30 Best Online RN to BSN (Bachelor’s Degrees In Nursing)

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In this article, we profile the 30 best online RN to BSN degree programs at some of the top-ranked colleges and universities.

30 Best Online RN to BSN (Bachelor’s Degrees In Nursing)

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), increase in education impacts the overall competency and skill of a nurse clinician. Nurses with bachelor of science degrees in nursing (BSN) are viewed as more prepared and skilled than those with only a registered nurse (RN) license. The AACN encourages nursing students to pursue BSN degrees. The organization also advocates for employers to offer incentives to RNs to earn a baccalaureate or graduate level degree.

The AACN’s advocacy for RN to BSN programs has prompted online educational options for working nurses. Working professionals no longer have to step away from their current RN career to return to school. Today, some of the top-ranked institutions offer online RN to BSN degree programs designed with the working nurse in mind.

Methodology

We reviewed approximately 72 accredited colleges and universities that offer online RN to BSN, or online bachelor’s in nursing programs. We narrowed our pool to those schools ranked with major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. We then selected the most affordable of these  schools based on undergraduate tuition rates published by NCES College Navigator. We listed the schools in order of affordability, with the #1 spot going to the most affordable school.

Below are the resulting selections for the 30 best online RN to BSN degree programs.

#30 – Upper Iowa University

Online RN to BSN

Fayette, Iowa

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $28,073

Flexible accredited online RN to BSN programs often combine on-campus visits with distance education. But Upper Iowa University offers an online model with courses delivered entirely over the Internet. The program is offered full-time or part-time depending on your goals and life obligations. Required courses include:

  • evidence-based practice in nursing
  • integrated concepts of nursing care
  • nursing leadership and management
  • professional communication for nurses
  • professional nursing practice

Upper Iowa University is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. The school has been recognized as a best regional university in the Midwest and for having the 128th best online bachelor’s program in the nation.

#29 – Graceland University

Online RN to BSN

Lamoni, Iowa

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $25,890

Graceland University offers one of the best online RN to BSN programs. It’s designed to prepare students with the core courses and skills needed to pursue a graduate level nursing degree (MSN). Required courses include:

  • community health nursing
  • global health and policy issues
  • introduction to evidence-based practice
  • leadership roles in nursing
  • reflective practice

General education courses needed to satisfy degree requirements include:

  • anatomy and physiology
  • developmental psychology
  • introduction to microbiology
  • and introduction to statistics

Graceland is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 104th best regional university in the Midwest. The school’s online bachelor’s programs, including the online RN to BSN degree, rank #49 in the country.

#28 – Indiana Wesleyan University

Online RN to BSN

Marion, Indiana

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $24,728

Indiana Wesleyan University offers an accredited online RN to BSN degree program that may be completed in about 19 months. The online RN to BSN program is designed to assist adult students with gaining skills necessary to advance in the field of nursing. It also prepares them to take the next step toward pursuing a master’s in nursing degree.

Required courses include:

  • foundations for professional practice
  • introduction to baccalaureate nursing
  • leadership and management in nursing
  • nursing research – analysis
  • implications for evidence-based practice
  • population health

Electives may include:

  • cross-cultural experience
  • ethics
  • focused health assessment of the well adult
  • nursing from a Christian worldview

Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank Indiana Wesleyan University as a top regional school. The 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the institution as the 30th best regional university in the Midwest and the 12th best value school.

#27 – Oklahoma Wesleyan University

Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Bartlesville, Oklahoma

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $24,108

One of the top online RN to BSN degree programs in Oklahoma is offered at Oklahoma Wesleyan University. The program emphasizes a Christian perspective through curriculum that focuses on biblical lessons and values consistent with Wesleyan theology. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accredits the program.

All applicants must hold a current RN license to be admitted. In order to complete the requirements, Degree candidates take:

  • 45 hours of core nursing courses
  • 39 hours of general education
  • 42 hours of electives

Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the institution. In fact, U.S. News ranks the school as the 12th regional college in the West. Additional rankings include #8 for best value schools and #9 for best colleges for veterans.

#26 – Liberty University

RN to BSN Online

Lynchburg, Virginia

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $20,109

Liberty University offers accredited online bachelor of nursing programs.  They’re designed for students with an RN license who want to earn a BSN. Liberty offers biblically centered courses taught by qualified nursing professionals and accomplished faculty. According to the program website, students typically complete the online RN to BSN degree within two years.

Required nursing courses include:

  • advanced nursing communication
  • advanced strategies for adult health care
  • caring for the child bearing family
  • health assessment
  • population health
  • research in nursing
  • strategies for adult health care

Liberty is regionally ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, U.S. News lists the institution as the 80th best regional university in the South. The school is also recognized for having the 100th best online bachelor’s programs and the 88th best online graduate nursing programs in the nation.

#25 – Mercy College

RN to BSN Online

Dobbs Ferry, New York

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $18,076

One of the best online RN to BSN program options in New York is offered at Mercy College. This program is designed for registered nurses who wish to return to school to earn a bachelor’s degree. Required nursing courses include:

  • contemporary topics in professional nursing
  • introduction to health policy
  • leadership and management
  • nursing informatics
  • statistics for nurses

Transfer credit in liberal arts and sciences is accepted.  This helps students cut down on the time spent in the program. Mercy College is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report for having the 205th best online bachelor’s programs in the nation.

#24 – Kentucky Christian University

Online RN to BSN

Grayson, Kentucky

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $17,810

Do you have a current RN license? You can earn an affordable online bachelor’s in nursing degree from Kentucky Christian University in 18 months. Courses are delivered entirely online. The program is designed to provide you with flexible learning options. According to the program website, the same professors who teach on campus lead the online courses. Even the clinical components require no campus visits. You complete them in your home community.

Classes include:

  • Christian leadership for nurses
  • community health
  • contemporary issues in nursing

Kentucky Christian University is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 58th best regional college in the South. The institution’s online bachelor’s programs have been previously recognized by U.S. News.

#23 – South University

Online Bachelor’s in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Savannah, Georgia

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $14,568

South University offers accredited online bachelor of nursing programs that are designed for registered nurses to earn a BSN degree. The program fits the needs of working registered nurses who want to earn an online BSN in the most efficient way. And you won’t have to cut work hours to do so. Flexible online courses require no campus visits, although hybrid options are available.

Required nursing courses include:

  • caring for the community
  • financial management for nurses
  • holistic professional nursing
  • legal and ethical issues in nursing
  • transition into professional nursing for RNs

Students are required to take four credits from a list of electives that include:

  • complementary and alternative methods of nursing
  • Gerontological care
  • health promotion across the life span
  • palliative care

South University has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the tier two best regional universities in the South.

#22 – University of Massachusetts

Online RN to BSN

North Dartmouth, Massachusetts

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $12,588

The College of Nursing at UMass – Dartmouth offers one of the best accredited online RN to BSN programs.  The program is accredited by:

  • the New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission

Depending on your transfer credits, program completion can take as few as four semesters. Sample courses include:

  • community health nursing
  • holistic health assessment
  • professional nursing
  • selected mechanisms of disease and related pharmacology
  • transition to baccalaureate nursing

UMass is a regionally ranked institution. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges ranks the school as the 83rd best regional university in the North and the 24th top public school. The online bachelor’s programs rank #70 in the nation.

#21 – Ottawa University

Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Ottawa, Kansas

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $12,085

Ottawa University offers accredited online bachelor of nursing programs. They’re designed to provide quality nursing education to aspiring professional nurses. Practicing RNs are eligible to pursue a bachelor’s in nursing through Ottawa’s online program. Flexible courses allow nurses to continue working while earning a degree. Terms are eight weeks in length . All courses are delivered online.

Nursing classes explore topics in:

  • clinical informatics and technology
  • healthcare communication
  • health promotion across life cycle
  • nursing and cultural diversity in healthcare
  • professional nursing theory – roles and practice

Ottawa is regionally ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 62nd best regional college in the Midwest.

#20 – Ohio University

Online RN to BSN

Athens, Ohio

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $11,548

One of the best online bachelor of nursing programs in Ohio is found at Ohio University. The program is designed for RNs who want to advance their nursing skills with a BSN. Online course delivery makes it convenient for nurses to attend classes while keeping their registered nursing job.

Required nursing courses include:

  • community health nursing
  • family nursing
  • gerontologic nursing care
  • leadership in nursing
  • professional nursing practice

Ohio University is ranked by major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the school as the 135th best national university in the country. The school’s online bachelor’s programs and online graduate nursing programs have also earned recognition.

