Considering a career in nursing? While nurses are in high demand across the country, don’t let the nationwide nursing shortage lead you to believe it’s easy to get a job in the profession. Because no matter how many positions healthcare facilities need to fill, they won’t hire just anyone who walks in with a nursing education. There are specific qualities employers seek in RN applicants. So, are you still wondering: “Do I have what it takes to be a nurse?”
To become a registered nurse who stands out with employers, here’s what you need:
- A respected bachelor’s degree.
- A high level of clinical competence.
- A compassionate personality.
- A collaborative mindset.
Our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program makes it possible for qualified individuals to meet the above criteria in as few as 16 months. But before we dive into the details of our 16-month ABSN program, it helps to understand the art and science behind nursing.
Employers are going to look at your application and know you have the right nursing education and that you’re prepared.
―Shaelyn, ABSN Program Graduate
The Art and Science of Nursing
When you stop and think about it, there’s an art and a science to just about every profession. And, nursing is no different. However, most people fail to appreciate the art of being a good nurse.
The science of nursing relates to the clinical knowledge and hard skills nurses need to be effective in their jobs. Thereby, if nursing was only defined by the science, most every RN would be one and the same.
It’s the art behind the profession that sets nurses apart. The art of nursing involves the emotional intelligence and soft skills nurses need to be able to improve patient experiences and outcomes.
Let’s break things down even further.
Hard Skills = Competence
Hard skills are learned through formal education and can be easily defined, evaluated, and measured. Nurses need a strong body of clinical knowledge and applied skills to be able to safely and effectively care for patients.
As an ABSN student, you’ll learn the fundamentals and theories of the nursing profession via online coursework. From there, you’ll take what you learned online and apply that knowledge in a variety of nursing skills labs. During these hands-on labs, our instructors teach you core nursing skills, such as:
- Head-to-toe assessments
- Nasogastric tube insertion
- Intermuscular injections
- Tracheostomy care
- Wound care
Further refinement of your nursing skills takes place during nursing simulation labs and clinical rotations in diverse areas of nursing practice.
It’s tough to transfer textbook knowledge into real life. Nursing skills labs help bridge that gap, giving you the opportunity to learn how to perform interventions without the fear of harming a patient.
―Chanliny, ABSN Program Graduate
Soft Skills = Compassion and Collaboration
Soft skills are the personal attributes you need to succeed in the nursing profession. These skills primarily revolve around how you work with and relate to others. And, we’re not just talking about bedside manner. We’re talking communication, ethics, professionalism, teamwork, and the like.
While not the only aspect of our ABSN curriculum to address soft skills, our nursing simulation labs do a great job in building your interpersonal skills and clinical confidence.
During these realistic learning exercises, our instructors have you apply your critical thinking and problem-solving skills in a variety of patient care scenarios. Simulation also provides us the opportunity to reflect on how well you communicate and collaborate with others.
Simulation is great because it gives you the chance to make and learn from mistakes without hurting anybody. Some of my best learning moments took place during simulation lab.
―Megan, ABSN Program Graduate
Empathy is another highly important soft skill to have in the nursing profession. While some students are naturally more compassionate than others, we can teach those that are less so on how to convey openness without judgment.
Other Career Considerations
Even if you have all the makings of a great nurse, there’s a lot more you need to consider before heading down this career path.
There are, after all, aspects of the profession that some people simply can’t handle, such as being exposed to germs, viruses, and bodily fluids; watching people suffer in physical, mental, or emotional pain; and being up close and personal with trauma and death.
Keep in mind, however, that with the right qualifications, you can practice nursing in any number of specialties and settings, with some areas treating more severe health issues than others. For example, the patients that an ER nurse cares for are very different from those of a school nurse.
Being a nurse is also physically taxing. Nurses not only have to lift patients and equipment, but also stand for long periods of time. Nurses who are new to the profession often work weekends and holidays. The good news, however, is that once you become a seasoned nurse, you can usually transition into a less physically demanding and more flexible nursing role.
There’s a lot of opportunity for growth and different ways you can go in nursing. You can do anything under the sun, from research to midwifery.
―Miranda, ABSN Program Graduate
How Our ABSN Program Works
By leveraging your non-nursing bachelor’s degree, our full-time, four-semester ABSN program makes it possible for you to earn a quality BSN in 16 months. The program follows a rigorous learning format that blends online coursework with hands-on nursing labs and in-person clinical rotations.
By the time you graduate from our School of Nursing, you’ll know how to:
- Provide competent, compassionate care to diverse patient populations.
- Deliver care that meets the unique faith and cultural needs of patients.
- Collaborate with other healthcare professions to improve patient outcomes.
- Demonstrate clinical judgment within evidence-based practice.
- Apply leadership skills in the provision of patient-centered care.
Do You Have What it Takes to Be a Nurse?
If you think you have what it takes to be a nurse, there’s never been a better time to enter the profession. In addition to being a fast-growing, high-demand occupation, our ABSN program makes it possible for you (as long as you qualify) to accelerate your nursing career.
“From our admissions counselors to our nursing faculty, we come from a place of support. Students who come into our program know full well that we believe in the value of education,” said Jonathan Cote, ABSN program site director in Burlington.
To be eligible for our 16-month ABSN program, you must have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, along with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. Contact our ABSN admissions team to learn more about our ABSN program sites in Burlington, Massachusetts, and Charlotte, North Carolina.