The Best Online RN to BSN Programs

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Communities need quality nurses to remain healthy. Nurses help sick and injured patients during a crisis, assist mothers in delivering babies, and aid recovering patients after surgery. Individuals who possess patience and a passion for helping others thrive in this role.

Nurses often experience job security since society needs nurses even during economic downturns. On average, registered nurses (RNs) with a bachelor’s degree earn $83,000 per year, according to PayScale, with RNs earning an average of $29.62 per hour.

Choosing one of the most affordable online RN-to-BSN degrees can increase your disposable income upon graduation. However, finding an affordable online nursing degree that balances affordability with quality takes research. Keep reading to learn more about quality programs at an attainable price point.

Top 10 Online RN-to-BSN Degree Programs

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

Featured Online Programs

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

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 Programs

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.

  1. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  2. Ohio State University
    Location

    Columbus, OH

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  3. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  4. The University of Alabama
    Location

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  5. University of Louisiana at Monroe
    Location

    Monroe, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  6. Texas A & M International University
    Location

    Laredo, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  7. University of Louisville
    Location

    Louisville, KY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  8. Maryville University of Saint Louis
    Location

    Saint Louis, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  9. The University of Tennessee-Knoxville
    Location

    Knoxville, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

  10. Texas A & M University-College Station
    Location

    College Station, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    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.

How Much Can You Make With a BSN?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects jobs for RNs to grow 12% between 2018 and 2028. In 2019, RNs earned a mean salary of $73,300.

Earning potential varies based on factors like geographical location and education. For example, employers located in large cities with a high cost of living tend to pay more than employers in rural communities with a low cost of living.

In addition, nurses with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) tend to earn more than nurses without this credential. In fact, some states could start requiring this degree soon. New York, for instance, passed a law nicknamed BSN in 10 that requires nurses to obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing within 10 years of receiving their initial RN license.

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 and university offers a unique set of courses. When researching schools, make sure the curriculum aligns with your interests and nursing career goals. You can expect to take some form of the following courses during your studies. Keep in mind that these courses most likely possess different titles at each school.

Microbiology

In this course, students discover how microorganisms impact agriculture, ecology, and immunology. This course also covers the evolution of microorganisms and how this process can affect humans and the global environment. In a microbiology course, learners discover how these living organisms contribute to climate changes.

Pathophysiology

This course teaches students about the physiologic changes human diseases cause, building upon previous courses like anatomy and physiology. This class also examines the cellular changes within diseased organs. During this course, students examine case studies to learn how pathological processes relate to the nursing field.

Pharmacology

In a pharmacology course, learners discover how pharmacology principles relate to the nursing field. This course teaches students how medications can treat illness and restore health. Much of this class focuses on prescription drugs, medication interactions, and drug side effects.

Geriatric Nursing

In this class, students learn how to care for the aging population. Course topics include the biological aging process, physical and mental changes in patients, and pain management. This class teaches learners about end-of-life preparation for families and elderly patients and providing comfort during difficult times.

Pediatric Nursing

This course teaches students how to aid infants, children, and adolescents, and how to communicate with their families. This class also covers environmental factors that impact a pediatric patient undergoing hospitalization. Students learn to record growth and development for young patients.

How to Choose the Best Online RN-to-BSN Program

Finding the most affordable online RN-to-BSN nursing degrees takes time. Sometimes program websites lack important information, so contacting the admissions department serves as the best way to learn the answers to your questions. To help, we have made a list of frequently asked questions.

Is it important that a nursing program is accredited?

Accreditation is vital. Some educational facilities and employers do not recognize degrees from unaccredited schools. The U.S. Department of Education oversees accrediting agencies and determines whether they can grant regional or national accreditation. Typically, employers consider degrees from regionally accredited schools as more prestigious. Programs can also earn accreditation. For example, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is a top accrediting agency for nursing programs.

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.

What professional expertise can faculty bring to a program?

Choosing a program with experienced faculty can certainly enhance the learning process. These professors can offer informative anecdotes and share real-world experience from their personal nursing experience. These individuals can also connect their current students with their professional network and host guest lecturers they met during their professional careers.

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

Coursework varies by program, so reading through course descriptions can help you find a program tailored to your professional interests. For example, if you want to work as a pediatric nurse, make sure the program includes multiple courses related to caring for young children. If you wish to work in a nursing home, consider programs that feature geriatric nursing courses. Keep in mind that learning about nursing areas that lie outside your interests can help you become a well-rounded graduate.

Should I research internship requirements ahead of time?

Yes, make sure to research internship requirements before applying to a program. Even many online programs include in-person requirements like internships, which can pose a problem if your schedule does not allow time for a professional internship. However, most online programs allow you to complete your internship in your community. So if you attend school online through a school based in Iowa but you live in Florida, it does not necessarily mean you must relocate to Iowa to complete your internship.

Will an online program accommodate my time and financial constraints?

If you are wondering how to afford nursing school, pursuing an online degree could serve as a good fit. Many colleges and universities extend the same affordable online tuition rate for in-state and out-of-state students. Completing your program online can also help you avoid hefty student activity fees. Online programs also accommodate individuals with time constraints, as students get to attend class from home. Asynchronous online programs allow for extra flexibility since students get to watch pre-recorded lectures and engage in online discussion boards at their convenience.

Scholarships & Financial Aid for RN-to-BSN Programs

In their search for the most affordable online nursing schools, students often wonder, “What are the most affordable nursing programs near me?” Given the 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.

Geraldine “Polly” Bednash Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Individuals completing their undergraduate or graduate nursing degrees may apply for this scholarship. Strong applicants possess a 3.2 minimum GPA in their current program or from their most previously attended school.

Amount: $5,000

Landau’s Amaze Yourself Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Any individual pursuing secondary education in the healthcare or science field may apply. Recipients must enroll at an accredited U.S. college or university and willingly work with the Landau’s Scholarship Management team during the award process.

Amount: $1,000-$2,5000

Promise of Nursing Faculty Fellowships

Who Can Apply: Individuals who enroll in a state-approved school of nursing may apply for this scholarship. The National Student Nurses’ Association sets aside these funds for individuals earning their first nursing degree.

Amount: $1,000-$5,000

Nurse Corps Scholarship Program

Who Can Apply: Any student enrolled in a nursing program, regardless of the degree level, may apply. This scholarship program requires recipients to work at a healthcare facility in a health professional shortage area upon graduation.

Amount: Varies

Healthcare Leaders Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Individuals who have been accepted to or are currently attending a medical-related program at an accredited college or university may apply. Applicants must possess a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Amount: $1,000

Also Consider These Other Nursing Options…

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