Nursing is an indispensable part of our medical system. Nurses work in hospitals, homes, clinics, schools, and many other environments. They provide care, educate patients, advocate on their behalf, coordinate services in many ways, among other ever-expanding roles and responsibilities.

Nurses are extremely demanded and the field is expended to grow tremendously in the coming years. They’re also compensated at a much higher level than the average American. Here’s some facts about the profession from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • Nurses had a median pay of $71,730 annually, or $34.48 per hour.
  • In 2018 there were 3,059,800 working nurses.
  • This was expected to rise by 12% between 2018-28, leading to 371,500 new roles in the field.

The RN to BSN programs on this list were ranked based on their tuition cost, national or regional rankings by U.S. News & World Report, how much they were designed for Adult Learning, and special features like scheduling flexibility.

All of the programs on the list require students to be registered nurses before beginning these programs, having previously earned either an Associate’s degree in Nursing, or another diploma program that certified them as registered nurses.

Let’s explore the schools that made the list!

1) University of Alabama

university of alabama 1611886 640

Image Source

Founded in 1831, the University of Alabama is an iconic public institution known for its superb academics, thriving sports programs, and passionately committed students, faculty, and alumni. Currently there are over 33,000 undergraduate students attending UB. U.S. News & World Report has given the school several accolades for 2020, including ranking it 153rd among National Universities, and 129th in Best Value Schools. Popular majors include Business, Management, Marketing, Engineering, Communication, Journalism, Family and Consumer Sciences/Human Sciences, and Health Professions. It maintains an average freshman retention rate of 87%, a sign of how happy students are to attend the school.

Alabama offers two online options for people who want to improve their career in nursing: an RN to BSN, and an RN to BSN/MSN program. These programs are designed for registered nurses who have an associate degree or a nursing diploma. In the RN to BSN program students will take take a core curriculum that meets Alabama requirements, then gallop through 25 credit hours of nursing courses. In the RN to BSN/MSN program students have an accelerated opportunity to complete their master’s degree. They can also opt for a concentration as a Nurse Administrator. These programs can be taken full or part-time. All classes are offered online, and students do clinical work locally.

  • Tuition: $375 for undergraduate courses $420 for graduate courses (10th)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

2) Clemson University

clemson

Image Source

Clemson is a public, research university headquartered in Clemson, South Carolina. It has been named a “Doctoral university [with] highest research activity”. Clemson was founded in 1889, and is the second largest university in the state. There’s just under 20,000 undergraduate students at Clemson, which is made up of of seven colleges: Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences; Architecture, Arts and Humanities; Business; Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences; Education; Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences; and Science. USNR ranks Clemson 70th in National Universities for 2020 (a top 5 ranking for this list). The school is committed to improving its community through combatting bullying, improving irrigation systems, and much more.

Clemson offers an accelerated online RN/BS Completion Program (RN/BS Program) to help students who are registered nurses or hold associate degrees in nursing earn their Bachelor’s. For those that want to this program can be completed in 12 months, although there are part-time options available as well. This program is concentrated on socialization, making ethical decisions, inspiring curiosity, critical thinking, and much more. There are courses in health care genetics, community nursing, family nursing, professionalism in the field, nursing research, and much more.

  • Tuition: $550 per credit hour (19th)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

3) University of Massachusetts-Lowell

lowell2

Image Source

The University of Massachusetts-Lowell is a public research university that was founded in 1894. Just over 14,000 undergraduate students attend the school. UMass-Lowell is renowned for its degrees in healthcare, engineering, criminal justice, music, science, business, education, and technology. U.S. News & World Report ranked UMass Lowell 179th among National Universities in 2020. It has risen precipitously on this list in the past decade. It’s also ranked at 147th on USNR’s ranking of “Top Performers on Social Mobility.” In 2013 Forbes rated UMass Lowell the 10th best value among all universities and colleges in the country, and Forbes and Payscale.com have consistently praised the school for its value and return on investment for students.

UMass-Lowell offers a hybrid RN to BS program that combines on-campus and online courses. It can be finished in as little 15 months. Applying and getting accepted to this program puts 39 credits on your current Massachusetts RN license. Up to 75% of this degree’s credits can be transferred, in case you’re interested in working as a nurse in another state. There’s also a wide variety of scholarships and financial aid available in this program. Students will fine-tune their critical thinking skills, learn cutting-edge information about the American healthcare system, study the significance of research on health policy and practice, study ethics, and much more.

