Students who are interested in helping others and who enjoy engaging with science and medicine should consider earning a bachelors degree in nursing. Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 12% increase in demand for registered nurses (RNs) through 2028.

This page outlines typical requirements of nursing programs, including common coursework and admission standards. It also lists the top 10 online nursing programs, all of which hold accreditation. Readers can also find financial aid resources, potential career paths, and answers to frequently asked questions.

What Are the Best Online Bachelors in Nursing Programs of 2021? Here Are Our Top 10:

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#1 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
#2 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
#3 Florida International University Miami, FL
#4 Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA
#5 Ohio State University Columbus, OH
#6 Appalachian State University Boone, NC
#7 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI
#8 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
#9 Texas A&M International University Laredo, TX
#10 Farmingdale State College Farmingdale, NY

Related Programs That Might Interest You

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

While professionals can acquire an RN license at the associate level, students who earn a bachelors in nursing gain access to better pay, exclusive job opportunities, and programs that develop students knowledge and skills in depth.

Most nursing graduates work in hospitals, about 60% in fact. However, RNs also work for ambulatory services and within elderly care facilities, schools, and correctional centers. Individuals who enjoy traveling may even consider becoming a traveling nurse.

How We Rank Schools

At BestColleges, we believe a college education is one of the most important investments you will make. We want to help you navigate the college selection process by offering school rankings that are transparent, inclusive, and relevant for online students.

Our rankings are grounded in a few guiding principles and use the latest statistical data available from trusted sources. Read our Ranking Methodology. We hope our approach helps you find the school that is best for you.

2021 Best Accredited Online Bachelors in Nursing Programs

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University of Florida View School Profile Gainesville, FL

UFs online RN-to-BSN program offers registered nurses a quick way to complete their bachelors degree in nursing. Students earn transfer credits for their clinical nursing experience and previous undergraduate training. They then complete 30 upper-level credits of courses, such as leadership and innovation and policy and change.

The program takes place entirely online, except for two clinical courses that require in-person work at a location chosen by the student. Applicants need an associate degree or diploma in nursing and a 2.8 GPA, along with valid nursing licensure. Prospective students without the proper prerequisites may complete general education credits prior to starting.

UFs online bachelors in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $129/credit in-state; $553/credit out-of-state
  • Credit Requirements: 30 credits
  • Program Length: Five semesters
  • Format: 100% Online
  • Instruction Style: Primarily asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.8 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

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University of Central Florida View School Profile Orlando, FL

UCF students looking for a bachelors in nursing can choose the online RN-to-BSN degree or the concurrent ASN-to-BSN program. Both programs feature the same 30-credit curriculum with courses in health assessment and promotion. While they earn their BSN, students can also take up to nine credits toward an MSN should they wish to pursue an advanced degree.

These online degrees follow a 16-week semester in the spring and fall and a more condensed schedule in the summer. Applicants need an associate degree or diploma in nursing and valid nursing licensure, along with a minimum 2.8 GPA and the necessary prerequisites.

Both nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $105/credit
  • Credit Requirements: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 3-5 semesters
  • Format: 100% Online
  • Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.8 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

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Florida International University View School Profile Miami, FL

FIUs online RN-to-BSN program emphasizes global healthcare and technology in practice. The 33-credit curriculum includes courses in global healthcare systems and adult nursing. Learners also complete 150 practicum hours at a site near them. They complete their remaining courses online.

The programs courses start in and run through the spring, summer, and fall semesters. The program delivers most coursework asynchronously. Applicants need a nursing degree with a minimum 2.75 GPA and valid nursing licensure. Students who need to complete prerequisites may do so online.

FIUs online BSN is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $229/credit in-state; $346/credit out-of-state
  • Credit Requirements: 33 credits
  • Program Length: Three semesters
  • Format: 100% Online
  • Instruction Style: Primarily asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.75 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

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Pennsylvania State University View School Profile University Park, PA

Penn State World Campuss online RN-to-BSN requires 120 credits, including up to 42 credits of required core courses. Students typically receive transfer credits for previous general education and nursing training and licensure. All learners complete courses in family and community health and nursing informatics, along with 45 practicum hours.

The programs online courses run through the fall, spring, and summer semesters, though learners may access accelerated courses that run in 7.5-week sessions. Applicants need a nursing degree or diploma and valid licensure.

