Top Accredited RN to BSN Programs Online

For registered nurses (RNs) looking to advance, a bachelor’s degree may be just the ticket. Learn about RN to BSN programs, and see if online and blended solutions make sense for you.

Search hundreds of schools
for the degree you want ......

I want my
In

Written By

Avatar photo

Gabby Hyman

- Bio

Expert Contributor

Shana-Myers

Shana Myers

- Bio

Shana Myers is registered nurse with over 12 years of experience working in various areas of concentration including medical-surgical nursing, informatics, and nurse education. With a Master of Science in Nursing and a background in gynecology, colorectal, palliative medicine, neurology, orthopedics, urology, she uses her experience to work as a hospital educator helping new graduate nurses transition into RNs.

last updated

09/15/2022

Designed for working nurses who want their four-year degree, online RN-to-BSN programs are a great pathway to career advancement and a higher salary. BSN-holders earn an average of $32.92 per hour, according to PayScale. RNs who possess a BSN may also be more aligned to secure advanced nursing positions and are eligible for MSN programs that can lead to even higher-level roles within healthcare.

In as little as 3 years, RNs can walk away with the credential they need to open the door to new career opportunities and secure a higher paycheck. And with an online program, students don’t even have to stop working to get the education they need.

With so many options available, choosing the right program for your personal and professionals needs can sometimes seem complex. To help you on your journey, we’ve researched the top online RN-to-BSN program from around the country. See who made our list of top schools in 2023.

2023’s Best Online RN to BSN Programs

According to Nightingale College, the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a required degree for many registered nursing job openings. This makes it critical for RNs without a bachelor’s (and who want to advance) to find a program that allows them to go to school while balancing their workload. Our goal is to help current RNs to find the best bridge program to suit their needs. Each RN-BSN program varies depending its the availability of online courses, advanced curriculum, college and departmental accreditations, program length, and tuition costs. Note that aside from online learning, many BSN students must take on-site clinical placements, as well. We’ve identified the schools that are top all-around candidates for a great education. See if one is right for you.

or
About the ranking

X

Base Methodology for EduMed’s 2023 Online College Rankings

1. Create List of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible for this ranking, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on government data provided by The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least one program in subject area offered partially or fully online.

2. Assign Weightings

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of affordability, support services, and online program availability metrics. Online program availability and overall affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

Online Program Availability

  • Number of online programs in subject area reported by school to the U.S. Department of Education.

Affordability

  • Cost – Relative cost of attendance compared to peer schools on the list. Based on tuition and fees per academic year.
  • Students w/ Institutional Aid – Percentage of students who receive financial aid from the school itself.

Support Services

  • Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.
  • Career Placement – Existence of this service on campus or online.

About Our Data

EduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2022

# School Name Type Cost Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 Indiana University-Purdue University-IndianapolisIndianapolis, IN Public $$ 3

The Bachelor of Science RN to BSN program at Indiana University and Purdue University, hosted by both universities in Indianapolis, is designed for those who already are RNs and want to get their bachelor’s degree in the field. Because those in the program already have some nursing education, the program can be completed quickly – in as little as 12 months. Additionally, the program was designed for working nurses, so the course format and schedule is flexible. All classes are delivered online and can be completed at whatever time students choose. Students can also choose to do each module in six or eight week time increments.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing

  • Credits: 33
  • Cost: $350/credit (in-state), $400/credit (out-of-state)
  • Length: 12 months
  • Mode: online
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
14/1
AccreditationHLC
2 University of Southern IndianaEvansville, IN Public $$ 2

The University of Southern Indiana offers a fully online RN to BSN program that allows students who have previously earned an associate degree in nursing to earn a nursing bachelor’s degree in as little as 12 months. While classes are designed for the working professional, class times are synchronous due to the high amount of collaboration and in-class participation that the program expects. The program is designed to take nurses from support roles to leadership and management roles such as care coordinator, case manager, health educator, and nurse manager. Opportunities to gain credit for prior learning for validation are available to students in the program who qualify.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing

  • Credits: 30
  • Cost: $297/credit
  • Length: 12 months
  • Mode: online
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
AccreditationHLC
3 Indiana University-NorthwestGary, IN Public $$ 2

Indiana University offers a fast-paced RN to BSN through its Northwest campus. This program is designed to be flexible and is geared for current working nurses who need to balance school and their studies. Students can decide if they want to graduate in 12, 18, or 24 months and choose the best course of study to accomplish their goals. All courses are designed to be taken in six week, asynchronous modules. These modules are fully online and can be completed according to a student’s own schedule. This program is only available for those who are a registered nurse and not open to students with no nursing education.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing

  • Credits: 30
  • Cost: $242/credit (in-state), $687/credit (out-of-state)
  • Length: 1-2 years
  • Mode: online
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
14/1
AccreditationHLC
4 Purdue University NorthwestHammond, IN Public $$ 2

Purdue University offers a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree at its Northwest Campus. While the school offers a couple of nursing program options, the quickest one is the RN to BSN program, where those who are already registered nurses can complete their bachelor’s of nursing in less than sixteen months. In this accelerated program, all courses are 100% online and can be taken in asynchronous five week online modules. Students have access to the learning platform 24/7 so they can take classes on their own schedule.At the end of the program, students complete a culminating capstone, though this can be completed online as well.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing

  • Credits: 122
  • Cost: $300/credit
  • Length: 16 months
  • Mode: online
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
20/1
AccreditationHLC
5 Miami Dade CollegeMiami, FL Public $ 1

Registered nurses who are interested in pursuing their bachelor’s of science in nursing can do so through Miami Dade College’s RN to BSN program. In this program, current registered nurses can get their bachelor’s in nursing in less than 18 months. Some may be able to complete the program in less than a year. The RN to BSN program at Miami Date College was designed with the working professional in mind, and course times and formats are flexible. While some classes are fully online, others are offered in person or in a hybrid format where some class sessions are online and others are on-campus. All online classes are synchronous and require in-class participation.

Program Highlights:

Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing

  • Credits: 125
  • Cost: $118/credit (in-state), $405/credit (out-of-state)
  • Length: 12-18
  • Mode: hybrid
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
6 Oklahoma State University-Main CampusStillwater, OK Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
AccreditationHLC
7 Ohio State University-Main CampusColumbus, OH Public $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
AccreditationHLC
8 The University of AlabamaTuscaloosa, AL Public $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
20/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
9 Mercy CollegeDobbs Ferry, NY Private not-for-profit $$$$ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
AccreditationMSCHE
10 The University of Texas Permian BasinOdessa, TX Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
11 Boise State UniversityBoise, ID Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
AccreditationNWCCU
12 Western Carolina UniversityCullowhee, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
13 Fitchburg State UniversityFitchburg, MA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
14/1
AccreditationNECHE
14 Utah State UniversityLogan, UT Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
AccreditationNWCCU
15 University of North Carolina at CharlotteCharlotte, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
20/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
16 University of UtahSalt Lake City, UT Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
AccreditationNWCCU
17 University of IowaIowa City, IA Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
AccreditationHLC
18 Appalachian State UniversityBoone, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
19 East Carolina UniversityGreenville, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
20 Florida Atlantic UniversityBoca Raton, FL Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
22/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
21 North Carolina Central UniversityDurham, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
22 Fayetteville State UniversityFayetteville, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
23 University of KentuckyLexington, KY Public $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
24 Texas A & M University-College StationCollege Station, TX Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
25 The University of West FloridaPensacola, FL Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
20/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
26 New Mexico Highlands UniversityLas Vegas, NM Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
13/1
AccreditationHLC
27 University of KansasLawrence, KS Public $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
AccreditationHLC
28 University of North Carolina WilmingtonWilmington, NC Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
29 University of Wisconsin-MadisonMadison, WI Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
AccreditationHLC
30 University of FloridaGainesville, FL Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
31 Northwest Missouri State UniversityMaryville, MO Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
AccreditationHLC
32 University of North FloridaJacksonville, FL Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
33 University at BuffaloBuffalo, NY Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
14/1
AccreditationMSCHE
34 Georgia Southern UniversityStatesboro, GA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
22/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
35 Western New Mexico UniversitySilver City, NM Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
12/1
AccreditationHLC
36 Arkansas Tech UniversityRussellville, AR Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
AccreditationHLC
37 University of Northern ColoradoGreeley, CO Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
AccreditationHLC
38 James Madison UniversityHarrisonburg, VA Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
39 Montana State University BillingsBillings, MT Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
15/1
AccreditationNWCCU
40 Oklahoma Panhandle State UniversityGoodwell, OK Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
AccreditationHLC
41 Columbus State UniversityColumbus, GA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
42 Ball State UniversityMuncie, IN Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
14/1
AccreditationHLC
43 Chipola CollegeMarianna, FL Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
44 University of Louisiana at MonroeMonroe, LA Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
18/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
45 Weber State UniversityOgden, UT Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
21/1
AccreditationNWCCU
46 University of North GeorgiaDahlonega, GA Public $ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
47 Midwestern State UniversityWichita Falls, TX Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
AccreditationSACSCOC
48 Minot State UniversityMinot, ND Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
11/1
AccreditationHLC
49 Missouri Western State UniversitySaint Joseph, MO Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
16/1
AccreditationHLC
50 University of Louisiana at LafayetteLafayette, LA Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
19/1
AccreditationSACSCOC

