What is a BSN and how can it help prospective nurses? Nurses with a BSN degree can pursue leadership roles in healthcare organizations. An online RN-to-BSN program gives students the flexibility to continue working while earning their degree. In addition to online coursework, BSN students must complete practicum and clinical requirements. Online BSN nursing programs typically allow students to complete these requirements at an approved site in their community.
Graduates with an online BSN degree can pursue leadership roles like nursing director, nurse manager, and nurse case manager. A BSN degree also helps graduates pursue a variety of specialties, including pediatric nurse, ICU nurse, emergency nurse, and surgical nurse.
This page ranks the best online RN-to-BSN programs to help prospective students find the right program for their schedule and career goals. It also covers the steps required to earn an online BSN degree, common admission requirements, and what to expect during an online BSN program.
Top 10 Online RN-to-BSN Programs 2020
|1||University of Central Florida||Orlando, FL|
|2||Drexel University||Philadelphia, PA|
|3||Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale||Fort Lauderdale, FL|
|4||Santa Fe College||Gainesville, FL|
|5||Maryville University||Saint Louis, MO|
|6||Florida International University||Miami, FL|
|7||Northwestern State University of Louisiana||Natchitoches, LA|
|8||Bay Path University||Longmeadow, MA|
|9||University of Memphis||Memphis, TN|
|10||Eastern New Mexico University||Portales, NM|
Online RN-to-BSN programs help registered nurses (RNs) advance their careers. Nurses with a BSN typically make more than RNs with only an associate degree or diploma. For example, PayScale reports that nurses with a BSN earn an average of $83,000 per year while nurses with an associate degree earn $69,000 per year.
While many nursing jobs only require an associate degree or diploma in nursing, roles with added responsibilities often require a BSN degree. For example, administrative positions, like lead nurse or nursing director, typically require a BSN. The BSN curriculum incorporates leadership coursework to train students in managing nursing teams, collaborating effectively with other healthcare providers, and supervising nursing departments.
Nursing positions in research, consulting, and teaching also often require a bachelor’s degree. In these roles, nurses help develop and implement new policies, research practices designed to improve patient outcomes, and educate other nurses in healthcare settings. They may also advise organizations on ways to improve community health outcomes or educate groups about wellness.
A BSN degree also prepares nurses for graduate programs in nursing. After earning an online RN-to-BSN degree, nurses can enroll in MSN programs to become nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, or nurse midwives. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, advanced practice RNs earned a median annual salary of $115,800 in 2019. MSN programs also train students for nurse educator roles.
Common Online RN-to-BSN Courses
Evidence-Based Practice: This class examines research-backed healthcare policies and how to implement evidence-based improvements. Nurses also explore the relationship between research and healthcare quality. Additionally, they may examine safety measures and their relationship to evidence-based practice. Students gain strong analytical and research skills in this class.
Community Nursing: This course explores the nurse’s role in healthcare delivery within a community setting. Students learn about the relationship between clients and client systems within a community while studying community wellness. Many community nursing classes take an interdisciplinary approach, combining public health, social science, and behavioral science methods. Nurses learn how to assess communities, implement community health policies, and evaluate health services.
Population-Based Health: Classes on population-based health explore methods that promote public health. Learners may study disease prevention on a global scale, local health promotion, and family health nursing. Nursing students also learn about the roles that factors like lifestyle, genetics, environment, and culture play in determining health.
Leadership in Nursing: This course introduces students to nursing leadership theories and practices. Students may learn about management of care, ethical practice, and resource management in nursing. Learners also study the delegation process and schedule management. The course may include practicum hours where students research a problem in the field and apply an evidence-based solution.
RN-to-BSN Practicum: Online nursing students complete practicum requirements to strengthen their professional skills. During the practicum, students may complete onsite training in areas like nursing leadership, community health nursing, and public health nursing. Depending on the program, the practicum may also incorporate an evidence-based project. Because RNs already bring clinical training to their BSN degree, many online RN-to-BSN programs require fewer than 100 practicum hours.
Featured Online Schools
Online RN-to-BSN Program Concentrations
Many online RN-to-BSN programs include concentrations that allow students to specialize their skills. Offerings vary by program, but we cover several common concentrations below.
Nursing Leadership: During a nursing leadership concentration, students complete courses on healthcare management, preparing for leadership roles in the field. They may also manage a leadership project to build hands-on skills.
