The Brief Overview of CNA to RN Programs

A certified nursing assistant is an entry-level profession in the health care field that encompasses the basic and fundamental knowledge and skills required for a nurse. As such, a CNA training program is a conventional choice for a stepping stone to the nursing profession.

CNAs work under the direct supervision of a registered nurse. Hence, RNs have a notable superiority over CNAs in terms of accountability and responsibilities, career stability, and financial compensation. It is therefore practical for nurses to aim for an RN license. With the help of CNA to RN bridge programs, you can save your time and resources for your nursing education.

What Is a CNA to RN Bridge Program?

A CNA to RN bridge program is an innovative curriculum that aims to help CNAs achieve an RN license. The program entails an associate’s degree coursework, preparing students to sit for the NCLEX-RN. The program works by transferring the credits you earned from your CNA training to your current RN bridge program, hence shortening your time of completion for the training.

Admission Requirements

Different schools may have varying sets of requirements for admission. However, we have listed below the basic requirements mandated by most schools:

  • Current and active CNA certificate - You must be a licensed CNA to qualify for admission, with working experience in a medical facility.
  • Certificate of completion - As proof of your completion of a CNA training program, you should be able to present your diploma or certificate of completion.
  • Transcript of records - This is the basis for the number of units to be transferred to your RN bridge program. You must also have a GPA of at least 2.0, with grades not less than C for all subjects.
  • Age requirement - The US boards of nursing require nurses to be at least 18 years old to legally work (and train) to as a nurse in the actual field.

Tuition & Fees

The cost for tuition highly depends on the type of school you are enrolled at and the type of coursework you have chosen. Community colleges have a tuition fee of roughly $3,000 annually; private schools and universities can reach up to $10,000 per year. Note that this a rough estimation of the average costs. Other fees you have to prepare for are the application and testing fee for the NCLEX-RN ($200 to $350, depending on your state).

Course Duration

The duration of a traditional RN program is about 2 years. However, with a CNA to LPN bridge program, it can be completed within 1 to 1 ½ years. Note that this excludes the time for applying, preparing, and taking the NCLEX-RN, in which case you are to spend 3 to 6 months for the licensure exam.

Online CNA to RN Programs

Online bridge programs are offered in many schools nowadays. Many good students choose this option due to its convenience and flexibility. Instead of an on-campus class, the lessons are channeled through the Internet, videos, and e-books. Note however that the internship portion of the program cannot be done online.


A CNA to RN bridge program is a 1 to 1 ½ year accelerated coursework that aims to gear up students for the NCLEX-RN. The program can be taken full-time, part-time, or online.

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