#19 – University of Cincinnati

RN to BSN Online

Cincinnati, Ohio

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $11,000

One of the most affordable online bachelor of nursing programs in the U.S. is the online RN to BSN at University of Cincinnati. The program is entirely online, with a community clinical project requirement that may be completed in your local area. An active RN license, with no restrictions, is required for students interested in pursuing an online BSN at the university.

Required nursing courses include:

  • concepts of community health
  • informatics for professional nurses
  • nurse as professional leader and manager
  • transition to baccalaureate education in nursing

Part-time and full-time options are available. The University of Cincinnati is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 140th best national university and the 71st top public school. Also, the online bachelor’s programs, including the online RN to BSN, rank #195 in the country.

#18 – Wilmington University

Online Bachelor’s in Nursing

New Castle, Delaware

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $10,430

One of the top accredited online RN to BSN programs is offered through Wilmington University’s College of Health Professions. The program is CCNE-accredited. It’s geared toward equipping registered nurses with the skills necessary to succeed in professional nursing. The program is fully online. It’s appealing to RNs who need to balance work and life obligations while attending school.

Required courses include:

  • global health care
  • holistic health assessment
  • nurse as decision maker
  • nurse as professional
  • research writing

The school has earned rankings from U.S. News and World Report, and in the 2016 edition of Best Colleges, the online bachelor’s programs rank #202 in the nation.

#17 – Arizona State University

Online RN to BSN

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $10,158

ASU’s online RN to BSN degree is ranked as one of the best online bachelor of nursing programs in the nation. The program is designed for working registered nurses who want to gain advanced skills to work as professional nurses. Depending on previous courses taken and transfer credits, the program may be completed in 15 to 18 months.

Required courses include:

  • community and public health nursing in the United States
  • innovation in nursing
  • nursing management in healthcare
  • nursing research and application to practice
  • professional nursing theory

ASU is ranked by major publications like Forbes magazine and U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges ranks the school as:

  • the 129th best national university
  • the #1 most innovative school

The online bachelor’s programs (including online RN to BSN) rank #11 in the country.

#16 – Kent State University

RN to BSN Online

Kent, Ohio

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $10,012

Kent State University offers one of the best online RN to BSN programs in the country. The program very affordable.  It also pays attention to the needs of working registered nurses. Flexible courses allow working adults to balance work and life obligations while earning their professional nursing degree. Courses are typically seven weeks long and the program offers rolling admission. Students may enroll in the fall, spring, or summer.

Required nursing courses include:

  • concepts and issues for professional nursing practice
  • health promotion for professional nursing practice
  • leadership and management
  • population-based nursing for professional nurses

Kent State is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 175th best national university and the 98th top public school. The online bachelor’s programs have also earned previous recognition.

#15 – Ball State University

Online RN to BSN

Muncie, Indiana

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $9,498

Some of the top accredited online RN to BSN programs allow transferable credit hours to earn a bachelor’s in nursing at record time. Ball State University offers the same kind of program, where prior credits count. Students attend full- or part-time and take classes in an asynchronous format. This means there are no specific log-in times. Students may work on their own schedule.

Required courses include:

  • applied nursing concepts
  • community health
  • management and leadership
  • nursing foundation and issues

Ball State University is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the most recent edition of Best Colleges ranks the school 168th for best national universities. The school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #34 in the nation.

#14 – Western Kentucky University

RN to BSN Degree Online

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Undergraduate tuition: $9,482

Among the best online bachelor of nursing programs in Kentucky is the online RN to BSN found at Western Kentucky University. The program is very affordable. It’s designed to assist registered nurses in earning the education required for a bachelor’s in nursing. The program is also accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

Required courses include:

  • application of public health concepts
  • concepts of disease process
  • health assessment
  • nursing informatics
  • nursing leadership and management
  • transcultural nursing

Western Kentucky is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 31st best regional university in the South and the 12th top public school. The school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #3 in the nation.

#13 – Old Dominion University

Online RN to BSN

Norfolk, Virginia

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $9,480

Students attending Old Dominion University can earn a cheap online RN to BSN degree that is designed for nursing professionals with a registered nurse license. The undergraduate program is accredited by the CCNE to deliver courses 100% online.

