The 25 Best Bachelor’s in Nursing Online

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Nursing occupations are expected to grow 16% through 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics – or nearly 2 and a half-million jobs, significantly faster than the national average. As healthcare continues to expand, the industry will look to recruit the brightest and most qualified professionals available; and the RN to BSN track, then, will be a popular route, both for its practical skill-building and accelerated degree completion time. Though the degree technically includes a number of prerequisite and general education courses, RNs can transfer out of these through previous academic credits. Nearly all degrees take less than two years, and several can be completed in less than 12 months, keeping costs down and allowing for a quick return to work. Taking into consideration the typical RN to BSN student – adult learners – online degree tracks are becoming increasingly popular for their flexibility and convenience. Below, we’ve ranked the top 25 such programs.

Here at BestCollegeReviews, we pride ourselves on creating quality alternative rankings geared towards working, non-traditional, or continuing education students. We know that for many students looking at online study, it’s because they have work, family, or life obligations, or otherwise, want or need the flexibility not granted by traditional degree programs. Due to this need, we’ve incorporated metrics we feel are valuable to this type of students into our ranking compilation process.

Interested in more general information about online learning? Visit our ranking of online colleges to learn more.


  • Affordability (1/3): the average out-of-state tuition per credit hour
  • Flexibility (1/3): if the program offers additional specializations and/or an accelerated track
  • Academic Reputation (1/3): the rank of the school’s parent institution according to US News

1. University of Texas at Arlington

10. Texas-Arlington

The University of Texas – Arlington is a public research university, founded in 1895 as part of the Texas A&M University System until joining The University of Texas System in 1965. Categorized as an R1 Doctoral University by the Carnegie Foundation, The Chronicle of Higher Education has ranked the university one of the fastest-growing public research universities in the nation, and the New America Foundation has named it among its “Next Generation University” class. The school has also been recognized by Forbes, Washington Monthly, and the Princeton Review, which categorizes the school under its “Best of the West” banner. UTA offers a wide range of offerings, including 81 bachelor’s, 71 master’s, and 31 doctoral degrees, with notable programs in engineering, social work, nursing, business, education, and interdisciplinary studies.

UT Arlington’s online BSN consists of 54 total credits (14 classes), plus 67 credits of prerequisite courses. Major requirements include Holistic Health Assessment, Nursing Research, Health Promotion & Illness Prevention Across the Lifespan, Nursing of Adults, Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing, Clinical Nursing Foundations, Professional Nursing Trends, Nursing Leadership & Management, and Community Health Nursing, among others. All students also complete a capstone practicum in order to gain valuable experience. Courses deliver in accelerated 5-week and 14-week blocks and follow a blended model of dynamic online work and clinical sessions at partner hospitals throughout Texas. The degree is designed for maximum flexibility, allowing students to begin their studies at a date convenient to their schedule rather than enforcing strict, traditional semester entry dates. (Average degree completion time is just 15 months). For those interested, an RN to BSN is also available. The degree is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

2. Colorado Technical University


Colorado Technical University, founded in 1965, is located in Colorado Springs (with a satellite campus in Denver). Offering bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees, in addition to professional programs, the school has a student enrollment of approximately 20,000 (many of whom are online) and over 70,000 alumni worldwide. Among its areas of study include Business & Management, Engineering & Computer Science, Healthcare, Information Systems & Technology, Nursing, Project Management, and Security Studies. Through its distance learning technology, M.U.S.E. (My Unique Student Experience), CTU allows students to choose how they learn, whether by watching, viewing, reading or hearing. Further, CTU offers their trademark Fast Track for bachelor students, which allows students to place out course work through prior-learning assessments, accelerating graduation time up to 30%. This highly flexible and tailored approach has earned CTU the praise of many publications, and the online program is widely considered among the most innovative available, recognized as the “Best of the Best” in the Education and Academia category of the Computerworld Honors Program.

Colorado Tech offers an online BSN that consists of 48 major credits, including Challenges and Trends in Contemporary Nursing, Nursing Informatics, Population-Based Nursing, Alternative and Complementary Interventions, Safety and Quality Improvement in Nursing Practice, Health and Wellness Assessment, Leadership and Nursing Systems Management, and Innovation in Nursing, among others. In addition, all students must complete a nursing capstone course and four elective courses. While CTU does not offer RN to BSN work, RN students may transfer in all 28.5 credits into the program. To accommodate students’ schedules, CTU has created a highly flexible program, with eight entry dates available throughout the year and an accelerated track which may be completed in as little as 9 months. For those interested in pursuing in healthcare administration and leadership, the school also offers a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Healthcare Management and BS in Healthcare Management (Health Informatics concentration available). Note that this degree is accredited by the CCNE.

