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.

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Written By

Gabby Hyman

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Expert Contributor

Shana-Myers

Shana Myers

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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

01/22/2022

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 2022.

2022’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.

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About the ranking

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Methodology for EduMed’s 2022 Best Online Programs

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 2021

# 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 The University of Texas of the Permian BasinOdessa, TX Public $$ 1

Registered nurses who want to enhance their career and salary prospects can take advantage of the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin where they will complete their BSN through fully-online delivery. This allows for greater work flexibility while completing the 31 credits required. The courses can be completed in as little as one year. Though all coursework is online, clinical requirements are completed at approved locations near students residents. All applicants need an unencumbered registered nursing license in Texas or a Nurse Licensure Compact state for consideration.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

  • Credits: 31 credits
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $319.02/credit
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); CCNE (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
81%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
2 The University of West FloridaPensacola, FL Public $$ 1

Those who already hold their registered nursing licenses can enroll in the Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at the University of West Florida. This program takes the undergraduate coursework students have already completed and allows them to finish their bachelor’s degrees in one year. The flexible program is 100% online, offers multiple start dates throughout the year, and provides guided clinical practice in areas convenient to students. Those who need help can turn to advising assistants, enrollment counselors, and a transcript team who ensure all is well with applications and future studies.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

  • Credits: Varies
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $6,360.00/year (in-state); $19,238.00/year (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); CCNE (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
3 University of Central FloridaOrlando, FL Public $$ 1

Those seeking BSN completion after earning their registered nursing licenses can turn to the University of Central Florida. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program is available in a hybrid format with most courses offered online but with some required face-to-face to meet the 30-credit residency requirement. To enroll, students must have completed associate or diploma programs in nursing that led to registered nursing licensure as well as completed the general education requirements for UCF. Students must complete eight of the nine courses before enrollment.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

  • Credits: Varies
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $212.28/credit (in-state); $748.89/credit (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Fully online
  • Accreditation: SACSCOC (school); CCNE (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
41%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
4 Sentara College of Health SciencesChesapeake, VA Private, Not-for-Profit $ 1

Registered nurses who work in any state participating in NC-SARA are eligible to attend Sentara College of Health Sciences’ Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. This RN to BSN program prepares nurses to enhance their careers with bachelor’s degrees, which can earn them better pay and more opportunities for advancement. Students are admitted in January or August into a part-time program that doesn’t require summer work or additional clinical experience. Ten classes are taken over five, part-time semesters for a total of 30 credits. The program boasted a 91% placement rate for graduates in 2019, which bodes well for those who want to move deeper into their work as RNs.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

  • Credits: 30 credits
  • Length: 5 semesters
  • Cost: $378.00/credit
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: ABHES (school); CCNE (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationAccrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
5 Southern Utah UniversityCedar City, UT Public $$ 1

The online accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Southern Utah University can be completed in as little as 10 months of full-time work, making it one of the fastest programs to complete in the nation. The school offers seven-week courses and six start dates per year, which better allows for flexibility for working professionals. It’s assumed students come into the program with the general education requirements already under their belt, as they would by earning associate degrees. They will also be awarded 10 credit hours for prior learning and 20 hours for passing the NCLEX. In keeping with the desire for flexibility, SUU has a streamlined application process that includes an application, transcripts, and a minimum 2.5 GPA in all prior coursework.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

  • Credits: 30 credits
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $300.00/credit
  • Mode: Partially online
  • Accreditation: NWCCU (school); CCNE (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
80%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
6 North Carolina Central UniversityDurham, NC Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
7 Northeastern State UniversityTahlequah, OK Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
55%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
8 California State University-StanislausTurlock, CA Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
59%
Accreditation#N/A
9 University of New Mexico-Main CampusAlbuquerque, NM Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
77%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
10 University of North Carolina WilmingtonWilmington, NC Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
39%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
11 Lewis-Clark State CollegeLewiston, ID Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
61%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
12 Grantham UniversityLenexa, KS Private, For-Profit $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
17%
AccreditationDistance Education Accrediting Commission
13 Northwest Missouri State UniversityMaryville, MO Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
88%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
14 Texas A & M International UniversityLaredo, TX Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
37%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
15 East Central UniversityAda, OK Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
58%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
16 SUNY College at PlattsburghPlattsburgh, NY Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
84%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
17 West Virginia UniversityMorgantown, WV Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
68%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
18 University of UtahSalt Lake City, UT Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
71%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
19 Northwestern State University of LouisianaNatchitoches, LA Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
65%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
20 University of Southern MississippiHattiesburg, MS Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
73%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
21 Appalachian State UniversityBoone, NC Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
35%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
22 Marshall UniversityHuntington, WV Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
63%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
23 SUNY College of Technology at DelhiDelhi, NY Public $$ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
77%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
24 Wichita State UniversityWichita, KS Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
64%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
25 University of ToledoToledo, OH Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
92%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
26 University of Southern IndianaEvansville, IN Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
62%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
27 University of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbia, MO Public $$ 2 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
65%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
28 Indiana University-EastRichmond, IN Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
48%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
29 Lamar UniversityBeaumont, TX Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
20%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
30 Arizona State University-TempeTempe, AZ Public $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
86%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
31 Old Dominion UniversityNorfolk, VA Public $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
70%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
32 University of North AlabamaFlorence, AL Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
71%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
33 Ohio State University-Main CampusColumbus, OH Public $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
70%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
34 University of ArkansasFayetteville, AR Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
41%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
35 University of Louisiana at MonroeMonroe, LA Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
58%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
36 Indiana University-BloomingtonBloomington, IN Public $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
58%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
37 University of Alabama in HuntsvilleHuntsville, AL Public $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
75%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
38 University of KansasLawrence, KS Public $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
67%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
39 Southwest Minnesota State UniversityMarshall, MN Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
64%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
40 Ohio University-Main CampusAthens, OH Public $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
41 University of Louisiana at LafayetteLafayette, LA Public $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
57%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
42 Fitchburg State UniversityFitchburg, MA Public $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
59%
AccreditationNew England Commission of Higher Education
43 University of Cincinnati-Main CampusCincinnati, OH Public $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
54%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
44 Capella UniversityMinneapolis, MN Private, For-Profit $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
50%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
45 University of Massachusetts-LowellLowell, MA Public $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
76%
AccreditationNew England Commission of Higher Education
46 Clemson UniversityClemson, SC Public $$$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
77%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
47 Eastern Michigan UniversityYpsilanti, MI Public $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
92%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
48 Ferris State UniversityBig Rapids, MI Public $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
74%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
49 Bowling Green State University-Main CampusBowling Green, OH Public $$$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
66%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
50 Western Governors UniversitySalt Lake City, UT Private, Not-for-Profit $$ 1 Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationDistance Education Accrediting Commission

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: