When applying to a nursing program, the program will usually have special “” that you take before entering their program. These courses prepare a solid foundation of knowledge that nursing courses will build on later. Every ADN, BSN, and LPN bridge program structures how they treat these classes differently.
Many programs share the same science classes. Some programs (especially bachelor’s degree bridge programs) require non-nursing related courses. The GPA that is required by these programs varies widely. Some schools will take students with an average science GPA above a 2.5, while others require above a 3.75. These prerequisites are influenced by many things, including the values and history of the university, legal program requirements, and accreditation program requirements.
Each of these class and GPA requirements are structured different ways inside of the program. There are three main types of nursing program requirements structures.
- “Separate course” programs in which the prerequisites must be completed before any nursing classes.
- “Mixed course” programs in which the prerequisites are “mixed” in with the nursing courses.
- “Online course” programs in which prerequisites and nursing courses are taken at the same time online.
Registered Nurse Requirements: Separate Course Programs
How does this type of bridge program work? A separate course bridge program requires that all prerequisites be completed before admittance. The prerequisites are usually general education classes like math and english.
What does this type of bridge program require? There is often a strict GPA requirement on these classes, especially the science classes. By passing every nursing program requirements course with a high GPA you can be considered for admittance, but will be competing with other students for spots in the program. Often times recommendation letters are also required. Because of this, if you are applying to a separate course bridge program you should focus on doing well in your prerequisite level courses, and gaining the respect of your professors.
Registered Nurse Requirements: Mixed Course Programs
How does this type of bridge program work? As the name implies, a mixed course program mixes in general education prerequisites with it’s bridge program degree. Each semester is a mix of prerequisites like math and English, and nursing courses. Entry into this program is usually based on the initial student application. It is also possible to begin by taking prerequisite courses and then apply for an alternative degree plan into the program.
What does this type of bridge program require? These bridge programs require a more in depth application process. Letters of recommendation, any previous GPA (especially science GPA), application essays, and previous experience all count towards getting into these programs. They are generally more flexible than a separate course program, in that you can take some classes “out of order”. Because of the structure of this program, you should focus on creating an outstanding application and possibly putting in some volunteer work to show your dedication to the program.
Registered Nurse Requirements: Online Programs
How does this type of bridge program work? Online nursing programs are very flexible in their prerequisite requirements. The most common type of online nursing program is the LPN to RN bridge. Once accepted into an online program, students can choose which courses to take at which time (with some limits). It is unlike a more traditional degree program in that students can take as little as one class at a time.
What does this type of bridge program require? Online bridge program requirements are generally much more “lax” than traditional in person degree programs. Some online bridge programs will require in person interviews, while others have a simple online application process. The prerequisites include freshman level general courses which can be taken online. Because of the structure of this type of program, your application should include a high science GPA from previous schoolwork, or an outstanding in person interview.
What Do They Have in Common?
Each LPN bridge program follows the same nursing accreditation guidelines from the same organizations (ACEN, CCNE). ADN programs will be accredited by ACEN, while BSN programs will be accredited by either ACEN, CCNE, or both. Every program requires the same basic science courses to create a base for nursing anatomy and physiology knowledge. Every LPN bridge program will end with students taking the same test (NCLEX-RN) to get the same certification (registered nurse).