College Values Online’s 30 Best Online RN to BSN Programs for 2021

Image of a nurse for our ranking of top online RN to BSN programs
Badge of top degree programs of College Values Online for our ranking of best online RN to BSN programs

The field of healthcare is growing. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in this sector is expected to increase by 15% by 2029, much faster than average. In fact, more opportunities will exist for health professionals than for any other job applicant. Still, being a registered nurse may no longer qualify you for many of these positions. Hospitals and other healthcare facilities are now demanding that their nurses have more advanced credentials, namely a Bachelor of Science in Nursing or BSN. In this ranking, we explore some of the Best Online RN to BSN Programs available.

Fortunately for licensed nurses, it’s not necessary to start all over to earn this in-demand degree. Colleges and universities have designed programs intended to provide the necessary additional training for nurses who already have a foundational knowledge of the nursing field. These options are commonly referred to as RN to BSN programs. In this ranking, we’ve sought to identify the 30 best online RN to BSN programs in terms of value.

Rating and Ranking the Best RN to BSN Online Programs

To develop this ranking, our editors began with an initial pool of nearly 100 of the cheapest RN to BSN online programs in the United States. We then applied our undergraduate rating methodology, using data from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), PayScale.com, and each school’s official website. In the case of a tie, we awarded the higher ranking to the more affordable college or university. This process yielded the following list of 30 best online RN to BSN programs. Check out the full methodology for undergraduate programs here.

Best Offerings in RN to BSN Online Programs

#30—Concordia University – St. Paul

St. Paul, Minnesota

Website

Points: 5

Logo of Concordia University - St. Paul for our ranking of Top 30 Online RN to BSN Programs

The comprehensive curriculum of Concordia University – St. Paul’s BSN pathway for RNs distinguishes it among the best online RN to BSN programs in America. Students enrolled in the program are required to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, including course titles such as:

  • Introduction to Care Coordination & Case Management
  • Professional Practice and Role Development in Nursing
  • Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice
  • Ethics & Decision Making in Nursing Practice

A nursing capstone course is also required as a culminating element of the program. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Concordia University – St. Paul to offer 100% online RN to BSN programs. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online bachelor’s degree programs among some of the best in the country.

Undergraduate Tuition: $23,400

#29—Clemson University

Clemson, South Carolina

Website

Points: 6

Logo of Clemson University for our ranking of Top 30 Online RN to BSN Programs

Through its renowned School of Nursing, Clemson University offers one of the best 100% online RN to BSN programs. The program features both a part-time and accelerated track. Students who choose the latter can progress through the program’s curriculum in just one year of study. Standout courses include:

  • Healthcare Genetics
  • Pathophysiology for Healthcare Professionals
  • Leadership and Management in Nursing
  • Family Nursing in the Community

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has fully accredited Clemson University to confer the online RN to BSN credential. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the 30 best public schools in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $15,558

#28—Indiana University – Bloomington

Bloomington, Indiana

Website

Points: 7

Logo of Indiana University Bloomington for our ranking of Top 30 Online RN to BSN Programs

Indiana University – Bloomington is home to one of the best RN to BSN online programs for students who already hold an associate’s degree in nursing. This degree completion program is available entirely online and features an accelerated track that can be finished in just one year. Required courses include:

  • Applied Healthcare Ethics
  • Multisystem Approach to the Health of the Community
  • Health Policy
  • Transition to Baccalaureate Nursing Practice

Elective courses are also offered and include:

  • Gerontological Nursing
  • New Innovations in Health and Health Care
  • Global Health Issues in Nursing

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Indiana University – Bloomington to confer RN to BSN online degrees. The school’s online bachelor’s offerings have been ranked among the 25 best programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,221

#27—North Dakota State University

Fargo, North Dakota

Website

Points: 7

Logo of North Dakota State University for our ranking of Top 30 Online RN to BSN Programs

