Understanding Online RN to BSN Programs

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The Institute of Medicine suggests that the number of nurses with bachelor’s degrees should reach 80 percent by 2020, a goal that is taken seriously by many in the field. An online RN to BSN program offers the potential of improved salaries and a greater range of employment opportunities. The following guide examines this bridge program in full detail, providing information on coursework, how to find a quality program, timeline, and also firsthand insight from a graduate. If you’re ready to learn how to enhance your skills and advance your nursing career, read on.

Meet the Expert: Keith Carlson

Keith Carlson is a Board Certified Nurse Coach who works under the auspices of Nurse Keith Coaching, where he helps nurses create satisfying, healthy, and enriching careers. A nurse since 1996, Carlson also writes the award-winning nursing blog, “Digital Doorway”, and is the co-founder and co-host of RNFM Radio.

The Profile of an RN to BSN Student

If you are considering pursuing an RN to BSN online program, you may recognize aspects of yourself in one or more of the following scenarios, although your exact educational and professional background may differ.

RN with Some College Education

Sometimes, studying at a college or university doesn’t fit everyone’s style. A student may have begun studying the biological sciences, but during the course of the four-year degree program, that student realizes that college may not be right for him or her. Instead, a career in nursing--one that does not necessarily require the completion of a bachelor’s degree--seems to offer another potentially remunerative and satisfying career path. Instead of finishing college, this student decides to pursue his or her RN through an associate degree program.

After graduating, the RN accepts a job offer and begins his or her career. Over time, this RN may occasionally feel a lack of self-confidence in the context of various professional circumstances. The nurse now feels that perhaps a bachelor’s degree is indeed the best recourse, since it offers a deeper knowledge and understanding of nursing, medicine and healthcare and, thus, enabling the nurse to enhance his or her job performance and level of professionalism. This nurse decides to return to school in order to earn a bachelor’s degree, and finds that an online RN to BSN program fits his or her work schedule and lifestyle better than a traditional school setting.

RN Wanting to Advance His or Her Career

Though being a RN is one of many positions attainable without completing a degree from a four-year college, not having a bachelor’s degree may come with limitations. Even if an RN has achieved the highest level of seniority in a particular healthcare setting, that RN may eventually hit a ceiling in regards to vertical job mobility, salary, or even professional satisfaction.

Not having a bachelor’s degree in nursing could potentially mean an RN cannot advance into a certain position, such as a managerial or supervisory role. This could also result in the nurse not being able to hold the same level of responsibility at another facility, since that facility may require their nurse managers and supervisors to be baccalaureate-prepared.

At some point, this RN may tire of struggling to get ahead, and begins seeking a new way to break through that ceiling and advance his or her career. The RN begins researching degree programs, and realizes that an online RN to BSN program may be his or her best option. With a BSN, the RN could better qualify for positions such as head nurse, department chief, administrative manager, or clinical nurse manager.

RN with Children and/or Other Responsibilities

Whether an RN wants to learn more about the nursing field, a traditional classroom setting may not be practical. A bachelor’s degree takes many hours to complete both in and out of the classroom, and in a traditional learning setting, those class hours are fixed, regardless of a person’s schedule or obligations.

Many RNs work during the day, which would exclude them from daytime classes. Meanwhile, other nurses work night shift, which would equally exclude them from nighttime classes. Still others work two jobs or double shifts, which means there is little time for schoolwork. If the RN’s work schedule doesn’t fit in with the only available classroom schedules, that nurse could feel locked out of the opportunity to earn a BSN.

Further, many RNs have more than just a job to worry about; they may also have children or other family members to care for. Busy nurses may have responsibilities to other organizations or their community that may also conflict with strict academic classroom schedules.

Luckily, an RN in this position has another option: an online RN to BSN program. With this program, the student can often tailor his or her school schedule to blend relatively seamlessly with work, family, and other responsibilities. Through recorded lectures and homework assignments that can be completed and turned in at any time of day or night, online degree programs can allow the earnest RN to complete the BSN education he or she desires.

RN to BSN Tools

In a online RN to BSN program, students learn an array of valuable skills and concepts that contribute to becoming a more knowledgeable and effective nurse. These concepts and skills may include effective leadership, probability and statistics, evidence-based practice, nursing research techniques, community health, and population-based nursing. Below are some of the skills RN to BSN students gain:

skills gained
of the human body

A deeper understanding of the human body is a crucial tool in effectively collaborating with other healthcare providers, as well as explaining diagnoses and treatments to patients. It also provides a clear understanding of the procedures nurses perform and the information they gather from patients and providers.

