Discover If Holy Family’s ABSN Program Is Right For You

HFU ABSN students performing exercises during the on-campus residency
HFU ABSN students performing exercises during the on-campus residency

Across the nation, communities are lacking qualified nurses to provide excellent healthcare. The International Council of Nurses has declared nurse shortages to be a global health emergency, with 13 million nursing roles needing to be filled in the coming years. 

By becoming a registered nurse, individuals who want to care for people, promote positive health outcomes, and address the nursing shortage can create meaningful change. The shortages also correlate to high levels of job security and opportunities for career advancement, as well as good salaries. 

The Second Degree Distance Hybrid BSN at Holy Family University equips second-career nurses for successful careers in healthcare. Take a look at the program components, services, and outcomes to determine if the program could be the right fit for you.


Complete The Form to Access My ABSN Program Guide


Program Overview

Holy Family University’s Second Degree Distance Hybrid Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Accelerated BSN/ABSN) prepares students for nursing licensure in just over a year. All coursework takes place online. The in-person program elements are a week-long residency on the Holy Family University campus, as well as clinicals at a site local to the student. 


Themes and Outcomes

Holy Family University is a private Catholic institution that embraces diversity and inclusion. The phrase Teneor Votis, which means “I am bound by my responsibilities,” guides our campus. The online ABSN program embodies the university’s mission to educate students to assume lifelong responsibilities towards God, society, and self. 

In an effort to help students live up to this ideal in both their studies and future careers, the ABSN programs guides students toward the following outcomes: 

  • Communication/collaboration
  • Critical thinking
  • Cultural humanity
  • Evidence-based nursing practice
  • Professional values
  • Information technology
  • Healthcare policy



Individuals who wish to apply for Holy Family University’s Second Degree Distance Hybrid BSN program must meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Reside in Pennsylvania (excluding Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties), Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Mississippi, New Mexico, or Vermont.
  • Earn a bachelor's degree in any field before beginning the program.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (2.75 GPA in math and science prerequisite courses).
  • Complete five prerequisite courses: Anatomy & Physiology I with lab, Anatomy & Physiology II with lab, Microbiology with lab, Nutrition (taught by a registered dietician), and Elementary Statistics prior to enrolling in the ABSN program.



Because of the accelerated pace, students are expected to give full-time dedication to the 14-month program. The rigorous coursework includes both synchronous and asynchronous learning sessions. Content delivery takes place in asynchronous sessions, while synchronous sessions provide students with the opportunity to ask questions and clarify concepts. 

Each eight-week course tends to feature three or four synchronous sessions. Since students take two or three courses per term, they typically have one synchronous session to attend per week.

Students will also need to be on campus for their one-week residency, which takes place during the final week of the first term.



The ABSN program includes 59 credit hours of coursework taught across seven, eight-week terms. Courses include:

  • Foundations of Nursing Practice
  • Medical-Surgical Nursing
  • Applied Pharmacology for Nursing Care
  • Nursing Care of the Childbearing Family
  • Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing
  • Nursing and Older Adult Health Promotion
  • Leadership

For courses that include a lab requirement, students will complete the requirements during their on-campus residency. 


On-Campus Residency and Clinicals

Holy Family University’s Hybrid ABSN includes two in-person program elements: a weeklong on-campus residency and clinicals local to the student. These immersive experiences help students develop their nursing skills in hands-on environments. 


On-Campus Residency

During the weeklong residency, students build hands-on clinical skills such as injections, feeding, and tracheostomies. The residency also provides students with the opportunity to collaborate with faculty and fellow students. The weeklong residency takes place at our Newtown campus during the eighth week of the first term and runs from Monday to Sunday.



At Holy Family University, we want our students to focus entirely on succeeding in their program and career. Our placement team will reach out to sites and preceptors on your behalf to find the right fit for completing the 504 clinical hours required to graduate. Students will work six to twelve hours per week at their clinical site.


