Best Online BSN Programs of 2024 | BestColleges.com (2024)

An online nursing bachelor's degree can help advance your education and career. Find an online BSN program that meets your needs.

By

Gayle Morris, MSNRead Full Bio

Contributing Writer

Gayle Morris has over two decades of nursing practice with a clinical focus in rehabilitation medicine. She has published and lectured throughout her career. Morris founded Indiana's first conference for school teachers focusing on the medical needs ...

Updated on January 23, 2024

Edited by

Victoria HudgeonsRead Full Bio

Editor, Health Education

Victoria Hudgeons is a professional education writer and editor. She's committed to making higher education and career exploration easier to navigate. Her work has been featured on BestColleges, the University of Houston-Victoria Newswire, and more p...

Reviewed by

Elizabeth M. Clarke, MSN, FNP, RNRead Full Bio

Contributing Reviewer

Elizabeth Clarke is a board-certified family nurse practitioner. Her experience spans emergency departments, cardiac units, pediatric urgent care, and occupational health settings. She earned her bachelor of science in nursing and master's in nursing...

Learn more about our editorial process

By

Gayle Morris, MSNRead Full Bio

Contributing Writer

Gayle Morris has over two decades of nursing practice with a clinical focus in rehabilitation medicine. She has published and lectured throughout her career. Morris founded Indiana's first conference for school teachers focusing on the medical needs ...

Edited by

Victoria HudgeonsRead Full Bio

Editor, Health Education

Victoria Hudgeons is a professional education writer and editor. She's committed to making higher education and career exploration easier to navigate. Her work has been featured on BestColleges, the University of Houston-Victoria Newswire, and more p...

Reviewed by

Elizabeth M. Clarke, MSN, FNP, RNRead Full Bio

Contributing Reviewer

Elizabeth Clarke is a board-certified family nurse practitioner. Her experience spans emergency departments, cardiac units, pediatric urgent care, and occupational health settings. She earned her bachelor of science in nursing and master's in nursing...

Updated on January 23, 2024

Learn more about our editorial process

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Best Online Bachelor's Degree Programs in Nursing

Are you considering a new career as a registered nurse? A bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) is the most popular degree for new nurses. In fact, more than 70% of nurses hold a bachelor's degree or higher, making it the preferred degree for many employers, according to the 2022 National Nursing Workforce Study.

Explore the best online BSN programs to help you make an informed decision about your education. Discover accredited nursing schools with comprehensive curricula, experienced faculty, and valuable hands-on learning via clinical labs.

Popular BSN Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

The Best Online Bachelor's in Nursing Programs

We use trusted sources like Peterson's Data and the National Center for Education Statistics to inform the data for these schools. BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site. from our partners appear among these rankings and are indicated as such.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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#1 Best Online BSN Programs of 2024

University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Madison, WI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Wisconsin-Madison's RN-to-BSN allows RNs to earn degrees online at their preferred pace. The school offers all core courses asynchronously in seven-week or 14-week blocks. Course topics include chronic care management, nursing research, and community health nursing. Each enrollee must arrange one 60-hour clinical capstone experience near their homes.

Admission requires an RN license, a nursing diploma or associate degree in nursing, a minimum 2.5 GPA, and one letter of recommendation.

Program Snapshot

  • Cost per Credit: $452 per credit
  • Program Length: 5-6 semesters (part time)
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 24-30 credits
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Status: Public
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate (2022): 95.22%
  • Program Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$9,273

Out-of-state

$37,161

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$10,728

Out-of-state

$24,054

Retention Rate

95%

Acceptance Rate

60%

Students Enrolled

47,016

Institution Type

Public

Percent Online Enrollment

27%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Higher Learning Commission

#2 Best Online BSN Programs of 2024

University of Florida-Online

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online

The University of Florida Online's RN-to-BSN program uses primarily asynchronous delivery to explore the nurse's role in an evolving healthcare system. Courses discuss legal and ethical dilemmas, genetics and genomics, and nurse participation in policy and change. The university requires 45 virtual simulation hours and 45 hours of independent clinical experience obtained through informal community observation.

Florida RNs with an ACEN-accredited associate degree may apply. Admission requires a minimum 2.8 GPA, a statement of intent, two professional references, and a resume or CV.

Program Snapshot

  • Cost per Credit: $129 per credit (resident); $553 per credit (nonresident)
  • Program Length: Five semesters (part time)
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 60 credits
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Status: Public
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate (2023): 98.39%
  • Program Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$3,358

Out-of-state

$15,000

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

Not provided

Retention Rate

91%

Acceptance Rate

66%

Students Enrolled

5,168

Institution Type

Public

Percent Online Enrollment

Not provided

Accreditation

Yes

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 Best Online BSN Programs of 2024

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

  • Lubbock, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center's online RN-to-BSN incorporates asynchronous coursework, discussion boards, and web conferencing. Electives cover holistic nursing, political involvement, and integration of spiritual needs with evidence-based practice. Students complete field projects with chosen mentors, often at their current workplaces.

Admission requirements include an RN license, a completed nursing degree, and a minimum 2.0 GPA. The university's admissions department also considers prior RN experience, military service, and multilingual or first-generation status.

Program Snapshot

  • Cost per Credit: $215 per credit (resident); $635 per credit (nonresident)
  • Program Length: Two semesters (full time); three semesters (part time)
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 30 credits
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Status: Public
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 88.91% (2022)
  • Program Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$6,665

Out-of-state

$19,344

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$6,360

Out-of-state

$16,176

Retention Rate

Not provided

Acceptance Rate

Not provided

Students Enrolled

5,378

Institution Type

Public

Percent Online Enrollment

64%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 Best Online BSN Programs of 2024

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

  • Houston, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students can begin The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston's online RN-to-BSN in the fall, spring, or summer terms. All lecture courses, including intro to applied health informatics and issues in professional practice, take place online. Each enrollee completes one in-person, culminating community health project in collaboration with professional and community partners.

Minimum admission requirements include an associate degree in nursing or a nursing diploma, a 3.0 GPA in nursing courses and science prerequisites, and a Texas RN license.

Program Snapshot

  • Cost per Credit: $273 per credit (resident); $1,111 per credit (nonresident)
  • Program Length: 2-3 semesters (full time); five semesters (part time)
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 31 credits
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Status: Public
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate (2022): 91.55%
  • Program Accreditation:
  • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$8,841

Out-of-state

$34,020

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$8,524

Out-of-state

$32,673

Retention Rate

Not provided

Acceptance Rate

Not provided

Students Enrolled

5,796

Institution Type

Public

Percent Online Enrollment

6%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#5 Best Online BSN Programs of 2024

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston

  • Galveston, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston's RN-to-BSN program takes only eight months to complete. Flexible online coursework covers legal and ethical issues, evidence-based practice and research, and clinical reasoning in health assessment. Students work with faculty to design clinical activities in their local communities.

Each applicant needs an active RN license in their state, a minimum 2.5 GPA in 60 credits of prerequisite courses, a resume, and a personal statement covering career, education, and scholarship goals.

Program Snapshot

  • Cost per Credit: $238 per credit (resident); $661 per credit (nonresident)
  • Program Length: Two semesters (full time)
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 30 credits
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Status: Public
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate (2022): 96.02%
  • Program Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$7,018

Out-of-state

$20,683

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$7,917

Out-of-state

$18,443

Retention Rate

Not provided

Acceptance Rate

Not provided

Students Enrolled

3,484

Institution Type

Public

Percent Online Enrollment

16%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#6 Best Online BSN Programs of 2024

University of Nebraska Medical Center

  • Omaha, NE
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students in the University of Nebraska Medical Center's online RN-to-BSN program access coursework on demand, with occasional synchronous sessions scheduled in advance. Courses build skills in health promotion, evidence-based practice, and population-centered care. Students gain nurse leadership experience in their local communities during the final semester's clinical requirements.

To apply, each licensed RN needs a cumulative 2.0 GPA, two letters of recommendation, and a pre-admission interview, if requested. Program start dates occur three times each year.

Program Snapshot

  • Cost per Credit: $372 per credit
  • Program Length: 2-6 semesters
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 20 credits
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Status: Public
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate (2022): 84.85%
  • Program Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$11,340

Out-of-state

$30,510

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$9,207

Out-of-state

$26,379

Retention Rate

Not provided

Acceptance Rate

Not provided

Students Enrolled

3,750

Institution Type

Public

Percent Online Enrollment

16%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Higher Learning Commission

#7 Best Online BSN Programs of 2024

Loma Linda University

  • Loma Linda, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The online RN-to-BSN program at Loma Linda University offers part-time and full-time enrollment options to accommodate the schedules of working nurses. Each learner completes a professional RN capstone and studies nursing informatics, introductory epidemiology, and nursing research. This Christ-centered Seventh-day Adventist institution also requires two religion courses.

Admission requires a California RN license, associate degree in nursing, minimum 2.5 GPA, personal statement, three letters of recommendation, and an interview. Enrollees can complete 20 credits of prerequisites online.

Program Snapshot

  • Cost per Credit: $345 per credit
  • Program Length: 8 quarters
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 50 credits
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Status: Private
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate (2022-2023): 88.82%
  • Program Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • School Accreditation: Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$32,736

Out-of-state

$32,736

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$27,382

Out-of-state

$27,382

Retention Rate

Not provided

Acceptance Rate

Not provided

Students Enrolled

4,390

Institution Type

Private

Percent Online Enrollment

33%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#8 Best Online BSN Programs of 2024

University of Maryland, Baltimore

  • Baltimore, MD
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

University of Maryland, Baltimore's online RN-to-BSN emphasizes competency-based education. In addition to core courses, three open electives offer the opportunity to specialize in two interest areas: substance use and addictions or care coordination with health IT. Each enrollee completes a community or public health practicum during the final semester.

Admission requires an RN license, resume or CV, essay, and one letter of recommendation. A competitive applicant possesses a cumulative 2.5 GPA, 2.75 GPA in science coursework, and nursing experience.

Program Snapshot

  • Cost per Credit: $4,784 per semester (full time, Maryland resident); $19,629 per credit (full time, nonresident); $417 per credit (part time, Maryland resident); $1,406 per credit (part time, nonresident)
  • Program Length: 2 semesters (full time)
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 31 credits
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Status: Public
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate (2023): 81.11%
  • Program Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • School Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$9,446

Out-of-state

$38,822

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$15,140

Out-of-state

$32,979

Retention Rate

Not provided

Acceptance Rate

Not provided

Students Enrolled

7,244

Institution Type

Public

Percent Online Enrollment

46%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#9 Best Online BSN Programs of 2024

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

  • Brooklyn, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University's RN-to-BSN focuses on core nursing competencies deemed essential by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Online courses explore pathophysiology, informatics and clinical care technologies, and spiritual care in nursing. Each student completes 37.5 clinical hours in community health nursing locally or at SUNY-partnered clinical sites.

Admission requires a New York RN license, one letter of recommendation, and 90 prerequisite credits. The school prefers applicants to hold a minimum 2.7 cumulative GPA.

Program Snapshot

  • Cost per Credit: $3,535 per semester (full time, New York resident); $4,240 per credit (full time, nonresident); $295 per credit (part time, New York resident); $353 per credit (part time, nonresident)
  • Program Length: 3 semesters
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 35 credits
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Status: Public
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate (2021): 88.2%
  • Program Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • School Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$7,070

Out-of-state

$17,830

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$11,310

Out-of-state

$23,100

Retention Rate

Not provided

Acceptance Rate

Not provided

Students Enrolled

2,117

Institution Type

Public

Percent Online Enrollment

35%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#10 Best Online BSN Programs of 2024

Medical University of South Carolina

  • Charleston, SC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students progress through the Medical University of South Carolina's online RN-to-BSN in asynchronous cohorts. In addition to core courses, each semester includes virtual or in-person clinical hours, during which students complete projects focusing on gerontology, community and public health, and leadership. These three projects serve as the program's capstone requirement.

Each candidate needs an active RN license, resume, essay, and three completed reference forms provided by the school. The admission committee also considers work experience and leadership in their evaluations.

Program Snapshot

  • Cost per Credit: $650 (full time, South Carolina resident), $1210 (full time, nonresident), $686 (part time, South Carolina residents), $1,440 (part time, nonresident)
  • Program Length: Three semesters (full time); six semesters (part time)
  • Total Credits Required to Graduate: 35 credits
  • On-Campus Requirement: No
  • School Status: Public
  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate (2022): 96.49%
  • Program Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • School Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Average Undergrad Tuition

In-state

$15,622

Out-of-state

$28,184

Average Graduate Tuition

In-state

$16,333

Out-of-state

$24,304

Retention Rate

Not provided

Acceptance Rate

Not provided

Students Enrolled

3,240

Institution Type

Public

Percent Online Enrollment

29%

Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Accreditation

Yes

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

How We Rank Schools

To create this ranking, BestColleges sourced the most recent data available from the National Center for Education Statistics and the U.S. Department of Education College Scorecard. We then ranked each school according to the top variables college students selected in our College Choice and Admissions Survey. To learn more, check out our full rankings methodology or read the summary below.

Ranking Methodology Summary

To qualify for our rankings lists, each school must be an accredited public or private, nonprofit institution. Each eligible school was then ranked based on a formula measuring:

  • Affordability (30%)
  • Student outcomes (30%)
  • Reputation (20%)
  • Diversity and social mobility (20%)

In addition, we only included colleges with graduation rates in the top third of all online colleges.

What Can I Do With a Nursing Bachelor's Degree?

With a nursing bachelor's degree, you can pursue various registered nurse (RN) opportunities, such as positions in leadership and management, research, informatics, and case management.

Nurses with a bachelor's degree can pursue roles with complex responsibilities and duties, such as charge nurses or operating room nurses. Nurses with a bachelor's degree can also more easily pursue a master's in nursing, which opens other opportunities as a nurse practitioner, educator, or administrator.

