There’s no sure thing in the American job market, but nursing, and specifically the RN to BSN career path comes pretty close. The healthcare system is booming, and even political debates over what that system should look like can’t change the fact that American healthcare is bigger than any other system, and just keeps growing. Baby Boomers are growing into old age, the next-largest generation (the Millennials) are coming of age, and the health infrastructure can’t even keep up.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for nursing in general is growing by 16%, and for higher-level specialists like Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse-Midwives, and Practitioners, the field is growing by an incredible 31%. If everybody who wanted to be an RN went through retraining and entered the field, there still wouldn’t be enough to take up the slack.
However, many Registered Nurses working today find themselves stuck at a career plateau because they lack a four-year bachelor’s degree. While an associate’s degree or diploma is enough to get started, for positions with more responsibility and pay, a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) has become the standard; in fact, many hospitals will no longer hire RNs with less. This situation has led to many working nurses deciding to return to school and complete their BSN, and the demand has been heard. Universities and colleges all over the US are putting together online RN to BSN programs to keep up.
Advantages of Online RN to BSN Programs
Online programs have one major advantage for working nurses – they are flexible enough that busy professionals can work their education around their extremely demanding schedules. Most nursing schools have set up their online programs in an asynchronous format, so students do not have to be online at a set time to do their coursework, and since these programs are designed for students who already have experience and an RN license, clinical practicums can usually be done where the student already works.
Not only do nursing students save time online; they also save money, since online tuition rates are usually lower than on-campus rates (not to mention, there is no need to commute to a college campus). Online courses are generally designed to make up for anything the student might miss from an on-campus program, such as student support and networking with fellow students, either through virtual teamwork assignments or optional on-campus orientations or meet-ups.
Online education in nursing is also very well established and developed. The Alliance for Nursing Accreditation Statement on Distance Education Policies makes the case that all distance program must meet same standards as face-to-face programs, a requirement that all reputable online programs have adopted. Check out our report on The Growth and Importance of Online Nursing Programs to gain a better understanding of this career’s climate.
How We Ranked the Best Online RN to BSN Programs
All colleges and universities ranked are regionally accredited, and their nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). All are ranked by U.S. News & World Report for added reputability. In addition to reputation, we considered affordability (based on Non-Resident tuition) and perceived success (based on alumni salary data gathered from the Department of Education’s College Scorecard website). All metrics are weighted evenly.
1. CUNY School of Professional Studies – New York, NY
Part of the world-renowned City University of New York, the CUNY School of Professional Studies was founded in 2003 with the special mission of providing top-tier online programs for working adults, corporate education, and other non-traditional students. CUNY SPS focuses on professional programs such as nursing, business, and communication, which have particular value in an urban job market. CUNY’s online programs bring the CUNY reputation and value to accelerated, convenient degrees that help students make the next leap forward in their careers.
CUNY’s online RN to BSN degree program is specifically designed for working registered nurses who want to improve their credentials for promotion and higher pay. In addition to helping students increase their technical knowledge of nursing, the online BSN program emphasizes research, leadership, and informatics, the higher-order skills that hospitals and clinics look for in management positions. CUNY’s online tuition is also one of the lowest rates in the region, making the CUNY School of Professional Studies a low-risk educational investment with a strong promise of return.
Cost per Credit: $275
2. University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, AR
Arkansas’ flagship land, sea, and space-grant institution, the University of Arkansas is one of the foremost research universities in the Deep South and a vision of 21st century public higher education. With mass support from the Walton family, including the single largest donation to a university in history, the University of Arkansas has emerged in the last two decades as a national leader in business, engineering, and other fields, including the highly regarded Mann School of Nursing. U of A has also been acclaimed by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s top online educators.
The Mann School of Nursing at the University of Arkansas offers an online RN to BSN program that is focused on the needs of working nurses, with fully online, asynchronous courses, a short practicum that can be completed at the student’s workplace, and year-round terms. The Mann School is one of the most prestigious in the region, and one of the most affordable in the nation, making an online BSN from U of A a smart Southern investment.
Cost per Credit: $285
3. University of Massachusetts at Amherst – Amherst, MA
Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the 75 best national universities, and one of the top 30 public institutions, the University of Massachusetts Amherst is the largest and most respected public research university in New England. Situated in a region known for elite private liberal arts colleges and dominating Ivy League institutions, UMass has become world-renowned by providing education for all people. In recent years, UMass has extended that reputation by becoming one of the nation’s most respected online educators as well.
The UMass College of Nursing, ranked as one of the best in the US by USN&WR, offers an RN to BS in Nursing program from UMass Online that brings all the quality UMass is known for to nurses in Massachusetts and beyond. This fully online, CCNE-accredited program is designed for convenience, even offering an extra 30 transfer credits for licensed RNs. Students can tailor their curriculum to their current job or to their intended specialty, and a capstone project allows them to tie it all together.
Cost per Credit: $585
4. West Texas A&M University – Canyon, TX
Part of the respected Texas A&M University system, West Texas A&M University is a mid-sized regional public institution in Texas’ northwest corner. A highly diverse institution, WTAMU performs the mission of a regional university, bringing educational opportunity and career options to the people. In the 21st century, that mission has incorporated distance education, and WTAMU has been hailed by the Princeton Review and U.S. News & World Report for their high quality online offerings, as well as their military friendliness.
WTAMU’s online RN to BSN program has been recognized nationally by USN&WR, a distinction that demonstrates its quality and commitment to transformation. Available fully online, the WTAMU online nursing program gives students the opportunity to progress in the profession, take on leadership roles, and work in high-paying specializations. WTAMU not only has a low tuition rate, but also offers qualifying Texas nurses a Special Tuition Rebate to make the online BSN an even greater deal.
