ABPNN Simulation

Accelerated Bachelor's Program for Non-Nurses

What You Need to Know About our Accelerated Programs

We've listed below some commonly asked questions about the Accelerated Bachelor's and Master's Programs for Non-Nurses with answers from our Admissions Office.

If you have additional questions, refer to our general FAQ page, or contact the Admissions Office. 

A bachelor’s degree in any field is required (BA or BS). The Accelerated Programs for Non-Nurses (APNN) are designed to admit non-nurse baccalaureate graduates and provide education for generalist and specialist (advanced practice) nursing roles. 

The Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses (ABPNN) is one year. That's when all the "acceleration" occurs. This is when you’ll complete all the nursing content of the bachelor’s, or generalist, coursework for RN licensing. The program moves at a very fast pace and you will be most successful if this is your style of learning also.

For the vast majority of applicants, the ABPNN is the appropriate choice.

There are very limited slots for the Accelerated Master’s Program for Non-Nurses (AMPNN). The pool of applicants to our master’s programs (which have many fewer total slots than the ABPNN) also includes students in our RN to BS to MS program and of course nursing baccalaureate graduates in general, many of whom have substantial patient care experience as an RN already. 

For the AMPNN, you should have a high GPA, and a very strong application overall, including substantial health care experience in the area of your specialty (beyond volunteer work or nursing aide level experience).  For pediatrics and acute care Nurse Practitioner programs, one year of RN work experience is preferred between the BS and MS portions, so those two specialties would extend to four years total.

Those admitted to the AMPNN complete the exact same first year as the ABPNN students, and then a slot is simply saved in one of our Nurse Practitioner programs. Years two and three are on the regular master’s program schedule (four academic semesters).

Depending on when you begin the program, completion time for the entire program (including BS and MS portions) will differ by a few months (those who have a May admission start date will complete the master’s portion three years later in May; those who have January start dates will complete a few months later in May of the third year).  


No one specializes at the basic nursing level (any program leading to RN licensure teaches you about all the areas of nursing because in order to pass the RN licensing exam, you are tested on all areas— pediatrics, maternity, psych, etc.). It is by working on a certain unit as a nurse OR by going on for the master’s that you specialize in one area.

That's another reason most people choose to do the ABPNN so that they go through the different rotations and test each one out. The AMPNN is for those who already know exactly which Nurse Practitioner program they want.

Keep in mind that there are also master’s in nursing programs that do not lead to Nurse Practitioner certification. For example, we also offer a Master’s in Nursing Education and a Clinical Nurse Leader master’s degree. Or you may prefer to get some practical experience in the work world before doing the master’s program, especially since if you work as an RN at one of our two affiliated University hospitals, the masters can be completed using tuition benefits, while working full time and earning the regular salary — another reason many choose the ABPNN.

It is one calendar year, but three full semesters (summer, fall, spring), so we are essentially taking four traditional semesters of clinical and offering them in three semesters. They are NOT shortened, and in fact there are more clinical hours and lab hours than required by the state (our bachelor’s portion of the program has 700 clinical hours and 90 lab hours).

The full-time program is not designed for concurrent work. It is more of an immersion experience! Of course, we cannot legislate what folks do in their private time, but we have seen time and again that students have fared so much better without trying to squeeze in work hours while completing their degree requirements. Nursing is so time-consuming because of the hours;

  • in college, 1 credit = 1 clock hour a week
  • in nursing school, 1 clinical credit = 4 clock hours a week.

It is helpful to have a car for the times you may be assigned to a hospital and have to start at 7 a.m. You don't want to have to depend on your classmates to get you there or try to stand at a bus stop in the dark at 6 a.m. Students live everywhere— most get a regular apartment nearby, some live with each other in rented houses literally around the corner from here, some (fewer) live in graduate housing.

Visit Residential Life to learn about on and off campus housing offerings. There are also houses for rent here within walking distance and lots of apartments which you will see on that link.

Yes. The prerequisites are: Non-nursing bachelor's degree, Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, Growth & Development (also called Developmental Psychology), Nutrition and Statistics (labs are not required for any of the prerequisites).

The Center for Lifelong Learning, the UR School of Nursing's health care career development department, offers the prerequisites online at a discounted flat fee for the entire three credit course.  Visit the prerequisite online courses page.

If you are registering at other schools (since you are welcome to complete the prereqs at any two or four year accredited school), please feel free to email the Admissions Office to check that the course description is appropriate.

Here are the regional accreditations we require (depending on geography):

Here are the institutional accreditations we require (depending on geography):

There are (many) other accreditations considered legitimate under the federal Education Department and CHEA (Council for Higher Education Accreditation), but they are not the one we (and other nationally-ranked universities) recognize (so, for example, we would not accept anatomy and physiology from a school that has only “massage therapy program accreditation” or credits from a school accredited by the “Commission of the Council on Occupational Education.”)

Regional vs. national institutional accrediting agencies:

  • Academically-oriented, non-profit, degree-granting schools usually have regional accreditation.
  • For-profit, vocational, technical and career schools typically have national accreditation.

Bottom line is we require the regional accreditations in the above website listing.

We wrote the prereq as "Anatomy & Physiology" since some options for completing this (e.g., "Excelsior" challenge exam for those with a science background) involve one exam for both. Also, some (not many) schools have a complete A&P course in one semester (minimum 6 credits of lecture). More schools break it up into two semesters, and do half the body systems (e.g., cardiac, reproductive, muscular) in the first semester, titled A&P I, and the other half (endocrine, neuro, etc.) in A&P II. So if your school offers it this way, you would need two semesters in order to get the entire body! If your school offers A&P over three quarter semesters, you would need to complete all three semesters. Some schools offer anatomy in one semester and physiology in another and that is fine also. If there is more than one choice, always choose the course for science majors.

