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Nursing: Accelerated Pre-License

Bachelor's Degree

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) will prepare you to enter the healthcare profession as a well-qualified, skilled registered nurse. For students committed to earning the BSN under a condensed timeline, the four-semester, 16-month Accelerated Bachelors of Science in Nursing is ideal. The Radford Unversity Carilion program is designed for students with undergraduate baccalaureate degrees in non-nursing disciplines seeking to transition into nursing. 

Program Overview

This accelerated program integrates traditional classroom work with laboratory, clinical and hands-on learning and is ideal for students looking to fast-track their careers. As one of the primary healthcare professionals to interact with patients, you will find that the profession is not just about administering medication and following orders; it’s about mastering technical skills, making quick decisions, understanding interdisciplinary methods and mastering the art of personal interaction with patients, family members, clinical team members and administrators. 

Your education will focus on the two core competencies: quality and safety within nursing healthcare environment. Our nurse-patient learning model will also emphasize patient-centered care, interprofessionalism, and critical thinking in an educational setting where classes are small and the student-to-faculty ratio does not exceed 10-to-1 in clinical settings.

NCLEX-RN Pass Rates

NCLEX-RN 2018 first-time pass rate: 90.60% National average 91.00%
NCLEX-RN 2017 first-time pass rate: 93.75% National average 87.85%
NCLEX-RN 2016 first-time pass rate: 75.76% National average 84.57%

What makes this program different? 

  1. Carilion Clinic. As a student at Radford University Carilion you will be part of a healthcare clinic that employs nearly 13,000 healthcare professionals and has facilities that span over 200 miles. You will have access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, national leaders in all areas of healthcare practice and administration, clinical rotations totaling 600 hours largely within Carilion Clinic facilities, and opportunities to learn in the company of medical students, doctoral students, mater's students and other undergraduates.
    Carilion Clinic has received Magnet Recognition by the American Nurses Credentialing Center which is the highest honor a hospital can receive for the quality of its nursing professionals.
  2. Admitted to Your Program. As a new student, you will begin your studies immediately as a nursing student; not a pre-nursing student. With support from your faculty and classmates, we fully expect that you will rise to meet the program's demands and progress toward your degree.
  3. The Fast-track. In the Accelerated BSN program, you will complete your degree requirements in 16 months. You will demonstrate your dedication and commitment to prospective nurse employers; you will enter the workforce sooner than your peers and begin earning a salary two years ahead of those in four-year programs; you will learn in an intensive environment that most closely mimics the daily demands of practicing nurses.
  4. Interprofessionalism. We provide our students with opportunities to interact and learn beside a broad range of healthcare providers, so they’re prepared to collaborate across specialties from the start of their careers.
  5. Research and Adaptation. Nurses are lifelong learners who must be able to evolve with advances in technology, medicine and science. As a student at Radford University Carilion, you will spend time learning about medical and scientific research in coursework that will teach the habits of mind to allow growth throughout your entire healthcare career. 

Career Path

After receiving your BSN, you will take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to gain licensure to become a practicing nurse, and ABSN students regularly pass this exam at rates well above the national average. Your education will prepare you for the NCLEX-RN, and intensive preparation during your final months of study will seek to put you in the very best position to gain licensure.

Many of our graduates have career jobs lined up prior to graduation, and they become successful healthcare professionals across a wide range of practice areas, including:

  • Hospitals (inpatient and outpatient)
  • Physician offices
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Home healthcare services
  • Employment services
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Government agencies
  • Outpatient care centers
  • Social assistance agencies
  • Educational institutions
  • Research institutions
  • Public health

Many of our ABSN students pursue careers as Nurse Practitioners, which ranks among the top 30 high-growth professions with a projected 10-year growth rate of over 36%, according to data recently released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This rate exceeds the average among the 30 high-growth professions and provides a clear indication that the career outlook in nursing is bright.

Admission Requirements

This four-semester, 16-month program is designed for students looking for an intensive, accelerated path to the BSN. Students entering are expected to have an earned bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field and have the commitment to study full-time for 16 months, including fall, spring and summer semesters. It is a full-time program, and thus students are not encouraged to carry outside employment while enrolled as an ABSN student. We are looking for motivated students with backgrounds that demonstrate the ability to handle challenging work in a fast-paced environment.

Admission Requirements: 

  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution with a cumulative GPA of 2.8 or higher.
  • Completion of the following pre-requisite coursework:

    4 credit Chemistry I and II (must include a lab)
    4 credit Anatomy and Physiology I and II
    4 credit Microbiology
    3 credit Nutrition
    3 credit Lifespan Development
    3 credit Introduction to Statistics
  • The deadline for receipt of completed applications is 5 p.m. January 15 for the Fall cohort and 5 p.m. September 15 for the Spring cohort.
  • Writing sample, one page or less, double-spaced, 12-font on the following topic:  Please describe your motivation for pursuing a BSN degree and why you want to do so at Radford University Carilion.
  • Resume documenting previous education and work experience.
  • Completion of all prerequisite coursework by the end of the semester preceding the cohort start.
  • Students seeking entry into the Accelerated Bachelor of Science Nursing program who have been program dismissed from another nursing program must wait for two years to be considered for admission at Radford University Carilion
  • Students who have failed one nursing course at another institution must submit a letter of good academic standing from their previous nursing institution.


The baccalaureate degree programs in nursing and master's degree programs in nursing at Radford University Carilion are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, 655 K Street, NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, 202-887-6791. 

The nursing pre-licensure degree programs are approved by the Virginia Board of Nursing, 9960 Mayland Drive, Suite 300, Henrico Virginia 23233-1463.

Student Handbook

Download the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing Student Handbook here.