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The 21 Fastest BSN Programs in 2023

September 14, 2022 | bestvalue

Fastest BSN Programs

If you are considering a future profession in the nursing field, it’s the perfect time to begin your nursing education. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics estimates job growth in nursing will be almost 10% between now and 2030, creating an additional 276,800 nursing positions.

To be a registered nurse, you must have the proper education, such as a diploma from a nursing program, an associate’s degree in nursing, or a bachelor’s degree in nursing. However, some states now require a BSN to be a registered nurse. And whether required by law, many hiring managers prefer to hire those with a BSN.

Therefore, many RNs seek to earn a BSN degree to have more job opportunities and the potential for more money.

Rank School Location
1University of Central FloridaOrlando, Florida
2Florida International UniversityMiami, Florida
3University of Texas ArlingtonArlington, Texas
4Arkansas State UniversityJonesboro, Arkansas
5Fort Hays State UniversityHays, Kansas

How Fast Can I Earn an RN to BSN Degree?

If you’re looking to find the fastest RN to BSN program, it’s about eight to nine months. However, that timeframe assumes you don’t need any general education courses and that all of your previous coursework is transferred to the program. In addition, the fastest BSN program is accelerated, with each class five to eight weeks in length.

While you can finish an RN to BSN in eight to nine months, completing it in about 18-24 months is more common.

If you plan on attending school part-time, an RN to BSN degree can take three to four years.

What is the Cost of an Accelerated RN to BSN Program??

The cost of an accelerated RN to BSN program ranges from $105 to over $800 per credit hour. If you want to know how much the entire program will cost, that will depend on your previous credits.

If you’re entering a BSN program with an associate’s degree, you can apply at least some of your previous credits to the BSN program.

 And, if you’re entering a BSN program with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, you can skip the general education requirements (roughly 60 hours) and enroll in nursing courses immediately.

So, for example, if you need to complete 60 hours of coursework, you may pay anywhere from $6,300 to $48,000 for the entire program (or more). However, total program costs will vary based on previous coursework and your specific program.

 Remember that accelerated online RN to BSN programs are often (although not always) cheaper than standard in-person RN to BSN programs. In addition, there are fewer fees associated with the quickest nursing programs because they are usually charged on a per-term basis; since there are fewer terms, the fees will be less.

Is it Faster to Earn a BSN Degree Online?

 Yes, earning a BSN degree online is much faster, as the coursework is accelerated. In addition, if you’re already an RN, an online BSN program is more career-friendly and generally has a more flexible schedule. For example, you can complete some online RN to BSN programs in as little as eight or nine months, but the average is about 18-24 months.

 However, in-person BSN degree programs have more rigid schedules and require on-campus learning, which is not flexible for those who want to work and attend school simultaneously. In addition, an on-campus program provides an interactive experience for students new to nursing. An in-person BSN will take roughly four years to complete, or 120 credit hours.

 Why Attend an Accelerated Nursing Program?

Benefits

The benefits of an accelerated nursing program are immense.

Of course, the program’s speed is the most obvious benefit, with the ability to jumpstart your nursing career much sooner. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to get into the field sooner and recoup your tuition costs much quicker.

An additional benefit is that you will often go through an accelerated program with a cohort, allowing you to develop strong friendships with other nursing students.

Lastly, because accelerated programs are offered in a cohort style, class registration is usually relatively straightforward, without fears of not getting the required classes.

More flexibility

Flexibility is another significant advantage of an online BSN program, with the ability to create a schedule that meets your needs. In addition, many online programs have asynchronous formats so you can learn at your own pace.

The flexibility of self-paced learning makes an online RN to BSN program a good option for nurses working while attending school.

What Can I Do with a BSN?

Many RNs find that getting a BSN is necessary for many job opportunities. In addition, some states now require RNs to have a BSN.

A BSN allows you to delve into clinical research, advanced patient care, or get a nursing job in the US Public Health Service. In addition, a bachelor’s degree in nursing can open doors to positions such as a Nurse Educator, Nurse Recruiter, or Forensic Nurse.

A BSN also allows you to obtain certifications in specialized areas such as pediatrics, oncology, or anesthesia.

Lastly, you’ll need a BSN if you plan to continue with any advanced nursing degrees.

RN to BSN Salary Information

Many RNs choose to get their BSN for a more considerable number of job opportunities and a higher salary.

