As registered nurses move forward in furthering their careers in the medical field, choosing the right online nursing program is an important and difficult decision. Earning a BSN degree gives them more career stability, as well as the opportunity for career advancement and salary raises. However, finding the right BSN programs may be a daunting task, which is why we’ve compiled the best online RN to BSN programs that you can find. Some of these universities offer financial aid, so feel free to check them out.
Why Choose an Online RN to BSN program
BSN-educated nurses are paid more and well sought after, so it is important for rn nurses to become BSN students even though they already have full-time jobs. However, practicing nurses may not have the time to attend a physical BSN program. That is where an online RN to BSN program comes in.
Online RN to BSN Programs Offer Flexibility
Online BSN programs are usually a go-to solution for nurses and prospective students, because of their flexibility. An online BSN program allows one to learn at their own pace, and complete assignments with little or no supervision. This is particularly helpful for rn nurses that already have nursing jobs and don’t have the luxury of time to attend a physical college of nursing.
Also, they get the chance to practicalize what they’ve learned in the online rn to BSN program while working at their jobs.
When considering online BSN programs, nurses are skeptical about the quality of the programs and how the schools offering this bachelor’s degree perform against other school rankings. Not to worry, these RN to BSN programs we are about to list have robust nursing and health sciences programs and credible colleges of nursing.
RN to BSN Program Coursework Can Help Nurse Professional Growth
Also, the following rn to bsn programs offer flexible and detailed online coursework that you can complete at your own pace. Some of their nursing coursework programs include
- Health & Nursing informatics
- Community health
- Mental health nursing etc.
Apart from the better pay that comes with a BSN degree, you get the chance to take your nursing practice to the next level. A BSN degree program can open up wider and better career paths for you such as public health nursing, obstetric nursing, pediatric nursing and so many more.
Best RN to BSN Programs
|1||Kaplan University||Davenport, Iowa|
|2||American Sentinel University||Aurora, Colorado|
|3||Drexel University||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|4||Old Dominion University||Norfolk, Virginia|
|5||King University||Bristol, Tennessee|
We listed below best rn to bsn programs including a description of what makes them unique as well as credit hour requirements and tuition fees.
The Best RN to BSN Online Programs
The RN to BSN online program at Kaplan University’s school of nursing is a flexible and affordable program and it is designed to give students new opportunities and possibilities in their careers. The online nursing program will give students the skill set and credentials needed to qualify for jobs in specialized nursing and nursing management positions. Kaplan University nursing programs have been known to offer quality, in-depth training, so their BSN program is nothing short. However, they demand at least an associate degree to qualify.
American Sentinel University
For students that are looking to be a marketable asset, the American Sentinel University’s online RN to BSN program can help. These nursing courses are 100% online and designed for working professionals with a personalized support system to make it as convenient as possible. The American Sentinel University College of nursing and health sciences offers a great online RN- BSN program that will equip you with all the knowledge you need.
Drexel stands out from other RN to BSN programs with its action-based learning and in-depth clinical skills development-focused nursing programs. This online RN to BSN program seeks to help students further their careers with the smallest possible interruption of current busy work schedules and life. Their BSN nursing courses are based on the core of nursing care, so each course entails more in-depth details. However, just like every other BSN program on this list, you will need an associate degree or be a registered nurse to enroll.
Old Dominion University
Work with nursing professionals and mentors through Old Dominion University’s online RN to BSN program. The online degree program offered by their college of nursing is designed to ensure that BSN nursing students complete the bachelor’s degree program and give working nurses the flexibility of learning at their own pace. At least 30 credits must be completed with ODU.
At King University professional nurses can increase their earnings and further their careers with an RN to BSN bachelor’s degree program. This accredited nursing program can be completed in less than 16 months and is offered entirely online. So, if you are looking for an online rn to BSN program that helps registered nurses (RN) expand their careers, King University is a great option. It follows the same structure as those offered inside the classroom with projects that may include community involvement, health assessment, nursing leadership tasks, and improvement initiatives for the workplace. You need an RN license to enroll for the bachelor’s degree.
