RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2021

An RN-to-BSN program is a great way to increase earning potential and job opportunities. Here, we outline top questions and what to expect in a program.

Updated October 26, 2022

RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2021

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Earning an RN-to-BSN online can help nurses stay competitive. More than 77% of employers prefer to hire registered nurses (RNs) with at least a bachelor's degree, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

RN-to-BSN online programs prepare nurses for in-demand jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for RNs to grow 9% from 2020-2030. An online format means current nurses can keep working while continuing their education.

This guide lists some of the most affordable RN-to-BSN online programs. Read on to learn about costs and common courses.

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Frequently Asked Questions About RN-to-BSN Programs


How long does it take to complete an RN-to-BSN program?

Full-time learners can complete an RN-to-BSN program in two years. Part-time students need longer.

Can I complete an RN-to-BSN degree online?

Yes. Many schools offer RN-to-BSN programs online. Most programs require an in-person clinical component.

What is the difference between an RN and a BSN?

RN refers to the state licensure needed to practice nursing. A bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) is a degree that takes four years to complete.

Why Get an RN-to-BSN Degree?

An RN-to-BSN degree may help nurses qualify for leadership roles and raises. Professionals with an associate in nursing earn an average of $72,000 annually, according to Jan. 2022 Payscale data. Nurses with a BSN earn $88,000.

A BSN degree also prepares nurses for graduate studies. Nurses with a BSN can earn a master's degree to become nurse practitioners. These nurses earn a median annual salary of $117,670.

RN-to-BSN programs online provide convenience and flexibility. Degree-seekers can listen to lectures and complete assignments around their work shifts. Learners can also enroll in the most affordable program without relocating.

How Much Does an RN-to-BSN Degree Cost?

Online nursing degree costs vary by program. Online bachelor's degrees cost an average of $51,091, according to EducationData.org. Learners attending public in-state schools pay the most affordable tuition. These students spend an average of $38,496 earning a bachelor's. Out-of-state students spend $54,183 on average.

Students pursuing an online bachelor's at a private college spend an average of $60,593. Some schools charge all online enrollees the same tuition, regardless of residency.

Additional Online Student Fees

Online learners can save money by not commuting to campus. However, they should budget for other expenses. Some colleges charge extra fees for technical support and online database subscriptions. Learners may also need to pay online classroom platform fees. Online students must buy class supplies and books. They can save money by buying digital or used books.

After graduation, RNs must complete continuing education. Requirements vary by state. Continuing education courses usually cost less than $50.

How Much Do RN-to-BSN Graduates Make?

Salaries for RN-to-BSN graduates vary by nurses' employer and geographic location. RNs earn a median annual salary of $75,330, according to the BLS. RNs in South Dakota earn an annual mean wage of $60,960. The same professionals in California earn $120,560.

Position type also influences salary. Traveling nurses typically make more than traditional nurses. Hospitals often offer higher salaries to nurses who work night shifts or in infectious disease units. Nurses can increase their salary as they gain experience.

Courses in RN-to-BSN Programs

Most RN-to-BSN programs include traditional coursework and clinical hours. Students complete 30-36 credits across 10-12 courses. Online learners must usually arrange clinical rotations locally. On-campus nursing programs connect students with local clinical sites.

Many states waive clinical requirements for full-time RNs pursuing their BSN. This allows learners to finish their RN-to-BSN degree faster.

See below for three common classes in RN-to-BSN online programs. Keep in mind that not every school offers these exact courses.

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How to Become an RN

Aspiring RNs need at least an associate degree. They must also pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). RNs can continue working while completing an online RN-to-BSN program. Students may also earn a BSN before entering the workforce.

Prospective RNs learn how to provide care and follow treatment plans. They get hands-on, supervised experience in moving patients and giving medicine. Students also practice inserting tubes and catheters.

Licensure for RN Students

Licensure requirements vary by state. Nurses who change states may need to meet additional requirements. The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) makes switching states easier. The NLC provides a multistate license that allows RNs to practice in multiple states with one license. State nursing boards require continuing education for license renewal.

State nursing boards also require the NCLEX for licensure. Test-takers can use up to six hours to answer the test's 75-265 questions. Once test-takers correctly answer 75 questions, the test ends. The test also ends if test-takers fail to answer 75 questions correctly.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing oversees this exam. Learners can prepare by studying the test's four main areas. These areas include health promotion and maintenance.

RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2022

#1 RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2021

University of Central Florida

  • Orlando, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of Central Florida is one of the best schools for online degrees. The school's online programs offers students the skills needed to get hired. Online learning allows working degree-seekers to conveniently earn accredited degrees.

The school's RN-to-BSN program features a flexible online learning format. Online enrollees complete nursing coursework in a flexible learning environment. Students learn through video lectures, assignments, and class discussions. Degree candidates can transfer credits to finish degrees faster. With an online format, learners can save money on their bachelor's degree.

University of Central Florida Numbers:

Tuition Per Credit: Unavailable

Percentage of Learners Awarded Financial Aid: 92%

Average Cost After Financial Aid: $11,617

Transfer Credits Permitted: No

Percent of Students Admitted: 44%

University of Central Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, an independent accrediting agency.

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

#2 RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2021

Ohio State University-Main Campus

  • Columbus, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Ohio State University-Main Campus is a public institution educating students from its main campus in Columbus. The school's 17 online programs allow students to pursue degrees from any location. Degree-seekers interested in nursing careers can enroll in the institution's online RN-to-BSN program.

Along with core classes, the nursing program requires advanced coursework that prepares learners for positions in the field. Graduates can apply the critical thinking and analytical skills gained during upper-division coursework to careers in a variety of fields. Full-time degree-seekers typically need four years to earn the 120-credit bachelor's degree.

The school delivers in-person and virtual student support services, such as tutoring and career counseling. Enrollees with financial need can fund their education through federal grants and loans.

Ohio State University-Main Campus Facts:

Rate of Undergraduate Admission: 54%

Total Programs: 382

Total Bachelor's Programs: 155

Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Transfer Credits Counted: 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

#3 RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2021

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Florida International University is a Miami-based public institution. Learners can enroll in online or on-campus programs. Among the school's 250 available programs are 67 online options for distance learners. The institution's online bachelor of health services administration helps enrollees gain the knowledge and skills necessary for nursing careers.

Degree-seekers pursuing the online bachelor's degree earn at least 120 credits to graduate. Enrollees complete general education coursework, along with core and upper-division major classes. The program features electives, allowing learners to tailor the curriculum to their professional goals. In addition to coursework, the program features hands-on learning experiences, such as internships.

Enrollees at the accredited institution may qualify for federal financial aid programs, such as the Pell Grant. Of the school's undergraduates, 90% obtain financial aid to fund their studies. Admissions advisors provide prospective applicants with details about application deadlines and requirements.

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

#4 RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2021

The University of Alabama

  • Tuscaloosa, AL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Alabama educates undergraduate and graduate degree-seekers from its campus in Tuscaloosa. The public institution's 214 programs include 43 online options. Online degree-seekers can enroll in an RN-to-BSN program.

The program is ideal for enrollees with busy schedules. Distance learners can study from anywhere using the virtual classroom environment. The program's online format allows students to view lectures and participate in discussions virtually. Full-time enrollees typically need four years to earn the 120-credit bachelor's degree.

Degree-seekers at the accredited institution can receive federal financial aid. Students can discuss funding options with financial aid counselors. The school reports that 79% of undergraduates fund their education through financial aid.

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,780
Out-of-state
$30,250
Retention Rate
87%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
38,100
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
13% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2021

University of Louisiana at Monroe

  • Monroe, LA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The top-ranked RN-to-BSN program at University of Louisiana at Monroe provides an online path to a college degree. From its main campus in Monroe, the public institution enrolls learners in on-campus and online bachelor's programs. The flexible learning format appeals to busy students balancing school with other responsibilities.

The online bachelor's program includes general education classes, electives, and advanced nursing courses. Faculty mentors and academic advisors help degree-seekers build an individualized course of study based on their career goals. The school's online services help distance learners improve academically and plan for the workforce.

Because of the school's accreditation, enrollees can qualify for federal student aid programs like the Pell Grant. Students can also use scholarships, grants, and loans to pay for their degree.

University of Louisiana at Monroe Facts:

Total Bachelor's Programs: 38

Online Bachelor's Programs: 14

Number of Online Students: 3,756

Rate of Undergraduate Admission: 80%

Percent of Undergrads who Graduate: 47%

Tuition Per Credit: Not Known

Allows Transfer Credits: No

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 RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2021

Texas A&M International University

  • Laredo, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Online learners can enroll in the convenient RN-to-BSN program from Texas A&M International University to gain advanced knowledge in nursing. The public institution enrolls students in 66 programs, including 10 online programs. Degree-seekers can pursue any of the school's 35 online bachelor's programs.

The institution delivers coursework for the nursing program in a virtual classroom environment. In addition to fulfilling core requirements, degree candidates gain specialized knowledge during advanced classes. While completing general education requirements, learners gain critical thinking skills they can apply to careers and advanced studies. Undergraduates can complete internships to gain experience and bolster their resume.

The school offers student support services including academic advising and career counseling. Enrollees at the accredited institution can qualify for federal grants and loans. The school's financial aid counselors help students secure funding through scholarships and grants.

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

#7 RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2021

University of Louisville

  • Louisville, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Distance students can pursue an online RN-to-BSN degree at University of Louisville. The online nursing program features flexible enrollment options, which are ideal for busy learners.

The school's academic offerings include 29 online programs. In addition to on-campus offerings, the institution delivers nine bachelor's programs online.

To graduate with the bachelor's degree in nursing, learners fulfill general education and major requirements. Degree-seekers earn at least 120 credits to graduate. The curriculum emphasizes in-demand hard and soft skills for entry-level nursing careers.

Student support services such as tutoring and career counseling prepare learners to succeed academically and professionally. Undergraduates meet with academic advisors, faculty mentors, and career counselors online. Financial aid counselors help students explore funding options.

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

#8 RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2021

Maryville University of Saint Louis

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The RN-to-BSN program at Maryville University of Saint Louis prepares online learners to succeed in nursing careers. The Missouri-based school delivers academic programs on campus. Of the school's 101 programs, students can pursue 52 in an online format.

With various scheduling options, the nursing program provides flexibility for online learners. Online programs typically feature customizable scheduling options, which are ideal for busy learners. Degree candidates view lectures and participate in discussions virtually. Undergraduates pursuing their degree full time typically graduate in four years.

Enrollees receive affordable tuition rates and may benefit from institutional funding, which can reduce out-of-pocket expenses. Bachelor's degree-seekers typically complete about 120 credits to earn their degree. Students with financial need can submit the FAFSA to qualify for federal loans and grants, such as the Pell Grant. Financial aid counselors help learners understand funding options and reduce out-of-pocket expenses.

Average Tuition
In-state
$26,070
Out-of-state
$26,070
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
83%
Students Enrolled
10,013
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
76% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#9 RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2021

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville

  • Knoxville, TN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A public institution, the University of Tennessee-Knoxville offers 312 programs, including 24 online programs. The flexible RN-to-BSN program allows students to continue working while earning their nursing degree.

To graduate with the bachelor's degree, learners fulfill general education and major requirements. Electives and experiential learning opportunities help degree-seekers gain skills they can apply to nursing careers. Faculty advisors and career counselors support undergraduates and alumni through career resources.

Enrollees with financial need can apply for federal loans and grants, such as the Pell Grant. For details about application deadlines and requirements, prospective applicants can contact an admissions advisor.

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville Facts:

Total Bachelor's Programs: 119

Online Bachelor's Programs: 3

Number of Online Students: 10,526

Percent of Students Admitted: 79%

Graduation Rate: 72%

Tuition Per Credit: 1,313

Offers Transfer Credits: No

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,332
Out-of-state
$28,522
Retention Rate
87%
Admission Rate
79%
Students Enrolled
29,460
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
36% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#10 RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2021

Texas A&M University-College Station

  • College Station, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A public institution, Texas A&M University-College Station delivers academic programs from its campus. The school's academic offerings include 57 online programs. The RN-to-BSN program provides a foundation for nursing careers.

Degree-seekers gain foundational knowledge during core classes and complete advanced coursework to develop specialized skills. Upper-division requirements help learners develop widely applicable skills, such as critical thinking abilities. The 120-credit program typically takes four years for full-time students.

The school offers student support services including academic advising and career counseling. Enrollees with financial need can fund their education through federal grants and loans.

Texas A&M University-College Station Numbers:

Percent of Students Accepted: 58%

Total Programs: 409

Total Bachelor's Programs: 112

Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,941
Out-of-state
$34,190
Retention Rate
93%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
68,726
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
14% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#11 RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2021

University of Kentucky

  • Lexington, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of Kentucky educates degree-seekers on campus and online. In addition to on-campus options in Lexington, learners at the school can pursue 28 programs in an online format. The flexible RN-to-BSN program prepares students for a variety of opportunities in nursing through accessible coursework.

To complete the bachelor's program, learners fulfill requirements including core major classes, upper-division coursework, and general education classes. Specialized electives allow degree-seekers to customize the program based on their goals and interests. The school's career counselors help undergraduates prepare to secure professional roles after graduation.

The institution holds accreditation, which means enrollees can receive federal grants and loans. Prospective students can contact the school for details about application deadlines and requirements.

University of Kentucky Facts:

Total Bachelor's Programs: 105

Online Bachelor's Programs: 4

Number of Online Students: 7,886

Undergraduate Admission Rate: 96%

Graduation Rate: 66%

Price Per Credit: 693

Transfer Credits Toward Degree: No

Average Tuition
In-state
$11,011
Out-of-state
$29,331
Retention Rate
85%
Admission Rate
96%
Students Enrolled
29,402
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#12 RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2021

University of North Dakota

  • Grand Forks, ND
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of North Dakota is a public institution. With 67 distance programs, the school provides academic programs with in-person and convenient online formats. The flexible RN-to-BSN program is ideal for students who want to earn an affordable nursing degree.

The curriculum features core courses and general education requirements. Degree-seekers can select field-specific electives to tailor the curriculum to their career goals. The school's career counselors help undergraduates prepare to secure professional roles after graduation.

Enrollees with financial need can fund their education through federal grants and loans. Prospective students can contact the school for specific application details.

University of North Dakota Facts:

Total Bachelor's Programs: 91

Online Bachelor's Programs: 16

Number of Online Students: 6,163

Percent of Students Accepted: 81%

Graduation Rate: 61%

Fee Per Credit: 726

Permits Transfer Credits: No

Average Tuition
In-state
$8,212
Out-of-state
$14,371
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
81%
Students Enrolled
13,581
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#13 RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2021

University of North Florida

  • Jacksonville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of North Florida is a public institution delivering academic programs from its campus in Jacksonville. Learners enrolled in the institution's bachelor's programs can study online or at the institution's campus. Degree-seekers interested in nursing careers can enroll in the institution's online RN-to-BSN program.

Learners pursuing the online bachelor's degree earn at least 120 credits to graduate. Degree candidates take general education courses, along with core and upper-division major classes. Enrollees can choose electives that align with their interests and professional goals. Online students often complete internships in their community.

Degree-seekers with financial need can apply for federal loans and grants, such as the Pell Grant. At the school, 84% of undergraduates obtain financial aid to pay for their degree. Prospective students can contact the institution for details about application deadlines and requirements.

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 RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2021

Illinois State University

  • Normal, IL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

A public institution, Illinois State University educates students from its Normal campus. The school's academic programs feature online and in-person learning formats. Degree-seekers can choose from eight online programs, including two bachelor's-level options. The online RN-to-BSN program provides a foundation for nursing careers.

To graduate, degree-seekers complete at least 120 credits. The curriculum includes general education courses, core classes within the major, and electives. Faculty mentors work with learners to ensure the curriculum aligns with their professional goals. Internship opportunities allow students to gain professional experience, which they can add to their resume.

At the accredited institution, online students can use federal financial aid programs like the Pell Grant to pay for college. The school reports that 89% of its student body receives financial aid to fund their education. For specific application details, including requirements and deadlines, prospective enrollees can contact an admissions advisor.

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,547
Out-of-state
$18,138
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
82%
Students Enrolled
20,878
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#15 RN-to-BSN Online Programs 2021

Georgia Southern University

  • Statesboro, GA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

With programs available on campus and online, Georgia Southern University is a public institution educating students through academic programs in various fields. From its campus in Statesboro, the school enrolls learners in 203 programs, including 37 online programs. Working professionals can enroll in the flexible RN-to-BSN program without sacrificing their current employment.

To graduate with the bachelor's degree, learners fulfill general education and major requirements. Hands-on experiential learning opportunities allow degree-seekers to apply field-specific knowledge and skills. For assistance locating job placements, undergraduates and alumni can consult with the school's career counselors.

The institution holds accreditation, which means enrollees with financial need to qualify for federal grants and loans. The program website provides specific application details, including requirements and start dates.

Georgia Southern University at a Glance:

Total Bachelor's Programs: 92

Online Bachelor's Programs: 4

Number of Online Students: 10,767

Rate of Acceptance: 54%

Graduation Rate: 50%

Tuition Per Credit: N/A

Offers Transfer Credits: No

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,371
Out-of-state
$15,425
Retention Rate
78%
Admission Rate
54%
Students Enrolled
26,054
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

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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