  • Tuition: $380 per credit hour (11th)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

4) University of Arkansas at Little Rock

ualr

Image Source

Little Rock is a public university that was founded in 1927. It then joined the University of Arkansas System in 1969. Currently there are just under 8,300 undergraduate students at the school. In 2020 USNR ranked it in the 293-381st bracket among National Universities. Little Rock is known for its research, stellar faculty, flexibility and internship opportunities. There are 173 distinct undergraduate and graduate programs at Little Rock, and 10% of its Bachelor programs are offered online. If you’re a military student you’ll enjoy in-state tuition and won’t have to pay an application fee.

Little Rock offers a RN to BSN program that can be completed online. Students will need to be registered nurse graduates of either a diploma or associates program to qualify for this degree. It takes 34 credit hours to complete, and can be finished in 12-18 months. Students will be immersed in areas like health advocacy, economics, leadership, research, assessment, and much more. Students need to earn a C or higher on each course in order to graduate. You’ll be able to continue working throughout attending this program.

  • Tuition: $280 per credit hour (3rd)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

5) University of Wisconsin-Madison

uw madison

Image Source

This public university was founded in 1848 on the southern shores of Lake Mendota. Wisconsin-Madison has over 32,600 undergraduate students, and boasts a ranking of 46th on USNR’s 2020 National Universities list (which is second best on this ranking). Students have incredible options in programming and can choose between 130 undergraduate, 144 graduate, 109 doctoral and 14 professional degree programs. Madison, Wisconsin is ranked among the best communities to live in in America. The school is unique in that it doesn’t require freshman to live on campus.

Wisconsin-Madison offers a RN to BSN program that can be taken mostly online. Applicants will need an Associate’s Degree in Nursing or a Diploma in Nursing to qualify. There are some in-person requirements, including a half-day on campus and 135 hours of clinical work (which can often be done close to where students live). The school also offers an 18-credit School Nurse Certification Program that can be used to work in Wisconsin schools. Students in the RN to BSN program can complete some of the courses for this certification during their degree program. The RN to BSN program requires 33 credits and can be completed in 1.5-2 years.

  • Tuition: $425 per credit hour (13th)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

6) Liberty University

liberty uni

Image Source

Liberty is a private, non-profit, research university. Founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell, Liberty is a Christian school known for its online programming. The school is headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia and was founded in 1971. Nearly 46,000 undergraduate students attend Liberty. The school is among pioneers of distance learning, going back to 1985. It has over 280 online degrees students can choose from in areas like health, business, theology, computer science, and much more. USNR ranks it in the 230th-381st bracket among National Universities for 2020. Liberty is founded on the belief that the secret to success comes with a strong commitment to biblical truth. It also touts itself as the nation’s largest nonprofit online university.

Liberty offers an online RN to BSN program that comes in two tracks: a standard track and a Global Studies track for students who want to do international nursing. Students can also choose between part and full-time education. This program is for registered nurses who want to expand their experience, education, and job opportunities. In this program there’s an automatic minimum of 39 credit hours you can transfer towards your current nursing licensure, no challenge exams required. This program promotes a Christian perspective to nursing in addition to traditional training and skills-building.

  • Tuition: $330 per credit hour (7th)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

7) University of Southern Mississippi

dome spring2019 lookingwest min

Image Source

The University of Southern Mississippi is a public research university founded in 1910. It’s based in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. Between 1910 and now it’s grown from a small teachers college to a sprawling research and doctoral university. Just over 11,900 undergraduate students attend the school. The school is known for its scores of student organizations, and degree programs in health, psychology, criminal justice, and business. Currently USNR ranks USM in the 293-381st bracket among National Universities. Nursing programs are among its most popular majors.

USM’s online RN to BSN program was created to help registered nurses improve their education and career options while working. It can be completed in as little as three semesters, and doesn’t require chemistry coursework (for students who can’t stand chemistry)! Students can begin this program in the Fall, Spring, or Summer. Students can also choose between 8, 10, or 16-week options to tailor the program to their schedules. Sample courses include Psychiatric Nursing, Population Health Nursing, Role Development as a Nurse Scientist, and much more.

