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Immaculata University Makes Switching to a Nursing Career Fast and Easy

Five nursing students wearing blue scrubs

An April 2023 survey conducted by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, found that around 100,000 registered nurses (RNs) stopped working in the last two years. The national nursing shortage is real, but the upside is that it is subsequently providing nurses with lucrative, stable and in-demand careers.

For students who already earned undergraduate degrees in other fields but are interested in switching to nursing careers, Immaculata offers an accelerated, second-degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.).

The 55-credit B.S.N. can be completed in 15 months. The condensed timeline to graduation is designed to help ease the shortage of nurses in the local community. There’s proof that the program is helping to fill nursing vacancies. For example, all of Immaculata’s 2022 second-degree B.S.N. graduates successfully had jobs after graduation!

The B.S.N. students join a cohort of peers so they progress through the program together and take full-time, face-to-face, accelerated courses that prepare them to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN®). Immaculata’s high NCLEX first-time pass rate, 90.48% for 2021-2022 academic year (the most recent data available), exceeds the national and state pass rate. In fact, Immaculata has surpassed both the national and state averages since 2017.

One reason why Immaculata’s students enjoy a high pass rate on the exam is because each student is assigned a personal NCLEX success coach to support them until they are ready to take the exam. In addition to the exam, the faculty, staff and administrators support students from “app to cap,” meaning they begin working with students during the application process and assist them through graduation.

Tony Pisciella ’23 discovered this support for himself when he decided to change careers and enroll in Immaculata’s second-degree accelerated B.S.N. program. He chose Immaculata because of the small class sizes (averaging 10:1 ratio) and personalized attention that ensured he didn’t fall behind. He also attended extra study sessions held by his professors. “I didn’t expect to have that kind of support,” Pisciella said. “They bend over backward for us.”

Previously graduating with a degree in English, Meredith Katona ’23 also enrolled in Immaculata’s second-degree B.S.N. program. As different as her two academic disciplines are, Katona merged her proficiencies in English with her nursing skills to communicate with patients more effectively.

According to the American Nurses Association, those seeking to switch careers may be at an advantage. “The knowledge and life experiences you’ve acquired over the years are valuable in understanding the intricacies and requirements of a nursing career, such as problem-solving, critical thinking and communication skills.”

“A nursing career is attractive for many people. The growing demand, the monetary stability of the profession and its personally rewarding nature convince people to switch careers,” said Suzanne Wurster, Ph.D., RN, CNE, NPD-BC, CEN, CCIT, who is the director of Immaculata’s Prelicensure B.S.N. program.

To support students, Immaculata is launching the College of Nursing and Health Professions (CNHP) with the start of the fall 2023 semester. In addition to supporting students interested in nursing, the CNHP will house health care management, exercise science, athletic training, allied health and nutrition programs.

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