Hero Image 2020 Most Affordable RN-to-BSN Degree Programs Online

2020 Most Affordable RN-to-BSN Degree Programs Online

Advertisement BestValueSchools.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.

Are you ready to find your fit?

RN-to-BSN Online Degrees

Most Affordable Online RN to BSN badge

By Staff WritersPublished on May 18, 2020

Registered nurses (RNs) care for patients in settings like doctors’ offices, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and community health clinics. In 2017, about 45% of RNs held a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), according to the National Nursing Workforce Study.

Nurses with a BSN benefit from higher salaries and an increase in job opportunities compared to nurses with only an associate degree or diploma. For example, many employers prefer candidates with a BSN, and some roles, like head nurse and nurse leader, require a BSN. 

An RN-to-BSN degree program online helps RNs advance their careers in a flexible format. Most programs encourage nurses to continue working while earning their degree, designing coursework around the variable schedule of working RNs.

Our list ranks the most affordable RN-to-BSN degree programs to help prospective nursing students find the right fit for their budget and career goals. This page also introduces common RN-to-BSN concentrations, typical program requirements, and scholarship opportunities.

After earning a degree from an affordable BSN program, nurses can pursue roles like nursing director, nurse manager, public health nurse, or nurse leader. Nurses with a BSN can also apply to MSN programs, which qualify them to work as advanced practice registered nurses.

Advertisement BestValueSchools.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.

Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

Top 10 Most Affordable Online RN-to-BSN Degree Programs 2020

Affordable RN-to-BSN Degree Programs Overview

Online RN-to-BSN programs help working nurses increase their earning potential and move into leadership roles. Registered nurses earn above-average salaries and enjoy strong job growth projections. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), registered nurses earned a median annual salary of $73,300 in 2019. The BLS projects jobs for nurses to grow 12% between 2018 and 2028.

Nurses with a BSN typically earn more than nurses without a BSN. In addition, a growing number of employers prefer to hire candidates with a BSN. Certain nursing career paths, including roles like nurse manager, typically require a bachelor’s degree. In these positions, nurses supervise teams of nurses and staff. They set policies to improve patient care and help healthcare organizations run efficiently. A BSN also prepares nurses for graduate study.

An affordable BSN program lets registered nurses increase their earning potential without taking on too much debt. When researching the cost of RN-to-BSN programs, prospective students should consider tuition, online learning discounts, and any additional fees. For example, some online programs offer in-state tuition rates to out-of-state students.

During an RN-to-BSN online program, registered nurses may interact with fellow nursing students in discussion forums, watch pre-recorded lectures, and complete virtual clinical assignments. Most programs use an asynchronous learning format, which does not require set meeting times.

RN-to-BSN programs also incorporate practicum requirements to build professional skills. During practicums, nurses build skills in areas like population health nursing, community nursing, and nurse leadership. Many programs also include a capstone course that synthesizes degree knowledge and skills.

Common Online RN-to-BSN Courses

  • COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH ASSESSMENT
    During this class, students learn about the role of health assessments in preventing disease and early detection of diseases. The course emphasizes health assessment across the lifespan. Students learn about the role of inspection and observation and the tools needed to complete a comprehensive health assessment. The class may also cover abnormal findings and the next steps after a health assessment.
  • EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE
    Courses in evidence-based practice examine nursing research and its application in practice. Students learn how to identify and evaluate research to determine the best sources for clinical problems. They also study the research process. After exploring the theoretical side of research, students learn how to apply research to improve patient care and healthcare policies.
  • GLOBAL HEALTH ISSUES
    This class explores core global health issues, including infectious diseases, global health disparities, and public health policy in a global context. Students also learn about healthcare delivery systems around the world. Learners may examine the economics of healthcare in different countries, health equity challenges, and the role of technology in examining global health problems. Some programs let students participate in international clinical opportunities.
  • NURSING MANAGEMENT
    Classes prepare BSN students for leadership responsibilities within healthcare organizations. Students learn about the role of nurse leaders in managing staff and improving patient outcomes while developing case management, conflict resolution, and delegation skills. The course also examines organizational concepts in healthcare, such as delivery systems, healthcare organizational structures, and resource allocation.
  • COMMUNITY NURSING
    In community nursing courses, students examine healthcare delivery in a community setting, including the nurse’s role and responsibilities. Nurses learn to promote individual, family, and community wellness using evidence-based strategies. Many community nursing courses also cover public health and population-based health methods. The course may also include a practicum requirement in a community setting.

