Degree Finder For Nurses

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Top 10 Online Nursing Degree Programs for 2015

online-nursing-schoolsThere are many benefits to getting a BSN or Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. An individual with a BSN has recognizable advantages over someone else who is only an RN.

While RNs or registered nurses can make a decent living from their work, many choose to continue their education and earn their BSNs because they can make more money as a result. Those with BSNs also work less, get better jobs and are more prepared for their duties.

One problem that many RNs face when they are looking to continue their educations and earn BSNs is limited amounts of time. RNs work hard, and the idea of working while going to school and possibly even taking care of their families at the same time can be almost impossible to conceive. This is why many RNs choose online schooling.

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Online nursing degree programs offer schedule flexibility among many other benefits. Online students can choose their own schedules, and they can even attend school while looking after their kids at the same time. Some programs even let students pick their own schedule flows. They may choose to take only one class during one semester and make up the difference during a less busy time. Money does remain an issue for some online nursing students, but there are a number of wonderful programs out there that are very affordable.

If you are interested in earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing, this is the place to be. The following is a list of the top 10 online nursing degree programs for the year 2015. The criteria used to rate each school and create this list includes each school’s ability to provide cutting edge technology and infrastructure, the facilities and faculty assistance provided to each student by the school, the potential for world class opportunities and experience during and after course completion and graduation, recognition by other publications like U.S. News & World Report and finally, affordability of tuition and fees. All of these points were taken into consideration to help provide you with the best schools for online nursing degrees in 2015.

1. University of Wisconsin-Superior

University of Wisconsin SuperiorAbout the School
The University of Wisconsin school system has several branches around the state of Wisconsin. Although the main center is in Madison, each branch of UW is fully accredited and operates on its own as a prestigious public university. The University of Wisconsin-Superior is located in the city of Superior, Wisconsin. It was originally a teacher’s college when it was founded in 1893, but it now has an annual enrollment of close to 2,500 students across many different fields of study. This school offers both master’s and professional degrees in addition to bachelor’s degrees.

Program Details
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program at the University of Wisconsin-Superior is offered through UW’s Flexible Option degree program. There are some general education requirements, elective requirements and unique competency sets that are necessary to enter this program. If students have not taken some or all of these courses already, they may be able to complete them through competency assessment. This means that you can save money, time and energy by earning credit for what you already know. This is entirely unique to UW’s program and the Flexible Option choice of education.

The entire degree program at the University of Wisconsin-Superior requires 124 credits. Each individual has a unique program plan designed especially for them. This means that a student can start coursework at basically any time during the year as long as it is at the beginning of the month. In addition to receiving your own track plan, you will also be given a designated Academic Success Coach as a student. Your coach will work you through everything from registration to buying books and necessary supplies to completing your coursework.

Accreditation
The Flexible Option RN to BSN degree program at the University of Wisconsin-Superior has been accredited through the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges.

Tuition & Fees
The UW Flexible Option is great for students who are looking for a more affordable way to attend college. You do not pay by the credit hour or course. Instead, you play one flat rate for your chosen subscription period. There are two subscription choices. One choice, the All You Can Learn Option, allows you to cram as much learning as you can into a three month period for one flat rate. The other option lets you work at a slower pace and is slightly less expensive than the All You Can Learn Option.

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2. Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University square logoAbout the School
Fort Hays State University was established in 1902 as a prestigious university for goal-oriented students. The main campus of Fort Hays State University is situated in Hays, Kansas, but online candidates can participate in the virtual curriculum offered by FHSU from anywhere in the world. It is only required that these candidates meet the required prerequisites. FHSU has 28 departments, and there are more than 40 online degrees available to adult learners around the globe. In 2014, there were over 8,500 students registered for Fort Hays State University’s online program.

Program Details
To be eligible for this program, you must already be a registered nurse with at least some work experience. You also must have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher from the last institution you attended as a nursing student. Students must complete 30 credit hours of coursework to complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Fort Hays State University.

FHSU welcomes new RN students who have already gained some experience in the field of nursing. They offer a sophisticated and energetic atmosphere that supports adults who may need to help care for families and children while they are attending school. Students have the advantage of choosing to start their online nursing education in either the spring, summer or fall. They can also choose how many classes they want to take at a time. For example, if you have a busy few months coming up, you can opt to take only one class for a semester. You can also choose to take several classes at once if you are up for the challenge and want to complete your degree at a faster pace.

Accreditation
The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education has accredited FHSU’s RN to BSN program, and the entire Fort Hays State University has been regionally accredited by the NCA or the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. In addition, this nursing program is involved in the NCA’s Academic Quality Improvement Program, which is a brand new system designed to improve the quality of new online programs.

