Are Accelerated Nursing Programs Hard to Get Into? It Depends.

Summary: Are accelerated nursing programs hard to get into? While nursing schools are competitive, your odds of getting in are higher by applying to programs with multiple start dates. The Xavier ABSN program enrolls students three times a year at three locations — so you don’t have to wait to start.  

Xavier students working with sim lab manikin

If you’re thinking about changing your career to nursing, you’re probably wondering: Are accelerated nursing programs hard to get into? The answer is yes or no, depending on the school. When you apply to the 16-month Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at Xavier University, you increase your chances of getting into nursing school—and this post explains why.

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), U.S. nursing schools turned away more than 80,000 qualified applicants from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2019. Why? Many schools don’t have the faculty, clinical sites, preceptors, or money to increase enrollment.

Xavier ABSN Acceptance Rate

So how is it that we can enroll a high number of qualified nursing students annually when other schools can’t? We have the faculty, clinical partnerships, and preceptors to make it happen. Furthermore, our ABSN program’s online learning component allows us to teach larger cohort sizes. And last but not least, our ABSN program enrolls students three times a year at three Ohio locations.

Given our high enrollment capacity for qualified individuals, many students relocate to Ohio to attend our ABSN program. After all, there’s no waitlist for nursing school here. Chazemba, a December 2020 ABSN program graduate, is a great example. He moved from San Francisco to Cincinnati because he didn’t want to wait a year to start nursing school. We’ll talk more about Chazemba and other students who have relocated for our ABSN program later in this post.

However, that’s not to say we admit every student who applies to our ABSN program. Nursing school is challenging, especially when completed at an accelerated pace. Therefore, we only accept individuals who we believe can keep pace with our rigorous nursing curriculum and have the qualities to become a successful nurse.

What Are the Requirements to Get Into Nursing School?

Every nursing school and every nursing program has a unique set of admission requirements. To begin our ABSN admission process, you must have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7.

Meeting these eligibility requirements, however, is just the beginning of our admission process. You must also satisfy four prerequisite requirements to enroll in our ABSN program. Some accelerated nursing programs have as many as 10 prerequisites. So, the more prerequisites you have to take, the longer it will be before you can begin nursing school.

Xavier ABSN Prerequisites for Nursing School

  • Microbiology
  • Human Anatomy or Anatomy & Physiology I + Lab
  • Human Physiology or Anatomy & Physiology II + Lab
  • Statistics

Depending on your previous area of undergraduate study, you may have already met some of our prerequisites. An admission counselor can review your transcripts to see if you have any transferable credits. When you’re ready to start your ABSN prerequisites, you can conveniently complete them online through our university.

What Do Nursing Schools Look for in Applicants?

Like admission requirements, every nursing school has a unique set of criteria for selecting students. While you must meet the basic eligibility requirements for our ABSN program, we take a holistic approach to reviewing nursing school applications. We realize it takes more than good grades and a high GPA to be a successful nurse—commitment, compassion, and selflessness are also vital to career success.

Nursing school in and of itself requires a lot of hard work and dedication—even more so when it’s at an accelerated pace. So, when completing your ABSN program application, we want to see that you have the time, energy, and resources to commit to full-time nursing study.

As we review applications, we’re looking for highly determined individuals who are problem solvers, critical thinkers, and receptive learners. In other words, you must identify issues, develop solutions, set priorities, make decisions, and internalize new information. We’re also looking for authentic applicants who know why they want to become a nurse.

“Everyone knows nursing school is hard and stressful, but you have to breathe and relax. This program is less intimidating than I thought it would be,” said Ayana, a 2020 ABSN program graduate. 

Getting Into an Accelerated Nursing Program

By choosing Xavier for your accelerated nursing education, you’re putting your future in the right hands. You’ll receive a great education and have an amazing support system cheering you on.

Once we determine that our ABSN program is a good fit for you, an assigned admission counselor will guide you through the entire enrollment process.

“From my first admissions call, I knew I wanted to go to Xavier. My counselor called me often to make sure I was keeping up with the application process. She helped me through it all. It wasn’t intimidating. She made it easy for me,” said Erin, a 2018 ABSN program graduate.

