Do you have a compassionate soul and a keen eye for detail? If so, a bachelor’s in nursing might be a good choice for you. Registered nurses spend their time helping people recover from injury and illness, spending close time with each patient to better understand how appropriate care can be provided. As a registered nurse, you must have extensive medical knowledge as well as developed interpersonal skills to better serve your patients.
What kind of nursing degree should you get?
Aspiring registered nurses can take one of three pathways to achieve their career goals. You can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, an Associate’s degree in Nursing, or a diploma from an approved nursing program. Whichever option you choose, you will eventually need to obtain licensure at the national level.
To become a nurse, you generally need a minimum of an associate’s degree or a diploma in nursing. That being said, more employers prefer to hire Registered Nurses who have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This kind of degree enhances your competitiveness in an increasingly competitive job market, and also increases the number of jobs for which you can apply. An online degree will be offered in a flexible setting, allowing you to earn a degree even if you are already working as a nurse.
Still not convinced that nursing is the right choice for you – or want to explore all the other great colleges the online platform has to offer? Make sure you check out our ranking of the Best Online Colleges.
How much money do people make with a nursing degree?
Nurses earn high average starting salaries. The median wage for registered nurses is around $70,000. Generally, nurses who work in a government setting earn the highest starting salaries, while those who work in state, local, and private hospitals follow closely behind.
The best part about earning your bachelor’s in nursing is that you have a high likelihood of finding a job immediately after graduation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a much higher than average growth rate for nurses between 2016 and 2026 – a rate that is well over 15 percent.
What can you do with a degree in nursing?
A degree in nursing will prepare you to enter into a number of positions in the medical field. You may be able to specialize in a certain area of nursing, and you’ll also be given more responsibility in a hospital setting than you would with only an associate’s degree. You can move into a supervisory position and become a leader among your peers as well.
As a nurse, you will be required to provide and coordinate patient care, as well as educate your patients about their health. You will need to take detailed records of your patients’ symptoms and medical histories, and to administer medicines and treatments. There are many possibilities for nurses beyond basic medical care, meaning you can become a specialized nurse who works in a specific area of practice, like addiction, critical care, genetics, or rehabilitation.
What are the requirements for a degree in nursing?
In all nursing programs, regardless of which kind you pursue, you will take courses in anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, nutrition, social and behavioral sciences, and anatomy. You will likely also be required to take a core set of liberal arts courses. Most programs will take a minimum of two or three years to complete. Just about all programs will require some kind of supervised clinical experiences.
Keep in mind that while you can often obtain a nursing position with a diploma or associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree in nursing will allow you to pursue an administrative position as well as a role in research or teaching. A nursing degree will prepare you to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination, as well as to pursue additional certifications in areas like ambulatory care or pediatrics.
What are the best nursing degrees?
Look for a nursing degree that is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. These governing bodies help to ensure that a nursing program enables students to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination, which is essential for obtaining work as a nurse no matter where you live.
You should also look for a program that offers high return on investment. Find a degree that works with your specific schedule and career goals, allowing you to earn your education in the most accommodating setting for your needs. A good online program will be affordable and high quality, allowing you to earn your nursing degree without requiring you to change locations.
See our rankings methodology page.
University of Florida
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $15,283
Located in Gainesville, Florida, the University of Florida is known for having one of the most vibrant and successful online campuses in the country. As an active participant and contributor to research in health and medicine, the school is the home to many important clinics and research centers. The University of Florida Health Cancer Center is one of the most distinguished in the country. The College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and offers a superb RN to BSN program to online learners.
The online RN to BSN degree at the University of Florida is designed for working adults who want to go back and complete their undergraduate degrees. It emphasizes leadership in the healthcare field, enabling students to promote wellness and prevent illness. In addition to a final supervised clinical experience in your hometown, you will be required to take classes such as:
- Principles of Leadership
- Finances in Regulatory Environments
- Health Assessment
This degree is offered in a flexible, affordable setting, allowing students to receive the analytical and management skills they need to succeed in any endeavor. This degree can be completed entirely online and is approved by the Florida Board of Nursing along with being fully accredited. Through this program, you can receive a basic Bachelor of Science in Nursing or go on to pursue additional certifications to work in areas like hospice, pediatrics, home care, or more.
George Washington University
College Choice Score: 94.37
Average Net Price: $37,638
George Washington University, located in Washington, D.C., offers an RN to BSN completion program that allows for part-time completion of a degree in just four semesters. This university is located in an ideal setting, and although it is a private school, it is highly research-driven. The university is home to multiple research centers and institutes, such as the McCormick Genomic and Proteomic Center and the Cancer Institute. Ranked as one of the best schools by U.S. News & World Report, its online campus is a fantastic avenue through which to earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, this degree requires 21 credits of online study. Although it requires a professional portfolio and extensive online coursework, it does not require a practical experience. The degree emphasizes nursing skills and knowledge in basic areas such as:
- Population Health
- Public Health Nursing
- Medical Informatics
- Leadership Coaching in Nursing
- Health Economics and Finance
Interestingly, George Washington’s nursing school offers fixed-rate tuition for all programs. This means that your tuition won’t go up while you are still enrolled at school. Furthermore, the university partners with George Washington Hospital, allowing students a fast-track to job opportunities and related scholarships if they so choose. George Washington also hosts the Nursing Scholars program, which allows for full tuition reimbursement in exchange for a service commitment.
College Choice Score: 94.22
Average Net Price: not reported
Allen College is located in Waterloo, Iowa, and is a private institution that is dedicated solely to healthcare education. The school is a leader in the field, attracting distinguished faculty members and providing students with exceptional opportunities for employment upon graduation. The RN to BSN program is a degree completion program designed specifically for RNs residing in the state of Iowa, but can meet requirements for students studying in other states as well.
Allen is unique in that it provides 40 hours of prior learning credit for RN licensure, making it easier than ever for students to earn their degrees. The curriculum spans 124 credit hours, building on general education in the liberal arts before moving on to provide specific professional training in areas like healthcare communications and community health nursing. A leadership-focused program, the degree requires coursework in topics like:
- Evidence Based Practice and Nursing Research
- Health Policy, Law, and Ethics
- Community and Public Health Nursing
- Nursing Informatics
Despite being a private college, Allen offers several options to make a bachelor of science more affordable for its students. The RN-BSN program offers an automatic 25 percent tuition scholarship, with other possible discounts available. Tuition starts at just $629 per credit hour, an affordable rate in itself. With a student-to-faculty ratio of just 15:1 and strong clinical components at the heart of this program, its overall value and quality cannot be emphasized enough.
University of South Florida
College Choice Score: 94.08
Average Net Price: $11,766
A public institution founded in 1956, the University of South Florida is a research institution with multiple campuses throughout the state. The online campus offers dozens of programs to make earning a degree just a little bit easier. The RN to Bachelor’s program at the University of South Florida allows students with an Associate Science of nursing and an RN license to receive a Bachelor of Science with just 30 credit hours of coursework. A fully online program, the degree can be completed in five part-time semesters or three full-time semester, along with a strong experiential component.
The Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of South Florida is designed for the modern registered nurse, allowing practicing nurses the ability to build degrees that specifically meet their individual career goals. The program focuses on leadership and management, patient education, and clinical excellence. Required courses include high-quality studies in areas such as:
- Information Technology Skills for Nurses
- Nursing as a Profession
- Educational Role of the Nurse in Healthcare
- Foundations of Nursing Healthcare Leadership and Management
- Population Health
The University of South Florida is one of only four public universities in Florida categorized as being in the top tier of research universities – an accolade gained by only 2.3 percent of all universities. The school offers a dynamic learning environment that emphasizes collaboration, community engagement, and research. Ranked as one of the Best Value Schools by U.S. News & World Report, the school has a high student freshman rate (which is indicative of student satisfaction and institutional support) of 89 percent.