Tuition & Fees
One of the best things about Fort Hays State University’s online nursing program is that it is very affordable. FHSU prides itself on making college as financially available as possible to those who need and want it. The annual tuition for this program is a mere $21,039. This is one of the lowest tuitions on this list. Each undergraduate credit hour costs $186.50, and there are several admission fees that must be processed as well. All admission fees are less than $100.

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3. SUNY College of Technology, Delhi School of Nursing

SUNY Delhi square logoAbout the School
The main campus of the Delhi School of Nursing at the SUNY College of Technology is located in Delhi, New York. SUNY stands for State University of New York and encompasses a large chain of different university subsidiaries throughout the state of New York. SUNY College of Technology is one educational subsidiary that was founded in 1913. The goal of this branch of the university is to focus on technical degrees and courses. There are now more than 3,000 students enrolled annually in this school.

Program Details
The Delhi School of Nursing’s online BSN degree program was ranked as a top online bachelor’s degree program by U.S. News & World Report in their list of Best Online Programs for the year 2014. The focus of the program’s design is on flexibility, and the professors and administrative staff are fully aware of the many working individuals who have to juggle family and jobs while attending school.

Students must complete a total of 120 coursework hours to finish their Bachelor of Science in Nursing at SUNY Delhi. This program is only offered to students who already have associate’s degrees or bachelor’s degrees in nursing.

There is excellent technical assistance at this university. The web-supported class base is simple to use and rarely has bugs, but a technician is always on standby in the IT department to deal with online class troubleshooting. The professors are also highly trained and have hands-on experience in nursing unlike some other programs who may only provide academics as faculty.

Accreditation
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has accredited SUNY College of Technology, and the Delhi School of Nursing Program has also been accredited by both the Middle States Commission and the ACEN or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Tuition & Fees
The SUNY system of schools is notable for being less expensive than other university systems, and the tuition for SUNY College of Technology and the Delhi School of Nursing is quite affordable compared to many other nursing degree universities at only $29,642 per year. There is also financial aid available for students who merit it.

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4. Ball State University

Ball State University square logoAbout the School
Located in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State University was established in 1918. Every year, there are more than 21,000 students enrolled in classes at this large and prestigious university. With more than 15 doctoral degrees, 99 master’s degrees and 178 bachelor’s degrees, this university is well-known throughout the United States and the world. It is most notable for its research.

Program Details
The nursing degree program at Ball State University is top rated as one of the best online programs of 2014 according to U.S. News & World Report. It begin as a distance learning program in 1986. This program allows nurses to shift to community based primary health care from more hospital centered health care. This shift often comes with a significant pay raise and better benefits for nurses.

There are other advantages to getting a degree from this program. One of them is the fact that after you graduate, your degree will look just like every other degree from Ball State University. Some online programs at other universities have technically different degrees, and occasionally, a workplace will hire someone who went the more traditional route by attending actual classes in a brick and mortar school over someone who attended online school. It should be noted that no significant differences have been found in the knowledge and experience of those who went to college traditionally and those who chose to learn online.

Keep in mind that most of the coursework for this program can be done online, but a small portion of clinical training hours are also required. Most students are able to carry these hours out at their place of work or in a hospital or doctor’s office near their home.

Accreditation
This nursing program is recognized by the National League for Nursing Center of Excellence and is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Ball State University itself is accredited with the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Tuition & Fees
The tuition at Ball State University is slightly higher than at some of the other universities mentioned here at $59,120 per year. This is in part because it is a larger and more prestigious university. In this way, it costs more, but it opens more doors for nurses and professionals who are looking to climb the ranks after graduation. Connections and opportunities are easily made at Ball State. With that being said, there are some grants and financial aid opportunities available for exceptional students and those who show particular financial need.

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5. Old Dominion University, School of Nursing

Old Dominion University round logoAbout the School
Old Dominion University is also known as ODU. It was founded in 1930 in the city of Norfolk, Virginia. Initially, ODU was a division of the College of William & Mary. As enrollment at ODU grew, it soon became its own university in 1969, and in 1994, the school began incorporating opportunities for distance learning to students around the nation. This university is known today as one of the founders of online education in the United States, and it remains at the forefront of distance learning.

Program Details
One thing that is unique to Old Dominion’s program for nursing is that students can choose between synchronous learning and asynchronous learning. Generally speaking, online students tend to gravitate toward asynchronous learning. This means that students can participate in their online courses at their own pace and at the times of their choosing. There are deadlines for homework and papers, and sometimes tests and exams are scheduled, but otherwise, they choose their own school hours in this environment.

