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Accelerated R.N. to B.S. in Nursing

The 3-Semester Accelerated R.N. to B.S. nursing program at Penn State Behrend allows diploma and associate degree-prepared nurses to obtain a bachelor’s degree in one year—less than half the time it takes to complete a typical R.N. to B.S. completion program.

The curriculum is divided into phases that allow students to build upon previous knowledge as they progress. Students spend only one day per week on campus and all course work is completed in three semesters. The program incorporates a blend of in-class, web-enhanced, and online courses over seven-week sessions. This allows students who are limited by location or employment a greater opportunity to participate.

Students receive extensive support including a mentor, computer assistance, tutoring and writing center services, access to Penn State’s course management system, an extensive library collection, and online or in-person access to project staff and faculty members.

Benefits of Obtaining a B.S.

Historically, bachelor’s-prepared nurses demonstrate stronger professional-level skills such as communication, critical-thinking, problem-solving, leadership, professional integration and research/ evaluation. This program helps prepare students to meet the many changes in the health care field by expanding and enhancing an existing nursing education.

In addition to upgrading skills, the program prepares students for advancing their practice as clinical leaders, nurse managers, and preparation for entrance to master’s degree programs. A bachelor’s degree is required for admission to graduate level programs.

Typical Course Sequence

Below is a typical course sequence for the Accelerated Nursing bachelor's degree program. Schedules will vary by student, depending on areas of interest.

Current students: Refer to the University Bulletin for more detailed course recommendations and descriptions.

Semester 1 Credits   Semester 2 Credits
First 7 weeks of semester   First 7 weeks of semester  
Introduction to Nursing Informatics 3 Family and Community Health Concepts 4
Transition and the Professional Nursing Role 3 Health Assessment 3
Effective Writing: Writing in the Social Sciences 3 Effective Speech 3
Second 7 weeks of semester   Second 7 weeks of semester  
Health Concepts for Adults with Complex Health Care Needs 3 Understanding and Applying Nursing Research 3
Independent Studies, Nursing Elective 3 Nursing Elective 3
Elementary Statistics 4 Introductory Principles of Nutrition 3
Total Credits 19 Total Credits 19
Semester 3        
First 7 weeks of semester      
Integrated Concepts in Nursing Practice* 3    
Nursing Elective 3    
Humanities Elective 3    
Second 7 weeks of semester      
Integrated Concepts in Nursing Practice Continued      
Nursing Elective or Chemistry** 4    
Art Elective 3    
Total Credits 16    

*Integrated Concepts in Nursing is a 3-credit capstone course that runs over 12 weeks.

**Chemistry 3-credits is required for graduate studies in nursing, however it can waived if requested by students. (Students may take Chem 101, 110 and 111, or Chem 106).

4-Year AS to BS nursing courses start Fall semester and must be taken in sequence. ARN to BS students must have a valid nursing license prior to enrolling in clinical courses. ARN to BS classes in these semesters are Hybrid delivery (face to face/online) in block schedule one day/week.

3-Semester Accelerated. ARN to BS students must have a valid nursing license prior to enrolling in clinical courses. ARN to BS classes are Hybrid delivery (face to face/online) in block schedule one day/week

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