3. Indiana State University


Founded in 1865, Indiana State University is located in Terre Haute and has a student body of approximately 13,500. The school is classified as a Doctoral University by the Carnegie Foundation, and both the Princeton Review and US News rank it among the best schools in the Midwest region. Six colleges – Arts and Sciences, Business, Education, Professional Studies, Health and Human Services, Technology – offer more than 100 undergraduate majors, and there are bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees offered, plus an education specialist track. With nearly 65% of classes at 30 students or less, courses are intimate and collaborative, allowing for a tight-knit educational community and learning experience. ISU has a strong alumni network of 100,000, with graduates in business, politics, the arts, and more.

Indiana State offers an online RN to BSN that consists of 35 credits in the major. Requires courses include Transition to Professional Nursing Practice, Comprehensive Health Assessment for Nursing Practice, Healthcare Informatics, Research/Theoretical Basis for Nursing Practice, Community Health Nursing, Nursing Leadership, Reflective Nursing Practice, and Professional Nursing Synthesis. From there, students have the opportunity to tailor the degree through elective support courses such as Health Biostatistics, Applied Psychological Statistics, and Pathophysiology. ISU also offers the ability to earn 10 credits through professional portfolio evaluation, in which students demonstrate their nursing skills and applied knowledge in a clinical setting. For those interested, the school also offers an LPN/LVN track, as well. Note that the degree is approved by the Indiana State Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

4. Ashland University

ashland university

Ashland University is a private university in Ashland, Ohio, with a total enrollment of approximately 6,000. (Additional campuses are located throughout the state, including Cleveland, Columbus, Elyria, Massillon, Mansfield, and elsewhere.) Founded in 1878, the school offers nearly 70 bachelor’s degrees, 9 pre-professional programs, and graduate degrees, such as an MBA, MFA, MEd, and EdD. The school consists of 5 colleges – in arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and health, and continuing education – which offer a wide range of majors, from traditional liberal arts degrees to more specialized studies in actuarial science, toxicology, and entrepreneurship. Notable alumni have gone on to successful careers in business, academia, media, and professional athletics.

Ashland’s online RN to BSN consists of 27 credits in the major, plus 9 credits in a concentration. Required course work includes International/Transcultural Perspectives in Healthcare, Theoretical Bases, Informatics in Healthcare, Individual Assessment, Genetics and Healthcare, Research & Evidence-Based Practice, Community & Public Health, Health Care Systems, and Legal, Ethical & Political Perspectives, among others. From there, students tailor the degree through a concentration track in School Nurse Licensure Prep, Gerontology, Business Administration, or self-designed concentration. For maximum flexibility, Ashland offers an unlimited amount of transferred credits, and students can complete the accelerated track within as little as 15 months. (Part-time enrollment is available, as well, and all course work is self-paced.) All clinical experience requirements can be completed through a current employer or through special arrangements made with the faculty of the specific nursing course.

5. Northwestern College


Northwestern College is a private Christian liberal arts school in Orange City, Iowa. Established in 1882, Northwestern IA, as it’s commonly called, is considered one of the top colleges in the region, and made the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll in 2014, having served in areas across the globe, including Japan, the Netherlands, Bolivia, South Africa, India, Kazakhstan, Uganda, Ukraine, Zimbabwe, and numerous other countries. The school is affiliated with the Reformed Church in America and incorporates a Christian worldview throughout its core curriculum. In addition to its traditional campus courses, Northwestern has also developed a robust online program, tailored especially to adult learner and working professionals.

Northwestern’s RN to BSN is designed for RNs who graduated from an associate degree or hospital diploma nursing programs. Consisting of 21 major credits and 20 required cognates, courses include Lifespan Health Assessment, Promoting Shalom with Cross Cultural Populations, Nursing Science and Informatics, Nursing Leadership and Clinical Scholarship, Pathophysiology, Shalom and Nursing Science, Living Shalom, and Pathophysiology, among others. All students are also required to complete 240 hours of clinical experience in order to demonstrate mastery of nursing skills. Courses deliver in accelerated 8-week blocks, and students are able to complete the degree in under two years, even while taking only one course per semester. The school also offers a generous transfer policy, only requiring 30 hours of course material to be completed at Northwestern. The degree is accredited by the CCNE and approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing.

6. Ohio State University


Ohio State University, founded in 1870, is the third largest campus in the United States, with over 60,000 total students enrolled. (In addition to its flagship campus in Columbus, satellite campuses are located in Lima, Mansfield, Marion, Newark, and Wooster; the school supports a robust online learning community, as well.) Ohio State is the state’s only public school member of the Association of American Universities, and has been named among the country’s “public ivies.” It holds high academic ranking from US News, Forbes, Washington Monthly, the Academic Ranking of World Universities, and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, among others, with well-regarded programs in political science, architecture and design, education, public affairs, nursing, and business, according to the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg Businessweek. Among its 475,000 alumni include Fortune 500 CEOs, members of the Forbes 400 list of the world’s wealthiest individuals, and recipients of the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, and Medal of Honor.

