Registered nurses who complete online RN-to-BSN programs gain career advances and increased earning potential. They are also prepared to pursue a master’s or doctoral degree in nursing, if they choose to go that route.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) reports that employers value BSN nurses for their leadership, critical-thinking, health promotion, and case management skills, and because they can practice nursing in an array of inpatient and outpatient environments. Organizations that recognize the unique value of BSN nurses include federal agencies, nurse executives, nursing organizations, the military, magnet hospitals, healthcare foundations, and minority nurse advocacy groups.
According to the AACN, a BSN is essential for nurses who seek to move up the career ladder and provide a higher quality of care. Several leading nursing organizations, including the AACN, the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), and the American Nurses Association (ANA), recognize the BSN degree as the minimum educational requirement for professional nursing practice.
In its report “The Future of Nursing: Focus on Education,” the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies notes “academic nurse leaders across all schools of nursing should work together to increase the proportion of nurses with a baccalaureate degree from 50 to 80% by 2020.”
According to the AACN, there are four times as many RNs as physicians in the U.S., and nurses deliver a wide range of healthcare services, including preventive and primary care provided by independent nurse practitioners in family health, women’s health, and pediatric clinics. Not only are nurses the primary providers of patient care in hospitals, but they also manage most long term care.
A nurse with a BSN degree has added responsibilities, including providing support to patients and their families, educating patients about their health habits, developing patient care plans, and helping doctors during major procedures and operations.
Online RN-to-BSN Programs Ranking Methodology
We selected the following programs based on quality of education, types of classes provided, faculty strength, nursing school awards, and rankings and reputation, particularly for providing online degree programs.
The Best Online RN-to-BSN Programs
1. University of Florida
With more than 170 online programs and certificates, UF makes education accessible for students from all over the country. The online BSN in nursing prepares nurses to take on challenging tasks and positions in healthcare. It also allows students to transition into a graduate program.
Of the 120 credits required for the degree, 60 credits are at the junior level, most of which can transfer from an associate degree. Of the 60 senior-level credits required, students earn 29 with a professional portfolio, which they prepare based on RN licensure work. The remaining 31 credits include courses in leadership, healthcare policy, and legal issues. Students can complete this component of the program in five semesters.
For admission into the online RN-to-BSN, applicants need an associate degree with a minimum 2.8 GPA, a valid Florida RN license, and various prerequisites. While the program hosts students from all over the country, Florida residents pay lower tuition than nonresidents. To graduate, students must complete each nursing course with a minimum 2.0 GPA.
The online courses at UF run asynchronously, and students can customize their course load to fit their work schedule. The program features three start dates, one in each semester, and students can take breaks whenever they like. While the online program allows learners to study from home, the required clinical elements of the program require students to work in various healthcare settings. UF allows students to work with local organizations to satisfy these requirements.
- University of Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- The online BSN program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
2. University of South Florida
One of seven fully online undergraduate degrees offered by USF, the RN-to-BSN online is one of the school’s most flexible programs. The program allows students to focus on leadership training, advanced clinical skills, or patient education.
The online RN-to-BSN program features 30 credits, 15 of which come from core nursing courses. Students then complete six credits from their chosen nursing cluster in leadership, clinical excellence, or patient and staff education. Learners complete the remaining nine credits in electives, focusing further on their cluster or delving into another subject. Students must complete service learning hours, and up to 45 hours can come from the student’s current place of work.
At USF, online programs typically run asynchronously, though some courses may require scheduled visits. The RN-to-BSN program features three start dates. Students may follow full-time or part-time schedules, completing the program in five semesters on average. Applicants need an associate degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA, an application with the College of Nursing, and satisfactory completion of English prerequisites. Applicants must reside in Florida and possess a valid RN license in the state.
- University of South Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- The RN-to-BSN online program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
3. University of Wisconsin – Madison
Since 1995, UW has offered nursing students learning opportunities through distance education. The RN-to-BSN online provides students with technical skills, patient care abilities, and advanced practice knowledge. The program allows graduates to take on more responsibility in healthcare settings, such as management and leadership positions.
The 33-credit program includes 18 credits of core courses and 15 credits of electives. Core courses cover topics like leadership, community health, and healthcare technology. During electives, students can choose the courses that complement their interests and career goals. The remaining credits for the BSN degree comprise transfer credits and licensure validation.
While the online RN-to-BSN program allows students to study from home, the first class features a half-day, on-campus meeting. The rest of the course runs primarily asynchronously with the possibility of some synchronous sessions. Depending on a student’s course load and transfer credits, learners may complete the program in approximately 18 months. To graduate within this timeframe, students should take a minimum of six credits each fall and spring semester and three credits during the summer.
Applicants need an associate degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA, at least 24 non-nursing transfer credits, and an RN license in Wisconsin. UW allows students to complete clinical sessions at a location of their choosing. As the program requires Wisconsin residency, all students pay reduced in-state tuition rates.
4. Ohio State University
Striving to improve access to education and create innovative education solutions, Ohio State offers a variety of online programs, including three full bachelor’s degrees and 15 master’s degrees. The RN-to-BSN online provides nursing students with the skills they need to stay at the forefront of the nursing field or enter the generalist profession.
The 120-credit online RN-to-BSN requires students to possess lower-division general education credits and a minimum of 35 nursing credits. Within the 30 required RN-to-BSN credits, students take seven core nursing courses, covering topics like healthcare informatics and global healthcare. The remaining credits come from transfer credits.
The online courses at Ohio State run asynchronously and allow students to study at their own pace. With part-time study, students can finish the program in 15 months, whereas full-time students can graduate in one year. While the program features hands-on clinical components, students can complete these locally.
Applicants need an associate degree from an accredited institution with a minimum 2.75 GPA. Ohio State also requires applicants to possess science prerequisites, many of which come from prior nursing education. The school allows students to transfer up to 90 credits, and out-of-state students only pay a small fee.
5. University of Central Florida
The online courses and programs at UCF offer students schedule flexibility and accessibility. Ranked as one of the best online bachelor’s programs by U.S. News & World Report, the RN-to-BSN online equips students with the clinical and leadership skills necessary to pursue advanced healthcare and management positions. The program focuses heavily on the sciences and offers an educational foundation for graduate study.
While the full degree requires 120 credit hours, the online RN-to-BSN program consists of 30 credit hours. Students must complete all prerequisite courses and general education credits prior to starting the program. To fulfill residency requirements, students must complete 30 credits at UCF, taking courses in areas like leadership, mental health, and community health nursing.
With asynchronous online courses, students attending the nursing program can study during the hours that suit them best. While online students typically complete the program in six semesters, UCF allows learners to finish the degree in as few as three semesters or as many as 10 semesters. Students from all over the country can enjoy the program, but Florida residents benefit from lower tuition rates.
Applicants need a diploma or an associate degree with a minimum 2.8 GPA, plus a valid nursing license. UCF requires applicants to complete prerequisites with a 2.0 GPA.
- University of Central Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- The RN-to-BSN online program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
6. Clemson University
Clemson, South Carolina
Offering more than 15 online programs at various levels, Clemson allows students with busy schedules to advance their skills. The RN-to-BSN online completion program provides nurses with expertise in ethical issues, healthcare policy, and advanced technical skills.
Consisting of 32 semester hours, the core component of the online RN-to-BSN includes courses in health assessment, scientific communication, and healthcare management. Upon completing a nursing professionalism course, in which students demonstrate their nursing knowledge, Clemson awards 31 credits toward the bachelor’s degree. The remaining credits come from electives and transfer credits from prior learning.
The online courses at Clemson are primarily asynchronous, but some courses may feature scheduled class times. With three start dates throughout the year and flexible course loads available, students can complete the entire program in one year. Despite Clemson offering all courses online, the program features an on-campus orientation before classes officially start.
Applicants need an associate degree in nursing with a minimum 2.75 GPA, plus prerequisite courses and a valid nursing license. Clemson encourages students from anywhere to apply, offering a standard tuition rate for all online students. While the program features clinical components, the school allows students to complete these at a location near them.
- Clemson University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- The RN-to-BSN online program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
7. Baptist College of Health Sciences
Baptist College of Health Sciences brings more than 100 years of educational experience to its programs. Offering traditional, online, and blended programs, the school provides options for a variety of students. The RN-to-BSN online offers students significant flexibility. The program helps students progress into more advanced positions within the nursing profession.
