An online RN to BSN program is an excellent option for nurses who are seeking to further their education and enhance their marketability in the field. A BSN can provide more job offers than an RN certification, because demand in the field is high. A recent report by the National Institute of Medicine highlighted the shortage of qualified nurses who can meet the demands of the ever-growing field. In response to the report, the American Nurses Association launched an initiative for all professional nurses to further their education and meet the needs of the field.
Prior to the ANA’s initiative, there were only a handful of RN to BSN programs in the United States, with most of them limited to a campus-based option. Hundreds of schools across the country responded to the initiative by adding RN to BSN programs in on-campus and online formats.
Featured RN to BSN Schools
These programs require students to pass a criminal background check, meet certain physical requirements, and complete between 30 and 60 hours of nursing courses and clinical coursework. The programs are demanding, but rewarding. For nurses who wish to continue their jobs while working toward their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, there are many online options.
If you’re interested in an online RN to BSN option, consider these top 25 online RN to BSN programs.
#1 – Arizona State University
Location: Tempe, Arizona
Tuition and Fees: $10,638
Arizona State University offers students an online option for their RN to BSN program. Students who already have their RN certification can earn a BSN in as little as 15 to 18 months as a full-time student. Students must complete the course with a cumulative and major GPA of at least 2.0 for graduation. The course consists of 38 total hours. Students are able to transfer up to 64 credits from a regionally accredited community college. Meanwhile, those who are on the Arizona pathway may transfer up to 75 credits. Students who have attended a regionally accredited university may be eligible to transfer more credits.
#2 – Cabarrus College of Health Sciences
Location: Concord, North Carolina
At Cabarrus College of Health Sciences, an online RN to BSN program helps students learn about holistic learning. Online classes teach an emphasis in community health, health policy, informatics, leadership, and administration. The completion program can begin in the spring or fall semesters and full-time students earn their degree in six semesters. There is also a part-time option available. Students must attend the university’s campus for one class, NUR 301, which requires three on-campus meetings.
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences offers an accelerated RN to BSN program and offers online or hybrid formats. They hybrid format requires students to attend class at the campuses in Lancaster or Lehigh Valley. Students meet once a week for five-week courses. Each class is four hours long.
#4 – Allen College
Location: Waterloo, Iowa
Allen College’s online RN to BSN program is offered in select states, because clinical placement cannot be guaranteed to students outside of Iowa. The program begins with a liberal arts foundation and emphasizes hands-on learning, community services, and lifelong learning. Students must already have RN credentials and meet requirements including physical fitness tests. The school recommends that prospective students meet with a counselor for an eligibility interview prior to admission.
#5 – Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
The online RN to BSN program at Nebraska Methodist College has three start dates in January, May, and august. Students can earn their degree in less than seven semesters, or about 18 months. A part-time program is offered for students with time restrictions. The program is not offered for students in every state; students in Alabama, Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, New Mexico, and Wyoming may not apply at this time.
#6 – Mount Carmel College of Nursing
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Mount Carmel College of Nursing emphasizes small class sizes in its online RN to BSN program. The college teaches no more than 25 to 30 students at a time. Students must already have their RN certification and can earn their BSN in as little as four semesters. Start dates are offered in spring, summer, and fall. Students can pick from a part-time or full-time courseload. In order to graduate, students must complete 10 or more hours of community service.
#7 – SUNY College of Technology — Delhi School of Nursing
Location: Delhi, New York
SUNY Delhi’s online RN to BSN program is fully accredited and offered to registered nurses who already have associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in nursing. Students must complete 120 credit hours for graduation; the program allows them to complete these credits at their own pace. Students who need it have access to affordable tuition rates and financial aid.
#8 – Fort Hays State University
Location: Hays, Kansas
At Fort Hays State University, students who are currently RN licensed and have maintained a GPA of 2.5 or higher may enroll in the online RN to BSN program. Students must complete 30 hours of nursing classes, along with one internship course. They must also continue to show advancement in order to stay in the program.
#9 – University of Central Florida
Location: Orlando, Florida
Tuition: $2,522 in state, $10,126 out of state
The University of Central Florida offers several options for its online RN to BSN program. The program is 100 percent online. Along with an online RN to BSN, UCF offers an ASN to BSN and an RN to MSN degree. The RN to BSN option can be completed in 3 to 10 semesters, depending on the number of classes the student takes per term. Students can transfer in up to 27 credit hours.
#10 – Bellevue University
Location: Bellevue, Nebraska
Bellevue University offers an online RN to BSN program that emphasizes effective leadership, professional development, and social issues that affect healthcare. Students must complete 127 credit hours of classes, including 36 hours in core nursing classes. RNs can use work experience in place of up to 60 credit hours.
#11 – University of North Georgia
Location: Dahlonega, Georgia
Tuition: $4,219 in state, $12,133 out of state
The University of Georgia’s RN to BSN program is offered online, in a hybrid format, or on campus. Students can choose between three- or four-semester study plans for the curriculum. Several health care agencies are available for clinical experience, which students need in order to graduate.
