Distance Accelerated BSN

Adult learner pursuing her BSN degree

12-Month Program

This new 12-Month Distance-Accelerated BSN (D-ABSN) program is a full-time, distance-based program that allows students to earn a BSN in 54 weeks. It is not a typical online program in that it is not self-paced. Students will engage in learning via the internet daily using an inquiry guided learning pedagogy and do clinicals near where they live. Three on-campus sessions are required. Only students with bachelor’s degrees in other disciplines are eligible for this program.

The Distance ABSN program was created to expand access to Emory University's nursing programs to students across the U.S. The program is designed for students residing outside the Atlanta metro region. Students within the Atlanta metro region should apply to Emory's residential ABSN program.

Our current 15 month on campus ABSN National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) pass rate for 2016 is 100 percent.

Our new 12-month Distance-Accelerated BSN program is not your typical online program. Students will engage daily via the internet – synchronously and asynchronously- using an inquiry guided pedagogy. Students will complete one course at a time. Foundational course work is front loaded during the first 5 months of the program. Clinical practica will follow didactic course content. Students will participate in precepted clinical experiences where they live and will be assigned to a local clinical site instructor.

Students are required to attend three (3) on campus sessions at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (located at 1520 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA) during the 12-month program. Some travel and meals will be supported and lodging is included.

The sessions will include a:
  • 2-day orientation session prior to beginning classes.
  • 2-week session during which the first clinical course and clinical experience will occur as well as laboratory and simulation time.  
  • 1-week capstone session
This fast-paced program is 47 credit hours. Students will complete prerequisites and obtain a certified nursing assistant certification prior to beginning the program (refer to the prerequisite and admissions requirement tab).

Prerequisite Requirements

The prerequisites for the ABSN program include seven courses. You may submit an application for admission with the courses in progress, but all prerequisites must be complete with a grade of B or higher by the time you plan on beginning the nursing program. Please review the list of prerequisites below, effective for all fall 2018 applicants:

Physical Sciences*
1. General Chemistry I with lab (4 semester credit hours)
2. Human Anatomy & Physiology I with lab* (4 semester credit hours)
3. Human Anatomy & Physiology II with lab* (4 semester credit hours)
4. Microbiology with lab* (4 semester credit hours)
5. Nutrition - Recommended (3 semester hours)
*Physical science courses must be taken no more than five (5) years prior to beginning the ABSN program

6. Introductory Statistics (3 semester credit hours)

Social Sciences**

7. Human Growth and Development or Life Span Development (3 semester credit hours)
**The Human Growth and Development prerequisite must cover human development from conception through death.

Students may submit an application for admission with the prerequisite courses in progress, but all prerequisites must be complete with a grade of B or higher by the time of enrollment in the nursing program.

***All courses are subject to review by the Office of Enrollment and Student Affairs.

Technical Standards for Nursing Applicants and Enrolled Students

When considering nursing studies the student must evaluate their abilities and skills. To succeed in a nursing degree or postgraduate certificate program, a student must possess certain abilities and skills, deemed essential functions for the care of patients. These abilities and skills, as determined by Emory University nursing faculty, are as follows:


Applicants and students enrolled in the nursing program must be able to observe demonstrations and simulations required by the nursing curriculum established by the faculty and be able to participate in such activities with adequate vision and other sensory modalities, including the senses of hearing and smell. A student must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance and close at hand.


Students must be able to speak intelligibly, and to hear sufficiently to affect an adequate exchange of information with patients, family members, and other health professionals. A student must be able to read and write English effectively in order to fulfill academic requirements, and to maintain accurate clinical records on patient care.


Nursing students are required to possess motor skills sufficient to elicit independent information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion, and other manually based diagnostic procedures. Students should be able to conduct laboratory and diagnostic tests, and carry out physical assessments. Students must possess motor skills required for their scope of practice, as determined by the relevant accrediting organization. The student must also be able to coordinate fine and gross muscular movements to treat patients in emergencies. Emergencies include any circumstance requiring immediate remedy.

Intellectual-Conceptual, Integrative, and Quantitative Abilities

These abilities include an aptitude for rapid problem solving, the capability to assess and interpret medical files independently and evaluate physical examinations, and to formulate a logical plan of care.  Students must possess good judgment in patient assessment and the abilities to incorporate new information, comprehend three-dimensional relationships, and retain and recall pertinent information in a timely fashion. The student must also be prepared to provide in-depth rationale for the plan of care.

