Accredited Online RN to BSN Programs

Registered Nurse Programs

What is an Online RN to BSN Program?

Accredited online RN to BSN programs are degree completion options for licensed registered nurses (RNs) with an associate's degree in nursing (ADN) or diploma. Since many RNs are busy, the online RN to BSN format make it possible to earn a bachelor’s degree while at work.

Students of online RN-BSN programs often hone nursing skills while learning how to lead, manage and research. Some courses cover emerging trends in health care therapies and health assessment. Others may discuss health promotion and community nursing. A clinical component helps RNs get hands-on practice and experience in a chosen nursing niche.

Why earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)? Nurses with a BSN may take on a wider scope of professional duties and higher salaries than licensed vocational nurses (LVNs). Earning a BSN also puts you one step closer to a master’s degree or doctorate if your goal is advanced practice nursing.

If you are ready to take the next step in your nursing education, the demand for nurses who possess a bachelor’s degree in the U.S. is growing faster than average. There’s a need for qualified nurses to care for the elderly and those with chronic health issues. Since you may face some competition for these critical jobs, it might be a smart choice to pursue a Bachelor of Science in Nursing soon.

B.S. in Nursing - RN to BSN from Purdue Global University


Nursing, RN-BSN
from Colorado Christian University


B.S. in Nursing (Registered Nurse - R.N. to B.S.N)

 from Grand Canyon University

This program stresses professional leadership and management. Students may tailor studies with nursing elective courses aligned to certifications recognized by Magnet®


This program may empower students to practice nursing as ministry. It views nursing as both a sacred calling and a science


This program highlights ethical and Christian decision-making while maximizing strengths of the adult RN learner

Palliative Care Nursing

Case Management

Faith Community Nursing

New Testament

Population Health

Healthcare Informatics

Family-centered Health Promotion

Professional Dynamics

Health Assessment

Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)


Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)


Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)


Aspects of a RN to BSN Program

Accredited online RN to BSN program follow professional nursing standards and guidelines. These are set out in The Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice (AACN, 2008). While every program has some unique features, this framework ensures a program covers core nursing competencies.

A typical Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree may task students to complete 120 - 180 credit hours. Nurses who enter RN to BSN programs may have 50 to 90 of these credits done.

To determine your track of study, a school will look at original transcripts from acompleted nursing program.

Some of the topics may relate to health care leadership and case management. Others may help you to collaborate with other professionals. You may also study informatics and public health nursing. As a result, you may emerge ready to make ethical decisions in direct and indirect patient care.

Also, many programs cover emerging trends in health care therapies. These may frame current issues and research. Through them, you may grasp some of the complex demands of health care such as population health.

Other science-based learning may discuss topics such as health assessment, health promotion and community (family-centered) nursing. As a result of these essentials, you may learn how to apply data from scientific findings into real world scenarios.

Near the end of an online RN to BSN program, you may need to complete a project proposal. This may ask you to resolve an issue or problem in the nursing practice. Some nursing schools may also ask you to work on a Curriculum Vitae (CV). This may include an e-portfolio to show off any skills to potential employers.

Below is a sample RN to BSN curriculum. Make sure to look at individual schools for more details.

  • Regulatory guidelines (health systems and nurses)
  • Inter-professional communication
  • Health prevention and promotion
  • Nursing care across the lifespan
  • Public health nursing

How Long are Online RN to BSN Programs?

If you are already a licensed RN and have an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), you might complete an online RN-BSN program in about two years.

For this to happen, you'll need to start your ADN degree at another regionally or nationally accredited college or university. This enables you to earn the transfer credits that reduce your BSN credit requirements.

RN to BSN Programs That Could be Completed in 18 Months


# of Credits Required

Start Dates

Minimum Months to Complete

Purdue Global University


Jan 2, Jan 30, Feb 27, March 20

18 months

Colorado Christian University



15 months

Grand Canyon University



12 months


How Much Does an Online RN to BSN Program Cost?

The cost of an online RN to BSN program often depends on whether you study on a full or part-time basis and how many transfer credits you have. For instance, of the 120 credits required for a BSN, RN students with an ADN degree may enter with 50 to 90 credits thus reducing the overall cost. There may also be ways to save such as discounts for veterans and military students.

Recent data also shows that there is a difference in the average in state tuition ($6,679) and out-of-state tuition ($30,454). Both rates are rising by 3.23 and 3.16 percent respectively. iii


# of Credits Required

Cost Per Credit

Total Tuition Cost

Purdue Global University



$28,350 (with 90 transfer credits)

Colorado Christian University


$315 (full-time)


$11,340 (with 84 transfer credits)

Grand Canyon University



$14,100 (with 90 transfer credits)



What are the Top Online RN to BSN Programs?

Last check, there were 274,876 degrees awarded to students in registered nursing, nursing research and nursing administration. iii The majority (121,810) of these for registered nursing at the bachelor’s degree level.[iv]  




2017 Grads total/degrees awarded

Tuition (Out of State)


Chamberlain College of Nursing -Illinois



Grand Canyon University



Western Governors University



Walden University



The University of Texas at Arlington



Ohio University Main Campus



University of Phoenix Arizona



Why it is important to Choose an Accredited RN to BSN Program?

There are several reasons why choosing an accredited RN to BSN program can make a difference to an online nursing student.

What does it mean to be an accredited nursing program? Accreditation is a voluntary and self-regulatory process. When a school applies for approval, the agency evaluates the curriculum and faculty. It also makes on-site visits.

These things ensure that the college is providing nursing education that is contemporary and ethical. They also check that support systems are in place to help students reach goals. This includes financial aid, transfer credit policies, library services and so on.

Only accredited colleges and universities are eligible to offer financial aid. If you are hoping to take part in federal funding, this aspect is vital.  

Also, when an institution receives an approval for its RN to BSN program, such a status lasts for a specific period of time. As such, the school cannot rest on its laurels. It has to keep the standards up and continually improve itself. For a student, this could mean studying current methods rather than outdated ones.

When you choose an accredited RN to BSN program, you'll thus be able to see it has met professional nursing standards with integrity. You can also check the status of your school/program on an agency database.

Only regionally or nationally accredited colleges and universities are able to offer accredited RN to BSN programs. Such programs may be approved by:

  1. Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  2. Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

As we have discussed, only accredited nursing schools allow students to transfer credits from one to another. This is important for now (transfer from ADN to BSN) as much as for later if you want to roll your bachelor’s into a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree.

You should also know that to become licensed nurses must graduate from an approved nursing program. This will allow them to take and pass the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN). Likewise, other credentialing agencies will also ask for your transcripts.

Careers with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree

Today, there are over 3.98 million people in the workforce comprising registered nurses, nursing education and nursing research, a number that is growing by 5.25 percent. iii

With an average workforce age of 43.2 and declining, the most common gender (87 percent) with a degree in this field is women.

Top States for Nursing Professionals

Take a look below at the States with the highest employment level of registered nursing professionals. v



Annual Mean Wage







New York









List of Possible Careers with a BSN

What types of careers might you pursue with a BSN degree? Registered nurses in the following fields may need specific post degree certifications. Recent reports show a mean annual wage of $70,000 for RNs and that employment rates are rising by 15 percent through 2026. vi

Critical Care Nurse

Critical care nurses work in intensive-care units in hospitals. They provide care to patients with serious, complex, and acute illnesses and injuries. As a result, these patients need very close monitoring and treatment. Some may choose a niche such as working with a specific illness (cardiology, diabetes) or population (pediatrics, geriatrics). 

Perianesthesia Nurse

Perianesthesia nurses provide care and monitor patients that are coming out of anesthesia and sedation. They need to be able to think on their feet in case of emergency, as there may be side effects of sedation. Other duties include watching and recording patients’ vital signs such as heart rate, blood pressure, temperature, and respiration rate. Certification in this field may be obtained through the American Board of Perianesthesia Nursing Certification, Inc.

Travel Nurse

Travel nurses often work for staffing agencies and have the same duties as non-traveling nurses. They keep accurate patient charts, administer medication and coordinate patient care with various hospital departments. Yet typically a travel nurse works short-term assignments as contracted employees and their job can take them across the country and globe.

[i] | [ii] | [iii] | [iv] | [v] | [vi]

TRUSTe online privacy certification