Home to one of the top 100% online RN to BSN programs, North Dakota State University holds accreditation from both the Higher Learning Commission and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The curriculum for the program is prescribed and features eight-week courses such as:

  • The Essence of Nursing
  • Quality and Safety in Health Care
  • Chronicity Through the Lifespan
  • Evidence Based Practice and Research in Nursing

The program also requires two clinical experiences. NDSU has been ranked among some of the best public schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,168

#26—Florida International University

Miami, Florida

Website

Points: 7

Logo of Florida International University for our list of Top 30 Online RN to BSN Programs

Florida International University offers one of the best RN to BSN online programs through its renowned Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences. Designed for licensed registered nurses, the 120-credit hour program is available fully online and features course titles such as:

  • Psychosocial Nursing
  • Evidence-Based Nursing and Research
  • Care of Communities: Community Health
  • Health Assessment and Promotion

A clinical practicum is also required as a culminating element of the program. Florida International University is fully accredited to award this RN to BSN online by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Its online bachelor’s degree programs have been ranked among the top 55 such offerings in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,565

#25—Nebraska Methodist College

Omaha, Nebraska

Website

Points: 8

Logo of Nebraska Methodist College for our list of Top 30 Online RN to BSN Programs

As a dedicated healthcare school, Nebraska Methodist College offers one of the nation’s best online RN to BSN programs. The program features an accelerated track, enabling students to complete their degree within just three semesters. Program requirements include:

  • Collaborative Leadership and Management in Nursing
  • Informatics and Health Care Policy for RNs
  • Population Centered Health in the Community
  • Principles in Professionalism for RNs

Nebraska Methodist College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission to offer RN to BSN programs online. Scholarships funded by the Methodist Hospital Foundation are available to eligible students.

Undergraduate Tuition: $16,708

#24—University of Alabama – Huntsville

Huntsville, Alabama

Website

Points: 8

Logo of the University of Alabama- Huntsville for our ranking of Top 30 Online RN to BSN Programs

Students looking for the best online RN to BSN programs with one-year completion times should consider the program offered by the University of Alabama – Huntsville. The 26-credit hour curriculum for the program features course titles such as:

  • Nursing Care for Vulnerable Populations
  • Evidence-Based Practice for the Professional Nurse
  • Community Health for the Professional Nurse
  • Information Management in Healthcare

UAH holds the institutional accreditation necessary to offer online RN to BSN programs from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The program itself is also separately accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,338

#23—Oklahoma State University

Stillwater, Oklahoma

Website

Points: 8

Logo of Oklahoma State University for our ranking of Top 30 Online RN to BSN Programs

Students can complete one of the best online RN to BSN programs in terms of accelerated completion time, Oklahoma State University’s program in just nine months of full-time study. Offered through the University’s College of Education and Human Sciences, the program features a prescribed curriculum. Required courses include:

  • Theoretical and Conceptual Foundations of Nursing
  • Cultural Consideration in Health Care
  • Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice
  • Health Assessment, Community Health, and Wellness

A capstone course is also required prior to graduation from the program. The Higher Learning Commission has accredited Oklahoma State to offer online BSN programs. The program itself holds separate accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,019

#22—McNeese State University

Lake Charles, Louisiana

Website

Points: 8

Logo of McNeese State University in our ranking of Top 30 Online RN to BSN Programs

For RNs seeking an accelerated path toward their bachelor’s credential, McNeese State University offers one of the best online RN to BSN programs. This degree program can be completed in just 10 months of full-time study and comprises 30 credit hours of coursework. Sample course titles include:

  • Informatics and Patient Care Technology
  • Communication and Collaboration in Healthcare
  • Business of Healthcare
  • Leadership and Management in Nursing

A clinical capstone course is also required before graduation. McNeese State is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to offer RN to BSN programs online. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 50 public schools nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,382

#21—California State University – San Marcos

San Marcos, California

Website

Points: 8

Logo of California State University- San Marcos for our ranking of Top 30 Online RN to BSN Programs

