If you are interested in helping others, making the world a better place, working with people, utilizing science, earning a great income, and job security, then you should consider a career in nursing. You can begin your career with one of the 35 Best Value Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Nursing in 2020.
Of course, these motivations aren’t all-encompassing, but they are common. It may help to know that the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the field of nursing to grow by 15 percent by 2026 – about twice as fast as average. Nurses in 2018 took home an average of $71,730 annually.
Nurses with a Bachelor of Science are in need. The Institute of Medicine suggests that BSNs constitute 80 percent of the nursing workforce by 2020. The IOM makes this conclusion based on studies which demonstrated that registered nurses with a BSN had better results among many criteria when compared to registered nurses without a BSN.
What about currently practicing registered nurses who don’t have a BSN? Enter: RN-BSN program. Registered nurses can transfer to undergraduate institutions to complete the upper-level nursing courses required for a BSN degree. To allow RNs to continue working while furthering their education, many RN-BSN programs are offered online. If you are an RN looking for a BSN online, we’ve ranked the 35 Best Value Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Nursing.
Best Value Schools publishes college degree rankings with the belief of how one’s higher education should be, both, affordable and an investment of continued value for the students who pursue them. The staff of BVS collects data from reputable sources in order to calculate Net Price and the short and long-term value of every ranked degree. Collected data is simplified into weighted categories before scoring and then scaled through a BVS Score up to 100. The weighted categories are:
Degree Investment Return (25%)
Student & Alumni Evaluation (25%)
Cost Value (25%)
Academic Success (15%)
No matter what degree you decide on, we hope our research and support has made the selection process easier. There are numerous resources BVS utilizes to collect information on degrees, and we encourage you to check them out for yourself!
Here are the 35 Best Value Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Nursing!
The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing approves of the RN-BSN program at Texas A&M International University. This 100 percent online program is flexible to meet the needs of those who seek to continue working while attaining higher education. It can be completed in as few as 12 months, depending on the pace the student's schedule allows. In total, the nursing curriculum is made up of 32 credit hours in courses such as The History of Nursing, Global Health Nursing, Community Nursing, Nursing Research, and Cultural Determinants of Health Behaviors. Six start dates each year allow for new students to begin their study when it is most convenient for their schedules.
California State University - Stanislaus seems to swim upstream with the hyper-structured design of its online RN-BSN degree. Typically this would appear to be concerning, except for the fact that Stanislaus State's design works extraordinarily well. It is a sequential cohort-based model that delivers courses in 10-week sessions. In this way, it is completed in one year. Most of the program is offered through an engaging online medium; however, at the beginning and ending phases of the program, students must meet face-to-face. In addition, students must be present for 90 hours of community health clinicals that take place during the summer.
St. Petersburg College's Bachelor of Science in Nursing is accredited by, both, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. The BSN builds on the foundational RN experience that you bring into the program, and can be completed within four full-time semesters. In the spirit of flexibility, students can choose to take between one to four classes per semester, either online or on campus. Some of the cooler courses offered by St. Petersburg cover issues such as Nursing in a Multicultural Society, Nursing of the Family, and Evidence-Based Research Utilization. Forty credit-hours are required for the major core courses. Admission is contingent on an associates degree in Nursing, as well as an unencumbered RN License.
Indiana University - South Bend offers an RN to BSN degree that can be completed in as little as 12 months, but as many as 24. The pace at which students move is dependent on their individual circumstances. Admission to the program is contingent on possession of an associate's degree in nursing, as well as an unencumbered nursing license in your state. The curriculum for this program is aligned with requirements set forth by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and it focuses on improving current practices. Clinical learning is flexible, so students with different needs can find the right balance of work life and academic life.
The online nursing program offered by Louisiana State University - Alexandria prepares its students for advanced degrees and career options. In addition, it pays special attention to community nursing - an ideology that sees an entire community as one's client. To a degree, this specialized focus informs the curriculum and the coursework. Depending on transfer credits, students can complete this program in 14 months for about $8,000. The core of the program involves 30 credit hours in courses such as Community Health Nursing, Ethical Dilemmas in Nursing, Complex Management of the Older Adult, and Introduction to Nursing Research. All general education courses - with the exception of some biology classes - are offered 100 percent online.
