There is a critical nursing shortage in the United States and the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the demand for nurses will reach nearly 20% between the years 2014-2024. With almost half a million nurses anticipating retirement within these years, the aging of the Baby Boomers and the increased attention paid to healthcare needs and insurance, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects nearly 1.1 million new registered nurses will be required to counteract this shortage.
Entry level nursing careers are available for those nurses holding a diploma, Associates Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN); but, in 2010, the Institute of Medicine recommended that the standard for the nursing profession should move toward establishing the Bachelor of Nursing (BSN) as the industry standard for the profession.
The average four-year school, requires 120 credit hours for a BSN. However, colleges and universities, in order to meet the needs of currently working nurses obtaining a BSN, have created online degree programs which allow licensed nurses to obtain their BSN in as few as two years.
The benefits of these online RN to BSN programs are several, not the least of which, is the flexibility to gain an undergraduate degree while not interrupting the student’s employment. RN to BSN students are able to take advantage of accelerated programs which considers work and prior college coursework in developing the student’s educational program. Clinical practicums are frequently conducted in the student’s home community under a qualified proctor.
The gold standards in accreditation, the quality assurance that the program you chose meets specific educational requirements, are The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and The Accreditation Commission For Education in Nursing (ACEN). These are independent regulatory organizations, recognized by the Department of Education, to accredit online programs by assessing and identifying programs engaged in effective educational practice.
One of the first considerations in choosing a RN to BSN program is the cost. Many hospitals and health systems offer tuition reimbursement programs for their nurses as part of their employee benefits package. You should talk with your Human Resources Department to see whether that may be an option for you. Additionally, the Nurses Educational Funds Organization offers educational funding for nurses advancing their education. Students may also qualify for scholarships or Federal Student Aid and should review application requirements with your school’s Financial Aid Office.
Costs To Consider
The number of credit hours you’ll be required to take will vary (depending on transfer hours, experience credit, etc.); therefore, this ranking provides the cost per credit hour for each program as a baseline for comparison.
As you go through schools websites, you’ll see that some will charge distance learning fees, some will charge in state and out of state tuition and some will assess student fees of some sort. It’s important to review all fees and charges which will affect your total tuition costs and will vary greatly from school to school.
Background Checks and Malpractice Insurance
Be certain to verify what requirements, if any, your school choice may have regarding clinical experiences. Some schools may require you submit to a background check and carry malpractice insurance.
State Reciprocity Agreements
Distance learning is subject to the U.S. Department of Education State Authorization Regulations reciprocity agreements. Online programs have reciprocity agreements with states outside of the school’s state to provide educational programs. Due to state licensing requirements, not all online programs extend to all states. Verify that your state of residence has a reciprocity agreement with the school of your choice prior to going through the admissions process.
Online Programs In This Ranking
Best Medical Degrees, has researched online programs offering RN to BSN degrees which hold accreditation from either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission For Education in Nursing (ACEN). Online RN to BSN programs are designed for those currently working professionals who hold a diploma degree in nursing, ADN or LPN accredited program. This ranking, while not exhaustive, is a good starting point for you to explore online programs that fit your specific needs. Programs are listed from lowest to highest per credit hour cost, accreditation and any rankings or recognition from organizations such as U.S. News and World Report, Military Times, The Princeton Review or Forbes Magazine.
1. Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University introduced their online RN to BSN degree program in the Fall of 2017. Fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, this program requires 60 credit hours in general education coursework in English composition, psychology, anatomy, history, etc. Core nursing courses will cover topics in health assessment, pathophysiology, nursing leadership, caring for the older adult, community health nursing and nursing research. The school accepts transfer credits from accredited community college programs or other educational institutions. Scholarships are available for qualified students. The school has limited online admission availability.
