The Best Online ADN-to-BSN Programs

January 21, 2022 · 6 Min Read

Most advanced nursing roles and leadership opportunities require a bachelor of science in nursing. ADN-to-BSN bridge programs can help you earn a BSN in as little as one year.

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Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

The Best Online ADN-to-BSN Programs
Credit: filadendron / E+ / Getty Images

An associate degree in nursing (ADN) program presents fundamental nursing concepts and skills, allowing graduates to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). However, RNs interested in more advanced positions must earn a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). ADN-to-BSN bridge programs let students earn a BSN quickly, sometimes in as little as one year.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best online ADN-to-BSN programs, making it easier for you to find the right opportunity. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, program offerings, and online flexibility.

Prospective students can use this page to learn about career opportunities, finding the right program, the importance of accreditation, and how to apply to an online ADN-to-BSN program. You can also click here to learn more about the best online ADN-to-BSN programs on our list..

Featured Online Programs

What Can You Do With a BSN?

There are many advantages of a BSN degree. Flexibility is one reason to pursue a bachelor's in nursing. Nurses who earn a BSN can work in many settings, including hospitals, healthcare clinics, outpatient facilities, and physicians' offices. They are often responsible for documenting medical histories, assessing and monitoring patients, and analyzing test results.

Candidates with a BSN qualify for the following roles:

HS diploma or adn or bsn Required

Registered Nurse

RNs work in hospitals, physicians' offices, and community health centers. They coordinate patient care, assess conditions, educate patients and their families on health conditions and treatments, perform diagnostic tests, and analyze lab results.
Salary $53,410-$116,230*
Job Outlook 9% increase from 2020-2030
Learn More About Registered Nurses
adn or bsn Required

Travel Nurse

Travel nurses find jobs through independent staffing agencies. They provide temporary support at many kinds of healthcare facilities, where they perform the same tasks as other RNs. However, travel nurses typically remain in a position only for a few weeks or months.
Salary $80,890*
Job Outlook 9% increase from 2020-2030
Learn More About Travel Nurses
bsn Required

Pharmaceutical Nurse

Pharmaceutical nurses work in sales or research. They educate physicians and pharmacists on new and existing drugs, perform clinical trials, monitor subjects, review lab results, document testing processes, and interview patients.
Salary $84,350*
Job Outlook 9% increase from 2020-2030
*SOURCE: Payscale, BLS

What to Look For in an Online ADN-to-BSN Program

All ADN-to-BSN programs are slightly different, and each school maintains separate admission requirements. However, prospective students should consider the following points as they research schools.

Most ADN-to-BSN programs set admission requirements, including a minimum GPA and SAT or ACT scores. Applicants may need to provide letters of recommendation, official transcripts, and an essay or interview. Most curricula feature similar core courses. However, some programs offer elective or specialized coursework that can help candidates develop a specialty and gain a competitive advantage in the field. Clinicals let students apply what they learn in real-word settings. Some programs let distance learners complete clinical requirements at nearby facilities or the student's own workplace. Others expect candidates to travel to certain locations for assigned periods of time, or do not include clinicals. Regional and national accrediting bodies establish educational standards for schools and the best ADN-to-BSN programs. Accreditation ensures that students receive a quality education that prepares them for the workforce. A school's NCLEX pass rate reflects how well its ADN-to-BSN online programs prepare distance learners for the national exam. An online program's format should fit your learning style and schedule. Some ADN-to-BSN programs use a synchronous learning format that features live classes at set times, while others offer a flexible asynchronous schedule that emphasizes independent learning.

Applying to an Online ADN-to-BSN program

While no two ADN-to-BSN programs are alike, many are similar in structure, length, and content. For example, a BSN curriculum typically explores topics such as public health, cultural awareness, and administration. Other common elements include:

Admission Requirements

Applicants are usually expected to provide a valid RN license, letters of recommendation, a background check, and official transcripts. Students may also need to participate in an interview.

Program Length

Full-time learners can usually earn an ADN-to-BSN online in one year, while part-time students can earn their degree in about a year and a half.

Clinical Requirements

Because applicants should hold an active license, many ADN-to-BSN programs do not include a clinical component.

GPA Requirement

Most programs expect applicants to demonstrate a 2.0 GPA at minimum.

Other Requirements

Schools may require professional experience and drug screening in addition to background checks.

Why Is Online ADN-to-BSN Program Accreditation Important?

Accredited nursing programs provide candidates with the knowledge and skills required to build successful careers. An institution's accreditation status can also influence the ability to receive financial aid, secure employment, or qualify for advanced programs.

For example, credits from nonaccredited programs typically do not transfer to accredited schools.

Who Accredits Online ADN-to-BSN Programs?

How Do I Know an Online ADN-to-BSN Program Is Accredited?

