Transformative Education
for Health Professionals

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2 - List of terms used for graduate entry programmes

Term Definition Source

Graduate entry programme

Usually used in reference to medical education where mature candidates with a relevant undergraduate degree (and sometimes post-graduate) gain access to the traditional medical training programme which is not necessarily accelerated. Some may require prospective candidates to sit a graduate entry test, some require an undergraduate degree in science while others accept full range of non-science undergraduate degrees. These candidates generally enter into the second year of the traditional programme, the length of which varies. The graduate entry programme has been identified as an innovative mechanism by medical schools in SSA for reducing the barriers to increasing quality and quantity of medical education.

Calvert 2010; Price 2010; Chen et al., 20012

Accelerated programmes

"Accelerated nursing degree programme" means a programme of education in professional nursing offered by an accredited school of nursing in which an individual holding a bachelor's degree in another discipline receives a BSN or MSN degree in an accelerated time frame as determined by the accredited school of nursing.


An accelerated nursing programme is usually an accelerated bachelor's in nursing programme. Some schools may refer to it as the BSN express. This programme is for those individuals that currently hold a bachelor's degree in another discipline and would like to obtain a second bachelor's degree in nursing.


Accelerated baccalaureate programmes offer the quickest route to licensure as a registered nurse (RN) for adults who have already completed a bachelor's or graduate degree in a non-nursing discipline.


RN to MSN programme ideal for nurses who intend to work in the nursing field for a decade or longer. Experienced nurses who hold their Registered Nurse license (and RNs who also hold bachelor’s degrees in other fields) can apply their associate degree toward the MSN without having to first earn a BSN.

Direct entry

Direct-entry midwife: A midwife who has entered the profession of midwifery as an apprentice to a practicing midwife rather than attending a formal school programme.


Direct-entry accelerated BN or MN programme: This direct-entry accelerated programme is designed for individuals who have a college degree but no nursing experience. 


Educational pathways/Ladder programme

A means of connecting education, training, and support services to prepare students for the next level of education and training. Each step on a streamlined pathway is designed explicitly to prepare students to progress to the next level of education. (e.g., through multiple entry points and innovative program delivery mechanisms such as flexible scheduling).