This North Carolina university was founded in 1892 with 25 students crowded into two rooms. Now, with an enrollment in excess of 5,000 students, Winston-Salem State University has been named #1 public HBCU by the Wall Street Journal (2016), recognized by U.S. News and World Report as one of the Best Colleges in the South, Top Public Schools and Top Historically Black College and Universities. The nursing school boasts of a 90% first time licensure exam pass rate for nurses and partners with Duke University School of Nursing in a bridge to the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $109
2. University of South Alabama
This RN to BSN program is offered online and practice experiences may be completed in the student’s home community. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), students in this program are expected to complete prerequisite courses in general education subjects such as English, history, psychology, economics, human anatomy and physiology. Prerequisite courses may be taken at any college or university and transfer credits are accepted. Core nursing courses, which must be completed at the University of South Alabama, include pathophysiology and genomics, pathophysiology, community health, health assessment and evidence-based practice. Applicants from South Dakota and New York should contact the RN-BSN Advising Office prior to application.
The University of South Alabama is located in Mobile, Alabama and has a current student enrollment of over 15,000 students. Established in 1963 USB offers over 100 majors. Recognized as #233 in Public Schools, #160 in schools of the South and #616 in Top Colleges by Forbes Magazine. The University of South Alabama holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
Estimated Tuition: $122 (Resident); $720(Non Resident)
3. Broward College
Broward College’s RN to BSN degree is offered online for professional, working nurses. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, this is a hybrid program which includes studies in nursing leadership development, nursing theory, research for nurses, pathophysiology and pharmacology. The program is unique in that it’s one of the few which offers study in End of Life and Legal Ethics. Applicants may have program credit given for Experiential Learning and students will be required to take an Advanced Health Assessment Lab, a Community Health Practicum and a Capstone Project. This hybrid RN to BSN program may be completed within 12 to 18 months with limited in class participation.
Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Broward College was founded in 1959 and is part of the Florida College System. The college has offered online degrees since 2010; and, has an estimated enrollment of over 67,000 students and is a public institution. On its website, Broward College cites recognition as #2 in the nation by College Choice’s Best Community Colleges and a Finalist of Distinction by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $123 (Resident); $243 (Non Resident)
4. University of Wyoming Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing
Created for the nurse holding a nursing degree or associate degree in nursing, this is an online RN to BSN degree accredited by the CCNE. The program is offered nationwide and has no on-campus requirement. The program requires completion of prerequisites before enrolling in core nursing courses. Core courses include studies in anatomy, pathophysiology, pharmacology, microbiology and psychology. Students will also study health assessment, nursing leadership, public/community nursing and will culminate with a capstone project. The capstone project will synthesize program concepts and focuses on a public health issue identified by the student. This program requires background checks for admission.
The Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing at the University of Wyoming was established in 1951 and has a 91% graduation rate. The University of Wyoming, founded in 1886, has been ranked #171 in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities and #90 in its Top Public Schools rankings. The school has an enrollment exceeding 12,000 students in over 200 areas of study and is located in Laramie, Wyoming. The University of Wyoming is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Estimated Tuition: $129 (Resident); $516 (Non Resident)
5. University of Indiana-Purdue University Indianapolis
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the University of Indiana RN to BSN program. The RN to BSN program is available at all eight University of Indiana campuses and online. Students will study nursing research, nursing informatics, data analysis, applied healthcare ethics; and, elective courses in global health issues in nursing, comprehensive health assessment, gerontological nursing, pharmacology and care coordination in transition of care. Fifty hours in general education classes are required which includes studies in the humanities, communication, life and physical sciences and social studies. Transferrable hours may be applied to the general education requirement where appropriate.
The Indiana University was founded in 1891 and merged with the University of Purdue in 1968 to create the Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. The School of Nursing dates to 1914 and graduated its first class of five students in 1917. Today, over 29,000 undergraduates are enrolled at UIPUI. Ranked in the top 200 of U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities ranking, UIPUI is ranked #20 Most Innovative Schools, #102 Top Public Schools and its graduate nursing program is ranked #21 in the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. Forbes Magazine rates UIPUI #596 in its Top Colleges and #219 in Public Schools.
