Best Colleges Online - Most Affordable Degrees-01

In this article, we profile the top 30 most affordable online RN to BSN degree programs of 2020.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the earning 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 are also on the rise.

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Methodology for Ranking the Cheapest RN to BSN Online Programs 2020

We reviewed 333 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 333 schools by applying the following criteria: accreditation (such as CCNE accreditation), institution and/or program rankings with U.S. News and World Report, and affordable graduate tuition and fees less than $18,500 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 for 2020.

#30 – University of Mary

Online RN to BSN

Bismarck, North Dakota

Website

University of Mary - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
CCNE-accredited online RN to BSN programs offered at University of Mary.

Undergraduate Tuition: $18,444

University of Mary’s online RN to BSN program moves at a quick pace and offers a completion time of just one year. Designed for registered nurses looking to meet the increasing educational requirements of nursing employers, the program is conveniently designed with online courses that benefit working students. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and ranked by U.S. News and World Report. In fact, University of Mary ranks #293-#381 in best national universities. Admission to the online RN to BSN program requires a minimum college cumulative GPA of 2.75 and transcripts from all schools attended. In addition to transcripts, unencumbered RN licensure is also required.

#29 – Bethel University

Online RN to BSN

McKenzie, Tennessee

Website

Bethel University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
A fully online RN to BSN degree – Bethel University.

Undergraduate Tuition: $16,552

Bethel University’s RN to BSN online degree program is designed for registered nurses who have obtained an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing. These RNs must also be licensed in their state of residence and seek advanced training to receive a bachelor’s in nursing degree. Courses are delivered online through Bethel’s distance learning program. These courses include health assessment of adults, introduction to research for evidence-based practice, and leadership and management in baccalaureate nursing practice. Bethel ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university; recent rankings list Bethel #197 in best national universities and #224 in top performers on social mobility.

#28 – Illinois State University

Online RN to BSN

Normal, Illinois

Website

Illinois State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
Part-time and full-time completion pathways! Illinois State University’s online RN to BSN.

Undergraduate Tuition: $14,516

The online bachelor’s in nursing degree from Illinois State University equips licensed registered professional nurses with advanced nursing training. Open to RNs who have completed an associate’s degree program or diploma and are looking for a BSN, the program offers online courses so that you may continue to work while going to school. Part-time and full-time completion pathways are available, which add to the program’s flexibility. Online courses cover topics like concepts of professional nursing, health assessment across the lifespan, leadership dimensions in professional nursing, and research for professional nursing practice. Illinois State ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 197th best national university and 98th top public school.

#27 – Ohio University

Online RN to BSN

Athens, Ohio

Website

Ohio University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
Preparation for the licensing exam! Ohio University’s RN to BSN online degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,192

Ohio University offers a top-ranked online RN to BSN that is both affordable and accredited. Admission to the program requires a conferred associate’s degree or diploma in nursing and hold an active U.S. nursing license. If you are registered to take the nursing licensing exam, you may be considered to the pre-major nursing program at Ohio University. All courses may be taken online. Upper division nursing courses cover topics like community health nursing, family nursing, health assessment and promotion, leadership in nursing, and professional nursing practice. Ohio University ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 185th best national university, 122nd best value school, and 77th most innovative institution.

#26 – James Madison University

Online RN to BSN

Harrisonburg, Virginia

Website

James Madison University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
Ranked and accredited! James Madison University’s online RN to BSN program.

Undergraduate Tuition: $12,016

The RN to BSN online degree program at James Madison University provides 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 diploma nursing school are eligible for application to the online RN to BSN program. Once admitted, students take a series of online courses in advanced nursing topics. The program is designed to be completed in one year (three semesters) for full-time students, and five semesters for part-time students. In addition to being accredited, James Madison ranks with U.S. News and World Report. These rankings include #3 in best regional universities in the South and #47 in best value schools.

#25 – Washington State University

Online RN to BSN

Pullman, Washington

Website

Washington State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
WSU offers an online RN to BSN that is affordable and accredited.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,584

Affordability and flexibility! Washington State University’s online bachelor’s in nursing program offers part-time and full-time pathways. Students admitted to the online RN to BSN program may start any semester and begin taking classes online. WSU’s online courses are taught by many of the same university professors who instruct on campus. These courses cover topics like assessment and application of physiological concepts to nursing practice, healthcare ethics, nursing leadership, nursing research, and population health theory. To qualify for admission applicants must hold a current, unencumbered Washington state RN license and AA or AS degree with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. WSU ranks #166 in best national universities and #106 in best value schools.

