CNA to RN bridge programs are educational pathways designed to help Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) transition to becoming Registered Nurses (RNs). These programs recognize the skills and experiences that CNAs have already acquired in the healthcare field and provide them with an accelerated route to advance their nursing careers.
Chicago has several CNA to RN programs with varying requirements and pathways. Whether you are seeking a cost effective, accelerated, or online program, this lists has the best providers of CNA to RN education in Chicagoland.
Elmhurst University’s CNA to RN Bridge Program
Elmhurst University offers a pathway for Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs) to become Registered Nurses (RNs) through their nursing programs. These programs are designed to build on the knowledge and experience that CNAs already possess, offering an accelerated route to a nursing degree. The university’s nursing courses, which are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), focus on equipping students with critical skills for various healthcare settings.
The university provides an online Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program and a Master’s Entry in Nursing Practice (MENP) program. Both are tailored for individuals seeking a career shift into nursing. The ABSN program, completed in 16 months, is suitable for those with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing discipline, offering over 600 clinical and lab hours and two on-campus residencies. The MENP program, a 20-month course, also requires a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and includes over 1,000 clinical and lab hours with one on-campus residency. These programs are designed to be intensive and immersive, preparing students for the NCLEX-RN examination and roles such as Clinical Nurse Leader.
|ABSN: $50,000; MENP: $60,000
|ABSN: 16 months; MENP: 20 months
|190 S Prospect Ave, Elmhurst, IL 60126
|Yes (with on-campus residencies)
Elmhurst University’s programs stand out for their flexibility and comprehensive curriculum, catering to individuals making a career transition as a CNA to a RN. The online format allows students to balance their studies with other commitments, while the on-campus residencies offer crucial hands-on experience.
Other Nursing Programs
The following are some of the most popular nursing schools in Chicago that offer RN programs. CNAs can enroll in these programs to become RNs.
What CNA to RN Programs Look Like
- Advanced Standing for CNAs: Many bridge programs offer CNAs credit for their existing knowledge and experience. This can shorten the overall time required to complete an RN program.
- Focused Curriculum: The curriculum in CNA to RN bridge programs is tailored to build upon the skills that CNAs already possess. It typically includes advanced nursing courses, patient care techniques, and often covers areas such as pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, and nursing ethics.
- Clinical Experience: These programs also include clinical training, which is an essential component for RNs. Given their background, CNAs might find some aspects of clinical training familiar, but they will also be exposed to more complex and varied healthcare settings than they might have experienced as CNAs.
- Eligibility for RN Licensure: Upon completion of a CNA to RN bridge program, graduates are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), which is required to become a licensed RN.
- Flexibility: Many bridge programs offer flexible schedules or online coursework to accommodate working CNAs. This allows them to continue working while pursuing their RN qualifications.
- Career Advancement: Becoming an RN opens up more advanced and diverse job opportunities in healthcare. RNs have a broader scope of practice than CNAs, often involve in direct patient care, administration of medication, coordination of patient care plans, and supervision of other healthcare staff.
CNA to RN bridge programs are an excellent option for CNAs who wish to advance their nursing careers, offering a combination of credit for previous experience, focused nursing education, and a pathway to higher qualifications and responsibilities in the healthcare industry.