Cost Per Credit Hour $159 (Resident); $958 (Non Resident)
6. East Carolina University College of Nursing
East Carolina University College of Nursing provides an online RN to BSN degree specifically designed for the working registered nurse. Focusing not only on the nurse as a care provider but the nurse leader, manager, educator and change agent in clinical settings. Some courses may require some practice experience. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) this program may be completed in four semesters. The degree concentrates on liberal arts and a natural and behavioral sciences education and emphasizes nursing concepts and principles. General education courses will include English, the humanities, anatomy/physiology, behavioral sciences, microbiology and chemistry. Nursing core coursework will include studies in communication, evidence based practice, community health nursing, leadership and ends with a practice experience capstone. The program is currently unable to accept students from Alabama, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Maryland and Ohio.
East Carolina University is located in Greenville, North Carolina and was founded in 1907. The university has received national recognition from educational rankings such as U.S. News and World Report for its graduate nursing program, Best Southeastern Schools by Princeton Review and has been ranked a Military Friendly School by GI Jobs. The College of Nursing was established in 1959 and graduates an estimated 1300 nurses a year.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $166 (Resident); $716 (Non Resident)
7. Western Carolina University School of Nursing
The School of Nursing at Western Carolina University offers a RN to BSN online degree that is accredited by CCNE and may be completed in four semesters. The program requires online courses as well as practicums in leadership and community health. Students studies are created in four blocks comprised of three courses which include: an introductory block (professional transition, writing and clinical updates), a community health block, leadership block, nursing research block, upper level electives and a practicum block (clinical experiences may be arranged in your home community). Currently, the school is unable to admit students from California, Florida and Massachusetts. The WCU School of Nursing also offers a fast track RN to MSN degree program.
Founded in Cullowee, NC in 1889, Western Carolina University boasts an enrollment of over 10,000 students; and, has been ranked #37 in Regional Universities South, #13 in Top Public Schools and #76 Best Online Bachelor’s Programs by U.S. News and World Report. The university holds accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and offers 115 undergraduate and more than 60 graduate degrees.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $176 (Resident); $526 (Non Resident)
8. University of Central Florida
This program is designed for the post-licensure nurse and allows practicing RNs to receive a BSN. The University of Central Florida offers an online RN to BSN program. The degree, which can be completed in 5 semesters and is accredited through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Prerequisite courses are required for the RN-BSN degree which include anatomy, microbiology, human nutrition, psychology and statistics. Students will take core nursing courses in pathophysiology for nursing practice, dimensions of professional practice, nursing research, health assessment, health care issues, policies and economics, leadership and management, community and public health. The university also offers a Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program for active duty military students.
U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Central Florida #171 in its National Universities ranking, #90 in Top Public Schools and #57 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. Established in 1963 in Orlando, Florida, the university has a current enrollment of over 64,000 students and offers over 210 degree programs. The nursing program boasts a high state and national NCLEX-RN exam pass rate.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $179
9. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Nursing
Texas Tech University’s Health Sciences Center School of Nursing, accredited by CCNE, offers an online RN to BSN degree for registered nurses with a diploma or associates degree and a current, unencumbered nursing license. The program requires 54 credit hours in general education prerequisites in life and physical sciences, social and behavioral sciences, American history, mathematics, communication, government and political science, etc. Core nursing classes will focus on evidence based practice, healthcare informatics technology, health intervention design, evaluating risk in healthcare and integrating BSN concepts. The program requires clinical experiences which may be completed in the student’s home community by working with a mentor of the student’s choosing and approval by the School of Nursing. Scholarships are available, but the school requires students to have filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
Located in Lubbock, Texas in 1969 as the Texas Tech University School of Medicine, the center has grown to training over 10,000 healthcare professionals and is now a seven-school university in Abilene, Amarillo, Dallas/Fort Worth, El Paso, Lubbock, Midland and Odessa. The School of Nursing was created in 1979 and graduates an average of 1,000 nurses a year. U.S. News and World Report ranks the graduate nursing program as #68 in Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $190 (Resident); $598 (Non Resident)
10. University of the Cumberlands
This RN to BSN online degree program follows the guidelines of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing’s Essentials of Baccalaureate Nursing Education and holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The program, offered 100% online, may be completed in 12 months. The degree requires 37 hours of general education coursework (transfer hours from an accredited associated degree program are acceptable) and 66 credit hours in core nursing courses. Classes in the core coursework includes pathophysiology, statistics, healthcare communications, research and nursing practice, advanced health assessment, community healthcare, principles of healthcare management and a senior seminar.
