What is an RN to BSN Program?

When nursing careers first really started gaining traction an associates degree in nursing (ADN) was the way to go. As time has gone on though, the new baseline education for nursing has begun to shift to a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN). This means that you may be wanting to learn about RN to BSN Programs. This may be a good career move for you given that many hospitals and healthcare institutions are shifting to requiring nurses they hire to have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.

Additionally, nurses with a BSN tend to make more than those with an ADN. So what is an RN to BSN bridge program? These programs recognize the experience  and education that ADN RNs already have and prepare them to practice as RNs with a BSN. They are programs that are usually around 1-2 years in length that enhance your education patient care skills through additional coursework and clinical experiences compared to what you have previously had.

These programs may require that you have completed certain courses in your ADN programs and some require a certain amount of RN employment experience, so it is essential that you check with the schools that you are applying to as to what their requirements are.

Best Ranked RN to BSN Programs in Your State

Elevate your nursing career with our curated list of the best RN to BSN programs in each state. Transitioning from a Registered Nurse (RN) to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) opens doors to broader career prospects and deeper clinical knowledge. Our guide spotlights premier programs close to you, paving a well-marked path towards achieving your enhanced nursing ambitions.

See our ranking methodology for RN-to-BSN degree programs.

Why Should I Earn a Bachelor’s in Nursing?

Getting your bachelor’s will offer many advantages to you and your nursing career. Not only will you likely earn more money and have more career options and flexibility, but you will also be able to enhance the level of care you provide to patients. BSN prepared nurses are trained in providing evidence based care and using research to inform their practice.

They can advance their career by not only changing the specialty that they work in but after accumulating experience they can also transition into more leadership and management roles.

With your BSN you will be able to enhance your career and the nursing field as a whole. Additionally, should you choose to continue your education further and receive your master’s in the future your will be able to do so. Chances are you already have experience as an RN. By getting your BSN colleagues and employers will be more likely to recognize you for the expert nurse that you are.