Texas A & M University-College Station
College Choice Score: 92.44
Average Net Price: $19,554
This school offers an exceptional online RN to BSN program that can be completed entirely online. It is designed for working nurses who already have RN licensure through approved pathways. Texas A&M is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and the nursing college is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
This degree can be completed in a single year, eighteen months, or two-years of core coursework. Each pathway selected requires 30 credit hours of study that build on crucial nursing concepts. Candidates also gain training in professional dimensions and learn how to make evidence-based decisions and incorporate themes like nursing informatics and pharmacology in their daily work. All distance learners will complete supervised practicums at local healthcare facilities, in addition to classes on topics such as:
- Nursing Dimensions and Informatics for the RN
- Health Promotion Across the Lifespan for the RN
- Leadership and Management for the RN
- Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for the RN
- Application of Evidence-Based Practice for the RN
The College of Nursing at Texas A&M was designed to address the critical nursing shortage in the state of Texas, and as a result fosters social responsibility in its students. Numerous community service and leadership opportunities are available to students, as are research innovations that help students make the most of their studies. All of these components add up to an education that is based on initiating best practices through relevant clinical research.
University of Massachusetts–Amherst
College Choice Score: 92.11
Average Net Price: $21,281
A public university founded in 1863, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst is the flagship university in the University of Massachusetts network. With over 90 majors to choose from, as well as the ability to design your own major, the school offers flexible courses to suit any budget or career goal. This highly diverse university has students attending from 50 states and over 75 countries, allowing for diverse discussions and convenient online course delivery. The school offers a competitive online Bachelor of Science in Nursing, combining theoretical coursework with experiential, hands-on learning.
This degree requires 120 credit hours, 60 of which must be completed before beginning the program. Students who already have RN licensure may receive up to 30 credits in exchange. This program can be earned remotely, allowing students to complete their studies while continuing to care for patients and to meet their other life commitments. A capstone project is required, as is coursework in topics such as:
- Nursing Care of Families
- Professional Role in Nursing
- Cultural Diversity in Health and Illness
- Writing in Nursing Ethics
- Community Health Nursing
This program is unique in that it can be started in either the spring or summer, and finished in just a single year. Online learners are given access to the same opportunities as on-campus learners, such as a graduation ceremony and other celebratory activities. All online students receive the same access to course materials and close faculty attention while they are enrolled, benefiting from university resources like library and research holdings. Online tuition and on-campus tuition are the same. As a result, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst is ranked one of the country’s Best Value Schools as well as one of the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report.
College Choice Score: 91.60
Average Net Price: $18,757
Located in Clemson, South Carolina, Clemson University is a large public institution that was founded in 1889. A land-grant institution that engages in high-quality research to benefit the public, the school has a large enrollment of nearly 20,000 students. Clemson offers an exceptional online accelerated RN to BSN completion program, allowing candidates who already possess licensure as an RN to earn a BSN in just a single year. Requiring no clinical experiences, the program does include a two-day on-campus orientation. The program can be completed on either a full- or part-time basis, with all classes delivered asynchronously.
This degree includes 32-credit hours of professional skills development. It focuses on transitioning the RN to the role of the more advanced and highly educated nurse, expanding each student’s knowledge base in core nursing topics. Students will take extensive coursework in topics related to management, nursing research, and communication, with core courses including areas such as:
- Advanced Pathophysiology
- Health Assessments
- Healthcare Genetics
- Community Nursing
Clemson is exemplary in that it boasts a student graduation rate of nearly 100 percent after three months. As a designated National League for Nursing Center of Excellence in Nursing Education, the quality of this program cannot be surpassed. The program offers entry in both the fall and spring semesters, and allows most students to complete their studies in less than twelve months. The school has significant relationships with local technical colleges and hospitals, making it easier for students to transition no matter what stage they may be at in their careers.
George Mason University
College Choice Score: 91.39
Average Net Price: $18,629
Located in Fairfax, VA, George Mason University is a public university that was founded in 1972. The school offers a highly-praised program in nursing that is designed for candidates who seek value and academic rigor in their studies. It is designed to meet the needs of busy working professionals, and is offered entirely online in seven-week chunks. It is set up to allow for graduation within just two semesters, including 30 nursing major credits.
While this program does include a strong general education core, students generally are able to satisfy these credits by transferring in work from their associate degree programs. Most students can complete their studies in as little as two semesters consisting of ten courses total. The program requires 12 total credit hours. Prerequisites include studies in topics like Microbiology and Statistics, while core courses are project-based and are in topics such as:
- Nursing Informatics
- Vulnerable Populations
The faculty and staff at George Mason are highly involved and dedicated to student success. Each student is given access to a career advisor who can help him or her find a position in a hospital, school, or nursing home. Ranked as a Best Value School and a top National University by U.S. News & World Report, George Mason’s value and quality cannot be surpassed. The school boasts global distinction in a range of academic fields, as well as faculty who have received some of academia’s highest honors. Students have unrivaled internships and research opportunities, securing positions at some of the top hospitals in the country.
University of Wisconsin–Madison
College Choice Score: 91.06
Average Net Price: $15,910
The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a large urban college with a vibrant online campus. The school has a commitment to public service, building upon the idea that all education should enhance others’ lives outside of the classroom as well as inside it. The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a BSN@Home program that is a top choice for candidates who have already received an associate degree or nursing diploma with at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA, making it an ideal choice for nurses who want to continue working full time while they learn how to better serve others.
This degree is designed for registered nurses who wish to continue working full-time while pursuing their educational goals. Graduation requires 124 credits, with most students completing their studies in two or two and a half years. Transfer credits are frequently accepted, with courses beginning in both the fall and spring semesters. Required classes include topics such as:
- Chronic Care Management
- Clinical Pharmacology
- Health Technology
This program is unique in that tuition is the same for all students regardless of where they live – residency in Wisconsin is not required. In addition, the School of Nursing awards over $400,000 per year in scholarships to students with exemplary academic performance and significant financial need. Classes are taught by world-class faculty members, who use their skills and research to improve the communities around them. Due in part to a high freshman retention rate (well over 95 percent and an indicator of student satisfaction), the school is ranked as one of the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report.
University of Central Florida
College Choice Score: 90.39
Average Net Price: $15,341
The University of Central Florida offers a stand-alone Bachelor of Science fully online, as well as a degree completion program. This degree is designed for practicing registered nurses from a variety of educational backgrounds. It can be completed without any time spent on the University of Central Florida’s campus, and can be finished in just three semesters of full-time study. For students preferring to study at a slower pace, ten semesters are allowed if necessary.
This program is unique in that it allows for an additional degree certificate in Aging Studies, as well as the completion of four related minors. The curriculum includes courses that help students make the transition from RN to BSN, emphasizing public health and health care policy as well as key leadership skills. Prior learning credit evaluations are available, helping students expedite their pathway to graduation. The stand-alone degree program requires 56 total credit hours, with core classes covering topics such as:
- Psychiatric Mental Health nursing
- Nursing Care of the Adult
- Health Promotion Across the Lifespan
The University of Central Florida is located in Orlando and includes over a dozen colleges and schools. It is the home of several nationally ranked departments – among them the nursing department. The school has made significant research advancements in a number of fields, and is one of the most highly regarded programs of its kind. Distance learners are eligible for discounted tuition rates and fee waivers, along with privately endowed scholarships, making it easier than ever to earn one of these nationally-recognized degrees.
