The growing emphasis on preventative care along with the increased health care demands for the aging baby boom generation fuels the demand for highly trained nurses, especially registered nurses. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for registered nurses projects a growth demand of 15% through 2026, much faster than the growth for most other professions. The demand for new registered nurses coincides with the demand for better trained nurses. Salaries reflect this commitment to higher training. In fact, RN's with a BSN earn significantly more than those without a BSN. In response to this demand, many colleges and universities now offer RN to BSN degree programs to help practicing registered nurses complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The online programs enable nurses to complete the degree while continuing to work in their current jobs. As some of the fastest RN to BSN programs, all of the schools in this ranking allow registered nurses to complete their BSN in two years or less.
1. East Carolina University
Serving nearly 29,000 students, East Carolina University offers 84 bachelor's degrees including their online RN to BSN program. Built on a foundation in the liberal arts and natural sciences, the ECU RN-to BSN program caters to the needs of busy professionals with a flexible online program. Students may apply their prior education and professional experience for advanced placement, thereby reducing the amount of time required to complete the degree. East Carolina University offers some of the courses in a block format to enhance focus on one or two courses at a time, but still complete two or more courses per semester.
Length of Program: 33 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $134 per credit hour (in-state); $207 per credit hour (out-of-state)
2. Western Carolina University
Since 1889, Western Carolina University has provided affordable education from its campus in Asheville, North Carolina. In keeping with its commitment to provide an accessible education, WCU offers an online RN to BSN program for practicing nurses. Students, both in-state and out-of-state, also enjoy reduced tuition through the North Carolina Promise program. WCU structured its RN to BSN curriculum in a block format so that students never have to focus on more than two or three courses at a time. Students must complete a practicum in leadership and another one in community health. Both may be served in the student's home area.
Length of Program: 34 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $151.62 (In-State); $502.74 (Out-of-State)
3. University of Texas at Arlington
Offering 13 online degrees in nursing, the University of Texas at Arlington offers their Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing Online in a unique curriculum structure which can be completed in as few as nine months. Students complete their courses in either five-week or 10-week blocks. To facilitate focus, the university encourages students to complete one course per start date and no more than one nursing course at a time. UTA provides extensive academic advising to move students through the program as quickly as possible. With the exception of two courses and the capstone project, students may progress through their courses in any order.
Length of Program: 35 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $168 per credit hour-General Courses; $257 per credit hour-Nursing Courses; $350 per credit hour-Pre-Nursing Courses
Recommended Online RN to BSN Degree Programs
4. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Based in Lubbock, Texas, the Texas Tech University School of Nursing has been offering a variety of nursing degrees since 1979. Their 30-credit online RN to BSN program can be completed in two to three semesters. The school accepts applications on a rolling basis providing added flexibility for students to gain admission in a timely manner. Prospective students must apply directly to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. In keeping with the school's vision of preparing leaders to shape health care of the future by advancing the profession, students may elect to take a course focused on the Politically Engaged Professional.
Length of Program: 84 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $199 per credit hour (in-state); $615 per credit hour (out-of-state)
5. University of Central Florida
Committed to the premise that success happens only when it expands opportunity and demands excellence, the University of Central Florida will equip more than 67,500 students this year in more than 215 degree programs. Based in Orlando, Florida, the UCF College of Nursing offers its 30-credit Post Licensure RN-BSN degree in a program with three start times per year. Online students enjoy reduced tuition over their on-campus peers. Many of the faculty members have distinguished themselves in clinical and scientific expertise at both the national and international levels. Students interested in eventually pursuing an MSN may substitute up to nine graduate level credit hours while in the RN-BSN program.
Length of Program: 30 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $212.28 per credit hour (in-state); $748.89 per credit hour (out-of-state)
6. University of Southern Indiana
From the campus in Evansville, Indiana, the University of Southern Indiana, founded in 1965, offers its online RN to BSN program in eight-week classes with multiple starting dates throughout the year. This flexible arrangement allows students to complete the program in as few as 14 months. Applicants may receive credit for prior learning through current board certification, portfolio, or USI examination. The program's generous transfer policy sets no limits on the number of credits that may be transferred toward the degree. The University of Southern Indiana provides a comprehensive support system for students starting with the supportive availability of the faculty.
