2020 Best Campus BSN Programs

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What Are the Goals of a BSN Program?

All states require individuals who wish to practice as registered nurses to pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). The National Council of State Boards of Nursing maintains the integrity of the test and administers it through state nursing boards across the country.

Currently, nursing students with a two-year associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from an accredited institution can sit for the NCLEX-RN. However, the nursing field shows a growing trend toward establishing the BSN as the minimum educational requirement to sit for the NCLEX-RN.

Nursing professionals cite several reasons for this trend, including the ability of BSN-trained nurses to provide more comprehensive patient care that often results in improved patient outcomes. New York recently adopted the “BSN-in-10” law that requires ADN-trained RNs to complete a BSN within 10 years of getting their initial RN license. A BSN also gives nurses who plan to continue on to a master of science in nursing (MSN) a solid educational foundation. Indeed, many MSN programs often require a BSN.

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Top Ten Campus BSN Programs for 2020

FAQ

How long does it take to earn a BSN?

Like most bachelor’s degrees, it takes four years to complete a BSN. Other factors, such as enrollment status and a student’s educational background, may impact the typical time frame.

What if I’m already a registered nurse?

Most ADN-trained RNs complete a BSN in two years. However, some schools and districts list additional requirements that affect the time it takes to earn a BSN.

Is a BSN required to become a nurse?

Currently, students do not need a BSN to work as an RN. Students only need to complete an accredited nursing program and pass the NCLEX-RN.

Do nurses with BSNs earn a better salary?

As a rule, earning a degree correlates to a higher income in most industries. However, the state and the specific nursing arena also impact RN salaries.

Accreditation for BSN Programs

The U.S. Department of Education (ED) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) oversee the process of higher education accreditation. The accrediting process is voluntary in the U.S. The ED and CHEA ensure that accrediting bodies conform to the highest recommended educational standards.

Accreditors evaluate an institution’s academic programs along with several other factors, including a school’s financial policies, student services, and campus facilities and operations. Importantly, the ED channels federal financial aid only through accredited institutions. Students may not qualify for scholarships and grants if they choose to enroll in an unaccredited school. Regional accreditors focus on both private and public degree-granting nonprofit institutions, while national accrediting bodies review career-oriented, sectarian, and vocational schools.

Relatedly, programmatic accreditors focus on specific programs rather than entire schools. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education serves as the main accrediting body for bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral nursing degrees.

2020 Best Campus BSN Programs

Begin your search for the ideal BSN program by examining the following list of schools. Contact the school or department directly for any specific questions you may have regarding admission, transfer credits, or course availability in order to ensure the most accurate and current information.

See our rankings methodology page.

  1. New York University
    Location

    New York, NY

    A private institution in Manhattan, New York University dates back to 1831. NYU offers an RN-to-BSN program that strengthens professional expertise in assessment, case management, and patient advocacy. Graduates can assume leadership positions and increase their earning potential.

    Nursing students can develop an individualized program based on their prior coursework and experience. All students take courses on topics like health assessment, community health nursing, and pediatric nursing. NYU also offers an accelerated BSN program for applicants with a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field.

    Applicants must submit a letter of recommendation from a professor or current supervisor. New York University holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Rory Meyers College of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  2. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
    Location

    Tallahassee, FL

    A historically black institution, Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University is a public institution located in Tallahassee. The 30-credit RN-to-BSN program prepares nurses for leadership positions and graduate study.

    During the three-semester program, students take courses on topics like patient assessment, population health, and evidence-based practice. The program incorporates clinical labs to build hands-on experience. Students also take directed individual study courses designed around their interests and career goals. Students culminate the degree with a professional transition practicum.

    Prospective students need a minimum 3.0 GPA. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

  3. The University of Texas at Austin
    Location

    Austin, TX

    A public research institution and the flagship campus of the UT system, the University of Texas at Austin dates back to 1883. UT Austin offers a bachelor's program in nursing that blends theoretical and practical coursework.

    The BSN curriculum builds critical thinking and clinical judgment skills through nursing core and liberal arts general education requirements. The program emphasizes evidence-based nursing practice and nursing leadership, preparing graduates for professional roles and advanced degrees in nursing. Students also gain clinical experience in a variety of hospital and community settings.

    The University of Texas at Austin holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the bachelor's degree in nursing.

  4. Good Samaritan College of Nursing and Health Science
    Location

    Cincinnati, OH

    A private college in Cincinnati, Ohio, Good Samaritan College of Nursing and Health Science specializes in healthcare education. The bachelor of science in nursing is a degree-completion program that blends on-site learning with guided independent study.

    The curriculum covers core topics like nursing research, holistic health concepts, and population healthcare. Students also complete practicums in population healthcare and nursing role exploration. During a culminating capstone experience, students develop a quality improvement project.

    Applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA and a current RN license. Good Samaritan College of Nursing and Health Science holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing accredits the nursing program.

  5. Penn State Fayette-Eberly
    Location

    Lemont Furnace, PA

    Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Fayette-Eberly is a public institution that grants degrees from its 100-acre campus in southwestern Pennsylvania. The school offers an RN-to-BSN degree that comprises 28 credits.