#12 – Oral Roberts University
Location: Tulsa, Oklahoma
Oral Roberts University’s online RN to BSN program requires students to complete 131 credits. Up to 90 of those credits can be transferred from other programs. Students must have completed 25 credits in prerequisite courses in order to enroll in the program. Working RNs can take classes on a full-time or part-time basis. Classes are offered two per semester in seven-week sessions.
#13 – Pennsylvania State University
Location: University Park, Pennsylvania
Tuition: $16,992 in state, $29,566 out of state
Pennsylvania State University’s Penn State World Campus offers a 100 percent online RN to BSN program. All classes are offered online and students can complete the clinical requirements within their home community. Typical classes last between 12 and 15 weeks, although students who want an accelerated degree have the option of seven and a half week classes.
#14 – Ball State University
Location: Muncie, Indiana
Ball State University’s online RN to BSN program can be completed mostly online, though it does require clinical training hours. Students at Ball State complete 31 credits in core classes, 39 credits in nursing prerequisites, and 20 credits of upper level nursing courses. The program is offered in three or six semesters, depending on the student’s needs.
#15 – Stanbridge College
Location: Irvine, California
The online RN to BSN program at Stanbridge College is both challenging and rewarding. The program includes classes on policy, leadership, financial systems, disease prevention, and more. The program is offered online, but students are required to complete two-day residency requirements during the Advanced Physical Assessment course. Students typically graduate in 21 months.
#16 – Western Carolina University
Location: Cullowhee, North Carolina
Western Carolina University’s RN to BSN program is offered completely online. In order to enroll, students must already be certified RNs who are looking to enhance their leadership capabilities. Students must complete 24 credits of online core nursing classes, eight credits of online electives, and two clinical course rotations.
#17 – University of North Carolina at Wilmington
Location: Wilmington, North Carolina
Tuition: $6,343 in state, $18,480 out of state
The online RN to BSN program at University of Carolina at Wilmington offers self-paced learning modules that take about seven weeks to complete. Coursework is due on the last day of the week. Six start dates are offered for the program and full-time students can complete their degree in as little as 12 months. Clinical work is required for graduation and can be completed at the student’s place of employment.
#18 – Upper Iowa University
Location: Fayette, Iowa
Upper Iowa University offers an RN to BSN program completely online or as a hybrid option. Full-time students take two classes at a time and complete their degree in a year. Part-time students complete their program in 20 months. Classes are mostly self-paced, though students are required to meet specific deadlines for assignments.
#19 – Clarkson College
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Clarkson College offers an online RN to BSN program that can be completed in three to six semesters. The program has three start dates per year. Students must complete 130 credits, but there is no formal clinical hour requirement. The program’s goal is to prepare students with theoretical learning that they can apply in everyday situations.
#20 – University of Alabama
Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama
At the University of Alabama, all online students are charged in-state tuition. The RN to BSN program is offered completely online. Full-time students can complete the program in three semesters; part-time coursework is also offered. The program isn’t 100 percent online, because lab science courses can’t be completed in that format. Instead, students can take these lab courses at a participating college near them. Credits can then be transferred.
#21 – Appalachian State University
Location: Boone, North Carolina
Tuition: $6,462 in state, $18,670 out of state
The online RN to BSN program at Appalachian State University is cohort-based, meaning students work together in a single group from start to finish. The university’s program lasts 12 months and requires attendance during fall, spring, and summer semesters. Students take 124 credits of core, nursing, elective and transfer courses. Students who complete two terms automatically earn 30 semester hours of credit for prior learning.
The Villanova University online RN to BSN program was designed by its College of Nursing with goals from the National Nursing League. Students attending Villanova can complete their degree with 60 credit hours of theoretical learning and experiential training. Clinical experience is completed at a local healthcare facility.
#23 – Michigan State University
Location: East Lansing, Michigan
Tuition: $12,862 in state, $33,750 out of state
Michigan State University’s online RN to BSN program is offered on a part-time basis. Students complete the program over the course of five semesters, or about 18 months. The program requires 117 hours of clinical practicum, which can be completed at sites close to the student’s location.
#24 – Lamar University
Location: Beaumont, Texas
The online RN to BSN program at Lamar University focuses on training students to think logically and analyze problems critically. Students must complete Associate of Applied Science in Nursing classes, along with their core curriculum courses. Co-requisite nursing courses and 30 credit hours of upper-level BSN courses are also part of the curriculum.
#25 – University of South Florida
Location: Tampa, Florida
Tuition: $6,410 in state, $17,324 out of state
University of South Florida’s online RN to BSN program can be completed in as little as five semesters for part-time students, or three semesters for full-time students. the program includes classes on leadership roles in healthcare, patient/staff education, and clinical best practices. In order to graduate, students must complete clinical practice at their place of employment. They must also complete 15 service learning practicum hours. The program admits students who don’t live in Florida, but the decision regarding out-of-state students can take several weeks to be reached.