The 5 Best Colleges for an Online BSN Program

The 5 Best Colleges for an Online BSN Program
Athina Hansen

Athina Hansen

Content Writer at Gradehacker

As you stumbled across this article, it’s safe to say that you’re looking to pursue a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. The only thing is, you’re not sure at which college to pursue your BSN degree.

And I mean, who wouldn’t find it difficult to decide which college to go to when there are over 4,000 colleges and universities to choose from in the U.S.

At this moment in time, you have only decided upon two things. One is that you are going to earn a BSN degree, and the other is that you want to earn it in an online setting

Maybe you have a family to attend to or work full-time, which makes attending on-campus classes close to impossible! This is why an online degree is attractive to so many students because it allows them to fit a career into their hectic schedules.

Your only problem is that you can’t find much information about which online colleges are the best for a BSN degree. You don’t want to risk it and enroll in the first college name that appears on google, so that’s why you’re here!

Here at Gradehacker, we are experts in all things college related! This is because our work consists of helping non-traditional students in different areas, such as coursework or exams.

We are very familiar with the different online programs out there from our years of experience assisting students enrolled in online BSN programs.

Through in-depth research and analysis of online college resources and respective individual college websites, this is the list of 5 R.N. to BSN online programs we consider the best based on tuition cost, curriculum, eligibility, and length of the programs.

Location: College Station, TX

Tuition Costs: Resident= $12,000, Non-Resident= $38,962 per year.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

At the top of the list, we have  Texas A&M’s online RN-to-BSN program. As the name implies, the program is made for those who already have a valid R.N. license.

However, what’s great is this program accepts students who attained their license through a  diploma paramedic bridge, or an  ADN program!

Texas A&M RN to BSN Program Length

Okay, but how long is the Texas A&M RN-to-BSN program?

This R.N. to BSN program has three program tracks from which you can choose. One track is a year-long, another is one and a half years long, and the last is two years long

But even though there are three tracks, the program’s curriculum remains the same!

Texas A&M RN to BSN Program Curriculum

This program involves a 30-hour curriculum that expands on your previous nursing knowledge.

As for the subjects covered in the program, you will learn about:

  • Pharmacology.
  • Nursing informatics.
  • Evidence-based decision making.
  • Community health issues.

Some core courses also focus on instilling leadership skills and discussing professional practice issues. Another aspect of this program is that you will endure individual practicum experiences in your community throughout the program.

Although this program is entirely online, students who enroll in this program must attend a two-day New Student Conference on the University Campus!

To qualify for this program, some prerequisites are:

  • A minimum of 40 credit hours of general education prerequisites.
  • 12 hours of coursework in mathematics and the natural sciences.
  • Competitive applicants must have a GPA of at least 3.0.

Why we recommend it:

Texas A&M accepts a wide-range of students for this RN-to-BSN program (not only those with an ADN degree but also those with a diploma or paramedic bridge). For their RN-to-BSN program, you can choose to complete in three tracks (one year, one year and a half, two years).

Location: Orlando, FL

Tuition Costs: In-state=$179.19 per credit hour, Out of state= $715.80 per credit hour.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Next, we have the  University of Central Florida’s R.N. to BSN program. This online program is designed for state-licensed nurses who have a previous ADN and are looking to earn their BSN degree while working at the same time.

This program involves 30 credit hours and prepares the nurse for leadership roles and career advancement.

Due to the distance learning involved in this program, there are discounted tuition rates and fee waivers for campus-based activities!

University of Central Florida RN to BSN Program Length

You might be someone eager to earn your BSN degree quickly. For this program, there are two options that you can choose from. This program is offered in the length of three or ten semesters.

When choosing this program’s length, you should keep in mind that the students who choose the ten-semester option are mostly part-time students.

University of Central Florida RN to BSN Program Curriculum

Are you curious about the program’s curriculum? Well, some topics seen in this program include:

  • Information management.
  • Evidence-based practice.
  • Pathophysiology.
  • Pharmacology.

This R.N. to BSN program concludes with a public health practicum that you will conduct in your community.

To qualify for this program, some prerequisites are:

  • Finish the program’s required prerequisites by the application deadline.
  • A minimum GPA of 2.0 in each course, and overall GPA of 2.8.

Do you have an ADN degree but earned it outside of the Florida Public University System? If you answered yes, you will have to submit your transcripts for evaluation.

You might be thinking, well, do they accept prior learning credits? Yes! The University of Central Florida permits students to utilize 29 approved prior learning credit hours for this program.

Why we recommend it: University of Central Florida’s online program has two lengths that you can choose from. You can either choose the length of three or ten semesters based on your time-availability.

Location: Washington, DC

Tuition Costs: $660 per credit hour.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

George Washington University is a private university; their  G.W. online RN-BSN program is made for those who already have an ADN.

This program’s online format is intended to allow nurses to continue working while pursuing their degree.

One great thing about this program is that this college provides fixed-rate tuition for almost all programs! Also, George Washington University is connected to the George Washington Hospital, which can potentially lead to job opportunities after completing the program. 

George Washington RN to BSN Program Length

Wondering how long this program is? It is an asynchronous, part-time, four-semester (15 months) program.

