Best Online Bachelor’s in Nursing Programs of 2022

Interested in earning a bachelor of science in nursing? Explore our guide for the best online BSN programs of 2022.

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Updated August 10, 2022

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Students who are interested in helping others and who enjoy engaging with science and medicine should consider earning a bachelor's 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.

www.bestcolleges.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.

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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.

2022 Best Accredited Online Bachelor's in Nursing Programs

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1. University of Arkansas at Little Rock

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Location: Little Rock, Arkansas

Average Cost per Credit: In State: $280; Out of State: $280

Credits to Graduate: 121

View School Profile

Degree Completion Program | Yes

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock's accelerated online bachelor's in nursing takes 12-18 months to complete. The curriculum covers advocacy, wellness promotion, economics, and research. Classes include nursing health assessment, healthcare economics, leadership and management, and research and evidence-based practice.

Online BSN applicants must hold a current RN license or be a recent graduate of an associate degree or diploma RN program. The program requires the completion of 12 credits with a "C" grade or better beyond an associate or diploma RN program.

School Information

  • Admission Rate:66%
  • Graduation Rate: 43%
  • Institution Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Yes
  • Percent Online Enrollment: 54%


2. Franklin University

100% Online or Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Average Cost per Credit: In State: $398; Out of State: $398

Credits to Graduate: 120

View School Profile

Program Accreditation | Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Designed for registered nurses with a nursing diploma or an associate degree, Franklin's accelerated online RN-to-BSN features instruction from working practitioners. The transfer-friendly program accepts up to 75% of the required 120 credits as transfer credit.

Students take classes, such as legal aspects of healthcare management, health informatics, community health nursing, and a nursing capstone. The online BSN program develops skills in evidence-based practice, nursing leadership, and healthcare ethics. The program takes four years or less to complete.

School Information

  • Graduation Rate: 28%
  • Institution Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Yes
  • Percent Online Enrollment: 80%


3. Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Location: Indianapolis, Indiana

Average Cost per Credit: In State: $296; Out of State: $1,031

Credits to Graduate: 33

View School Profile

Degree Completion Program | Yes

Program Accreditation | Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

IUPUI's School of Nursing offers a 33-credit online bachelor's in nursing that takes as little as 12 months of full-time coursework to complete. Part-time BSN students graduate in 18-24 months. Designed for working RNs with a diploma or an associate degree in nursing, the degree completion program features six- and eight-week learning modules.

The school of nursing administers more than $700,000 in nursing scholarships each year. Students generally receive scholarships of $1,000-$2,500 yearly.

School Information

  • Admission Rate: 81%
  • Graduation Rate: 50%
  • Accreditation: Yes
  • Percent Online Enrollment: 41%


4. Touro University Nevada

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Location: Henderson, Nevada

Average Cost per Credit: In State: $275; Out of State: $275

Credits to Graduate: 36

View School Profile

Degree Completion Program | Yes

Program Accreditation | Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Designed for working RNs, TUN's online bachelor of science in nursing takes one year to complete. The 36-credit degree requires classes, such as nursing assessment and pharmacology, health policy and leadership in nursing, and research and scholarly inquiry for evidence-based practices in Nevada.

Admission requirements include an ADN nursing degree from an accredited program, an RN license, and official transcripts. The online BSN program only admits U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

School Information

  • Institution Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Yes
  • Percent Online Enrollment: 41%


5. Southeastern Louisiana University

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Location: Hammond, Louisiana

Average Cost per Credit: In State: $722; Out of State: $722

Credits to Graduate: 31

View School Profile

Degree Completion Program | Yes

Program Accreditation | Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Southeastern's School of Nursing offers a fully online bachelor's in nursing program for working professionals. Southeastern faculty members teach all courses, and students can receive credit for prior nursing experience. The 31-credit BSN offers three start dates each year.

Admission requirements for the one-year BSN include an unencumbered RN license, an associate degree or diploma from an accredited nursing program, and a "C" grade or better in all transferable nursing and required prerequisite coursework.