Home to one of the best online RN to BSN programs, California State University – San Marcos is also among the nation’s leading public schools. Registered nurses enrolled in the school’s RN to BSN track will subscribe to an accelerated course of study, earning their bachelor’s credential in just 14 months. Courses associated with the degree plan include:

  • Health Promotion and Patient Education Strategies
  • Nursing Leadership and Professional Issues
  • Bioethics and Medical Ethics
  • Pathophysiology and Pharmacology

The WASC Senior College and University Commission has accredited Cal State – San Marcos at the institutional level to offer RN to BSN programs online.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,712

#20—California State University – Stanislaus

Turlock, California

Website

Points: 8

Logo of California State University- Stanislaus for our ranking of Top 30 Online RN to BSN Programs

California State University – Stanislaus offers one of the leading RN to BSN programs online through its Division of Extended and International Education. This accelerated 12-month program features courses such as:

  • Transcultural Nursing
  • Community Health Theory
  • Nursing Research
  • Pathophysiology

The program also requires 90 clinical hours completed in a community health setting. Stanislaus State is institutionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission to offer one of the best RN to BSN online programs. The school has been ranked among the top 40 best value schools in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,584

#19—University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

Website

Points: 8

Logo of University of South Florida for our ranking of Top 30 Online RN to BSN Programs

A leader amongst online RN to BSN programs, the University of South Florida’s offering offers an accelerated track that can be completed in just three semesters of study. The curriculum for this flexible course of study is comprised of 30 credit hours of coursework in topics related to clinical excellence, ambulatory care, leadership/management, and patient/staff education. Specific course titles include:

  • Foundation of Healthcare Quality Improvement/Patient Safety
  • Coordination of Care in Nursing
  • Fundamentals of Health Care Finance for RNs
  • Vulnerable Populations

An experiential learning component is also required. USF is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the 50 best public schools in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,410

#18—University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Website

Points: 8

Logo of University of Florida for our ranking of Top 30 Online RN to BSN Programs

One of the best online RN to BSN programs for part-time students, the University of Florida’s offering is designed for individuals who already hold an associate’s degree in the field. The fully online curriculum for the program is comprised of course titles such as:

  • Genetics and Genomics in Nursing Practice
  • Professional Nursing in the Evolving Healthcare System
  • Inquiry and Evidence in Professional Nursing Practice
  • Clinical Reasoning and Personalized Nursing Care: Population Health

This program is programmatically accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Furthermore, the University of Florida holds institutional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The school’s online bachelor’s degree programs have been ranked among the top 5 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,381

#17—Rutgers University – Camden

Camden, New Jersey

Website

Points: 9

Logo of Rutgers University- Camden for our ranking of Top 30 Online RN to BSN Programs

Rutgers University – Camden offers one of the top RN to BSN programs online in terms of flexibility. Students can opt for a fully online or hybrid format, and the program can be completed in just 12 months of accelerated study. Major requirements for the degree include:

  • Issues in Nursing, Health, and Health Care
  • Community Health Nursing and Global Health Theory
  • Nursing Management and Leadership
  • National and Global Health Policies

Rutgers – Camden is institutionally accredited to offer online BSN programs by the Middle State Commission on Higher Education. The program itself is separately accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Undergraduate Tuition: $14,877

#16—University of Illinois – Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Website

Points: 9

Logo of University of Illinois-Chicago for our ranking of Top 30 Online RN to BSN Programs

Nationally recognized for its online bachelor’s degree programs, the University of Illinois – Chicago offers one of the country’s best online RN to BSN programs through its distinguished College of Nursing. The program is designed to be completed within just 16 months of enrollment. Courses associated with the curriculum include:

  • Health Assessment and Communication
  • Introduction to Research and Statistics for Evidence-Based Practice
  • Nursing Care of Populations
  • Concepts and Processes in Contemporary Nursing

