Most Affordable RN to BSN Online Programs

Going from RN to BSN is more affordable than you think. Learn about top-rated programs that have the low cost, accreditation and study flexibility you’re looking for.

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Last Updated: 10/04/2021
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With the cost of higher education rising each year, finding an affordable RN to BSN online program can help you keep your focus on advancing your nursing career instead of worrying about how to tackle a mountain of student debt after graduation. An online degree allows you to choose from top RN to BSN programs across the country, giving you more options and saving you money by allowing you to continue working during your studies.

With so many online RN to BSN programs available, narrowing your options can seem challenging. This page serves as a great starting place to find accredited nursing schools offering quality online RN to BSN programs that won’t break the bank. Keep reading to learn about the best options in 2021.

Top-50 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs in 2021

When looking at prospective online RN to BSN programs, you’ll want to consider many factors, including accreditation, degree outcomes, faculty, location, and curriculum. That said, cost is frequently a determining factor for budget-minded students who don’t want to take on massive debt. With this in mind, we created a list of quality, highly-affordable online RN to BSN programs.

Schools in this list were ranked based on the latest data provided by the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Click on our “About the Ranking” button to learn more about our methodology.

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About the ranking

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Methodology for EduMed’s 2021 Most Affordable 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. Affordability metrics received the heaviest weightings.

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.

Online Program Availability

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

 

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 West FloridaPensacola, FL Public $$ 1

Located in Pensacola, the University of West Florida (UWF) is home to a flexible and affordable RN to BSN program. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), UWF’s 100% online nursing track provides the flexibility needed to keep up with professional obligations while completing academic requirements. By prioritizing evidence-based nursing practice, competent care, and professional standards, UWF prepares graduates for leadership roles in the field.

Upon entering the program, you’ll complete core requirements that include health education in the community, nursing systems management, and essentials of evidence-based nursing practice. Additionally, you'll complete 16 credits via upper-division electives.

Applicants for this online RN to BSN program must hold an associate degree in nursing from an accredited community college with an overall GPA of at least 2.75. Prospective students should also have a current, unencumbered RN license. When applying, you'll need to submit official transcripts, a background check, and a copy of your RN license.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN Online

  • Credits: 32
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $282/credit
  • Mode: Fully-Online
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (school); Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
2 The University of Texas of the Permian BasinOdessa, TX Public $$ 1

This Odessa-based public university offers a 100% online RN to BSN program that you can complete in just one year. CCNE-accredited, the flexible program supports RNs working in Texas and other Nurse Licensure Compact states. Alongside a BSN degree, graduates also receive a nurse manager certificate from the Sigma Theta Tau Nursing Honor Society.

In addition to credits transferred from a nursing associate degree, UTPB’s RN to BSN students complete at least 48 credits of upper-level nursing coursework. Standard classes include transcultural nursing, multicultural public health nursing, and theories and issues in professional nursing. While you'll complete coursework entirely online, three required classes have an in-person clinical component.

Applicants for this online RN to BSN track must hold an unencumbered RN license and a diploma from an accredited professional nursing program. Prospective students should have a minimum GPA of 2.5 and provide all college-level academic transcripts.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN Online

  • Credits: 31
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $319/credit
  • Mode: Fully-Online
  • Accreditation: : Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (school); Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
81%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
3 North Carolina Central UniversityDurham, NC Public $$ 1

A historically Black university based in Durham, North Carolina Central University (NCCU) is home to an accessible and affordable BSN completion program. Vetted by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), NCCU students can complete their online program in one year, honing the theoretical, clinical, and professional skills required for leadership positions in nursing.

NCCU’s core nursing requirements include introduction to professional nursing, community health nursing, and leadership and management in nursing. Alongside online coursework, senior-level nursing courses require you to complete an on-site practicum or preceptorship. Throughout the program, you must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

Accepting applications for spring, summer, and fall semesters, the program requires all prospective students to hold an active RN license. Having completed a professional nursing program, applicants must submit all academic transcripts with a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Program Highlights:

Nursing RN to BSN

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $184/credit (in-state); $584 (out-of-state)
  • Mode: Fully-Online
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (school); Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
4 Southern Utah UniversityCedar City, UT Public $$ 1

Southern Utah University (SUU) offers an accelerated RN to BSN program that you can complete in just ten months. With six start dates per year, this affordable online track allows students to keep up with personal and professional obligations and meet degree requirements. In addition to helping students hone their clinical and professional nursing skills, SUU also prioritizes soft skills such as communication, problem-solving, and ethical decision-making.