Liberty University Online
The Liberty University online nursing RN-BSN online program has provided prospective BSN students with the skills to potentially receive job advancement opportunities in nursing leadership and management. This accredited program course is flexible within an 8-week time period, and can easily be completed while maintaining a current job in the medical field. Prospective students will find the online courses intuitive and detailed enough.
University of Texas-Arlington
The online RN to BSN program offered by UT Arlington college of nursing and health sciences provides courses built on current experiences through research-based learning according to the student’s schedule. The RN to BSN program is innovatively designed to help working nurses advance their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, and develop critical thinking skills and leadership skills alongside the standard nursing program. Their nursing school’s online BSN program also helps those interested in transitioning to management or director positions in general or public health care. Also, students complete the RN to BSN program in nine months, which is fast when compared to other schools. So, if you are a registered nurse looking for an online BSN program to level up your associate’s degree, then the University of Texas School of nursing program is a great choice.
Western Governors University
Students can boost their salary and job security with Western Governors University’s online RN to BSN bachelor’s degree program. Before completion, the program requires a total of 90 mentor-guided clinical hours. Students have the ability to choose when and where to complete the coursework, maintaining a student-based pace. However, students should expect to spend 20 hours per week on their BSN accredited nursing program. In the end, these online courses and clinical hours guarantee a worthy BSN degree.
Ohio’s college of nursing and health sciences BSN program has everything you need, from a detailed curriculum to evidence-based practice methods. Many of the courses required to receive a BSN have already been fulfilled through an associate’s degree or diploma. In order to streamline further learning, the Ohio University program allows those credits to be transferred. The online RN to BSN program includes courses like nursing informatics, health assessment, nursing leadership, collaborative nursing, etc., that guarantee a worthy bachelor’s degree. This course can then be completed within 5-14 weeks.
Lamar University’s online RN to BSN program offers a wide variety of classes covering topics like community nursing and evidence-based practice. The RN to BSN program courses are designed to help prospective students fulfill state-based requirements, allowing each student to earn a BSN while continuing to work. The university college of nursing however demands at least an associate degree before one can access the BSN nursing courses.
Allen College offers exclusively RN to BSN program classes. BSN students are expected to take their general education classes at another institution and also have an RN licensure. Before transferring, students need to have at least a 2.5 GPA to be considered. While clinical experiences can be completed in a student’s area of residence, all other BSN program courses are completely online. Classes include advanced nursing education, health assessment, health promotion, nursing leadership, chronic illness, nursing research, and professional writing.
University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida school of nursing and health sciences has one of the best online RN to BSN online programs in the country. If you’re looking for RN to BSN programs on campus, they don’t just offer all of their courses online, but also give students the option to take classes on campus if they wish. To enter UCF’s RN to BSN program, you must have an associate degree, professional experience in nursing, a current unencumbered RN license, and a 2.8 GPA to be considered. Students are also encouraged to join student organizations like the Student Nurses Association. Their BSN program is definitely one of the best online rn to BSN programs. The University of Central Florida’s offline and online courses are suitable for working nurses and full-time students.
University of South Florida – Main Campus
The University of South Florida has one of the most innovative RN to BSN online programs today. The school of nursing allows its students to create a customized degree program that will help them in their specific career endeavors. Students can choose from three different specializations: clinical excellence, community health nursing, leadership/management, or patient/staff education. USF’s program not only helps students prepare for nursing careers, but also for graduate-level nursing programs. Applicants must reside in Florida or Pennsylvania, have a current RN license, and have an associate degree in nursing with a 2.5 GPA or higher in order to be considered. The online RN to BSN program can be completed in five semesters if done part-time (for working nurses) or in three semesters if done full-time. Service-learning requirements need to be completed at the students’ place of work, but all other coursework can be completed online.
Clemson University nursing and health sciences have one of the best online rn to BSN programs in the nation and strongly emphasizes community service, clinical hours, and hands-on learning. Clemson has four clinical hospital sites where BSN students can get practical experience if they are not already working nurses. Even though the nursing coursework can be completed online, students are required to participate in monthly learning activities with classmates and professors. Transfer credits must have a “C” grade or above and transfer students need to be registered nurses to be considered, as well as provide proof of their unencumbered RN license, SAT, or ACT scores. Clemson University also boasts an almost 100% job placement rate within three months of graduation for its nursing school graduates. Their BSN online nursing programs are a great consideration if you are looking for a robust, yet flexible program focused on the core of nursing care.
University of Nebraska Medical Center
The University of Nebraska Medical Center provides its RN to BSN online program through distance education, with courses available on-demand, anytime, to fit your own schedule as a registered nurse. However, some of its courses may occasionally require synchronous login, which means students will need to “attend” live, time-specific classes every once in a while. Part of the curriculum includes classes in community health nursing, healthcare outcomes, health assessment, health promotion, and nursing interventions. Students are required to complete at least 20 nursing credits at the Nebraska Medical Center. If this requirement is met, then students are allowed to transfer any number of credits from an accredited institution. If you have work experience as a nurse, then you can use it to count for as many as 31 credits in the program. Thanks to the university’s RN to BSN Early Admission Program, students who transfer from certain community colleges can be guaranteed early admission into the BSN program. Nebraska BSN degree program contains everything you need from public health and community health-related courses to nursing informatics.
Dixie State University
Dixie State University College of Nursing offers a 100% online RN to BSN program that requires the completion of a minimum of 30 nursing credits. Applicants must have an Associate’s degree from an accredited program. An active RN license from any state is required. Applicants are eligible to start the BSN program on any of the six annual start dates but must have an RN license prior to beginning the second semester. The BSN program incorporates flexible, part-time, and full-time scheduling options for working nurses. Most students complete the courses within 12 months guaranteeing fast graduation. The courses cover all the important areas such as nursing leadership, community health and so much more.
Arizona State University
Arizona State University provides a fully online program for nurses with an associate degree that are moving toward a BSN. The program is accredited by the Arizona State Board of Nursing as well as the CCNE. It is a flexible program designed to work around the needs of working adults. The excellent faculty includes many award-winning healthcare professionals, including a Fullbright Senior Scholar and a Rosalynn Carter National Leadership Award in Caregiving recipient. This program is part of the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation.
University of Massachusetts Amherst
The Elaine Marieb College of Nursing offers an online RN to BSN degree. This program is designed to let students graduate in as little as one year, even if they are working full-time as nurses. Classroom and tech support is available at all times, allowing students to work on their own schedules. University of Massachusetts is ranked as the number 2 nursing school in the state and the top 10% of nursing schools in the country. The school also has a strong research department that nurses can utilize as they learn more about healthcare.
Ohio State University
Ohio State’s online bachelor’s degree programs are ranked 11th in the state by U.S. News & World Report. Its RN to BSN program is an accessible, affordable option for students who are ready to add this degree to their resumes. The program offers either a 12-month or a 15-month plan to help students earn their BSN. Students can transfer their entire associate’s degree to the program, but they must take a minimum of 30 credits at OSU to graduate.
University of Alabama
University of Alabama’s Capstone College of Nursing offers an RN to BSN program for graduates from an ACEN or CNEA accredited associate’s program. This RN Mobility Program is designed for working adults and takes just two years to complete. This program awards 40 credits to students who have an RN license, which helps speed up graduation times. This was the first program in the state of Alabama to offer a baccalaureate program in nursing, and it continues to lead the way in excellence.
University of Cincinnati
University of Cincinnati holds the distinction of being the nation’s first BSN program, and the RN to BSN online program gives students a chance to tap into that history. This is a fully online course with no clinicals required, and it has a dedicated faculty team to assist students. The program includes nine courses in nursing and allows students to transfer in a significant number of credit hours so that they can graduate in as little as three semesters.
