Becoming a registered nurse (RN) through an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program is challenging but worthwhile. The MGH Institute's Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program in particular is tailored for college graduates with non-nursing bachelor's degrees thinking of switching careers to become an RN. Programs like these provide an accelerated and comprehensive approach to nursing education, but you should expect a rigorous schedule and commitment to your success.  

For recent or pending bachelor’s graduates and career switchers holding a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field, the ABSN program provides a bridge to a new career in nursing. Here's what to anticipate:

(1) Leveraging Previous Bachelor’s Degree: 

  • Bachelor’s degree holders can leverage their existing bachelor's degree to expedite the transition into nursing, and typically complete a program in 11 to 18 months. In January 2024, students entering the IHP’s ABSN program will complete their studies in 12 months. The IHP achieved this by re-designing its curriculum while incorporating recommendations from the seminal Future of Nursing Report and other statements that call for a better way to educate nurses, with an intentional focus on person-centered care with a health equity lens. 
  • The program recognizes and builds upon the foundational knowledge and skills acquired in the previous degree. “I think all of the professors were really understanding,” said Tyler Brown, a recent ABSN grad who made the switch from a desk job at e-commerce furniture giant Wayfair. “It's hard to go into something extremely new and not be good at it right away, but because it's an accelerated program, and everyone has other degrees, they know how to meet you and say, ‘It's OK to do something wrong.’ But that's just the process of learning and I think a big focus of the IHP is, ‘We're all here to learn - there's no judgment or anything.’” 

(2) Intensive Learning Experience:

  • Expect an immersive and intensive learning experience, combining classroom education with hands-on clinical practice.  A school’s place and connections within the healthcare system typically influence where students are placed in clinical practice.  
  • The curriculum is designed to bridge the gap between the non-nursing background and the nursing profession.

(3) Greater Diversity of Student Experiences:

  • As these programs attract students with a Bachelor’s degree, they often include great diversity of educational focus.  Also, these programs focus on career switchers, so they often have students who bring a wide range of life experiences to the classroom.  

(4) Supportive Environment:

  • Many programs offer support services, including academic advising and tutoring, to help career starters successfully navigate the intense curriculum.


Embarking on an accelerated BSN program can be life-changing, whether you are a career starter or a professional looking to switch paths. Expect an intensive curriculum, full-time commitment, robust clinical experiences, and a supportive learning environment. For those seeking excellence in nursing education, institutions like the MGH Institute of Health Professions offer a remarkable pathway to success, combining academic rigor, clinical experiences, and a commitment to shaping the future of healthcare.