Texas Woman's University is a unique school, being sixth among U.S. universities for diversity and having 49 percent of all undergraduates transfer in from other schools. Those with a registered nurse license who are admitted to the program are automatically granted 28 credit-hours in foundational areas such as Pharmacology and Adult Health Competencies. After the foundational areas of the curriculum are met, there remain 32 credit-hours worth of upper-level courses. These courses include Promoting Wellness in the Aging Family, The Nursing Leadership & Management Experience, and RN with Families and Groups. It should be noted that credit for upper-level courses may be granted upon successful passing of certain and challenging exams.
Students enrolled in Purdue University - Northwest can attain their RN to BSN in as little as 16 months. Although tuition is $12,274, new students can apply for a scholarship which automatically reduces the cost to $9,725. The program does not follow the typical semester schedule which allows for flexible and expedited completion. In addition, there are eight start dates per year, which makes it convenient to begin the program when it suits you. Students must complete 34 credit hours to complete this degree, and this involves core courses, as well as upper division electives. Each course lasts for five weeks. Coursework includes Nursing Leadership & Management, Community & Public Health Nursing, and Health Promotion & Education.
Florida Atlantic University bases its RN to BSN program on national standards and accredited by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. It is also endorsed by the Holistic Nurses Association. This is important seeing that a unique feature of FAU's RN-BSN program is the option for students to certify in Holistic Nursing. The program boasts extraordinary in-state tuition rates, but it should be noted that out-of-state students in this RN-BSN program pay over 300 percent more than their in-state counterparts. Based on the absolute quality of the program, however, some prospective students may find it worth the investment. Program completion requires 32 credit-hours of nursing courses.
Minot State University offers a BSN for the registered nurse that can be completed in two to four semesters. This is contingent on the number of credits transferred into the program, as well as the student's capacity for a time commitment. MSU is dedicated to meeting the needs of each individual RN who participates in the program. The clinical portion, titled Public Health for the Professional Nurse, is completed through different clinically-focused assignments, as well as a virtual public health simulation. This meets requirements set forth by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. The program is additionally approved by the North Dakota Board of Nursing.
The RN to BSN provided by California State University - San Marcos emphasizes culturally-sensitive and skillful care of patients. Interestingly, only students from Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin are accepted into the program. It can be completed in 16 months, as Spring and Fall classes are eight weeks long, and summer classes are 10 weeks long. Each credit hour is $260, and the program requires a minimum of 38. In addition, the maximum size of a cohort is 44 which is relatively small but allows for focused attention from professors. CSUSM makes available three start dates for its RN to BSN program.
The Best Value Online Bachelor's Degree in Nursing is awarded to the RN-BSN program offered by Appalachian State University. This program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and in-state students pay $163 per credit-hour. It is as flexible as it is affordable, involving 30 credit-hours of nursing courses offered in the Spring, Summer, and Fall. Class projects and research constitute a non-traditional clinical. All the requirements can be completed in one year. Veterans may qualify for in-state residency which would significantly lower program costs. There are three application cycles, which ensures that students begin the program at a time most convenient for their schedules.
While attending school completely online has the obvious perks of convenience and flexibility, the Northwestern State University of Louisiana adds an additional perk: online students don't pay out-of-state fees. With this consideration in mind, undergraduate online tuition is only $375 per credit hour for up to 12 credit-hours - credits taken in excess are only $100 each. Overall, there are 30 credits worth of nursing core courses available. These, as well as general education courses, are all available 100 percent online. Clinical experiences can be completed in a student's local area, which helps each student achieve this program according to their needs.