The 30-credit online RN-to-BSN program includes courses in pathophysiology, population health, and statistics. The remaining credits required for the full bachelor’s degree come from transfer credits. While many students possess all the prerequisites for the degree, the school allows students to complete these at the same time as the core program if needed. In addition to standard transfer credits, nursing students may receive credit for prior learning during a portfolio presentation, including 41 credits for applicants with a nursing license.
Online students benefit from three start dates a year and flexible course loads that allow for completion times under one year. Applicants need an associate degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA and an active nursing license. Baptist College of Health Sciences encourages students to complete the two required clinicals in their local community.
- Baptist College of Health Sciences is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
8. Florida International University
More than 20 years ago, FIU introduced online programming to push innovation and access for its students. The school offers more than 20 online degrees at the undergraduate level, including the RN-to-BSN online. This program helps nurses advance their careers, providing them with leadership, technical, and specialized healthcare training.
To acquire the 120 credits required for the degree, FIU students complete a minimum of 30 core nursing credits, which they can complete in as few as three semesters. These core credits come from two electives and six courses in areas like global healthcare, community health, and leadership. The remaining credits comprise transfer credits, challenge exam credits, and a clinical proficiency evaluation during which nurses can gain 30 credits for licensure and professional experience.
For admission into the online RN-to-BSN, applicants need either an associate nursing degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA or a non-nursing degree with a 2.0 GPA and prerequisites. All applicants must possess at least 60 transferable credits. While FIU welcomes students from all over the country, Florida residents benefit from in-state tuition discounts. Out-of-state students can complete clinical requirements at a location near them.
- Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
9. Appalachian State University
Boone, North Carolina
The online programs at Appalachian offer students flexible and customizable educational options. The RN-to-BSN online program allows nurses to pursue new and advanced careers, as well as a graduate education in nursing. The flexibility of the program allows students to continue working while pursuing the degree.
The 120- to 124-credit degree involves 90 credits from previous education and training, including 60 lower-division credits from an associate degree and 30 credits from nursing training. Students complete the remaining 30 credits at Appalachian, taking focused nursing courses that cover topics like nursing informatics and nursing care communities.
Online students benefit from three start dates per year and a flexible course delivery system. The online program features a combination of asynchronous and synchronous courses and a customizable course load. Depending on how many courses students take each semester, they can complete the program in less than one year.
For admission into the online RN-to-BSN program, applicants need an associate degree in nursing with a minimum 2.5 GPA and a valid nursing license in North Carolina or a compact state. Appalachian offers state residents lower tuition than nonresidents. Upon admission, online students gain access to a digital library, academic support, and career service resources.
- Appalachian State University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
10. University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah
Founded in 1850, the University of Utah boasts innovative and unique program options. The RN-to-BSN online program provides nurses with the skills and training necessary for career development, allowing them to move into specialized healthcare careers and management positions.
Of the 122 credits required for the degree, nursing applicants receive approximately 60 transfer credits from their associate degree in nursing and 30 credits from prior licensure and nursing experience. Students complete the remaining 30 nursing credits at the U, taking courses in enhanced professional nursing, complex concepts of health assessment, and health promotion. Nursing students may also specialize in geriatric nursing leadership.
Students can study at their own pace and design an appropriate course load for their schedule. Online courses combine asynchronous and synchronous learning to give students a blend of flexibility and collaboration. Due to the flexible course loads, students can complete the program in 2-4 semesters.
Applicants need an associate degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA overall and on all prerequisite courses. Additionally, applicants need a valid nursing license or recent completion of the NCLEX-RN exam. While the U invites all applicants to apply, Utah residents benefit from reduced tuition rates.
- University of Utah is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
11. The University of Alabama
Founded in 1831, UA incorporates experience and tradition into its programs while aiming to innovate and adapt to the changing needs of its students. Through online programs, UA makes its programs accessible for students worldwide. The RN-to-BSN online features two tracks: the career-focused RN-to-BSN and the education-driven RN-to-BSN/MSN.
In the online RN-to-BSN program, students complete 25 core nursing credits after meeting prerequisites. The remaining credits of this 126-credit degree come from general education and nursing prerequisites. Students also gain 41 credits from nursing experience and licensure. The core program includes courses in informatics, role transition, and complex client systems.
At UA, online programs primarily run asynchronously, though some courses may require scheduled sessions. Online students benefit from three start dates, flexible practicum locations, and part-time and full-time study options. Applicants need an associate degree in nursing from an accredited institution with a minimum 2.5 GPA overall, a 2.0 GPA in science courses, and a valid nursing license.
- The University of Alabama is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
12. Mississippi College
The oldest college in Mississippi, MC offers some of the most innovative educational options in the state. The RN-to-BSN online program equips nurses to pursue advanced positions in the healthcare field. Students acquire the leadership training and technical skills necessary for many in-demand nursing professions.
While the entire degree consists of 130 credit hours, the online RN-to-BSN requires students to complete 30 credit hours. Core credits cover topics like transcultural patterns, professional practice, and policy and finance. The other 100 credits comprise 30 credits of general education courses and 70 nursing credits from an associate degree.
The online courses at MC run asynchronously and feature flexible course loads, allowing students to take 1-3 courses at a time. Online courses take place throughout seven-week terms, enabling learners to complete the RN-to-BSN program in one year. Applicants need an associate degree in nursing with a minimum 2.0 GPA and a valid nursing license in their home state. All online students, regardless of residency, pay the same tuition rate. Upon acceptance, learners gain access to the MC library, student services, and academic support.
- Mississippi College is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
13. University at Buffalo
Buffalo, New York
Founded in 1846, UB represents the largest school in the State University of New York System. UB provides more than 25 fully online programs. The RN-to-BSN online program provides nurses with the skills needed to advance within the nursing profession.
To acquire the 120 credits necessary for the degree, students must complete a minimum of 32 credits in the UB nursing program. Two credits come from electives and the remaining 30 credits comprise core courses like public health and culture of safety. Most students receive the general education requirements and nursing prerequisites through a combination of a prior nursing degree, licensure, and experience.
UB online courses run asynchronously, and students can customize their course load to fit their schedule. The program starts each fall, and students can complete it on a one-year or two-year track. Students complete the program with a digital capstone project that challenges them to incorporate their training.
For admission into the online RN-to-BSN program, applicants need an associate degree in nursing with a 2.5 GPA minimum and a 3.0 GPA in a prerequisite statistics course. Applicants must also possess a valid nursing license work part time as a nurse.
- University at Buffalo is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
14. Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas
The RN-to-BSN online program at Texas A&M adheres to the nursing college’s values of respect, integrity, and selfless service. This program equips nurses with the skills needed to manage and operate cutting-edge healthcare technologies and pursue management positions.
The 30-credit online RN-to-BSN includes courses in pharmacology, elder care, and lifespan health promotion. The core requirements also include a professional practice and clinical course. Students entering the program gain approximately 45 credits from prior general education credits and 45 credits from prior nursing education and experience. Combined with the 30-credit RN-to-BSN program, the bachelor’s degree requirements total 120 credits.
Online courses run asynchronously to provide maximum schedule flexibility. The nursing program features three-, four-, and five-semester tracks, allowing students to complete the program in 1-2 years. Online students gain access to the student success center, career services, and the digital library.
Applicants need an associate degree in nursing and a valid nursing license. They also need a minimum of 40 of the 59 required credits prior to the application deadline. Applicants must also complete all prerequisites with a 2.0 GPA. Texas residents benefit from lower tuition rates than nonresidents.
- Texas A&M University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
15. Central Methodist University
To meet the demands of busy students and working professionals, CMU established online courses and degrees. One of more than 20 online undergraduate degrees, the RN-to-BSN online program offers students the education and knowledge needed to pursue advanced healthcare positions.
While the entire degree requires students to complete 120 credits, the online RN-to-BSN program comprises 35 credits. Core requirements cover topics like data analysis, adaptive health, and adaptation nursing -- plus two nursing-related electives. Students with a valid nursing license can receive up to 40 credits for their experience. Students earn the remaining credits through general education transfer credits and electives.
Online courses run asynchronously through eight-week or 16-week sessions. The school grants online students access to counseling services, academic support, career services, and an extensive digital library. Applicants need an associate degree in nursing with a minimum 2.0 GPA and a valid nursing license. Applicants also need at least one year of professional experience within three years of applying.
16. Clarkson College
At Clarkson College, 90% of students take at least one online course. The RN-to-BSN online equips nurses with the education and qualifications needed to pursue advanced and specialized positions. Students may also use the degree as a foundation for graduate study.
