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Best 10 Accelerated Nursing Programs in Philadelphia in 2021

April 12, 2021 | Staff Writers

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The accelerated nursing programs in Philadelphia allow nurses to complete the nursing program much faster than if a student follows the regular program. Regular program formats can often last for several years, while accelerated programs allow nurses to start working or to advance their skills and their earnings opportunities with an advanced degree. 

The Value of Accelerated Nursing Programs in Philadelphia 

Prospective nursing students, or current nurses that want to expand their career opportunities may wonder if earning a degree from an accelerated nursing program really has value. Several questions may come to mind. Will I learn everything that I need to know in accelerated nursing programs in Philadelphia? Will employers still hire me if I complete an accelerated nursing degree program? Will my employer consider me for advanced positions if I complete an accelerated nursing program instead of completing the traditional program? 

The answer to all of these questions is “Yes.” The value of an accelerated nursing program is no less than the value of a program taught in the longer, traditional learning format. Reputable sources confirm the value of accelerated nursing programs. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) indicates that nursing schools are getting creative in their efforts to increase student nursing capacity and to reach out to new student populations in order to quickly produce competent nurses.  

The AACN states that accelerated program graduates are “prized” by employers. Employers indicate that graduates of accelerated nursing programs are more mature, and that they have strong clinical skills. The high quality of a nursing education and the integrity of the nursing profession is still maintained in accelerated nursing programs. 

Students enrolled in an accelerated nursing program have the same opportunities as nurses that complete a traditional nursing program. Nurses that graduate from accelerated nursing programs in Philadelphia may have the opportunity to gain employment or promotions faster than nurses that earn their degree from a traditional, lengthier program. 

These accelerated nursing programs in Philadelphia offer students the ability to earn a degree or advance their career opportunities within a shorter time frame than other nursing programs that take longer to complete. It is important to note that the listed tuition for these programs does not include the cost of any supplies, books, fees or other costs related to the program. 

The Best 10 Accelerated Nursing Programs in Philadelphia

1. West Chester University 

West Chester University is located within the Greater Philadelphia area. The school accepts applications throughout the year. 

The university offers accelerated nursing program options. The RN to BSN program focuses on evidence-based quality nursing care, and provides current RNs the opportunity to complete the bachelor’s degree in nursing. The newest degree is the Advance 2 BSN Accelerated Second Degree Program. It is an 18-month program for students that have a bachelor’s degree that is not in the nursing profession. One cohort of 40 students is admitted each year.  

The rigorous, full-time program has a less than one percent attrition rate. 

  • Tuition: $94.88 per credit hour 
  • Accreditation: CCNE 

2. Community College of Philadelphia 

The Post Baccalaureate Accelerated Associate Degree in Nursing Program at the Community College of Philadelphia offers students that hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in another career field the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree in nursing. The program curriculum provides students with the skills and education need to care for patients across the lifespan, and at a variety of patient care levels. 

The school utilizes an innovative curriculum, case studies, hands-on learning, state-of-the-art equipment, supervised time in hospitals, and supportive faculty. 

  • Tuition: $159 per credit hour 
  • Accreditation: ACEN 

3. LaSalle University 

LaSalle University offers several nursing programs, including the RN to BSN Accelerated Program. The program focuses on scientifically based nursing curricula that emphasizes quality and safety in nursing care. The program also focuses on providing enhanced clinical judgement and decision-making skills. 

Topics covered in the program include professional nursing practice, develops and controversies in pharmacology and pathophysiology, nursing research, international public health nursing, and nursing leadership. Students complete the 27-credit-hour program in as little as 10 months.  

  • Tuition: $400 per credit hour 
  • Accreditation: CCNE 

4. Widener University 

Widener University, located just 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia, offers an Accelerated Second-Degree Nursing BSN program. The program is designed for students that have a bachelor’s degree in another area that would now like to complete the BSN degree to work as a nurse.  

Students complete the accelerated program in just four semesters. Although the program is offered in the accelerated format, students still have learning opportunities that compares to students in traditional nursing programs. Students in this program complete the required coursework, along with community service learning, and hands-on learning in state-of-the-art Center for Simulation and Computerized Testing facilities. Clinical rotations at top nearby hospitals are also included in the program. 