#24 – Park University

Online RN to BSN

Parkville, Missouri

Website

Park University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
Ranked and affordable! Park University! RN to BSN online degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,572

The CCNE-accredited bachelor’s in nursing online program at Park University offers two admission options. First, the prelicensure program is designed for students who are new to nursing and desire a BSN degree. The second program option is the RN-BSN program designed for registered nurses to earn a bachelor’s degree. Both degrees can be completed online. Nursing major core courses cover a number of advanced nursing topics. These classes include adult health, clinical applications of pharmacology, concepts of nursing fundamentals, and introduction to professional nursing. In addition to its CCNE-accreditation, Park University has received recognition from U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the Midwest.

#23 – Northern Arizona University

Online RN to BSN

Flagstaff, Arizona

Website

Northern Arizona University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
Open to RNs! Northern Arizona University’s online RN to BSN.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,564

Northern Arizona University’s online RN to BSN is open to registered nurses who have graduated from a state or nationally accredited associate degree or diploma nursing program. Classes are delivered online and taught by Northern Arizona University professors. Nursing courses include basic principles in palliative, health assessment for registered nurses, and introduction to nursing as a discipline and profession. To receive the BSN, you must complete 120 credits and meet all university requirements. This includes maintaining a cumulative GPA of 2.0 in all attempted work at Northern Arizona University. Northern Arizona University ranks among the top national universities, according to U.S. News and World Report.

#22 – California University of Pennsylvania

Online RN to BSN

California, Pennsylvania

Website

California University of Pennsylvania - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
Highly affordable RN to BSN online program! California University of Pennsylvania.

Undergraduate Tuition: $11,108

One of the best online nursing programs on our list is the RN to BSN from California University of Pennsylvania. This CCNE-accredited program is intended for RNs who have already completed an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing. Classes are offered online in an accelerated structure allowing students to take one 16-week course and two 8-week courses every semester. Courses include community health nursing, family health nursing, health assessment, introduction to nursing informatics, nursing research and evidence-based practice, and trends and issues in nursing. California University of Pennsylvania ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top regional university in the North. Also, the school’s online bachelor’s programs are ranked #183 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#21 – Arizona State University

Online RN to BSN

Tempe, Arizona

Website

Arizona State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
15-18 months! ASU’s online RN to BSN.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,822

One of the most affordable bachelor’s in nursing online degree programs on our list is the RN to BSN program from Arizona State University (ASU). This top-ranked and accredited degree program can be completed in as little as 15 to 18 months, depending on transfer credit. The program is designed for working registered nurses with an active license who want to satisfy the upper division requirements leading to a BSN. Classes run 7.5 weeks in length and include health promotion across the life span, nursing research and application to practice, public and global health in nursing, nursing research and application to practice, and writing for health care management. ASU ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 117th best national university.

#20 – The University of Alabama

Online RN to BSN

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Website

The University of Alabama - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
RN licensure required for admission to the RN to BSN online program at University of Alabama.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,780

The University of Alabama’s RN to BSN online degree program requires RN licensure for admission. The program is only open to registered nurses who hold an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing. The convenience of online classes and format are ideal for working nurses who don’t want to give up their day jobs to return 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. University of Alabama is accredited and affordable. In addition to affordability, the school ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university.

#19 – Ohio State University

Online RN to BSN

Columbus, Ohio

Website

Ohio State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
100% online! Ohio State University’s online RN to BSN.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,726

The accredited online bachelor’s in nursing program at Ohio State University is a flexible 100% online nursing program designed for active registered nurses. Full-time and part-time curriculum options of online classes make it a convenient program for working individuals who do not have time to attend traditional on-campus classes. The program offers low student-to-faculty ratio in most undergraduate classes giving students access to their professors. Required courses include concepts in community health nursing, evidence-based practice and transforming healthcare, foundations and contemporary issues for RNs, health care informatics, and inter-professional concepts. U.S. News ranks Ohio State University #54 in best national universities. Also, the online bachelor’s programs, including the RN to BSN, rank #1 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#18 – Westfield State University

Online RN to BSN

Westfield, Massachusetts

Website

Westfield State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
Ranked by U.S. News! RN to BSN online – Westfield State University!

