Best Colleges Online - Most Affordable Degrees-01

In this article, we profile the top 30 most affordable online RN to BSN degree programs of 2021.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the earnings potential for registered nurses increases with education. As the demand for highly skilled nurses rises along with the number of people pursuing this profession, online bachelor’s in nursing programs from accredited institutions also become more readily available. BLS reports employment of RNs is projected to grow seven percent through 2029, making the profession a viable career path.

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Methodology for Ranking the Cheapest RN to BSN Online Programs 2021

We reviewed approximately 280 accredited colleges and universities listed by the Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) College Navigator and reputable online sources that offered affordable online RN to BSN programs. We narrowed our original pool of schools by applying the following criteria: institution and/or program accreditation (such as CCNE accreditation), institution and/or program rankings with major publications like U.S. News and World Report, and affordable graduate tuition and fees less than $15,000 per year. We then ranked our findings according to raw affordability.

Below are the resulting selections for our top 30 most affordable online RN to BSN programs of 2021.

#30 – Illinois State University

Online RN to BSN

Normal, Illinois

Website

Illinois State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
The online RN to BSN program at Illinois State University is open to licensed registered nurses.

Undergraduate Tuition: $14,832

The Illinois State University online RN to BSN is designed to equip licensed registered professional nurses with advanced nursing training. Open to RNs who have earned an associate’s degree or diploma and are looking for a BSN, the Illinois State program offers flexible online courses that allow nurses to continue working while attending school. Part-time and full-time completion options are available, adding to the program’s convenient structure. Time frame for completion is one year for full-time students and two years for part-time. Enrolled students take courses that cover topics like concepts of professional nursing, health assessment across the lifespan, and public health nursing. In addition to being fully accredited, ISU ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 206th best national university.

#29 – Ohio University

Online RN to BSN

Athens, Ohio

Website

Ohio State University - Top 30 Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
Affordable and ranked! Ohio State’s online RN to BSN.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,612

The Ohio University online RN to BSN is an affordable option for applicants with a conferred associate’s degree or diploma in nursing and an active nursing license. The online nursing program offers classes taught by the same professors who instruct on campus. Required nursing major courses cover topics like community health nursing, family nursing, health assessment and promotion, leadership in nursing, nursing excellence, and professional nursing practice. The school ranks with all major publications, including U.S. News and World Report. In fact, current OU rankings include #176 in best national universities and #118 in best value schools. Ohio University is fully accredited.

#28 – James Madison University

Online RN to BSN

Harrisonburg, Virginia

Website

James Madison University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
Full-time and part-time online RN to BSN options – James Madison University.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,206

The James Madison University RN to BSN online degree program is designed to provide a fully flexible online pathway for registered nurses to earn a bachelor’s in nursing degree. Nurses with an RN license and associate’s degree from a community college or a diploma from a nursing school are eligible to apply. If admitted, students take a series of online courses in advanced nursing topics. Courses explore topics like concepts in aging, healthcare informatics, and leadership and management in health care. Both full-time and part-time enrollment options are available. James Madison is fully accredited and ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, rankings include #3 in best regional universities in the South and #52 in best value schools.

#27 – Northern Arizona University

Online RN to BSN

Flagstaff, Arizona

Website

Northern Arizona University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
NAU offers an affordable RN to BSN online program.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,896

Northern Arizona University’s online RN to BSN program is open to registered nurses who have graduated from a state or nationally accredited associate degree or diploma issuing nursing program. All classes are delivered online and taught by the experienced professors of Northern Arizona University. Advanced nursing courses cover topics like health assessment for registered nurses, and nursing as a discipline and profession. To receive the BSN, students must complete 120 credits and meet all university requirements, including maintaining a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all attempted work at NAU. Northern Arizona University ranks #284 in best national universities and #144 in top public schools.

#26 – Arizona State University

Online RN to BSN

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Arizona State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
Earn the online RN to BSN from ASU in just 15-18 months!

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,338

Affordable online RN to BSN programs are available at Arizona State University. In fact, ASU offers one of the most affordable online nursing programs on our list. The top-ranked and accredited degree program takes just 15 to 18 months to complete, depending on transfer credit. A total of ten nursing classes must be taken and each course runs 7.5 weeks in length. Courses cover topics like community and public health nursing in the United States, innovation in nursing, nursing research and evidence translation, and professional nursing theory. ASU ranks with major publications, including U.S. News and World Report, as a top national university.

