15 Best RN to BSN Programs | 2024

Discover the best online RN to BSN programs available in 2024 and take your nursing career to the next level. Learn about their prerequisites, requirements, costs, and salary expectations after graduation. Programs

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While an associate degree or diploma provides RNs with a foundational entry into the nursing profession, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) significantly broadens their horizons.

A BSN not only deepens their clinical knowledge and skills but also unlocks doors to more advanced roles, leadership positions, and a competitive edge in salary negotiations.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics emphasizes increased employability of those with BSNs, particularly in hospital settings, additionally backed by a survey from the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (2022), which showed that 77% of employers strongly prefer nurses with a BSN, while 41% require a BSN for a new hire.

Considering that a BSN is statistically desirable for long-term growth, we've compiled a list of the best RN to BSN programs available below.

What Is an RN to BSN Program?

An RN to BSN Program is a registered nurse (RN) returning to school to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. This involves experienced RNs and new graduates with a diploma or an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN).

A BSN degree program augments the learning from a diploma or associate degree by having a more comprehensive education on social and physical sciences, nursing management, research, informatics, and public health. It enhances the BSN student's understanding of community health, healthcare management, leadership, and policy for a broader scope of practice.

These programs are mostly online, but some schools have on-campus classes offering practicum (clinical hours) to be completed in your local community. Clinical experiences of nurses can vary, but several programs require a capstone project by graduation.

RN to BSNs vary in cost, and many employers reimburse tuition for continued education, while several schools offer financial aid.

RN to BSN Coursework

The coursework in an RN to BSN program builds upon the foundational nursing knowledge that RNs have already acquired. It often includes advanced topics in nursing and may cover:

  • Nursing Theory: Courses in nursing theory provide a deeper understanding of the conceptual frameworks and principles that guide nursing practice.
  • Research and Evidence-Based Practice: Nurses learn how to integrate research findings into their practice to improve patient outcomes and healthcare quality.
  • Community and Public Health Nursing: This area focuses on promoting and protecting the health of populations, emphasizing prevention, wellness, and health education.
  • Leadership and Management: These courses prepare nurses for leadership roles by teaching them about healthcare systems, policy, finance, and organizational dynamics.
  • Health Assessment: Advanced health assessment courses enhance the nurse's ability to perform comprehensive patient evaluations.
  • Pathophysiology and Pharmacology: An in-depth study of disease processes and the medications used in treatment.
  • Ethics and Legal Issues in Nursing: Nurses study the ethical and legal principles that impact nursing practice and healthcare delivery.
  • Informatics: Nurses learn about the use of information technology in healthcare to improve patient care.
  • Cultural Competence: Courses that focus on providing culturally sensitive care to diverse patient populations.

RN to BSN Clinical Training

Clinical training in an RN to BSN program is designed to provide nurses with practical experience in various settings. It may be less hands-on than the clinical training in an associate degree program since students are already licensed nurses. However, it still plays a crucial role in developing advanced skills:

  • Community Health Clinicals: These provide experience in community settings, such as public health departments, schools, and home health agencies.
  • Leadership Clinicals: Some programs include a leadership practicum, where students may shadow nurse leaders or manage projects in healthcare settings.
  • Capstone Projects: Many programs culminate in a capstone project, which often includes a clinical component where students apply their knowledge to a real-world nursing challenge.
  • Simulation Labs: Advanced simulation labs allow nurses to practice complex and critical scenarios in a controlled environment.
  • Specialty Electives: Some programs offer clinical electives in specialized areas of nursing, such as pediatrics, geriatrics, or emergency care.

Best Online RN to BSN Programs in 2024

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

1. Grand Canyon University

Grand Canyon Logo Grand Canyon University (GCU) is among the best online RN to BSN programs. It allows RNs to obtain their degree within six terms, offering five-week courses to accelerate completion within 14 months.

Theory classes are online, but clinical hours must be obtained in person within your community.

GCU allows up to 90 credits to be transferred and offers a fast-track option to get your Master of Science in Nursing degree within two and a half years. The RN to BSN program is 120 credits total, so the cost varies quite a bit depending on your credits eligible for transfer.

  • Price: $340 per credit hour; the total program costs approximately $10,200 for those with maximum transfer credits
  • Mode: Online
  • Duration: 14 months
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) Accredited: Yes
  • Admission Rate: 82%
  • Graduation Rate: 41%
  • Post-Graduation Employment Rate: 93%
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 21:1

Read Reviews: Grand Canyon University Nursing School

2. Ohio University

Ohio University Logo Ohio University was awarded the eighth most affordable online RN to BSN program within the United States, allowing nursing students to complete their degrees for as little as $10,000.

Students applying must hold an active, unencumbered nursing license with an ADN or diploma in nursing, have a GPA of 2.0 or higher, and are residents in one of the following states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia or Washington, D.C.

  • Price: $10,000 for the program
  • Mode: Online
  • Duration: 12-24 months
  • CCNE Accredited: Yes
  • Admission Rate: 87%
  • Graduation Rate: 65%
  • Post-Graduation Employment Rate: 93%
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 17:1

Read Reviews: Ohio University RN to BSN Program

3. Rasmussen University

Rasmussen University LogoRasmussen University's RN to BSN program provides online education with support in securing in-person clinicals and allows up to 134 credits to be transferred. Additional program benefits include tuition assistance and support services for enrolled students, enhancing the overall educational experience. This program, with its emphasis on flexibility and comprehensive support, is designed to cater to the diverse needs of nursing students.

Applicants must have a current, unencumbered RN license in the United States.

  • Price: $14,500 total
  • Mode: Online
  • Duration: 12-18 months full-time
  • CCNE Accredited: Yes
  • Admission Rate: 100%
  • Graduation Rate: 35.8%
  • Post-Graduation Employment Rate: 99%
  • Student-Faculty Ratio:  11:1

Read Reviews: Rasmussen University School of Nursing

4. Western Governors University

Western Governors LogoWestern Governors University is for active, unencumbered RN-licensed students to complete their BSN as quickly as four terms. They charge tuition every six months, not per credit, creating a cost-effective option for the motivated nursing student.

Their courses align with the 2021 AACN Essentials for Core Competencies for the professional nurse. Up to 90 credits can be transferrable into this program.


  • Price: $4,885 per term
  • Mode: Online
  • Duration: 12-24 months
  • CCNE Accredited: Yes
  • Admission Rate: 100% (if application and education requirements are met)
  • Graduation Rate: 89%
  • Post-Graduation Employment Rate: 78%
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 42:1

Read ReviewsWestern Governors University (WGU)

5. University of North Carolina, Pembroke

UNC - Pembroke LogoWhile a North Carolina state school, we'd be remiss, not to mention one of the country's most affordable RN to BSN programs, especially as they allow students from other NLC compact states to enroll.

The RN to BSN program is designed for registered nurses seeking to advance their education and career prospects. Recognizing the foundational skills and knowledge that RNs already possess, this program offers a curriculum that builds upon prior learning and clinical experience. 

Students can choose between an accelerated pathway, which can be completed in 12 months, or a flexible option that allows them to study at their desired pace, taking approximately 2 years to complete.

  • Price: $4,247 for in-state; $9,404 for out-of-state
  • Mode: Online
  • Duration: 12 months
  • CCNE Accredited: Yes
  • Admission Rate: 92%
  • Graduation Rate: 23%
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 15:1

6. Morehead State University

Morehead State University Logo Morehead State University's RN to BSN program, recognized as one of the top 5 in the Southeast Region, offers a specialized online format tailored for working nurses.

This program's design reflects a deep understanding of the evolving healthcare landscape and the skills needed to thrive in it. The university's commitment to quality is evident in its approach to nursing education and support services, ensuring that graduates are well-prepared for the challenges of modern nursing practice.

This accredited institution has the admission requirements of having an active and unencumbered RN license.

