Before starting nursing school, it is important to have all your questions answered. We address the most common nursing school questions, from how long does it take to graduate, to do I need to take prerequisites, and more.
As you’re considering entering the nursing profession, you may have many nursing school questions. You may be wondering how to get into nursing school, what accelerated nursing programs are like, how challenging it will be, and how long it will take to start your new career. We’ll discuss all these questions and more.
Whether you’ve recently made the decision to enroll in Concordia University Texas’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) track or you’re just starting to explore the nursing school path, here are the answers to the top nursing school questions we receive from students like you who are just getting started.
1. How long does it take to become a nurse?
Traditional nursing programs take four years to complete, as they include general education courses. However, if you have at least 60 non-nursing college credits or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you can pursue an accelerated nursing track. Concordia University Texas’s ABSN track takes as few as 16 months to complete, assuming you meet admissions requirements and have completed the prerequisites ahead of time.
Another factor that can slow the process of earning a nursing degree is a program having one start date per year. At CTX, we offer three start dates per year (January, May, and August), so you won’t have to wait long to enroll.
2. Am I eligible for the accelerated nursing track?
The Accelerated BSN track at CTX builds off your prior college experience to help you finish your degree in less than time than is possible with traditional nursing programs. That means you’ll need some college credits to be a candidate. If you have a minimum of 60 non-nursing college credits or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you may be eligible for the ABSN track. You’ll also need a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and a cumulative natural science GPA of 3.0.
Looking to increase your chances of getting into nursing school? Here’s how.
3. Do I need to take prerequisites?
Yes, you will likely need to take prerequisite courses before enrolling in the ABSN track. To be eligible for admission, you’ll need to complete Concordia’s nine nursing prerequisites before diving into the ABSN track. Depending on your prior college major, you may already have completed some of them.
4. How does the nursing school admissions process work?
The nursing school admissions process at CTX is designed to be as stress-free as possible, thanks to the commitment of our ABSN admissions counselors. They’re committed to helping you throughout the admissions process, so if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask your counselor.
Here are the steps you’ll want to complete to apply for the ABSN track:
- Reach out to an admissions counselor and schedule an admissions call.
- Make a plan with your admissions counselor regarding your goal start date and any needed requirements or prerequisites.
- Complete the admissions requirements and take any needed prerequisite courses.
- Submit a nursing school application, including an online application and supplemental documents like your official transcripts.
- If accepted into the ABSN track, you’re ready to begin at your target start date!
Want to know how to become a nurse? Here’s the step-by-step process of how to get your RN license.
Common Nursing School Interview Questions
CTX doesn’t require ABSN candidates go through a formal interview process. However, you will have an informal conversation with your admissions counselor, and it’s best to come prepared to this. Here are a few of the top nursing school questions you can expect from your counselor:
- Why do you want to become a nurse?
- Can you describe your academic history?
- Are you able to commit to a full-time, 16-month nursing track?
- What are your long-term nursing career goals?
5. If I want to become a nurse, why should I earn a BSN?
If you’re looking to stay in healthcare for good, then earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is a critical step to take. Working toward a BSN can provide many opportunities for you, including:
- Career advancement
- Leadership roles within healthcare
- Personal enrichment
- Job security
Earning your BSN degree from Concordia’s accelerated nursing track will allow you to develop the critical thinking, leadership, and communication skills needed in today’s complex healthcare landscape. In fact, hospital professionals seek out BSN-prepared nurses because they bring these traits to the table. Studies have also found that hospitals with a higher percentage of nurses with baccalaureate degrees or higher have better patient outcomes.
If you’re still wondering if you should get a BSN, here are 11 reasons getting a BSN is so important.
6. What does the ABSN curriculum consist of?
Concordia’s blended learning model integrates online coursework, hands-on labs, and clinical practice at top hospitals and healthcare facilities in and around Dallas and Austin.
Online coursework brings a level of convenience to the learning process. It allows you to create your own schedule and learn core nursing concepts at any time of the day or night. This is especially helpful for ABSN students with children. Interactive activities and online discussion boards will educate you on critical thinking, at your own pace. If you don’t understand something, you can review course materials as many times as needed.
Interested in learning more about online classes? See how online learning works in nursing school.
Hands-on labs offer a realistic learning environment to showcase what you know without the risk or consequences of practicing on actual patients. Faculty will support you each step of the way and observe how well you apply nursing theory, reasoning, and practice in real-time clinical simulations.
Clinical rotations go hand-in-hand with online coursework and hands-on labs. As your online coursework builds, so do the clinical skills you perform. Clinicals will teach you how to meet the highest standards of patient care and how to put quick critical thinking into practice safely.
7. How do nursing school clinical rotations work?
Clinical placements will expose you to diverse patient care settings such as medical-surgical, pediatrics, obstetrics, intensive care, and mental health. During these rotations you’ll learn from a registered nurse, progressively taking on more responsibility for patient care as you progress in your education. Clinical experiences will develop your patient care skills and help you determine which specialty area you would like to pursue in the future.
As you explore diverse specialties, you can expect to work within some of the best healthcare institutions in Austin or Dallas. Additionally, clinicals give you the chance to demonstrate your skills and network with key employers, so it’s important to view clinicals as a 16-month job interview.
During the CTX ABSN track, clinical rotations begin in the first semester. Starting clinicals right away will help acclimate you to working in a healthcare setting, combat any of your first-day clinical fears, and boost your confidence down the road.
8. Will I have support from my instructors?
Just because you’re learning online doesn’t mean you have to journey through online coursework alone. Interaction with your faculty and other students is a key aspect of the ABSN track.
Your faculty want you to succeed and encourage you to reach out when you have questions. Whether you schedule time on their calendar, call, or email, they are there to help you reach your full potential. Due to the speed of the track, it’s best to ask questions as soon as they arise so you don’t fall behind.
9. Is this an accredited program? How does that affect me?
Yes, the ABSN track at Concordia University Texas is accredited at the national level and approved at the state level, and the university is accredited at the regional level. Enrolling in an accredited nursing program is paramount because it ensures you are receiving a high-quality nursing education and are qualified to sit for the NCLEX-RN, the exam you’ll need to pass before you can get licensed as a registered nurse.
Start Your Nursing Journey at CTX
Now that you have a handle on these common nursing school questions, it’s time to make your nursing goal a reality. The ABSN track at CTX offers three start dates each year at both our Austin and Dallas, Texas, locations.
If you’re ready to change careers and start a new future as a nurse, contact us to find out more about Concordia University Texas’s ABSN track.