Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing

This program is designed for students who have already earned at least a baccalaureate degree in any field and want to make a career change to nursing. It’s a fast-track professional program that allows students to complete the Bachelor of Science–Nursing curriculum on a 12-month academically rigorous timeline.

The program proposal to establish the Accelerated BSN program was approved by the UW Board of Regents in late August 2016. With the proposal approved, the School of Nursing’s faculty is now beginning work to detail the specifications of the program, including the admission requirements, application process, curriculum, course schedule, clinical placement plan, etc.

While no program aspects have been finalized to date, following are some of the key elements outlined in the preliminary proposal. Each is subject to change as the program delivery is finalized, but as students seek to learn more about the Accelerated BSN program and determine how it might fit within their academic and professional goals, the school anticipates the following will be true:

  • It will be a 12-month Accelerated BSN program for second-degree candidates.
  • The initial cohort is projected to be 32 students.
  • Instruction will be intense. Students will complete 48-50 credits of nursing coursework during the 12-month program at the pace of approximately 1 credit per week. This equates to at least 45 hours of in- and out-of-class coursework each week. There will be three one-week breaks during the 12 months---a week in the fall, a week of winter break, and one week in the spring. It will not be possible for students to work while in the program given the rigor associated with completing degree requirements in the accelerated format.
  • Tuition is projected to be a flat-rate of $45,000 for Wisconsin residents and $60,000 for nonresidents. Some financial aid will be available, but in that it is a second-degree program, federal and state aid will be limited.
  • Second-degree candidates are eligible for the school’s Traditional BSN or Accelerated BSN programs; however students can apply to only one or the other during an admissions cycle. For example, in fall 2017, second-degree candidates can apply to start the Accelerated BSN program in May 2018 or the Traditional BSN program in September 2018. Students cannot apply for both programs in one cycle.

 Admission Eligibility and Application Requirements

The admission eligibility requirements will be finalized in spring 2017. However, for planning purposes, the following requirements are anticipated to be in effect:

  • Completion of a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field from an accredited institution by the Accelerated BSN program start date. (Students can apply to the program during the fall with graduation slated for the following spring, though proof of timely progress toward spring graduation will be required at the point of application.)
  • Admittance to UW–Madison as a post-undergraduate degree-seeking student. (The program requires two applications: one to UW–Madison plus the School of Nursing’s Supplemental Application for the Accelerated BSN Program.)
  • A minimum college-level cumulative GPA of 2.75.
  • Completion of the following prerequisite courses with a grade of C or better in each course and a minimum combined prerequisite GPA of 2.75. All four prerequisite science courses (chemistry, microbiology, anatomy, and physiology) must be completed by the Accelerated BSN supplement application deadline (October 1, 2017) and all prerequisites must be completed before the program start date. In addition, the four prerequisite science courses must have been completed within seven years of starting the Accelerated BSN program.
    1. Chemistry with Lab
    2. Microbiology
    3. Human Anatomy*
    4. Human Physiology*
    5. Psychology (introductory)
    6. Sociology (introductory)
    7. Human Growth and Development
      • *Anatomy and Physiology may be satisfied by A&P I and II or by one semester of Anatomy and one semester of Physiology. If the prerequisites are satisfied by the two-course A&P I/II sequence, students must complete both courses at the same institution.
  • Completion of the following five university-wide General Education Requirements. At least two must be completed by the Accelerated BSN supplement application deadline (October 2017) and all prerequisites must be completed before the program start date.
    1. Communications Part A: Literacy Proficiency
    2. Quantitative Reasoning Part A: QR Proficiency
    3. Quantitative Reasoning Part B: Enhanced QR Proficiency
    4. Ethnic Studies
      • Note: Communications Part B will be satisfied with coursework in the program; prior completion is not necessary.

Application Dates and Deadlines

Open for
Deadline Decision
 Aug. 1
 Sept. 1
 Oct. 1
 Dec. 15
 Feb. 1
 March 1
Accelerated BSN
 Aug. 1
 Sept. 1
 Oct. 1
 Dec. 30
 N/A  March 1
  • The UW–Madison Undergraduate Application and the Supplemental Application for the Accelerated BSN program are available on August 1, the first date for submission is September 1, and the deadline is October 1 to begin study the following summer. Successful applicants are notified in December and are expected to accept or decline admission no later than March 1.
  • An unofficial transfer credit evaluation will be completed by the School of Nursing prior to the decision release date, to check for completion of the nursing prerequisite courses and the university’s General Education Requirements. Admission to the accelerated program will be contingent upon verification of these requirements being met, which will come in the form of the official transfer credit evaluation from the UW–Madison Office of Admission and Recruitment, which will be available on/by February 1.

As the school finalize the program details in the coming months, updated information will be posted to this website.

In the meantime, questions about the Accelerated BSN program can be directed to Karen Mittelstadt, Assistant Dean for Academic Programs,

Updated 31 January 2017