An online degree for nursing RN to BSN program helps students acquire updated skills and knowledge that will strengthen their nursing practice. Getting a degree online also develops other skills, such as independence, commitment, and dedication. All of these are transferable to the nursing field. The flexibility and quality of affordable RN to BSN programs make getting a degree online attractive to those who want the confidence and employability of a four-year degree.
Those who finish an online RN to BSN degree emerge prepared to take on advanced careers in research, teaching, consulting, or administration. Examples of courses nurses take when they get a degree online include:
- Health Assessment
- Health Policy
- Professional Nursing Practice
- Community Health Nursing
According to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the demand for nurses will continue to rise 9% annually through 2030. This highly stable field offers rewarding work for those at many different education levels. However, for those who want to move into positions of more responsibility and increase their paycheck, it’s worthwhile to go back to school to get an online RN to BSN degree.
Many nurses with an associate’s degree have compelling stories about why they went into nursing. Perhaps they completed their associate’s degree to begin working as quickly as possible, instead of opting for a four-year BSN program. For those who now want to complete their education, and online bachelor’s in nursing might be the way to go. Getting a degree online enables nurses to continue working as they complete their baccalaureate coursework.
Methodology: Ranking The Most Affordable Online RN To BSN Programs
For ODProf’s ranking of the most affordable Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs, editors focus on accredited and trusted programs in the United States. Programs are ranked in order of tuition rate. Data comes from IPEDS and Niche.
Georgia Southern University
Georgia Southern University offers one of the best online RN to BSN degree programs that permit students to complete the degree in less than 12 months or up to five years. This is a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education-accredited online degree in nursing is recognized as a ‘best value’ program and ranked as the nation’s fifth best by RNtoMSN.org and specifically created to meet the needs of those RNs currently working. Featured classes for this nursing degree completion program include nursing research, health assessment, and critical analysis of nursing concepts, among others.
This online bachelor’s in nursing program provides students with an accelerated path to supervisory and leadership positions, with the flexibility required by working learners. This nursing degree online from Georgia Southern University requires degree candidates to complete eight classes which is equivalent to 28 credit units. It is noted that students are not required to visit campus for this online RN to BSN degree from Georgia Southern University; however, students must attend an orientation which is provided by Zoom online.
Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville State University’s College of Health, Science and Technology offer an online RN to BSN degree program that is available to part-time (finishing in five semesters) and full-time students (finishing in 2.5 semesters). Two of the required classes of Fayetteville State University’s online bachelor’s in the nursing program required clinical hours, but these practicum experiences can be completed with projects, virtual learning, or service learning.
Fayetteville State University’s online degree in nursing prepares RNs to move beyond basic clinical care, offering classes in leadership, communication, and critical thinking, to name a few. Fayetteville State University’s nursing completion degree online is delivered with a science-based learning approach. Students must maintain a C average on all coursework to meet graduation requirements. This online bachelor’s in nursing program from Fayetteville State University is a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education-accredited and requires the completion of at least 32 bachelor’s level credit units to meet program criteria.
West Texas A&M University
West Texas A&M University’s College of Nursing & Health Sciences offers a nationally ranked online RN to BSN degree program, according to US News & World Report and College Choice. West Texas A&M University’s nursing degree online is designed to be flexible enough to meet the time constraints of working registered nurses. Applicants to West Texas A&M University’s online bachelor’s in a nursing program must hold an unencumbered RN license or be eligible to receive the license within three months after graduation from a diploma or associate degree program.
This online nursing completion program is approved by the Texas Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Graduates of West Texas A&M University’s online degree in nursing will find their earned degree prepares them to advance to supervisory or management roles, which translates to higher salaries. Featured coursework for WTAMU’s nursing degree online program includes issues in health care delivery, nursing decisions for populations, concepts in legal & ethical nursing, cultural competence for health promotion and quality management, and informatics in nursing, plus two practicums.
The University of Central Missouri
The University of Central Missouri’s College of Health Science & Technology offers one of the leading online RN to BSN degree programs in Missouri and beyond. The University of Central Missouri’s online bachelor’s in nursing program is recognized to be a ’best value’ school and is delivered in eight-week classes. Applicants to the University of Central Missouri’s nursing degree online must hold an unencumbered RN license and have earned an Associate of Science (AS) Degree in Nursing. The is a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the University of Central Missouri’s online RN to BSN degree program.
The total credits to earn this online degree in nursing is 30, with a minimum of 12 credits that must be earned at the University of Central Missouri. Featured classes for this nursing degree online from the University of Central Missouri include pathophysiology, concepts of community health nursing, nursing leadership, professional nursing dimension and perspectives, nursing leadership in management, and socio-economic facts that impact health, plus a community health practicum, to name a few.
Southeast Missouri State University
Southeast Missouri State University’s College of Education, Health & Human Studies offers a CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education)-accredited online RN to BSN degree program that has been designed for RNs currently working full-time. Southeast Missouri State University’s online degree in nursing requires students to complete 26 nursing credit units, which does not include general education requirements.
Southeast Missouri State University’s online bachelor’s in nursing program’s featured coursework include holistic assessment, professional practice: leadership and management, a framework for professional nursing, community health practice, gerontological nursing, and research for professional practice, among others. It is noted that field/clinical experiences for Southeast Missouri State University’s nursing degree online may be completed in a community health setting with a mentor of the student’s choice. Southeast Missouri State University’s online degree in nursing can only accept students who live in Kentucky, Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas.
Fitchburg State University
Fitchburg State University’s Nursing School offers one of New England’s leading online RN to BSN degree completion programs. Fitchburg State University’s online bachelor’s in the nursing program requires the completion of at least 32-semester units and can be finished in only one year. In addition, this online degree in nursing from Fitchburg State University is online RN to BSN degree programs Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education-accredited and prepares students to be qualified for advanced nursing opportunities like a charge nurse, school nurse, or case manager, among others.
The classes for Fitchburg State University’s nursing degree online are delivered in seven-week sessions. Featured classes for Fitchburg State University’s online bachelor’s in the nursing program include community-based nursing, social justice & advocacy, caring for forensic populations, nursing role transition, health care policy and finance, and nursing in a global community, plus an RN to BSN culminating capstone project. Fitchburg State University’s nursing degree online is among the most affordable in New England and beyond.
Mayville State University
Mayville State University offers one of the top-ranked online RN to BSN degree completion programs in North Dakota and beyond. MSU’s nursing degree online program can be completed in as few as twelve months and is among the most affordable online RN to BSN degree programs. Classes are offered in five-week sessions which, allow students to take up to four classes each semester. Mayville State University’s online bachelor’s in nursing program has received Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accreditation and requires students to complete 120 credit units to meet BSN program requirements.
Featured classes for Mayville State University’s online degree in nursing include issues in the rural health care system, holistic health assessments across the lifespan, ethical dilemmas in health care, population-focused & community-based nursing care, and health care informatics & and technologies nursing leadership, to name a few. This online RN to BSN program prepares students for a leadership nursing career or to pursue a graduate nursing degree, among others.
Wichita State University
Wichita State University offers a leading online RN to BSN degree completion program that builds upon a registered nurse’s previous education and experience. Degree candidates enrolled in Wichita State University’s online bachelor’s in nursing program may study full-time, part-time, nights, and weekends. Working nurses can take advantage of Wichita State University’s nursing degree online program’s flexibility and convenient asynchronous classes. This completion nursing program is Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredited. This degree offers students two start dates, one in the Fall and the other in Spring.
Wichita State University’s value-added online degree in nursing can be completed in 12 to 18 months, depending on the student’s time availability. Wichita State University’s online bachelor’s in nursing program is available to students in nine states, including California, Kansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Colorado, and Texas. The practicum requirement for Wichita State University’s nursing degree online can be completed with an agency in the student’s state.
The University of Arkansas
The University of Arkansas’s College of Nursing offers one of the top-ranked online RN to BSN degree completion programs in the nation, according to US News. Enrolled students can complete this online bachelor’s in nursing program from the University of Arkansas can finish the degree in three semesters. Applicants to this University of Arkansas’ online degree in nursing must hold an unencumbered registered nursing license.
The University of Arkansas’s online degree in nursing has been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and offers coursework in eight-week sessions, plus 75 clinical hours. Graduates of the University of Arkansas’s online degree in nursing are qualified for supervisory and leadership positions, with an enhanced learning and broad nursing scope of practice, and find rewarding careers with the help of the University of Arkansas’s dedicated program advisors.
Slippery Rock University
Slippery Rock University offers the region’s first Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education -accredited online RN to BSN degree completion program. Graduates of this online degree in nursing from Slippery Rock University further their career in acute care, critical care, long-term care, rehabilitation, behavioral health, or travel nursing, among others. Applicants to this online RN to BSN degree completion program must have an unencumbered RN license, a nursing diploma, or an associate-level degree in nursing, plus a minimum of 63-semester credits.
Degree candidates hone their critical thinking skills as they learn to make clinical decisions. Core classes for this nursing degree online program from Slipper Rock University include health care informatics, group process for nursing, evidence-based health assessment and promotion, financial management of rusting case managers, innovative technology for healthy communities, and leadership and management in nursing with practice experience, among others. Slippery Rock University’s online RN to BSN degree program encourages students to explore international study opportunities offered by the school.
What Are the Benefits of an Online RN to BSN Degree?
For a working nurse who already has their associate’s degree in nursing, online programs offer a fast track to getting their bachelor’s of science in nursing. Besides the fast pace, getting an online bachelor’s in nursing puts nurses in charge of their study schedule. Most programs also let students view lectures on their own schedule.
Online programs often accept transfer credits from accredited institutions. This means that RNs can shave years off of their BSN program timeline. With a BSN, job opportunities expand. These higher degrees also pave the way for career advancement, especially for nurses with years of experience in their specialty. Typically, employers are willing to pay more competitive wages for nurses with four-year degrees. Your baccalaureate degree can also serve as job security since those with higher credentials are often kept longer than those with an associate’s degree.
What Are the Advantages of Completing an RN to BSN Program Online?
An online degree for nursing that results in an RN to BSN makes it easy for working nurses who cannot take off time from their jobs. Also, these programs give students flexibility so that they can spend time with their families and study during their downtime. Many students choose an online RN to BSN program for the following reasons:
- Multiple start dates mean students can begin their programs faster or resume programs more quickly if they’ve taken time off.
- Flexible class times and assignment deadlines allow students to set the pace for their learning.
- Online nursing degrees provide a consistent timeline across classes.
- An online RN to BSN degree often offers more affordable tuition and some employers may even have tuition reimbursement programs to cover the cost.
Why Should Students Choose to Earn a BSN Degree Online?
With an online RN to BSN program, students don’t have to live on campus, pay for campus housing or stay in the classroom for hours at a time. Instead, an online degree for nursing makes it easier to stay on track because students set their own study schedules. Getting a degree online is suitable for those who already have great organizational and time management skills. For those who need to work on these skills, this is a great way to develop better discipline.
Registered nurses who currently have an associate’s degree may long to complete their four-year degree at an affordable online school. Others want to increase their earning potential. According to Indeed.com, BSNs make more on average than RNs with two-year degrees. The national average for registered nurses, according to Indeed job listings is $78,904 per year. However, salary range varies by education, location, and experience levels.
The power of an online RN to BSN program lies in its flexibility, which many adult learners prefer. There are many affordable online nursing programs to choose from. The choice has to come down to the right fit for you. Some students prefer fast-paced programs that allow them to complete their degree in 18 months or less. Others prefer programs that allow them to maximize their transfer credits from another accredited university.
For those who want to earn their bachelor’s degree without moving to a college campus, earning a degree online is the way to go.