What is an Accelerated Nursing Program?

An accelerated nursing program is a way for people with bachelor’s degrees in non-nursing field to earn their BSN quickly. With the nursing profession projected as one of the fastest growing professions in the Georgia, it is no wonder that people from all backgrounds are considering nursing as a career change, and an accelerated nursing program is one such option.  Not only does it offer job stability and a sustainable salary, but it is also highly rewarding and challenging.  However, for the career-changer who has already completed a Bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, or even for the LVN who has completed some level of training, the idea of obtaining a second Bachelor’s degree, can be daunting and deter people from entering the field. Fortunately, many universities in Georgia offer accelerated nursing programs and LPN to BSN degree programs for just such populations.

Why Should I Complete an Accelerated Nursing Program In Georgia?

Accelerated nursing programs are specifically geared toward students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in something else.  If you have already proven you ability to manage time, study effectively and retain knowledge, and are hoping to become a nurse, this may be the program for you. If you have your bachelors you likely already taken most foundational courses in a bachelor’s degree program.

This means that if you complete a 4 year BSN program, you will repeat a lot of classes. While there may be some science pre-requisites to complete, almost all courses in an accelerated nursing program are focused specifically on the skills needed to be an RN. When you finish the program you will have your BSN and be a highly sought after nurse. You will have the training and skills to complete the NCLEX-RN exam and work in almost any clinical setting.

In a standard BSN, students spend at least the first year, and sometimes the first two years, taking only foundational bachelor’s degree courses; nursing courses do not typically begin until the sophomore or junior year, and even  then, they are often mixed in with other college courses.  The student in an accelerated nursing program takes only the nursing courses, significantly shortening the time it takes to complete the degree.  Most programs take between 11 and 18 months.  A key component of any BSN degree is the clinical.  Students in accelerated programs receive the same number of clinical hours as do their standard BSN counterparts.

Additionally, if you are an LPN and are hoping to earn your BSN you do not need to take 4 years of classes. There are accelerated programs for you too! These are called LPN to BSN programs, but unlike the accelerated programs we’re discussing here you DO NOT need to have your Bachelor’s degree to enter them, but you do need to be licensed as an LPN. These programs are shorter than 4 years but slightly longer than RN to BSN programs. During 4-5 semester program you will complete the foundational courses to earn your BSN as well as additional nursing courses. 

Guide to ABSN and MSN Accelerated Nursing Programs

Entrance Requirements for a Georgia Accelerated Nursing Program

  • Bachelor’s degree: You need to have your bachelor’s degree to be eligible for accelerated nursing programs, but it can be in any subject!  
  • GPA: You do not need to take a test for eligibility but most schools will require that you have a minimum GPA of 3.0. These can vary by school so check before applying!
  • Complete pre-requisites: While your bachelor’s degree can be in anything, you may need to complete certain courses before you can apply to an accelerated nursing program. Usually these will be science courses such as biology, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, and more.
  • Letters of recommendation: Like any application you need letters of recommendation. Make sure to reach out ahead of time to the people you want to write your letters so that you are not scrambling at the last minute. 
  • Submit applications: You should look over the applications in advance so you know how much time you will need to complete them. In addition to demographics and basic questions, you may have essays to write. You will also need to collect past transcripts, submit and updated resume, and possibly additional paperwork.
  • Interview: Most schools will not require an interview but it always helps to check!

List of 7 Accelerated BSN (ABSN) Programs in Georgia

Albany State University

  • 504 College Drive, Albany, GA - 31705
  • 229-500-3500
Nurse Admin: Andrea Dozier, EdD, MSN, BSN
Title: Chair, Department of Nursing

The accelerated BSN track is a five-semester program that begins in the Fall (including summers), and focuses on various fields within nursing, such as Women’s Health, Pediatrics, Geriatrics.

The nursing program culminates in a Bachelor of Science degree, which prepares students to take the licensure exam and enter the profession. Graduates can follow with an accelerated graduate-level program to shift into management or advanced clinical work, or they may start as entry-level nurses without a college degree.

The majority of coursework for this degree program takes place on-campus and there’s a chance that some courses may be offered online.

Clinical rotations are held in the on-campus clinical lab as well as off-campus facilities, such as Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital.

Brenau University

  • 500 Washington Street SE, Gainesville, GA - 30501-3668
  • 770-534-6299
Nurse Admin: Troy Heidesch, DNP APRN, FNP-BC
Title: Director

Offered through the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing, the ABSN is a full-time, on-campus degree for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another discipline.

Learn how you can make a difference in as few as 16 months at Brenau University. The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program teaches the practical skills needed for clinical work, while also teaching leadership and research fundamentals that will help your career grow exponentially.

