The best BSN programs in the US on-campus let students earn a traditional Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and advance their careers. With a BSN, students learn more advanced skills and can pursue a nursing specialization of choice. A higher degree also allows nurses to take on more responsibility and accept new challenges. If you are already working in the nursing field, then you can take what you learn and apply for more advanced positions in the workplace. Enrolling in a Bachelor’s in Nursing degree will give you an advantage when you choose to apply for specialized nursing positions.
Getting a Bachelor’s in Nursing Degree will give you an opportunity to move forward within the nursing profession. You may be able to become a nurse with an Associate degree, but with a bachelor’s degree, you can advance your career. A bachelor’s degree program gives you the skills you need to study for your RN exam. This type of degree also allows you to focus on a specialization if you decide you want to move forward into a more focused degree program.
How We Ranked the Best BSN Programs On-Campus
For TopRNtoBSN’s nursing programs rankings of the best conventional, residential Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs, editors focused on trusted, accredited programs across the US. Since students want to know their degrees will pay off, we rank programs according to their tuition rate, student satisfaction, and graduate salary. Data about the best nursing schools comes from IPEDS and Niche.
1. University of Washington
The School of Nursing within the University of Washington offers two of the best traditional BSN programs. The school offers both a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and an accelerated version of the school’s BSN program. U of W’s best bachelor of nursing program is offered as fast-track. This option provides nursing students with an opportunity to complete the degree in about half the time required to complete the traditional degree program. Most students complete it in four quarters that run back to back.
The University of Washington is a multi-campus school with three campuses in Bothell, Tacoma, and also Seattle. Established as a university when Washington was still a territory in 1861. Currently, U-Dub operates as the flagship institution of higher education with a student body that is approximately 47,550 students. In addition, the University of Washington has strategic partnerships with tech giants locally like Nintendo and Microsoft, among others.
Degrees: UW – BSN and Accelerated BSN
2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
The Nursing School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers several Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) program options. Among the best bachelor of nursing programs offered by UNC at Chapel Hill are both a traditional BSN and an accelerated BSN. Furthermore, the accelerated option is for students who have already earned a baccalaureate degree. In addition, UNC has a BSN for those who are or have been in the military, reserves, or also the national guard.
The University of North Carolina’s Chapel Hill campus is the flagship school of the state’s university system. Founded in 1789, UNC is one of the nation’s oldest public higher learning institutions that serves more than 30,050 students online and on-campus. The University of North Carolina holds the distinction of being the only public university.
3. University of Michigan
The University of Michigan’s Nursing School offers a BSN program that has been developed over more than 100 years. U of M’s best bachelor of nursing programs offers students a minor in population health from a global perspective, which provides students with a variety of global nursing opportunities during their tenure. The school is both CCNE accredited and ranked as one of the best BSN available.
The University of Michigan opened in the city of Detroit in 1817. UM is the state’s oldest higher learning institution. In addition, the school also holds space-grant and sea-grant designations. UM also has several campuses that are home to over 45,000 enrolled students. The University of Michigan’s athletes have won more than 140 Olympic medals.
Degrees: BSN, Minor in Global Public Health
4. Purdue University
Purdue University’s Nursing School has two BSN degree programs. Both degrees offer potential nursing students one of the best BSN programs. Purdue’s best bachelor of nursing programs includes a traditional direct-admit path. In addition, the school has a track for students who already hold a bachelor’s degree in another area. Graduates from Purdue University’s BSN program find rewarding careers as home health nurses and also work in various hospital roles.
Established by John Purdue in the late 1860s, Purdue University, is a land, space, and sea-grant school. The university serves over 45,000 students both online and on the school’s West Lafayette campus. The school’s student enrollment is the second largest in Indiana. In addition, Purdue boasts more than 400,000 living alumni members. However, Purdue University’s first class was only thirty-nine students.
5. Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University’s Nursing College offers several BSN programs. Nursing degrees offered by the school include both a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program and an RN to BSN pathway. In addition, A&M has an accelerated BSN program for those students who wish to earn a BSN but already hold another degree at the bachelor’s level. Texas A&M University’s best bachelor of nursing programs has received accreditation from the CCNE. In addition, the Nursing College is considered a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing (NLN).
Founded as an agricultural & mechanical school in 1871. The university now operates as a space, land, and sea-grant school and also serves nearly 70,000 students. In addition, Texas A&M University’s student enrollment is the second largest in the nation. The school’s main campus holds the distinction of being one of the largest in the country, covering more than 5,000 acres.