Ohio State University-Main Campus
College Choice Score: 90.26
Average Net Price: $18,042
Ohio State University is located in Columbus, OH and is a large school of over 60,000 students – over 100,000 if you consider all of the university’s other locations. This school is nationally and globally recognized by U.S. News & World Report, Washington Monthly, and other ranking affiliates for its quality, affordable programs. The online RN to BSN program allows students to go on to work in a variety of diverse settings, providing them with extensive preparation in topics like professional issues in contemporary nursing, leadership and management, and more.
The curriculum of this program was designed by an elite board of faculty members, many of whom are leading clinicians, nurses, and physicians themselves. The degree, which is entirely online and requires no on-campus attendance, includes coursework in key topics such as:
- Foundations and Contemporary Issues for RNs
- Health Care Informatics
- Interprofessional Concepts
- Concepts in Community Health Nursing
- Cultural Competence in Healthcare: US and Global Contexts
The school hosts over 50 societies and 200 local and international alumni association groups to help graduates and current students find volunteer and career opportunities, as well as to engage in valuable networking experiences. With small classes and a 19:1 student-to-faculty ratio, it’s easy for students to connect in the time they are on campus as well as after they leave.
Appalachian State University
College Choice Score: 90.04
Average Net Price: $10,473
A public institution founded in 1899, Appalachian State is large, with a rural campus sitting on over 400 acres. The online campus is equally vibrant, offering many of the school’s 150 undergraduate and graduate majors. With an emphasis on hands-on learning outside of the classroom, Appalachian is a top choice for students seeking a more integrated approach to education. This school offers an incredibly flexible BSN program entirely online. The RN to BSN completion program has no traditional clinical requirements, and also awards prior learning credits for past work experience.
This degree prepares students for careers as generalists in the nursing field. It includes 124 credit hours of study, and can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. Students who hold bachelor’s degrees in other academic disciplines may adapt their studies to meet their needs, while at the same time pursuing a nursing core that emphasizes the development of professional skills. Other core required courses include:
- Human Anatomy and Physiology
- Developmental Psychology
- Human Growth and Development
The University of Texas at Arlington
College Choice Score: 89.93
Average Net Price: $12,533
The University of Texas at Arlington is located in the Dallas-Fort-Worth-Arlington metropolitan area, and has a large student population in North Texas. The school is a public research university that has been repeatedly recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for its excellence in doctoral research activity. Today, this school offers over 180 degree programs, among them the exceptional online Bachelor of Science in Nursing. This degree is great for working professionals as it takes only 15 months to complete.
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of Texas at Arlington offers exemplary training in nursing, with a graduation and licensure rate that both exceed 90 percent. The degree is offered in a blended learning model that includes faculty-supervised clinical experiences at nearby hospitals. Courses are offered in flexible formats, with each lasting anywhere between five and fourteen weeks in length. In addition to a clinical experience, each student must also complete a capstone project. Other required courses include:
- Nursing of Older Adults
- Transition to Professional Nursing
- Nursing of the Childbearing Family
University of Iowa
College Choice Score: 89.73
Average Net Price: $14,845
The University of Iowa is a public college located in Iowa City, Iowa. This school offers programs in over 200 different disciplines, all of which work to hone students’ leadership skills and commitment to public service. As a major national research university, the school works hard to incorporate liberal arts at the core of all its programs. Among the most popular programs is the RN to BSN program. In addition to a traditional pathway in this field, the school also offers an RN to BSN 3+1, which allows qualifying nursing graduates to transfer to the College of Nursing to finish their Bachelor of Nursing in one year.
All students are required to complete a practicum close to their homes. This is carried out over a 16-week semester. If students do not wish to engage in a practicum at home, they may also complete immersion practicums in Swaziland, Africa. Courses may be commenced in the fall or spring semester, with required courses including:
- Healthcare Finance
- Introduction to Human Genetics
- Community & Public Health Nursing
- Leadership & Professional Engagement with Project
College Choice Score: 89.62
Average Net Price: $21,655
Located in Omaha, Nebraska, Clarkson College offers a full-time RN to BSN program that allows students to graduate in just three semesters. Clarkson is a private college that was founded in 1888. It has a commitment to providing exemplary undergraduate programs in a hands-on setting – no matter where you may be attending from. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is designed for candidates who, by nature of their jobs or personal lives, either want or need to graduate very quickly and pursue coursework without having to relocate or change jobs.
In addition to a current nursing license and prior education, applicants to this program must also complete a technical standards form indicating that they are able to meet specific communication and cognitive competencies. Nurses who have at least two years of experience may test out of general education courses, or submit portfolios in place of certain upper-level coursework. Twenty-eight credit hours are required, with 12 in core BSN courses such as:
- Evidence-Based Inquiry in Healthcare and Population Health
- Pathophysiology and Pharmacology: Current Practices
- Concepts of Professional Practice for the RN to BSN/MSN
- Physical Assessment
- Principles of Leadership and Management for the RN to BSN/MSN
This program is tailored for aspiring nurses who seek a customizable plan of study as well as dedicated student support services. With a small student-to-faculty ratio of just 16:1, this school has a commitment to providing courses that connect civic service and hands-on practice. The undergraduate retention rate, a good indicator of student satisfaction, is over 83 percent, reflecting Clarkson’s commitment to career-focused education and exceptional student support services.
East Carolina University
College Choice Score: 89.20
Average Net Price: $13,327
Founded in 1907 and offering over 100 undergraduate degrees, East Carolina University is a leader in the fields of medicine and nursing. The school has a main campus in Greenville, North Carolina, and offers an online BSN program that is designed for nurses who already hold licensure in the state. However, candidates from other states are also encouraged to apply, as this program focuses on professional skills development and leadership expertise in the healthcare field.
In addition to extensive leadership skills development, this program also emphasizes proficiencies in nursing finance, professional communication, and evidence-based practice. Many courses include practical experiences, and each plan of study culminates in a single-semester practicum at any approved healthcare facility. This degree is designed so that it can be completed online in just four semesters, with prior learning assessment credits for education and work experience available. Required courses include:
- Nursing Research, Clinical Scholarship, and Evidence-Based Practice
- Professionalism in Baccalaureate Nursing Practice
- Nursing Leadership and Finance
- Nursing in a Global Society
- Community Health Nursing
This degree program is unique in that each course lasts either five and a half weeks, seven weeks, or a full semester, allowing students to tailor their studies to their other life commitments. Online learners are eligible for the same financial aid and experiential opportunities as are on-campus learners. For example, distance learners can apply to study abroad in places like Guatemala or apply for both need- and merit-based scholarships. The school is accredited by both the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Michigan State University
College Choice Score: 89.11
Average Net Price: $16,684
Michigan State University is located in the capital of the state, Lansing, and is a large school with over 50,000 attendees. With over 200 areas of study, the school dedicates significant resources to its undergraduate programs. It is a leader in research and has received accolades in a number of areas. Among these areas is the high-quality Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which is offered entirely online and designed specifically for busy working adults. It can be completed in just five semesters and prepares students for successful completion of the National Council Licensing Examination.
This degree is both flexible and affordable, providing students with instruction from expert faculty and skilled clinical partners. Candidates who already hold RN licensure may receive up to 30 transfer credits, with the remainder enrolled in six to eight credits per semester for a total of five semesters. Students will take hands-on coursework in topics such as:
- Community Health Nursing
- Health Promotion
- Leadership Immersion
- Population Health Nursing
This degree is ideal for busy nurses, particularly those who are interested in studying part-time. All students receive access to skilled faculty members, with each student also evaluated for scholarship eligibility during the application process. Each year, Michigan State University awards thousands of dollars in scholarship funding to students who meet certain criteria, such as academic merit, financial need, and leadership ability.