Brenau has designed their ABSN program to help you provide compassionate, competent patient care:

  • Receive personal attention and support in small classes led by clinically experienced instructors.

  • Train in our advanced health simulation labs.

  • Complete clinical training with our regional network of healthcare provider partners.

  • Build leadership, administration and nursing research skills for your long-term goals.

  • Receive comprehensive preparation for the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.

  • Graduate with the qualification employers prefer, giving you an advantage in the job market.


Emory University

  • 201 Dowman Drive, Atlanta, GA - 30322
  • 404-727-6123
Nurse Admin: Linda A. McCauley, PhD, RN, FAAN, FAAOHN
Title: Dean and Professor

Emory University’s prestigious DABSN program will allow students to earn their Bachelor’s degree in Nursing at a leading nationally ranked university, and enter the most trustworthy profession. In just three semesters of study, intelligent and industrious individuals can be eligible for this fast-paced one year nursing education.

Emory’s DABSN program is a full-time, accelerated nursing degree that lets you graduate in less time than traditional programs. Students engage with their peers and instructors through the internet for team-based learning designed to help develop sound clinical judgment skills while incorporating lecture modules into curriculum design.

The Emory Global Health Institute offers a variety of clinical settings for students to gain the skills they need. Students can choose between local, on-campus rotations and international opportunities through our optional global sites program! Two required intensive sessions take place in Atlanta with live video orientation at the beginning of your time here.

Admission to the program:

  • Students who have received a previous bachelor’s degree in another discipline from an accredited college or university.

  • Program starts occur three times each year, and they’re August, January and May

Georgia Southwestern State University

  • 800 Georgia Southwestern State University Dr., Americus, GA - 31709-4693
  • 877-871-4594
Nurse Admin: Teresa Teasley, DNP, CNE, RN
Title: Interim Dean

The Second Degree BSN Program is the quickest route for students with undergraduate degrees to transition into nursing. The program builds on previous learning experiences and requires that core general education requirements be met by those who enter it. For this reason, U.S., Georgia History, and Constitution Requirements must also be satisfied in order to maintain a high level of knowledge as well as secure better long-range opportunities following completion of one’s studies at the University.

The 2nd Degree BSN program will train you to start your career as a nurse in around 22-24 months. A minimum of 3.0 GPA is required for admission, but students with higher GPAs have an advantage and are more likely to be accepted into the degree program.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Admission – February 15th

  • Spring Admission – October 15th

Kennesaw State University

  • 1000 Chastain Rd, , GA - 30144-5591
  • 770-423-6000

The Accelerated BSN at KSU is the perfect option for students who are looking to get their degree in nursing without having to wait four years. Students must consult with a counselor before registering, and there will be several key factors that go into determining eligibility including GPA and TEAS score. This program meets 4-5 times per week on top of occasional weekends which means it’s essential not only to keep up academically but also socially. The program starts twice every year and is competitive.

Nursing applicants must hold a baccalaureate degree from an institution accredited by the regional accreditation agency, have completed all of their KSU Core Requirements, and need to complete at least 7 out of 12 prerequisite courses before applying for the nursing school.

Mercer University

  • 1501 Mercer University Drive, Macon, GA - 31207
  • 478-301-2700
Nurse Admin: Dr. Tammy D. Barbe, PhD, RN, CNE
Title: Interim Dean/Associate Dean for Graduate Programs Associate Professor

Mercer University’s second degree ABSN program is designed to provide the prospective nurse with a comprehensive accelerated nursing education that can be completed in as few as 12 months. The full-time curriculum provides students who have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree an opportunity to pursue their dream of becoming nurses, without having to pay out tuition and take time off from work for additional schooling.

The ABSN program is a hands-on and theoretical training with rich opportunities to learn values that are essential in the profession of nursing. You’ll not only get all your technical knowledge required for licensure, but also gain skills from working alongside experienced nurses who have been at it for decades.

Mercer College offers these services as well as an enriching learning environment where you can interact and network with other likeminded people.

Valdosta State University

  • 1500 N Patterson St, Valdosta, GA - 31698
  • 229-333-5800
Nurse Admin: James C. Pace, PhD, Mdiy RN7 FAAN, FAANP
Title: Dean

The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program provides an alternative route for students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree and are interested in becoming nurses. Students must meet all the requirements, but need not take prerequisite courses as long as they can demonstrate that their previous degrees cover them.