Required nursing courses include:

  • clinical nursing concepts
  • health assessment
  • nursing science
  • studies in nursing
  • theoretical foundations of professional nursing

Old Dominion has earned rankings from major publications like U.S. News and World Report for being among the best national universities in the country. Also, the school’s online bachelor’s programs, including the online RN to BSN, rank #49 in the nation.

#12 – University of Texas

Online RN to BSN

Arlington, Texas

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $9,208

The University of Texas offers an affordable online bachelor’s in nursing degree program. It’s designed for currently licensed registered nurses. Depending on a student’s transfer credit, the program may be completed in as few as eight months.

Required nursing courses include :

  • clinical nursing concepts
  • community health
  • health assessment
  • professional nursing concepts and foundations

Nursing courses generally run five weeks in length, except for the capstone, which is seven weeks. There is a  rolling admission with eight start dates a year. This allows nurses to begin at a time that is convenient  for their current schedules. University of Texas ranks as a best national university by U.S. News and World Report. The school’s graduate nursing programs also rank among the top tier. Also, the online graduate nursing program ranks #54 in the nation. These rankings may be critical for those considering a graduate nursing program.

#11 – Indiana State University

Online RN to BS

Terre Haute, Indiana

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $8,580

One of the most affordable online bachelor’s in nursing degree programs in Indiana is at Indiana State University. The online RN to BS program allows registered nurses an alternative path to obtaining a baccalaureate degree. The program is convenient and flexible to accommodate working registered nurses.

Online courses include:

  • comprehensive health assessment for nursing practice
  • nursing care of families in stress and crisis
  • nursing leadership
  • reflective nursing practice
  • transition to professional nursing practice

The university is ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the tier two national universities. Both the online bachelor’s programs and online graduate nursing programs have earned rankings.

#10 – Lamar University

RN to BSN Online

Beaumont, Texas

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $8,002

Lamar University offers one of the best accredited online RN to BSN programs in Texas. Registered nurses with current licensing may pursue the online RN to BSN degree. Depending on transfer credits, the program may be completed in just 13 months.

Required nursing courses include:

  • comprehensive holistic health assessment
  • nursing inquiry and evidence-based practice
  • nursing practice – leadership and management
  • nursing theories and online education
  • synthesis in professional nursing

Lamar University is nationally ranked by U.S. News and World Report as among the tier two national universities. Also, the school’s online bachelor’s programs rank #58 in the nation.

#9 – SUNY College of Technology at Delhi

Online RN to BSN

Delhi, New York

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $7,855

SUNY College of Technology at Delhi offers an affordable online RN to BSN program. It’s designed for registered nurses who seek a more professional degree. Curriculum is delivered entirely online. This gives working students the flexibility and versatility they need to attending school and balanc outside obligations.

Required nursing courses include:

  • ethics in healthcare
  • health assessment
  • health promotion
  • leadership and management in nursing
  • statistics and research methods
  • transitions to professional nursing practice

SUNY Delhi is ranked the 28th best regional college in the North by U.S. News and World Report. Additional rankings include:

  • 9th top public school
  • 22nd best college for veterans
  • 27th best online bachelor’s programs (including RN to BSN) in the nation.

#8 – University of Maine

Online RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Fort Kent, Maine

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $7,575

The University of Maine at Fort Kent offers an affordable online RN to BSN degree program. It teaches registered nurses the skills and knowledge necessary to move into a more professional level of nursing. The rigorous online program requires courses in:

  • health assessment
  • integrated nursing practice
  • nursing ethics and the law
  • transcultural care in nursing

The program is considered to be fast-paced, with accelerated completion options. Classes are taught by the same professors who teach on campus. University of Maine is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 38th best regional college in the North. Also, the online bachelor’s programs, which include the RN to BSN, rank #120 in the nation.

#7 – University of Southern Indiana

Online RN to BSN

Evansville, Indiana

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $7,178

University of Southern Indiana offers an affordable online RN to BSN degree program. It’s designed for nurses with an associate’s degree to earn a bachelor’s in nursing degree. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). It offers flexible courses via distance education.

This online format allows working RNs to progress at their own pace. They complete required courses while balancing work and life obligations. Required courses include:

  • application of evidence-based practice
  • health assessment
  • inter-professional perspective on global health
  • population-focused care for RN
  • transition to advanced nursing practice

Major publications like U.S. News and World Report rank the school as among the tier two best regional universities in the Midwest. Also, the school offers the 54th best online graduate nursing program.

#6 – West Texas A&M University

Online RN to BSN

Canyon, Texas

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $7,041

The College of Nursing and Health Science at West Texas A&M University offers a cheap online RN to BSN degree program. It’s dedicated to developing registered nurses to provide high quality service to patients. The online RN to BSN program gives working nurses the opportunity to attend school while continuing to work full-time. Program requirements include courses in:

  • cultural competence for health promotion
  • legal and ethical nursing
  • professional nursing leadership and management
  • quality nursing
  • research in nursing

West Texas A&M is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the school as among the best regional universities in the West. Also, the online bachelor’s degree programs rank #11 in the nation.

#5 – Northwestern State University of Louisiana

RN to BSN Online

Natchitoches, Louisiana

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $7,006

Northwestern State University of Louisiana offers an affordable online bachelor’s in nursing program. It’s  designed for RNs with an associate’s degree. All courses are delivered online. Clinical experiences take place in the student’s geographic location, providing convenience and flexibility.

Required nursing courses may include:

  • culture and ethics
  • foundations of nursing
  • health assessment
  • introduction to nursing as a profession
  • transition to professional practice

Northwestern State is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best regional university in the South. The school also boasts the 143rd best online bachelor’s programs and the 133rd best graduate nursing school.

#4 – Western Carolina University

Online RN to BSN

Cullowhee, North Carolina

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $6,623

Students in search of an inexpensive online RN to BSN degree should check out Western Carolina University. The school offers one of the most affordable RN to BSN programs online. All coursework, including the orientation, is delivered online. Also, students complete required practicum work in their local community.

Required online courses include:

  • clinical update for RNs
  • community health nursing
  • nursing leadership – theory, practicum, intervention
  • nursing research
  • professional transitions in nursing

Western Carolina is ranked by U.S. News and World Report as the 32nd best regional university in the South and the 13th top public school. Also, the online bachelor’s programs rank #72 in the nation.

#3 – East Carolina University

Online RN to BSN

Greenville, North Carolina

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $6,580

One of the most affordable online bachelor’s in nursing degree programs in the country is the RN to BSN program at East Carolina University. The program is recognized by the American Nurses Association. It’s designed to educate registered nurses to become professionals equipped to assume leadership roles in various healthcare settings.

All courses are delivered online and include topics in:

  • community health nursing
  • nursing in a global society
  • nursing leadership and finance
  • professional communication in nursing

East Carolina is ranked by major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the school as the 194th best national university. For those interested in pursuing graduate studies in nursing, the school’s online graduate nursing programs rank #23 in the nation.

#2 – University of Wyoming

Online RN to BSN

Laramie, Wyoming

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $4,892

One of the best online RN to BSN programs on our list is at the University of Wyoming. The program is designed for RNs with an associate degree or diploma in nursing. It’s also for nursing students who wish to advance their skills and earn a professional degree.

Required online courses include:

  • cultural diversity in family
  • evidence-based nursing practice for the RN
  • health assessment for the RN
  • health promotion
  • nursing leadership
  • the RN/BSN capstone project

The University of Wyoming is nationally ranked by major publications. In fact, U.S. News and World Report lists the school as the 168th best national university and the 91st top public school.

#1 – Fort Hays State University

Online RN to BSN

Hays, Kansas

Website

Undergraduate tuition: $4,654

The cheapest online RN to BSN degree program on our list is found at Fort Hays State University. The program is designed for licensed registered nurses who want to earn a bachelor’s in nursing (BSN) without disrupting their work and life obligations.

Courses are delivered entirely online and include topics in:

  • health assessment
  • healthcare ethics
  • healthcare legal aspects
  • nursing concepts
  • nursing inquiry
  • systems and policy

Fort Hays ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as a best regional university in the Midwest. Also, the 2016 edition of Best Colleges lists the online bachelor’s programs 24th in the nation. For those interested in pursuing a master’s in nursing, the school’s online graduate nursing programs rank #95 in the country.

This concludes our ranking of the 30 best online RN to BSN degree programs at some of the top-ranked colleges and universities.

Brenda Rufener
Author

Julie McCaulley
Expert

Carrie Sealey-Morris
Editor-in-Chief