Online Bachelor's Degree RN to BSN Programs

Rankings, Salaries & Courses

Updated on: 01/20/2020
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Registered nurses (RNs) aren't required to hold a bachelor's degree, but it is becoming more common that employers prefer RNs with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). Salary structures reflect this preference, given that BSN graduates earn 16% more than RNs with just an associate degree, according to PayScale. Colleges have responded to the growing BSN demand with RN to BSN online programs, which allow nurses to complete their BSN in two years or less while continuing to work.

Top 10 Online RN to BSN Degree Programs

Jump to the top 10 RN to BSN degree programs available online.

  1. Utica College ($$$)
  2. Cox College ($$
  3. Brigham Young University-Idaho ($)
  4. Liberty University ($$$)
  5. University of Central Florida ($)
  6. The University of Alabama ($$)
  7. University of Wyoming ($)
  8. University of Alambama at Birmingham ($$)
  9. South Dakota State University ($$)
  10. University of South Florida ($)

This resource page provides an overview of course content in typical RN to BSN online degrees, and guides you through considerations for picking the school that best meets your needs, plus information on financial aid resources. Keep in mind that the salary information we provide regards nurses with their BSN.

50 Best Online RN to BSN Bachelor’s Online

Get Seal Methodology


Best Online RN to BSN Programs

Deciding which college to go to is no easy task, so ACO evaluated more than 3,500 colleges to give you the information you need to make the search more manageable. Our 2019 college rankings are based on statistical data from trusted sources, eligibility criteria and various ranking factors

Data Sources: Eligibility Criteria:
  • Each college must be accredited
  • Each college must be a not-for-profit institution
  • Each college must be located in a state (US territories and Washington DC were excluded)
  • Each college must have at least one online program 1
  • Each college must have a maximum four-year tuition of $25,000 or a maximum two-year tuition of $5,000
Ranking Factors:
  • Affordability
  • Quality
  • Flexibility
  • Program

Several individual data points were objectively evaluated to calculate a score for each ranking factor listed above. For affordability, the most impactful data points were tuition2 and grants; for quality, graduation and acceptance rates; for flexibility, part-time enrollment options; and for program, degrees granted in that specific program area. Each score was then weighted, with affordability being the most highly weighted factor for all ACO rankings.

1 Best Vocational Programs included data for both online and campus programs.

2 Both in-state and out-of-state tuition rates were used in our methodology; however, our rankings tool currently only displays in-state rates.

  • A dash in our Rankings Tool indicates IPEDS data was not available.
  • Tuition displayed in in-state and per year unless stated otherwise.
2-Year Schools

As you look through the following list of RN to BSN online programs you should consider which school would best serve your personal career goals. Take into account each prospective school's graduation rates, online course offerings, tuition expenses, and financial aid opportunities.

Rank School Name Location Tuition Financial Aid Acceptance Rate Graduation Rate # of Online Programs Credit for Experience Placement Services Counseling Services University Information
1 Utica College Utica, New York $19,446 97% 1% 44% N/A Yes Yes Yes

The online BS in Nursing (RN-BSN) at Utica College focuses on patient-centered health care and the most current nursing knowledge for today's complex health care environment. The 121-hour program can be completed in 3 years or less. Online courses include clinical pharmacology, health assessment, health policy management, and end-of-life and palliative care. Sample elective courses include biology of aging, Spanish for medical personnel, and understanding alcoholism, chemical dependency and mental health. Students attend classes by the same instructors who teach on-campus courses via the Engage learning management system, where they read course materials, ask questions, upload assignments, participate in group discussions and interact with faculty members. While the online RN-BSN doesn't require a residency, students must participate in 2 practice experience activities in their own community: a community assessment project to identify priority health needs and a clinical population education program focused on prevention of a community health problem. Participants in these experiential learning and practice experiences gain mastery of concepts such as inter-professional teams, evidence-based practice, clinical reasoning/critical thinking and cultural sensitivity. Admission to the online RN-BSN program requires an associate degree in nursing and an active RN license (or licensure must be acquired within 6 months of starting the program). Career possibilities include clinical nurse manager or educator or the pursuit of graduate studies. Utica supports online students with an academic advisor, success coach, career planning and financial aid options. Utica is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and the online nursing program by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

School website
2 Cox College Springfield, Missouri $9,600 14% 1% 100% N/A No No Yes

The RN to BSN completion nursing program at Cox College is for registered nurses with a regionally accredited diploma or associate degree in nursing. Participants start with 70 credit hours and must complete another 50 through Cox for a total of 120 credit hours. Of the 50 credit hours at Cox, 21 are general education and 29 are nursing courses. The nursing courses are completed online. Students can transfer up to 9 credit hours of previous bachelor-level nursing courses from other institutions. Nursing courses include nursing informatics, management and leadership in nursing, theories and research in nursing, community and public health nursing as well as trends, issues and ethics in nursing. The online nursing classes run in 8-week blocks, and students can begin the program at the start of any block. After enrolling in the nursing program, students are recommended to take at least 1 nursing course each semester. The RN to BSN program can be taken at a pace suitable for the student, but must be completed in 5 years. To graduate, students must satisfactorily complete all specified courses with a grade of C or better and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0. The school offers academic resources and financial aid. Cox College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

School website
3 Brigham Young University-Idaho Rexburg, Idaho $3,920 33% 1% 53% N/A Yes Yes Yes

Brigham Young University-Idaho offers an RN to BSN degree for current registered nurses looking to take their careers to the next level. Graduates can administer, direct, manage and coordinate holistic nursing care for individuals, families and communities. The program may be taken online or on campus. Courses include pathophysiology, health/wellness in the aging adult, community nursing, nursing research, nursing leadership and advanced nursing concepts. The program also includes experiential clinical hours on various projects such as a family healthy assessment, education sessions with older adults and implementation of a virtual health fair. Online degrees at BYU-Idaho are facilitated by trained online instructors, follow the same semester calendar as on-campus classes and provide the same academic rigors of the classroom, but with more convenience in scheduling. The RN to BSN program is available in the winter, spring and fall semesters and can take either 3 or 6 consecutive semesters to complete, depending on how many credits a student takes per semester. The class progresses together through each semester, and there is frequent interaction among students and between students and the instructor. The additional university-required courses for the 120-credit bachelor's degree may be completed before, during or after the RN-BSN courses. Students can find advising, career services and student support links through the Student Development Center. BYU-Idaho is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and the nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

School website
4 Liberty University Lynchburg, Virginia $15,105 88% - 55% N/A Yes Yes Yes

The online RN to BSN program at Liberty University equips licensed, practicing registered nurses with the critical thinking, leadership and clinical skills necessary to advance in their current roles or to explore other areas of the nursing field. Taught by nursing professionals with real-world experience, the flexibility of this online program allows students to remain active in their job, family and community. Faculty members have practiced in various subareas, such as cardiac care, critical care, emergency medicine, med-surg, oncology, research, as nurse practitioners and in other specialty nursing fields. Courses, taught in 8-week blocks through LU's online classroom management system Blackboard, include health assessment, nursing concepts, population health, strategies for community health care, leadership in nursing and nursing management. The RN to BSN curriculum consists of 120 credits, including 43 credits of general education requirements, 12 credits of science support courses, 4 credits of electives and 61 credits of nursing courses. Registered nurses participating in the online nursing program receive 31 credits of advanced nursing credit once they are accepted into the program. Additional transfer credits may also be applied to the non-nursing courses for previous coursework. The RN to BSN program takes about 3.5 years to complete. For the most part, aside from meeting assignment deadlines specified by professors, students can complete coursework at any time, day or night, that fits their schedules. In the fall of 2018, Liberty began providing electronic textbooks for all undergraduate courses free of charge, saving a full-time student up to $2,000 per year on textbooks. Academic advising and financial aid are available. The RN to BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and Liberty University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

School website
5 University of Central Florida Orlando, Florida $4,478 43% - 73% N/A Yes Yes Yes

The RN to BSN program at the University of Central Florida is ideal for registered nurses seeking a flexible BSN degree. This program can be taken totally online or completed on some of the university's regional campuses. The 30-credit-hour nursing program begins 3 times a year. Completion time depends on the number of classes taken per term; part-time and full-time plans are available. Up to 29 credits may be awarded toward the BSN for prior coursework. Students interested in getting a head start on a nursing graduate degree can substitute up to 9 credit hours of graduate coursework while enrolled in the RN to BSN program. Those courses would transfer toward a Master of Science in Nursing or a Doctor of Nursing Practice, allowing the student to complete the graduate degree in less time. Qualified applicants for the RN to BSN program must have an AA degree from a public institution in Florida or 12 UCF general education courses as well as 2 years of foreign language in high school or 2 semesters in college. Career opportunities for graduates of the RN to BSN program include ER nurse, nurse, nurse consultant, nurse leader, RN case manager or staff nurse. UCF online students have access to a wide range of student services, including advising, academic resources, a writing center, career services and financial aid. The university's main campus is located in Orlando. It is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and the nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

School website
6 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, Alabama $10,470 56% 1% 68% N/A Yes Yes Yes

The RN to BSN program at the University of Alabama is designed so nurses can continue working full time while completing the requirements for an advanced degree. All nursing courses are taught online, and every effort is made to allow students to complete clinical activities in an area close to their home. Admitted students receive 40 hours of nursing credit for their RN licensure. Following completion of core requirements, RN to BSN students may compete the nursing courses in 3 semesters of full-time study. A new cohort of students is admitted 3 times a year (in the spring, summer and fall semesters). A part-time plan is also available. Core curriculum classes, such as English composition, computer science and history, are available online through UA or can be completed at another institution, such as a community college, and transferred to UA. RNs who have completed the entire core curriculum may complete their BSN in one year of online study. Nursing courses include nursing informatics, inquiry for evidence-based practice in nursing, role transition, community health, leadership and management roles and complex client systems. Online students have access to all the same services enjoyed by on-campus students, including academic resources, the libraries, writing center, personal tutoring, technical support, career resources and financial aid.

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7 University of Wyoming Laramie, Wyoming $2,976 70% 1% 59% N/A Yes Yes Yes

The University of Wyoming offers an online RN-BSN completion program which is open to registered nurses with an associate degree or diploma in nursing. Students can complete the nursing major courses in 1 calendar year (fall, spring and summer), based on course availability, with no on-campus time required. Learning outcomes for participants include demonstrating evidence-based practice in the care of clients, families and communities; managing data, information and technology to guide nursing practice; using health promotion, disease prevention and risk reduction strategies in caring for clients, families and communities; and demonstrating behaviors that reflect the nursing code of ethics, professional and legal standards and the values of nursing as a care profession. Nursing courses include bridging nursing paradigms, public/community health, health disparities, health care informatics, population health, leadership in health care today, health care systems and policy and innovation in nursing practice. Students are also required to complete a capstone course in which they must synthesize program concepts through analysis of a documented public health issue. Using evidence-based resources, students must address public health competencies and analyze how the identified issue and interventions impact the health of the affected population. Resources available to distance learning students include advising, career help, financial aid, tutoring, IT assistance, a writing center and library services. The RN-BSN completion program at UW is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and Higher Learning Commission.

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8 University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, Alabama $8,040 77% 1% 59% N/A Yes Yes Yes

The RN Mobility: RN to BSN Plan at the University of Alabama Birmingham takes 2 semesters to complete on a full-time schedule or 3-5 semesters on a part-time schedule. The program requires a total of 125 semester hours, and courses are all offered online. One on campus requirement includes an orientation that takes place prior to the start of the program. Students must also participate in one leadership development practicum, which includes 90 clinical hours. Throughout the program, students will have access to professors via phone or the virtual classroom and have the opportunity to engage in online discussions and web-based activities with their peers. The BSN foundation courses include a variety of courses in written composition, natural sciences, humanities and behavioral sciences. The upper division nursing curriculum for the BSN include Health Assessment Across the Lifespan, Informatics and Research for Nursing Practice, Pathophysiology for Professional Nursing Practice, Community Health Nursing and other courses. To begin the application process, students must apply for undergraduate admission to the university. Once the student has gained acceptance, the next step is to apply to the School of Nursing. The admission requirements include a GPA of 2.5 or higher and a grade of C in Human Anatomy, Human Physiology, Microbiology, Descriptive Statistics and an elective. In addition, applicants must have earned a diploma or associate degree from an accredited nursing program and have a current license as an RN. No special tuition discount is offered for online students, but tuition rates are the same for both residents and nonresidents, $505 per credit hour for undergraduate courses.

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9 South Dakota State University Brookings, South Dakota $7,155 57% 1% 60% N/A Yes Yes Yes

The online RN to BSN in Nursing program at South Dakota State University (SDSU) allows diploma and associate registered nurses to complete a bachelor's degree in 3-5 semesters through a flexible online format. Students must complete a combination of prerequisite university core classes and nursing courses for a total of 120 credits while maintaining a GPA of 2.5 or higher. The nursing curriculum is intended to prepare students in all clinical areas and includes the following courses: Transition to BS; Family and Communication; Health Assessment, Clinical Decision Making and Nursing Intervention; Leadership and Management; Community Health; and Nursing Research and Theory. Students will also participate in clinical practicums in their geographic area. Students who wish to further their education can transition seamlessly into a MS or DNP program. To support distance learners, SDSU provides success videos with tips for online student success and "netiquette" guidelines for the online classroom. In addition, students have access to academic advising, the career center, the financial aid office and technical support. To qualify for admission, students must have an associate degree in nursing (ADN) with an unencumbered license and a 2.5 GPA or higher. RNs can be admitted with three or fewer prerequisite courses left to take. To apply to the program, students must apply to SDSU for general admission and complete an application for the RN?BS option through NursingCAS, which includes transcripts, a personal statement, 2 letters of reference, TOEFL or IELTS scores for ESL students and a legal questions form.

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10 University of South Florida-Main Campus Tampa, Florida $4,559 69% - 71% N/A Yes Yes Yes

The Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the University of South Florida is offered fully online and consists of 30 hours of coursework. Students may complete the program in 5 part-time semesters or 3 full-time semesters. Several courses include service learning practicums, which students may fulfill at their current place of employment. If a student is not currently employed or if their employer does not wish to participate in service learning, USF will help coordinate a practicum placement. In the RN to BS program, students may select a specific cluster of coursework to focus on including leadership/management, patient/staff education and/or clinical excellence. To help facilitate online learning, the College of Nursing provides technical support to students with a helpline and Canvas tutorials. The RN to BS program is designed for students who live in the state of Florida and who are currently licensed as registered nurses with a diploma or associate degree in nursing from a regionally accredited school. Admissions requirements include acceptance at the USF undergraduate admissions office, a GPA of 2.50 or higher on all undergraduate work and completion of the prerequisite courses English Composition I and II. To apply, students must submit a USF admissions application, transcripts from each college or university and a College of Nursing application. The College of Nursing awards scholarships to currently admitted students and accepts scholarship applications through the USF Office of University Scholarships and Financial Aid Services. Students that wish to pursue additional education will be able to transition from the RN to BS program into USF's nursing master's program.

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11 Northern Arizona University Flagstaff, Arizona $8,698 82% 1% 54% N/A Yes Yes Yes

Northern Arizona University's Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program builds on the knowledge and skills learned through a nursing associate degree or diploma to allow RNs to earn a fully accredited BS in Nursing degree. The program prepares graduates for careers in a number of professional settings, including nursing leadership, teaching, school nursing and public health practices. NAU offers 2 format options for this degree: the Nursing ? Option for Registered Nurses, and the Nursing ? Option for Registered Nurses (Personalized Learning). The Personalized Learning option gives students the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge in specific nursing competencies through online testing, and move more quickly through the degree curriculum. Both options require completion of 120 credit hours of coursework, which includes all of NAU's diversity, liberal studies, junior writing and senior capstone requirements. Credit hours earned from prior college-level work may be transferred in, resulting in degree completion time reduced to 2 years or less. Up to 90 credit hours earned through a nursing associate degree from an Arizona community college may applied toward the BSN degree. Students should consult with a distance-learning adviser to determine transferability of credits earned at other institutions. NAU coursework for this degree must be completed with an overall GPA of 2.0 or higher to graduate. To be admitted into NAU's RN-BSN program, an applicant must hold a valid nursing license in the state in which the applicant resides or be currently enrolled in the last semester of an Arizona associate degree RN program. Applicants must also have maintained a minimum overall 2.75 GPA in pre-professional courses (3.0 minimum GPA for applicants not currently RN's). Due to board of nursing regulations and other legal requirements, the program doesn't accept students residing in Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama or Washington State. NAU online students enjoy a wide range of support services and resources, such as online IT assistance through the Student Technology Center, online tutoring through the Academic Success Center, and access to databases, research assistance, and book and document delivery services offered by the Cline Library.