For many students, this program requires just 30 credits of upper-level nursing coursework. Core classes include health assessment for the RN to BSN, foundations of professional nursing, and influencing quality within healthcare. You’ll need to complete 60 hours of general education classes, such as information literacy, statistical reasoning, and intermediate writing; 50 of those hours can be transferred from your previous studies.

Applicants must have an active nursing license or be scheduled to take the NCLEX-RN exam. Prospective students must submit an online application with official transcripts and documentation of their nursing licensure.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN in Nursing Online

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 10 months
  • Cost: $300/credit
  • Mode: Fully-Online
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (school); Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
80%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
5 Northwest Missouri State UniversityMaryville, MO Public $$ 1

Maryville’s Northwest Missouri State University is a public university offering an online RN to BSN that you can complete in as few as 12 months. Designed for working RNs, experienced instructors supply students with nursing coursework emphasizing evidence-based practice, leadership skills, and healthcare policy.

Throughout the program, students analyze medical research, hone professional ethics, and integrate health information technology into clinical practice. Before graduation, students complete various core nursing classes, including healthcare delivery systems, nursing informatics, and nursing laws and ethics.

Applicants must have a minimum 2.0 GPA in all previous coursework and hold a valid RN license. Prospective students without an active RN license must successfully pass the NCLEX-RN exam before the end of their first semester. Applicants are required to hold a professional nursing degree from an accredited community college.

Program Highlights:

RN to BSN Online Degree Program

  • Credits: 30
  • Length: 12 months
  • Cost: $299/credit
  • Mode: Fully-Online
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission (school); Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation (program)
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
88%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
6 University of New Mexico-Main CampusAlbuquerque, NM Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
77%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
7 University of Central FloridaOrlando, FL Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
41%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
8 Sentara College of Health SciencesChesapeake, VA Private, Not-for-Profit $ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationAccrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools
9 Lewis-Clark State CollegeLewiston, ID Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
61%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
10 SUNY College at PlattsburghPlattsburgh, NY Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
84%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
11 Northeastern State UniversityTahlequah, OK Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
55%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
12 California State University-StanislausTurlock, CA Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
59%
AccreditationWASC Senior College and University Commission
13 East Central UniversityAda, OK Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
58%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
14 SUNY College of Technology at DelhiDelhi, NY Public $$ 2
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
77%
AccreditationMiddle States Commission on Higher Education
15 University of ToledoToledo, OH Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
92%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
16 University of Southern MississippiHattiesburg, MS Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
73%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
17 University of North Carolina WilmingtonWilmington, NC Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
39%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
18 Northwestern State University of LouisianaNatchitoches, LA Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
65%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
19 Grantham UniversityLenexa, KS Private, For-Profit $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
17%
AccreditationDistance Education Accrediting Commission
20 West Virginia UniversityMorgantown, WV Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
68%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
21 Western Governors UniversitySalt Lake City, UT Private, Not-for-Profit $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
No
Students w/
Institutional Aid
0%
AccreditationDistance Education Accrediting Commission
22 Marshall UniversityHuntington, WV Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
63%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
23 University of UtahSalt Lake City, UT Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
71%
AccreditationNorthwest Commission on Colleges and Universities
24 Texas A & M International UniversityLaredo, TX Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
37%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
25 University of Southern IndianaEvansville, IN Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
62%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
26 Arizona State University-TempeTempe, AZ Public $$$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
86%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
27 Indiana University-EastRichmond, IN Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
48%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
28 Wichita State UniversityWichita, KS Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
64%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
29 University of North AlabamaFlorence, AL Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
71%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
30 Appalachian State UniversityBoone, NC Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
35%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
31 University of Missouri-ColumbiaColumbia, MO Public $$ 2
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
65%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
32 Old Dominion UniversityNorfolk, VA Public $$$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
70%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
33 University of Alabama in HuntsvilleHuntsville, AL Public $$$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
75%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
34 Ohio State University-Main CampusColumbus, OH Public $$$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
70%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
35 Southwest Minnesota State UniversityMarshall, MN Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
64%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
36 Ohio University-Main CampusAthens, OH Public $$$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
83%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
37 University of Louisiana at MonroeMonroe, LA Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
58%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
38 Lamar UniversityBeaumont, TX Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
20%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
39 Eastern Michigan UniversityYpsilanti, MI Public $$$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
92%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
40 University of KansasLawrence, KS Public $$$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
67%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
41 University of ArkansasFayetteville, AR Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
41%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
42 Fitchburg State UniversityFitchburg, MA Public $$$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
59%
AccreditationNew England Commission of Higher Education
43 Ferris State UniversityBig Rapids, MI Public $$$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
74%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
44 University of Massachusetts-LowellLowell, MA Public $$$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
76%
AccreditationNew England Commission of Higher Education
45 Indiana University-BloomingtonBloomington, IN Public $$$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
58%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
46 University of Louisiana at LafayetteLafayette, LA Public $$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
57%
AccreditationSouthern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
47 Bowling Green State University-Main CampusBowling Green, OH Public $$$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
66%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
48 University of Cincinnati-Main CampusCincinnati, OH Public $$$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
54%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission
49 Capella UniversityMinneapolis, MN Private, For-Profit $$$ 1
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Students w/
Institutional Aid
50%
AccreditationHigher Learning Commission

