CNA to RN Bridge Programs

Save lives by becoming a Registered Nurse and take a leap in your career by joining CNA to RN Bridge programs. Learn all about the program in this article and work towards getting enrolled.

CNA to RN Bridge Programs : Requirements, Cost, Duration

The healthcare industry runs with the collaboration of various professionals of nursing fields that hold different positions according to their education and qualification. But to reach to the highest position one has to start from the lowest position that is as a certified nursing assistant. It is often considered as the stepping stone of the healthcare industry as their role is very crucial. Once can become CNA by acquiring education course and local training and make a way to enter into other positions in healthcare.

The average income of such nurses is very low, but they have an excellent opportunity to improve their salary bar by enrolling into CNA to RN bridge programs. It acts as a ladder to move further in the nursing profession by obtaining the advanced level of education. It is a good option as the experience of CNA helps in becoming good registered nurses as they both perform similar work. The difference comes only to the level of responsibility and qualification they have. So, it is a very good idea for all the nursing students.

How to Become CNA to RN?

You can become an RN by choosing any of the available ways. You can either earn a BSN or ADN or join a course that serves the combination of these two. Pursue an ADN from a good institution and then qualify NCLEX. If you prefer it, you will get the degree in two to three years. You can reduce this time by opting for an online course. Many students prefer CNA to RN programs because it is the fastest method and include the variety of topics that help in the preparation of NCLEX exam.

But, if you prefer BSN degree over the associate degree, then you will complete the course in four years. This course offers pre-requisite courses and general education to students. You will learn subjects such as microbiology, sociology, pharmacology, chemistry, etc. It is the long process as it consumes four years while other courses take less time.

The third option appeals more to the students because it gives direct entrance into the workforce. It also allows taking participation in an accelerated program. Take an ADN degree and pass the exam, get licensure and then apply for BSN program. But, if you want the results quicker then bridge program is best.

A Quick Overview of CNA

Getting certified as CNA is a career change for those who want to go far in the healthcare industry. Although it’s not a professional degree and mere a certification thus students have to join any higher course to work as RN. The certification test consists of theory and practical test. Thus, passing this test ensures that the student has prior knowledge of working in the professional setting. You can get the training from any of the medical settings where you will help patients under the RN’s supervision.

Therefore, working as CNA give real-experience that will benefit you once you move from nursing assistant to RN. It is thus vital to first pass this certification and then apply for any other course.


The transition does not take many efforts as their work is almost similar and by acquiring CNA certification, you have already received some basic nursing skills. These nurse bridge programs only are the foundation course to fill the skills gap and thus acts as a ladder program. They are the specialized educational program and offers credits to complete the program.  After finishing it, you will complete the basic requirement of RN.

However, to pursue this program, one must prove the eligibility for enrolling in it. Even their program differs from one to another and so as their requirements. But you may expect some general requirements such as:

  • Candidate should not be less than 18 years
  • Candidate should have the high school diploma
  • Excellent communication skills
  • CNA training certificate
  • Proof of professional experience
  • GPA of 2.0 or higher

Some programs also ask for the specific score of an ACT or SAT. However, other necessities and eligibility criteria vary from state to state. A bridge program is a quick, fast and cost-effective way to become RN. It not only reduces the course time but also saves money of educational cost. These may be some of the reasons for transitioning from CNA to RN. Better job security, increased patient responsibility, schedule flexibility and better job opportunities in the geographic location are some other reasons to choose such programs.

Cost of Bridge Programs

If you decide to pursue such bridge programs, the next step is to pay for the education. In general, these courses are not very cheap, so you have to decide about the institution that offers such options carefully. Typically, it can cost you somewhere around $3,000 to $10,000 annually. The cost also depends on the institution or nursing school that you have chosen. If you are not financially strong then taking an education loan is an option available for you. However, you can also choose other options as well. If you work as a CNA, then you can get reimbursement or tuition assistance from your employers.

Other options like scholarships and grants are also available. If you prefer this one, then you have to do a little research about the schools that offer scholarships to students enrolling in it.  You will find many schools that offer grants for CNA to RN in California. Some schools also provide online programs for those who prefer distance learning. This option is quite feasible and flexible. You can also lower the cost by attending part-time classes and work at the same time to afford your education. Private schools and colleges charges more so prefer registering with community colleges as there you have to pay less.


You can expect the uplift in your nursing skills and knowledge. Here you will get the sound knowledge of physiology, chemistry, biology, anatomy, nutrition, nursing theory and more. The typical subjects will be microbiology, human anatomy, applied math, medical-surgical nursing, pharmacology, ethics, complex concepts of adult health, maternal/newborn health, dosage calculations, women’s health, etc. You will also get the hand on training through laboratory sessions, working with actual patients and education advances. You will also learn supervision skills, critical thinking, communication and interpersonal skills.  The program incorporates various workshops and lectures as well to give the true exposure of responsibilities of RNs.

Apart from the professional knowledge the course also includes the learning of basic courses such as mathematics, English, and humanities.

Duration of CNA to RN Programs

As before mentioned that these courses reduce or shorten the time length thus you quickly get the complete knowledge about RN. However, again the length or duration depends on the schools that you prefer. The course duration also depends on the factor whether you have joined an online school or traditional schools. It usually takes two years to become RN through the conventional coursework. This is the case when you choose an associate degree. You can even shorten this period by taking an accelerated program.

A bachelor course takes even more time as the full-time course gets completed in four years. However, to reduce this period one can prefer associate to bachelor program. But, it will still take the complete period of two years. CNA to RN programs online can reduce the time by half and thus saves lots of your time which you can use to prepare for the licensure exam and get the job early. It will take only 12 to 18 months to become RN via this option.

CNA to RN Bridge Programs Online

The most convenient and flexible option is to choose an online program than traditional. It is beneficial for those who cannot attend the classes regularly, or they live in a remote region. Almost every student can take advantage of online courses as they are the best way to schedule the classes according to their time. The part-time employees can also join it and enhance their knowledge and bring a change in their career. They can study anytime they wish and thus study freely without any stress. Online courses are thus becoming popular and preferred choice of thousands of students.

A typical online program also gives concession in fees by offering discounts. They also provide pre-made notes as well. Thus they don’t have to make notes and can directly study the prepared notes. It directly connects the teacher and students within or beyond the classroom. Therefore, it breaks the physical boundary of a school by allowing everyone to join it. Online program deals with every single topic that is included in the course. The course is divided into video lectures that one can save or download to view later.

Some lectures are taken in real-time means students within the classes and outside the classes study at the same time. They can ask the question to the professors and clear their doubts. Many such schools or colleges provide this facility to those enrolling in their institutions. However, one cannot get the hand on training or practical knowledge through it. So, the beginners who have no prior experience of necessary nursing skills should prefer the offline programs and regularly attend the classes and lectures.

So, those who are planning to get enrolled into cna to rn bridge programs online can look for any kind nursing school. You should have all the basic requirements and eligibility that are needed to join it.

Advantages to Becoming CNA to RN

Many students don’t like the idea to become RN just because they think that LPN is better than them. Well, if you are one among them, then you are wrong. There are plenty of tangible reasons to upgrade in your nursing career.

1. High Earning Potential

If we simply ask why to become RN, then the obvious answer you will get is that they earn more than CNA and LPN.  Their salary difference can be seen from the statistics offered by the government. Although the course is costly but the returns on investment are impressive. You can easily recover the amount you have spent on education. They also enjoy impressive incentives, bonus and many more due to high education and qualification they have. So, to make more money in the nursing profession, go for RN bridge programs.

2. More Opportunities

RNs have ample of job opportunities because they don’t have to work under any other nurse’s supervision as they are at the higher post. They have great nursing skills, and thus they can tailor their job according to their interests. This freedom is not given to any other nurses. Thus they have limited options. They also have specializations of working with the oncology nurse, geriatric nurse, the pediatric nurse and more. They are highly qualified and have specializations in many fields of nursing. So, if you want to give a fine tune to your career choose an online RN bridge program and become RN.

3. Job Security

Unlike any other positions, RNs have long-term job security. They don’t have to change the medical settings after few years. Thus they can permanently work in any hospitals. Also, they are in demand due to the increased in the number of jobs. Thus more and more are moving towards it and opting for such courses that will enhance their work and experience.

According to an estimate, there will be tremendous job growth in this profession in the upcoming years. Several reasons support this estimation like the increase in aging population, need for wide healthcare and more. This job growth is not limited to a specific geographic location thus there is a golden chance for CNA to uplift their career and increase their income.

Therefore, anyone having sound working experience and can enroll a bridge program. Students have the wide range of options, and they can choose accordingly. Carefully decide about the school of your choice before opting for it. If you don’t meet the criteria then first become eligible and then apply. You have a great career ahead in nursing if you sincerely acquire the knowledge and learn all the basics. Once you complete it, prepare for NCLEX and get the license.
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