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12 Troy University Troy, Alabama $7,224 57% 1% 39% N/A Yes Yes Yes

Troy University's RN Mobility (RN-BSN) program is designed to provide current RNs with the skills, knowledge and clinical expertise needed to move into leadership careers in nursing and the broader healthcare field. This 124-credit hour program is offered with 3 track options: RN-BSN, RN-BSN/MSN, and a Flexible Option. The RN-BSN/MSN option allows students to complete coursework that leads to the awarding of a BSN degree and applies toward the requirements for Troy's MSN degree. Both the RN-BSN and RN-BSN/MSN tracks offer 2 or 4 semester nursing sequences. The Flexible Option track is an 18-week degree completion plan. Degree completion times vary depending on the credits transferred into the program from prior applicable college-level coursework. However, students must graduate within 150% of the degree completion time (7 semesters in a maximum of 3 ? years). All coursework is available fully online. However, completion of an in-person clinical experience is required. Students may choose a clinical location convenient to their home. Admission requirements for all tracks include a nursing diploma or associate of science degree, an overall GPA of 2.5 or better for all college work attempted, and proof of an unencumbered and current RN license in the state of the student's clinical practice. Applicants must also submit 2 letters or recommendation. Progression into the clinical nursing sequence requires an overall 2.5 GPA on degree coursework with a grade of C or better on all nursing courses. Detailed admissions and progression requirements can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog . Distance learning students at TU enjoy a wide range of support services, including online career and academic advising, personal counseling, disability services and access to journals, ebooks, articles and other helpful resources through the Troy Online Library.

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13 Bemidji State University Bemidji, Minnesota $7,360 47% 1% 47% N/A Yes Yes Yes

Bemidji State University's online Nursing (RN-to-BS) degree completion program allows current or about-to-be registered nurses to apply credits from their nursing associate degree or diploma coursework toward earning an accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. To earn this BSN degree, students must complete 36 credit hours of additional coursework with a cumulative GPA of 2.25. The degree is offered in both hybrid (combination of online and on-campus classes) and fully online formats. The fully online format, however, does still require students to meet twice at Bemidji during the first semester of the degree program. No clinicals are required, however students in both formats must complete a nursing practicum which may be completed at a location close to the student's home. Students may choose between full-time and part-time study. Full-time students can complete the entire degree program in 1 year, while part-time students typically take 2 to 4 years to earn their degrees. New programs start once a year with the fall semester. To be accepted into BSU's RN-to-BS program, applicants must have graduated from a state-approved diploma or associate degree nursing program with an overall minimum 2.5 GPA. Applicants must also be currently licensed as a RN or within 1 semester of licensure. Students in the process of completing their associate degree or diploma program, or are awaiting licensure, may be admitted on a provisional basis. Proof of licensure must be submitted by the July 15 application deadline to be fully admitted. Online students enjoy access to a number of student resources, including IT support, academic counseling through the Advising Success Center, career advice through Career Services, and both on-campus and off-site test proctoring services. In addition, students can access research materials and over 30,000 electronic periodical titles via the A.C. Clark Library's distance learning page.

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14 Appalachian State University Boone, North Carolina $4,159 36% 1% 71% N/A Yes Yes Yes

Appalachian State University offers a Nursing RN to BSN program online that takes 1 year to complete and is 100% web-based. The program includes a total of 120 credit hours and features courses such as Nursing Informatics, Health Assessment, Nursing Leadership and Management and Nursing Care of Older Adults. Students also participate in non-traditional clinicals including class projects and research activities. The delivery format of online courses at Appalachian State University is both synchronous and asynchronous, and students can opt for a part-time class schedule in the RN-BSN program. The Office of Distance Education at Appalachian State University provides a variety of hands-on support services to online students, including the Distance Education Library Services, the Student Learning Center and the Writing Center. Students can also access help from the Career Exploration Center and the Career Development Center for help applying for new jobs. "Live" assistance is also available from the IT Support Center during specified hours. For undergraduate distance students, the cost of tuition is $163.05 per credit hour for in-state residents and $663.55 for out-of-state residents. To be accepted into the RN-BSN program, students must seek transfer admission to the university and hold an Associate in Applied Science in Nursing, an Associate Degree in Nursing, or a Diploma in Nursing from an accredited institution. In addition, applicants must also have a current unrestricted and unencumbered license as a registered nurse within the state of North Carolina and have a cumulative GPA of 2.5. Students must also complete all lower-division coursework before beginning the program.

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15 Sam Houston State University Huntsville, Texas $5,172 25% 1% 56% N/A Yes Yes Yes

Sam Houston State University (SHSU) offers an RN to BSN Online Track with full-time and part-time options available to fit the busy lives of working registered nurses. The program consists of a total of 121 credits, including 62 nursing credit hours and 59 pre-nursing credits for prerequisites and core classes. Track-specific requirements include courses such as Older Adult Health Management, Community Nursing, Leadership and Management, Legal and Ethical Issues in Nursing, Informatics and Rural Health Nursing. Online courses at SHSU provide a broad range of learning formats including audio, video and webcam-based interactions with both peers and faculty. SHSU doesn't offer a special discounted tuition rate for online students. Tuition and fees for 15 credit hours is $5,091, and students must pay an additional nursing program fee of $750 each semester along with a distance learning fee. To qualify for the RN-BSN program, applicants must be enrolled in or graduated from a community college with a degree in nursing. In addition, they must be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN or have already passed the exam and hold a current unencumbered license as an RN. Applicants must also have a cumulative grade point average of 2.5 and meet clinical readiness requirements such as a background check, drug screening, CPR certification and immunizations. Candidates must first apply to SHSU and be accepted. For this application, they must pay a $45 fee and submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. The next step is to apply to the SHSU Nursing Program, which requires test scores from the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS).

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16 Bethel University McKenzie, Tennessee $9,305 77% 1% 38% N/A Yes Yes Yes

The online RN to BSN program at Bethel University requires the completion of 33 hours of general education courses, 25 hours of pre-program courses and 32 hours of RN-BSN courses. Once pre-requisites are completed, the nursing courses can be finished in 50 weeks. Each 10-week course is offered online and is designed with working RNs in mind. Most RN-BSN courses are offered in an asynchronous format, but some may require synchronous sessions that are scheduled to fit the availability of the class members. To graduate, students must earn a grade of C or higher in all clinical nursing courses. Online students can access multiple levels of support throughout the program, beginning with a recruiter that can assist with the enrollment process. Students will also receive hands-on assistance in developing an individualized plan of study, registering for courses and applying for financial aid. The cost of tuition for the RN-BSN program is $430 per credit. Online students must also pay a $100 technology fee each term. To qualify for admission, students must have an active unencumbered RN license and have graduated with an associate's degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited program. Applicants must complete an application for Bethel University, pay a $30 application fee and be accepted to the university. They must also complete an application specifically for the Department of Nursing RN-BSN program and submit official transcripts for all the college courses they have completed. To seek financial aid, students must complete required financial aid forms as well.

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17 Morehead State University Morehead, Kentucky $8,496 67% 1% 49% N/A Yes Yes Yes

The online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) post-licensure program at Morehead State University (MSU) can be finished within 2 years with the completion of 120 total credit hours, including pre-requisite and general education requirements. The online learning environment at MSU is intended to provide individualized attention for students and positive interaction with faculty during the 8-week course format. For additional support, students can access online tutoring and helpful video resources through Blackboard. The Camden-Carroll Library also offers electronic resources, free delivery of books and library materials and research assistance. Students can also use career services for help creating a resume, practicing interviews and finding a job after graduation. Online students aren't offered a special tuition discount at MSU; tuition rates for part-time undergraduates are $365 per credit hour for Kentucky residents and $552 per credit hour for out-of-state students. In addition, students must pay a $15 per credit hour internet course fee and other mandatory fees. To apply to the BSN post-licensure program, candidates must complete an application and submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Applicants must also submit a copy of an active and unrestricted license to practice as a licensed practical nurse or registered nurse in Kentucky and provide a copy of a state diploma, associate or certificate degree. To apply for transfer credits, students must submit a letter from a nursing program administrator that demonstrates the student's good social and academic standing as well as a university catalog course description and course syllabus.

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18 University of Central Missouri Warrensburg, Missouri $6,446 66% 1% 55% N/A Yes Yes Yes

The Registered Nurse to Baccalaureate (RN-BSN) Degree Option at the University of Central Missouri (UCM) is offered entirely online and can be completed in 1 year on a full-time schedule or up to 4 years on a part-time schedule. The program includes a total of 30 credit hours and is designed to help RNs pursue opportunities in nursing management, home health and public health. The curriculum features a variety of courses such as Health and Physical Assessment, Advanced Concepts of Wellness for RNs, Socio-Economic Factors Impacting Health and Evidence-Based Practice and Research. To qualify for admission, students must complete nursing prerequisites and general education requirements and have a valid RN license within the United States. Throughout the program, students have access to campus resources such as the writing lab, library and academic and financial aid advising. UCM uses the learning management system Blackboard to deliver classes online, and courses follow an 8-week schedule without face-to-face requirements, allowing students to log-in at a time that is convenient for them. UCM doesn't offer a special tuition discount for online students. The tuition for online undergraduate students is $278.15 per credit hour, which does not include general fees and technology fees. However, there are no out-of-state tuition rates in the RN-BSN program - an added perk for non-residents. To apply, candidates must complete an application online, pay a $30 non-refundable application fee, and have official transcripts from all colleges attended sent to the admissions office. Students must have a grade point average of 2.0 or higher and live in the United States.

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19 Ohio University-Main Campus Athens, Ohio $11,298 82% 1% 69% N/A Yes Yes Yes

To graduate from the RN to BSN online program at Ohio University, students must complete a total of 120 semester hours and earn a minimum GPA of 2.0. As part of the program, students must take 31 semester hours in nursing courses and complete university-wide general education requirements, some of which may not be available online. At Ohio University, many credits are transferable, and the RN to BSN program is designed to build on a student's previous education. Student-centered support services are available, including the RN to BSN Nursing Knowledge Center, where students can access tech support, library services, information on financial aid, course offerings and books and materials. In addition, students may contact their academic advisers and nursing professors for the assistance they need to excel in the program. Tuition rates for online RN to BSN nursing courses are $240 per credit hour for Ohio residents and $243 per credit hour for non-Ohio residents. However, other general education courses taken at Ohio University may offer different tuition rates. To qualify for admission, applicants must be a resident of Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, California, Delaware, Florida or Indiana. They must also have an associate degree or diploma in nursing from a program that is approved by a state board of nursing and have a GPA of 2.0 or higher from all postsecondary institutions attended. In addition, they must have an active U.S. nursing license and have taken a course in English and Writing Rhetoric.

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20 The University of Texas of the Permian Basin Odessa, Texas $4,312 78% 1% 37% N/A Yes Yes Yes

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin is a public institution, established in 1973, with over 4,600 students. The school offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing RN-BSN that can be completed entirely online. At UTPB, you will take 31 credit hours of upper-division nursing courses over the course of 12 months. To graduate, you will need to complete the lower-level, general education requirements for a total of 120 credit hours. Incoming students with an associate degree may be eligible to transfer credits toward their UTPB degree. All potential transfer credits are considered on a case-by-case basis and must be reviewed by the registrar. All courses are 7 weeks long and are delivered through the Blackboard Learning Management System. Through training in leadership studies and critical thinking, UTPB's program produces confident and caring graduates who offer exceptional care for their patients. This intensive training consists of courses such as Transcultural Nursing, Global Health Nursing and Clinical Leadership. All students must choose one business elective including Human Resource Management, Ethics, Communications or Management Concepts and Organizational Theory. Competitive applicants have a minimum 2.5 GPA and hold a current RN license to practice professional nursing in Texas or another state. ACT or SAT scores are required for admission. In addition to career services offerings through UTPB's College Central Network, you will have remote access to the library and various campus computing resources.

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21 University of Florida Gainesville, Florida $4,477 29% - 88% N/A Yes Yes Yes

The University of Florida is a public institution with over 100 online degrees and approximately 55,900 students. AT UF, you can pursue an online RN to BSN degree if you have an active, unencumbered Florida RN license. Those who have graduated from a pre-licensure program may transfer up to 60 lower division credits toward this 120-credit degree. Those incoming students without an associate degree in nursing may complete the entire 120 credits online at UF. As a distance learner, you will learn to provide health care and manage complex work environments in courses such as Comprehensive Health Assessment, Legal and Ethical Issues in Nursing, Public Health Nursing and Leadership and Management. To graduate, you will also pass a faculty evaluation and the Education Benchmarking Assessment (EBI) exit survey with a 5.0 or higher. Applicants must have an overall 2.8 GPA or higher and minimum grade of C or higher in all required pre-professional courses. Applications must also include a current resume, 2 professional letters of recommendation who can speak to your abilities to succeed in health care, and a statement of intent outlining your expectations of the program and career goals. Incoming students must take the ACT or SAT. While there is no minimum test score required for admission, the average scores for recent freshman classes were 1280-1430 on the SAT and 28-32 on the ACT. UF also expects applicants to have taken high school level English, math, natural sciences and social sciences courses as well as one foreign language before enrolling. Honorably discharged veterans and military personnel pay in-state tuition fees.

School website
22 Midwestern State University Wichita Falls, Texas $5,216 64% 1% 50% N/A Yes Yes Yes

Established in 1922, Midwestern State University is a public liberal arts college with over 6,000 students. Online learners can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing BSN degree over the course of 3 semesters. All 27 required credit hours can be completed online. Courses during the fall and spring semesters are 8 or 16 weeks in duration, while summer courses are only 5 or 10 weeks long. Your core coursework will help you explore the physiological, psychosocial, political and economic factors that can affect a patient's health. Training focuses on holistic nursing care for individuals, families and communities in a variety of environments. Prospective nursing students must first be admitted to the university. Once you are admitted, an academic advisor will help develop a nursing degree plan to fit your academic needs and career aspirations. MSU's nursing program prides itself on preparing graduates for both fruitful careers in nursing or graduate studies programs. Prospective students must hold a Texas Nursing License at the time of application and throughout their enrollment. You may begin courses during any semester. Each starting semester has an application deadline: December 15 (spring), May 15 (summer), August 15 (fall). Applicants must submit official transcripts, ACT or SAT scores and have a 2.75 GPA or higher. Online students have access to about as many resources as on-campus students including academic advising, counseling and career planning through the Career Management Center. You can also receive academic tutoring and writing help through the MSU Writing Center.

School website
23 James Madison University Harrisonburg, Virginia $5,896 20% 1% 83% N/A Yes Yes Yes

Online students at James Madison University can take advantage of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing RN-BSN degree in the College of Health and Behavioral Studies. This flexible degree includes both online and in-person training for graduates of community colleges or diploma schools who are already licensed registered nurses. Classes meet in-person once a week in and are accompanied by online course offerings that are completed at each student's convenience. Full-time students typically take about 1 year to complete the degree, while part-time students need 2 years. Throughout the curriculum, you will learn foundational skills that focus on and prepare you to work with new technologies in the field. You will also work on your management and communication skills to prepare for successful medical practice upon graduation. Applications are processed on a rolling basis and new students are admitted during August of every year. Applicants must have a 2.5 GPA or better and have 6 months of experience working as a registered nurse. Those prospective students without this work experience prior to applying may be able to satisfy that requirement by working and taking courses part time at JMU. Throughout the program, students must pass all nursing courses with a "C" grade or better to remain in good standing. Earning a "D" or "F" a second time in any courses results in expulsion from the program. JMU offers learners various resources for supplemental learning and community and civic engagement. You will also have access to career and academic planning advisors and online technical support.

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24 Arkansas Tech University Russellville, Arkansas $5,256 40% 1% 47% N/A Yes Yes Yes

At Arkansas Tech University, distance learners have the chance to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing RN-BSN degree online. You will be prepared for professional responsibilities in a variety of health care settings by completing 9 classes over the course of 1 year: 5 core nursing classes, 2 practicum/clinicals that can be completed in your home community, and 2 nursing electives. Core courses in this program, which are delivered through the Blackboard system, include Nursing Informatics, Scope of Professional Practice, Laws, Ethics, and Issues, Community Health Nursing, and Leadership and Management in Professional Practice. All applicants must complete an online application and be accepted as a standard undergraduate to Arkansas Tech University. Prospective RN to BSN students should already be a licensed registered nurse with an unencumbered license. Your previously earned associate or diploma program must also be from an ACEN accredited (Accreditation Commission for Education Nursing) program. Applicants should have at least a 2.75 GPA and must submit their ACT or SAT scores. Admissions at Arkansas Tech happens in 3 cycles a year: Spring (January), Summer (June) and Fall (August). Applications should be submitted by October 1st (spring), March 1st (summer), or August 1st (fall) to be considered for admission for that semester. The first 3 semesters of study at Arkansas Tech are spent completing prerequisites and general education requirements. The last 2.5 years of study in upper-division work include hands-on training in professional health care settings and lay the foundation for graduate studies, should the latter be of interest. Clinical training must take place within acute care and community settings in Arkansas.

School website
25 Park University Parkville, Missouri $11,730 49% 1% 27% N/A Yes Yes Yes

Established in 1875, Park University is a private nonprofit institution with over 16,000 students. Distance learners can earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing RN-BSN degree mostly online. Park's program prepares online learners for careers including Registered Nurse, Nurse Manager, Clinical Researcher, Staff Nurse and Charge Nurse. Upon admission, Park awards 60 hours of course credit to incoming students who have completed an associate degree in nursing. Any pre-licensure nursing program attended prior to Park must be an accredited institution for students to receive credit. Students may attend this program as full- or part-time students, and have a maximum of 5 years to complete all degree requirements. Full-time students often complete this degree in 12-18 months depending on their course load and transfer credits. Aside from clinical training experiences, which are in-person sessions arranged at a facility based on your location, all program classes can be completed online. Most courses are 8 weeks in duration and 3 credits each. You will explore all the foundational information needed for success in the field through theory-based coursework, lab work and clinical patient care experiences. Courses may include Bioethics, Pathophysiology for Clinicians, Community Health Nursing Practices, Evidence-Based Practice and Health Care Informatics. All students must also complete a capstone project. Graduation requires an additional 60 hours of credit beyond the expected 60 hours of transfer credit from a previous associate program. Park offers a pre-licensure program for those who have not completed 60 associate degree credits at another school. Students may begin their courses at any of the 5 starting dates throughout the year. All applicants must have a 2.8 GPA or higher and take a Kaplan admissions test.

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26 California State University-Chico Chico, California $5,472 42% 1% 63% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
27 Ohio State University-Main Campus Columbus, Ohio $9,168 80% 1% 85% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
28 Washington State University Pullman, Washington $9,324 72% 1% 70% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
29 Southeast Missouri State University Cape Girardeau, Missouri $5,979 77% 1% 55% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
30 Missouri State University Springfield, Missouri $6,150 54% 1% 57% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
31 California University of Pennsylvania California, Pennsylvania $7,238 14% 1% 58% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
32 University of Toledo Toledo, Ohio $8,052 92% 1% 47% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
33 Murray State University Murray, Kentucky $7,296 71% 1% 53% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
34 Westfield State University Westfield, Massachusetts $970 29% 1% 64% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
35 University of North Georgia Dahlonega, Georgia $3,648 9% 1% 55% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
36 Lincoln Memorial University Harrogate, Tennessee $20,520 100% 1% 40% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
37 Weber State University Ogden, Utah $4,611 58% - 50% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
38 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, North Carolina $3,893 68% - 59% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
39 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, Mississippi $7,549 68% 1% 51% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
40 University of Mary Bismarck, North Dakota $15,990 100% 1% 59% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
41 Illinois State University Normal, Illinois $9,827 49% 1% 73% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
42 Davenport University Grand Rapids, Michigan $15,936 93% 1% 41% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
43 Wichita State University Wichita, Kansas $6,385 74% 1% 50% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
44 Mayville State University Mayville, North Dakota $5,053 72% 1% 43% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
45 Arizona State University Tempe, Arizona $9,684 85% 1% 66% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
46 Fort Hays State University Hays, Kansas $3,789 73% 1% 44% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
47 University of Cincinnati-Main Campus Cincinnati, Ohio $9,322 58% 1% 72% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
48 Dickinson State University Dickinson, North Dakota $5,138 54% 1% 34% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
49 California State University-Fullerton Fullerton, California $5,472 38% - 63% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website
50 University of Tennessee at Martin Martin, Tennessee $7,680 58% 1% 50% N/A Yes Yes Yes School website

How Much Can You Make in a BSN Career?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), occupations for registered nurses are projected to increase 15% through 2026, well above the national job growth average. Commensurate with this demand, RNs with a BSN usually earn significantly higher salaries than those without a BSN. Within certain specialities, such as critical care or intensive care nursing, RNs may need additional certification, for which a BSN provides a solid foundation.

Job Growth 2016-2026: +15%
Job Description

Registered nurses provide direct patient care and education. They coordinate patient care services and offer emotional support to patients and families. They work in a wide variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, schools, and the military.

Job Growth 2016-2026: N/A
Job Description

As accomplished RNs, clinical educators work with others to build expertise and proficiency in clinical knowledge and skills, often in a specialized field. They may work with clinicians in training, public health workers, and even insurance personnel. Most clinical educators served as nurses for more than 10 years.

Job Growth 2016-2026: N/A
Job Description

Working primarily in hospitals and clinics, nursing managers supervise staff to ensure high quality patient care. They interview and hire other nurses, and schedule nurses to ensure sufficient coverage during all shifts. Nursing managers often collaborate with physicians.

Job Growth 2016-2026: N/A
Job Description

Public health nurses work to educate individuals, families, and groups on healthy practices. They work with a variety of public institutions, including state and local government health agencies and schools. These nurses provide little to no day-to-day patient care, but they may work directly with patients to administer immunizations at public immunization clinics.

Job Growth 2016-2026: N/A
Job Description

Also called intensive care nurses, critical care nurses provide direct care to patients with life threatening conditions resulting from trauma, organ failure, or invasive surgery. They may specialize in different fields, such as trauma care, oncology, or cardiology. Critical care nurses must stay calm in stressful situations.

Sources: BLS 2018, PayScale

RN salaries vary by occupation, state, and region, since their salaries often reflect local demand and cost of living. Competence, experience, and additional credentials, such as critical care certification, may also affect earning potential. Likewise, certain institutions pay more than others. Still, location affects salary levels more than any other factor. States and cities with the highest populations generally pay the highest salaries for BSN nurses. The following list shows the salaries and job growth data for RNs in all states.