Degrees: BSN, Second Degree BSN, RN to BSN
6. University of Texas at Austin
The Nursing School within the University of Texas at Austin offers several Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) programs that are some of the best BSN programs in both Texas and the US. These best bachelor of nursing programs from the University of Texas’s Austin campus include a traditional BSN program, an ADN to BSN degree program, plus honors and internal transfer program. The UT BSN degree is also one of the most affordable programs in the country. Coursework for the BSN emphasizes critical thinking, integration of knowledge from nursing, clinical hours, and also behavioral science. In addition, students learn how to both plan and evaluate nursing care with a focus on evidence-based nursing practice and nursing leadership.
The Austin campus of the University of Texas opened in the early 1880s. UT Austin serves as the state’s flagship campus, with a student enrollment of more than 40,000 undergraduate students.
7. University of Florida
The University of Florida’s Nursing College offers a variety of BSN degree programs that are among the best BSN programs in the country. The University of Florida’s AACN-accredited best bachelor of nursing programs includes a variety of degrees. The traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing, an accelerated BSN degree, and a BSN degree program for those students who already hold a valid Registered Nursing license. Interested nursing students will find that the University of Florida offers an honors program for BSN students.
The University of Florida is the Sunshine State’s flagship school that opened in the mid-1850s. Additionally, UF is a land, space, and sea-grant institution of higher education with an endowment that nears $2 billion. The University of Florida is among the top public universities in the nation.
Degrees: BSN, Accelerated BSN, RN to BSN
8. University of Wisconsin, Madison
The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing offers several BSN degree programs that are recognized to be among the best programs. UW’s best bachelor of nursing programs includes an online Registered Nurse (RN) to BSN degree, a traditional BSN degree, and an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program. The University of Wisconsin’s baccalaureate degree options in nursing has received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison began as part of the Morrill Act and is currently the state’s flagship university. Additionally, the University of Wisconsin maintains an arboretum near campus and serves more than 44,140 undergraduate and graduate students. The University of Wisconsin holds the distinction of being the largest state employer with more than 20,000 employees.
Degrees: BSN, Accelerated BSN, Online RN to BSN
9. University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota’s Nursing School offers a BSN program that is ranked among the top BSN programs in the US. Minnesota’s bachelor of nursing program is accredited by the CCNE. The school’s nursing baccalaureate degrees are offered in Rochester and on the school’s campus in the Twin Cities. Furthermore, students graduating from the University of Minnesota’s BSN programs consistently outperform the national average of first-time pass rates for the NCLEX-RN exam.
The University of Minnesota (Minnesota) is a multi-campus university that was established as a college prep school in the early 1850s. The University of Minnesota is a public ivy school and serves nearly 50,000 students. John Pillsbury, the flour miller, saved the school from financial ruin and is now considered the university’s father.
10. Rutgers University
Rutgers University’s School of Nursing offers a variety of BSN degree programs that are among the best BSN programs. These Minnesota’s best bachelor of nursing programs from Rutgers University include an RN to BSN degree, a traditional four-year baccalaureate degree, and a BSN degree designed for students entering the program that have already earned another bachelor’s degree that is not in the field of nursing.
Established in the 1760s, Rutgers University is recognized as one of the nation’s oldest schools. Additionally, Rutgers University is the Garden State’s flagship school, with a student body that has over 68,000 students. Rutgers operates several campuses throughout the state and is considered a public ivy higher learning institution.
Degrees: BSN, Second Degree BSN, RN to BSN
11. Northeastern University
Northeastern University’s Bouve Health Sciences College offers several Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees (BSN) that are among is one of the BSN programs. The school’s bachelor of nursing programs are available on campuses of Northeastern in both Charlotte and Boston. The baccalaureate degree program from Northeastern is organized in the areas of leadership, clinical and critical thinking, quality care, competence, collaboration, informatics, and also evidence-based practice.
Northeastern University (NU) was founded in the late 1890s as a research university. This space-grant school operates multiple regional campuses that serve about 27,540 undergraduate and graduate students. In addition, students participate in a cooperative education program that allows them to earn salaries while studying for their degree. Most Northeastern students live on campus.
Degrees: BSN, Accelerated BSN, RN to BSN
12. University of Utah
The University of Utah’s College of Nursing offers a BSN degree program that is one of the best BSN programs in both Utah and the US. Students graduating from the University of Utah’s best bachelor of nursing programs consistently perform above the national average for those taking the NCLEX-RN exam for the first time. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits U of U’s baccalaureate degree in the nursing program.
The University of Utah opened in the 1850s before Utah became a state. It is the state’s flagship campus and over 32,000 students attend classes online and on the school’s Salt Lake City campus. The University of Utah holds the distinction of being the oldest university in the state.
