Many registered nursing programs do not require a bachelor's of science degree, though some require an associate degree in nursing in order to sit for the registered nursing exam. These programs and requirements for licensure vary by state, but many jobs require a bachelor of science degree in order for a nurse to either be hired or advance in their career. Fortunately, there are more than 600 online and face-to-face RN-to-BSN “bridge” programs in the United States that supply this degree to RNs who need it.

Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University offers a bridge program for nurses registered in the state of Georgia. This is a face-to-face program. Admission requirements for the program include a 2.7 grade point average; completion of extensive prerequisites in chemistry, biology, English, psychology, math and nursing with a grade of C or better; letters of reference from a professional in the field; and a current RN license. The bridge program itself is designed to take three semesters and requires 30 credit hours. It includes a clinical sequence that occurs during the second and third semesters of the program.

University of St. Francis

The University of St. Francis program is designed for both registered nurses and students getting an associate in applied science in nursing, which is also offered at St. Francis. The two-year bridge program is offered completely online and is in addition to the university's well-established two-year associate program. Admission requirements include either a current RN license or enrollment in the University of St. Francis’ associate in nursing program, which includes a very specific series of nursing, math and science classes. The bridge program is designed to be taken year-round, for a total of three semesters each year. The final class is a clinical practicum in the field.

Western Governor’s University

The Western Governor’s University RN-to-BSN program is designed for nurses in Washington state who already hold an RN license. Admission requirements include Washington state residency, completion of a nursing degree, a current RN license and a current job in the nursing field. This program is offered completely online and can be completed in as few as 18 months. The 120-credit program covers classes in general education, nursing theory and practice, behavioral and nursing sciences, and specialty topics. Students with an existing RN license are able to transfer in at least 50 credits.

University of North Florida

The University of North Florida’s RN-to-BSN bridge program is available in both online and face-to-face cohort programs. Admission requirements include a 2.9 grade point average and completion of specific general education requirements. Both programs are designed to be completed in one year of full-time attendance. Half of the 60 credits come from the classes taken, and 30 additional credits are awarded at the end of the program for clinical practice and nursing knowledge learned during the program.