According to Payscale, a nurse with a BSN degree earns roughly $32.41 per hour, while an RN makes a mean salary of $29.83 per hour.

However, salary is commensurate with experience and education, so you are likely to make even more if you have more experience and education.

In addition, some states have higher payscales for nurses, including California, Oregon, Hawaii, and Massachusetts. For example, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, California pays an average of $51.22 per hour while Oregon pays $47.22 per hour.

Tips for Managing Costs While Attending an Accelerated Nursing Program

If you want to pursue a BSN but are worried about the feasibility, there are a few ways to manage your costs.

Scholarships 

The first tip is to apply for scholarships, both before you begin your program but also while you’re attending. Scholarships can add up and help with living expenses or tuition.

Scholarships are free money you don’t have to repay, so applying for any scholarships where you meet the requirements is a good idea.

First, looking for scholarships through your BSN program and your employer would be best. Next, find scholarships for nursing majors using online scholarship databases. You can also look for local scholarships through community organizations or nonprofits to which you belong.

Budgeting

Some accelerated programs allow payment plans, so budgeting a monthly amount for schooling will also help offset your tuition costs.

Loans

Loans may be available for your BSN program so you can better manage your costs while attending school. You may be asked to fill out a FAFSA form to apply for any federal financial aid first. Private loans are your next best choice if your program doesn’t offer federal financial aid.

The 21 Fastest BSN Programs

1

University of Central Florida

  • Orlando, Florida

The University of Central Florida offers a concurrent ASN to BSN program as well as the online BSN program. Students applying to the online RN to BSN program discover that the school offers one of the fastest BSN programs in the country. After a review by the college, students may have at least 29 hours of transfer credits applied to their degree.

The short length of the program does not mean that students do not receive a high-quality education. Students actually gain exceptional knowledge and skills required for nurses with a bachelor’s degree. Students still have the same opportunities as nurses that complete lengthier programs to work as a nurse in the emergency department, as an RN case manager, a nurse leader, staff nurse or in other positions that requires completion of a BSN program.

School Overview

Tuition: $179.19 per credit hour
Program length: 9 months
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2

Florida International University

  • Miami, Florida

The Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences at Florida International University welcomes students that have a bachelor’s degree in another field into its Accelerated Option BSN (AO BSN) program. The school understands that adults sometimes want to change their career path but often feel that they cannot devote the extensive time and money into going back to school, starting from scratch. Students receive an introduction to the AO BSN program by completing an ‘intensive mini semester’ prior to the start of the regular program.

Develop skills to become an effective nurse through a program of learner-centered education and evidence-based practice that leads to gaining the clinical skills, critical thinking skills, problem-solving abilities, interpersonal skills and ethical reasoning required of nurses today.

School Overview

Tuition: Est. $205.57 per credit hour
Program length: 9 months
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3

University of Texas Arlington

  • Arlington, Texas

Students that enroll in the online RN to BSN program at the University of Texas Arlington complete the program in considerably less time compared to the on-campus BSN programs. Students that wish to advance to positions of management in nursing also have the opportunity to improve their earnings after completion of the accredited program.

Gain a higher level of expertise while learning the principles of nursing leadership, and research-based nursing science. Enhance your decision-making and critical thinking skills, and gain the tools to improve client care outcomes. Some students continue to enhance their skills by enrolling in an MSN program after completing the RN to BSN program.

School Overview

Tuition: $257 per credit hour
Program length: 9 months
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4

Arkansas State University

  • Jonesboro, Arkansas

The RN to BSN Online program at Arkansas State University provides the opportunity for working nurses to learn from faculty members that serve as experienced mentors. Nurses that advance their career opportunities in this program become fully prepared to meet the growing need for professional nurses with the expertise to meet the complex challenges of today’s healthcare system.

School Overview

Tuition: $218 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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5

Fort Hays State University

  • Hays, Kansas

Enrolling in the RN to BSN program at Fort Hays State University prepares current nurses for increased job responsibilities, and an improved salary. Some students continue their education after completing the 100 percent online program. Students that complete core courses advance to completion of courses in community-focused care, nurse informatics, nursing leadership and management, healthcare trends and other courses.

School Overview

Tuition: $226.88 per credit hour
Program length: 12-18 months
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6

Southern Utah University

  • Cedar City, Utah

Southern Utah University offers an RN to BSN program that prepares nurses to accelerate their career to the next level. Students expand on existing skills while enrolled in the online program, and develop new skills in communication, analysis, critical thinking skills, decision-making, ethical decision-making skills. Students learn to influence the quality of healthcare and the nursing profession and to use evidence-based practice to deliver clinically competent and contemporary nursing care.