On the other hand, in a synchronous learning environment, the students attend classes at certain points in the day. The only difference between this type of class attendance and actual class attendance is that they are participating in their classes via webcams. These courses are live and regularly scheduled, but students participate remotely from their homes.

Finally, ODU aims to truly prepare their students after graduation by helping them to build a complete and polished professional portfolio. Building this portfolio is an important part of the final coursework in this program, and it offers a decided advantage for finding a job after receiving a degree.

Accreditation
SACS-COC or the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has accredited Old Dominion University. In addition, the Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing was accredited by the CCNE or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Tuition & Fees
U.S. News & World Report stated that the tuition for ODU’s online nursing program was approximately $32,760 in 2014, but the tuition for this program varies based on where you live. If you are a resident of the state of Virginia, you will pay $299 per credit hour. Other students from other states around the nation will pay $314 per credit hour. Students may be eligible for some financial aid scholarships and grants.

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6. Bellevue University

Bellevue UniversityAbout the School
Bellevue University is a private institution that was founded in 1966. The goal of the institution at the time of its establishment was to provide education for working adults who might have trouble going back to school for various reasons. Its main campus branch is located in Bellevue, Nebraska. Each year, Bellevue University has almost 10,000 students in attendance. These students are either part of the online program at Bellevue or they are spread out over Bellevue’s 10 campuses that are located in three states.

Program Details
The nursing program at BU is relatively new. It started in 2012, but it has quickly shot to the top of the ranking of nursing degree programs for online coursework. In fact, Bellevue University’s online bachelor’s degree programs were ranked in the top 20 by U.S. News & World Report’s judging in 2014.

The RN to BSN program at BU is one of the best of the online programs available at the university and boasts a spectacular attendance each year. The program requires 127 credit hours of coursework. This includes the core nursing courses that make up 36 of the hours. Almost all of the course credit can be completed remotely online, but there may be work experience necessary for degree completion. This will be decided on an individual basis depending on the past work experience and program direction of each student.

Bellevue aims to provide its nursing students with key tools and resources they will need after graduation. Even though it is a new division of the university, the nursing program has taken great strides to become a leader and has some of the most state of the art technology and cutting edge medical practices available in its teachings.

Accreditation
The NCACS or Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools has regionally accredited Bellevue University, but accreditation for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Bellevue is still under review by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. According to BU, this is because the program is new and only began in 2012. The administrative representatives at Bellevue University assure students that the accreditation process should be completed soon.

Tuition & Fees
Tuition for this program is $46,990 per year. One way that students can save money at BU is to have their portfolios assessed prior to admittance. For a flat fee of $150, a student’s experience can be reviewed by an admissions counselor, and anything in school or work that has already been covered by the student can be passed or tested out of to save that student time, energy and money.

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7. California State University Dominguez Hills round logo

About the School
California State University was established in 1857. It is one of the best schools in the nation and is almost always at the top of the ranking of American universities. The network of university campuses is based on a public university system and offers more than 1,800 degree programs in 240 areas of learning. Cal State offers many traditional bachelor’s, master’s and professional degrees, but you can also get an online degree there.

Program Details
The nursing program at California State University-Dominguez Hills was specifically designed for adult learners who have work schedules to schedule around and families to take care of. In this way, it is not a traditional course of study, but it should be noted that there are a few classroom courses required for the program.

This nursing program fits students who live in the state of California best because even though there is classroom time required, most of it can be carried out at a number of Cal State satellite locations located throughout the state of California. For students who do not live in California, it is advised that they take these courses as prerequisites at a community college near their home and transfer the credit in before online classes start.

This program requires a total of 120 semester credit hours. For those who are looking to transfer credits in, a maximum of 70 units may be transferred and put toward the BSN degree. One of the perks of the University of California is that it is a huge system of university campuses. This means that there are many opportunities for jobs or further education if that is desired. The University of California has connections all over the world.

Accreditation
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at California State University has accreditation from three different commissions. It is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the CCNE or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the Board of Registered Nursing. California State University-Dominguez Hills as a school is accredited by the WASC or the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

Tuition & Fees
Tuition at California State University-Dominguez Hills is competitive at $44,640. As a large network of institutions, California State University offers many grants and scholarships to its students and has a supportive financial aid office for those who are looking to save money on attendance in 2015.

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8. Upper Iowa University

Upper Iowa University square logoAbout the School
UIU or Upper Iowa University was established in 1857, making it one of the oldest institutions on the list. The main campus of the university and the historical center is located in the rural town of Fayette, Iowa. Upper Iowa University is one of the only international schools on the list with three Asian campuses in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong. In addition to these international locations, UIU has a thriving online program, 15 campus locations in the United States and an independent study program for non-traditional students and extended learning.

