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Top 8 Online RN to BSN Programs

Whenever one hears RN and BSN, it is related to nursing. RN means a “Registered Nurse” where as BSN means “Bachelor of Science in Nursing”. After an individual finishes her college course, s/he can apply for a registry test and once s/he successfully passes the registry exam then the individual can be called a registered nurse. It takes about two years for someone to complete a Registered Nurse course. On the other hand, BSN is a college diploma that is completed in four years, with a separate year for practical experience in a hospital. There are always debates on which of these two is better. One can get confused on which nursing program to choose as both have their own benefits.

BSN offers more option for advancements and is necessary for anyone targeting on a nursing specialty. On comparing RNs with BSNs, BSN seems to be a better choice. BSNs have better knowledge and skills but at the same time have heavier duties and responsibilities. ADN (Associate Degree in nursing) courses to become a RN is much cheaper to complete as compared to BSN and takes about half the time to complete the BSN courses which makes it more favorable and affordable for people with low financial budget.

For nurses that have completed their ADN courses, it is not the end of the road. Several programs offer RN to BSN online courses. Individuals that work can utilize flexible hours provided by online programs and gain their RN certification. After getting a job as an RN, many opt to get their BSN. Nevertheless, situations are not always that easy either. For many registered nurses with established jobs, going back to the college to complete their BSN courses means making major financial and personal time commitments. This is the reason why online RN to BSN courses are more favorable for such individuals.

RN to BSN courses are useful as they offer several skill enhancements and career possibilities. Some benefits of BSN degree are as follows:

Incremental increase in career options: People with BSN degrees are preferred more as compared to RNs.

Better skills and professionalism: BSN courses include an extra year for practical training in hospitals with enhances one’s skills and professionalism.

A step closer to a Master’s Degree (MSN): After completing BSN course, one can even choose to apply for Master’s Degree and become one of the Elites in the nursing industry.

If a person cannot renounce one’s time or family responsibilities or current job to complete their BSN courses then online nursing degree can be the best solution for such individuals. Here is a list of some of the universities that provide one of the finest online RN to BSN courses. These universities are remarkable reputations and are accredited by NLNAC or CCNE who are major national nursing accreditation agencies.

1) Western Governors University
Founded by 19 United States governors, this university is a non-profit private online university based on Salt Lake City, UT. WGU provides its student with some amazing features and is one of the award winning university for online training and courses. Its College of Health Professions provides one of the finest online RN to BSN degrees. Its program requires 120 competency units for complete completion of the course. The students can present 50 competency units from their previous job and experience to make the course even easier. However, a minimum of 90 hours of clinical experience in a well-qualified health center guided by a mentor is necessary to qualify for these criteria. Western Governors University has been credited by number of councils and universities in regional and even national level that makes it one of the best online facility.

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2) Grand Canyon University
Located in Phoenix, Arizona, the Grand Canyon University (GCU) is a private Christian University that provides one of the best bachelor’s degree in the whole country. U.S news & World Report have also supported this statement. Bachelor courses of this university can be completed in more than 20 states. When applying to GCU one must be a registered nurse, which is why there are no clinical requirements. Its curriculum consists of 36 credit hours with a new online class in every two week. Each course is five week long and can be completed by students in about 16 months. GCU is accredited by Higher Learning Council (HLC) and the Arizona State Board of Nursing.

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3) Walden University
Established by a pair of teachers in 1970, Walden University at current state enrolls about 50,000 students in their online courses program. It is a private university that provides a BSN degree program for registered nurses. They have a very flexible RN to BSN program to allow their student to work as well. Their degree requires a foundation course, 50 credits of lower division courses and 50 quarter credits of general courses, 54 core and 25 elective courses. This university even allows for an undergraduate minor during the same program as well. This university is accredited by Higher Learning Council (HLC) and is a member of North Central Associations of College and Schools (NCA).

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4) Colorado Technical University
Founded in 1965 by Colorado Technical College, this university was once the education center for U.S Military Personnel. This university was named Best of the Best in Academia and Education in 2009. It annually enrolls about 25000 students for their online courses. They have a general education requirement for the student that includes courses in microeconomics, sociology and business. They have a completely online-based RN to BSN course that mainly targets on developing the administrative and leadership skills of their student in the field of nursing. One of its unique and amazing features it that their student can start n the Master’s Degree while they are still working on their BSN Degree. Like the Walden University, this university is has also been credited by Higher Learning Council (HLC) and is a member of North Central Associations of College and Schools (NCA) and also a member of Council of Higher Education ACCREDIATION (CHEA).

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5) Drexel University
Drexel University, a private research university located in Philadelphia, is known for being one of the first Universities to bring their nursing courses online and for their unique style of cooperative education. This university is open for all registered nurses and provides an option for their nurses to either take part in their RN to BSN program in a part time or full time fashion. Individuals are not required to visit the university itself to be associated with it. Everything is done online and even special tuition plans are available for desired student. This university has been accredited by the PA State Board of Nursing, National League for Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

6) University of Saint Mary
Saint Mary is a private university located in Leavenworth, KS. Saint Mary is one of the best CCNE accredited university for online studies and is frequently voted as the best university in the Midwest. University if Saint Mary provides the students with nine nursing and nine non-nursing course which can be completed in about 18 months. Their courses mainly focus on the decision-making and crucial thinking abilities of their student in the required field along with intervention implementation, outcome evaluation and nurse care development.

7) Indiana State University
According to U.S News & World Report and other publications, Indiana State University (ISU) is the top online nursing program. This is a highly regarded public university situated in Terre Haute. Through its College of Nursing, Health services and Health, it has one of the best online RN to BSN program available. This program of Indiana State University if open for individual who are either LPNs or RNs. No college visits and compulsory and can be completed as a part time or a full time course all depending on the student’s preference so that they could wok in order to pay the course fee. ISU is recognized by HLC, NCA and NLNAC.

8) Pima Medical University
Founded in 1972 in Tucson, Arizona, the Pima Medical University (PMU) is the largest private and independently owned health school in the entire nation. It offers BSN courses for registered nursed with flexible hours to manage their education hours with other important commitments such as work and family. Their BSN course mainly focuses on evidence biased nursing practices, leadership, patient care management and many more. There course may be as long as 70 week which is about 15 months but the overall completion time may vary depending on the progress rate of the students and transfer credits. The BSN degree requires about 48 personal credits and 72 transfer credits making a total of 120 credits. The Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES) endorses PMU…


Find Your Degree 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.