Pediatrics: A pediatrics concentration prepares nurses for roles in pediatric nursing in primary and acute-care settings. The program may include clinical rotations in pediatric care settings.
Primary Care: Primary care concentrations may include courses on nursing practice across the lifespan and a family systems approach to nursing. The concentration prepares nurses for roles in primary care settings.
Gerontology: A concentration in gerontology provides training in caring for elderly patients, including end-of-life and hospice care. Learners study topics like acute care, chronic illnesses, and palliative care. Graduates may work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and rehabilitative care centers.
Public Health: This concentration trains nurses to incorporate evidence-based practice in caring for population health. Nurses learn to promote immunizations, prevent infection, and evaluate environmental health.
Online RN-to-BSN Program Requirements
Online RN-to-BSN programs often set several requirements for admission. Most of these programs require an associate degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited nursing program. RN-to-BSN programs may also require a minimum GPA for admission, which typically ranges from 2.5-3.0. Applicants who do not meet this requirement may apply for provisional admission, depending on the program.
Before entering an online RN-to-BSN program, nurses typically need a state-issued RN license, which requires passing the NCLEX-RN exam. Nursing students must hold a valid RN license in the state in which they plan to complete the BSN program’s clinical requirements.
Online RN-to-BSN programs may also require at least one year of professional experience in nursing for admission. However, other programs admit students directly from an RN program. Because admission requirements vary by program, nurses should carefully research the requirements for each prospective program.
Steps to Earn a BSN
Enroll in an RN-to-BSN Program. Before enrolling in an RN-to-BSN program, RNs must meet several requirements, including holding a current RN license in the state in which they plan to complete the program’s clinical requirements.
Nursing students may also need to submit a portfolio demonstrating their educational and professional experience. Many RN-to-BSN programs grant credit for this portfolio, which saves students time and money on a BSN degree.
Complete Academic Courses. RNs earning a BSN degree typically complete around 30 credits of nursing coursework, divided between classroom-based instruction and clinical requirements. The curriculum often includes courses on topics like evidence-based practice, nursing leadership, and community nursing. Depending on the program, online nursing students may watch pre-recorded lectures, attend virtual classes, and participate in online discussions with fellow students. Many nursing programs use an asynchronous format, which does not require set meeting times.
Complete Clinicals or Work Experience Requirements. Most RN-to-BSN programs include clinical requirements. Clinical hours may emphasize areas like public health nursing, community nursing, and nursing leadership. Students pursuing a specific concentration may complete additional clinical hours in that field. Online nursing students can typically complete clinical requirements at an approved local site. Working nurses may be able to meet this requirement at their current workplace.
Complete a Capstone Project. Many online BSN programs incorporate a capstone project at the conclusion of the degree. Students may design a project to improve patient health outcomes or implement a new policy in a healthcare setting. A faculty member or praeceptor may supervise the capstone project. Like the clinical requirement, the capstone project applies classroom training in a real-world setting. Nurses expand their professional practice while building leadership skills. After completing the capstone project and meeting all other graduation requirements, online nursing students earn their BSN degree.
2020 Best Online RN-to-BSN Programs
#1 University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida, a public research institution founded in 1963, offers a fully online 30-credit RN-to-BSN program that students can complete in 3-10 semesters.
The program allows current registered nurses to continue working while they earn a bachelor’s in nursing. The curriculum prepares learners for supervisorial positions such as case manager and nurse consultant. Graduates can also pursue master’s studies after earning the BSN. Three classes, or nine credits, from this bachelor’s program can transfer toward a master’s in nursing degree.
Registered nurses can receive up to 29 prior learning credits. UCF delivers this post-licensure program entirely online. However, learners can choose to take some classes at a regional campus or at the Health First Education Center in Melbourne.
The University of Central Florida is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Average In-State Tuition: $4,478
Average Out-of-State Tuition: $19,810
#2 Drexel University
Drexel University is one of the largest private institutions in the nation and maintains a community of online learners from around the world. The university offers more than 80 undergraduate programs, including a fully online bachelor’s RN-to-BSN degree. Students can complete the program in as few as 12 months, without visiting campus.
Drexel’s RN-to-BSN program comprises four, 10-week quarters, and students can transfer up to 90 credits (135 quarter credits) from an associate or diploma program. Learners may require up to three years to graduate.
Students gain practical experience and take exams using software such as Shadow Health. During their final year, learners test their knowledge and skills through a nursing capstone. Applicants must hold a registered nurse license. Tuition remains fixed for three years. Drexel University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Average Tuition: $50,874
#3 Keiser University
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL
Based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Keiser University is a private school founded in 1977. Keiser offers an online bachelor’s RN-to-BSN program for registered nurses. Learners can choose to take some classes in person on one of 18 campuses.
Students in this accelerated online program can graduate in 12 months, and those with transfer credits may graduate more quickly. Students who hold a current Florida registered nurse license can also pursue Keiser’s hybrid RN-to-BSN program.
RN-to-BSN students complete 120 credits and prepare to work in diverse settings. Coursework covers topics including care coordination, nursing research and translation, information management, and advocacy and policy work. Students who plan to apply for the master’s in nursing degree program should take an elective course in health promotion and disease prevention.
Admission requirements include an associate degree or diploma in nursing. Applicants must submit proof of an active registered nurse license. Keiser University is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Average Tuition: $19,008
#4 Santa Fe College
Founded in Gainesville, Florida, as a community college in 1965, Santa Fe College now maintains seven campuses and offers online courses. The 120-credit online RN-to-BSN program admits registered nurses who hold an associate in nursing degree from an accredited school.
While students can complete most course requirements online and asynchronously, the program includes one lab and two clinical experiences. Students can enroll part time or full time. The curriculum prepares nurses to pursue management positions. Required courses include nursing research, leadership and management, health assessment, and pharmacology.
Students can begin the program in the spring, summer, or fall. Applicants must possess a current registered license, and Santa Fe College offers four scholarships for students who have a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Santa Fe College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Average In-State Tuition: $1,872
Average Out-of-State Tuition: $7,418
#5 Maryville University
SAINT LOUIS, MO
A private college in St. Louis, Missouri, Maryville University offers an online RN-to-BSN program. The flexible program allows licensed registered nurses who hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing to pursue their bachelor’s degree while working full time.
The fully online program includes no in-person requirements. Maryville delivers online classes in asynchronous and synchronous formats, and students can graduate in as few as three semesters.
Learners develop practical skills through coursework in individual and family assessment, nursing research pathophysiology, and clinical nursing practice. Students complete 89 credits, including 64 general education credits and 25 nursing credits.
Maryville University also offers a master of science in nursing with six specialization options. Applicants to the master’s program can choose from three start dates. Maryville University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Average Tuition: $26,070
#6 Florida International University
A public four-year school, Florida International University has offered distance learning programs for two decades. FIU delivers more than 100 online degrees, including an online RN-to-BSN degree. Learners in the program expand their knowledge in preparation to secure high-level positions or attend graduate school.
Students typically enter the 120-program with 60 credits from an associate degree in nursing. The curriculum includes 24 nursing credits and 30 credits of clinical proficiency evaluations. Most students complete the program in about three semesters.
FIU also offers graduate tracks through which learners can pursue a master’s in nursing, doctorate in nursing practice, or Ph.D.
Applicants must have completed nursing prerequisites and an associate degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA. Florida International University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Average In-State Tuition: $4,721
Average Out-of-State Tuition: $16,529
#7 Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Founded in 1884 as a two-year college, NSU offers more than 40 online undergraduate and graduate degrees. Registered nurses with an associate degree or diploma in nursing can pursue the online RN-to-BSN degree.
NSU maintains membership in the Louisiana Transfer Degree program, which simplifies the process for learners transferring from a two-year school. RN-to-BSN students complete 30 core credits entirely online. However, students complete theory and clinical requirements in person at local healthcare facilities.
The university offers in-state tuition rates to all online students, regardless of residency. NSU offers discounted tuition rates to learners who take more than 12 credits per semester.
Northwestern State University of Louisiana is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Average In-State Tuition: $5,180
Average Out-of-State Tuition: $15,968
#8 Bay Path University
A private women’s college in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, Bay Path University offers a fully online RN-to-BSN degree. Working registered nurses typically complete the program in 18-24 months.
The curriculum comprises six-week classes, which helps students to finish the degree faster. Coursework prepares students for positions such as case manager, public health nurse, and practice manager.
Nursing faculty members provide individual mentorship, and students can access health library materials and online tutoring. Distance learners can choose to take some classes in person at a regional location.
RN-to-BSN students take asynchronous classes in research, computer applications, leadership, and healthcare policy. Learners can transfer 30-84 credits from an associate degree or diploma, and Bay Path offers six start dates.