Students pursuing the online RN-to-BSN degree must complete 130 credits. Upon admission, the typical student receives 93 transfer credits, including general education, nursing prerequisite, and experiential credits. The remaining 37 credits come from Clarkson College’s required courses, including 12 general nursing credits, six credits for pharmacology, seven BSN transition credits, and 12 credits in the major.
Clarkson College allows learners to choose their course load, with part-time students completing the program in six semesters and full-time students taking three semesters to graduate. Online students benefit from three start dates each year in August, January, and May.
Applicants need an associate degree in nursing with sufficient prerequisites and a minimum 2.5 GPA. Applicants also need a valid nursing license and must meet the professional expectations of Clarkson College. Online students benefit from online access to career services, tutoring, and personal and academic counseling.
17. University of Delaware
Dating back to 1743, UD offers students a long and storied history. The RN-to-BSN online program allows nurses to pursue management positions, generalist duties, or take a step toward a specialist career.
To acquire the necessary 120 credits for the degree, students earn 59 transfer credits for general education and elective courses and 30 credits for RN licensure. They complete the remaining 31 credits at UD, along with an 84-hour practicum. The core curriculum includes courses on pathophysiology, leadership, and critical issues in healthcare.
The online program in nursing combines asynchronous delivery with interactive synchronous sessions. The program offers two start dates, and students can customize their schedules and course loads to their needs. Admitted students gain access to online academic support, advisers, and digital libraries and databases.
Applicants need an associate nursing degree with a minimum 2.5 GPA, a valid nursing license, and various course prerequisites. UD requires students to hold a minimum 2.0 GPA on all transferrable credits. While Delaware residents receive lower tuition rates than nonresidents, some part-time out-of-state online students may qualify for reduced out-of-state tuition rates.
- University of Delaware is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
18. George Washington University – GW Online
Washington, District of Columbia
The online program offerings at GW enable students from around the globe to enjoy the same quality educational experience that Washington, D.C., residents receive on campus. In addition to gaining advanced technical skills and training, the RN-to-BSN online program offers nurses the leadership, communication, and policy training to take on more demanding positions and responsibilities.
The degree comprises 120 credits, though students only complete 21 credits and a professional portfolio that provides 15 additional credits at GW. The online RN-to-BSN program features courses in health policy, leadership, and patient safety. Typically, students can transfer 69 credits over from a previous associate degree in nursing, and the other 15 credits come from general education transfer credits, including courses in mathematics, humanities, sciences, and English. For students looking to pursue a master’s degree in nursing, some of the credits earned in this program will transfer.
At GW, online students benefit from a flexible part-time schedule and complete asynchronous courses during optimal hours. While the program offers independent learning, RN-to-BSN students interact and work with other members of their cohort over the course of the 15-month program. GW offers program start dates every fall and spring.
For admission into the program, applicants need an associate degree in nursing with a 3.0 GPA, along with a valid nursing license. They must also complete various prerequisites. Once enrolled, online students gain access to online libraries, tutoring, support services, and career support.
- George Washington University – GW Online is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
19. Texas A&M University – Central Texas
To accommodate the demands of students and working professionals looking to upgrade their skills, A&M-Central Texas offers 10 fully online degrees, including six at the undergraduate level. Designed for employed nurses, the RN-to-BSN online program offers students the opportunity to further develop their skills and training to access higher paying roles in the healthcare field. It also serves as the foundation to an advanced degree and advanced practice specializations in nursing.
To meet the requirements for the 120-credit degree, students complete 39 core credits at A&M-Central Texas, including courses in health assessment, informatics, and nursing care of the older adult. Students may acquire the other credits -- including 30 in nursing validation, 42 in general education, and nine electives -- in various ways. While students complete most of the general education and elective credits during their associate programs, A&M-Central Texas allows them to finish up to six credits while enrolled in the program. The nursing validation credits come from experience and licensure.
In the online RN-to-BSN, students enjoy flexible courses that primarily run asynchronously and allow for customizable course loads. Students choose between full- and part-time study options and can finish the program in less than one year. While learners study at a distance, the program’s inclusion of practicums provides hands-on opportunities. For program admission, A&M-Central Texas requires applicants to boast an associate degree in nursing with a 2.0 GPA and a valid nursing license.
- Texas A&M University – Central Texas is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC)
20. Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan
To accommodate the demands and schedules of working nurses, MSU offers a variety of program options for educational advancement in the healthcare field. In the RN-to-BSN online program, students build on their prior education, training, and experience from the comfort of their own homes. The online program prepares nurses for positions that require advanced technical training and a diverse healthcare background.
In the 120-credit program, students earn 30 credits for successfully completing the NCLEX-RN examination, 60 credits in general education, and transfer credits for completing an associate degree. The core program at MSU consists of 30 credits and includes courses in health promotion, population health nursing, and pathophysiology. For students that require additional credits, MSU provides a variety of suitable courses.
Students attend the online RN-to-BSN program part-time, completing it in approximately 15 months; this typically works out to between 6-8 credits each semester for five semesters. Since classes run asynchronously, working professionals can study after work hours or whenever convenient. In addition to the web-based material, students must complete 117 hours of clinical work.
Applicants to the MSU program need an associate degree in nursing with a 2.75 GPA, along with a valid nursing license and the satisfactory completion of the general education and nursing prerequisites. Science prerequisites should carry a GPA of 2.0 and higher. MSU encourages students from any location to apply, but in-state students benefit from lower tuition rates.
21. William Carey University
Striving to make its programs accessible for a variety of students, William Carey University offers a variety of online and hybrid programs, including three from the nursing college. One of the several BSN options, the RN-to-BSN online program allows nurses to leverage their nursing license and training to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Equipped with this degree, nurses often qualify for more advanced positions.
The entire BSN degree comprises 120 credits, 24 earned from RN licensure and 66 from general education, electives, and associate degree nursing credits. The school’s online RN-to-BSN features 30 credits in courses that include evidence-based practice, gerontology, and professional writing and informatics.
While students all work within the same 10-week trimester system, each chooses the ideal schedule and course load for them. For that reason, students may complete the program in 1-6 years. Students may start the program in in one of three trimesters, and all online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of location.
To meet the admission requirements, students need an associate degree in nursing with a 2.5 GPA, a 2.0 GPA on all prerequisite courses, and a valid nursing license. While students acquire the majority of their credits through transfer, they must complete the final 30 credits of the degree at the school to meet residency requirements.
- William Carey University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC)
22. Indiana University – Bloomington
Offering more than 120 degrees online, IU provides accessible and flexible educational options for its students. The RN-to-BSN online program helps nurses update and further develop their skills to meet the demands of modern healthcare organizations and pursue management positions. For students considering a graduate degree, this program also provides the necessary training and education to meet admission requirements for those degrees.
The online RN-to-BSN program comprises 120 credits, including 36 core credits. To complete this program, students take courses in topics such as nursing research, applied healthcare ethics, policy, and data analysis. The remaining 94 credits come from a combination of electives, general education credits, and nursing experience.
Students who choose the full-time path can complete the program in 12 months, while those who choose part-time study can complete it in 18-24 months. Each course runs asynchronously throughout seven- or eight-week sessions. While students study and complete most courses online, the program still includes a variety of clinical and practicum hours that students complete at locations of their choosing.
For successful admission, applicants require an associate degree in nursing with a 2.5 GPA and a valid nursing license; they must also complete all prerequisite courses. Upon admission, students receive up to 64 credits from their associate degree in nursing or up to 90 credits from a four-year degree. Nurses from all over may apply, though Indiana residents benefit from reduced tuition rates.
23. Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing
BSMCON boasts nearly a century’s worth of history and tradition surrounding nursing education. The RN-to-BSN online program offers nurses an innovative and flexible way to earn their degrees and maintain employment by providing them with the skills and qualifications to advance professionally and increase their earning potential in the field.
In order to complete the 120 credits required for the BSN degree, students acquire 46 general education credits from their previous education and 41 credits from their nursing training, education, and experience. The online RN-to-BSN provides the remaining 33 credits in courses like vulnerable populations, business of healthcare, and advanced nursing practice.
The online nursing program features asynchronous courses available every semester. This allows students to complete coursework within a schedule that best works for them, encouraging balance among their work, school, and life commitments. While most students complete two courses each semester and finish the entire program in less than two years, they can take up to four years if they need to.