School Information

  • Admission Rate: 90%
  • Graduation Rate: 39%
  • Accreditation: Yes
  • Percent Online Enrollment: 31%


6. Lewis University

Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Location: Romeoville, Illinois

Average Cost per Credit: In State: $610; Out of State: $610

Credits to Graduate: 128

View School Profile

Degree Completion Program | Yes

Program Accreditation | Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Lewis's accelerated bachelor's in nursing degree takes as little as 22 months to complete. Designed for working professionals, the hybrid BSN blends online and on-campus classes. The curriculum explores healthcare trends, critical care, and psychiatric and mental health nursing.

Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree from an accredited college, a minimum 2.75 GPA, and minimum SAT or ACT scores. Applicants must also satisfy nursing and science prerequisites.

School Information

  • Admission Rate: 64%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Institution Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Yes
  • Percent Online Enrollment: 43%


7. University of North Florida

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Location: Jacksonville, Florida

Average Cost per Credit: In State: $285; Out of State: $285

Credits to Graduate: 30

View School Profile

Degree Completion Program | Yes

Program Accreditation | Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

The fully online bachelor's in nursing from UNF takes as little as 12 months to complete. The community-focused RN-to-BSN program includes a community health promotion project with a local agency.

Admission requirements include a minimum overall 2.7 GPA, a nursing degree from a nationally accredited program, and an active RN license in the student's state of residence. Applicants can meet UNF general education requirements by holding an associate of arts from a Florida public college or 60 transferable college credits.

School Information

  • Admission Rate: 72%
  • Graduation Rate: 67%
  • Accreditation: Yes
  • Percent Online Enrollment: 57%


8. AdventHealth University

Hybrid | Scheduled Classes

Location: Orlando, Florida

Average Cost per Credit: In State: $840; Out of State: $840

Credits to Graduate: 121

View School Profile

Program Accreditation | Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

AHU's hybrid bachelor of science in nursing program includes online lectures and in-person clinical work. Students can complete their rotations at any of the local AHU campuses. The 121-credit curriculum requires classes like professional issues in nursing, introduction to nursing research, and nursing informatics.

SN applicants must hold a minimum 3.0 GPA and minimum TEAS scores. The program also requires completion of cognate and noncognate prerequisites with a minimum 3.0 GPA

School Information

  • Admission Rate: 51%
  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Institution Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Yes
  • Percent Online Enrollment: 54%


9. McKendree University

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Location: Lebanon, Illinois

Average Cost per Credit: In State: $400; Out of State: $400

Credits to Graduate: 120

View School Profile

Degree Completion Program | Yes

Program Accreditation | Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

McK's online BSN degree completion program accepts RNs with a nursing diploma or associate degree. The curriculum explores quality in patient care, assessment in nursing, leadership principles, and research in evidence-based nursing practice. Many students can complete the bachelor of science in nursing in as little as three semesters.

The program requires two practicum experiences that develop skills in leadership and community health. McKendree offers various scholarships for bachelor's in nursing students.

School Information

  • Admission Rate: 63%
  • Graduation Rate: 60%
  • Accreditation: Yes
  • Percent Online Enrollment: 47%


10. St. John's College-Department of Nursing

100% Online | Scheduled Classes

Location: Springfield, Illinois

Average Cost per Credit: In State: $7,506; Out of State: $7,506

Credits to Graduate: 121

View School Profile

Degree Completion Program | Yes

Program Accreditation | Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

St. John's College of Nursing offers a fully online bachelor's in nursing degree completion program. The school accepts nurses with an RN license and either an accredited associate degree or diploma in nursing. The application requires college transcripts, two professional letters of reference, and a resume.

Designed for working nurses, the 121-credit online BSN takes part-time students five semesters to complete. The curriculum develops clinical reasoning skills and uses evidence-based practice methods.

School Information

  • Institution Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Yes
  • Percent Online Enrollment: 60%


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 bachelor's in nursing gain access to better pay, exclusive job opportunities, and programs that develop students' knowledge and skills in depth.

Online Bachelor's 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 bachelor's 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 Bachelor's in Nursing Admission Requirements

Minimum GPA

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.

SAT/ACT

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.

Prior Coursework/Fieldwork

An online bachelor's 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.

Letters of Recommendation

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.

Screening

Online bachelor's 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.

Explore Our Financial Aid Resources

Online Bachelor's 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.

Nursing Careers

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 bachelor's 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.

Additional Reading and Resources

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BestColleges.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.

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