Cost per Credit: $295
5. New England Institute of Technology – East Greenwich, RI
A small, private school in Rhode Island, the New England Institute of Technology has its roots in technical education, having grown over the years into a master’s-level educator from its early days as a two-year institution. In keeping with its technical background, New England Tech focuses on experiential career training, primarily for adult students, with excellent accelerated programs to allow students to complete associate’s degrees in only 18 months, and bachelor’s degrees in three years.
New England Tech has also made a name for itself as an online educator, earning accolades from U.S. News & World Report as the top online bachelor’s degree institution in New England. New England Tech’s online RN to BSN degree program is an ACEN-accredited, fully online curriculum making use of four 10-week terms throughout the year to help working nurses complete their BSN conveniently and quickly. New England Tech is known for its low tuition and strong career development, which comes together to make for a top education investment.
Cost per Credit: $230
6. Sam Houston State University – Huntsville, TX
With nearly a century and a half of history behind, and a bright future ahead, Sam Houston State University is living up the the Texas spirit of excellence. A large comprehensive educator, SHSU has been noted as one of the fastest-growing institutions in the nation, a status that it has reached not only through its excellent programs, but by reaching out to first-generation, minority, and at-risk students. One of the top 10 institutions nationally in graduation rates for African-American students, SHSU is dedicated to access and community engagement.
SHSU has also become one of the top online educators in Texas, with a large and growing slate of accredited and acclaimed online programs, such as the SHSU online RN to BSN degree program. The CCNE-accredited School of Nursing brings top-notch education to working nurses where they are, with full-time and part-time options and opportunities to visit campus and meet with faculty and fellow students for added support. SHSU’s low tuition and rising reputation combine for a perfect value.
Cost per Credit: $216
7. University of Central Florida – Orlando, FL
With just a half century under its belt, the University of Central Florida has been one of higher education’s most impressive stories, growing in that short time into the largest undergraduate student body in the nation. As a space-grant institution, UCF was designed with STEM programs in mind, particularly to supply experts and workers for Florida’s Space Coast, and that spirit remains today in UCF’s excellent professional and technical degrees.
As one of U.S. News & World Report’s top up-and-coming universities, much of UCF’s growth – in size and reputation – has been due to their top-ranked online degree programs, including the UCF online BSN degree completion programs. UCF’s CCNE-accredited College of Nursing offers two fully online programs: the AS to BSN curriculum, which is expressly for nurses who earned their ASN from a Florida college; and the RN to BSN curriculum, for any licensed registered nurse. Students can choose to attend classes on campus, but the full BSN can be completed online at UCF’s exceptionally low tuition rate.
Cost per Credit: $300
8. Indiana University Online – Bloomington, IN
The Indiana University system, including the flagship in Bloomington, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, and numerous regional affiliates throughout the state, is one of the most respected in the nation, with some of the strongest business, engineering, law, and education schools on both regional and national rankings. IU has also pioneered online education, with the IU Office of Online Education administrating IU Online, a system that provides online degree options across the IU system.
The 8 campuses of the IU School of Nursing contribute to the IU Online RN to BSN degree completion program, a web and video-based curriculum that allows working registered nurses to complete their BSN degree in as little as 12 months. With accelerated 7 and 8 week terms, and practicum or clinical experiences linked to their current jobs, working adults have a flexible, rapid option to increase their credentials and move into higher positions. IU’s low tuition and strong job market reputation ensures that graduates will find their way forward.
Cost per Credit: $310
9. The Ohio State University – Columbus, OH
Like the University of Central Florida (#7), the Ohio State University has emerged in the 21st century as a dynamic model of the present and future of higher education. From a land-grant agriculture and mechanical college, OSU has grown into the third-largest university and one of the most influential in the nation, with a focus on professional education and STEM, earning recognition as a Public Ivy. OSU has also become a definitive online educator with OSU Online.
Ranked as a top 10 online educator by U.S. News & World Report, OSU offers a host of world-class online programs, including the online RN to BSN degree program from OSU’s College of Nursing. Accredited by the CCNE, the College of Nursing has a flawless reputation in the Midwest and nation-wide, and the online BN to BSN program provides small courses, close personal attention, and strong student support in a fully online format for a top-tier value.
Cost per Credit: $398
10. Fort Hays State University – Hays, KS
A mid-sized public institution in central Kansas, Fort Hays State University is a highly regarded regional university with roots in agricultural and teacher’s education. As a regional institution, Fort Hays State has the responsibility of providing affordable, accessible education to the citizens of Kansas, and it does that job admirably, especially with the Virtual Campus. An outgrowth of the Department of Continuing Education, the FHSU Virtual Campus has become one of the nation’s best online educators, with high marks for value and affordability.
FHSU’s top notch, CCNE-accredited Department of Nursing offers a fully online RN to BSN degree program through the Virtual Campus. This highly flexible and convenient online curriculum is fully online, and with students entering the program during fall, spring, or summer terms, working nurses can earn their BSN at their own convenience in as little as three semesters. FHSU offers one of the lowest tuition rates in the nation for a CCNE-accredited BSN degree, a safe investment for Kansas’ caregivers.
Cost per Credit: $207
11. University of Illinois at Chicago – Chicago, IL
The University of Illinois at Chicago is one of the nation’s foremost public, urban research institutions, part of the University of Illinois system and a world-class institution in its own right. Originally founded as a home for UI’s medical programs, today UIC has the nation’s largest medical school, as well as one of the most respected Colleges of Nursing, and is recognized as Illinois’ premiere educator of doctors, nurses, and healthcare professionals.
