ABSN students in simulation

Accelerated Bachelor's in Nursing Program (ABSN) for Non-Nurses

What You Need to Know About our Accelerated Nursing Programs

We've listed below some commonly asked questions about the Accelerated Nursing Programs from the University of Rochester. If you have additional questions, please contact the Admissions Office. 

A bachelor’s degree in any field is required (BA or BS). The Accelerated Nursing Programs are designed to admit non-nurse baccalaureate graduates and provide education for generalist and specialist (advanced practice) nursing roles. 

The Accelerated Bachelor’s in Nursing Program takes one year to complete (three full-time semesters). That's when all the "acceleration" occurs. This is when you’ll complete all the nursing content of the bachelor’s, or generalist, coursework for RN licensing. The program moves at a very fast pace. For the vast majority of applicants, the accelerated bachelor's nursing program is the appropriate choice to become an RN before earning a master's or doctoral degree.

There are very limited slots for the Accelerated Master’s Nursing Programs. The pool of applicants to our master’s programs (which have many fewer total slots than the accelerated bachelor's) also includes students enrolled in the traditional master's specialty programs.

Those admitted to the Accelerated Master's Nursing Programs complete the exact same first year as the accelerated bachelor's students, and then a slot is simply saved in one of our Nurse Practitioner programs. Years two and three are on the regular master’s program schedule (four academic semesters).

Depending on when you begin the program, completion time for the entire program (including bachelor's and master's portions) will differ by a few months (those who have a May admission start date will complete the master’s portion three years later in May; those who have January start dates will complete a few months later in May of the third year).  

No one specializes at the basic nursing level (any program leading to RN licensure teaches you about all the areas of nursing because in order to pass the RN licensing exam, you are tested on all areas — pediatrics, maternity, psych, etc.). It is by working on a certain unit as a nurse OR by going on for the master’s that you specialize in one area. Students in the Accelerated Bachelor's Nursing program get the opportunity to experience various specialty areas including med-surg, obstetrics, acute care, etc. to test each one out.

The Accelerated Master's Nursing programs are for those who already know exactly which Nurse Practitioner program or master's program they want. Keep in mind that there are also master’s in nursing programs that do not lead to Nurse Practitioner certification. For example, we also offer master's degree in Nursing Education and a Clinical Nurse Leader concentration. Or you may prefer to get some practical experience in the work world before doing the master’s program.

Many graduates choose to work as an RN at the University of Rochester Medical Center. These graduates can then complete using tuition benefits while working full time and earning the regular salary — another reason many choose the Accelerated Bachelor's Program.

It is one calendar year, but three full semesters (summer, fall, spring), so we are essentially taking four traditional semesters of clinical and offering them in three semesters. They are NOT shortened, and in fact there are more clinical hours and lab hours than required by the state (our bachelor’s portion of the program has 700 clinical hours and 90 lab hours).

The full-time program is not designed for concurrent work. It is more of an immersion experience! Of course, we cannot legislate what folks do in their private time, but we have seen time and again that students have fared so much better without trying to squeeze in work hours while completing their degree requirements. Nursing is so time-consuming because of the hours;

  • in college, 1 credit = 1 clock hour a week
  • in nursing school, 1 clinical credit = 4 clock hours a week.

It is helpful to have a car for the times you may be assigned to a hospital and have to start at 7 a.m. You don't want to have to depend on your classmates to get you there or try to stand at a bus stop in the dark at 6 a.m. Students live everywhere — most get a regular apartment nearby, some live with each other in rented houses literally around the corner from here, some (fewer) live in graduate housing.

Visit Residential Life to learn about on and off campus housing offerings. There are also houses for rent here within walking distance and lots of apartments which you will see on that link.

The Center for Lifelong Learning, the UR School of Nursing's health care career development department, offers the prerequisites online. Visit the prerequisite online courses page.

If you are registering at other schools (since you are welcome to complete the prereqs at any two or four year accredited school), please feel free to email the Admissions Office to check that the course description is appropriate.

Here are the  regional accreditations we require (depending on geography):

Here are the institutional accreditations we require (depending on geography):

There are (many) other accreditations considered legitimate under the federal Education Department and CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation), but they are not the one we (and other nationally-ranked universities) recognize (so, for example, we would not accept anatomy and physiology from a school that has only “massage therapy program accreditation” or credits from a school accredited by the “Commission of the Council on Occupational Education.”)

Regional vs. national institutional accrediting agencies:

  • Academically-oriented, non-profit, degree-granting schools usually have regional accreditation.
  • For-profit, vocational, technical and career schools typically have national accreditation.

Bottom line is we require the regional accreditations in the above website listing.

We accept any nutrition course (human, not plant or animal/vet) that you may have completed in your bachelor’s program. If you need to take a nutrition course, we offer an online nutrition course, NSG 310: Nutrition and Health that can be completed in 4 to 12 weeks as part of our Online Prerequisite Course offerings.

Other application requirements

We do not really transfer in specific courses from your transcript. We transfer in 79 credits regardless (with no notation of what they are specifically). You must then complete 49 credits here (residency requirement) for the total of 128 for the bachelor’s in nursing. The prerequisites are not transferred in — we just need proof of completion within the correct timeline and with the correct grades.

We do not require any standardized test scores as admission criteria for the APNN.

Most people simply write "see attached" and then send a resume, and that is fine.

We prefer a reference from someone who can speak to your academic ability and someone who has been a supervisor. However, if this is not possible that is okay. You might choose someone you have worked for in a volunteer capacity or someone who is your teacher for a prerequisite course now. You should not have a friend or relative write your reference letters. The closer the relationship, the less weight the recommendation holds. For more recent graduates, we expect an academic reference.

Once we have your completed application, an admissions counselor will contact you to arrange an interview. Not all applicants are offered an interview, and those who are not interviewed will be sent a letter advising them that they will not be accepted to the program. The interview is required for admission, but does not guarantee admission. The interview can be in-person or over the phone. 

A phone interview is perfectly acceptable.

Email materials to son_admissions@urmc.rochester.edu or upload directly in the online application system. Email transcripts to: sontranscripts@urmc.rochester.edu

Letters are usually sent ~6-10 weeks after the application deadline (this may be a few weeks shorter or longer depending on the number of applications for that cohort; that number typically ranges between 250-400 for each class of 80 students).


All applications (including supplemental materials) must be submitted and received by:
  • For Summer semester entry by the prior Nov. 1
  • For Spring semester entry by the prior July 1
  • For Fall semester entry by the prior March 1

We encourage applicants to submit their applications well before the deadline and then supplemental documents can be sent, as long as they are received by the deadline.

That is fine. You could be accepted to the program “pending successful completion of the bachelor’s degree.”

International students

Please visit the International Student Applicants webpage.

Tuition and Aid

Financial aid for second degree students is generally funded by loans. We offer merit-based scholarships through the School of Nursing, and those are awarded with your acceptance letter. No specific application is necessary.

Read more and connect with our financial aid counselor on our financial aid page.


Please contact our Admissions Office at son_admissions@urmc.rochester.edu or (585) 275-2375 to discuss our programs or to schedule a visit.