Understanding generational differences in nursing care

Each age group requires a different set of concepts and skills for the sake of understanding age-related changes in physiology and pathophysiology, as well as treatment options and expectations regarding potential outcomes.

How to perform a more thorough health assessment

While RNs may already be skilled in performing a health assessment, an online RN to BSN program offers a more in-depth look at the many aspects of the process. From using the correct instruments to conducting an effective interview, a health assessment is an essential skill for a practicing nurse.

Electronic medical records and other information technology

More healthcare providers and facilities are shifting toward electronic medical records and IT-supported care. As a BSN student, the nurse may learn about the latest technological developments in healthcare, including online patient portals, telehealth, EMRs, or wearable devices.

Nursing theory

A nurse needs to understand his or her role within the healthcare setting, as nurses play a unique part in patient care and the operations of a medical facility or other practice setting. Nursing theories abound, and these models of learning and nursing care guide nurses in navigating the healthcare environment, interpersonal relationships, and the trajectory of 21st-century healthcare.

Professional development

Overall professional development is a critical aspect of being a more knowledgeable, engaged, and effective nurse. In an online RN to BSN program, students learn skills such as leadership, communication, and critical thinking, with a goal of building upon the nurse’s previously mastered competencies.

Other areas of focus

Nursing research, statistics, community health, and population-based nursing are other areas of study that the online RN to BSN student may encounter during the course of many programs.


From science classes to professional classes that build the RN’s arsenal of tools and skills, the online RN to BSN program offers a well-rounded degree complete with several different types of courses. Take a look at some examples of classes:

General Education Components

As with any other bachelors degree program, RN to BSN online program students will complete several components common to many general degrees. These will likely include English Composition and Foundations in Mathematics, but general education courses can also include an introduction to humanities, survey of the government and Constitution, sociology, and psychology, to name a few. These courses offer a solid framework for any education path that teaches skills necessary for being a productive member of the workforce.

Anatomy and Physiology

This subject is so important to an RN to BSN degree program that students often take two sections, one concerning fundamentals and one focused on advanced concepts. In these courses, students explore the structures and functions of the body’s many interdependent systems.

Community Health

In this course, students explore the relationships between cultures and communities, particularly in regards to healthcare and wellness. The course’s main principles may include disease prevention, emergency preparedness, and health promotion within a community setting. Students learn about the effects of policies and resources on particular communities, as well as skills for fostering collaboration with the goal of solving community-wide health issues.

Professional Roles and Values

In this course, students examine and analyze the specific role of a nurse within the healthcare system. The course explores the relative and complementary roles of nurses, doctors, administrators, and other staff. Students also learn the values of nursing, such as cultural competency, professional conduct, leadership, advocacy for patient rights and social justice, legal and ethical standards of care, and the public image of nursing.

Health Assessment

For this course, a student builds upon his or her nursing knowledge while learning advanced assessment skills. This includes physical assessment techniques, interviewing skills, advanced history-taking, and assessments of social and physical environments.

Information Management and Technology

After performing a health assessment or updating a patient’s chart following a visit or appointment, RNs must handle vital patient records, which are increasingly electronic and cloud-based. This course teaches students the importance of current technologies used to document and coordinate patient care in a highly networked healthcare ecosystem. Students will also learn how workflow and patient care is impacted by changes and improvements in healthcare technology. Students may also study the growing role of nursing informatics as a discrete nursing specialty.

Population-Based Nursing

This course involves the understanding of population-based patient cohorts, all of whom require their own specific types of care. Appreciating the skills needed to approach and understand diverse populations is critical to the nurse’s well-rounded ability to successfully and sensitively assess entire populations or subsets of a population.

Broward College
  • Enrollment: 61,784
  • Tuition: $2,494
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Florida
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
Ohio State University
  • Enrollment: 47,269
  • Tuition: $10,037
  • College Type: Public
  • State: Ohio
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
Western Governors University
  • Enrollment: 43,356
  • Tuition: $6,070
  • College Type: Private
  • State: Utah
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Online RN to BSN Timeline

Once RNs understand the depth, breadth, and scope of online RN to BSN programs, they then need to acquire knowledge regarding what it takes to successfully complete such a program.

Year 0

Preparation for enrolling in an online RN to BSN program can be extensive, as RNs face several steps in order to begin pursuing the degree path.

Before being admitted into an accredited online RN to BSN program, nurses who hold an Associate’s Degree of Nursing or nursing diploma are required to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to receive a nursing license. Some programs require completion of another exam before admission, the Elsevier’s HESI Admission Assessment (A2), which consists of seven components, from basic math and English subjects to essential sciences.

