Thanks to the growing popularity of online education, today it’s easier than ever to advance your career from the comfort of your own home with online colleges. For those just starting out in the field to those who are already registered nurses, there’s no shortage of online programs that can help put your career in the fast lane. For anyone interested in taking advantage of these unique opportunities, the following is a list of the nation’s top online nursing programs as based on graduation rates, national ranking, faculty credentials, cost, and accreditation.
Having awarded almost 40,000 degrees to date, Capella University is a rising star in the world of healthcare education. Capella has partnered with dozens of healthcare programs around the nation to help match graduates with a job placement. With an online RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program as well as several specialization options, including gerontology and diabetes nursing, nursing education, and nursing administration, Capella offers everything you need to complete your online nursing degree from home. And like more traditional education, Capella offers an interdisciplinary approach to healthcare that brings public safety, administration, and other healthcare issues into the fold to create well rounded students ready for the workforce. Capella’s nursing programs are accredited with the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
University of Illinois at Chicago
In addition to offering one of the best nursing programs in the nation, the University of Illinois at Chicago is the largest medical school in the United States. The College of Nursing offers a BSN for nursing students that are just getting started as well as an RN to BSN program for students with a valid RN license. Graduates are ready to take up leadership roles in the field of nursing, and every course necessary for your degree is available online with no residency requirement for students. While there are required practicums that demand clinical hours, these can be completed at locations which are suitable to the student and their location. The University of Illinois at Chicago’s nursing program is accredited by the CCNE.
Specializing in both bachelor degrees and master degrees for nurses with preexisting registration, Walden University allows students to continue their higher education and ultimately enhance their career opportunities by improving their nursing and leadership skills. Students who possess an MSN can start their education with a RN or BSN, and all online courses are taught by highly experienced faculty. Walden University’s nursing programs are accredited by the CCNE as well as the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
Grand Canyon University
As the nation’s very first private for-profit Christian university, Grand Canyon University stands out as one of the top schools offering a nursing program alongside the Christian worldview. The RN to BSN program requires no clinical experience and classes begin every few weeks, allowing new student to start at nearly any time. If you’re a registered and licensed RN with a BSN, Grand Canyon University also offers an MSN program with optional concentrations in nursing education and nursing leadership. Grand Canyon University’s nursing programs have been accredited by the CCNE and the Arizona State Board of Nursing.
Indiana State University
Being one of the highest ranked schools by The Princeton Review, Indiana State University’s nursing program in particular has been praised by the World Report and US News for matching a high quality of education with long distance learning. ISU’s College of Nursing Health and Human Services provides students with an LPN to BS program, an RN to BS program, and n LPN to RN program, so no matter what level you’re starting at there’s a program perfectly suited for you. And for those pursing a master’s degree, ISU provides MSN programs in the fields of nursing administration, education, and family nursing. The Indiana State University nursing program has been accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission as well as the Higher Learning Commission.
Drexel University Online
With a campus located in Philadelphia, Drexel is a private research university that is world renowned for its educational programs. What’s less known about Drexel is that it was one of the first schools to offer online nursing programs, and that it has almost two decades of experience offering online education. Consequently, the Drexel College of Nursing offers a huge range of online programs for nursing students, including an RN to BSN track for, an MS in nursing with a huge range of concentration options including Adult Acute Care, Nursing Education, Leadership, Healthcare Systems Management, Women’s Health, Adult Psychiatric Health, and Advanced Nursing Practice. Drexel’s College of Nursing has been accredited by the CCNE, the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing, and the national League for Nursing Accreditation Commission.
As a private research university, the Georgetown campus in Washington DC holds one of the nation’s top ranked nursing departments. The Georgetown online nursing program provides students with a BSN to complete their Master of Science in Nursing in only a matter of months. Georgetown also allows students to complete their Family Nurse Practitioner, Women’s Health Nurse, or Nurse Midwifery program in less than two years. While there is a required clinical component, it can be carried out in a location that’s convenient to the student. The Georgetown graduate program is accredited by the CCNE, and the Nurse Midwifery program is separately accredited by the Commission for Midwifery Education.
University of Colorado Denver
As the biggest public university in Colorado, University of Colorado Denver is directly connected to the University Hospital, which is a leading teaching hospital and one of the national leaders in medical education. The UC Denver program provides the opportunity for students to pursue either of two MS in nursing programs in Informatics or Healthcare Systems, both of which can be completely entirely online. MSN students are also able to complete a nursing PhD, but it’s worth noting that the PhD program does carry a mandatory once per semester requirement for campus visits. UC Denver has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the CCNE.
George Washington University
Located in Washington DC, the George Washington University campus is only a few blocks from both the National Mall and the White House. Renowned for their online graduate programs, GWU offers five different MS in nursing options: healthcare quality, nursing management, family nursing, clinical research administration, and adult nursing practitioner. Furthermore, George Washington University is one of the most accelerated programs on this list, requiring as few as 45 credit hours for g graduation depending on preexisting education and your program of choice. George Washington University is also accredited by the CCNE and Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.