RN to BSN Online Programs in 2021

Earning a BSN degree can lead to many new career opportunities and increased earning potential. Here, we list the best online programs available.

November 16, 2021

reviewed by ACO Rankings Team
RN to BSN Online Programs in 2021

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Online RN to BSN Programs

Online RN to BSN programs enable working nurses to enhance their professional capabilities and earning potential. BSNs (bachelor of science in nursing) manage patient care under physicians’ guidance, dispense medications, and act as a point of contact with patients’ families.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that these professionals work primarily at hospitals, physicians' offices, and home healthcare services companies.

The BLS projects the need for RNs to grow 7% between 2019-2029, significantly higher than the projected growth for all U.S. careers. Practicing nurses with an associate degree can advance in this growing field by enrolling in an online nursing program.

Typical admission requirements for RN-to-BSN programs include an active RN license, undergraduate transcripts, and employment in a hospital or other healthcare setting. Many schools also use an undergraduate GPA cutoff.

This guide ranks the best online RN-to-BSN programs. It also covers information on scholarships and professional organizations for BSN students.

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.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 Online Programs

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

Online RN-to-BSN Questions

true Q. How many years does it take to earn a BSN degree?

RNs with an associate degree can typically complete an online BSN program in two years of full-time study. Students with many transfer credits may graduate faster.

true Q. What jobs can you do with a BSN degree?

Graduates with an online BSN degree can work in roles like clinical nurse specialist, nurse manager, and nursing director.

true Q. Do you need an RN license to enter a BSN program?

Many reputable colleges and universities offer four-year BSN degrees, which do not require an RN license.

true Q.What does the average nurse make a year?

The BLS reports that RNs make a median salary of $73,300 annually, almost double the median salary for all U.S. professions. Experienced RNs can earn more.

What Are the Goals of a BSN Degree?

Online RN-to-BSN degrees appeal to licensed RNs who plan to work throughout their studies. Four-year BSN programs admit students without a license or professional experience.

Most online BSN programs, regardless of type, cover topics like transitions in professional nursing, RN health assessment, and RN evidence-based practice. Some programs offer specializations in areas like pediatrics, surgery, and gynecology.

Why Get a BSN Degree?

An RN-to-BSN degree provides multiple benefits, several of which we cover in the following list.

Although salaries vary, RNs with a BSN typically earn higher salaries than their peers without one. Graduates with a BSN degree can apply to MSN programs, which can prepare them for leadership roles in the field. An online BSN program provides the knowledge and hands-on training RNs need to treat patients effectively. This expertise leads to improved patient outcomes. BSN programs often allow students to specialize in a particular area of nursing, such as pediatrics, leading to specialized roles for graduates. Employers typically prefer RNs with a BSN over those with only an associate degree.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Nurse - Nursing Timeline

A typical nursing degree can take 2-4 years to complete. Each level of nursing has its own timeline, and that timeline can vary depending upon factors like part-time vs. full-time enrollment, certification, and the type of program. 

Below is an overview of the typical amount of time it takes to complete 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 overall:

Nursing Degree LevelTime of Completion
Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)2-3 years
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)1-2 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 BSN Degree?

Online RN-to-BSN programs usually require applicants to hold an associate degree and an active RN license. Applicants typically need to submit transcripts, reference letters, and standardized test scores. They may also need to meet a minimum GPA requirement.

Once admitted, students must maintain a satisfactory GPA to graduate. They also need to complete clinical requirements. Some schools require a senior-year capstone wherein degree-seekers complete a project involving original research.

The Best Online RN-to-BSN Programs 2021

University of Central Florida true View School Profile Orlando, FL $13016

Located in Orlando, UCF offers an online registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing completion program. Prerequisites for the 120-credit program include general psychology and human anatomy. 

Students take 36 credits of general education coursework before advancing to nursing completion courses. The nursing-specific curriculum covers critical skills nurses need to advance their careers, including psychiatric mental health nursing, care of the adult, essentials of nursing practice, and nursing care of families. Students must also apply for a final capstone experience in public health. Students complete all fieldwork practicums at an approved location in their area.

Students need an associate degree and current licensure as a registered nurse to apply. The school requires applicants to possess a minimum GPA of 2.8 in previous coursework to qualify for admission.

UCF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Ohio State University true View School Profile Columbus, OH $18694

Located in Columbus, Ohio State offers an online registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing. Students complete the degree in as little as 12 months full time or 15 months part time.

