Fastest Accelerated Online Bachelor’s of Nursing Degree Programs 2023

Fastest Accelerated Online Bachelor’s of Nursing Degree Programs 2023

If you want to become a registered nurse and you’re willing to put in the work, check out the fastest online bachelor’s of nursing programs. You will get the knowledge and skills you need to advance in your career...fast!

Key Takeaways

  • Accelerated online nursing programs are demanding yet rewarding programs for individuals who want to earn a nursing degree at the bachelor’s level.

  • The admission process for accelerated nursing programs is selective since students must demonstrate the ability to process and retain information at a fast pace.

  • Earning a BSN degree and getting RN licensure opens up doors to career opportunities that an associate in nursing degree cannot.

What are the benefits of earning a bachelor’s of nursing degree?

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing or BSN degree comes with certain benefits. The perks of earning a bachelor’s degree are obvious, foremost among them the opportunity to earn more than individuals with a high school diploma or an associate degree.

In the nursing profession, furthermore, the benefits cover both monetary and non-monetary aspects including:

  • Develop an effective and efficient personal and professional plan for your professional nursing practice

  • Improve your critical thinking and decision-making skills in healthcare settings

  • Strengthen your nursing management and leadership skills suitable for a wide range of healthcare settings and their unique challenges

  • Use evidence-based practice in the improvements of patient care outcomes
Back to Top

Types of Accelerated Nursing Degree Programs

There are three major types of accelerated nursing programs that lead to a BSN degree.

Accelerated BSN Degree Programs

The accelerated BSN degree programs are considered second-degree programs because their students already have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and want to secure RN licensure.

These nursing programs compress the typical four-year timeline of bachelor’s degree programs into two years or less through transfer credits, prerequisite completion before admission, and a condensed curriculum (i.e., fast-paced study).

Accelerated Online RN-to-BSN Degree Programs

The accelerated online RN-to-BSN programs are designed for registered nurses who already have either an associate in nursing degree or a diploma and an active RN license, but want to earn a bachelor’s degree.

If you’re already a registered nurse but you want to advance your career, and possibly establish a strong foundation for a nursing specialization, then an accelerated RN-to-BSN program is the right choice.

BSN-to-MSN Degree Programs

Some nursing programs allow students to complete a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, known as BSN-to-MSN direct programs, with a five-year time-to-completion. Registered nurses who want to become nursing educators, assume leadership positions, and engage in advanced nursing practice should look into graduate nursing programs, too.

Back to Top

Who should consider getting an accelerated bachelor’s of nursing degree?

Earning a nursing degree at the bachelor’s level in less time sounds like a no-brainer, which is the cause of the enduring popularity of accelerated nursing programs.

But there are trade-offs that prospective students must be aware of before submitting their applications to these fast-track nursing programs!

What type of student benefits from an accelerated bachelor’s program in nursing?

Online RN-to-BSN and accelerated online BSN programs are a great fit for learners who:

  • Have successful academic records. Students face greater academic challenges in accelerated nursing programs than in traditional programs.
  • Want to enter the nursing profession or gain their bachelor’s degree as quickly as possible. Graduates can become registered nurses or get promotions, respectively, in under two years after starting an online accelerated BSN program!
  • Have excellent organizational and time management skills. Most accelerated nursing programs require their students to consider their studies as full-time work and, thus, refrain from taking on external work.
  • Even without external employment, the challenging academics combined with practicum and clinical experiences demand effective organizational and time management skills.

  • Have a strong drive and determination, as well as a clear understanding of their academic and career goals.

What type of student should avoid pursuing an accelerated bachelor’s degree in nursing?

Online RN-to-BSN and accelerated BSN programs are a poor fit for students who:

  • Have current financial difficulties. The tuition fees and other costs related to attendance can be reduced by federal financial aid and institutional scholarships, but being unemployed while pursuing a nursing degree will eventually take its toll.
  • Have significant personal and professional responsibilities that just cannot be compromised while being in an accelerated nursing program.
  • Aren’t willing to do the hard work and burn the proverbial midnight oil in the pursuit of a nursing degree at the bachelor’s level
Back to Top

National Council Licensure Examination - Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN)

The best online accelerated nursing programs, particularly the BSN programs, prepare their students for the National Council Licensure Examination - Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

The eligibility and licensure requirements are different in every state, and these are determined by the independent State Board of Nursing in each state.

The NCLEX-RN is generally the same across all states and consists of the following subject areas:

  • Management of Care
  • Pharmacological and Parenteral Therapies
  • Physiological Adaptation
  • Reduction of Risk Potential
  • Safety and Infection Control
  • Health Promotion and Maintenance
  • Psychosocial Integrity
  • Basic Care and Comfort

Key Point: These topics are extensively covered in nursing courses and hands-on experiences, meaning nursing students should be well-prepared for the NCLEX-RN.

Note that the NCLEX-RN will be replaced by the Next Generation NCLEX (NGN) in April 2023 where nursing graduates will be tested for their clinical reasoning skills via new long-form questions.

Back to Top

Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree Experience

When determining nursing programs and their suitability to your academic and career goals as well as your current credentials, you must look at their unique aspects. You will find that the best nursing degree programs, whether RN-to-BSN programs or accelerated BSN programs, encourage prospective students to ask for more information, if necessary.

You should take advantage of it, especially if you have concerns about the cost of attendance, course sequence, and clinical internship requirements.

Admissions Requirements

Keep in mind that the best nursing programs look for prospective students who have the highest chances of earning a nursing degree. This is true for both online RN-to-BSN and accelerated BSN programs since their measures of success—retention and graduation rates, among others—will be affected by dropouts.