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Illinois – Chicago at the institutional level to offer online BSN programs. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online bachelor’s degree programs as some of the very best in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $14,098

#15—University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Website

Points: 9

Logo of The University of Alabama for our ranking of Top 30 Online RN to BSN Programs

Through a collaboration between its Capstone College of Nursing and the College of Continuing Studies, the University of Alabama offers one of the nation’s best online RN to BSN programs. This 25-credit hour degree completion plan features required courses such as:

  • Community Health for Registered Nurses
  • Role Transition in Baccalaureate Nursing
  • Leadership and Management Roles for Registered Nurses
  • Complex Client Systems for Registered Nurses

UA is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to offer 100% online RN to BSN programs. The program itself is also separately accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,620

#14—University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Website

Points: 9

Logo of University of Arkansas for our list of Top 30 Online RN to BSN Programs

One of the best online RN to BSN programs in the country, the University of Arkansas’ baccalaureate option for RNs is offered through its College of Education and Health Professions and the Eleanor Mann School of Nursing. This highly flexible offering features asynchronous courses that can be completed entirely online, and start dates are available year-round. Course titles associated with the curriculum for the program include:

  • Scientific Foundation for Professional Nursing Practice
  • Pathophysiology in Nursing
  • Leadership for Professional Nurses
  • Informatics for the Professional Nurse

The Higher Learning Commission has authorized the University of Arkansas to offer 100% online RN to BSN programs. The school’s online bachelor’s programs have been ranked among the 25 best such offerings in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,384

#13—West Virginia University

Morgantown, West Virginia

Website

Points: 9

Logo of West Virginia University for our list of 30 Best Online RN to BSN Programs

As one of the best RN to BSN online programs in the nation, the baccalaureate in nursing option from West Virginia University is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The program is offered entirely online and can be completed within just three semesters of full-time study. Required courses include:

  • Perspectives on Caring
  • Clinical Nursing Pharmacology
  • Ethics in Nursing
  • Safety, Quality, and Information Technology

WVU is institutionally accredited to offer online BSN programs by The Higher Learning Commission. The university’s online programs for undergraduates have been ranked among some of the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,976

#12—Mount Carmel College of Nursing

Columbus, Ohio

Website

Points: 10

Logo of Mount Carmel College of Nursing for our ranking of 30 Best Online RN to BSN Programs

Students can complete one of the best online RN to BSN programs in terms of flexible scheduling options, the baccalaureate pathway for RNs from Mount Carmel College of Nursing in just two semesters of full-time study or as many as four semesters of part-time study. After completing a virtual orientation, students will enroll in courses such as:

  • Conceptual Foundations of Nursing
  • Healthcare Quality and Safety
  • Interprofessional Practice and Team Based Care
  • Caring Practices Within the Community

A capstone experience is also required before graduation. Mount Carmel College of Nursing is fully accredited to award the RN to BSN online degree by The Higher Learning Commission. The program itself also holds Quality Matters Certification.

Undergraduate Tuition: $14,675

#11—University of Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

Website

Points: 10

Logo of University of Utah for our ranking of 30 Best Online RN to BSN Programs

Students interested in a flexible, fully online bachelor’s in nursing program should consider the University of Utah’s offering as one of the best online RN to BSN programs available. This degree plan can be completed in three to five semesters, depending on the course load. Requirements for the program’s curriculum include:

  • Global Health Nursing
  • Nursing Across Systems and Populations for RNs
  • Enhanced Professional Nursing for RNs
  • Nursing and Health Promotion

The University of Utah is institutionally accredited to award the RN to BSN online credential by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the 40 best public schools nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,615

#10—Florida Atlantic University

Boca Raton, Florida

Website

Points: 10

Logo of Florida Atlantic University for our ranking of 30 Best Online RN to BSN Programs

