What Does A “Bridge” Program Entail?

At some point as a student, you may come across a “bridge” program and wonder exactly what it is.

“Bridge” status applies to a wide diversity of college courses and programs. For example, advanced placement programs - in which high school students take college-level courses prior to graduating so they have a head start on their college requirements - are considered “college bridge” programs, as are STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) courses aimed at acquainting high school grads with studies in their chosen STEM fields.

What is a Bridge Program?

Technically, “bridge” programs are those created by agreements or partnerships between universities to recognize previous academic experience at one toward degree completion in the same, or similar, field at another.

In most cases, bridge programs are those that enable a student to “bridge,” or move, from one level of professional proficiency to a higher one. For example,  a registered nurse (RN) with an Associate’s Degree can bridge to a BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing), providing the advanced learning and skills that enable her or him to take on leadership positions, specialty areas of nursing – such as medical research – or teach nursing to future students.

Bridge Programs for Nursing

Although bridge programs can encompass a variety of disciplines, nursing programs – such as the RN to BSN offered at selected Fortis campuses – likely are the most prevalent. The backbone of nursing care for generations, working RNs often find management advancement difficult to obtain without a BSN. Plus, many hospitals today prefer to recruit only BSN graduates for open positions on their staffs.

While no formal Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Medical Assisting (MA) to RN programs exist, EMTs and MAs do have an emotional advantage when transitioning from their current medical position into nursing. Having already worked in medical facilities, dealt with emergency situations, and seen first-hand how RN and other medical team members work together to provide the best patient care can be a major plus when going into a nursing program.

If you’re looking to take an EMT or MA degree to the next level as a nurse, Fortis Colleges and Institutes offers an Associate Degree in Nursing program (RN) with flexible course offerings that enables you to continue working while advancing your career. For working RNs, Fortis’s RN to BSN Bridge Program offers similar advantages. To learn more about our programs, visit our site

Tags: nursing, Empower, education prep

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