    Students complete courses on topics like community health, health assessment, and nursing research. Students also complete clinical experiences based on their background and career goals. The program offers part-time and full-time enrollment options, and the College of Nursing supports students through advising and tutoring.

    Prospective students must hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Fayette-Eberly holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the BSN program.

  6. University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    Location

    Greensboro, NC

    A public research institution, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro dates back to 1891. UNCG offers a part-time RN-to-BSN program designed for working nurses.

    Nursing students complete general education, nursing, and elective requirements. The curriculum covers topics like health assessment, community health nursing, and nursing research. Nursing students also complete a leadership and management course designed to strengthen the skills needed for advanced roles in healthcare.

    Prospective students need a current RN license and a minimum 3.0 GPA. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  7. Franciscan University of Steubenville
    Location

    Steubenville, OH

    A private Catholic institution in Ohio, Franciscan University of Steubenville offers a BSN program rooted in the Catholic faith. The program takes a holistic approach to nursing, preparing students to address ethical and moral dilemmas in healthcare.

    Nursing students use state-of-the-art human-patient simulator technology that helps them develop life-saving skills in a controlled environment. Students also complete clinical experiences in healthcare settings. Students enjoy the option to participate in a study abroad program in Austria to enhance their learning.

    In addition to a full BSN program, the school offers an accelerated RN-to-BSN program for registered nurses. Franciscan University of Steubenville holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The Department of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  8. Penn State Mont Alto
    Location

    Mont Alto, PA

    A commonwealth campus of Pennsylvania's public system, Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Mont Alto offers an RN-to-BSN degree that prepares nurses for career advancement and nontraditional healthcare roles at Penn State Mont Alto.

    Incoming students create an individualized academic plan based on their prior experience and schedule. Learners take courses on topics like family and community health concepts, introduction to nursing research, and advanced health assessment for the registered nurse. Students also complete clinical requirements to gain hands-on experience.

    Prospective nursing students need an associate degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited program. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Mont Alto holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The BSN program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  9. Walla Walla University
    Location

    College Place, WA

    Founded in 1892 as a Seventh-Day Adventist institution, Walla Walla University offers nursing degrees that combine scientific knowledge with patient-centered care. The RN-to-BSN program integrates a faith-based perspective on nursing.

    BSN students complete 800-1,000 clinical hours, including global and cross-cultural nursing experience opportunities. Learners take classes on topics like nursing research, issues and trends in nursing, mental health nursing, and nursing of the family.

    Prospective RN-to-BSN students need a minimum 2.9 GPA and a current Oregon RN license. Walla Walla University holds regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the nursing program.

  10. Marywood University
    Location

    Scranton, PA

    Founded as a Catholic liberal arts institution in 1915, Marywood University offers a bachelor's degree in nursing that blends academic knowledge with clinical skills. The program prepares graduates for professional career development and advanced nursing education.

    The nursing program offers small class sizes that incorporate innovative nursing technology. Through real-world simulations and service-learning experiences, nursing students build the skills necessary for competitive career paths. Students also complete an internship experience in their final semester. In addition to a full BSN program, Marywood offers an RN-to-BSN degree designed for working registered nurses.

    Marywood University holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The BSN program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  11. Penn State Schuylkill
    Location

    Schuylkill Haven, PA

    A commonwealth campus of the state's university system, Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Schuylkill offers a traditional BSN program and an RN-to-BSN program.

    The traditional BSN program prepares students for licensure through coursework and clinical requirements. The RN-to-BSN program builds on prior nursing knowledge and skills to develop professional-level nursing expertise. Both programs emphasize communication, critical thinking, and leadership skills.

    Registered nurses can earn 33 credits toward the BSN degree by portfolio assessment. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Schuylkill holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the nursing program.

  12. Tennessee Technological University
    Location

    Cookeville, TN

    A public institution in Cookeville, Tennessee Technological University prepares students for careers in a technologically driven world. The school offers an RN-to-BSN program that incorporates experiential learning in community health and nursing leadership to prepare registered nurses for increased responsibilities.

    Learners study topics like health assessment, healthcare research, and community healthcare. The program also includes a leadership and management lab. Tennessee Tech offers part-time and full-time enrollment options. Part-time students can complete the degree in 3-4 semesters.

    Incoming students work with the School of Nursing to create an individualized plan of study based on their educational background and experience. Tennessee Technological University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  13. Augustana University
    Location

    Sioux Falls, SD

    Based in Sioux Falls, North Dakota, Augustana University is a private institution that offers a bachelor's in nursing degree for students without prior nursing experience. The program prepares graduates for licensure through an innovative curriculum centered on hands-on learning.

    Nursing students apply classroom learning in the university's advanced simulation center and skills laboratory. The program includes clinical experiences every week in hospitals and health clinics. Students also participate in a leadership practicum to strengthen their skills.

    Applicants need a minimum 3.0 GPA. Augustana University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the BSN program.