Florida Atlantic University offers one of the cheapest online RN to BSN programs in our ranking through its Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing. The program is flexible in terms of scheduling, and depending on course load, students can earn their credentials as few as three semesters. The curriculum for the program requires 30 credit hours of upper-division coursework, including:

  • General Pathophysiology
  • Health Assessment in Nursing Situations
  • Creating Healing Environments
  • Nursing Research

A professional practicum is also required for successful program completion. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has fully accredited FAU to offer 100% online RN to BSN programs. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the school’s online bachelor’s degree programs among the top 55 nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,879

#9—University of Massachusetts – Amherst

Amherst, Massachusetts

Website

Points: 11

Logo of University of Massachusetts Amherst in our ranking of 30 Best Online RN to BSN Programs

One of the top 100% online RN to BSN programs in the nation, the degree plan from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst requires no visits to campus. The program offers flexible scheduling options, enabling students to complete their degree requirements within one to two years of part-time or full-time study. Required classes include:

  • Community Health Nursing
  • Introduction to Nursing Research
  • Writing in Nursing Ethics
  • Health and Physical Assessment

UMass – Amherst is institutionally accredited to confer RN to BSN online credentials by the New England Commission of Higher Education. The program itself is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university’s online bachelor’s degree programs among the top 25 in the nation.

Undergraduate Tuition: $16,439

#8—George Mason University

Fairfax, Virginia

Website

Points: 11

Logo of George Mason University for our ranking of 30 Best Online RN to BSN Programs

George Mason University offers one of the country’s best RN to BSN online programs through its distinguished College of Health and Human Services. This accelerated track requires 30 credits of coursework beyond the associate’s or diploma and enables students to finish their Bachelor of Science in Nursing credential in just one year. Required courses include:

  • Leadership and Management of Health Care
  • Introduction to Nursing Informatics
  • Concepts in Professional Nursing as a Discipline
  • Community Health and Epidemiology

George Mason University is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to offer 100% online RN to BSN programs. U.S. News & World Report has ranked GMU among the 35 most innovative schools in the United States.

Undergraduate Tuition: $13,014

#7—Ohio State University

Columbus, Ohio

Website

Points: 11

Logo of Ohio State University for our ranking of 30 Best Online RN to BSN Programs

Students admitted to the RN to BSN online program from Ohio State University will subscribe to a twelve or fifteen-month course of study, depending on their scheduling needs. One of the best online RN to BSN programs in terms of flexibility, the degree plan offers a relatively quick completion for both part-time and full-time students alike. Required coursework includes:

  • Concepts in Community Health Nursing
  • Foundations and Contemporary Issues for Registered Nurses
  • Evidence-Based Practice: Transforming Healthcare
  • Cultural Competence in Health Care: US and Global Contexts

No formal clinical component is required for this program. The Higher Learning Commission has extended institutional accreditation to Ohio State to offer online BSN programs. The school’s online bachelor’s degree programs have been ranked among the top 5 such programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,518

#6—University of Missouri – Columbia

Columbia, Missouri

Website

Points: 11

Logo of University of Missouri - Columbia in our ranking of 30 Best Online RN to BSN Programs

The University of Missouri – Columbia offers one of the top online RN to BSN programs in the nation through its renowned Sinclair School of Nursing. Approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, this 14-month program is comprised of 26 major-specific credit hours. Course titles include:

  • Evidence-Based Nursing Practice
  • Nursing Policy, Leadership, and Management
  • Nursing in Communities
  • Introduction to Nursing Informatics

The Higher Learning Commission has accredited the University of Missouri to offer online BSN programs. The school’s online bachelor’s degree programs have been ranked among the 15 best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,723

#5—University of Texas- Arlington

Arlington, Texas

Website

Points: 12

Logo of University of Texas- Arlington for our list of 30 Best Online RN to BSN Programs

One of the fastest online RN to BSN programs currently available, the degree plan from the University of Texas- Arlington can be completed in as few as nine months. Offered through the school’s College of Nursing and Innovation, the program requires 35 credit hours of coursework, including:

  • Health Policy, Legal Aspects, and Informatics in Nursing
  • Promoting Healthy Lifestyles
  • Holistic Health Assessment Across the Lifespan
  • Role Transition to Professional Nursing

An RN to BSN capstone course is also required for successful program completion. UTA is institutionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. Like many of the best online RN to BSN programs, it is also programmatically accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,378

#4—Farmingdale State College

Farmingdale, New York

Website

Points: 12

Logo of Farmingdale State College for our ranking of 30 Best Online RN to BSN Programs

A leader among RN to BSN programs online in terms of potential ROI, the baccalaureate option for registered nurses from Farmingdale State College is a 60-credit hour degree completion program. Curriculum requirements include standout course titles:

  • Nurse as Advocate and Change Agent
  • The Art of Nursing
  • Caring for Populations in the Community Setting
  • Developing Nurses’ Ways of Knowing

A senior leadership practicum is also required as a culminating element of the program. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has fully accredited Farmingdale State to offer online RN to BSN programs. The university has been ranked among the top 15 best value schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,395

#3—University of North Carolina – Charlotte

Charlotte, North Carolina

Website

Points: 12

Logo of University of North Carolina- Charlotte for our list of 30 Best Online RN to BSN Programs

Known for its excellent online bachelor’s degree programs, the University of North Carolina- Charlotte offers one of the best RN to BSN programs available with no required campus visits. This accelerated option can be completed in just 12 months of full-time study. It features a prescribed curriculum comprised of course titles such as:

  • Aging and Health
  • Design and Coordination of Care
  • Enhancing Clinical Judgement
  • Issues in Cultural Health

UNC – Charlotte is institutionally accredited to offer online BSN programs. It also holds programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,096

#2—Texas A&M University – College Station

College Station, Texas

Website

Points: 13

Logo of Texas A&M University - College Station for our ranking of 30 Best Online RN to BSN Programs

One of the best online RN to BSN programs in our ranking in terms of return on investment, the degree plan from Texas A&M University – College Station boasts a comprehensive 30-credit hour curriculum. The program is offered entirely online, except for a required two-day orientation. Coursework for the program includes classes such as:

  • Health Promotion Across the Lifespan for the RN
  • Professional Practice Issues for the RN
  • Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for the RN
  • Application of Evidence-Based Practice for the RN

Depending on course load, students can earn their BSN credentials within one to two years of study. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has accredited Texas A&M – College Station to offer online BSN programs. It’s been ranked among the 30 best public schools nationwide by U.S. News & World Report.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,783

#1—University of Iowa

Iowa City, Iowa

Website

Points: 13

Logo of University of Iowa for our list of 30 Best Online RN to BSN Programs

Registered nurses interested in the best online RN to BSN programs should consider the options at the University of Iowa. Part-time and full-time tracks are available, and students interested in an accelerated schedule can earn their online BSN in just three semesters. Sample course titles include:

  • Community & Public Health Nursing
  • Professionalism & Patient Safety
  • Improving Health Systems
  • Healthcare Finance

A practicum is also required toward the culmination of the program. The University of Iowa is fully accredited to award RN to BSN online degrees. U.S. News & World Report has ranked the university among the top 35 public schools nationwide.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,606

About Online RN to BSN Programs

Image of nurse for our FAQ in the ranking of best online RN to BSN programs

RN to BSN programs were created to provide a more streamlined pathway to a bachelor’s degree for nurses who have already completed licensing requirements to work as an RN. Online RN to BSN programs make the process of earning an undergraduate degree in nursing even more convenient for trained nurses. These programs enable working nurses to keep their jobs in healthcare while earning the credentials they need to advance their careers. They also eliminate time-consuming commutes to campus for these busy professionals.

