Best Online Nursing Degrees 2022

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Updated November 17, 2022

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Earning a nursing degree online can lead to new and exciting career opportunities. Here, we list the top online nursing programs.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Online Nursing Degrees

America's nursing shortage continues to fuel the demand for qualified nurses in virtually every nursing practice area. To help meet the critical need for well-trained nurses, accredited schools offer on-campus and online nursing degrees.

An online bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) typically follows a degree-completion format. Applicants need an associate degree in nursing or a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing arena. Some online nursing programs consider applicants with enough transferable credits in a relevant field of study from an accredited school.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), bachelor's-trained registered nurses (RNs) earn a median annual salary of $75,330. This salary exceeds the national median of $41,950 for all jobs. In addition, the BLS projects jobs for nurses to grow 9% between 2020-2030, which is faster than average.

Read on to learn more about the best online nursing programs. This page also covers popular nursing questions and degree requirements.

Discussion Questions About Nursing Programs


What is the difference between a BSN and an RN?

Colleges and universities grant BSN degrees, while states issue RN licenses.

How many years is a BSN program?

Most BSN programs require four years of full-time enrollment. However, various factors can impact completion time. Examples include learners' educational or professional background and whether the program runs online or on campus.

Do professionals with a BSN earn more than RNs?

Associate-trained RNs typically earn less than BSN degree-holders who are also RNs. However, years of professional experience and relevant certifications also impact income.

Can I get a BSN without having an RN?

Yes. BSN graduates can take the RN licensure exam (NCLEX) after completing their program.

AffordableCollegesOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

Featured Nursing Online Programs

Find a program that meets your affordability, flexibility, and education needs through an accredited, online school.

The Best Online Nursing School Programs to Earn Your BSN

#1 Best Online Nursing Degrees 2022

New Mexico State University-Main Campus

  • Las Cruces, NM
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Las Cruces, New Mexico State University-Main Campus offers an online master of science in nursing ranks among the best programs in the country. At the public institution, degree-seekers take classes in person and online. The program builds the skills and knowledge necessary for many nursing careers.

The online learning format appeals to busy students who benefit from flexibility in their schedule. Degree candidates strengthen their communication, critical thinking, and analytical skills. Majors work closely with faculty advisors to customize their course of study. Online enrollees benefit from academic advising, experiential learning opportunities, and career services.

Learners can take advantage of scholarships, grants, and loans to cover their college costs.

New Mexico State University-Main Campus Numbers:

Online Student Enrollment: 6,244

Online Bachelor's Programs: 12

Online Master's Programs: 16

Admission Rate: 55%

Graduation Rate: 48%

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,875
Out-of-state
$21,864
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
55%
Students Enrolled
14,296
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
44% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#2 Best Online Nursing Degrees 2022

Southeast Missouri State University

  • Cape Girardeau, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Located in Cape Girardeau, Southeast Missouri State University offers a top-ranked online RN-to-BSN degree. To meet the needs of a variety of students, the public institution offers in-person and online courses. With this degree, professionals can pursue entry-level roles in diverse fields.

The program's distance learning format appeals to working professionals and busy students. Online nursing courses strengthen in-demand skills like critical thinking and problem-solving. Degree-seekers work closely with faculty advisors to design a custom degree plan based on their interests and professional goals. Student support services like academic advising and career counseling help learners complete the program and transition into the workforce.

At the accredited institution, online enrollees can use federal financial aid programs like the Pell Grant.

Southeast Missouri State University Facts:

Online Student Enrollment: 5,553

Online Bachelor's Programs: 11

Online Master's Programs: 13

Admission Rate: 86%

Graduation Rate: 50%

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

Average Tuition
In-state
$6,606
Out-of-state
$12,636
Retention Rate
75%
Admission Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
10,637
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
52% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 Best Online Nursing Degrees 2022

Texas A&M International University

  • Laredo, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online RN-to-BSN program at Texas A&M International University ranks among the best programs in the country. The public institution offers a variety of learning formats, including in-person and online courses. The degree prepares graduates for various nursing careers.

Busy students and working professionals benefit from the program's flexible learning format. During general education and major courses, learners strengthen their critical thinking and analytical skills. Faculty advisors recommend a custom degree plan to meet each student's interests and career goals. Student support services like academic advising and career counseling help degree-seekers complete the program and transition into the workforce.

Enrollees may qualify for scholarships, grants, and loans, including federal programs like the Pell Grant.