  14. San Diego State University
    Location

    San Diego, CA

    A public institution founded in 1897, San Diego State University enrolls over 35,000 students each year. SDSU offers an RN-to-BSN program that allows students to graduate in as little as one year.

    The program blends classroom lectures with clinical experience at assigned sites. Learners study topics like nursing research, evidence-based practice, and health assessment. The curriculum also trains students in caring for critically ill patients and providing transitional care.

    Prospective students need an associate degree or diploma in nursing from a regionally accredited school with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a current California RN license. San Diego State University holds regional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the nursing program.

  15. Penn State New Kensington
    Location

    New Kensington, PA

    One of the commonwealth campuses of the state's public system, Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington offers an RN-to-BSN degree that offers evening and online courses to accommodate working nurses.

    In addition to coursework, nursing students complete clinical experiences in a self-selected area of interest. Penn State New Kensington offers individually pace enrollment, letting students customize the program based on their prior learning and schedule.

    Applicants need an associate degree or diploma in nursing and a current RN license. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State New Kensington holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the BSN degree.

  16. University of Hawaii at Manoa
    Location

    Honolulu, HI

    The flagship campus of Hawaii's public university system, the University of Hawaii at Mānoa dates back to 1907. UH Mānoa offers an RN-to-BSN program that focuses on professional development and quality patient care.

    Learners study topics like health promotion, genetics in nursing practice, and nursing leadership. The program incorporates lab requirements in leadership and community and public health. UH Mānoa offers individual academic advising to support students throughout the degree.

    Prospective students need a diploma or associate degree in nursing. Applicants transferring from the UH system schools need a minimum 2.0 GPA; all other applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA. The University of Hawaii at Mānoa holds regional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the BSN program.

  17. California State University-Long Beach
    Location

    Long Beach, CA

    California State University-Long Beach is a public institution that offers several undergraduate nursing programs that prepare students for generalist nursing roles in a variety of settings. CSULB offers tracks for students without a nursing background and students with an RN license.

    Regardless of their track, all students take courses on topics like pathophysiology for nurses, health assessment, and nursing research. All nursing students also complete a clinical practicum in their senior year to gain hands-on experience in the field. CSULB's on-site learning center features simulation labs that help students build clinical skills.

    Applicants to the RN-to-BSN program need an associate degree or diploma in nursing with a minimum 2.75 GPA and a current California RN license. California State University-Long Beach holds regional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education.

  18. Penn State Shenango
    Location

    Sharon, PA

    A public institution in Sharon, Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Shenango offers an RN-to-BSN program that ranks among the best nursing degrees in the state. The program blends theoretical knowledge with clinical skills.

    Students can choose from part-time and full-time enrollment options, and some courses feature flexible, online components. Penn State Shenango offers credit by portfolio assessment, which lets students receive up to 33 credits for their RN license.

    Prospective students must hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing and a current RN license. RNs working at qualifying health partners receive a 20% tuition discount. Pennsylvania State University-Penn State Shenango holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the nursing program.

  19. Nebraska Wesleyan University
    Location

    Lincoln, NE

    Founded in 1887, Nebraska Wesleyan University is a private Methodist institution in Lincoln. NWU offers a bachelor's degree in nursing that helps registered nurses advance their careers. NWU nursing students learn to improve patient outcomes while building critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

    The BSN curriculum covers topics like health assessment, global health, evidence-based practice, and healthcare ethics. Students also take courses in management and leadership in nursing. Courses span eight weeks. In addition to coursework, students complete clinical hours to gain hands-on experience in the field.

    Prospective students need an associate degree or diploma in nursing with a minimum 2.5 GPA and a current RN license. Nebraska Wesleyan University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits NWU's nursing degrees.

  20. Huntington University
    Location

    Huntington, IN

    Founded in 1897, Huntington University is a private Christian institution that offers an RN-to-BSN program that integrates Christian principles into a research- and evidence-based curriculum.

    The 128-credit program includes courses on topics like current issues in nursing, health assessment, gerontology nursing, and nursing research. Nursing majors also build hands-on skills through a community practicum. Students culminate the degree with a senior project.

    Applicants need at least 58 credits with a minimum 3.0 GPA and a current RN license. Huntington University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the nursing program.

  21. Keene State College
    Location

    Keene, NH

    A public liberal arts institution in New Hampshire, Keene State College dates back to 1901. KSC offers two bachelor's in nursing degrees. The pre-licensure BSN program enrolls undergraduates without an RN license, while the BSN-to-RN program admits applicants with an associate degree in nursing.

    At KSC, nursing students take courses as part of a cohort. KSC limits each cohort to 32 students to promote individualized attention from faculty. The curriculum covers topics like medical surgical nursing, community health nursing, and nursing leadership. Students also complete clinical requirements in different specialty settings.