University of Delaware
College Choice Score: 88.95
Average Net Price: $16,286
The University of Delaware is located in Newark, Delaware and is one of the oldest universities in the country, founded in 1743. A large school with an enrollment of over 18,000 students, the school has a commitment to student success. With over 400 different clubs and organizations and 149 undergraduate courses of study, the school offers students numerous opportunities to succeed. With over 20 years of experience in delivering online programs, the University of Delaware rises above its peers when it comes to its online nursing program.
Courses in this program utilize the latest technologies, with video lectures, discussion groups, and real-time advisory meetings delivered in innovative, convenient ways. The degree incorporates several key themes, including research skills building, evidence-based practice, and leadership development. Other required classes include:
- Leadership and Management in Health Organizations
- Community Health Nursing
- Research Concepts in Health Care
- Wellness and Health Assessment
- Critical Issues in Health Care
The degree consists of 120 credit hours, 30 of which may be transferred in via an associate’s degree or nursing diploma. An additional 50 general education credits can be transferred in from previous college work, and all students will participate in an 84-credit hour practicum. The University of Delaware is unique in that it offers year-round classes, providing students access to coursework at any time of the year, and from any location. No matter where you live, you can enjoy access to any of the school’s myriad resources, including advising, career advisement, and even an online library. The university accepts students on a rolling basis, making it possible to begin a degree at any point throughout the year.
College Choice Score: 88.42
Average Net Price: $23,335
A private university founded in 1882, Northwestern is a small school with fewer than 1,100 students. Located in Orange City, Iowa, about 150 miles from Omaha, this school offers over 40 majors and extensive student support services. This support extends beyond the physical classroom to the online dimension as well. The RN to BSN online offers distance learners faith-based learning while taking just one eight-week course at a time. This program is customized to meet the busy schedules of working nurses, offering affordable tuition and flexible scheduling.
In this program, classes start every eight weeks with full semesters beginning in January, May, and August. The school is transfer friendly, requiring only the last 30 credits of a BSN to be completed directly at Northwestern. Up to 66 credits can be granted for work experience to nurses with at least seven years of RN experience, allowing candidates to complete their bachelor’s degrees as quickly as possible. This fully-accredited program includes coursework in topics such as:
- Shalom and Nursing Science
- Lifespan Health Assessment
- Promoting Shalom with Cross Cultural Populations
- Nursing Science and Informatics
- Nursing Leadership and Clinical Scholarship
Kent State University at Kent
College Choice Score: 88.02
Average Net Price: $18,156
Located in Kent, Ohio, Kent State University at Kent is a public university that was founded in 1910. With a large undergraduate enrollment of over 23,000 students, the school is able to provide a small-town vibe by offering extensive hands-on learning opportunities and ways for students to get involved. This school is home to over 200 campus organizations and offers hundreds of academic programs. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is an RN to BSN program that is designed to help nurses meet the complex challenges of the modern healthcare environment. It was created for nurses with diplomas or associate degrees, and is one of the country’s largest and most prestigious nursing programs.
This degree can take as little as one year to complete, with classes starting every seven weeks throughout the year. With courses offered entirely online in this CCNE-accredited degree, students learn from expert faculty who work closely with them to keep them on track and progressing toward career success. Each student receives individualized advising and program planning from personalized advisors, helping them succeed as they complete classes such as:
- Health Promotion
- Concepts and Issues for Professional Nursing Practice
- Population-Based Nursing for Professional Nursing Practice
- Health Maintenance and Restoration for Professional Nursing Practice
Each course is delivered using cutting-edge technology and with the instruction of expert nurses who are prepared at the master’s and doctoral level. Tuition is affordable, costing only $400 per credit hour regardless of residency. This is an incredible value, especially when you consider that Kent State University is a two-time designated Center of Excellence in Nursing Education by the National League for Nursing.
University of Oklahoma – Health Sciences Center
College Choice Score: 87.43
Average Net Price: not reported
The University of Oklahoma-Health Sciences Center was founded in 1971. Although the institution is relatively young, it is a top choice for prospective nursing students, offering small class sizes and an interactive curriculum. The Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral- level programs.
This program is flexible, allowing students to begin their studies in the fall or spring. Candidates enjoy an online curriculum with optional in-class attendance for monthly Saturday classes. There are no acute or bedside clinical requirements, and other clinical practicums are flexible and managed based on student work schedules. Students receive frequent contact with nationally certified, doctorally-prepared faculty, who provide them with individualized consultation and instruction. Required classes include:
- Human Experience of Disability
- Nursing Research
- Contemporary Professional Nursing
- Community Focused Nursing
- Health Assessment
This degree offers small class sizes, with a student-to-faculty ratio of just 8:1. In fact, nearly 60 percent of all classes at this school have fewer than 20 students. Because the college is dedicated to majors in the health sciences, students receive access to personally tailored services that are superior to those provided at other institutions. Courses are hands-on and involve significant amounts of technology and evidence-based research, allowing students to learn from their clinical and outside work experiences.
University of Massachusetts–Lowell
College Choice Score: 87.07
Average Net Price: $18,375
Located in Lowell, Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts offers a flexible, affordable RN to BSN program. Founded on an urban campus in 1894, this university is one of the best National Universities, according to U.S. News & World Report. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is designed for part-time nursing students, particularly those who already have some experience in the field. It is a degree completion option, offered fully online as well as in a blended online/on-campus format. This makes it more convenient than ever before to earn a high-quality undergraduate degree in a part-time setting,
This degree builds on students’ prior experiences in nursing, giving them more extensive training in topics like health assessment and community nursing. The program requires120 total credit hours to complete, but students can receive 30 credits if they already possess a license, waiving coursework in topics like college writing and human anatomy. However, other courses are required, as is a portfolio seminar in which students learn how to set goals and manage time in a healthcare setting. All students must also complete research courses in nursing. Other required classes include:
- Leadership in Nursing
- Community-Focused Project Implementation
- Health Promotion in Nursing Practicum
- Research in Nursing and Health Care
- Community-Focused Health and Policy
This program is one of the most affordable of its kind. Tuition for online courses starts at just $380 per credit hour. As a nationally recognized research university, the school offers faculty-led projects across the discipline, allowing students to integrate their nursing backgrounds with hands-on experiences. The school offers numerous connections to service learning opportunities, cooperative learning, internships, international exchange programs, and other immersive learning experiences as well.
College Choice Score: 86.84
Average Net Price: $30,540
Duquesne University is a small, Catholic university located in Pittsburgh. Although it is a private school, it is expansive, enrolling only 6,000 students but offering degrees in nearly 200 different fields of study. The university includes ten colleges and schools, including the highly accredited and respected School of Nursing. Duquesne is incredibly diverse, with a large international population of students. This is just one reason why the Bachelor of Science in Nursing is exemplary and one-of-a-kind at Duquesne.
The Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at Duquesne is flexible and emphasizes the importance of communication, both verbally and in writing. The program teaches students how to collaborate with their peers in the healthcare industry, as well as how to carry out the moral and ethical values of professional nursing practice. Offered entirely online, this program incorporates a number of cutting-edge technologies to provide candidates with a highly interactive education in subjects such as:
- Examining Contemporary Nursing and Healthcare Issues
- Information Technology in Nursing
- Pathophysiology for Nursing Practice
- Population Based Health and Community Health Nursing
- Nursing Ethics Across the Life Span
College Choice Score: 86.58
Average Net Price: $40,977
Drexel University is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and offers more than 100 different online degrees and certificate programs. This private university is known for providing students with exceptional opportunities for on-the-job experiences, with an extensive cooperative learning program that allows students to interact with over 1,600 different employers worldwide. The online Bachelor of Science in Nursing is an accredited program that is entirely career-focused. It is grounded in user-friendly, technology-supported coursework that moves beyond simple lectures and basic note taking, making it easier for students to recognize the practical implications of their coursework.