Types of RN to BSN Programs Online

Hybrid Versus 100% Online RN to BSN Programs

When considering the best RN to BSN online programs that meet your needs and scheduling requirements, it’s important to read between the lines. Many colleges and universities advertise their offerings as “online” when in reality, they require some on-campus component. This is usually a practicum or clinical experience for RN to BSN offerings, though it may also include in-person orientations. Programs that require face-to-face attendance, no matter how minimal, are technically hybrid programs. If your schedule demands the maximum level of flexibility, look for those programs that are offered completely online.

Accelerated, Full-Time, and Part-Time Online RN to BSN Options

Even 100% online RN to BSN programs can differ in the potential toll they can take on your schedule. When weighing your options, you’ll need to determine whether a part-time, full-time, or accelerated course of study is best for you. The former may be ideal if your goal is to finish your degree as quickly as possible. The most accelerated online RN to BSN programs can be completed in as few as nine months. Full-time programs typically take about a year to finish, while part-time RN to BSN programs online can take as long as two years. When choosing the best online BSN programs for you in terms of duration, keep in mind that the more accelerated the program, the heavier the course load. The reverse is true also, so while a part-time option may take longer to finish, you’ll have more freedom to work at a pace that is comfortable for you.

RN to BSN Online Programs: Admission

Image of a college admission office for our ranking of best online RN to BSN programs

It should go without saying that online RN to BSN programs require applicants to hold the qualifications to work as a licensed registered nurse. This usually means an associate’s degree, or at a minimum, a diploma in nursing. However, you may need to meet additional requirements to qualify for the best online RN to BSN programs. These could include:

  • Professional Resume
  • References
  • Personal Statement/Essay
  • Background Check
  • Drug Screening

Criteria for admission into an RN to BSN online program are determined by individual colleges and universities, so you can expect them to vary depending on the school you’re applying to.

RN to BSN Programs Online: Curriculum

Image of nurses doing research for our ranking of best online RN to BSN programs

Like admissions requirements, the curricula for RN to BSN programs online will differ somewhat from one school and program to the next. Still, there is a good deal of overlap since these programs assume a similar foundational knowledge and prepare enrollees for comparable roles in a healthcare setting. While the names of course titles will invariably be unique, these classes often cover parallel material. Some examples are listed below to illustrate the type of subject matter you can expect to encounter:

Sample RN to BSN Online Coursework

  • Community and Population Health
  • Information Management and Patient Care Technologies
  • Evidence- Based Practice and Applied Nursing Research
  • Professional Roles and Values
  • Leadership and Management Roles for Registered Nurses
  • Introduction to Nursing Informatics
  • Developing a Healthcare Perspective
  • Coordinating Patient-Centered Care

Frequently Searched Online RN to BSN Programs

East Tennessee State University – ETSU offers one of the more flexible 100% online RN to BSN programs. Students can take advantage of the program’s three convenient start dates in the Fall, Spring, and Summer.

Eastern Michigan University – EMU offers a CCNE-accredited online RN to BSN program that students can complete in just one year of full-time study. A part-time track is also available.

Excelsior College – Excelsior College’s RN to BSN online program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). This program requires no campus attendance.

Drexel University – Drexel University offers one of the more interactive 100% online RN to BSN programs. Using virtual software applications, students can engage in online clinical experiences and collaborate with professors and classmates in real-time.

University of North Carolina – Wilmington – The online RN to BSN from UNCW is available entirely online with the exception of mandatory on-site clinicals. Six annual start dates add to the program’s convenience and accessibility.

Grand Canyon University – GCU offers a 12-month online RN to BSN program from its College of Nursing and Health Care Professions. Courses are offered via accelerated 5-week formats.

Kent State University – Kent State University offers one of the cheapest RN to BSN online programs in Ohio through its renowned College of Nursing. This option is programmatically accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

Jacksonville State University – JSU’s online RN to BSN program is offered through its School of Health Professions and Wellness. Students can pursue this program on a part-time or full-time basis.

Liberty University – The fully online RN to BSN offering from Liberty University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). This comprehensive program takes approximately two and a half years to complete.

