What is a 3 Year BSN Program?

3 Year BSN Programs

What is a 3 Year BSN Program?

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) often provides students with education enabling them to sit for the state required certification exams. That often includes the NCLEX-RN exam. This may lead to licensure. Students taking this degree program from an accredited school may then be able to work in a nursing position. The 3 year BSN programs may allow student to complete this in just three years. Typically, it is a 4 year education plan.

Each school sets the rules for enrolling in this degree program. Some schools may not require pre-requisites. Students with a high school diploma or the equivalent may be able to apply. The coursework is often advanced. That means more learning in each course. It also typically focuses on more hands-on learning. Students that want to work in a nursing position may be able to do so faster through this degree program.

Accelerated BSN

An accelerated BSN is a fast paced education track. It may help students prepare for a professional nursing practice. This is an undergraduate program. That means students may not have to have a previous degree to enter into the program. However, they may also be a good option for students who have some previous education but did not finish school. Transfer credits from an associate’s degree or community college may apply depending on the school’s requirements.

Typically, a BSN enables students to gain the education they need to sit for the nursing license exam. From there, students may obtain licensure to provide nursing services in the state. The BSN’s goal is often to help prepare students to work as a Registered Nurse (RN).

Students looking to enter entry level positions may find this BSN option to be ideal because of how fast it may be.

BSN admission requirements:

  • Minimum GPA requirements
  • Completion of all prerequisite courses, if any
  • Completion of application to the program
  • High school diploma or equivalent

BSN sample classes:

Some coursework students may expect to see includes courses such as these:

  • Fundamentals of Nursing – This course may introduce students to the field of nursing. It often has a design to be broad range and covers multiple areas of the field to provide a solid foundation for the student.
  • Health Care in the Community – This course often focuses on the delivery of healthcare to the community. Students may be going out for field experience to see how the program works and what all is entailed in the profession.
  • Applied Nutrition in Health and Disease – This course may cover the nutrition aspect that nurses are going to deal with. Knowing how to understand different diet restrictions and what to allow patients to consume based on the orders from a doctor.
  • Introduction to Pharmacology – This course typically introduces students to the study of different medications. In this course, students may gain a base knowledge of different drug purposes. Items such as interactions, dosages, and administering of the drugs may all be covered.
  • Aging in Health and Illness – This course often covers dealing with patients who are advanced in age. The course may go over dealing with illnesses and health issues that affect members of this age group and how to treat them appropriately.

MSN Program

An MSN is a Master of Science in Nursing program. It’s often the next step for many students after completing a BSN. Students with an accelerated BSN may be able to apply for this program as well. MSN studies often take 2 years to complete. Some faster paced options may also be available.

The MSN post graduate plan may help students work as a Nurse Educator. It may also enable students to take on positions such as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) or a Certified Registered Nursing Anesthetist (CRNA). Some may work as a Nurse Practitioner (NP) or a Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS).

MSN admission requirements:

  • Completion of a BSN program
  • Minimum GPA
  • Completion of application for program
  • Resume
  • Letters of recommendation
  • RN experience
  • GRE

MSN sample classes:

Below are some sample classes students may expect for this degree program:

  • Advanced Pathophysiology – In this course the students may analyze and apply responses to pathophysiologic mechanisms and the corresponding conditions. This may include responses that are both abnormal and normal. The student may also look at evaluations of the responses.
  • Advanced Physical Assessment – In this course, the student often gains a broader knowledge of health assessment. The student may develop techniques for assessing by using medical history and medical exams in order to make determinations.
  • Advanced Pharmacology Fundamentals – In this course, students may learn about common prescription drugs. Parts of the class may cover the analysis and application of these drugs as well expanding the student’s overall knowledge of the principles of pharmacology.
  • Population Health, Epidemiology, and Statistical Principles – In this course, students may look into population health, statistics and epidemiology. These principles may be analyzed and evaluated to help in drawing conclusions. The use of data and statistics to help with decision making and how to best treat patients are also skills taught in this class.
  • Advanced Health Care Policy – The purpose of this course is often to teach students about the American healthcare system. The class often looks at the making of policies and their effectiveness. This class may also look at how the healthcare system is affected both politically and economically.


A Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is a third layer of education. It typically takes 2 years to complete. It may help a student to complete education towards working in advanced leadership positions. It may also help some students to work in areas of research in the field. This advanced nursing degree often occurs after completing a MSN degree.

PhD in nursing admission requirements:

  • Completed application
  • Minimum GRE score
  • Letters of recommendation
  • College transcripts
  • Personal statement
  • Nursing license
  • Resume

PhD in nursing sample classes:

Some coursework a student in a PhD program may take include the following:

  • Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology – This course often covers topics regarding technological advances in medicine. Application, use and availability of these items as well as how to use and interpret the data provided from these advances.
  • Research Theory, Design and Methods – This course aims to prepare students fort a number of aspects of the program. Including a dissertation as well as the ability to deal with patients and or students when preparing presentations. Applying the data gathered and using it to prepare and defend the theory developed.
  • Quantitative Reasoning and Analysis – This course often covers how to quantitatively research and present a project on the doctoral level. In this course students may design and carry out quantitative research.
  • Healthcare Policy and Advocacy – This course aims to cover not only what healthcare policy is but hope to apply it. Working with both patients as well as the care provider to provide the best knowledge and to protect the rights and interests of both.
  • Qualitative Reasoning and Analysis – This course often focuses on the qualitative aspect of research. Students may perform and present a qualitative research project. This course typically puts a lot of emphasis towards preparing for a dissertation.