  • Tuition: $370 per credit hour (9th)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

8) Pennsylvania State University-World Campus

1920x840 FallCampus2016 9 HP

Image Source

Penn State is a public, research university with campuses throughout Pennsylvania. It was founded in 1855, and has been called a “Public Ivy” because of its excellent education. USNR ranks it 57th among National Universities, good for the third-highest ranking on this list. Over 40,300 undergraduate students attend Penn State. It’s also known for its thriving online wing, the Penn State World Campus. The World Campus was founded in 1998, to bring the world-renowned Penn State education to students outside of Pennsylvania. PSWC was born from the experimentation of Professor Michael G Moore, who built and taught some of the world’s first online courses.

The World Campus offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing. It’s designed to help you keep up with changes in healthcare, prepare you for a graduate education, and reach new career heights. There’s an accelerated and regular format for this program. Graduates will be prepared to work in pharmaceutical sales, social work case management, research, education, community and public health centers, and much more. You’ll work on communication skills, build leadership experience, among other indispensable traits and abilities. There are also options for certifications in Nursing Management, Nursing Informatics, or Nursing Forensics.

  • Tuition: $617 per credit hour (26th)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

9) George Washington University

ok

Image Source

GWU is a private research university in Washington, D.C. It was established by Congress in 1821, as an homage to George Washington itself. The school is known for its degrees in healthcare, journalism, computer science, international affairs, and government. GWU has a close relationship with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF), which both have a presence on campus. USNR ranks it 70th among National Universities, which is fifth-best on this list. Over 12,500 undergraduate students attend GWU. For students that want to work in government or form healthcare policy, GWU presents limitless opportunities to network and connect with government agencies, representatives, and the people who work for them.

George Washington offers an online RN-BSN program that can be completed in 15 months over four part-time semesters. Students will be able to work as they complete this program. There are many scholarship opportunities available for prospective students to help pay for this degree. During the program you’ll have the chance to earn 9 credits towards one of GWU’s Master of Science in Nursing specialization areas. George Washington has partner agreements with 11 community colleges that give some students guaranteed admission to this elite program.

  • Tuition: $660 per credit hour (29th)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

10) Georgia Southern University

gsu

Image Source

Georgia Southern University is a public research university in Statesboro, Georgia. GSU was established in 1906, and is a member of the University System of Georgia. It’s the biggest higher education center in the southern half of the state, and has over 23,100 undergraduate students. USNR ranks it in the 293-381st bracket of National Universities. GSU lets students access over 100 majors, in political science, nursing, business, and much more. Georgia Southern has been labeled a Doctoral and Research Institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. It has a strong online wing of the school that grown significantly since its founding in 2008.

GSU offers an online RN to BSN program. It can be completed in less than 12 months (2 semesters), or in up to five years depending on student needs. Georgia Southern boasts the most affordable tuition of any school on this list. This program was created to help graduates achieve leadership positions in nursing, or work in desired specialization areas. This also means greater job security and higher pay. Sample courses include Nutrition and Health, a hefty credit-load of Anatomy and Physiology, Nursing Research, and much more.

  • Tuition: $186 per credit hour (1st)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

11) Ball State University

Campus Master Plan Banner2

Image Source

Ball State University is a public research university in Municie, Indiana. It was founded in 1918. It serves over 22,000 students. USNR has ranked Ball State 192nd among National Universities, and also 53rd in Top Performers on Social Mobility for 2020. Ball State offers around 180 undergraduate majors, and an entrepreneurship program. David Letterman is a former graduate, and has opened a new Communication and Media Building. Recently Ball State has earned the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Ball State offers an online RN to BS nursing degree. It blends liberal arts courses with nursing. This includes the psychosocial, and physical aspects of nursing alongside fine arts, literature, communication skills, and more. It has been designated a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence, which only a few programs in America can claim. There are three semester and six semester options for this program. Sample courses include Management and Leadership, Nursing Foundation and Issues, Community Health, and Applied Nursing Concepts. For those already holding an associate degree in nursing, it’s likely you have completed some of the prerequisite liberal arts credits required in this program.

  • Tuition: $551 per credit hour (20th)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

12) University of North Dakota

u of north dakota

Image Source

University of North Dakota is a public university and the state’s first. UND was founded in 1883, six years before North Dakota became a state. Over 10,500 undergraduates attend UND. Students can choose from programs of study in over 225 fields at the undergraduate and graduate level. It’s especially known for its programs in areas like engineering, aerospace, unmanned aerial systems, medicine, nursing, education, social work, business, and the arts. USNR has ranked the school 263rd among National Universities, and 128th in Top Public Schools. Its School of Medicine and Health Sciences is also highly regarded.

UND offers an online nursing completion RN to BSN program. It’s for registered nurses who are interested in earning their Bachelor’s degree. The program requires at least 30 credit hours and can be finished in 1-2 years. You’ll learn how to deliver healthcare and strategize on providing care in different environments and for populations with disparate experiences and needs. This program is interdisciplinary, and rests on collaborating and advocating for patients through online coursework and clinical experiences.

  • Tuition: $513 per credit hour (18th)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

13) University of Massachusetts-Amherst

2014 Fall Campus js MG 8903

Image Source

UMass Amherst is a public research university founded in 1863. It offers over 100 majors to choose from, including a customizable option known as BDIC: Bachelor’s Degree with Individual Concentration. UMass Amherst is a member of the prestigious Five College Consortium, which includes Smith, Mount Holyoke, Amherst, and Hampshire. Students have the option to take courses at these highly respected institutions. UMass Amherst has also been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation as a school with the highest level of research activity. Over 23,500 undergraduate students attend UMass-Amherst. USNR ranked it 64th among National Universities in 2020, up from 70th the year before.

UMass Amherst offers an online RN to BS program. It requires 120 credits, 52 of which are non-nursing and must be completed before beginning this program. Then 30 credits are awarded for RN licensure, and 30 can be earned online or at an onsite nursing program. The program culminates in a capstone project that reflects what students have learned over the course of it. UMass Amherst is a leader in nursing education, and has an outstanding faculty to match.

  • Tuition: $585 per credit hour (23rd)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

14) Texas A&M University

AcademicBuilding TAMU

Image Source

Texas A&M is a public research university with multiple locations in Texas. It was founded in 1876 as the first public higher learning institute in the state. Over 53,700 students attend A&M. USNR has ranked it 70th among National Universities in 2020. Texas A&M offers over 130 undergraduate programs and almost 270 graduate degree programs, along with professional degrees in law, veterinary medicine, dentistry, nursing, medicine, pharmacy, and public health. It’s tied at first in the country for graduates that become CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.

A&M offers an online RN to BSN program. There’s a required two-day in-person conference for new students at the College Station campus before the program begins. There’s also in-person practicum requirements that can be completed wherever students live. Students can opt to complete their online 30 credit hour curriculum over 3, 4, or 5 semesters depending on their wants and needs.

  • Tuition: $1700 per credit hour (36th)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

15) University of North Carolina at Charlotte

charlotte

Image Source

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is a public research university founded in 1946. It has nearly 24,400 undergraduate students. The school features 139 undergraduate majors with 75 programs that confer Bachelor’s degrees, 65 Master’s degrees and 24 Doctoral degrees taught by seven colleges including its excellent Health & Human Services school. Almost 85% of its full-time faculty have reached the highest degree in their field of instruction. USNR ranks UNC Charlotte 228th among National Universities, and 109th in Top Public Schools in 2020. It has also reached 84th in Top Performers on Social Mobility.

UNC Charlotte offers an online RN to BSN Completion Program. Like the others on this list, you’ll need to have completed an associate’s degree or diploma program in nursing to qualify. There are no compulsory visits to campus to complete this program, which was designed to be completed in 12 months. It has been approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing in addition to the CCNE. Sample courses include Aging and Health, Enhancing Clinical Judgement, and Information Technology: Applications in Healthcare.

  • Tuition: $612 per credit hour (25th)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

16) Drexel University

main building

Image Source

Drexel is a private research university that has three campuses in Philadelphia. It began serving students in 1891, after being opened by the philanthropist and financier Anthony J. Drexel. A unique feature of Drexel University is its cooperative education program. Each year students are sent to work for 1,600 employers across the world for six months to get paid for work that supplements their education. Almost 13,500 undergraduates attend Drexel. In 2020 USNR ranks it 97th among National Universities. It has the nation’s largest private medical school.

Drexel offers an online RN to BSN nursing program. It focuses on the latest technology and practices in nursing. Students will find the practical skills and precise clinical education essential to their career advancement. This program can be completed in as little as 12 months, or take longer if you need to. There’s a 3-year tuition lock that lets students keep the same tuition rate over three years if they need that long to finish. Graduates will be prepared to work as Case Managers, Nurses that work in various departments and settings, among other positions. There are no on-campus requirements in this program.

