The Best Online RN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

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Updated November 22, 2022

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Are you an RN interested in completing your undergraduate nursing education? An ADN is an associate degree in nursing, which is typically what RNs have. 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?

Credit: filadendron / E+ / Getty Images

If you have an associate degree in nursing (ADN) and a valid RN license, earning an RN-to BSN degree can lead to more advanced nursing positions and higher pay.

A bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree builds on your clinical skills and practical experience, leading to enhanced career opportunities and a foundation for graduate studies. Online RN-to-BSN programs let you earn a BSN in as little as one year.

Explore our rankings of the best online RN-to-BSN programs and learn more about online courses, admission requirements, and accreditation.

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.




Keep reading for the key factors to consider when choosing a program, or go straight to our ranking of the best RN-to-BSN Programs.

Featured Online BSN Programs

Why Is RN-to-BSN Program Accreditation Important?

Accreditation ensures that a nursing program meets nationally established professional standards to provide students with a high-quality nursing education.

All nursing programs selected for our rankings have earned accreditation from either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

A program's accreditation status impacts financial aid, licensure, and employment:

  • The NCLEX-RN exam and certification exams for advanced practice nursing roles require applicants to hold degrees from accredited nursing schools.
  • Graduation from an accredited program is necessary for state licensure
  • Government financial assistance can only be applied to accredited nursing programs.
  • Credits from unaccredited schools may not transfer to other programs.
  • Employers and graduate nursing programs may not consider graduates from unaccredited schools.

The Best RN-to-BSN Programs and Schools

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

#1 The Best Online RN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

Seminole State College of Florida

  • Sanford, FL
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Seminole State lists more than 50 online programs, including one leading to a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) that admits students with an associate degree in nursing (ADN).

Learners can enroll part time, which may help them continue working while earning their degree. The curriculum includes virtual simulations and local experiential learning.


  • Program: RN-to-BSN
  • Campus: Sanford, FL
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • Tuition: $120 per credit in-state; $425 out-of-state
  • Admission Requirements: ADN or diploma in nursing; minimum 2.5 GPA; RN license or eligibility to take the NCLEX-RN examination
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 99% first-time pass rate
Average Tuition
In-state
$2,393
Out-of-state
$9,494
Retention Rate
Not provided
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
17,754
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
51% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#2 The Best Online RN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

Azusa Pacific University

  • Azusa, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Established in 1899, Christian-based APU offers a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) online program for working registered nurses (RNs).   

The program's cohort model of instruction features sequential, asynchronous coursework with remote participation and communication platforms. Enrollees complete clinical rotations locally.


  • Program: RN-to-BSN
  • Campus: Azusa, CA
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $460 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: 60 or more transferable credits from an accredited college or university; minimum 3.0 GPA; RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 15 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 84% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $89,570 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$39,640
Out-of-state
$39,640
Retention Rate
80%
Admission Rate
67%
Students Enrolled
9,297
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Western Association of Schools and Colleges Senior Colleges and University Commission

#3 The Best Online RN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

Midway University

  • Midway, KY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Midway was founded in 1847 as the first U.S. school for orphaned and disadvantaged women. Today, its coed student population can select from career-oriented programs, such as an online bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). 

Designed for working nurses, the program runs fully online. Coursework covers advanced nursing topics and requires limited practicum experiences.


  • Program: RN-to-BSN
  • Campus: Midway, KY
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • Tuition: $295 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: ADN or diploma in nursing; RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $66,240 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$24,500
Out-of-state
$24,500
Retention Rate
69%
Admission Rate
60%
Students Enrolled
1,357
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
73% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

#4 The Best Online RN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

Missouri Baptist University

  • Saint Louis, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

MBU's enrollees can pursue flexible and convenient degrees taught from a biblically based Christian perspective. The school's online bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) bridge program lets students with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) complete their undergraduate education.

Geared for working registered nurses (RNs), classes prepare graduates for nursing roles with increased responsibility and advancement potential.


  • Program: RN-to-BSN
  • Campus: Leadington, MO
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $463 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: ADN; minimum 2.0 GPA; RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
Average Tuition
In-state
$26,860
Out-of-state
$26,860
Retention Rate
71%
Admission Rate
61%
Students Enrolled
5,309
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#5 The Best Online RN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

Oral Roberts University

  • Tulsa, OK
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

ORU provides education based on evangelical principles. Learners with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) can pursue a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from ORU.  

