The length of time it takes for an MA to complete an RN program depends on several factors. First, it depends on the program itself. BSN programs will take longer than ADN programs. It generally takes three to four years to complete a BSN program and two years to complete an associate’s program. However, this is from start to finish. If the school allows courses from the MA program to count towards the prerequisites, the nursing program will be a bit shorter.
Second, the length of time to complete depends on which and how many courses can be transferred. Several semesters can be shaved off if a few prerequisites are not needed. According to Achieve Test Prep, those who choose to “test out” of specific prerequisites can reduce their length of time in school by nine to twelve months, which is significant for those looking to get out into the workforce quicker.
What Types of Schools Offer This Program?
Because there is no direct MA to RN bridge programs, medical assistants would need to pursue the traditional education route, to include:
- Community Colleges
- Vocational Schools
- Test Out / Self-Paced Instruction
It’s important to note that not all components of an RN program can be completed online, or in the distance-learning format. Nursing school requires hands-on education and supervised practical experience to become licensed, which can only be achieved at an institution or medical facility.
Medical assistants have an edge when transitioning to the RN role. They have patient care experience and work closely with medical providers. Experience as an MA may also help admission to nursing programs. However, MAs should recognize that becoming a registered nurse is not only about technical skills. RNs develop a whole new way of assessing and problem-solving as well as developing a unique patient care approach. These non-technical skills take practice as well as time.