October 26, 2017

Accelerated B.S.N.: Fast-Track Path for Those Switching to Nursing

by Thomas J.C. Wright

“The accelerated program is for students who already have a bachelor’s degree in other subjects but have decided to change their life course and want to pursue nursing,” said Janet Raman, Ed.D., assistant professor in the College of Nursing and Public Health and director of the Accelerated B.S. in Nursing program (formerly called PATH for Professional Acceleration to Healthcare).

Prior studies in another discipline provide an experiential base for Accelerated B.S.N. students to draw on while undergoing the rigors of an education in nursing. The program’s current cohort of 24 students (21 last year) is a diverse group whose previously earned degrees range from fine art, music and biology to psychology, computer science and business.

For student Will Nagy, a string of software jobs held over seven years had left him unsatisfied. Despite the work and having earned three related degrees (in economics, computer science and applied mathematics) from Stony Brook University, Nagy’s interest was piqued when a neighbor recommended the College. “I was looking for a way to shake up my career,” he said, noting that the neighbor had recently graduated from the College and knew of the fast-track program.

Nagy, who had originally started his undergraduate work as a pre-med student, said his previous career experience helped him realize he was ready to commit time and effort to reach for a dream. “This program really throws a lot of material at you. It’s incredibly challenging, and I’m very appreciative of that,” he said. “You’re sacrificing a little bit of time for incredible gain. For me, it was a logical choice, and it’s worth it.”

Lauren Bethon, a 2004 graphic design graduate of Bennington College, felt she was missing a certain human element in her work. She had worked in animation for a few years after graduation, but was unfulfilled by a day-in, day-out routine of long hours and stress.

After speaking with family and friends, Bethon began volunteering at the Northwell Health Stern Family Center for Rehabilitation in Manhasset, New York. “I really enjoyed my time there,” she said, explaining it was the small things that struck her most, like walking patients back to their rooms after tests or other appointments. “I gave them an opportunity just to talk to someone. Some of them seemed very grateful to have that moment,” Bethon said. “It’s the little things that add up.”

Bethon inquired about nursing programs at the rehab center, and Adelphi’s program kept coming up in conversation. Nagy said he is now looking forward to working in a critical care setting. Bethon, though undecided, said time spent in a neonatal intensive care unit was especially rewarding.

They and their friends in the Accelerated B.S.N. program are coming into the field at an opportune time. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 16 percent from 2014 to 2024—nine percent faster than the average profession.

“They’re entering a culture of nursing,” Dr. Raman said proudly of her students. “It’s always wonderful to watch nursing students evolve into nurses.”

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