Learners pursuing their ADN-to-BSN online take upper-level classes like theoretical nursing foundations, leadership, and health promotion.


  • Program: ADN-to-BSN
  • Campus: Tulsa, OK
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $410 per credit 
  • Admission Requirements: ADN; minimum 2.5 GPA; RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $58,220 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$28,998
Out-of-state
$28,998
Retention Rate
81%
Admission Rate
68%
Students Enrolled
4,160
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
15% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#6 The Best Online RN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

SUNY Polytechnic Institute

  • Utica, NY
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Part of the State University of New York system, SUNY Poly focuses on technology innovation, research, and development. 

Registered nurses (RNs) with an associate degree in nursing (ADNs) can earn their bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) online. Learners participate in a health assessment course with a mock patient and experiential learning at a healthcare facility.


  • Program: ADN-to-BSN
  • Campus: Utica, NY
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $3,535 per semester full time, in state; $4,240 out-of-state; $295 per credit part time, in state; $350 out-of-state 
  • Admission Requirements: ADN or diploma in nursing; minimum 2.5 GPA; New York RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $64,360 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$7,070
Out-of-state
$16,980
Retention Rate
74%
Admission Rate
69%
Students Enrolled
3,006
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
45% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#7 The Best Online RN-to-BSN Programs of 2022

Missouri Western State University

  • Saint Joseph, MO
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

MWSU offers student-centered, applied learning in numerous fields, including an online ADN-to-BSN program

MWSU partners with community colleges to provide flexibility for working professionals to complete their bachelor's degrees. The program culminates with a clinical capstone in community health and leadership.


  • Program: ADN-to-BSN
  • Campus: St. Joseph, MO
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $230 per credit in state; $484 out-of-state
  • Admission Requirements: ADN or diploma in nursing; RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 98% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $57,640 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
Average Tuition
In-state
$6,096
Out-of-state
$12,573
Retention Rate
63%
Admission Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,608
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
38% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

How Online Online RN-to-BSN Programs Work

Depending on the program, distance learners may take asynchronous classes at their own pace or convenience. This format works best for independent, self-motivated learners who need minimal faculty supervision.

Synchronous formats offer more faculty supervision and interaction with other students, but less flexibility, requiring attendance at established days and times.

Online nursing students have access to thesame resources as on-campus students, including advising, tutoring, technological support, and career placement services.

Because students enrolled in RN-to-BSN programs already hold a valid RN license, some programs waive the clinical requirement. However, many schools require in-person clinical training at approved sites.

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some online nursing programs have begun to offer virtual clinical experiences.

Applying to an RN-to-BSN Program

Specific admission requirements for online RN-to-BSN programs depend on the school. Most programs expect applicants to hold a nursing diploma or ADN from an accredited nursing program, and a valid RN license. Each program has a minimum GPA for acceptance, prerequisite courses, and health and safety compliance requirements.

1. Admission Requirements

Applicants must hold a nursing diploma or an ADN. They also need a valid and unencumbered RN license without any record of disciplinary action.

While some online programs waive the clinical component for RNs, a school may require at least one year of nursing experience, a specific number of practical/clinical hours, or an equivalency exam. Applicants may need to submit a personal statement and participate in either an in-person or remote interview.

2. Admission Materials

Prior to enrolling, you need to complete prerequisite coursework in anatomy and physiology, microbiology, statistics, nutrition, chemistry, and other fields as required.

Nursing schools require applicants to fulfill health and safety compliance protocols that often include a drug test, a criminal background check, a physical exam, and immunizations.

3. GPA Requirement

Most nursing programs require a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 on a 4.0 scale.

Paying for RN-to-BSN Programs

Many RNs hesitate to enroll in an online program to complete their BSN because of the cost. Several factors impact the affordability of a nursing program.

Consider program length and how many credits it takes to earn the degree, whether you must pay out-of-state tuition rates, and whether you can work while enrolled in the program.

Fortunately, nursing students may qualify forseveral financial aid opportunities.Prospective online learners should begin theirsearch for financial aidby filling out theFree Application for Financial Student Assistance (FAFSA).

The FAFSA determines eligibility for government-funded grants or loans. Federal and state governments sponsor student loan forgiveness programs for nurses who agree to work in high-need areas when they graduate.

Nursing schools and private organizations offer both need-based and merit-based scholarships, as well as awards targeted for specific fields or members of underrepresented groups.

At some schools, members of the armed forces and their family members may qualify for discounted tuition. Some healthcare employers offer tuition-reimbursement benefits to nurses who successfully complete their degree.

What Can You Do With a Degree from an RN-to-BSN Program?

While RNs can enter the field after earning a two-year ADN or nursing diploma,an online RN-to-BSN program offersfinancial and career advantages.

Earning an online BSN can take as little as a year more of study, resulting in higher pay and increased job prospects.

The popularity of the BSN has grown. Between 2013 and 2020, thepercentage of RNs with BSNs increased from 40.3 to 48.1 while the percentage of ADN holders in the same period fell from 32.4 to 28.1.

TheAmerican Association of Colleges of Nursingstrongly supports the BSN as the minimum educational requirement for RNs. Many employers, including acute care facilities, school systems, and public health agencies, hire only BSN graduates.

MSN programs that prepare graduates for high-paying advanced practice nursing and leadership roles require applicants to hold a BSN degree.


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

Each online RN-to-BSN program has its own admission and curriculum requirements. However, when comparing programs, always look for indicators of academic quality.

Before deciding what program best suits your needs, pay attention to coursework and clinical requirements, accreditation status, NCLEX pass rates, online formats, and other aspects that matter to you.

1. Admission Requirements

Most online RN-to-BSN programs require official transcripts, a minimum GPA, a current RN license, and letters of recommendation. These requirements ensure you have the necessary preparation to succeed in a fast-paced and rigorous bachelor’s program.

2. Program Curriculum

While most programs offer similar core courses, curriculums differ in electives and concentrations. Consider what kinds of required and elective courses a program offers. Does the coursework reflect your areas of interest or prepare you for in-demand specializations?

3. Clinical Experience

The clinical requirement provides real-world and practical experience that builds on the knowledge acquired through coursework and labs. Some online BSN programs do not require clinicals for students with an associate degree of nursing (ADN) who already completed clinical hours for their RN license.

Many programs that require clinicals let distance learners complete their hours at their workplace or near their homes. Others require students to travel to specific locations.

4. Accreditation

Accreditation ensures that online RN-to-BSN programs adhere to common standards of quality. Accreditation determines financial aid eligibility and the ability to transfer credits.

6. Program Length

Most online RN-to-BSN programs require around 30 credits, depending on the number of credits transferred from the student's ADN. Programs take between 12 and 24 months to complete.

7. School NCLEX Pass Rate

The pass rate of the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) provides a good indicator of how well a nursing program prepares its students for the RN licensure exam. Pass rates higher than the national average pass rates suggest better program quality and teaching effectiveness.

8. School Graduation Rate

The graduation rate tells applicants how many students finished their nursing degree within the stipulated time frame. Higher graduation rates indicate a supportive learning environment and commitment to preparing nurses for practice.

9. Online Learning Format and Requirements

When choosing a program, make sure that the online format meets your personal needs. Schools that offer asynchronous schedules enable students to progress at their own pace. Programs with synchronous formats require students to log in at set times. Online learners may also need to attend on-campus meetings once or more per term.

Frequently Asked Questions About RN-to-BSN


Can you go from an ADN to a BSN?

Yes. Once you have completed your associate degree, you can apply to a BSN program. You may be able to complete the BSN in two years or less, depending on the program you choose.

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

The time needed to complete an online RN-to-BSN varies according to the program and the number of credits accepted in transfer from the ADN degree. Full-time students may complete all requirements in a year, while part-time students can take up to four years to earn their degree.

What is the salary for RN vs. BSN?

While RNs can enter the nursing workforce after earning an ADN, they earn significantly more money after completing a BSN. According to Payscale data from September 2022,nurses with an associate degreeearn an annual base salary of $73,000 compared to $89,000 forbachelor degree-holders.

Is RN or BSN better?

The answer depends on your personal and professional goals. If you want to enter the workforce quickly, you can earn an ADN and pass the NCLEX-RN exam in two years. An online BSN often takes an additional 12 to 24 months but will lead to higher-paying jobs and provide the required admission credential for graduate work.


Page last reviewed October 10, 2022. The ranking list and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by our Rankings Team.


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