#25 – Park University

Online RN to BSN

Parkville, Missouri

Website

Park University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
Park University offers a CCNE-accredited online RN to BSN program.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,190

The CCNE-accredited bachelor’s in nursing online program at Park University boasts a 100% NCLEX pass rate for the current academic year. Successful admission to the highly affordable nursing program can be achieved in two ways. First, the prelicensure program is designed for students who are new to nursing and desire a BSN degree. The second option is the RN-BSN program designed for registered nurses looking to earn a bachelor’s degree. Both degrees can be completed entirely online. Courses for both nursing programs cover topics like ethics and society, healthcare informatics, and health promotions in society. Park University is fully accredited and ranked with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, current rankings include #119-#156 in best regional universities in the Midwest.

#24 – California University of Pennsylvania

Online RN to BSN

California, Pennsylvania

Website

California University of Pennsylvania - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
Affordability! California University of Pennsylvania’s RN to BSN online!

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,108

One of the most affordable online nursing programs on our list is the RN to BSN from California University of Pennsylvania. The CCNE-accredited program is intended for RNs who have already completed an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing and have the desire to excel in their nursing career. Classes are delivered exclusively online and in an accelerated format. The structure allows students to take one 16-week course and two 8-week courses each semester. Courses cover topics like community health nursing, evidence-based practice in nursing, nursing research, and philosophy of professional nursing. California University of Pennsylvania ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the North. In fact, rankings include #136-#176 in best regional universities in the North and #50-#62 in top public schools.

#23 – Ohio State University

Online RN to BSN

Columbus, Ohio

Website

Ohio State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
100% online RN to BSN – Ohio State University!

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,084

Ohio State University offers a flexible 100% online RN to BSN program designed for active registered nurses. Full-time and part-time options add to the flexible learning environment. The full-time enrollment option allows students to earn their degree in 12 months, while the part-time option takes 15 months. OSU’s required nursing courses cover topics like concepts in community health nursing, cultural competence in health care, evolving concepts in leadership and management, and health care informatics. In addition to being fully accredited, Ohio State University ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. These rankings include #53 in best national universities and #1 in best online bachelor’s programs.

#22 – The University of Alabama

Online RN to BSN

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Website

The University of Alabama - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
Open to licensed registered nurses! The University of Alabama’s online RN to BSN program.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,780

University of Alabama’s RN to BSN online degree program is open to registered nurses who hold an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing and have secured licensing. The program is ideal for working nurses who don’t want to give up their day jobs in order to go back to school. Online courses at U of A cover topics like complex client systems for registered nurses, leadership and management roles for registered nurses, nursing informatics for registered nurses, and role transition in baccalaureate nursing. The institution is fully accredited and online courses are taught by the same professors who instruct on campus. In addition to accreditation, U of A ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 143rd best national university and 127th best value school.

#21 – University of Toledo

Online RN to BSN

Toledo, Ohio

Website

University of Toledo - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
Ranked and affordable! Online RN to BSN at University of Toledo.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,650

University of Toledo offers a 100% online RN to BSN program that is both affordable and accredited. The program is self-paced, flexible, and ideal for working adults balancing work and/or family obligations. Successful admission to the program requires an active, unrestricted RN license, an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing, and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Students take online classes taught by Toledo professors. Courses cover topics like applied health assessment across the lifespan, informatics in nursing, and leadership and professional development. In addition to its accreditation status, University of Toledo ranks with U.S. News and World Report. In fact, these rankings include #298-#389 in best national universities and #154-#209 in top public schools.

#20 – Wright State University

Online RN to BSN

Dayton, Ohio

Website

Wright State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
15 months to earn the RN to BSN online degree at Wright State University!

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,578

One of the most affordable online RN to BSN programs on our list for 2021 is offered by Wright State University’s College of Nursing and Health. Eligible students may earn their BSN at their own pace, online, and any time, day or night. The program moves at an accelerated rate and can be completed in as little as 15 months. Courses cover introductory and advanced nursing topics like advancing communities toward healthy outcomes, foundations of research and evidence-based practice, and policy and politics – leading and managing health care. Wright State ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 298th-389th best national university and 154th-209th top public school.

#19 – Murray State University

Online RN to BSN

Murray, Kansas

Website

Murray State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
Affordable and accredited! Murray State’s online RN to BSN.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,168

Affordable online bachelor’s in nursing program degrees are available at Murray State University for approximately $9,000 per year. The online RN to BSN provides active registered nurses with the opportunity to earn a bachelor’s degree while continuing to gain valuable work experience. You won’t need to forfeit your professional responsibilities while earning the online BSN at Murray State. Conveniently designed classes make it possible to earn the 20 credits required to go from an RN to a BSN. Courses cover nursing topics like community nursing, leadership and management in nursing, nursing assessment, and professional nursing practice. In addition to being fully accredited, Murray State ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 26th best regional university in the South and 39th best value school.

#18 – South Dakota State University

Online RN to BSN

Brookings, South Dakota

Website

South Dakota State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
The RN to BSN online program at SDSU offers seven-week courses.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,114

South Dakota State University offers an accredited and affordable online RN to BSN program designed to build upon the current education and knowledge of registered nurses. Diploma and associate-level RNs are eligible for admission to the SDSU online program. Courses cover nursing topics like evidence-based nursing practice, healthcare systems and informatics, health policy and economics, and transition to BSN. Each course runs seven weeks in length and a total of 30 credit hours are required for the completion of the nursing degree. SDSU ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 284th best national university.

#17 – Bemidji State University

Online RN to BSN

Bemidji, Minnesota

Website

Bemidji State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
Just 12 months to earn the online RN to BSN degree at Bemidji State!

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,940

Bemidji State University offers an RN to BSN online program that is both CCNE-accredited and highly affordable. The program offers a thirty-year history of preparing nursing for advanced careers in the field. Designed for working professionals, courses are delivered almost entirely online. The program moves at a rigorous pace and can be completed in about 12 months or less. To be eligible for admission, you must be a graduate of an associate’s degree or diploma nursing program and be a licensed RN. In addition to being CCNE-accredited, Bemidji State ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, rankings include #86 in best regional universities in the Midwest and #22 in top public schools.

#16 – Sam Houston State University

Online RN to BSN

Huntsville, Texas

Website

Sam Houston State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
Less than $9,000 per year! The online RN to BSN at Sam Houston State University.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,536

Sam Houston State University’s online nursing programs include the online RN to BSN, a highly ranked and accredited program. Courses are taught by university professors and cover advanced and foundational nursing topics. These courses explore topics like community nursing, informatics, legal and ethical issues in nursing, nursing genetics and genomics, rural health nursing, and older adult health management. Upon graduation, students will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN. SHSU also ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 272nd best national university and 136th top public school. Also, the online bachelor’s programs rank #39 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed with U.S. News.

#15 – Wichita State University

Online RN to BSN

Wichita, Kansas

Website

Wichita State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
Fast and affordable! Wichita State University’s online RN to BSN.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,298

Wichita State University’s online RN to BSN degree is open to qualified registered nurses looking to earn a career-advancing bachelor’s in nursing online that is both affordable and fast. In fact, qualifying students earn their degree in as little as three semesters. Online courses cover nursing topics like clinical pharmacology, health assessment for the practicing RN, healthcare leadership for the practicing RN, and introduction to health care ethics. Electives include unique topics like men and masculinities, psychology of women, and sociology of sexualities. In addition to being accredited, Wichita State ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 298th-389th best national university and 154th-209th top public school.

#14 – University of Central Missouri

Online RN to BSN

Warrensburg, Missouri

Website

University of Central Missouri - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
The online RN to BSN at University of Central Missouri is ranked and affordable.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,969

Recognized as offering a most affordable online RN to BSN program, University of Central Missouri is a top choice school on our list. With registered nurses facing increasingly complex challenges in the health care environment, the online nursing program serves as preparation for these unique demands. Classes run eight weeks and students may earn their BSN in as little as two semesters. Required courses cover topics like concepts of community health nursing, concepts of nursing leadership in management, evidence-based practice and research, and socio-economic factors impacting health. University of Central Missouri ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 76th best regional university in the Midwest and 64th best value school.

#13 – Southeast Missouri State University

Online RN to BSN

Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Website

Southeast Missouri State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
CCNE-accredited & 100% online! Southeast Missouri State’s RN to BSN online degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,800

Southeast Missouri State University’s affordable online RN to BSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). In addition to accreditation, the program requires no campus visits and has a 100% online structure. Online classes, taught by university professors, cover advanced nursing topics like framework for professional nursing, holistic assessment, research for professional practice, and statistical reasoning. To be eligible for admission, applicants must hold a current and valid nursing license in the U.S. Southeast Missouri State ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 76th best regional university in the Midwest and 62nd best value school.

#12 – Arkansas Tech University

Online RN to BSN

Russellville, Arkansas

Website

Arkansas Tech University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
ACEN-accredited! The online RN to BSN at Arkansas Tech is highly affordable.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,668

Affordable online nursing programs, such as the RN to BSN online at Arkansas Tech University, add value to registered nurses with current and active licenses. The fully online program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and designed to prepare students for career advancement. Courses cover advanced nursing topics like leadership and management and professional practicum synthesis. In addition to being ACEN-accredited, Arkansas Tech ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. These rankings include #80 in best regional universities in the South, #91 in top performers on social mobility, and #35 in top public schools.

#11 – Bluefield State College

Online RN to BSN

Bluefield, West Virginia

Website

Bluefield State College - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
The online RN to BSN at Bluefield State is a 2+2 nursing program.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,488

Bluefield State College’s online RN to BSN program is CCNE-accredited and highly affordable. Designed for working registered nurses, the program operates as a 2+2 nursing program in which AS nursing graduates complete their BSN in three or four semesters. All classes are offered online and cover foundational and advanced nursing topics. These courses include complex health problems, concepts of professional nursing, ethics and issues in professional nursing, and nursing management and leadership. Bluefield State College ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 50th best regional college in the South and 14th top public school.

#10 – Appalachian State University

Online RN to BSN

Boone, North Carolina

Website

Appalachian State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
Affordable and ranked! Appalachian State’s online RN to BSN.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,409

Appalachian State University offers affordable online RN to BSN degrees designed for registered nurses who want to earn a bachelor’s in nursing through an online and part-time study plan. Applicants must hold an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing and have a current, unrestricted RN license to practice. Also, an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or better is required for admission. The RN to BSN online program consists of 30 credits and can be completed in just one year. According to U.S. News and World Report, Appalachian State ranks #6 in best regional universities in the South and #106 in best online bachelor’s programs, which include the online RN to BSN.

#9 – Mayville State University

Online RN to BSN

Maryville, North Dakota

Website

Mayville State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
Mayville State offers an affordable RN to BSN online program that takes just 12 months to complete.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,049

Mayville State University’s RN to BSN online degree program is open to professional registered nurses with RN licensure. Mayville offers a fully online nursing program that takes 12 months to complete. When enrolled full-time, students take three to four courses, each running in five-week blocks. Courses cover topics like evidence-based practice, issues in the health care system, nursing informatics and health care technologies, and population-focused and community-based nursing care. Mayville State ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report and is CCNE-accredited. Current rankings with U.S. News include #54 in best regional colleges in the Midwest and #5 in top public schools.

#8 – Northeastern State University

Online RN to BSN

Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Website

Northeastern State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
Finish in as quick as 10 months! Northeastern State’s online RN to BSN.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,915

Northeastern State University, a top-ranked public institution, offers an affordable RN to BSN online program designed for working nurses. By completing a total of 30 credits, students earn their online RN to BSN degree in just 10 months. Major areas of emphasis include community health, family nursing, leadership, and research. Courses cover topics like current trends and issues in nursing, health assessment, and nursing leadership and management. The program is accredited by the ACEN and ranked with major publications. In fact, Northeastern State ranks #93 in best regional universities in the West and the online bachelor’s programs rank #133 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#7 – University of South Florida

Online RN to BSN

Tampa, Florida

Website

University of South Florida - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
Ranked with U.S. News! University of South Florida – a top choice for affordable online RN to BSN degrees.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,410

University of South Florida’s bachelor’s in nursing online degree programs, including the RN to BSN online, are open to registered nurses seeking advanced nursing study. To be admitted, you’ll need a registered nurse license and an associate’s degree in nursing from a regionally accredited institution. Once accepted, students take a series of required nursing courses. These courses cover topics like fundamentals of health care finance for RNs, health assessment, and simulation for nursing practice. South Florida is fully accredited and ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, current rankings for USF include #103 in best national universities and #71 in best value schools.

#6 – Fort Hays State University

Online RN to BSN

Hays, Kansas

Website

Fort Hays State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
FHSU offers an online RN to BSN for working nurses.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,280

Fort Hays State University offers an affordable online RN to BSN program designed for registered nurses with active licensure. All courses run eight weeks in length and are delivered online. Required nursing courses cover topics like community-focused care for the RN, healthcare policy and cost for the RN, healthcare quality and improvement for the RN, health promotion, and legal and ethical issues in healthcare. Not only are Fort Hays and its nursing programs fully accredited (Higher Learning Commission and CCNE) but the school ranks with U.S. News and World Report. These rankings include #112 in best regional universities in the Midwest.

#5 – Fayetteville State University

Online RN to BSN

Fayetteville, North Carolina

Website

Fayetteville State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
100% online! Fayetteville State’s RN to BSN online program.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,274

Fayetteville State University’s online RN to BSN program is one of the most affordable on our list. And with affordability comes a high return on investment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for the nursing profession will increase nearly 20 percent by 2022. To fulfill this need, quality online RN to BSN programs, such as the one at Fayetteville State, have become available. Conveniently designed courses cover topics like community health and nursing, health assessment, and nursing leadership and management. Full- and part-time completion options are also available, adding to the program’s convenience. In the most recent edition of Best Colleges, U.S. News and World Report ranks Fayetteville #89 in best regional universities in the South.

#4 – University of North Georgia

Online RN to BSN

Dahlonega, Georgia

Website

University of North Georgia - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
One of the most affordable online RN to BSN programs on our list – University of North Georgia!

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,744

For less than $5,000 per year, students may earn an online RN to BSN degree from the University of North Georgia. The RN to BSN online program is open to current registered nurses seeking a nursing career that requires a BSN and strong leadership skills. Admission requires an ASN or diploma in nursing prior to the start of the RN to BSN degree. Applicants should also hold a current unencumbered RN license and have earned at least a 2.75 GPA on all courses and degrees. Once admitted, students take a series of online classes covering topics like community health and assessment, holistic nursing, and leadership and management in nursing practice. According to U.S. News and World Report, UNG ranks 36th in best regional universities in the South and 44th in best value schools.

#3 – Western Carolina University

Online RN to BSN

Cullowhee, North Carolina

Website

Western Carolina University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
Western Carolina University – a top choice for an online RN to BSN degree!

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,277

Western Carolina University’s online RN to BSN program is one of the most affordable on our list. Approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the program promises a strong reputation and good return on investment. In addition to accreditation credentials, the school ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, recent rankings include #25 in best regional universities in the South and #9 in best value schools. The program’s classes are delivered online and taught by the same university professors who instruct on campus. Courses cover topics like community health, leadership, and professional transitions in nursing.

#2 – Bellevue College

Online RN to BSN

Bellevue, Washington

Website

Bellevue College - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
100% online and affordable – Bellevue College’s RN to BSN online program.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,866

At Bellevue College, individuals seeking a BSN can earn one entirely online. The RN to BSN online program builds on the foundations and experiences of the associate degree or diploma prepared registered nurse. All courses are delivered online. These courses cover topics like community and public health nursing, foundations of scholarly inquiry, leadership in healthcare, and management in healthcare. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 in general program and concentration requirements. In addition to being fully accredited, Bellevue College ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. Bellevue offers one of the most affordable online nursing programs on our list.

#1 – Pensacola State College

Online RN to BSN

Pensacola, Florida

Website

Pensacola State College - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2021
Pensacola State College’s online RN to BSN is the most affordable program on our list!

Undergraduate Tuition: $2,364

The #1 most affordable online RN to BSN program on our list comes from Pensacola State College. The ACEN-accredited RN to BSN online degree is designed to prepare active registered nurses for leadership and management roles. Courses are delivered online and cover topics like evidence-based nursing practice, health assessment and physical appraisal, legal and ethical issues in nursing, and nursing across the lifespan. Several nursing electives allow students to tailor their degree toward areas of interest. Electives include infection control, health care policy and economics, and organizational behavior. In addition to being the most affordable school, Pensacola ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 30th best regional college in the South.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I earn an online RN to BSN degree?

If you’ve already become a registered nurse and earned status as an RN, you’ve been through an associate’s degree program or graduated with a diploma in nursing. The next logical step is to advance your degree, along with your earnings potential. By continuing your education and earning a bachelor’s in nursing (BSN), you will gain skills and knowledge necessary for career advancement.

So why earn an online RN to BSN degree? To increase your earnings potential and acquire nursing leadership roles. If you envision yourself leading a team of nurses or working in healthcare administration or nurse management, you will need an advanced degree. The first step toward advancement is acquiring your BSN. Registered nurses with BSN degrees are in high demand. Earnings potential also increases with the more education you acquire. Also, if you want to pursue an advanced degree, such as an MSN or doctorate in nursing practice, you will need a BSN degree. Most master’s in nursing programs, online or otherwise, require a BSN to apply for graduate nursing school.

Today, hospitals and healthcare facilities offer tuition reimbursement programs for registered nurses looking to return to school and earn a BSN or MSN degree. Many times, your employer will foot the education bill as long as you continue working. These incentives make returning to school to earn an online RN to BSN degree easy and convenient.

How much money can I earn with an online RN to BSN degree?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the median annual wage for registered nurses as of May 2018 is $71,730. While the lowest ten percent of earners working as RNs made $50,8000, the highest ten percent earned over $106,000.

Earnings for RNs varies by industry. According to BLS, an evaluation of the top paying industries for registered nurses yielded interesting results. Registered nurses working in government industries earned an average median annual wage of $78,390 as of May 2018. The next highest paying industry for RNs was hospitals – state, local, and private. RNs working in hospitals earned an average annual wage of $73,650. Other industries that paid registered nurses well included ambulatory healthcare services, $68,320, and nursing and residential care facilities, $63,990. The fifth highest paying industry for RNs was educational services, such as state and local institutions, which paid nurses a median annual wage of $61,850.

Education and experience impact the earnings potential for registered nurses. The more education an RN has, the higher the earnings potential. And as expected, the more experience a nurse has, the higher the earnings potential. This means that by completing an online RN to BSN degree program, you will increase your earnings potential.

How do I determine if I’m a good fit for an online RN to BSN program?

There are several ways to determine if you’re a good fit for an RN to BSN program, but first, you must consider your background and the school or program you are applying to. Most colleges and universities, like the ones on our list, look for several types of students. Are you already attending a college or university and aspire to work as a registered nurse? If so, there are programs waiting for you. There are also programs available to registered nurses who are currently in the workforce but want to go back to college and earn their bachelor’s in nursing degree. Programs are available for nurses seeking additional education. And, if you are a student with a bachelor’s in another discipline and considering a career in nursing, accelerated programs are available.

The next step in determining if you’re a good fit for a particular online RN to BSN program is to consider the type of student you are. While some individuals thrive in a traditional, on-campus environment, others prefer to work alone and via online instruction. Ask yourself if you will continue working while attending school and how much flexibility you require in your schedule. Answering these key questions will help you choose the program that best fits your needs.

What courses will I take in an online RN to BSN program?

In most online RN to BSN programs, coursework and clinical practice are incorporated into the curriculum. In addition to the standard educational requirements for bachelor’s degree programs, such as English and social science, you will also take foundation courses in anatomy, biology, nutrition, and physiology, as well as others. If you already have obtained an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing, you will have the option to enroll in an online RN to BSN program. This means you won’t have to complete as many courses as those without a registered license certification. Your coursework will jump off ahead of your peers who don’t have an AA or AS degree.

Typical online RN to BSN programs require courses that explore topics like emergency care of patients, health assessment, issues and trends in nursing practice, public and global health, research and scholarship for evidence-based practice, and more. In many of the programs on our list, leadership courses for nurses were also offered.

In addition to courses, nurses enrolled in online BSN programs are required to complete a practicum. Since you are enrolled in an online degree program, the practicum takes place in your geographic location and can be tailored to fit the needs of the individual.

How much time does it take to earn an online RN to BSN degree?

To earn an online RN to BSN degree, plan on setting aside time from your busy schedule to study and complete program requirements. How much time is required depends on the program and school. However, the average completion time for a traditional bachelor’s degree is four years. But you can plan on completing your online RN to BSN in less time thanks to online programming and shortened class time.

If you have already earned certification as a registered nurse, plan on spending two years to complete your BSN degree. However, some programs offer accelerated pathways to the online BSN. In fact, some of the programs on our list indicate a completion time of 12-18 months for individuals with an RN license. The average completion time is 20 months.

Time spent earning the online RN to BSN degree also varies by enrollment type. This means if you are enrolled part-time, you will likely take longer to earn your degree than if you were enrolled as a full-time student. Full-time online RN to BSN programs allow students to finish their degree requirements in the shortest amount of time. Selecting an enrollment status requires consideration of your personal and employment obligations, as full-time course loads require more of your time.

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Resources on Cheap Online RN to BSN Programs

BCO Staff
January 2021

This concludes our list of the top 30 cheapest RN to BSN online degree programs for 2021.