Online Nursing Programs from Top Schools

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ONLINE NURSING PROGRAMS

DEGREE OPTIONS, SPECIALIZATIONS AND EXPERT ADVICE

Nursing is one of the country’s largest professions. The field is also extremely diverse, covering a variety of specialties as well as career paths. Because of this, there is no singular educational path to employment. Prospective students can select from multiple degree options–from associate to doctoral degrees–in order to pursue various careers. Recently, nurse training has experienced an evolution, embracing online learning as a reputable form of education. The following guide serves as an overview of online nursing programs, degree options, and curricula, as well as career opportunities.

Meet the Expert: Keith Carlson

Keith Carlson has been a nurse since 1996. He writes the award-winning nursing blog, “Digital Doorway”, and is the co-host and co-founder of RNFM Radio, the leading nursing podcast on the Internet. As a Board Certified Nurse Coach working under the auspices of Nurse Keith Coaching, Keith’s passion is helping nurses to create the most satisfying, healthy, and enriching careers possible.

ONLINE NURSING DEGREES – Loyola University New Orleans

Consistently ranked as one of the top nursing schools in the country by US. News & World Report, Loyola University provides regionally accredited online graduate programs with flexible schedules designed to fit into your busy life.

Accepting applicants from all states except Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Wisconsin.

Online Associate Degree (ADN)

Designed to be completed in approximately two years of full-time study, the associate degree in nursing introduces students to the theoretical foundations of nursing, and provides opportunities to develop hands-on, clinical skills through experiential training. The number of credit hours required to complete the associate degree in nursing varies by department and college; however, it typically falls between 60 and 72 credit hours of study.

The associate-level curriculum is divided between general education and core nursing coursework. The first year of study usually focuses on teaching students about nursing fundamentals, as well as completion of general education courses such as English, mathematics, and humanities. The second year of study moves to a greater focus on nursing skills, such as providing nursing care to myriad populations (e.g. children, aging adults, etc.).

Associate degrees in nursing can be completed entirely through online coursework, coupled with in-person clinical rotations completed within the student’s local region. Graduates of these programs are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN or NCLEX-RN) to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or registered nurse (RN).

Troy University
  • Enrollment: 25,182
  • Tuition: $6,844
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Alabama
  • Associate of Science in Nursing
Adelphi University
  • Enrollment: 5,677
  • Tuition: $29,320
  • College Type: Private
  • State: New York
  • Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts - Pre-Nursing
Baker College
  • Enrollment: 5,459
  • Tuition: $7,740
  • College Type: Private
  • State: Mississippi
  • Associate of Nursing - ADN
  • Associate of Nursing - LPN To ADN Ladder

Online Bachelor’s Degree (BSN)

The bachelor’s in nursing (BSN) provides students with a broader scope of education in the core principles, knowledge, and decision-making of nursing, preparing them for a more advanced, comprehensive role.

In these programs, registered nurses receive a greater emphasis on management skills, supervision of direct reports, community health, and evidence-based nursing practice. The number of required credit hours varies by program, but most bachelor’s programs fall between 120 and 128 credit hours of study.

The BSN offers a wide-ranging curriculum of both general education and core nursing coursework. Nursing curriculum traditionally focuses on generalist nursing, but some programs allow students to specialize in areas such as nursing leadership or a specific area of care (e.g., neonatal, oncology).

The core coursework in these programs can be completed entirely online, with a hands-on practicum or capstone completed during the final two years of study. The number of clinical rotation hours required can vary by department, ranging from 400 to more than 900 hours of practice. Students may also find that their online program allows for additional clinical rotations through summer internships. Students work with a preceptor or site placement coordinator to arrange clinical rotations at a local healthcare facility.

The ultimate goal for the bachelor’s in nursing is to ready graduates for greater nursing responsibilities across the spectrum of healthcare settings. Graduates of the BSN are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).

Arizona State University
  • Enrollment: 65,501
  • Tuition: $9,724
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Arizona
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
Broward College
  • Enrollment: 62,796
  • Tuition: $2,494
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Florida
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
Ohio State University
  • Enrollment: 48,411
  • Tuition: $10,037
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Ohio
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
University of Maryland
  • Enrollment: 44,009
  • Tuition: $6,384
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Maryland
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Pennsylvania State University
  • Enrollment: 41,614
  • Tuition: $16,444
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Pennsylvania
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
University of Akron
  • Enrollment: 36,369
  • Tuition: $6,402
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Florida
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing RN/BSN

Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The master’s in nursing (MSN) is a graduate degree designed for practicing nursing professionals seeking to advance their career, improve their patient care skills, prepare for nursing leadership positions, and make an impact on the next generation of nurses through educational positions. A highly specialized program of study, the MSN may take between two to three years to complete. The average curriculum is divided between generalist nursing courses and the student’s chosen concentration. Read our guide to the online master’s in nursing to learn more about specialization, admissions and today’s best programs.

Online Doctoral Degrees

The doctorate degree in nursing prepares nursing professionals seeking careers in clinical applications, academic environments, or scientific research. At the doctoral level, students can select from two diverse programs of study: Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The DNP is considered a professional degree, one designed to advance the clinical skills of nursing practitioners in areas such as healthcare leadership or specific areas of nursing (e.g. pediatrics). The PhD, on the other hand, is a research-based degree, one that prepares nurses to pursue careers in academic scholarship as researchers and educators. Find detailed information about online doctorates in nursing on our new guide to advanced nursing education.

Bridging the Gap

Nursing bridge programs offer environments that bring together aspiring and active nursing professionals with a variety of backgrounds, clinical experience, degrees, and research interests. At their core, nursing bridge programs are training paths that leverage a student’s previous work and educational experience in order to allow for transition to a more advanced role within the field. Below is a review of the different types of bridge programs, how they differ from traditional nursing programs, how online bridge programs operate, and a look at the ideal target student for each type of program.

What are bridge programs?

First, it is important to note that bridge programs are not degrees themselves; instead, they are transitional educational paths that result in a degree. Online bridge programs are typically available in three formats:

LPN to RN or LPN to BSN

The LPN to RN or BSN bridge options help individuals transition into Registered Nurse professions. These programs are usually treated as a degree completion program for LPNs, and may also be open to candidates with no nursing or allied health experience (e.g., paramedic).

RN to BSN

The RN to BSN bridge program is designed for nurses who already hold a Registered Nursing license, but wish to complete a bachelor’s degree program for professional development and career advancement.

RN to MSN

The RN to MSN is traditionally designed for two types of students: 1) Registered Nurses who wish to complete a graduate degree, but hold a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated field of practice and 2) Registered Nurses who have an associate degree, but want to complete a master’s degree in nursing.

How do they work?

Online nursing bridge programs are exactly that, a bridge to completing either an undergraduate or graduate degree in nursing. They are educational avenues open to active nurses as well as aspiring nurses. However, these programs do operate in similar fashion to the standard ADN, BSN, and MSN programs in nursing in that students receive the same evidence-based coursework, critical thinking and skill-building curricula, and clinical instruction.

The bridge portion of these programs is either a set of prerequisite courses or a series of transitional courses preparing students for more advanced study. Generally speaking, there are three major differences: 1) admission requirements, 2) program length, and 3) target students. First, online bridge programs are designed for working professionals, helping them complete advanced educational training through flexible class scheduling. Second, most bridge programs are accelerated—meaning they can typically be completed in a shorter time frame than individual degree programs. Third, they have slightly varied admissions requirements. For example, the RN-to-MSN generally does not require candidates to hold a bachelor’s degree; instead, students with an associate degree and a nursing license are able to complete a master’s degree.

Online Bridge Programs at a Glance

Prospective nurses considering an online bridge program should take the time to review each of their options, as these programs offer distinct admissions requirements, curriculum options, and specific career outcomes. The table below provides a comparison of the LPN to RN, RN to BSN, and RN to MSN programs.

Category LPN to RN RN to BSN RN to MSN
Required education for admission High school diploma or GED equivalent Associate degree or Diploma in nursing Associate degree or non-nursing bachelor’s degree in any field
Licensure requirements for admission Current LPN License (must remain current throughout program) Active Registered Nursing License (must remain current throughout program) Active Registered Nursing License (must remain current throughout program)
Required credits/Time to graduation
  • 64 to 72 Credits
  • 2 to 3 Years of Study
  • 120 – 128 Credits
  • 2 Years (Associate Degree Holders)
  • 4 Years (Non-Associate Degree Holders)
  • 60 Credit Hours
  • 2 to 3 Years of Study
Curriculum focus
  • General Education (Mathematics, Social Sciences, English)
  • Nursing Curriculum (Evidence-Based Nursing, Principles of Nursing, Nursing Care, Adult Health)
  • General Education (E.g. Mathematics, Social Sciences, English)
  • Major Coursework (Nursing Research, Foundations of Nursing, Pharmacology, Informatics)
  • Advanced Major Coursework (Clinical Leadership, Theoretical Foundations of Nursing, Health Policy, Nursing Informatics, Health Assessment)
Potential career titles
  • Registered Nurse
  • Staff Nurse
  • Operating Room
  • Registered Nurse
  • Registered Nurse, BSN
  • Acute Care Nurse
  • Critical Care Nurse
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner
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FAQs

Is a nursing license required to enroll in an online bridge program?

Yes. For example, LPNs considering an LPN to RN program must have an active LPN license to qualify for admission, and nurses pursuing the RN to BSN must be a practicing registered nurse.

How are clinical requirements fulfilled in online bridge nursing programs?

Traditionally, students work with faculty members or site placement coordinator to facilitate a clinical practicum with a local healthcare organization, agency, or hospital in their area. Again, it’s important to note that some LPN to RN and RN to BSN programs may allow students to apply real-world nursing hours towards clinical rotation requirements.

Are standardized test scores required for admission to an LPN to RN program?

It depends. Some universities ask students to take and pass the Test of Essential Academic Skills, while others only require students to meet prerequisite coursework standards, work experience, GPA, and SAT/ACT score requirements.

Can previously completed credits be transferred into an online bridge program?

In most cases, yes. Credit reviews are conducted on an individual case-by-case basis by examining course descriptions of the credits desired to be transferred into the program.

How long does it take to complete an online RN to MSN bridge program?

The length of time depends on the student’s educational starting point as well as time commitment (e.g. full-time vs. part-time). For individuals with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, most RN to MSN programs require approximately 36 credit hours to complete and those students can skip the bridge program requirements. For those with an associate degree in nursing, they must also complete the undergraduate requirements, which—again—typically include between 32 and 36 credit hours to complete. After finishing the undergraduate program, students transition into the bridge coursework, which includes 10 to 12 credit hours of study to prepare the student for graduate classes in nursing.

Is accreditation important for online nursing bridge programs?

Yes. Any prospective bridge program should be accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, as well as regional accrediting bodies such as the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities or Middle States Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Nursing Specialties and Careers

Gerontology

Gerontology is an interdisciplinary field of study and practice, blending psychology, social and behavioral sciences, and nursing. Practitioners in this area focus on addressing patient care needs in older adults, ranging from chronic disease management to dealing with specific physiological changes.

  • Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse
  • Adult-Gerontological Clinical Nurse
Oncology

Oncology is a branch of medicine dealing with tumors–specifically cancer. Oncology nurses are trained professionals, equipped with an advanced understanding of administering both chemotherapy and biotherapy medication to patients with cancer. In this space, nurses may also develop familiarity with other areas such as surgical oncology or radiation therapy.

  • Oncology Certified Nurse
  • Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner
  • Certified Pediatric Oncology Nurse
Pediatrics

Pediatric nursing provides direct patient care to infants, children, and adolescents. This includes both preventative, direct, and critical care nursing, ranging from providing immunizations to treating the common cold, assisting with surgery to conducting developmental screenings in children.

  • Pediatric Nurse
  • Nursery Nurse
  • Patient Care Manager – Pediatrics
Registered Nurse

Coordinate and provide direct patient care, from physical exams to patient assessments, health counseling to surgical assistance. May also require supervision of care provided by Certified Nursing Assistants or Licensed Practical Nurses.

  • Operating Room Registered Nurse
  • Staff Registered Nurse
  • Charge Nurse
Nurse Practitioner

Provide specific patient care through assessment, diagnosis, and treatment. Able to prescribe and manage medications, conduct physical examinations and health screenings.

  • Adult Nurse Practitioner
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
Clinical Nurse Specialist

Provides independent direct patient care, as well as ability to develop care planning strategies, offer consultation, assist in healthcare policy creation, and independent research in specific areas.

  • Cardiothoracic Surgery Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Critical Care Clinical Nurse Specialist

Researching Quality Online Nursing Programs

With such a diverse array of educational choices, it can be challenging at best to get a real sense of the potential quality of an online nursing program. During the research process, prospective students should begin by creating a list of questions to assess the institution, curriculum, faculty, and program. Indeed, tuition and cost of attendance is usually first on the list, but it isn’t the only factor that goes into making a pragmatic, research-based decision about an online program. Below is a list of five questions to ask of each potential degree program.

  • Is the program accredited? Accreditation is a sign the university and department hold their instructors and curriculum to industry standards. National accrediting bodies include the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Some universities also pursue regional accreditation, as well as accreditation for their online programs—students should be sure to review each level of accreditation for their prospective online nursing programs.
  • What type and how much hands-on, clinical practice does the program offer and require? Clinical experience allows students to translate their theory-based coursework into hands-on, application-based training. An organized site placement and clinical training component is a main indicator of overall quality of an online nursing program. Students should be sure to inquire about the type of clinical experience required and—for working professionals—if their real-world nursing work can be applied towards clinical requirements.
  • Are students prepared for licensure after graduation? The ultimate goal of an online nursing program should be to qualify for licensure, which means being ready to sit for and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). It is important to remember that nursing is regulated and licensed at the state level. Students should be aware of the nurse licensing requirements in their state prior to selecting a program. Additionally, in 2000, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing began working on a compact agreement with individual state boards of nursing. As of March 2015, 25 states participate in the compact, allowing students to hold one multistate license that allows them to practice both in their state and the other states in the compact agreement.
  • What types of specializations or research opportunities are available to students? Nursing is not a one-size-fits-all educational track or profession. To that end, prospective nursing students should review the concentration or specialization subjects available through online training. Example paths include cardiac nursing, ambulatory care nursing, neonatal nursing, pediatric nursing, and more.
  • What is the educational and clinical experience of instructors and faculty? The success and quality of any nursing program is determined by the faculty. During a review of online programs, students should investigate the educational and clinical background of both instructors and faculty. Secondly, students should also ask if faculty members only teach in the online program or if they teach classes both online and on-campus. That point is important as many online faculty members teach online courses in an overload contract—meaning they are committed to their traditional workload and take on online teaching as a form of extra compensation.
  • What are the job placement and graduation rates for the online program? Prospective students should ask about the department’s graduation rate for the overall program and for their specific program of study. Are students graduating within a normative timeframe? Next, students should ask about job placement success. Are graduates landing jobs? Where are they landing those jobs? And, does the program enjoy support of local healthcare institutions, systems, and practitioners? Even through the program is online, local support is another quality indicator.

Beyond the Hospital

As an extremely diverse occupational field, the practice of nursing is not solely confined to hospitals, outpatient centers, or physicians’ offices. The career paths are much broader in scope, covering an array of other industries and business sectors. Graduates of nursing programs are well versed in the fundamentals of not only nursing, but also the broader aspects of healthcare and wellness, knowledge that may position them for success in other roles. Below is a list of potential career opportunities that stray from the more common, traditional customary routes chosen by most nursing professionals.

  • Insurance

    The insurance industry is a massive, complex system of providers and networks, an industry that produces more than $700 billion in revenue each year, according to market research from IBIS World. Employment data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows approximately 25,000 nurses were employed in the insurance and financial services industries in 2013, taking home an annual average wage of $68,370. Roles and opportunities vary within insurance, with potential careers including the following:

    • Case Manager
    • Utilization Nurse Manager
    • Health Coach
    • Quality Management Nurse
    • Nurse Educator
  • Education

    The education system, both K-12 and higher education, afford students an assortment of career choices. Nurses can pursue opportunities in school systems, as well as transition to educator-based positions as faculty members at post-secondary institutions or in areas such as community health. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 77,000 nurses were employed nationally in educational services, with nearly 50,000 employed in elementary and secondary schools. The overall average salary for nurses working in educational services in 2013 was just above $60,000.

  • Corrections

    The corrections system in the United States is another employment route for graduates of online nursing degree programs. Corrections nurses provide a host of direct patient care to inmates in correctional facilities, from administering medication to collaborating on care treatment plans with physicians. Although employment figures are difficult to pin down specifically within corrections, more than 73,000 nurses were employed at the Federal Government level in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Entrepreneurship

    Many nurses have realized that the trust placed in them by a respectful public can be leveraged in terms of successful entrepreneurial ventures. Nurses with varying levels of clinical experience and education are pursuing businesses in areas such as the providing of “concierge” private-duty in-home healthcare, private-duty homemaking/personal care agencies, or nurse consultants specializing in pediatrics, geriatrics, corporate wellness, etc. Nurse entrepreneurs also combine training in complementary therapies like Reiki, massage, and yoga therapy to create special hybrid healing practices. Still other nurses find their calling as health coaches, professional speakers, writers, bloggers, or podcasters. Meanwhile, coaching has exploded around the world, and nurse coaches may find employment with insurance companies, corporate settings, and in private practice.

Nursing Degree Search Tool

Nursing students today can choose from a wide array of degree options, ranging from associates to doctoral degrees in the profession. It takes focus and dedication to succeed in nursing education, and it starts with searching for the online program that offers the appropriate level of training and credentials that you need. The search tool below can save time and energy, sorting programs by level of degree, type of program and school, tuition cost, and accreditation – all key factors that prospective and advanced nurses need to make an knowledgeable choice.

Degree Level:
Tuition:
Student Population:
School Type:
see map

Best Online Nursing Degrees for 2015-2016

For students who hold an associate in nursing, are currently employed in the field and/or have family obligations, traditional campus courses may not be possible. Fortunately, many universities offer online nursing degree programs. With so many to choose from, how do you know which is the best fit? We’ve made the process easier by evaluating hundreds of distance learning programs around the country, then identifying the best options in terms of curriculum, accessibility, resources and other factors. Finding a good online nursing program is the first step toward advancing your career in the quickly growing health care field.

To see how we selected the Nation’s Best Online Nursing Degrees, please visit our methodology page.

RANK COLLEGE ScoreStudent-Teacher RatioFinancial AidCost MORE INFO
1 Adventist University of Health Sciences 98.7310:195%

Current RNs who want to further their career can earn an RN to BSN online from Adventist University of Health Services in as little as five terms. The online Bachelor of Science in Nursing is accredited by the Accreditation Commission of Education in Nursing and allows students to learn in a faith-based environment. ADU's online programs are available in nearly every state and students learn through a flexible schedule. They can access course materials at any time of the day or night and while the program is accelerated by design, students can take up to five years to graduate if needed.

2 Broward College 97.6524:182%

Broward College offers an online RN to BSN program for Registered Nurses in the state of Florida who wish to earn a bachelor's degree. The program can be completed in 12 months for full-time students and 16 months for part-time students.

Courses are held in synchronous formats, where students participate at a specific day and time, and asynchronous formats, where students view and complete coursework at their convenience. Clinical and practicum experiences are also required.

Experienced nurses may be able to receive experiential learning credits from work experience, employment-related training programs, volunteer work, military service, travel or self-directed study. These credits are not available for all courses, but may be applied to some lower division and upper division coursework.

3 Pensacola State College 97.5123:182%

Designed for students with an associate degree in nursing and a license as a registered nurse, this Bachelor of Science in nursing is presented online to specifically accommodate working students who require a flexible schedule and the ability to self-pace themselves through the program. The program's core competencies include understanding how theory, research and evidence relate to practice; interpersonal and community relationships; management and leadership; and law and ethics. The program emphasizes personal development before and after the program to support lifelong learning and the ability to respond to community needs in healthcare. The 120 required hours may be completed in three semesters or more.

4 Albany State University 96.7920:199%

Albany State University's part time RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is available online and allows students to graduate with a BSN in two years. It is only available to students who currently hold an RN degree and it follows the Georgia RN-BSN Articulation model for registered nursing students. Students take one to two courses per semester for the duration of the program. While the coursework is online, students may be required to participate in on-site clinicals at their convenience.

5 Indian River State College 96.4925:179%

The fully online RN to BSN program at Indian River State College includes courses in healthcare research, professional leadership and public policy development. The college has start dates in the fall, spring and summer, and students can graduate after two years of full-time schooling. Courses are delivered through the Blackboard Learning Management System, and the school offers a student help desk and orientation videos to familiarize students with the structure of online classes. The school also provides optional in-person internet technology orientations at the beginning of each semester for local students.

6 University of Saint Mary 96.1710:1100%

Staying current with new technologies and practices can give nurses a professional edge to help them compete in the workplace, and this online RN to BSN program is aimed at providing the necessary education to do so. Students will receive a relevant, applicable education and experiences shaped by the Christian values the school was founded on. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The accelerated program can be completed in as few as twelve months, covering course topics such as health assessment, pathophysiology, research, palliative care and community health. Applicants should have hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing.

7 University of Wyoming 96.0714:192%

The University offers an RN to BSN online program nationwide through its Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Wyoming State Board of Nursing.

The program begins in the fall, spring and summer and is designed for registered nurses with an associate degree in nursing as well as a Wyoming associate degree nursing student who wishes to further their education to the baccalaureate level in nursing.

As this RS/BSN program is delivered online and nationwide, no on-campus time is required. The program is individualized based on a student's past education.

8 Graceland University 96.0015:1100%

The RN to BSN program at Graceland University can be completed entirely online. Students can transfer up to 28 credits from prior nursing and general education courses, and continue on to take upper-level nursing courses at Graceland University to complete the degree.

Some courses in the program have clinical requirements. These can be met in the student's community, either through their place of employment or another healthcare or community organization. Classes focus on the core concepts of higher level thinking, nursing role performance and communication.

Students have access to many of Graceland's resources, including financial aid, tech support through the eCollege Help Desk, an online bookstore and the university library.

9 Liberty University 96.0018:195%

Christian principles and flexibility are the watchwords guiding the online RN to BSN program. The program consists of eight-week classes, and requires a total of 120 hours, 30 of which must be upper-level courses and 30 of which must be taken at Liberty. In addition to online classes, the school offers on-campus intensives for two courses, during which students can complete the courses in an accelerated format while meeting the nursing faculty and other nursing students. After graduation, students may enter careers in independent practices, government service, and community or long-term agencies, among others. The school also offers service opportunities such as mission trips for students and graduates.

