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Mistaking RN and ABSN as identical nursing degrees is a common misconception. Each degree provides a different specialized path leading to a specific nursing field.

A Registered Nurse (RN) and an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing differ. The education provided by each degree prepares for a specific career field that determines what type of nurse the student can become.

Those interested in taking a Texas ABSN Program or RN Program must know the difference between the two. By learning about what each program provides, nurses-to-be can better envision their future career field.

Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing

An Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a fast-track education program allowing students to leverage their non-nursing college experience. By doing so, the student can begin their career earlier. Students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or other college experience can apply for the program.

Another common misconception is that ABSN is the same as the Nursing Bridge Program. However, the latter caters solely to licensed RNs. ABSN, on the other hand, provides a fast track that leads to RN licensure. Students applying for ABSN don’t have to hold a nursing degree. All non-nursing graduate and undergraduate degrees are welcome to apply.

The only requirement is that the applicant already holds a bachelor’s degree. They don’t have to be from a nursing field, but some programs may require a healthcare-related degree. It can be in the fields of psychology, social work or nutrition.

ABSN Curriculum

The classes can sometimes be full-time, and some programs offer blended study and allow students to learn in person and online. ABSN students can focus on eHealth, telemedicine, informatics, nursing education, nursing administration and mental health nursing.

Although ABSN is a fast-track program, students will acquire the same curriculum they can get through traditional programs. Topics regularly include professional ethics, nursing research, multicultural nursing, family and children’s care, and community health nursing.

An ABSN program lasts around 11 to 18 months of intensive full-time study. It’ll also include the completion of prerequisite coursework. Each university provides different clinical experiences at various healthcare facilities. Schools offering online learning tend to allow students to find clinical expertise in the community of their choice.

Application Requirements

Applying for ABSN can be challenging. The programs often require applicants to have a GPA over 3.5 and a bachelor’s degree related to healthcare. The latter isn’t mandatory, as many universities offering an ABSN program accept students with a bachelor’s degree from other majors.

Applicants with business, management, engineering, and other degrees can still apply if the university allows it. Candidates must also have volunteering experience and one to two years of working experience. In short, schools prefer students who have prior college-level academic success.

ABSN Career Path

  • Medical-Surgical Nurse
  • Labor and Delivery Nurse
  • Emergency Room Nurse
  • Public Health Nurse
  • Travel Nurse
  • Forensics Nurse
  • Legal Nurse Consultant
  • Plastic Surgery Nurse
  • School Nurse
  • Telehealth Nurse

Registered Nurses

The primary difference between a Registered Nurse (RN) and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is the level of education an individual has received. RNs can practice within their desired fields with only an associate degree. On the other hand, a BSN refers to the education level required by many nurse specialties in the healthcare landscape.

People aiming to work as Registered Nurses must complete specific training to obtain clinical experience under supervision. They must also pass a licensure exam.

As stated above, a Registered Nurse can practice after having only an associate degree, so many take this path to enter nursing. Nursing degrees will help students learn primary clinical skills to provide care for patients and patient care knowledge. The knowledge helps them better understand nursing etiquette in multiple healthcare settings, including in doctors’ offices and hospitals.

Degrees Eligible for RN Licensure

Schools offer degrees to help students get an RN licensure at several levels. When an individual pursues an associate degree or a nursing diploma, they can meet the minimum RN license requirement.

Students choosing to get bachelor’s degrees can also take RN licensure. This includes ABSN or traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

RNs can advance their opportunities by pursuing MSN (Master of Science in Nursing) degrees or doctorates. A graduate degree can lead individuals to more advanced roles like nurse anesthetists and nurse practitioners (NPs). RNs with graduate degrees can work as nurse administrators, professors, nurse educators or take research careers.

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