The Best Online ADN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

February 25, 2022 · 5 Min Read

Are you an RN interested in completing your undergraduate nursing education? Read on to learn how you can earn your ADN-to-BSN degree online while continuing to work.

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Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

The Best Online ADN-to-BSN Programs of 2022
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..

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

Featured Online RN to BSN Programs

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

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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