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,429

Westfield State University’s online nursing programs include the RN to BSN, which is available as a distance learning degree. The online RN to BSN program may be completed in 12, 15, or 24 months and offers start dates in September or January with admission deadlines in April and November. Curriculum covers advanced nursing subjects with topics like ethical standards, health care systems and policies, legal issues, patient safety, and research and the application of evidence-based practice. Admission to the program requires an associate in nursing from an accredited institution and minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 on all coursework prior to admission. Westfield State ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 86th best regional university in the North.

#17 – University of Toledo

Online RN to BSN

Toledo, Ohio

Website

University of Toledo - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
100% online! University of Toledo! Online RN to BSN.

Undergraduate Tuition: $10,293

University of Toledo offers a bachelor’s in nursing online degree program, designed for registered nurses looking for 100% online RN to BSN tracks. The program is self-paced, flexible, and ideal for working adults balancing work and family obligations. Successful admission the program requires an active, unrestricted RN license, an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing, and a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better on all coursework. Students take online classes taught by university professors. These courses cover topics like applied health assessment across the lifespan, informatics in nursing, leadership and professional development, and population-focused care. University of Toledo ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university. Also, the online bachelor’s programs rank #166 in best online bachelor’s out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#16 – Murray State University

Online RN to BSN

Murray, Kentucky

Website

Murray State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
100% online! Murray State University’s RN to BSN online degree.

Undergraduate Tuition: $9,084

The affordable online bachelor’s in nursing program at Murray State University provides active registered nurses with the opportunity to earn a BSN while continuing to work. 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. If you already have earned an AS or AA from a Kentucky community college, you likely meet the university requirements for admission. Courses are delivered 100% online and cover advanced nursing topics like community nursing, leadership and management in nursing, nursing assessment, and professional nursing practice. Murray State ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 24th best regional university in the South.

#15 – 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 2020
Affordability! RN to BSN online degree at SDSU!

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,764

Looking to take your nursing career to the next level? South Dakota State University offers an accredited and affordable online RN to BSN program designed to build on your current education as a registered nurse. Diploma and associate-level RNs are eligible for admission to the SDSU online RN to BSN program. Courses are delivered online and are taught by the same faculty who lead the on-campus program. Nursing courses include community health, health assessment, interprofessional issues in health care, leadership and management, and patient-centered care concepts. The program allows the transfer of up to 90 community college credits, which may also be used for the RN to MSN program. In addition to offering accredited and reputable nursing programs, SDSU ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university.

#14 – Bemidji State University

Online RN to BSN

Bemidji, Minnesota

Website

Bemidji State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
CCNE-accredited online RN to BSN! Bemidji State University.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,969

Bemidji State University’s RN to BSN online program is CCNE-accredited and offers a 30-year history of preparing nursing for advanced careers. Designed for working professionals, courses are delivered almost entirely online. The only exception is the advanced health assessment class, which requires students to meet on campus three times. All other courses are available online. These courses cover topics like advanced health assessment, concepts of nursing and health care, health education in nursing practice, and nursing leadership and management. To be eligible for admission to this affordable program, you must be a graduate of an associate’s degree or diploma nursing program and be a licensed RN. The latest publication of U.S. News and World Report’s Best Colleges ranks Bemidji State #92 in best regional universities in the Midwest.

#13 – University of Southern Mississippi

Online RN to BSN

Hattiesburg, Mississippi

Website

University of Southern Mississippi - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
Ranked and affordable! University of Southern Mississippi’s online RN to BSN.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,624

The University of Southern Mississippi offers online bachelor’s in nursing programs designed for RNs seeking advanced nursing skills and a BSN degree. The accredited online RN to BSN program can be completed in as few as three semesters. There are no required chemistry courses and all courses and prerequisites are available fully online. Nursing courses cover topics like health care systems, mental health across the life span, patient safety and quality improvement practice experiences, and professional nursing concepts. Admission to the program requires a current, unrestricted Mississippi RN license and satisfactory GPA in an associate’s degree nursing program. The University of Southern Mississippi ranks with U.S. News and World Report as a top national university. Also, the online bachelor’s programs, including nursing, rank #93 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#12 – Sam Houston State University

Online RN to BSN

Huntsville, Texas

Website

Sam Houston State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
Sam Houston State University’s online RN to BSN is ranked and accredited.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,296

Sam Houston State University’s online nursing programs include the online RN to BSN, a highly ranked and recognized program. Admission to the RN to BSN online degree program at Sam Houston requires an unencumbered Texas RN license and cumulative GPA of 2.5. Full-time and part-time completion pathways are available, adding to the convenience of the online program. Courses, taught by university professors, cover a variety of advanced nursing topics. In fact, these courses explore topics like community nursing, informatics, legal and ethical issues in nursing, rural health nursing, and older adult health management. Sam Houston ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 281st best national university. In addition to school rankings, Sam Houston’s online bachelor’s programs have earned a top ranking of #39 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#11 – Wichita State University

Online RN to BSN

Wichita, Kansas

Website

Wichita State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
Wichita State University’s RN to BSN online program offers affordable classes.

Undergraduate Tuition: $8,270

Wichita State University’s bachelor’s in nursing online degree consists of 35 credit hours, with courses offered in eight-week blocks. This online nursing program helps qualified registered nurses earn their career-advancing BSN both affordably and quickly. In fact, qualifying students may earn their degree in as little as three semesters. Online courses cover topics like care of populations for the practicing RN, health assessment for the practicing RN, healthcare leadership for the practicing RN, and nursing leadership practicum for the practicing RN. Wichita State ranks with U.S. News and World Report among the top national universities. Also, the online bachelor’s programs rank #204 out of more than 1,200 surveyed programs.

#10 – University of Central Missouri

Online RN to BSN

Warrensburg, Missouri

Website

University of Central Missouri - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
Ranked with U.S. News! University of Central Missouri’s online RN to BSN.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,673

University of Central Missouri’s online nursing programs make it into our top 10 cheapest RN to BSN online degree rankings. Recognized as a top affordable online nursing program, classes run in an eight-week format adding to the program’s flexibility. In as little as two semesters, students may earn their BSN. Required courses include concepts of community health nursing, concepts of nursing leadership in management, evidence-based practice and research, and health and physical assessment. To qualify for admission, applicants must hold an active registered nurse license and an associate’s degree in nursing with a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5. UCM ranks with U.S. News and World Report. These rankings include #78 in top regional universities in the Midwest and #16 in top public schools.

#9 – 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 2020
CCNE-accredited and ranked! Southeast Missouri State’s online RN to BSN.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,418

Southeast Missouri State University’s bachelor’s in nursing online program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). In addition to accreditation, the program offers affordable tuition and fast-paced online courses. In fact, the entire program can be completed exclusively online. Courses, taught by university professors, cover advanced nursing topics like holistic assessment, research for professional practice, and statistical reasoning. Admission to the program requires an AA or AS in nursing degree with a 2.8 or better GPA and a current and valid nursing license in the U.S. In addition to CCNE accreditation, Southeast Missouri State is ranked with U.S. News and World Report as the 78th best regional university in the Midwest.

#8 – Appalachian State University

Online RN to BSN

Boone, North Carolina

Website

Appalachian State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
A fully online RN to BSN program! Appalachian State University.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,364

Appalachian State University offers online nursing programs designed for registered nurses who want to earn a bachelor’s in nursing through an online and part-time study plan. The program accepts transfer credit and requires non-traditional clinicals that include projects and research. Students must hold an associate’s or diploma in nursing and have a current, unrestricted RN license to practice prior to admission. Also, an undergraduate GPA of 2.5 or better is required. Appalachian State ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report as the 6th best regional university in the South. The online bachelor’s programs also rank #106 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#7 – Arkansas Tech University

Online RN to BSN

Russellville, Arkansas

Website

Arkansas Tech University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
Arkansas Tech University’s online RN to BSN – a fully online program.

Undergraduate Tuition: $7,254

Affordable online nursing programs, like the online RN To BSN, are available at Arkansas Tech University. This fully online nursing degree is open to registered nurses who hold a current and active license and have graduated from an associate degree or diploma nursing program accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). All courses can be completed online and cover a series of advanced nursing topics. These courses include community health nursing, laws and ethics in professional nursing practice, leadership and management in professional practice, and scope of professional practice. In addition to being accredited, Arkansas Tech is ranked with major publications like U.S. News and World Report.

#6 – Mayville State University

Online RN to BSN

Mayville, North Dakota

Website

Mayville State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
Finish in as little as 12 months! Mayville State University’s online RN to BSN.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,666

Mayville State University’s RN to BSN online degree program is ideally designed for working and professional registered nurses. If you’re a licensed RN seeking your baccalaureate degree, Mayville State offers a fully online program that can be completed in as little as 12 months. This CCNE-accredited program offers online classes taught by the same professors who lead the on-campus nursing program. Courses include 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 as the 50th best regional college in the Midwest and 5th top public school.