For program admission, applicants must possess an associate degree with a 2.5 GPA. While a degree in nursing provides a shorter path to the degree, BSMCON may accept applicants with an associate degree in another field and allow them to complete the various nursing prerequisites prior to starting the program.
- Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing is regionally accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES)
24. Western Carolina University
Cullowhee, North Carolina
In addition to its campus in Cullowhee, North Carolina, WCU offers online courses and programs to accommodate distance learners and working professionals. One of a variety of fully online degrees, the RN-to-BSN online program offers nurses the chance to strengthen their basic knowledge, pursue management positions, and develop a stronger educational foundation.
The 122-credit online RN-to-BSN program at WCU comprises 30 credits: six in electives and 24 in the major. For the major credits, students complete four, six-credit blocks that include professional transitions, community health, leadership, and research. For their core requirements, students also complete two clinical rotations that require 120 total credits. To acquire the other 90 credits necessary for the BSN degree, WCU grants 62 transfer credits for general education and 30 transfer credits for prior nursing experience and licensure. Students must complete a nursing validation course to unlock the latter credits.
At WCU, online students study part-time, completing the degree in as few as four semesters. Online courses combine asynchronous and synchronous study, which allows students to benefit from schedule flexibility and face-to-face interactions. To meet the admission requirements, applicants need a valid nursing license and a minimum of 62 prerequisite credits in non-nursing disciplines with a 2.5 GPA. Though students from all over the world may apply, North Carolina residents benefit from lower tuition rates than nonresidents.
- Western Carolina University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC)
25. University of Arkansas Global Campus
Established to increase access and enhance innovation, the online programs at U of A enable more students from around the world to benefit from flexible educational opportunities. The RN-to-BSN online program provides nurses with a flexible professional development option. Nurses with a BSN benefit from enhanced career mobility, earning power, and analytical and clinical expertise.
The online RN-to-BSN includes 30 credit hours in core nursing courses that cover topics like informatics, healthcare policy, and health promotion across the lifespan. As part of the core requirements, students also complete 75 clinical hours. The remaining 90 credits required for the BSN degree come from general education courses, previous nursing education, and credits granted from escrow and awarded upon completion of the core program.
Online U of A students take courses every eight weeks and can complete the degree after three semesters of study. The program offers two start dates, one in the fall and one in the spring, and all students pay the same tuition rate regardless of where they live. The courses run asynchronously for the most part, though some classes may require scheduled meeting times.
For successful admission into the program, students must boast an associate degree or a diploma in nursing with a 2.8 GPA, as well as a valid nursing licensure and 1,000 hours of experience within the previous two years. Applicants with insufficient experience may complete a refresher course to waive the requirements.
26. University of North Carolina Wilmington
Wilmington, North Carolina
Offered by a nursing school that leverages more than 40 years of educational experience, the online RN-to-BSN program at UNCW prepares nurses to meet the demands of the profession by developing their advanced research skills and providing the training required by management and upper-level positions.
While the online RN-to-BSN program only consists of 26 credit hours in the core program, UNCW requires students to complete 31 credit hours to meet the residency requirements and 124 credit hours in total to satisfy the degree requirements. Students meet these requirements through general education transfer credits, nursing experience credits, and electives. In the core program, students complete courses in health policy, health assessment, and pharmacological and pathophysiologic evidence-based nursing. The core program also includes a capstone project and practice-based courses.
Online students at UNCW participate in seven-week courses and benefit from six start dates throughout the year. While courses primarily run asynchronously, some classes may require students to meet at specific times. Students typically complete the program in 12 months.
For admission into the program, applicants must possess an associate degree or a diploma in nursing and a 2.5 GPA. Applicants also need a valid nursing license and a 2.0 GPA in all prerequisite courses, which must total more than 24 credit hours. While open to students from a variety of locations, UNCW charges North Carolina residents a lower tuition rate than nonresidents.
- University of North Carolina Wilmington is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC)
27. SUNY College at Plattsburgh
Plattsburgh, New York
To provide distance students and working professionals the chance to study at SUNY Plattsburgh, the school offers online courses and fully online degrees. The RN-to-BSN online program helps nurses progress in the healthcare field and pursue new opportunities in the profession. This training also equips nurses with a diverse skill set and well-rounded expertise.
While the entire BSN degree requires 120 credits, students leverage their previous education and experience to earn the online RN-to-BSN more quickly. At SUNY Plattsburgh, nursing students complete a minimum of 29 credits in the major, including courses in social justice, leadership, and public policy. The rest of the credits come via electives, cognate courses, general education courses, and transfer credits.
For successful admission, applicants need an associate degree in nursing with the proper prerequisites, a minimum 2.5 GPA, and a valid nursing license in New York. Students with an associate degree may receive up to 67 transfer credits, whereas students with a four-year degree can earn up to 84 transfer credits. The minimum residency requirements demand that students complete at least 36 credits at SUNY Plattsburgh.
In the accredited RN-to-BSN online program, the number of credits required and the course loads vary for each student. The asynchronous online courses and flexible course loads allow students to customize their schedules to fit their lives. Full-time students generally complete approximately 25 credits per year, while part-time students complete between 15-20; therefore, students generally complete the program in 2-3 years.
- SUNY College at Plattsburgh is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
28. SUNY College at Brockport
Brockport, New York
With nearly 20 online programs available at Brockport, the New York-based school continues to grow and diversify its student body in innovative ways. The RN-to-BSN online program allows nurses to enhance their clinical, leadership, and communication skills. Not only does this degree often qualify graduates for management positions, it also improves nurses’ technical and patient care abilities.
The number of credits required to earn the online RN-to-BSN varies depending on the student. Brockport grants transfer credits to nurses for clinical experience and for completing challenge exams. Typically, the more experience, the fewer credits an applicant needs to graduate. On average, students require between 30-36 credits to earn the degree. Some of the required courses in the program include pharmacology, community-based epidemiology, and contemporary issues in nursing leadership.
In order to meet the admission requirements, applicants must boast an associate degree in nursing, a 2.5 GPA, and a valid nursing license in New York. Brockport grants up to 64 transfer credits for students in possession of an associate degree in nursing. Applicants also earn up to 30 credits for their NCLEX-RN examination and clinical experience.
Once admitted, students can take the number of courses each semester that works for their schedules. Full-time students tend to finish the program in 12 months, whereas part-time students require 18-24 months. Though out-of-state students pay higher tuition rates than New York residents, nonresidents can complete the entire degree, including their clinical hours, in their home state.
- SUNY College at Brockport is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
29. Florida Atlantic University
Boca Raton, Florida
The online courses and programs at FAU give students the flexibility to study and maintain employment at the same time. For working professionals like nurses, the RN-to-BSN online allows for professional development opportunities that would otherwise be challenging to pursue. This program prepares nurses to further develop their skills and take on more prominent positions in nursing. The program also enables students to earn a certification in holistic nursing or to take the next step into a master’s program.
In the online RN-to-BSN program, students complete 32 credits in the major, taking courses in pharmacotherapeutics, caring in nursing situations, and creating healing environments. As part of the core requirements, students also complete 180 clinical hours. FAU allows students to choose a location near them to satisfy these hands-on requirements. Students earn the remaining credits required through a combination of transfer credits and experiential credits from nursing licensure.
For successful admission, applicants must possess both an associate degree in nursing from an accredited institution with a 2.5 GPA and a valid nursing license. FAU offers three start dates per year and four completion tracks, allowing students to complete the program in 3-6 semesters. Once students receive their acceptance, they gain access to the FAU digital library, career services, tutoring, and other support services.
- Florida Atlantic University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC)
30. Mercy College of Ohio
To aid aspiring students who lead busy lives or need to maintain employment, Mercy introduced online learning and now offers more than 200 online courses and more than 30 fully online programs, such as the RN-to-BSN online. Through this program, nurses can take the next step in their development, preparing for management, graduate study, or simply better and more accountable patient care.
Requiring 123 credits in total, the BSN degree at Mercy consists of 60 general education credits and 30 lower-division nursing credits, many of which students acquire via transfer from their associate degree. The remaining 33 credits in the online RN-to-BSN come from upper-division nursing requirements that include courses such as transcultural nursing, statistics for nurses, and leadership and management.
The program allows students to study part- or full-time, taking between 3-15 credits each semester. Depending on the transfer credits awarded and the course load, students complete the program in 1-3 years. Mercy typically awards up to 75 transfer credits to nurses with an associate degree and up to 90 credits to students with a four-year degree, though some students may earn additional credits based on examinations, licensure, and experience.
In order to meet the admission requirements, applicants must possess a nursing diploma or an associate degree with at least a 2.75 GPA. Mercy may accept applicants with lower GPAs, but this requires a meeting with the program directors. All applicants must also possess a valid nursing license. Online students benefit from reduced online tuition rates and a standard rate no matter where they live.
31. University of Pittsburgh
Pitt offers online students a variety of courses and programs. The nursing school in particular features three programs, each with unique options and pathways. Through the RN-to-BSN online program, nurses can improve their skills in patient care, prepare for advanced positions, and rise to meet the ever-increasing demands of the profession. Pitt also offers a program option for nurses continuing on to graduate study.
The online RN-to-BSN program consists of 52 credits, including 10-12 electives and 30 credits in the major. For the major, students complete courses in topics like culturally diverse populations, ethics, and pharmacology and therapeutics. The core program also includes clinical work and a practicum. To reach the 120 credits required for the BSN, students need 68 prerequisite credits. Students typically earn the vast majority of their prerequisites through transfer credits and can complete the remaining credits at Pitt.
At Pitt, nursing students can choose between part-time and full-time study, completing the degree in 4-6 terms. The program has three start dates, and all online students benefit from a standard tuition rate regardless of where they live.
For program admission, applicants must boast an associate degree or a diploma in nursing and a 3.0 GPA. Applicants must also successfully complete all prerequisite courses and carry a valid nursing license. For applicants with a two-year degree, Pitt allows up to 60 of the 68 general education and nursing prerequisite credits to come via transfer.
- University of Pittsburgh is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
32. University of St. Francis
In 1998, USF introduced its first online program and continues to expand its offerings today. As the only online program offered through the nursing college, the RN-to-BSN online provides nurses with stronger technical skills, a more developed understanding of policy, and leadership training. The program prepares nurses to adapt to ongoing professional and industry changes while staying at the forefront of these developments.
The 120-credit online RN-to-BSN requires students complete 32 semester hours in the major, including six hours in nursing electives and 26 hours in core courses. Core topics include physical assessment, informatics, and ministry of nursing. Students also receive 34 semester hours in advanced placement for prior nursing education. The remaining credits come from general education transfer credits and electives.
At USF, online courses run asynchronously, and online students benefit from resources including library services, advising, and academic and career support. For admission into the program, applicants need a valid nursing license and completion of various clinical experiences and certifications. USF also requires applicants to possess an associate degree or diploma in nursing with a minimum of 60-64 transferrable credits with a 2.0 GPA.
33. University of Tulsa
For more than 45 years, TU and the health sciences college have helped aspiring and experienced nurses acquire a bachelor’s degree in nursing. With the introduction of the RN-to-BSN online, nurses can now earn these advanced skills and qualifications while maintaining employment and pursuing the degree from a distance.
In the online RN-to-BSN program, students complete 35 credits in the nursing major. Some of these courses include technology in nursing, community nursing, and professional role integration. Students also complete clinical work and a leadership capstone project as part of the core program. To earn the other 90 credits of the 125 required for the degree, students typically acquire 72 credits via transfer, including 18 credits from general education courses and 24 from lower-level nursing courses. They also earn up to 18 credits for a professional portfolio, which USF grants for nursing experience, licensure, and examination.
Nursing students benefit from flexible online course delivery and course loads, and those that choose full-time study can complete the program in 12 months. Online students also benefit from a standard tuition rate no matter where they live, and TU allows distance learners to complete all clinical hours at a location near them. For successful program admission, applicants require an accredited associate degree in nursing or a diploma, a valid nursing license, and successful completion of all prerequisite courses.
34. University of South Carolina – Columbia
Columbia, South Carolina
Founded in 1801, the University of South Carolina is a public research institution with eight satellite campuses across the state. The flagship campus, USC Columbia is a comprehensive research hub that serves more than 33,000 students from all 50 states. USC’s College of Nursing operates two research centers: the Cancer Survivorship Center and Advancing Chronic Care Outcomes Through Research and Innovation.
The College of Nursing offers 12 degrees and certificate programs, including an interdisciplinary online RN-to-BSN program for registered nurses. Combining didactic and practicum experiences, the program provides candidates with the leadership skills needed to advance their careers.
Notable core classes include nursing health assessment, nursing care of the older adult, emerging issues in healthcare, population health nursing, and nursing leadership and management. Students also gain 56 hours of hands-on experience in a seven-week community health practicum, which distance learners may complete at approved locations in their communities. Most candidates complete the 31-credit RN-to-BSN in one year.
Nursing students enjoy opportunities to participate in the Student Nurses Association, Men in Nursing, Chi Eta Phi, and Sigma Theta Tau International. Applicants must hold an associate degree in nursing or nursing diploma from an accredited community college and a minimum GPA of 3.0.
- University of South Carolina – Columbia is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- USC’s College of Nursing is fully approved by the South Carolina Board of Nursing and maintains a partnership with the College of Nursing Executive Advisory Council
35. University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
UW-Eau Claire is a public liberal arts university that serves more than 10,000 students. Developed in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin System’s six nursing degrees, UWEC’s College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers a collaborative nursing program. The UW System also maintains an articulation agreement with the Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) which permits WTCS graduates to transfer in all liberal education coursework toward their degree at Eau Claire.
This 120-credit, hybrid RN-to-BSN program combines asynchronous online coursework, on-campus classes, and a clinical experience. Notable nursing classes include chronic care management, leadership and management, informatics and healthcare technology, nursing within systems: analysis and application, and community health nursing. Elective course offerings address diverse topics such as mental health nursing, clinical pharmacology, and caring for pediatric patients with special needs. Most students complete the program in 1.5 years.
Applicants must hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited institution and a current, unrestricted nurse license. Candidates should also demonstrate a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or higher and at least 20 transferable credits. Prospective students must be admitted to both the university and the BSN completion program. Before applying, applicants should ensure that the program is available within their state or region.
36. Oklahoma State University
A Carnegie-classified, top-tier institution, OSU is a comprehensive research university that offers more than 320 programs. The university’s main campus is located in Stillwater, 60 miles north of Tulsa, and its College of Education, Health and Aviation enrolls nearly 2,800 students.
Congruent with the American Nurses Association Scope and Standards of Practice, OSU’s RN-to-BSN program emphasizes patient-centered care, professional ethics, healthcare information technology, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Notable major courses include health issues in gerontology, principles of epidemiology, trends and issues in nursing, and nursing leadership and management. The 120-credit program culminates in a final capstone course. All classes are delivered through the Brightspace learning platform.
Students can complete the program on a part- or full-time basis, and most distance learners enter the program with 60 transferable credits or a 30-credit associate degree. BSN candidates must complete at least 30 credits of coursework at OSU. OSU encourages students to apply for financial aid and sponsors a variety of funding opportunities, including transfer scholarships and awards for out-of-state learners. Applicants must hold an associate degree or nursing diploma from an accredited program and demonstrate a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. Prospective students must also hold a current, unrestricted nurse license.
37. Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health
Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health is a small, private health professions institution located in Omaha. An affiliate of Methodist Health System, the school was established in 1891 and today enrolls more than 1,000 students. NMC’s online RN-to-BSN program focuses on holistic care, service-learning experiences, and community-based education.
The 126-credit program is built around a 45-credit educated citizen core curriculum, which consists of communications, humanities, and science classes. Learners also complete unique major courses, including nursing assessment for RNs, lifespan development, collaborative nursing leadership in a global society, sociology of culture, and complexity in nursing. Prior to graduation, candidates synthesize and demonstrate their knowledge and skills by developing a professional portfolio. After completing the RN-to-BSN degree, many graduates pursue careers as healthcare leaders, teachers, and practitioners.
Distance learners may enroll on a full- or part-time basis, with full-time students completing the program in only seven semesters. All courses last for five weeks. NMC’s generous transfer policies include opportunities to earn credit for prior learning and professional certification. The institution also maintains transfer arrangements with several nearby community colleges.
Applicants must hold unencumbered registered nursing licensure and an associate degree or state-approved diploma with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Prospective students should also submit a written statement and resume.
38. Ball State University
Founded in 1918, Ball State is a public research university in Muncie, Indiana with a 22,000-strong student body. Ball State’s College of Health boasts several state-of-the-art clinics, centers, and laboratories, including the Social Science Research Center and the Nutrition Assessment Lab. The university’s Simulation and Information Technology Center was designed specifically for nursing students.