Now you’re probably asking yourself what the heck does asynchronous mean? An asynchronous online program is a more self-directed one. In these types of programs, the student can plan out when they will learn.

George Washington RN to BSN Program Curriculum

This R.N. to BSN program involves 21 credit hours and has the goal of teaching students advanced nursing skills.

It covers topics such as:

  • Healthcare finance.
  • Population health.
  • Public health nursing.
  • Medical informatics and technology.

In this program, the coursework you will complete is centered on the practical application of evidence-based nursing practice and leadership skills.

Unlike many programs, this program does not include practical experience. Instead, this program concludes with the creation of a professional portfolio.

To qualify for this program, some prerequisites are:

  • An associate degree in nursing from an accredited school
  • A minimum of a 3.0 GPA.
  • Active state licensure.

Why we recommend it: With George Washington University’s R.N. to BSN program, you can gain your degree in a short amount of time, as they have a four-semester program. Also, they boast a 93% NCLEX exam pass rate.

Location: Boone, NC

Tuition Costs: $163 per credit hour (NC Residents), $643.50 (Non-NC Residents)        

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Appalachian State University’s RN-BSN program has a completion time of just one year!

The program offered by this college is very flexible and innovative. The R.N. to BSN program’s coursework is all fully online and does not involve traditional clinical requirements.

Something which may be beneficial for you is that you can earn learning credits from work experience!

This program’s aim is different in that it prepares its students to be generalists in the nursing profession. It is a part-time, 30 credit hour program made for nurses who are already working and have an associate or diploma in nursing.

Appalachian State R.N. to BSN Program Curriculum

Are you curious about the program’s focus? This program focuses on developing students’ professional skills and advanced care delivery.

This program is built so that students master leadership skills, nursing informatics, assessments, and current research. Instead of practicum assignments, this program involves class projects.

As a graduate of this program, you will be ready to deliver professional care in your local community as well as to older adults.

To qualify for this program, some prerequisites are:

  • Associate in Applied Science degree in Nursing, an Associate Degree in Nursing (from an accredited institution), or a nursing diploma.
  • Current and valid R.N. license.
  • A cumulative GPA of 2.5.
  • Complete 60 hours of lower-division coursework and 30 hours of major nursing courses.

Why we recommend it: Appalachian State University’s R.N. to BSN program has a short completion time of just one year. You can also use your prior work experience as learning credits for the program.


Location: Tuscaloosa, AL

Tuition Costs: $375 per hour.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Last on the list; we have  the University of Alabama’s R.N. to BSN program. The University of Alabama is a public university, and their R.N. to BSN program is an online 25 credit hour program.

Are you wondering who this program is designed for? Well, it’s meant for R.N.’s who have either an associate’s degree in nursing or a diploma.

The University of Alabama R.N. to BSN Program Curriculum

Some core courses must be seen before enrollment for this program.

This R.N. to BSN program’s curriculum touches on:

  • Nursing informatics.
  • Inquiry for evidence-based practice in nursing.
  • Role transition in baccalaureate nursing.
  • Community health.
  • Leadership and management roles for R.N.’s.
  • Complex client systems for R.N.’s.

To qualify for this program, some prerequisites are:

  • Valid U.S. R.N. license.
  • 2.5 GPA in lower-division courses.
  • 2.0 GPA in science courses.
  • Graduate from an ACEN accredited associate’s degree program or from a diploma nursing program.

Why we recommend it: The University of Alabama’s R.N. to BSN program does not close its doors to those who achieved their R.N. license through a nursing diploma. Although many programs focus on those who completed an ADN degree, this program also accepts students who completed a nursing diploma.

Which BSN Program Will Best Suit Me?

Okay, so now we’ve covered this article’s main attraction, and you are aware of 5 great online BSN programs. But what are you supposed to do with the new knowledge you have about these programs?

Well, now it’s your turn to conduct an in-depth review of these colleges and the online BSN programs they offer.

Make a list of things you are looking for in a BSN program. For example, you may be looking for a low tuition cost, asynchronous format, and a part-time program.

Once you have this list, compare it to the programs introduced in this article. See which programs meet your needs and which ones do not! Also, make sure that you match the prerequisites for the program.

We understand that it can be challenging to make a final decision on which college is right for you. Hopefully, this article introduced you to valuable BSN programs and will help you decide which online BSN program is right for you.

Are you weary of choosing an online format because you believe it’s easier? Check out our article on  Are Online Classes Easier than In-Person Classes?

Not too sure about the differences between an ADN and a BSN degree? Check out our article on  ADN vs. a BSN Degree: What’s The Difference.

Are you unaware of what evidence-based practice is? Don’t forget to read our article on  What’s Evidence-Based Practice and Why It Matters So Much for Nurses?

Athina Hansen

Athina Hansen

Athina has worked with Gradehacker both as a content writer and a study consultant, where she assisted college students with nursing courses. Athina has a background of educating others and producing content, having tutored college students and produced articles for her school magazine. She brings her experience to her current role, where she writes content to empower and assist the non-traditional college student who is often overlooked. You can find her on LinkedIn

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