13. University of Connecticut
The University of Connecticut’s Nursing School offers a BSN degree program ranked as one of the best in both the US and New England. Students enrolled in UConn’s best bachelor of nursing programs complete coursework in human genetics, family development, ethics, women’s health, nursing research, children’s health, and also diversity and multiculturalism. Connecticut’s nursing degrees have been accredited by the CCNE and offer students an honors program option.
The University of Connecticut was founded as an agricultural school in the early 1880s. The university is considered a public ivy school with more than 27,000 students studying both online and the school’s Storrs campus. UConn’s campus is about 30 minutes from downtown Hartford and about one and one-half hours from downtown Boston.
Degrees: UConn BSN program
14. University of Iowa
The University of Iowa’s College of Nursing offers two of the best programs in the US and the midwestern section of the nation. In addition, Iowa’s RN to BSN is among the best online programs in the country. The university’s traditional BSN program offers a transfer or direct admission option. In addition, the average age of Iowa resident nursing students is 33, whereas non-resident nursing students had an average age of 47.
The University of Iowa opened in the late 1840s as a research university. It is the oldest institution of higher education in Iowa and the second-largest school in the state. The University of Iowa is the original school that developed the Master of Fine Arts degree and is home to the state’s writer’s workshop.
Degrees: BSN, RN to BSN
15. University at Buffalo
The University at Buffalo’s Nursing School offers a number of the best bachelor of nursing programs in both New York and even some of the best BSN programs in the country. Buffalo offers nursing students CCNE accredited degree programs. Students can choose from a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, an accelerated BSN program, and also an online Registered Nurse (RN) to BSN degree program. In partnership with area health care facilities, Buffalo provides internships for all nursing students.
The University at Buffalo is a member school of New York’s university system with multiple campuses in upstate New York. The University at Buffalo was originally developed as a medical college in 1846. Today the school has thirteen colleges that serve approximately 32,000 students.
Degrees: BSN, RN to BSN, Accelerated BSN
16. Indiana University Bloomington
Indiana University offers three of the best BSN programs in the US from its Bloomington campus. These best bachelor of nursing programs from Indiana University include an online RN to Bachelor of Science (BSN) completion degree, a traditional BSN degree, and an accelerated BSN degree pathway. The accelerated path is for students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree and have at least120-semester credits from an accredited institution of higher education. The RN to BSN degree completion program is designed for working learners and can be completed in twelve to thirty-six months, depending on a student’s time availability.
Indiana University is a multiple-campus higher learning institution that was established in 1820. The university’s dual campuses (and multiple extension academic centers) serve approximately 110,425 undergraduate and graduate students. Indiana University’s annual budget exceeds $3 billion.
Degrees: BSN, Accelerated BSN, RN to BSN
17. Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University’s Nursing School offers a number of the best BSN programs in the eastern US. SBU’s best bachelor of nursing programs includes a basic Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, an RN to BSN degree, and a scholar’s program. Classes for Stony Brook University’s BSN degrees include gerontological health, maternal/newborn health, fundamentals of pharmacology, nursing interventions, and population health nursing, plus a capstone project, to name a few.
Stony Brook University (Stony Brook) opened in 1957 as a college in Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York. SBU is a member school and university system of the state’s university system. Additionally, Stony Brook University manages, in a partnership, the Brookhaven National Lab. Stony Brook University holds the distinction of being Long island’s largest employer.
Degrees: BSN, Accelerated BSN, RN to BSN
18. University of Illinois at Chicago
The nursing school at the University of Illinois at Chicago offers two of the country’s best BSN programs in the midwestern region. UI Health’s best bachelor of nursing programs includes a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program (BSN) on a traditional track and a Registered Nurse (RN) to BSN completion degree program. UI’s baccalaureate degree in nursing program is offered on three campuses in the State – Urbana, Chicago, and Springfield. Students applying to UI’s traditional program must already have completed a minimum of 57-credits to gain entrance.
The University of Illinois at Chicago started as a public school and is now the city’s largest institution of higher education. Established in 1982, UIC is also a space-grant and Asian and Hispanic-serving research school. The student enrollment at the University of Illinois at Chicago is approximately 33,230. undergraduate and graduate students.
Degrees: BSN, RN to BSN
19. Arizona State University
Arizona State University’s Edson Nursing & Health Innovation College offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) program that is one of the best BSN programs in the west. ASU’s best bachelor of nursing programs provides nursing students with several academic pathways that include an RN to BSN degree, a traditional BSN pre-licensing program (120 credit units), and an accelerated BSN degree. Students can complete the accelerated BSN degree in one year. However, it is only available for full-time students.
