The Best Online BSN Programs of 2022

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Updated November 22, 2022

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Pursuing a BSN online provides academic freedom and flexibility for aspiring nurses. Check out this guide for a list of the best online BSN programs.
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Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

nursing students in class Credit: SDI Productions / E+ / Getty Images

Interested in becoming a nurse or advancing your registered nursing career? Earning an online bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN) offers flexibility and convenience compared to on-campus programs. If you need to balance personal responsibilities or continue working while attending school, pursuing your nursing bachelor’s online can help you achieve your goals on your schedule.

Explore our rankings of the top online BSN programs to find a school that best fits your needs.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best ADN-to-MSN (RN to NP) bridge programs, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including: Academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.


At a Glance: The Top 10 Online BSN Programs

  • 1. University of Florida—Online
  • 2. University of Florida
  • 3. University of Central Florida
  • 4. Ohio State University—Main Campus
  • 5. University of Wisconsin—Madison
  • 6. California State University—Stanislaus
  • 7. Appalachian State University
  • 8. Texas A&M International University
  • 9. Farmingdale State College
  • 10. Florida International University


Keep reading to learn more about the key factors to consider when choosing a program or go straight to our ranking of the best online BSN programs.

Using Our Rankings: What to Look For in an Online BSN Program

Deciding which online nursing bachelor’s program works best for you depends on several factors such as program length, curriculum, clinical requirements, and accreditation. Our ranking of the best online BSN programs takes into account these considerations to help you make the right choice.

1. Admission Requirements

All schools require a high school diploma or equivalent, but some programs may stipulate a minimum GPA, specific prerequisites, and SAT or ACT scores. Before applying to an online BSN, make sure you meet the admission criteria.

2. Clinical Experience

All BSN programs require clinical experiences but handle them differently. Find out if your program offers online learners the option of fulfilling clinical requirements close to home.

3. Accreditation

Accreditation impacts your opportunities for employment, graduate studies, and certification. It is important to choose an online BSN that holds accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

4. Program Length

Full-time students typically earn their online BSN in four years. Accelerated BSN and RN-to-BSN programs take less time, anywhere between 18-24 months, depending on the program's requirements and the applicant’s previous experience.

5. School NCLEX Pass Rate

The NCLEX-RN pass rate shows how well the program prepares graduates for RN careers. As of June 2022, the national pass ratefor first-time test takers is just over 82%, according to the NCSBN. A higher-than-average pass rate can indicate a quality program.

6. School Graduation Rate

The school graduation rate reports the percentage of students who graduate in the expected time frame. A high graduation rate gives you a good indicator of the program's commitment to learning and student success.

7. Online Learning Format and Requirements

Not all online BSNs use the same learning and technology formats. Programs that offer an asynchronous curriculum allow you to attend class when it's most convenient for you. Others follow a synchronous schedule with fixed log-in times or include hybrid courses that combine web-based instruction with in-person meetings.

Featured Online BSN Programs

Why Is Online BSN Program Accreditation Important?

Accreditation ensures that a nursing program meets nationally established academic standards to prepare graduates for nursing practice. All online nursing bachelor's selected for our rankings have earned accreditation by either the CCNE or the ACEN.

A program's accreditation status has important implications for financial aid eligibility, licensure,

and future educational and career plans:

  • The NCLEX-RN exam and certification exams for advanced practice nursing roles require applicants to hold degrees from accredited nursing schools.
  • State nursing boards only grant licenses to RNs who have graduated from an accredited program.
  • Government financial assistance can only be applied to nursing programs at accredited schools.
  • Credits earned at nonaccredited schools may not transfer to other programs.
  • Employers and graduate nursing programs may not consider graduates from nonaccredited schools.
  • Graduating from an accredited program signals to employers that you have received a high-quality education, making you more competitive in the job market.

Learn More About the Best Online BSN Programs

See our methodology to learn more about how we create our rankings.

#1 The Best Online BSN Programs of 2022

University of Florida-Online

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online

The University of Florida's part-time online RN-to-BSN program, approved by the Florida Board of Nursing, gives working nurses a convenient and virtual pathway to advance their careers. 

The program incorporates studies in pathophysiology and pharmacology, genetics and genomics, and legal and ethical issues. Nursing students complete the 90 clinical-hour requirement online, with no need to commute to campus.

UF only admits nursing students in the spring.

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,358
Out-of-state
$15,000
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
32%
Students Enrolled
3,926
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 The Best Online BSN Programs of 2022

University of Florida

  • Gainesville, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Florida offers an online BSN program with professional development opportunities outside of Gainesville, Florida. 

The program combines classroom, laboratory and clinical experiences to teach leadership, teamwork, and advocacy skills. Each semester, students complete critical-tracking courses, ensuring they earn at least a "C" grade to proceed.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,477
Out-of-state
$25,694
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
37%
Students Enrolled
52,407
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#3 The Best Online BSN Programs of 2022

University of Central Florida

  • Orlando, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Central Florida's BSN online degree offers an affordable education with fee waivers for remote learners and a course plan that takes only three semesters to complete. 

Through classroom lectures, labs, and practicum experiences, students learn nursing research, pathophysiology, health assessments, and healthcare policy. 

The 30-credit program offers full- and part-time options with three start dates. UCF honors up to 29 prior learning credits, and three courses can go toward an MSN or a DNP degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,478
Out-of-state
$19,810
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
44%
Students Enrolled
69,402
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
59% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 The Best Online BSN Programs of 2022

Ohio State University-Main Campus

  • Columbus, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Ohio State University's affordable online BSN program provides in-state tuition to students regardless of where they live and does not charge for textbooks. 

Online learners complete clinical experiences near their hometowns. The program offers a path to graduation in 12-15 months. 

Students take 30 credits in healthcare informatics, evidence-based practice, cultural competency, community health nursing, and concepts in leadership and management. 

Ohio State's BSN online degree offers start dates every semester.

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,197
Out-of-state
$31,174
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
54%
Students Enrolled
61,391
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 The Best Online BSN Programs of 2022

University of Wisconsin-Madison

  • Madison, WI
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The University of Wisconsin's BSN online program lets nursing students study part time and graduate in as few as 18 months. 

Online learners complete 24-30 credits in the fall and spring. Summer courses are also available.

The seven-week courses explore concepts, such as chronic care management, nursing research, leadership and management, information and health technology, and community health nursing. Degree seekers gain professional experience during 60 hours of clinical work.

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,273
Out-of-state
$36,333
Retention Rate
95%
Admission Rate
54%
Students Enrolled
44,257
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
18% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 The Best Online BSN Programs of 2022

California State University-Stanislaus

  • Turlock, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The California State University features an online BSN program that lets students complete the required 35 credits and 90 clinical hours in as few as 12 months. 

Courses teach nursing students about health assessments, leadership management, community health theory, pathophysiology, and transcultural nursing. 

Stan State accepts 30 nursing students every semester. Admitted students begin in the fall and spring.

Average Tuition
In-state
$5,742
Out-of-state
$17,622
Retention Rate
83%
Admission Rate
89%
Students Enrolled
10,974
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#7 The Best Online BSN Programs of 2022

Appalachian State University

  • Boone, NC
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Appalachian State University offers an online program that students can complete in 1-3 years. App State's clinical requirements suit working nurses who can complete projects and research instead of traditional in-person work experience. 

Major coursework, comprising 30 credits, educates students about nursing informatics, health assessments, care of older adults, care of communities, nursing research, and nursing leadership and management.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,242
Out-of-state
$19,049
Retention Rate
88%
Admission Rate
77%
Students Enrolled
19,280
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#8 The Best Online BSN Programs of 2022

Texas A & M International University

  • Laredo, TX
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Texas A&M International University's BSN online degree, approved by the Texas Board of Nursing, puts nursing students on a track to graduate in 12 months.

TAMIU's 32-credit program incorporates lessons on health assessments, nursing research, cultural determinants of health behavior, community nursing, and nursing leadership and management. 

Nursing students complete each self-paced course in seven weeks. At the program's end, nursing students complete an extensive 126 clinical hours.

Average Tuition
In-state
$3,818
Out-of-state
$13,946
Retention Rate
79%
Admission Rate
54%
Students Enrolled
8,305
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
46% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#9 The Best Online BSN Programs of 2022

Farmingdale State College

  • Farmingdale, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Farmingdale State College features a convenient online BSN degree that offers online clinical learning experiences and services programs in healthcare settings.

Nursing students take 60 core courses that focus on health promotion and patient education, advocacy, community nursing, and a senior leadership practice. 

Farmingdale only admits students in the fall.

Average Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$16,980
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
55%
Students Enrolled
9,996
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
25% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#10 The Best Online BSN Programs of 2022

Florida International University

  • Miami, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Florida International University's online BSN degree offers an accelerated program that takes as few as 12 months, or three semesters, to complete.

Nursing students can start this CCNE-accredited program during any semester and take courses in any sequence. FIU requires students to complete 33 credits that focus on health assessments, psychosocial nursing, adult physiological nursing, and evidence-based nursing and research.

Online learners take 27 credits in clinical practicum, which prepares them to earn advanced standing for a MSN or a DNP degree.

