The 9 Best Online Nursing (RN to BSN) Bachelor’s Degree Colleges of 2021

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A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is an undergraduate-level degree for registered nurses. This degree exposes nurses to various fields like research, patient care technology, health promotion, or safety within the whole healthcare system. Today, Nursing is the biggest and the most in-demand health occupation across the United States. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics says nursing provides different career options for registered nurses. But most Registered Nurses find BSN more promising as this offers them better career growth opportunities and a satisfaction way beyond their RN licensure. 

Today, both employers and the nursing profession are encouraging RNs to have a BSN degree to help them gear for more healthcare challenges in the future. While RN programs usually teach the basics of nursing and focus mainly on clinical practice and nursing theories, the BSN program goes beyond that. In 2010, a report released by the Institute of Medicine called “The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Healthcalled for an increase of BSN degree holders to 80% by 2020. In 2017, fourteen years after lobbying, the New York state finally passed the BSN in 10 Law that requires all nurses to obtain a BSN within ten years after receiving their initial RN licenses. The motivating factor behind such a law lies in the fact that better education means better patient outcomes. 

RN vs. BSN: What is the Difference?

If you are a practicing RN, with or without a BSN, your primary goal is to provide utmost patient care. This includes jotting down health histories, doing physical exams, giving health education and counseling, administering treatments and medications, or coordinating care with your co-health professionals, as stated by the American Nurses Association

Registered nurses holding either an associate or bachelor’s in nursing can work on the same medical team, performing the same duties. The only difference is that BSN-qualified nurses have a better and broader career path. They can hold leadership roles like case managers, nurse managers, and even nurse educators. 

How long and how do you get a BSN?

You can obtain a bachelor’s degree in nursing in the usual 4-year college degree program. Another option is to earn an associate in a two- to three-year associate program, and from there, further, your education once you start working as a registered nurse. Regardless of the chosen program, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing requires all graduates to pass the NCLEX-RN licensing examination. To help bridge the gap between ADN and BSN programs, you can find RN to BSN programs to help nurses obtain a bachelor’s degree. 

Although earning a license as a Registered Nurse relatively takes less time than completing the traditional BSN program, you can still complete the bachelor’s program in as little as two years without compromising your already budding career in the health field. 

How much can you make as a BSN degree holder?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018, registered nurses have a median salary of $71,730, albeit the figures widely vary according to geography, specialty, years of experience, and the type of facility. 

The 2018 Advance Salary Survey for Nurses concluded that those who pursued higher education in nursing were paid better. More than 13,000 respondents answered an inquiry on their highest educational level. Of this figure, 5,100 had a bachelor’s degree, and 3,500 held an associate degree. The survey further assessed that, on average, those with a bachelor’s degree made roughly $6,000 more than those who only have an associate degree. 

Another study conducted by ACCN reiterated that 49% of hospitals and other health care facilities need new hires holding a degree in BSN, while 86% of employers choose nurses with a bachelor’s degree. Below are other examples of nursing careers that prefer a BSN holder:

  • Nurse Case Managers. These nurses check all the necessary healthcare needs of every patient. They generally act as administrators of care and work both with the patients and the health care providers to develop an extensive care plan. These professionals also communicate with the patient’s health insurance company to check eligibility for specific programs or treatments. On average, nurse care managers earn $70,174. 
  • Charge Nurses. These nurses monitor facility admissions and discharges, oversee unit operations, and check the activities both for the support and nursing staff. Charge nurses can also get involved in direct care. The average income of these nurses is $67,000.
  • Military Nurses. As its name implies, military nurses practice in the US military to treat its service members and their families. They are tasked to monitor wounds, prescribe medications, or care for them all the patient’s stay in the hospital. The US Navy, US Army, and US Air Force, aiming to provide the best patient care, require all their registered nurses to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Although it will depend on each experience, military nurses earn between $58,000 and $103,000. 
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Today’s nurses are hailed as modern heroes, and for good reason! If you’re a Registered Nurse (RN) and looking to advance your career to the next level, enroll in an RN to Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) program. These days, RN to BSN programs are offered by numerous institutions across America, and many of them enable professionals in the field to pursue further studies without compromising their work obligations and schedules through distance learning programs.

Choose the RN to BSN program that truly stands out! Our list of accredited programs and educational institutions that offer top-of-the-line courses and rigorous curricula focused on advancing an RN’s skills and qualifications. Delivered online or using the hybrid format, these RN to BSN programs are taught by a well-credentialed faculty with extensive experience in the medical or healthcare field. The online programs emphasize a commitment toward advancing professional skills to take an RN’s career to greater heights. Each of them is esteemed among the nursing community and industry organizations, and getting stellar reviews from students and alumni. Because affordability matters to RN to BSN students, we listed the programs that highlight educational quality with reduced-tuition programs and financial aid.