From there, the RN must have a certain cumulative GPA, which can vary by institution, but may be about a 2.0 GPA or higher. A candidate needs a diploma in nursing or transcript that demonstrates that the RN successfully completed particular nursing-related courses. He or she may also need to include a personal essay along with the application. If the RN has earned an ADN or nursing diploma, he or she may be eligible for transfer credits, which would shorten the coursework and time needed to earn the BSN.

Year 1

The first of the program’s approximate two years of study includes many of the lower-division undergraduate courses, of which there are usually approximately 60 credits. These may include general education requirements such as English and mathematics, but may also require the more basic science classes needed for nursing, such as biology, chemistry, and the first anatomy and physiology section. A student may also begin to encounter some of the upper-division nursing courses during this year of study.

Year 2

The second year of the online RN to BSN program usually consists of the upper-division nursing courses. These include more specific coursework, such as Advanced Health Assessment and Nursing Informatics, while the student also completes remaining lower-division classes. At the end of approximately 120 hours of credits, the RN can graduate with a BSN.

What Makes an Online RN to BSN Program Great?

All online RN to BSN programs have many aspects of coursework in common, but not all are created equal. Some offer a very baseline education, while others are programs with characteristics that make them great choices for nurses in pursuit of professional and educational advancement. Here is an explanation of some of the most important elements prospective students should look for in an online RN to BSN program:


Online RN to BSN program scams do indeed exist, so it’s important to ensure a program has the right accreditation before applying. The two main accreditations include the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCACS). As part of the NCACS, an online program may also have accreditation from a newer system known as the Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP). Local and regional associations may also accredit certain programs, giving you one more vote of confidence. It’s important to make sure that the organization or agency that accredits the school and/or nursing program is one that is recognized by the Department of Education.

Varied, But Relevant Coursework

Nursing students need to learn a wealth of information about many aspects of science and medicine, as well as professional skills and attributes. When exploring online RN to BSN programs, it’s important to understand the coursework involved to ensure the student takes all of the courses he or she needs to succeed in the profession. RNs want a foundation in general education and liberal arts, which they should receive with any bachelor’s degree, as well as a solid grounding in basic sciences. From there, they need more advanced nursing courses that touch on all aspects of nursing tasks and professionalism, from health assessments and interviewing skills, to population and global health courses.

Experienced Faculty and Professors

In order to prepare for any career and industry, students need to learn from the best faculty and professors. RNs should carefully research each potential school’s educators. Some things to look for include what type of degree does he or she hold? What kind of professional experience does he or she have and is it extensive and current? Have they conducted and published any research to advance the field of nursing? Professors in RN to BSN programs should not only have an academic background in the field, but also show that they have expertise in the professional medical world as well.

Self-Paced Coursework

Because these students are already RNs, many continue to work in healthcare settings while they earn their RN to BSN degree. One of the key benefits of an online degree program is the ability to have flexible and self-paced coursework requirements that make allowances for a student’s busy schedule and varied responsibilities. A RN can speak with currently enrolled students, program graduates, or prospective teachers in the pursuit of a clear notion of what a typical schedule might look like.

Inside Scoop: Q&A with a Graduate

For a glimpse inside the mind of a online RN to BSN program graduate, meet Sherry Shiveley, who graduated from the Indiana Wesleyan BSN online program in May 2010. Prior to beginning her online coursework, Shiveley worked as a nurse with an associate degree for about 18 years. She knew other nurses who were pursuing a BSN as well, so the group completed the program together. Shiveley is currently a travel nurse and has been traveling for two years.

Q&A with Sherry Shiveley

Why did you choose an online RN to BSN program over one in a traditional classroom setting?

My work schedule was chaotic, so I felt online would fit my needs better.

What do you think the online program offered that you might not have been able to get from a traditional classroom setting?

It was very easy to understand what was expected of me, and when the assignments were due. Being a phone call or email away, instructors were very good about answering questions, depending on time zone differences.

What were the easiest parts of the online learning process?

Online instructions were easy to understand, plus other classmates’ input was an asset.

What was the most difficult part of the online learning process?

Group work was the most difficult. Some of the team members were late in submitting assignments. Some had to even submit projects for other students.

What would you say to someone who is considering enrolling in an online RN to BSN program?

Don't get too stressed out with the deadlines, but manage your time wisely. When answering your classmates’ questions or responding to posts, keep it concise--long posts can get too involved and become time-consuming.

Online RN to BSN Programs Degree Search Tool

As it becomes more common for nurses to hold at least a bachelor’s degree, many RNs will find online RN to BSN programs to be a perfect fit for their busy lives. As one of the more common online degrees available, prospective students have many choices available, allowing them to find a program not only meeting their academic requirements, but also providing key features such as flexibility, affordability, experienced faculty, and relevant coursework. The search tool below takes all of these factors into consideration to deliver a tailored list of schools for each student.

