Learn more about the benefits of a 12-month nursing program

As the country’s nursing shortage continues to be a healthcare crisis, the demand for qualified nurses remains consistently high. For those holding a bachelor's degree in another field, a one-year nursing program offers a swift and efficient path to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a career as a registered nurse (RN). While it may seem like a year will not be enough time to learn all you need to, these accelerated programs recognize your previous undergraduate education and focus on nursing-specific coursework and clinical experiences.

We want to help you understand what structures and requirements should be in place to help you succeed, and learn more about the benefits of a 12-month nursing program (Accelerated BSN, or ABSN).


Before enrolling in an ABSN program, consider the following prerequisites:

  • Bachelor’s Degree: In any field other than nursing.
  • Prerequisite Courses: Including subjects like biology, chemistry, and anatomy, which may vary by program. At our school, the MGH Institute of Health Professions (MGH IHP), prerequisite coursework must be completed with a minimum letter grade of C+ or higher and within the past 7 years.
  • GPA Requirements: Most programs require a minimum GPA, often around 3.0.

Key Features of Accelerated BSN Programs

These programs are intensive and fast-paced, with key features including:

  • Duration: Typically 12 to 18 months, with most being 12-month programs.
  • Curriculum: A combination of classroom instruction, laboratory work, and clinical rotations.
  • Clinical Experience: Hands-on training in various healthcare settings.
  • NCLEX-RN Preparation: Focused education to prepare for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses. At the IHP, our students achieve a 91% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX (5-year average), surpassing both state and national averages.  

Choosing the Right Program

When selecting a one-year nursing program, consider:

  • Accreditation: Look for programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
  • Program Format: Some programs offer online, in-person, or hybrid formats.
  • Clinical Rotations: Ensure the program provides diverse and comprehensive clinical experiences. In MGH IHP's three-semester program, all ABSN students experience clinical rotations at Mass General Hospital. You'll be taught by expert faculty, most of whom continue to practice clinically as registered nurses and nurse practitioners.  
  • Support Systems: Academic support coaches and workshops to assist in areas like test-taking and organization, crucial for success in such an intensive program.

Preparing for an Accelerated BSN Program

To successfully embark on this journey, and become an RN fast, consider the following preparation steps:

  • Financial Planning: Be prepared for the tuition and potential loss of income during the intensive study period. An ABSN program should be treated like a full-time job.
  • Time Management: Develop a plan to balance studying, clinical hours, and personal responsibilities.
  • Emotional Readiness: Prepare for the rigorous demands of an accelerated learning environment.

Life During the Program

Expect a demanding but rewarding experience, including:

  • Intensive Coursework: High volume of material covered in a short period. Study habits may be different than during your previous degree(s). Study a little each day, and do not try to write everything down in lecture. For example, use Learning Objectives, offered in every MGH IHP course, to review the expectations regarding content in the course and prepare for class.
  • Clinical Rotations: Real-world experience under the supervision of experienced nurses.
  • Collaborative Learning: Opportunities to work with peers and professionals in healthcare settings.

Career Opportunities After Graduation

Graduates of a 12-month nursing program can look forward to:

  • Diverse Employment Opportunities: In hospitals, clinics, public health, and specialized areas. MGH IHP 2022 graduates attained a remarkable 96% employment rate, illustrating our program's effectiveness in launching successful nursing careers.  
  • Competitive Salaries: Due to the high demand for qualified nurses.
  • Continued Education Options: Opportunities for advanced degrees and specializations.


A 12-month nursing program provides a unique opportunity for those with a bachelor's degree in another field to swiftly transition into a rewarding career in nursing. With intensive coursework, clinical experiences, and support systems like those offered here at the MGH Institute of Health Professions, graduates are well-prepared to enter the workforce as competent, caring, and skilled nurses. If you're considering a career change into nursing, this accelerated path is an efficient and effective way to achieve your professional goals.