The university also offers a fully online master’s in nursing administration program. Bay Path University is regionally accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.
Average Tuition: $34,225
#9 University of Memphis
The University of Memphis is a public four-year school offering 250 areas of study. UofM students can pursue fully online bachelor’s and master’s programs.
The 120-credit online RN-to-BSN program requires no campus visits. Nursing students gain research and technology skills to prepare for management positions. Class topics include clinical pathophysiology, pharmacology, and health assessment.
UofM offers fall, spring, and summer start dates. Applicants must possess or qualify for a registered nurse license and must have completed an associate degree in nursing or a nursing diploma.
Advisors assist learners with the admission process, as well as academic and career planning. Online students can communicate with librarians through chat or Skype.
Students can apply for scholarships through the Loewenberg College of Nursing. The University of Memphis is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Average In-State Tuition: $7,680
Average Out-of-State Tuition: $19,392
#10 Eastern New Mexico University
Founded in 1927, Eastern New Mexico University delivers classes at three campuses and online. The public university offers more than 90 programs, including an online RN-to-BSN degree designed for working nurses.
The RN-to-BSN program offers an optional accelerated pathway through which students graduate in 16 months. Learners may take up to three years to graduate. About 90% of students work full time while earning their bachelor’s in nursing degree.
The program includes courses on nursing theory, community health, leadership, ethics, and research. Students also complete community health nursing and nursing leadership practicums.
Prospective students must apply separately to the nursing program and the university. The school offers numerous financial aid options, including part-time work-study opportunities on campus. Eastern New Mexico University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Average In-State Tuition: $3,482
Average Out-of-State Tuition: $5,763
#11 Indiana University
Indiana University Bloomington offers about 140 online programs and more than 2,600 online courses. The 120-credit RN-to-BSN program allows registered nurses to earn their bachelor’s degree completely online.
Part-time students typically graduate in 18-24 months, while full-time learners can earn their degree in 12 months. Students take up to four courses per semester. The curriculum covers topics including gerontological nursing, pharmacology, data analysis, research, and nursing management.
Students can transfer up to 64 credits from a two-year college and up to 90 credits from a four-year school. Online students can access tech support, math and writing mentors and consultants, and an online orientation.
Applicants must hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing and a registered nurse license. Indiana University Online is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Average In-State Tuition: $8,371
Average Out-of-State Tuition: $28,727
#12 University of South Florida
The University of South Florida is a public research institution with locations in St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee. The university also offers online programs, including an online RN-to-BSN program. Learners pursuing the BSN gain leadership and management skills, explore patient and staff education, and obtain clinical experience.
Students can complete five part-time semesters or three full-time semesters. USF delivers the program entirely online, with the exception of 45 mandatory clinical practice hours, which students can complete at their current workplace.
Earning a BSN can help nurses advance professionally. Graduates often secure leadership positions or pursue a master’s or doctorate in nursing.
Applicants must be licensed as a registered nurse, and must hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing. The University of South Florida is regionally accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Average In-State Tuition: $4,559
Average Out-of-State Tuition: $15,473
#13 Mercer University
Established in 1833, Mercer University offers more than 130 programs, including more than 30 online degree options. Registered nurses can complete the online RN-to-BSN program in 12 months, or three semesters. Part-time students can graduate in five semesters.
Applicants must be registered nurses who hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing. Mercer delivers RN-to-BSN coursework asynchronously, allowing learners to complete program requirements at their convenience. However, students must complete 45 clinical practicum hours in Georgia and attend an on-campus orientation.
Students gain skills in nursing, informatics, pharmacological principles, and health assessment. The university offers start dates in the fall, spring, and summer. Nurses who live and work in another state may receive admission on a conditional basis.
Mercer University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Average Tuition: $24,822
#14 Mary Baldwin University
A private liberal arts institution, Mary Baldwin University offers a fully online RN-to-BSN degree through the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences.
Applicants to this post-licensure program must have a current nursing license. MBU delivers online classes asynchronously, and students can request in-person assistance. Most learners complete the RN-to-BSN program in 3-5 semesters, but students can take up to five years.
The 120-credit program includes coursework in professional nursing leadership, informatics, research, pathophysiology, and evidence-based practice. Learners also complete a community health practicum.