Texas A&M International University Fast Facts:

Online Student Enrollment: 3,780

Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Online Master's Programs: 8

Admission Rate: 54%

Graduation Rate: 47%

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,818
Out-of-state
$13,946
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
54%
Students Enrolled
8,305
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Best Online Nursing Degrees 2022

University of Central Florida

  • Orlando, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its Orlando campus, University of Central Florida enrolls students in an online RN-to-BSN program, one of the best of its kind. Students enroll in on-campus and online programs at the public institution. The RN-to-BSN program provides a flexible pathway to entry-level nursing careers.

The distance learning format appeals to students who require a more flexible schedule. The program's major courses and general education requirements strengthen analytical and critical thinking skills. Faculty advisors work with learners to create an individualized degree plan based on their career goals. The school supports online enrollees through academic advising, experiential learning opportunities, and career services.

In addition to scholarships, distance learners may qualify for federal financial aid programs like the Pell Grant.

University of Central Florida Numbers:

Online Student Enrollment: 41,097

Online Bachelor's Programs: 19

Online Master's Programs: 26

Admission Rate: 44%

Graduation Rate: 72%

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,478
Out-of-state
$19,810
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
44%
Students Enrolled
69,402
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Best Online Nursing Degrees 2022

University of Louisiana at Monroe

  • Monroe, LA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of Louisiana at Monroe has one of the best online offerings in the country. Students can earn an online RN-to-BSN degree by completing coursework in a flexible learning environment. Major classes explore topics specific to the learner's field of study to prepare them for the workforce.

Degree-seekers transfer credits to complete a bachelor’s in 18-36 months. Undergrads pay $5,788 in-state tuition for bachelor’s degrees. Enrollees complete master's programs in about two years. Students enrolled in a graduate program pay $6,490 for in-state tuition. Degree candidates pay for tuition with an average aid package of $10,649. Students help pay for their education with private and institutional scholarships.

The admissions department requires school transcripts. To help students succeed, the institution provides a variety of support services, such as tutoring and career counseling. The institution's website provides details about how to earn credit for experiential learning. University of Louisiana at Monroe has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting agency.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,788
Out-of-state
$17,888
Retention Rate
73%
Admission Rate
80%
Students Enrolled
8,673
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Best Online Nursing Degrees 2022

University of Louisville

  • Louisville, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its Kentucky campus, University of Louisville offers multiple online degrees, including a top-ranked online RN-to-BSN degree. Students choose between in-person and online course options at the public institution. Enrollees train for entry-level nursing careers.

The distance learning format benefits working professionals and other busy students. Online nursing courses strengthen in-demand skills like critical thinking and problem-solving. Students work with faculty advisors to craft an individualized degree plan based on their interests and career goals. Academic advising, experiential learning opportunities, and career services support help distance learners reach their academic goals.

Enrollees at the accredited institution can expect to pay around $553 per credit. Students may qualify for scholarships, grants, and loans, including federal programs like the Pell Grant.

University of Louisville Numbers:

Online Student Enrollment: 2,624

Online Bachelor's Programs: 9

Online Master's Programs: 12

Admission Rate: 69%

Graduation Rate: 59%

Transfer Credits Allowed: Yes

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,732
Out-of-state
$27,758
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
21,670
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
12% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#7 Best Online Nursing Degrees 2022

East Tennessee State University

  • Johnson City, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

East Tennessee State University, a leader in online learning, offers a comprehensive catalog of degrees. Students can complete an online RN-to-BSN degree in a flexible learning environment. Major coursework explores specialized topics and prepares students for work in their field.

Programs help learners gain the knowledge and skills they need to impress employers. Learners can specialize their bachelor's studies by pursuing a minor. Students complete online programs by conveniently watching lectures and submitting assignments. Degree candidates typically complete 120 semester credits in a bachelor’s program. East Tennessee State University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting agency.

East Tennessee State University Statistics:

Price Per Credit: Unavailable

Learners Awarded Financial Aid: 95%

Average Net Price With Aid: $14,696

Permits Transfer Credits: No

Rate of Undergraduate Admission: 86%


Average Tuition
In-state
$7,340
Out-of-state
$25,487
Retention Rate
72%
Admission Rate
86%
Students Enrolled
14,191
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#8 Best Online Nursing Degrees 2022

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Florida International University offers an online doctor of nursing practice program from its Miami campus that ranks among the top programs in the country. The public institution offers both in-person and online courses for degree-seekers. With this degree, graduates can pursue various nursing careers.

Designed with working students in mind, the flexible format makes it easier to earn a college degree. The curriculum emphasizes career-focused knowledge and skills. Faculty advisors work closely with students to select electives and minors that individualize the degree. The school supports online students through academic advising, experiential learning opportunities, and career services.

The accredited institution charges per credit, on average. Distance learners also pay for their degree with scholarships, grants, and loans.