    Prospective RN-to-BSN students must hold a minimum 3.4 GPA, while pre-licensure students need a minimum 3.25 GPA. Keene State College holds regional accreditation from the New England Commission of Higher Education. The nursing program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  22. North Carolina A & T State University
    Location

    Greensboro, NC

    A historically black university, North Carolina A&T State University is a public institution in Greensboro. N.C. A&T offers a bachelor's degree in nursing that includes classroom, clinical, and virtual lab learning experiences. The program offers tracks for registered nurses and students without a nursing background.

    All nursing students take courses on topics like adult health, evidence-based practice, and nursing informatics. Students also take a course on inter-professional practice. The program provides academic coaching to help students meet graduation requirements, complete clinical placements, and pass the NCLEX-RN.

    N.C. A&T offers scholarship opportunities for nursing students. North Carolina A&T State University holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing accredits the nursing program.

  23. Marian University
    Location

    Fond Du Lac, WI

    Founded in 1936 as a private Catholic institution, Marian University prioritizes small class sizes and hands-on learning experience. Marian offers an RN-to-BSN program that emphasizes evidence-based practice, healthcare systems leadership, and management skills.

    The program offers accelerated, seven-week classes. Courses cover topics like leadership and healthcare systems, population health, healthcare economics and policy, and professional nursing concepts. Learners also complete clinical requirements in diverse healthcare settings to gain hands-on experience in the field.

    Students can transfer up to 90 credits toward the degree. Prospective students need an associate degree or diploma in nursing from an accredited program with a minimum 2.0 GPA and a current RN license. Marian University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the nursing program.

  24. Winona State University
    Location

    Winona, MN

    Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a public institution that offers a flexible RN-to-BSN program designed for working nurses. The program offers part-time and full-time plans of study, allowing students to complete the BSN degree in as little as one year or up to four years.

    Learners complete clinical hours in community agencies and public health departments. Courses cover topics like evidence-based practice, holistic assessment, and nursing leadership. The curriculum also promotes population-based healthcare knowledge and professional engagement skills.

    Applicants need an associate degree or diploma in nursing with a minimum 2.75 GPA and a current RN license. Winona State University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The department of nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  25. Fresno Pacific University
    Location

    Fresno, CA

    Established in 1944, Fresno Pacific University is a private institution that offers a bachelor's degree in nursing designed for registered nurses with an associate degree. The RN-to-BSN program gives students the knowledge and skills needed to advance their careers.

    The program emphasizes clinical decision-making, holistic care, and nursing leadership skills. Learners study topics like community and public health nursing, nursing research methods, and conflict management. The program also includes clinical requirements to build hands-on experience. Students progress through the program as part of a cohort.

    Prospective students need an associate degree in nursing with a minimum 2.4 GPA. FPU also requires students to obtain an active California RN license by their second semester. Fresno Pacific University holds regional accreditation from the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits FPU's nursing degrees.

  26. Chipola College
    Location

    Marianna, FL

    A public institution in Marianna, Florida, Chipola College offers an RN-to-BSN program that incorporates research and analysis to build patient-care skills and prepare graduates for leadership roles in diverse healthcare settings.

    Nursing majors study evidence-based practice and learn to improve healthcare delivery. The curriculum covers topics like nursing leadership, community nursing, and health assessment. Nursing students also complete clinical requirements to gain hands-on experience in the field.

    Applicants need an associate degree in nursing from a regionally accredited institution with a minimum 2.5 GPA and a current RN license from Florida, Alabama, or Georgia. Chipola College holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing accredits the nursing program.

  27. Nazareth College
    Location

    Rochester, NY

    A private institution in Rochester, New York, Nazareth College offers a bachelor's degree in nursing that emphasizes global health issues and culturally competent nursing. Students can choose between a traditional BSN program and an RN-to-BSN program, depending on their nursing background. Nazareth reports that 100% of 2019 BSN graduates passed the NCLEX-RN on their first attempt.

    The nursing program offers part-time and full-time enrollment options. Learners take courses on topics like mental health nursing in a multicultural society, maternity and women's healthcare, and clinical pharmacology. Learners also complete clinical requirements to gain hands-on experience.

    Nazareth College holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the BSN program.

  28. Ferris State University
    Location

    Big Rapids, MI

    A public institution in Big Rapids, Michigan, Ferris State University dates back to 1884. FSU offers a traditional BSN program for students without a nursing background and an RN-to-BSN program designed for full-time nurses.

    Both programs train students to make evidence-based decisions that promote healthcare quality and safety. Students take courses like disaster nursing and emergency preparedness, health information systems, gerontological nursing, and pathophysiology for nursing. Students also complete clinical requirements and a senior capstone leadership practicum.

    Ferris State University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The nursing program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

  29. Wayne State University
    Location

    Detroit, MI

    Founded in 1868, Wayne State University is a public institution in Detroit, Michigan. The school offers a RN-to-BSN degree that blends lectures, community-focused research, and clinical experience. The degree prepares nurses to address the health challenges of urban communities.

    Learners study topics like evidence-based practice, physical examination, and community-focused nursing practice. The program also includes courses on nursing informatics, nursing leadership, and transcultural health. Additionally, learners complete clinical hours to gain hands-on experience in the field.