There’s also the matter of reputation and ranking in the nursing community as well as their accreditation status at stake.

With that in mind, applicants must be prepared for a selective admissions process with the following requirements:

  • Either a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field with minimum GPA for BSN programs or a valid RN license for RN-to-BSN programs
  • Official transcripts from schools attended
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statements
  • Completed application form and application fee, if any

Most accelerated nursing programs also require applicants to pass a series of in-person and/or virtual interviews with the admissions team and other concerned program officials.

Students are also required to pass health and background checks including physical examination, laboratory tests for contagious diseases, immunizations, and CPR certification, as well as drug screening and criminal background check.

These are usually conducted before the clinical experience component starts but may also be required before formal admission into the nursing program.

Accelerated nursing programs, particularly BSN programs, also require prospective students to:

  • Undergo a basic nursing skills course that covers adult care, family and community health, nursing research, health assessment, and adult care
  • Complete prerequisite courses with a minimum grade requirement and expiration date. The common prerequisites are chemistry or biochemistry with lab, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, human growth and development, and statistics

Time-to-completion

Accelerated nursing programs have varying time-to-completion but it’s common for online RN-to-BSN and accelerated BSN programs to have 12-month to 18-month duration. There is usually no break in between terms. The traditional nursing programs have time-to-completion periods ranging between two and three years.

The shortened time-to-completion in accelerated nursing programs is possible because students take on double the usual course load, such as 20 three-credit courses every year. The study time required can be 30 hours of classroom time and 60 hours of study time every week.

Number of Credits

Since accelerated nursing programs accept students who already have a diploma or an associate or bachelor’s degree or a nursing license, the number of credits isn’t the usual 120 credits in bachelor’s degree programs.

Instead, both online RN-to-BSN and BSN programs have less credits required for completion, usually 60 credits including core nursing courses, practicum, and clinical experiences.

Nursing Coursework

Accelerated nursing programs don’t have general education courses. Instead, students engage in nursing courses from the first day of classes and, in most nursing programs, become involved in clinical experiences in the first semester or quarter.

The core nursing courses include but aren’t limited to:

  • Introduction to Professional Nursing
  • Fundamentals of Clinical Nursing
  • Health Assessment
  • Pathophysiology
  • Evidence-Based Practice & Nursing Research
  • Pharmacology
  • Adult Nursing
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Maternal-Newborn Nursing
  • Aging Adult Nursing
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Community Health and Public Health Nursing
  • Nursing Leadership and Management (3 credit hours)

The capstone, so to speak, in the nursing degree is a series of NCLEX-RN preparation including reviews for non-nurses, usually in the final semester or quarter.

Online Learning Experience

Both online RN-to-BSN and accelerated BSN programs use a specific online learning platform known as a learning management system (LMS), such as Moodle, Canvas, or Blackboard.

Online learners use their respective program’s LMS for interactive activities with their peers and professors, as well as to access learning materials like patient case studies, informational videos and graphics, and live and recorded lectures.

Asynchronous and synchronous courses are common, and self-paced study is possible, although meeting specified deadlines is a must for academic success. The cohort model is also common in accelerated online nursing programs.

Note that online accelerated nursing programs aren’t 100% online either. While the nursing courses are delivered via the online learning platform, the simulation lab, practicum, and clinical experiences are on-site and in-person.

These in-person components offer students opportunities for direct patient care under the supervision of registered nurses, as well as to meet the requirements for clinical hours.

Most online nursing programs offer clinical placement services for their nursing students. Clinical placement opportunities can also be found in job fairs, recruiting events, job boards, and the alumni network.

Tuition and Fees

Prospective students in online RN-to-BSN and accelerated BSN programs must carefully consider their financial aid options before pursuing a nursing degree. This will be a substantial financial investment, so it is important to carefully consider your current and future finances.

The per-credit costs can be as high as $1,500 or more in private schools but it can be as low as $500, sometimes even less, in public schools.

Aside from the tuition and other fees, such as technology fees, the costs of the textbooks, nursing supplies and gear, and incidentals must be considered. But once you become a registered nurse, the cost of attendance can be recouped in 1-2 years, and it’s one of the reasons why the nursing profession gives the best value for the money!

Back to Top

Career Options for Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree Holders

Registered nurses earned $77,600 as median annual wage (May 2021), which is among the better-paid healthcare professionals.

Their places of work can include government institutions, where they are likely to earn the highest wages ($85,970/year), as well as hospitals, ambulatory healthcare services, educational services, and nursing and residential care facilities.

The employment market for registered nurses is also ripe for the picking! The projected employment growth for registered nurses is 6% (2021-2031), which is around 203,200 openings every year, on average. The increased demand results from a growing number of older adults and individuals with chronic conditions.

With a nursing degree and a registered nurse license, you have many career paths to consider including, although many positions do require a master’s degree in nursing or an advanced nursing credential.

Positions include:

  • Staff nurse in hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities
  • Charge nurse
  • Nurse manager
  • Nurse educator
  • Nursing informatics specialist
  • Geriatric nurse
  • Critical care nurse
  • Community health or public health nurse
  • Pediatric nurse
  • Emergency room nurse
Back to Top

What criteria did we use in choosing the fastest online nursing degree programs?

