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

University Offered asCity/State
Nevada State College Campus, OnlineHenderson, NV
Linfield College-School of Nursing CampusPortland, OR
Western Governors University Campus, OnlineSalt Lake City, UT
California State University-San Marcos Campus, Hybrid, OnlineSan Marcos, CA
ECPI University Campus, OnlineVirginia Beach, VA
Purdue University-Main Campus Campus, HybridWest Lafayette, IN
University of Wyoming CampusLaramie, WY
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Campus, Hybrid, OnlineEau Claire, WI
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Campus, Hybrid, OnlineOshkosh, WI
University of Wisconsin-Madison Campus, Hybrid, OnlineMadison, WI
Milwaukee School of Engineering CampusMilwaukee, WI
Edgewood College CampusMadison, WI
Bellin College Campus, Hybrid, OnlineGreen Bay, WI
West Virginia University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineMorgantown, WV
Wheeling Jesuit University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineWheeling, WV
University of Washington-Seattle Campus CampusSeattle, WA
Virginia Commonwealth University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineRichmond, VA
Shenandoah University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineWinchester, VA
Old Dominion University Campus, OnlineNorfolk, VA
Marymount University Campus, HybridArlington, VA
Jefferson College of Health Sciences Campus, Hybrid, OnlineRoanoke, VA
Eastern Mennonite University Campus, OnlineHarrisonburg, VA
George Mason University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineFairfax, VA
University of Utah Campus, Hybrid, OnlineSalt Lake City, UT
Texas Christian University CampusFort Worth, TX
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Campus, Hybrid, OnlineHouston, TX
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Campus, Hybrid, OnlineLubbock, TX
The University of Texas Medical Branch Campus, OnlineGalveston, TX
The University of Texas at Arlington Campus, Hybrid, OnlineArlington, TX
The University of Texas at El Paso Campus, OnlineEl Paso, TX
The University of Texas at Tyler Campus, Hybrid, OnlineTyler, TX
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Campus, HybridSan Antonio, TX
Concordia University-Texas Campus, OnlineAustin, TX
Baylor University Campus, HybridWaco, TX
Union University Campus, HybridJackson, TN
Angelo State University Campus, HybridSan Angelo, TX
Tennessee Technological University Campus, OnlineCookeville, TN
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville Campus, Hybrid, OnlineKnoxville, TN
University of Memphis Campus, Hybrid, OnlineMemphis, TN
Cumberland University Campus, OnlineLebanon, TN
East Tennessee State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineJohnson City, TN
Belmont University Campus, HybridNashville, TN
South Dakota State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineBrookings, SD
University of Sioux Falls Campus, OnlineSioux Falls, SD
The Medical University of South Carolina Campus, OnlineCharleston, SC
Clemson University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineClemson, SC
Salve Regina University Campus, HybridNewport, RI
Anderson University Campus, OnlineAnderson, SC
Wilkes University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineWilkes-Barre, PA
Villanova University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineVillanova, PA
Waynesburg University CampusWaynesburg, PA
West Chester University of Pennsylvania Campus, OnlineWest Chester, PA
University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh Campus Campus, OnlinePittsburgh, PA
Robert Morris University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineMoon Township, PA
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus Campus, HybridUniversity Park, PA
Misericordia University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineDallas, PA
Holy Family University CampusPhiladelphia, PA
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Campus, OnlineEdinboro, PA
Gwynedd Mercy University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineGwynedd Valley, PA
Drexel University Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePhiladelphia, PA
Eastern University CampusSaint Davids, PA
DeSales University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineCenter Valley, PA
Oregon Health-Science University Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePortland, OR
Wright State University-Main Campus Campus, Hybrid, OnlineDayton, OH
Ursuline College Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePepper Pike, OH
Walsh University Campus, HybridNorth Canton, OH
Ohio University-Main Campus Campus, Hybrid, OnlineAthens, OH
Mount Carmel College of Nursing Campus, Hybrid, OnlineColumbus, OH
Kent State University at Kent Campus, Hybrid, OnlineKent, OH
Cleveland State University Campus, OnlineCleveland, OH
The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences Campus, OnlineCincinnati, OH