School Overview

Tuition: $300 per credit hour
Program length: 10 months
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7

Stony Brook University

  • Stony Brook, New York

The Stony Brook University School of Nursing offers an accelerated baccalaureate degree for students already earned a bachelor’s degree in another area. Students gain basic nursing skills and the advanced skills required for nurses with a BSN degree. The curriculum exposes students to the various delivery models of professional nursing while also focusing on serving diverse populations. Students also learn the value of professional engagement, practice excellence and lifelong learning.

Graduates are eligible to sit for the NCLEX exam.

School Overview

Tuition: $295 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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8

Florida Atlantic University

  • Boca Raton, Florida

The accelerated BSN program at Florida Atlantic University is designed specifically for students that already hold a bachelor’s degree in another area and that now want to pursue a BSN degree. The school recommends that students do not work while pursuing the BSN due to the intensity of this program. This is a limited access program that fast-tracks students to become a registered nurse and have a nursing career.

The school offers several other BSN programs and the opportunity for students to continue their education after completing this program.

School Overview

Tuition: $105.07 per credit hour
Program length: Est. 16-18 months
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9

Fitchburg State University

  • Fitchburg, Massachusetts

The accelerated RN to BSN program at Fitchburg State University offers nurses the opportunity to earn their BSN in an online environment so that they can enjoy a future as a leader in nursing, or pursue a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree.

The program prepares nurses to demonstrate excellence in a holistic nursing practice, placing emphasis on advocacy, social justice, and a basic introduction to providing care to forensic populations. Students learn to use the latest technology to improve patient outcomes, to integrate the professional standards of legal, moral and ethical conduct into nursing practice.

School Overview

Tuition: $311 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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10

La Salle University

  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The La Salle University RN to BSN program is offered in an online format, allowing current registered nurses to continue working and taking care of other responsibilities. The program, accredited by the CCNE, places emphasis on safety and quality in the delivery of patient care, while implementing culturally appropriate strategies and measures for health promotion and the reduction of risk and disease prevention.

Students receive personalized attention throughout the program as they gain skills that they can immediately apply to their career.

School Overview

Tuition: $400 per credit hour
Program length: 10 months
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11

University of Cincinnati

  • Cincinnati, Ohio

The RN to BSN program at the University of Cincinnati is offered in an online format, and features a flexible schedule with six start dates per years. Students receive the same high-quality instruction provided to students in other nursing programs at the school.

The focus is on evidence-based practice and inter professional collaboration as students take courses such as Transitions to Baccalaureate Education in Nursing, Health Issues of Vulnerable and Marginalized Populations, and Nurse as Professional Leader and Manager.

School Overview

Tuition: $435 per credit hour
Program length: 9 months
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12

University of Louisiana Lafayette

  • Lafayette, Louisiana

Enroll in the University of Louisiana Lafayette RN to BSN Online degree program and complete degree requirements in an accelerated format. The school recognizes the importance of educating nurses as the need continues to grow, and developed the program so that current nurses gain additional skills to become leaders in the nursing profession. Advance your skills and knowledge to advance your nursing practice opportunities and to create ‘real change’ in healthcare.

The university trains students to assess and to plan, implement and evaluate nursing care for individuals and families and for communities. Learn to apply nursing theories, and to collaborate with colleagues on healthcare teams to promote wellness, and to improve patient outcomes.

School Overview

Tuition: $316.66 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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13

George Mason University

  • Fairfax, Virginia

Students that want to complete one of the fastest BSN programs need look no further than George Mason University. The school offers three BSN programs in an accelerated format.

The first program is the RN to BSN program for students with current, unencumbered RN licensure. Students complete nursing courses required for the degree after completion of all Mason Core and prerequisite courses. The Accelerated Second Degree BSN Program is a full-time pre-licensure program for students that already have a bachelor’s degree in another major. Students have the opportunity to experience nursing across a variety of clinical settings in the National Capitol area while in the program. The next option is a unique program, the LPN to BSN program specifically for veterans. Students build upon their current nursing knowledge along with their military health training to complete requirements for this program.