Degree Level:
Student Population:
School Type:
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Best Online RN to BSN Degree for 2015-2016

With practicum experience taken care of, an online RN to BSN is attainable through many quality virtual programs. The program should hold national accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools to ensure it’s legitimate. Instructors should be industry professionals in current practice with published research. Online nursing programs should also assist students with support services and career counseling upon graduation. Through our methodology, we took a look at these and other valuable information to compile a list of the Best Online RN to BSN Programs in 2015-2016. Discover which programs stood out above the rest.

RANK COLLEGE ScoreStudent-Teacher RatioFinancial AidCostMORE INFO
1 Fayetteville State University 99.3517:196%

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing - RN-BSN degree program is a 120-credit degree delivered online for working Registered Nurses seeking an enhanced degree to advance to leadership positions in the profession. A minimum of 38 credits must be completed in general education, 17 units in nursing support classes, and 32 credits in upper -division core nursing courses such as informatics, leadership, technology, and economics. Online students can transfer up to 32 nursing credit hours from an accredited program. Applicants must hold an active nursing license and documentation of a nursing degree or diploma from an accredited school or college.

2 Adventist University of Health Sciences 99.0510:195%

Registered nurses looking to go back to school: The RN to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program at Adventist University of Health Sciences (ADU) may be a good fit. By combining on-the-job training (observational assignments) and courses in nursing, sciences and humanities, this program is targeted to current nurses looking to move into administrative positions. The program can be completed in five terms and builds skills in nursing, advanced pathophysiology, critical thinking, pharmacology, management, leadership and researching. The school boasts that the online program is the same as the on-campus program and that it truly fits around a current nurse's schedule.

3 University of Wyoming 98.8914:192%

The University of Wyoming offers two online RN to BSN degree completion programs: one is designed for registered nurses while the other is specifically for Wyoming graduates of an associate degree nursing program. The program requires no on-campus time and includes a capstone project that allows students to research and report on a current public health issue. Students graduate with a solid understanding of disease prevention and health promotion and can demonstrate professionalism under the nursing code of ethics. Students can complete the program in about a year, depending on prerequisites and the students' course of study.

4 New Mexico Highlands University 98.2415:195%

Registered nurses have the opportunity to earn their Bachelor from New Mexico Highlands University's online Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Admissions requirements include a minimum 2.5 GPA, a license and diploma or associate nursing degree and successful completion of an undergraduate statistics course. Other prerequisites include biology, nutrition, psychology and anatomy. The 120 credit curriculum is made of up to 35 credits in core courses. Sample core courses are Community Health Practice, Cultural Competence and Healthcare and Evidence Based Applications in Health Assessment. While logged into MyNMHU students enroll in the program, get course schedules, check their email and log into Blackboard and Desire2Learn. Lectures are viewed on systems like ITV and the Internet.

5 Albany State University 97.9920:199%

Using the university's eCore online system, the program requires 125 hours of coursework with a GPA of 2.0 or better. Students can enroll after proving they have a nursing license. Participants must score at least a 75 or better in each course to pass with the opportunity to retake a failed class once if necessary. Topics include leadership, community health nursing, pathophysiology and a senior seminar. Graduates of the program often have gone to careers as registered nurses, practitioners and have specialized in similar fields.

6 SUNY College at Plattsburgh 97.2916:191%

The nursing path that adults choose has a direct impact on the specific training that would best benefit them. An available path at SUNY College at Plattsburgh is the online Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The option is open to adults who have an active nursing license, a minimum 2.5 GPA and proof that they have met general education standards. In addition to classes in child nursing, mental health nursing, gerontology, informatics, public health and research, students complete two clinical classes. Core courses, electives and general education classes must equal 120 credits to meet graduation requirements. A NetID and password unlock myPlattsburgh, the school's gateway to online courses. Once in myPlattsburgh, students can apply for admission, schedule their classes and complete and submit class assignments.

7 University of Saint Mary 96.4510:1100%

Students at University of Saint Mary can earn an online RN to BSN degree in less than a year utilizing cutting-edge research and instruction. Students take classes in research, pathophysiology, health assessment, palliative care, leadership and community health. A senior integrative seminar allows students to explore current trends in nursing and health care as a whole. While the degree can be completed online, two classes require on-site mentorship at a health care institution close to the student. There are no proctored exams; students take online assessments as well as submit assignments online. Classes are offered in 8-week terms and full-time students can complete their degree in 12 to 18 months.

