On July 21, 2016, the Alabama Board of Nursing unanimously voted to approve a new education track that will allow qualified veterans of the United States Armed Forces with experience in the health care field to earn approval to test for the NCLEX-PN© exam, which would qualify them as fully Licensed Practical Nurses in Alabama.
The Military Bridge Program is the culmination of months of hard work by an ABN Advisory Council consisting predominantly of representatives from the Board, the private sector, and the Alabama Community College System (ACCS). The program is consistent with the stated goals of Governor Robert Bentley’s call to action through Executive Order 42 (AlaVetNet), as well as the mission and values of the Board.
The Program is revolutionary, in that it allows current and former service members to combine their military health care experience with one semester of intensive classroom and clinical experience designed to fill in any theoretical and practical gaps between their technical expertise and nursing practice. Beyond initial LPN licensure, the overarching goal of the military bridge program is to serve as a point of entry to nursing practice.
The program, which should launch at select ACCS post-secondary schools this fall, builds on the prior health care experience of students and consists of two nursing classes, NUR 115 and NUR 120: Health Care Transition, a course specifically designed for individuals with prior health care experience. It is also appropriate for paramedics seeking transition to nursing, nurses interested in a refresher course, and nurses wishing to reinforce their understanding of nursing as they reenter the workforce.