Affordable Online RN to BSN nursing degree programs are more popular today than ever before. A major reason for this is that the medical field is short of nurses. News of this nursing shortage seems to be everywhere. Many young people have responded to this news by pursuing a degree from a nursing program. The major issue however, is that the shortage is at the top of the nursing field, as nurses with 20-40 years of experience are retiring, causing the shortage. This means that newer nurses can still find it difficult to find jobs right now in the industry. One of the best things to do for newly graduated RNs to do is to earn a BSN degree while gaining entry level experience in the field. It can be difficult for nurses, however, to attend traditional brick and mortar classes considering the demands of the nursing profession.
The best solution to this scheduling issue is the online RN to BSN program. These programs are being offered by some of the top nursing schools in the country, for students that want to fast track their advancement in the nursing field and fill the gaps that are open at the top.
This article contains a list of the 15 best online programs pulled from College Atlas’ general list of the best nursing programs in the country. The list is ranked from #15 to #1 according to the school’s affordability–in other words, its raw tuition. Our hope is to provide both new and veteran nurses with an understanding of the best online nursing programs available to them as they advance in their careers.
The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill boasts one of the top nursing programs in the United States. The distance program provides students with the high quality education, accessible at a distance, and designed for working professional nurses. Several testimonials on the site from professional nurses attest to the effectiveness of the program.
College Atlas Ranking: #5
The RN to BSN program offered online by IUPUI is a combined effort from the greater Indiana State University system. The goal is to provide the best courses the system has to offer to students online, ensuring the program’s quality while making it available to professional nurses all over the United States.
College Atlas Ranking: #14
The RN to BSN program at GMU is designed with flexibility in mind. Catering to the needs of professional nurses, the program is available in both full and part time programs, and nurses can transition between full and part time, semester by semester, as needed. The program accepts transfers of most general education credits, and will accept all nursing credits from the student’s previous degree upon entry into the program.
College Atlas Ranking: #62
UMASS is one of the top public university systems in the United States and offers one of the most comprehensive online selections of degrees available. The school has fully embraced online learning, and has been recognized by many organizations for their high quality programs. UMASS is one of the schools setting the standards for best practice in online education. The RN to BSN program at UMASS ensures that students earning the degree will have the reputation of the school behind the diploma, as well as one of the best online educational experiences available.
College Atlas Ranking: #60
The University of Wisconsin at Madison is one of five schools in the Wisconsin state public university system that offers online RN to BSN programs. The school is ranked 23rd in the nation for nursing. The tuition is slightly higher than the other top ranked Wisconsin university on this list, but the quality of the program is among the best available nationwide, online or not.
College Atlas Ranking: #23
The Ohio State University is yet another major state university embracing online education. The nursing programs at OSU are among the best in the country. High profile universities like OSU embracing online education is the most convincing sign that online education is the future of higher education.
College Atlas Ranking: #31
The University of Nebraska Medical Center is one of the most highly regarded medical graduate schools in the United States. The nursing programs offered here are top notch, and the ability to earn the RN to BSN degree online means professional nurses don’t have to go through the stress of relocating and finding new employment, to attend one of the best nursing programs out there.
College Atlas Ranking: #36
The RN to BSN program at the University of Louisville is designed to help students adapt to the wide range of needs emerging in the nursing industry. Students will gain important insight that will help them specialize, and become more flexible, which can only be good for their nursing career.
College Atlas Ranking: #59
There are two primary RN to BSN tracks offered by the Oregon Health and Science University. The first is for students that graduated with an associate’s degree from an Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education school, the second is for students that graduated from a non-OCNE school. The primary difference is that students of non OCNE programs must take six transition credits to compensate. Other than that small difference, the programs are the same, and are available to students throughout the United States. This is also one of the top ranked programs by College Atlas that is offered online.
College Atlas Ranking: #8
The nursing program overall at UC–Denver is ranked in the top 20 by College Atlas. The online RN-BSN program maintains the high standards of the traditional programs, and offers students from around the country the opportunity to pursue the BSN program on their own terms.
College Atlas Ranking: #16
The University of Wisconsin Milwaukee is one of the best nursing programs in the country, especially among the schools that offer online programs. Students local to the university have the choice of taking some of the classes in a clinical setting. The school strives to cater to every possible need that working professional nurses may have in order to make the continuing of their education as smooth as possible.
College Atlas Ranking: #39
Despite its name, Texas Woman’s University enrollment and employment is available to members of every gender. The program is designed for maximum flexibility, and students electing to take classes full time can complete the required upper division credits in as little as one year. Two of the classes may require participation in a clinical setting, contact the admissions office to learn the details of this requirement.
College Atlas Ranking: #58
The RN to BSN program at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock is described on its page in a testimonial as a program that empowers nurses to effect change change in their workplace. The program covers issues that many nurses encounter in their professional careers, and equips them with the tools to better interact with those issues which include: health assessment, wellness promotion, economics, research, legalities, leadership, and advocacy.
College Atlas Ranking: #41
The University of Texas Medical Branch boasts one of the top online nursing programs in the United States. In addition, tuition, even for out of state students, is very reasonable. The reasonable tuition, quality of the RN to BSN program, and prestige of a school within the Texas state university system are among the many reasons for nurses to consider this program.
College Atlas Ranking: #69
Penn State University has been offering distance learning courses since the late 19th century. The school was one of the first schools to offer distance courses online, and has continued to be a pioneer and innovator in the field of distance education. The online RN to BSN program is offered like most of Penn State’s many online programs, through the school’s World Campus, an entire digital campus devoted to distance learning.
College Atlas Ranking: #56