Ohio State’s online RN to BSN consists of 21 major requirements, plus around 38 credits of support courses. Major requirements include Foundations & Contemporary Issues for RNs, Health Care Informatics, Inter-professional Concepts, Evidence-based Practice: Transforming Healthcare, Cultural Competence in Healthcare: US and Global Contexts, Concepts in Community Health Nursing, and Evolving Concepts in Nursing Leadership & Management. Designed for nurses who have completed an associate’s Degree or diploma in nursing from an ACEN-accredited school, Ohio State’s nursing degree is built for maximum flexibility to accommodate adult learners, working professionals, and others. Further, with a generous transfer policy of up to 90 credits, students with previous, relevant academic credit are only required to complete 30 total credits at OSU. For this degree, note that OSU has articulation agreements with Rhodes State College, North Central State College, Edison Community College, Clark State Community College, Central Ohio Technical College, Marion Technical College, and Columbus State Community College.

7. Kent State University

15. Kent State

Kent State University, founded in 1910, is a public research university in Kent, Ohio, with additional campuses in Cleveland, Independence, Twinsburg, New York City, and Florence, Italy. The university also has a robust online education presence, with more than 30 undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs available from a wide range of disciplines. (In total, the school offers 300 degrees, including 250 bachelors and 50 masters). KSU has received high academic marks from notable institutions: the Carnegie Foundation has ranked it in the top 80 public research universities in the country, and the Times Higher Education named it in the top 200 universities in the world in 2010. Further, as one of the largest higher education schools in Ohio (approximately 44,000 enrolled), Kent State boasts an alumni network of over 210,000 from all 50 states and more than 100 countries.

Kent State’s online RN to BSN is designed for RNs with a diploma or associate degree and consists of 33 major credits, including Information and Patient Care Technology for Healthcare Professionals, Concepts and Issues for Professional Nursing Practice, Leadership and Management for Professional Nursing Practice, Health Promotion, Population-based Nursing for Professional Nursing Practice, Health Maintenance and Restoration for Professional Nursing Practice, Health Care Policy, and Complementary and Integrative Health, among others. From there, students have the opportunity to complete an individualized capstone experience to tailor the degree to an area of professional interest. Accelerated courses deliver in 7-week blocks, and students have the option to complete the degree 100% online or in a blended format for maximum flexibility. Kent State also allows up to 33 credits to be transferred into the program. Available for both full- and part-time enrollment, this degree is accredited by the CCNE.

8. University of Florida

6. Florida

The University of Florida, in Gainesville, was founded in 1853. Today, as a member of the Association of American Universities, it is considered one of the very best public higher learning institutions in the country:U.S. News, Washington Monthly, Forbes, and many others all give UF high academic grades. It’s also considered one of the best bangs for your buck: Kiplinger’s and the Fisk guide each ranked it #3 on their respective affordability lists, and 66% of students graduated with zero debt. There are over 200 academic programs available, including 123 master’s degree programs and 76 doctoral degree programs. Perhaps most important, UF boasts one of the most active and loyal alumni bases in the country, with over 330,000 graduates from all 50 states and more than 100 countries worldwide, giving students an extensive network to jumpstart or continue their careers. (Or sometimes employers come looking on their own accord: corporations rank Florida in the top 10 colleges for recruiting new employees.) Some notable alumni include Joe Scarborough, Marco Rubio, Bob Graham, Beverly Perdue, two Nobel Prize-winners, forty-two U.S. Representatives, eight U.S. ambassadors, eleven state governors, and more.

Florida’s online RN to BSN is designed for registered nurses with an associate’s degree. Consisting of 31 credits, major requirements include Professional Nursing in the Evolving Healthcare System, Comprehensive Health Assessment, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology, Legal and Ethical Issues in Nursing, Genetics and Genomics in Nursing Practice, Inquiry and Evidence in Professional Nursing Practice, Community Health Nursing, Leadership and Management in Nursing, and Healthcare Policy , Finance, and Regulatory Environments, among others. In addition, students complete 30 credits of clinical experience for their professional portfolio. All enrollment is on a part-time basis to accommodate the schedules of working professionals, and classes are designed for maximum flexibility. For those interested, UF also offers a traditional and accelerated BSN degree. All programs are accredited by the CCNE.