    Prospective students need a minimum 3.0 GPA and a current RN license. Wayne State University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the nursing program.

  30. The College of New Jersey
    Location

    Ewing, NJ

    A public institution in Ewing, The College of New Jersey dates back to 1855. TCNJ offers an RN-to-BSN program designed for working nurses. The program emphasizes leadership and communication skills while providing a global perspective on healthcare. Graduates can pursue leadership roles, advanced practice training, and nursing education careers.

    TCNJ works with students to create an individual program based on their transfer credits and enrollment status. The curriculum covers topics like community nursing practice, nursing research, and professional role development. Students also learn to care for patients across the lifespan.

    Applicants need a current New Jersey RN license. The College of New Jersey holds regional accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the bachelor's program in nursing.

  31. Salish Kootenai College
    Location

    Pablo, MT

    A private Native American tribal college, Salish Kootenai College offers an RN-to-BSN degree that emphasizes clinical leadership and lets students choose from flexible part-time and full-time enrollment options. Students complete a mix of on-campus and online requirements.

    Learners take classes on topics like palliative care, health and humanities, issues in American Indian health, and health disparities of vulnerable populations. Students also complete 160 clinical hours to gain hands-on experience in the field.

    Applicants need a current RN license. Salish Kootenai College holds regional accreditation from the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. The nursing program holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

  32. Walsh University
    Location

    North Canton, OH

    A private Catholic institution in North Canton, Ohio, Walsh University offers over 70 undergraduate majors, including a bachelor's degree in nursing. The program emphasizes patient-centered care and clinical experience, encouraging majors to apply classroom knowledge in real-world settings.


    Nearly every nursing course incorporates labs and clinical experience. Students complete supervised clinical experiences in medical-surgical nursing, mental health nursing, pediatrics, and critical care nursing. Walsh also incorporates community service into the nursing program, including a nursing trip to Tanzania and a course on faith community nurses.

    Pre-nursing majors must complete core courses with a minimum 2.75 GPA to progress to the major. Walsh University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The Byers School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  33. Ohio Northern University
    Location

    Ada, OH

    Founded in 1871, Ohio Northern University is a private institution in the village of Ada. ONU offers a BSN program that builds communication, problem-solving, and collaboration skills to prepare nurses for careers in diverse settings.

    The 120-credit program includes classes on medical terminology, mental health nursing, and medical surgical nursing. At ONU, freshmen can gain direct admission into the nursing major. Sophomore nursing majors take lab courses and start clinical rotations, completing 810 clinical hours by the end of their degree.

    The program offers small class sizes, simulation experiences, and clinical rotations. Nearly 97% of graduates pass the NCLEX-RN. Ohio Northern University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The nursing program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  34. Shepherd University
    Location

    Shepherdstown, WV

    Shepherd University is a public liberal arts institution that offers an RN-to-BSN program designed for working nurses. Students can choose from part-time and full-time enrollment options.

    Learners study topics like nursing research, health assessment, and nursing informatics. The curriculum prioritizes evidence-based practice and patient-centered care. Seniors complete a capstone immersion experience to build hands-on skills. The program also incorporates a leadership course to prepare graduates for increased responsibilities.

    Applicants need a minimum 2.5 GPA and a current West Virginia RN license. Shepherd University holds regional accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission. The School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing.

  35. Carolinas College of Health Sciences
    Location

    Charlotte, NC

    A public institution in Charlotte, North Carolina, Carolinas College of Health Sciences specializes in healthcare degrees. The school offers bachelor's degrees in nursing for students without a nursing background and students with an RN license.

    All nursing students build the knowledge and skills necessary for leadership roles in healthcare. Classes cover topics like legal and ethical issues in healthcare, research and evaluation, and cultural aspects of health and illness. Atrium Health offers a loan forgiveness program for BSN graduates, meaning students can potentially earn their degree at no cost.

    Prospective students need a minimum 2.5 GPA. Applicants to the RN-to-BSN program also need a current RN license. Carolinas College of Health Sciences holds regional accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

  36. York College of Pennsylvania
    Location

    York, PA

    York College offers nursing degrees through its School of Nursing and Health Professions. The college's bachelor's degree in nursing emphasizes hands-on experience through opportunities at state-of-the-art labs.

    Nursing majors at York College complete their degree in 8-9 semesters of general education coursework and clinical requirements. Students complete labs, simulation exercises, and clinical experiences to build their skills. York College offers summer externships to strengthen nursing training.

    In addition to the traditional BSN degree, York College offers an RN-to-BSN program that grants credit for previous nursing knowledge and prior college credit. Nursing majors qualify for scholarships.

    York College is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The college's School of Nursing and Health Professionals is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  37. Florida Southern College
    Location

    Lakeland, FL

    A private college located in Lakeland, Florida Southern dates back to 1883. The college's undergraduates can earn a BSN degree from a program with a 100% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam. The program's rigorous nursing curriculum prepares nurses for leadership positions or graduate nursing education.