8 Liberty University 95.9718:195%

Studies in health assessment, community health nursing, leadership, communications and special populations make up the nursing coursework at Liberty University's online RN to BSN degree program. A flexible, eight-week course schedule allows working RN's to maintain their current roles while training for advancement. Students can earn credit toward their BSN by passing standardized tests or receive credit for professional training and work experience. Nurses prepared by military service schools can also receive credits for previous coursework. At least 30 hours of the required 120 total hours for graduation must be completed at Liberty, including 30 hours of upper-division nursing coursework. Applicants must hold an unencumbered nursing license in the state(s) where they practice.

9 University of Louisville 95.7711:197%

Graduates of an associate degree in nursing or those who hold a nursing diploma can earn an online RN to bachelor of science in nursing from University of Louisville. This program is designed for nurses who are currently practicing in the field and includes 31 nursing credits in a flexible format. Students can finish the program and earn their degree in as little as 16 months. A clinical is required in the form of a practicum project in community health, which students can complete at a location close to them. Classes follow the same semester calendar as traditional on-campus programs.

10 SUNY College of Technology at Delhi 95.7516:191%

A nursing background could save adults seeking an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing from SUNY State University of New York at Delphi time. Not only could adults currently working in nursing use their existing knowledge and experience to grasp lessons quicker, they could also transfer up to 80 credits from an approved school into the program. That opens the door for students to complete the 120 credit Bachelor degree within two years or less. The curriculum starts with orientation and progresses into ethics in healthcare, nursing research, epidemiology and health care policy. Classes are web based and depend on video, audio, mobile and other virtual resources. Employers who graduates could deliver nursing services for include hospitals, private physicians, nursing homes, surgical centers and home healthcare firms.

11 Eastern Kentucky University 95.4817:197%

Registered nurses pursuing an online bachelor's degree at EKU have the option of completing an RN to BSN in two years, taking a single class over each eight-week term. Nurses seeking a quicker turnaround on their advanced studies can, with faculty approval, take two courses a semester to cut the time to graduate in half. Interactive online courses are designed to assist nurses seeking advanced learning for career advancement or to prepare for undertaking graduate studies in nursing. Applicants work with academic counselors to determine their best degree path (one, or two years) based on family and employment responsibilities.

12 University of Southern Mississippi 95.4217:196%

An online nursing degree is within reach at the University of Southern Mississippi. Applications are due three times during the calendar year for this flexible RN to BSN degree completion program. Students gain the skills needed to grow their careers in the health care industry. This student-centered program includes courses in maternal-child nursing, health policy and economics, medical-surgical nursing, pathophysiology and more. Graduates are prepared for careers as nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists and other higher-level nursing positions or to pursue an advanced degree.

13 Murray State University 95.1216:199%

Adults who possess an Associate in Nursing degree, a 2.75 GPA or higher and licensing may meet the admissions requirements that allows them to enter Murray State University's online Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. The minimum GPA needed to graduate is a 2.0. Biology, human anatomy, nursing research, statistics, nursing in mental health and management and leadership are courses in the curriculum. Students who set aside six to eight hours a week to focus on their courses may have a better chance of succeeding in the program. InterLibrary Loan, webmail and MyGate are resources that support students completing their online degree. After completing the degree, places where students could work include surgical hospitals, private physician offices, nursing facilities and traditional hospitals. Students could also work for home health care organizations.

14 University of North Florida 95.0420:194%

In as little as 12 months, students can earn an online RN to bachelor of science in nursing from the University of North Florida. Students take 30 credit hours to earn their degree and participate in a in-person clinical in their own community. Coursework includes applied nursing ethics, perspectives in chronicity, family/community assessment, leadership and management in nursing and nursing science. Applicants must hold a nursing degree from a regionally accredited institution and have 60 semester hours or an associate of arts degree as well as fulfill other admission requirements.

15 Florida Atlantic University 94.9924:187%

Florida Atlantic University's RN to BSN degree program is designed for registered nurses who aspire to roles in clinical nursing, health education, ER or community health nursing. Applicants must hold current, unencumbered nursing licenses and an associate's degree or diploma from an institution accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing Education. The degree can be completed entirely online; a component of 180 clinical hours must be completed on-site at facilities near the student's home. The university center for eLearning supports distance students with library access, career services and online tutoring. Programs are delivered in the quarter system, with 60 hours required for the degree.