Prerequisite courses do not need to be completed by the application deadline. However, If you are taking prerequisites anywhere other than the University of Rochester, we prefer that they be completed:

  • by the end of the fall semester prior to May entrance
  • by the end of the summer semester prior to the January entrance
  • by the end of the spring semester prior to September entrance.

This is one of the best ways to strengthen your application. If you do have a course still outstanding in the final semester just prior to program start, we ask that you choose our online prereq, so that it is completed at your own pace and we can get a grade at least a month prior to your beginning the program (as opposed to possibly having exams somewhere else at the time you need to be here for orientation). All prerequisite courses must be successfully completed with a grade of C or higher by the first day of the program if you are offered and accept admission to our program.

We accept any nutrition course (human, not plant or animal/vet) that you may have completed in your bachelor’s program. If you need to take a nutrition course, we offer an online nutrition course, NSG 310: Nutrition and Health that can be completed in 4 to 12 weeks as part of our Online Prerequisite Course offerings.

We do not have a time limit.  We consider our applicants adult learners who would know whether they need to re-take a course. So, for example, if you took nutrition long ago and work in the field, that is great, or maybe you can get a newer book and brush up (knowing that your classmates will have the information fresh). On the other hand, if you took micro in the early ’80s, AIDS was not even known then and you need to know that material. So we leave it up to you!

Other application requirements

We do not really transfer in specific courses from your transcript. We transfer in 79 credits regardless (with no notation of what they are specifically). You must then complete 49 credits here (residency requirement) for the total of 128 for the bachelor’s in nursing. The prerequisites are not transferred in — we just need proof of their completion with a C or higher.

We do not require any standardized test scores as admission criteria for the APNN.

We ask for CPR training by the application date only because our years of experience have taught us that otherwise a significant number of people will not be ready to begin, having put that off (or having been registered for a course that is then canceled for low enrollment).  However, there is a little leeway, in that you can schedule it for a little later, as long as you note on your application when you are scheduled and where.  We only need a photocopy of your card.

We require the American Heart Association CPR course, BLS for the Health Care Provider. If you plan to seek employment at our University hospital (across the street from the nursing school), they require AHA.

Most people simply write "see attached" and then send a resume, and that is fine.

We prefer a reference from someone who can speak to your academic ability and someone who has been a supervisor. However, if this is not possible that is okay. You might choose someone you have worked for in a volunteer capacity or someone who is your teacher for a prerequisite course now. You should not have a friend or relative write your reference letters.  The closer the relationship, the less weight the recommendation holds.  For more recent graduates, we expect an academic reference.

Once we have your completed application, an admissions counselor will contact you to arrange an interview. Not all applicants are offered an interview, and those who are not interviewed will be sent a letter advising them that they will not be accepted to the program. The interview is required for admission, but does not guarantee admission. The interview can be in person or over the phone. 

A phone interview is perfectly acceptable.

Email transcripts to: sontranscripts@urmc.rochester.edu, and/or mail supplemental materials to: 

Admissions Office
University of Rochester School of Nursing
601 Elmwood Avenue
Rochester, NY 14642

That is fine. Simply use the address below. Please make sure it includes “School of Nursing” and “Box SON.”

  • Admissions Office
    University of Rochester School of Nursing
    Box SON
    601 Elmwood Avenue
    Rochester, NY 14642

Letters are usually sent ~12 weeks after the application deadline (this may be a few weeks shorter or longer depending on the number of applications for that cohort; that number typically ranges between 250-400 for each class of 66 students).


  • Applications for the entering May class must be postmarked by the prior Nov. 1.
  • Applications for the entering January class must be postmarked by the prior July 1.
  • Applications for the entering September class must be postmarked by the prior March 1.

We encourage applicants to submit their applications well before the deadline and then supplemental documents can be sent, as long as they are postmarked by the deadline.

That is fine. You could be accepted to the program “pending successful completion of the bachelor’s degree.”

International students

For international students (or those for whom English is not your native language), we require:

  • a TOEFL above 560 (regular paper test), above 230 (regular computer test) or 88 (iBT)

Most students complete the iBT exam and although 88 is the minimum we require, a score above 100 is preferred.  The website for the TOEFL is https://www.ets.org/toefl

Also, you must have your transcript evaluated (given a comparison to U.S. courses/grades) by an organization that is accredited by NACES (the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services).  Two popular examples of such organizations are the following:

Bowling Green Station, P.O. Box 5087

New York, NY 10247-5087

Email: info@wes.org

Phone: 212-966-6311; Fax: 212-739-6100


P.O. Box 514070, Milwaukee WI 53203-3470

Email: eval@ece.org

Phone: 414-289-3400; Fax: 414-289-3411.

Otherwise, you would apply just as it states on the web (two letters of reference, professional statement, etc.) We prefer higher than a 3.0 GPA (the above organizations will let you know what your equivalent is).

Tuition and Aid

Financial aid for second degree students is generally funded by loans. We do have a few small grants through the School of Nursing, but those are awarded with your acceptance letter. No specific application is necessary. Several financial opportunities are available on our financial aid page, but in general, students need to be willing to take out loans.

If you are accepted into our program, it is not too early to get started by completing the FAFSA form at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov and the University of Rochester code is 002894.


Please contact our Admissions Office at son_admissions@urmc.rochester.edu or (585) 275-2375 to discuss our programs or to schedule a visit.