With an enrollment of over 3,000 students today, the University of the Cumberlands was established in 1888 by a group of Baptist Ministers and is affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. The university is located in Williamsburg, Kentucky and ranks #103 by U.S. News Report in its Best Online Bachelor’s Programs. The University of the Cumberlands is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and offers over 40 majors and minors; and, has 12 graduate programs available.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $199
11. Fort Hays State University Virtual College
Consistently offering low tuition and accredited online programs, Fort Hays State University offers a RN to BSN program which is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Students will take 47 credit hours in general education coursework is required by the successful completion (or credit transfer) in the humanities, English, social and behavioral sciences and natural or physical sciences (such as anatomy, microbiology, chemistry, etc.). The school is introducing a new curriculum in January, 2018. Courses are offered in 8 week periods and include studies in informatics, legal and ethical issues, health promotion, leadership and management, current trends in nursing and includes a quality improvement practicum. The program offers an Advanced Standing Credit toward the BSN on successful completion of the NCLEX-RN national exam, which may allow for 36 credit hours applied to the student’s transcript.
Fort Hays State University has been ranked #15 in U.S. News and World Report’s ranking of Best Online Bachelor’s Programs; and, the school’s graduate nursing program has been ranked #77 in the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. With a current enrollment over 14,000 students on its Hays, Kansas campus and over 6,000 students enrolled in online degree programs. Founded in 1902, Fort Hays State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $213
12. Cleveland State University
This online RN to BSN degree program, accredited by the CCNE. Students must hold an active nursing license for admission. There are prerequisite courses in anatomy and physiology, college level chemistry, microbiology, English, statistics and psychology. Students will take credit hours in in computer competency, nursing research, theory and professional practice, professional writing and communications, nursing research, issues and trends in nursing, gerontological nursing and volunteer clinical hours, leadership and management and a role practicum of 90 hours in a preceptor directed clinical practice. The online RN to BSN program may be completed in 12 months online. Cleveland State University has recently introduced a blended RN to BSN program in partnership with the Cleveland Clinic.
Cleveland State University was established in 1880 and joined the Ohio State System in 1964. Located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, the school has over 17,000 enrolled students. The online graduate school of nursing at Cleveland State University has been recognized in the Top 200 of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs and has been acknowledged by Forbes Magazine in its Top College and Public Colleges.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $240 (Resident); $243 (Non Resident)
13. University of Texas Arlington
A CCNE accredited program, the University of Texas Arlington offers an online RN to BSN degree which may be completed in 9 months. Students will take general courses in subjects such as: human anatomy & physiology, microbiology, English composition, history, math and sociology. Along with electives, students will complete nursing studies in research, nursing leadership, health policy and legal aspects of nursing, holistic health assessment and the program is completed with a capstone project. Clinical experiences will be conducted in the student’s workplace on approval by the UTA School of Nursing approval. Blending liberal arts study and the study of best evidence clinical practices, the program may be finished in as few as nine months. The University of Texas at Arlington also provides a BSN to MSN online program available that may be completed in as few as 36 months.The program is unable to accept students from Alaska, Massachusetts, Maryland, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington.
The University of Texas Arlington was founded in 1895 in Arlington, Texas and joined the Texas University System in 1967. U.S. News and World Report recognizes the school’s Online Graduate Nursing program as one of the top 100 in its national rankings. The program is unable to accept students from Alaska, Massachusetts, Maryland, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $257
14. SUNY Delhi
The State University of New York Delhi offers an online RN to BSN, Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) accredited degree program. This program is designed for the working registered nurse who have either a diploma or associates degree in nursing. The RN-BSN program allows for transfer of between 60 to 80 credit hours towards the overall BSN program of 120 hours required for a BSN. Prerequisite courses are necessary in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, English and psychology. Core nursing coursework will include studies in ethics, pathophysiology, leadership management, epidemiology, evidence-based practice, health care policy and health promotion. There is a practicum experience required with the RN-BSN which may be completed in the student’s home community with a school approved preceptor. Because of states’ regulatory requirements on distance education, SUNY Delhi School of Nursing is unable to accept or enroll students from Florida.
SUNY Delhi’s first class consisted of nine students in 1915 when the school first opened in Delhi, New York as an agricultural and domestic science institution. Today, the school is home to over 3,200 students enrolled in one of ten degree programs ranging from certificates to masters of science. The school has been recognized as a Military Friendly School by GI Jobs Magazine, recognized as a leader in online bachelor programs by U.S. News and World Report, as well as a Best Regional College.
Estimated Tuition: $278 (Resident); $333 (Non Resident)
15. East Tennessee State University College of Nursing
East Tennessee State University offers a 100% online RN to BSN degree program designed specifically for the working registered nurse holding an associate degree or registered nurse certificate or diploma. This nursing program holds accreditation from the American Association of Collegiate Nursing. The degree requires students to either be enrolled in 41 credit hours in general education courses at ETSU or accredited hours from another school meeting the criteria. Prerequisite classes for the accelerated RN to BSN program are required in anatomy, pathophysiology, microbiology and probability statistics. Core nursing courses will include care in mental illness, adult care, communication for nursing profession and leadership and professional practice.
Located in Johnson City, Tennessee, East Tennessee State University was established in 1911 as a teachers college. Presently with an enrollment in excess of 14,000 students. U.S. News and World Report ranks ETSU’s graduate nursing program at #61 in its Best Online Graduate Nursing Program in 2017. ETSU has also been named one of The Princeton Review’s Best Southeastern Colleges.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $287 (Resident); $417 (Non Resident)
16. University of Southern Indiana College of Nursing and Health Professions
Students applying to the RN to BSN degree at the University of Southern Indiana may complete their degree in as few as 14 months. Applicants must hold a nursing degree or associate degree in nursing, an unencumbered nursing license and be employed by or have access to a healthcare working environment. Courses will cover health assessment for nurses, care coordination, nursing informatics, application of evidence based practices, clinical synthesis and nursing leadership. The University of Southern Indiana’s program is CCNE accredited. The program, depending on the state reciprocity arrangements, may not be able to accept students from your state of residency. Be sure to check with the school to see if your state participates.
The University of Southern Indiana was founded in 1965 and offers over 80 degree programs to its over 10,000 enrolled students. U.S. News and World Report has rated the online graduate nursing program #21 in its national Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a 97.94% NCLEX exam for its bachelors prepared nurses. The university is located in Evansville, Indiana.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $297
17. University of Louisiana at LaFayette
This online RN to BSN degree from the University of Louisiana at LaFayette holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. This degree will allow students to apply evidence based practices and evaluate clinical patient care, learn nursing leadership skills and apply nursing theories. Corequisite courses (above the core nursing courses) to be concluded before graduation, include studies in general liberal arts education, English, history, art, anatomy, biology, microbiology as well as algebra and behavioral sciences. Applicants must hold a valid nursing license, an associate degree in nursing or diploma from an accredited institution. Prospective students should also verify that this program is available in your state of residence.