Support Services 

Our Accelerated BSN program includes comprehensive, end-to-end support services from enrollment to graduation. These services include:

  • Admissions guidance: A designated admissions counselor will walk you through the entire application and admissions process.
  • Student success coaching: From registering for courses to learning how to navigate online assignment platforms, a student success coach is available to help.
  • Exam preparation: Our NCLEX-RN pass rates are 89.87%, which is higher than the national average.
  • A dedicated clinical placement team: Holy Family University staff help students find preceptors and clinical sites in their local communities so that students can keep their focus on succeeding in the program. 
  • Additional support: ABSN students have access to campus-wide services such as mental health counseling, disability services, and Title IX.

At Holy Family University, we want our students to succeed. Support is just a text, call, or email away.


Online Platforms and Systems 

Holy Family University leverages technology to ensure streamlined content delivery. During the Second Degree Distance Hybrid BSN program, students will use the following online tools:

  • Canvas: the world’s #1 Learning Management System
  • Webex: the leading web conferencing solution
  • ExamSoft (Turnitin): the top provider of assessment software for online exams
  • Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) Nursing Education Program: a comprehensive testing and review program for NCLEX preparation

While students typically find our online tools easy to navigate, questions still arise. Your Student Success Coach will be readily available to provide answers and troubleshooting.


FAQs: Second Degree Distance Hybrid Bachelor of Science in Nursing 

Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we receive about the Hybrid ABSN program. 


What If I Don’t Already Have a Bachelor’s Degree?

The hybrid program requires students to have a prior bachelor’s degree. If you don’t, check out our on-campus BSN program.


Will I Get to Know the Faculty during the Hybrid ABSN Program?

Absolutely! Students engage in synchronous sessions approximately once per week. Professors also offer office hours and are available for meetings. The weeklong residency also provides opportunities for connection.


If I Live Near Campus, Can I Take Classes There or Use the Facilities?

Students who live locally may want to consider our Second Degree Fast-Track BSN Daytime 14-Month program or our Second Degree Fast-Track BSN Evenings + Weekends 22-Month program.

Online students are allowed to use facilities and services on campus.


Are Clinicals Any Day of the Week and Any Shift?

You and your preceptor will work together to determine a work schedule. The maximum number of hours students can work at their clinical site is 12 hours per week.


Are Job Placement Services Available?

Due to the small class sizes, individualized attention, and great reputation of the Holy Family University Hybrid ABSN, faculty regularly help students find jobs local to campus. Many of our students have job offers before they graduate.


What Are the Class Sizes?

In an effort to provide individualized attention, we cap our classes at 20 students.


What Happens if I Take a Leave of Absence?

We understand that life happens. If you need to take a break from the program, you will need to complete any unfinished courses upon your return. Courses that have already been completed and graded will not need to be repeated. If the break is long, professors may conduct an assessment of skills to ensure that they’ve been retained. 


How Can I Get Started?

If you have a calling to change careers and serve as a nurse, your bachelor’s degree in any field can be the starting point. Our online ABSN program is mission-driven and develops you as a holistically trained nurse with the knowledge and leadership skills to advance the profession and manage care for patients across the lifespan.


Complete The Form to Access My ABSN Program Guide


Want more information?

Information from this blog was adapted from a 35-minute webinar about our ABSN program. Topics covered by our speakers include:

  • Program overview
  • Expectations and program outcomes
  • The role of your support staff
  • Different forms of support available
  • Clinical placement services
  • Platforms and systems used during the program

The webinar wrapped up with a live Q&A session, included in the recording.


  • Dr. Rinu Stephen, DNP, MSN, RN, Second-Degree Distant Hybrid Program Coordinator & Assistant Professor
  • Dr. Jinsy Mathew DNP, MSN, RN, Vice Dean, DNP Team Lead, Assistant Professor for School of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • Amber Baillargeon, Admissions Counselor
  • Anna Rodriguez, Student Success Coach
  • Dr. Margaret Harkins, DNP, MBE, GNP-BC, RN-BC, Dean of School of Nursing and Health Sciences, Board Certified Geriatric Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Ethicist, Alumni Scholar, Edmond J. Safra Visiting Nurse Faculty Program at the Parkinson's Facility, ELNEC Train-the-Trainer, Core, Gerontology, Graduate, DNP Curriculum

Presented Live on March 8, 2023