Behavioral and Social Attributes

Students must possess the physical and emotional health required for the application of his/her intellectual abilities and the use of sound judgment in an appropriate and prompt manner. Students must be able to function effectively under physically taxing workloads, and in times of physical and mental stress. Students must display compassion, sensitivity, and concern for others, and maintain professional integrity at all times.

Program Specific Requirements

In addition to the areas enumerated above, applicants and students must also possess any abilities and skills deemed essential for their particular program. These areas of enumerated skills and abilities are the minimum attributes required of applicants for admission to the nursing program and of students who are candidates for graduation.

The Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing is committed to accommodating the needs of students with documented disabilities and will do so to the extent possible without compromising the essential components of the curriculum. See more here: http://college.emory.edu/oue/student-support/students-with-disabilities/.

Address any questions or concerns regarding these technical standards to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate/Graduate Education or the specialty coordinator of the graduate program specialty in which the student is enrolled or seeks to apply.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis once a completed application packet is submitted. Applicants who meet the minimum admissions criteria may be invited for a virtual interview. The admission decision for entry into a specific cohort will be based on the student completing all prerequisites and faculty obtaining State Authorization and requisite affiliation agreements at the clinical sites in the student’s home state.

 Admission into any nursing program is granted on a competitive basis and students meeting minimum requirements may be denied admission based on such factors as program capacity or academic discretion. Students may be considered for admission as an exception if stated admissions criteria are not met.

To be considered for admission, applicants must:

1. Start the application by using this link: https://apply.nursing.emory.edu/apply/
2. Pay the application fee
3. Submit a complete application packet that includes:

a. Official College/University transcripts from a regionally accredited University. Official transcripts from all schools an applicant has attended must be submitted regardless if a degree was earned. A minimum GPA of 3.2 in the last two (2) years of undergraduate work.

b.Official standardized test scores based on the following guide.

  i. An official standardized test score such as TEAS, SAT, ACT, GRE, and some certifications (e.g., paramedic certification). Scores must not be more than five (5) years old

  ii. Waivers may be granted for a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher or having completed a master’s degree.

c. Certified Nurse Assistant Certification
   i. Recommended 3-months work experience

d. Personal statement explaining why you want to pursue a nursing career at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing and your career goals as a nurse (350 word maximum).

e. Resume including work experience, community service, leadership roles, and research

f. Signed agreement not to work during the 12-month program

 Post-admission Requirements:

Prior to enrollment, each applicant accepted into the Online ABSN program must:

1. Submit proof of having successfully completed all prerequisite courses with a B grade or better.

2. Maintain current Basic Life Support for Health Care Providers CPR credentials through the American Heart Association.

3. Hold an unencumbered CNA certificate.

4. Provide evidence of adequate health insurance coverage or enrollment in the Emory University Student Health Insurance Plan

5. Provide documentation for required immunizations, titers, and health information required by agencies for clinical placement. All requirements must be current at all times.

6. Submit physical examination results from a health care provider that gives evidence of good health and the ability to meet Technical Standards.

7. Pass an independently conducted state and federal criminal background investigation.

8. Pass a urine drug screen prior to attending clinical practicums.

9. Complete the Haven Online Education Module.

Application/Pre-requisites/Timing/Cost Questions

What is the start date for this program and what size is the cohort?  Pending all approvals, we plan to start in mid-September, 2018, and the first cohort will be 30 students. We plan to launch two (2) cohorts the first year.  

When are application materials due?  Completed applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis (see website tab for admission requirements).  Once a cohort is full we will offer qualified applicants a place in upcoming cohorts. For questions or concerns about the application process, please contact the School of Nursing's Office of Enrollment and Student Affairs at 404.727.7980.

Which certified nursing assistant (CNA) programs are acceptable as a prerequisite, and does the program need to be completed before one applies to this program? Applicants can apply prior to completing their CNA.  Prior to beginning the program they must be state certified by the state in which they reside. We recommend working as a CNA while waiting to begin the program (part or full time is acceptable). We have no preference on which CNA training program an applicant completes. 

Which test scores may I submit to meet the requirement of submitting a standardized test score? We ask for a standardized test score within the past 5-years and do not specify which one. Standardized test scores that are acceptable are the TEAS, SAT, ACT, GRE, and some certifications (e.g., paramedic certification). Standardized test scores provide a snapshot of test performance and represent one part of your application portfolio. Please contact the School of Nursing's Office of Enrollment and Student Affairs at 404.727.7980 for questions.

