Best Online Bachelor’s in Nursing Programs of 2023

An online nursing bachelor's degree can help advance your education and career. Use this guide to learn more and find a program to meet your needs.
portrait of Gayle Morris, BSN, MSN
Gayle Morris, BSN, MSN
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Gayle Morris has over two decades of nursing practice with a clinical focus in rehabilitation medicine. She has published and lectured throughout her career. Morris founded Indiana's first conference for school teachers focusing on the medical needs ...
Updated on October 24, 2023
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Victoria Hudgeons
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Victoria Hudgeons is a professional education writer and editor. She's committed to making higher education and career exploration easier to navigate. Her work has been featured on Betfiery, the University of Houston-Victoria Newswire, and more p...
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Elizabeth M. Clarke, MSN, FNP, RN, MSSW
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Elizabeth Clarke is a board-certified family nurse practitioner. Her experience spans emergency departments, cardiac units, pediatric urgent care, and occupational health settings. She earned her bachelor of science in nursing and master's in nursing...
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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.

"Working at the bedside doing direct patient care in a hospital is not the only way to nurse! My favorite part about this job is the flexibility — you have a lot of options."

Joanna Briggs, RN, BSN

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.
"My BSN allowed me to achieve my career goals and earn more money while gaining experience in a high-stress environment that pushed me to develop emotional intelligence, empathy, and decision-making skills."

Brian Clark, BSN, MSNA

"My BSN was worth it — I was able to complete it in only 16 months because I already had a four-year degree in another area. I would tell anyone considering a BSN that nursing is meaningful and hard work. The valuable skills you learn will translate into every area of your life."

Joanna Briggs, RN, BSN

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%.

Online BSN School Directory
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.

Minimum GPA

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.

Prerequisite Coursework

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

Public Institution


Private Institution


Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Total Average Net Cost of Four Years of College

Public Institution


Private Institution


Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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. 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.

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