The CCNE-accredited College of Nursing offers the UIC online RN to BSN degree program, one of the highest-ranked programs of its type in the nation. The fully online curriculum is designed especially for working nurses who need to work their education around their current schedule, and features the same award-winning faculty, exceptional student support, and top-tier resources as the on-campus program. The diverse, respected UIC College of Nursing is one of the Midwest’s smartest investments.
Cost per Credit: $519
12. University of North Florida – Jacksonville, FL
Founded as an upper-division institution in 1972, offering only degree-completion and master’s degree program, the University of North Florida was built on the needs of adult students, non-traditional students, and career-oriented students. That orientation is still at UNF’s heart, with strong professional and technical programs designed for accessibility and affordability, helping UNF earn recognition from the Princeton Review as a national best value, as well as a top regional university, according to U.S. News & World Report.
UNF’s RN to BSN online degree program gives working nurses in Florida the opportunity to earn an accredited, respected BSN in an incredibly convenient format. With a top-notch faculty, fully online courses, and practicum experience in their own home area, the RN to BSN program can be completed in as little as one year by experienced nurses. UNF’s low tuition and job market reputability makes it a trusted value.
Cost per Credit: $285
13. Colorado Technical University – Colorado Springs, CO
A highly respected, for-profit institution in Colorado Springs, Colorado Technical University is known for their professional and technology-centered programs. While for-profit colleges have had their struggles in recent years, Colorado Tech is proudly regionally accredited, highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report, and accredited in a number of individual programs, such as the CCNE-recognized nursing program. With nearly all of Colorado Tech’s programs now fully online, CTU is noted as one of the largest and most trusted online educators in the nation.
The CTU online RN to BSN degree program combines CCNE-accredited quality with an extraordinarily flexible and convenient platform, with accelerated courses and 8 different start dates throughout the year. With courses in leadership, clinical practice, and the healthcare system, as well as a capstone project, CTU prepares nurses for the complexity of the occupation in the 21st century. CTU’s tuition rate is reasonable, and full-time online students can complete their degree in less than a year, making CTU a clear winner.
Cost per Credit: $325
14. Florida International University – Miami, FL
Founded in 1965, Florida International University was created with a mission – to bring top-tier research education to the growing Miami metropolitan region. Today, FIU is the fourth-largest university in the nation, Miami’s only public research institution, and one of the most diverse universities in the US, with a majority Hispanic student body. From medicine and nursing to computer science and engineering, FIU is a key link in Florida’s culture and leadership.
The Wertheim College of Nursing is one of the most respected in the South, with an unbeatable first-time NCLEX exam passing rate and CCNE accreditation. The FIU online RN to BSN degree program prepares registered nurses for the next stage of their career with excellent courses in the healthcare system, global health, nurse leadership, and advanced clinical practice. The entire program is available online, with FIU’s top job market reputation and low tuition to give graduates a respectable ROI.
Cost per Credit: $329
15. Arizona State University – Tempe, AZ
When higher education experts talk about the rise of the New American University, they’re talking about Arizona State – the trailblazing urban research institution that grew into the largest university, and one of the most envied, by opening its doors instead of denying students who want to learn. ASU has become known as the most innovative university in the US, not only in technology, but in student support, marketing, and research, and has earned notice as one of the world’s leading online educators.
The CCNE-accredited College of Nursing and Health Innovation at ASU offers an online RN to BSN degree completion program designed for registered nurses with AS degrees or diplomas to earn the credentials they need for promotion and advancement. ASU’s nursing program is nationally recognized for its forward-looking and trendsetting curriculum, and ranked as one of the best by U.S. News & World Report. The ASU reputation ensures graduates that their degree will be rewarded on the job market.
Cost per Credit: $435
16. California University of Pennsylvania – California, PA
In the grand tradition of misleading names (just ask anyone visiting Greenland), California, PA, deserves legendary status. Both the city and California University of Pennsylvania were named during the height of enthusiasm for the California Gold Rush, and it speaks to something in Cal U’s spirit. Once a small regional institution, Cal U has earned a national reputation for innovation and exploration, particularly with its online courses, which have been ranked among the best in the US by U.S. News & World Report, as well as best for veterans.
The highly-ranked Department of Nursing at Cal U offers an online RN to BSN degree program that has been recognized for excellence by USN&WR. This CCNE-accredited program is built for convenience and speed, with accelerated courses designed to allow experienced working nursing to complete the program in only three semesters (less than a year and a half) of full-time coursework. Registered Nurses learn the full scope of modern nursing, as well as the liberal arts and humanities, for a fully-rounded bachelor’s education, all for a low tuition rate.
Cost per Credit: $308
17. Fitchburg State University – Fitchburg, MA
A regional, public institution in historic Worcester County, MA, Fitchburg State University brings quality professional and technical education to the people of the areas from their small urban campus. Founded as a normal school (teacher’s college), Fitchburg State has community engagement and opportunity at the center of its mission, offering affordable, accessible education with top-notch student support and career development. That includes a growing commitment to online degree programs.
One such program is the Fitchburg State online RN to BSN degree, ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top online bachelor’s degrees in the nation. The online BSN is intended to provide working nurses with a manageable way to earn higher credentials without having to sacrifice their career, and career preparation in holistic nursing, ethical responsibility, and leadership give nurses a leg up in their professions. Fitchburg State has one of the lowest tuition rates anywhere, making their online nursing BSN a bargain.
Cost per Credit: $133
18. Penn State World Campus – University Park, PA
One of the most respected public research institutions in the nation, lauded as a Public Ivy, Pennsylvania State University is also a pioneer in online education. The Penn State World Campus was one of the first designated online campuses started by a public research university, back in 1998, building on over a century of experience in correspondence and distance education. Today, Penn State World Campus’s career-focused professional degree programs are recognized as models of the form.
The Penn State online RN to BSN degree program, from the World Campus and the CCNE-accredited College of Nursing, offers students access to one of the strongest nursing programs in the world from their own home. Ranked as one of the top online bachelor’s degree programs by U.S. News & World Report, Penn State gives students all they need for career success. Any student with an RN license, from anywhere in the nation, can complete their nursing bachelor’s degree online at the same reasonable tuition rate, making the Penn State World Campus one of the best values in the US.
Cost per Credit: $542
19. Northwestern College – Orange City, IA
A small, Reformed Church in America-affiliated liberal arts institution, Northwestern College is known for their commitment to community engagement (being named to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll) and to Christian educational values. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top regional institutions in the Midwest, Northwestern College, like many other Christian institutions, has extended its reach with solid online degree programs.
Northwestern College’s online RN to BSN degree program is made for the convenience of working nurses. Three start times each year, and 8-week accelerated courses allow students to complete their BSN in two years or less, with a full picture of the 21st century nursing field, from practice to leadership. For working nurses in the region, Northwestern College has also developed partnerships with health providers to offer their nurses a tuition reduction from their already affordable rates, making Northwestern College one of the Midwest’s top values.
Cost per Credit: $400
20. Georgia College and State University – Milledgeville, GA
Designated as Georgia’s public liberal arts college, Georgia College and State University has a long and proud history of bringing the highest-quality education to the people of central Georgia. Founded as a teaching and technical college, Georgia College put career education first (though, of course, their most famous alumnus, Flannery O’Connor, is known for literature), and that commitment continues in their professional and technical degrees, as well as their highly-ranked online programs.
Georgia College’s online RN to BSN degree program, from their highly regarded School of Nursing, provides CCNE-accredited excellence in a well-designed, highly accessible format. With fully online, asynchronous courses, qualified and prepared working nurses can complete their BSN in as little as one year, and GCSU’s liberal-arts based provides the critical thinking and analytical skills that can help nurses leap into administrative and managerial roles. With 100% of graduates employed after completing the program, Georgia College’s online BSN is as close as it gets to a sure thing.
Cost per Credit: $289
21. Lamar University – Beaumont, TX
Part of the Texas State University system, Lamar University is a mid-sized, public research institution noted for its focus on business and technology, a legacy of its origins as a technical college. With its mission, as a regional public university, to provide accessible and affordable education, and its history of excellence in STEM (Lamar is also a federal space-grant institution), Lamar has made its name in recent years with its decorated online degrees.
Lamar’s online RN to BSN degree program brings together Lamar’s expertise in technology, science, and humanities for a market-ready, highly flexible BSN. With the needs of working nurses in mind, Lamar offers a number of start times, fully online coursework, and excellent student support, as well as one of the most affordable tuition rates in Texas. Students across Texas have seen their careers accelerate with the Lamar online BSN.
Cost per Credit: $308
22. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee – Milwaukee, WI
The University of Wisconsin system is recognized nation-wide as one of the best in the US, particularly when it comes to online degree programs. With a large state composed of many rural and remote regions, the system has found online degrees the best way to meet the educational needs of its citizens, and UW-Milwaukee has found the same true in its urban location as well. UW-Milwaukee provides the programs necessary for 21st century society, in a 21st century format.
One of the reasons the UW system online programs are so well-regarded is their flexibility, with numerous formats available. The UW-Milwaukee online RN to BSN degree program is available in a conventional online format (the BSN@Home) and the UW-FLEX, a self-paced, competency-based format. In either case, working nurses have the opportunity to earn a respected credential that will carry them into promotion, or give them a significant advantage on the job market in Wisconsin and beyond.
Cost per Credit: $337
23. Georgia Southern University – Statesboro, GA
A public land-grant institution, the largest in Georgia south of Atlanta, Georgia Southern University has its roots in agricultural and mechanical education, as well as a teacher’s college, bringing together STEM, professional, and humanities education. As a regional institution, many of GSU’s programs are recognized among the best in the South, including the respected School of Nursing.
The CCNE-accredited School of Nursing at Georgia Southern offers an online RN to BSN program that draws on some of the region’s most qualified and experienced faculty members for guidance and mentorship. With a mix of real-time and asynchronous coursework, GSU’s nursing program prepares students for leadership, clinical practice, and further learning for those who want to continue in master’s specializations. One of the most affordable tuition rates in the south helps make Georgia Southern a perennial value.
Cost per Credit: $204
24. Pace University – New York, NY
Founded as a business and accountancy school in 1906, Pace University is still best known for business, but this private, Manhattan-based institution has also earned a global reputation for technology, healthcare, and even the humanities, as the home of the Actor’s Studio MFA program. The Lienhard School of Nursing, in particular, is recognized as one of the best nursing programs in the region, and supplies many top professionals to the demanding healthcare system of New York City.
Students need not live in Manhattan to earn a nursing degree from Pace today; the Pace online RN/BSN degree completion program uses small classes, as well as a mix of independent and collaborative projects, to give students the best possible online nursing education. Pace understands the demands of contemporary nursing, and gives students the clinical and leadership expertise to take on any nursing setting, from the emergency room to the family clinic. Pace’s tuition is reasonable, particularly for NYC, giving graduate the confidence that their investment will pay off.