  • Price: $4,620 per semester or $385 per credit hour
  • Mode: Online
  • Duration: 24 months
  • CCNE Accredited: Yes
  • Admission Rate: 77%
  • Graduation Rate: 23%
  • Post-Graduation Employment Rate: 100%

7. Montana Technological University

Montana Technological University LogoMontana Tech was ranked first in nursing programs in Montana in 2021 and 2023.

They require registered nurses to have an active, unencumbered license and have already earned an ADN. Transferring of credits needs to be evaluated by the enrollment service office.

For start dates in the fall, applications are due by April; for start dates in the Spring, applications are due by November.

  • Price: $525 per credit hour
  • Mode: Hybrid
  • Duration: 4 Terms
  • CCNE Accredited: Yes
  • Post-Graduation Employment Rate: 100%

8. Regis College

Regis College LogoRegis College offers an online RN to BS Degree Completion Program tailored for working nurses. The program, designed for practicality and accessibility, includes options for asynchronous or Zoom synchronous hybrid classes, without a clinical component. Students receive 45 credits for associate's degree nursing courses and an active RN license. Personalized academic support from faculty and advisors is a key feature of this program, ensuring a tailored educational experience.

  • Price: $603 per credit hour
  • Mode: Online
  • Duration: 12-16 months (as few as five semesters)
  • ACEN Accredited: Yes

Read Reviews: Regis College of Nursing

9. Maryville University of Saint Louis

Maryville University LogoMaryville University of Saint Louis offers a comprehensive 129-credit RN to BSN program, accommodating up to 40 transferable credits. The program uniquely prepares nurses across skill levels for advanced roles, emphasizing the development of well-rounded professionals with a focus on critical thinking and healthcare leadership. This approach is designed to enhance career opportunities and readiness for diverse nursing challenges.

Prospective RN to BSN students must have an active, unencumbered RN license and a minimum GPA of 2.0 from their associate studies to be eligible for entry into the program.

  • Price: $15,750-$67,725 estimated total tuition
  • Mode: Online
  • Duration: 3 Terms
  • CCNE Accredited: Yes
  • Admission Rate: 95%
  • Graduation Rate: 57%
  • Post-Graduation Employment Rate: 98%
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 13:1

10. Capella University

Capella University Logo Capella University is one of the most popular fully online universities, as evidenced by its 14,000+ nursing alumni.

This CCNE-accredited program offers a flexible learning option called FlexPath, so students can complete their RN-to-BSN within 9 months (based on the fastest 25% of students; program length and cost will vary by transfer credits, per-session cost, and how quickly you complete courses.

Notably, the program has a high satisfaction rate among students, with 96% expressing contentment with the FlexPath format.

  • Price: $6,750-$20,220 estimated total program cost, varies based on pace.  
  • Mode: Online
  • Duration: As little as 9 months (based on the fastest 25% of students)
  • Admission Rate: Open
  • CCNE Accredited: Yes 

Read ReviewsCapella Flexpath

11. Drexel University

Drexel University Logo Drexel University provides nursing students with evidence-based practice to improve patient outcomes and excel in their nursing careers.

Their general education includes technology-enhanced coursework to improve the curriculum that will enhance the RN's experience. Drexel doesn't have any on-campus requirements. 

One unique feature of the Drexel RN to BSN program is the three-year tuition lock. For those who can finish their degree in three years, you won't have to worry about a tuition increase.

  • Price: $604 per credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Duration: 12-24 months
  • CCNE Accredited: Yes
  • Admission Rate: 77%
  • Graduation Rate: 68%
  • Post-Graduation Employment Rate: 90%
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 9:1

Read Expert Review: Drexel RN to BSN

12. University of Texas at Arlington

University of Texas at Arlington LogoThe University of Texas at Arlington, College of Nursing and Health Innovation (CONHI) was officially established in 1971, as part of the University of Texas System College of Nursing in Fort Worth. The school became an academic program at UT Arlington in 1976.