The online RN to BSN program at Drexel is designed for students who are balancing work and school with other life commitments. Distance learners receive access to unique learning technologies and support systems, working with patients directly in the one-of-a-kind Health Assessment Simulation Lab – available only at Drexel. Courses are offered in 10-week quarters, culminating in 180 quarter credits. Required classes include topics such as:
- Critical Issues in Nursing
- Genetics and Genomics: Application to Nursing Practice
- Transformational Leadership
- Health Assessment
- Complex Systems of Care: Technology, Patient Safety, and Quality
Drexel offers candidates some of the most unique learning experiences around. Students will learn about topics like global health and longevity, and even a class in community health is required. This class exposes students to population-focused practice through experiential learning opportunities. A nursing capstone is also required in the senior year. Drexel is highly affordable, offering special tuition plans for members of the American Nurse Association, community college employees, and health systems partners.
The University of Alabama
College Choice Score: 86.08
Average Net Price: $19,993
The University of Alabama is ranked as one of the best public universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Although it is a large university, with over 30,000 graduate and undergraduate students, its dozen schools are hands-on and dedicated to providing students with a sense of community. The Capstone College of Nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and is home to the dynamic RN to BSN program and the RN to BSN/MSN program, allowing students multiple opportunities for completing their degrees.
Depending on the program chosen, students can complete their degrees at a relaxed pace or in an accelerated fashion. The accelerated degree program is intended for students who plan to study full-time and graduate with a master’s in nursing. This degree program also includes a concentration in clinical nurse leadership or case management. The basic RN to BSN track consists of 25 credits that can be taken full- or part-time. Regardless of the track chosen, students will take classes in topics such as:
- Community Health
- Leadership and Management
- Role Transition in Baccalaureate Nursing
- Client Systems
This program is unique in that students can compete their clinical experience requirements locally, making it easier than ever to earn a high-quality degree. Most students can complete the RN to BSN program with just six upper-division nursing courses. The program is offered with affordable tuition, and the university provides several scholarships and other financial aid opportunities that are designed specifically for online nursing students.
California State University-Stanislaus
College Choice Score: 86.01
Average Net Price: $6,768
Located in scenic Turlock, CA, California State University-Stanislaus is a public university that was founded in 1957. The school is relatively small, with fewer than 9,000 students, yet it is rated as one of the Top Public Schools by US. News & World Report. The online RN to BSN program at Stanislaus State is designed for students who are already Registered Nurses and it gives them the opportunity for professional and educational advancement. It meets the needs of working nurses by allowing them to learn alongside other nurses in a flexible format, giving them the ability to apply real-world solutions in their current positions.
The core curriculum is comprised of 26 units and enables students to apply critical thinking and problem solving skills to problems within healthcare. Course lectures, readings, assignments, and instructor and classmate communications are all accessible 24/7 via the easy-to-use Blackboard course management system. Required classes include:
- Transcultural Nursing
- Nursing Research
- Community Health Theory
- Health Assessment
The majority of the courses in this program are provided online, although students will also meet face-to-face during the initial orientation, for community health clinicals, and for the final health assessment check off. The program can be completed in one year, with all courses delivered in ten-week sections. The program is designed in a sequential, cohort-based model, allowing students to learn from and with peers as they progress through their classes.
University of New Mexico-Main Campus
College Choice Score: 86.00
Average Net Price: $11,283
University of New Mexico is a public university with a large population of over 19,000 students. As New Mexico’s flagship university, the university offers over 350 different degree and certificate programs, many of which are within the health disciplines. The nursing program is ranked No. 5 in the nation, and the university dedicates substantial resources to improving research and development opportunities in New Mexico as well as around the world. NMSU blends world-class research with diversity and cutting-edge education, and the online nursing degree carries forth that tradition.
This entirely online nursing degree completion program consists of 30 credit hours, which can be completed in several seven-week courses. Students complete coursework that combines evidence-based practice with the latest technologies, offering students the high quality of the traditional on-campus program with the convenience and flexibility needed to continue working. Core classes consist of the following subjects:
- Care of Vulnerable Populations
- Advancement of Professional Nursing
- Research and Evidence-Based Practice
- Genetic Literacy Across the Lifespan
This affordable program costs less than $332 per credit hour, making it a highly convenient and reasonable option for working professionals. Financial aid is available for undergraduate students, as are scholarships and loan programs that are designed specifically for nursing students. As a result, New Mexico State is ranked as one of the Best National Universities as well as one of the Top Public Schools by U.S. News & World Report.
North Dakota State University-Main Campus
College Choice Score: 85.78
Average Net Price: $14,848
North Dakota State is located in Fargo, North Dakota and was founded in 1890. With a large undergraduate enrollment of roughly 12,000 students, the school nevertheless remains dedicated to providing a close-knit community feel, both on-campus and online. The RN to BSN program is offered primarily online, and is designed for registered nurses who wish to advance to a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing. This program makes it possible to work full time while earning a degree. Students can fulfill clinical experiences in their home towns, and course assignments will expand a student’s current thinking and practice in his or her current work environment.
This program includes occasional on-campus immersions, allowing students to enhance their educational and professional experiences while studying primarily online. Students will complete their studies in roughly five semesters, with courses offered in eight-week blocks. Significant experiential credits are required. These build upon a student’s prior learning and lead to success in the NCLEX. A sample plan of study might include classes such as:
- Chronicity Throughout the Lifespan
- Quality and Safety in Health Care
- Interprofessional Health Care Practice
- Evidence Based Practice and Research in Nursing
- Transcultural Nursing Care
North Dakota State students receive access to the same services they would receive on campus. They may access the library and health sciences library, as well information technology services and the writing center. Students can also receive personalized academic advising, help with registration and records services, and access to extracurricular activities. Online students are especially encouraged to join the Student Nurses’ Association and Sigma Theta Tau XI Kappa, the campus branch of the national nursing honor society.
Florida Atlantic University
College Choice Score: 85.51
Average Net Price: $10,100
Located in Boca Raton, Florida, Florida Atlantic University is yet another university with a dynamic online degree in Nursing. This public university was founded in 1961, and has a large undergraduate enrollment of over 25,000 students. The school has a commitment to providing access to a broad array of educational opportunities, and operates six campuses in Florida along with a vibrant online dimension. The Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing offers busy working professionals the opportunity to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing entirely online.
The curriculum of this program is based on national nursing standards and evidence-based practice, with coursework backed and endorsed by the American Holistic Nurses Association. It is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and provides students with the skills necessary to serve as caring leaders who are able to facilitate intra and interprofessional collaboration. Thirty-two credit hours are required, and include subjects such as:
- Foundations of Caring in Nursing Situations
- Nursing Research
- Populations Health; Nursing Situations
- Evidence-Based Practice in Nursing
- Creating Healing Environments
University of North Carolina Wilmington
College Choice Score: 85.44
Average Net Price: $16,831
A public university founded only in 1947, the University of North Carolina Wilmington is a large school with an enrollment of over 14,000 students. The online and in-person campuses are diverse and enriching, providing students with a multidisciplinary approach with internships, study abroad, research, and community-based projects at the core. The University of North Carolina Wilmington has offered some of the best nursing programs for over forty years. Although the online RN to BSN program is relatively new, it is comprehensive, allowing candidates to earn a bachelor’s in nursing in just a single year of study.
This program requires 31 credit hours of study, all of which are completed over six seven-week terms. Through hands-on, detailed coursework, students learn how to interact with a diverse body of patients. All lectures can be viewed at the student’s own pace, but each student is required to complete a final capstone experience that requires them to synthesize information from prior courses and to keep records of their professional development. Other required courses include:
- Health Assessment for Registered Nurses
- Gerontological Nursing and the End of Life Care
- Population and Community Health Nursing
- Pathophysiological and Pharmacological Evidence Based Nursing Care
- Health Policy
Each student receives access to a university counselor. This counselor helps students complete financial aid applications, prepare for nursing examinations, register for classes, and more. Tuition is affordable, starting at just $4,866 for North Carolina residents – that’s only $167 per credit hour. The school offers deep discounts to military members and has small class sizes – the average student-to-faculty ratio is just 18:1. As a result, it was ranked as one of the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report.
University of Southern Mississippi
College Choice Score: 85.18
Average Net Price: $12,506
Located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, the University of Southern Mississippi is a public institution that was founded in 1910. The school is large, with an enrollment of over 16,000 students, and offers over 180 different undergraduate and graduate degree programs. Among them is the award-winning online Nursing RN to BSN degree. This program allows students to excel in the healthcare industry, earning degrees in only a year’s worth of work. Courses can be commenced in the Fall, Spring or Summer semesters.
This program is tailored for nurses who intend to work full-time while pursuing higher education. It can be completed in just three semesters with classes available in eight-, ten-, and sixteen-week chunks. All core and prerequisite courses are available entirely online, with coursework exploring topics such as medical-surgical nursing, psychiatric nursing, maternal-child nursing, and more. General education classes are required, as is core coursework in topics such as:
- Health Promotion and Assessment
- Chronic Conditions Across the Lifespan
- Health Care Systems
- Population-Focused Nursing
Numerous scholarships are also available each year. However, all online students must complete 66 credit hours of major coursework. Thirty-four of these credits may be replaced by previously attempted nursing coursework. Offering small class sizes – the average student-to-faculty ratio is just 17:1 – and a profound commitment to student success, this university is one of the best at which to earn your online degree in nursing. Students are supported by world-class faculty who are dedicated to helping them determine their career goals, then achieve them.
Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health
College Choice Score: 84.28
Average Net Price: $20,836
The Nursing program at Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing and Allied Health is available both at the Omaha campus as well as through the online dimension. The RN to BSN program includes a curriculum that is focused largely on community health, and enables full-time students to earn their degrees in seven semesters. This program is offered entirely online to allow students to balance work and family, and has a curriculum that focuses on community-based education with relevant practical experience.
The synchronous curriculum of the online BSN at Nebraska Methodist makes it possible for students to acquire nursing fundamentals while at the same time incorporating elective courses to personalize their studies toward an area of interest. Two minors are available as options to students seeking greater diversification: one in Spanish for healthcare professionals and the other in healthcare sign language. Regardless, all students are required to complete a capstone project in which they research how nurses serve as healthcare professionals and responsible citizens. Seven credit hours of study are required, including coursework in:
- Complexity in Nursing
- Language & Culture in Healthcare
- Collaborative Nursing Leadership in a global Society
Most courses in this program last a total of five weeks, with a week off between sessions. Students may begin their studies in the fall, summer, or spring, but all applicants must hold an active nursing license and an associate degree. All online students pay the same tuition costs, no matter where they live, with Methodist Health System employees receive additional tuition assistance. The university offers multiple scholarship opportunities and also helps connect current and potential learners to external scholarship programs as well.
California State University-Chico
College Choice Score: 83.37
Average Net Price: $14,185
A public institution founded in 1887, California State University-Chico has a total undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 17,000 students. This large school offers students over 300 different fields of study, as well as a vibrant campus life that is carried through to the online campus as well. The Chico School of Nursing offers an RN to BSN program that is primarily online, offering working nurses the flexibility necessary to complete their degrees while working around-the-clock.
This school is unique in that it prepares students specifically for career success. The program is designed to help students pass the NCLEX examination. Other course requirements are set up to accommodate students’ work schedules, allowing them to work while completing their studies. Chico combines state-of-the-art resources with a small-town charm and community atmosphere, helping students grow as people as they learn. Courses include:
- Nursing Informatics
- Professional Values and Ethics in Nursing
- Nursing Research
- Academic Writing for Nurses
- Leadership Management and Professional Issues in Nursing
Indiana State University
College Choice Score: 83.20
Average Net Price: $11,443
Indiana State University is an independent public institution located in Terre Haute, Indiana. This school has a profound focus on public service, and offers over 30 graduate and undergraduate programs entirely online or with minimal on-campus requirements. Of the four undergraduate nursing programs, the online Bachelor of Science in Nursing is one of the most popular – and the most successful. The degree has a job placement rate of 100 percent and is designed for students with some practical nursing background.
This program is transfer-friendly, allowing candidates to transfer up to 90 credit hours with 30 completed at Indiana State. With 120 total credit hours, the degree requires no campus visits, and all clinicals or prerequisite courses can be taken and completed in the student’s local community. Many university requirements can also be satisfied with examinations and course equivalency. Core nursing courses include:
- Mental Health Nursing
- Reflective Nursing Practice
- Community Health Nursing
- Nursing Research
- Medical-Surgical Nursing
This program is affordable, offering students multiple sources of financial support to fund their studies. In addition to special scholarships for entering freshmen and transfer students, the school also offers work-study programs, veterans’ benefits, and other financial aid. Tuition starts at just $9,090 for in-state students and can be decreased in a variety of ways. As a result, the school is ranked as one of the best National Universities by U.S. News & World Report.
University of Memphis
College Choice Score: 82.98
Average Net Price: $13,663
Located in Memphis, Tennessee, the University of Memphis was originally founded as a normal school by the Tennessee legislature. Today, the school is one of only two very high research public universities in the state, and is also recognized for its commitment to community engagement. The RN to BSN program at the University of Memphis is designed for students who want to earn a BSN as quickly as possible. It is designed for RNs who hold two-year nursing degrees and have already completed all general education and nursing prerequisites.
This degree can be completed in as little as a year, with 31 credit hours required for degree completion. Students who need extra time may take up to four years to graduate. The program focuses on transitioning students from RNs into BSNs, helping candidates gain proficiency in community health nursing, evidence-based nursing practices, health assessments, and more. All students must complete a practicum at approved healthcare facilities in their own communities before graduation. In addition, required courses include:
- Community Health
- Evidence-Based Nursing
- Clinical Pathophysiology
- Health Assessment
This school is one of the most military-friendly, offering substantial grant and scholarship funding for veterans and their family members. Experiential learning credits are available for military training. Regardless of background, all students study asynchronously and follow a semester-based schedule. Online students have access to the same exemplary resources available on campus, including online tutoring, digital library services, career services, and academic advising.
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
College Choice Score: 82.94
Average Net Price: not reported
Texas Tech is one of the only nursing schools in West Texas to offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral education in a variety of learning formats. All of these programs are dedicated to addressing the nursing shortage across the nation. As a result, the school offers an affordable online RN to BSN degree completion program within the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing. The degree can be completed on a full-time basis, with completion taking only three semesters of study.
Courses in this program are broken down into seven-week chunks to better serve the busy working professional. Students benefit from classroom and hands-on learning opportunities, using patient simulators and real-life hospital settings to learn the most current technology. Courses are taught by outstanding faculty and other health care professionals. Required classes include:
- Foundations Nursing Practice
- Lifespan Growth & Development
- Maternal/Newborn Nursing
- Complex Concepts Adult Health
Texas Tech is unique in that it boasts a 95 percent first-time pass rate on the NCLEX examination – an almost unheard-of figure in the discipline. This is largely due to Texas Tech’s reputation and experience in providing nursing education. The school has offered high-quality nursing programs for over 35 years, and serves over 7,000 patients through nurse-led clinics. In addition to the high-quality RN program, the school also offers an RN to BSN, an accelerated second degree BSN, several master’s and interprofessional degrees, and even a Doctor of Nursing Practice.