Integrating physical, psychosocial, and nursing science with the fine arts and humanities, Ball State’s online RN-to-BSN program focuses on key soft nursing skills like communication, leadership, and decision-making. The 120-credit curriculum includes courses in health assessment, nursing research, community health, and management and leadership.
Distance learners also complete a series of prerequisite courses that introduce major concepts in human physiology, microbiology, principles of human nutrition, and lifespan development. In addition to major and general coursework, the curriculum includes a 180-hour clinical component. Online students may complete their clinical hours at approved sites in their local communities.
All classes are presented in a flexible asynchronous format, and most feature weekly assignment deadlines. Students may enroll on a full-time or part-time basis. Nursing courses available in a six-semester or a three-semester format. Applicants must hold an associate degree or nursing diploma from an accredited program with a 2.75 cumulative GPA or better.
- Ball State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- The RN-to-BSN online program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Ball State University’s nursing program was designated a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence in Nursing Education
39. University of Massachusetts – Amherst
Located 90 miles north of Boston, UMass-Amherst is a public research university and the Commonwealth’s flagship campus. Dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion, the university serves more than 30,000 students each year. UMass-Amherst’s College of Nursing demonstrates a strong commitment to research and innovation, boasting state-of-the-art technology, trainings, and events.
UMass Amherst’s online RN-to-BSN community-based program emphasizes the need to reduce healthcare disparities among populations and promote social justice. BSN seekers examine crucial topics such as evidence-based nursing practice, ethical principles, gaps in nursing knowledge, and holistic care across the lifespan, all as they learn to master emerging technologies and information management tools. Courses explore family nursing care, professional roles in nursing, cultural diversity in health and illness, and nursing ethics. Students also complete a two-part course on vulnerable and underserved populations that includes a two-credit practicum component.
While distance learners must earn 60 credits to graduate, UMass Amherst awards 30 credits for RN licensure. All classes are delivered through the Blackboard Learn platform. Full-time students can complete the program in one year, while part-time learners typically graduate in two years. Incoming students can begin classes in the spring or summer semesters.
Prospective students must transfer in 53 credits from general education coursework, including nutrition, human anatomy, medical microbiology, and abnormal psychology -- demonstrating a minimum GPA of 2.5. Applicants must also hold current RN licensure and CPR certification from Healthcare Providers from the American Heart Association.
- University of Massachusetts – Amherst is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), formerly known as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Commission on Higher Education (NEASC-CIHE).
40. Webster University
Saint Louis, Missouri
Founded in 1915 by the Sisters of Loretto, a Catholic religious organization, this St. Louis institution is now a private, non-denominational university committed to diversity, inclusion, and free intellectual inquiry. Webster’s online RN-to-BSN program combines theoretical knowledge, real-world competencies, and holistic health promotion in a curriculum developed to enhance learners’ analytical and communication skills. Many program graduates go on to pursue careers as clinical nurses, nurse administrators, and nurse educators.
Over the course of 128 credit hours, candidates examine lifespace health assessment for RNs, health promotion and education, interprofessional collaboration, and organizational and systems leadership. Prior to graduation, students complete both a population health practicum and a capstone portfolio. The curriculum also includes a required global citizenship course.
All classes are eight weeks long and offered on a part-time basis. Most students complete the program in 2-3 years. Webster awards credit for prior nursing education, knowledge, and skills. Online learners enjoy access to individualized academic advising services and nursing faculty advisers.
Program applicants must hold an unencumbered RN license issued in Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Virginia, or West Virginia. Prospective students must complete an admissions interview before enrolling in courses. Webster offers reduced tuition rates to practicing nurses employed at partner locations.
- Webster University is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- The RN-to-BSN online program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
41. University of North Florida
Founded in 1972, Jacksonville-based UNF is a State University System of Florida member institution with a student population of around 16,000. UNF’s School of Nursing offers an accelerated online RN-to-BSN program that emphasizes public health nursing concepts, community nursing practices, and population-based healthcare management.
Stressing experiential learning, the program partners distance learners with local homeless shelters, public health organizations, refugee resettlement programs, and hospital outreach programs in a culminating project. Online students also enjoy opportunities to attend nursing conferences, professional organization events, and civic meetings.
Courses in the 30-credit BSN program examine perspectives in chronicity, socialization to professional nursing, research translation, and leadership and management concepts in nursing and healthcare. Graduates are prepared to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses examination. Online courses are self-paced and delivered in eight-week terms through the Canvas platform. Full-time students can complete the program in one year. Distance learners receive access to an online learning orientation, technical support, advising and enrollment services, and web-based tutoring.
Applicants must be licensed registered nurses, and prospective students need a nursing degree from an accredited program; they must hold a minimum GPA of 2.8 and complete all BSN prerequisite courses and general education requirements before enrolling in major courses.
- University of North Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
42. California State University – San Bernardino
San Bernardino, California
Located in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, CSUB is a public university with more than 20,000 students. Candidates enrolled in CSUB’s College of Natural Sciences enjoy access to state-of-the-art nursing media labs, learning centers, and simulation labs. Registered nurses licensed in California can take advantage of the university’s high-tech resources by enrolling in the hybrid RN-to-BSN program, which combines flexible scheduling and intensive on-campus study.
BSN candidates complete roughly 20% of the curriculum in person, fulfilling the remaining program requirements through online coursework. Classes present and examine major concepts in pathophysiology and pharmacology, nursing research and evidence-based practice, nursing leadership, and strategies for patient education. Students also participate in a three-credit nursing leadership practicum, completing two clinical rotations at community sites or hospital agencies. Graduates can seek a public health nurse certificate from the California Board of Registered Nursing.
Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 2.0 in all prerequisite courses, including microbiology, human physiology and anatomy, and general chemistry. Incoming students may transfer up to 105 quarter units toward their degree at CSUB. The university accepts applications year round, and learners may enroll on a full- or part-time basis. Classes begin in the fall quarter. Prospective students are encouraged to attend an RN-BSN Information session. CSUSB offers institutional financial aid opportunities and military education benefits.
- California State University – San Bernardino is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).
- The RN-to-BSN online program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
43. Allen College
With approximately 600 students, this private, nonprofit nursing school located in Waterloo, Iowa offers an intimate, individualized learning experience. Established in 1989, the college operates in conjunction with Allen Hospital, a nonprofit organization affiliated with the UnityPoint Health network of hospitals and clinics.
Intended for registered nurses, Allen’s 124-credit online RN-to-BSN program emphasizes evidence-based healthcare practices, interprofessional communication and collaboration, and patient-centered care strategies. Distance learners complete 27 credits of nursing coursework, including classes in quality and patient safety, community and public health nursing, nursing informatics, and health policy, law, and ethics.
Major courses encourage students to examine the relationships among data management, healthcare policy, and system effectiveness. The program culminates in a clinical experience, which online learners may complete at approved facilities in their local communities.
To qualify for admission, applicants must bring 54 transferable general education credits from a regionally accredited institution. However, candidates must complete all BSN coursework at Allen College. The college awards 43 credits for RN licensure. Applicants should also hold a minimum GPA of 2.5 and submit one academic or professional reference. Students may enroll on a full- or part-time basis and begin their studies in the fall or spring semesters. Instructors deliver online courses through Blackboard Learn in a combination of synchronous and asynchronous formats.
44. Brandman University
Brandman is a private, nonprofit university located in Irvine, California. A part of the Chapman University System, Brandman enjoys a reputation as a military-friendly school. Designed for registered nurses who want to enhance and strengthen their professional knowledge and skills, the university’s online RN-to-BSN program presents online lectures in a flexible format. BSN candidates may enroll on a full- or part-time basis, with full-time learners completing the core curriculum in one year.
Coursework introduces unique and specialized topics in the field, including nurses’ public image and professional issues, healthcare reform management, cultural and spiritual diversity in health and nursing, and community health issues and care delivery. The curriculum includes a 176-hour practicum component in which distance learners complete two in-person leadership and community health experiences in their local communities. Candidates must also attend a three-day immersion session on campus or online.
Along with an associate degree from a regionally accredited university, prospective students must hold unencumbered RN licensure or have an appointment to take the NCLEX exam. To remain enrolled, unlicensed learners must pass the exam by the end of their first semester. Applicants should also hold a minimum GPA of 2.0 and submit three letters of recommendation, a goal statement, and a self-evaluation.
