Accelerated Nursing Program (ABSN, Second Degree)

What Is an Accelerated Nursing Degree?

An accelerated nursing degree is a second-degree nursing program. It’s designed for students who wish to obtain a nursing degree while already having a bachelor's degree in another field. GMercyU’s accelerated nursing programs in PA are full-time, 16-month, 67-credit degree programs. 

Professional Preparation for a Career that Cares   

For more than 60 years, the Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions at Gwynedd Mercy University has been a hub for accelerated nursing programs in the Philadelphia area.

Our accelerated nursing programs help students become skilled practitioners who go on to provide superior patient care and serve as leaders in the field. Now, we offer innovative accelerated nursing programs at our Gwynedd Valley and Bensalem locations, which can prepare you to make the change to a career with real meaning and purpose — a career as a registered nurse.

Our Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program is an accelerated nursing degree designed for students who have a bachelor’s degree in another field. Learn more about GMercyU's admission requirements and financial aid and tuition for online and accelerated programs.

Benefits of a Second Bachelor's in Nursing and Accelerated Nursing Degree

Pursuing an accelerated second degree offers many advantages over a traditional nursing program. You can complete a second bachelor's degree in nursing in 16 months, rather than 4 years, which means you can enter the workforce much more quickly.

Another key benefit of getting your accelerated nursing degree as a second degree BSN is that students who do so are viewed as more determined and driven. You can demonstrate to employers that you thrive in a fast-paced environment. In addition, your first degree provides evidence of experience in other fields, adding to your applicable skills.

Career Options for Graduates of a Second Degree Nursing Program

Earning your BSN as a second degree will help you achieve a career in the demanding field of nursing. Today's employers increasingly prefer to hire nurses who hold a BSN degree. Nurses who earn a second degree in nursing often offer additional marketable skills that can equip them for future roles in nursing management, education and other areas - even medical journalism or legal consulting.

Most new BSN graduates will need to put in clinical time before specializing or moving to administrative roles. However, if you want to become a school nurse, family nurse practitioner, or a psychiatric mental health nurse, an accelerated second degree BSN program from accelerated nursing schools is the first step towards achieving your goals.

The GMercyU Difference

Our accelerated second bachelor's degree in nursing program features:

  • Accelerated completion – graduate in just four consecutive semesters (16 months). You must already have a bachelor's degree in another field to enroll in this program.
  • Enhanced employability – More and more employers prefer nurses with a four-year degree
  • A future of opportunity – A BSN degree prepares you for leadership roles and graduate nursing education later in your career, including our Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs.
  • As a GMercyU nursing student, you’ll enter an active nursing community led by our experienced professors and health care leaders from across the region. You’ll also study at our Gwynedd Valley or Bensalem location, which both feature state-of-the-art simulation equipment and training facilities.

GMercyU’s accelerated nursing program (ABSN) prepares you to become a confident, capable nursing practitioner with the skills valued by patients and employers. In this second degree nursing program, you can develop the comprehensive health science knowledge and practical clinical skills employers demand. In addition, you’ll establish a foundation for your future in the profession, with course content that covers leadership strategies and research capabilities. 

Licensure: This program was designed to meet national licensure requirements. Carefully review the process of your home state’s licensure requirements for more specific details on applying for a RN license. For more information, please visit our Program Licensure Requirement page.

More BSN Degree Options to Fit Your Life

If you cannot commit to full-time accelerated nursing programs, or don't meet the prior education requirements for a second bachelor's, we also offer a Weekend BSN program and a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree program on our Main Campus in Gwynedd Valley, PA. The Weekend BSN program, which can be completed in just three years, is another second-degree nursing program available to students with a bachelor's degree in another field who want to transition to a career in nursing.  The four-year undergraduate BSN program is for aspiring nurses who do not already have a bachelor's degree in another field.

A Nursing Educational Community 60 Years in the Making

Gwynedd Mercy University has been a leading nursing school for more than 60 years. The community of nursing experts, scholars, and regional health care leaders we have developed—not to mention our thousands of nursing alumni—is an invaluable resource for your professional development and personal enrichment. It's why the Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions has been a leader in accelerated nursing programs in PA for years.

Our nursing faculty members bring clinical expertise and a passion for the nursing profession to the classroom. In our small classes, they will become your partners and mentors as you bring your future into focus. 


The ABSN at GMercyU is a full-time, 16-month, 67-credit second degree BSN program developed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in another field. 

If you graduated from your first bachelor’s program more than seven years ago, your Nutrition course was not taught by a Registered Dietician, or if your major did not include laboratory science courses, you will need to complete and pass prerequisite courses before you can begin your ABSN degree. We offer online health sciences prerequisites that can help you fill any gaps in your knowledge.

Prerequisite Courses

  • Nutrition (6-week course)
  • Developmental Psychology (5-week course)
  • Statistics (5-week course)
  • Microbiology (8-week course)
  • Anatomy & Physiology I (8-week course)
  • Anatomy & Physiology II (8-week course)
  • Chemistry for the Allied Health Professions (8-week course)

Visit our Online Nursing Prerequisites page to learn more.

Required courses

NUR 208 Introduction to Professional Nursing 
NUR 209  Fundamentals of Nursing Practice (with clinical practice)
NUR 212 Health Assessment in Nursing (with clinical practice)
NUR 219 Nursing Medication Mathematics
NUR 307 Nursing Care of Adults (with clinical practice)
NUR 313 Contemporary Issues in Professional Nursing
NUR 316 Nursing Care of Clients with Alterations in Behavioral Health (with clinical practice)
NUR 317 Nursing Care of Women, Children, and Families (with clinical experience)
NUR 319 Nursing Care of Adults with Complex Health Care Problems (with clinical practice)
NUR 324 Patho/Pharm Integrated Concepts
NUR 413 The Older Adult
NUR 417 Genomics in Nursing
NUR 419 Synthesis of Learning for Nursing Practice (with clinical practice)
NUR 422 Health and Illness in the Community (with clinical practice)
NUR 423 Global Health and Health Policy
NUR 460 Research/Evidence Based Practice
RS 231 Morality and Contemporary Health Care
NUR 4001 Leadership and Management in Professional Nursing – Capstone
NUR Elective  

You will also complete clinical rotations in local health care facilities. GMercyU has a wide network of health care affiliations, and your instructors will be able to help you obtain a clinical placement. Clinical placements are subject to hospital availability and may require night or weekend hours.

This program requires a criminal background check, child abuse clearance, certain immunizations, and other health-related clearances in order to participate in clinical experiences. 

See the undergraduate catalog for more information and course descriptions.

Begin Your Nursing Journey with GMercyU

Get the training you need for a career that changes lives: earn your Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing with GMercyU's accelerated nursing schools. Call 844-707-9359 or e-mail to contact an admissions counselor, or begin your online application now!


The Accelerated BSN (ABSN) program at Gwynedd Mercy University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), 655 K Street NW, Suite 750, Washington, DC 20001, at 202-887-6791 ( The ABSN program has remained accredited and in good standing with the PA State Board of Nursing since its inception.



Our Outstanding Faculty