Rn To Bsn Programs

RN to BSN Programs

List RN to BSN Programs State by State

University Offered asCity/State
University of Alabama in Huntsville Campus, Hybrid, OnlineHuntsville, AL
California State University-Bakersfield Campus, HybridBakersfield, CA
San Diego State University CampusSan Diego, CA
Western Connecticut State University Campus, HybridDanbury, CT
Tallahassee Community College CampusTallahassee, FL
Elmhurst University CampusElmhurst, IL
Anderson University CampusAnderson, IN
Mount Mercy University CampusCedar Rapids, IA
Louisiana State University of Alexandria CampusAlexandria, LA
Stevenson University Campus, OnlineStevenson, MD
Madonna University Campus, HybridLivonia, MI
Mississippi College Campus, OnlineClinton, MS
Nebraska Wesleyan University CampusLincoln, NE
University of New Mexico College of Nursing Campus, Hybrid, OnlineAlbuquerque, NM
St. John Fisher College Campus, Hybrid, OnlineRochester, NY
University of North Carolina Wilmington Campus, Hybrid, OnlineWilmington, NC
Mercy College of Northwest Ohio Campus, OnlineToledo, OH
Chatham University Campus, OnlinePittsburgh, PA
Rhode Island College Campus, HybridProvidence, RI
Tennessee Technological University Campus, OnlineCookeville, TN
Southern Vermont College Campus, OnlineBennington, VT
Bluefield State College Bluefield Campus LPN-ADN Campus, OnlineBluefield, WV
Brandman University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineIrvine, CA
Wichita State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineWichita, KS
Herzing University – Akron Campus CampusAkron, OH
California State University-Channel Islands CampusCamarillo, CA
University of Alabama Campus, Hybrid, OnlineTuscaloosa, AL
California State University-Stanislaus Campus, OnlineTurlock, CA
The Valley Foundation School of Nursing at San Jose State University Campus, OnlineSan Jose, CA
Delaware Technical Community College-Terry Campus, OnlineDover, DE
The University of West Florida Campus, OnlinePensacola, FL
Benedictine University CampusLisle, IL
Ball State University Campus, OnlineMuncie, IN
Saint Ambrose University CampusDavenport, IA
McNeese State University Campus, OnlineLake Charles, LA
American International College Campus, HybridSpringfield, MA
Michigan State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineEast Lansing, MI
University of Southern Mississippi Campus, Hybrid, OnlineHattiesburg, MS
University of Nevada-Reno Campus, HybridReno, NV
Western NM University/BSN Campus, OnlineSilver City, NM
Farmingdale State College CampusFarmingdale, NY
University of North Carolina at Pembroke CampusPembroke, NC
Mount Carmel College of Nursing Campus, Hybrid, OnlineColumbus, OH
Drexel University Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePhiladelphia, PA
University of Rhode Island Campus, Hybrid, OnlineKingston, RI
Union University Campus, HybridJackson, TN
University of Vermont Campus, HybridBurlington, VT
Davis & Elkins College Campus, OnlineElkins, WV
Pennsylvania College of Technology CampusWilliamsport, PA
Galen College of Nursing-Louisville CampusLouisville, KY
Notre Dame College Campus, OnlineCleveland, OH
Colorado Technical University-Online Campus, OnlineColorado Springs, CO
Auburn University at Montgomery Campus, Hybrid, OnlineMontgomery, AL
California State University-San Bernardino CampusSan Bernardino, CA
Vanguard University of Southern California CampusCosta Mesa, CA
Delaware Technical Community College-Stanton/Wilmington Campus, Online, DE
Columbus State University Campus, OnlineColumbus, GA
Mennonite Nursing at Illinois State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineNormal, IL
Goshen College Campus, OnlineGoshen, IN
Upper Iowa University Campus, OnlineFayette, IA
Nicholls State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineThibodaux, LA
Bristol Community College Campus, OnlineFall River, MA
University of Michigan-Flint Campus, Hybrid, OnlineFlint, MI
William Carey University Campus, OnlineHattiesburg, MS
Great Basin College Campus, OnlineElko, NV
Adelphi University Campus, HybridGarden City, NY
University at Buffalo Campus, Hybrid, OnlineBuffalo, NY
Queens University of Charlotte CampusCharlotte, NC
Muskingum University CampusNew Concord, OH
Gannon University Campus, OnlineErie, PA
Salve Regina University Campus, HybridNewport, RI
East Texas Baptist University CampusMarshall, TX
Hampton University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineHampton, VA
Shepherd University Campus, HybridShepherdstown, WV
California State University-San Marcos Campus, Hybrid, OnlineSan Marcos, CA
Union College CampusBarbourville, KY
Gwynedd Mercy College Campus, Hybrid, Online, PA
Nightingale College Campus, OnlineSalt Lake City, UT
Jacksonville State University CampusJacksonville, AL
California State University-Chico Campus, OnlineChico, CA
Walden University Campus, OnlineMinneapolis, MN
University of Delaware Campus, Hybrid, OnlineNewark, DE
South University-Savannah Campus, OnlineSavannah, GA
Lakeview College of Nursing CampusDanville, IL
Purdue University-Fort Wayne Campus, OnlineFort Wayne, IN
Fort Hays State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineHays, KS
University of Louisiana Monroe OnlineMonroe, LA
Laboure College CampusMilton, MA
Oakland University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineRochester Hills, MI
Cox College Campus, Hybrid, OnlineSpringfield, MO
Truckee Meadows Community College CampusReno, NV
CUNY Hunter College Campus, HybridNew York, NY
Stony Brook University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineStony Brook, NY
Winston-Salem State University Campus, OnlineWinston-Salem, NC
Ohio University-Main Campus (Athens) Campus, Hybrid, OnlineAthens, OH
Holy Family University CampusPhiladelphia, PA
Clemson University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineClemson, SC
University of Houston-Victoria Campus, Hybrid, OnlineVictoria, TX
James Madison University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineHarrisonburg, VA
West Liberty University CampusWest Liberty, WV
Capella University Campus, OnlineMinneapolis, MN
Univ. of Louisiana Monroe Campus, Online, LA
Moravian College Campus, HybridBethlehem, PA
Central Methodist University-College of Graduate and Extended Studies Campus, OnlineFayette, MO
John C Calhoun State Community College CampusTanner, AL
California State University-Dominguez Hills Campus, Hybrid, OnlineCarson, CA
Adams State University Campus, OnlineAlamosa, CO
George Washington University Campus, OnlineWashington, DC
Georgia Southwestern State University Campus, OnlineAmericus, GA
Lewis University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineRomeoville, IL
University of Indianapolis Campus, Hybrid, OnlineIndianapolis, IN
University of Kansas Medical Center Campus, Hybrid, OnlineLawrence, KS
Northwestern State University of Louisiana Campus, Hybrid, OnlineNatchitoches, LA
Curry College CampusMilton, MA
Saginaw Valley State University Campus, HybridUniversity Center, MI
University of Central Missouri Campus, Hybrid, OnlineWarrensburg, MO
Colby-Sawyer College Campus, OnlineNew London, NH
CUNY Lehman College Campus, HybridBronx, NY
SUNY College at Plattsburgh Campus, OnlinePlattsburgh, NY
Western Carolina University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineCullowhee, NC
University of Toledo Campus, Hybrid, OnlineToledo, OH
Immaculata University Campus, OnlineImmaculata, PA
Lander University Campus, OnlineGreenwood, SC
University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Campus, HybridBelton, TX
Liberty University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineLynchburg, VA
West Virginia University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineMorgantown, WV
Carolinas College of Health Sciences CampusCharlotte, NC
University of Maryland-Baltimore Campus, Hybrid, OnlineBaltimore, MD
Anderson University Campus, OnlineAnderson, SC
Stanbridge University Campus, OnlineIrvine, CA
University of Mobile Campus, OnlineMobile, AL
California State University-Fresno Campus, OnlineFresno, CA
Arapahoe Community College CampusLittleton, CO
Howard University Campus, HybridWashington, DC
Georgia Southern University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineStatesboro, GA
Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences CampusRock Island, IL
University of Southern Indiana Campus, Hybrid, OnlineEvansville, IN
Kansas Wesleyan University CampusSalina, KS
Fransciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University Campus, OnlineBaton Rouge, LA