Online RN-to-BSN Program Concentrations

During a concentration, BSN students complete specialized courses that prepare them for specific career paths. For example, a pediatric concentration leads to pediatric nursing roles, while a concentration in nurse leadership prepares graduates for supervisory roles. Some RN-to-BSN programs offer formal concentrations, while others let students design their own concentration through electives. The following list outlines several common BSN concentrations.

Concentrations

GLOBAL HEALTHA global health concentration educates nurses about global health issues, including treatments and community-based service in different countries. Some programs include international field experiences during the concentration.
NURSING LEADERSHIPBSN nurses often take on leadership roles in healthcare organizations. This concentration covers leadership topics like schedule management, team leadership, and enhancing patient care. Graduates may pursue titles like head nurse, nurse leader, or nurse manager.
PRIMARY CAREThis concentration prepares nurses for primary care roles, focusing on nursing care throughout the lifespan and family nursing. The concentration also provides a solid foundation for further training as a nurse practitioner.
PEDIATRICSA pediatrics concentration trains nurses to care for infants, young children, and adolescents. Nursing students take courses on topics like child development, pediatric nursing in a primary care setting, and pediatric nursing in an acute-care setting.
OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH NURSINGA concentration in occupational health nursing trains nurses to treat on-the-job injuries and illnesses. In addition to clinical careers, occupational health nurses may work for organizations to promote workers’ health and decrease illnesses.

Online RN-to-BSN Program Requirements

Each RN-to-BSN program sets its own admission requirements, but most programs require applicants to hold a current RN license in the state where they plan to complete their clinical hours. A small number of online RN-to-BSN programs only admit students with an RN license in the same state as the college or university.

Some programs also admit students in the process of completing their RN license. For example, current RN students planning to pass the NCLEX-RN exam and apply for an RN license may meet the requirements for some schools. In these cases, the student must hold an RN license before enrolling in any practicum courses.

In addition to a valid RN license, programs also require transcripts showing an associate degree or a diploma in nursing from an accredited nursing program. Many programs also set a minimum GPA or require nursing experience for admission.

After gaining admission at an RN-to-BSN online program, students typically complete 26-30 credits of nursing coursework, including practicum hours. Students may also need to meet the general education requirements for a bachelor’s degree.

Because admission requirements and processes vary by school, prospective BSN students must carefully research potential programs to make sure they can meet all requirements.

1. AACN Scholarships

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) sets quality standards for nursing education and promotes the nursing profession. AACN runs the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), which accredits nursing programs. AACN also offers scholarships to support professional nursing education, such as the Geraldine “Polly” Bednash Scholarship, which provides $5,000 to a nursing student attending a member institution. The AfterCollege/AACN Nursing Scholarship Program also supports students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in nursing with a preference for students interested in becoming nurse educators.Apply for Scholarship

2. AAPACN Scholarships

Offered by the American Association of Post-Acute Care Nursing, these scholarships support long-term and post-acute care nurses pursuing an RN-to-BSN degree. The scholarships provide $3,000-$5,000 toward a nursing degree. Applicants must demonstrate an interest in long-term care. The Cheryl M. Thomas Scholarship provides $5,000 for a registered nurse pursuing a BSN degree or higher, while the Elevating Healthcare Scholarship provides $3,000 toward a BSN program. The LIghting the Way for Nursing Scholarship provides $5,000 for an LPN or LVN pursuing a BSN or higher, while the Sparking the Future in Healthcare Scholarship offers $4,000 to a CNA pursuing a BSN degree.Apply for Scholarship

3. ENA Foundation Scholarship

The Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) supports emergency nurses and students through its educational scholarships. Eligibility requirements include current ENA membership, a minimum 3.0 GPA, and attendance at an ACEN- or CCNE-accredited institution. Applicants must submit two letters of recommendation, including at least one from a current ENA member. Undergraduate nursing scholarships include the ENA Foundation Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship, the BCEN Undergraduate Scholarship, the Charles Kunz Memorial Scholarship, the Elizabeth B. Moore Memorial Scholarship, and the ENA Foundation State Challenge Scholarship. Recipients of an ENA scholarship can apply for other ENA scholarships in future years.Apply for Scholarship