School Overview

Tuition: $396.25 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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14

University of Rhode Island

  • South Kingstown, Rhode Island

The University of Rhode Island indicates that the online RN to BSN program prepares students to become the kind of ‘big thinker’ that is needed for 21st-century healthcare. Learn to integrate current nursing knowledge with new scientific inquiry and critical, creative thinking skills. The program graduates students with the ability to be an advocate, with a strong foundation of knowledge that helps nurses to understand and manage the ever-changing healthcare environment.

School Overview

Tuition: $318 per credit hour
Program length: Est. 16 months
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15

New Jersey City University

  • Jersey City, New Jersey

The New Jersey City University Accelerated BSN program provides students with the opportunity to start a new career or to switch careers. The program prepares graduates for entry-level clinical practice in a variety of healthcare locations. The school recognizes the demand for graduates from accelerated BSN programs and offers the program in an intense, full-time format. Students learn in the same type of courses and clinical experiences as students in the traditional BSN programs.

School Overview

Tuition: $422.60 per credit hour
Program length: 12 months
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16

Arizona State University

  • Tempe, Arizona

Arizona State University recognizes the need to have highly-qualified nurses in the workforce as current nurses retire and as the population ages. The online RN to BSN program is designed for registered nurses that want to learn through a variety of online instructional delivery methods. The program prepares graduates to excel in advanced practice areas and to demonstrate evidence-based practice to facilitate positive change.

School Overview

Tuition: Est. $470.75 per credit hour
Program length: 14-24 months
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17

Oakland University

  • Rochester, Michigan

The accelerated online RN to BSN program at Oakland University is one of several nursing programs at the school. The rigorous curriculum focuses on increasing the student’s knowledge of evidence-based practice, culturally competent care, information technology, and other skills that provide the tools for current RNs to take their career to the next level.

Students have full access to the resources offered by the Oakland University School of Nursing.

School Overview

Tuition: $519.75 per credit hour
Program length: 12-24 months
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18

Truman State University

  • Kirksville, Missouri

The Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program at Truman State University gives students the opportunity to complete the program in far less time than the traditional BSN program, which requires four years of study. The ABSN program is specifically for students that already hold a bachelor’s degree in another field and that now want to earn a BSN degree.

Students complete core courses in addition to courses such as Pathophysiology, Pharmacotherapeutics, Critical Care Nursing, and Rural Health.

School Overview

Tuition: Est. $458.58 per credit hour
Program length: 18 months
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19

University of Louisville

  • Louisville, Kentucky

The online RN-BSN program at the University of Louisville was designed by nurses, for nurses. The completely online program offers nurses with a nursing diploma or an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) the opportunity to expand their career and earnings opportunities.

Complete core courses and then advance to courses such as Nursing Leadership and Health Policy, Community Health Nursing, Nursing Research for Evidence-Based Practice, and a leadership project.

School Overview

Tuition: $499 per credit hour
Program length: 16 months
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20

Xavier University

  • Cincinnati, Ohio

Enjoy the benefits featured in the accelerated bachelor of science in nursing (ABSN) program at Xavier University, including the opportunity to quickly earn a second degree and start your nursing career.

Nursing coursework is delivered through an e-learning platform. The program focuses on the fundamentals and theories of nursing in the course curriculum and the opportunity to engage in clinical experiences at top health care facilities, and nursing simulations labs.

School Overview

Tuition: $900 per credit hour
Program length: 16 months
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21

Ameritech College of Healthcare

  • Draper, Utah

The Ameritech College of Healthcare presents the opportunity for students with a bachelor’s degree in any field to earn a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. The accelerated format of the program prepares nurses with the skills and knowledge to succeed as a qualified nurse with the credentials and knowledge required of nurses in the ever-changing field of nursing.

The school accepts up to 60 credit hours of transfer credits which helps students complete this program faster than the traditional format while engaging in hands-on learning experiences, state-of-the-industry simulation and real-world clinical practice opportunities.

School Overview

Tuition: Est. $830 per credit hour
Program length: 18 months
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Methodology

Finding the fastest BSN programs may require considerable time for prospective students. We took the guesswork out of finding accredited BSN programs that can be completed in an accelerated format. We compiled a list of reputable nursing schools with fast BSN programs and further narrowed the list by taking the cost of tuition into account. Please note that schools periodically adjust their cost of tuition, which typically does not include fees, supplies, housing, or other costs.

Please contact us if you would like to have your school included in our future rankings or if you would like to update the information for your school.

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