The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $576-$617/credit
  • Credit Requirements: 36-42 credits
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Format: 100% Online
  • Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Varies
  • Standardized Tests: Optional

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Ohio State University View School Profile Columbus, OH

Ohio States online RN-to-BSN program requires students to complete at least core 30 credits, including courses in nutrition and interprofessional concepts. Degree-seekers can also pursue certificates in school health services and primary care while enrolled. Learners do not pay textbook costs and can start the program in the spring, summer, and fall.

The program delivers coursework both synchronously and asynchronously, and students can complete clinical components online. Applicants need a nursing degree or diploma with a minimum 2.0 GPA and valid nursing licensure. Prospective students without prerequisites may need to complete up to 19 additional credits.

Ohio States online bachelors in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $4,423/semester, plus $200/semester for out-of-state students
  • Credit Requirements: Minimum of 30 credits
  • Program Length: 12-15 months
  • Format: 100% Online
  • Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.0 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Optional

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Appalachian State University View School Profile Boone, NC

Of the 120 credits required for Appalachians online RN-to-BSN program, students typically complete 30 credits of major courses. These courses cover nursing research and informatics, and the program concludes with a capstone course and 120 clinical hours. The remaining 90 credits come from transfer credits and clinical nursing experience.

Classes run through the fall, spring, and summer. Appalachian delivers coursework both synchronously and asynchronously. Applicants need a nursing degree and a minimum 2.5 GPA, plus an unencumbered nursing license.

Appalachians online bachelors in nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $163/credit in-state; $664/credit out-of-state
  • Credit Requirements: 30 credits
  • Program Length: One year
  • Format: 100% Online
  • Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.5 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Varies

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University of Wisconsin - Madison View School Profile Madison, WI

Students in UWs online RN-to-BSN program typically complete the 24-30 credits for their bachelors in nursing in approximately two years. All six UW schools offer program coursework, which include a course in chronic care and health technology and a 60-hour clinical course. UW also offers an 18-credit school nursing certificate that learners can complete during their studies.

The online classes run through seven-week or 14-week sessions. Distance learners can start in the spring or fall, beginning with a half-day orientation. Applicants need a nursing degree or diploma, a minimum 2.5 GPA, and a nursing license.

UWs nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $452/credit
  • Credit Requirements: 24-30 credits
  • Program Length: 18-30 months
  • Format: 100% Online
  • Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.5 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Optional

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The University of Alabama View School Profile Tuscaloosa, AL

UAs 126-credit online RN-to-BSN provides students with 41 credits upon admission, plus any applicable transfer credits for previous training and clinical experience. Nursing students complete a minimum of 25 upper-level credits in the program, including courses in role transition and complex client systems. UA offers fall, spring, and summer starts, along with standard tuition rates for all online learners.

Applicants need a nursing degree or diploma and valid licensure. UA also offers the full online BSN for students without the proper prerequisites or no prior training, along with an MSN pathway degree.

UAs online bachelors in nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $375/credit
  • Credit Requirements: 25 credits minimum
  • Program Length: One year
  • Format: 100% Online
  • Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.5 minimum for lower-level courses and 2.0 minimum for science courses
  • Standardized Tests: Optional

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Texas A&M International University View School Profile Laredo, TX

In TAMIUs online RN-to-BSN program, students complete a minimum of 32 credits, taking classes like cultural determinants of health behavior and the history of nursing. Incoming learners typically receive transfer credit for their prior general education and lower-level nursing training. TAMIU nursing students also complete a 126-hour practicum.

Program classes typically run asynchronously online throughout seven-week or 13-week sessions, and learners can begin their studies on any of the six annual start dates. Applicants need a nursing degree or diploma and licensure, along with a minimum 2.5 GPA.

TAMIUs online BSN is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $281/credit in-state; $794/credit out-of-state
  • Credit Requirements: 32 credits
  • Program Length: One year
  • Format: 100% Online
  • Instruction Style: Primarily asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.5 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

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Farmingdale State College View School Profile Farmingdale, NY

While the full bachelors in nursing requires 120 credits, students in Farmingdales online RN-to-BSN program may only need to complete 26 credits in upper-level nursing courses, such as the art of nursing and advocacy and change in nursing. Learners also complete two practica requiring more than 300 clinical hours total.

Farmingdales online RN-to-BSN program for working professionals starts in the fall, but the college offers additional start dates for full and advanced standing bachelors in nursing programs. Applicants need a nursing license and nursing degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Farmingdales online BSN is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $3,535/semester in-state; $8,490/semester out-of-state
  • Credit Requirements: 26 credits minimum
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Format: 100% Online
  • Instruction Style: Primarily asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Optional

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University of Louisiana at Monroe View School Profile Monroe, LA

In addition to a traditional bachelors in nursing, ULM offers an accelerated online RN-to-BSN program for registered nurses. Students receive transfer credit for their previous training and experience. This leaves 30 required credits of upper-level courses like pharmacology and computing, along with a practicum and an experiential capstone course.