4. AORN Foundation Scholarship

The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) dates back to 1949. AORN offers multiple scholarships through its foundations to support nurses earning a BSN degree. Applicants must be attending an accredited nursing program and demonstrate a minimum 3.0 GPA. Applicants must also provide a personal statement demonstrating their interest or experience in perioperative or surgical nursing. The committee selects winners based on their academic record, personal statement, and financial need.Apply for Scholarship

Most Affordable RN-to-BSN Degree Programs Online 2020

  1. Florida International University
    Location

    Miami, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public research university located in Miami, Florida, FIU serves nearly 60,000 graduate and undergraduate students. The university offers more than 190 programs, including an RN-to-BSN degree program online.

    This 120-credit affordable BSN program prepares licensed registered nurses to advance their careers by completing a bachelor's degree through a flexible online format. In the program, students take 30 upper-level nursing credits and another 30 credits through clinical proficiency evaluation. Along with the 60 credits earned in an associate program, these credits allow learners to complete a 120-credit curriculum.

    Courses include nursing in global healthcare systems, health assessment and promotion, and professional nursing leadership. Students can finish FIU's program in three semesters.

    FIU is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and the RN-to-BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Florida State Board of Nursing.

  2. University of Florida-Online
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Gainesville, Florida, UF serves about 56,000 online and on-campus students, making it the eighth largest university by student population in the U.S. The school offers 25 online bachelor's programs, including the RN-to-BSN degree program online.

    Designed for working registered nurses, this program welcomes applications from prospective students who hold an active, unencumbered Florida RN license or enhanced licensure through the Nurse Licensure Compact. Applicants also need an associate degree in nursing and a GPA of 2.8 or higher.

    Once enrolled, students complete 60 credits at UF, including courses such as genetics and genomics in healthcare, legal and ethical issues in nursing, and inquiry and evidence in professional nursing practice.

    UF is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, and the RN-to-BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Florida State Board of Nursing.

  3. Rutgers University-Camden
    Location

    Camden, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    One of three regional campuses of Rutgers University, New Jersey's public higher education institution, Rutgers-Camden enrolls more than 6,000 students. The school provides nursing education at the undergraduate, specialist, and doctoral levels.

    Full-time students can complete Rutgers-Camden's RN-to-BSN online in one year. New learners receive 33 credits for passing the NCLEX and can transfer in up to 60 additional credits for classes taken at other institutions. Courses at Rutgers-Camden include wellness and health assessment, community health nursing and global health, and conceptual foundations of professional practice. Applicants need a valid RN license and a passing score on the NCLEX exam. The program accepts applications throughout the year.

    Rutgers-Camden is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The RN-to-BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the New Jersey Board of Nursing.

  4. Dickinson State University
    Location

    Dickinson, ND

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A member of the North Dakota University System, DSU serves nearly 1,500 students from its campus in Dickinson, North Dakota. The school offers bachelor's degrees in more than 75 subjects, including an RN-to-BSN degree program online.

    This program requires 126 credits, 32 of which students take at DSU. Courses include transcultural nursing, nursing leadership and management, pathophysiology, and nursing research. Students take 1-3 courses per semester and finish in two years. To graduate, learners must hold a GPA of 2.5 or better both cumulatively and in nursing courses. DSU welcomes applicants who hold an associate degree in nursing and a current nursing license.

    DSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The RN-to-BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the North Dakota Board of Nursing.

  5. Thomas Edison State University
    Location

    Trenton, NJ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public university in Trenton, New Jersey, TESU serves most of its 11,000 students online. The school offers graduate and undergraduate academic degrees in about 100 fields, including an RN-to-BSN online.

    The program welcomes applications from current nurses who hold an associate degree in nursing. New students may begin the self-paced course of study on any day of the year and can take as long as they need to complete the 120 required credits. Core courses include public health nursing, financial management in nursing practice, and leadership and management in nursing. The curriculum includes 12 graduate credits that students may transfer directly into a master of science in nursing.

    TESU is regionally accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the RN-to-BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the New Jersey Board of Nursing.

  6. Indiana University
    Location

    Bloomington, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    IU enrolls about 110,000 students on two core campuses, seven extension sites, and an online program. The university offers 142 online programs, including an RN-to-BSN degree program online. This flexible, 120-credit degree allows full-time students to earn their bachelor's in nursing within 12 months.