10 Newman University 95.4514:199%

The Nursing RN to BSN program at Newman University is designed to provide students a smooth transition from the RN to the BSN curriculum. The Nursing RN to BSN program is structured to avoid repeating fundamental nursing courses while allowing the students to self-pace with flexibility within the program. Students complete coursework using web-based interactions and media-based learning opportunities, faculty presentations and student interactions. Applicants should have Kansas RN license, an associate degree in nursing and work experience as an RN. The baccalaureate degree requires a total of 124 credit hours and transfer students are accepted with a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or greater.

11 Fayetteville State University 95.4117:196%

Fayetteville State University offers an online RN to BSN program that allows working nurses to earn a higher degree at their convenience. The school only offers upper-level courses online, so students must have all required lower-level courses completed from prior schooling. The program focuses on the use of informatics and technology, evidence-based best practices, ethical decision-making for improved outcomes in patient care, and collaboration amongst interdisciplinary teams. The university uses the Blackboard Learning Management System to deliver online courses and provides new students with tutorials on accessing online classes.

12 Oral Roberts University 95.1915:198%

Students who hold a two-year associate degree may complete this online RN to BSN program in one year, if desired. Coursework for this fully online program includes advanced pathophysiology, health promotion and culture, nursing research and leadership in nursing. The college allows 32 credit hours to be transferred from associate-level courses. Students may also choose to complete a nursing practice seminar for credit prior to the program or in concert with the RN to BSN coursework. The degree is accredited by the Oklahoma State Board of Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

13 Siena Heights University 94.9612:1100%

Nurses who hold a diploma or associate degree approved by Siena Heights may continue their education in the school's RN to BSN program. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and approved by the Michigan Board of Nursing and the Higher Learning Commission for the North Central Association. As a Catholic institution, the school believes in “the dignity and worth of every human being,” and incorporates such values into its teaching philosophy. The curriculum consists of the fundamentals of health assessment, as well as gerontology and end-of-life care; ethical, cultural and spiritual practices in nursing; and care for clients with complex needs.

14 Dakota Wesleyan University 94.9611:1100%

The online RN to BSN program at Dakota Wesleyan University is 125 credits, 71 of which can be transferred from the student's prior school. An additional 12 credits are earned through electives or professional experience, and 42 credits are earned through online core courses. Courses are asynchronous, so students can participate at their convenience without needing to log on at a specific day or time. Required core courses include Nursing Research, Leadership for the Baccalaureate Nurse, and Health Assessment and Promotion.

15 Oklahoma Wesleyan University 94.9215:1100%

Nursing education is a lifelong venture: that's the philosophy that governs this online RN to BSN program, in which practicing nurses can pursue a degree while still maintaining their busy work schedules. Coursework covers areas such as the role of nursing in healthcare, the theoretical foundations of nursing, spiritual care of patients, health promotion and family theory, and a seminar on nursing ethics. As a Christian university, the program also emphasizes the role of faith and professional character in nurses' roles as caregivers. The program requires 126 credit hours and a cumulative GPA of 2.5, and students must have access to a computer with Internet access.

16 Vermont Technical College 94.9211:194%

Prospective nursing students can enter Vermont Technical College's online program at any stage of their education, with the school's RN to BSN completion degree specifically aimed at working nurses who wish to move into leadership roles. This program offers courses that explore holistic strategies, advanced assessment techniques, and chronic pain treatment, and prepares nurses for effective use of information systems, social media, communication technologies used in conjunction with clinical care decisions, and techniques for using information delivered electronically. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

17 Northern Illinois University 94.8815:196%

The RN-BS degree from Northern Illinois University is designed to provide advancement for nurses within their field into leadership roles in a variety of settings. The majority of the courses are available online, while face-to-face classes are available at locations throughout the region. The RN-BS degree program was created with a focus on flexibility to accommodate students' schedule as well as their preferred learning style. Students have the opportunity to enter the program three times a year: in the fall, spring and summer, and can complete the degree in 15 months or self-pace. Program graduates are also prepared to enter the college's graduate programs.

18 Bluefield College 94.7914:1100%

Bluefield College's RN to BSN degree program includes online courses and two clinical components in the student's local area: a 45-hour clinical component for the Nursing Care of Communities course, and a 25-hour clinical component for the Evidence-Based Nursing Practice course. The program emphasizes nursing care, a commitment to the community and critical thinking in a religious framework. Students learn about nursing research and theory, women's health, nursing care for older adults and health informatics. The classes, which are taught by the same professors who teach on-campus courses, have an average student-to-teacher ratio of 11:1, allowing students to communicate frequently with their professors.

19 Viterbo University 94.7412:199%

In preparation for careers as nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse practitioners and other positions that require a bachelor's degree, students can pursue an online RN to BSN program at Viterbo, a Catholic-based institution. The program is aimed at working registered nurses who want the flexibility to further their education in the growing nursing field without putting their current careers on hold. Students study subjects such as organizational management, theories of public health nursing, qualitative and quantitative research, and more. Admission to the program requires an associate degree or diploma in nursing that is regionally accredited, and an active RN license.

20 Clayton State University 94.7218:194%

Clayton State University's online RN to BSN program is designed for working registered nurses who hold an associate's degree. The program includes a double major in Health Care Management.

Curriculum imparts a broad perspective of the healthcare environment, giving students insights into critical topics including cultural diversity, technological advancements and leadership. It also prepares students for next steps beyond work in a traditional clinical practice, such as continuing education.

Distance students can take advantage of several benefits offered by the university, such as the Student Navigator service. This program provides academic assistance, counseling and connections to the community for nursing students. There are also study abroad opportunities for interested candidates.

