Responding to an existing national nursing shortage that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, MGH Institute of Health Professions School of Nursing has launched a new part-time Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program that can help increase the number of bachelor’s prepared nurses that hospitals increasingly prefer.  

“There are so many individuals who want to become a nurse but cannot enroll in a full-time program because they don’t have the time or can’t afford it,” said Dr. Rebecca Hill, Associate Professor and Program Director for the School of Nursing’s Prelicensure programs. “With an aging population, the lingering effects of the coronavirus pandemic, and the continued challenge of mental health care, it is crucial that we expand nursing program access in order to build and diversify the workforce.” 

The MGH Institute, the only degree-granting affiliate of Mass General Brigham, New England’s largest healthcare system, will begin a small pilot program in September 2022. Students can complete the part-time program in two years; the school’s full-time program takes 16 months.

Students entering the program will be required to have completed a Bachelor’s degree in another field along with a set of prerequisite course work that includes chemistry, human anatomy & physiology, human growth & development, microbiology, human nutrition, and statistics. 

“Providing an avenue for people who require more flexibility than a full-time program allows enables us to recruit students from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences,” said Dr. Kenneth R. White, Dean of the School of Nursing, who also is the current president of the American Academy of Nursing. “In doing so, we will educate nurses who not only reflect the patients that we serve but can deliver high-quality care.” 

The IHP’s ABSN program allows students to build on the skills and knowledge that they have obtained through their undergraduate degree while also learning to provide direct care to diverse populations across acute, long-term, and community care settings. Students will gain unparalleled experience through clinical placements in several Boston-area health care facilities, including Massachusetts General, Brigham & Women’s, and Boston Children’s hospitals. They will also have the opportunity to work in a variety of community hospitals, health centers, skilled nursing facilities, and community health sites throughout the area. 

Students will learn and work alongside classmates in several of the school’s other programs, providing them with an interprofessional education that will prepare them to provide team-based care studies show improve patient outcomes.

They also will benefit from the work of the IHP’s Office of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI), which helps guides the school in realizing its mission of being a diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization.

The new nursing programs are part of a growth initiative that will increase the Institute’s student population by 40% to more than 2,300 over the next few years. Founded in 1977 by Massachusetts General Hospital, the Boston graduate school is now in its 45th year.