11 CNA to RN Nursing Bridge Programs

CNA to RN nursing programs are designed to help certified nursing assistants continue their education and develop a more complete understanding of the healthcare profession. Luckily, there are many ways for you to become a RN, including by earning an ADN, BSN, or a combination of the two.

Did You Know?

During the months that school is out for summer vacation, emergency room visits from children under 14 years old rise by 18%.

All About CNA to RN Nursing Programs

There are typically three ways for you to become a registered nurse (RN) after you’ve become a certified nursing assistant (CNA). The first is to pursue an associates degree in nursing, or ADN. Usually, you can earn your ADN in two to three years, though you may be able to earn your degree in less time.

The CNA to RN Nursing Bridge Programs are popular choices with nursing students because it:

  • Includes liberal arts courses
  • May prepare you for NCLEX-RN exam
  • May be earned quickly
  • Has courses that cover a variety of topics

Your second option in going from a CNA to RN is to pursue a bachelors of science in nursing degree, or BSN. Typically, a BSN takes about four years to earn, but keep in mind that every program is set up differently.

While earning a BSN, you have to complete general education and prerequisite courses. Some of these may include:

  • Microbiology
  • Chemistry
  • Sociology
  • Pharmacology

The third option is for you to earn an ADN, pass the NCLEX-RN licensure exam, and then pursue a BSN. This option appeals to students because you:

  • May enter the workforce quicker
  • May complete your work online
  • May be able to participate in an accelerated program

What Is a CNA?

A CNA helps patients or clients with healthcare needs under the direct supervision of an RN or licensed practical nurse (LPN). While the specific responsibilities vary from state to state and position to position, a CNA usually acts as the liaison between patients and nurses.

Once you’ve become a certified nursing assistant, you may want to become a registered nurse (RN) to pursue some of the additional benefits. In fact, by working as a CNA, you may gain valuable workplace experience that you may be able to apply to your studies while attending a CNA to RN bridge program.

Difference Between CNA and LPN

Both CNAs and LPNs are important healthcare providers that work in such settings as:

  • Care centers
  • Hospitals
  • Mental health facilities

However, there are some core differences between the roles. The first of these is training, which for a CNA may be between 75 to 120 hours and for an LPN typically lasts for about a year. Another difference is the courses, which for a CNA is a basic understanding of healthcare needs.

On the other hand, the coursework required to become an LPN includes a more in-depth analysis of a broader range of topics, such as medication dosage, legal implications, geriatrics, obstetrics, and pediatrics.

Other differences include:

  • Examination
  • Certification and License
  • License or Certificate Renewal
  • Scope of Practice
  • Responsibilities

7 Schools That Offer CNA to RN Nursing Bridge Programs

While going from a CNA to RN can be an intimidating process, finding the perfect program for you is an important first step. Below is a list of nine schools where you can earn your BSN and a short description of each school.

Remember, you can find ADN programs that can prepare you to pursue a career as an RN. In the list of schools below, if a school also offers an ADN we will  mention it.

Click on any of the links below or for any of the sponsored listings on this page to learn more about each school and contact them directly for more information.

1. University of Pittsburgh

Founded in 1787, the University of Pittsburgh has over 250,000 graduates around the world and has developed into an internationally recognized center for research and learning.

The purpose of the BSN program is to prepare you to become a professional nurse with practice in nursing science, related sciences, and the arts. The BSN at Pitt teaches you how to promote, restore, and maintain the health of human beings. This complete education in nursing may help you go from a CNA to RN.

2. Herzing University (Offers ADN)

Since 1965 Herzing University has been a leader in offering career-oriented higher education. They have applied this experience to the variety of CNA to RN nursing programs available at the school.

For instance, they offer a BSN, which is increasingly becoming the new standard for healthcare organizations. In fact, there may be options for those with a CNA to earn the BSN faster, but contact the school to find out if you qualify for this program.

Herzing also offers a 20-month ADN that prepares you to take the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. Afterwards, you may be able to transfer those credits to earn your BSN.

3. Adelphi University

As a non-profit university, Adelphi University prepares students for active citizenship and professional careers. Currently, there are more than 8,000 students enrolled at Adelphi, from 43 states and 44 countries.