    Florida Southern's nursing majors progress into the program's clinical component earlier than many other BSN programs. Rather than starting the nursing curriculum in the junior year, majors begin their nursing coursework in their first year. Through courses like pediatric nursing care, students learn to deliver high-quality care and promote health for children. Florida Southern emphasizes engaged learning through clinical experience at hospitals. The program requires a minimum 3.0 GPA for graduation.

    Florida Southern is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  38. Miami Dade College
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Founded in 1959, MDC is a public institution in South Florida. MDC offers several nursing degrees, including an RN-to-BSN degree. The program admits registered nurses with an associate degree in nursing and a Florida RN license. During the program, nurses build the skills needed for career advancement or graduate education.

    MDC's curriculum emphasizes nursing practice, leadership training, and community nursing practice. Students choose from full-time and part-time tracks, and full-time students can complete the degree in three semesters. Students attend class two days per week while spending 1-2 days each week completing clinical hours. The part-time option accommodates the schedule of working nurses.

    Prospective students should hold a minimum 2.0 GPA from a regionally accredited nursing program for admission.

    MDC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The RN-to-BSN program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

  39. St Francis College
    Location

    Brooklyn Heights, NY

    A private institution in Brooklyn, New York, St. Francis dates back to 1859. St. Francis offers two nursing degrees for undergraduates: a traditional BSN program and an RN-to-BSN program designed for working nurses. Both options prepare graduates for competitive roles in nursing.

    During the BSN program, nursing majors complete two years of coursework and two years of experiential work. The program relies on medical simulators and real-world experiences to build nursing skills. St. Francis trains nursing students in physical assessment, nursing informatics, and geriatric nursing. Students also take courses in nursing leadership and management, with clinical requirements to prepare graduates for healthcare careers.

    Nursing students choose from part-time or full-time enrollment. St. Francis recommends part-time enrollment for working nurses.

    St. Francis is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The BSN program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  40. William Jewell College
    Location

    Liberty, MO

    Founded in 1849, Jewell is a private liberal arts institution located in Liberty, Missouri. Jewell offers four nursing tracks for students pursuing a BSN degree. Students can pursue a traditional BSN on a three-year plan or a four-year plan, a transfer nursing program, or an accelerated track. Each program provides flexible options for undergraduates interested in nursing careers.

    Jewell's nursing students complete over 650 clinical and laboratory hours. Each program emphasizes the whole person, encouraging students to consider the complexities of patient care. The curricula build critical thinking and leadership skills, preparing graduates for advanced roles in nursing.

    Prospective students should hold a minimum 2.8 GPA for admission to the nursing program. During the admissions process, Jewell conducts interviews with potential students.

    Jewell is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the BSN program.

  41. San Jose State University
    Location

    San Jose, CA

    A public university in the Bay Area, SJSU dates back to 1857. The university offers an RN-to-BSN degree through its Valley Foundation School of Nursing. The program helps registered nurses advance their education and strengthen their skills in acute care and community nursing.

    At SJSU, nursing students learn about evidence-based nursing practice, community health, and nursing leadership. The RN-to-BSN curriculum incorporates clinical requirements to build hands-on skills. In their final semester, students complete a preceptorship or project. In addition to the RN-to-BSN program, SJSU offers a traditional BSN degree for undergraduates with no prior nursing experience.

    Prospective students must hold an associate degree in nursing with a minimum 2.75 GPA. SJSU also requires a current California RN license or eligibility to take the NCLEX-RN exam before the program's second semester.

    SJSU is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The Valley Foundation School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  42. Penn State Altoona
    Location

    Altoona, PA

    A commonwealth campus of the state's university system, Penn State Altoona offers several nursing degrees, including a traditional BSN program and a second degree BSN program. Both programs enroll students with no prior nursing experience, preparing graduates for licensure and careers in nursing.

    At Penn State Altoona, nursing students learn to provide care in a variety of settings. Majors complete coursework while building hands-on experience through the program's simulation learning lab and clinical requirements. The program prioritizes an immersive learning environment that builds the clinical knowledge, judgment, and skills required for advanced roles in nursing.

    The second degree program admits students with a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field. The program offers an intensive 16-month route to a BSN degree.

    Penn State Altoona is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the BSN program.

  43. California Baptist University
    Location

    Riverside, CA

    A private Christian institution, CBU dates back to 1950. CBU offers a bachelor's degree in nursing from its campus in Riverside. The program builds the theoretical knowledge base required for entry-level nursing practice. During the degree, nursing majors integrate Christian concepts into their practice.

    At CBU, nursing majors enroll full time, taking courses on weekdays with clinical hours arranged around classes. Students take courses like mental health nursing, Christian leadership in nursing, and public health nursing. Seniors complete a capstone practicum as a culminating experience. The 124-credit BSN program is the most popular major at CBU, serving around 800 students.

    Nursing majors typically complete the BSN degree in 4-5 years. Applicants to the nursing majors must complete prerequisites and hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.

    CBU is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits CBU's BSN program.




  44. Baker College
    Location

    Flint, MI

    Founded in 1911, Baker is a private institution that operates campuses across Michigan. Registered nurses can earn a bachelor's degree through Baker's RN-to-BSN program. Offered through the School of Nursing, the program builds on the skills and education of registered nurses, preparing them for career advancement.

