RN To MSN Bridge Programs

A Closer Look At RN To MSN Programs

group of nursesRN to MSN programs are particularly sought-after these days and, just like the name implies, these are specialized training programs designed to help registered nurses who have a Bachelor’s degree, a diploma or an associate’s degree in nursing to elevate their career, to improve their medical skills and knowledge and to increase their job opportunities in the long run, by becoming even more educated. Having said that, it often happens that registered nurses who want to pursue a more lucrative career in the medical industry and become nurse practitioners tend to opt for these programs.

There are tens of nursing departments and universities’ graduate schools that offer bridge programs designed to help registered nurses pursue their Master’s degree in the Science of Nursing in a fast, efficient and professional manner: while some of them are available on a full-time basis and require students to take part in all the classes, others are available on a part-time basis, or even online, the latter being particularly suitable for working RNs who have little spare time at their disposal. The length of the RN to MSN bridge program can vary slightly from one university to another, depending on the amount of practical training and the background experience of each RN prior to enrollment. Nonetheless, it often happens that these bridge programs can be completed within as little as two years, or even less.


Once again, the curriculum varies from one university to another, just like the length of these training programs. Nonetheless, the core curriculum of these bridge programs commonly includes nursing administration, professional practice, as well as concepts in health care. Nurse leadership, women’s health and family nurse practitioner courses are also often included in the curriculum of these bridge programs, and the good news is that the training combines both classroom teaching and clinical experience alike.

What Are The Educational Prerequisites For A RN To MSN Program?

If you have decided to take your career as a registered nurse to the next level by enrolling in a bridge program that will eventually result in a Master’s degree, then you should know that you need to have at least an Associate’s degree in Nursing or a Bachelor’s Degree in the Science of Nursing, in order to be eligible for enrollment. Some work experience-related prerequisites may also apply, and besides this all universities require their applicants to be registered nurses.

In addition to this, most of the universities also require their applicants to have at least 90 completed undergraduate credits, to complete all the lower level courses, as well as to complete courses in medical statistics, and to have a GPA of at least 3.0 or even 3.5 on a scale of four. The GPA-related requirement is the most notable one: while a RN to BSN program or a RN to ADN bridge program typically requires their applicants to have a GPA of around 2.5 on a scale of 4.0, the RN to MSN programs are considerably more demanding and selective in this area. There are some accelerated programs designed for those who want to pursue their Master’s in the Science of Nursing in a timely fashion and to save themselves a lot of time, money and headaches – nonetheless, not all universities may offer these programs.

Career Options For Registered Nurses with A Master’s Degree

nurseGiven the 25% job growth for registered nurses and other professionals who work in the health care industry, it is safe to assume that RNs are very appreciated in nursing care facilities, private clinics as well as state hospitals. Most of the RNs who graduate from one of these bridge programs and who become highly educated usually choose to become nurse practitioners, given the rewarding salaries. At the time being, the median yearly wage of a nurse practitioner who works in the United States of America revolves around $95,000, and although this can vary greatly from one state and work environment to another, these health care providers are still amongst the best paid nursing professionals in the medical industry.

What Are The Main Difference Between The On-Site And Online Bridge Program?

Most universities that offer bridge programs nowadays allow their students to get their Master of Science in Nursing degree online, quickly and without the hassles, so that students are not required to take two BSN courses. In addition to this, one of the most important advantages of the online-based bridge programs is the fact that students can enjoy unimpeded matriculation into the master’s bridge program, without having to worry about reapplying. On-campus sessions tend to be more demanding and time-consuming for most registered nurses, especially for those who already activate as RNs in the medical industries and who have a job in the private or the public sector. The online programs, on the other hand, are far more versatile in terms of schedule, and they also allow students to complete their practicums in the student’s own community, without having to relocate or to travel long distances for the practical part of the bridge program.

What Are The Different Types Of Bridge Programs Available?

It often happens that those who opt for a bridge program in order to get their MSN also opt for specialized education to a career as a nurse educator or as a family nurse practitioner, for instance. Taking the family nurse practitioner MSN bridge program as an example, it must be said that these training program include nursing modules in advanced pathophysiology, leadership roles and issues that occur in the nursing industry, adult and pediatric primary care, advanced practice nursing in family care, advanced pathophysiology, pharmacotherapeutics and such.

On the other hand, nurse educators will get a deeper insight into assessment of learning, curriculum development, advanced health assessment and diagnostic reasoning, teaching strategies and teaching practicum and so forth. Regardless of which specialization appeals to you the most, a Master’s degree in the Science of Nursing can certainly open a lot of doors in your future profession, thus paving the way for a truly lucrative career in the health care industry, especially if you plan to work as a nurse practitioner.