Students take 15-19 credits of prerequisites, including microbiology and anatomy, before advancing to nursing curriculum courses. Nursing courses include at least 30 credits, including cultural competence in healthcare, concepts in community health nursing, and healthcare informatics. Approved electives further specialize the degree track, including management of school health services, health assessment across the lifespan, or care coordination and transition in care.

Applicants need an associate degree and current licensure as a registered nurse to qualify for admission. The school also requires students to possess a minimum GPA of 2.0, and they must reside in an approved state for program eligibility.

Ohio State is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Florida International University true View School Profile Miami, FL $9180

Located in Miami, FIU offers an online registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing degree completion program. 

Students complete 24 credits of nursing core classes, including nursing in global healthcare systems, psychosocial nursing, and evidence-based nursing and research. At the end of the program, students complete a 120-hour practicum in an approved clinical setting in their area for four credits. Students can also earn 30 credits in clinical proficiency evaluations, bringing the total credits with clinical exams, practicum, nursing core, and transfer credits to 120 credits.

The FIU nursing program requires an associate degree and current licensure as a registered nurse for eligibility. Students need a 2.75 minimum GPA with no prerequisites below a grade "C." Students may transfer up to six credits from previous registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing programs.

FIU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

The University of Alabama true View School Profile Tuscaloosa, AL $20465

Located in Tuscaloosa, UA offers an online registered nurse to bachelor of science nursing completion program.

The program totals 120 credits, including transfer credits, upper-division nursing courses, and fieldwork hours. Upper-division courses include nursing informatics for nurses, leadership and management roles, and community health for registered nurses, which includes 16 clinical hours. Students must apply for upper-division courses after completing prerequisites.

Applicants must hold an associate degree from an accredited school and current registered nurse licensure for eligibility. Students must also possess a minimum GPA of 2.0 GPA on required science prerequisites and a minimum GPA of 2.5 on lower-division nursing prerequisites to promote to upper-division courses.

UA is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

University of Louisiana at Monroe true View School Profile Monroe, LA $9455

Located in the city of Monroe, ULM offers an online registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing completion program. Students can complete the accelerated program in as few as 14 months.

Students take 30 credits of upper-division nursing courses, including principles of pharmacology, gerontology and genomics, and public health nursing. Students also complete an eight-week public health practicum and a capstone project, where students develop a specialized plan of study to apply to their current practice.

Applicants must hold an associate degree and up-to-date registered nurse licensure to apply for the program. Students also need a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0.

ULM is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Texas A & M International University View School Profile Laredo, TX $4744

Based in Laredo, TAMIU offers an online registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing degree completion program. Students can complete the program in as few as 12 months.

Students take 32 credits of nursing courses, including cultural determinants of health behavior, nursing leadership and management, and global health nursing. The program also includes two clinical practicums. Each seven-week practicum offers students the chance to apply skills and demonstrate mastery within their clinical setting. Courses prepare students to research and collaborate with local health groups to assess needs and provide care.

Applicants must hold an associate degree and a current registered nurse license to apply to the program. Students must also possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5. The school reviews all potential transfer credits for eligibility as general education prerequisites.

TAMIU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

University of Louisville View School Profile Louisville, KY $17098

Based in Kentucky, UofL offers an online registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing degree completion program. Students can complete the accelerated program in as few as 20 months. Students can also complete a professional nursing portfolio documenting prior education and experience for 30 credits tuition free.

The 31-credit nursing division curriculum includes courses such as case management for individuals and families, nursing research for evidence-based practice, and global health disparities and social determinants. Students complete a community leadership practicum within their local community as well as a leadership project at an approved clinical location.

UofL accepts students five times per year on a rolling basis. Applicants must hold an associate degree and current registered nurse licensure to qualify for admission. Students must also possess a minimum GPA of 2.0. The school allows students to transfer up to 60 credits toward their degree.

UofL is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Maryville University of Saint Louis View School Profile Saint Louis, MO Unconfirmed

Located in Saint Louis, Missouri, Maryville offers an online registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing degree completion program. 

The nursing curriculum includes courses such as the transition to professional nursing, leadership in contemporary healthcare, and individual assessment. Electives include nursing care at the end of life and genetics in nursing. At the end of the program, students complete a public health capstone to demonstrate skills mastery and gain further real-world experience at their local workplace or approved clinical setting.

Applicants must hold an associate degree and current registered nurse licensure to qualify for admission. First-year applicants must possess a minimum GPA of 2.5, and transfer students must possess a minimum GPA of 2.0. The school allows students to transfer up to 68 community college credits or up to 98 credits from a four-year college toward their degree.