    During the program, nursing students learn to address individual and community health needs. The program incorporates clinical experience through a community health practicum and a leadership practicum. Students also complete a nursing seminar to synthesize their classroom knowledge and clinical skills. Prospective RN-to-BSN students must hold a current RN license for admission.

    Baker also offers a traditional BSN for students without prior nursing experience. The program prepares well-rounded practitioners through a curriculum that blends liberal arts education with nursing courses.

    Baker is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Baker's School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  45. Simpson University
    Location

    Redding, CA

    Founded in 1921, Simpson is a private Christian institution located in Redding, California. The university's Betty M. Dean School of Nursing offers a bachelor's degree in nursing with a faith-based curriculum. The program prioritizes innovative education and personalized faculty attention to prepare graduates for professional nursing practice.

    Simpson's nursing students enroll in small classes that incorporate hands-on experience. The program relies on simulation labs and clinical requirements to build nursing skills. Nursing majors begin their clinical requirements in their second year, and seniors complete a capstone course as a culminating experience.

    Simpson also offers an RN-to-BSN program for working registered nurses who want to advance their education. Applicants to the program should hold a minimum 3.0 GPA.

    Simpson is regionally accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. The Betty M. Dean School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  46. Grambling State University
    Location

    Grambling, LA

    Founded in 1901, Grambling State University is a historically black public institution in Louisiana. GSU's School of Nursing offers undergraduate nursing degrees that prepare graduates for competitive positions in nursing. GSU offers a traditional BSN program for undergraduates without prior nursing experience and an RN-to-BSN program for registered nurses.

    Both GSU nursing programs train students in nursing practice, community health, and healthcare leadership. In the 120-credit BSN program, students complete general education and nursing requirements. The RN-to-BSN track offers a 30-credit nursing curriculum, allowing nurses to earn their bachelor's degree in three semesters.

    Prospective RN-to-BSN students must hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing with a minimum 2.8 GPA and a current RN license.

    GSU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The university's School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

  47. University of Michigan-Flint
    Location

    Flint, MI

    Founded in 1956, the University of Michigan-Flint is a public institution. UM-Flint's School of Nursing offers an RN-to-BSN program designed for registered nurses seeking career advancement. The program emphasizes theoretical concepts and clinical experience to expand the knowledge and skills of registered nurses.

    At UM-Flint, nursing students study transcultural healthcare, community health nursing, and nursing informatics. The program lets students customize their curriculum by choosing from classes like health assessment or integrated case studies. Students also build leadership skills through courses on leadership and management for RNs. UM-Flint also offers a traditional BSN program for students without an RN license.

    To earn admission, applicants must hold a degree or diploma from a state-approved nursing program and a current RN license.

    UM-Flint is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The university's School of Nursing holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  48. Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
    Location

    Edwardsville, IL

    SIUE, a public institution, dates back to 1957. The university provides an accelerated RN-to-BSN program for students with an associate degree or diploma in nursing. Offered through SIUE's School of Nursing, the program prioritizes flexibility to fit the schedule of working nurses.

    During the RN-to-BSN program, students take courses in eight-week terms. Students who meet general education requirements can complete the BSN degree in three semesters. SIUE also offers part-time enrollment options.

    The university's School of Nursing creates an individualized plan of study for students based on their prior work experience and college credits. Students can receive up to 42 credits toward the BSN for their proficiency in nursing areas. Prospective students must hold a minimum 2.0 GPA to gain admission.

    SIUE is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The university's BSN program holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  49. Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College
    Location

    Tifton, GA

    A public institution in Tifton, Georgia, ABAC dates back to 1908. Registered nurses can pursue ABAC's RN-to-BSN degree, which primarily serves working nurses. The program prepares nurses for additional career opportunities through an emphasis on critical thinking, leadership, and collaboration. ABAC individualizes the program to meet each student's career goals.

    During the RN-to-BSN program, nursing students take courses like advanced health assessment, nursing research, and community nursing. The curriculum emphasizes areas like rural health, aging populations, and nursing leadership, building on the clinical skills of registered nurses. Students also complete a professional role immersion to strengthen their clinical abilities. Prospective students must hold a minimum 2.5 GPA for admission.

    ABAC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing accredits the nursing program.

  50. Niagara University
    Location

    Niagara University, NY

    A private Catholic institution, NU grants degrees from its campus in Niagara Falls, New York. The university offers an RN-to-BSN program that ranks among the best nursing degrees. The program builds on the clinical nursing skills of registered nurses to prepare graduates for leadership roles in healthcare.

    NU's nursing students complete 10 nursing courses in the BSN program, covering topics like health assessment, the research process, and information technology in healthcare. Learners also study leadership and administration in healthcare, and the program's clinical internship builds hands-on experience. The program uses a cohort model and offers all general education courses online.

    NU offers a 50% tuition discount for nurses in the RN-to-BSN program. The university also offers scholarships to nursing students.