    IU's curriculum includes 27 credits of required courses such as applied healthcare ethics, a multisystem approach to the health of the community, and data analysis in clinical practice and healthcare research. All students also complete a capstone course. The university accepts applications from prospective students who hold an associate degree or diploma in nursing, a GPA of 2.5 or better, and an unencumbered nursing license. Students may transfer in up to 65 credits from a two-year college and 90 credits from a four-year school.

    IU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, and the RN-to-BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  7. Oklahoma State University
    Location

    Stillwater, OK

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public land-grant research institution located in Stillwater, OSU serves more than 25,000 students and offers about 200 undergraduate degrees, including an RN-to-BSN online.

    Students can pursue this flexible degree full time or part time and can finish it in two semesters. Courses include theoretical and conceptual foundations of nursing, cultural considerations in healthcare, and nursing research and evidence-based practice. Applicants need an associate degree or a diploma in nursing from an accredited school with a GPA of 2.5. Prospective students also need an unrestricted license as a registered nurse from Oklahoma or another state. New students can begin in the summer, spring, or fall semester.

    OSU is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. The RN-to-BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  8. University of Louisiana at Monroe
    Location

    Monroe, LA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Part of the public University of Louisiana System, ULM enrolls nearly 9,000 students in a variety of academic disciplines. The university maintains a robust online education platform through which it offers the RN-to-BSN degree program online.

    This accelerated program allows current nurses to earn their bachelor's degrees in 14 months. ULM learners complete a minimum of 30 credits through the university and may transfer in up to 90 credits. Courses include principles of pharmacology, computing for nurses, and gerontology and genomics. Learners also complete a public health internship and a final capstone. Each course lasts eight weeks, and new students can enter the program at any one of seven annual start dates.

    ULM is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The RN-to-BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  9. Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences
    Location

    Memphis, TN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A private college in Memphis, Tennessee operated by Baptist Memorial Health Care, Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences offers degrees in 13 different areas of health education, including nursing. The school makes its RN-to-BSN online available to qualified nurses who want to improve their earning potential and advance their careers.

    This program requires 30 credits through Baptist College, and students can graduate in one year. Courses include perspectives of healthy aging, transitions to professional nursing, and nursing research in evidence-based practice. Distance learners also complete a practicum at an approved site in their communities. Applicants must have graduated from an accredited nursing program with a GPA of 2.5. They must hold an active, unencumbered nursing license or qualify to apply for a nursing license.

    Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The RN-to-BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

  10. Florida Gateway College
    Location

    Lake City, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    A public college in Lake City, Florida and part of the Florida College System, FGC enrolls about 5,000 students in bachelor's degrees, associate degrees, and certificates. FGC helps registered nurses continue their education through the RN-to-BSN degree program online.

    The program requires that students complete a minimum of 31 credits, or 10 upper-division nursing courses, through FGC. Courses include cultural diversity in healthcare, ethical and legal aspects of care, and healthcare policy and economics. Full-time students can finish their degrees in three semesters.

    Applicants need an associate in nursing from a regionally accredited college, a GPA of 2.5 or higher in all prerequisite courses, and a current and unencumbered nursing license. New students can begin at one of two start dates during the year.

    FGC is regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The RN-to-BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Latest Posts

Top 5 Best Value Doctorate in Information Systems Assurance & Security Programs Online

Top 5 Best Value Doctorate in Information Systems Assurance & Security Programs Online

August 11, 2020   |   Staff Writers

As technology becomes an ever-increasing part of our lives, the demand for information systems security experts grows, and with it, the need for online Ph.D. information security programs. In this ranking, we explore the best value online doctorate information security programs available today. Rating and Ranking Methodology Tuition Points Under $20,000—3 points Under $15,000—4 points […]

Nonprofit Management Scholarships – Best Value Schools

Nonprofit Management Scholarships – Best Value Schools

August 11, 2020   |   Staff Writers

If you’re looking to land nonprofit management scholarships, you may be surprised to discover that there are numerous awards available from professional organizations and universities to recognize your kind-hearted spirit for community service. With nearly 1.3 million nonprofit agencies operating in the United States alone, it’s clear that nonprofits play a vital role in our […]

Advertisement BestValueSchools.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.

Discover a program that is right for you.

Explore different options for you based on your degree interests.