Transitioning from Medical Assistant to RN is a big step: one that may present fresh career challenges and help you make an impact in a field that matters. But how can you pursue the bridge between MA and RN careers? Our list of 10 prospective RN programs may be a good starting point.
Can medical assistant transfer to nursing?
“Transfer” is probably the wrong word. There may not be a clear path from your existing medical assisting career to a prospective career as an RN. However, that doesn’t mean there’s anything to stand in the way of a medical assistant who hopes to pursue an RN career track. In fact, these careers may share some overlapping duties and knowledge areas, like recording patient histories, administering injections and medications, and being detail-oriented.
But will I find an MA to RN bridge program?
Probably not. It’s natural to search for medical assistant to BSN programs, or MA to RN programs online. The truth is that MA to RN bridge programs, or degree programs designed especially for current MAs, don’t seem to be a potential offering. Still, it’s possible your medical assisting background may help you in courses nursing students typically have to take, like anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and others!
As you seek programs that may help you pursue your new career goals, keep an eye out for pre-licensure nursing programs. Unlike bridge programs for candidates who are already licensed RNs, pre-licensure programs are for students without prior registered nursing experience.
So how can a medical assistant become a registered nurse?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, prospective Registered Nurses tend to pursue one of three educational paths:
- A Bachelor of Science (BSN) degree in nursing
- An Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN)
- A non-degree nursing diploma
These programs vary, but they generally include courses in areas like anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, social and behavioral sciences, etc. Nursing students also participate in supervised clinical experiences.
Those hoping to progress from medical assistant to RN should evaluate potential educational programs. After graduating from an approved nursing program, prospective RNs must pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other potential requirements may depend on your state.
How long does it take a medical assistant to become a registered nurse?
Pursuing a diploma or an ADN takes two to three years on average. Earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), on the other hand, takes an average of four years. Of course, other factors may affect the length of your preparation. For example, if you opt to continue working as an MA while pursuing your nursing education part-time, earning your RN degree or diploma may take longer.
As you plan your potential transition from medical assistant to RN, check out our list of 10 nursing programs worth exploring. Some of the schools on this list may offer online programs or other potentially flexible options. Hopefully, you’ll find the perfect program to help guide you on your journey from MA to RN. You can also fill out the form, above, and get matched for free!
Schools with Potential Programs for Medical Assistant to RN Candidates
Programs that may be perfect for MA to RN candidates: Associate of Science in Nursing Online, Prelicensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing Online
Kaplan University’s online nursing programs are aimed at working students who may have jobs and families. So, Kaplan may be a university worth considering for those pursuing a transition from medical assistant to RN. They offer multiple start dates, as well as the opportunity to potentially pursue your clinical experiences in your own community.
Programs that may be perfect for MA to RN candidates: Associate Degree Nursing Program, Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree Program
Herzing University takes pride in fostering flexible, career-focused learning. They offer several nursing programs, including ADN and BSN programs worth checking out for those pursuing a medical assistant to RN career change. Programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) may be available. Students may be able to choose from three start times, at one of several Herzing University locations.
Programs that may be perfect for MA to RN candidates: Professional Nursing Associate's Degree (ADN), Accelerated BSN Standard Entrance Program
Rasmussen College offers blended nursing programs that may be perfect for working MAs hoping to prepare for a nursing career path. In some of Rasmussen’s nursing programs, students may pursue certain degree components online, and others at a campus location. The college may also offer Flex Choice, where students may pursue competency-based education or online self-directed assessments.
Programs that may be perfect for MA to RN candidates: Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
Bellevue College is the third largest institution of higher learning in Washington state, with about 32,000 students. Their ADN program is aimed at those who want to pursue beginning level clinical practice as a Registered Nurse. Nursing students prepare to take the NCLEX-RN exam, and to serve the community as nurses. Courses are on campus, so this program is for those who live nearby or are willing to relocate.
Programs that may be perfect for MA to RN candidates: Traditional BSN program, Evening/Weekend BSN program
Cleveland State University is an Ohio public university with eight colleges and over 17,000 students. The university offers several nursing degree programs, including some that may interest medical assistant to RN candidates. In addition to a traditional BSN program, Cleveland State may offer an evening/weekend program that helps busy, working students. Accepted students would take courses on weeknight evenings, and pursue clinicals on the weekends.
Programs that may be perfect for MA to RN candidates: ADN program, BSN program
Kent State University awarded its first BSN degrees back in 1971. Since then, they’ve been committed to helping students make a positive impact in the nursing field. Kent State may offer both an Associate’s Degree in Nursing program and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. The ADN program is offered at four Kent State regional campuses in Ohio. The BSN program is offered at five campuses.
Programs that may be perfect for MA to RN candidates: Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Co-op Program
Drexel University is a large, private research university based in Philadelphia. They offer a unique nursing co-op program that may allow students to pursue work-related experiences while earning a BSN. They also offer a potential BSN transfer program for students who have completed college-level prerequisite courses elsewhere. While Drexel has a variety of online nursing and healthcare degree programs, the traditional BSN program is campus-based.
Programs that may be perfect for MA to RN candidates: Traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
A Catholic, Benedictine University that welcomes students of all faith backgrounds, University of Mary offers a variety of nursing programs in North Dakota. The BSN in Nursing may be perfect for medical assistant to RN candidates. University of Mary has multiple campuses in different states, in addition to an online school. However, the traditional BSN program is offered on the Bismarck campus.
Programs that may be perfect for MA to RN candidates: Associate of Science Degree in Nursing (Full RN)
For over 30 years, Florida Career College has been helping students pursue new professional goals. Medical assistant to RN candidates may wish to check out FCC’s School of Nursing, which offers an Associate of Science degree program for prospective Registered Nurses. The degree can be earned in a few as four semesters. The School of Nursing has four campus locations in Florida.
10. Baker College
Programs that may be perfect for MA to RN candidates: Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program, Pre-Licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program
Baker College is Michigan’s largest independent, not-for-profit college. They’ve been helping students prepare for new career goals for over a century! Baker offers a variety of nursing programs, including two pre-licensure programs that may be suitable for medical assistants hoping to make a career change. The ADN program is offered at the Allen Park campus, while the BSN program is offered at the Cadillac, Clinton Township, Flint, and Muskegon campuses.
Find MA to RN Programs Online
A nursing program may be able to help you transition your medical assisting knowledge and compassion to brand new challenges. Again, while there may not be any official MA to RN bridge programs, those preparing for a career change may have a few potential paths. Whether you decide to pursue a diploma, ADN, or BSN degree, you may find a pre-licensure nursing program that’s perfect for you.
Ready to get started? Browse our list of schools, and click each one for more info! But for a quicker way to explore colleges and universities with nursing programs, fill out the form, above. We’ll help match you to sponsored programs that may suit your interests and goals.