Nurses play a critical role in the healthcare system, with around 194,500 expected jobs to be available for registered nurses yearly over the next decade. The percentage of nurses who want to take their nursing degree to a higher academic level is also on the rise, and this is where nursing bridge programs come into play.
Whether you’re elevating your nursing status from an LPN or MSN, these programs help you attain a higher education degree quickly and efficiently by building on your existing nursing knowledge. In this article, we’ll help you navigate through a few bridge programs available at various levels so that you can make the right career choices moving forward.
In addition to technological advancements in health institutions benefitting patient care, they have made it easier for professionals to obtain a higher level degree online without going to campus regularly. Due to its flexibility, distant learning is a preferred option for individuals in nursing programs with busy schedules.
Online learning includes pre-recorded lectures, communication with professors and peers, and submitting assignments on deadlines that complement their work schedules. On the other hand, there can be cases where the online programs require the students to attend live lectures and projects, but these classes are delivered at times that don’t disrupt the nurses’ work schedules. You can find more detailed information about RN-to-MSN programs online and decide upon the master’s program that best suits your needs.
As is the case with all nursing degrees, bridge programs call for their students to take part in various labs and clinics to gain practical, advanced knowledge and experience. While conventional programs place students to work at a fitting clinic or hospital to complete their necessary hours, a bridge program allows learners to carry out their labs and clinical hours at their workplace. This allows nursing students to manage their schedules while fulfilling their professional and academic tasks. To determine the workings of your lab and clinical demands at a school, you can get in touch with the program director and inquire about the specifications.
This program enables registered nurses with an associate degree to secure a master’s-level diploma much faster than if they pursue a BSN and MSN independently. The bridge MSN program takes three to three and a half years. It will teach you about patient care technologies, healthcare settings and care management, health promotion, risk minimization, and improvement of evidence-based practice. You will also have to partake in clinical rotations to develop hands-on skills.
These requirements can be completed at your workplace if you work in a healthcare setup. Most nurse practitioners specialize in family, gerontology, and mental health. The RN-to-MSN bridge program also enables its graduates to become nurse practitioners and secure significantly higher salaries.
The healthcare world is constantly evolving concerning clinical delivery and management. Due to this, the demand for practical management skills in light of healthcare system changes is on the rise and has caused an increased commitment to the improvement of the education standards of the nursing workforce. You should consider enrolling in a nursing bridge program as it can significantly benefit your future career prospects. With this guide, you can take the first step in applying to an online master’s nursing program that you think will work best for you.