Elmhurst University has launched a distance Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) Program, making it the first and only institution in Illinois to offer a distance ABSN program.
Also serving students in six additional states, Elmhurst’s distance ABSN program is designed for second-career professionals who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field and want to pivot to a fulfilling career as a nurse. The fast-track program is a 16-month commitment. Coursework is 100% online, with two on-campus residencies and clinical rotation hours at sites close to where the students live. The program is available to students who live in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.
“We have robust student services, an outstanding curriculum and an accomplished faculty with clinical expertise,” said Diane Salvador, executive director of the Department of Nursing and Health Sciences. “You don’t have to be big to be the best.”
During their on-campus residencies, students will benefit from access to Elmhurst’s state-of-the-art Simulation Center, located in the award-winning Elmhurst Hospital. A 4,600-square-foot laboratory and classroom space, the Simulation Center allows students to build their clinical knowledge and skills by simulating intense clinical scenarios in inpatient, outpatient and community settings.
The Simulation Center also is home to the University’s lifelike, robotic “Sim” patients, which can talk, cry and even give birth. “If you don’t do what you need to do as a nurse in our Sim Center, the mannequin ‘patients’ will suffer,” Salvador said, adding that they “simulate experiences in real life that you will see as a nurse, allowing you to make mistakes without hurting actual patients.”
Clinical hours off campus are an integral part of the ABSN program. “We rely on our community partners for the clinical education piece,” Salvador said. Students are guided by preceptors who are clinical specialists in their field. Identifying preceptors and sites for clinical rotations in the communities in which students live is an added benefit of the program.
For students looking to change careers, Elmhurst’s distance ABSN program is driven by accomplished educators who translate theory into practice. “We don’t just teach, we change lives,” Salvador said.