Average Tuition
In-state
$4,721
Out-of-state
$16,529
Retention Rate
89%
Admission Rate
58%
Students Enrolled
58,711
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
68% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

How Online BSN Programs Work

Depending on the program, you may complete all degree requirements online, except for clinical placements. Asynchronous programs appeal to highly motivated, independent learners who need minimal faculty supervision. Synchronous formats that require specific attendance times work best for students who desire face-to-face interaction with faculty and other students.

Distance learners must complete in-person clinical requirements to become licensed RNs. While some online programs can arrange placements close to your home, you may have to find your own clinical placements at approved sites.

Applying to an Online BSN Program

Online nursing bachelor’s programs generally follow the same admission procedures as traditional BSNs. Although criteria varies, applicants must have a high school or GED diploma. Many programs require specific math and science prerequisites for admission, but previous nursing or work experience is often not required.

1. Admission Requirements

  • High school diploma or GED
  • Official transcripts
  • Prerequisites in natural science
  • Online application and payment of application fees

2. Admission Materials

  • Letters of recommendation
  • Essay or personal statement
  • SAT or ACT scores (optional)
  • Criminal background check and fingerprinting
  • Physical exam and drug screening
  • Immunization verification

3. GPA Requirement

  • Minimum 2.5 GPA

Paying for Online BSN Programs

Prospective nurses often worry about how to pay for their online BSN. Several factors impact the cost of a nursing degree, including program length, required credits, and in-state versus out-of-state tuition rates. Depending on the program's intensity, you may have difficulty working full-time while enrolled.

Many students offset the cost of their nursing degree through financial aid opportunities. You should begin your search for financial aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine eligibility for government-funded grants or loans.

You may also qualify for need-based or merit-based scholarships offered by schools or private organizations. Federal and state governments sponsor student loan forgiveness programs for nurses who agree to work in high-need areas when they graduate.

What Can You Do After an Online BSN?

Graduates of BSN programs receive training in nursing care, leadership, and case management, acquiring the skills for a wide array of professional opportunities. The degree also prepares graduates for the NCLEX-RN exam and state licensure as a registered nurse.

RNs with a BSN degree find careers in specialties, including geriatrics, pediatrics, and neonatology. While hospitals and physicians' offices are the major employers, RNs also work in outpatient clinics, rehabilitation centers, and long-term care facilities.

Employers have a strong preference for bachelor-prepared nurses, especially in administrative and supervisory positions. Graduate programs that prepare you for highly-paid advanced practice roles require a BSN for admission. The following job outlook percentages for RNs are provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

  • Registered Nurse: RN generalists provide patient care, administer treatments and medications, and offer emotional support to patients and their families. They work in virtually every type of healthcare setting, from hospitals and clinics to nursing homes and home care.

    Median Salary: $77,600
    Job Outlook (2021-2031): +6%

  • Public Health Nurse: A public health nurse works with groups and communities to promote health and safety, reduce health risks, and prevent disease through education, advocacy, and the direct delivery of care. These nurses often find employment in government and nonprofit organizations, school systems, and community clinics.

    Average Salary: $64,368 (October 2022)
    Job Outlook (2021-2031): +6%

  • Travel Nurse: Travel nurses take temporary positions in healthcare settings across the U.S. and overseas in high-need areas experiencing nursing shortages.They work on a short-term contractual basis, taking assignments that may last for a few weeks or as long as two years.

    Average Salary: $84,000 (October 2022)
    Job Outlook (2021-2031): +6%


Frequently Asked Questions About Online BSNs


Can you become a registered nurse online?

A growing number of aspiring nurses choose distance learning programs to earn their undergraduate degree and prepare for the NCLEX-RN and state licensure. The NCLEX-RN exam can only be taken in-person at an official test site.

What education is required to be an RN?

While you can qualify for your RN license after earning a two-year associate degree in nursing, the BSN has become the professional standard. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing recognizes the BSN as the minimum education requirement for professional practice.

What are the benefits of online nursing education?

Online BSN degrees offer flexibility and convenience to degree-seekers who balance their studies with personal and work responsibilities. Distance learners may save on living and transportation expenses while receiving the same access to student services and other resources available to campus-based students.

Can nursing clinicals be done online?

Typically, students must complete nursing clinical in-person at approved sites. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, some nursing schools and healthcare organizations began to supplement face-to-face clinical experiences with virtual simulations and telenursing. Many state boards of nursing, following guidelines established by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, have begun to accept virtual simulations in place of some on-site clinical experiences.


Page Last Reviewed: October 26, 2022

Note: The ranking list and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by our Rankings Team.


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