Cost per Credit: $555
25. Southeast Missouri State University – Cape Girardeau, MO
Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top regional public institutions in the Midwest, Southeast Missouri State University is deeply rooted in Missouri, life, even warranting mention by Mark Twain in Life on the Mississippi. That commitment to the educational opportunity and community well-being of the Mississippi River region has made Southeast Missouri, also known as SEMO, a cultural and educational leader, and online degree programs have helped the university meet the needs of Missouri’s working adults and professionals like never before.
The CCNE-accredited Department of Nursing offers the SEMO online RN to BSN degree program, an asynchronous, fully online curriculum built with working nurses in mind. For students who already have an associate’s degree or nursing diploma, the SEMO online BSN provides a fuller, more complete education for the contemporary healthcare field in a convenient format. Southeast Missouri State’s low tuition rate almost guarantees a healthy return on investment.
Cost per Credit: $265
26. McKendree University – Lebanon, IL
The very first university in Illinois, McKendree University traces its distinguished history back to Methodist pioneers in 1828, who brought civilization, in the form of higher education, to the wilderness. Today McKendree is still affiliated with the United Methodist Church, and has grown well beyond the tiny seminary into a respected institution, named one of the top regional institutions and top online educators in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.
The CCNE-accredited Division of Nursing at McKendree offers an online RN to BSN degree program that emphasizes not only the technical requirements of clinical nursing, but the writing, speaking, and communication skills that prepare nurses for professional leadership in the field. With 8 week accelerated courses, students can complete their degree program in as little as 5 semesters, less than two full years, while a generous transfer policy helps get BSN students on their way faster. For a private education, with strong student support and guidance, McKendree’s tuition is also incredibly affordable.
Cost per Credit: $370
27. SUNY Delhi – Delhi, NY
SUNY Delhi is part of the nationally-respected State University of New York system, one of the most renowned public higher education systems in the US. Founded in 1913, Delhi is ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top regional institutions in the north, and as a College of Technology is dedicated to professional and technical education. With a mission to provide accessible, practical, career-focused education, Delhi has expanded into online education, receiving accolades from USN&WR and other agencies as one of the best online bachelor’s institutions in the nation.
The ACEN-accredited School of Nursing at SUNY Delhi offers an online RN to BSN degree program focused on the needs of working nurses in New York and the northeast region, with an emphasis on critical thinking and clinical expertise. With fully online classes and local practicum opportunities, busy professionals can complete their degree with complete faculty support, tech support, and tutorial support. The exceptionally affordable SUNY tuition costs keep the Delhi BSN at the top of the heap.
Cost per Credit: $270
28. Loyola University Chicago – Chicago, IL
One of the foremost Catholic universities in the US, Loyola University Chicago was founded in 1870 by the Jesuit order, a monastic community renowned world-wide for their commitment to education. Loyola is a major part of the fabric of life, learning, and culture in Chicago, particularly because of the Loyola University Medical Center, one of the foremost teaching campuses in the world. It should come as no surprise that Loyola’s Niehoff School of Nursing, the first in Illinois, is also one of the most influential and admired in the field.
Loyola’s online RN to BSN degree program is distinguished by CCNE accreditation and by the acclaimed Loyola reputation, which gives graduates a tremendous advantage on the job market; Loyola is a prime location for recruiters. Students in the online BSN program gain access to the very best nursing faculty imaginable, and rolling admissions allow students to apply at any time. With accelerated courses of 6 or 8 weeks, Loyola BSN students can complete their degree in as little as three semesters, depending on their transfer credits, and leap into the next stage of their careers with confidence.
Cost per Credit: $751
29. Sacred Heart University – Fairfield, CT
Founded in 1963, Sacred Heart University has built up a respectable reputation in just half a century, earning recognition from U.S. News & World Report as one of the top regional institutions in the north, with a strong reputation for value. Sacred Heart is unusual in that, though it is a private Catholic college, it is staffed and run by lay members, not Church officials, though its emphasis on local service, community engagement, and educational excellence is exemplary of Catholic values.
In recent years, Sacred Heart has become known for its strong online programs including the online RN to BSN degree from Sacred Heart’s CCNE-accredited nursing program. With top-notch faculty, all of whom combine terminal degrees with extensive real-world nursing experience, SHU promises online students the same excellent, rigorous education as on-campus students in a convenient format, allowing working nurses to reach their potential without pausing their careers. Affordable tuition only increases the bargain.
Cost per Credit: $560
30. California Baptist University – Riverside, CA
One of first names in Christian higher education, California Baptist University has grown since its founding in 1950 into a significant, nationally-recognized institution. This mid-sized, Southern Baptist-affiliated university is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as a top regional institution, with strong engineering and music programs. The CCNE-accredited College of Nursing is also acknowledged as one of the leading programs of its kind on the west coast.
CBU has also made the most of distance education with CBU/online, reaching out beyond California with online degree programs like the CBU online RN to BSN degree. CBU’s biblically-based, Christ-centered curriculum is focused not only on the practical skills of nursing, but on ethical care, compassion, and values. The CBU BSN sets nurses up for leadership in a variety of settings, and the growing California Baptist reputation means graduates will have their pick.
Cost per Credit: $547
31. Ferris State University – Big Rapids, MI
Ferris State University, a large, public institution in central Michigan, is notable as the only public institution in Michigan founded by a single person – education reformer and innovator Woodbridge Nathan Ferris. Founded on an experimental idea of experiential learning, Ferris State has continued to place career preparation and professional readiness at the center of its curriculum, with an emphasis on practical programs like Education, Human Services, and Pharmacy.
