There are many reasons why registered nurses who want to move forward with a nursing career choose to get a BSN online nursing. An online RN to BSN means that busy professionals don’t have to block out time to travel to and from campus. While some classes in a nursing bachelor online program may require that students to be online at certain times, most allow for self-pacing, letting students decide when they’d like to complete their work for their bachelor in nursing online.
When registered nurses take an online RN to BSN, they’re also afforded the luxury of a more flexible schedule in regards to communicating with professors. Rather than waiting in line to see a professor during office hours, virtual communication options allow budding nurses to get the support that they need on their own time. Earning a bachelor’s in nursing online from an accredited nursing program can make it easier for up-and-coming nurses with an associate degree or nursing diploma to get their work done, while still tending to other aspects of day-to-day life.
Methodology: Ranking the Best Online Nursing Programs in the US
Bachelor’s Degree Center’s ranking of the best online RN to BSN programs features only legitimate, accredited schools. Editors have ranked online nursing degree programs according to current IPEDS and Niche data, including cost, graduate salary, and student satisfaction.
1. University of Utah
The school of nursing at the University of Utah offers the best online nursing programs to nurses who want to advance their nursing careers. The online format makes it possible for nurses to work in their current position and still go to school to earn their next degree. Nurses who choose to enroll in an online RN to BSN degree program can explore many different specialties as well as look into managerial positions. Advancing their career gives them a chance to increase their earning potential as well as take on more responsibilities.
The University of Utah College of Nursing began to offer advanced degree options for its students in 1977. Nurses with an active RN license could work towards a Doctorate and gain the knowledge they need to effectively manage any type of facility. Reputable faculty members taught leadership skills and gave students the encouragement they needed to continue pursuing their goals.
What We Like: After graduation, BSN educated nurses are able to successfully work in a wide variety of settings and meet the expectations of their employers.
Degree: RN to BSN
2. University of Illinois at Chicago
The school of nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago offers students the best RN to BSN online programs in the greater Chicagoland area. Nurses will often choose to return to school to earn their BSN. In order to do so, an online degree program is sometimes their only option. With an online program, they do not have to make the choice between work and school. They can do both. With an online RN to BSN program, nurses have the best of both worlds and can easily achieve their goals.
The University of Illinois – Chicago is a leader in its field when it comes to medical training and nursing. Nurses with an RN license who choose the university do so because of its long-standing reputation for critical thinking, academic excellence and award-winning faculty members.
What We Like: Nurses from all over the country are able to attend the university’s advanced nursing programs and gain their degrees from one of the most acclaimed schools in the country.
Degree: RN to BSN
3. Indiana University
Indiana University’s school of nursing offers students the best online nursing programs in the Midwest. Nurses know they will learn the most advanced, state-of-the-art techniques from the school simply because of its reputation for producing graduates with exceptional medical skills. Earning an online RN to BSN or LPN to BSN degree is the best way to move forward once you are already hired and gaining experience. Nurses that don’t want to give up their jobs can still attend school and make a difference in their field.
Indiana University has a reputation as a leader in medical and nursing education. Faculty members have years of experience and work diligently to provide each student with the highest quality of education possible. The university has won many awards for its in-depth degree programs.
What We Like: Nurses who graduate from the university know they have passed one of the strictest degree programs from anywhere in the country.
Degree: RN to BSN or LPN to BSN
4. Arizona State University
Arizona State University’s school of nursing offers the best RN to BSN online programs for nursing students who are ready to take the next step in their nursing careers. Every nurse who wants to advance their career looks for skills they can use to be better managers and leaders in their field. With an online RN to BSN degree, they have the opportunity to enroll in the program they want and explore any specialty they desire, like community health, while they are still working.
Arizona State University has been offering quality degree programs for many years. They have professional faculty members who are able to share valuable life experiences with their students. Students are also given access to award-winning degree programs that are accredited and proven to exceed industry standards.
What We Like: The university takes great pride in being able to offer its online learning platform to nursing students from all over the country.
Degree: RN to BSN
5. Ohio State University
The school of nursing at Ohio State University offers the best online nursing programs for nurses across the country who want to move on to their next degree. Returning nursing students learn advanced managerial skills, problem-solving, conflict resolution, as well as many other subjects that will help them be able to offer better care to both their fellow nurses as well as their patients. With an online RN to BSN degree, they can attend their classes from anywhere in the country and stay on the job.
Ohio State University – Columbus offers valuable degree programs for all levels of nursing. Nurses with an RN license who are returning to school can explore specialty programs or move into a more business-like degree program. No matter what course they choose to follow, they will receive the support and guidance they need from both their peers and the professional faculty members who instruct their classes.
What We Like: BSN educated nurses are able to use their skills as soon as they learn them making the online program even more rewarding.
Degree: RN to BSN
6. University of Texas of the Permian Basin
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin offers the best RN to BSN online programs to nurses who are ready to move up the ladder to management or pursue a career in a more specialized area. Nurses can explore pediatrics, oncology, obstetrics, community health, or any other specialized field in the nursing classification. Online RN to BSN programs allows them to maintain a full work schedule with online courses and begin to take shifts within their specialized field for more on-the-job training.
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin school of nursing is accredited by the CCNE, or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Returning nurses with an RN license can build on what they already know by exploring the resources the school has to offer. Faculty members are always on hand to help students get a better understanding of what obstacles they may face and what they can do to keep moving forward after they complete their education.
What We Like: Graduates can start building a better future while they are still in school.
Degree: RN to BSN
7. University of Massachusetts-Amherst
The University of Massachusetts – Amherst school of nursing offers returning nurses the best online nursing programs available in New England. They are given organizational skills and leadership abilities that will make them more efficient and better able to handle various types of conflict. Earning an RN to BSN online degree also gives them a more flexible schedule. They are no longer tied to a classroom, but can now study from almost anywhere in the world.
The University of Massachusetts – Amherst Elaine Marieb College of Nursing is known throughout New England as one of the most prestigious schools for students with a nursing license who are completing their nursing education. Faculty members are available to share experience and offer guidance that the students can rely on for the rest of their careers.
What We Like: BSN educated nurses will know they have everything they will need to build a solid career path
Degree: RN to BSN
8. West Virginia University
West Virginia University’s school of nursing offers many of the best online nursing programs to returning nurses who are ready to take their careers to the next level. Returning to school to complete their education using the online courses offered by the school gives students the flexibility to balance their work and family lives. The online RN to BSN degree programs make it possible to have the best of both worlds without causing stress to their families.
West Virginia University gives students every opportunity to earn the degree they have always wanted. Award-winning faculty and degree programs make it possible for students to make the most of every class they take. In addition to the valuable resources that are offered by the school, nursing students can explore many new career opportunities.
What We Like: Whether they want to choose a specialization or work directly with patients on a personal level, it is their career, their way.
Degree: RN to BSN
9. University of Arkansas
University of Arkansas’ school of nursing gives returning nursing students an opportunity to enroll in the best online RN to BSN degree programs in the state. Nursing students from all over the country can rely on these programs to provide them with the managerial and organizational skills that will allow them to provide an advanced level of care to each of their patients. Nurses who enroll in the online RN to BSN degree programs have a flexible schedule and an opportunity to choose additional specialization options.
The University of Arkansas provides quality degree programs and professional faculty and staff so that students can absorb as much as they can when it comes to knowledge and hands-on experience. Every student who enrolls in the online degree programs gets the same quality education as those who attend their programs in a classroom.
What We Like: The university goes to great lengths to ensure each student has every possible advantage. Applicants must have an unencumbered RN license.
