The 25 Best RN to BSN Programs Online for 2019

As the American population continues to age, the healthcare industry’s demand for highly qualified nurses grows. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the job outlook for registered nurses to grow 15% between 2016-26, much faster than the national average for jobs as a whole. You can get your RN license with an associate degree or diploma in nursing, but many nurses choose to earn their bachelor’s of science in nursing.

Earning a BSN can help nurses advance their careers into positions with greater responsibility and better pay. Also, many employers increasingly prefer or require nursing candidates that hold a bachelor’s. Registered nurses with an associate degree or diploma in nursing can earn their BSN in under one year of full-time study while still working a full-time nursing job in many RN to BSN online programs. Most programs offer all coursework online, with an in-person clinical component that students complete at a healthcare facility in their local community.

In developing this ranking, our editors began with an initial pool of 143 colleges and universities offering an accredited online RN to BSN program. We then narrowed this pool to include only those schools ranked in the top 200 institutions offering online undergraduate degrees, according to US News & World Report. Finally, we applied the rating and ranking methodology above to determine the top 25 RN to BSN online programs. In the cases where two or more schools were awarded the same number of points based on the methodology, the more affordable program received the higher ranking.

Tuition and enrollment data was sourced from College Navigator, and return-on-investment data from PayScale.com.

If you are looking for more general information regarding online learning check out our ranking for the best online colleges.

Rating and Ranking Methodology
Tuition Points:

  • Under $1,000—1 point
  • Under $750—2 points
  • Under $500—3 points
  • Under $250—4 points

US News and World Report Recognition as a Top School for Online Bachelor’s Programs

  • Top 10—6 points
  • Top 25—5 points
  • Top 50— 4 points
  • Top 100 —3 points
  • Top 150 —2 points
  • Top 200 —1 point

Customization Options

  • Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, Accelerated, Degree Completion, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
  • Content Customizations (e.g. Minors, Concentrations, Specializations, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option (5-point cap)

Wow Factor

  • 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us

The following ranking is the 25 best online RN to BSN degree programs.

#25 –University of Cincinnati

Online Nursing RN to BSN

Website
Points: 7

Registered nurses can earn their bachelor’s in science online through the College of Nursing at the University of Cincinnati. The RN to BSN online program offers six start dates each year, a personal advisor who stays with each student from start to finish, and a curriculum that focuses on developing nurse leaders. Students must complete nine courses, including scientific basis for evidence-based practice, gerontological nursing practice, and informatics for professional nurses. They also complete a three-credit capstone experiences course. Full-time learners can complete the BSN in nine months, or two semesters. Two part-time options take either 12 months (three semesters) or five semesters.

#24 –California State University—Dominguez Hills

Online RN to BSN Degree Program

Website
Points: 7

The online bachelor’s of science in nursing from California State University – Dominguez Hills accepts registered nurses or students almost done with their associate in nursing degree. Learners take most courses in the program online, but some required tests must be taken in person. Requirements for admission to the RN to BSN online program include holding at least 60 transferable college credits and a minimum 2.0 GPA. Full-time students usually complete the BSN in three to four semesters. Part-time students can graduate in three years. Required courses include cultural diversity in healthcare, pathophysiology, community based nursing, and nursing research utilization.

#23 –Sacred Heart University

RN to BSN Online

Website
Points: 7

Earning a RN to BSN online degree from Sacred Heart University exposes students to issues like bioethics, clinical leadership development, and information technology for nursing practice. The CCNE-accredited program emphasizes the healing and humanity aspects of the nursing profession. Sacred Heart lets students transfer up to 90 credits towards the BSN degree and offers six start dates each year. Small class sizes and dedicated faculty members with real-world, practical nursing experience ensure students get the personal attention they need. To qualify for admission applicants need an active RN license, an associate degree or diploma in nursing, and a minimum 2.5 GPA.

#22 –Herzing University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 7

Herzing University offers distance students an RN to BSN online program with rolling admissions. Designed for working RNs, the degree takes less than 12 months to complete for full-time students. Eight-week and 16-week courses feature instructors with real-world experience. Students complete 45 hours of experiential learning, and embedded portfolios help them track their learning activities. Courses even include continuing education activities, which students can use to help renew their nursing licenses. The BSN program accepts up to 70 transfer credits towards the degree. Learners can pursue a dual credit option that lets them take credits towards a master’s of science in nursing while still in the bachelor’s program, potentially saving time and money on a graduate degree.

#21 –University of Northern Colorado

Online RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Program

Website
Points: 7

The University of Northern Colorado’s RN to BSN online degree helps registered nurses with their associate degree in nursing earn a bachelor’s of science in nursing in five terms, or 20 months. Students can enter the program in fall or spring each year, and must attend a one-day in-person orientation in Loveland, Colorado. A competitive admissions process keeps class sizes small. All faculty members of the UNC School of Nursing hold advanced nursing degrees and are registered nurses, with experience in nursing practice, teaching, and research. The 30-credit degree charges the same online tuition rate to each student, regardless of where they live.

#20 –State University of New York (SUNY)- Delhi

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 7

The RN to BSN online program at State University of New York – Delhi offers registered nurses the opportunity to continue working while they earn a bachelor’s in nursing. The 100% online degree includes precepted clinical experiences that students can complete in their local areas. The 61-credit program accepts applicants who hold an associate degree in nursing. Program length depends on how many credits a student can transfer, with most bring 60 to 80 towards the 120-credit BSN. New learners can enter the program in fall or spring each year and enroll part-time or full-time. SUNY Delhi’s School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

#19 –University of Louisiana-Lafayette

Online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) Degree Program

Website
Points: 7

You can finish the University of Louisiana Lafayette’s RN to BSN online program in just 12 months. Respected faculty with experience providing online instruction teach BSN courses such as nursing in a disaster, nursing leadership, and community health nursing with diverse populations. Students also take a capstone project class at the end of their studies. All courses last eight weeks, and learners can start the program at four different times each year. Online BSN students at UL Lafayette qualify for a variety of financial aid opportunities, including grants, scholarships, and loans. Admission to the program requires an associate degree or diploma in nursing with a minimum 2.5 GPA and an active RN license.

#18 –Columbia College

RN to BSN Online

Website
Points: 7

Columbia College’s CCNE-accredited RN to BSN online program lets working registered nurses get their bachelor’s degrees in around two years. Students gain practical skills in collaboration, clinical reasoning, and improving patient outcomes. The program offers six sessions of eight-week classes each year, with classes starting in January, February, May, June, August, and October. Columbia’s BSN curriculum explores topics such as pharmacology, women’s health, mental health nursing, medical surgical nursing, health assessment, and management in nursing. Students also take nursing practicum in their final term. To qualify for admission to the program prospective students need an associate degree in nursing and to pass the NCLEX for registered nurses.

#17 –Old Dominion University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 7

Old Dominion University traces its commitment to distance education for nurses back to 1987. Today, its RN to BSN online program offers registered nurses the opportunity to advance their careers by earning a bachelor’s of science in nursing. ODU’s online BSN lets students work one-on-one with mentor faculty members to create professional portfolios that highlight their academic and professional accomplishments. The 120-credit BSN requires learners to complete 30 credits at ODU. Nurses interested in earning a doctorate in nursing practice can pursue ODU’s BSN to DNP degree path. The nursing program at ODU holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

#16 –Pace University

RN to BSN Online

Website
Points: 8
Pace University

Pace University’s College of Health Professions lets licensed registered nurses complete their bachelor’s of science in nursing through its RN to BSN online program. RNs must hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing to qualify for admission to the program. The 100% online program takes three semesters to complete. Prospective students who meet all admission requirements receive instant enrollment, with no waiting list or entrance exam to pass. Students can take up to 12 graduate credits that count towards the BSN, getting a head start on a graduate degree in nursing. Pace offers two BSN options to RNs who hold bachelor’s degrees in fields other than nursing, including the chance to enroll in the school’s RN master’s bridge program.

#15 –Northeastern State University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 8

Northeastern State University offers a 30-credit RN to BSN online program that allows students to complete coursework in as little as 10 months. Registered nurses with associate degrees or diplomas in nursing can apply. Students can choose major areas of emphasis like research, leadership, family nursing, and community health. NSU’s RN to BSN is the first program of its kind in Oklahoma. Learners take nine upper division courses that cover topics like cultural competency, leadership, current issues in nursing, health assessment, and family health nursing. Eligible students can join the nursing honor society Zelta Delta At Large chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International.

