New nursing program open to grad students

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The University of Indianapolis has developed a new nursing program created for students who already have graduated with a different degree to attain their Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The Second Degree Accelerated BSN Program can be completed in as little as 15 months.

School of Nursing Undergraduate Programs Director Cheryl Conces said that the shortened time taken to earn the degree is ideal for adult learners, who may have families or other responsibilities.

“This is a nice option, if you already have a degree, for those kinds of folks to pop into something that’s accelerated for them,” Conces said. “That way they don’t have to spend four years trying to get a degree.”

The program started as the Accelerated Master’s Program, then evolved into what it is today. The major difference between the two programs is that, while the AMP required students to take Master of Science in Nursing courses, the new program gives students the option to apply to MSN courses either during the program or after. The switch to the Second Degree Accelerated BSN Program was made mostly because of the influence of the nursing students at UIndy.

“We got feedback from the students that they wanted to complete their BSN, work as an RN [Registered Nurse] and have an option of having a master’s degree,” Conces said, “because most of the people in the workforce are BSN degree people. We were able to get approval this past summer to change it to a Second Degree Accelerated BSN Program, so that’s what we’re calling it now.”

Since most graduate students applying to this program would have all of their general education credits, this allows for the program to focus primarily on both clinical and non-clinical nursing courses. The program uses a combination of courses, lab simulations and clinical practice experiences to help prepare students for life as a nurse.

School of Nursing Admissions and Curriculum Counselor Brandon Doty, who is academic advisor for the program, said that depending on what the student’s previous degree was in, the student might have to take certain prerequisites before applying to be in the Second Degree Accelerated BSN Program.

“Based on what you’ve done in your past, you may have a number of prereqs that you have to do that are specific only to the nursing core,” Doty said. “For example, there are four sciences, there is a math component and then there is a psychology component that they have to have completed before they can even begin the nursing program itself.”

Another requirement to be admitted to the Second Degree Accelerated BSN Program is, that a student must have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree with a cumulative grade point average of 2.82 or higher. If the applicant’s GPA is lower, then he or she would be required to take up to 12 credit hours of prerequisites.

Other programs that UIndy’s School of Nursing offers include the traditional BSN, the RN to BSN program, multiple MSN programs and the Doctor of Nursing Practice  program.

More information on these and the Second Degree Accelerated BSN Program, is available at

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