses” by many

Many experts in the healthcare field dislike the short-cut route to nursing. It is believed nurses need to go through intense and thorough training to cope with the fast-paced nature of their job. Online accelerated BSN degrees have to modify the study material and curriculum to meet the time constraints. This is negatively seen by many and they believe that the nursing graduates of such programs will not be up to the mark.

This perspective is greatly changing because of the fast-paced nature of the accelerated degree program. The admission standard of such programs is very high. This means any student who gets enrolled in an ABSN is extremely studious and passionate about taking on this difficult journey. These programs keep the students on their toes without any vacations and breaks. They have to cover a humungous syllabus in very little time all the while managing their clinical placement. Recruiters think graduates of accelerated programs possess all the right skills needed for a good nurse. They are quick on their feet, can bear the stress of the workplace, are hard workers, and are excellent at making quick clinical decisions.


For many individuals interested in always helping others and forging their nursing career, achieving an online accelerated BSN degree is the best course to take. This challenging program will give you the specific information and knowledge base in lesser time than a traditional nursing program. The nature of this program will not only polish your clinical skills as a nurse but also get you geared up for the rigorous yet most rewarding job that lies ahead of you. You can fulfill your passion by attaining this degree with determination and hard work.

Read Also: Why More Nurses Are Needed to Meet the Future Demands of Healthcare




Want to Stay Informed?

Join the Gilmore Health News Newsletter!

Want to live your best life?

Get the Gilmore Health Weekly newsletter for health tips, wellness updates and more.

By clicking "Subscribe," I agree to the Gilmore Health and . I also agree to receive emails from Gilmore Health and I understand that I may opt out of Gilmore Health subscriptions at any time.