16 Easiest Online RN to BSN Programs to Get Into | 2024

Discover the easiest online RN to BSN programs to get into in 2024. Learn about their prerequisites, requirements, costs, and salary expectations after graduation. Programs

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As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, the demand for highly educated nurses is on the rise. For registered nurses (RNs) looking to advance their careers, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is a pivotal step.

Among the many different offerings from top-notch nursing schools are online RN to BSN programs that are easy to get into, providing accessible pathways for RNs to achieve their educational and professional career goals.

Learn more about these programs as we dive into their nuances to highlight what it is that makes them more accessible, their coursework, clinical training, prerequisites, requirements, costs, salary expectations after graduation, and more. Whether you're a practicing RN seeking to increase your skills and earning potential, or generally curious about the educational pathway, you've come to the right place.

What Makes an Online RN to BSN Program Easy to Get Into?

An online RN to BSN program that is easy to get into and typically has certain characteristics that make it more accessible to a wider range of students. These features often include:

  • Flexible Admission Requirements: Such programs may have more lenient admission criteria, possibly waiving requirements like high GPAs or standardized test scores.
  • Accreditation: While maintaining quality education, these programs are often accredited, ensuring they meet certain educational standards.
  • Online Format: The online nature of these programs offers flexibility in terms of time and location, making it easier for working nurses to enroll and complete their degrees.
  • Transfer Credit Acceptance: Many of these programs accept transfer credits, which can make it easier for students who have already completed some college coursework.
  • Support Services: They often provide robust student support services, including academic advising and tutoring, which can help students succeed even if they have been out of school for a while.
  • High Acceptance Rates: Given the accessibility of easy-to-get-into online RN to BSN programs, they inherently have higher acceptance rates than alternative institutions.

RN to BSN Coursework

The coursework in an RN to BSN program is designed to build upon the knowledge and skills that registered nurses already possess. It typically includes:

  • Advanced Nursing Practice: Courses focus on enhancing clinical decision-making and patient care skills.
  • Leadership and Management: These courses prepare nurses for leadership roles, covering topics like healthcare policy, ethics, and management practices.
  • Community and Public Health: This area explores broader health concerns, including community health assessment and intervention strategies.
  • Research and Evidence-Based Practice: Students learn about research methods and how to apply evidence-based practices in nursing.
  • Health Informatics: Courses cover the use of information technology in healthcare, including data management and electronic health records.

RN to BSN Clinical Training

Clinical training in an RN to BSN program is designed to enhance practical skills and apply theoretical knowledge in real-world settings. Key aspects include:

  • Hands-On Experience: Students engage in clinical practice in various healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and community health centers.
  • Simulation Labs: Many programs use simulation labs to provide realistic, hands-on experiences in a controlled environment.
  • Community Health Projects: Some programs include projects or practicums focusing on community health, allowing students to work on real-world health initiatives.
  • Leadership Rotations: Clinical rotations may include leadership and management experiences, preparing nurses for supervisory roles.
  • Capstone Projects: These are often a culmination of clinical training, where students integrate their learning in a comprehensive project or clinical experience.

While predominately not the case, some RN to BSN programs don't require clinicals.

Easiest Online RN to BSN Programs to Get Into

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

1. University of Texas at El Paso

Acceptance Rate: 100%

The University of Texas at El Paso offers an online RN to BSN program designed for registered nurses seeking to advance their careers. The program emphasizes enhancing clinical reasoning and care delivery skills, preparing nurses for leadership roles in healthcare. The curriculum covers a range of topics, including community health, research, and management, with a focus on culturally competent care.

Program Highlights:

  • Fully online format.
  • Emphasis on culturally competent care.
  • Covers community health, research, and management.
  • Designed for working professionals.

2. Western Governors University

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Western Governors University's RN to BSN program is an online, competency-based education program tailored for working nurses. The program focuses on evidence-based practice, patient safety, and healthcare technology. WGU's unique model allows students to progress at their own pace, making it a flexible option for nurses balancing work and study.

Program Highlights:

  • Competency-based education.
  • Fully online and self-paced.
  • Focus on evidence-based practice, patient safety, and technology.
  • Suitable for working nurses.

3. Aspen University

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Aspen University's RN to BSN program is designed for registered nurses looking to advance their education and career opportunities. The program emphasizes enhancing nursing skills, leadership, and management capabilities in healthcare settings. Aspen University is known for offering flexible online learning options, which would be beneficial for working professionals. The curriculum includes courses in advanced nursing practice, healthcare policy, evidence-based practice, and community health.

Program Highlights:

  • Flexible online learning format suitable for working nurses.
  • Focus on advanced nursing practice and leadership.
  • Courses include healthcare policy, evidence-based practice, and community health.

4. Cox College

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Cox College's RN to BSN program offers a flexible online learning environment for registered nurses. The program is designed to accommodate working professionals, offering courses in eight-week blocks, either part-time or full-time. It also provides an opportunity for students to start taking MSN courses as part of their bachelor's program.

Program Highlights:

  • Flexible online format with eight-week course blocks.
  • Option for part-time or full-time study.
  • Bridge program to MSN courses.
  • No admission deadlines.

5. Lewis-Clark State College

Acceptance Rate: 100%

The RN to BSN track at Lewis-Clark State College is an online program that allows nurses to complete their BSN in as few as 9 months. The program is designed for nurses who already have their RN license and focuses on expanding knowledge and skills beyond clinical aspects. It offers flexible scheduling and online coursework.

Program Highlights:

  • Complete the BSN in as few as 9 months.
  • Flexible scheduling and online coursework.
  • Designed for RNs with an Associate degree.
  • Two hands-on practicum courses are included.

6. Delta State University

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Delta State University's online RN to BSN program is offered through the Robert E. Smith School of Nursing. It is designed to prepare graduates for leadership positions and to pursue education beyond the baccalaureate level. The program is entirely online, with some clinical experiences in healthcare or community settings based on the student's geographical location. Students have the option to attend full-time or part-time, with the full-time program being completed in two semesters and the part-time program in four semesters.

Program Highlights:

  • Online format with clinical experiences in the student's local area.
  • A full-time program can be completed in two semesters; and part-time in four semesters.
  • Focus on preparing RNs for leadership roles and further education.
  • Flexible scheduling with full-time and part-time options.
  • Applications are accepted year-round with fall term admissions.

7. University of Maine-Fort Kent

Acceptance Rate: 100%

The RN to BSN online program at the University of Maine-Fort Kent (UMFK) is tailored for working nurses, focusing on clinical reasoning and promoting a culture of healthcare safety. This 100% online program is designed for affordability, with no additional fees, and offers flexibility with 7-week online courses. The program can be completed in as few as 10 months and costs $309 per credit hour. It requires 30 credit hours of core nursing courses.

Program Highlights:

  • Emphasizes clinical reasoning and evidence-based practice for quality outcomes.
  • Learning outcomes include professionalism, leadership, patient-centered care, evidence-based practice, teamwork and collaboration, communication, systems-based practice, informatics and technology, safety, quality improvement, and geriatrics.
  • Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
  • Offers an affordable, pay-as-you-go tuition model.
  • Six start dates each year, accommodating working nurses.
  • Admission requires an RN license and a GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • The curriculum includes courses on holistic health assessment, transcultural care in nursing, health care policy, health-related research, and an integrated nursing practice practicum.

8. Milligan University

Acceptance Rate: 99%

Milligan University offers an online RN to BSN program, which is CCNE-accredited and designed specifically for working RNs. The program is delivered entirely online, allowing students to meet clinical course outcomes in their local community and work environment. The program can be completed in as few as 5 semesters, and it includes general education classes that are taken online alongside nursing courses. This structure provides a balanced approach to earning a degree while managing life's other responsibilities.

Program Highlights:

  • 100% online course delivery.
  • Can be completed in as few as 5 semesters.
  • Clinical course outcomes can be met in the student's local community and work environment.
  • The program is preferred by employers and is a stepping stone for graduate studies.
  • Offers one of the most economical tuition rates in the region.
  • Students are eligible for state and federal tuition assistance programs and employer reimbursement.
  • The faculty consists of clinical experts with substantial real-world experience and a commitment to students' academic, personal, and spiritual growth.
  • Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing.
  • Offers a free Personalized Degree Plan to help prospective students understand their specific course requirements.

9. University of Providence

Acceptance Rate: 99%

The University of Providence offers an RN to BSN program online, designed for RNs with an ADN. The program is built on a conceptual framework that emphasizes Relationship-Based Care, Vigilance, Professional Accountability, and Change. This framework is designed to prepare nurses for the complexities and dynamics of modern healthcare environments.

Program Highlights:

  • Focuses on Relationship-Based Care, where patient and family are central to the care delivery team.
  • Emphasizes Nursing Vigilance, reflecting unwavering attention to patients and the care delivery environment.
  • Highlights Professional Accountability, ensuring that nurses meet established standards and engage in continuous professional development.
  • Addresses the constant and complex changes in healthcare, preparing nurses to lead and manage positive change.
  • The program honors the patient and family as the center of the care delivery team, fostering collaborative and sacred relationships.
  • Aims to protect patients from harm and ensure their safe passage through the continuum of care.
  • Encourages nurses to be responsible for their self-care, professional development, and proactive career management.

10. Arkansas Tech University

Acceptance Rate: 98%

Arkansas Tech University's RN to BSN program offers a seamless transition for RNs from an associate degree or diploma in nursing to a baccalaureate degree. This 100% online program is designed for flexibility, offering three admission cycles each year and the option for full or part-time studies. The curriculum is contemporary and expands upon the knowledge of the registered nurse, with the ability to complete the program in one calendar year. The program includes two clinical courses: Professional Practicum Synthesis and Leadership and Management.

Program Highlights:

  • 100% online, allowing for flexibility in scheduling.
  • Three admission cycles per year.
  • Full or part-time study options.
  • Can be completed in one calendar year.
  • Two clinical courses focusing on professional practice and leadership.
  • Learning opportunities include the scope of professional practice for the BSN-prepared nurse, nursing research, leadership and management skills, nursing informatics, and population health.
  • Students living in states bordering Arkansas receive in-state tuition.
  • Financial aid available for qualifying students.
  • Graduates are prepared for advanced roles in leadership and management, charge nurse positions, community-based environments, and various nursing specialties.
  • Alumni work in prestigious institutions like Arkansas Children's Hospital, Arkansas Department of Health, Baptist Health, Mercy, and St. Vincent Health.
  • The program stacks with higher degrees like BSN to PhD or DNP, and MSN programs for advanced practice certifications.

11. Eastern Kentucky University

Acceptance Rate: 98%

Eastern Kentucky University's RN to BSN online program is designed for working nurses. This CCNE-accredited program is 100% online, allowing students to learn from anywhere. The program requires 25 nursing credit hours and can be completed in as little as 12 months. EKU's curriculum blends academic and professional preparation, focusing on health promotion, disease prevention, quality, performance improvement, coordination of services, and population health.

Program Highlights:

  • Accelerated path to graduate in 12 months.
  • 25-28 credit hours required for the degree.
  • Free textbooks through EKU BookSmart.
  • No required campus visits or cohorts, and no testing centers to visit.
  • Clinical projects can be completed in the student's current place of employment.
  • Credit for general education requirements based on associate in nursing, NCLEX licensure, and professional experience.
  • Convenient 8-week terms with personalized advising.
  • The program includes courses like Perspectives in Professional Nursing, Research for EBNP, Leadership and Management, Complex Health Systems/Clinical, Professional Role Transition, and RN Public Health Nursing.

12. Shepherd University

Acceptance Rate: 98%

Shepherd University's RN to BSN program offers a comprehensive curriculum designed to enhance the skills and knowledge of RNs. The program is delivered online, providing flexibility for working professionals. It focuses on advanced nursing concepts, leadership, and community health, preparing graduates for a range of healthcare settings.

Program Highlights:

  • Online format for flexibility.
  • Emphasis on advanced nursing practices and leadership.
  • Focus on community health.
  • Designed for working professionals.

13. Keiser University

Acceptance Rate: 97%

Keiser University's RN to BSN program is tailored for registered nurses seeking to advance their education and career. The program emphasizes critical thinking, leadership, and evidence-based practice. It's delivered online, offering flexibility for nurses to balance their studies with professional commitments.

Program Highlights:

  • Online delivery for convenience.
  • Focus on critical thinking and leadership skills.
  • The curriculum includes evidence-based practice.
  • Suitable for working nurses.

14. Southeastern Louisiana University

Acceptance Rate: 97%

Southeastern Louisiana University's RN to BSN program is designed for licensed RNs aiming to further their education. The program is 100% online, making it accessible for nurses with busy schedules. It offers individualized assistance and guidance throughout the program, with a dedicated faculty coach for each student.

Program Highlights:

  • Entirely online format.
  • Dedicated faculty coach for personalized support.
  • Flexible start dates with multiple terms per year.
  • Total cost of $9,500 for U.S. residents, covering tuition, books, and fees.

15. Auburn University at Montgomery

Acceptance Rate: 96%

The RN to BSN program at Auburn University at Montgomery is an online program designed for RNs looking to expand their career opportunities. The program focuses on enhancing nursing skills and knowledge, with flexible assignments to accommodate working schedules. It is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

Program Highlights:

  • 100% online program.
  • Flexible coursework for working nurses.
  • Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
  • Focus on career advancement and leadership roles.

16. College of Coastal Georgia

Acceptance Rate: 96%

The RN to BSN program at the College of Coastal Georgia is an online program aimed at nurses with an associate degree wishing to earn their BSN. The program is designed to address the evolving needs of healthcare, focusing on disease processes, evidence-based practice, and leadership. It includes two in-person clinical rotations that can be completed at a location of the student's choice.

Program Highlights:

  • Online coursework with two in-person clinical rotations.
  • Affordable tuition at $106.80 per hour.
  • Accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
  • Option to complete the program in three or six semesters.

Online RN to BSN Prerequisites & Requirements

When considering an online RN to BSN program, it's important to understand both the prerequisites (what you need before applying) and the requirements (what you need to complete during the program). These elements ensure that students are prepared for the advanced level of study and can successfully complete the program.

Online RN to BSN Prerequisites

Prerequisites are the criteria that students must meet before they can be admitted to the program. These typically include:

  • Educational Background: Most programs require an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a Diploma in Nursing from an accredited institution.
  • RN Licensure: Applicants must hold a current and unencumbered RN license. This is crucial as the program builds on the knowledge and skills acquired as a registered nurse.
  • Prerequisite Courses: Some programs may require specific prerequisite courses, such as anatomy, physiology, Microbiology, and statistics, to be completed before admission.
  • Work Experience: While not always mandatory, some programs prefer or require some level of professional nursing experience.

Online RN to BSN Requirements

Requirements are what students need to fulfill to complete the program successfully. These often include:

  • Coursework: Completion of all required coursework, which typically includes advanced nursing concepts, leadership, community health, research, and possibly electives.
  • Clinical Hours: Some programs require a certain number of clinical hours. These may be completed at the student's place of employment or at another approved location.
  • Capstone Project or Thesis: Many programs include a capstone project or thesis as a graduation requirement, where students demonstrate their integrated knowledge.
  • Minimum Grade Point Average: Students usually need to maintain a minimum GPA, often around 2.0 or higher, throughout the program to graduate.
  • Professional Standards: Adherence to professional and ethical standards throughout the program is typically expected.

Costs & Salary Expectations of Easy to Get Into Online RN to BSN Programs

Understanding the financial aspects of RN to BSN programs is crucial for prospective students. This includes both the costs involved in pursuing the program and the potential salary benefits upon completion.

Online Easy-to-Get-Into RN to BSN Costs

The cost of RN to BSN programs can vary significantly based on several factors:

  • Tuition Fees: These fees differ widely between public and private institutions. Public colleges often offer lower tuition rates for in-state students, while private colleges may charge more. Online RN to BSN programs might reduce costs by eliminating the need for campus facilities, although their tuition rates can be comparable to traditional programs. Tuition is typically charged per credit or as a flat rate for the entire program.
  • Additional Fees: Beyond tuition, students may incur various fees. Online courses often include technology fees to support digital platforms. Lab fees for practical components, along with expenses for textbooks, uniforms, and other materials, are also common.
  • Financial Aid Options: Financial aid can significantly lower the cost burden. This includes federal aid through FAFSA, nursing-specific scholarships, and employer tuition assistance programs.
  • Opportunity Costs: Engaging in higher education may lead to reduced work hours and income. The time dedicated to studying also represents an indirect cost, impacting potential earnings.
  • Long-Term Financial Benefits: Despite upfront costs, obtaining a BSN can lead to increased lifetime earnings and opportunities for advanced roles in specialized nursing areas and leadership positions.

Easy-to-Get-Into Online RN to BSN Salary Expectations

Salaries for RNs with a BSN degree vary based on location, experience, education level, nursing specialty, and industry sector.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average annual wage for RNs is $89,010, with a range from $61,250 to $129,400. Nurses in general medicine and surgical hospitals typically earn around $90,600 annually, equating to an hourly wage of $43.56.

States with the highest RN salaries include:

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

RNs holding only an associate degree have an average annual income of $88,638 in the U.S.

Easy-to-Get-Into RN to BSN Pros & Cons

Easy-to-get-into RN to BSN online programs offer several advantages and some potential drawbacks. Here are five pros and cons to consider:

Pros of Easy-to-Get-Into Online RN to BSN Programs

  • Accessibility: These programs often have more lenient admission requirements, making higher education more accessible to a broader range of nurses, including those who may not have had stellar academic records in the past.
  • Flexibility: Online formats allow for greater flexibility in terms of study schedules, which is particularly beneficial for working nurses who need to balance their professional and personal responsibilities.
  • Diverse Student Body: With easier admission criteria, these programs often attract a diverse range of students from different backgrounds and experiences, enriching the learning environment.
  • Opportunity for Advancement: Completing a BSN can open doors for career advancement, higher salaries, and more specialized nursing roles.
  • Continued Professional Development: These programs encourage lifelong learning and professional development, which is essential in the ever-evolving field of healthcare.

Cons of Easy-to-Get-Into Online RN to BSN Programs

  • Quality Concerns: Some may perceive that programs with easier admission standards might compromise on educational quality, although this is not necessarily true, especially if the program is properly accredited.
  • Self-Discipline Required: Online learning requires a high degree of self-discipline and motivation. Without the structure of traditional classroom settings, some students may struggle to keep up with coursework.
  • Limited Hands-On Experience: While online programs offer clinical training, the hands-on experience might be less comprehensive compared to traditional on-campus programs.
  • Technology Dependence: Students must have reliable access to technology and the internet. Those who are not comfortable with digital learning platforms may face challenges.
  • Networking Limitations: Online programs may offer fewer opportunities for in-person networking with peers and faculty, which can be a significant part of professional growth in nursing.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What are the typical acceptance rates for easy-to-get-into online RN to BSN programs?

Acceptance rates can vary widely among different programs. However, programs that are considered easy to get into often have higher acceptance rates due to more flexible admission criteria. This makes them more accessible to a broader range of students, including those who may not meet the stringent requirements of more competitive colleges of nursing.

Q: Can I enroll in an online RN to BSN program on a part-time basis?

Many online RN to BSN programs offer the flexibility to enroll either full-time or part-time. This accommodates working nurses who need to balance their professional responsibilities with their nursing education. Part-time enrollment allows students to progress through the program at a pace that suits their individual schedules.

Q: How do online RN to BSN programs ensure students develop competency in key areas like pathophysiology?

Online RN to BSN programs, including those with easier admission standards, are designed to cover all essential areas of nursing education, including pathophysiology. They use a combination of comprehensive online coursework, interactive digital platforms, and practical clinical experiences to ensure students develop the necessary competencies. Accreditation bodies like the CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education) also ensure these programs meet specific educational standards.

Q: Are there any specific general education requirements for enrolling in an online RN to BSN program?

General education requirements for online RN to BSN programs typically include having an ADN) or a Diploma in Nursing from an accredited institution. Additionally, some programs may require the completion of prerequisite courses in areas like anatomy, physiology, and Microbiology. It's important to check with the specific college of nursing for detailed enrollment requirements.

Q: Do online RN to BSN programs prepare students for the NCLEX-RN examination?

Online RN to BSN programs are primarily designed for individuals who are already licensed registered nurses, having passed the NCLEX-RN examination. These programs focus on advancing nursing education and skills, rather than initial preparation for the NCLEX-RN. However, the advanced coursework and clinical training can indirectly support ongoing professional competency for practicing nurses.

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