Nursing School Bridge Programs Save Time, Money

A new bridge program at a nursing school is helping student nurses earn a doctorate in nursing without first gaining master’s degree.

The bridge program at the University Of Connecticut School Of Nursing is a shortcut, without cutting out any of the education, between Bachelor of Science degrees in nursing to a doctor of nursing degree.

The program offering is coming on the heels of legislation that made the news recently out of New York State in which nurses will be required to obtain an advanced degree within the next decade. A press release from the school states that they made the program available in response to an earlier recommendation by the The American Association of Colleges of Nursing stating that advanced practice registered nurses should be prepared through a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), instead of a Master’s Degree, by 2015.

The nursing school’s bridge program spans four years and is the only one of its kind in the state. A press release by the nursing school said that the program enables RN’s to work on an advanced degree while learning advanced clinical practices through the program.

According to the school’s publication, UConn Today, program coordinator Sandra Bellini said that the nursing school’s bridge programs will emphasize the goals of the subordinate degrees within the Ph.D. training, allowing students to reach a higher degree level in a shorter amount of time.

With RNs in high demand and the industry standards on the rise, it will be important for other programs to follow suit and offer bridge programs in the near future. Plans are already underway at other nursing schools and many already offer such a program to qualified students. Bridge programs can save time and tuition for students, so the programs are generally well received by students and faculty alike.

The industry benefits from more advanced registered nurses entering the depleted workforce as well. Nursing schools like UConn understand that the impact of advanced training can be felt throughout the healthcare system, creating better opportunities for graduates and better outcomes for patients.


  1. Connie S. Tezie, DNP, CNP says

    Is the bridge program only for the BSN to PhD or has the BSN to DNP an option for those advanced practice nurses who would prefer a practice doctorate? Also, I am not aware of the AACN indicating that a PhD is needed for APN – their statement indicated that a DNP would be require be required for APN as of 2015. Thank you.

  2. J Harrison says

    So, are these advance practice nurses with a doctorate going to be working at the bedside? If they are, great. Or, will they all leave the bedside? I hope not. Will they combine their knowledge and experience and speak to the RN:patient ratio and what is safe? Will they have enough time during their bedside shift to teach and critical think? Currently that is an issue.
    Also, physician relations will need to be a large focus. Currently our physical and occupational therapists are required to have doctorates in Arizona. They still need the physician to write orders or atleast discuss the issue with the physician and then have the physician co-sign.

    Thank you.


  1. SocialSave says:

    Nursing School Bridge Programs Save Time, Money…

    Nursing schools make way for new laws and advanced degrees with shorter bridge programs….