What Is the Best Online RN to BSN Program?

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Few fields are expanding as much as nursing these days. As the United States continues to endure a nursing shortage crisis, there will likely be an increased demand for nurses — and the need for people to get nursing degrees.

Like most professions, there’s a number of certifications and educational backgrounds you can pursue if you want to start working as a nurse. You can become a registered nurse (RN) with an Associate Degree in Nursing. This degree is obtainable after two years of school. However, getting a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) can help you access a higher pay rate, increase your skills and even help you secure a better job. 

Can You Do RN to BSN Online?

Like most degrees, much of what you learn to get your BSN can be completed online. You can do many lectures, class assignments, classroom discussions and group projects over the internet. Depending on your school, you may be able to listen to lectures asynchronously. This means you can take classes at a time and place that fit your busy schedule — there’s not one set time each day you have to be online.

However, you can’t complete some components of a BSN online. You’ll need to undergo clinical training to earn your BSN, which you’ll do in person. Your program may also have a lab work component you need to complete in person.

How Long Does RN to BSN Online Take?

The answer to this question depends on your needs and pacing. Many people earn their BSN online because the programs are more flexible. Doing so allows them to work or raise a family while earning a degree. In these cases, you may not be able to complete your RN to BSN online degree education full-time, particularly if you plan to continue working. As such, it can take a few years to complete your degree. If you can attend school full-time, you can earn your degree in as little as nine months.

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How Much Is an RN to BSN Online Degree?

There’s a wide range of potential answers to the question of how much these programs can cost. Most schools charge on a per-credit basis, in addition to charging fees. These credit fees can range widely, too. For example, according to a NurseJournal.org list of the best online RN to BSN programs, the top eight schools have a per-credit range of $120 (for in-state tuition) to $484. In addition, some schools charge on a per-semester basis. 

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It’s worth noting that online school is almost always less expensive than in-person school. Online school doesn’t require the same facility costs as an in-person school, which can sometimes reduce teaching costs. Institutions can pass these cost savings on to students in the form of reduced tuition. Students can also take online courses without worrying about room, board or travel costs. It’s even possible to continue to work and take classes around your schedule. 

The Best RN to BSN Online Programs

It’s worth noting that different trustworthy organizations create well-researched lists of their recommendations for best RN to BSN programs online. They evaluate programs based on different criteria. Sample lists and their best-rated programs include:

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  • Nurse Journal: Seminole State College of Florida, Azusa Pacific University, Midway University
  • Nurse.org: Capella University, The University of Oklahoma, University of Central Florida
  • The Best Schools: University of Florida-Online, Florida International University, Penn State World Campus

When researching these programs, it’s important to check on a few different factors. These include program accreditation, tuition rates, post-graduation support and the NCLEX-RN pass rate, among others. Doing your due diligence will help you make the right decision for your needs.

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