Ranked #68 by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, the University of Louisiana at LaFayette was founded in 1898 and is the second largest university in the state of Louisiana. The university has an enrollment in excess of 18,000 students and is part of the Louisiana state university system. The university’s College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions was created in 1952.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $317
18. Notre Dame College Online
Notre Dame College offers an online RN to BSN degree accredited by CCNE. Applicants to the program must have either an associate degree or nursing degree from an ACEN accredited program. It’s estimated the program may be completed within 16-18 months, depending on transfer credits. Students also must hold a valid, unencumbered nursing license and requires prerequisites prior to enrolling in core nursing courses. Students’ core courses will include evidence based practice models, nursing informatics, gerontology, healthcare leadership, healthcare policy and a nursing capstone project. General education courses include English composition, algebra, general psychology, anatomy and statistics.
Founded in 1922, Notre Dame College (not affiliated with Notre Dame University) is located in Euclid, Ohio and has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report’s third most diverse Midwest colleges. The college has an enrollment of just over 2,000 students making it the only small liberal arts college in the Greater Cleveland area. Notre Dame College is a private Catholic school in the tradition of the Sisters of Notre Dame.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $320
19. University of Tennessee Chattanooga
The University of Tennessee Chattanooga has a 100% online RN to BSN degree for currently working registered nurses. The gateway program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Cohort programs begin in August and January each year. Applicants are required to be graduates of an accredited diploma or associate degree programs, be a practicing registered nurse and hold an unencumbered license. Students will study nursing courses in pathophysiology, nursing theory, health assessment, nursing research, nursing leadership and a capstone project.
Founded as Chattanooga University by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1886 as a private school. The school merged in 1969, along with a junior college, with the University of Tennessee system and the School of Nursing was established in 1973. Ranked #57 in Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report, #32 Best Colleges for Veterans and #21 in Top Public Schools. The school has a current enrollment of over 11,000 students.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $348 (Resident); $374 (Non Resident)
20. University of Cincinnati
Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the University of Cincinnati offers an online RN to BSN program. The program offers three flexible options including fulltime (completion in 9 months), part time (completion in 12 months by taking three courses per semester) and part time (two years for completion). Applicants must have a current and unencumbered nursing license. Core nursing courses will include studies in concepts in community health, informatics for nurses, gerontological nursing, leadership and management and a capstone project.
The degree requires students complete general education courses in English, history, statistics, anatomy and physiology, psychology or sociology and microbiology. Note: The program is unable to accept applicants from Louisiana, Tennessee, New York, Oregon, Massachusetts, District of Columbia and Washington state.
The city of Cincinnati established the university in 1870 which has grown to over 36,000 enrolled students. U.S. News and World Report ranks this school at #133 in its National Universities, as well as, #83 Best Colleges for Veterans and #111 Top Public Schools. The University of Cincinnati’s online graduate nursing program has been ranked in the top 10 by U.S. News and World Report and its online bachelor’s degree rates in the top 100 in the nation.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $389
21. University of Massachusetts Amherst College of Nursing
UMASS-Amherst provides an online RN to BSN degree program which is fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and accepts applicants in the Spring or Summer. This program may be completed in one to two years, according to the school’s website. Students follow a plan of study which includes nursing ethics, community nursing, health and physical assessments, cultural diversity in health and illness, healthcare informatics, professional role in nursing and a practicum experience. There are 57 prerequisite hours required in nutrition, human anatomy, human physiology, medical microbiology, abnormal psychology, statistics and life span growth an development. Students are also required to have a current nursing license or obtain a license prior to beginning their 2nd semester.
With a current enrollment over 30,000 students, UMASS Amherst was founded in 1863 and ranks among the top 30 in colleges and universities by U.S. News and World Report. The university also holds U.S. News and World Report’s #38 Best Colleges for Veterans, #29 Top Public Schools, #24 in Best Online Bachelor’s Degree and #13 for its Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. The Forbes college guide, rates UMASS #226 in Top Colleges, #64 in Public Colleges and #144 America’s Best Value Colleges.
Cost Per Credit Hour $390
22. University of Saint Francis
Designed for licensed nurses, University of Saint Francis offers an online RN to BSN degree which is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The program accepts up to 68 transfer credits from ASN or diploma programs and the total number of hours required will also depend on placement exams at admission. Students will complete 39 hours in nursing courses (including a practicum) and 13 credit hours in elective courses. Nursing courses will include core courses in communication, evidence-based practices, nursing concepts, as well as nursing informatics.