A school's accreditation status covers both online and on-campus programs. Universities and colleges typically display their accreditation status on their websites. Program accreditations are usually listed on the degree's webpage.

Accrediting bodies also maintain lists of accredited schools on their websites. All schools listed on this page and on NurseJournal.org are accredited.

Paying for Online ADN-to-BSN Programs

Many prospective students worry about the cost of attending an online ADN-to-BSN program. There are many factors that impact a program's overall cost, including length, whether the candidate will pay in-state or out-of-state tuition, and whether the student can work while attending class.

Fortunately, students can enjoy many financial aid resources for nurses, including nursing scholarships, grants, and loans. While some funding opportunities are need-based, others are awarded based on academic merit.

Some scholarships focus on specific attributes, such as the student's field of study, location, or cultural or social background, such as scholarships for marginalized students.

Learn More About the Top Online ADN-to-BSN Programs and Schools

University of Florida-Online true View School Profile $ Gainesville, FL 22% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

The University of Florida (UF) offers fully online degree programs to students who want to earn the same degree as their on-campus counterparts. UF's RN-to-BSN online program accepts students in the spring semester only. The program provides flexible options for learners balancing work and life commitments.

By taking the fully online curriculum, students gain skills required for leadership and professional roles. Students can also complete the full clinical requirement for graduation online.

Details:

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing
    • Campus: Gainesville, FL
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
    • Tuition: $112 per credit for Florida residents; $553 per credit for out-of-state students
    • Admission Requirements: Unencumbered Florida RN license or enhanced licensure through the Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC); associate degree in nursing from an accredited program; 2.8 GPA or higher in all nursing coursework
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 20 months (part-time)
    • On-Campus Requirements: No
    • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 89%
    • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $59,580 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
University of Central Florida true View School Profile $$ Orlando, FL 72% 35% 59% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

The University of Central Florida (UCF) was founded in 1963 to support the region's economic growth. UCF's RN-to-BSN online program comprises 30 credit hours. Students can enroll in the spring, summer, or fall semester.

Several regional UCF campuses offer the RN-to-BSN program. Some students complete the program online, while others study in person. The program can be completed in as little as three semesters or as slowly as one course per semester, depending on the number of courses taken per term.

Graduates of the RN-to-BSN program can work in positions of leadership or begin graduate studies.

Details:

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing
    • Campus: Orlando, FL
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
    • Tuition: $179 per credit for Florida residents; $715 per credit for out-of-state students
    • Admission Requirements: Unencumbered RN license; minimum 2.0 GPA in all prerequisite courses from an associate degree in nursing program
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 9 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: No
    • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97%
    • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $57,510 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Florida International University true View School Profile $ Miami, FL 63% 29% 68% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

Florida International University (FIU) offers a fully online RN-to-BSN program open for enrollment during any semester. The program focuses on scientific knowledge and evidence-based practice. Online courses are available through a one-year or three-year semester track. Students need 120 credits to graduate.

Placements in clinical settings require vaccinations, drug screenings, and a criminal background check. Students with criminal or drug histories may be restricted or prohibited from participating in clinical experiences

Details:

  • Program: Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Miami, FL
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $229 per credit for Florida residents; $346 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Unencumbered RN license; 2.75 GPA from an ACEN-accredited program; minimum of 60 transferable lower division college credits completed 5 years prior to admission
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 88%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $63,070 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
The University of West Florida true View School Profile $ Pensacola, FL 46% 64% 66% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

The University of West Florida's (UWF) RN-to-BSN online program is geared toward licensed RNs interested in advancing their careers while maintaining current employment.

The online RN-to-BSN track offers 32 nursing credit hours and 16 credits of upper division electives. Students need a total of 124 credit hours to graduate. The focus of UWF's RN-to-BSN program is nursing practice, management, law, and writing.

Details:

  • Program(s): Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Pensacola, FL
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Commission on Colleges; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Tuition: $282 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: Unencumbered RN license; overall 2.75 GPA; associate of science in nursing; no more than 12 hours of outstanding non-major coursework
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95.97%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $58,450 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Ohio State University-Main Campus true View School Profile $$$ Columbus, OH 86% 36% 34% Higher Learning Commission

Description:

The Ohio State University's RN-to-BSN online program offers working RNs convenience and flexible scheduling. The program requires a minimum of 12-15 months to complete and builds on the education and skills gained during the associate degree in nursing program. OSU's RN-to-BSN online program does not include any in-person requirements. Students taking online courses at OSU receive additional support from online instructional design experts.

OSU urges students planning to obtain a professional license in a state other than Ohio to seek advice from the appropriate licensing agency.

Details:

  • Program(s): Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Columbus, OH
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • Tuition: $16,200 total program cost
  • Admission Requirements: Unencumbered RN license; associate degree in nursing or a nursing diploma from an ACEN- or CNEA-accredited institution; cumulative 2.0 GPA or higher; must live in an authorized state
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $60,400 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
St Luke's College View School Profile Sioux City, IA 100% 53% 53% Higher Learning Commission

Description:

St. Luke's College offers an RN-to-BSN online program that can be tailored to students' personal schedules. There is a faculty advisor assigned to each student to help learners develop a personalized schedule and a self-directed clinical practicum.

Students complete 120 total credit hours, including up to 90 transfer credits from an associate degree in nursing and 30 credit hours of upper division core nursing credits and electives. This program provides students with the skills and knowledge to manage and coordinate care for diverse individuals, families, and communities.

The program focuses on collaborative quality management, health promotion, and leadership skills.

Details:

  • Program(s): Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Sioux City, IA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • Tuition: $11,600 total program cost
  • Admission Requirements: Unencumbered RN license; associate degree from an accredited registered nurse program
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92%
Texas A & M University-College Station View School Profile $$$ College Station, TX 82% 31% 14% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

The Texas A & M College of Nursing was founded in 2008 to help bridge the nursing shortage in Texas. Students in the Texas A & M University-College Station's online RN-to-BSN program complete 30 semester credit hours.

Although coursework is available entirely online, new students must attend an in-person, two-day conference at the Texas A & M University campus in Bryan-College Station.

In addition to nursing theory, the curriculum includes comprehensive health assessments for all stages of life, leadership and management topics, community nursing, global health nursing, and critical research evaluation.

Details:

  • Program(s): Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: College Station, TX
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $27,520 total program cost for Texas residents; $50,930 for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Unencumbered RN license; minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA on prerequisite coursework; minimum of 40 prerequisite course credits (out of 59 total)
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Onsite clinical requirements
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 99%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $63,360 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
CUNY Lehman College View School Profile Bronx, NY 53% 18% 27% Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Description:

New York Bronx-based CUNY Lehman College is a senior college founded in 1931. The school became an independent college within CUNY in September 1967.

The CUNY Lehman RN-to-BSN online program enables students to earn their BSN online. Students must complete 120 credits to graduate, including 37.5 major credits.

The fully online RN-to-BSN program prepares students for professional nursing practice or to continue on to a graduate degree.

Details:

  • Program(s): Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Bronx, NY
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $5,545 total program cost for New York residents; $10,260 out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Unencumbered RN license and registration in New York; completion of 60 college credits with a 2.5 GPA or greater or an associate degree in nursing from a CUNY or SUNY school
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 79%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $95,350 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Clemson University View School Profile $$$$ Clemson, SC 84% 39% 29% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

Clemson University's RN-to-BSN track is offered fully online and can be completed in 12 months of full-time coursework. Working students can enroll on a part-time basis.

The program focuses on ethical decision-making, critical thinking, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Courses include professional nursing, community and family nursing, healthcare genetics, leadership, and research in nursing.

Students planning to continue on to the graduate program may qualify to take up to six hours of graduate courses toward a master of nursing science.

Details:

  • Program(s): Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Clemson, SC
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $550 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: Unencumbered RN license in the student's home state; degree from an accredited RN program; cumulative 2.75 GPA on all previous college coursework; completion of prerequisite courses
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95%
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $57,870 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Florida Gateway College View School Profile Lake City, FL 53% 14% 63% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Description:

Florida Gateway College offers an online RN-to-BSN program that equips nurses for leadership positions and administrative roles in nursing. Students can enroll part time for six semesters or full-time for three semesters.

A total of 31 credit hours is available from 10 upper-division nursing courses, including nursing theory, leadership, health assessment, cultural diversity in healthcare, ethics and law in healthcare, research, and informatics.

Details:

  • Program(s): Bachelor of science in nursing
  • Campus: Lake City, FL
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $5,125 total program cost
  • Admission Requirements: Unencumbered RN license in any U.S. state; associate degree in nursing from a regionally accredited or approved nationally accredited institution
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $54,400 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard

Frequently Asked Questions About Online ADN-to-BSN Programs


Can you go from an ADN to a BSN?

Yes, it is possible to go from an ADN to a BSN. Once a student has earned their associate degree, they can apply to a bachelor's degree program. These candidates can complete their BSN in less time since they already hold a nursing degree.

How long does it take to go from ADN to BSN online?

The length of time it takes to go from an ADN to a BSN online varies. Full-time distance learners can earn a BSN in one year, while part-time students can often finish in two years or less.

Is it better to get an ADN or a BSN?

That depends on the student's professional and personal goals. ADN programs are shorter, letting candidates enter the workforce in two years rather than four. However, ADN-holders may earn less than individuals with a BSN.

Can I get my BSN in two years?

Yes, students can earn their BSN in two years or less if they meet certain criteria. ADN-holders can often graduate in 1-2 years. Students with a bachelor's degree in an unrelated field may enroll in an accelerated BSN program.

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