That commitment also includes nursing, with the ACEN-accredited Ferris State online RN to BSN degree completion program. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s best online bachelor’s degree programs, as well as one of the best online institutions for veterans, Ferris State’s online BSN provides working registered nurses the means to complete their bachelor’s and get a thorough grounding in the contemporary nursing field. Reasonable tuition is the topper on an excellent choice.
Cost per Credit: $403
32. Linfield College – McMinnville, OR
Founded in 1858, during Oregon’s rough pioneer days, Linfield College is a small, private liberal arts college in northeastern Oregon. Linfield has repeatedly been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the #1 regional institution in its category (bachelor’s colleges), as well as being noted by the Princeton Review as a top Western college. Since founding its distance education division in 1975, Linfield has also emphasized adult learning, an orientation that has only increased with online education.
The Linfield-Good Samaritan School of Nursing, and the Online & Continuing Education Program, have come together to offer the Linfield College online RN to BSN degree program. This CCNE-accredited program focuses on the needs of working RNs in diverse environments, putting a priority on bringing together experienced, multi-generational nurses into a cutting-edge program. Linfield also gives generous credit for previous education and experience, doing everything possible to get great nurses the credentials they need for further career success.
Cost per Credit: $480
33. Southern New Hampshire University – Manchester, NH
A private institution in Manchester, NH, Southern New Hampshire University began its life in 1932 as a humble accounting and secretarial school, but the 21st century has seen SNHU take on new life as one of the leading online educators in the world. In real life, Southern New Hampshire is still a small college, but online, more than 60,000 students strong, SNHU has been hailed as one of the most innovative institutions in the US.
The SNHU online RN to BSN degree program, from the CCNE-accredited Department of Nursing, is designed to be a convenient, fast-track course from an ASN to a BSN, with a generous transfer plan and streamlined 10 course curriculum. Because SNHU is globally known for online education, they have student support and scheduling flexibility down to a science, making sure every student has what they need to succeed.
Cost per Credit: $320
34. Robert Morris University – Moon, PA
Like Southern New Hampshire, Robert Morris University began as an accountancy school in 1921, gradually growing into a respected, career-centered university. Recognized as one of the top regional schools in its class, RMU specializes in professional and technological degree programs like business, leadership, nursing, information technology, and engineering, and in the 21st century has made major strides in foregrounding its U.S. News & World Report-acclaimed online bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
One of the RMU divisions noted by USN&WR is the Nursing and Health Care online program. The CCNE-accredited Robert Morris University online RN to BSN degree program is focused on the contemporary nursing field, with courses in leadership, cultural understanding, informatics, research, and community health. With some of the most accomplished faculty members in nursing education, and a highly convenient and well-planned curriculum, students can be sure Robert Morris University will pay off in their careers.
Cost per Credit: $725
35. University of Missouri-St. Louis – St. Louis, MO
Part of the University of Missouri system, the University of Missouri-St. Louis is a relatively young institution, founded in 1963, but in half a century UMSL has grown into a large public research institution. Known throughout the Midwest for top business, education, and nursing, as well as one of fewer than 20 optometry schools in the nation, UMSL is quickly becoming one of the leading research universities in the region, especially as it embraces the reach and capabilities of online education.
The UMSL online RN to BSN degree program, from the CCNE-accredited College of Nursing, is all about creating a flexible, market-directed curriculum suitable for busy working nurses. In addition to thoroughly contemporary courses in areas like community health, nursing leadership, and health assessment, UMSL BSN students get a strong background in the liberal arts for skills like critical thinking and communication. The UMSL online BSN is a respectable option that will have a long-lasting impact on Missouri and the Midwest.
Cost per Credit: $452
36. Siena Heights University – Adrian, MI
A small, Roman Catholic private institution in rural Adrian, MI, Siena Heights University was founded in 1919 and remains affiliated with the Dominican Sisters of Adrian. Siena Heights University puts the needs of the community first and foremost, and has a commitment to bringing together a diverse student body, including a dual enrollment program for high school students and programs tailored to non-traditional, working adult students.
Siena Heights University offers an online RN to BSN degree program from the CCNE-accredited Nursing school. As a Catholic university, SHU’s nursing program puts an emphasis on ethical responsibility and spiritually holistic care in addition to the practical clinical skills that nurses need. SHU also takes working nurses’ life and professional experience seriously, encouraging students to connect their daily responsibilities to their education. It’s a convenient, person-centered education that can be completed in as little as three semesters to get nurses back to what they do best.
Cost per Credit: $495
37. Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania – Slippery Rock, PA
A mid-sized public institution in the beautiful foothills of the Alleghenies, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania has grown since its 1889 founding from a small teacher’s college to a comprehensive university. As a primarily regional institution, Slippery Rock’s main mission is to provide opportunity for a diverse, community-centered student body. That mission is aided by a growing, and well-regarded, slate of online degree programs providing access to students who cannot make it to campus.
Slippery Rock’s online RN to BSN degree program is designed to help working nurses take the next step, focusing on multidisciplinary, collaborative work, community health, and leadership. This technology-centered program is taught in 7-week courses, allowing students to complete their program more quickly, and round the clock access to tech and students support ensures success for Slippery Rock’s online students. At a low tuition rate, it’s one of the most affordable online BSN programs in the region, as well.