Emmanuel College CampusBoston, MA
Finlandia University Campus, OnlineHancock, MI
Columbia College Campus, OnlineColumbia, MO
Rivier University Campus, HybridNashua, NH
York College CampusJamaica, NY
Downstate Health Sciences University Campus, HybridBrooklyn, NY
University of Mary Campus, Hybrid, OnlineBismarck, ND
Ursuline College Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePepper Pike, OH
La Salle University Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePhiladelphia, PA
University of South Carolina-Aiken Campus, OnlineAiken, SC
Midwestern State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineWichita Falls, TX
Marymount University Campus, HybridArlington, VA
Wheeling University BA-BS To BSN Program Campus, Hybrid, OnlineWheeling, WV
Western Governors University Campus, OnlineSalt Lake City, UT
Framingham State University CampusFramingham, MA
King University Campus, Hybrid, Online, TN
United States University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineSan Diego, CA
University of North Alabama Campus, OnlineFlorence, AL
California State University-East Bay CampusHayward, CA
University of Colorado at Colorado Springs – Traditional Campus, OnlineColorado Springs, CO
Broward Community College (Broward College) CampusFort Lauderdale, FL
University of West Georgia Campus, OnlineCarrollton, GA
McKendree University Campus, OnlineLebanon, IL
Indiana University-Kokomo Campus, OnlineKokomo, IN
MidAmerica Nazarene University Campus, OnlineOlathe, KS
University of Louisiana at Lafayette Campus, Hybrid, OnlineLafayette, LA
Fitchburg State University Campus, OnlineFitchburg, MA
Western Michigan University Campus, OnlineKalamazoo, MI
Barnes-Jewish College Goldfarb School of Nursing Campus, Hybrid, OnlineSaint Louis, MO
Saint Anselm College CampusManchester, NH
D’Youville College Campus, Hybrid, OnlineBuffalo, NY
SUNY Empire State College Campus, OnlineSaratoga Springs, NY
University of North Dakota Campus, Hybrid, OnlineGrand Forks, ND
Walsh University Gary And Linda Byers School of Nursing Campus, HybridNorth Canton, OH
Misericordia University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineDallas, PA
University of South Carolina-Beaufort CampusBluffton, SC
Prairie View A & M University Campus, OnlinePrairie View, TX
Old Dominion University Campus, OnlineNorfolk, VA
Alverno College Campus, OnlineMilwaukee, WI
Nevada State College Campus, OnlineHenderson, NV
University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth Campus, Hybrid, OnlineNorth Dartmouth, MA
The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga Campus, Hybrid, Online, TN
Arizona State University-Downtown Phoenix Campus, HybridPhoenix, AZ
University of Alaska Anchorage Campus, Hybrid, OnlineAnchorage, AK
California State University-Long Beach CampusLong Beach, CA
Colorado Christian University Campus, OnlineLakewood, CO
Florida Atlantic University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineBoca Raton, FL
University of Hawaii at Hilo Campus, HybridHilo, HI
Methodist College Campus, OnlinePeoria, IL
Indiana University-South Bend Campus, OnlineSouth Bend, IN
Pittsburg State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePittsburg, KS
Husson University Campus, HybridBangor, ME
North Shore Community College CampusDanvers, MA
Bemidji State University Campus, OnlineBemidji, MN
Maryville University of Saint Louis Campus, Hybrid, OnlineSaint Louis, MO
Bloomfield College CampusBloomfield, NJ
Dominican College of Blauvelt Campus, HybridOrangeburg, NY
Upstate Medical University Campus, HybridSyracuse, NY
North Dakota State University (Combined NDSU Fargo campus and NDSU Nursing at Sanford Health Bismarck) Campus, HybridFargo, ND
Wright State University-Main Campus Campus, Hybrid, OnlineDayton, OH
Mount Aloysius College Campus, OnlineCresson, PA
University of South Carolina-Upstate Campus, OnlineSpartanburg, SC
Stephen F Austin State University Campus, OnlineNacogdoches, TX
Radford University (Roanoke) Campus, OnlineRadford, VA
Concordia University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineMequon, WI
American Public University System Campus, OnlineCharles Town, WV
Westfield State University CampusWestfield, MA
Texas State University San Marcos and St. David School of Nursing Campus, HybridSan Marcos, TX
ECPI University – Orlando CampusLake Mary, FL
Grand Canyon University Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePhoenix, AZ
California State University-Los Angeles CampusLos Angeles, CA
Colorado Mesa University – Traditional Campus, Hybrid, OnlineGrand Junction, CO
Jacksonville University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineJacksonville, FL
Hawaii Pacific University CampusHonolulu, HI
North Park University CampusChicago, IL
Indiana University-Southeast Campus, OnlineNew Albany, IN
Washburn University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineTopeka, KS
Saint Joseph’s College of Maine Campus, OnlineStandish, ME
Regis College Campus, Hybrid, OnlineWeston, MA
Minnesota State University-Mankato Campus, HybridMankato, MN
Missouri Western State University CampusSaint Joseph, MO
Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus Campus, HybridTeaneck, NJ
Keuka College Campus, HybridKeuka Park, NY
Utica College Campus, OnlineUtica, NY
Aultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences CampusCanton, OH
Youngstown State University Campus, OnlineYoungstown, OH
Pennsylvania State University Campus, HybridUniversity Park, PA
National American University Campus, OnlineRapid City, SD
Tarleton State University CampusStephenville, TX
Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing Campus, OnlineRichmond, VA
Marian University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineFond Du Lac, WI
South University-Montgomery CampusMontgomery, AL
Siena Heights University Campus, OnlineAdrian, MI
University of Texas of the Permian Basin Campus, OnlineOdessa, TX
Unitek College Campus, OnlineFremont, CA
Northern Arizona University Campus, OnlineFlagstaff, AZ
California State University-Northridge CampusNorthridge, CA
University of Northern Colorado Campus, Hybrid, OnlineGreeley, CO
Keiser University-Ft Lauderdale Campus, Hybrid, OnlineFort Lauderdale, FL
Boise State University Campus, OnlineBoise, ID
Northern Illinois University Campus, HybridDekalb, IL
Marian University Campus, OnlineIndianapolis, IN
Eastern Kentucky University Campus, OnlineRichmond, KY
Washington Adventist University CampusTakoma Park, MD
Salem State University Campus, HybridSalem, MA
Metropolitan State University CampusSaint Paul, MN
University of Missouri-Columbia Campus, OnlineColumbia, MO
New Jersey City University CampusJersey City, NJ
Le Moyne College Campus, HybridSyracuse, NY
Appalachian State University Campus, OnlineBoone, NC
The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences Campus, OnlineCincinnati, OH
Oklahoma Wesleyan University CampusBartlesville, OK
Saint Francis University CampusLoretto, PA
University of South Dakota Campus, OnlineVermillion, SD
The University of Texas at El Paso Campus, OnlineEl Paso, TX
The University of Virginia’s College at Wise CampusWise, VA
Silver Lake College of the Holy Family CampusManitowoc, WI
PIMA Medical Institute-Tucson Campus, OnlineTucson, AZ
Herzing University-Minneapolis CampusSt. Louis Park, MN
Longwood University CampusFarmville, VA
South University CampusGlen Allen, VA
University of Phoenix-Phoenix Campus Campus, OnlineTempe, AZ
California State University-Sacramento CampusSacramento, CA
Regis University-Choice Campus, Hybrid, OnlineDenver, CO
State College of Florida-Manatee−Sarasota Campus, OnlineBradenton, FL
Idaho State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePocatello, ID
Olivet Nazarene University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineBourbonnais, IL
Indiana Wesleyan University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineMarion, IN
Kentucky Christian University Campus, OnlineGrayson, KY
Coppin State University CampusBaltimore, MD
Simmons College Campus, HybridBoston, MA
Minnesota State University-Moorhead Campus, OnlineMoorhead, MN
Park University Campus, OnlineParkville, MO
Monmouth University School of Nursing and Health Studies Campus, HybridWest Long Branch, NJ
Mercy College Campus, OnlineDobbs Ferry, NY
Barton College CampusWilson, NC
Cleveland State University Campus, OnlineCleveland, OH
University of Central Oklahoma – Edmond CampusEdmond, OK
University of Scranton Campus, HybridScranton, PA
East Tennessee State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineJohnson City, TN
Texas Woman’s University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineDenton, TX
Virginia Commonwealth University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineRichmond, VA
Viterbo College Campus, Hybrid, OnlineLa Crosse, WI
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff CampusPine Bluff, AR
Central Methodist University Campus, MO
Southside Virginia Community College CampusAlberta, VA
Touro University Campus, OnlineHenderson, NV
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences-Little Rock Campus, HybridLittle Rock, AR
Fresno Pacific University Campus, HybridFresno, CA
Colorado State University-Pueblo CampusPueblo, CO
Miami Dade Community College CampusMiami, FL
Lewis-Clark State College CampusLewiston, ID
Saint Francis Medical Center – College of Nursing Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePeoria, IL
Valparaiso University Campus, HybridValparaiso, IN
University of Louisville-Louisville Campus, Hybrid, OnlineLouisville, KY
Frederick Community College CampusFrederick, MD
Worcester State College (WSU) CampusWorcester, MA
The College of Saint Scholastica Campus, Hybrid, OnlineDuluth, MN
St Luke’s College of Nursing Campus, Hybrid, OnlineKansas City, MO
St Peter’s University (St Peter’s College) Campus, Hybrid, OnlineJersey City, NJ
Molloy College CampusRockville Centre, NY
Cabarrus College of Health Sciences Campus, OnlineConcord, NC
Defiance College Campus, OnlineDefiance, OH
Oral Roberts University CampusTulsa, OK
Temple University Campus, HybridPhiladelphia, PA
Martin Methodist College Campus, OnlinePulaski, TN
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Campus, Hybrid, OnlineHouston, TX
Bellevue College CampusBellevue, WA
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Campus, Hybrid, OnlineEau Claire, WI
Point Loma Nazarene University CampusSan Diego, CA
Rutgers University-Camden Campus, Hybrid, OnlineCamden, NJ
Walla Walla University CampusCollege Place, WA
Pennsylvania State University-World Campus Campus, OnlineUniversity Park, PA
University of Arkansas-Fayetteville Campus, OnlineFayetteville, AR
Grossmont College CampusEl Cajon, CA
Central Connecticut State University CampusNew Britain, CT
University of North Florida Campus, Hybrid, OnlineJacksonville, FL
Blessing Rieman College of Nursing Campus, OnlineQuincy, IL
Saint Anthony College of Nursing Campus, HybridRockford, IL
Briar Cliff University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineSioux City, IA
Morehead State University Campus, OnlineMorehead, KY
Frostburg State University Campus, OnlineFrostburg, MD
Baker College of Flint Campus, OnlineOwosso, MI
Winona State University Campus, HybridWinona, MN
Southeast Missouri State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineCape Girardeau, MO
Thomas Edison State College Campus, OnlineTrenton, NJ
Mt St Marys College Campus, Hybrid, OnlineNewburgh, NY
Fayetteville State University Campus, OnlineFayetteville, NC
Hondros College Campus, OnlineWesterville, OH
Alvernia University Campus, OnlineReading, PA
Waynesburg University CampusWaynesburg, PA
University of Memphis Campus, Hybrid, OnlineMemphis, TN
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Campus, Hybrid, OnlineLubbock, TX
Olympic College CampusBremerton, WA
University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Campus, OnlineGreen Bay, WI
Simpson University CampusRedding, CA
New Mexico State University – Doña Ana Community College CampusLas Cruces, NM
Herzing University CampusWinter Park, FL
South Georgia State College CampusDouglas, GA
University of Central Arkansas – Conway Campus, OnlineConway, AR
Holy Names University CampusOakland, CA
Goodwin College CampusEast Hartford, CT
Pensacola State College Campus, OnlinePensacola, FL
Bradley University Campus, OnlinePeoria, IL
Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Campus, Hybrid, OnlineEdwardsville, IL
Grand View University CampusDes Moines, IA
Murray State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineMurray, KY
Notre Dame of Maryland University CampusBaltimore, MD
Davenport University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineGrand Rapids, MI
Delta State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineCleveland, MS
Missouri State University-Springfield Campus, Hybrid, OnlineSpringfield, MO
The College of New Jersey Campus, HybridEwing, NJ
The College of New Rochelle-ASDBS Campus, NY
Gardner-Webb University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineBoiling Springs, NC
Kent State University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineKent, OH
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Campus, HybridBloomsburg, PA
West Chester University of Pennsylvania Campus, OnlineWest Chester, PA
Milligan College CampusMilligan College, TN
Southern Utah University CampusCedar City, UT
Washington State University Campus, HybridPullman, WA
Western Wyoming Community College CampusRock Springs, WY
Colorado Technical University-Colorado Springs Campus, OnlineColorado Springs, CO
Long Island University-Post Campus, NY
Linfield College-School of Nursing CampusPortland, OR
Texas A & M University-Central Texas Campus, OnlineKilleen, TX
University of Arkansas-Fort Smith Campus, OnlineFort Smith, AR
Mount St Mary’s University-Los Angeles CampusLos Angeles, CA
Sacred Heart University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineFairfield, CT
St. Petersburg College Campus, OnlineSt. Petersburg, FL
DePaul University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineChicago, IL
Oak Point University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineOak Brook, IL
University of Iowa Campus, HybridIowa City, IA
Northern Kentucky University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineHighland Heights, KY
Salisbury University Campus, HybridSalisbury, MD
University of Detroit Mercy CampusDetroit, MI
University of Mississippi Medical Center Campus, Hybrid, OnlineJackson, MS
University of Providence Campus, OnlineGreat Falls, MT
William Paterson University of New Jersey Campus, HybridWayne, NJ
Roberts Wesleyan College Campus, OnlineRochester, NY
University of North Carolina at Charlotte Campus, Hybrid, OnlineCharlotte, NC
Lourdes University (Lourdes College) CampusSylvania, OH
California University of Pennsylvania Campus, OnlineCalifornia, PA
Widener University-Main Campus Campus, Hybrid, OnlineChester, PA
The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga OnlineChattanooga, TN
Castleton University CampusCastleton, VT
University of Washington CampusSeattle, WA
University of Wyoming CampusLaramie, WY
University of the District of Columbia CampusWashington, DC
East Carolina University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineGreenville, NC
Linfield College Campus, OnlineMcMinnville, OR
Marshall University Pt. Pleasant Campus Online, AZ
California Baptist University Campus, OnlineRiverside, CA
National University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineLa Jolla, CA
Southern Connecticut State University CampusNew Haven, CT
Santa Fe College Campus, OnlineGainesville, FL
Eastern Illinois University Campus, OnlineCharleston, IL
Western Illinois University Campus, OnlineMacomb, IL
Mercy College of Health Sciences Campus, OnlineDes Moines, IA
Spalding University Campus, HybridLouisville, KY
Towson University CampusTowson, MD
Eastern Michigan University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineYpsilanti, MI
Mississippi University for Women Campus, Hybrid, OnlineColumbus, MS
University of Nebraska Medical Center Campus, Hybrid, OnlineOmaha, NE
New Mexico Highlands University Campus, OnlineLas Vegas, NM
Russell Sage College Campus, HybridTroy, NY
University of North Carolina at Greensboro Campus, HybridGreensboro, NC
Malone University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineCanton, OH
Carlow University Campus, Hybrid, OnlinePittsburgh, PA
Wilkes University Campus, Hybrid, OnlineWilkes-Barre, PA
The University of Tennessee-Martin Campus, OnlineMartin, TN
Norwich University CampusNorthfield, VT
Wenatchee Valley College CampusWenatchee, WA
ECPI University Campus, OnlineVirginia Beach, VA
Georgia College and State University Campus, Online, GA
Pfeiffer University Campus, OnlineMisenheimer, NC
Stratford University CampusAlexandria, VA
Mary Baldwin University Staunton, VA