One of the great aspects about McNeese State University's RN to BSN program is its preferred tuition rate, which reduces tuition for nurses and their families from partner healthcare agencies, as well as members of the military. This can reduce the cost of the nursing curriculum by as much as $2,000. Classes are seven weeks long, with a week break in between each. In addition, there are six start dates each year. It takes 30 credits to complete the nursing curriculum which is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
The BSN offered online by the University of Louisiana at Monroe can be completed in 14 months, with 30 credit-hours of nursing courses. It's an accelerated program that has received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Faculty members at ULM Nursing are committed to walking alongside students to provide guidance that leads to the successful completion of the degree. This program focuses on a couple of different areas such as pharmacology and technology as they pertain to nursing and nurse development. Coursework includes Computing for Nurses, Nursing Management, Public Health Nursing, and Gerontology and Genomics.
The University of Tennessee - Martin RN-to-BSN program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Nursing course requirements constitute a total of 32 credit hours and are taught by experienced and knowledgeable faculty. A goal of this program is for students to learn how to synthesize theoretical and empirical knowledge to better their abilities in patient-centered care. On top of its general affordability, UT Martin lists over 15 scholarship opportunities for students in its nursing programs. Local Tennessee hospitals have also helped students subsidize program costs. It helps that UT Martin is a primary campus of the University of Tennessee System, and partners in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.
One of the more notable aspects of Bethel College's Bachelor of Science in Nursing is the care and mentorship provided by faculty members who maintain a posture of servant leadership. This level of attention and care for students extends to those who attain their degrees online. It clearly works - seeing that 100 percent of students are placed, and 100 percent of employers are satisfied by their Bethel graduates, according to surveys. The program moves at an accelerated pace and can be completed in as little as 12 months. It is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, as well as the Higher Learning Commission. The RN to BSN requires 40 credit-hours to complete which involve courses such as Community & Population-Based Nursing, Global Health, and Contemporary Issues in Nursing.
Achieving an RN to BSN degree from the University of New Mexico is an ideal step toward bettering your abilities as a registered nurse. This is the case because the program focuses on incorporating newer technologies and theories into quality patient care. Each course takes seven weeks to complete, and a total of 30 core nursing credits are needed. It should be noted that payment plans are not available to RN-BSN students at the University of New Mexico, but keep in mind this is a low-cost program with plenty of financial aid resources. For instance, loan forgiveness is available for graduates who take their BSN to underserved areas or agencies.
Students who are looking to maximize their prior experiences will be delighted to learn about Indiana State University's Professional Portfolio Evaluation, as a part of Indiana State's RN to BSN program. This allows the experienced RN to demonstrate mastery and attainment of specific course objectives. Upon adequate demonstration, the student can receive up to 10 credit hours. This effectively waives almost one-third of credit hour requirements. Another great feature of Indiana State is its superb financial aid office. On an annual basis, over $16 million is awarded through scholarships and awards. It should be recognized that Indiana State's RN to BSN program is available to in-state students, most out-of-state students, but not any international residents.
West Virginia University provides an RN to BSN degree to candidates in all states - with the exception of Washington. Core nursing courses equate to 28 credit hours, which can all be completed in a minimum of three semesters. It should be noted, however, that a university requirement mandates that students complete at least 30 credits at WVU for the institution to grant a degree. If students only need the 28 credit-hours, they must take an additional two credit hour elective at the university. The program at WVU is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Tuition is an estimated $5,784 per semester.
Students working toward a BSN from the University of West Florida can be confident in their education since UWF Nursing boasts a 100 percent pass rate on the NCLEX. This program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education as well as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Although students may bring in a variety of credits from their previous schools or associate degree programs, in order to graduate from UWF, they must take at least 31 credit-hours from this institution. This is not difficult to accomplish as the nursing major has 32 credit-hours worth of core courses. These span topics in Gerontological Nursing, Pathophysiology and Healthcare Management, and Pharmacotherapeutics for the RN-BSN.