Program Details
The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at UIU prides itself on being flexible enough to fit any lifestyle. There are two models of education available to students. One model allows students to attend courses entirely online. These students have complete control over when they study, how they study and what pace they choose to follow in their individualized program plan.

On the other hand, there are those students who prefer the hybrid model for their online degree, and that is available at UIU as well. This is for students who want to have some coursework in the actual classroom in addition to the coursework they have online. Sometimes, students find that a certain amount of classroom work allows them to form better ties with their peers and professors. In addition to being able to choose between the all online coursework or the hybrid model of coursework, students are also able to choose whether they would like to attend school part time or full time.

Accreditation
The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools has accredited Upper Iowa University. The RN to BSN program is also approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Tuition & Fees
Tuition for Upper Iowa University’s online nursing degree program is approximately $43,800 per year, but the actual cost of attendance and courses will vary based on the student’s home state. Many of the campuses offer discounts. One of the perks of the nursing program at UIU is that it does not charge extra fees for health insurance, lab use or technology use as most of the other programs do. Nursing students have a great chance at financial aid and should talk to advisors prior to attending for more information.

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9. University of Illinois-Chicago

University of Illinois Chicago square logoAbout the School
The University of Illinois has several branches of its school. The Chicago campus is reputed for its technical schools. UIC is a public university that is funded by the state, and it is considered a research institution. The Chicago campus was the second campus to be established with the University of Illinois. In addition to being a wonderful accredited institution, UIC owns and operates the largest medical school in the country. This university hospital network serves as the educator for its students in the many medical programs that the University of Illinois offers.

Program Details
There are many highlights to the nursing degree program at the University of Illinois at Chicago. IU prides itself on offering all of the same resources to online students as it does to traditional students. This includes personalized attention, library services with the amazing online library offered by IU, information-rich course content, and a wonderful network of knowledgable and experienced faculty.

Students in this program are able to join other eager learners with collaborative online sessions, discussion boards and multimedia projects. In general, the technology is very rich on this campus, and past nursing students have gone on to careers in the more tech-related areas of nursing. This is a key benefit of the program.

Lastly, the faculty at this university and with this program are world-renowned. Some of them have conducted cutting-edge research in the field of nursing and work in a clinical setting while also teaching online courses at IU.

Accreditation
The North Central Association of Colleges and Schools has accredited the University of Illinois itself as well as the online campuses it holds. In addition, the BSN degree program is accredited through the end of 2019 by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Tuition & Fees
The nursing degree program is quite affordable at the University of Illinois-Chicago. It is $19,500 for the entire degree, but there are course fees and admission fees as well that are expected to be paid. Students in this program benefit from the Guaranteed Tuition Program, which means that tuition prices will remain the same throughout the student’s time in school.

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10. Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University round logoAbout the School
Northern Arizona University’s main campus is located in Flagstaff, Arizona, and there are 26 other satellite campuses on top of that. The university also has a thriving online program, which includes its prestigious nursing degree program. The institution was initially founded as a teaching college in 1899, but now there are more than 25,000 students attaining bachelor’s degrees and beyond every year.

Program Details
NAU’s nursing degree program is slightly different than other online programs of its kind because it asks students to participate in virtual classroom lectures as well as some clinical experiences. The clinical experiences can be carried out by the students in their local communities. Many students opt to do their clinicals at their current jobs if they are working while they attend school. This schedule tends to make this form of online learning a bit less flexible for some participants, but it offers a more structured educational program similar to traditional college that many students like.

Accreditation
The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association has accredited Northern Arizona University through 2018. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing has also accredited both the RN to BSN online program as well as the master’s degree program in nursing.

Tuition & Fees
Northern Arizona University has an excellent program for nursing degree students, but it is the most expensive of the 10 choices, and that is why it is listed last. The tuition for this program is $91,816 per year.

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Remember that each school rating in this list is an amalgamation of the school’s qualities and strengths. One school may be cheaper than another school, but if it does not offer top-notch opportunities for its students, it may appear further down the list.

It is recommended that those interested in nursing degree programs make a short list of potential options based on the list found here. Contact each school to learn more about potential scholarships or grants, and talk to other medical faculty you know to learn more about suggestions that they may have. Your nursing degree program will be with you for a lifetime, and it could potentially improve your career and your life many times over, so do your research when making this choice. It will definitely pay off in the end!

Check out our Top Online RN to BSN Programs for 2015

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Degree Finder For Nurses

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