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus Campus, HybridCincinnati, OH
Capital University CampusColumbus, OH
Case Western Reserve University Campus, HybridCleveland, OH
Baldwin Wallace University CampusBerea, OH
University of North Dakota Campus, Hybrid, OnlineGrand Forks, ND
University of Akron Main Campus Campus, Hybrid, OnlineAkron, OH
Winston-Salem State University Campus, OnlineWinston-Salem, NC
Western Carolina University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineCullowhee, NC
Queens University of Charlotte CampusCharlotte, NC
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Campus, Hybrid, OnlineChapel Hill, NC
Duke University Campus, HybridDurham, NC
Utica College Campus, OnlineUtica, NY
SUNY Downstate Medical Center Campus, HybridBrooklyn, NY
University at Buffalo Campus, Hybrid, OnlineBuffalo, NY
Stony Brook University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineStony Brook, NY
The Sage Colleges Campus, HybridTroy, NY
University of Rochester Campus, HybridRochester, NY
The College of New Rochelle CampusNew Rochelle, NY
Niagara University CampusNiagara University, NY
College of Mount Saint Vincent Campus, HybridBronx, NY
Molloy College CampusRockville Centre, NY
Hartwick College CampusOneonta, NY
Dominican College of Blauvelt Campus, HybridOrangeburg, NY
CUNY Hunter College Campus, HybridNew York, NY
CUNY Lehman College Campus, HybridBronx, NY
Columbia University in the City of New York Campus, HybridNew York, NY
Adelphi University Campus, HybridGarden City, NY
University of New Mexico-Main Campus Campus, Hybrid, OnlineAlbuquerque, NM
William Paterson University of New Jersey Campus, HybridWayne, NJ
Seton Hall University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineSouth Orange, NJ
New Jersey City University CampusJersey City, NJ
Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus Campus, HybridTeaneck, NJ
Georgian Court University CampusLakewood, NJ
University of Nebraska Medical Center Campus, Hybrid, OnlineOmaha, NE
Creighton University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineOmaha, NE
Montana State University Campus, HybridBozeman, MT
William Jewell College CampusLiberty, MO
Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences Campus, Hybrid, OnlineKansas City, MO
Southeast Missouri State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineCape Girardeau, MO
Research College of Nursing Campus, Hybrid, OnlineKansas City, MO
Saint Louis University-Main Campus Campus, Hybrid, OnlineSaint Louis, MO
University of Missouri-Columbia Campus, OnlineColumbia, MO
University of Missouri-Kansas City Campus, Hybrid, OnlineKansas City, MO
University of Missouri-St Louis Campus, Hybrid, OnlineSaint Louis, MO
Truman State University CampusKirksville, MO
Barnes-Jewish College Goldfarb School of Nursing Campus, Hybrid, OnlineSaint Louis, MO
Cox College Campus, Hybrid, OnlineSpringfield, MO
The College of Saint Scholastica Campus, Hybrid, OnlineDuluth, MN
Concordia College at Moorhead CampusMoorhead, MN
Wayne State University Campus, HybridDetroit, MI
Oakland University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineRochester Hills, MI
University of Michigan-Flint Campus, Hybrid, OnlineFlint, MI
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Campus, HybridAnn Arbor, MI
Michigan State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineEast Lansing, MI
University of Detroit Mercy CampusDetroit, MI
Eastern Michigan University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineYpsilanti, MI
Northeastern University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineBoston, MA
University of Massachusetts-Amherst Campus, OnlineAmherst, MA
University of Massachusetts-Boston Campus, Hybrid, OnlineBoston, MA
Curry College CampusMilton, MA
Stevenson University Campus, OnlineStevenson, MD
Johns Hopkins University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineBaltimore, MD
Salisbury University Campus, HybridSalisbury, MD
University of Southern Maine Campus, HybridPortland, ME
Southeastern Louisiana University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineHammond, LA
Louisiana College Campus, OnlinePineville, LA
Spalding University Campus, HybridLouisville, KY
Northern Kentucky University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineHighland Heights, KY
University of Louisville Campus, Hybrid, OnlineLouisville, KY
University of Kentucky Campus, Hybrid, OnlineLexington, KY
Eastern Kentucky University Campus, OnlineRichmond, KY
Bellarmine University Campus, OnlineLouisville, KY
Wichita State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineWichita, KS
University of Saint Mary Campus, OnlineLeavenworth, KS
MidAmerica Nazarene University Campus, OnlineOlathe, KS
Valparaiso University Campus, HybridValparaiso, IN
Allen College Campus, Hybrid, OnlineWaterloo, IA
Saint Mary’s College Campus, OnlineNotre Dame, IN