UT Arlington is the largest public college of nursing in terms of enrollments and graduates, graduating over 22,000 nurses since inception. The school's RN to BSN program uses the college's size and resources to its advantage, offering affordable tuition, multiple start dates throughout the year, and cutting-edge technology and innovation.

By offering multiple start dates throughout the year, the University of Texas at Arlington recognizes the diverse needs and timelines of aspiring nursing professionals. This flexibility not only accommodates various schedules but also enables students to embark on their educational journey at a time that aligns best with their personal and professional commitments.

  • Price: $8,995 (total)
  • Mode: Online
  • Duration: 9 months
  • CCNE Accredited: Yes
  • Admission Rate: 88%
  • Graduation Rate: 51%
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 24:1

Read Reviews: UTA RN to BSN Reviews

13. California State University, Fullerton (CSUF)

Cal State Fullerton Logo CSUF's RN to BSN program offers 24-semester units of nursing coursework, available for full-time or part-time completion, with options for campus-based or online learning.

The program aims to educate nurses for dynamic healthcare environments, emphasizing accessible, high-quality education. It prepares graduates to provide culturally sensitive care, function independently in various settings, and lays a foundation for further education and specialization. Through innovative partnerships, SUF's nursing program promotes health and aims to be recognized as a center of excellence.

Applications are accepted for the fall (October 1 to November 30) and Spring (August 1 to August 31) semesters. Prospective students need an unencumbered CA RN license or eligibility, and a minimum GPA of 2.75 from undergraduate studies.

  • Price: $3,833 per semester for in-state students, $10,049 per semester for out-of-state students
  • Mode: Hybrid
  • Duration: 18 months
  • CCNE Accredited: Yes
  • Admission Rate: 38%
  • Graduation Rate: 69%
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 20:1

Read Reviews: Cal State Fullerton RN to BSN

14. Bellevue College

Bellevue College - Logo

Bellevue College's RN to BSN program caters to licensed RNs holding an ADN or nursing diploma, providing advanced training in evidence-based practice, community health, professional communication, leadership, and health information technology (HIT).

Designed for working nurses, the program offers both full-time and part-time study options. Courses are delivered in a blend of hybrid, online, and face-to-face formats, requiring students to be on campus only one day per week.

Upon completion, students enhance their nursing practice, leadership abilities, and proficiency in healthcare technology. They also undertake a scholarly project focusing on leadership and management, equipping them to excel as care managers, providers, and esteemed members of the nursing profession.

  • Price: $7,380
  • Mode: Hybrid
  • Duration: 12 months
  • CCNE Accredited: Yes
  • Graduation Rate: 33%
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 14-1

15. University of Central Florida (UCF)

University of Central Florida - LogoUCF's RN to BSN program can be completed fully online, however, not all electives and prerequisites may be offered online.

The program consists of 62 total credits, with a curriculum focused on subjects such as Nursing Practice, Health Assessment, Nursing Care, and more.

  • Price: $212.28 per credit hour in-state, $748.98 out-of-state
  • Mode: Hybrid
  • Duration: 62 credits, full-time or part-time
  • CCNE Accredited: Yes
  • Admission Rate: 44%
  • Graduation Rate: 70%
  • Student-Faculty Ratio: 31:1

Read Reviews: UCF RN to BSN

RN to BSN Prerequisites and Requirements

RN to BSN programs have specific prerequisites and requirements that must be met for admission.

Prerequisites for RN to BSN Programs

Prerequisites are the courses or conditions that must be met before a student can enroll in an RN to BSN program. They typically include:

  • Associate Degree or Diploma in Nursing (ADN): Most programs require applicants to have completed an ADN or a nursing diploma program from an accredited institution.
  • Active RN License: Applicants must hold a current, unrestricted RN license in the state where they will be completing their clinical requirements.
  • General Education Courses: Completion of general education courses is often required. These may include subjects like English, mathematics, social sciences, and humanities. Some programs may require specific science courses such as biology, anatomy, physiology, Microbiology, and chemistry.
  • Minimum GPA: A minimum grade point average (usually around 2.5 to 3.0 on a 4.0 scale) from previous college coursework is typically required.
  • Work Experience: Some programs may prefer or require applicants to have clinical work experience as an RN.
  • Prerequisite Nursing Courses: Certain foundational nursing courses may need to be completed, especially if they were not part of the initial nursing diploma or associate degree.

Requirements for RN to BSN Programs

Once admitted, students must meet the following requirements to complete the program:

  • Core Nursing BSN Courses: Students are required to complete all core nursing courses offered in the BSN program, which may cover advanced topics in nursing practice, leadership, research, and community health.
  • Clinical Hours: Although RNs already have clinical experience, most programs require the completion of additional clinical hours in various settings to meet the BSN-level competencies.
  • Capstone or Final Project: Many programs require a capstone project or a final paper that demonstrates the integration of knowledge and skills acquired during the BSN program.
  • Elective Courses: Some programs may require or offer elective courses that allow RNs to specialize in areas of interest or to gain additional knowledge in specific areas of nursing.
  • Residency Requirements: If the program is offered by a university or college, there may be a residency requirement, meaning a certain number of credits must be completed through that institution.
  • Continued Licensure: Students must maintain an active RN license throughout the duration of the program.
  • Professional Standards: Students must adhere to the professional standards and code of ethics as set by the nursing profession and the educational institution.
  • Technology Proficiency: As many RN to BSN programs offer online components, students may be required to demonstrate proficiency in using computers and various software applications.

It's important to note that specific prerequisites and requirements can vary significantly from one RN to BSN program to another. Prospective students should carefully review the admission criteria of the programs they are considering to ensure they meet all necessary prerequisites and understand the requirements for successful completion.

RN to BSN Costs 

When considering an RN to BSN program, it's essential to understand the various factors that contribute to the overall cost. 

  • Tuition: The tuition for RN to BSN programs varies, with public institutions typically offering lower rates for in-state students compared to private colleges. Online programs can sometimes offer savings by eliminating campus facility costs, though they may be on par with on-campus tuition. Additionally, tuition can be assessed per credit or as a flat rate for the entire program.
  • Fees: Students may encounter various fees beyond tuition. Technology fees are common in online courses to support digital learning platforms. Lab fees apply to hands-on components, and there are often costs for textbooks, uniforms, and other necessary materials.
  • Opportunity Costs: Pursuing higher education can lead to temporary income loss if work hours are reduced. The time investment in studying also represents an indirect cost, as it takes away from potential earnings.
  • Long-Term Benefits: Despite the immediate costs, a BSN degree can lead to higher lifetime earnings and open doors to advanced career opportunities in specialized nursing fields and leadership roles.

RN to BSN Financial Aid Considerations 

For RN to BSN students, navigating the financial aspects of their education is crucial. Many seek financial aid through federal and state grants, loans, work-study programs, and scholarships tailored to their needs. It's important to explore all avenues and apply early for the best chance at securing funding. Scholarships and grants are particularly helpful, and various organizations offer them to RN to BSN students. Understanding loan options is also key; federal loans often have better terms than private ones. Borrowing wisely and understanding repayment plans are essential. By carefully considering these financial factors, RN to BSN students can better plan for their educational costs.

RN to BSN Salary Expectations

Salary expectations in 2024 are based on geography, experience level, education, type of nursing specialties, and the types of industry that the nurse works in.

According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the national mean annual wage for an RN is $89,010, with the lowest 10th percentile making $61,250 and the 90th percentile making $129,400 annually. The highest employment levels were nurses in general medicine and surgical hospitals, making an annual $90,600. This location's typical hourly wage would be $43.56.

The highest salary states include:

  • California: $133,340
  • Hawaii: $113,220
  • Oregon: $106,610
  • Massachusetts: $104,150
  • Alaska: $103,310

Glassdoor salary for a registered nurse with a BSN is $120,136/year with a range of $92,000-$157,000 yearly. RNs with a BSN with 0-1 years of experience earn an average of $81K-$120K/year, whereas RNs with a BSN with 2-4 years of experience earn $97K-$147K/year. 

For RNs with only an associate degree, the average annual income in the United States is $88,638. 

BSN RN Job Projection 

As of 2022, there are over three million registered nurse (RN) positions in the United States. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects a 6% job growth for RNs by 2032, which would add approximately 177,400 new nursing jobs. However, this projection may underestimate the actual demand due to factors such as the aging population and potential retirements among current nurses. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has prompted some nurses to leave the profession, further contributes to the ongoing nursing shortage. Overall, the demand for RNs is expected to remain strong in the coming years.

Are Online RN to BSN Programs Worth It?

An online RN to BSN program can be a significant step for advancing your career in nursing, however, whether it's worth it depends on your goals. If you're looking to advance your earning potential and prefer more flexibility in your environment, an RN to BSN is likely worth it to you. However, it's important to also weigh the costs, the need for self-discipline, and more.

Online RN to BSN Pros

  1. Career Advancement: A BSN can open doors to more advanced nursing positions, including leadership and management roles, and is often required for certain specialties.
  2. Higher Salary Potential: Nurses with a BSN often have higher earning potential compared to those with an associate degree or diploma.
  3. Flexibility: Online programs offer the flexibility to study on your own schedule, which is ideal for working nurses who need to balance work, family, and education.
  4. Broader Educational Foundation: BSN programs provide a more comprehensive nursing education, including training in management, critical thinking, and research, which can enhance professional practice.
  5. Preparation for Advanced Education: A BSN is typically required for entry into graduate nursing programs, such as Nurse Practitioner (NP) or Nurse Anesthetist programs.

Online RN to BSN Cons

  • Cost: Online BSN programs can be expensive, and financial aid might be more limited compared to traditional programs.
  • Self-Discipline Required: Online learning requires a high degree of self-motivation and discipline, which can be challenging for some students.
  • Limited Hands-On Experience: While clinical requirements can be met locally, some online programs may offer fewer opportunities for hands-on experience compared to traditional programs.
  • Technology Dependence: Online learning relies heavily on technology, which can be a barrier for those without reliable internet access or adequate computer equipment.
  • Less Face-to-Face Interaction: Online programs may offer fewer opportunities for direct interaction with faculty and peers, which can impact networking and learning experiences.

Why Choosing an Accredited RN to BSN Program Matters

Selecting an accredited RN to BSN program is of paramount importance for several compelling reasons:

  • Ensures Educational Excellence: Accredited nursing programs consistently uphold excellence in curriculum, faculty qualifications, student resources, and clinical training through regular evaluations.
  • Licensing Requirements: Graduation from an accredited program is typically a prerequisite for state licensure, which is essential for practicing as a BSN-prepared nurse.
  • Elevated Career Opportunities: Employers prefer graduates from accredited programs due to the assurance of a high-quality education aligned with national standards. Accredited programs create pathways to broader career prospects in nursing.
  • Seamless Credit Transfer: Credits earned within an accredited RN to BSN program are more likely to be accepted by other accredited nursing institutions. This facilitates a smooth transition for transfer students or further education, whether pursuing a higher degree like an MSN or DNP
  • Professional Credibility: Completing an accredited RN to BSN program enhances professional credibility by demonstrating education and training aligned with national standards for advancing nursing practice. 
  • Access to Financial Aid: Having accreditation is often required to be eligible for federal financial aid, such as grants and loans. This is especially important for students pursuing a BSN degree who need financial assistance for their education.

Given these considerations, it is imperative for aspiring RN to BSN students to verify that their chosen programs hold accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

RN to BSN Programs Near Me

Discover the best RN to BSN programs in the following states:

FAQ and Additional Readings

Should I pursue a BSN?

The United States' healthcare system is increasingly becoming more complex with increased chronic illnesses and policy and technology changes. A BSN will better equip you for these complexities, increase your employability and salary, and is undoubtedly worth it. 

May I work while I earn my BSN?

Many programs are designed for the working nurse and have options such as online courses or evening classes (GCU). Most schools will provide part-time and full-time options for their nursing students. This allows for flexibility and provides convenience to further your education.

May I start the RN to BSN program without being licensed?

To apply to an RN to BSN program, you must hold an active, unrestricted registered nurse license in your state and pass your NCLEX-RN boards.

Do I get to transfer credits from my prior nursing degree?

Many schools will grant transferrable credits that apply to their program, but they usually have a maximum number of credits that can be transferred.

Do I need to be employed as a registered nurse to apply to schools?

Not necessarily; the school likely only needs you to have an active RN license before enrolling in their program.

How long does an RN to BSN program take to complete?

The timeframe for completing RN to BSN programs can vary considerably. There are some 6-Month RN to BSN Programs, but most will take 12 to 24 months for a more comprehensive curriculum. If you opt for a part-time schedule, the RN to BSN program could extend to 2 to 4 years, depending on the program's structure and your chosen study schedule. It's important to consider your personal circumstances and commitments when planning your educational journey.

What is the workload like for an RN-BSN program?

Although the workload will vary by program, many students find the time to work full-time and complete their RN to BSN program. Many courses will require discussion boards, written papers, and projects.

One qualitative study analyzed students' perceptions of the RN to BSN program and found four common themes: workload, flexibility, coursework, and support. Some felt the workload to be just as stressful as nursing school, while others expected the workload to be heavier and busier.

Several students in this study appreciated the flexibility of an online RN to BSN program to accommodate their work and life schedules. They found that the coursework included nursing theory, research, management, and population health across the lifespan to create health promotion and leadership roles within our healthcare systems. Nursing students can be out-of-state from school and still be learners in their online courses.

The study also found that students wanted more faculty support when asking questions. They felt they wanted more immediate responses to questions about assignments and exams.

Can I pursue my MSN or DNP alongside the RN to BSN program?

Several nursing schools provide the option of dual-degree programs, enabling students to combine the RN to BSN program with an opportunity to obtain an MSN or DNP upon completion of the BSN curriculum. This innovative approach allows students to transition from their initial BSN studies to advanced degrees seamlessly, but it's worth noting that most of these programs typically require 1-2 years of experience as an RN, enriching the learning experience with practical insights gained in the field.

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Michelle Flanagan has 12 years experience as a MSN, NP and specializes in Nurse Practitioner.

2 Articles   3 Posts


15 Posts

Thank you for sharing I am currently in an ADN program but I was currently looking at how I might obtain my bachelor's degree!

Editorial Team / Admin

Erin Lee, BSN, RN

23 Articles | 162 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care, Procedural, Care Coordination, LNC. Has 12 years experience.
Teaaa said:

Thank you for sharing I am currently in an ADN program but I was currently looking at how I might obtain my bachelor's degree!

@Teaaa That's amazing. You're in the thick of it and already planning your next move, love it!  Are you planning to get experience after your ADN or are you planning to go straight to pursuing your BSN?


19 Posts

Great list! Currently enrolled in #2 🙂

Kermit RN

1 Post

Thank you for the info.
**Can someone please recommend the following?: Online RN to BSN program that is fastest/most affordable **which provides LETTER GRADES (as opposed to pass/fail grading system). Many thanks!! 


1 Post

Specializes in Med- Surg, Med-Surg ICU. Has 9 years experience.

Hello fellow nurses,

I would like to know which hospital near by JBLM that you can recommend that is great for Nurse Residency Program?

Long story short

I completed my RN degree in Australia back 2015.

I just got my WA state RN license 

however, I haven't been working since 2021 due to pregnancy and before that I got married.

so I thought maybe I should start on nurse residency program given I do not have any nursing experience in the US.

Any recommendations what is the best course of action?