Below are the top 9 best Online Nursing RN to BSN Bachelor’s Degree Colleges of 2021:

Texas A&M University-College Station

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The online RN to BSN program of the Texas A&M University is for registered nurses who already hold an Associate Degree in Nursing planning to earn the BSN degree via an online 30 semester credit hour program. This program is offered online, thus giving its students fewer worries about balancing their family, their career, and other responsibilities as they advance their education. However, if you’re admitted to the program, you are obliged to attend their mandatory 2-day New Student Conference in the university’s Bryan-College Station. 

Location:

College Station, Texas

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Program Features: 

  • Texas A&M’s program is designed for working nurses who have earned their RN licenses through paramedic bridge, diploma, or ADN programs.
  • It is a 30-hour curriculum that revolves around the fundamentals of nursing knowledge.
  • Through the program, students will learn skills related to various nursing fields and gain professional training in evidence-based decision-making, pharmacology, nursing information, and community health issues. 

Course Options:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Admission Requirements:

  • Prerequisite GPA Coursework. (Graduate coursework not considered)
  • Nursing Science GPA, including seven courses, namely: anatomy and physiology I and II, nutrition, chemistry, microbiology, lifespan growth and development, and core equivalent math course of TAMU
  • Professional resume, personal statement, and academic/professional reference
  • GPA of your AND coursework
  • Community service
  • TOEFL score (only for international applicants)
  • Leadership in professional and extracurricular activities

Tuition:

$12,000 (Residents, Fall/Spring)

$38,962 (Non-residents, Fall/Spring)

Financial Aids:

  • Graduate Assistantships
  • Graduate Fellowships
  • International Student Services Scholarships

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • The program has three tracks: the one-year track, the 18 months track, or the two-year core track
  • All classes are conducted online
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University of Central Florida

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The University of Central Florida allows you to obtain your Nursing degree while still keeping your current job. Because it is offered online, this RN to BSN program is more flexible, more convenient, and now more affordable, thanks to reduced tuition fees via waivers. The program is a 30-hour curriculum that gears nurses for better career advancement opportunities and leadership roles. 

Location:

Orlando, Florida

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Program Features:

  • The program is a 30-hour core curriculum.
  • Topics in the program include information management, evidence-based practice, pharmacology, and pathophysiology.
  • To end the program, a public health practicum is required in the community where you belong. 

Course Options:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Admissions:

  • 2.8 overall cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale
  • Copy of valid RN license
  • Those who have earned their AND outside the Florida university system are required to submit transcripts for evaluation

Tuition:

$179.19 per credit hour (in-state)

$715.80 per credit hour (out of state)

Financial Aid:

  • Scholarships
  • Loans
  • Grants
  • Federal Work-Study
  • Waivers

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • For a full-time student, the RN to BSN program may be completed in three semesters.
  • Part-time students need ten semesters to finish the program
  • Distance learners are given discounted tuition rates. 
  • You can find a handful of scholarships to qualified nursing students.
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George Washington University

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Through GWU’s BSN degree, those who already have completed their Associate in Nursing Degrees (or Associate of Science in Nursing) can smoothly progress through this program while still doing their jobs as professional nurses. Based on the coursework of an associate degree in nursing, coupled with some specific requirements for courses in general education, this part-time, 4-semester degree program is offered online in a distance-learning asynchronous format. The program strongly supports its student in finding a stable balance between family, life, school, and work.

While this is an online distance learning program, students are still given access to various library resources and other student services. Student communities are also open from across the country. 

Location: 

Washington, DC.

Accreditation:

  • Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Program Features: 

  • The program teaches you more advanced skills and knowledge that are beyond the conventional clinical aspects of nursing.
  • It gives you a solid foundation in patient safety, evidence-based practice, health care quality, and nursing policies and leadership.
  • After the program, you will become exceptional and marketable caregivers. 
  • The program also helps boost your job security and career opportunities.

Course Options: 

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (online RN-BSN)

Admissions:

  • Applicant should hold an Associate in Nursing degree from an accredited school
  • 3.0 GPA 
  • Must have an active state licensure
  • Must be employed
  • Enrollees must make an account through the university’s admission portal that will take all the necessary information and required supporting documents.

Tuition:

$680 per credit hour 

Financial Aids:

  • Merit-based scholarships
  • Washington Squared program
  • GW Hospital Nursing Scholars Program
  • Transitioning Warrior Nursing Scholars Initiative

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • The program focuses more on high-level skills and knowledge in nursing. Areas covered include healthcare finance, population health, medical information and technology, or public health nursing.
  • The whole coursework ends in the development of a professional portfolio.
  • No more practical experience is needed.
  • Fixed-rate tuition for all the nursing programs of GWU.
  • Students can have access to different scholarships. Those who are qualified for the Nursing Scholars Program can take advantage of the complete tuition reimbursement. In return, they must dedicate a service commitment. 
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Appalachian State University 

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The RN-BSN program of Appalachian State University is one of the few universities that provide an affordable, flexible, and practical pathway for obtaining a degree 100% online. In just a year, registered nurses holding an associate degree can complete the coursework and plan for their career advancements in the ever-competitive and growing nursing field. The best part about this RN-BSN program is that it no longer requires the usual clinical prerequisites. The university also awards learning credits for work experience. 

