What Is Nursing School Like? Your Guide to the ABSN Track

What is nursing school like? The Concordia University Texas ABSN track helps students graduate with a BSN in as few as 16 months. Consisting of online and in-person experiences, the program requires focus and discipline to succeed, but the hard work is worth it in the end.

CTX ABSN students standing in classroom pointing at monitor

If you’re considering enrolling in nursing school, it’s likely that you have many questions running through your mind. What is nursing school like? Is nursing school hard? These are great questions, and we’re here to give you some clarity on what you can expect from your nursing school experience.

The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) track at Concordia University Texas (CTX) helps students graduate with a BSN in as few as 16 months. With enrollment locations in Austin and Dallas, the accelerated nursing track is both challenging and rewarding. Although the faster pace of the ABSN track may seem daunting, the opportunity to kickstart your career as a registered nurse that much sooner is well worth it.

So what is nursing school really like? In this article, we’ll discuss what you can expect in the ABSN track and how to set yourself up for success.

How Quickly Can I Earn My Degree?

Most traditional nursing programs require four years to complete a BSN. However, if you have at least 60 non-nursing college credits or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you may be eligible for an accelerated nursing program such as the ABSN track at Concordia University Texas.

The ABSN track helps students earn a BSN in as few as 16 months once you complete the required prerequisite courses. The ABSN track also offers three start dates per year (January, May, and August) to allow you more flexibility in charting your path.

What’s the Accelerated BSN Track?

The ABSN track at CTX consists of four semesters, each of which combines online and in-person learning to provide a well-rounded education that prepares you to sit for the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN) and start your career as a registered nurse.

You may still be wondering, what is nursing school like? At the heart of the ABSN track is hybrid learning, which includes three main components:

  • Online classes: Learn foundational nursing concepts ranging from adult and child health to pharmacology in an accessible format that allows you to study when and where it best suits your needs.
  • Skills and simulation labs: Practice technical nursing skills in the supportive skills lab environment under the supervision of an instructor. Then, during simulation labs, apply those skills to mock patient scenarios using high-fidelity manikins.
  • Clinical rotations: Experience daily life and responsibilities in the clinical environment firsthand under the guidance of a professional nurse. Work with a variety of patient populations in hospital and outpatient clinic settings.
Online learning for nursing programs is here to stay.

Curious about online-based nursing programs in Texas? See how online learning works and what’s unique about CTX.

Is Accelerated Nursing School Hard?

Completing an accelerated nursing track is a feat that requires persistence and motivation. Because the accelerated BSN track at CTX condenses the traditional nursing program into a 16-month timeframe, learning happens at a quicker pace. You’ll be challenged to stay on top of your studies, engage in class activities, and hold yourself accountable.

Several common challenges faced by ABSN students include:

  • Handling the fast pace of the coursework
  • Building effective study habits
  • Balancing online courses, nursing labs, and clinical rotations
  • Staying motivated and focused
  • Juggling academics with personal needs

Although these challenges are inherent in the accelerated nursing track, they are short-lived. In as few as 16 months, you can be ready to graduate and begin the next chapter of your life as a registered nurse.

How to Overcome Challenges in Nursing School

You can overcome the hurdles of the ABSN track by being proactive and finding the study methods that work best for your unique learning needs. Commit to your learning and set yourself up for success by incorporating proven strategies into your nursing school journey.

These study tips can help you get through nursing school successfully:

  • Create a daily study schedule, and stick to it.
  • Take regular breaks between study blocks.
  • Identify your learning style (take the VARK questionnaire), and incorporate study methods that align with your preferences.
  • Form a regular study group with peers.
  • Use interactive study methods, such as practice questions and flashcards.
How to soar in nursing school - CTX ABSN student in sim lab

See more strategies for nursing school success with these 10 nursing school study tips.

How Do You Stay Well During Nursing School?

Now that you understand what nursing school is like, you may be wondering how to balance school with your personal life. Maintaining your mental and emotional health is vital for nursing students. Finding balance between the demands of the ABSN track and your own wellness needs will prevent burnout and help you better manage the stresses of nursing school.

In an accelerated academic track, it’s essential to prioritize your studies, and that may mean turning down the occasional social activity. That being said, it’s important to balance your busy school schedule with personal pursuits that bring you joy and meaning. Make time and space for yourself each day to exercise, spend time with family, call a friend, or enjoy a hobby.

You’ll need to be intentional about discerning which social activities and personal pursuits are worth your limited time. Choose the activities that bring you the most joy and meaning, and make space for them.

Here are a few ways to promote personal wellness during the ABSN track:

  • Take time for a personal activity every day.
  • Talk with your support system regularly, whether in-person or via phone.
  • Build friendships with your nursing school peers.
  • Spend time outside every day.
  • Prioritize your physical health by eating well and exercising regularly.
  • Reach out for help if you feel overwhelmed.
Nurse wearing purple scrubs in a meditation pose

Want to know more about self-care during nursing school? Use these nine strategies to help you stay well.

Explore the ABSN Track

Now that you know what nursing school is really like, it’s time to get started with making your career goals come true. Nursing is an incredibly fulfilling career bursting with opportunity. In choosing to become a nurse, you’ll enter a lifelong profession with a comfortable salary, flexible scheduling, and growth potential — all while making a tangible difference in people’s lives every day. There really is nothing like being a nurse.

CTX ABSN students in lab working together

To learn more about how to kickstart your nursing career by pursuing a BSN at Concordia University Texas, reach out via our online form, and our admissions counselors will connect with you. You have what it takes to succeed and make your nursing goal into a reality!