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Drake University approves new accelerated nursing program

THE ACCELERATED BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN NURSING was approved by the Drake University Board of Trustees in June of 2023. The first classes through the new program are set to begin the fall semester of 2024. PHOTO BY Meghan Holloran | photo editor

In June of 2023, an accelerated Bachelor of Science in nursing program was approved by the Drake University Board of Trustees. Through the program, students will receive a Bachelor of Science in nursing alongside a Bachelor of Science in health sciences. The first group of students are set to begin the 2024 fall semester.

“I think an accelerated program is right for certain students. I think in any profession, there’s probably a benefit to an accelerated program,” said Wendy Postel, a nurse in Ankeny, Iowa, and a Drake alumna. “I’m not sure in all medical areas if it should be accelerated. If you’re going to be a brain surgeon, we probably want you to spend more time doing those things. So those specialty areas probably need those extended programs, but I’m sure there’s other programs out there that can be accelerated to benefit our society.”

The need for nurses has increased, and with it, the need for nursing students. Iowa alone is projected to need an additional 1,000 registered nurses by 2030. Drake is partnering with Broadlawns Medical Center to offer a range of experiences to students. 

“It’s always good to have a lot of clinical experience,” Postel said. “I went through a hospital-based nursing program after I graduated from Drake, and I like that I didn’t spend a lot of time in the classroom.”

Gaining practical skills is an important part of training for a high stress position as opposed to learning everything from a textbook.

According to NursingWorld.org, nearly 18% of newly licensed registered nurses quit the profession within the first year. Every case is different for why someone would leave the profession, but one of the leading reasons is stressful working conditions. 

In the past, students would have had to get a bachelor’s in something comparable to a biology degree and then go to graduate school for their specialty. With programs like the accelerated Bachelor of Science in nursing program, it’s now more attainable than ever to get the experience and education that these fields require. 

“I’m specializing in physical therapy, [but] Drake does not have an accelerated physical therapy program because they don’t have a physical therapy school,” said Magnus Keswani, a Drake sophomore studying clinical and medical health sciences. “I would have really liked something like this because now I have to get my bachelor’s in health sciences and then apply to PT schools elsewhere. It’s going to take me a year or two longer than if there’s an accelerated program. I think this is very appealing to students that want to go into nursing because they get to see that they have a program that’s catered to them.”

“I think an accelerated program would definitely help sway more people to want to do it,” Keswani said. “It would also be able to get them out faster into the workforce. I think that would definitely help the [nursing] shortage for sure.”

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