9. Western Governors University


Western Governors University is a private, nonprofit, and 100% online university based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and founded in 1995 by 19 state governors with the goal of creating a flexible, self-paced higher education degree. In particular, WGU distinguishes its offerings through competency-based credits that award students for previous life and work experience, which accelerates degree completion time, lowers costs, and reduces redundant course work. For its innovative work, WGU has been recognized by TIME Magazine, Fast Company, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and much more; and in 2011 the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awarded the university $4.5 million in funding. It is the country’s top producer of math and science teachers and won the 21st Century Award for Best Practices in Distance Learning from the United States Distance Learning Association several times. The school’s current enrollment is approximately 70,000, with over 60,000 alumni.

Western Governor’s online RN to BSN covers courses such as Care of the Older Adult, Health Assessment, Nutrition for Contemporary Society, Professional Roles and Values, Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing, Evidence-Based Practice and Applied Nursing Research, Organizational Systems and Quality Leadership, Leadership and Professional Image, and Information Management and the Application of Technology. In addition, with an emphasis on experiential learning, all students must complete at least 90 hours of clinical work with mentor supervision. Thanks to WGU’s CU model, students typically can complete the program in 18 months, with many finishing in just one year. For those interested, WGU offers a number of related degrees: BS Business with a concentration in Healthcare Management, BS in Health Informatics, BSN, and several graduate-level degrees in nursing and healthcare management.

10. Liberty University

15. Liberty University

Liberty University is a private Christian school in Lynchburg, Virginia. (Liberty is the largest, private, nonprofit university in the United States.) Founded in 1971, the school has been leading distance education efforts since 1985, with 100,000 students enrolled in online classes today and 14,000 enrolled on campus. In total, Liberty offers more than 500 academic programs – bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate, plus professional certifications – with 250 available online. All online coursework is designed for maximum flexibility, with working professionals and adult learners in mind, and many programs offer intensive, on-campus summer sessions that can accelerate degree completion time. Further, Liberty’s generous transfer policy allows students with previous academic credit or work/life experience to waive select course work. (Pending individual approval, students may also transfer credits in through military service, MOOC work, examinations, and portfolios.) Note that, as a Christian university, Liberty incorporates religious concepts and values into all degrees, and several core curricula include Biblical course work.

Liberty offers an online RN to BSN that consists of 61 major credits, plus 12 credit of support course work. Requirements include Medical Terminology, Pathophysiology, Advanced Nursing Communication, Research in Nursing, Strategies for Adult Health CareCaring for the Childbearing Family, Population Health, Pharmacology, Leadership in Nursing, and Nursing Management, among others. All students must also complete electives to tailor the degree to an area of professional interest and a Global Health Nursing Field Experience to demonstrate mastery of the material. With a generous transfer policy of up to 90 credits, only 30 credits must be completed through Liberty, and courses are designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate busy working professionals and adult learners. Upon graduation, many students have gone on to leadership and management roles or pursued graduate-level nursing education. Note that the degree is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and is approved by the Virginia State Board of Nursing.

11. Anderson University


Anderson University is a private school in Anderson, South Carolina, with a with a total enrollment of just over 3,000. Founded in 1911, Anderson offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in 70 areas of study, including art, business, communication, criminal justice, psychology, interior design, nursing, elementary education, human services, organizational leadership, and more. In 2011, the university launched its Mobile Learning Initiative, in which each student receives an iPad upon enrollment; through its emphasis on emerging educational technologies, Anderson supports a highly collaborative, innovative, and hands-on learning experience. Further, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 17:1, all students receive intimate and individualized instruction. Distinguished alumni of the university have gone on to careers in politics, business, science, entertainment, and medicine.

Anderson’s online RN to BSN consists of 10 courses in the major, totaling 31 credits. Requirements include Nursing Research in Practice, Professional Role Transition, Health Assessment for Practicing Nurses, Pathophysiology for Practicing Nurses, Pharmacology for Practicing Nurses, Issues in Professional Nursing Practice, Community Health for Practicing Nurses, and Leadership and Management for Practicing Nurses, among others. All students must also complete a directed elective and senior project. Nursing courses deliver in hyper-accelerated 5-week blocks, allowing students to complete the degree on a fast-track, and the university’s generous transfer policy of up to 52 credits waives prerequisite material. With the school’s Christian emphasis, the nursing curriculum also incorporates religious values and concepts into the degree.

12. The College of Saint Scholastica


The College of Saint Scholastica has a student enrollment of approximately 4,200 and is located in Duluth, Minnesota, with satellite campuses in St. Paul, St. Cloud, Brainerd, Hibbing, Rochester, Inver Grove Heights, Grand Rapids, Cloquet, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1912, the school is affiliated with Catholic and Benedictine orders, each of whose mission’s is integrated into each program’s curriculum. While most of the student body comes from Minnesota, all 50 states and 29 countries are represented. The main campus itself lies on Lake Superior, making for a scenic landscape, and the city of Duluth has been called one of the best small cities for college students.

