Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

Accelerated BSN

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing

The Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing is the oldest baccalaureate program in the State of Illinois, admitting its first BSN class in 1935.  In addition to the 4-year BSN study option, the program has expanded to include additional educational study options such as:  Accelerated BSN, RN-BSN, several MSN tracks (Clinical Nurse Specialist, Nurse Practitioner), as well as DNP and PhD degrees.   

The undergraduate BSN program educates and graduates competent and caring nursing professionals. The program provides classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences which enable students to think critically, analyze complex situations, and make sound clinical decisions in the provision of safe nursing care. 

Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN)

Beginning in the fall of 2012, the ABSN program relocated from Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus to Loyola’s Health Sciences Campus located in Maywood, Illinois. 

The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program accepts students who hold non-nursing bachelor’s degrees. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) in all college coursework completed and 33 hours of prerequisite coursework are required for admission to the program. Because the ABSN student has completed a Bachelor’s degree in another field, the prerequisite requirements for ABSN students are specific to the ABSN study option and required to be completed prior to the start of the ABSN program. 

Course Scheduling and Registration

The sequence of theory and clinical courses for the ABSN study option is offered in a 16 month, 4 consecutive semester, and full-time day program.

Theory courses are scheduled during the week and are offered at the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing’s Health Science Campus located in Maywood, Illinois. Course scheduling depends on many factors and may be subject to change.  

Clinical Assignments

ABSN students begin clinical preparation during the first semester of the program.  Along with learning fundamental theoretical knowledge, students participate in a weekly 4-hour lab setting to learn clinical skills.  Once students have demonstrated competence in the laboratory setting, students will begin clinical experiences in hospitals and community clinical settings. 

Beginning in the second semester of the ABSN program, students will participate in a clinical experience that is associated with specific theory courses of that semester.  The clinical sites for each clinical experience vary from semester to semester.  Based on the available clinical sites, students may provide input into their choice of clinical assignment.  Please note that a student’s requests for clinical assignment may be subject to change as a result of several factors affecting clinical placements. 

Clinical rotations may take place during either the day or evening shifts.  Day clinical rotations occur from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. (3 p.m. for summer) and evening clinical rotations occur from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. (10 p.m. for summer).  Students will participate in 12-hour clinicals in the fourth semester of the program which includes many capstone (CRT – see below) experiences.

Clinical Simulation Learning Laboratory (CSLL)

The Clinical Simulation Learning Laboratory (CSLL) provides students with the opportunity to learn basic clinical skills in a comfortable, non-threatening environment prior to entering patient care settings. Faculty and laboratory instructors use state-of-the-art video- and computer teaching tools to assist in developing nursing knowledge and clinical skills.  Beginning the second semester of the ABSN program, each clinical rotation incorporates both low- and high-fidelity mannequins for a minimum of one clinical-specific, day-long simulation experience. 

Clinical Rotations

With the solid foundation of theory and clinical skills learned in the classroom and CSLL, students complete eight clinical rotations in a variety of settings which include but are not limited to:

  • Loyola University Health System
  • Hines Veterans Administration Hospital
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  • Evanston Northwestern Healthcare
  • Rush North Shore Medical Center
  • Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago
  • Mac Neal Health Network
  • Advocate Lutheran General Hospital
  • Selected long-term care facilities and senior centers
  • School-based health centers such as Proviso East High School
  • Psychiatric settings and other medical facilities

Clinical Transportation

Students are responsible for transportation to and from clinical sites.

Clinical Role Transition (CRT)-Capstone Clinical Experience

Clinical Role Transition is the final clinical rotation and is considered to be the capstone course of the program.  CRT provides an intensive, 120 hour, clinical experience which provides students with the opportunity to work one to one with a registered nurse preceptor.  With the oversight of the nurse preceptor, the student gradually assumes responsibility for the patient care assignment.  Students have found this final clinical experience to be one that allows them to work independently, yet safely, with the oversight of a nurse preceptor.

Similar to earlier clinical experiences, students have the opportunity to provide input into their CRT clinical site or specialty area.

NCLEX Exam/Preparation

ATI Testing

In an effort to prepare the ABSN student for the RN licensing exam (NCLEX-RN), all undergraduate nursing students are required to participate in standardized testing throughout their ABSN program.  ATI is the vendor that Loyola has contracted with in order to provide preparation for the NCLEX-RN.  Each ATI test covers a relevant content area provided during each semester of the ABSN curriculum. 


Upon successful completion of the ABSN program, students are awarded their degrees, and are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN examination.   

To learn more about the ABSN program, complete this online profile.