University of Colorado Denver
The online RN to BSN program at University of Colorado – Denver, is designed to help busy working RNs attain their BSN as quickly as possible. It takes just four semesters to finish the program, and most credits can transfer into the program. Courses are offered three times a year, with eight-week sessions. All students must complete a 30-hour clinical component in Population Health. Semesters start three times per year, allowing students to jump in when they are ready.
University of Florida
Since 1853, the University of Florida has been offering excellence in education to students in many disciplines. Their RN to BSN degree is designed specifically for working nurses with a fully online program approved by the Florida Board of Nursing. The program has an innovative virtual simulation program to help students get 45 of their 90 required clinical hours. They also must have clinical hours in Population Health, which they can get in their own community, rather than near campus. This school is ranked as the most affordable online college in the nation.
University of Kansas
The RN to BSN program at the University of Kansas is part of the KU Medical Center. Its RN to BSN program is fully online and accessible 24 hours a day. This post-licensure program requires 30 to 35 credits in addition to the associate’s degree and licensure. The school offers a program that allows students to get credit for their work and portfolio for a small per-credit fee, which helps speed up how quickly they can attain their degree.
Villanova University offers an online RN to BSN at the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing. This program comes from a school designated as a Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the NLN. The National Student Nurses Association also named Villanova a “Stellar School.” The online program is a flexible option to help students get their degrees as quickly as possible. U.S. News & World Report routinely ranks Villanova as the #1 Regional University in the North
What can I expect from an online RN to BSN Program?
An RN to BSN program may differ depending on the school of nursing offering these programs. An online RN to BSN program is focused on expanding your knowledge base, equipping you with leadership, administrative, compassion, and strong communication skills that will expand your chances of career paths in different health professions.
While courses may differ for different universities, here are some of the courses you will like;
- Health Assessment
- Professional Nursing
- Evidence-based practice
- Clinical Nursing Leadership
- Health care policy etc.
It is important to note that some programs may require you to take elective courses alongside your corequisites.
What can I do with a BSN degree?
BSN degree opens up more career paths in different health professions besides nursing. Not just that, it increases your chances and qualifications for certain jobs and adequately prepares you for a better, more paying workspace. Here are some career paths that you can get with a BSN degree
Critical Care Nurse
Critical Care Nursing requires calmness and advanced skills because nurses will be dealing with patients who are in critical condition and have life-threatening diseases. According to the Association of Critical Care Nurses, 37% of nurses that work in the US are critical care nurses.
Public Health Nurse
Public Health Nursing is in demand, thanks to their important job requirements. You get to work in federal government health centers, correctional facilities, schools, etc., to educate communities about health-related subjects
A pediatric nurse works with children and performs physical examinations, arranges diagnostics, checks vitals, and performs other related tasks
Nurse Navigators are in demand and they help patients with a life-threatening diseases to navigate procedures such as organ transplants, cancer treatment, and the likes
There are many career opportunities available to you when you pursue a BSN degree
What is the Average Salary for BSN Graduates
Salary varies based on the state and the types of health professions but the average hourly rate of a BSN nurse is $22.66 per hour and $47,127 per year. The prices can go as high as $50 per hour and $100 000 annual salary.
The highest-paying state for BSN nurses is California with an average annual salary of $124,000.
How Fast Can You Earn a BSN Degree
Depending on whether you enrolled part-time or full-time and the coursework of the nursing school, you can get your degree as fast as 12 months, while others may take one or two years.
How Much Does a BSN Degree cost?
The average cost for a BSN degree ranges from as low as $25,000 to as high as $80,000. The lowest on our list is under $4000 and the highest is around $28,000.
