If you work as a nurse and are ready to progress in your career, going back to school can seem pretty overwhelming. How will you find the time to complete the necessary studies? An associate degree in nursing, or ADN, bridge program may be the answer. Find out how ADN bridge programs can save you time and money while advancing in your career.
LPN to ADN Bridge Programs
Like many licensed practical nurses, or LPNs, you may have started out as an LPN to jumpstart your nursing career. To proceed to the next step, which is becoming a registered nurse, the easiest option is to obtain your ADN. However, this typically means completing two additional years of school, and many busy working practical nurses don't have the time to do that.
Fortunately, there are bridge programs for progressing from having an LPN license to obtaining your associate degree in nursing. These programs quickly help to fill in the gaps in knowledge that exist between LPNs and RNs.
In as little as 12 to 18 months, you can earn your ADN. Once you do, you will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN. After passing that, you will receive your RN license. Many programs also have online components that make it that much easier to obtain the training that you need.
ADN to BSN Bridge Programs
If you obtained your RN license by earning an associate degree in nursing, you may feel like you are being held back a bit. While an ADN is all that you need to be qualified to work as an RN, it falls short of the requirements that are in place for more advanced nursing roles.
It makes sense to opt for an ADN when you need to get into the workforce as quickly as possible. However, if you want to be able to advance even more in your career in the future, including acquiring an area of specialization, you will need to go back to school to earn your bachelor of science in nursing, or BSN.
A standard BSN program takes about four years to complete, but an ADN-to-BSN bridge program will get you there much more quickly. Most programs of this kind can be completed within two to three years. Many include online components that give you the flexibility that you need to hold down a regular job at the same time.
ADN to MSN Bridge Programs
After working as an RN for a while, you may find yourself gravitating toward a certain area of specialization, or perhaps you are interested in assuming a management position or want to work as a nurse practitioner. For these things to happen, you will need your master of science in nursing, or MSN.
To be admitted into any given MSN program, you typically need a bachelor’s degree. Rather than completing a four-year BSN program and then starting an MSN program, which can take an additional three to four years, consider completing an ADN-to-MSN bridge program instead.
As with other bridge programs, this one takes your previous work and training into consideration, so you can skip ahead and complete the program more quickly. A key difference with this type of program is that the first half is focused on earning the BSN, while the second half is focused on the master’s degree component. For your MSN, you will have to select and declare an area of specialization.
As you can see, you don't have to start from square one to move ahead in your nursing career. The right ADN bridge program can help you get the training you need in a more condensed period of time. Explore ADN bridge programs today to move your career forward.