Profiling Online RN to BSN Programs

The RN to BSN online is one of the most popular nursing bridge programs in the virtual format. Schools from across the country are helping RNs get their bachelor’s and take the necessary steps to boost their careers. However, when it’s time to pick a program, questions may linger. How long will it take? Can I even afford it right now? To help you answer those critical questions, we’ve collected key program details from some of today’s leading RN to BSN bridges online.

The School of Nursing, University of Wisconsin, Madison

University-of-Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin’s [email protected] program is designed expressly for working nurses and can be completed in as little as a year and a half. This program prepares nurses for advanced roles or professional specialized leadership. Wisconsin’s 33-credit bridge program accepts nursing transfer credits from a two-year college. Prerequisites include completion of an RN or a Diploma in Nursing from an accredited institution. Applicants must have also completed 24-transferable non-nursing credits from their community college program and high school coursework in algebra, plane geometry, and college-preparatory math. Students who have a bachelor’s degree in any field can complete the online accelerated BSN in 12 months. The first class requires a day of on-campus orientation. Online tuition is $10,555/year. Accreditations are from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the National Council of State Boards of Nursing NCLEX-RN. Applications are made through the UW System Application for Admission.

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

University-of-Louisiana

The 100% online RN to BSN program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette is comprised of 30 credit hours and can be completed in as few as 12 months. Online courses run on an 8-week timetable. Core curriculum includes 9 courses and an eight-week capstone project. Prerequisite courses must also be completed prior to graduation and include studies in English literature, art, history, statistics, chemistry, college algebra, anatomy and physiology, and microbiology. Total off-campus tuition for the bridge program is $9,500. The total cost of the general education courses is based on the number of credit hours the student has already completed. To enter, students must hold an unencumbered RN license. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Applications must be made online at the university’s website.

Washington State University College of Nursing

Washington-State-University

WDU’s online RN-BSN degree-completion program can be taken on a full- or part-time basis. There is one campus-based meeting per semester. The 32-credit program focuses on assessment, leadership/management, ethics, research, informatics, community health, and mental health. The nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Applicants must hold a current RN license, have junior-year college standing (60 transfer hours), and have completed college prerequisites in anatomy and physiology, chemistry, growth and development across the lifespan, nutrition, sociology, psychology, microbiology, and statistics. In-state tuition for the program is $5,145 per semester. The online bridge programs are offered through WSU campuses in Spokane, Walla Walla, Pullman, Yakima, and Vancouver. To apply, students must first contact an academic advisor at their respective campus.