Location: 

Boone, North Carolina

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Program Features:

  • The 124-hour, part-time program of Appalachian is perfect for working nurses who already have a diploma or an associate degree in nursing.
  • Students who hold bachelor’s degrees in other fields can also adapt to the curriculum.
  • The program focuses on advanced care delivery and professional skills development. It teachers the student how to master nursing assessments, informatics, and current research while simultaneously honing his/her leadership skills.
  • Upon completing the program, students are ready to provide professional care to older adults, and within the community they belong.
  • Instead of clinical assignments, the program needs class projects. 

Course Options:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN, online)

Admission:

  • Transfer Admission
  • Applicants must either hold an Associate Degree in Nursing, Associate in Applied Science Degree, or Diploma in Nursing. Regionally accredited hospital nursing schools should confer these degrees.
  • Applicants should have a current, unencumbered, and unrestricted registered nurse (RN) license to practice nursing (whether in North Carolina or a compact state).
  • 2.5 cumulative GPA calculated by the Department of Nursing
  • Must have completed 60 hours of lower-division coursework and 30 hours of major nursing courses.

Tuition:

$163 per credit hour, or $4,890 whole year (North Carolina residents)

Financial Aids:

  • FAFSA
  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Loans
  • Work-study Programs

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • Designed to fit your timeline and your budget
  • Perfect for working registered nurses
  • The coursework is built around your hectic schedules
  • Personalized attention from faculty members who are also teaching on-campus
  • Increased opportunities for employment
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University of Alabama

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The University of Alabama’s online RN to BSN program is for registered nurses holding a diploma or Associate in Nursing degree who wish to continue to an advanced degree. They also offer the RN to MSN program, which is available fully online, just like the RN to BSN. To qualify for this program, applicants should complete the university’s core requirements. Except for the science curriculum, you can complete all the other courses online, making it very convenient, especially if you’re a working student. To complete the RN to BSN program, you just need to complete 41 hours of nursing courses. 

Location:

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Program Features:

  • This 25-hour core curriculum program is based on the fundamentals of nursing knowledge.
  • Program courses explore various topics like inquiry, medical informatics, client systems, and evidence-based practice.
  • It is offered in 3 different semesters: Fall, Spring, or Summer

Course Options:

  • RN to BSN (online)
  • RN to MSN (online)

Admission:

  • Unencumbered RN license
  • 2.0 GPA (science courses)
  • 2.5 GPA (lower-division courses)
  • Must be a graduate of an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing program from an ACEN accredited school.

Tuition:

$375 per credit hour

Financial Aid:

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • Programs are fully online. This is very flexible and convenient, especially for working students. 
  • 41 credit hours of nursing courses are awarded upon admission as an RN-BSN student
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Allen College

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This private institution based in Waterloo, Iowa, is very particular with its healthcare education. The school’s solid affiliation with the healthcare system of Iowa has attracted some of the best faculty members. As a result, graduates are led to better employment opportunities following completion of the RN-BSN program. Those who are enrolled in the program can complete the course online except for the clinical experience. You should earn at least 124 semester hours to earn your BSN degree. For the non-general education courses, you can take them at another regionally accredited school before matriculation.

Location:

Waterloo, Iowa

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Program Features:

  • The program’s core curriculum provides its students with proficiency and professional knowledge in community health nursing, evidence-based practice, healthcare communications, public health policy, and informatics.
  • Students will discover and explore their leadership skills in a clinical setting.
  • The program ends in a practicum in your local community.

Course Options:

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

Admission:

For transfer applicants:

  • 2.5 minimum GPA for undergraduates
  • Computer literacy
  • Licensed registered nurse
  • English proficiency test results (for those whose first language is not English)

General Requirements:

  • Enrollees must at least have completed 54 hours of general education coursework
  • Must provide a current RN license in Iowa

Tuition:

$677 per credit hour

Financial Aid:

Scholarships

  • Need-Based (Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant, Iowa Tuition Grant, Federal Work-Study, Federal Subsidized Direct Loan)
  •  Non-Need-Based (Unsubsidized Direct Loan, Allen College McElro Loan, Federal Nursing Student Loan, PLUS Loan, Alternative Student Loan)
  • Work-Study

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • Students can have two courses per year, provided that they pass a challenge exam and submit a portfolio of clinical experience.
  • Programs may be completed either on a part-time or full-time basis.
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Clemson University

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Clemson University’s RN to BSN completion program, also called the RN-BS Completion Track, gives registered nurses an associate nursing degree to earn their bachelor’s degree in nursing finally. This track is open to qualified nurses and is delivered fully online. Those who enroll full-time can complete the whole course in 12 months. They also offer part-time plans to meet the demands of working students. Clemson University’s School of Nursing has a solid relationship with many area technical colleges. This allows a hassle-free transition for associate degree holders from being RNs to becoming BSN degree holders. 

