13 Fastest RN to BSN Programs in 2023

These are the 13 fastest RN to BSN programs available in 2023, along with information on prerequisites, requirements, and salary expectations.

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    Specializes in Urgent Care, Travel Nursing, Post-Surgical. Has 10 years experience.
13 Fastest RN to BSN Programs in 2023

The role of a registered nurse (RN) is crucial in the healthcare field, providing essential care and promoting patient well-being. While RNs can enter the profession through various educational pathways, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree offers distinct advantages.

Below we explore what it means to be a BSN-prepared RN, the differences between associate-, baccalaureate-, and master's-prepared nurses, degree prerequisites and requirements, and the 13 fastest RN to BSN programs available in 2023.

What Is a BSN-prepared RN?

A BSN is a four-year nursing degree. After graduating with a BSN, you can take your state licensure exam to become a licensed RN. However, you can become an RN by either earning an associate's or master's degree, too. The same licensure requirements apply after graduation, where you have to pass the NCLEX-RN exam to earn your RN license.

The difference between an associate, baccalaureate, or master's degree is all a matter of the required coursework and credit hours. As an associate degree (ADN)-prepared nurse, you'll earn a two-year degree. Your courses will mainly focus on nursing fundamentals and skills. With a BSN program, you'll earn a four-year degree and take additional leadership, general education, health sciences, and informatics courses. MSN-prepared nurses advance their education further and focus on certain nursing practice areas, such as education, public health, adult nurse practitioners, or community health nursing.

Related: 10 Best RN to BSN Programs in 2023

As an RN, you'll provide patient care and promote patient health and evidence-based practice. RNs can work in many specialties, such as intensive care, cardiology, radiology, and operating and emergency rooms. They can also work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, outpatient physician offices, or community and population health centers.

As a BSN-prepared nurse, you'll still complete the same responsibilities as an ADN-prepared nurse; however, you'll have many more leadership opportunities due to your educational background and coursework and the potential for higher compensation. For those reasons, many ADN-prepared RNs return to school to complete their BSN, known as an RN to BSN program.

BSN Prerequisites and Requirements

When applying to any RN to BSN program, you must meet the admission requirements of the school and the nursing program, which will vary slightly by the institution. Typical RN to BSN nursing program requirements include the following criteria:

  • Completion of an ADN, Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN), or Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (AAS) program through an accredited institution, such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Hold an unrestricted RN license
  • Basic Life Support (BLS) or CPR certification
  • Proof of transcripts from all prior schools; the minimum GPA is usually a B (3.0)
  • Proof of clinical practice and practicum hours
  • Background check and drug screen
  • Up-to-date immunizations and a current physical examination

Many programs require minimum previous coursework credits and a minimum grade point average (GPA). If you earned a C in any of your previous classes, consider retaking them to achieve a higher score before applying.

Steps to Obtain Your BSN

As a licensed RN with an ADN degree, your steps to earning a BSN will differ from traditional BSN students. When applying to programs, see if they require a state-specific nursing license or residence in a particular state. Some programs require this, so you will need to apply for your nursing license earlier than the application deadline. Next, transfer credits from your previous institution and complete any additional requirements.

Once you start your BSN program, you'll find that some of your coursework is similar to your prior program. However, courses will be more in-depth and require greater critical thinking skills, such as health assessment and pathophysiology. You'll also take new classes, such as leadership, nursing research, and informatics. Furthermore, many BSN programs have you complete an additional practicum, clinical experience hours, or capstone project.

Why Apply to Earn Your BSN?

Many healthcare organizations are transitioning to hiring only BSN-degree nurses due to the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) recommendation. In addition, to improve patient outcomes, the Magnet Recognition Program requirements advise that nursing leaders have a BSN or higher. 

In addition, if you want to become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) or obtain a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), a bachelor's degree is the next best step.

Fastest RN to BSN Programs in 2023

Most RN to BSN programs have the option of either full-time or part-time tracks. However, almost all fast-track or accelerated programs require a full-time commitment. Program types, lengths, start dates, and admission requirements will vary.

The following schools have been selected based on allnurses' methodology of surveying our readers to understand what they value most while selecting schools with the addition of graduation rates, student-faculty ratio, price, mode, duration, and admission rates of hundreds of the most prominent nursing schools in the United States.

1. Northern Kentucky University

Northern Kentucky University's RN to BSN pathway has multiple start dates throughout the year. You can complete this hybrid or online program in as little as ten months. Tuition is $9,480 for the entire program.

  • Admission rate: 87%
  • Graduation rate: 47%
  • Post-Graduation rate: 93%

2. Regis College

Located in Weston, Massachusetts, Regis College's program is online, and you can earn your BSN in anywhere from 10 to 20 months. For most BSN degrees, it takes 12 months. If you're interested in earning an MSN, they also offer an RN-BSN-MSN track. The program costs $615 per credit hour.

  • Admission rate: 84%
  • Graduation rate: 64%
  • Post-Graduation rate: 97%

3. Florida International University

Florida International University's 12-month fully online or hybrid BSN program's tuition is $8,299 to $11,811. They focus on offering nursing classes relevant to your workplace experience.

  • Admission rate: 58%
  • Graduation rate: 67%
  • Post-Graduation rate: 90%

4. Florida Gateway College

Located in Lake City, Florida, this program is online. You can complete your RN to BSN at Florida Gateway College in 12 months. Tuition costs $3,730, with courses totaling 31 credit hours.

  • Admission rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 56%
  • Post-Graduation rate: 85%

5. Herzing University

Herzing University has many options for RNs to advance their degrees. The RN to BSN program is 12 months online and $395 per credit hour. They have rolling admissions, and courses are nursing career and leadership-focused.

  • Admission rate: 92%
  • Graduation rate: 65%
  • Post-Graduation rate: 83%

6. University of North Carolina at Wilmington

This entirely online program costs $6,089 for North Carolina residents, and students can finish in 12 months. You'll gain the knowledge and confidence to successfully compete and advance into high-demand healthcare fields.

  • Admission rate: 68%
  • Graduation rate: 73%
  • Post-Graduation rate: 75%

7. ECPI University

In Newport News, Virginia, ECPI University's program is online or hybrid. You can complete your BSN in 12 months, and tuition costs are $250 in-state or $444 out-of-state per semester.

  • Admission rate: 80%
  • Graduation rate: 53%
  • Post-Graduation rate: 88%

8. Indiana University 

Indiana University's online or hybrid program will prepare you for nursing leadership, research, and graduate studies. The length is about 12 months, and tuition costs anywhere between $625 to $1664 per semester.

  • Admission rate: 79%
  • Graduation rate: 51%
  • Post-Graduation rate: 93%

9. Kent State University at Kent

Located in Kent, Ohio, this program is 12 months online. You'll take healthcare policy and health promotion courses and complete a capstone project. Tuition will cost you around $12,000 in total.

  • Admission rate: 84%
  • Graduation rate: 65%
  • Post-Graduation rate: 96%

10. Galen College of Nursing - San Antonio

Galen College of Nursing's one-of-a-kind program is tailored to working nurses and is 12 months online. Their course content is interactive and offers 3D animations. Total tuition will be around $31,000.

  • Admission rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 66%
  • Post-Graduation rate: 33%

11. Stony Brook University

This online program in Stony Brook, NY, will require some on-campus visits. You can complete it in as little as 12 months, and tuition will run anywhere from $7,720 to $25,290.

  • Admission rate: 49%
  • Graduation rate: 76%
  • Post-Graduation rate: 91%

12. University of Wyoming

Depending on your chosen track, you can graduate within one to three years. The nursing coursework is online, and tuition is $150 per credit hour.

  • Admission rate: 94%
  • Graduation rate: 59%
  • Post-Graduation rate: 93%

13. Purdue University Global

Purdue University Global's online program has 10-week terms, where you can earn your BSN in 18 months as a full-time student. The program focuses on building strong nursing leadership skills and is $315 per credit hour.

  • Admission rate: 100%
  • Graduation rate: 33%
  • Post-Graduation rate: 96%

Salary Expectations of BSN-Prepared Nurses

As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for RNs was around $77,000 per year in 2021. This figure includes all RNs with ASN, BSN, or MSN degrees. According to Indeed, the median salary for RNs is around $90,000 annually, which is higher. Since many hospitals hire BSN-prepared nurses, this number most likely reflects that expectation.

As a new graduate, you could start with a lower or higher salary than the average, depending on your experience level and specialty. Also, annual wages will vary by location, facility, and practice area.

FAQ and Additional Readings

Q: Why should I return to earn a BSN degree?

A: Many healthcare systems and organizations are now requiring their nurses to be BSN-prepared, as it improves patient outcomes. In addition, as a BSN-prepared nurse, you are eligible for nursing leadership positions, increasing your earning potential and chances for future promotion.

Related: Drexel University RN to BSN Review

Q: Do I need additional clinical hours?

A: You've already completed most of your nursing coursework because you have an associate's degree. However, most schools require that you complete additional practicum hours. Some schools will waive practicum if you prove that you work full-time as an RN or have earned a certain number of clinical practice hours.

Q: How long is the RN to BSN program?

A: Typical programs are anywhere from 12 to 24 months, depending on whether you choose to go full-time or part-time. Usually, the fast-track or accelerated programs range from 10 to 18 months.

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Specializes in Psychiatric. Has 12 years experience.

In terms of wages, it's not worth getting a BSN, over a ASN. The pay is the Same. A BSN is really only a stepping stone to management or acquiring a MSN in order to teach or become a NP. After much experience as an RN and a Union Steward, I will say, if one wants to increase their wage prospective, focus on unionizing your work site.