A degree is closer than you think
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A registered nurse (RN), for example, can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (BSN) in an accelerated RN-to-BSN program. Both previous class work and clinical work are applied to the BSN program, and many RN-to-BSN programs are offered online. Nurses can complete their BSN class work online and apply their current nursing work to the program’s clinical requirements. In this type of program, RNs can earn their BSN in a year or two.
Another kind of accelerated program offers classes one at a time at a rapid pace, with the idea that when you’re only taking one class, you have enough focus to be able to finish the course in a shorter period of time. Most semesters last around 14 or 15 weeks, but in an accelerated program, classes are fired off in five-to-eight week blocks and offered back-to-back, so you can finish as many classes as you want, as quickly as you are able.
Most accelerated programs are designed with working adults in mind, so classes are offered in the evenings, on Saturdays or through an online degree program. You can take breaks in-between classes or press on without stopping, tailoring the speed of your program to fit your life.
When it comes to going to college, you don’t have to think of it in terms of absolutes—two years for an associate’s degree, four years for a bachelor’s degree—but rather in terms of what works for you. Two and four years might be the average, but if you’ve got years of professional experience, previous education or you choose an accelerated program, you’ll be donning that cap and gown in no time.