Florida International University Numbers:

Online Student Enrollment: 39,863

Online Bachelor's Programs: 36

Online Master's Programs: 31

Admission Rate: 58%

Graduation Rate: 63%

Transfer Credits Permitted: No

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,721
Out-of-state
$16,529
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
58,711
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 Best Online Nursing Degrees 2022

Appalachian State University

  • Boone, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its Boone, North Carolina, campus, Appalachian State University enrolls students in several online programs, including an online RN-to-BSN program. At the public institution, degree-seekers take classes in person and online. The program prepares graduates for several nursing careers.

The online learning format appeals to busy students who benefit from flexibility in their schedule. Degree candidates take courses that build in-demand knowledge and skills. Faculty advisors help learners build a degree plan to customize their course of study. Distance learners benefit from the school's support services, which include academic advising, experiential learning opportunities, and career services.

Distance learners may qualify for scholarships, grants, and loans, including Pell Grants and federal loans.

Appalachian State University at a Glance:

Online Student Enrollment: 4,490

Online Bachelor's Programs: 7

Online Master's Programs: 10

Admission Rate: 77%

Graduation Rate: 73%

Transfer Credits Accepted: No

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,242
Out-of-state
$19,049
Retention Rate
88%
Admission Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
19,280
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 Best Online Nursing Degrees 2022

Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus

  • Portales, NM
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus is a leader in online learning. Online learners can enroll in the bachelor of science in nursing degree-completion program and complete classes in a flexible learning environment. The school reports a 58% admission rate, and 35% of accepted applicants enroll at the school.

Bachelor's degree-seekers without transfer credits typically graduate in about four years. In addition to coursework, degree-seekers can receive credit for completing service-learning experiences. Students transfer credits to finish degrees faster. Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus has received accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission.

Eastern New Mexico University-Main Campus Fast Facts:

Undergrad Graduation Rate: 36%

Learners Awarded Financial Aid: 97%

Students Receiving Loans: 26%

Average Fee Per Credit: Unavailable

Average Cost After Aid: $10,338

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No


Average Tuition
In-state
$3,996
Out-of-state
$5,994
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
5,685
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
69% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#11 Best Online Nursing Degrees 2022

Murray State University

  • Murray, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A public institution in Murray, Kentucky, Murray State University has one of the best online schools in the country. In the online RN-to-BSN program, degree-seekers complete coursework in a flexible learning environment. The school reports an 82% admission rate, and 21% of accepted applicants enroll at the school.

Students can transfer credits to complete a bachelor’s in 18-36 months. Undergrads pay $7,974 in-state tuition for bachelor’s degrees. Distance learners typically complete master's programs in two years. A doctoral degree may take more than four years to finish. Enrollees pursuing a graduate program pay $8,214 for in-state tuition. Enrollees pay for tuition with an average aid package of $9,138.

The institution delivers affordable, high-quality undergraduate programs. Students can access the school's support services online and in person. Learners can use peer tutoring sessions to improve their grades. Murray State University holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,974
Out-of-state
$23,592
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
9,556
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#12 Best Online Nursing Degrees 2022

Ohio State University-Main Campus

  • Columbus, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Ohio State University-Main Campus is a public postsecondary institution based in Columbus. The college offers a school nurse professional pupil services licensure certificate. The school's admissions rate for new students is 54%.

Programs help learners gain the knowledge and skills necessary to secure positions in their field. The institution allows degree-seekers to add a minor to their bachelor's degree. Enrollees watch lectures and complete assignments at convenient times. Students complete at least 120 credits to earn a bachelor’s degree. The school has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Ohio State University-Main Campus Statistics:

Undergraduate Graduation Rate: 86%

Learners Awarded Financial Aid: 79%

Percentage of Learners Awarded Student Loans: 36%

Per-Credit Fee: N/A

Average Price With Financial Aid: $18,706

Grants Transfer Credits: No


Average Tuition
In-state
$10,197
Out-of-state
$31,174
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
54%
Students Enrolled
61,391
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#13 Best Online Nursing Degrees 2022

University of North Florida

  • Jacksonville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of North Florida offers bachelor's programs that prepare students for new job opportunities and career advancement. An online RN-to-BSN program provides students with a flexible learning environment. Degree candidates learn core nursing practice topics and receive specialized training.

Nontraditional learners can finish bachelor’s degrees in 18-36 months. Florida students pay $3,996 in-state tuition for bachelor’s degrees. The school offers master's programs that students typically complete in two years. Enrollees pursuing graduate degrees pay $8,978 in-state tuition. The school’s average aid package of $9,450 helps students pay for their degree.

Most first-time bachelor's students graduate in about four years, if they study full time. The school may allow degree candidates to earn credit for internships and service-learning experiences. Working students transfer credits to finish degrees faster. University of North Florida has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,996
Out-of-state
$16,799
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
72%
Students Enrolled
17,117
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
57% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#14 Best Online Nursing Degrees 2022

McNeese State University

  • Lake Charles, LA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

From its campus in Lake Charles, Louisiana, McNeese State University offers an online RN-to-BSN program that ranks among the best programs in the country. The public institution offers a variety of enrollment options, including online and in-person programs. The RN-to-BSN program prepares graduates for many nursing careers.

Created with working professionals in mind, the program's flexible format puts more control in the student's hands. The program's major courses and general education requirements strengthen analytical and critical thinking skills. Faculty advisors recommend a custom degree plan to meet each student's interests and career goals. The school's support services include academic advising, experiential learning opportunities, and career services.

Online learners qualify for federal financial aid programs, including the Pell Grant.

McNeese State University Fast Facts:

Online Student Enrollment: 4,070

Online Bachelor's Programs: 7

Online Master's Programs: 10

Admission Rate: 81%

Graduation Rate: 47%

Grants Transfer Credits: No

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,147
Out-of-state
$13,185
Retention Rate
70%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
7,295
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
56% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#15 Best Online Nursing Degrees 2022

Western Carolina University

  • Cullowhee, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A bachelor's degree from Western Carolina University helps graduates advance their careers and pursue new opportunities. In the RN-to-BSN program, online learners complete coursework in a flexible learning environment. Degree candidates study core nursing topics and receive specialized training.

The school offers flexible enrollment with multiple start terms. Degree-seekers can expect an admission rate of 69%. The school admissions process requires school transcripts. Entrance scores may bolster students’ application. Western Carolina University has received accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting agency.

Western Carolina University at a Glance:

Average Per-Credit Cost: Not Known

Undergraduate Tuition Rate: $1,000 per year in-state, $5,000 per year out-of-state

Average Cost After Financial Aid: $12,965

Percentage of Students Receiving Financial Aid: 85%

Percentage of Learners Awarded Student Loans: 55%


Average Tuition
In-state
$1,000
Out-of-state
$5,000
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
12,167
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
41% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Additional Nursing Programs

Nursing Resources

What Are the Goals of a Nursing Degree?

Students can earn an online nursing degree at the associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Doctoral students can pursue a research-driven doctor of philosophy in nursing or enroll in a practice-oriented doctor of nursing practice program.

A broad professional field, nursing supports diverse practice areas. Nurses can work with distinct populations such as newborns or geriatric patients. Or, they can practice in a specific role as nurse educators or midwives. Students pursuing a nursing degree online often enroll in the same courses as on-campus learners. Common subjects include anatomy and physiology, microbiology and parasitology, and biochemistry.

Why Get a Nursing Degree?

BSN-trained nurses possess the knowledge and training to deliver timely and proper patient care. The degree also yields many career benefits, including the five shown below.

  1. 1

    Professional Credibility

    Medical professionals value BSN-trained nurses for their knowledge and experience in providing patient care efficiently.
  2. 2

    Expand Career Options

    Most employers prefer to hire RNs with a bachelor's in nursing degree for leadership and managerial positions. In addition, certain nursing jobs require applicants to hold a BSN.
  3. 3

    Better Compensation

    Employers often pay BSN-trained RNs higher salaries because they can take on more complex nursing duties, both in direct care and at the administrative level.
  4. 4

    Improve Skills

    A well-designed BSN program helps enrollees develop vital job skills. These skills include providing direct patient care, making accurate health assessments, and keeping accurate records.
  5. 5

    Meet Postgraduate Requirement

    RNs who plan to pursue a nursing master's degree or a doctorate in nursing need a BSN from an accredited institution.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse?

A typical nursing degree can take 2-4 years to complete. Each level of nursing has its own timeline. Those timelines can vary depending on enrollment status, certifications needed, and the type of program.

The chart below provides typical timelines for completing a nursing degree. Keep in mind that the length provided is for the amount of time it takes to complete that segment of the degree, not the entire academic path.

Nursing Timeline
Nursing Degree Level Time of Completion
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) 1-2 years
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)  2-3 years
Registered Nurse (RN) 4 years
Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) 4-5 years
Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) 1.5-3 years
Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) 1-3 years

What Are the Requirements for a Nursing Degree?

Requirements for online nursing programs often depend on applicants' academic backgrounds. Most schools accept applications from associate-trained RNs and graduates of a non-nursing bachelor's program. Applicants with the minimum transferable credits their prospective school requires may also receive acceptance.

Most schools require applicants to meet a minimum GPA. Applicants must also show satisfactory completion of prerequisite courses before enrollment or within their first year in the program. Before graduating, BSN candidates complete a supervised internship that involves direct patient care.

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