U.S. News and World Report ranks the University of Saint Francis #32 in its Regional Northwest Universities, #23 in Best Value Schools and ranked the university in the Top 100 for its Online Bachelor’s Programs as well as #29 in Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. Located in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Saint Francis University was established in 1890 as a teachers’ school by the Sisters of Saint Francis of Perpetual Adoration. Today, the school has an enrollment of over 2,300 students.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $420
23. Lamar University
Lamar University offers an online RN to BSN degree in their RN-BSN Articulation Track, created for working as registered nurses who have an unencumbered license. Beyond the general education courses, students will be required to take 30 credit hours in upper level nursing courses, covering topics such as evidence-based practice, nursing theories, community health and a capstone project. Lamar University also offers a RN to MSN Articulation Track.
Established in Beaumont, Texas in 1923, Lamar University joined the Texas State University System in 1995. U.S. News and World Report ranks Lamar University #68 in its Best Online Bachelor Programs and the graduate nursing program is ranked #61 in the Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. The school has a current enrollment in excess of 14,000 students.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $421
24. Rutgers University School of Nursing
An online RN to BSN from Rutgers University holds accreditation from the CCNE and is geared towards the diploma prepared or ADN nurse. A hybrid program, this degree requires some classroom attendance in Newark or New Brunswick campuses. General education courses are required in studies of humanities, English, history, sociology, etc. Core nursing studies involve study, or transfer of hours from an accredited institution, in anatomy, physiology, organic biochemistry, microbiology and statistics. Additional, core studies will be required in nursing informatics, health assessment, leadership and management, research process and community and public health in nursing.
Ranked by U.S. News and World Report in its college guide as #69 in National Universities, Rutgers University also received high rankings in the top 50 for Best Colleges for Veterans, #124 Best Value Schools and #25 in Best Public Schools. Forbes Magazine rates Rutgers #65 in its America’s Best Value Schools and has ranked it in the top 50 in Public Colleges. Founded in 1766, Rutgers University has a robust enrollment of over 50,000 students and is located in Piscataway, New Jersey.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $439 (Resident); $766 (Non Resident)
25. University of Missouri St. Louis College of Nursing
A CCNE accredited RN to BSN online program focuses on the preparation of nurses to practice in an increasingly complex and technical clinical setting. Transfer credits from an accredited institution will be applicable to satisfy the general education component of the degree; and, students will be expected to have completed 120 credit hours for graduation. Some general education courses serve the meet the prerequisite courses (i.e., microbiology, anatomy/physiology, chemistry, etc.). Core 30 credit hours in nursing courses include studies in health assessment, nursing theory, ethics, values and policy in population health, nursing research and evidence based practice and leadership management in nursing.
The College of Nursing at the University of Missouri St. Louis was established in 1981 and currently has over 1,000 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs. Established in 1963, the University of Missouri St. Louis, has been recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of America’s Best Colleges and Business Insider rates the university #1 in Missouri for affordability. Military Times ranks the school as a Best For Vets for three consecutive years. Located in St. Louis, Missouri, this school has a current enrollment in excess of 16,000 students.
Cost Per Credit Hour $452
26. Eastern Kentucky University
Eastern Kentucky University offers two tracks for its RN to BSN degree designed for the licensed, working registered nurse. There is a Traditional Path which allows students to graduate within two years. The other, One Year Path is an accelerated option for students who meet EKU’s general education coursework. Students should check with the EKU Admission Office to determine the appropriate path and if your state qualifies you for admission. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), students in this program will study health assessment, nursing perspectives, leadership and management, nursing research, public health nursing and professional role transitions.
