What is a Second Degree BSN or Accelerated BSN (ABSN)

First off, you might want to read our Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) Guide to learn more about the over all degree. A BSN is one of the degrees you can earn in order to become a registered nurse (RN). BSN programs prepare you through classwork and clinical experiences to sit for the NCLEX exam and work as an RN. The second degree BSN program is specifically designed for people who already have a bachelors degree in another field. These programs may also be referred to Direct Entry or Accelerated BSN (ABSN) programs. Typically, a Second Degree BSN program will take about 2 years. It may take longer if you choose to enroll part-time. By earning your BSN you will be regarded as a highly employable nurse.

Related Degree: Direct Entry MSN or Accelerated MSN Degree.

Why Should I Consider an Accelerated BSN / Second Degree BSN?

If you already have bachelors and are hoping to make a career change into nursing doing one of these programs may be just the path for you. You won’t have to waste time taking core courses such as history and English. Instead you can just jump right in and focus on the nursing specific courses. Another advantage of getting your BSN is that if you decide to further your career even more later and earn your PhD or become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), you will have the required degree to apply.

Number of Accelerated BSN Programs in the United States

About 235 ABSN programs exist in the U.S. giving you plenty of options to choose from. Research ABSN programs offered in your state or online.

List of Accelerated BSN Programs

UniversityOffered asCity/State
Nevada State CollegeCampus, OnlineHenderson, NV
Linfield College-School of NursingCampusPortland, OR
Western Governors UniversityCampus, OnlineSalt Lake City, UT
California State University-San MarcosCampus, Hybrid, OnlineSan Marcos, CA
ECPI UniversityCampus, OnlineVirginia Beach, VA
Purdue University-Main CampusCampus, HybridWest Lafayette, IN
University of WyomingCampusLaramie, WY
University of Wisconsin-Eau ClaireCampus, Hybrid, OnlineEau Claire, WI
University of Wisconsin-OshkoshCampus, Hybrid, OnlineOshkosh, WI
University of Wisconsin-MadisonCampus, Hybrid, OnlineMadison, WI
Milwaukee School of EngineeringCampusMilwaukee, WI
Edgewood CollegeCampusMadison, WI
Bellin CollegeCampus, Hybrid, OnlineGreen Bay, WI
West Virginia UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineMorgantown, WV
Wheeling Jesuit UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineWheeling, WV
University of Washington-Seattle CampusCampusSeattle, WA
Virginia Commonwealth UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineRichmond, VA
Shenandoah UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineWinchester, VA
Old Dominion UniversityCampus, OnlineNorfolk, VA
Marymount UniversityCampus, HybridArlington, VA
Jefferson College of Health SciencesCampus, Hybrid, OnlineRoanoke, VA
Eastern Mennonite UniversityCampus, OnlineHarrisonburg, VA
George Mason UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineFairfax, VA
University of UtahCampus, Hybrid, OnlineSalt Lake City, UT
Texas Christian UniversityCampusFort Worth, TX
The University of Texas Health Science Center at HoustonCampus, Hybrid, OnlineHouston, TX
Texas Tech University Health Sciences CenterCampus, Hybrid, OnlineLubbock, TX
The University of Texas Medical BranchCampus, OnlineGalveston, TX
The University of Texas at ArlingtonCampus, Hybrid, OnlineArlington, TX
The University of Texas at El PasoCampus, OnlineEl Paso, TX
The University of Texas at TylerCampus, Hybrid, OnlineTyler, TX
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San AntonioCampus, HybridSan Antonio, TX
Concordia University-TexasCampus, OnlineAustin, TX
Baylor UniversityCampus, HybridWaco, TX
Union UniversityCampus, HybridJackson, TN
Angelo State UniversityCampus, HybridSan Angelo, TX
