15 Best Online Accelerated BSN Programs
April 2023

15 Best Online Accelerated BSN Programs

Online Accelerated BSN Programs

Best Online Accelerated BSN

The top online Accelerated BSN programs offer a fast path to completing a BSN program for non-nurses with a bachelor’s degree in another field. The need for well-educated, highly qualified nurses has led to the creation of some innovative approaches to education.

For example, the online Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, also called a hybrid Second-Degree Nursing degree program, quickly fills nursing positions from the nursing shortage. These online programs are for working adults with bachelor’s degrees in another field. So the online ABSN takes advantage of the already-earned credits from a bachelor’s degree to help fast-track students. They take upper-level nursing classes and start a rewarding career working with other health care professionals in hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare facilities in as little as a year!

Ranking the Top Accelerated BSN Programs Online

Like our Best BSN residential ranking, TopRNtoBSN considers only nursing schools accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Association (CCNE). Multiple universities offer online programs, but they are not all equal. TopRNtoBSN found schools with quality, integrity, rigor, and value that translate into a marketable BSN degree. We formulate our ranking based on the following:

  • Online/Hybrid Option
  • Cost Per Credit Hour
  • CCNE Accreditation

1. University of Texas at Arlington

University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington has a CCNE-accredited College of Nursing and Health Innovation with a highly reputable online arm. And its curriculum garners one of the state’s highest license and graduation rates. Over 90 percent of students from this accelerated program pass the National Council Licensure Examination.

The online Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing ABSN at UT Arlington requires 51 credit hours. And online students complete the courses in as little as 15 months. Individual courses take 5 to 14 weeks each. Second-degree students applying for the online ABSN program must have 70 credit hours of prerequisite courses before applying. Instruction delivery for this program is based on a blended or hybrid model, with the coursework primarily online. However, the clinical placement practice is in partner facilities in the surrounding region metropolitan areas. And at the placement site students are under the direct supervision of UT at Arlington faculty.

Accreditation: accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

More: Visit the program for more about this accelerated bachelor of science ABSN program.

2. Olivet Nazarene University

Olivet Nazarene University

The Olivet Nazarene University is a liberal arts school south of Chicago in Bourbonnais. Its notable fields of study include education, business, theology, and also nursing. Additionally, it is consistently ranked by US News and World Report as one of America’s Best Colleges. Olivet Nazarene’s online accelerated bachelor’s is for second-degree students. Prospective nurses who want to transition into the nursing field receive advanced standing with 60 previously acquired credit hours.

This full time program is a hybrid-style course of study that synthesizes a hands-on curriculum with online instruction and engages heavily with the practical and the theoretical. Labs and nursing clinicals take place in various locations in the Chicago area. The entire program could take students 16 months, requiring 59 credit hours of nursing process courses and nursing practice clinicals. Additionally, there are several financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

Accreditation: accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Higher Learning Commission

More: Visit the program for more about this fast track program for an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

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3. University of Wyoming

University of Wyoming

The BRAND program is an acronym for Bachelors Reach for Accelerated Nursing Degree. It is a component of the Fay W. Whitney School of Nursing through the University of Wyoming Outreach School. This hybrid Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing ABSN program allows Wyoming’s rural and isolated communities to “grow their own” nurses.

BRAND’s program runs summer-to-summer for 15 months. It includes regular online classes and hybrid, distance, and in-person instruction in nursing practice and clinical work. The first summer of coursework mostly takes place on campus in Laramie. Housing arrangements for the on campus residency are through campus dorm services. However, many students choose to commute. On-campus classes are generally 4-5 days weekly, every other week for the first summer. Following the summer in-person coursework, the majority of instruction is online.

Accreditation: accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

More: Visit the school for more about its online nursing programs and this Bachelor of Science in Nursing ABSN.

4. Capital University

Capital University

Capital University is a private four-year college located in Ohio’s capital city Columbus. It offers high-quality undergraduate and graduate degree programs. The Lutheran Church opened the school in 1830 and became an accredited university in 1850. Its goal is to create leaders with a humanistic approach and engage citizens through educational excellence in the arts and humanities.

Capital’s ABSN is for second-degree students with a BA in another field. And nursing students can complete a bachelor’s degree with 20 months of instruction. The program has two tracks, and one is a traditional daytime schedule. The other is a hybrid track with six semesters, or 24 months, of instruction. And to keep it competitive, they have built-in three master’s level courses, allowing students to earn graduate credits toward their master’s degree while obtaining their BSN.

Accreditation: accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

More: Visit the school for more about this bachelor of science nursing degree.

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5. DeSales University

DeSales University

DeSales University is a private Catholic four-year University with a Salesian mission. The DeSales University ACCESS program allows students to maintain their responsibilities and enroll in an accelerated baccalaureate degree program with high-quality instruction.

All courses and mandatory learning takes place on the weekends and evenings. Another primary component of the program is a clinical placement. These offer practical hands-on experience and learn nursing care at a placement site. Students work with other health care professionals at local hospitals, nursing homes, outpatient centers, and also health care facility environments. Many personal advisement and mentorship opportunities and access to financial aid and loan deferment exist. DeSales accepts second-degree students with up to 75 transfer credits or 25 transfer courses.

Accreditation: accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

More: Visit the program for more about this distance ABSN program.

6. Thomas Edison State University

Thomas Edison State University

Thomas Edison State University is home to the W. Cary Edwards School of Nursing in New Jersey. TESU offers an Accelerated Bachelor in Nursing program online. The curriculum caters to adult learners who have a variety of life experiences. Furthermore, it incorporates a mix of mentorship from faculty, collaboration with peers and fellow students, and the ability to learn through technological pedagogical intervention.

Online ABSN students at Thomas Edison cannot work while attending the program. Clinical assignments to build clinical skills are at Capital Health campuses throughout New Jersey. The classroom-based courses are two days a week at Thomas Edison University in Trenton, and online courses are asynchronous. The program also includes 60 credits of professional nursing courses in the online and on-campus hybrid learning model.

Accreditation: CCNE

More: Visit the program for more about this distance ABSN program.

7. Methodist College and Unity Point Health

Methodist College

Methodist College is a four-year school connected to Unity Point Health in Peoria, IL. This distinguished institution offers excellent nursing education, health sciences, and also human services. All programs include significant clinical practice in a high quality placement experience.

The Methodist College online ABSN features an evening and weekend schedule for second-degree students who have a previous degree in a separate field and want to be registered nurses. After completing the program, students take the NCLEX RN exam to earn their nursing license. Five consecutive semesters, including one in the summer, are required. There is a hybrid classroom, online classroom using an online learning platform, and in-person clinical learning. So the program provides flexibility for adults with life commitments. And the required hands-on internship section is also on-site. This program admits no more than 30 students per session.

Accreditation: CCNE

More: Visit the program for more about this distance ABSN program.

8. Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Mercy University is a liberal arts school and one of the 16 Sisters of Mercy colleges. The M. McGuire School of Nursing at Gwynedd Mercy University has offered cutting-edge nursing education and practice for 50 years.

GMU’s online ABSN program is for second-degree adults who seek the best in clinical practice and critical health sciences curricula. This program features opportunities to study at the downtown Philadelphia and Bensalem locations offering top-of-line training, simulation equipment, and facilities. The ABSN program is full-time, but Gwynedd Mercy offers a part time program and a four-year BSN program at their main campus in Gwynedd Valley, PA.

Accreditation: CCNE

More: Visit the program for more about this ABSN program.

9. Roseman University

Roseman University

Roseman University of Health Sciences is a non-profit educational institution that utilizes experiential learning experiences in its living environment and student-centered teaching. They are located near Las Vegas, NV, and Salt Lake City, UT.

One of the features of the Roseman program is its block curriculum model, which allows students to focus on one class at a time in service of mastery. Clinical rotations are under the supervision of the top nurses in the area, giving students the tools to excel in the field directly upon graduation. Online coursework is through a comprehensive learning platform utilizing cutting-edge technology. Prospective second-degree students must have at least 54 non-nursing credits to qualify for the program. There are three annual start dates, spread throughout the year.

Accreditation: CCNE

More: Visit the program for more about this ABSN program.

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10. Marian University

Marian University

Marian University is a non-profit, catholic institution founded in 1936 in Indianapolis. And faith is a significant factor in how they teach patient care, critical thinking, and engage with the field of nursing.

The Accelerated BSN is known for its flexibility, as the coursework itself is primarily in an e-learning environment. The online classroom offers accessible interactive instructions that students can access at their convenience. The technology allows students to participate in lectures, take quizzes and complete assignments, complete work with peers in discussion forums, and participate in instructor chat sessions, all from the comfort of their homes.

Accreditation: CCNE and the Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

More: Visit the program for further information about a fulfilling career with this ABSN program.

11. University of Wisconsin Oshkosh

University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh

The University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh is a research institution with a high ranking in sustainability. The online option for the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh BSN program is for students with a bachelor’s degree and a solid academic background. Prospective students must live in approved states where the university has contracts with partnering health facilities. Students will earn their BSN from this CCNE-accredited program within a 12 month period.

All theoretical coursework for the Accelerated BSN at Wisconsin-Oshkosh is offered online. Another requisite component of this fast paced program is a clinical placement. Students gain hands on experience and they are arranged by a clinical placement team or placement coordinator. And clinical rotations occur in the student’s home community under close supervision. Additionally, nurse practitioners who are experts in the field and work as clinical faculty mentor each student. The online Accelerated BSN option has three possible entrance dates per year. Students must also participate in three on-campus residencies throughout the year for educational leadership.

Accreditation: CCNE

More: Visit the program for further information about this ABSN program.

12. Xavier University

Xavier University

Xavier University is a non-profit institution located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Founded in 1831, it is the fourth oldest Jesuit-based university in the United States and among the top five regional universities in the Midwest. Xavier’s nursing degree programs are CCNE accredited and bolstered by Jesuit ideology about holistic patient care.

The school’s accelerated bachelor’s in Nursing utilizes the bachelor’s degree students received before admission, as it is viewed as an academic foundation for their nursing curriculum. Its on-site simulated environment allows students to practice nursing skills in a risk-free setting, with faculty mentorship. In addition to the simulated labs, students will have in-person practical experience at local healthcare facilities, such as Mercy Health.

Accreditation: CCNE

More: Visit the program for further information about this accelerated nursing program.

13. Samford University

Samford University

The Ida Moffett School of Nursing at Stamford University graduates qualified nurses. Stamford is known for its low student-to-teacher ratios in classroom engagement and clinical settings.

The Stamford online ABSN program is rigorous with both intense classroom and clinical learning experiences, and coursework. This University has clinical opportunities at some of the top health centers in the Birmingham metro area. As part of their exceptional facilities, they offer patient simulation labs centers, and skill labs that are embedded into the experience of excellence for participating students.

Accreditation: CCNE

More: Visit the program for further information about this fast track ABSN program.

14. Concordia University Portland

Concordia University - Portland

Concordia University is one of the top faith-based non-profit institutions in the Pacific Northwest. Concordia’s nursing programs have access to a state-of-the-art simulation lab and a world-class health care system. This gives students hands-on experience grasping many concepts experientially, which is crucial for health promotion and the successful care of patients.

Concordia’s online ABSN hybrid program gives students full access to all these resources, which work in concert with the theoretical skill-building done online. The other part of the program is a clinical rotation in local hospitals with patients. All nursing clinicals are under the supervision of professional medical faculty and set up with help from a placement team or placement coordinator. Additionally, there are many entrance dates to fast-track students into the field within 16 months of beginning.

Accreditation: CCNE

More: Visit the program for more about this ABSN program and a comprehensive digital program guide.

15. Northeastern University

Northeastern University

The Bouve College of Health Sciences at Northeastern University offers an online accelerated degree at the Charlotte and Boston campuses. Both campuses offer the program for second-degree students who want to change careers. The institution engages in a hybrid learning format that brings together online coursework and in-person mentored learning. This includes simulated real-life experiences in state-of-the-art simulation labs.

In turn, the online section engages an interactive, interactive e-learning platform with extraordinary technical capability. The program is completed within 16 months, following a demanding curriculum that prepares students to provide safe and competent care to patients. The administration asks that students view the program as a full-time job and limit their obligations beyond the work required to complete the coursework.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

More: Visit the school for more about this ABSN program and additional online programs.

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What is an Accelerated BSN?

An Accelerated BSN program allows students to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing ABSN degree in as little as 12 to 18 months. Thus, individuals who already have a bachelor’s degree in a non nursing discipline can quickly transition into a career in nursing. So this rigorous program is ideal for training future nurses to fill the nursing shortage.

During the program, students complete science prerequisite courses, nursing process, professional nursing practice, and clinical practice to prepare to become registered nurses. Graduates with either the BSN or ABSN qualify for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). After passing the NCLEX exam, they can apply for a license with their state board of nursing. Additionally, graduates with a baccalaureate degree can enroll in a master’s degree program in nursing.

Other Programs

  • Baylor University
  • Elmhurst University
  • Marymount University
  • Wilkes University
  • University of Indianapolis

What are the ABSN Admission Requirements?

  • complete an application (with detailed information like last name phone country)
  • an online interview or an in-person interview
  • submit official transcripts
  • have a minimum grade point average GPA of 2.75
  • submit one to three letters of recommendation
  • provide a writing sample or written statement
  • complete required background checks or clearance requirements
  • Prerequisite courses include Anatomy & Physiology I with lab, Anatomy & Physiology II with lab, Microbiology with lab, General Chemistry, Nutrition (taught by a registered dietician), and Elementary Statistics.

What Do You Learn in an ABSN Program?

ABSN students learn the same core nursing curriculum as traditional BSN students. But because they have a previous bachelor’s degree, they complete the nursing degree at a faster rate. ABSN students take didactic coursework developing core competencies, nursing concepts, and clinical placements. These clinical competencies foster the nurse patient relationship and develop the skills needed for direct patient centered care.

Typical classes are Anatomy and Physiology, Transition to Professional Nursing Practice, Health Promotion, Disease Prevention, Pathophysiology, Pharmacology, Health Assessment, Organizational Leadership, and Nursing Theory. Students also learn leadership skills, professional expectations of nursing practice, critical thinking skills, and the legal and ethical considerations of being a nurse. They also gain practical clinical experience in various healthcare settings with clinical site placements.

What to Consider When Choosing an Accelerated BSN Program


Make sure your program has accreditation from a reputable accrediting body, such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).


Consider the cost of tuition, fees, and any other associated expenses associated with attending the bachelor’s degree program. Sometimes, students can only receive financial aid for their first bachelor’s degree. So, check with the school if you need financial assistance.

Length and Type of Program

Determine how long the program will take to complete and what schedule you must keep to finish the program on time. Also, determine what resources are available for online learning. Online nursing students participate in lectures, discussions, and simulations.

Clinical Rotations

Evaluate the quality and availability of the clinical rotations offered by the program. Clinical hours are used for quality assurance and training purposes and teach evidence based nursing practice. Does the school have a clinical placement team or placement coordinator to assist you? Or will you arrange your own nursing clinicals? Are there formal clinical practice guidelines? How does the clinical placement process work?

What are Clinical Nursing Experiences?

Clinical nursing experiences are hands-on opportunities for nursing students to apply their classroom learning in a real-world setting. Clinical assignments build clinical skills that typically involve direct patient care, such as taking vital signs, administering medications, and providing patient teaching. Students learn basic nursing care and conduct patient assessments and also physical examinations. Clinical hours are used for quality assurance and training purposes and teach evidence based nursing practice.

Clinical experiences may also involve administration, such as managing patient records or working with health care teams. Through clinical experiences, nursing students gain practical experience hands on patient care with real patients. They also develop their clinical judgment and decision-making skills. During a clinical rotation, students are typically under the close supervision of a preceptor at the placement site. But, they are also under the indirect supervision of a clinical faculty supervisor, keeping clinical practice guidelines for the university.

How Do Clinical Placement Services Work?

How does the clinical placement process work? The clinical placement process for online nursing programs typically involves a combination of online classes and on-site components. The student’s academic and individual program requirements determine the clinical placement process.

But, the program director offers clinical placement support and helps students navigate clinical placement requirements. Some schools that offer online programs have a dedicated clinical placement team to assist students with identifying a suitable placement opportunity and a seamless placement experience.

What is a Placement Coordinator?

A placement coordinator ensures students meet deadlines, complete all health and clerical requirements, answer placement questions, and review the nursing clinicals checklist. The dress code, clinical tools, and professional expectations are outlined in the nursing clinicals checklist.

Generally, the student submits their academic and clinical requirements to the clinical placement services program director. Then the program director provides a list of potential clinical sites with preceptors in a reasonable driving distance. Students may also have additional health and clerical requirements. Some facilities require additional paperwork such as immunization records and health insurance information. Once students complete the paperwork for clinical placement services, they can begin the clinical placement process.

Best Online ABSN Nursing Programs by State

Before you enroll in an Accelerated BSN make sure you can get a Registered Nurse license, or an RN license, in the state where you live. Most states are now members of the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). However, check to make sure you can earn an RN license in your state before you spend any money. Additionally, the NCL will also show you all the states that have reciprocity with each other so you can think about moving or becoming a travel nurse!


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