Entrance Requirements for RN to BSN Programs

The pathway to furthering your nursing education and advancing your career with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) involves navigating the specific entrance requirements of RN to BSN programs. Transitioning from a Registered Nurse (RN) to a BSN-prepared nurse often presents new opportunities for growth, leadership, and specialized nursing roles.

To facilitate this transition smoothly, prospective students should be aware of, and prepare for, the various requirements for entrance into these programs. Key requirements typically include RN certification and licensure, the completion of prerequisite courses, procurement of letters of recommendation, maintenance of a competitive GPA, and the process of submitting comprehensive applications.

These components ensure that you are well-prepared to take on the rigorous coursework and clinical practice integral to BSN programs.

  • RN certification and Licensure: You will need to have taken and passed the NCLEX and be registered as an RN in a state in order to apply for these programs.
  • Complete pre-requisites: Be sure to see if the schools you are applying to require any extra classes. You should have completed most pre-requisites through your ADN program but it never hurts to check!
  • Letters of recommendation: You will most likely need a few letters of recommendation from former professors and/or employers. It helps to have a list ready and notify them ahead of time.
  • GPA: You may have to meet a certain GPA requirement from your ADN program. Usually this is around a 3.0 but check with your program to verify.
  • Submit applications: Submitting your applications will involve answering questions, writing essays, and gathering your transcripts, letters of recommendations, and other documents that may be required. Most applications also involve a processing fee.
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV): Along with the aforementioned elements, a detailed and up-to-date resume or CV is often required. This document should showcase your nursing experiences, skills, and accomplishments to help the admissions committee understand your professional background and potential for success in the program.

How Long Does it Take to Complete an RN to BSN Program?

The duration of RN to BSN programs can differ based on a number of factors, the most influential being your pace of study—full-time or part-time. However, on average, the typical timeframe for completing an RN to BSN program is about 2 years.

This estimation is based on the concept that, in most cases, you have already completed 2 years of study for your Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN), and BSN programs traditionally span 4 years. The remaining 2 years are what you would then need to top up your RN qualification to a BSN degree. The below sections elaborate further on how the pace of study influences the time required to complete an RN to BSN program.