Tennessee Technological UniversityCampus, OnlineCookeville, TN
The University of Tennessee, KnoxvilleCampus, Hybrid, OnlineKnoxville, TN
University of MemphisCampus, Hybrid, OnlineMemphis, TN
Cumberland UniversityCampus, OnlineLebanon, TN
East Tennessee State UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineJohnson City, TN
Belmont UniversityCampus, HybridNashville, TN
South Dakota State UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineBrookings, SD
University of Sioux FallsCampus, OnlineSioux Falls, SD
The Medical University of South CarolinaCampus, OnlineCharleston, SC
Clemson UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineClemson, SC
Salve Regina UniversityCampus, HybridNewport, RI
Anderson UniversityCampus, OnlineAnderson, SC
Wilkes UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineWilkes-Barre, PA
Villanova UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineVillanova, PA
Waynesburg UniversityCampusWaynesburg, PA
West Chester University of PennsylvaniaCampus, OnlineWest Chester, PA
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh CampusCampus, OnlinePittsburgh, PA
Robert Morris UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineMoon Township, PA
Pennsylvania State University-Main CampusCampus, HybridUniversity Park, PA
Misericordia UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineDallas, PA
Holy Family UniversityCampusPhiladelphia, PA
Edinboro University of PennsylvaniaCampus, OnlineEdinboro, PA
Gwynedd Mercy UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineGwynedd Valley, PA
Drexel UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlinePhiladelphia, PA
Eastern UniversityCampusSaint Davids, PA
DeSales UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineCenter Valley, PA
Oregon Health-Science UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlinePortland, OR
Wright State University-Main CampusCampus, Hybrid, OnlineDayton, OH
Ursuline CollegeCampus, Hybrid, OnlinePepper Pike, OH
Walsh UniversityCampus, HybridNorth Canton, OH
Ohio University-Main CampusCampus, Hybrid, OnlineAthens, OH
Mount Carmel College of NursingCampus, Hybrid, OnlineColumbus, OH
Kent State University at KentCampus, Hybrid, OnlineKent, OH
Cleveland State UniversityCampus, OnlineCleveland, OH
The Christ College of Nursing and Health SciencesCampus, OnlineCincinnati, OH
University of Cincinnati-Main CampusCampus, HybridCincinnati, OH
Capital UniversityCampusColumbus, OH
Case Western Reserve UniversityCampus, HybridCleveland, OH
Baldwin Wallace UniversityCampusBerea, OH
University of North DakotaCampus, Hybrid, OnlineGrand Forks, ND
University of Akron Main CampusCampus, Hybrid, OnlineAkron, OH
Winston-Salem State UniversityCampus, OnlineWinston-Salem, NC
Western Carolina UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineCullowhee, NC
Queens University of CharlotteCampusCharlotte, NC
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillCampus, Hybrid, OnlineChapel Hill, NC
Duke UniversityCampus, HybridDurham, NC
Utica CollegeCampus, OnlineUtica, NY
SUNY Downstate Medical CenterCampus, HybridBrooklyn, NY
University at BuffaloCampus, Hybrid, OnlineBuffalo, NY
Stony Brook UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineStony Brook, NY
The Sage CollegesCampus, HybridTroy, NY
University of RochesterCampus, HybridRochester, NY
The College of New RochelleCampusNew Rochelle, NY
Niagara UniversityCampusNiagara University, NY
College of Mount Saint VincentCampus, HybridBronx, NY
Molloy CollegeCampusRockville Centre, NY
Hartwick CollegeCampusOneonta, NY
Dominican College of BlauveltCampus, HybridOrangeburg, NY
CUNY Hunter CollegeCampus, HybridNew York, NY
CUNY Lehman CollegeCampus, HybridBronx, NY
Columbia University in the City of New YorkCampus, HybridNew York, NY
Adelphi UniversityCampus, HybridGarden City, NY
University of New Mexico-Main CampusCampus, Hybrid, OnlineAlbuquerque, NM
William Paterson University of New JerseyCampus, HybridWayne, NJ
Seton Hall UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineSouth Orange, NJ
New Jersey City UniversityCampusJersey City, NJ
Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan CampusCampus, HybridTeaneck, NJ
Georgian Court UniversityCampusLakewood, NJ
University of Nebraska Medical CenterCampus, Hybrid, OnlineOmaha, NE
Creighton UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineOmaha, NE
Montana State UniversityCampus, HybridBozeman, MT
William Jewell CollegeCampusLiberty, MO
Saint Luke’s College of Health SciencesCampus, Hybrid, OnlineKansas City, MO
Southeast Missouri State UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineCape Girardeau, MO
Research College of NursingCampus, Hybrid, OnlineKansas City, MO
Saint Louis University-Main CampusCampus, Hybrid, OnlineSaint Louis, MO
University of Missouri-ColumbiaCampus, OnlineColumbia, MO
University of Missouri-Kansas CityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineKansas City, MO
University of Missouri-St LouisCampus, Hybrid, OnlineSaint Louis, MO
Truman State UniversityCampusKirksville, MO
Barnes-Jewish College Goldfarb School of NursingCampus, Hybrid, OnlineSaint Louis, MO
Cox CollegeCampus, Hybrid, OnlineSpringfield, MO
The College of Saint ScholasticaCampus, Hybrid, OnlineDuluth, MN
Concordia College at MoorheadCampusMoorhead, MN
Wayne State UniversityCampus, HybridDetroit, MI
Oakland UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineRochester Hills, MI
University of Michigan-FlintCampus, Hybrid, OnlineFlint, MI
University of Michigan-Ann ArborCampus, HybridAnn Arbor, MI
Michigan State UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineEast Lansing, MI
University of Detroit MercyCampusDetroit, MI
Eastern Michigan UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineYpsilanti, MI
Northeastern UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineBoston, MA
University of Massachusetts-AmherstCampus, OnlineAmherst, MA
University of Massachusetts-BostonCampus, Hybrid, OnlineBoston, MA
Curry CollegeCampusMilton, MA
Stevenson UniversityCampus, OnlineStevenson, MD
Johns Hopkins UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineBaltimore, MD
Salisbury UniversityCampus, HybridSalisbury, MD
University of Southern MaineCampus, HybridPortland, ME
Southeastern Louisiana UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineHammond, LA
Louisiana CollegeCampus, OnlinePineville, LA
Spalding UniversityCampus, HybridLouisville, KY
Northern Kentucky UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineHighland Heights, KY
University of LouisvilleCampus, Hybrid, OnlineLouisville, KY
University of KentuckyCampus, Hybrid, OnlineLexington, KY
Eastern Kentucky UniversityCampus, OnlineRichmond, KY
Bellarmine UniversityCampus, OnlineLouisville, KY
Wichita State UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineWichita, KS
University of Saint MaryCampus, OnlineLeavenworth, KS
MidAmerica Nazarene UniversityCampus, OnlineOlathe, KS
Valparaiso UniversityCampus, HybridValparaiso, IN
Allen CollegeCampus, Hybrid, OnlineWaterloo, IA
Saint Mary’s CollegeCampus, OnlineNotre Dame, IN
Marian UniversityCampus, OnlineIndianapolis, IN
Indiana Wesleyan UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineMarion, IN
Indiana University-South BendCampus, OnlineSouth Bend, IN
Indiana University-Purdue University-IndianapolisCampus, Hybrid, OnlineIndianapolis, IN
Anderson UniversityCampusAnderson, IN
Ball State UniversityCampus, OnlineMuncie, IN
Resurrection UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineChicago, IL
Southern Illinois University-EdwardsvilleCampus, Hybrid, OnlineEdwardsville, IL
Loyola University ChicagoCampus, Hybrid, OnlineChicago, IL
Trinity College of Nursing & Health SciencesCampusRock Island, IL
Lakeview College of NursingCampusDanville, IL
Lewis UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineRomeoville, IL
