If you’re planning on becoming a nurse but are waiting to start nursing school, you really should give your decision to wait a second thought. That’s because there is no better time to pursue a nursing degree than right now.
As you’ll soon find out, not only are registered nurses (RNs) in ever-increasing demand, it’s also possible to earn your degree and start your career much sooner than you might think, thanks to Concordia University Texas’s (CTX) Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) degree track.
Here are the top five reasons to rethink waiting to start nursing school:
1. Nurses Are Currently in Very High Demand
The United States is in the grips of a nursing shortage. That’s nothing new. However, this shortage takes on new urgency when you consider the healthcare challenges we face as a country:
- An increasing prevalence of chronic health conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and obesity
- Increased access to healthcare — meaning more Americans are seeking medical care
- An aging Baby Boomer population (those born between 1946 and 1964) considered to be the longest-living generation in history (and the second-largest generational group, right behind Millennials)
All of these factors translate to greatly increased demand for healthcare services, especially nurses, who tend to have the most contact with patients. As a result of this growing demand, some hospitals are increasingly willing to offer new nurses considerable signing bonuses in addition to other incentives.
For the two states with the largest population, Texas, and California, nurses are in particularly high demand, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It’s estimated that by 2030, Texas will experience a shortage of 15,900 full-time nurses — of these, Central Texas alone is expected to experience a shortage of 7,459 registered nurses — and California will fare even worse, with an expected shortage of 44,500 full-time nurses.
All of this makes now as a good a time as ever to pursue a nursing career.
2. A Wave of Baby Boomer Retirements Is Coming
For the nursing profession, the aging of Baby Boomers poses a two-fold challenge: Not only do older Americans require more healthcare, but they also still make up a sizable portion of the nursing workforce. Of those Baby Boomer nurses planning to retire, about 73 percent will do so in the next three years. This means both a sizable reduction in the workforce and a loss of years of experience, which is — again — a very good reason to enroll in nursing school sooner than later. Because many of these nurses have advanced degrees, the demand for advanced-degree nurses will also increase — the first step of which is to obtain a BSN degree.
3. You Don’t Have to Spend Months or Years on a Waiting List
We’ve all heard the horror stories about students with 4.0 GPAs being rejected or hopelessly stuck on seemingly endless waitlists, making the rest of us wonder, “If someone with a 4.0 can’t get in, how will I?”
The good news is you don’t have to sit on a waitlist to get into a great nursing program.
With the ABSN@CTX track, it’s possible to graduate with a BSN degree and sit for the NCLEX — the exam you must pass in order to earn nursing licensure — in less time than many nursing hopefuls spend on waiting lists in California. That’s because, in addition to offering three start dates each year, there is no waiting list to get into CTX’s ABSN track.
But it’s also due to Concordia’s accelerated format, which brings us to the next reason you shouldn’t keep waiting to start nursing school.
4. You Can Graduate in as Few as 16 Months
For those who already have at least 60 college credits or a bachelor’s degree (and a 3.0 GPA), Concordia’s ABSN track makes it possible to earn a BSN degree in as few as 16 months with completion of prerequisites.
How does it work?
Part of any Bachelor of Science in Nursing education includes a number of liberal arts and science courses. Because ABSN track students must already have college experience, their past experience gets applied toward the BSN, allowing them to focus solely on nursing coursework. Now, that’s not to say all past credits will apply; many schools only accept science credits earned within the past five years. However, CTX accepts previously earned science credits regardless of when they were earned.
Another factor at play in this accelerated process is our hybrid learning format, which combines online coursework, hands-on skills and simulation labs, and clinical rotations at some of the Austin area’s top hospitals and healthcare providers.
Not only is online coursework convenient, allowing you to spend less time traveling to and from classes; featuring video and audio lectures, interactive activities, forums and discussion boards, and practice assessments, it’s also designed with learner retention in mind.
5. We Help You Prepare for the NCLEX
The final step toward becoming a licensed RN is to pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). You can’t start working as an RN until you pass the NCLEX — of which you get three attempts per year — making it crucial that you choose a school with a high NCLEX pass rate. In 2017, 100% of CTX BSN students who took the NCLEX passed. No doubt this is in part due to our comprehensive NCLEX review system, which is utilized throughout the program and is designed to help students create a study plan and to review the coursework before the big day.
Become a Nurse in as Few as 16 Months
There has never been a better time to enter the nursing profession. If scrubs are in your future, quit waiting to start nursing school. With the ABSN track at Concordia University Texas, you can graduate well prepared to sit for the NCLEX in as few as 16 months. To learn more about the ABSN@CTX track, give us a call or fill out the form to have a member of our admissions team reach out to you.