Interview with Online RN to BSN Leadership

Choosing the best online RN to BSN program for you can be challenging. It’s a big decision and there are a lot of options. We reached out to deans of nursing colleges to give them the opportunity to share why prospective students should pick their program over others.

University name location School type online programs Get more info Program Description
West Coast University location: Campuses in CA, FL, TX School type: Private for-profit online programs: 1 Get more info
Laurus College Logo

Q&A with Robyn M. Nelson,
PhD, MSN, RN

Dean, College of Nursing
RN to BSN Online

What’s your involvement at WCU with online learning?

I am the Chief Nursing Officer in the eyes of our professional accreditor, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), for all nursing programs at WCU (BSN, MSN, and DNP) regardless of the modality (on-ground or online).

What makes your online RN to BSN program stand out from other programs?

The seamless transition from the associate degree or diploma nursing program—42 semester units for nursing regardless of the program completed; and we accept 42 semester units of general education, as long as they are transferrable units. We do not have specific GE categories or required upper division GE. Most RN-BSN students spent many years in college, and most RN-BSN students only have 36 units to complete—either as an accelerated schedule in as little as 12 months or a schedule designed for the working professional in as little as 24 months.

How does your online program in RN to BSN prepare students for successful careers in the field?

The graduate of our RN-BSN program is eligible for the CA Public Health Nursing Certificate and employment in a community-based setting, and they earn a Nurse Manager Certificate from Sigma, the international honor society of nursing. The RN-BSN curriculum focuses on preparing the RN for leadership positions, and being a consumer of research, using evidence-based practice to inform clinical decisions.

What support services do you offer students enrolled in your online RN to BSN program?

They are supported from their initial contact to WCU with an experience admissions advisor, followed by a Student Success advisor who is part of a dynamic Student Advising team that will assist each student in achieving their educational aspirations. We believe the WCU Online Student Advising support is the new gold standard for all universities to emulate. The ongoing assistance with professional and career development guidance enhances the prospect for securing employment and obtaining professional success. Our career services department offers career planning advice, assistance from resume writing, interview preparation to job leads and more! We can help you prepare make the most out of every career opportunity.

Any other information you’d like prospective students to know about your program?

Nursing is one education with many career opportunities. Their goal should be to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing—whether through completion of an associate degree in nursing initially and then the Bachelor of Science degree—employers want BSN-prepared nurses and the patients we serve benefit when the RN has a BSN.

Online RN to BSN Programs in Detail

There are critical factors to weigh when researching and applying to RN to BSN degree programs — especially to the online bridge format. First consider the breakdown of each program’s curriculum, including nursing core requirements, general education classes, labs, and clinical placements, and then consider the program length. Bridge programs run from one to two years, depending on completed prerequisites, the number of two-year courses that the student can transfer, and whether the student attends on a full- or part-time basis. Then, there is the cost of the program, typically based on the number of semesters each student needs to complete. Here’s a breakdown of key attributes to consider when searching for the best program to suit your professional goals:

Inside the RN to BSN Curriculum

The curriculum within RN to BSN bridge programs is designed for RNs who want to advance their careers or prepare for graduate nursing programs. Bridge programs address key competencies needed for success in the profession. The curriculum consists of general education courses, nursing core classes, studies in nursing theory, leadership, labs, and clinical experiences.

General education

The general education requirements at online RN to BSN bridge programs are slanted toward improving and integrating fundamental nursing skills in professional practice. Depending on the program, students typically can complete these studies concurrently with their BSN coursework. Courses selected from a wide range of programs commonly include communication, mathematics, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. General education course credits range from 6 – 15 credit hours, depending on the number of required classes in each area of study. Here is a sample of some courses:

  • English Composition:
    This foundation course in college-level composition focuses on researching, writing, and revising persuasive papers.
  • Introduction to Psychology:
    This general education course introduces students to the fundamental principles of psychology, psychology history, and applied research.
  • Applied Healthcare Statistics:
    The course introduces students to mathematics, including introductory algebra, used to compile statistics and assessments of probability.