Full-time RN to BSN Programs: If you choose to enroll in an RN to BSN program full-time, you are looking at approximately 2 years of continuous study. This option is ideal for those who can devote a significant amount of their time to coursework and are looking to earn their BSN as quickly as possible. The exact timeline, however, depends on the curriculum and structure of your chosen program.

Full-Time RN to BSN Programs
Duration: Approximately 2 years
Ideal for: Individuals with ample time to devote to studies
Factors: Program curriculum and structure

Part-time RN to BSN Programs: If you are juggling other commitments, like work or family, part-time RN to BSN programs offer more flexibility but will take longer to complete. The duration can stretch to 3-4 years or more, depending on the pace at which you take courses.

Part-Time RN to BSN Programs
Duration: Approximately 3-4 years or more
Ideal for: Individuals balancing work or family commitments
Factors: Pace at which courses are taken

In summary, while the time required to complete RN to BSN programs varies depending on your pace of study and program structure, the effort invested invariably pays off in the form of enhanced career opportunities and the potential for increased salary.

Online RN to BSN Programs

Recognizing the high-demand nature of the nursing profession, it is clear that nurses are some of the most industrious professionals in the healthcare field. Balancing the rigors of career commitments with personal life often leaves limited room for additional pursuits, such as furthering education.

Fortunately, the flexibility and convenience of online RN to BSN programs have made the path towards career advancement more accessible for busy nurses. These programs allow you to attend classes, complete assignments, participate in quizzes, and engage in class discussions from the comfort of your home or preferred location. This flexibility underscores the recognition of the demanding schedules that characterize the nursing profession.

Online RN to BSN Programs: Online programs provide the flexibility to study from anywhere, making it possible to fit your academic commitments around your professional and personal obligations. All coursework, except for clinical experiences, can be completed online.

Online RN to BSN Programs
Flexibility: Study from anywhere
Ideal for: Busy professionals balancing multiple commitments
Components: Classes, assignments, quizzes, and class discussions
Exception: Clinical experiences

As you explore your options for online RN to BSN programs, it is crucial to verify the accreditation status of your chosen institution. Accreditation by recognized bodies such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) adds credibility to your degree and simplifies the process of advancing to a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program in the future, should you choose to do so.

Accreditation for RN to BSN Programs: Accreditation by ACEN or CCNE is an important factor to consider when researching online programs, as it ensures quality education and makes transitioning to higher level programs easier.

Accreditation for RN to BSN Programs
Importance: Ensures quality education
Facilitates: Transition to MSN programs
Recognized bodies: ACEN, CCNE

Lastly, while the majority of your BSN coursework can be completed online, it is important to note that you may still need to fulfill clinical experience requirements. As these cannot be completed online, schools typically assist in organizing these clinical experiences in locations that are convenient for their students.

Clinical Experiences in RN to BSN Programs: These are in-person experiences that are typically arranged in a convenient location by your school.

Clinical Experiences in RN to BSN Programs
Nature: In-person
Location: Organized by the school in a convenient location

Thus, online RN to BSN programs serve as a practical and flexible path for busy nursing professionals to advance their educational qualifications and career prospects.

Learn more in our Guide the Online RN programs.

Hybrid RN to BSN

Hybrid RN to BSN programs are a combination of online course work and face to face classroom. Typically, you will find 50% of the time will be online and the other 50% of the time you will spend in a classroom. How an instructor divides this time up can often be up to the instructor.

These types of programs have become more of the norm across many university and college settings. Hybrid format allows for students to engage with each other and the professor face-to-face while still allowing for some of the convinces of online programs.

Campus or Face-to-Face RN to BSN

Campus or face-to-face RN to BSN programs will have the majority of courses/classes held at a traditional classroom. This could be in a college, university or in some cases there are partnerships with healthcare institutions and the classroom is heal within the hospital.

Although the majority of the courses/classes are face to face there is typically an online instruction component, requiring some engagement with online learning. Check to see if the college is offering an open-house or if you can schedule a conference call to go over some of your questions.

Accelerated RN to BSN Nursing Programs

Most colleges and universities follow 12-13 week semesters; accelerated BSN programs may not follow a typical semester and have class over a six week period. Accelerated nursing programs are specifically geared toward students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree in something else. These students have already proven their ability to manage time, study effectively and retain knowledge.

In addition, they have already taken most foundational courses in a bachelor’s degree program.  While there may be some science pre-requisites to complete, almost all courses in an accelerated nursing program are focused specifically on the skills needed to be an RN.

Second Degree BSN

In a standard BSN program, students spend at least the first year, and sometimes the first two years, taking only foundational bachelor’s degree courses; nursing courses do not typically begin until the sophomore or junior year, and even then, they are often mixed in with other college courses. The student in an accelerated nursing program takes only the nursing courses, significantly shortening the time it takes to complete the degree.

Most programs take between 11 and 18 months.  A key component of any BSN degree is the clinical. Students in accelerated programs receive the same number of clinical hours as do their standard BSN counterparts. The benefits of these programs can be great, in that students can earn their degree in half the time it takes when compared to programs with traditional classes.

The downfall is that the course work is not reduced, and students will be required to produce the same amount of homework, studying, and/or presentations in a shorter period of time. These programs are great for the individual that has the time, but for nurses juggling jobs, family and schooling, this can be very stressful.

Learn more in our Guide to Second Degree BSN programs.

Accelerated Online Nursing Programs

For all types of accelerated nursing programs, one of the biggest challenges is fitting education into an already established work and family life. Juggling schedules to allow for commute time, classes, and studying can make the prospect seem overwhelming. 

Online education has come a long way in the past decade, and many students are finding this be the solution.  Credible colleges and universities across the country, in including some Ivy League schools, are offering these accelerated online courses, ensuring students that they get the highest quality education, even online.