Maryville is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville View School Profile Knoxville, TN $21019

UT-Knoxville offers an online registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing degree completion program. Full-time students can complete the program in about one year.

Courses occur in convenient eight-week sessions. Students complete 34 credits of coursework, including professional practice and role development, pathophysiology for the registered nurse, and healthcare informatics. Students also complete two clinical courses, either virtually or in an approved setting local to the student, as well as a portfolio development course to demonstrate skills mastery. 

Applicants must hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing and current registered nurse licensure for program eligibility. Students must also possess a minimum of 63 transfer credits to qualify for full admission. Graduates of any Tennessee board of regents institution receive automatic full credit for general education requirements.

UT-Knoxville is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Texas A & M University-College Station View School Profile College Station, TX $19118

Based in College Station, Texas A&M offers an online registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing degree completion program. Students can complete the majority of the program online, with one required two-day conference on campus at the start of the program. Students can complete the course curriculum in as few as three semesters.

The 30-credit curriculum includes nursing dimensions and informatics for the registered nurse, health promotion across the lifespan, and professional practice issues. Students complete all clinical practicums locally at their place of work or other approved health settings.

Students may transfer in up to 59 credits before starting the program but must possess at least 40 transfer credits to qualify for admission. Applicants must hold an associate degree and current licensure as a registered nurse. The school also recommends applicants possess a GPA above 3.0 for competitive admission.

Texas A&M is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

University of Kentucky View School Profile Lexington, KY $19762

Based in the city of Lexington, UK offers an online registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing degree completion program.

Course topics include evidence-based practice, leadership and management, and communication in nursing. Students may opt to take biostatistics if necessary for career goals. Students complete all practicums and clinical requirements at an approved setting local to them with the guidance and mentorship of UK faculty. 

Applicants must hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing and current registered nurse licensure to qualify for admission. Students must also possess a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.

UK is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

University of North Dakota View School Profile Grand Forks, ND $15374

Located in the city of Grand Forks, UND offers an online registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing degree completion program. Students can complete the program in about 1-2 years.

Students take 30 credits in nursing-specific courses, including evidence-informed practice, patient and family-centered nursing, nursing pharmacology, and population-based health. All clinical hours happen at an approved location in the student's local community with the guidance of faculty and mentors.

Applicants must hold an associate degree in nursing and current registered nurse licensure to qualify for admission. Students can choose a part-time (24-month) track or a full-time (12-month) track when they enroll.

UND is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

University of North Florida View School Profile Jacksonville, FL $10809

Located in Jacksonville, UNF offers an online registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing degree completion program. New students can begin the program every eight weeks.

Courses happen in eight-week terms, allowing most students to complete degree requirements in as few as three semesters. Courses include healthcare issues in worldwide communities, identification of emergency situations, and chronic and rehabilitative nursing concepts and practice. A professional nursing integration experience allows students to demonstrate mastery of critical skills. 

Applicants must hold an associate degree in nursing and up-to-date registered nurse licensure to qualify for admission. UNF requires a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.8 and 60 hours of previous coursework to transfer into the program.

UNF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Illinois State University View School Profile Normal, IL $19489

Located in Normal, ISU's Mennonite College of Nursing offers an online registered nurse to bachelor of nursing degree completion program. Students may choose a part-time or full-time plan of study. 

Students take courses such as concepts of professional nursing, health assessment across the lifespan, and cultural and spiritual dimensions in healthcare. A professional experience capstone allows students to demonstrate skills mastery and ensures students receive mentorship within their local clinical setting. ISU does not require a residency.

Students must hold an associate of arts or science in nursing and current registered nurse licensure to apply to the program. ISU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Georgia Southern University View School Profile Statesboro, GA $15435

Located in Statesboro, Georgia Southern offers an accelerated online registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing degree completion program. Students can complete the program in as few as two semesters.

Nursing curriculum courses include the conceptual basis of nursing, community health nursing, and critical analysis of nursing concepts. Most course sessions occur asynchronously, but some live sessions may occur to present content experts, showcase student demonstrations, or provide orientation. Students complete clinical hours at a locally approved setting and must obtain current CPR certification and registered nurse liability insurance to apply for fieldwork.

Students must hold registered nurse licensure in Georgia and an associate degree to apply for admission. The school also requires applicants to possess a minimum GPA of 3.0 but may offer provisional admission for GPAs between 2.7 and 3.0.

Georgia Southern is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school also boasts programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

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