  • Tuition: est. $666.67 per credit hour 
  • Accreditation: CCNE 

5. Gwynedd Mercy University 

Gwynedd Mercy University offers an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) degree for students that want to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing after earning a bachelor’s degree in a different field. The university has a Philadelphia location, for the benefit of students residing in the area. 

The ABSN program consists of 67 credit hours of study, is offered as a full-time program that students complete in just 16 months. Students complete courses in the fundamentals of nursing practice, pathophysiology, evidence-based nursing practice, nursing research and other topics. Students also complete a capstone project. 

  • Tuition: $810 per credit hour 
  • Accreditation: CCNE 

6. Holy Family University  

Holy Family University offers several accelerated, or “rapid degree” nursing programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. One program, the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Rapid Degree Program, provides students with both classroom and 108 clinical hours of study in an accelerated format. 

Students attend classes once a week in an eight-week blended format. Students also engage in the completion of a solution-based project. The curriculum prepares nurses that have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) for nursing practice in advanced capacities, and provides for certification in specialty nursing areas. 

The school also offers a Second-Degree BSN, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree in the rapid degree format.  

  • Tuition: $880 per credit hour 
  • Accreditation: CCNE 

7. Drexel University 

The Drexel University Accelerated nursing programs offer several options for nurses seeking to start their nursing career or to advance their nursing career opportunities. One such program is the unique Dual Accelerated RN-BSN-MSN program. The program is designed for students that have a bachelor’s degree in an area other than nursing.  

Students progress through the program by learning the development of competencies in the use of technology that applies to nursing, evidence-based practices, health team and interdisciplinary leadership skills, the customization of care. 

Students also study the outcome and risk assessment within the student’s selected specialty track. Specialty tracks include clinical nurse leader, clinical trials research, nurse leadership in health systems management, nursing education, nursing innovation, and quality, safety, and risk management. 

  • Tuition: $1,342 per credit hour 
  • Accreditation: CCNE 

8. Thomas Jefferson University 

The Thomas Jefferson University accelerated programs include the BSN Full-Time Accelerated Coursework Track, with the opportunity for students to follow the one-year or the two-year track. The one-year track, for students that already hold a bachelor’s degree, allows students to complete the on-campus program in as little as 12 months of full-time study. 

Students complete all courses required to earn the BSN, and also earn nine credits towards a graduate degree. Successfully completing this program provides students that have at least a 3.20 GPAwith guaranteed admission to any MSN or DNP specialty within two years of graduation, except for the Nurse Anesthesia program. 

  • Tuition: est. $1,792.96 per credit hour 
  • Accreditation: CCNE 

9. University of Pennsylvania 

Penn Nursing at the University of Pennsylvania offers three accelerated nursing programs, including the BSN-PhD program. The program is open to students that are enrolled as incoming accelerated BSN program students, or to current BSN students in their sophomore or junior year.  

Students complete the appropriate application to the Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation, depending upon their current program status. 

  • Tuition: est. $1,931.33 per credit hour 
  • Accreditation: CCNE 

10. Villanova University 

The Second Degree Accelerated BSN program at Villanova University, also known as the BSNExpress, is a 14-month program. It is designed for students that already hold a bachelor’s degree, in a non-nursing area. 

The program focuses on evidence-based practices, with courses such as Introduction to Professional Nursing Practice, Nursing Care of Adults and Older Adults, Nursing Care of Women and Child-Bearing Families, and Nursing and Health Policy. Students also complete practicums and research. 

  • Tuition: $3,239 per credit hour 
  • Accreditation: CCNE 

Our Methodology 

We researched nursing programs in the Philadelphia area to come up with our list of the best nursing programs that are offered in an accelerated format. We selected programs at any level, from associate’s degree programs to graduate degree programs. 

Do you need help choosing the right college or university? We can help you with that, based on the program that you select. 

Would you like to have your school included in our ranked schools? Do you need to update the information that we have for your school? Feel free to contact us and we will help you. 

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