“Working at the bedside doing direct patient care in a hospital is not the only way to nurse! My favorite part about this job is the flexibility — you have a lot of options.”

Joanna Briggs, RN, BSN

Is a Bachelor's in Nursing Degree Worth It?

A BSN degree offers nursing candidates flexible career options. Nursing students wanting to advance in their nursing practice or participate in legislative actions, quality assurance, and facility committee work may want to pursue a bachelor's degree.

However, a BSN may not be for everyone. After considering the time and financial commitment needed to get a BSN, you may choose an associate degree in nursing (ADN). RNs with ADNs can enter the workforce more quickly and choose to complete BSN online programs while working.

Benefits of a Bachelor's in Nursing

  • Career Advancement: With this degree, you can move into advanced nursing practice or leadership positions.
  • Increased earning potential: Nurses with BSNs tend to make more money than nurses with ADNs.
  • Better job prospects: Many employers now require (or strongly prefer) nurses with BSNs.
  • Better patient outcomes: BSN programs provide nurses with a broader education and can help them build more advanced problem-solving skills that lead to quality care.

Reasons to Get Your Nursing Degree Online

  • Save money: Online degrees can save you money on on-campus fees, commuting, room, and board. In some cases, tuition is less expensive online than in person.
  • Manage your time: The flexibility of online scheduling allows you to fit school around your life instead of the other way around.
  • Reduce opportunity costs: As an online student, you won't have to press pause on earning money or developing professionally while you pursue a degree.
“My BSN allowed me to achieve my career goals and earn more money while gaining experience in a high-stress environment that pushed me to develop emotional intelligence, empathy, and decision-making skills.”

Brian Clark, BSN, MSNA

“My BSN was worth it — I was able to complete it in only 16 months because I already had a four-year degree in another area. I would tell anyone considering a BSN that nursing is meaningful and hard work. The valuable skills you learn will translate into every area of your life.”

Joanna Briggs, RN, BSN

How Much Can I Make With a Nursing Bachelor's?

The average annual salary for a nursing bachelor's degree varies depending on several factors, including your location, experience, certifications, and employer. The average annual salary for an RN is $86,070, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The top-paying industries for nurses are government facilities and hospitals, and the lowest-paying industries are educational services and residential facilities. The BLS projects registered nursing jobs to grow 6% from 2022-2032, faster than average.

How Much Does an Online BSN Program Cost?

Several factors influence the cost of your nursing bachelor's degree. These include whether the school is private or public and whether you qualify for in-state or out-of-state tuition. There are a few online BSN programs where the tuition is the same, regardless of location.

Average Annual Tuition Cost of a Bachelor's Degree (2022-23)

Public Institution

$9,750

Private Institution

$35,248

Total Average Net Cost of Four Years of College

Public Institution

$54,880

Private Institution

$106,080

To help offset BSN expenses, nursing students can seek out several forms of financial aid, such as scholarships, grants, private organization scholarships, and employer tuition reimbursem*nt for those working in healthcare.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Nursing Bachelor's Online?

An online BSN program can take 1-4 years, depending on your education and experience. The time to complete a nursing bachelor's program also varies depending on whether you attend full-time or part-time. The type of nursing program, such as an RN-to-BSN or an accelerated BSN, also affects your graduation timeline.

Most RN-to-BSN programs are designed for working nurses. If you attend full-time, you can complete most programs in 1-2 years. Part-time students can take up to four years if they need it. Most BSN programs for students with a non-nursing bachelor's degree can be completed in 2-4 years.

Everything Else You Need to Know About Online BSN Programs

Can you get a BSN without an ADN?

Yes, you can enroll in a BSN program without having an ADN. Before applying, you must complete prerequisite college courses, including chemistry, biology, and anatomy.

What can you do with a bachelor's in nursing?

Nurses with a bachelor's degree can work in healthcare facilities as bedside nurses and in doctor's offices. Beyond the bedside, BSN-prepared nurses can work in informatics, education, healthcare policy, forensics, clinical research, health coaching, recruitment, legal consulting, and telehealth. Some positions may need additional classes or certification.

Can you earn a bachelor's in nursing online?

Yes, you can earn a bachelor's degree in nursing online if you're an RN or have a bachelor's in a non-nursing field. Students in entry-level BSNs may enroll in a hybrid program that also requires some on-campus coursework and clinical skills check-offs.

What courses do you take in a nursing bachelor's program?

Nursing candidates must take statistics, college algebra, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, and developmental psychology. Required nursing courses include health issues of vulnerable populations, informatics, transition to BSN, leadership and management, and community nursing.

Note: The insights on this page — excluding school descriptions — were reviewed by an independent third party compensated for their time by BestColleges.

Best Online BSN Programs of 2024 | BestColleges.com (2024)
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