Arizona State University opened in the mid-1880s. ASU has one of the country’s largest student enrollments of approximately 149,000 students. The university provides students with more than 340 academic degree programs across its campuses and online. In addition, the State University started before Arizona became a state as a normal school for teachers.
Degrees: BSN with 6 specializations
20. University of Oklahoma
The University of Oklahoma’s Ziegler Nursing College offers a number of BSN programs. These best bachelor of nursing programs from the University of Oklahoma includes a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, an accelerated BSN pathway. In addition, there are two completion pathways for working professionals – an LPN to BSN and an RN to BSN degree. All of these bachelor’s degrees in nursing programs have received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The University of Oklahoma opened prior to Oklahoma reaching statehood in 1890. The school’s suburban campus covers more than 2,900 acres and serves approximately 28,450 students. The University of Oklahoma’s campus is also home to two museums, the Oklahoma Museum of Natural History and the Jones Museum of Art. The University of Oklahoma offers students more than 300 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.
Degrees: BSN, ABSN, LPN to BSN, RN to BSN
21. Florida State University
Florida State University offers one of the best BSN programs in the southern region. With one of the best bachelor of science nursing programs, the school admits up to 72 students each semester. Transfer students must hold an Associate level degree with at least 60-semester credits from a public institution of higher education in Florida. Students enrolled in Florida State’s baccalaureate degree in the nursing program complete classes in microbiology, the science of nutrition, biology, and also chemistry for science majors. In addition to the ABSN program for working nurses, students can also attend a traditional four-year BSN.
Florida State University opened in the early 1850s. Today, the school operates as space and sea-grant school with more than 41,440 undergraduate and graduate degree students. As a nationally ranked school, FSU ranks among the top twenty public higher learning institutions. Florida State University is home to the only national magnetic field lab.
Degrees: BSN, ABSN
22. University of Kansas
The University of Kansas’s Nursing School offers a BSN degree program that is among the best BSN programs in the Midwest region. The University of Kansas’s best bachelor of nursing programs requires students to complete a minimum of 120 semester hours. However, graduates can sit for the NCLEX-RN exam to earn an RN license. Classes for KU’s BSN undergraduate level program include nursing across the lifespan, pharmacology, physiological functioning, evidence-based practice, global health nursing with a diverse population, and nursing in an evolving health care model, plus a practicum and capstone project, among others.
The University of Kansas (Kansas) is a multiple-campus school that is also the state’s flagship higher learning institution. Established in the mid-1860s, the University of Kansas is also a space-grant school that serves more than 27,450 students online as well as on the school’s rural campus. The University of Kansas operates five campuses throughout the state.
23. University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh offers two of the best BSN programs in the US. Among the best bachelor of nursing programs offered by the University of Pittsburgh is its traditional pathway to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. In addition, the school offers an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree (BSN) for students who have already completed an accredited baccalaureate degree in a non-nursing field. Additionally, Pitt nursing students have the option of joining the school’s honors program.
The University of Pittsburgh was founded as a state school in 1787 as an academy when the city was considered the edge of the frontier. Pitt is home to more than 28,150 students who are studying for degrees offered by Pitt’s seventeen colleges/schools. As a result, the University of Pittsburgh is among the top twenty public schools in the nation. In addition, the school is known for its academic quality and research funding.
Degrees: BSN, Accelerated BSN
24. Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University’s Nursing School offers a number of the best BSN programs in the southern region. The school’s best bachelor of nursing programs includes a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and an RN to BSN. In addition, Texas Tech offers a BSN degree for students currently holding another non-nursing bachelor’s degree, and a BSN program designed for veterans. In addition, the BSN degree for veterans is available to veterans from all branches of the service.
Texas Tech University opened in 1923 as a technological college. The university is also a Hispanic-servicing higher learning institution with the 7th largest student enrollment in the Lone Star State, serving more than 40,250 students annually. Texas Tech University’s campus is themed as Spanish Renaissance and is often considered among the most beautiful west of the Mississippi.
Degrees: BSN, RN to BSN, ABSN, Veteran BSN
25. San Diego State University
San Diego State University’s Nursing School offers a number of the best bachelor of nursing programs in California and beyond. SDSU has both a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and an RN to BSN degree option. SDSUs baccalaureate degree programs in nursing are recognized to be the best in the US and accredited by the Commission On Collegiate Nursing Education. The Nursing School offers admission as a direct entry. In addition, a transfer student or those who wish to earn a BSN and have already completed another non-nursing baccalaureate degree can apply.