Illinois State UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineNormal, IL
Blessing Rieman College of NursingCampus, OnlineQuincy, IL
Bradley UniversityCampus, OnlinePeoria, IL
Idaho State UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlinePocatello, ID
Valdosta State UniversityCampus, HybridValdosta, GA
Kennesaw State UniversityCampus, HybridKennesaw, GA
Emory UniversityCampus, HybridAtlanta, GA
Georgia Southwestern State UniversityCampus, OnlineAmericus, GA
University of South Florida-Main CampusCampus, HybridTampa, FL
University of MiamiCampus, HybridCoral Gables, FL
University of North FloridaCampus, Hybrid, OnlineJacksonville, FL
Jacksonville UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineJacksonville, FL
Keiser University-Ft LauderdaleCampus, Hybrid, OnlineFort Lauderdale, FL
Florida State UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineTallahassee, FL
University of FloridaCampus, Hybrid, OnlineGainesville, FL
Florida Atlantic UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineBoca Raton, FL
Florida International UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineMiami, FL
University of Central FloridaCampus, Hybrid, OnlineOrlando, FL
Barry UniversityCampus, OnlineMiami, FL
George Washington UniversityCampus, OnlineWashington, DC
Georgetown UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineWashington, DC
University of DelawareCampus, Hybrid, OnlineNewark, DE
The Catholic University of AmericaCampus, HybridWashington, DC
Southern Connecticut State UniversityCampusNew Haven, CT
Quinnipiac UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineHamden, CT
University of Saint JosephCampus, Hybrid, OnlineWest Hartford, CT
Fairfield UniversityCampus, HybridFairfield, CT
Regis UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineDenver, CO
University of ConnecticutCampus, HybridStorrs, CT
University of Northern ColoradoCampus, Hybrid, OnlineGreeley, CO
University of Colorado DenverCampus, OnlineDenver, CO
University of Colorado Colorado SpringsCampus, OnlineColorado Springs, CO
Samuel Merritt UniversityCampus, HybridOakland, CA
San Diego State UniversityCampusSan Diego, CA
Mount St Mary’s CollegeCampusLos Angeles, CA
National UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineLa Jolla, CA
Loma Linda UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineLoma Linda, CA
Concordia University-IrvineCampus, OnlineIrvine, CA
California State University-Long BeachCampusLong Beach, CA
California State University-NorthridgeCampusNorthridge, CA
California State University-StanislausCampus, OnlineTurlock, CA
Azusa Pacific UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineAzusa, CA
California Baptist UniversityCampus, OnlineRiverside, CA
Northern Arizona UniversityCampus, OnlineFlagstaff, AZ
Grand Canyon UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlinePhoenix, AZ
Samford UniversityCampus, Hybrid, OnlineBirmingham, AL
University of South AlabamaCampus, OnlineMobile, AL
University of North AlabamaCampus, OnlineFlorence, AL
University of MobileCampus, OnlineMobile, AL
Northeastern UniversityCampus, OnlineBoston, MA
Pennsylvania State University-World CampusCampus, OnlineUniversity Park, PA
Touro University NevadaCampus, OnlineHenderson, NV
Arizona State University-Downtown PhoenixCampus, HybridPhoenix, AZ
Linfield CollegeCampus, OnlineMcMinnville, OR
Concordia University-PortlandCampusPortland, OR
University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences CenterCampus, Hybrid, OnlineOklahoma City, OK
Rutgers University-CamdenCampus, Hybrid, OnlineCamden, NJ
Rutgers University-NewarkCampus, HybridNewark, NJ
University of Mississippi Medical CenterCampus, Hybrid, OnlineJackson, MS
Louisiana State University Health-Science Center New OrleansCampus, HybridNew Orleans, LA
Methodist CollegeCampus, OnlinePeoria, IL
Duquesne UniversityCampus, OnlinePittsburgh, PA