Ranked #73 by U.S. News and World Report in its Regional Universities South ranking, Eastern Kentucky also has received #27 Top Public Schools, #99 Best Online Bachelor Programs and #39 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. Founded in 1874 in Richmond, Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky University claims an enrollment of over 16,000 students in six colleges.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $460
27. Jacksonville University Keigwin School of Nursing
This online RN to BSN degree at Jacksonville University is for practicing registered nurses. The program allows for 30 credit hours to be applied for nursing credits and an additional 30 credit hours in core courses. Curriculum study includes topics in evidence based nursing, community focused nursing, nursing leadership and health care policy, advanced acute care concepts, nursing assessment and information management in nursing. The program requires 60 credit hours in general education studies including the humanities, fine arts, laboratory sciences, as well as courses in anatomy, physiology, statistics, microbiology, nutrition and English. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Jacksonville University was chartered in 1934 and now has over 4,000 students enrolled. Nursing leads the numbers at the university in the top declared majors for both undergraduate and graduate studies. The university is ranked #52 in Regional Universities South by U.S. News and World Report as well as #46 Best Value Schools and #29 Best Colleges for Veterans. The ranking also includes the school’s graduate nursing program as #73 Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. The school is located in Jacksonville, Florida.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $485
28. University of Saint Mary
Accredited by the CCNE, the University of Saint Mary provides an online RN to BSN degree for currently working registered nurses holding a valid nursing license. Core coursework for this program includes nursing as a profession, nursing informatics, health assessment, research and evidence-based practice, pathophysiology and pharmacology, gerontological nursing, palliative care, leadership and management and population health. The school also offers RN to BSN students to continue their education towards a MSN in either nurse education or nursing leadership, with a 5% tuition discount.
Ranked #109 in U.S. News and World Report’s Regional Universities Midwest, the University of Saint Mary is located in Bismarck, North Dakota. Founded as a private school in 1959, the university is a Catholic school with enrollment over 3,200 students. The Princeton Review has included the university as a Best Midwestern College since 2005.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $490
29. Arizona State University
This is an online RN to BSN degree. Arizona State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and its College of Nursing and Health Innovation is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Students will study courses involving nursing research, nursing theory, community and public health, nursing innovation, nursing management, public and global health in nursing and the synthesis of nursing theories and concepts. The program requires a capstone project prior to graduation. Students may transfer up to 64 credit hours from an accredited community college or other institution to apply toward this RN to BSN degree. Arizona students may transfer up to 75 credit hours.
U.S. News and World Report has named Arizona State University’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation in the top 11% nationally for its masters program and the university ranks #1 in its Most Innovative Schools, #70 Best Colleges for Veterans and #4 in the Best Online Bachelors Programs. Founded in Tempe, Arizona in 1885, this is a public institution with over 51,000 enrolled students. Arizona State University participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) and may not be available for students from your state. You’re encouraged to verify that your state qualifies before applying for admission.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $510
30. Penn State World Campus
This CCNE accredited RN to BSN through Penn State University’s World Campus is available for students holding a current registered nurse license. The degree requires 42 prescribed credits, 45 general education credits and 33 core credits for completion. Courses may be transferred into this program from another accredited institution; but, the last 36 hours of the last 60 hours, must be completed at Penn State. General education courses can be completed in anatomy, physiology, English, microbiology, nutrition, as well as others such as psychology and sociology. Core courses will involve nursing informatics, advanced health assessment, integrated concepts in nursing practice and introduction into nursing research. Penn State also offers an online Accelerated RN to BSN track.
Penn State World Campus is ranked #8 by U.S. News and World Report in its Best Online Bachelors Programs among the 1,200 programs surveyed. Penn State University was established in 1855; and, since 1892, students have been able to complete academic studies at Penn State without traveling to the campus. Today, over 5,000 students are enrolled in online degree programs at Penn State with 18% of those enrolled in nursing degree programs. Forbes Magazine ranks Penn State as #35 in Public Colleges and #142 in Top Colleges. The main campus is located in University Park, Pennsylvania.
Cost Per Credit Hour: $555 (Resident); $596 (Non Resident)