The BSN helps nurses go from CNA to RN by teaching the knowledge and skills that extend beyond traditional practices and healthcare facilities. All of the curriculum in the BSN program is focused on teaching concepts relating to the promotion of health, care during illness, and long-term care.

4. Drexel University

Ranked among the top 100 schools in the nation, Drexel University is a comprehensive global research university. Founded in 1891, Drexel has built a global reputation through leadership in experiential learning and has a rich history of academic technology firsts.

The BSN program at Drexel includes intensive immersion in nursing science, as well as a facilitated entrance into nursing practice. This combination has helped the school achieve a first-time pass rate of 96% to 100% on the NCLEX-RN exam.

5. University of San Francisco

U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of San Francisco in the top 10% of National Universities, and The Princeton Review recognized them as a “Best Western College.” Founded in 1885, the school provides students with the competencies needed to succeed as professionals, but more importantly, as people.

The BSN curriculum at the University of San Francisco is rooted in the values of the Jesuit mission and a liberal arts education. In this regard, students are taught to think critically and communicate effectively and to apply these skills to the nursing practice to make the transition from CNA to RN.

6. Gonzaga University

Gonzaga University has been enriching students since 1887 with an education rooted in leadership, social justice, and strong Jesuit values. Using these values, the BSN program at Gonzaga teaches students to promote health, to care for patients with acute and chronic illnesses, and to support patients and their families at the end of life.

One application of the Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) approach Gonzaga uses for their BSN program is for students to initially care for patients with more predictable healthcare needs. Then, as students progress, they care for patients with increasingly more complex healthcare needs.

7. Villanova University

Founded in 1842, Villanova University has used its intellectual tradition as the cornerstone to teach students to think critically, act compassionately, and succeed while serving others.

The BSN program at Villanova is centered on:

  • Academic excellence
  • Global perspective
  • Expert faculty mentoring
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Values-oriented experience

By combining an outstanding education in the liberal arts and sciences with an excellent and fully accredited professional curriculum in nursing, Villanova helps you develop as a nurse and as a person.

4 RN to BSN Nursing Programs

If you went from CNA to RN by earning an ADN and are looking to continue your education and earn a BSN, you may pursue your degree online. This may help you build upon your previous education and work experience and gain insight into the issues that impact patients and learn to utilize evidence-based practice for improved outcomes.

Keep in mind that most of the schools listed above also offer an RN to BSN nursing bridge program. Click on any of the links for those schools and contact them to learn more about the various nursing programs.

Below is a short list of schools that offer a RN to BSN bridge program with a short description of each school and some key points about the program.

1. Capella University

Currently, more than 35,000 students from all 50 states and 61 countries are enrolled in the various programs at Capella University. This is one of the reasons organizations around the world have acknowledged Capella’s commitment to quality education.

The RN to BSN program teaches how to:

  • Effectively assess patients
  • Use evidence-based practices
  • Support improved patient outcomes
  • Promote healthier living

2. University of Phoenix

The University of Phoenix is focused on teaching professional men and women who can’t put their life on hold earn their degree. By applying this philosophy to RN to BSN programs, the University of Phoenix features courses designed with the help of industry experts so you may develop career-oriented skills.

This program:

  • Is CCNE accredited
  • Helps you learn from experience
  • May help you earn your degree faster

3. Southern New Hampshire University

As a nonprofit higher education institute, Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) offers a variety of degrees and learning formats to students throughout the country and the world.

The RN to BSN program is designed to accommodate your busy life as a working nurse. This program prepares you for your next step by teaching:

  • Evidence-based care
  • Health promotion
  • Disease prevention
  • Use of technology

4. Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University has a 65-year history of providing students with the abilities you need to get ahead. GCU has the goal of acting as your gateway to success through their holistic approach to education, Christian heritage, and their avowed commitment to the world community.

The RN to BSN program at GCU is tailored to meet the needs of an RN adult learner in order to maximize your personal strengths. The coursework teaches a comprehensive view of patient care principles to strengthen your ability to care for patients.

Find the Perfect CNA to RN Bridge Program for You

If you’re looking to transition from CNA to RN, finding the perfect nursing bridge program for you is only a couple minutes away. Click on any of the sponsored listings on this page, including those in the lists above to learn more about each of the programs.

From there, you can contact your favorites directly for more information about the nursing programs and learn how to apply today.

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