Cost per Credit: $308
38. Southwestern College – Wichita, KS
Founded in 1885 by the Methodist circuit riders – the fearless frontier preachers who traveled through the new territories spreading religion and education, Southwestern College is still associated with the United Methodist Church today, and puts an emphasis on both intellectual and spiritual development, with Christian values infused into its curriculum. With the mission to provide opportunity, Southwestern College has put a particular emphasis on programs for working adult and other non-traditional students, including investment in online degrees.
The Southwestern College online RN to BSN degree program is CCNE-accredited and comes from Southwestern’s Professional Studies, Southwestern’s dedicated online division. Since online education is all the Professional Studies division does, faculty and support are specially trained and oriented toward distance education to provide the best education possible. Students can complete their BSN in as little as 14 months with convenient 6-week courses and fully online instruction, and a low tuition just sweetens the deal.
Cost per Credit: $455
39. Drexel University – Philadelphia, PA
Drexel University was founded in 1891 with the then-radical idea of providing cutting-edge technology, science, and business education to both men and women, regardless of background. Drexel has never lost that spirit – they pioneered the idea of cooperative education, providing experiential career-development learning with corporate and government partnerships alongside classroom education. Today Drexel is a leader in online education, giving working adults the chance to earn a highly-respected, job-market approved Drexel degree from anywhere.
Drexel’s College of Nursing and Health Professions is CCNE-accredited and recognized as one of the best in the nation, and with the Drexel online RN to BSN degree program working nurses can earn a world-class degree fully online. Generous transfer plans, special tuition for ANA members, and credit for licensed RNs help busy nurses afford their program, and complete it in a reasonable amount of time. Drexel nurses get more than a first-rate, 21st century education – they get the Drexel name, trusted and recruited nation-wide.
Cost per Credit: $572
40. Ball State University – Muncie, IN
Ball State University is a large, public research university ranked by the Princeton Review as one of the top regional institutions in the Midwest. Founded in 1918 from a donation by the Ball Corporation (earning Ball State its name, as well as its nickname, Fruit Jar Tech), Ball State has had accessibility, career-readiness, and professional preparation at its center from the very beginning. Today, it accomplishes that goal in a new way – online degrees, for which U.S. News & World Report has ranked Ball State one of the nation’s best online educators.
The Online and Distance Education Division (which is located in the David Letterman Communication and Media Building, naturally, named for Ball State’s most famous alumnus), offers the Ball State online RN to BSN degree program. This CCNE-accredited program combines nursing with the liberal arts, especially psychology and humanities, and a specialized focus on community, women, and children gives students a clear sense of purpose. Low tuition, excellent faculty, and job-market recognition make Ball State a trusted BSN.
Cost per Credit: $296
41. Clarion University of Pennsylvania – Clarion, PA
A small liberal arts institution in the lovely hills of western Pennsylvania, Clarion University of Pennsylvania is part of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and leads the system in degree-specific accreditations, giving students assurance that nearly every degree program is accredited by the highest authority. As a rural, regional public university, Clarion has made extensive use of online education to help meet the educational needs of the people, earning praise for its strong online programs.
One such program is the Clarion online RN to BSN degree, an ACEN-accredited, online-only program designed specifically for the needs of working registered nurses who want to complete their bachelor’s degree. Bringing together liberal arts knowledge and nursing practice, the Clarion program not only prepares graduates for advanced nursing and leadership, but also sets them up well for post-graduate programs. Clarion accepts credits from any accredited nursing program, and keeps tuition affordable so students stay out of debt.
Cost per Credit: $326
42. Duquesne University – Pittsburgh, PA
One of the foremost Catholic research universities in the nation, and the world’s only Spiritan university (affiliated with the Congregation of the Holy Ghost, a service-oriented religious order), Duquesne University brings top quality professional and career education to Pittsburgh, PA. Duquesne has especially built a reputation for online education in the 21st century, including being the first university to offer a PhD in Nursing online from the top ranked College of School of Nursing.
Online education has helped many students who would not have otherwise been able to attend the School of Nursing, with programs like Duquesne’s online RN-BSN degree completion. With a fully-online curriculum, and both full-time and part-time options, students can tailor their program to their needs, with 8-week courses making for easier scheduling. As a private institution, Duquesne can offer their program anywhere in the US (with some exceptions), making the Duquesne name a job-market advantage everywhere, not just in Pennsylvania.
Cost per Credit: $878
43. Pacific Union College – Angwin, CA
A small, Adventist Church-associated liberal arts college in the beautiful Napa Valley, Pacific Union College has been serving students since 1882. With a highly diverse student body, small classes and a 13:1 student/teacher ratio, PUC is able to offer the kind of intensive student support and educational experimentation that makes liberal arts colleges special, including highly-respected programs in business, psychology, and nurses, as well as a large and highly successful pre-med program.
The ACEN-accredited online RN to BSN degree program at Pacific Union College is designed for success. As an Adventist institution, the PUC nursing program emphasizes Christian values and ethics, making spiritual growth and community service a central part of the curriculum. With flexible scheduling and generous transfer acceptance, students can complete their BSN at Pacific Union in as little as one year, and a low tuition rate promises graduates that they will not regret the investment.
Cost per Credit: $425
44. University of Saint Francis – Fort Wayne, IN
Ranked as one of the top regional institutions in the Midwest, as well as a best value, by U.S. News & World Report and Washington Monthly, the University of Saint Francis is a small, Catholic liberal arts institution founded by the Sisters of Saint Francis. With an emphasis on career preparation and professional development, USF has become well-known in recent years for their high-quality online degree programs, which are focused on practical, market-ready fields. Strong graduate earnings and 93% job or graduate placement rate for graduates proves USF is doing something right.