What Courses Can be Taken for an Online RN to BSN Degree?

Each college designs its RN to BSN online program according to what the institution thinks professional nurses need to know by graduation. Though every program is unique, most offer a few common courses. The following list includes course content that is common in most RN to BSN programs.

Nursing Informatics

Integrating nursing, computer, and information science, this course analyzes a nurses role in gathering, managing, analyzing, and communicating patient information to improve patient care.

Nursing Health Assessment

This course builds on RNs' knowledge and skills in gathering, synthesizing, and analyzing patient health history and physical assessment. Students also learn to adapt assessment practices to account for patient ages and cultural distinctives.

Nursing Leadership

Incorporating key concepts of leadership and management, this course equips nurses with knowledge on the principles and practices relating to group dynamics, conflict resolution, leadership, and organizational effectiveness. Students also examine the legal, ethical, and political implications of leadership.

Nursing Research and Evidence-based Practice

In this course, students learn key elements of the research process, and how to soundly interpret, evaluate, and apply published research findings. The course enables nurses to take a more active role in their own professional development.

Healthcare Quality and Safety

Addressing the risks to healthcare quality and safety, this course analyzes models and concepts that promote excellence and safety in patient care. Discussion extends beyond the role of the nurse, to that of the patient care team.

How to Choose the Best Online RN to BSN Program

Prospective RN to BSN students must consider both objective and subjective factors when selecting a program, since each student has unique needs and goals. Objective factors may include school reputation, accreditation, course offerings, internship requirements, and faculty quality. While subjective preferences might include time and financial constraints and preferences regarding school culture and philosophy. Consider the following questions in your decision process.

Is it important that a nursing program is accredited?

Professionally respected nursing schools hold proper accreditation and regularly place graduates in desirable hospitals, clinics, and related institutions. Your nursing program should hold accreditation from either the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Research which institutions hire graduates from each of your prospective nursing colleges to ensure graduates compete well for the kinds of jobs that interest you.

What professional expertise can faculty bring to a program?

When seeking a quality RN to BSN degree online, research the faculty members' educational and professional background, such as how much experience they have in the field and how many years they have been teaching. You want to learn from those who have distinguished themselves in the nursing profession and can effectively train others to do the same.

To what degree will coursework prepare me for my professional interests?

If you have a specific career direction in mind, look for schools with course offerings that specifically prepare you for those professional pursuits. Larger schools tend to offer a wider variety of elective courses. Some small schools, however, may build their course offerings around a specific specialty. Smaller schools may afford students more opportunities to interact with faculty, even in online settings.

Should I research internship requirements ahead of time?

Yes, carefully review each institution's internship or practicum requirements. Internships can provide an excellent transition for students to integrate their classroom learning into a professional practice. Students should check for internships that offers flexibility, challenge, and professional support. You also want to select a school that provides its students with career placement services.

Will an online program accommodate my time and financial constraints?

Given that an RN to BSN online degree serves the needs of practicing RNs, you want to select a program that fits well with your schedule and lifestyle. Research the program to see if it allows you to accelerate your education, or study-part time to accommodate your professional and family responsibilities. Also, check if the school offers financial aid options to fit your financial constraints.

Scholarships & Financial Aid for RN to BSN Programs

Given the high and growing demand for nursing professionals, many organizations offer financial assistance in the form of scholarships and grants. Check with your selected college and local community foundations, churches, and businesses for nursing scholarships. Some national scholarships, such as those listed below, provide support with more latitude for geographical areas of service. For more information on how to fund your online RN to BSN degree, review information from your prospective school's financial aid office.

Barbara Rhomberg Nursing Scholarship

Sponsored by B4 Brands in honor of Barbara Rhomberg, this scholarship supports nontraditional, full-time students pursuing an undergraduate degree in nursing. The one-time $1,000 award goes to someone with at least a three-year gap between high school graduation and enrollment in a BSN program. Applicants must submit a 500-word essay describing their passion for the nursing career. They must describe their nontraditional path. Applicants must also submit two letters of recommendation, including one from their current supervisor.

Elizabeth B. Moore Memorial Undergraduate Scholarship

Sponsored by the Emergency Nurses Association in honor of Elizabeth B. Moore, this renewable $5,000 scholarship supports the education of an undergraduate student who demonstrates interest and merit in emergency nursing. Applicants must also demonstrate financial need. Applicants do not need to be members of the Emergency Nurses Association, but they must include a letter of recommendation from a current member. Applications are due by April 30 of each year, and recipients are notified by August 1.

ENA Foundation Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship

Also sponsored by the Emergency Nurses Association, this scholarship supports the education of practicing emergency nurses pursuing higher education, such as a RN to BSN. The ENA awards five of these $3,000 scholarships each year. As with all ENA scholarships, applications are due by April 30 of each year, and recipients are notified by August 1.

Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship

Sponsored by Arthur J. Gallagher and Company, the Student Health Careers Scholarship assists students in the third or fourth year of their first four-year degree, which is ideal for RN to BSN students. The program awards six scholarships, at $7,500 each, to applicants who demonstrate a strong dedication to a healthcare career, academic excellence, and community services, and who demonstrate financial need. Applicants must submit a 500-word essay along with two recommendation letters.

NURSE Corps Scholarship Program

The United States Health Resources and Services Administration awards this generous financial support package to successful applicants who commit to work in a critical shortage facility for two to four years after graduation. Successful applicants receive financial support for all tuition, eligible fees, and other reasonable costs including books, clinical supplies, and uniforms. HRSA also pays a monthly stipend of $1,363 for the current year. This extensive document explains the scholarship program in greater detail.