    NU is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits NU's BSN program.

Career and Salary Outlook for RNs

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 12% growth rate RN jobs between 2018 and 2028, much faster than the projected 5% growth rate for all other occupations during the same period. BLS data also shows medical and surgical hospitals as hiring the highest number of RNs (1,698,700), in fact, employing almost one-third of RNs in the country. The states hiring the highest number of RNs include the following: California (294,510), Texas (210,350), New York (182,490), Florida (177,600), and Pennsylvania (148,520).

RNs also earn a higher median annual salary than the average worker, $73,300 versus $39,810, respectively. The top paying states for RNs include: California ($106,950), Hawaii ($98,080), Massachusetts ($92,140), and Oregon ($91,080). Additionally, the table below shows that RNs earning salaries in the bottom 10% of the profession still earn a higher salary than the national median.

Bottom 10%Median Annual SalaryTop 10%
Less than $50,800$71,730More than $106,530

Source: BLS

Certifications and Licensure for Nurses

RN licensure usually requires applicants to meet two basic criteria: graduating from an accredited nursing program and passing the NCLEX-RN. The exam focuses on four practice areas: safe and effective care environment, health promotion and maintenance, psychosocial integrity, and physiological integrity. The last practice arena, which tests the ability of applicants to deliver proper nursing care, typically constitutes 43-67% of NCLEX-RN questions.

The Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) enables licensed nurses to practice in more than one state. States who join the NLC allow licensed nurses from member states to practice within their jurisdiction. To date, NLC counts 32 states as full members, with several more waiting for implementation.

Many states require RNs who hold postgraduate degrees or advanced practice training/certification to apply for an additional license in the specific nursing arena which they chose to pursue. Examples of additional nursing licenses include the certified registered nurse anesthetist and psychiatric nurse mental health clinical specialist.

Courses in BSN Programs

A four-year bachelor’s degree in nursing typically consists of 120 credits. Students with an ADN can often earn a BSN in two years, depending on their academic background and the school’s coursework requirements. Although BSN courses, especially at the junior and senior levels, often differ greatly among schools, many cover essential nursing topics, including anatomy and physiology, microbiology, and basic pharmacology.

Accredited BSN programs give students the opportunity to develop strong research, analytical, and communication skills that help them throughout their nursing career. The courses listed below represent a typical cluster of offerings by BSN programs.

Ethics in Nursing and Healthcare

Students learn about important healthcare issues that often raise ethical concerns in nursing practice, such as informed consent, advanced care planning, and disclosing medical conditions. The course also demonstrates how different factors influence ethical nursing practice, including cultural norms, economic constraints, and legislation.

Introduction of Basic Statistics for Evidence-Based Practice

Students learn about the principles and concepts of inferential and descriptive statistics commonly used in health science research. Learners can also perform statistical tests and evaluate, summarize, and present their findings.

Nursing Informatics

Students learn how to analyze different types of healthcare data and incorporate them into an effective treatment plan for patients. Learners examine current and emerging information technologies that enable them to better collect, interpret, and manage clinical information to support timely patient care.

Pharmacology and Therapeutics Across the Lifespan

In this foundational pharmacology course, students learn how to administer drug therapy to patients by studying and integrating concepts in chemistry, physiology, and pathophysiology. Additionally, the course covers topics relevant to the pharmacology field such as drug testing and approval, dosage calculations, and pharmacokinetics.

Transition into Professional Nursing Practice

Usually taken during a student’s senior year, this course helps students synthesize knowledge from previous coursework. Students explore how healthcare policies and nursing leadership shape current nursing practice and impact the direction of the nursing profession.

Scholarships for BSN Students

Begin your search for financial assistance by exploring the five scholarship opportunities presented below. Keep in mind that colleges and universities with BSN programs often offer scholarships for students that meet specific criteria. Additional funding sources include federal grants, local and national civic organizations, and private special-interest groups.

Barbara Rhomberg Excellence in Nursing Scholarship

Who Can Apply: The program accepts nontraditional nursing students pursuing an associate or bachelor of nursing degree on a full-time basis. The program defines nontraditional students as those having at least a three-year gap between graduating from high school and enrolling in a college or university.
Amount: $1,000

Behavioral Health Academic Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Administered by the American Addiction Centers, this scholarship accepts applications from undergraduate students enrolled in a program focused on substance abuse disorders and mental health treatment. Eligible programs include nursing, counseling, and social work.
Amount: up to $5,000

Geraldine “Polly” Bednash Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.2 and be pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in nursing through an institution accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Amount: $5,000

Dr. Lauranne Sams Scholarship

Who Can Apply: This scholarship program only considers applications from members of the National Black Nurses Association. Applicants must currently be enrolled in a nursing program and have at least one year left in their studies at the time of application.
Amount: $5,000

National CPR Association Scholarship

Who Can Apply: Applicants must submit an essay (500-1,500 words) concerning their personal thoughts on or experience with administering CPR. The program accepts applications from students pursuing a degree in the medical or healthcare field, including nursing.
Amount: $3,000

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