#5 – University of South Florida

Online RN to BSN

Tampa, Florida

Website

University of South Florida - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
Ranked by U.S. News! University of South Florida’s online RN to BSN.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,410

University of South Florida’s bachelor’s in nursing online degree programs, such as the RN to BSN, are open to registered nurses seeking advanced degrees. Successful admission to the program requires a registered nurse license and associate’s degree in nursing from a regionally accredited institution. Once accepted, you will take online courses that cover broad-based and advanced nursing topics. These courses include educational role of the nurse in healthcare, essentials of healthcare leadership and management, and nursing as a profession. USF ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. In fact, 2020 rankings include #104 in best national universities and #60 in best value schools.

#4 – University of Texas of the Permian Basin

Online RN to BSN

Odessa, Texas

Website

University of Texas of the Permian Basin - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
CCNE accredited and highly affordable! RN to BSN online program at UT Permian Basin.

Undergraduate Tuition: $6,260

The University of Texas of the Permian Basin offers online bachelor’s in nursing programs designed for registered nurses. The online RN to BSN is a CCNE-accredited program that moves at a rigorous pace, allowing students to earn their degree in as little as eight months. Through state-of-the-art curriculum and technology, students earn their degree taking online courses taught by university professors. Classes include clinical leadership, global health nursing, multicultural public health nursing, theories and issues in professional nursing and health care, and transcultural nursing. In addition to offering accredited nursing programs, UTPB is affordable and ranked with major publications. In fact, U.S. News and World Report ranks the school #82 in best regional universities in the West. Also, UTPB’s online bachelor’s programs rank #208 out of more than 1,200 programs surveyed by U.S. News.

#3 – Fort Hays State University

Online RN to BSN

Hays, Kansas

Website

Fort Hays State University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
100% online – RN to BSN online program at Fort Hays State University.

Undergraduate Tuition: $5,130

Fort Hays State University’s online RN to BSN program provides registered nurses with a flexible, 100% online option to earning their bachelor’s degree. All courses run eight weeks in length. The accelerated program offers online classes taught by the same university professors who lead on-campus courses. These courses include health promotion, informatics for the RN, legal and ethical issues in healthcare, nursing inquiry for the RN, and trends facing healthcare. Program entrance requirements include a current active RN license. Unlike some of the other schools, FHSU allows students to enroll in university courses while finishing their current RN program. Fort Hays State ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 117th-153rd best regional university in the Midwest. Fort Hays makes it into the top three cheapest online RN to BSN programs in our ranking.

#2 – University of North Georgia

Online RN to BSN

Dahlonega, Georgia

Website

University of North Georgia - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
Ideal for working students! University of North Georgia’s online RN to BSN.

Undergraduate Tuition: $4,692

The highly affordable RN to BSN online program at University of North Georgia is open to current registered nurses who desire to further their nursing career with a BSN. 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 to the program, students take a series of online classes. These courses cover topics like community health and assessment, holistic nursing, and leadership and management in nursing practice. U.S. News and World Report ranks UNG #40 in best regional universities in the South.

#1 – Western Carolina University

Online RN to BSN

Cullowhee, North Carolina

Website

Western Carolina University - Top 30 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 2020
#1 most affordable online RN to BSN – Western Carolina University.

Undergraduate Tuition: $3,926

Western Carolina University’s offering is the cheapest RN to BSN online program on our list. The program is approved by the North Carolina Board of Nursing and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. In addition to accreditation credentials, the school ranks with major publications like U.S. News and World Report. WCU’s online RN to BSN program is easy to access for working students. All coursework and classes are delivered online, making it highly flexible for individuals balancing work and family obligations with school. Courses include a series of nursing blocks covering topics like community health, leadership, professional transitions in nursing, and research. As indicated above, WCU ranks with U.S. News and World Report as the 23rd best regional university in the South and offers the #1 most affordable online RN to BSN program on our list.

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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. 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.

This concludes our list of top 30 most affordable online RN to BSN programs of 2020.

Related:

Resources on Cheap Online RN to BSN Programs

BCO Staff
March 2020

This concludes our list of the top 30 cheapest RN to BSN online degree programs for 2020.