What Makes an Online RN to BSN Program Affordable?

Many factors impact both tuition costs and how much you actually pay for your program. Consider each of these factors before making a decision.

How much financial aid you can secure for your online RN to BSN program

The more financial aid you’re able to secure, the less you pay for things like tuition, textbooks, and additional fees. Financial aid comes in many forms and from many different sources (including federal, state, and local governments; professional associations; nonprofits; foundations; and for-profit nursing companies), so make sure you mine the full expanse of options.

Whether you live in-state or-out-of-state

When attending a public institution, you’ll notice that both resident and nonresident tuition prices are listed. In many cases, the out-of-state tuition rate is far higher; that’s because state-provided funds cannot be used for these learners. That said, some online programs now offer the same tuition rate, regardless of residence.

How much it costs to apply

A recent study found that the average college application fee costs $43, though some schools charge well over $100. When applying to multiple schools, these fees quickly add up. Look for schools that waive application fees or find out if you qualify for an application fee waiver.

If the RN to BSN program has a class schedule that allows you to continue working

Some online RN to BSN programs provide asynchronous learning, meaning you can log in to watch prerecorded lectures and complete assignments at times that work with your schedule. Synchronous classes, conversely, require you to log in at specific times that could conflict with your work schedule.

How much of the RN to BSN program coursework is offered online

If a program isn’t fully online, it’s important that you consider costs associated with getting to and from school–and how often you will need to visit campus. In addition to things like fuel and car maintenance, you may also need a parking pass or public transportation pass.

If the nursing grad school is private or public

As you look at potential online RN to BSN programs, you’ll notice that public schools tend to be more affordable than private institutions. This is due to public schools receiving state funding to supplement costs. If you want to go the cheaper route, a state school is likely your best bet.

How to Lower the Cost of Your Online RN to BSN Degree

In addition to the considerations outlined above, students can take other steps to lower their costs while in school and minimize the amount of debt they’ll need to pay off after graduating. Review these three ideas to see how they can help you.

  1. Search for scholarships and grants designed specifically for nursing students.

Scholarships and grants are a great way to help nursing students reduce the financial burden of their degrees. In addition to scholarships from colleges and universities, you’ll also have access to an extensive list of national and regional scholarships specifically for nursing students. Check out our list of scholarships for nursing students to learn more.

  1. Ask about employer tuition reimbursement plans.

Considering the growing requirement for RNs to complete a bachelor’s degree, it’s no surprise that many employers offer tuition reimbursement plans for working RNs. Louisville’s Norton Healthcare is home to a scholars program that provides students with loan forgiveness if they commit to working at the organization after graduation for a set amount of time. When assessing academic options, reach out to current or potential employers to see if they offer some form of financial assistance.

  1. Take advantage of student discounts.

You can find ways to minimize the financial burden of nursing school outside of the traditional financial aid options. From travel to technology discounts, many businesses and organizations provide discounts and free goods to working RNs and nursing students. Popular cost-cutting opportunities include deals from companies like The North Face, Uber Eats, and Apple.