Degree: Online RN to BSN
10. Sam Houston State University
Sam Houston State University gives returning nurses an option to enroll in one of the best online nursing programs in the country. Skills for being an effective leader and manager are front and center in every nursing degree program. Students who are returning to school often take advantage of the online learning platform so they can continue to support their families and maintain full-time jobs. By returning to school to earn their RN to BSN, they are able to take their careers to the next level.
Sam Houston State University offers an online degree program that is second to none in the area. Students can attend class from anywhere in the country knowing each degree program is accredited and that every faculty member was hand-picked for their experience and commitment to their students.
What We Like: Online students complete their degree knowing they have the ability to apply for any advanced nursing position and be able to be successful.
Degree: RN to BSN
11. Penn State World Campus
Penn State World Campus’s school of nursing offers students many of the best online nursing programs in the world. Students from many different companies have chosen the university for its online learning platform that allows them to learn the skills and abilities they need to pursue their careers. With an RN to BSN online degree program, students complete their program without ever missing a day of work or a day of school. The flexibility of the nursing program allows them to easily do both.
For many years Penn State has been providing nursing students with top-of-the-line nursing programs. With the introduction of the World Campus, the university took its universal teaching efforts across the globe. Now students from all over the world are capable of reaching their career goals with a degree they can be proud of.
What We Like: The university gives long-distance students the same great education as the students who sit in a classroom on campus.
Degree: RN to BSN
12. Florida International University
Florida International University offers students the best online nursing degrees available in the South Florida area. Returning nursing students can expect to be pushed to the next level in terms of broadening their horizons and giving them the skills they can use to further their careers and assist their patients. Choosing an RN to BSN online degree program gives them a flexible schedule and a chance to work and earn at the same time.
Florida International University’s school of nursing offers accredited degree programs for both online and classroom-based nursing students with an unencumbered RN license. Every degree program is guaranteed to meet or exceed the standards set by the nursing industry. Every student will be able to complete advanced tasks and accomplish all of the goals they have set for themselves.
What We Like: Graduating nurses can be proud of the fact that they have made it through some very difficult programs as they worked toward their nursing degree.
Degree: RN to BSN
13. University of Missouri-St. Louis
The University of Missouri – St. Louis gives nursing students an opportunity to learn from the best online nursing programs available in the Central Midwest. Returning nursing students are able to look for their niche by studying unique specialties within the field of nursing. Pediatrics, surgical nursing, and oncology are just a few of the unique areas nurses may choose to study in. With an online RN to BSN degree program, they can continue to focus on their career and gain valuable experience without ever missing a day of work.
The University of Missouri – St. Louis offers advanced degree programs and an online learning platform that is easy to use, as well as convenient. Students who enroll to take their classes online can live almost anywhere in the world and still earn one of the highest quality educations around.
What We Like: Graduates who attend school while they are working a full-time job can enjoy their ability to immediately use their new skills and prove their value.
Degree: RN to BSN
Learn more at the program website!
14. University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama at Birmingham provides one of the best nursing programs for returning students. Students who want to advance through the ranks and explore managerial or supervisorial positions can learn all of the skills they need and will be able to begin using them almost immediately. Earning an RN to BSN online degree allows for maximum flexibility and a much higher success rate for students who may want to move into a leadership role.
The University of Alabama – Birmingham is well-known for its quality degree programs and experienced faculty members. Nurses with an unencumbered RN license who return to school to complete their education with an accredited program are able to explore a multitude of specializations as well as focus on becoming a reputable and trusted leaders among their peers.
What We Like: Students who attend the university are given the guidance and support they need to care for any type of patient who is in need.
Degree: RN to BSN
15. University of Central Florida
The University of Central Florida offers the best online nursing programs available. Whether you have been a nurse for five years or 25 years, you can enroll in one of the university’s online degree programs and receive the skills you need to further your career. Students can return to the nursing programs because they want to provide leadership and professionalism to their peers. Being able to set an example for those around you is what the best online RN to BSN degree programs are all about.