What type of computer/computer skills will I need for this program? For computer requirements go to this website address http://www.nursing.emory.edu/admitted-students/undergraduate/index.html . We have prepared a computer skills assessment to evaluate your readiness. To access the assessment, click here.

How can I increase my chance for admission? We look at your whole application package. This includes your transcripts, standardized test score, interview, CNA certification and work experience, and life and work experiences. If there are extenuating circumstances, you should communicate these in your application packet. Your commitment to not work during the program is a key factor.

I have attended multiple schools. Do you require all transcripts? Yes. All transcripts are to be reported whether they led to a degree or were just courses you had completed. We focus on science grades across your academic experience. We recognize that students beginning college may have an adjustment period and grades may be lower early on. If you wish to explain a low score, please include that information with your application.

Are there any tips for preparing for the interview? RELAX! If you know a nurse spend some time talking with them about their position and career. If you are able to shadow a nurse it is helpful to see the role in action. We do not provide opportunities to shadow.  Also look at national websites such as American Nurses Association (ANA) http://www.nursingworld.org/ and National League for Nursing (NLN) http://www.nln.org/ . There are many online nursing journals and videos you can scan as well.

Will you have an Open House on campus, or just virtual information sessions? We will hold monthly virtual information sessions and record them. They will not be exactly the same every month as we will use your questions to guide future speakers and information. While we will not host a campus Open House, we would welcome your visit to campus.  If you would like to visit our School and campus please contact the School of Nursing's Office of Enrollment and Student Affairs at 404.727.7980.

What is the cost of this program? The cost of the program will be approximately $70K (approximately $1,500/credit hour) plus university charges. While we are still working out billing systems, we anticipate we will charge a credit hour rate based on the number of courses within a semester.

Because we will have three onsite sessions (2 day orientation; 2 week first clinical experience and simulation; 1 week capstone week) we have included transportation, lodging, and some meals into the program cost. Students who have not depleted their financial aid package (FAFSA) from their prior degree, will be able to apply for financial aid.

Will scholarships be available for students in this program?  At present there are no scholarships available. Some of our alumni have expressed an interest in providing funds for scholarships. More information regarding scholarships will be provided if it becomes available.

Will students be able to enroll from any state in the United States? No not every state will allow students to enroll in our distance program. We continue to query states and have identified the following states in which we are authorized to offer our D-ABSN program. For the current list of eligible states, click here. For applicants not seeing their state, please contact us directly for updated information.

Interview and Acceptance Questions

Will all applicants be invited for interviews?  No. Once an application is complete the Admissions Committee will review the application within 4 weeks and a preliminary decision will be made. An important consideration for offering an interview will be our confidence in gaining the requisite clinical placement and our ability to meet regulatory requirements within the state where the student resides. There are times that further information may be requested before a decision is finalized.  Applicants will be notified by email of the Admission Committee’s decision.

When will interviews take place? Interviews will be virtual and will occur in the spring for the fall cohort.  Further information will be forthcoming.

Is there a limited number of interview spots? No, there is no limit on the number of interview spots. As the program begins, once one cohort is filled we will offer applicants positions in future cohorts. Applicants will not be admitted without an interview. Admission into this program is granted on a competitive basis and students meeting minimum requirements may be denied admission based on such factors as program capacity or academic discretion.

When will you notify candidates of their acceptance? Students will be notified via email of their acceptance within four weeks of the interview. A $500 deposit to be applied toward tuition and a signed letter of confirmation are required to hold the spot.

Do you offer the relevant pre-requisite classes at Emory? Yes. All prerequisite courses are offered online at a special pricing option. You do not need to be an admitted student to enroll in these courses. Information regarding prerequisites can be found at http://www.nursing.emory.edu/admission-and-aid/online-prerequisites/ .

 Cohort Questions

How many cohorts will there be each year? Two cohorts are planned in year one, and three cohorts in future years.

Are you looking for a certain amount of in-state vs out of state students? No. We are looking for qualified applicants with proven academic success who demonstrate the drive to enter a challenging career in the nursing field.