- Brandman University is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
- The School of Nursing and Health Professions is approved by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The RN-to-BSN online program is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
45. California State University – San Marcos
San Marcos, California
One of 23 campuses in the California State University system, San Diego-based CSUSM is a comprehensive public university that serves more than 17,000 students through over 90 academic programs. Developed in partnership with the College of Education, Health, and Human Services, CSUSM’s Extended Learning Department offers an online RN-to-BSN program with a focus on culturally sensitive nursing care and case management for vulnerable populations.
Over the course of 120 credits, distance students discuss psychiatric and mental health, nursing care of children, professional nursing judgement, nursing research, and evidence-based nursing practice. Notable classes include pathophysiology and pharmacology, nursing of adults in acute care settings, health assessment, teaching, and health promotion.
Prior to graduation, candidates complete a two-credit community-based public health nursing practicum. Graduates qualify to pursue the California public health nurse certification, and many go on take leadership roles in healthcare organizations, clinics, and community agencies.
CSUSM’s RN-BSN nursing program is offered in an accelerated format, allowing students to earn their degree in only 16 months. Applicants must hold an associate-level RN degree with a minimum GPA of 2.0. Students are accepted on a rolling basis. CSUSM currently accepts online learners in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. Students should apply for financial aid, and military personnel and veterans enjoy additional funding opportunities.
- California State University – San Marcos is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
46. Arizona State University – Tempe
The Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education recognizes this Phoenix-area institution as a notable research university. ASU is home to the renowned Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, which maintains partnerships with world-class facilities like the Mayo Clinic.
ASU’s online RN-to-BSN program takes a unique approach to advanced nursing study, exploring holistic care and population-based perspectives. Stressing critical-thinking skills and communication strategies, the 38-credit curriculum includes opportunities for students to practice their interviewing skills. Coursework examines professional nursing theory, nursing research and application to practice, the art of nursing, and public and global health in nursing. The program culminates in a four-credit capstone course in which students synthesize and demonstrate professional nursing theories and concepts.
Courses run for 7.5 weeks, with candidates taking 10 classes in total. Most learners complete the program 15-18 months. While students must earn at least 45 upper-division credit hours through ASU, they may transfer in up to 64 credits from a regionally accredited community college. Applicants should hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited program, a cumulative 2.5 GPA, and a current unrestricted RN license. ASU sponsors a variety of need-, merit-, and major-based scholarships and grants.
47. University of Missouri
Also known as Mizzou, the University of Missouri-Columbia is a public university with a student body of more than 30,000. Mizzou is home to many notable research centers and institutions, including the Center for Health Care Quality, the Center for Patient-Centered Outcomes Research, and the Disaster and Community Crisis Center.
Presented through the university’s Sinclair School of Nursing, Mizzou’s 120-credit online RN-to-BSN program emphasizes clinical management and critical thinking. BSN candidates explore key concepts in healthcare ethics, law, theory, and research as they hone their health assessment skills.
Major coursework addresses integral topics such as nursing leadership and management, evidence-based nursing practice, role transitions, nursing informatics, and pathophysiology. During the summer semester, distance learners undergo a four-credit, 45-hour clinical experience at a local community agency. Students may complete the self-paced program on a part- or full-time basis. Full-time students can earn their degree in 14 months.
The program is open to registered nurses and individuals eligible to sit for the NCLEX exam. Prospective students must hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Candidates should provide a personal statement with their application materials. Mizzou offers a 10% tuition discount for military members and their families, veterans, and students who have previously earned a degree from public, regionally accredited Missouri community colleges.
48. Kettering College
Located near Dayton, Ohio, Kettering is a Christian institution affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. The college opened its doors in 1967 and continues to operate as a division of Kettering Medical Center, gaining broad acclaim for its College of Medical Arts.
Kettering’s online RN-to-BSN program integrates theory, practice, and evidence-based research, offering an in-depth look at the art and science of nursing. Using a learner-driven approach, the program builds strong management and leadership skills as it introduces evidence-based strategies for health promotion, maintenance, and restoration. Major courses examine community health perspectives, nursing leadership and management, the role of the professional nurse in health promotion, and trends and issues in healthcare. All distance learners complete a one-credit senior capstone course before graduating.
Online courses are delivered through Canvas. While the program consists of 48 credits, students must earn 127 credits to receive a bachelor’s degree -- at least 30 of which must come from Kettering. Associate degree-holders may apply 79 credits toward their BSN. Featuring year-round start dates, the program caters to both part- and full-time learners. Full-time students typically complete their studies in one year, while those enrolled part time can finish the program in 22 months.
Applicants must hold or be in the process of obtaining an RN license. Prospective students should also possess an associate degree or nursing diploma with a minimum GPA of 2.5.
- Kettering College is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
- The RN-to-BSN online program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
49. The University of West Florida
At UWF, students benefit from diverse online degree offerings, including the RN-to-BSN online. This program affords working nurses the skills and education required for upper-level healthcare positions. The curriculum incorporates adult learning theories and nursing experiences for optimal educational outcomes.
The program consists of 124 credits, including 21 general education hours that students must complete prior to beginning the program. Students can earn transfer credits from an associate degree in nursing. The program’s 32-credit core requirements include courses on academic writing, nursing systems management, and law and ethics.
With three possible start dates, flexible study times, and individualized course loads, online students can customize the program to fit their lifestyle. Though out-of-state students pay higher tuition rates than Florida residents, the program features no on-campus requirements, and students may complete the required clinical hours within a local healthcare setting.
Applicants need an associate degree in nursing with a minimum 2.75 GPA overall and satisfactory completion of a statistics prerequisite course. Applicants also need a valid nursing license. Students must complete a minimum of 31 credits at UWF to fulfill the residency requirements.
- The University of West Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
50. Milligan College
Milligan College, Tennessee
Milligan is a Christian college located near Johnson City, Tennessee. Dedicated to providing Christ-centered liberal arts education, the school provides roughly 1,200 students with rigorous academics, community, and faith. Milligan offers 100 majors and programs of study, including a web-based registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing. Presented through Milligan’s School of Science and Allied Health, the 128-credit program includes 58 semester hours of general education and core nursing courses.
Taught by expert faculty with extensive professional experience, major classes explore global health issues, health assessment for registered nurses, and community health nursing. All candidates gain hands-on experience by completing a three-credit leadership, management, and professional role integration practicum. Distance learners may fulfill the practicum requirement at approved local medical facilities and community health centers.
Classes begin each January. Working alongside academic advisers, online students develop personalized degree plans to match their individual needs and career goals. Most students complete the program in five semesters.
Applicants should hold an unencumbered Tennessee RN license or licensure from a compact state. Prospective students must transfer at least 27 credits of coursework from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Prerequisite courses include English composition, history, speech communication, lab-based anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and probability and statistics.
- Milligan College is regionally accredited by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
- The RN-to-BSN online program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
Online RN-to-BSN Programs: An Overview
The RN-to-BSN degree, also known as a registered nurse to bachelor of science in nursing degree, is designed for registered nurses who hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing who want a bachelor’s degree in nursing.
Bachelor’s degree programs generally require 120 total credit hours, including a liberal arts and sciences foundation with courses in social and physical sciences. However, most online RN-to-BSN programs are degree completion programs that count previous undergraduate credits from associate programs toward a bachelor’s degree. Often, RN-to-BSN students only need to complete 30 upper-level courses totaling 90 credit hours, plus practical or clinical hours, to earn their BSN.
BSN coursework prepares nurses for a broader scope of practice, helping them understand the political, cultural, social, and economic issues affecting patients and influencing healthcare practices. Nurses in these programs develop more efficient communication, critical thinking, organizational, and ethical decision-making skills. The best online RN-to-BSN programs typically include courses in leadership, pharmacology, pathophysiology, public health and community nursing, nursing informatics, nursing research, health policy, and ethics.
Through clinical training in non-institutional settings, BSN programs prepare nurses to practice in various healthcare settings as nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, or postsecondary teachers. Depending on the program and number of transfer credits, nurses can complete RN-to-BSN online programs in less than two years.
All states require nurses to earn a nursing license, which requires a degree from an approved nursing program and a passing score on the National Council Licensure Exam (NCLEX-RN). For job opportunities associated with a BSN, see our list of registered nurse employers and nurse career specialty areas below our school rankings.
See also: What can I do with a Nursing degree?