The University of Central Florida offers an accredited program over an online learning platform that will allow students to not only take every advantage but also pursue any career opportunity that comes their way. The school has won awards for the proficiency of their degree programs as well as the teaching methods used by the faculty.
What We Like: Nurses who graduate from the university know they have received the best possible education and will prove themselves through their own successes.
Degree: RN to BSN
How Do I Find the Best Online BSN?
Finding yourself with an associate degree searching for things like “nursing school accreditation what to look for?” When searching for online nursing programs accredited by a legitimate organization, it’s important to be sure you’re choosing a program that will be recognized by potential employers. You’ll want to look for a list of accredited nursing schools, and you’ll want to be sure they include ACEN and CCNE accredited schools. An accredited nursing program may be essential for getting hired.
Choosing accredited RN to BSN online programs ensures that potential employers will recognize your degree. Online nursing programs accredited by ACEN and CCNE are the gold standard for accredited RN to BSN online programs. Next time you’re searching for “nursing school accreditation what to look for,” remember, be on the lookout for a list of accredited nursing schools that includes both ACEN and CCNE accredited schools to increase the likelihood of your future employer accepting your online BSN degree.
A bachelor of science in nursing online is usually more affordable than BSN online nursing that’s offered in a traditional setting. Students may be able to access necessary texts for a lower price as well.
For nurses who are already employed and have an associate degree in nursing (ADN), it’s a good idea to talk with their human resources department about whether some or all of their BSN program could be covered by their workplace’s tuition assistance program. Many workplaces are willing to reimburse tuition up to a certain dollar amount, and the lower price of an online program could mean that a BSN online nursing degree could be partially or even fully covered by an employer.
The assumption is that you already have prerequisite courses out of the way and can transfer credits for general education. You have already passed the NCLEX-RN and licensure. A working professional can also save on credit hours for nursing courses and often get their clinical experience, capstone, or practicum taken care of in their current job. With summer semesters, an BSN can take less than two years to complete. Less coursework and financial aid make online a better choice than in-person, in-state enrollment for many. Even part-time, online learners have an advantage.
By going on to a master’s degree (a master of science in nursing, MSN programs), you can move on to nurse practitioner, nursing leadership, advanced nursing practice (or advanced practice nursing) nursing research, pharmacology, professional nursing, health assessment, mental health, health sciences, public health, and other forms of patient care and nursing care.
Can I Get a Specialization in an Online BSN Program?
Learning more about nursing specialties in demand can help you decide what types of nurse would be the best fit for your needs and interests to build on your associate degree. Within bachelor of science nursing programs, there are many different types of nursing degrees, such as nursing informatics.
Current types of nurse specialties that are in demand include:
Emergency room — Emergency room nurses need to be prepared for any type of trauma. Nurses in emergency rooms need to be able to stay calm and work well in a fast-paced, hectic environment.
Neonatal and pediatric intensive care — Nurses who care deeply about caring for children and babies can be excellent fits for neonatal and pediatric intensive care units. These nurses need to work closely with both little ones and their families, helping them through a number of issues that can strike newborns, infants, and children.
Cardiac care — Cardiac care nurses work with people who are experiencing heart issues. Nurses in this field may work to help patients recover from acute cardiac issues or cardiac surgery. Cardiac nurses need to have a vast knowledge of cardiac issues and care protocols and need to work closely with surgeons to ensure that patients are following aftercare instructions.
Geriatric nursing — Advances in healthcare are allowing people to live longer than ever, and there’s a booming need for geriatric nurses. This nursing specialty allows nurses to focus on the needs of older adults. Geriatric nurses can work in a number of settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, and memory care facilities. Geriatric nurses need to have a passion for working with older adults and helping them live their healthiest, happiest lives.
There are many different types of nursing degrees, starting with an associate degree, and it’s important to research the current nursing specialties in demand before you choose a specialty in bachelor of science nursing programs to ensure that the specialty area you choose is still in high demand.