#14 –University of North Florida

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 8

Distance students can complete the 30-credit RN to BSN online program at the University of North Florida in as little as 12 months. Nursing faculty members give learners one-on-one attention and hold expertise in their respective clinical fields. The curriculum includes hands-on experience in community nursing practice with one of UNF’s local partner agencies, like hospital outreach programs, homeless shelters, and health departments. The 30-credit BSN required courses such as perspectives in chronicity; ethical-legal concepts in nursing and healthcare; and leadership and management concepts in nursing and healthcare. Students must earn a grade of “C” or better in all major courses.

#13 –University of North Carolina- Wilmington

Online RN to BSN Degree Program

Website
Points: 9

The accredited RN to BSN online program from the University of North Carolina Wilmington takes as little as 12 months to complete. The 29-credit degree completion program includes coursework in community health nursing, gerontology, leadership, and professional nursing practice. Additionally, the end of the program includes a seven-week professional nursing practicum. Students must complete at least 31 credits towards the degree at UNCW. Several start times a year, make the program convenient for working professionals. Admissions requirements include a cumulative minimum 2.5 GPA, at least 24 transferable credits, a current registered nurse license, and an associate degree or diploma in nursing.

#12 –Arizona State University

Online Nursing RN to BSN

Website
Points: 9

The 38-credit RN to BSN online program from Arizona State University includes ten seven-and-a-half-week classes in subjects like innovation in nursing, health promotion across the lifespan, and nursing research. Applicants must hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing to qualify for admission to the program. BSN majors can finish their degree in as little as 15 to 18 months. Students must complete at least 30 credits at ASU and maintain a cumulative minimum 2.0 GPA to graduate. BSN graduates from ASU surpass the national average pass rate for the NCLEX by ten percentage points.

#11 –Brandman University

RN to BSN Online

Website
Points: 9

Brandman University’s CCNE-accredited RN to BSN online program offers a variety of enrollment options, including for registered nurses who hold an ADN or ASN; individuals scheduled to take the NCLEX; and students currently pursuing an ADN or ASN at a regionally-accredited school, who can request dual enrollment. Nursing core courses investigate issues like cultural diversity in health, nursing’s public image, improving patient care outcomes, and health care reform. The BSN program accepts full-time and part-time students, with full-time students completing the core curriculum in one year. All learners attend a three-day immersion session, either on-campus in Irvine, California, or virtually.

#10 –University of Nebraska

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 9

Registered nurses with a diploma or associate degree in nursing can earn a BS in nursing through the RN to BSN online program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. UNMC’s program incorporates recommendations from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Institute of Medicine, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the Carnegie Foundation. Students take all courses online, with some occasionally requiring learners to log on at a specific time for live instruction. UNMC’s relationships with more than 100 health care institutions in Nebraska make it easy for learners to find a clinical education site. The program admits students three times each year, in January, May, and August.

#9 –California University of Pennsylvania

RN to BSN Online

Website
Points: 9

California University of Pennsylvania’s RN to BSN online nursing program accepts registered nurses with an associate degree or diploma in nursing. The fully online, CCNE-accredited program takes three full-time semesters or four part-time to complete. Each term, students take two eight-week courses and one 16-week course. The curriculum explores topics like evidence-based practice, nursing research, contemporary issues in nursing, and community health. Cal U also offers partnerships with other Pennsylvania universities that allow students to complete their degrees more quickly. BSN majors with a minimum 3.0 GPA qualify for membership in the honors society Pi Rho, which offers continuing education and networking opportunities to members.

#8 –University of Central Florida

Online Nursing RN to BSN

Website
Points: 9

Distance learners can earn a RN to BSN online at the University of Central Florida. Students can complete the CCNE-accredited degree for registered nurses completely online. The curriculum includes 30 credits of coursework, which students can complete in as little as three semesters. Applicants must hold an associate degree or complete a minimum of 12 general education credits from UCF plus complete two years of high school or college foreign language to qualify for admission to the program. BSN students can also take up to nine graduate-level credits while enrolled in the bachelor’s program, getting a headstart on a nursing graduate degree.

