Can I Pursue a Specialty Area during an Accelerated BSN Program?

Choosing a specialization in an accelerated BSN is one of the most important decisions that you can make as a new student. Specializations, also known as concentrations, refer to a set group of courses that you take that apply to one specific topic. You can choose a concentration that will prepare you for working with kids, cancer patients, the elderly or almost any other group of patients. There are many things you need to know about an accelerated program, including the specializations you can choose.

What is This Type of Program?

Accelerated BSN programs refer to programs that let students earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in a shorter period of time than it would usually take. If you have a degree from an accredited university, this could be an Associate of Science in Nursing or a bachelor’s degree in another subject, the school will evaluate your transcript to see which completed credits apply to courses they require. This includes general education coursework and introductory nursing coursework.  Applying these previously earned credits means you can typically earn your BSN in 18 months or less.

Can You Choose a Specialization?

Some students assume that as the program moves faster, they cannot choose a concentration or a specialization. Whether or not you can choose a concentration depends on your school and how long it takes you to earn a degree. If your program takes 18 months to complete, you have enough time to select a specialization. If your program takes less than one year to complete, the school might let you take a few specialized courses on different topics without giving you the option of a full concentration.

Types of Concentrations

The concentration that you choose has a direct impact on your future job opportunities. Those interested in working in a pediatrician’s office and spending time with kids should look at pediatric nursing, while those wanting to work with the elderly should pursue a concentration in gerontology. Oncology nursing, which refers to those working with cancer patients, is one specialization available through some accelerated programs. Other paths you can choose as a specialization in an accelerated BSN include emergency nursing, critical or acute care nursing and psychiatric nursing. Psychiatric nurses often work in mental institutions and help those diagnosed with mental conditions, while emergency nurses work in emergency rooms and urgent care clinics. Critical care and acute care nurses work with patients in hospices and intensive care units.

Paying for Your Education

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, students should look at accelerated programs available through schools partnered with local hospitals. These schools offer a unique form of financial aid. The hospitals will repay the tuition of the students who work for those hospitals after graduation. The federal government lets nursing students take out loans to pay for their tuition and other costs. The government delays the repayment of those loans and lets students work in various fields for a certain number of years. After that time passes, the government will forgive those loans.

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing lets you work as a registered nurse and in other nursing fields, and it prepares you to take the state licensing exam for new nurses. An accelerated program lets you finish your studies in a short period of time, and many of the top schools let you choose a specialization in an accelerated BSN program.