Length of Program: 32 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $227.92 (In-State); $553.96 (Out-of-State)
7. Rasmussen College
With 22 campuses in six states and a strong online program offering, Rasmussen College has been serving the career preparation needs of students since 1900. The online RN to BSN degree structure enables students to complete the program, including the four-credit capstone project, in just 18 months. Rasmussen College also offers the Flex Choice option which allows students to earn credit for previous experiences and through self-directed assessments. Students can also opt to pursue credits through Competency-Based Education which allows one to "show what you know as soon as you know it." Tuition for the standard online degree falls just under $10,000.
Length of Program 12-18 months
Estimated Tuition Cost: $260 per credit hour
8. SUNY-Delhi School of Nursing
Located in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, a few hours from New York City, the State University of New York Delhi offers an array of flexible and affordable education options. Delhi's 61-credit online RN to BSN Program accommodates applicants with a generous credit transfer policy and flexible pacing for both part-time and full-time students. Students move through courses in two seven-week blocks each semester. This allows full-time students to complete four classes per semester while focusing on only two at a time. Because students must serve their senior practicum at an agency or hospital affiliated with SUNY Delhi, applicants should identify an approved agency prior to submitting their application.
Length of Program: 61 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $277.43 per credit hour
9. Notre Dame College Online
Not to be confused with Notre Dame University, Notre Dame College located in South Euclid, Ohio started as a Catholic college for women in 1922. The first men enrolled in 1973. Now serving a diverse student population, Notre Dame College offers an affordable Post-Licensure RN to BSN degree. Students can begin the program during any one of the eight terms in the year. The faculty emphasize collaborative learning in the online format. The five-credit practicum includes a one hour online seminar per week. Consistent with its Catholic heritage, Notre Dame College emphasizes personal, professional, and global responsibility.
Length of Program: 16-18 months
Estimated Tuition Cost: $310 per credit hour
10. University of Louisiana-LaFayette
Since its inception in 1900, The University of Louisiana at LaFayette has distinguished itself in several fields, including nurse education. The school offers its Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) online program with the kind of flexibility that allows busy professionals to complete the degree in as few as 12 months.New students may begin the 30-credit program during any one of four start times throughout the year. This schedule moves students through the program in 7 to 8-week blocks to ensure better focus on the topics. All students take one course on the nurse's role in disaster planning and response.
Length of Program: 30 Credit Hours (core nursing courses); Additional Courses required
Estimated Tuition Cost: $316.66 per credit hour
11. University of Saint Francis
From the campus in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the University of Saint Francis started in 1890, originally focused on preparing teachers. The university now offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) to prepare students for leadership in the nursing profession. Building on the Franciscan tradition of faith and reason, the 39-credit program can be completed in one year for full-time students and up to two years for part-time students. USF matches each student with a success coach to ensure maximum support for successful degree completion and career advancement.
Length of Program: 37 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $420 per credit hour
12. University of South Alabama
Founded in 1963, the University of South Alabama, serves students from its campus in Mobile, Alabama. Known for its expansive health system, including the USA Children's and Women's Hospital, the University Hospital, the USA Mitchell Cancer Institute, the USA Physicians Group, and the College of Medicine, USA's nursing programs build on broad institutional expertise. The University of South Alabama offers its online RN to BSN Pathway which can be completed in as few as three semesters. Busy professionals may spread the program over five years, if needed. Students complete practice integrated experiences within four courses in addition to the four-credit practicum.
Length of Program: 92 Credit Hours (61 Pre-requisite hours; 31 Nursing hours)
Estimated Tuition Cost: $420 per credit hour
13. The University of Tennessee Chattanooga
The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga offers its online RN-BSN Gateway degree in a cohort-based format with cohorts opening in August and January. Students can complete the program completely online in 16 months, even while working full-time. However, the school does require students to attend the orientation on campus prior to starting the program. This provides face-to-face interaction with other students in the cohort. An extensive six-credit course addresses community health issues with requirements for clinical participation. Students complete just one course at a time within this cohort schedule.
Length of Program: 16 months
Estimated Tuition Cost: $369 Per Credit Hour (In-State); $395 (Out-of-State)
14. Arizona State College of Nursing and Health Innovation
From its campus in Tempe, Arizona State University has distinguished itself as a premier research enterprise. ASU's College of Nursing and Health Innovation extends that commitment to students in its Online Nursing – RN to BSN degree. The college strengthens its academic offerings through its partnership with the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix. Students move through the 10 courses of the 38-credit program in terms averaging 7.5 weeks per class, completing the program in as few as 15 months. Consistent with the ASU emphasis on innovation, students complete the course, Innovation in Nursing, to examine the role and behaviors of an innovator in the nursing profession.
Length of Program: 45 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $425 per credit hour
15. Eastern Kentucky University
From its campus in Richmond, Eastern Kentucky University continues to build its online presence by offering degree or certificate programs in 24 different fields. Students working full-time can complete EKU's RN-BSN online degree through the Accelerated Path in as few as 18 months. Students may start in August or January and move through the program in 8-week terms. Coursework includes a clinical in Complex Health Systems and another one in Public Health with no capstone project required. Students serving as active duty military enjoy a tuition reduction of nearly 50%. EKU may award credit for both licensure and professional experience.
Length of Program: 29 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $450 per credit hour
16. East Tennessee State University
East Tennessee State University dedicates much of its resources to educating health science professionals with five of its eleven colleges or schools serving different health science fields. ETSU's College of Nursing, established in 1978, offers seven pathways to a bachelor's degree in nursing. As an overall indicator of instructional success, ETSU boasts a 95% first-time pass rate by their students on the NCLEX-RN exam. Building on this quality instruction, the College of Nursing offers an online RN to BSN degree. Practicing RNs can complete the 32 credit core program in three to five semesters with a five-credit practicum in the final semester.
Length of Program: 32-35 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $425 per credit hour
17. University of Saint Mary
Founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1923, the University of Saint Mary emphasizes educating the whole person – body, soul, and spirit – in all their programs. Based in Leavenworth, Kansas, the University of Saint Mary extends its outreach by offering an online RN to BSN degree with a strong emphasis on personal interaction of among students and faculty in the online context. Required courses, offered in eight-week terms, include Gerontological Nursing and Palliative Care Nursing. No courses require a clinical component. A two-credit integrative seminar concludes the curriculum. Students can complete the program in 12 to 18 months.
Length of Program: 27 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $460 per credit hour
18. Jacksonville University School of Nursing
A small, private university established in Jacksonville, Florida in 1934, Jacksonville University offers more than 100 undergraduate majors and minors through its 12 colleges and schools. Its Keigwin School of Nursing serves the professional needs of busy nursing professionals with its online RN-BSN degree. The school awards up to 30 credits to applicants in recognition of their RN license. Students can complete the remainder of the program in as few as 18 months as they progress through their courses in 8-week blocks. The program flexibly accommodates military nurses serving worldwide and discounts tuition for active military, veterans, reservists, and their spouses.
Length of Program: 90 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $460 per credit hour
19. University of Cincinnati School of Nursing
With more than a quarter million living alumni, the University of Cincinnati impacts numerous sectors of society through innovative research and education since its inception in 1819. The UC College of Nursing extends that impact through its RN to BSN Online Program. With just nine required nursing courses and six start dates per year, students can complete the program in just nine months full-time and five semesters part-time. All coursework emphasizes a competency-based, conceptual framework. Among the required courses, students also take a course focused on serving the healthcare needs of vulnerable and marginalized populations.
Due to state regulation restrictions, the University of Cincinnati is not able to accept students from these states: District of Columbia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Oregon and Tennessee.
Length of Program: Credit Hours Not Specified (*Program may be completed in one academic year if full time; up to 18 months for part time attendance)
Estimated Tuition Cost: $488 (in-state); $503 (out-of-state) per credit hour
20. Bethel University
Exercising its Christian approach to higher education since 1871, Bethel University offers more than 100 academic programs in two colleges, a graduate school, and seminary. Based in Arden Hills, Minnesota, just 20 minutes from St. Paul, Bethel University educates 5,600 students through residential and online programs. Bethel's Nursing (RN to B.S.) degree focuses on equipping nurses to treat patients in a holistic approach touching body, mind, and spirit. Bethel awards credit for previous education, military and professional experience. With online courses starting every six weeks, students can complete the 39-credit program in as few as 10 months.
Length of Program: 33 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $500 per credit hour