#7 –Sam Houston State University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 9

Sam Houston State University offers a RN to BSN online degree for currently licensed, registered nurses in Texas who passed or qualify to take the NCLEX-RN exam. Students can take all courses online and attend part-time or full-time. The 121-credit degree requires learners to complete 59 prerequisite credits before acceptance into the program. Applicants also need a minimum 2.5 GPA. The additional 62 required credits for the BSN include 30 credits of coursework and 32 credits in clinical practice. Students take courses like leadership and management; nursing care of infants, children and adolescents; and community nursing.

#6 –Fort Hays State University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 9

The RN to BSN online degree at Fort Hays State University lets registered nurses complete their bachelor’s degree in as little as three semesters. Students can begin the program in fall, spring, or summer. Applicants need an active RN license valid in the U.S. and a cumulative minimum 2.5 GPA. They also must pass a background check within 30 days of acceptance to the program. The 120-credit degree requires learners to earn at least 30 credits from Fort Hays. Required nursing courses last eight weeks each and include professional roles for the RN, trends facing healthcare, and quality improvement practicum.

#5 –Florida International University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 10
Florida International University

Florida International University’s RN to BSN online degree for licensed registered nurses with an associate degree in nursing requires students to complete at least 60 credits to earn the 120-credit degree. Students complete 30 credits of upper division coursework and then earn an additional 30 credits through clinical proficiency examination. Learners can take the required courses, including health assessment and professional nursing leadership, in any order they choose, full-time or part-time. To apply to the program, students must hold a minimum 2.5 GPA from a nursing associate or diploma program or a minimum 2.0 GPA from a non-nursing associate or bachelor’s degree.

#4 –University of Arkansas

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 10
University of Arkansas

The Eleanor Mann School of Nursing at the University of Arkansas offers a RN to BSN online that holds CCNE accreditation. Students can take asynchronous courses 100% online, year-round. The 30-credit program takes three semesters to complete, with full-time and part-time options. Students spend 75 clinical hours completing an evidence-based practice project in an area of their own interest with the help of a mentor. The BSN online program includes dedicated program advisors assigned to help each individual student meet their academic goals. Prospective learners can apply to enter the program in fall or spring each year.

#3 –Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 10
Penn State World Campus

Distance learners can earn a CCNE-accredited RN to BSN online through Penn State World Campus. Eligible applicants hold a registered nurse license from any state in the U.S. The 120-credit BSN includes 42 core nursing credits in classes like advanced health assessment, nursing research, and community health concepts. Student complete four courses with clinical requirements totaling 225 hours. Students can also add a certificate in nursing forensics, nursing informatics, or nursing management to their degree. Some of the credits earned for the degree can also apply to the BSN, future graduate work, or required professional education.

#2 –Ohio State University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 11

The CCNE-accredited RN to BSN online program at Ohio State University helps registered nurses with an associate degree or diploma complete their bachelor’s degree. Students can enroll in the 120-credit program in spring or autumn each year, and can attend part-time or full-time. Required nursing core courses include health care informatics, concepts in community health nursing, and evidence-based practice. Students can transfer up to 90 credits towards the degree, but must complete at least 30 at OSU. Learners must earn a grade of “C-” or better in all prerequisite courses. The admissions committee reviews applicants without a minimum 2.75 GPA on a case-by-case basis.

#1 –University of Oklahoma

Online RN to BSN Program

Website
Points: 12

The University of Oklahoma’s RN to BSN online program requires applicants to hold at least 67 prerequisite credits with a “C” average, including a minimum 2.5 GPA in the last 60 credits. Prospective students also need a current Oklahoma RN license. The 60-credit degree includes two required Saturday in-person orientation days a year and optional monthly on-campus sessions. Courses cover key nursing issues like health assessment, nursing research, and leadership in nursing. Students also complete two clinical practicums that require in-person availability. Full-time students can complete the CCNE-accredited BSN in nine months, but learners can also enroll part-time.

This concludes our ranking of the Top 25 Online RN to BSN programs for 2018.

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Updated April 2018