Nursing core

Each online RN to BSN program is built around courses that form the backbone of nursing practice. They address indispensable skills-development in patient care, community health, clinical theory, healthcare ethics, informatics, research and statistics, pathophysiology, evidence-based nursing, health assessment, and promotion. These three examples are among the common core requirements for bridge programs:

  • Professional Roles and Values:
    Nurses study the responsibilities, ethics, and accountability in professional nursing, including cultural competency, patient advocacy rights, conduct, and legal considerations.
  • Applied Healthcare Statistics:
    Examine the epidemiological concepts of research and analytic systems used to create a testable hypothesis, build a model, and interpret results.
  • Complex Patient Centered Nursing Care:
    This course provides an overview of the principles and best practices for using psychopharmacology to treat mental disorders across the lifespan.

Nursing theory

Courseworkcovers the history of theory, current theoretical and professional applications, and advanced research practice that addresses specific populations. Nursing theory courses build a framework for identifying and assessing the right kind of care strategies relevant to each patient. The following courses are common among online RN to BSN programs:

  • Introduction to Nursing Theory and Research:
    The course explores the development of nursing theory and research methods with an eye toward the practical use of evidence-based findings.
  • Models of Nursing Practice:
    The study of theory-based professional nursing practice as modeled by Jean Watson’s Theory of Human Caring.
  • Middle Range Theory for Nursing:
    Examine the nine middle range concepts that govern the ongoing use of theory generation, practice research, and disciplinary models.

Lab sciences

In an online program, students undertake clinicals on campus or at hospitals near their place of residence. Labs may also be arranged at facilities where the RN currently works. Unlike online didactic courses that may be self-paced, clinicals meet at specific times and locations. Some clinicals are offered on campus in the evenings. Here are some clinicals common to many bridge programs:

  • Microbiology:
    This course focuses on the importance of microbes in relation to the disinfection and equipment sterilization techniques that minimize infection and prevent the spread of disease.
  • Clinical Pharmacology:
    Learn the principles and intervention practices in pharmacology to treat mental disorders across the patient’s lifespan.
  • Nutrition Science:
    Study the factors of metabolism and dietary behaviors that affect patient health, along with key therapeutic applications in dietary change and psychology.

Organization & leadership

Leadership curriculum includes studies inresearch, statistics, and informatics that assist leaders in the nursing field in creating policy. Learn how to develop programs that enhance patient care and staff performance. There is typically a concentration on skills for critical thinking, communication, dispute resolution, and the delegation of responsibilities. Here are three current courses from online bridge programs:

  • Healthcare Systems and Policy:
    This comprehensive course provides insight into systems thinking, process-planning, regulatory requirements, and practical models for advocacy.
  • Transitioning to Nurse Leadership:
    This wide-ranging BSN course centers on leadership theory, healthcare policy, conflict management, interdisciplinary communication, and team collaboration.
  • The Role of Nurse Manager:
    Learn the responsibilities of nurse managers in patient care planning, the creation of performance goals, undertaking staff evaluations, and the incorporation of new policies to remedy issues in performance and patient care.

How Long Does an Online RN to BSN Program Take?

In general, students can complete their 60-credit RN to BSN program in as little as 24 months on a full-time basis. For nurses pursing a part-time program, the degree can take up to three years. Wholly online didactic studies may be self-paced, affecting time of completion. Online nursing students can complete their degrees faster than they would at brick and mortar colleges since they may finish their didactic courses ahead of deadlines. Other variables impacting time to graduation are whether their 60 course credits transfer from an ADN program and if the applicant has satisfied all lower-division prerequisites. RNs may also receive credit for work experience, shortening the total number of credits required for graduation.