Saint Scholastica’s online RN to BSN consists of 46 major credits. Requirements include Leadership in Nursing, Population Care, Holistic Assessment in Nursing, RN to BS Portfolio, Statistics for Professional Practice, and Research, Evidence-Based Practice, among others. Designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate working professionals and adult learners with familial responsibilities, students progress through the course at their own pace, and may stop and start course work at their convenience; many choose to follow an accelerated track and complete the degree in as little as two semesters. Class sizes are small for individualized instruction, and all online students benefit from personal advisors, tutoring, counseling, and community groups. For those interested, the university offers related degrees, such as a Bachelor’s to DNP, Post-Baccalaureate Nursing, Post-Master’s DNP, and certification in Nursing Informatics.

13. St. John Fisher College


St. John Fisher is a private college in Pittsford, New York, with a total enrollment around 3,700. Established in 1947, the school is divided into 5 schools – arts and sciences, education, business, pharmacy, and nursing – and offers 35 undergraduate degrees, 11 pre-professional programs, and master’s and doctoral tracks. It has been ranked highly by Forbes, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, and US News, among others. Building on the Catholic tradition of education, the college emphasizes a liberal arts core curriculum, with a range of courses in the humanities, natural and social sciences, mathematics, philosophy and religious studies. In addition, St. John Fisher also stresses a sense of community and fosters an open learning environment.

The college’s online RN to BSN is designed for individuals with an associate or diploma in nursing, and course work focuses on a wide range of skills, standard practices, and academic disciplines. Required courses include Nursing as a Profession, Caring for Populations, Evidence-Based Practice, Leadership in Systems of Care, Holistic Health Assessment, Nursing Informatics, and Patient-Centered Care and Quality. From there, students have the opportunity to complete an RN to MS fast track option or take Contemporary Professional Issues and a professional practicum capstone. All courses are delivered in accelerated 7-week blocks with asynchronous access for maximum flexibility, and students can complete the degree in as little as 12-18 months. Additional benefits include 24/7 online support, tutoring, individualized academic advising, and the Blackboard learning platform, which encourages a collaborative educational environment through group discussion boards, live chat rooms, and video conferencing. Note that the degree is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and New York State Education Department.

14. Nebraska Methodist College


Nebraska Methodist College, an affiliate of Methodist Health System, is a private health professions institution located in Omaha. Founded in 1891, the school has an enrollment of just 1,000 students, allowing for individualized instruction and an intimate, collaborative educational setting. Built on the core values of “caring, excellence, holism, learning, and respect,” NMC emphasizes both traditional classroom learning and practical, experiential education through service-learning, community-based education, and leadership development, all of which are embedded into the core curriculum. (In the 2011-12 academic year, 83% of students reported experience in of these three alternative learning methods.) In addition to undergraduate programs, the school offers graduate and certificate programs in nursing and allied health, totaling 22 distinct degrees.

Nebraska Methodist’s online RN to BSN includes courses like Nursing Assessment for RNs, Lifespan Psychology, Ethics, Statistics, Collaborative Nursing Leadership in a Global Society, Community Health Nursing, and a capstone project, among others. Classes deliver in hyper-accelerated 5-week blocks, and students can complete the degree in as little as 7 semesters (though part-time enrollment is also available). For those interested, NMC offers optional minors in Spanish for Healthcare Professionals and Healthcare Sign Language to tailor the degree to specific areas of professional interest. Applicants should have earned a cumulative 2.5 GPA, and have earned either an RN licensure, associate’s degree, or diploma in nursing from a program accredited by the NLNAC, CCNE or ACEN. The school’s generous transfer policy may allow students to waive some course material, and NMC has articulation agreements with Central Community College, Iowa Western Community College, Southeast Community College, and Northeast Community College. This degree is accredited by the CCNE.

16. Eastern Mennonite University


Eastern Mennonite University is a private liberal arts school in Harrisburg, Virginia, with a satellite campus in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and a robust online program. Although the school is affiliated with the Mennonite Church USA, over the half the student population of 2,000 do not identify as Mennonite. (Most still identify as Christians.) Further, nearly 60% of students come out-of-state, including 21 different countries. The school’s unique cross-cultural study component requires undergraduates to complete 15 credits abroad; in the past, students have studied in Israel, Guatemala, South Africa, India, Spain, and Morocco. (Note that students may also fulfill the cross-cultural requirement through EMU-approved houses in Washington, D.C., and through customized programs of study.) EMU’s graduate school is best known for the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding, which specializes in conflict transformation, restorative justice, trauma healing, equitable development, and organizational conflict. Notable alumni include a Nobel Peace Prize recipient, international policy and affairs activists, politicians, academics, and more.

Eastern Mennonite’s online RN to BSN consists of 43 major credits, including Transitions in Professional Nursing Practice, Professional Nurse, Cultural Perspectives, Health Care Policy, Family Health, Community Health, Global Trends in Health, Nursing Management, and an Evidence-Based Practice Project, among others. Students progress through the degree with a 12-15 cohort, and the Moodle learning platform encourages an engaging, collaborative educational environment through group discussion boards, live chat rooms, and video conferencing. (EMU also utilizes Google Apps for Higher Education, which assist with scheduling, file management, document creation, media creation, and embedding.) All online students have access to a personal academic advisor, student success advisor, 24/7 tech support, e-library, tutoring, and easy bill payment through CASHNet. Average completion time is just 19 months. The degree is accredited by the CCNE.

17. University of Saint Francis

Saint Francis

Founded in 1890, the University of Saint Francis is located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and has approximately 2,300 students enrolled, the majority of whom are from Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio. The school has received high academic ranking from several top publications, and Washington Monthly has listed it among its “Best Bang for Your Buck” schools. The school ranks fifth in the state for earnings potential, and 93% of 2015 graduates are employed, enrolled in educational programs, or in volunteer services. St. Francis is divided into four schools in business and entrepreneurship, arts and sciences, health sciences, and creative arts, and the university’s unique EPIC programs allow students to earn for-credit work experience over two years. Specializing in online education, the university is affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and Franciscan Order.

USF’s online RN to BSN is designed for licensed registered nurses with a diploma or associate’s degree. Courses delivered in accelerated 8-week blocks, and students may complete the degree in as little as 12 months on a full-time basis. In addition the major requirements, USF requires a leadership immersion practicum in which students, alongside the aid of faculty mentor, plan and lead an evidence-based project within a healthcare organization to gain valuable real-world experience. (Additional prerequisite and elective coursework can be waived through a generous transfer policy, which includes a prior learning assessment.) Upon graduation, students will be prepared to provide patient-centered nursing care for individuals, families, and communities across age, gender, cultural, and socioeconomic demographics; collaborate with health care professionals to to improve health outcomes and policy in an evolving regulatory environment; and integrate Catholic Social Teaching and ethical, legal, and Franciscan principles as a professional nurse.

17. American Sentinel University


American Sentinel University, established in 2006 through the combination of the American College of Computer & Information Sciences and American Graduate School of Management, is a distance-education school with a concentration in healthcare. Offering six online bachelor’s and master’s degree programs, one certificate program, and one doctoral degree, total enrollment stands at about 2,700. A student-to-faculty ratio of 21:1 allows for intimate, collaborative learning, and over 50% of faculty hold doctoral or terminal degrees in their respective fields. As ASU specializes in continuing/adult education for working professionals, the school has affiliations with AmeriTech College, Blue Ridge Community and Technical, Community College of the Air Force (CCAF), Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), Higher Education Transfer Alliance (HETA), Sloan-C, and VTEC Training; it also holds numerous partnerships with healthcare organizations, military associations, corporations, and government groups.

American Sentinel’s online RN to BSN in consists of 30 major credits (10 courses), including Reflective Practice, Issues & Trends, Health Care Delivery and Quality Outcomes, Nursing Management Strategies, Leadership and Strategic Planning, Nursing Research, Community Health, Developing Nursing Practice, Health Assessment, and Case Management. All students must also complete a capstone project to demonstrate mastery of material and gain valuable real-world experience. On an accelerated track with 8-week delivery blocks, students may complete the degree in as little as 10 months, or work toward the degree on a self-paced schedule for maximum flexibility. Outside of the major credits, all remaining credits may be transferred into the program through previous academic credits and/or work experience. For those interested in pursuing a graduate degree, note that ASU also offers an RN to MSN option. This degree is accredited by the ACEN and CCNE.

19. Duquesne University


Duquesne University is a private Catholic university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with a total enrollment of approximately 10,400. Founded in 1878, the school is categorized as a research university with high research activity by the Carnegie Foundation, and is composed of 10 schools: McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, Duquesne School of Law, A.J. Palumbo School of Business Administration, Mylan School of Pharmacy, Mary Pappert School of Music, School of Education, School of Nursing, Rangos School of Health Sciences, and School of Leadership and Professional Advancement. In total, the school offers 189 programs at the bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and professional-level. There are 80,000 living alumni, and distinguished graduates include ESPN analyst John Clayton, actor Terry McGovern, numerous professional athletes, and several distinguished members of the clergy.

Duquesne’s online RN to BSN is designed for registered nurses with an associate’s or diploma. Consisting of 30 major credits, the curriculum includes Information Technology and Nursing Practice, Examining Contemporary Nursing and Healthcare Issues, Population-Based Health and Community Health Nursing, Pathophysiology for Nursing Practice, Genetics in Nursing and Health, Nursing Ethics Across the Life Span, Evidence-Based Approaches to Professional Nursing Practice, Organizational and Clinical Leadership in Nursing and Healthcare, and Population-Based Health and Community Health Nursing. (Note that the major core has embedded elective options.) From there, students have the opportunity to complete an optional 6-credit seminar and practicum to tailor the degree to areas of professional interest. Courses deliver in accelerated 8-week blocks, and the Blackboard learning platform encourages a highly collaborative learning environment through group discussion boards, live chat rooms, and video conferencing. Additional resources include tech support, academic advising, and student services. The degree is accredited by the CCNE.

20. Belmont University

Belmont logo

Belmont University is a private liberal arts school in Nashville, Tennessee, with a total enrollment of approximately 7,400. The school offers over 75 bachelor’s programs, 20 master’s, and 4 doctoral degrees across seven colleges, including the only AACSB International, accredited Music Business program in the world, which hosts three professional music studios and the Belmont Studios. Its programs have been featured in Rolling Stone, Time, and US News; in 2009, it was featured as a “School to Watch” for its innovation academic offerings. As the largest Christian university in the state, Belmont incorporates religious values and concepts throughout its core curriculum. Notable alumni include musicians Steven Curtis Chapman, Trisha Yearwood, Lee Ann Womack, Levi Kreis, Brad Paisley, Tyler Hubbard, and numerous other entertainers, business executives, politicians, and academics.

Belmont’s online RN to BSN consists of 34 credits in the major, including Health Assessment, Nutrition for Healthcare, Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing, Adult Health Nursing, The Aging Adult, Community Health Nursing, and Leadership & Management in Nursing, among others. Students must also complete two practicum credits and either Pathophysiology or Pharmacology. Classes are cohort-based to encourage a collaborative, intimate learning environment, and students may complete the degree in as little as 3 semesters through an accelerated track. Upon graduation, students will be prepared to: apply effective leadership and management principles in a professional healthcare setting; utilize new research to provide evidence-based nursing care, and enhance community health nursing skills and strategies. The degree is accredited by the CCNE.

21. Arizona State University

2. Arizona State

Arizona State University is a public university in Phoenix, with five campuses across the city and over 80,000 students enrolled, making it the largest university in the country. Ranked as the #1 Most Innovative School in America, ASU’s academics have been highlighted by such publications as Forbes, Money, The Daily Beast, US News, and the Wall Street Journal. Among its most prestigious programs include Supply Chain Management, Criminology and Criminal Justice, Public Affairs, Nursing, Finance and Budgeting, Printmaking, and Photography. The school also regularly ranks among the top research funding schools in the country. Of the school’s active alumni base of over 400,000, distinguished graduates include business executives at Cisco Systems, PepsiCo, Kate Spade New York, and Insight Enterprises; nine current or former U.S. Representatives, and numerous professional athletes, and more.

Arizona State’s online RN to BSN consists of 45 major credits, including Nursing Research and Application to Practice, Professional Nursing Theory, Health Promotion Across the Life Span, Community and Public Health Nursing in the United States, Innovation in Nursing, Nursing Management in Health Care, The Art of Nursing, Public and Global Health in Nursing, and Writing for Health Care Management. From there, all students must complete a capstone to demonstrate a mastery of material and gain valuable real-world experience. Average degree completion time is 15-18 months, and courses deliver in a variety of online formats that support an innovative, engaging curriculum. Note that the degree is designed for Associate Degree and diploma nurses.

22. William Carey University


William Carey University is a private liberal arts college in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, with a student enrollment of approximately 4,100. Bachelor’s degrees are offered in arts and letters, education, natural and behavioral sciences, business, religion, music, and nursing; and William Carey’s graduate schools offer an MBA, MEd, M.S. in psychology, M.S. in Health Information Systems, and an MSN degree, among others. As a Christian school with a Baptist background, the university integrates a religious educational component and strives to prepare students to “excel in scholarship, leadership, and service in a diverse global society,” according to its mission statement. Notable alumni include politicians, business professionals, sports professionals, and more.

