Identifying the pros and cons of LVN, BSN, and other types of fast track nursing programs, is an inexact science since each prospective student has a different set of needs. For instance, the fact that vocational nursing programs focus entirely on relevant job skills, rather than academic theory, can be an advantage for one who wants to spend his or her career as a vocational nurse, but a disadvantage for the person who wants to eventually pursue an advanced degree or certification. Nonetheless, it is possible to pinpoint several general advantages and disadvantages that will apply to most accelerated courses.
Advantages of Fast Track Nursing Programs
Most students and educators would agree that there are three primary advantages to enrolling in fast track nursing programs instead of traditional nursing schools.
Most LVN programs in California and LVN to BSN bridge programs can be completed in 12 to 18 months. For students who are eager to launch their careers, this is a tremendous advantage over RN programs, for instance, which usually require a minimum of two years to complete.
As common sense probably dictates, the tuition costs for accelerated nursing programs are usually significantly less than their conventional counterparts. The actual cost will vary depending on the program in question but, as a general rule, should represent a sizable savings over standard alternatives.
While RN programs and other advanced nursing degree programs can be quite selective in their admission processes, the majority of fast track nursing programs are decidedly less difficult to qualify for. In general, as long as a student has a high school diploma or its equivalent, he or she will be eligible for enrollment in a vocational nursing program.
Disadvantages of Fast Track Nursing Programs
The major disadvantage to choosing an accelerated nursing program is the fact that your studies will be focused on a comparatively narrow range of material. Unlike full-length courses, 12 and 18-month programs only train students in the relevant, day-to-day skills they need to work as a vocational nurse. This is fine if the person’s career goal is to remain as an LVN, but means that additional schooling will be required in the future in order to become an RN, BSN or other type of advanced nursing professional.
Pace of Learning
With so much material condensed into a short period of time, some students struggle with the pace required by accelerated courses. This can be particularly true for people who have had difficulty in high school or other academic settings.
Are Accelerated Nursing Programs Right for You?
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, deciding what is a pro and what is a con is a largely personal process where nursing programs are concerned. Having a clear career goal in mind, and knowing how much time and money you can spend to get there can help you choose which type of program is right for you. It is equally important, however, to make an honest assessment of your own learning style and to decide whether or not fast track nursing programs are a good fit for it.
Recommended Fast Track LVN Programs in California!
Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning. Today, we offer an impressive array of more than 130 undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs across five colleges and the Graduate School.
- Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Leadership Track (MSN to DNP)
- Online Master of Science in Nursing (BSN to MSN-FNP)
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Do you want to start working toward a career that actually makes you excited? If so, an education from West Coast University (WCU) could be the perfect choice for you! This accredited, private University has a history that dates back over 100 years. Today, WCU offers health care degrees that will help prepare you and educate you on the current trends and issues within the health industry.
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- MSN Advanced Generalist (Online)
- Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
- Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
- College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
- College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
- Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
- M.S. in Nursing with an Emphasis in Leadership in Health Care Systems (Bridge)
- Doctor of Nursing Practice
- Vocational Nursing
About Brightwood College
Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.
About Education Corporation of America
Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.
- Vocational Nursing
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- Online Associate Degree to Master Degree Nursing program
- Online Bachelor Degree to Master Degree Nursing program
Founded in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is a leading national public research university and the state’s preeminent, comprehensive public institution of higher learning.
Home to more than 58,000 students from all 50 states and 125 different countries, Rutgers’ mission is to prepare students to become productive members of society and good citizens of the world. That’s made possible by a faculty and staff of over 13,000 members, which includes an Abel Prize winner, Guggenheim Fellows, MacArthur “Genius Award” Fellows, Pulitzer Prize winners, and many more.
- Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Unitek College - About Us
Unitek College™ is a privately held vocational school dedicated to helping you gain the skills needed to advance your career or begin a brand new career. Your training at Unitek College will position you to take advantage of the rising demand for experts in allied health, nursing, and technology professions. Our programs include Medical Assisting, Pharmacy Technician, Dental Assisting, Vocational Nursing, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing: RN-to-BSN Degree Completion.
- Vocational Nursing
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Founded in 1819, the University of Cincinnati (UC) has been categorized at the highest level of higher education: the Carnegie Commission (which evaluates the achievements of faculty, current research, leading edge curriculum, and accreditation) has recognized UC as a Doctoral/Research University — Extensive. Each year, this urban, public, nonprofit university graduates 5,000 students, adding to more than 200,000 living alumni around the world. The online programs connect students to a dynamic community of devoted educators, accessible research, and a dedicated support team.
- Master of Science in Nursing - Womens Health Nurse Practitioner
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- Master of Science in Nursing - Adult-Gero Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
Founded in 1872, Maryville University is a four-year, private university located in west St. Louis County. Maryville University students may choose from 75+ academic programs, including degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.
- Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice (BSN to DNP)-Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner (AGACNP)
- Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
- Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing to Doctor of Nursing Practice (BSN to DNP)-Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP)