Best Online Bachelor’s in Nursing Programs of 2023
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- A nursing bachelor's degree can increase your job opportunities and pay rate.
- Job options include leadership and management, research, case management, and informatics.
- The average annual salary ranges from $72,000-$92,000 depending on several factors.
- Scholarships, grants, and tuition reimbursement can offset tuition costs.
An online bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program offers flexibility and convenience. A traditional four-year program may not fit into your lifestyle. However, online nursing bachelor's programs can be completed at your own pace and while you work. A BSN degree can also increase your job opportunities and pay.
Discover what you can do with a nursing bachelor's degree, how much you'll make, and a list of 20 online nursing bachelor's programs to consider.
What Can I Do With a Nursing Bachelor's Degree?
With a nursing bachelor's degree, you can pursue various registered nurse (RN) opportunities, such as positions in leadership and management, research, informatics, and case management.
Nurses with a bachelor's degree can pursue roles with complex responsibilities and duties, such as charge nurses or operating room nurses. Nurses with a bachelor's degree can also more easily pursue a master's in nursing, which opens other opportunities as a nurse practitioner, educator, or administrator.
How Much Can I Make With a Nursing Bachelor's?
The average annual salary for a nursing bachelor's degree varies depending on several factors. These include geographical location, experience, certifications, and employers. According to Payscale, the average annual salary for an RN is $72,825 and $87,000 for an informatics nurse as of September 2023.
The top-paying industries for nurses are government facilities and hospitals, and the lowest-paying industries are educational services and residential facilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects registered nursing jobs to grow 6% from 2022-2032, faster than average.
Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs
Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
Is a Bachelor's in Nursing (BSN) Degree Worth It?
A BSN degree offers nursing candidates flexible career options. Nursing students wanting to advance in their nursing practice or participate in legislative actions, quality assurance, and facility committee work may want to pursue a bachelor's degree.
However, a BSN may not be for everyone. After considering the time and financial commitment needed to get a BSN, you may choose an associate degree in nursing (ADN). Your financial return on investment may not justify a BSN degree since not every nursing professional needs a bachelor's to achieve their career goals.
Benefits of a Bachelor's in Nursing
- Career Advancement: With this degree, you can move into advanced nursing practice or leadership positions.
- Increased earning potential: Nurses with BSNs tend to make more money than nurses with ADNs.
- Better job prospects: Many employers now require (or strongly prefer) nurses with BSNs.
- Better patient outcomes: BSN programs provide nurses with a broader education and can help them build more advanced problem-solving skills that lead to better care.
Reasons to Get Your Nursing Degree Online
- Save money: Online degrees can save you money on on-campus fees, commuting, room, and board. In some cases, tuition is less expensive online than in person.
- Manage your time: The flexibility of online scheduling allows you to fit school around your life instead of the other way around.
- Reduce opportunity costs: As an online student, you won't have to press pause on earning money or developing professionally while you pursue a degree.
Directory of Schools Offering an Online Nursing Bachelor's
Here are some of the best schools in the country for a bachelor's in nursing. To narrow things down, we're featuring schools with a graduation rate of at least 60%.
|School Name||Campus Location||Student Population||Graduation Rate|
|Appalachian State University||Boone, North Carolina||20,436||75%|
|Bowling Green State University-Main Campus||Bowling Green, Ohio||16,920||61%|
|East Carolina University||Greenville, North Carolina||27,151||65%|
|George Mason University||Fairfax, Virginia||39,049||71%|
|Oklahoma State University||Stillwater, Oklahoma||25,372||65%|
|Rutgers University - Camden||Camden, New Jersey||5,966||65%|
|Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania||Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania||8,221||66%|
|Texas A & M University-College Station||College Station, Texas||74,014||84%|
|University of Tennessee - Knoxville||Knoxville, Tennessee||33,805||73%|
|University of Alabama in Huntsville||Huntsville, Alabama||9,237||63%|
|University of Cincinnati - Main Campus||Cincinnati, Ohio||41,155||72%|
|University of Florida||Gainesville, Florida||55,211||90%|
|University of Kansas||Lawrence, Kansas||26,708||67%|
|University of North Carolina at Charlotte||Charlotte, North Carolina||29,551||70%|
|University of North Carolina Wilmington||Wilmington, North Carolina||17,843||74%|
|University of North Florida||Jacksonville, Florida||26,406||68%|
|University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire||Eau Claire, Wisconsin||10,104||65%|
|University of Wisconsin - Madison||Madison, Wisconsin||48,956||89%|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||Richmond, Virginia||28,082||65%|
|Western Carolina University||Cullowhee, North Carolina||11,635||61%|
How to Get Into an Online Nursing Program: Admission Requirements
The admission requirements for an online nursing bachelor's degree can vary depending on the program. However, most have similar requirements, such as a minimum GPA and prerequisite coursework.
RN License and Experience
Most online nursing bachelor's degree programs are RN-to-BSN programs for nurses with an ADN to advance their education. A few exceptions exist, but these hybrid programs require in-person attendance for several on-campus clinical and coursework classes.
All programs have a minimum GPA requirement for prerequisite college courses, high school classes, or an ADN degree. The minimum GPA can vary but commonly ranges from 2.8 to 3.2. Some schools may accept a lower GPA if the student meets other criteria.
Common prerequisite coursework for admission into an online BSN program includes general education courses like statistics, college algebra, and English composition. Health-related courses include anatomy and physiology, introduction to psychology, microbiology, and chemistry.
How Much Does a Nursing Bachelor's Cost?
Several factors influence the cost of your nursing bachelor's degree. These include whether the school is private or public and whether you qualify for in-state or out-of-state tuition. There are a few online programs where the tuition is the same, regardless of location.
Average Annual Tuition Cost of a Bachelor's Degree
Total Average Net Cost of Four Years of College
To help offset BSN expenses, nursing students can seek out several forms of financial aid, such as scholarships, grants, private organization scholarships, and employer tuition reimbursement for those working in healthcare.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Nursing Bachelor's Online?
The time to complete a nursing bachelor's program varies depending on whether you attend full-time or part-time. The type of nursing program, such as an RN-to-BSN or an accelerated BSN, can also affect your graduation timeline.
Most RN-to-BSN programs are designed for working nurses. If you attend full-time, you can complete most programs in three semesters. Part-time students can take up to four years if they need it. Most BSN programs for students with a non-nursing bachelor's degree require full-time attendance. These programs can be completed from 12-16 months.
Everything Else You Need to Know About Nursing Bachelor's Programs
Can you get a BSN without an ADN?
Yes, you can enroll in a BSN program without having an ADN. Before applying, you must complete prerequisite college courses, which may include chemistry, biology, and anatomy.
What can you do with a bachelor's in nursing?
Nurses with a bachelor's degree can work in healthcare facilities as bedside nurses and in doctor's offices. Beyond the bedside, BSN-prepared nurses can work in informatics, education, healthcare policy, forensics, clinical research, health coaching, recruitment, legal consulting, and telehealth. Some positions may need additional classes or certification.
Can you earn a bachelor's in nursing online?
Yes, you can earn a bachelor's degree in nursing online if you're an RN or have a bachelor's in another non-nursing field. High school graduates seeking a BSN may enroll in a hybrid program that also requires some on-campus coursework and clinical skills check-offs.
What courses do you take in a nursing bachelor's program?
Nursing candidates must take statistics, college algebra, anatomy and physiology, chemistry, and developmental psychology. Required nursing courses include health issues of vulnerable populations, informatics, transition to BSN, leadership and management, and community nursing.