  • Tuition: $556 per credit hour (21st)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

17) Old Dominion University

5385618010 23505b6bee b

Image Source

Old Dominion is a public research university in Norfolk, Virginia. It was established in 1930. ODU offers over 150 distinct degrees, and serves more than 24,000 ODU students. It’s one of the biggest distance learning providers in the country. ODU is a very military-friendly school, with 25% of its students having a direct connection to the military. It’s known for its research, especially linked to entrepreneurship. Old Dominion University initiatives contribute almost $2.6 billion to Virginia’s economy each year. Old Dominion University has over 100,000 alumni in all 50 states and 67 countries. USNR ranks it 263rd among National Universities, and 128th in Top Public Schools.

ODU offers an online RN to BSN. The school has been delivering distance nursing education since 1987. A major focus of the program is building a professional portfolio to help graduates reach their potential in the field. The school features a guaranteed admission program between Virginia Community College System (VCCS) students to make transferring from your initial nursing degree program into this one. Students must take at least 30 credit hours with ODU as part of this program, of a total 120 that are required for a Bachelor’s degree. Graduates work in nursing management, administration, for non-profits, in pharmaceutical and medical equipment sales, and much more.

  • Tuition: $407 per credit hour (12th)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

18) Western Carolina University

western carolina u

Image Source

Western Carolina is a public university that was founded in 1889. It serves over 10,000 undergraduate students. Its mission has a heavy emphasis on service and community engagement. There are over 115 undergraduate majors for students to choose from. It boasts the countries’ first accredited four-year emergency medical care program. There are also over 40 graduate-level programs students can choose from. USNR ranks Western Carolina University 23rd in the Regional Universities South category.

Western Carolina offers an online RN to BSN program that can be completed in four semesters. North Carolina students can complete this degree for approximately $3,500. The program aims to build leaders in nursing, give students a better understanding of modern clinical practices, and potentially go on to study nursing at the graduate level. You’ll build communication and reasoning skills, use the latest technology in the field, and much more. Students can begin this program in either January or August.

  • Tuition: $1416 per credit hour (34th)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

19) Fort Hays State University

pic1

Image Source

Fort Hays is a public university in Kansas. It was founded in 1902 as an agricultural school, and has grown to one of the largest schools in the state. Over 15,000 students attend FHSU. It offers degrees through 31 academic departments, including a Doctorate in Nursing Practice. Fort Hays State University is known for its affordable online programs. Over 95% of its graduating students find a job or go on to graduate school after completing their degree. Professors serve as instructors and mentors to students, helping them in innumerable ways. USNR ranks FHSU in the 117-153rd bracket in the Regional Universities Midwest bracket, and 119th in Top Performers on Social Mobility in 2020.

FHSU offers an online RN to BSN that can be finished in as little as three semesters. It requires clinical practicum work, and helps students get clinical work across the country. You’ll need a license in the state you want to do your clinical work, so in rare cases if FHSU can’t find a facility you can work in in your state you’ll need a license to practice in Kansas. Sample courses include Health Promotion, Community-Focused Care for the RN, and Healthcare Quality Improvement for the RN.

  • Tuition: $218 per credit hour (2nd)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

20) Webster University

webster university wiki 58b652f65f9b586046bd26a4

Image Source

Webster is a non-profit private university in Webster Groves, Missouri. It was founded as a Catholic’s women’s college in 1915. Today it’s an independent, non-denominational university with branch locations across the United States. Webster University offers undergraduate and graduate programs in liberal arts, fine and performing arts, teacher education, business and management. Nearly 2,500 undergraduates attend Webster. It has educated more than 170,000 graduates globally. In 2020, USNR ranks it 56th among Best Value Schools, and 17th among Regional Universities Midwest universities.

Webster offers an online Nursing BSN program. Students will strengthen their communication and analytical skills while improving their professional credentials. The program was designed to cater to working adults. There’s part-time enrollment, and eight week terms. Students can also opt for an on-campus version of this program, which can be finished in two to two and a half years. Required courses include Population Health: Clinical Prevention with Families and Communities, Concepts of Professional Nursing, and Evidence-Based Practice for Nurses. It culminates in students building a Capstone Portfolio to showcase their education and experience.

  • Tuition: $350 per credit hour (8th)
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)