Marian University Campus, OnlineIndianapolis, IN
Indiana Wesleyan University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineMarion, IN
Indiana University-South Bend Campus, OnlineSouth Bend, IN
Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis Campus, Hybrid, OnlineIndianapolis, IN
Anderson University CampusAnderson, IN
Ball State University Campus, OnlineMuncie, IN
Resurrection University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineChicago, IL
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Campus, Hybrid, OnlineEdwardsville, IL
Loyola University Chicago Campus, Hybrid, OnlineChicago, IL
Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences CampusRock Island, IL
Lakeview College of Nursing CampusDanville, IL
Lewis University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineRomeoville, IL
Illinois State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineNormal, IL
Blessing Rieman College of Nursing Campus, OnlineQuincy, IL
Bradley University Campus, OnlinePeoria, IL
Idaho State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePocatello, ID
Valdosta State University Campus, HybridValdosta, GA
Kennesaw State University Campus, HybridKennesaw, GA
Emory University Campus, HybridAtlanta, GA
Georgia Southwestern State University Campus, OnlineAmericus, GA
University of South Florida-Main Campus Campus, HybridTampa, FL
University of Miami Campus, HybridCoral Gables, FL
University of North Florida Campus, Hybrid, OnlineJacksonville, FL
Jacksonville University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineJacksonville, FL
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Campus, Hybrid, OnlineFort Lauderdale, FL
Florida State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineTallahassee, FL
University of Florida Campus, Hybrid, OnlineGainesville, FL
Florida Atlantic University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineBoca Raton, FL
Florida International University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineMiami, FL
University of Central Florida Campus, Hybrid, OnlineOrlando, FL
George Washington University Campus, OnlineWashington, DC
Georgetown University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineWashington, DC
Barry University Campus, OnlineMiami, FL
University of Delaware Campus, Hybrid, OnlineNewark, DE
The Catholic University of America Campus, HybridWashington, DC
Southern Connecticut State University CampusNew Haven, CT
Quinnipiac University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineHamden, CT
University of Saint Joseph Campus, Hybrid, OnlineWest Hartford, CT
Fairfield University Campus, HybridFairfield, CT
Regis University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineDenver, CO
University of Connecticut Campus, HybridStorrs, CT
University of Northern Colorado Campus, Hybrid, OnlineGreeley, CO
University of Colorado Denver Campus, OnlineDenver, CO
University of Colorado Colorado Springs Campus, OnlineColorado Springs, CO
Samuel Merritt University Campus, HybridOakland, CA
San Diego State University CampusSan Diego, CA
Mount St Mary’s College CampusLos Angeles, CA
National University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineLa Jolla, CA
Loma Linda University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineLoma Linda, CA
Concordia University-Irvine Campus, OnlineIrvine, CA
California State University-Long Beach CampusLong Beach, CA
California State University-Northridge CampusNorthridge, CA
California State University-Stanislaus Campus, OnlineTurlock, CA
Azusa Pacific University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineAzusa, CA
California Baptist University Campus, OnlineRiverside, CA
Northern Arizona University Campus, OnlineFlagstaff, AZ
Grand Canyon University Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePhoenix, AZ
Samford University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineBirmingham, AL
University of South Alabama Campus, OnlineMobile, AL
University of North Alabama Campus, OnlineFlorence, AL
University of Mobile Campus, OnlineMobile, AL
Northeastern University Campus, OnlineBoston, MA
Pennsylvania State University-World Campus Campus, OnlineUniversity Park, PA
Touro University Nevada Campus, OnlineHenderson, NV
Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix Campus, HybridPhoenix, AZ
Linfield College Campus, OnlineMcMinnville, OR
Concordia University-Portland CampusPortland, OR
University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center Campus, Hybrid, OnlineOklahoma City, OK
Rutgers University-Camden Campus, Hybrid, OnlineCamden, NJ
Rutgers University-Newark Campus, HybridNewark, NJ
University of Mississippi Medical Center Campus, Hybrid, OnlineJackson, MS
Louisiana State University Health-Science Center New Orleans Campus, HybridNew Orleans, LA
Methodist College Campus, OnlinePeoria, IL
Duquesne University Campus, 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!