The online BSN at Stephen F. Austin State University is an ideal option for those who wish to continue working as registered nurses as they complete their bachelor's degree. Plenty of SFA graduates have found success as nurses both in civilian and military settings. This is an affordable degree that can take as little as one year to complete. Coursework at SFA Online includes Cultural Issues in Professional Nursing, Legal and Ethical Issues in Professional Nursing, Care of Community Populations, and Health Assessment. This program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission in Education on Nursing, and it is approved by the Texas Board of Nursing.
Sam Houston State University offers a 30-credit RN to BSN that is well suited to accommodate a working professional's schedule. Typical online programs require that students hold RN licensure in the state they reside in, but SHSU requires a Texas RN License, which suggests they only admit students who reside in and will study from Texas. Coursework for this program includes Nursing Genetics & Genomics, Rural Health Nursing, Older Adult Health Management, and Leadership Management. SHSU's RN to BSN is a top program in the state of Texas, which stems from the College of Health Sciences' commitment to "advance knowledge and practice to inspire the lifelong pursuit of health and well-being."
The RN-BSN Program at the University of South Florida encourages students to focus on mindful leadership, patient education, and good practices. It is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and it is approved by the Florida Board of Nursing. It can be completed in three full-time semesters or up to five part-time semesters. This high-quality degree is also a great segue for practicing RNs to pursue masters or doctoral degrees in nursing. It requires 30 credit hours of courses: fifteen are core nursing courses, six are cluster nursing courses, and nine are elective nursing courses. Students who are not actively working RNs must have Florida RN Licensure so they can be placed in clinic projects near Tampa.
Southeast Missouri State University offers an RN to BSN that is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and it is approved by the Missouri State Board of Nursing. It should be noted, however, that the online program at Southeast is only available to permanent residents of Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, and Illinois. If you live in those state, this is an excellent degree, considering it only requires six nursing courses in addition to the general education courses you transfer in. Students receive individualized academic advising from a faculty member who is experienced in the RN to BSN program. They are also eligible for internships or careers at places such as Southeast Health, Ste. Genevieve Hospital, and St. Francis Medical Center.
Fort Hays State University is the first Kansas based school in this ranking, and it makes our top-20 because of its commitment to quality nursing education. Its RN to BSN is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Courses are eight weeks long, and they span topics such as Trends Facing Healthcare, Leadership and Management for the RN, Healthcare Policy and Cost for the RN, and Concepts of Gerontology. Additionally, various departmental and at-large scholarship opportunities are available to nursing students. Within Fort Hays' Virtual College, each credit is approximately $219.
The RN to BSN program offered online by Florida International University is flexible to adapt to your schedule. You may complete it at a part-time pace; however, students who are able to maintain full-time status can complete the degree in three semesters. This amounts to 10 credit hours per semester, and courses can be taken in any order. This program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and is subsequently approved by the Florida State Board of Nursing. In-state tuition is $213 per-credit-hour, while out-of-state tuition is $330 per-credit-hour. Courses include Adult Physiological Nursing, Childbearing/Childrearing, and Nursing in Global Healthcare Systems.
Great Basin College is a Nevada based school that offers an RN-BSN degree suitable for those who cannot fit a clinical practicum or project into their degree, as this is not a requirement for this program. Though this may raise some eyebrows, rest assured that the program at GBC is still 100 percent accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. The best online programs require zero travel to the host campus at any point, and this is true for the program at Great Basin College. The curriculum is comprehensive and includes consideration for nursing practices in rural communities. It should be noted that admission to GBC is a separate decision from admission to the nursing program.
The RN to BSN offered online by Arizona State University equips students to utilize population-based perspectives in their future practices. It can be completed in as few as 15 months, which is impressive considering that 92 percent of ASU BSN graduates pass the NCLEX on their first attempt. This demonstrates that ASU is able to maintain a high quality of education while keeping program duration at a minimum. Thirty-eight total credit-hours are required for ASU's online program, as students may transfer up to 75 credit hours. Some of the necessary courses include The Synthesis of Professional Nursing, Public and Global Health in Nursing, and Health Promotion Across the Life Span. The Nursing Department at ASU features incredible faculty who have earned awards from entities such as Fulbright, Rosalynn Carter National Leadership, and the American Public Health Association.