The College of Saint Scholastica
College Choice Score: 82.47
Average Net Price: $23,942
Located in Duluth, Minnesota, The College of Saint Scholastica was founded in 1912 and is a small Roman Catholic school of fewer than 3,000 students. The nursing program at the college was founded prior to the formal inception of the college and has provided students with a high-quality, affordable nursing program ever since. The flexible online Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is offered via close collaboration with faculty advisors and industry partners, allowing students to complete their studies in the formats that make the most sense for them.
The RN to BSN at the College of Saint Scholastica is unique in that it has no statistics requirement, allowing students to focus on the career knowledge they need to be successful. Students can earn credit for on-the-job knowledge by completing nursing portfolio credits, which are offered at a reduced tuition rate. The program is offered in a flexible, completely online format that allows candidates to earn a degree in just one year. Forty-two total program credits are required, including coursework in:
- Leadership in Nursing
- Population Care
- Holistic Assessment in Nursing
- Dimensions Professional NSG
Tuition for this program is highly affordable, starting at just $415 per credit hour or $14,000 for the total program cost. Students have access to unique learning experiences, including transcultural nursing experiences in Belize and Alaska. These programs allow students to interact with their local communities to apply their nursing expertise and backgrounds while gaining valuable life experiences. Portfolio assessments and other hands-on experiences are also required.
University of North Dakota
College Choice Score: 82.30
Average Net Price: $14,478
Located in Grand Forks, North Dakota, the University of North Dakota offers a fully online RN to BSN program that is designed for registered nurses. The main campus of the university sits on a campus that is over 500 acres in size, but its online campus is equally vibrant. The school offers over 200 different academic field and 200 campus clubs, most of which are also available to online students. The school has nearly 15,000 students hailing from every U.S. state and over 80 nations, contributing to a vibrant campus that has big campus opportunities with a small-campus community.
This degree is designed for students who wish to advance their careers in nursing while receiving the convenient, quality education of a nationally ranked online program. Students may engage in clinical experiences where they live. Students learn alongside fellow RNs as they build the knowledge needed to provide sustainable, comprehensive care. Required courses include:
- Health & Illness
- Nursing in Transition
- Population-Based Health
- Patient & Family-Centered Nursing
- Evidence-Informed Practice
The university is recognized as a Top Public School by U.S News & World Report, with classes taught by globally respected faculty who create an environment that fosters superior critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills. As a result, the average freshman retention rate, which indicates students success, is well over 80 percent.
Western Governors University
College Choice Score: 82.16
Average Net Price: not reported
Based out of Salt Lake City, Utah, Western Governors University is a solely online, nonprofit school that is dedicated to providing innovative education to distance learners. With a 98 percent employer satisfaction rating, this school is one of the most affordable and convenient of its kind. Bachelor’s degrees at Western Governors are highly respected and take significantly less time to complete than comparable programs. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is one such program, with coursework delivered entirely online.
Applicants to this program must hold a diploma or associate degree, as well as licensure as a registered nurse. The degree is designed around a competency-based learning model, instead of assessing by credit hours or duration of attendance. This allows students to earn a degree more quickly, averaging an 18-month completion time. Students who are already licensed RNs can transfer up to 90 credit equivalents, with core coursework required in topics such as:
- Health and Wellness Through Nutritional Science
- Evidence-Based Practice and Applied Nursing Research
- Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing
- Professional Roles and Values
- Care of the Older Adult
This degree requires 120 competency units to graduate, with most students graduating in less than two years. Students can take more classes to finish more quickly and with less expenses, as a flat-rate tuition is charged every six-month term regardless of the number of credits completed. Courses are offered in five week chunks, with eight potential start dates each year.
Ball State University
College Choice Score: 81.91
Average Net Price: $13,535
Ball State University is located in Muncie, Indiana, and offers approximately 200 different programs to 20,000 undergraduate students. As a public research institution, Ball is highly regarded by U.S. News & World Report and other ranking affiliates. The school is respected for its high-quality academic programs and its active student body, a majority of whom are involved in at least a couple of the nearly 500 different student organizations and clubs. Among the exceptional programs offered at Ball State is the hands-on, online degree program in Nursing.
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Ball is unique, blending traditional nursing education with a liberal arts curriculum. The program emphasizes nursing in a community care setting that guards women, children, and other vulnerable populations. As a result, Ball State is one of the few schools to offer a program that is designated a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence. Required courses include:
- Nursing Foundation and Issues
- Research in Nursing
- Community Health
- Management and Leadership
- Health Assessment
- Applied Nursing Concepts
University of Arkansas
College Choice Score: 81.63
Average Net Price: $15,966
Located in Fayetteville, Arkansas, the University of Arkansas is a public university that was founded in 1871. A large school, the university offers over 75 fields of undergraduate study as well as a handful of dynamic graduate programs. The school offers many opportunities for students to gain an education both on- and off-campus, with multiple student support services and extracurricular activities available. The University of Arkansas offers an RN to BSN program that is entirely online and taught by experienced, full-time faculty members with decades of work in the field.
This degree consists of 11 eight-hour courses, one of which requires local immersion at a nearby hospital. Core courses include:
- Introduction to Health Care Policy
- Professional Nursing Synthesis
- Informatics for Professional Nursing
- Leading and Managing in Healthcare Micro-environments
- Health Assessment and Clinical Reasoning for RNs
This program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and utilizes an evidence-based practice approach. This approach helps students improve in a specific area, developing a quality improvement project in any area of interest. Students collaborate with mentors to help enhance their professional goals, learning more about themselves and the field of healthcare as they do so. Advisors are dedicated to student success, and help prepare candidates for a broader scope of practice. The school is ranked as offering some of the Best Online Bachelor’s by U.S. News & World Report.
University of Cincinnati
College Choice Score: 81.39
Average Net Price: $21,050
The University of Cincinnati, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, is a large research university with multiple nationally-recognized departments. Accredited by the North Central Association and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the College of Nursing is one such positively-acclaimed department. Offering a close-knit community vibe with all the opportunities of a public research university, the University of Cincinnati online RN to BSN degree can be completed in as few as nine months.
The College of Nursing at the University of Cincinnati was founded in 1889, and is one of the oldest and most well-respected departments of its kind. It is ranked repeatedly among the top 10 percent of nursing schools in the country, and the online program is designed to flexibly meet the needs of busy working adults. The program emphasizes leadership, and includes core classes such as:
- Health Issues of Vulnerable and Marginalized Populations
- Informatics for Professional Nurses
- Scientific Basis for Evidence-Based Practice
- Gerontological Nursing Practice
- Nurse as Professional Leader and Manager
This degree is unique not only in its overall quality and prestige, but also in its level of dedication to student success. Upon enrollment, each student is connected with a single advisor with whom they will work throughout the duration of their studies. Students are considered eligible for admission even if they have not completed all the required general education courses, and work one-on-one with faculty members who want nothing more than to see their students succeed. Before graduation, each student will also develop a community or population-focused project, allowing them to see the overall impact of their studies before they even enter the workforce.
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
College Choice Score: 80.77
Average Net Price: $12,502
Founded in 1898, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is a public university with an undergraduate enrollment of over 15,000 students. The school offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in a setting dedicated to research and innovation. The online RN to BSN program can be completed in as few as 12 months, allowing students to advance in their careers without ever having to leave home.