The School of Nursing offers accelerated programs for people with non-nursing undergraduate degrees to become professional nurses faster than traditional baccalaureate or graduate nursing programs allow. The Accelerated BSN track is designed specifically for those individuals looking to enter this field without prior experience; candidates do need prerequisites so long as it has been demonstrated through transcripts or other documentation that they took equivalent coursework during their undergraduate studies at some point before enrolling

After being accepted into the accelerated BSN program, students are enrolled in 15 credit hours per semester. This means that by enrolling each May and graduating at the end of July (approximately 15 months), they complete their nursing degree in four semesters.

How Long Does it Take to Complete an Accelerated Nursing Program in Georgia?

This all depends on the school of course so take some time to shop around. In general you will be able to earn your BSN through an accelerated nursing program in 18 months or less. Some of these programs will be non-stop year round, while others may factor in a break. You will complete not only course work but also required hands on clinical experiences during this time so that you can master your new nursing skills. 

What Will I Study in My Georgia Accelerated Nursing Program?

Curricula will vary a little but they are all designed to prepare you to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.  Most schools will have course lists available online of what you will take during your program. In general you can expect to take courses similar to the following curriculum offered by the 16 month, full-time Brenau University ABSN program:

Semester 1 (13 credits)

  • NG 304/L Comprehensive Health Assessment with Lab (3 credits)
  • NG 315 Professional Nursing at Brenau (2 credits)
  • NG 345/L Foundations of Professional Nursing Practice with Lab (5 credits)
  • NG 360 Pharmacology (3 credits)

Semester 2 (18 credits)

  • NG 306/C Adult Health Nursing with Clinical (7 credits)
  • NG 308/C Behavioral Health Nursing with Clinical (5 credits)
  • NG 312 Nursing Care of the Older Adult (3 credits)
  • NG 325 Professional Nursing for Diverse Populations (3 credits)

Semester 3 (16 credits)

  • NG 309 Evidence-Based Practice (3 credits)
  • NG 404/C Women’s Health Nursing with Clinical (5 credits)
  • NG 405 Leadership & Policy Professional Practice Nursing (3 credits)
  • NG 406/C Child & Adolescent Health Nursing with Clinical (5 credits)

Semester 4 (13 credits)

  • NG 407/C Community Based Nursing Practice with Clinical (4 credits)
  • NG 432/L High Acuity Nursing with Lab (4 credits)
  • NG 445/C Transition to Professional Nursing: Capstone with Clinical (5 credits)


  • MS 101/111/or 210 – College Algebra or Pre-Calculus/Trigonometry or Calculus and Analytical Geometry
  • PY 101 Introduction to Psychology
  • CY 103/103L Principles of Chemistry
  • HS 200 Medical Terminology
  • PY 202 Human Growth and Development
  • MS 205 Introduction to Statistics
  • BY 206/206L Microbiology
  • BY 209/BY 209L Anatomy and Physiology I
  • BY 210/BY 210L Anatomy and Physiology II
  • PY 309 Abnormal Psychology
  • HS 415 Pathophysiology for the Health Professions

What Are the Clinical Requirements for an ABSN in Georgia

The number of supervised clinical hours you will be required to complete in Georgia, according to the Georgia State Board of Nursing is 480 clinical hours in order to your BSN and sit for the NCLEX RN exam. Clinical hours are experiences where you are paired with an experienced nurse (called your preceptor) and get to practice your clinical skills on real patients. Having someone to supervise you as you master these skills helps you be prepared to be a safe new nurse when you become licensed. 

4 Steps To Register for the NCLEX

Be sure to talk to your school about the requirements for signing up for the NCLEX. They can help you with timing and steps. The process can take some time, so don’t wait until the last minute. Here are some important steps you need to take to register for the big day:

  1. Check out your state’s Board of Nursing (BON) website to sign up so that you are eligible to take the NCLEX. The NCBSN website has information you need on your state’s BON.
  2. Your NCLEX eligibility requirements can be found through your BON.
  3. After this you should register for the test through Pearson VUE. Don’t forget to find your program code when doing this! If you’re not sure where to find it, contact your school.
  4. The last step is to use our NCLEX tips and practice exams to study!

List of Accelerated BSN Nursing Programs in Georgia

University Offered asCity/State
Albany State University Campus, OnlineAlbany, GA
Brenau University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineGainesville, GA
Emory University Campus, HybridAtlanta, GA
Georgia Southwestern State University Campus, OnlineAmericus, GA
Kennesaw State University Campus, Hybrid, GA
Mercer University Campus, OnlineMacon, GA
Valdosta State University Campus, HybridValdosta, GA

List of Accelerated MSN Nursing Programs in Georgia

University Offered asCity/State
Emory University Campus, HybridAtlanta, GA
Augusta University CampusAugusta, GA