RN-to-BSN Salary Information
There are a variety of career paths available for graduates of RN-to-BSN programs. Career options for graduates include nurse practitioner, psychiatric nurse, or RN researcher. RN-to-BSN graduates are typically hard-working people who want to make a difference in the lives of their patients. That passion coupled with the variety of jobs available for nurses means BSN holders have plenty of opportunities to find careers that match their personalities and goals. Below are a few career options for BSN holders.
- Nurse Case Manager: Usually working in an industrial environment, hospital, or nursing home, nurse case managers supervise the healthcare needs of patients while also performing administrative duties for their employers.
- Labor and Delivery Nurse: These nurses assist mothers through every part of their pregnancies, including delivery and postnatal care. Their primary job is to ensure the health and safety of the mother and the newborn baby.
- Operating Room Nurse: OR nurses care for patients before, during, and after surgery, helping them understand the process and keeping them comfortable. These nurses also assist doctors and other nurses during surgery to ensure patient safety.
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit Nurse: A NICU nurse specializes in caring for newborn babies who were born prematurely or with an illness, or who face other issues. These infants often require around the clock care, so NICU nurses are as likely to work night shifts as they are day shifts.
Salary by Experience for Nursing Careers
|Job Title||0-5 Years||5-10 Years||0-20 Years||>20+ Years|
|Nurse Case Manager||$64,000||$69,000||$72,000||$75,000|
|Labor and Delivery Nurse||$56,000||$63,000||$69,000||$76,000|
|Operating Room Nurse||$59,000||$66,000||$73,000||$77,000|
Choosing an Online RN-to-BSN Program
When choosing your RN-to-BSN program, there are many specialized fields and educational approaches to consider. Typically, in-state programs are more affordable and make it easier to find local internship and clinical opportunities, which may be required for your program. However, an out-of-state program might offer better resources or faculty for your particular specialty. Below are a few program variables to consider. Take your time and find the path that is best for you.
- Program Cost: Education can be expensive, and you should seek the most value for your money. However, just because a program is cheaper doesn’t mean it’s a better fit -- spending anything on a program that doesn’t fit your needs is money wasted. Thorough research on price points can save you stress in the long run.
- Transfer Policies: If you have previous credits earned from another accredited institution, transferring them into your new program can save both time and money. However, not all programs accept transfer credits. It is important to look up your school’s transfer policies if you want to get credit for previous studies.
- School Size and Type: Look into the specifics of your school’s course delivery options to make sure they match your learning style. Ask yourself questions like: Are the classes too large or too small? Do you work better with specific school hours, like in a synchronous program, or do you prefer setting your own hours like in an asynchronous program? Asking these questions helps find programs that meet your needs.
- Program Length: It is essential to maintain a good balance between your work, life, and school responsibilities, and a flexible program gives you options. If you need to get your degree quickly, a full-time or accelerated program is best, but if you have a lot of outside responsibilities to manage, you would likely do better in a part-time program.
- On-Campus Requirements: Some online degree programs require a class, practicum, or internship that must be done on campus rather than online. Knowing this in advance is imperative, as you don’t want to spend time or money on a program you can’t complete because you can’t fulfill an on-campus requirement.
Accreditation for Online RN-to-BSN Programs
Choosing an accredited online program is imperative; studying in a program that isn’t properly accredited means you won’t qualify for nursing licensing exams after graduation. Instead, you’ll have to spend more time, money, and effort earning a degree in a different program. To avoid this, it’s best to check your school or program’s accreditation before applying.
Accreditation is a little tricky, but the main thing to know is that there are two types of accreditation: regional and national. National accreditation is usually reserved for vocational schools and often isn’t recognized by licensing organizations. Regional accreditation, on the other hand, is often considered more prestigious, and most licensing exams do recognize it. When researching schools, check which accreditation body approved your chosen program and whether that organization is recognized by the nursing licensing board in your state.
For nursing programs, the main accreditation agencies are the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
How Long Is an RN-to-BSN Program?
The average RN-to-BSN program includes 120 credits and takes 3-5 years to complete. Time to completion varies across several factors, including transfer credits, work experience credits, part-time or full-time status, whether a student tests out of certain classes, and internship requirements, which can extend program length. Students seeking to complete their degrees sooner should look for accelerated programs, while part-time students should expect the process to take longer.
Courses in an Online RN-to-BSN Program
Anatomy and Physiology
The foundation of a nursing education is understanding how the human body works. In anatomy and physiology classes, nursing students are introduced to the normal functioning of bodily systems, which lays the groundwork for later courses to explore dysfunctions.
Applied Healthcare Statistics
Nurses come across a variety of data daily and must be able to analyze and respond to it quickly, whether they’re assessing a patient’s vital signs or collecting information for a health survey. This course covers the basics of data analytics and explores how it operates in a healthcare setting.
Human Growth and Development
Depending on specialization, most nurses work with patients of all different ages and backgrounds. Understanding basic human growth and development helps nurses see past social conventions and recognize what is normal human behavior and what is out of the ordinary.
Infectious diseases are unfortunately a common workplace hazard for nurses, who must both protect patients and educate them on how to prevent the spread of illness. This microbiology class teaches nurses how to both treat and protect against infectious diseases in a clinical setting.
There are many factors to consider when assessing patient health, and nurses are often the first screening tool clinics use to determine a diagnosis. This course introduces nurses to best practices for quickly and accurately assessing conditions and facilitating better patient care.
Most RN-to-BSN programs offer a variety of concentration options for students who know what type of nursing they are more interested in pursuing. Below are a few varieties of nursing degree concentrations and related careers.
|Concentration||Description||Careers This Concentration Prepares For|
|Ethics and Professional Practice||Behaving ethically is vitally important in any healthcare position. Nurses must balance patient privacy and rights with community health and legal restrictions. This concentration prepares nurses to walk that thin line and to move into advocacy or public health positions later in their careers.||Nurse practitioner, public health advocate, ethics consultant|
|Gerontology||This concentration prepares nursing students to work with elderly patients. It covers the cognitive, social, and psychological effects of aging and teaches nurses how to respectfully assist senior patients. Gerontology is steadily growing, so this concentration can mean greater job security.||Geriatric nurse, gerontology case manager, gerontology care worker|
|Orthopedics||This concentration focuses on bone health. Orthopedic nurses work with patients who suffer bone or muscle deformities. They assist with general care, diagnosis, medication management, surgery, or physical therapy during recovery.||Orthopedic nurse, licensed practical nurse, orthopedic clinic RN|
|Midwifery||Pregnancy is a complex, often dangerous process, and a nurse with a specialization in midwifery is specially trained to help. Midwife nurses work with expectant mothers and their children throughout the process, including prenatal care, delivery assistance, and postnatal monitoring.||NICU nurse, nurse midwife, nurse co-facilitator|
|Pediatrics||A concentration in pediatrics prepares nurses to work with children, including infants, toddlers, adolescents, and teenagers. Pediatric nurses must have a thorough understanding of the stages of human development in order to help children grow into healthy adults.||Pediatric nurse, school nurse, telephone triage RN|
Nursing Membership Associations
Both working nurses and students can benefit from joining nursing associations, which update them on developments in the field, host networking events, offer helpful resources, and connect them with job opportunities. Below, you will find a few such organizations.
- American Nurses Association: This organization provides up-to-date news and educational resources for aspiring and working nurses. ANA’s members have access to professional journals, webinars, and a variety of FAQs on specific licensing procedures.
- National Student Nurses Association: This association works with students who are preparing to become licensed nurses. NSNA publishes Imprint Magazine, which features articles on nursing and career planning, and provides students with an opportunity to get published. Other NSNA resources include liability insurance discounts, test preparation materials, advocacy services, and a few annual conferences.
- Society of Pediatric Nurses: For nurses going into pediatrics, SPN is an excellent resource. SPN works to advance pediatric nurses by providing educational resources, networking events, and webinars, and by recognizing the best in the field with awards and research grants. SPN also publishes the Journal of Pediatric Nursing.
- Emergency Nurses Association: ENA is dedicated to supporting emergency room personnel through advocacy, education, networking, and podcasts. Most notably, ENA maintains high-quality training courses for emergency nurses, including courses on the opioid crisis, emergency pediatrics, and trauma nursing.
- Society of Nurses in Advanced Practice: Since its founding in 1994, SNAP has supported advanced practice nurses and contributed to charitable, scientific, and educational initiatives. SNAP works with food pantries, emergency relief organizations, and nonprofit medical organizations, and offers educational scholarships and mentoring opportunities to its members.