The CCNE-accredited online RN to BSN is one of the most successful programs at University of Saint Francis. USF is dedicated to building patient-centered care, collaborative skills, and leadership ability through nursing and liberal arts instruction. Most courses are delivered in an 8-week format, but a 16-week Leadership Immersion experience is designed to hone the leadership and teamwork skills that are central to contemporary nursing. The University of Saint Francis provides a top-notch Catholic education with an affordable tuition rate for a secure future.
Cost per Credit: $599
45. Minot State University – Minot, ND
Minot State University is a small, public institution on North Dakota’s northwestern Drift Prairie, a rural area with a spread-out, sparse population. As a regional university, MSU’s mission is to meet the educational needs of the people wherever they are, so in the 21st century Minot State has developed and maintained an impressive online education program, earning accolades from U.S. News & World Report as one of the top online educators in the nation, as well as one of the best online values for their low out-of-state tuition.
Minot State’s online BSN Completion program is designed for working registered nurses who need to improve their credentials and demonstrate their advanced knowledge for leadership roles. The ACEN-accredited Department of Nursing provides students with the most up-to-date information and best practices, while a flexible format helps busy professionals set their schedules to their needs. Minot State’s commitment to the needs of the individual and community is clear in every aspect of the online BSN.
Cost per Credit: $216
46. Upper Iowa University – Fayette, IA
A small, private liberal arts institution in rural northern Iowa, Upper Iowa University has been providing educational opportunity since 1857, when Iowa was still a new and rugged state. While UIU is well-regarded in the Midwest, they have particularly made their name with distance education and outreach, with 15 distance education centers across the US, two in the Pacific Rim, and a rapidly growing online presence as well. With online programs ranked by U.S. News & World Report and noted as a best buy by other agencies, Upper Iowa is gaining a national reputation.
Upper Iowa’s online RN-BSN degree program is designed for convenience and speed, with 8-week courses delivered in six terms each year. With a full-time load (2 courses at a time), students can complete the BSN in as little as one year, but part-time students may still finish in less than two. UIU puts a premium on leadership preparation, with faculty-directed clinical experience related to the student’s current workplace, and students are expected to graduate with sufficient experience to take on higher-level positions right away.
Cost per Credit: $430
47. Ashland University – Ashland, OH
Ashland University was founded in 1878 by the Brethren Church, and stands today as a small, private liberal arts institution dedicated to Christian values and individual intellectual and spiritual development. Ashland is proud of its diverse student body and faculty, and has been ranked as a national first-tier institution by U.S. World Report, a top regional college by the Princeton Review, and a best value by Washington Monthly.
Ashland’s online RN to BSN degree program draws on Ashland’s many strengths, from their mix of liberal arts and science expertise to their Christian commitment to care and service. From practice-based research to global perspectives on world health, the Ashland BSN program provides students with the full scope of nursing education, as well as the specific practical skills needed for advanced clinical practice and managerial roles in health care facilities. Plus, Ashland’s tuition is low, making for a low-risk opportunity for working nurses to progress.
Cost per Credit: $405
48. University of Cincinnati – Cincinnati, OH
As a large, urban, public research institution, the University of Cincinnati has built up a strong reputation not only in the Midwest, but nationally. UC has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as a top 75 university nationally, and been named an up-and-coming institution, reflecting its growth in size and reputation. Cincinnati has also gained recognition as an online educator, with many of its programs ranking at the top nationally for quality and value.
UC’s College of Nursing has earned USN&WR recognition as one of the best online nursing schools in the nation, including bachelor’s and master’s programs, and as a best online choice for veterans. The University of Cincinnati online RN to BSN program, accredited by the CCNE, combines a top-notch faculty of expert practitioners with a highly flexible and convenient schedule, including six yearly start dates. By accepting transfer credits with ease, the University of Cincinnati helped experienced working nurses complete the credentials they need quickly and effectively.
Cost per Credit: $404
49. Bowling Green State University – Bowling Green, OH
Recognized as one of the best regional institutions in the Midwest, Bowling Green State University – in the charming college town of Bowling Green, OH – is known as a large, public research institution with high research productivity and a decorated faculty. Bowling Green State is especially respected for teacher education, having started as a normal school, and for its CCNE-accredited Department of Nursing
The BGSU online RN to BSN degree program is a well-developed, current, and market-ready curriculum based on Orem’s self-care theory. The BGSU nursing program focuses on meeting the needs of individuals, families, and communities through person-centered care, as well as focused and productive self-care. All seven nursing courses are available fully online, and students may choose from 4 different pathways for completing their bachelor’s degree, all at an exceptionally affordable tuition rate.
Cost per Credit: $390
50. University of North Carolina at Wilmington – Wilmington, NC
Part of the nationally-respected University of North Carolina system, UNC Wilmington is a mid-sized, comprehensive public institution on North Carolina’s coast. Just miles from the Atlantic coast beaches, UNCW is well-known for marine biology and research, as well as for a vibrant social scene and Greek life. U.S. News & World Report has also ranked UNCW as one of the top regional institutions in the South, and a Kiplinger’s Best Value.
The CCNE-accredited School of Nursing is known as one of the best in the region, reflecting more than 40 years of service. Students can earn an online RN to BSN degree from UNC Wilmington that will provide them with all of the skills and confidence needed to not only meet the needs of patients, but to take on administrative and leadership positions. UNCW’s reputation in North Carolina and throughout the south presents a major advantage to graduates, so an online BSN from UNCW is a prime opportunity for Carolina nurses.
Cost per Credit: $668