While our admission team works hard to make the enrollment process as straightforward as possible, there are things you can do to increase your chances of getting into our accelerated nursing program.

We review student applications as they come in (rolling admissions), so the earlier you submit your application, the better your chances of getting a spot in your preferred term (spring, summer, or fall).

As part of your application, you must submit a letter of intent, current resume, recommendation letters, and official academic transcripts.

Letter of Intent

While your transcripts show us your academic qualifications, your letter of intent tells us what kind of person you are. It’s one of the best ways to stand out with our admission committee. For the most part, we want to know why you want to become a nurse and how you plan to get through nursing school. As you start to write your letter, consider the following:

  • Be memorable when you describe what inspired you to become a nurse.
  • Be passionate when explaining your commitment to the profession.
  • Be transparent and write from the heart when describing your motivation.
  • Be direct by using clear, concise language that gets to the point.

Current Resume

Before putting your resume together, outline the qualities of a great nurse, such as confidence, compassion, and commitment. Then, think of instances where you were able to apply these traits in experiences. For example, if you’ve ever worked in a high-stress work environment, highlight your ability to handle pressure.

Recommendation Letters

Contact your academic and professional references sooner rather than later. And, don’t be shy about giving them a deadline to write and submit their letters. You don’t want to risk missing the application deadline.

Relocating for Nursing School

As mentioned earlier, we have students relocating to Ohio from all over the country to attend our ABSN program—and it’s because of our high enrollment capacity and that we don’t have a nursing school waitlist. Here are just some of our ABSN student relocators:

Chazemba, ABSN Program Graduate

Relocated From California

As mentioned earlier, Chazemba moved to Ohio because he wanted to start his nursing education as soon as possible—and he knew Xavier was a reputable school. “There is one [accelerated nursing] program in the Bay Area that I applied to, but I wouldn’t be able to start nursing school for a year.” Through our ABSN program, he started his studies almost immediately and earned a BSN in 16 months. He graduated from the Xavier College of Nursing in December 2020 and is currently working on the medical-surgical floor of a hospital in Cincinnati.

Diane, ABSN Program Graduate

Relocated From North Carolina

Diane - Xavier University ABSN Student

After working close to 20 years in real estate, Diane decided to stop selling houses and become a nurse. However, she didn’t want to spend another four years in school on a second bachelor’s degree. She liked that our ABSN program is 16 months and only has four prerequisite requirements. “I moved from Raleigh to Cincinnati because Xavier enabled me to start nursing school sooner than if I applied somewhere closer to home.” Diane graduated from the Xavier College of Nursing in August 2020 and moved back to North Carolina to work as a nurse.

Ayana, ABSN Program Graduate

Relocated From Connecticut

Xavier ABSN graduate Ayana using stethoscope

Having a background in corporate finance, Ayana wanted to attend an accelerated nursing program for students with no prior health-care experience—and that’s what our ABSN program is all about. Another reason she chose Xavier was our personalized admission approach. “My admission counselor sealed the deal for me. I wanted to go to a university that had a sense of community and was going to support me,” she said. Ayana graduated from the Xavier College of Nursing in May 2020 and is currently working as an intensive care nurse in Georgia and pursuing her Master of Science in Nursing.

Sarah, ABSN Program Graduate

Relocated From Washington

Sarah - Xavier ABSN program graduate

Sarah moved halfway across the country to attend our ABSN program. “For me, Xavier was the program where I could start and finish the fastest.” She graduated from our College of Nursing in December 2018 and is currently working as a travel nurse.

If you’re interested in relocating to Ohio to attend our ABSN program in Cincinnati, Cleveland, or Columbus, be sure and ask our admission team for a free relocation guide. Also, if you’re looking for a roommate, we can connect you to others who are in the same boat. 

Life as a Xavier ABSN Student

Once accepted into our ABSN program, your journey as an accelerated nursing student begins on orientation day, which typically takes place at your location of enrollment—our ABSN Learning Center in Cincinnati, Columbus, or Cleveland—a few days before classes start. During orientation, you’ll meet the other students in your cohort, receive your student identification badge, go over program basics, and get an overall lay of the land.