William Carey’s online RN to BSN consists of 30 major credits, including Pathophysiology, Applied Assessment and Health Promotion, Professional Writing and Informatics, Gerontology Nursing, Managing Health Care, Community Nursing, Evidence-Based Practice, Transition to Baccalaureate Nursing, and two electives to tailor the degree to areas of professional interest. As an accelerated track, students are able to complete the degree in as little as 12 months. All courses are 100% online and designed for maximum flexibility, though there are three optional face-to-face study sessions per trimester. For those interested, William Carey offers numerous related graduate degrees, including an MSN, MSN/MBA, DNP to Ph.D. in Nursing Education, and Ph.D. in Nursing Education and Administration. The degree is accredited by the CCNE and Institution of Higher Learning of the State of Mississippi.

23. Oklahoma Christian University


Founded in 1950, Oklahoma Christian University is located in Oklahoma City, with an enrollment of about 2,500. Offering bachelor’s and master’s tracks, OCU degrees are available in Accounting, Art, Bible, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Education, Electrical Engineering, Finance, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Management, Marketing, Mass Communication, Mechanical Engineering, Nursing, Political Science, and Psychology, among others. OCU has been featured by both the Princeton Review and US News for its academics, ranking as one of the top colleges in the region. With a special emphasis on integrating educational technology, OCU’s was named as an Apple Distinguished Program in 2013. Notable alumni have gone on to careers in politics, entertainment, business, academia, and athletics.

Oklahoma Christian’s online RN to BSN consists of 60 major credits, including Health Assessment, Fundamentals of Nursing, Pharmacology, Pathopsychology, Mental Health Nursing, Adult Nursing, Maternal-Infant Health Nursing, Healthcare Missions and Christian Service, Transition to Professional Nursing, Treatment Modalities, Leadership and Management in Nursing, and Community Nursing, among others. All students must also complete a capstone in order to demonstrate a mastery of material, and as a Christian university, note that the nursing curriculum integrates religious components and mission goals. Courses deliver in accelerated 8-week blocks, and the degree is designed for maximum flexibility to accommodate working professionals and adult learners. The degree is accredited by the CCNE and Oklahoma Board of Nursing.

24. Oral Roberts University


Oral Roberts University is a Christian liberal arts school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a student enrollment of approximately 3,700. Ranked by the Princeton Review as on the top colleges in the region, Oral Roberts is divided in six colleges, offering bachelor’s degrees in business, communication, behavioral sciences, education, computer science, engineering, physics, the humanities, theology, government, and nursing, among others. The university also has graduate programs in business, education, and seminary. As a Christian university, religious components are integrated into curricula, and the school enforces a strict honor and discipline code. Notable alumni include Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and numerous authors, pastors, and professional athletes and MLB players.

Oral Roberts’s online RN to BSN consists of 70 major credits. Requirements include Called to Care, Pathophysiology, Health Assessment, Foundation of Nursing, Pharmacotherapeutics, Community Mental Health Nursing, Health Promotion and Culture, and Patterns of Health & Illness. Through the program’s accelerated track, students are able to complete the degree in as little as four semesters, assuming prerequisites are met upon entry into the program. (ORU allows for up to 90 credits to be transferred into the program via previous academic course work, including an ASN.) Courses are designed to accommodate adult learners and working professionals. Applicants should have earned at least a 2.5 GPA and the appropriate credential documents (RN License, CPR certification, etc.) For those interested, ORU also offers a generic BSN degree. The RN to BSN is approved by the Oklahoma State Board of Nursing and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

25. Grand Canyon University

10. Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon University is a Christian research university in Phoenix offering over 60 undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate degrees in education, liberal arts, business, science, engineering, math, Christian theology, and health care through eight colleges. Since 2009, the school has grown at a rapid pace: GCU has invested millions into campus infrastructure in enhancing the student experience, and 2014 saw a record number of new students. In addition to several satellite campuses, GCU is also a leader in online education. Fortune recognized the university as a top-five online school for entrepreneurs, and U.S. News ranks GCU among the best schools in its region. In order to reduce costs and increase availability to adult learners and working professionals, the school has developed a number of corporate and strategic educational alliances. As a Christian school, Grand Canyon incorporates religious components into its academic offerings and community outreach initiatives, of which it is a leader in both Phoenix and nationwide.

Grand Canyon’s online RN to BSN consists of 36 major credits. Nursing requirements include Professional Dynamics, Family-Centered Health Promotion, Health Assessment, Community and Public Health, Applied Statistics for Healthcare Professionals, Nursing Research, Ethical and Spiritual Decision Making in Healthcare, Nursing Leadership and Management, and Trends and Issues in Today’s Healthcare, among others. All students must also complete a professional capstone and practicum in order to demonstrate mastery of the material in a real-world, clinical setting. Additional areas of focus include research review, the impact of societal and profession forces on healthcare, and medical records, physical examinations, and screenings. For maximum flexibility, admission is enrolling, and courses deliver in accelerated 5-week blocks to set students on a career fast-track. The degree is accredited by the CCNE and aligns with standards set by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.


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