San Diego State University opened as a public normal school in the late 1890s. San Diego is one of the 23 members of the CSU system. The school is recognized as having one of the ten most student enrollments in the country that is most ethnically and racially diverse. San Diego State University is home to the second most Fulbright Scholars sponsored in the Golden State.
Degrees: BSN, RN to BSN
More: Visit the program website.
Related: 10 Best Nursing Schools in San Diego
What Are the Advantages of the Best BSN Programs In The US On-Campus?
Enrolling in a traditional BSN degree program on-campus, such as Case Western Reserve University, Johns Hopkins University, or Emory University, gives students an opportunity to be hands-on with their lessons. You can interact with both instructors and other students in person. On-campus undergraduate BSN programs encourage students to ask questions as they arise and get immediate answers. Learning in a classroom setting gives you a chance to spend committed study time that allows you to focus all of your attention on your studies. In a classroom setting, you are able to be part of a group instead of feeling as if you have to work on your own.
Another advantage of a traditional on-campus BSN program is that you have access to vital school resources, such as the extensive library, professional advisors, and computer resources. This access allows students to use tools that they may not have at their disposal for an online program. By having access to the school’s library, you can explore new opportunities when it comes to specializations within the nursing field. On-campus programs give you a chance to make long-lasting, personal friendships with others who have the same career path as you do. Furthermore, being on-campus puts you in the middle of everything you will need to be a successful student.
Are On-Campus Programs Better For Transfer Students?
Additionally, prospective students coming from community colleges with an associate’s degree may find an RN to BSN program on-campus easier. BSN graduates in traditional programs often have access to a health education center with simulation labs. In addition, they can get help with placement in clinical settings. Nursing schools prepare students for the national council licensure examination. However, nurses who already hold a license can complete a BSN program faster. Nursing courses, for example, in biological and behavioral sciences are common for nursing graduates. Since many nurses with an RN have already completed these core classes, they don’t need to repeat them.
What Will I Learn in a Best BSN Programs In The US?
With a BSN degree program, you will learn everything you need to take your skills to the next level. This includes providing more in-depth patient care, as well as becoming more familiar with the record-keeping and documentation processes that are a part of your regular duties. You will learn how to make more complex decisions and how to act quickly when it comes to making judgment calls. With a BSN, you will have the skills your employer is looking for when it comes to moving up and taking on a role as a supervisor or team leader.
Another benefit of a BSN degree program is the leadership and managerial skills you will learn. With an Associate degree, you will receive the basics that will lay the foundation for your future learning. However, a BSN goes far above and beyond that, allowing you to take an active part in molding your career. You can begin to look at specializations such as trauma, surgical, and pediatric nursing. Each one offers its own set of skills and abilities making it a unique program that will offer unique benefits depending on the area you choose.
Should I Get a Specialized BSN Degree?
Remaining in a traditional nursing role is what many nurses choose, primarily because they love what they do and they love the patients they care for. Others, however, want more and can choose a specialization. For example, nurses who thrive on working in the Emergency room may follow through with a trauma specialization. They can work on trauma teams and provide highly specialized care to patients moving from one hospital to another. The same is true for nurses who choose surgery as a specialization. Being on a surgical team can be a very rewarding experience, especially when you know you are working to save a life.
Advanced Practice Specialties
Both pediatric and oncology nursing are also unique specializations. Being able to work with newborns and children is very rewarding and allows you to watch your patients grow and develop. Oncology is another specialization where you watch your patients go through many changes. No matter what specialization you choose, you can reap the rewards throughout the length of your career. Each MSN degree requires some level of clinical experience. However, some expect more hours than others.
Other advanced practice specialties include a neonatal nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse midwifery, nurse anesthesia, psychiatric mental health nursing, and adult gerontology acute care. Before choosing one specialization or one of the graduate nursing programs, explore your options. Top nursing schools have many professional nursing practice options from which to choose. Both graduate programs and undergraduate nursing programs have options for specialization in nursing degree programs and certification exams for areas of specialty. Graduate study options include MSN programs and DNP programs. These degrees provide a broad range of general education in nursing, clinical experiences in a healthcare setting, and specialized instruction.
Your Nursing Career Path
Enrolling in a bachelor’s in Nursing degree will give you an advantage when you choose to apply for specialized nursing positions. There are several specializations to choose from that are quite rewarding and very lucrative when it comes to salary. Graduate degrees are an excellent path for nurses interested in career advancement and a higher salary. For example, a master’s degree from an accredited program in nursing science can increase their earning potential. Furthermore, registered nurses with doctoral degrees can achieve the highest salaries.