La Salle University – One of the best online RN to BSN programs for students seeking an accelerated track, La Salle University’s degree plan can be finished in as few as ten months. The 27-credit hour curriculum for the program is delivered fully online.

Ohio State University – Ohio State University is home to one of our 30 best RN to BSN online programs. This flexible option is offered fully online and can be pursued either part-time or full-time.

Virginia Commonwealth University – Ideal for working nurses, the online RN to BSN from VCU is a part-time program designed to be completed within six semesters. Full scholarships are available for eligible applicants.

University of Florida – UF offers one of the best online RN to BSN programs for part-time students. The program holds full accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

University of Central Florida – Students enrolled in UCF’s RN to BSN online program can pursue their bachelor’s in nursing on a full-time or part-time basis. The program features a particularly rigorous curriculum with an emphasis on the sciences.

University of Rhode Island – URI’s RN to BSN online features accelerated 7-week courses. Scholarships are available to eligible students through the school’s affiliated partner hospitals.

Frequently-Asked Questions About RN to BSN Programs Online

Image of a nurse with questions for our ranking of best online RN to BSN programs

There’s a lot to learn about online RN to BSN programs, so if you’re thinking about enrolling in one of these programs, you probably have a number of different questions. Below, we’ll address some of the most frequently asked questions about these types of degree options by providing some general information. For specific information about a certain program or school, it’s best to speak to an admissions counselor.

Q: What is the cheapest online RN to BSN program?

A: The costs associated with online RN to BSN programs can vary widely. Of the affordable options we researched for our ranking, the cheapest RN to BSN online is the offering from Eastern Florida State College.

Q: Which RN to BSN online program is the best?

A: While it may be tempting to choose the easiest and cheapest online RN to BSN program, there are other factors to consider, such as curriculum, scheduling, and accreditation, for instance. That said, the best program for you is one that fits your academic needs and time constraints, as well as your quality standards.

Q: Are online RN to BSN programs without clinicals available?

A: Yes. Though most programs do involve some clinical experience, some of the best online RN to BSN programs feature online capstone courses that enable students to apply clinical skills and knowledge in a virtual setting. Others include flexible clinical requirements that can be coordinated close to the student’s home location or place of employment.

Q: How long does it take to earn an online RN to BSN degree?
A: Completion times will vary. An accelerated RN to BSN online program can be completed in as few as nine months, while full-time programs usually require a one-year time commitment. Part-time programs will take longer and could last more than two years in some cases.

Career Questions for 100% Online RN to BSN Programs

Q: How will an RN to BSN online advance my career?

A: Even if you continue working as a registered nurse after earning your RN to BSN online, you’ll likely earn more and enjoy more career advancement opportunities. With a BSN, it’s more likely you’ll be promoted to a leadership nursing role or be considered for other positions such as health educator, clinical case manager, or quality coordinator, for instance.

Q: What will I make with an online RN to BSN credential?

A: While your individual terms of employment will determine your exact pay, PayScale.com reports the mean annual wage for BSN-prepared nurses to be over $86,000 per year.

Q: Are jobs with a BSN in demand?

A: Yes! The field of healthcare is growing at a rapid pace. Plus, many employers in the industry express a preference for registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree over those with just a diploma or associate’s degree. If you want to work in nursing, you’d be wise to get your BSN sooner rather than later.

Q: What professional organizations can I join?

A: Online RN to BSN students and graduates may be eligible to join various professional organizations in nursing such as:

  • American Nurses Association (ANA)
  • National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA)
  • National League for Nursing (NLN)
  • Emergency Nurses Association (ENA)
  • Oncology Nursing Society (ONS)
  • Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN)
  • National Black Nurses Association (NBNA)
  • American Organization for Nursing Leaders (AONL)

This concludes our ranking of the top 30 values in RN to BSN online programs.

Sources:

By CVO Staff

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