We chose our list of the 20 fastest online nursing programs based on the following criteria:

  • Regional accreditation
  • Programmatic accreditation from the ACEN-Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing or the CCNE-Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • Hybrid or blended learning format (i.e., online courses and in-person components)
  • Accelerated coursework that meets the nursing profession standards and appropriate number of practicum and clinical experience hours
  • Faculty members with appropriate professional credentials
  • Exceptional student support services with students getting fast and easy access
  • Excellent NCLEX-RN passing rates

Key Point:Be sure to check the location-specific requirements of the accelerated nursing programs featured here, too. The in-person component will likely require students to be in or near the selected sites. There may also be on-campus residency requirements.


Back to Top

Fastest Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing Programs

 University of Massachusetts Boston

UMass Boston is Beantown’s only public research university and the third-most diverse university in the country. Indeed, it’s a place filled with opportunities to expand your horizons while pursuing world-class education!

UMass Boston’s history of partnerships and affiliations with Boston’s industries and businesses mean more career opportunities for students and alumni alike.

This is true for students of its accelerated BSN program, an accredited program of the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

There’s an emphasis on the use of technology for learning purposes in the accelerated BSN program, and it comes in various forms like use of iPads and online textbooks for coursework and exams. Students also learn nursing skills via virtual simulation exercises.

Start your nursing education at UMass Boston by completing the prerequisite courses, which can be taken either at UMass Boston or in another accredited institution.

The 12 nursing courses are completed in seven-week terms, and these include Evidence Based Nursing Practice. Competency checks and simulations are conducted at the end of each term, and there’s a two-week clinical immersion at the end of the second term.

  • Required Credits: 52
  • Completion time: 12 months
  • Format: Hybrid

What we love about UMass Boston:

The UMass Boston Mobile App makes it easy for students to access many of the on-campus services, such as the real-time shuttle tracker, Here4U, and WISER.

UMass Boston is great for students who:

Thrive in a challenging academic environment where research and scholarship are valued

UMass Boston might not be the best fit for students who:

Prefer a rural campus

University Fast Facts

  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts
  • Institution Type: Public research university
  • Admission Rate: 80%
  • Graduation Rate: 49%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 16,200+
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

Learn More about University of Massachusetts Boston.

 Elmhurst University

Service-oriented learning is at the heart and soul of Elmhurst University and its academic programs. While it’s a small university, it offers its students rich opportunities for personal and professional growth including internship and employment opportunities in a bustling city.

Such is its excellent reputation that it’s often cited for its academic excellence, social mobility, undergraduate teaching, and value.

The CCNE-accredited accelerated BSN program prepares students for success in the NCLEX-RN and for their future role as registered nurses involved in direct patient care.

Students also gain nursing skills and professional confidence during simulation exercises. Their nursing education includes courses in adult health, family health, and complex care. The fast-paced program of study requires 100% commitment.

Online learners access their learning materials, interact with their peers and professors, and submit assignments via an online learning platform.

While the accelerated BSN program has 100% online coursework, in-person clinicals (475+ clinical hours) and on-campus residences require physical presence on the specified sites.

  • Required Credits: 60 credits in the program
  • Completion time: 16 months
  • Format: Hybrid

What we love about Elmhurst University:

The campus is an expansive 48-acre arboretum complemented by classic red-brick buildings with modern amenities and facilities. The diverse student body and wide range of extracurricular opportunities make for exciting college experiences.

Elmhurst University is great for students who:

Like the combination of a small academic community and a world-class education

Elmhurst University might not be the best fit for students who:

Like the college party experience

University Fast Facts

  • Location: Elmhurst, Illinois
  • Institution Type: Private university
  • Admission Rate: 66%
  • Graduation Rate: 63%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 3,460
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Learn More about Elmhurst University.

 Baylor University

With its 400-hectare campus, Baylor University is the world’s largest Baptist university—and it’s also the oldest continuously operating university in the Lone Star State!

Baylor University has changed with the times, too, and it’s recognized as among the best national universities. In fact, its business, education, and sociology programs have been cited for excellence.

Baylor’s accelerated BSN program, a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education-accredited program, welcomes students with a Texas residency status but residing outside of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metropolitan Area.

The courses are conducted 100% online and range in duration between 3 and 10 weeks, and there are on-site 720-hour clinical experiences and one 2-week on-campus visit.

Students in the accelerated BSN program learn from experienced professors and enjoy the benefits of effective clinical placement services. Their comprehensive nursing education includes courses like Introduction to Professional Nursing Practice and Analysis and Synthesis of Complex Human Needs. The nursing courses are designed with a Christian worldview.

  • Required Credits: 62
  • Completion time: 12 months
  • Format: Hybrid

What we love about Baylor University:

Let’s start with the striking Rosenbalm Fountain with its lights at night, the free-standing rock wall, and the Bear Trail where walking, running, and hiking are favorite activities among students.

Baylor University is great for students who:

Love a large campus community where there’s plenty of people to meet and things to do

Baylor University might not be the best fit for students who:

Don’t prefer faith-based practices in their college experience

University Fast Facts

  • Location: Waco, Texas
  • Institution Type: Private Baptist Christian research university
  • Admission Rate: 68%
  • Graduation Rate: 79%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 20,626
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges

Learn More about Baylor University.

 Marian University

Among the most innovative and best value universities in the Midwest, Marian University ensures that its students receive individualized attention through small class sizes, student support services, and career services.

Due to its strategic location in Indianapolis, its students and alumni have access to diverse career opportunities in its dynamic industries, from healthcare to advanced manufacturing.

Students in its CCNE-accredited accelerated BSN program benefit from such a strategic location, too, for their in-person clinical rotations in healthcare facilities and local communities.

The program of study combines online courses in nursing theory, as well as hands-on, in-person experiences via simulation labs and clinical rotations.

