RN (registered nurse) bridge programs provide a way for licensed practical nurses and registered nurses to move ahead in their careers. They are also a means for people with non-nursing backgrounds to enter the profession.
One type of RN bridge program is the LPN-to-RN bridge. An LPN is a licensed practical nurse. This type of program permits an LPN to complete a bachelor's degree in nursing (a bachelor's of science degree in nursing, or BSN) at an accelerated pace. RN-BSN bridge programs permit RNs to earn a bachelor's degree and are suitable for nurses with degrees in non-nursing disciplines. Hybrid programs, such as Chamberlain University's RN-BSN to MSN bridge allow an RN to take graduate courses while completing the bachelor's degree.
RN bridge programs consist of classroom learning and clinical experience that teach the theory and practical skills required for success in nursing. Students who already have nursing experience may qualify for advanced standing, while those coming from other fields of study may need to take prerequisite science and math courses before starting on the nursing portion of the curriculum.
Completing an RN bridge can be beneficial in terms of career advancement, notes the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Employment of RNs is predicted to grow by some 22 percent through the year 2018. The bureau states that RNs with a bachelor's degree have a better chance of being hired.