How will you build a sense of community within the cohort with classmates living in distant locations? This distance (online) program is not a “traditional” self-paced program. Students will be expected to work together daily to respond to questions and discussion threads. In addition, students will have opportunities to work together on group projects in both a synchronous and asynchronous environment. Our limited class size of 30 students per cohort creates a close knit group. Finally, our onsite sessions create the team environment.

Our faculty are an important part of the learning community as well. During class, faculty will be available to the student during virtual office hours, and via telephone and email to facilitate and guide student learning.  You are not only our Emory students but our alumni as well.

I’m concerned about joining the first cohort of an untested program. Our School of Nursing is highly ranked nationally, and has offered BSN programs since 1944. We began offering our accelerated BSN (ABSN) program in 2011. Our program is built upon the solid foundation of our onsite program. In 2017 100% of our ABSN students passed NCLEX, the certification examination to become a professional registered nurse (RN); and our overall NCLEX pass rate for all of our pre-licensure programs was 97%, well above the national average of 85%.

While the format of this accelerated program is new, the program outcomes are tried and tested. Our dedicated full time faculty will work closely on the development of this program and with the students for their success. Students will also be assigned a clinical faculty from their local community to coordinate and oversee all clinical rotations. Expert preceptors will work with the student and clinical faculty within the clinical arena.

Course Work Questions

What is the format for the distance (online) classes? Are they PowerPoint?  Courses will be offered one at a time as intensives. For example, a two (2) credit hour course will be completed in 2 weeks.  Our curriculum will use an inquiry guided learning approach.  Rather than courses created around the traditional lecture format , students will participate in discussion threads and answering researchable questions to be shared with their cohort members, watch mini-lectures and videos online, and complete course readings.

Students should plan to spend 10-12 hours per day working on assignments, readings, and studying. Clinical rotations will vary based on the preceptor’s daily schedule but, we anticipate preceptors will work 8-12 hour shifts (13 hours). This explains why students cannot work during this program.

How will exams be proctored from a distance to prevent cheating and ensure fairness? We will use an online proctoring service for testing. Testing will be at an application and evaluation level using multiple choice, multiple-multiple choice, drag and drop, cloze items, dynamic exhibits, and other methods that will prepare students for taking exams similar to the NCLEX exam.

How will we be prepared in basic nursing skills before we begin our clinicals? How will simulation be part of this program?  The CNA certification provides a solid base for building initial skills. During the second on-campus visit students will gain competence with nursing skills through simulated experiences; and, students will do their first clinical experience at Emory Healthcare under the supervision of a clinical faculty.

Where will we stay when we are onsite and will transportation and lodging be provided? Up to $300 will be allocated to travel for each student round trip to Atlanta. Additionally, the cost of each student’s shuttle to Emory, housing, and some meals during the on-campus programming will be covered. Campus dining facilities will be open except on holidays, and students are eligible to purchase meals in these locations.

 Clinical Placement Questions

How will clinical sites and preceptors be chosen in my hometown? Will I make the clinical site arrangement or will Emory?  Emory will identify the clinical site and obtain the requisite requirements for student placement. In your geographic area, Emory will identify experienced clinical site faculty and preceptors for each rotation.

Note: Placements are not available within the metro Atlanta area.

How will Emory evaluate our clinical sites and preceptors, and how will you evaluate our clinical performance?  Local clinical faculty will play a leading role in evaluating sites, preceptors and student success. As needed, the local clinical faculty will work one-on-one with a student who is facing challenges to be sure they get up to speed quickly.

Lifestyle Questions

How will you help students preserve a positive work/life balance while in your program?  The 12 month program will be intense, requiring students to have no work commitments, and to spend their days, 9-5, synchronously (in real time) and asynchronously (intermittently) by  interacting online with their classmates, and to study in evening and weekend hours. Courses have been sequenced to build on prior knowledge and clinical rotations will enhance online learning. While the program is intense and will restrict employment and social activities, it is designed to quickly move a student to their academic goal. Fellow classmates will help create a tight sense of community, and consistent faculty members will foster connections and will be closely involved with each student’s progress.

It is really important before the program starts to talk to family members and significant others about the commitment you are making. Streamline your budget as much as possible and create patterns of positive health behaviors that include good nutrition, exercise, and sleep. Identify and practice coping patterns that you have successfully used in the past. You might think of trying out some new coping strategies such as mindfulness and yoga.

May I have a part-time or weekend job while enrolled in this program? No. All students will sign a pledge that they will not be employed for the duration of the program. Our goal is the success of each student, and to accomplish a two-year program in one year requires a student’s full time attention, days, nights and weekends. There will be a one-week break (approximately midway through the 54 week program). Only actual holidays will be honored - not days before or after.

What is the likelihood I will get a job immediately on completion of the program?  Many of our graduates receive job offers prior to graduation. Nationally 99% of nurses are employed within 3-6 months of graduation. Working within the health system where you study may also provide an advantage for hire.  Graduates must pass NCLEX to begin working as a registered nurse. During the last few months of the program we will focus on preparation for the NCLEX-RN certification examination (taking a Board review course and assessment testing). The cost of the NCLEX assessment testing and review course are already built into your tuition.

Some of our graduates will want to go on for their Master’s degree or to pursue a DNP. Emory offers nine (9) specialty areas in various nurse practitioner areas and nurse midwifery. For graduates who go on to work in a critical care area (ICU, CCU) to gain experience, we have a DNP Nurse Anesthesia program.

Is Emory’s program accredited? Our BSN programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the accreditation body for baccalaureate nursing programs. This accreditation will include the new D-ABSN program. As our program begins, we will register a substantive change with CCNE.

If I have specific questions about the program, who can I talk to?

Watch for our monthly virtual information sessions. Times will be posted on the School of Nursing website as well as recordings from the information sessions. You may contact the School of Nursing's Office of Enrollment and Student Affairs at 404.727.7980 for information about your application. For program specific questions please email: dabsn@emory.edu.

We look forward to reviewing your application!

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis once a completed application packet is submitted. Applicants who meet the minimum admissions criteria may be invited for a virtual interview. The admission decision for entry into a specific cohort will be based on the student completing all prerequisites and faculty obtaining State Authorization and requisite affiliation agreements at the clinical sites in the student’s home state. Cohort size will be limited to 30 students. Once a cohort is full, applicants will be offered admission into a future cohort. We anticipate the first cohort beginning mid-September 2018.

Admission into any nursing program is granted on a competitive basis and students meeting minimum requirements may be denied admission based on such factors as program capacity or academic discretion. Students may be considered for admission as an exception if stated admissions criteria are not met.


Tuition (per credit hour)*$69,900 ($1487/credit hr.)
Academic Fees (per semester) **TBD
Health Insurance***TBD

* Tuition is based on 2018-2019 tuition rates approved by the Board of Trustees. Future academic year tuition rates are subject to change.

** Academic fees will vary based upon the semester. This is an average amount per semester.

*** Health insurance is required for all students. You will be billed automatically for the university’s student health insurance plan if you do not provide proof of adequate coverage by another insurer. For information on available plans and insurance waivers, click here

Please visit the ABSN Financial Aid Page for more information about financial aid options.

Distance ABSN Plan of Study
Full Time - 54 Weeks (12-months)




Clinical Hours


Onsite Orientation*



NRSG 340

Professional Nursing: Concepts, Issues, and Trends


NRSG 341

Foundations of Nursing Practice       


NRSG 342

Professional Development II: Evidence Based Nursing Practice


NRSG 343

Pathophysiology/Pharmacology for Nurses I


NRSG 344

Health Assessment


NRSG 345

Pathophysiology/Pharmacology for Nurses II


NRSG 346

Acute and Chronic Care I*


NRSG 347

Acute and Chronic Care I Practicum*



NRSG 348

Clinical Skills Lab*



NRSG 349

Social Responsibility & Bioethics in Nursing


NRSG 435

Acute and Chronic Care II


NRSG 436

Acute and Chronic Care II Practicum



NRSG 437

Maternity and Reproductive Health Nursing


NRSG 438

Mental Health Nursing


NRSG 439

Mental Health or Maternity Practicum



NRSG 440

Pediatric Nursing


NRSG 441

Nursing in Complex Care Situations  


NRSG 442

Pediatrics or Complex Care Practicum



NRSG 455

Population Health: Community and Public Health Nursing


NRSG 456

Population Health Practicum



NRSG 457

Becoming a Professional Nurse


NRSG 458

Clinical Synthesis Practicum



NRSG 459

Capstone Seminar*



Total Credit Hours




Total Clinical Hours



*On-campus sessions
February 27, 2018
Click here

Please submit your questions about the Distance ABSN program to: dabsn@emory.edu.

Thank you for your interest in the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing. Please complete this form to receive updates about Emory's admissions process and academic programs.