Cohort Composition

Every ABSN cohort comprises students of all ages and backgrounds, from recent college graduates to career changers. Despite their differences, everyone in our ABSN program shares the same goal of graduating from nursing school in 16 months, creating solidarity within the group.

Given the rigorous nature of our ABSN program, we advise students to create study groups within their cohorts. Studying together helps everyone keep pace and lets you know if you’re learning a concept properly.

Nursing School Faculty and Staff

To graduate as a practice-ready nurse, you must study under instructors who apply effective teaching strategies as well as provide support and encouragement—which is what you’ll find with our nursing school faculty. From the first to the last day of class, our instructors make it their mission to see you through your goal of becoming a nurse.

If you get stuck on a concept, ask your instructor or academic success coach for help right away. You don’t want to risk falling behind and not being able to get back on track. Our faculty and staff make themselves available to see you through the rigors of nursing school.

“I loved the Xavier nursing faculty—absolutely loved them! They are in your corner and want to see you succeed,” said Brianna, a 2018 ABSN program graduate.

ABSN Learning Centers

Our ABSN program makes everything about you. We have faculty and staff who work exclusively with accelerated nursing students and three state-of-the-art learning centers devoted to our ABSN program.

“The fact that it is a devoted program with a devoted space was a great selling point for me, said Lauren,” a 2018 ABSN program graduate.

Whether you enroll for our Cincinnati, Cleveland, or Columbus location, each of our ABSN Learning Centers features a state-of-the-art clinical learning environment and utilizes advanced nursing simulation equipment. As an ABSN student, you’ll regularly attend nursing skills and simulation labs at your location of enrollment.

ABSN Curriculum

We make a 16-month transition into nursing possible by allowing you to build on your non-nursing bachelor’s degree. Comprising 63 credit hours, our full-time accredited ABSN program has you dive right into professional nursing study on the first day of class.

The curriculum follows a sequence of online coursework, hands-on nursing labs, and in-person clinical rotations. It’s a rigorous learning path that requires you to spend 60 or more hours on your education per week to be successful.

“Everything flows really well. You learn a skill online, apply it in lab, and then go to clinical to see how that skill plays out in real life. We experienced diverse areas of nursing practice, from mental health to pediatrics,” said Erin, a 2018 ABSN program graduate.

Overall, our ABSN program provides the academic foundation and clinical readiness required to apply to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN®) and enter the profession as a practice-ready nurse.

Life as a Xavier ABSN Graduate

Our nursing graduates are well-respected in Ohio and beyond. Health-care employers view Xavier nursing alumni as knowledgeable, professional, and ethical. Not to mention, they enter the workforce prepared to meet the current and future challenges of an ever-evolving health-care system.

By choosing Xavier for your BSN, you’ll enter the workforce able to demonstrate:

  • Thoughtful, compassionate, and competent patient care across the lifespan.
  • Care that meets the unique faith and cultural needs of patients.
  • Critical thinking that’s vital to professional judgment and ethical decision-making.
  • Leadership in interdisciplinary patient care situations.

“Our clinical partners like hiring Xavier ABSN graduates because they know they are getting a top-notch nurse,” said Martine Weaver, ABSN program site director in Columbus.

Having a Xavier BSN enables you to practice in diverse health-care settings, such as hospitals, long-term care facilities, military bases, private practices, schools, and urgent care clinics. If you plan to practice in Ohio, you’ll be glad to know The Buckeye State is home to some of the best health-care systems in the Midwest. In fact, U.S. News & World Report ranks these hospitals among the top 10 in the state:

  • Cleveland Clinic (Cleveland)
  • Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (Columbus)
  • Christ Hospital (Cincinnati)

Ready for Nursing School?

apply to the right school. So, why not leverage your non-nursing bachelor’s degree to become a Xavier ABSN student? Our ABSN program locations in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Cleveland are now enrolling for the fall 2021 term and spring 2022 term. Contact our admission team today!

Xavier ABSN simulation lab

ABSN 101 Guide

Download our ABSN 101 Guide to help you successfully navigate the accelerated path to nursing.