The accelerated BSN program uses an online learning platform that features images and 3D graphics, replayable audio lectures, discussion and chat boards, and interactive activities and simulations.

Students can study at their own pace but must meet specified deadlines. From day one, students embark on a study of professional nursing and prepare for both the NCLEX-RN and for registered nurse work.

  • Required Credits: 65 credits
  • Completion time: 16 months
  • Format: Hybrid

What we love about Marian University:

The student-athletes aren’t laggards in the sports departments with numerous USA Cycling National Championships and NAIA National Championships under their belts!

Marian University is great for students who:

Thrive in a campus environment where transformative service and leadership are emphasized alongside academic excellence

Marian University might not be the best fit for students who:

Prefer a more secular approach to their college education

University Fast Facts

  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Institution Type: Private Roman Catholic university
  • Admission Rate: 64%
  • Graduation Rate: 57%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 3,500+
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Learn More about Marian University.

 Marymount University

Among the best national universities, Marymount University is recognized for its ethnic diversity, global perspective, and academic excellence. Students learn and live with purpose, and are driven to make a positive impact on their local communities, if not the world.

Of all its academic programs, Marymount’s nursing programs stand out for its exceptional success in producing the best registered nurses and nursing professionals in the United States. Proof: Its NCLEX-RN pass rate is 90%+ for the past five years!

The accelerated BSN program, a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education-accredited program, is among its most popular programs for aspiring registered nurses seeking a career change.

Students get world-class nursing education at its Malek School of Nursing Professions, a College of Distinction for Nursing.

Students start their nursing education with the Introduction to Professional Nursing & Scholarship course. Students must also complete one on-campus skills residency and 640 clinical hours experiences while in the accelerated BSN program; the program provides clinical placement support for free.

  • Required Credits: 65
  • Completion time: 16 months
  • Format: Hybrid

What we love about Marymount University

Students can borrow books and take courses in any of the 17 member-institutions of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area of which Marymount is a member. There are plenty of service learning opportunities both in local and global communities.

Marymount University is great for students who:

Love a tight-knit student and alumni community willing to help out

Marymount University might not be the best fit for students who:

Prefer a large academic community of learners

University Fast Facts

  • Location: Arlington, Virginia
  • Institution Type: Private Roman Catholic university
  • Admission Rate: 85%
  • Graduation Rate: 79%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 3,897
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges

Learn More about Marymount University.

 Xavier University

With an education based in Jesuit traditions, Xavier University students learn through a combination of interdisciplinary courses, community service, and faith-based studies. In fact, undergraduate students must complete the Core Curriculum, a series of required courses in Mathematics, Theology, and the Social Sciences, among other areas.

Xavier’s accelerated BSN program is among its best academic programs because of its emphasis on modern nursing theories and practices underlined by Jesuit values.

Students complete 21 online courses for the didactic component and engage in simulation labs and clinical experiences for the hands-on component. Their clinical instructors make the transition from online classrooms to real-world healthcare settings more effective and efficient.

The intensive nursing education requires 100% commitment and, thus, holding even a part-time job isn’t recommended. The program of study consists of interactive online activities, discussion boards, informational videos, and patient case studies.

Students are provided with lab guides and checklists, among other student support services, while in the accelerated BSN program.

  • Required Credits: 63
  • Completion time: 16 months
  • Format: Hybrid

What we love about Xavier University:

Freshmen students are provided with opportunities to establish a community among themselves and to join other students in extracurricular clubs and organizations. Service opportunities abound, too, with Community Action Day and the X-CHANGE program being great examples.

Xavier University is great for students who:

Love a mid-sized university where the sense of community transcends faith, geography, and race

Xavier University might not be the best fit for students who:

Prefer a less faith-based education

University Fast Facts

  • Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Institution Type: Private Jesuit Catholic university
  • Admission Rate: 81%
  • Graduation Rate: 73%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 7,000+
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Learn More about Xavier University.

 University of St. Thomas Houston

Student diversity at the University of St. Thomas Houston is a reflection of Houston’s diversity itself. While UST Houston is a Roman Catholic university, it accepts students from all faiths and of no faith.

UST Houston’s accelerated BSN program is intended for non-nursing professionals who have at least 60 non-nursing credits or a non-nursing bachelor’s degree.

Students receive an evidence-based nursing education informed by Basilian tradition that empowers them to become competent and compassionate nursing professionals.

The accelerated BSN program uses an interactive learning platform where online courses are held. Students gain world-class nursing education through intensive courses like pathopharmacology and holistic nursing practices for children and families.

Simulation labs and on-site clinical rotations are crucial for the development of real-world nursing skills, and these occur in Houston’s best healthcare facilities.

Students can learn at their own pace but must meet specified deadlines and attend in-person activities including on-campus proctored exams. Graduates are well-equipped for success at the NCLEX-RN exam and become registered nurses.

  • Required Credits: 58
  • Completion time: 12 months
  • Format: Hybrid

What we love about UST Houston:

Students have an abundance of extracurricular activities to achieve a good work-play balance. Check out the Italian Festival, Spring Formal, and St. Augustine’s Oktoberfest, as well as the President’s Day of Service.

UST Houston is great for students who:

Love a small academic community in an urban campus and topnotch academic offerings

UST Houston might not be the best fit for students who:

Like a large campus community with student parties happening every so often

University Fast Facts

  • Location: Houston, Texas
  • Institution Type: Private Roman Catholic university
  • Admission Rate: 96%
  • Graduation Rate: 56%
  • Total Student Enrollment: 3,000+
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges

Learn More about University of St. Thomas Houston.

 Concordia University St. Paul

Offering academic programs that bridge the academe-industry gap, Concordia University St. Paul is known for its workplace-ready graduates whose knowledge and skills are valued by employers.

The comprehensive liberal arts university offers its students dynamic extracurricular opportunities, from a business club to intramural athletics—or you can establish your own group!

The admission requirements for its accelerated BSN program include 54 non-nursing college credits, minimum, and a demonstration of academic aptitude for the rigorous nursing coursework. Once accepted, nursing students learn the knowledge and skills to deliver evidence-based direct patient care for diverse populations.

Students tackle subjects like Applied Pathophysiology, Fundamentals of Professional Nursing, and Nursing Informatics under the tutelage of nationally recognized professors.

The accelerated BSN program consists of fast-paced online courses delivered via an online learning platform, as well as skills labs and clinical experiences in several locations.

Students become prepared for the RN licensure exam, and CSP has a 93.75% first-time pass rate in 2021. Students are well-advised to treat the accelerated nursing program as a full-time job.

  • Required Credits: 61
  • Completion time: 16 months
  • Format: Online courses and on-site skills labs and clinical experiences
  • What we love about Concordia University St Paul:

    Getting the best of both worlds with its small, safe, and beautiful campus located near a large city with its attractions make the university such a delight! Plus, there are plenty of Fortune 500 companies and other businesses in St. Paul.

    Concordia University St Paul is great for students who:

    Like the convenience of studying near a vibrant city and getting the comforts of on-campus facilities

    Concordia University St Paul may not be the best choice for students who:

    Like a large student body and a college party experience

    University Fast Facts

    • Location: Saint Paul, Minnesota
    • Institution Type: Private university
    • Admission Rate: 69%
    • Graduation Rate: 62%
    • Total Student Enrollment: 5,000+
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

    Learn More about Concordia University St. Paul.

     University of Texas at Arlington

    The College of Nursing and Health Innovation - University of Texas at Arlington is the biggest producer of registered nurses in the Lone Star State and the top five in the United States.

    Students are encouraged to show active involvement and make meaningful impact on the world. Critical thinking skills are valued and these are developed through academics, research, internship, and service learning

    The CCNE-accredited accelerated RN-to-BSN program is among the programs that produce the best registered nurses in Texas and the country! Students build on their professional nursing experiences to develop advanced nursing knowledge and skills with real-world applications.

    The online RN-to-BSN coursework includes Nursing Research, Nursing Leadership and Management, and Holistic Health Assessment. The RN-to-BSN program empowers students to develop their professional nursing practice framework and become competent, compassionate, and forward-thinking professionals.

    Students pursuing the online RN-to-BSN degree are eligible for federal financial aid, but UT Arlington has among the lowest per-credit tuition. Applicants to the online RN-to-BSN program must have an active RN license and submit official transcripts and an online application.

    • Required Credits: 35
    • Completion time: 9 months
    • Format: Hybrid

    What we love about UT Arlington:

    With a spacious 420-acre campus, UT Arlington is a vibrant playground for students and their communities. With its diverse student body, there’s plenty of cultural connections among students, too.

    UT Arlington is great for students who:

    Love service learning opportunities that enhance their college experience

    UT Arlington might not be the best fit for students who:

    Like a small campus and a tight-knit academic community in a rural setting

    University Fast Facts

    • Location: Arlington, Texas
    • Institution Type: Public research university
    • Admission Rate: 88%
    • Graduation Rate: 55%
    • Total Student Enrollment: 48,000+
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges

    Learn More about University of Texas at Arlington.

     Emory University

    Students taking up healthcare-related degrees at Emory University will love that it’s part of Georgia’s largest healthcare system, Emory Healthcare with seven major hospitals.

    There’s an abundance of opportunities for learning, research, and internships, even employment, within the Emory universe! Who knows—you may just join the ranks of Emory luminaries who were instrumental in the development of treatments for COVID-19, HIV, and hemophilia!

    Such an innovation-centric approach is emphasized in its accelerated BSN program, too, but students must commit to the program on a full-time basis.

    Students learn as a team through a combination of online didactic lectures and hands-on clinical rotations in healthcare settings, local communities, and even in optional international sites. There are also two compulsory on-campus clinical intensive sessions.

    Nursing students in the online accelerated BSN program also engage in a one-week capstone session that includes simulations, capstone presentations, and a NCLEX review.

    The online courses include Professional Nursing: Concepts, Issues, and Trends, Foundations of Nursing Practice, and Pathophysiology/Pharmacology for Nurses.

    • Required Credits: 48
    • Completion time: 12 months
    • Format: Hybrid

    What we love about Emory University:

    Students love the accessibility of their professors, particularly with their office hours, open door policy, and professional attitude. Many of the professors are also fellows of the American Academy of Nursing, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the National Academy of Medicine.

    Emory University is great for students who:

    Thrive in a competitive academic environment yet encourages camaraderie outside the classroom

    Emory University might not be the best fit for students who:

    Like a more laid-back campus vibe with a small student body

    University Fast Facts

    • Location: Atlanta, Georgia
    • Institution Type: Private research university
    • Admission Rate: 19%
    • Graduation Rate: 90%
    • Total Student Enrollment: 15,000+
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges

    Learn More about Emory University.

     Northeastern University

    Experience being the essence and ethos at Northeastern University, students are encouraged to seize opportunities for diverse experiences as they unfold. The result is a university community that meets the challenges of the contemporary world head on and in innovative ways, such as its cooperative education framework.

    Students learn through integrations of didactic coursework and professional experiences through the university’s local and international partnerships.

    Northeastern University’s online accelerated BSN program has three start dates, adopts a cohort model, and implements a low student-clinical instructor ratio to ensure personalized mentorship.

    The nursing program is intended for individuals with non-nursing backgrounds but with either college credits (minimum of 62 college credits) or a bachelor’s degree.

    The didactic component of the online accelerated BSN program consists of courses like Foundations of Professional Nursing Practice, Nursing Health Assessment and Fundamental Nursing Skills, and Advanced Assessment and Interventions.

    Nursing students progress from the basics to advanced nursing skills through a combination of online nursing courses, nursing labs, and clinical rotations.

    • Required Credits: 67
    • Completion time: 16 months
    • Format: Hybrid

    What we love about Northeastern University:

    The co-op college experience is, hands down, the best thing about attending Northeastern! The closest thing that gives it a run for its money, so to speak, is IDEA, the university’s student-led venture accelerator that gives concrete meaning to student-led innovations.

    Northeastern University is great for students who:

    Love personalized courses of study, usually through an interdisciplinary curriculum from its 170 major programs

    Northeastern University might not be the best fit for students who:

    Like the small college experience

    University Fast Facts

    • Location: Boston, Massachusetts
    • Institution Type: Private research university
    • Admission Rate: 20%
    • Graduation Rate: 87%
    • Total Student Enrollment: 15,700+
    • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education

    Learn More about Northeastern University.

     Rockhurst University

    Learning, leadership, and service are the core values of Rockhurst University, a comprehensive university with 50+ undergraduate and graduate programs. With an emphasis on Jesuit and Catholic traditions, the programs and their curricula are underlined by the classical modes of inquiry including philosophical, theological, and scientific causal and relational.

    The university’s accelerated BSN program, which has a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accreditation, is open for non-nursing professionals with a bachelor’s degree. This is offered at the Saint Luke’s™ College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and students must have 100% commitment to its completion.

    The 100% online coursework includes Foundations of Professional Nursing, Adult Health Nursing, and Maternal Child Health Nursing. Nursing students must also complete a 10-day on-campus residency in the simulation lab and 582.5 clinical hours of direct patient care in healthcare facilities.

    There are three start dates every year. Applicants must complete the prerequisites and submit other documentation for evaluation purposes.

    • Required Credits: 60
    • Completion time: 16 months
    • Format: Hybrid

    What we love about Rockhurst University:

    Student volunteers are provided with service learning opportunities via the university’s Rockhurst’s Center for Service Learning and its 100+ local organizations. Rockhurst students know how to learn, serve, and have fun, too!

    Rockhurst University is great for students who:

    Love doing on-campus and off-campus volunteer work as a way of expanding their horizons and giving back to the community

    Rockhurst University might not be the best fit for students who:

    Prefer a secular education with little to none of the faith-based aspects

    University Fast Facts

    • Location: Kansas City, Missouri
    • Institution Type: Private Jesuit university
    • Admission Rate: 73%
    • Graduation Rate: 75%
    • Total Student Enrollment: 6,300+
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

    Learn More about Rockhurst University.


     Walden University

    Learning through collaborations underlines the academic programs at Walden University, and these aren’t your run-of-the-mill collaborations either! Respected industry professionals share their knowledge, skills, and experiences with students and, thus, enable them to expand their horizons.

    The CCNE-accredited RN-to-BSN completion program welcomes registered nurses who want to pursue career advancement opportunities armed with advanced leadership, health promotion, and community health skills.

    The online RN-to-BSN program uses Digital Clinical Experiences by Shadow Health for simulation exercises that develop the students’ health assessment skills.

    Students with either a diploma or associate degree in nursing can transfer up to 135 credits but must complete a minimum of 45 credits at Walden.

    There are two ways of learning in the online RN-to-BSN program—course-based learning (traditional) and tempo learning (self-paced study but with deadlines). Applicants to the online RN-to-BSN program must have a valid RN license, among other requirements.

    • Required Credits: 180-181 quarter credits
    • Completion time: 10 months
    • Format: Blended

    What we love about Walden University:

    Innovation drives Walden’s approach to education, and it shows in its use of the competency-based model. Its MS in Early Childhood Studies program was the first in the nation’s graduate programs to use the model.

    Walden University is great for students who:

    Thrive in challenging academic environments and innovative learning approaches

    Walden University might not be the best fit for students who:

    Prefer a small campus community

    University Fast Facts

    • Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
    • Institution Type: Private for-profit online university
    • Admission Rate: 100%
    • Graduation Rate: 33%
    • Total Student Enrollment: 49,600+
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

    Learn More about Walden University.

     University of Indianapolis

    The University of Indianapolis considers itself part of the larger ecosystem of the City of Indianapolis for good reasons!

    Students and alumni find abundant career opportunities in the city’s industries and businesses, as well as opportunities for experiential learning, internships and extracurriculars. But the university is also a world unto its own with 140+ undergraduate and graduate academic programs!

    Of these programs, the accelerated BSN program is among the best, and it ranks high alongside the university’s neonatal nurse practitioner program, the only one of its kind in Indiana. The online accelerated BSN program features a diverse student body with a common love for academic excellence and service.

    The online nursing courses include Nursing Health Assessment, Transition to Professional Nursing Practice, and Transitional Care in Primary and Population Health.

    Students must complete two on-campus residencies and on-site clinical placements. The clinical placements total 570 clinical hours, and the university provides clinical placement services.

    • Required Credits: 56
    • Completion time: 15 months
    • Format: Hybrid

    What we love about UIndy:

    The small campus community offers plenty of opportunities for the enhancement of your college experience. But it doesn’t hurt either that Indianapolis with its treasure trove of internship and employment opportunities is its backyard!

    UIndy is great for students who:

    Love the balance of a small campus community and a large city with its attractions and opportunities

    UIndy might not be the best fit for students who:

    Prefer either the party college experience or the rural campus experience

    University Fast Facts

    • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
    • Institution Type: Private United Methodist Church-affiliated university
    • Admission Rate: 84%
    • Graduation Rate: 61%
    • Total Student Enrollment: 5,600+
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

    Learn More about the University of Indianapolis.

     Purdue University Global

    Of course, Purdue University Global can just capitalize on the prestigious Purdue University name, but it doesn’t! Instead, it’s known as an independent and innovative online university that mostly caters to adult learners, working professionals and other non-traditional students. No wonder it’s consistently cited as among the most innovative schools for several years running.

    The CCNE-accredited RN-to-BSN program is among the best training grounds for graduate studies in nursing, too, which Purdue University Global also offers.

    The online RN-to-BSN program uses ExcelTrack, a learning modality that allows students more flexibility, control, and convenience. Students take a series of evaluations that determine their level of knowledge and skills in specific areas and, thus, allow them to leverage their nursing experiences.

    The RN-to-BSN program is also among the most accessible nursing education, thanks to its flat tuition rate for every 10-week term; students can take as many courses as necessary during the period.

    The coursework in the accelerated RN-to-BSN program is among the most comprehensive with courses in Hospice and Palliative Care, Primary Care in the Ambulatory Setting, and Case Management, among others.

    • Required Credits: 90-130 credits (With prior degree credits)
    • Completion time: 12 months
    • Format: Hybrid

    What we love about Purdue Global:

    Purdue Global connects its online learners with the excellent resources at the Lafayette main campus and, thus, contributes to their academic success. Students can also access the university’s extensive advising network.

    Purdue Global is great for students who:

    Want to earn a degree at their own pace and without compromising their finances

    Purdue Global might not be the best fit for students who:

    Like in-person interactions in a physical campus

    University Fast Facts

    • Location: West Lafayette, Indiana
    • Institution Type: Public online university
    • Admission Rate: 100%
    • Graduation Rate: 40%
    • Total Student Enrollment: 32,500+
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

    Learn More about Purdue University Global.

     Western Governors University

    With its use of an online competency-based learning modality, Western Governors University enables its students to earn their undergraduate degrees in a shorter period.

    WGU also provides a three-pronged approach to student success—every student gets a program mentor who creates a personalized term plan, a primary course instructor for every course, and evaluators who review assessments and determine competency.

    Students in the RN-to-BSN program are also encouraged to use their nursing competencies to advance their nursing education at the bachelor’s degree level.

    Applicants must either have a diploma or have obtained an Associate in Nursing and a valid RN license, among other requirements. The nursing program trains students to become valuable members of hospitals with magnet status and to make an impact on the healthcare industry.

    The online RN-to-BSN emphasizes evidence-based nursing practice via a curriculum based on the American Association of Colleges and Nursing Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice. Students tackle nursing theory courses as well as field experiences that they themselves have identified.

    There are 23 courses in the accelerated RN-to-BSN program, and students can earn six professional certificates. Students admitted to the RN-to-BSN program take the Professional Leadership & Communication in Healthcare as their first course.

    • Required Credits: 120 competency units with up to 90 credits from previous college education allowed for transfer
    • Completion time: 18 months
    • Format: Hybrid

    What we love about WGU:

    Education at WGU isn’t just for the diploma but for the practical knowledge and skills with relevant applications to real-world careers. Students have plenty of resources for nearly every college-related need, from live library help to live proctor assistance.

    WGU is great for students who:

    Have work and life experiences that allow them to use the competency-based model to their advantage

    WGU might not be the best fit for students who:

    Like a university with a physical campus and intercollegiate sports teams

    University Fast Facts

    • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
    • Institution Type: Private online university
    • Admission Rate: 100%
    • Graduation Rate: 47%
    • Total Student Enrollment: 147,800+
    • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

    Learn More about Western Governors University.

     Pennsylvania State University World Campus

    While the Pennsylvania State University World Campus was launched in 1998, its track record in distance education has its roots in 1892 when correspondence courses were the norm.

    Today, its mission is encouraging motivated learners who cannot attend a Penn State physical campus to earn a degree or a certificate in diverse areas of study.

    Among its most popular academic programs is the accelerated CCNE-accredited RN-to-BSN program open for registered nurses with either a diploma or an associate degree in nursing.

    Students in the RN-to-BSN program can also earn specialized certificates in Nursing Informatics, Nursing Management, or Nursing Forensics. Some credits or courses can be applied toward continuing professional education requirements, too.

    The accelerated RN-to-BSN coursework covers the nursing basics including chemistry, anatomy, and health assessment, among other topics. But it also goes beyond the science and touches on topics that improve nursing research leadership and management.

    Aside from the didactic coursework, the accelerated RN-to-BSN program requires completion of a 45-program hour clinical placement.

    • Required Credits: 92-93 credits for the major
    • Completion time: 18 months
    • Format: Hybrid

    What we love about Penn State World Campus:

    You’re not alone as an online student! Penn State World Campus makes its excellent student services, such as new student orientation, academic advising, mental health services, and tutorials, easily accessible.

    Penn State World Campus is great for students who:

    Want a topnotch education from a prestigious university but due to life factors can only engage in hybrid programs

    Penn State World Campus may not be the best option for students who:

    Prefer most of their interactions on-campus

    University Fast Facts

    • Location: University Park, Pennsylvania
    • Institution Type: Public state-related land-grant research university
    • Admission Rate: 54%
    • Graduation Rate: 29%
    • Online Student Enrollment: 15,342
    • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

    Learn More about Penn State World Campus.

     University of Central Florida

    America’s Space University—that’s what the University of Central Florida calls itself for good reasons! UCF researchers and alumni have participated in diverse space-related projects, such as getting man back to the moon (i.e., the Artemis project) and performing advanced space research. Indeed, UCF has supplied NASA and the aerospace industry with top talents for 50+ years!

    Closer to earthly matters, its accelerated post-licensure RN-to-BSN program is also a top producer of competent and compassionate nurses that contribute to the advancement of nursing as a profession.

    Students also advance in their academic career by substituting a maximum of nine credit hours of master’s degree coursework.

    The CCNE-accredited RN-to-BSN program has a demanding coursework that requires students to fully commit to their studies during the 18-month duration of the accelerated coursework. This is also true for the concurrent ASN-to-BSN track.

    The core nursing courses in the accelerated RN-to-BSN program include Nursing Leadership, Management and Role Transition; Nursing Research; and Healthcare Issues, Policy and Economics. Students prepare for leadership positions in the nursing profession and for making contributions to direct patient care initiatives.

    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 18 months
    • Format: Hybrid

    What we love about UCF:

    Location, location, location—that’s what UCF got right aside from academic excellence! With its strategic location in Orlando, UCF offers the best of its beautiful campus and the vibrant community of Orlando.

    UCF is great for students who:

    Love a large campus community, diverse student body, excellent academic programs and proximity to a great city

    UCF might not be the best fit for students who:

    Prefer a rural campus

    University Fast Facts

    • Location: Orlando, Florida
    • Institution Type: Public research university
    • Admission Rate: 36%
    • Graduation Rate: 75%
    • Total Student Enrollment: 72,000+
    • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges & Schools Commission on Colleges

    Learn More about the University of Central Florida.

     University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh

    Students at the University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh, known as Titans, make it known that their university is the best in the state!

    Small class sizes, personalized attention, and access to exceptional state-wide resources including student support services combined with academic excellence make it so. Students also praise the affordable tuition and best value education offered by UW Oshkosh.

    This is true for the popular accelerated BSN program with a selective admissions process—only 30 students are accepted for each cohort. Applicants can choose from three start dates and meet the minimum admissions requirement including a non-nursing bachelor’s degree with a 2.5 GPA at least, among others.

    Students must be prepared for the rigorous coursework with courses completed at one credit every week. The 100% online nursing coursework covers an introduction to professional nursing, health assessment theory, and pathophysiology.

    Students must also complete an on-campus two-week residency and six clinical rotations in their local communities; the rotations consist of 728 clinical hours.

    Note that the accelerated BSN program doesn’t offer self-paced, self-directed study as students progress in a cohort model, follow specific deadlines, and learn in a structured online environment. Full-time commitment is necessary for academic success.

    • Required Credits: 50
    • Completion time: 12 months
    • Format: Hybrid

    What we love about UW Oshkosh:

    Away from their studies, students get the break they need by renting sports equipment at the Outdoor Adventure Center (OAC) where everything from camping and ski equipment to rollerblades, bikes, and kayaks are available. Check out the athletics department, Greek fraternities and sororities, and freshman student halls, too.

    UW Oshkosh is great for students who:

    Love the balance between challenging academics and exciting extracurriculars

    UW Oshkosh might not be the best fit for students who:

    Prefer a small academic community where everybody knows everybody

    University Fast Facts

    • Location: Oshkosh, Wisconsin
    • Institution Type: Public university
    • Admission Rate: 79%
    • Graduation Rate: 53%
    • Total Student Enrollment: 15,300+
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

    Learn More about the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.

     University of Colorado Online

    The University of Colorado Online started in 1996 and it has been expanding its academic offerings ever since.

    Today, students choose from 70+ online degrees and certificates from four UC campuses: Boulder, Denver, Colorado Springs, and the Anschutz Medical Campus. Every CU campus is dedicated to making a difference in and outside of Colorado.

    Offered at the Colorado Springs campus, there are two CCNE-accredited online BSN programs.

    First, the dual enrolment ADN-to-BSN program is open for current ADN students who want to earn a BSN degree in the shortest time possible. Second, the RN-to-BSN program that enables students to learn while they earn as registered nurses.

    Each accelerated online nursing program features online 8-week courses, affordable tuition rates, and practical learning experiences combined with didactic nursing coursework. Courses include Professional Nursing Practice, Nursing Management, and Public Health Nursing.

    • Required Credits: 30
    • Completion time: 12 months of full-time study; 17 months for part-time study
    • Format: Hybrid

    What we love about University of Colorado:

    UC Colorado Springs continues to evolve from its humble beginnings as a small satellite location to the fastest-growing campus in the system.

    University of Colorado is great for students who:

    Thrive in a large campus community with an ethnically diverse student body and numerous academic programs

    University of Colorado might not be the ideal option for students who:

    Prefer a less competitive academic environment

    University Fast Facts

    • Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
    • Institution Type: Public research university
    • Admission Rate: 90%
    • Graduation Rate: 45%
    • Total Student Enrollment: 36,400+
    • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

    Learn More about the University of Colorado.