16 Newman University 94.9114:199%

Few careers are as demanding or as rewarding as nursing. Immediate feedback from children and adults who appreciate the care that they receive from experienced nurses is a reason why nurses seek ways to advance their field knowledge. Distance education Bachelor of Science in RN to BSN classes at Newman University enhance nurses existing knowledge in professional nursing dimensions, pathophysiology, leadership and management and research and statistics. The total curriculum is comprised of 124 credits. Students whose grades fall near or below 2.0 can work with a tutor to get their grades up to the minimum 2.0 requirement. Successful completion of the online program necessitates that students understand how to use email and software programs. Resources that the school uses to push out its virtual classes include Blackboard, Moodle and technology plug-ins like Adobe and macromedia players.

17 University of Southern Indiana 94.8416:188%

University of Southern Indiana's online RN to bachelor of science in nursing allows those who hold an associate degree or nursing diploma to further their education and boos their career online. Students can work at their own pace, taking one class at a time or attending full time, giving them flexibility in their schedule. They are required to participate in a clinical experience, but can choose a facility that's close to home. Coursework includes the biological, physical and social science as well as 39 hours of general education requirements.

18 Oral Roberts University 94.4115:198%

Adults can build upon their present day nursing experience and knowledge when they complete courses in Oral Roberts University's online RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Instructors teach advanced pharmacology, nursing leadership, statistics, theoretical foundations, health informatics and other classes that delve further into nursing. There's the chance to complete internships at area hospitals and nonprofit organizations. Nurse consultant, nurse attorney, occupational health nurse, psychiatric nurse and managed care nurse are some of the careers that the training prepares adults to enter or explore further. Pace of the program allows adults to take two courses in seven weeks. Books are purchased online through the school's bookstore. Instructors teach classes with streamed video, audio recordings and downloadable files.

19 Vermont Technical College 94.0711:194%

A degree-completion program in nursing at Vermont Technical College is available completely online. The program is designed to teach holistic patient-centered approaches to nursing, teaching students how to treat chronic pain and assess patients using advanced skills. Students learn how to evaluate and treat patients by studying communication technologies and electronic information. The program allows student entry where their previous coursework left off, and the time for completion depends on the number of credits the student has left to take. Prerequisites include nutrition, elements of microbiology, psychology and human growth and development.

20 Clayton State University 94.0418:194%

Clayton State's RN to BSN program is conducted entirely online, with live classes that enable students to interact with professors and peers. The program caters to licensed RNs looking to advance their skills in emerging technology, new healthcare laws and intervention processes. The courses emphasize self-assessment and live participation in the weekly learning modules. Requirements for the bachelor degree include 12 hours in social sciences, 10 hours of natural sciences, six hours in humanities, four hours in critical thinking, and nine hours of essential math and English. Applicants must have completed lower division chemistry and statistics courses.

21 Siena Heights University 93.9712:1100%

Siena Heights University has a two prong approach to the world of nursing. Administrators and instructors at the school view nursing as both an art and a science. To do that, they build a curriculum that explores gerontology, health assessment, ethics in nursing, caring for adults and children who have complicated needs, including end of life needs. These focal areas are used in a variety of nursing careers, including nursing consultancy, licensed practical nurse, nursing instructor and nurse midwife. MySiena is the portal that eCollege courses are accessed and downloaded through. While logged into MySiena, online nursing majors can also keep up with campus news, review their accounts, read commencement updates, apply for financial aid and contact the business office.

22 University of South Carolina-Upstate 93.9515:197%

Registered nurses who hold a diploma in nursing can earn a bachelor of science in nursing online from the University of South Carolina Upstate. This program includes 32 semester hours that can be completed in about one to two years. A virtual clinical and part- or full-time study can allow students to maintain their careers and personal responsibilities throughout the program. This competitive program often has a waiting list. Online students are required to attend one mandatory orientation on campus prior to the start of classes.

23 Oklahoma Wesleyan University 93.9115:1100%

Whether adults are starting out in a nursing career or seeking to gain a more developed understanding of family and individual care, nursing trends, research and applied statistics, the curriculum at Oklahoma Wesleyan University's online Bachelor of Science in Nursing aims to build upon those goals. Focal points of the curriculum are the role that nursing plays in healthcare, offering adults and children spiritual care, ethics in nursing and how to promote healthcare at individual and community levels. Overall GPA that students must keep is a 2.5. Students log into their classes using an online portal. Experience using podcasts, multimedia plug ins, downloadable tools and webmail can make the transition into the distance learning program smoother.

24 University of North Carolina Wilmington 93.7717:169%

With six start dates throughout the year, students don't have to wait long to earn an RN to bachelor of science in nursing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. This online program can be completed in as little as 12 months and includes 31 credit hours that students must complete at UNCW. Students take courses in gerontological nursing, leadership in nursing, health policy, transcultural care and more. Students gain a strong foundation in the field, giving them a leg up on leadership roles in administration, research and consulting.