The University of Utah offers an excellent RN-BSN degree that can take between eight and 16 months, depending on the pace at which students wish to study. Unique to this program is the opportunity to specialize in Geriatric Nurse Leadership, which opens the door for advanced opportunities with the elderly population. Apart from coursework, the program requires a 32-hour clinical shadowing experience, but this can be completed at the clinic of your current employment. Faculty members are well equipped to teach a curriculum that is based on research, evidence, and communities related to nursing. This ensures that your education as a nurse is relevant to current academic models and sensitive to different community settings.
Out of all the Louisiana-based RN-BSN programs on our ranking, the program offered by the University of Louisiana at Lafayette takes top honors. Past students have raved about the pace and convenience of the program's structure, saying that "it keeps your interest," as courses cycle every 7-8 weeks. In the online classroom, students at Lafayette are continually encouraged to constantly seek best practices for nursing. It takes 30 credit-hours of nursing courses to complete the degree, at a price of $316 per credit. UL Lafayette makes this do-able for students with "pay-as-you-go" options available, in addition to traditional financial aid.
The University of Southern Mississippi is known to be one of the most affordable universities in the nation, and this extends to its online RN-BSN degree. Although an online delivery fee of $20 per credit hour is levied against online students, they are still afforded in-state tuition costs. The BSN classes can all be completed in three semesters, but if students are missing some prerequisites, they can take a sigh of relief since all prerequisites are offered online. The Southern Miss faculty rapport with students has established a reputation of trust. Pair strong faculty-student relationships with excellent academics, and it's easy to see why USM is a top-five program. In addition to its affordability, innumerable scholarship opportunities for nursing students are listed on the department's website.
The online RN-BSN program offered by the University of Texas at Arlington is our top Texas-based program. Though coursework is offered completely online, students must be based in Texas in order to complete faculty-supervised clinical experiences at specific hospitals around the state. While this may seem limiting, participating within UTA's online BSN benefit from a non-traditional schedule. Because the program is not semester-based, BSN students can begin and progress through their baccalaureate education in an expedited fashion. Courses take between five and fourteen weeks, and they must be completed in the sequences prescribed by the program. The fastest pace at which the course can be completed is 15 months.
Based in Richmond, KY, the online RN-BSN program at Eastern Kentucky University has two tracks: the traditional and the accelerated. The traditional pathway can be completed in two years, while the accelerated pathway can take as little as 18 months. This 100 percent online program costs $460 per-credit-hour. Moreover, active duty military members only have to pay $250 per credit-hour. Typically, students focus on one course at a time, and they last for eight weeks. Accelerated students will take more than one at a time. This program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. No campus visits are required, and you aren't part of any cohorts, but you still receive individualized advising.
The most outstanding aspect of the RN-BSN program at the University of Texas at Tyler is its sheer convenience. Applications are accepted year round for three admission seasons: Spring, Summer, and Fall. Students can complete the degree in 12 months with intent, or they can take as long as they need to with flexible graduation dates. UT Tyler understands that working RNs are already receiving plenty of clinical practice, so the required clinical degree requirement is kept at a minimum. Faculty are full-time and hold a minimum of a Master's degree; although, many hold doctoral degrees. This ensures consistent quality virtual classroom experiences.
The University of Southern Indiana offers an online RN to BSN degree that is taught by faculty with expansive nursing and clinical experiences. This helps students overcome the challenge of making sure their education is relevant to an ever-developing field such as patient care. There are no numerical limits to the amount of courses students can transfer to USI, which makes this RN-BSN degree attractive. Students must complete the 30 credit-hours of nursing core courses through USI. These cover a range of issues such as Population Health and Professional Nursing Practice, Health Assessment for Registered Nurses, and Leadership in Nursing and Healthcare Organizations. Non-nursing supportive courses may be taken elsewhere, but transferring these credits requires approval from the department.
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