This degree requires 30 credit hours of study as it trains students in applying nursing theory to guided decision-making. Students learn how to assess and evaluate scientific evidence, working to treat patients in a practical, attentive way. Required classes in accredited online degree include:
- Community Health Nursing with Diverse Populations
- Nursing in a Disaster for RN to BSN
- Transition to Professional Nursing for RN to BSN
- Health and Physical Assessment
- Nursing Leadership and Management for RN to BSNs
University of Saint Francis-Fort Wayne
College Choice Score: 80.42
Average Net Price: $18,204
The University of Saint Francis is a private university that was founded in 1890. With a small undergraduate enrollment of fewer than 2,000 students, the school sits on an expansive campus of 100 acres. With a core belief system guided by Franciscan values, the school believes in community service, lifelong learning, and compassionate education. The school offers over 70 different undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs, most of them in health sciences, business, and the liberal arts and sciences. Among these programs is the hands-on program in nursing.
Students can earn a degree in 12 to 24 months. It prepares candidates for leadership roles in nursing by caring for patients across the lifespan, training them to evaluate and apply evidence-based research to improving health outcomes. In addition to required coursework, students also engage in a leadership immersion practicum. This practicum requires students to construct and lead an evidence-based project within a healthcare organization over the course of two semesters. Other required courses include:
- Nursing Informatics
- Professional Communication
- Professional Nursing Concepts
- Evidence-Based Nursing Practice with Applied Statistics
The school is ranked as one of the Best Value Schools and the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News & World Report. Students receive access to dedicated support services to help them meet their goals. For example, each student receives a success coach who assists him or her in completing projects, communicating with instructors, and addressing career services. Tutoring services are also available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while the university mentoring program offers one-on-one mentoring in each student’s career or program.
College Choice Score: 80.31
Average Net Price: $18,866
AdventHealth University has a rich history in healthcare, founded by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and serving as the educational hub of Advent Health, one of the leading healthcare networks in the country. The online RN to BSN program at AdventHealth University is designed for professionals at various stages of their careers and clinical training. The program can prepare candidates for leadership roles, and it is also a great pathway to earning a Master of Science in Nursing at AdventHealth or beyond.
This program is fully online, giving students the chance to earn their degrees while continuing to work. Courses are taught by distinguished master’s and doctoral-level faculty, who address a CCNE-accredited curriculum that is ideal for nurses in the middle of their careers. The school offers bridge, traditional, and fast-track completion plans so that students can complete their courses in the way that makes the most sense to them. Sample courses include:
- Health Promotion and Assessment
- Leadership and Management
- Health Care: Policies and Access
- Nursing Research
- Physical Assessment Validation
Advent Health is committed to student success, providing students with numerous opportunities to advance in their studies as well as in their careers. The nursing school has its own chapter of Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society in Nursing, and also gives each online student access to a one-on-one Retention Specialist. This professionals helps each student work through the enrolment process and answers any questions he or she might have. As a result, AdventHealth has a high retention and graduation rate, and RNs demonstrate success in advancing their careers – over a third of the nurses who graduated from this program were able to move into a management role.
California State University – San Marcos
College Choice Score: 80.18
Average Net Price: $10,454
A relatively young university, founded only in 1989, California State University-San Marcos is impressive nonetheless. The school is large, with an enrollment of over 13,000 students. The school prides itself on placing the student as an active participant in the learning process, allowing students to work closely with faculty of active scholars and practitioners, all of whom have a commitment to excellence in teaching and community partnership. The school offers an exemplary RN to BSN in Nursing that is delivered entirely online.
This program helps students to become empowered with the practical experience and clinical backgrounds necessary to help their patients achieve the goal of optimal health. Students can earn their pre-nursing core credits at the same time they attempt their nursing skills, allowing them to graduate sooner and apply their nursing skills to current nursing practice at the same time. Required courses include topics such as:
- Health Promotion and Patient Education Strategies
- Family Nursing: Theory & Practice
- Nursing Leadership and Management
- Community Health Nursing & Nursing Case Management
California State University-San Marcos is ranked as the No. 15 Best Nursing School in California, offering two locations and a fully online dimension. With a nearly 98 percent pass rate for 2017-2019 NCLEX examinations, this school offers exceptional academic preparation at a fraction of the cost of its competitors. Students have multiple opportunities and pathways in how they complete their degrees, and can choose from accelerated or pre-licensure programs in addition to the RN to BSN option.
Western Carolina University
College Choice Score: 80.18
Average Net Price: $14,456
A public university founded in 1889, Western Carolina is a rural school with an enrollment of fewer than 10,000 students. Ranked as one of the Best Colleges Regional Universities South by U.S. News & World Report, Western Carolina offers a dynamic community and over 115 undergraduate majors and concentrations. With a student-to-faculty ratio of just 17:1, the attention to student success at this university cannot be overlooked. Most notably, the university offers a fully online RN to BSN program that is designed specifically with working nurses in mind.
Most students earn their degree in as little as four semesters. All coursework can be completed online, allowing students easy access to coursework that allows them to complete their degrees in the ways that best fit their busy lifestyles. The degree is broken down into four key blocks of learning, which include:
- Professional Transitions in Nursing
- Community Health
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
College Choice Score: 80.13
Average Net Price: $10,503
A rural university in Louisiana, Northwestern State University is a public institution that was founded in 1884. With a total undergraduate enrollment of 9,452, this school provides all the opportunity of a large, big-city campus, with the environment of a small-town, close-knit campus. Northwestern was the first public university in Louisiana to establish a baccalaureate program in nursing, honoring its first class in 1949. The school was also the first in the state to offer a master’s degree. Today, the university offers nursing programs on multiple campuses, graduating highly qualified nurses in programs such as the online RN to BSN program.
This program aims to help registered nurses with associate degrees or diplomas in nursing obtain the baccalaureate degrees they need for long-term career success. All required nursing and general education courses are offered entirely online, and clinical experiences can be fulfilled wherever you are. Required classes include studies in topics such as:
- Adult Health
- Women’s Health
- Complex Nursing Care
- Gerontology for RNs
- Leadership and Management Practicum
The faculty at Northwestern is comprised of experienced health care professionals who have a profound dedication to helping students achieve their professional goals. Faculty regularly volunteer in sharing their time and expertise with individuals in the community. Many currently serve as leaders, board members, and consultants at the local, state, and national level. The school is ranked as one of the best Regional Universities South by U.S. News & World Report.
Keiser University–Ft Lauderdale
College Choice Score: 80.07
Average Net Price: $26,730
A private institution founded in 1977, Keiser University is a large school located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. With an enrollment of over 16,000 students, the school still manages to provide attentive, hands-on programs to students in a close-knit environment. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is an RN to BSN that serves as a degree completion program for registered nurses. It emphasizes management, leadership, research, assessment, health promotion, and critical thinking across a range of community-based settings.
This degree can be completed in as few as 12 months, encompassing the broad disciplines of professionalism, skills performance, collaboration, and critical thinking necessary for nursing success. Available at a wide range of Florida campuses as well as entirely online, this degree includes 120 credit hours of study. Core classes are required in topics such as:
- Health Assessment, Promotion, and Prevention
- Pathophysiology for BSN
- Nursing Role and Scope
- Global Trends in Nursing Practice
- Public Policy and Risk Management
College Choice Score: 79.91
Average Net Price: $26,954
Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University is a private university that was founded in 1971. The school offers a range of academic majors throughout over 16 colleges. A Christian university, the school offers multiple online degree programs – over 280 different options, in fact. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is offered entirely online and serves as an RN to BSN transition program. The curriculum builds on students’ prior knowledge and experience in nursing to help them develop as critical thinkers, leaders, and clinicians.
This degree is designed both for nurses seeking to advance in their current roles as well as those hoping to explore other areas of nursing. Students with current RN licenses will receive a minimum total of 39 credits of transfer credit upon enrollment, helping them to complete this industry-leading RN to BSN degree in a shorter amount of time. Courses are taught by nursing professionals with real-world experience in clinical and leadership settings, with required online courses including:
- Advanced Concepts of Nursing Practice
- Nursing Concepts
- Health Assessment