25 Simmons College 93.7410:197%

The RN to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and the Master of Science in Nursing with a Family Nurse Practitioner concentration are two online learning options for Simmons College nursing majors. The RN to MSN is for adults who do not currently have their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Adults who choose the family nurse practitioner option learn to review and understand diagnostic tests, develop patient treatment plans and effectively promote individual and family health. After students finish three semesters, there is the opportunity to obtain a clinical placement. Although the majority of students attend online classes part-time, full-time schedules are available. 2U, web cameras connect students and instructors in real time. There's also the chance to review lectures housed in the video library.

26 Midwestern State University 93.7317:190%

The process of getting an online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Midwestern State University begins with the completion of a RN transition application. Admissions are accepted during the fall, summer and spring. Enhanced skills to deal with emergencies, research, pathophysiology and complex organizational knowledge are program takeaways. Graduating from the four year program prepares students for the demands of working at hospitals, nursing facilities, clinics, military organizations and other government facilities. Desire2Learn is a primary part of MyMWSU, the school's electronic campus. Courses are accessed through Desire2Learn. It's also possible to get technical support through the portal. An orientation helps adults learn how to register for courses, navigate WebWorld, download course files and review their transcripts.

27 Mayville State University 93.6917:195%

The nursing field is expected to experience above average job growth from 2012 through 2022. Technology and increasing dependence on healthcare by an aging population, employers and government agencies are driving the growth. Succeeding as a nurse requires adults to have strong communication skills, flexibility, compassion, critical thinking skills and time management skills. Mayville State University keeps its online RN to BSN nursing classes to about 20 or fewer students while teaching these and other skills. Up to four courses can be taken per semester. Holistic health, community focused nursing, ethics, applied statistics and social sciences are areas covered during the 120 credit degree program. Resources available to online learners include a handbook, virtual access to the school library, tutoring, the bookstore and academic advisors. Before the start of the program, student can attend an online orientation. The orientation and course documents are stored in Moodle.

28 Graceland University 93.6815:1100%

Nurses with busy lives can complete their RN to BSN degree entirely online through the Graceland University School of Nursing. Incoming students can transfer as many as 28 semester hours in former nurse training college work to speed up their time to graduation. They can also receive credits by participating in the College Level Examination Program at Graceland. To graduate with a BSN, students must complete or transfer a total of 28 hours in nursing core classes and 28 hours in support classes. Core studies include advanced health assessment, pharmacology, leadership, pathophysiology, health policy and community health nursing. Graduates are prepared for advancement in nursing or for graduate school.

29 East Carolina University 93.6817:173%

The RN to BSN curriculum at East Carolina University's online degree program was developed in coordination with educators, nursing associations and professionals to provide advanced training to licensed RNs looking to advance in their field. The degree can be completed in a year, including summer courses, and only some of the required classes will take students away from their computers to gain clinical experience in their community. Studies include advanced courses in nursing research, critical thinking, community health nursing, professional communication, role transitions, finance and nursing leadership. Students can attend on a full or part-time basis. Applicants must hold a current nursing license and an associate degree/diploma in nursing.

30 Bluefield College 93.6514:1100%

This Christian liberal arts program strives to incorporate the various academic disciplines to present students with a holistic view of nursing while building on critical skills. They will develop competencies in communication, problem solving, approaching and resolving ethical challenges and assisting populations at a disadvantage. Students will study to become care coordinators and managers in various health care environments. The degree requires 37 credits for completion covering evidence-based nursing practices, women's health, health assessment courses, research and theory and more.

31 Middle Tennessee State University 93.6319:199%

Through Middle Tennessee State University's advanced degree option, adults could transfer associate degree credits into the school's online Bachelor of Science RN to BSN program. Another option open to working adults is the Adult Degree Completion Program. Earning the BSN degree is faster through the alternative, as adults can earn credits for having licenses, previous education and work experience. Core courses that help adults increase their nursing knowledge include Health Assessment, Clinical Pharmacology in Nursing, Health and Gerontology and Nursing Practice. PipelineMT puts students in touch with a wide range of resources. Included among these resources are school calendars, registration forms, elab, Desire 2 Learn, assignments, podcasts and admissions information.

