How Do Nursing Bridge Programs Work?

Nursing bridge programs work by allowing licensed nurses to receive academic credit for professional experience and to provide a direct route to an RN license as well as BNS and MSN degrees for working nurses at different levels, according to Nurse Journal. These programs vary in length, but they generally take from one to three years depending on the program and degree level. MSN degrees take the longest time to complete.

One of the advantages of some nursing programs is the availability of online courses that allow nurses to take classes for the degree asynchronously. These classes work by allowing students to complete readings and assignments when it best fits their work schedules. Because nursing bridge programs enroll working nurses, these students can complete many of the skills-based clinical requirements at their place of work. This schedule reduces both a student's daily commute time as well as the overall time to complete the degree.

Bridge programs are good options for nurses who want to develop clinical skills as well as reasoning and analytical skills to advance a nursing career, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Because bridge programs can move a nurse through a career from LPN to an MSN, they afford entry-level nurses the opportunity to enter administration and management level roles and to earn top salaries in the health care profession.