Here is a sample timeline for completing an online RN to BSN program:

Term Courses # Credits
Semester 1 Legal and Ethical Perspectives of Caring; Foundations Nursing Research; Writing in the Academic Community; Clinical Microbiology. 15
Semester 2 Pharmacotherapeutics; Health Assessment; Nursing Research; Quantitative Reasoning; Data Analysis. 15
Summer College Algebra and Probability; Health Care Informatics. 6
Semester 3 Health Assessment for Nurses; Information Technology; General Pathophysiology; Aging and Health; Cultural Competence in Health Care; Family Centered Health Promotion. 15
Semester 4 Concepts in Leadership and Management; Complex Client Systems for Registered Nurses; Advanced Standing for RN License; Community Health and Population-Focused Field Experience; Organizational Systems and Quality Leadership. 15

How Does Earning an RN to BSN Work Online?

Bridge program students combine their online didactic studies with onsite clinicals and labs. Designed for working nurses, online RN to BSN programs offer remote accessibility and the flexibility to tailor your studies around existing commitments. Students access class materials through a digital portal that provides streaming lectures, direct messaging, course assignments, and email communications. Other features include reviewing the class syllabus online, and a place to tally your credits toward the degree. Online university forums, research libraries, and message boards facilitate collaboration between students. Some programs incorporate online tutorials, simulations, and virtual labs as well. Nursing peers can live miles apart from one another, but can engage in research projects on a mutual online platform. Communication with professors and mentors can conducted by telephone or video conferencing. The online model is well-suited for the completion of general education courses required throughout the university. It is also a convenient, timely way to complete prerequisites in math, chemistry, human anatomy and physiology. Online technical support is offered on a 24/7 basis.

Admissions for RN to BSN Programs

Admission requirements for bridge programs may vary by institution, however the most-common ones call for completion of an RN degree or nursing diploma from an accredited school and possession of a current RN license. Some programs require an applicant interview or essay. Those with nursing experience must provide a verification of work from their employers and a resume. Applicants must also provide transcripts from their two-year nursing programs to demonstrate completion of the bridge program’s prerequisite coursework.

Current RN license

Online bridge program admission requirements begin with the applicant’s holding of a current, active, and unrestricted RN license under the terms of the National Council of State Boards of Nursing. It’s the most-important criterion because without a license, you can’t enroll in the program.

How to stand out

Augment your licensing reporting based on meeting the Board of Nursing requirements for your state and the specialized competencies measured by the National Council Licensure Examination.

Resume and experience

RN experience may be a governing factor in supporting your application. You can improve your RN to BSN admission chances by demonstrating your professional areas of practice, your expertise, and accomplishments in nursing, your employment record, and training in digital medical record-keeping. The admissions team wants to see that you already have skills in communication, collaboration, clinical judgment, and critical thinking.

How to stand out

Cite your key accomplishments, awards, or recognitions. Demonstrate your continuous professional growth in the nursing profession.

Undergraduate transcripts

Transcripts from your ADN or diploma program demonstrate your scholarly aptitude, your GPA (typically a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75), and your transferable undergraduate credits. Because the number of acceptable transfer credits vary bridge program, transcripts provide assurance that you’ve met prerequisites or general education requirements.

How to stand out

Order your transcripts to arrive before the application deadline. Community college transcripts should be sent whether you received college credit or audited the course.

Cost of an RN to BSN Online Program

RN to BSN programs require tuition and fees, just like any other educational program. Online bridge programs may accelerate learning, decreasing the number of courses or credits required for graduation and along with it, the total cost. In effect, they can be less expensive than on-campus programs. Online tuition may be based on the university’s annual undergraduate fees or by the number of college credits per course. Since didactic courses may be self-paced, online students must keep up or extend their program length and tuition depending on progress. Tuition may also vary by the institution’s prestige or specializations. Here’s a range of tuition (low to high) charged for online RN to BSN degree completion programs:

1 1. Oklahoma Panhandle State University, online RN-to-BSN program: $4,380/yr. or $146/credit.
2 2. IUPUI – Indiana University School of Nursing, online RN-to-BSN program: $6,300/yr. or $210/credit.
3 3. California State University at Fullerton, online RN to BSN: $7,170/yr. or $239/credit.
4 4. Chamberlain University, online RN to BSN option: BSN completion program: $17,700/yr. or $590/credit.

For information on how to make your online RN to BSN program more affordable, check out the following pages: