Top 25 Online Nursing Schools & Colleges of the Future

by Ann Steele Community Director, NurseJournal.org   

Nursing is a very popular career choice for those who truly want to make a difference in the world. It is a career that is not suited for everybody, as it requires a strong and caring person who is not squeamish or faint of heart. Those who do opt for a career in this field have an important role to play in maintaining the overall health in society. Demands on our health care system are growing as our population ages and the frequency of illnesses relating to obesity increases. It is for this reason that the salary expectations for nurses are some of the fastest growing of all professions. In order to work in the field, however, a nursing degree must be obtained.

As the world is becoming increasingly virtual and people find themselves needing to get a job straight out of school in order to be able to afford to live, various schools have now started to offer online programs. Let’s take a look at the top 25 online nursing schools & colleges of the future. This could give you a general idea of where to go if you want to become a nurse.

1 – Capella University

Type: Online university
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Programs: RN to BSN/MSN, DNP and MSN, as well as various specializations
Accreditation: CCNE and Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
School Website: Capella University

2 – Walden University

Type: Online
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Programs: Master and Bachelor Degrees for RNs
Accreditation: NCACS and CCNE
Requirements: Test scores and transfer credits where applicable
School Website: Walden University

3 – Grand Canyon University

Type: Private, for-profit, Christian
Location: Phoeniz, Arizona
Programs: RN to BSN and MSN program for RNs with a BSN. This focuses specifically on leadership and management
Accreditation: HLC, CCN and Arizona State Board of Nursing
Requirements: No clinicals, no waiting list
School Website: Grand Canyon University

4 – University of Chicago at Illinois

Type: Public research
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Programs: BSN and RN to BSN programs
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and CCNE
Requirements: Programs are completely online and there is no requirement for residential stays. Practicums are required, but they are organized near the location of the student.
School Website: University of Chicago at Illinois

5 – Georgetown University

Type: Private, Jesuit
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: Master of Science in Nursing for those with a BSN, Family Nurse Practitioner, Master of Nursing degree and Nurse Midwifery/Women’s Health Nurse
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, ACME and CCNE
Requirements: Coursework is done online until the faculty chooses a field placement, which is offered in convenient locations.
School Website: Georgetown University

6 – Indiana State University

Type: Public
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana
Programs: LPN to BS, MSN programs and RN to BS
Accreditation: HLC, NCA and NLNAC
School Website: Indiana State University

7 – Chamberlain College of Nursing

Type: For-profit
Location: Arlington, Virginia
Programs: RN to BSN, RN/BSN to MSN
Accreditation: HLC, NCACS and CCNE
Requirements: A drive to complete a program very quickly, as these are fast-tracked packages.
School Website: Chamberlain College of Nursing

8 – Drexel University Online

Type: Private
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Programs: BSN, RN to BSN, MSN
Accreditation: MSCHE, NLNAC, CCNE and PA State Board of Nursing
School Website: Drexel University Online

9 – University of Colorado Denver

Type: Public
Location: Denver, Colorado
Programs: MSN (two options) and Ph.D.
Accreditation: HLC, NCA and CNNE
Requirements: Full online program, except for the Ph.D. which requires a once per semester visit to the campus in Denver.
School Website: University of Colorado Denver

10 – The George Washington University

Type: Private, co-ed, non-denominational
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: MSN in five different fields
Accreditation: Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and CCNE
School Website: The George Washington University

11 – Vanderbilt University

Type: Private
Location: Nashville, Tennessee
Programs: MSN
Accreditation: SACSCOC and NLNAC
Requirements: Full online programs through e-learning with some practicum work in a location convenient to the student, as well as mixed programs.
School Website: Vanderbilt University

12 – Loyola University New Orleans

Type: Private, Jesuit
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
Programs: RN to BSN, BSN to MSN and RN to MSN
Accreditation: CCSACA and NLN
Requirements: Various pathways, all available online.
School Website: Loyola University New Orleans

13 – Gonzaga University

Type: Private, Roman Catholic
Location: Spokane, Washington
Programs: MSN in two directions
Accreditation: NWCCU and CCNE
Requirements: Two years or less fast-tracked degree
School Website: Gonzaga University

14 – Sacred Heart University

Type: Private, Roman Catholic
Location: Fairfield, Connecticut
Programs: RN to MSN, RN to BSN and MSN.
Accreditation: NEASC and CCNE
School Website: Sacred Heart University

15 – Clarkson College

Type: Private, non-profit
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Programs: All different nursing programs.
Accreditation: NCA and NLNAC
Requirements: Programs are generally completed in one or two years and they are fully available online. The exception is the Nurse Practitioner degree, which requires three campus visits all in all.
School Website: Clarkson College

16 – Saint Xavier University

Type: Catholic, co-ed
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Programs: Master in Nursing
Accreditation: HLC and CCNE
Requirements: Students must already hold their BSN to complete the program.
School Website: Saint Xavier University

17 – Kent State University

Type: Public
Location: Kent, Ohio
Programs: RN to BSN and various RN/BSN/MSN combined degrees
Accreditation: The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and CCNE
School Website: Kent State University

18 – Liberty University

Type: Private, Christian
Location: Lynchburg, Virginia
Programs: Various nursing degrees and specializations.
Accreditation: SACS-COC and CCNE
Requirements: Online programs can be take part in on a fast-tracked basis. None of the programs require a period or residency. The university has explicitly Christian views, which students are expected to uphold.
School Website: Liberty University

19 – University of Cincinnati

Type: Public
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Programs: MSN program in different specializations
Accreditation: HLC and CCNE
Requirements: Online degrees require completion of one practicum. This can be done in a region convenient to the student, so long as the university agrees.
School Website: University of Cincinnati

20 – Western Governors University

Type: Private, non-profit, online
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah (main office)
Programs: Various programs at Bachelor and Master level
Accreditation: DETC, NCCU and CCNE
Requirements: The school is one of the best in the country but does not receive any state or federal funding, relying instead on donations and grants. They expect their students to keep the name of the school in high stead.
School Website: Western Governors University

21 – Nebraska Methodist College

Type: Private
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Accreditation: HLC, NCACS and CCNE
Programs: Online masters and bachelor programs, RN to BSN and RN to MSN
School Website: Nebraska Methodist College

22 – University of Saint Mary

Type: Private, Catholic
Location: Leavenworth, Kansas
Programs: RN to BSN
Accreditation: NCA and CCNE
Requirements: Programs are accelerated and can be completed in just 18 months.
School Website: University of Saint Mary

23 – Robert Morris University

Type: Private, co-ed
Location: Moon Township, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Programs: RN to MSN and BSN to MSN
Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education and CCNE
Requirements: Three years of 8 week blocks for the RN to MSN. Two year program for BSN to MSN.
School Website: Robert Morris University

24 – Benedictine University

Type: Private, Catholic
Location: Lisle, Illinois
Programs: Various MSN specializations as well as individual courses
Accreditation: HLC NCA and CCNE
Requirements: Degrees take between 16 and 24 months to complete
School Website: Benedictine University

25 – Anna Maria College

Type: Co-ed, Catholic
Location: Paxton, Massachusetts
Programs: RN to BSN
Accreditation: New England Association of Schools and Colleges and NLNAC
Requirements: No required residency or clinical components. Degree takes two and a half years to complete, although transferable credits may shorten this.
School Website: Anna Maria College



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