Students begin the program on five annual start dates, and classes run for eight weeks. The program delivers coursework both synchronously and asynchronously. Applicants need a nursing degree or diploma and licensure, along with a minimum 2.0 GPA and proof of employment.

ULMs bachelors in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $292/credit
  • Credit Requirements: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 14 months
  • Format: 100% Online
  • Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.0 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

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University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire View School Profile Eau Claire, WI

In concert with six other UW campuses, UWEC offers a 30-credit online RN-to-BSN program that includes courses like chronic care and information management. Students can also use clinical simulation labs and participate in a cultural clinical immersion at the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

While most classes run online in seven-week and 14-week blocks, the program features two hybrid courses that require in-person attendance. Applicants need nursing licensure and a nursing degree or diploma with a minimum 2.5 GPA.

UWECs online bachelors in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $8,875/year in-state; $9,200-$17,150/year out-of-state
  • Credit Requirements: 30 credits minimum
  • Program Length: Two years
  • Format: Hybrid
  • Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.5 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Optional

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University of North Dakota View School Profile Grand Forks, ND

UNDs online RN-to-BSN program allows practicing nurses to earn a bachelors in nursing in 1-2 years depending on their desired course load. Students typically only need 30 required credits after earning transfer credits for previous training and experience. Program courses include health and illness and nursing in transition.

The program delivers coursework both synchronously and asynchronously in seven-week and 14-week sessions, with the exception of the practicum, which learners can complete near their homes. Applicants need a valid nursing license, and all online students pay the same tuition rate regardless of where they live.

UNDs online BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $429/credit
  • Credit Requirements: 30 credits
  • Program Length: 1-2 years
  • Format: 100% Online
  • Instruction Style: Synchronous and asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.75 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Optional

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University of North Florida View School Profile Jacksonville, FL

UNF offers an accelerated online RN-to-BSN program for practicing nurses. The 30-credit curriculum features courses in perspectives in chronicity, ethical-legal concepts, and research translation, along with practicum experiences at clinical and community locations. All online students pay the same standard tuition rate.

At UNF, classes usually run asynchronously through eight-week sessions in the fall and spring and six-week sessions in the summer. Students can choose from six annual start dates and graduate within one year. Applicants need a nursing degree or diploma with a 2.8 minimum GPA and a valid nursing license.

UNFs bachelors in nursing program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • School Status: Public
  • Tuition: $285/credit
  • Credit Requirements: 30 credits
  • Program Length: One year
  • Format: 100% Online
  • Instruction Style: Primarily asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 2.8 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: ACT or SAT

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George Washington University View School Profile Washington, DC

In GWs online RN-to-BSN program, degree-seekers complete 36 credits of upper-level courses, such as healthcare policy and patient safety and healthcare quality. Learners complete a professional portfolio that demonstrates their experience in the field. Students also earn graduate credits they can put toward an MSN.

Distance learners can enroll in the fall or spring. The program delivers all coursework asynchronously except for practicum experiences, and learners can visit campus to use the simulation lab. Applicants need a nursing degree or diploma and a 3.0 minimum GPA, along with prerequisite courses and valid nursing licensure.

GWs online bachelors in nursing is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.


Program Snapshot

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • School Status: Private
  • Tuition: $680/credit
  • Credit Requirements: 36 credits
  • Program Length: 15 months
  • Format: 100% Online
  • Instruction Style: Asynchronous

Admission Requirements

  • GPA: 3.0 minimum
  • Standardized Tests: Optional

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Online Bachelors in Nursing Program Overview

BSN programs do not require prerequisites or experience outside of a high school diploma or GED. Therefore, the program begins with general education requirements and builds up to fundamental nursing knowledge and skills. Core subjects include physiology and anatomy, microbiology, statistics, psychology, nutrition, nursing theory, and nursing research. Students also learn about healthcare systems and special needs nursing.

In addition to coursework, this degree requires hands-on clinical experiences at patient care facilities. Universities often allow students to choose advanced clinical settings based on their career interests.

These programs develop ethical, accountable, and socially responsible practitioners. BSN programs emphasize evidence-based nursing practices, critical thinking, application of nurse theory, and effective communication.

A bachelors degree in nursing allows graduates to enter the workforce after passing their license exam. Practitioners may go on to earn an advanced nursing degree, which provides more employment opportunities and higher salary potential.