21 MacMurray College 94.6612:1100%

Students examine current issues in nursing and focus on results in this online RN to BSN degree. The program follows a cohort model that encourages groups of students to progress through the program together, taking the same courses and forming a network of peers for academic support. Topics of study include family and community nursing, issues in nursing leadership, and health care policy. The program also emphasizes communication skills, with two required courses covering professional communication in speaking and argumentation. The program consists of ten eight-week courses offered in an asynchronous format, so coursework can be completed at the students' convenience.

22 Bethel University 94.5715:194%

Bethel University's RN to BSN program can be completed through online classes and in-person clinical placements in a local facility. Students must be registered nurses who have earned associate degrees or diplomas in nursing. The program focuses on leadership, management, critical thinking, and critical reasoning skills. Classes run on a ten-week schedule, with eight weeks of classes followed by two weeks for students to complete major assignments. Students can attend the program part time or full time—with full-time attendance, the program can be completed in 50 weeks. After an orientation to online learning, topics include health assessment of adults, introduction to research for evidence-based practice, and pharmacological basis for complex illness nursing care.

23 New Mexico Highlands University 94.5315:195%

The RN to BSN program offered by New Mexico Highlands University allows students to self-pace by listening to a recorded lecture at their convenience while completing assignments by a specific due date. The program is accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education and course lectures and assignments are accessed through the use of online learning management systems where students interact with instructors and one another through the use of chat, email and threaded discussions. Instructors are available to answer questions and provide feedback online and by phone during designated office hours. The program requires three in-person clinical rotations and requires attendance at a few community events before students are eligible to graduate.

24 King University 94.5112:192%

"Core science and liberal arts classes, in addition to nursing courses, form the foundation for King University's RN to BSN degree. The program is fully online and requires 28 semester hours that can be completed in 16 months. Distance classes at the university have the same curriculum as those delivered on campus, and while all courses are offered online, the program does require clinical obligations for two classes. Students fulfill these by participating in a community service assignment and doing a project. Graduates of the program should be prepared to fulfill a variety of positions, including clinical nursing manager, hospice care program administrator, nursing director, and behavioral health program manager."

25 Maryville University 94.4812:199%

Students learn about preventative, curative, and rehabilitative nursing care for patients of all ages in this RN to BSN completion program, which can be taken online or on-campus. The program emphasizes the important of building professional connections both in the classroom and in clinical experiences, and the curriculum is regularly updated to reflect feedback from professional leaders and employers of students and graduates. Graduates should acquire the skills necessary to enter the field, assume higher positions in healthcare facilities, or begin graduate-level studies. Students may enter the program every term, and transfer students can apply at any time.

26 McKendree University 94.3614:1100%

Courses offered in this online RN to BSN nursing degree include the same material as their on-campus counterparts, but are held in an accelerated eight-week format. Students can complete the program in five semesters, or have the option of taking fewer classes at a time to accommodate busy work and personal schedules. Students in the program are assigned an adviser to provide assistance in choosing appropriate courses to ensure a prompt graduation. The school also has tutoring and writing support services that both online and on-campus students can access. New students can view an online orientation specific to the RN to BSN program, introducing the Blackboard Learning Management System and outlining other available technology and support services.

27 Mississippi College 94.3315:199%

Combining distance classes with local clinical experience and a Christian focus on values, this online RN to BSN program is open to students who hold a registered nurse license in the state of Mississippi. Prior to admission students complete all nursing prerequisite courses, including chemistry, microbiology and algebra, either at Mississippi College or another school. Core courses in literature, history and religion should be primarily completed before beginning the major, but may also be taken in summer sessions. The recommended course sequence includes a fall session, a spring session, and two summer sessions. Part-time options are also available.

28 Brenau University 94.3212:197%

Practicing professional nurses who wish to enhance their training can enroll in Brenau University's RN to BSN program, which can be completed through online coursework along with a 32-hour residency requirement, including a major residency of 21 hours. Topics of study include health promotion, community health nursing and nursing research. Students also learn about the effects of cultural diversity on healthcare. Online courses are delivered through the Canvas learning system. Students can use library resources online for academic research and communicate through email and discussion boards. The university's bookstore is accessible online for students to order required textbooks.

29 Columbus State University 94.2717:193%

Columbus State University offers a distance RN to BSN program that can be completed in 12 months.

Courses are offered in seven week sessions, with instruction delivered online and community clinical completed in the student?s local community. Classes are asynchronous, so students can view lectures and complete assignments at their convenience. Some classes allow students to work ahead of schedule, allowing them to finish coursework early in the semester if they have a busier schedule in later weeks.

Each student is assigned a dedicated RN student faculty advisor to guide their program and ensure that all requirements are met for graduation on time. Faculty members come from a wide variety of nursing backgrounds to give students a broad perspective of the profession and the careers available to them.

30 Campbellsville University 94.2713:195%

Campbellsville University's online RN to BSN program focuses on patient care and modern issues of nursing, such as healthcare reform and medical technology advances. The program is 43 credits and can be earned in two years or more. Areas of study include gerontology, community health nursing and advanced health assessment. In addition to nursing procedures and patient care, students also learn managerial skills. Each student completes two electives, with options including Contemporary Healthcare Management, Financial Management in Healthcare and Health Services Information Management. Graduates should be prepared to move past entry-level roles and into leadership positions in healthcare settings.

31 Roberts Wesleyan College 94.2613:1100%

Working registered nurses who can devote one night per week to either classroom or online study can finish this RN to BS completion program in 15 months. Prior coursework or experiences may be applied for credit. The program features personal attention from faculty and staff, and emphasizes practical experience in the workplace. The curriculum is exam-free, with grades based on papers, presentations and projects. Program coursework includes career development, promoting wellness in the community, trends in healthcare delivery and the nursing profession, and personal values and bioethics.

32 Presentation College 94.2612:199%

To be eligible for this online program leading to a Bachelor of Science in nursing, applicants must have graduated from a state-approved practical nursing degree program and hold a current LPN license. The program accepts 64 students each for the fall and spring terms. By taking online courses, students are able to earn their degrees while continuing their work as practicing nurses; clinical classes are offered at three virtual sites on pre-assigned weekends. The program takes four to six semesters to complete.

33 Western New Mexico University 94.1014:197%

Currently licensed RNs with accredited diplomas or associate degrees can further prepare for leadership roles and receive advanced education in their field through the RN to BSN program. Students take courses covering pathophysiology, leadership, issues in professional nursing, health care policy, and community health. Students must complete at least 50 hours of upper-division credits during the program, which can be completed in two years. Attendance for the online courses will be taken via Mustang Express, the school's online learning platform, where group work, lectures, and other assignments will also be conducted.

34 Northwestern Oklahoma State University 94.0917:196%

The online RN to BSN program at Northwestern Oklahoma State University allows students to earn their bachelor's degree virtually, with no required campus visits. For students who have met all general education requirements, the program can be completed in as little as 12 months.

Coursework includes research utilization, professional issues in nursing, and a capstone project to conclude the program. Nurses with proof of CCRN certification will receive transfer credits toward their degree.

The program prepares students for desirable nursing careers including bedside positions in ICU, neonatal and other specialty areas. Graduates may also choose to enter graduate studies, such as master's programs in nursing.

35 Lees-McRae College 93.9615:1100%

Education, management, community health, research and bioethics are some of the topics covered in the RN to BSN degree completion program, which consists of both online coursework and in-person clinical sessions. Students are encouraged to collaborate to share their knowledge and working experience, and to form an academic support group as they progress through classes together. Classes are delivered in seminar and workshop styles, and focus on career development, community-based care, and management and supervision. The college designed its online course format using principles of adult learning theory to foster a learning environment that is challenging and relevant to working professionals.

36 Our Lady of the Lake University 93.9214:197%

The Master of Science in Nursing degree offered by Our Lady of the Lake University is based on research trends and challenges in the health care industry. The program is designed to prepare students for careers such as nurse educator or nurse administrator and requires a total of 33 credit hours, which can be completed online in as little as 24 months. Students are able to concentrate their area of study in either nurse administration or nurse education. The administration track includes coursework in managed care, leadership and financial management. The nurse education track includes coursework on teaching strategies, multicultural foundations of education in nursing and evaluation methodologies.

37 MidAmerica Nazarene University 93.845:199%

Registered nurses ready to further their education can enroll in the RN to BSN online degree program on a schedule that fits their lives, either full-time or part-time. Full-time students typically graduate in about 12 months. Core courses at this Christian-oriented institution cover health assessment, quality and safety in nursing, the future of nursing, and wellness and spirituality in nursing. Many other requirements can be met through transfer credits or prior learning assessments. Building on the goals of nursing care and competency, the program also emphasizes the seven general education outcomes of the university: aesthetic literacy, critical thinking, effective communication, scientific literacy, self-understanding, social responsibly, and spiritual development.

38 Georgia Southwestern State University 93.8217:191%

Georgia Southwestern State University's RN to BSN program is fully online and can be completed in one to two years, although students can also take courses over three to five years if desired. The program includes five nonclinical courses, two clinical courses and a practicum. For clinical courses, students work with a qualified preceptor. To fulfill the program's lab requirement online, students record and submit video documentation of their work. Some graduates of the program continue their schooling with the university's master's program in nursing or with graduate programs aimed at nurse anesthetists or nurse midwives.

39 Tabor College 93.6915:1100%

Students can position themselves for jobs as entrepreneurs, educators, and clinicians in a variety of nursing fields—from home health to occupational health—upon graduation from this RN-BSN program. Over a period of approximately 18 months, students will study management, leadership, community health and nursing practices in a well-rounded curriculum designed to prepare them for an ever-changing workplace. Students are encouraged to take a holistic approach to nursing, addressing all of a patient's needs—physical, emotional, social, and spiritual. Ideal for working adults, this accelerated online program allows students to transfer up to 84 credits from other sources.

40 University of Delaware 93.6815:182%

This institution's School of Nursing offers a bachelor's degree completely online for registered nurses, based on 120 credit-hours of prescribed coursework. The University of Delaware program is designed to build on an applicant's previous professional knowledge and experience. Out-of-state students are allowed to apply for this program, which was approved in 2014.

The rigorous program requirements include prerequisite science courses such as nutrition, chemistry and microbiology and general subjects to develop skills in English, psychology and statistics. The nursing curriculum targets topics including community health, pathophysiology and healthcare delivery in multicultural contexts.

41 Briar Cliff University 93.6212:197%

In Briar Cliff University's online RN to BSN program, registered nurses can transfer up to 90 credits toward the 124-credit degree. The curriculum includes a local clinical component as well as core courses in pathophysiology, writing, and nursing leadership. Online courses at the university follow the same curriculum as on-campus courses and require the same time commitment. The school suggests that students log on to their courses at least two to three times per week, or more if suggested by a professor.

42 Schreiner University 93.5914:1100%

Accredited by the National League of Nursing Accrediting Commission and offered entirely online, this RN to BSN program aims to provide students with a way to advance their careers and improve their nursing skills, all while continuing to work. With an underlying goal of teaching students to deliver compassionate care to diverse populations, the program includes a wide array of electives, and also gives students the opportunity to train outside of the United States. Five start dates are offered each year, and the program may be completed in as little as one year.

43 University of South Carolina-Columbia 93.5618:190%

The RN to BSN program at the University of South Carolina Columbia is offered online through the Mary Black School of Nursing. Consisting of 128 credit hours, the program allows students to transfer credits from previous study and can be completed in as little as one year. Upper-division classes make up 32 of the total credits. During the program students prepare to undertake leadership roles, demonstrate professional attitudes and behavior, and employ critical thinking skills. Coursework includes methods for health assessment, research practices, and issues in community health nursing.

44 Southern Nazarene University 93.3014:1100%

Designed for nurses holding a diploma or associate degree, the online nursing program offers students an accelerated nursing-to-bachelor degree option. In 36 credit hours, the Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science program covers subjects such as community health nursing, data analysis, nursing leadership, and ethical and legal issues in nursing. Grounded in Christian principles, the school seeks to help students achieve their degrees while expressing their spiritual and moral values in their studies. Working students can also receive course credit for prior learning experience, including on-the-job training, military training, and life experiences.

45 University of Mary 93.2117:1100%

As a Christian institution, the University of Mary emphasizes the importance of service and community work, using Catholic principles as a guideline. Those values are reflected in the online RN to BSN program, which targets working nurses who are ready to hone their skills to meet the changing environment of nursing and healthcare. Courses offered include Health Promotion for the Elderly, Global Nursing Issues, Professional Nursing, Ethics Law and Policy, and others. To qualify for the program, students must have an associates degree or diploma in nursing and meet the GPA minimum of 2.75.

46 Iowa Wesleyan College 93.189:1100%

Iowa Wesleyan College has an online RN to BSN program that can be completed on a part-time basis. Students can transfer 64 credits from a community or junior college and an additional 30 credits from a four-year college. With appropriate transfers, students can earn their BSN in one year. The program emphasizes using critical thinking to care for individuals, families and communities. Courses cover nursing care for older adults, nursing research, and nursing leadership and management. Prior to beginning coursework within the major, students must complete support courses, either at the college or thorough transfer credits. These include chemistry, statistics, sociology and writing.

47 Cabarrus College of Health Sciences 92.989:193%

At Cabarrus College of Health Sciences, registered nurses can continue to work while expanding their training with the online RN to BSN program. The program accepts new students for the fall and spring semesters and can be completed in two years with a full-time schedule (four semesters and one 6-week summer semester). Courses follow a set sequence, with topics of study including nursing leadership, health policy, and coping with grief and loss. Clinicals are required for the program in the final spring semester, when students complete a health education project for a local population.

48 Eastern Illinois University 92.8814:193%

Eastern Illinois University's online RN to BSN program allows students to choose between synchronous and asynchronous formats. For a synchronous experience, students can participate and interact via live videocast lectures. These lectures are recorded so that students who are unable to log on at that time can view the archives at their convenience. All coursework is online, and students complete clinical/practicum courses with qualified preceptors in their community. Classes cover a variety of topics, including theory, research, community health, management and leadership. At the end of the program, students build a portfolio that demonstrates their learning.

49 Florida Atlantic University 92.8024:187%

Florida Atlantic University's RN to BSN program can be completed online and is designed for students who have a diploma or associate degree from a nursing program and an RN license in their state of residence. Students can choose from four plans of study, ranging from three to six semesters, based on their schedule and desired time commitment. For each option, there is a specific course structure that students follow. Students can begin during any semester. Students must complete one clinical course at a local healthcare setting.

50 Minot State University 92.7313:191%

Registered nurses can earn their bachelor's degree online at Minot State University. The program offers distance instruction with one required clinical course, which students can complete at a local facility. Typically, the program spans 15 to 18 months, though it can take longer for students who have not yet completed the required core courses.

The program includes curriculum on communicating effectively, creating a safe and quality-focused care environment, making informed decisions, solving problems, and using research for an evidence-based nursing practice. Students will be prepared to enter the nursing profession in a variety of settings, serving individuals, families and communities.

51 Southwestern Oklahoma State University 92.7218:195%

Offered at the Southwestern Oklahoma State University, the Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) online program is designed for students who already have an Associate's Degree in Nursing from an ACEN accredited nursing program. The program also welcomes applicants who are in their last semester of an associate's degree program. The online track is intended to strengthen career prospects and leadership skills of registered nurses. The program is designed for Oklahoma residents, so out-of-state applicants should contact the Nursing department at 580-774-3261 to determine eligibility.

52 Winston-Salem State University 92.6516:196%

For RNs with the desire to continue their education and the drive to do so online, the RN-BSN online program offers an opportunity to develop advanced nursing skills in an environment that fosters creativity, initiative and critical thinking. The program is CCNE accredited, which means students will receive a well-rounded education that is widely recognized and approved. Students can complete the program in as few as three semesters, making it easy to receive the BSN quickly and without career interruption. Applicants should have a current nursing license and either an associate degree or nursing diploma, with at least 51 transferable credits outside of the nursing major.

53 Upper Iowa University 92.6417:185%

Different styles of learning are accommodated with either a fully online or hybrid program with this RN to BSN degree. Self-motivated students who are comfortable working alone may choose online-only, while students who benefit from more structure, social interaction and feedback may prefer the hybrid option. In either case, the program allows working nurses to continue working during their studies, as well as take advantage of previous education by transferring up to 90 credits of undergraduate work. Graduates should be prepared to move into management positions or continue studying at the graduate level. The RN to BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

54 Virginia Commonwealth University 92.6217:179%

Students may take as few as 18 months or up to six years to complete the RN to BS online program, structured specifically for nurses to continue working as they further their education. Traditional nursing programs are also offered in standard and accelerated formats for those with no nursing background. The program consists of 124 credit hours that can be completed entirely online. Curriculum will prepare students to implement effective nursing practices, exercise judgment to deliver care appropriately, and adhere to legal and ethical standards as they apply to nursing. Applicants must have an ACEN CNEA accredited diploma or associate degree in nursing.