If notice any errors in our RNCareers database, please contact us.

Entrance Requirements for Second Degree BSN Programs

Each university will vary somewhat in their application requirements. in general you can expect them to align with George Washington University’s requirements:

  • You must have a bachelors degree in another field. You will be required to submit proof of completion such as your transcripts. You should also have graduated with a GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Additionally, there are certain pre-requisite courses you will have to take. These may be:
    • Anatomy and Physiology
    • Ethics
    • Nutrition
    • Microbiology
    • Statistics
  • As a part of your application you will have to submit letters of recommendation.
  • Make sure you submit an up to date resume to highlight your experience.
  • Most programs will require you to write at least 1 essay or a personal statement.
  • Submitting the application will likely involve a fee. This can vary from school to school.
  • Some programs require prospective students to interview as well.

Online Second Degree BSN Programs

Many schools now have at least partially online options for completing your BSN. These programs can enable you to continue working and meet other life goals while you pursue your education. These programs use technology to deliver classes online and allow you to complete assignments and class discussions from the comfort of your own home. They will also work with you to help you get obtain clinical experiences near your home or in a location convenient for you.

What Will I Study While Earning My ABSN Program?

Earning your BSN whether in a traditional or accelerated format requires that you complete certain courses. These courses are necessary to be eligible to take the NCLEX exam to become an RN. The benefit is that since this is your second degree, you will not have to repeat core courses that are not nursing related. George Washington University’s program offers a good example of what a typical second degree BSN curriculum will look like:

  • Pharmacology
  • Health Policy, Quality, and Political Process
  • Pathophysiology
  • Ethics in Nursing
  • Evidence-Based-Practice for Healthcare Researchers
  • Pediatric Nursing Theory and Clinical
  • Nursing Practice and Clinical Reasoning II: Advanced Adult Medical-Surgical
  • Nursing Practice and Clinical Reasoning I: Adult and Aging Acute and Chronic Illness
  • Nursing Practice and Clinical Reasoning IV: Maternity and Women’s Health Care
  • Nursing Practice and Clinical Reasoning III: Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
  • Health Assessment Theory and Clinical
  • Nursing Leadership
  • Transition into the Nursing Profession
  • Children and Families

Clinical Requirements for Accelerated BSN Programs

The required clinical hours to become an RN are determined by your state board of nursing (BON). In general you can expect to complete about 500 hours of supervised clinical practice during your 2 year education. During this time you will be able to gain confidence in your nursing skills by providing direct care to patients in a supervised setting. This will allow you to practice in a safe manner. That way when you go out into the nursing world you will have the confidence that you can provide safe care and you will also know your limitations as you continue to learn. In your clinical setting you will be supervised by an experienced nurse.

How Much Do ABSN Programs Cost?

It always comes down to money. Luckily for you there are a ton of ways to pay for your nursing education. It is also worth noting that the price of doing a second degree BSN will depend on the school you attend. Private schools will almost always cost more than public ones and both offer comparative quality educations. There are also various programs listed below that can help you pay for your nursing education. Here are price examples from a public and private school:

The Nurse Corps Loan Forgiveness program and Public Service Loan Forgiveness are two examples of programs that will pay for your education if you commit to working in medically underserved areas. This can help take the financial pressure out of pursuing a second bachelors degree. Some other repayment options are listed here:

Our handy state guides are designed to help you find scholarships offered in your state as well!

How Much Do Nurses With a BSN Earn?

Having your BSN will give you a lot of flexibility in the type of salary you can earn. This, along with being an overall fulfilling career will makes nursing a desirable path. Your salary will change depend on where you work. Urban locations will pay more, but your cost of living will also likely be higher. Community health centers may not pay as much as private ones, but you will also be more likely to be eligible for the loan forgiveness programs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows RNs earning a median of $66,640 annually. You can earn the most in California, Hawaii, Alaska, Massachusetts, and Oregon at a salary between $80,000 to $96,000.

Read our BSN Salary Guide.

What are Some Specialty Areas I Could Work in with a BSN?

You will be able to work in almost any type of practice setting. Some locations may require a bit of experience first, but with your BSN you be fully prepared to gain that experience. Some areas where you may find yourself working are:

  • Emergency Department: As a part of a larger team you will help triage and provide care to people with medical emergencies.
  • Labor and Delivery: Helping care for laboring women and participating in the birth of their children can be incredibly rewarding.
  • Oncology: Oncology nurse care for patients with cancer before, during, and after their treatment.
  • Medical Surgical Floor: As a med-surg nurse you will care for patients with acute conditions or after they have had surgery.
  • Operating Room: As a part of the OR team you ensure patient safety and provide care for them while they are being operated on.
  • Trauma Nurse: You will play a vital role caring for acutely ill or severely injured patients. Often you will work with an emergency department team.
  • Telemetry Nurse: As a telemetry nurse you will be monitoring patients whose conditions could change quickly. this role is important for ensuring they receive care quickly.
  • Traveling NurseYou will travel around the country providing care for patients in your specialty during short period of time such as 12 weeks. You will often go where you are needed most.
  • School Nurse: You will provide nursing care for students by administering medications and vaccines, providing first aid, and educating them on health concepts.

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!