Common BSN Nursing Degree Courses

Pathophysiology

Pathophysiology explores underlying diseases that can develop across the lifespan, as well as therapeutic interventions for injury disease risk factors. This course includes clinical and theoretical principles regarding diseases that result from genetic, stress-based, and environmental causes. Coursework also requires students to identify psychosocial and cognitive characteristics of conditions and diseases.

Methods for Evidence-Based Practice

This course instructs students to use research evidence, clinical expertise, and patient preferences to provide individualized patient care. Graduates will know how to investigate the most up-to-date healthcare research to determine courses of care and treatment for their patients.

Microbiology

Microbiology explores basic properties of archaea, bacteria, viruses, and eukaryotic microorganisms. Students learn to compare and distinguish microbes, examine major pathways of catabolism, and analyze major pathways of biosynthesis. Students are also able to identify common features of microbial pathogens and defense mechanisms against infection.

Human Anatomy and Physiology

Human anatomy and physiology introduces students to the regulation and functions of major systems in the body. This course also examines how body parts collaborate to accomplish tasks. Topics include organ function, electrolytes, the digestive system, the lymphatic system, and the cardiovascular system.

Nursing Care of Mental Health Patients

This course addresses evidence-based practices and theories regarding the care of psychiatric patients. Students examine concepts of mental health issues and the ethical, cultural, and legal influences therein. By the end of the course, students should understand how to discuss clinical modalities, use psychiatric terminology, and identify barriers for psychiatric patients.

Online Bachelors in Nursing Admission Requirements

BSN programs generally require a minimum GPA for admission, since universities want to ensure students can succeed in their program. Some universities may accept a lower GPA if students achieve a higher score on standardized exams.

BSN programs usually require students to submit SAT or ACT scores. Schools may accept lower scores for students with a high GPA. If schools accept both standardized exams, students should submit their best score.

An online bachelors in nursing begins with general education requirements, which students must complete before taking upper-level nursing courses. Students may also need to complete work or volunteer hours in approved medical settings.

Colleges and universities include letters of recommendation in the admission process in order to examine students character. Students applying right out of high school can ask teachers or counselors for letters. Nontraditional students with work or college experience may want to consider asking employers or professors who can speak to their character.

Online bachelors in nursing students complete multiple field experiences during the latter portion of their program. Because of this, schools must ensure their students are able to safely participate in such experiences. Universities often require students to obtain immunization and drug screening prior to admission. Admission also typically requires a criminal background check.


Online Bachelors in Nursing Career Paths

Professionals can earn an RN license at the associate degree level. However, a BSN allows graduates to apply for higher-level roles, such as nurse manager, quality assurance coordinator, and case management nurse. Alternative career paths include nurse health coach, legal nurse consultant, and public health nurse.

Professionals who remain in the field may go on to earn an advanced nursing degree that leads to leadership roles and an increase in wages. Advanced degrees require an additional license.


Related Careers

Frequently Asked Questions

What can you do with an online nursing (BSN) degree?

An online nursing (BSN) degree allows practitioners to work directly with patients in multiple settings. RNs should identify a target population they are interested in working with to determine the settings or facilities to which they should apply. A BSN also creates administrative and consulting opportunities. Practitioners considering the next step in their career also qualify for MSN programs.

How long does it take to get an online nursing degree?

On average, students can complete a bachelors in nursing in four years if they attend full time. Students who already hold an ADN may qualify for accelerated programs that focus on more in-depth nursing curricula. These programs typically require about two years of study with full-time attendance.

How much can you make with an online nursing degree?

According to BLS data, registered nurses earn about $71,730 on average. However, students should research state- and county-specific data, as earning potential varies by location. Students may also want to explore top-paying industries. For instance, the average median salary for professionals in the pharmaceutical industry is $95,400.

Can you get an online nursing degree without an associate in nursing?

Universities offer programs that do not require prior experience, but students may need to complete general coursework before being admitted to the actual nursing program. Accelerated programs require an unencumbered RN license that students can earn in an ADN program.

What does an online nursing degree program consist of?

A BSN includes classroom-based coursework, clinical experiences, and laboratory work. Other tasks may include conducting research independently or in groups. At the end of the program, students must prepare to pass the National Council of State Boards of Nursing NCLEX-RN exam.

Discover Similar Degree Programs

Looking for something else? Explore these other online degrees.

Bachelors in Health Science Programs Most Affordable Bachelors in Health Sciences Programs RN to BSN Programs

Additional Reading and Resources

Want more? We have additional resources to help you in every stage of your educational journey.

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