Students who plan to pursue a master’s degree can enroll in the RN-to-BSN-to-MSN track, which generally requires 7-8 semesters. Mary Baldwin University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Average Tuition: $30,690
#15 Eastern Florida State College
Established in 1960, Eastern Florida State College maintains four campuses and delivers online learning opportunities. The online RN-to-BSN program offers an affordable and accessible option for practicing nurses who hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing.
Applicants to the 120-credit program must hold a Florida registered nurse license. Most students transfer about 60 credits from their associate program. Individuals who qualify for a license or who are in the final year of their associate degree can also apply.
The fully online curriculum builds on the working knowledge students gained in the field. Classes focus on leadership, healthcare policy, gerontology, and evidence-based practice. Electives help learners develop skills in areas such as healthcare research, management of long-term care facilities, and therapeutic communication. Learners must also complete a capstone course or a study abroad capstone.
Eastern Florida State College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Average In-State Tuition: $1,892
Average Out-of-State Tuition: $7,573
#16 Oklahoma State University
Founded in 1890, Oklahoma State University offers more than 200 undergraduate majors, 79 master’s degrees, and 45 doctoral programs. The fully online bachelor’s in nursing program provides evidence-based practice to help registered nurses prepare for jobs in research centers, schools, law firms, and home health centers.
Learners can complete the 120-credit program full time or part time. Students can pursue the bachelor’s degree completely online or in a hybrid format. Required courses include health issues in gerontology, health assessment, leadership and management, epidemiology, and nursing research.
Applicants must hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing and a minimum 2.5 GPA. OSU offers scholarships for transfer students, including out-of-state learners. Oklahoma State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Average In-State Tuition: $5,366
Average Out-of-State Tuition: $20,877
#17 Wichita State University
Wichita State University is based on a 330-acre campus and maintains an online learning community. WSU offers a 120-credit online RN-to-BSN program, which helps students develop practical leadership skills. Learners can take all courses online and can graduate in as few as three semesters.
Students take eight-week classes in a sequential order, beginning with classes in health assessment, evidence-based nursing, and leadership. WSU emphasizes applied learning opportunities. While pursuing the BSN, nursing students complete a leadership practicum through a local agency. Learners also take courses in clinical pharmacology, pathophysiology, evidence-based nursing, and ethics.
All online students pay in-state tuition rates. Applicants must submit transcripts from an associate degree or diploma in nursing. Applicants must hold licensure as a registered nurse or be on track to earn their license within eight weeks of starting the program. Wichita State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Average In-State Tuition: $6,709
Average Out-of-State Tuition: $15,890
#18 Concordia University-Saint Paul
SAINT PAUL, MN
A private Christian liberal arts school, CSP delivers classes online and on its Minnesota campus. Learners can pursue an online RN-to-BSN degree to study on their schedule. Online students complete nursing practice requirements in their local community.
The 120-credit curriculum builds on the knowledge that registered nurses develop in the field. Applicants must hold current licensure as a registered nurse. Students take 36 core credits in areas including ethics, transcultural nursing, evidence-based practice, informatics, and case management. During the final capstone, students create a portfolio and undertake a practice experience.
Applicants must hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing and a minimum 2.75 GPA. Prospective students submit college transcripts and a personal essay. Concordia University, St. Paul is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Average Tuition: $22,275
#19 McKendree University
Founded in 1828, McKendree University offers on-site classes in Lebanon, Radcliff, and at the Center at Scott Air Force Base. Students can choose from 59 majors and 45 minors.
MCK offers an online RN-to-BSN program, which students typically complete within five, eight-week semesters. The flexible program is ideal for working adults, military members, and students with families. Learners complete two practicums in a healthcare setting, which may be the student’s current workplace.
The university offers a free application process. Graduates of partnering community colleges, including Illinois Eastern Community College, John A. Loga College, and Kaskaskia College, can receive a 10% tuition discount. McKendree University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Average Tuition: $29,420
#20 Thomas Edison State University
TESU offers 90 online programs, including the online RN-to-BSN program. Registered nurses earning their BSN online through TESU can learn at their own pace while working full time.
Students complete 12-week terms and can graduate in 28 months. The university offers rolling admissions, allowing students to begin the program at any time.
Learners must complete at least three credits per year. The 120-credit program includes 12 graduate credits, which students can apply toward a master’s in nursing. The RN-to-BSN curriculum covers topics including advanced health assessment, health policy, nursing informatics, and financial management.
