APU’s ‘AK Bridge Program’ offers the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) for those already in possession of a current unencumbered Alaska State Registered Nurse license and employed as an RN or a recent graduate of an RN program.
The mission of the AK Bridge Program is to produce baccalaureate prepared nurses with the professional nursing skills needed to provide holistic, culturally safe care for Alaska Native peoples, Alaskan communities and under-served populations. Emphasis is placed on cultivating cultural safety, assessment, critical thinking and evidence-based practice skills essential to reach optimal health outcomes for Alaska’s people. At this program’s core is the acknowledgement that nurses returning to complete a baccalaureate degree bring rich personal histories, diverse knowledge backgrounds, broad practice experiences, and unique professional nursing goals. As such, the AK Bridge Program combines high-quality, relevant coursework with a culminating senior project, ensuring that students can tailor learning outcomes to their individual interests, and enhancing their nursing practice within their concurrent professional environments.
The AK Bridge program is offered in a hybrid format, which means that learning is delivered using a variety of approaches including online, on campus, laboratory, simulation and clinical learning environments. Face-to-face learning opportunities will occur periodically throughout the program, including in-person orientation required at the start of the program. Major Studies requirements are delivered in online format. Students can get Foundational Studies in a variety of formats, on campus, evening, and online.
As a graduate, a student will earn an Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree with realized proficiency in APU’s Core Competencies:
- Effective Communication [EC]: Demonstrate the ability to get one’s point across in writing, presentations, and organizations in order to share information, teach others, and foster collaboration
- Critical Thinking [CT]: Demonstrate the ability to compute, analyze, make sense of information or data, and reach reasoned conclusions cognizant of possible bias or fallacies
- Cultural & Historical Perspective [CH]: Demonstrate the ability to effectively consider tradition and heritage in relation to decision-making in a world shaped by diverse cultures and abiding histories
- Scientific Inquiry [SI]: Demonstrate the ability to reach verifiable conclusions based on documented observations, findings, and recognized methods in order to know how things work in our world
- Ethical Engagement [EE]: Demonstrate ability to raise needed questions and apply ethical and effective problem-framing and problem-solving to make things better
The degree is designed to meet the following end-of-program Professional Competencies:
- Cultural Competency and Cultural Safety: Synthesize and integrate knowledge from the natural and behavioral sciences, humanities, nursing theory, and research into professional nursing practice; prioritize culturally safe, relationship-centered care encompassing five key principles of cultural safety (personal knowledge, positive purpose, protocols, process, and partnerships) [CH, EC, CT, EE]
- Professional Communication and Collaboration: Integrate principles of communication and collaboration with members of the health care team to promote movement toward optimal levels of health for patients; communicate and collaborate effectively with clinicians, traditional healthcare providers, and patients in the delivery of culturally safe, high-quality, relationship-centered care across all settings [EC, CH]
- Professional Nursing Care: Integrate and synthesize the concepts and principles of critical thinking into culturally safe nursing practice to facilitate participation in effecting change in the delivery of health care to society; utilize holistic knowledge and refined critical thinking abilities in the provision of safe, effective, evidence-based professional nursing care of communities, families and individuals [CT, SI]
- Evidence-Based Assessment: Integrate leadership and management skills utilizing cultural safety principles, ethical decision making and evidence-based practice; utilize evidence-based methods, assessments, technologies, and management systems to guide clinical decisions that promote optimal outcomes [SI, CT]
- Personal and Social Responsibility: Develop individualized plan for personal continued learning and professional growth as a method for adjusting to changes occurring within the health care system; apply knowledge of cultural safety and health disparities to lead initiatives that optimize the health of communities, families and individuals; utilize both traditional and academic knowledge to advance the health of Alaska Native, indigenous, and underserved populations [EE, SI, CH]
The general requirements for admission to APU undergraduate professional studies at APU are found in the Admissions section of the catalog. In addition, there are supplemental requirements for the BSN program as follows:
- BSN candidates must have a current, unencumbered Alaska State Issued RN license (on file), and be in compliance with Alaska or other appropriate state Nurse Practice Acts.
Foundational Studies (32-40 credits)
- EC Written Communication** (WRIT 20100) (4)
- EC Presentation & Media Literacy (from 10000-20000 level COMM) (3-4)
- CT Critical Thinking (from 10000-20000 level CRIT) (3-4)
- CT Computation** (MT 10100, BA 10500, or higher placement) (3-4)
- CH Intellectual Traditions (various) (4)
- CH Creative Endeavors (various) (4)
- CH Intercultural & Spiritual Understandings (various) (3-4) †
- SI Biological/Physical Scientific Inquiry (various) (4) †
- SI Social/Behavioral Scientific Inquiry (various) (3-4) †
- EE Social Responsibility (LS 10200) (2)
- EE Personal Responsibility (various) (1-2)
[† Foundational Studies requirement satisfied in Co-Requisites]
[** Minimum grade of ‘C’ (defined as C+, C, C-) must be earned]
(Unless otherwise noted, check for courses which satisfy Foundational Studies categories under ‘Bachelor-Level Degrees - Overview’)
Co-Requisites (3-20 credits)
† Courses required specifically for the BSN but which may also satisfy Foundational Studies
Major Studies (38 credits)
Prerequisite: Registered Nurse license
Self-Determined Studies (varies)
- Students can meet the minimum graduation credit requirement (128 credits) by taking elective courses, applying transfer credit, credit-by-exam, credit earned through military training, assessment of prior learning (through the Documenting Experiential Learning [DEL] process), or other approved alternative methods of earning credit.
- Students are encouraged to take minors or concentrations to develop interests and skills.
Minimum Graduation Credit Hour Requirement: 128
NOTE: A grade of “C” (defined as: C+, C) or better must be earned in all Major Studies requirements including Senior Project. A course must be repeated if a grade of “C-” or lower is earned.