Accelerated Nursing Online Programs

Completing a bachelor’s degree online may be an option for some students. Many BSN programs may require clinical experiences. That may mean some courses are completed locally rather than online. However, much of the general education requirements a student needs to obtain to earn a BSN degree may be available through strictly online courses.

These nursing courses may allow some students to take classes when they want to do so. It may offer more flexibility for working or other responsibilities in life. It is important to keep in mind limitations, though. An online accelerated nursing program may require a lot of dedication and time spent working towards the degree. These courses typically pack a lot of information into each class period. Students may earn everything from community health concerns to mental health, pediatric medicine, and high level patient care.

For those considering a nursing career, online programs may be a good option if a student may focus on their education and devote enough time to it. That may increase the difficulty in the program. Mentorship from fellow students and professors may be a bit harder to obtain, too. Before enrollment, consider how well this type of course fits into your daily life. Still, for many, it could be optimal.

How long does an Accelerated Nursing Program Take?

The goal of this type of program is to get through the education sooner. An accelerated BSN typically takes 2 years to complete. Students enrolling part time may spend more time completing the program. These programs typically have a set number of credit hours a student must complete to earn the BSN degree. However, the college of nursing may choose to speed up the process through an accelerated program. To do this, more is often packed into the courses. The courses may require more extensive hands-on experience. Students completing an accelerated course should still learn the core information and skills necessary to do well in the field.

Accreditation for Accelerated Nursing Programs

When obtaining a bachelor’s degree, going to a school with accreditation may be important, no matter the degree. An accredited school is one that meets specific requirements set by the accrediting organization. Accreditation applies for bachelor’s programs, master’s degree programs, and other areas of education.

Several organizations may provide accreditation. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is one of them. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) is another. These are the two most common organizations providing accreditation for students in the nursing field.

The National Council Licensure Exam, NCLEX) is a critical tool in the nursing field. The NCLEX is a licensure test. It aims to determine a person’s nursing competence against a set of skills and demonstrations of education. This exam is critical in most states. Students may need to complete it to obtain their nursing license. That license is critical for working in the state in a nursing field, such as a registered nurse or a licensed practical nurse (LPN).

A school of nursing may aim to teach material to help students do well on this exam. When choosing a college to attend, then, many students may want to ensure the school is accredited. That may help ensure BSN students have access to the information they need to do well on the NCLEX exam.

Scholarships for Accelerated Nursing Programs

For many students attending a BSN degree program, costs may be a factor. Financial aid may be available to those who qualify.

Some students may also qualify for scholarships. Many organizations may offer scholarships for nursing programs. Here is a small number of them. Consider doing some additional work to find options for nursing programs.

WiseGeek Nurse Appreciation Scholarship

Value: This is a $500 one time non renewable scholarship.
Deadline: December 31

  • Application form
  • Official transcript
  • Personal statement

This scholarship is for current or prospective nursing students. This is open to all levels of secondary students. The purpose of this scholarship is to help offset loans and tuition.

CastleBranch – GNSA Scholarship

Value: There are four scholarships awarded per your in increments of $2,500 per semester. This scholarship is non renewable.
Deadline: December 30

  • Application form
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Essay

This scholarship is for students in a graduate nursing program that is an AACN member institution. In order to be eligible the student must have at least a 3.5 GPA. If not a member already winners must join the AACN Graduate Student Nursing Academy (GNSA) and make a post summarizing their essay.

ENA Foundation Graduate Scholarship Program

Value: $3,909
Deadline: April 28

  • Acceptance letter
  • Statement of goals
  • Copy of nursing license
  • Official transcript
  • Verification of tuition costs
  • Application form
  • Two letters of recommendation

This award is for students who are in good standing as a member of the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA). Students must be pursuing an MSN and have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA as well.

Tylenol Future Care Scholarship

Value: There are a total of 40 scholarships that are awarded. There are ten for $10,000 and 30 for $5,000. These scholarships are for one year, and they are non renewable.
Deadline: June 27

  • Two essays
  • Application form

This scholarship program is designed to help those students who have already completed at least one year of school in a healthcare program. The primary basis for this award is the  demonstration of leadership as well as academic performance.

A Nurse I Am Scholarship

Value: This is a $2,000 non renewable scholarship. There may be up to seven recipients for this award.
Deadline: March 31

  • Application form
  • Essay

This award is for any student who is in nursing school anywhere in the US. The applicant for the award needs to watch the “A Nurse I Am” documentary in either the 32 or 62 minute version. It is recommended that the applicant watch both videos.

Children’s National Hospital Pediatric Nursing Student Scholarship

Value: This is a $500 one time non renewable scholarship
Deadline: June 30

  • Minimum of 3.0 GPA
  • Pursuing career in pediatrics

This scholarship is for nursing students working towards a BSN. The student should have an interest in pediatrics and a minimum of 3.0 GPA.

Barbara Rhomberg Excellence in Nursing Scholarship

Value: This is a $5,000 scholarship. It is non renewable.
Deadline: April 30

  • US student
  • US citizen or resident
  • Full time student
  • Non traditional student
  • Current undergraduate
  • Major in Nursing
  • Essay
  • Application
  • Two letters of recommendation

This is a scholarship designed for students who did not immediately enroll in college after high school. It is a one time scholarship and requires the completion of a 500 word essay in order to qualify.

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