Location:

Clemson, South Carolina

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Program Features:

  • The program has no clinical practice requirements.
  • On the 32-hour program, the coursework focuses on professional skills development. 
  • As soon as you complete the program, you will emerge with enhanced management skills. Your current nursing research, leadership, and scientific communication will be significantly improved.
  • The program also explores various nursing specialty topics like health assessments, advanced pathophysiology, and community nursing.
  • Students can also complete two different courses in healthcare genetics. 

Course Options:

  • Bachelor of Science, Major in Nursing

Admissions:

  • Enrollees must be a graduate of a registered nursing program from a nationally accredited institution
  • You must hold a current and unrestricted RN license in your home state
  • Your cumulative GPA should be at least 2.75
  • Completed all the prerequisite courses
  • Transcript of Records

Tuition:

$550 per credit hour

Financial Aid:

  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Loans
  • Student Employment

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • All the RNBS Completion Track is online. The classes are fully online in format, although you are required to attend an on-campus orientation (1 day) before the start of classes.
  • The faculty members are readily available online, by phone, or in-person at the Clemson University Nursing Building found at 605 Grove Road, Greenville, SC
  • The completion track has three courses that contain experiential clinic learning activities. 
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East Carolina University

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The RN to BSN program of the East Carolina University is a four-semester (16 months) online coursework that allows working nurses to advance their career and education at their convenience. To qualify for the program, you should be a registered nurse holding a license in North Carolina or an Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact state.  The program includes coursework in nursing finance, leadership, professional communication, and evidence-based practice. Some courses need practical experience components. The RN to BSN program culminates in a practicum for one semester at a pre-approved healthcare facility.

Location:

Greenville, North Carolina

Accreditation:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS)
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Program Features:

  • Full-time students can complete the program online in four semesters.
  • Eligible enrollees can accelerate their programs if they earn prior learning credits for their past work experience or education.
  • You can complete your upper-division courses sequentially, each lasting 5 weeks, 7 weeks, or a full semester. You can start your course sequence in the spring or fall. 

Course Option:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing – RN to BSN

Admissions:

  • Diploma or associate degree in nursing
  • Current, unrestricted RN license to practice as a nurse in North Carolina or an NCSBON-Compact State.
  • For international students, credentials must be validated first with the Commission of Graduates of Foreign Nursing School
  • Must reside and practice (if employed) in North Carolina or an NCSBON-Compact State 
  • Overall GPA of 2.5
  • “C” or higher in Mathematics and Science courses

Tuition:

$166.41 per credit hour (residents)

$716.31 per credit hour (non-residents)

Financial Aids:

  • Scholarships
  • Grants
  • Loans
  • Employment
  • Military and Service Programs

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • The college utilizes a multi-layered ranking system in evaluating its applicants.
  • All qualified distance learners can take advantage of the school’s study-abroad opportunities in Guatemala.
  • Students can apply for merit-based or need-based scholarships.
  • The Nursing College of ECU is a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.
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University of Arkansas

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The RN to BSN online program of the University of Arkansas is offered from the Eleonor Mann School of Nursing, is accredited by the CCNE, and allows flexible degree options for working nurses. Part-time students can complete the whole program in five semesters, while those who study full time can finish it in a year. After meeting all the general prerequisites, you can start your 29-hour program that focuses strongly on professional caregiving in a specific patient population. You will learn more about behavioral and mental health and critical care. All the programs are delivered online and end in a practicum at a local healthcare facility. 

Location:

Fayetteville, Arkansas

Accreditation:

  • Higher Learning Commission
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Program Features:

  • The program has flexible degree options: either part-time or full-time enrollment.
  • Classes are normally conducted in 8-week terms.
  • Each student works with a mentor to experience the best evidence-based practices. 
  • For qualified students, the program offers an application fee waiver.

Course Options: 

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Admission:

  • Enrollees should have an RN license 
  • Must have at least a 2.8 GPA from an accredited nursing program
  • Have already completed at least 1,000 hours of clinical experience in the past two years.
  • For those with no clinical experience, a clinical proficiency exam is required.

Tuition:

$298.22 per credit hour

Financial Aid:

What’s Unique About the Program:

  • Full-time university faculty members teach all the courses.
  • The programs are all delivered online, thus no need for a campus visit. 
  • There are 3-5 semester plans to choose from, and you can complete a program in just a year.