RN to BSN Admission Requirements
Admission requirements are going to vary based on the school. Some common things that schools look for when admitting students to RN to BSN programs include:
- Associate’s degree from an accredited school
- Specific prerequisite courses
- GPA within a minimum range
- Residency in an approved state
- Active, unrestricted RN license
- Work experience
Talk to the admission team or an advisor from the school you are considering to see the specific requirements for their RN to BSN program.
What are the admission requirements for an online RN to BSN Program?
Even the best RN to BSN programs require some important documents before you can be considered for admission. However, requirements differ depending on the university college of nursing. Therefore, it is important to perform a school search on the university before applying. However, there are some admission requirements that you need for an online RN to BSN program.
- An associate degree from an accredited college of nursing
- Pass the NCLEX RN exam with a valid RN licensure as proof
- Test Scores
- Letter of recommendation
- Official Transcript
We’ve gone through the best RN to BSN online programs offered by various universities and colleges of nursing and we believe that you were able to find your preferred university. As you know, getting your BSN degree is a great choice because BSN-educated nurses have more opportunities than RN nurses, and we want you to be among the most sought-after nurses. No matter your career path, whether you want to specialize in public health, surgical nursing or any other nursing programs, these listed online RN to BSN programs can help you achieve your goals.
The Best RN to BSN Online Programs guide has recently been updated. To view the methodology that was used to determine the rankings on this page, please visit our methodology page.
RN to BSN Accreditation
The primary accreditation for an RN to BSN program is CCNE accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. This accreditation is officially recognized by the federal government as meeting the national requirements for nursing students. The best RN to BSN programs online will carry this accreditation.
Why Is Accreditation Important?
Accreditation ensures your degree holds merit when you apply for a job. It also means you can easily transfer into a graduate program if you wish. It also proves that the program meets stringent requirements, so you will be well-prepared to work as a nurse. It is recognized by employers, schools and government agencies, making your investment in your education worthwhile.
Paying for an RN to BSN Program
The best RN to BSN programs online often have reduced rates for tuition for online students, but it can still cost quite a bit to pay for your program. You can receive a number of financial aid options to help with this cost.
The first place to look for financial aid is through scholarships. Scholarships are available to people based on everything from minority status to grades and academic ability. Do a scholarship search online to see what might be available to help.
You can also apply for financial aid by filing the FAFSA. This may provide access to federal loan and grant options, and it also shows other financial aid sources what your financial need is, and that may impact your awards.
Finally, talk to your employer. If you are already working as a nurse, your medical center or hospital system may have employer reimbursement for employees who go to RN to BSN programs. Many medical entities are now requiring BSN as an entry-level requirement for new employees, and thus they may have incentives and help for existing nurses who want to attain this credit.
RN to BSN FAQ
- Can you go from an ADN to a BSN?
Yes, you can move from an ADN to a BSN with some programs. The credits you earned in your associate degree will transfer to the BSN program. You may need to add additional credit hours to make up for the missing credits that you do not have because you are not an RN. Some schools only accept licensed Rns to these programs, however.
- How long Does it Take to Earn an RN to BSN?
Online RN to BSN programs are designed to let students attain their degrees as quickly as possible. Many can be completed in as little as 12 months. The typical range is 12 to 24 months, depending on whether a student studies full-time or part-time.
- Can I work while attending an online RN to BSN Program?
Yes. The best RN to BSN programs online are designed for working nurses, with flexible courses that you can access 24/7 when you have time.
- What are additional education options after RN to BSN?
After earning a BSN, a student can move on to a Master’s in Nursing (MSN), then a post-master’s nursing certificate (PMC). A doctoral degree in nursing is the final degree option.
- Is a BSN worth it?
In 2010, the Institute of Medicine issued a charge recommending that 80% of the nurses practicing in the United States hold a BSN degree. As nursing becomes more complex, additional education becomes important. A growing number of hospitals have risen to the challenge and now require BSN degrees for most of their new nurses. As a result, holding a BSN makes it possible for you to apply to more, better-paying job opportunities.