More than a year ago, the Augustana nursing department began to field questions from prospective students about whether or not they would be interested in obtaining a bachelors degree in nursing. Not long after, the department came up with a plan.

Starting Tuesday, April 15 the first applications for the accelerated nursing program will be accepted.

“Because the outcomes of our program for traditional students is so successful, we decided to create a model for post-baccalaureate students to go through the program in a shorter time frame,” professor and chair of the nursing department, Janet Philipp  said.

The program is designed to be a 16-month, post-baccalaureate, full-time plan for students who already have a college degree and have completed the prerequisites. Those that haven’t completed the prerequisites will have to go back and spend a year taking the required courses before they will be able to qualify for the program.

“I think this program is great for Augie,” senior Laura Chekal said. “With the increase in popularity of these fast-track programs, adding this program makes Augie a more competitive school and allows students who already have a bachelor’s degree to obtain their nursing degree in a cost-effective way.”

In creating this program, Philipp and department members had working adults in mind.

“One of the pros of this program is that it gives adults, who are most likely working, the ability to take courses on a semester basis and still work some hours,” Philipp said.

According to Philipp, other accelerated programs compress courses into an eight-week schedule versus the 15-week semester, which makes it nearly impossible for students to work and to succeed in the classes.

“Students in the accelerated program at Augustana will be able to take courses with the traditional students with the same high quality faculty in the classroom and the clinical area during three semesters,” Philipp said.

As of now, the nursing program at Augustana has a capacity of 64 students with the current faculty.

“We enroll about 50 nursing students into the junior courses each fall,” Philipp said, “So no new faculty positions are needed.”

For those with more questions on this program, Philipp encourages students to visit the Augustana website to see if accelerated nursing could be the right fit.