32 Cleveland State University 93.5819:192%

Students can complete the online RN to BSN degree program at Cleveland State in less than a year. The degree plan requires completion of 11 online courses in three semesters -- totaling 27 semester credits. The program features academic concentrations in leadership, technology, communications, gerontological nursing (class and clinical), and current trends. The Preceptor clinical requirement totals 90 hours gained over 12 weeks. Prerequisites for acceptance into the program include introductory college-level scholarship in anatomy and physiology, chemistry, psychology, statistics. microbiology and English.. Applicants must hold an active nursing license in the states where they practice. CSU reports that 90 percent of its nursing students graduate on schedule

33 Wilmington University 93.5714:187%

Wilmington University's online bachelor of science in nursing is a degree completion program for students who have a nursing diploma or associate degree in nursing. Courses are available in a variety of formats, including seven-week blocks or weekend modular hybrid and online options. Students can take advantage of the flexible scheduling with one class per term or a full-time course load. Graduates of the program are poised to become leaders in their professions or can transition into graduate studies in nursing and health care administration.

34 Marshall University 93.4419:194%

Marshall University's Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program awards at least 40 credits to students that have earned their RN through an accredited undergraduate diploma or associate degree program. The 120-credit program features 28 hours of advanced nursing instruction completed entirely online. Full-time online students already meeting general education requirements for a bachelor's degree can complete the BSN in three semesters. Classes cover family nursing, transcultural healthcare, physical and health assessments, and completion of a Capstone practicum. Applicants must have an active RN license without encumbrances in the state where they will undertake their practicum.

35 University of Central Arkansas 93.4117:195%

Learning outcomes of the University of Central Arkansas' online RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing highlight the importance of health policy, nursing research, health assessments, informatics and management and leadership in nursing. Licensed nurses with an associate degree could earn their Bachelor degree in 12 or 24 months. Courses are self-paced and flexible. However, students must attend and participate in virtual class discussions. Students must also complete courses within 8 or 16 weeks, depending on if they are attending school part-time or full-time. Blackboard is the system that delivers class assignments. It's into Blackboard that students also submit completed projects and exams.

36 MacMurray College 93.3912:1100%

Registered nurses seeking advancement or preparation for graduate school can complete the accelerated, online RN to BSN degree program at MacMurray College. The program is comprised of ten courses, each offered in an eight week session. The full-time student can take two courses per session, completing the degree in ten months without disrupting their current RN obligations. Courses include studies in professional communication, role transitions in nursing, healthcare policy, nursing leadership, and evidence-based nursing care across the lifespan. Applicants must submit copies of their unencumbered nursing license, official college transcripts from previous nursing studies, and a letter of recommendation from a current employer.

37 Pittsburg State University 93.3319:191%

Registered nurses who want to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing at a faster than average pace could explore Pittsburgh State University's online RN to BSN degree. The accelerated program suits adults who are already working in nursing. Licensing and general education courses should be completed before applying for the accelerated track. Students can also take classes like disease prevention, research, health assessment, health promotion and advanced medical surgical nursing on a less aggressive, part-time basis. The school delivers the online courses through Canvas. Submitting assignments, checking out their tests scores and emailing and participating in discussions with instructors are activities that students complete in Canvas.

38 Oklahoma Panhandle State University 93.3116:192%

More than half of Bachelor degree level nursing majors find rewarding employment post graduation. Another reason why nursing professionals continue their education has to do with employer trends. Approximately 40% of employers at hospitals and other facilities look for nurses to have at least a Bachelor degree. Approved by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Oklahoma Panhandle State University's online RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing prepares adults to care for families and individuals who reside in large metropolitan and rural areas. The 124 credit curriculum focuses on the physical sciences, humanities, health promotion, pharmacotherapeutics and community health. Delivery of the course is completed through a secure online portal. Podcasts, discussion group threads and email are specific tools used to allow students to watch lectures and ask questions and receive answers from classmates and instructors.

39 Jacksonville State University 93.2818:193%

With spring, summer and fall admissions, there is never a waiting list to get into Jacksonville State University's online RN to BSN degree program. The program was created to accommodate the schedules of working RNs, awarding 35 hours of STEP Nursing Credit to enrolled students completing their first semester. Applicants must hold an unencumbered nursing license and a diploma/degree from an accredited nursing program. Online students have the option of pursing their BSN on a full-time or part-time basis. Coursework includes ethics, pharmacology, management and leadership, and population-based healthcare across the lifespan. Online students are supported by the Blackboard course management system featuring collaboration tools and internet messaging.

40 Columbus State University 93.1717:193%

Registered nurses seeking a bachelor's degree must juggle work and family commitments with time in the classroom. The coursework requirements of Columbus State University's RN to BSN degree program can be completed entirely online. Nursing students and faculty communicate using webcams and headsets for instruction and testing is done remotely using digital submissions, timed exams, or by videotape of the procedure. For hands-on portions of the degree, students undertake clinicals in their home communities. Online studies are delivered in seven-week sessions throughout the year. CSU grants 32 credits toward the 60 nursing core hours required for the bachelor degree once the online student completes their first seven hours of classwork in the major.