TESU maintains partnerships with 18 New Jersey community colleges. Students can transfer up to 90 credits from an associate degree. Applicants must hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing. Thomas Edison State University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
Average In-State Tuition: $7,519
Average Out-of-State Tuition: $9,967
#21 Bethel College
Bethel College is a Christian institution that offers classes online and at its campus in Mishawaka, Indiana. Ideal for working professionals, the accelerated online RN-to-BSN program allows students to graduate as quickly as one year. Most students take about 20 months to earn the degree.
The fully online program includes foundational coursework in Christian ethics, and students complete 120 credits. Major courses cover topics including informatics, health assessment, ethics, leadership and management, and global health.
Learners can choose from six start dates. Applicants must hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing and a valid registered nurse license. Students can transfer up to 90 credits toward the bachelor’s degree, and applicants must submit transcripts showing at least a 2.5 GPA.
Bethel College is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Average Tuition: $8,320
#22 East Carolina University
East Carolina University offers 126 online degrees and certificates in fields including business, communications education, health, industrial technology, and nursing.
Students can complete the online RN-to-BSN program in 16 months. Learners gain leadership skills while completing coursework in nursing research, professional communication, leadership and finance, clinical scholarship, and evidence-based practice. Students join a cohort and benefit from faculty and peer support. The program culminates with a practice experience capstone.
Students enroll in two courses per semester. Although all program courses are entirely online, learners must complete some in-person requirements. For example, the professional communication course often requires students to conduct in-person interviews with nursing experts.
Applicants must hold an associate degree or diploma and a North Carolina registered nurse license. Prospective students apply separately to the university and the nursing college. East Carolina University is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Average In-State Tuition: $4,452
Average Out-of-State Tuition: $20,729
#23 Loyola University
NEW ORLEANS, LA
Founded in 1904, Loyno is a private institution offering 19 undergraduate and graduate degrees. The university delivers five online programs, including a 120-credit RN-to-BSN program designed for working nurses.
Students can complete the online program within three and a half years. Graduates often work as nurse administrators, nurse managers, nurse consultants, and charge nurses. Learners specialize their education through electives in language and cultures, sociology, and psychological sciences.
Major courses cover topics including population health, health assessment, nursing leadership, and spirituality in health and illness. Students can apply up to 64 associate credits toward the BSN degree.
Loyno also offers a master’s degree in nursing. Loyola University New Orleans is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Average Tuition: $38,126
#24 New Mexico State University
LAS CRUCES, NM
New Mexico State University offers more than 60 online programs and 500 online courses. Registered nurses from various backgrounds enroll in the online RN-to-BSN program.
Most applicants have completed general education credits while earning an associate degree or diploma in nursing. RN-to-BSN students typically take 9-12 credits each semester, and most part-time learners complete the program in four semesters.
The 120-credit curriculum covers subjects including informatics, theoretical foundations, human resources management, fiscal management, health assessments, and epidemiology. With permission from the program coordinator, students can take up to 12 graduate-level credits, which they can apply toward a master’s degree in nursing.
The program admits students once per year, and classes begin in the fall. New Mexico State University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Average In-State Tuition: $5,515
Average Out-of-State Tuition: $20,599
#25 Immaculata University
Immaculata University, a private Christian institution founded in 1920, offers more than 60 majors and minors. The online RN-to-BSN program features a cohort learning experience with seven-week and eight-week classes. The program offers an accelerated path, which students can complete in less than two years.
The program requires 126 credits, and students can graduate more quickly by applying previous credits toward the degree. The university offers credit for work experience and accepts up to 72 transfer credits.
Immaculata also offers an RN-to-MSN program, which allows registered nurses to directly pursue a master’s, without first earning a bachelor’s degree.
Applicants must hold a valid registered nurse license and must submit official transcripts. Immaculata University is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Average Tuition: $26,500
In creating the following list of the top online BSN programs for RNs, reviewers considered multiple factors. Student-reported satisfaction rates played a major role in the rankings, with reviewers using resources such as PayScale and Rate My Professors to glean meaningful insights into institution-specific trends.
Earning potential is also a critical evaluation factor, accounting for 30% of each school’s overall score. Reviewers supplemented these essential criteria by looking at student retention data, admission rates, and program affordability. Together, these factors combine to create a reliable way to conduct at-a-glance comparisons to help you discern the best school for your needs and goals.
For an in-depth breakdown of how we calculate each ranking, check out our Methodology page.