Because the course material is presented in a variety of formats, and most of those formats can be accessed at any time for the duration of the course, students can create their own schedule of class and study time.  Plus, they do not have to allow extra time and money to cover commuting and parking.

Nursing students in online programs do not miss out on the multiple learning opportunities that are available to students in brick and mortar institutions; class forums, online office hours, discussion boards, and even video conferencing and chat programs allow students to learn in a variety of ways from a variety of source.

Students also complete their clinicals locally, and are still required to complete the same number of clinical hours as their campus-based counterparts. Overall, choosing the right school may be easy or a challenge for some students to choose, however, researching schools will allow you to make an informed choice in selecting a program that will best suit your needs.

What RN Specializations Are Available

You will not specialize in particular field during your BSN program. However, if you want to work in a particular clinical area, having your BSN will enable you to be a competitive candidate for the most sought after clinical settings. Some examples of where you can work as a nurse after earning your BSN are:

  • Labor and Delivery: As a labor and delivery nurse you will work as a part of a team to provide care for the laboring mother and infant before, during, and immediately after birth.
  • Emergency Room: You will be a vital team member working in a fast paced environment providing care to people who are acutely injured or ill.
  • Travel Nurse: You will have the opportunity to travel the country and/or world while providing nursing care to patients in your area of expertise.
  • Trauma Nurse: You will work hard to help stabilize patients in life threatening situations due to injuries they may have received from accidents.
  • Medical/Surgical Nurse: You will work on a hospital floor caring for patients who are recovering from a diverse range of surgeries or acute or chronic illnesses.
  • Operating Room Nurse: As an OR nurse you will actively participate in patient care while they undergo surgery.

Learn more about nursing specialties.

What Courses Will I Take in My RN to BSN Degree Program?

Your existing education and experience will be valued and acknowledged, ensuring you won’t have to duplicate past coursework. Note that the curriculum can vary among different programs. As a result, it’s critical to thoroughly research prospective programs, making certain that they align with your individual needs.

The courses within the program are meticulously designed to provide the remaining pieces of nursing education not covered in your ADN. This learning journey will equip you to leverage research and evidence to elevate the quality of patient care, simultaneously fostering your critical thinking capabilities. Consequently, you will be poised to make meaningful contributions not only to your patients’ lives but to the broader nursing profession as well.

Furthermore, a cornerstone of all bachelor’s degree programs includes coursework in humanities and liberal arts, elements not typically part of ADN programs. Even though they may seem unrelated to nursing, many students appreciate these requisite electives (often providing a degree of choice within each subject) as they offer an opportunity to widen their horizons and venture into unfamiliar academic territories.

You can generally expect to encounter courses similar to the ones offered at representative RN to BSN programs, such as the University of Washington’s RN to BSN Program:

  1. Transitions in Professional Nursing: This class covers the transition from being a registered nurse to a bachelor’s level nurse. It explores new roles, responsibilities, and the increased scope of practice.
  2. Advanced English Composition: This course focuses on developing advanced writing and critical reading skills, key for success in any professional field.
  3. RN Health Assessment: This course enhances the skills RNs use to assess the health of their patients.
  4. Elective 1 & 2: These are courses chosen by the student, offering the opportunity to broaden knowledge in areas outside of nursing.
  5. RN Collaborative Healthcare: This course promotes the concept of teamwork in healthcare, focusing on how nurses collaborate with other professionals to deliver quality care.
  6. Statistical Reasoning for the Health Sciences: This course equips students with the skills needed to interpret and apply statistical data within healthcare contexts.
  7. RN Evidence Based Practice: This course fosters understanding and application of evidence-based practices in nursing.
  8. Political Science: This course examines the political systems and structures that affect healthcare policy.
  9. Humanities Elective: This course provides exposure to areas such as literature, philosophy, and the arts, promoting well-rounded knowledge and critical thinking skills.
  10. RN Community Health Nursing: This course focuses on nursing practices that promote the health of communities.
  11. History Elective: This elective allows students to delve into specific historical eras or topics of interest.
  12. RN Capstone Course: This culminating course allows students to integrate and apply their learned skills in a comprehensive project or experience.
  13. RN Information Systems in Healthcare: This course explores the use of information technology in managing patient care and improving healthcare outcomes.

RN to BSN Transition or Professional Nursing Role Class

One of the very first classes nurses will take in an RN to BSN program is a contemporary, transition or professional nursing role class. This type of class provides the foundation for a synthesis of prior educational learning and work experience with baccalaureate educational preparation for your BSN.

For some nurses who have been out of school for several years or even decades, this is a great introduction to the RN to BSN program.

The concepts discussed in the course often cover professional role, critical thinking and communication. Theories of nursing and healthcare are often explored in relationship to professional nursing practice. This course enhances previous learning experiences and your transition into the baccalaureate-nursing role.

Research Class for Nursing

A nursing research class introduces the importance of research concepts, which are fundamental to the discipline of nursing. BSN research classes often focus on the research process in the discovery of knowledge and the relevance of research outcomes to nursing practice.

Beginning research concepts such as formulating research questions and hypothesis are often explored. You will most likely have to research topics and prepare literature reviews, which are essential to research and evidence based practices.

Statistics Class for Nursing

Statistic class is perhaps one of the more challenging classes you will take in your RN to BSN program. A basic understanding of statistic is essential in the healthcare sector. This class is typically an introductory class and you will learn basic statistical concepts such as: hypothesis testing, data collection, normal distributions, bell curve, and probabilities. You will most likely have to learn how to calculate standard deviations and probabilities.

Pathophysiology BSN Class

One class essential for a BSN degree is a Pathophysiology class. Many diploma and associate degree programs integrated pathophysiology contents throughout the different nursing courses. Pathophysiology involves an understanding of how cells, tissues, organs and organ systems respond to varying disease processes.

Health Assessment BSN Class

Health assessment is a core educational component of all nursing educational programs. For many diploma and ADN nurses, health assessment was integrated throughout the nursing classes and clinicals. In a BSN program health assessment is a separate class and college credit is given. Most RNs utilize health assessment skills in their clinical practice and this course will be a refresher for most RNs.

Basic components of a health assessment class include:

  • Assessing the health of patients and families throughout the life span.
  • Basic techniques of a physical exam and health assessment.
  • Basic interviewing and history taking skills.
  • Recognizing and interpretation of normal findings.
  • Recognizing normal findings from the most common abnormal findings

Population or Community Health BSN Class

One core class missing in many diploma and associate degree program is a community health or population course. This is a critical course and instrumental in understanding about healthcare in a more global and comprehensive way. These courses typically focus on the nurses’ role in disease prevention and health promotion in a community and/or global perspective.

Concepts such as environmental health and epidemiology are explored and the impact to ones’ health. Most RN to BSN programs will require a clinical component and often the community nursing class is where you will complete this requirement. This may mean that you will shadow and spend time with a nurse who works in a community with underserved populations or complete a community project such as a community needs assessment.

Top Concepts taught in a Community Nursing course

  • Disease prevention
  • Health and wellness promotion programs
  • Health screening
  • High risk and at risk behaviors
  • Immunizations
  • Lifestyle choices
  • Cultural difference between the populations
  • Marginalized and underserved populations

Nursing Leadership and Management

Nursing leadership and management is a class which most RN to BSN schools require. In this class you can expect to learn about the principles of leadership and management and how they may be applied to healthcare settings. Students often learn about the skills needed to complete management and administrative tasks, as well as principals of human material resources, health care finances, professional organizations and ethical implications.

A BSN degree is a fundamental degree for nursing managers, supervisors, directors and any nurse in administrations. Some school implement a clinical requirement for this class and may you shadowing a nurse leader or nurse manager. This allows the RN student to observe firsthand who BSN prepared nurses apply their skills in leadership and management roles.

Nutrition Class

A nutrition class is a core requirement for any BSN programs. In many ADN programs you may have taken a 2 or 3 credit nutrition course, which may be transferable into the RN to BSN program. However, for some ADN programs and diploma programs the nutrition content was often covered within the different nursing classes and not a separate class. For example, when you were learning about Diabetes Mellitus, the diabetic diet was covered. Although it met the requirements for the nutrition component, it was not a separate class and did not award college credits. For many nurses this will be a course that will need to be taken.

You can expect to find most of these topics in a BSN nutrition class

  • The types of nutrients needed for healthy body and diet
  • How nutrients are used within the body, cells and various organs
  • How nutrition affects your health
  • How the body responds to too much or too little nutrients
  • How your body uses nutrients
  • How nutrition affects the various disease process and importance of specific diets for specific diseases and illness
  • How your nutrient needs change at different stages of life; infancy, childhood, adulthood, older years

RN to BSN Clinical Requirements

The clinical requirements for your RN to BSN program will vary depending on the school. Since you already completed the requirements necessary for the NCLEX exam you will not need to repeat clinical rotations within certain populations like you did during your ADN program.

Most RN to BSN programs will require some sort of clinical experience. Some schools like Chamberlain University will help you organize those experiences where you already work.

This will allow you increased flexibility as you juggle school and working, while also providing you with an opportunity to put to practice your new skills and education so that you can begin to incorporate your BSN education into your regular practice. Take practice test at our NCLEX study guide.

How Much Are RN to BSN Programs?

Fortunately this will be cheaper than doing 4 years of a bachelors degree. While education in the US is pricey, there are many options to get it paid for. Especially in the field of nursing. Since some employers are encouraging and/or requiring ADN trained nurses to continue their education and earn their BSN this may give you some negotiating power.

If you are currently employed, see if your employer will cover the cost of your education. They should see it as an investment in an already valuable employee. Be sure to do a thorough cost analysis of the schools you are applying to.

Online programs may be less expensive than in person ones, and state schools typically offer lower tuition rates than private universities. Here are examples of tuition costs between two RN to BSN programs:

The programs below may also be able to help cover the costs of your education if you choose to work in medically underserved locations or if you have a certain type of loan. You can also use our guide How to Pay for Nursing School  and Scholarship guide to help you figure out tuition costs and payment.

Our state guides can help you research what resources you may have close to home as well!

How Much Do Nurses with a BSN Earn?

While it may cost some money to get your BSN, your salary will likely be higher and your options for career growth greater. With your BSN you can expect to earn a competitive salary, and coupled with your experience you will live comfortably. With an MSN you are about to earn a very competitive salary.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017 the median salary for RNs was $70,000. While this includes ADN trained RNs, with your BSN you can expect to earn the higher salaries that make up this statistic. Additionally, certain clinical areas such as intensive care units (ICUs) that often require a BSN trained nurse may pay higher. Find additional RN Salary information.

References:

  • Denisco, S. M., Barker, A. M., Advanced practice nursing: Essential knowledge for the profession. Burlington, MA: Jones and Barlett Learning.
  • U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, 29-1141 Registered Nurses, Occupational Employment Statistics. Retrieved November 1, 2015, from http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes291141.htm
  • The American Nurses Credentialing Center, Magnet Recognition Program® Overview, American Nurses Credentialing Center, Retrieved November 1, 2015, from http://www.nursecredentialing.org/Magnet/ProgramOverview.
  • Ali, N. S., Hodson-Carlton, K., & Ryan, M. Students’ perceptions of online learning: Implications for teaching. Nurse Educator29(3), 111-115