RN to BSN Degree Programs

Nursing Schools Guide is your best resource to find RN to BSN programs. With hundreds of RN to BSN program reviews and featured listings of nursing schools to offer RN to BSN programs online, you can be sure to find the best option for you.

There are consistencies across most RN to BSN bridge programs, but to learn more detail about specific programs, contact the schools below. You will want to ask them about flexibility, tuition assistance, and the learning environment, to name a few.

We also maintain detailed information and program reviews for 4 year BSN programs, second-degree BSN programs for those with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, and RN to MSN programs for those looking to jump into an advanced degree.

Advantages of an RN to BSN Program

The RN (Registered Nurse) to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) Program prepares registered nurses who have a diploma or associate degree to assume positions of greater responsibility and earn higher salaries.  RN to BSN programs are completed at four-year colleges or universities. During the first two years, students will take courses in liberal arts and sciences with the second half of the program devoted to nursing-related study.

However, those nurses with an associate’s degree may have some coursework waived and be given credit for work experience that is directly applicable to the work of a registered nurse.

An RN to BSN program is a good choice for those nurses who wish to begin working in less time than it will take to complete a bachelor’s degree. An added bonus is that working nurses may be eligible for tuition assistance from their employer-provided they earn at least a grade of B in all coursework.

RN to BSN Program Options

According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), there are 750 RN to BSN programs offered in both traditional classroom and distance learning formats or a combination of both (as of 2015). However, all RN to BSN programs, whether campus-based or online typically will require that students participate in hands-on clinical training inpatient care.

Accreditation of RN to BSN Programs

When researching RN to BSN programs you want to make sure that they have been accredited by either the National League of Nursing Accreditation Commission (NLNAC) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Both agencies have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as the official accreditation bodies for nursing education at the diploma, associate, bachelor’s master’s, and doctorate levels. For a full listing of accredited programs in all states, visit the Web site of the National Council for State Boards of Nursing (NCSB.org) or the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACNnursing.org).

Admission Requirements for RN to BSN Programs

While specific admission requirement will vary between programs, below is a listing of typical entrance prerequisites for most RN to BSN programs:

  • Current and unrestricted RN license
  • Graduation from diploma or associate’s program accredited by NLNAC or CCNE.
  • Satisfactory completion of course prerequisites (approximately 58 to 60 credits in liberal arts studies).
  • Graduation from a diploma or associate’s program with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Official transcripts from all previous schools attended.
  • Reference letters from former professors and/or supervisors.
  • Submission of SAT scores, although this requirement is often waived for registered nurses).
  • Personal essay outlining career goals.

Typical Curriculum in RN-to-BSN Programs

Because most RN to BSN program students completed coursework in basic science as part of their diploma or associate degree program, in many cases, students will be granted transfer credit for these classes provided you obtained a grade of B or higher.

In contrast to diploma and associate degree programs, bachelor level studies will focus on nursing theory and advanced clinical practice, health assessment and treatment planning, patient and family communication, triage, and professional ethics for nurses. Because students are expected to advance into supervisory roles, coursework in management theory is also provided to bachelor-level students.

RN to BSN programs typically about two years complete due to transfer credit, as well as the requirement that students in accelerated take a larger number of courses per semester than do students in traditional BSN programs. However, it is possible to for working nurses to attend on a part-time basis, in which case it can take three years to complete the program.

Typical Costs of Attendance for Nursing School

Costs of attendance vary depending on the type of school you attend.  Attending a state school in which you are a resident in the least costly with tuition ranging from $7,000 to $10,000 and approximately $15,000 for out-of-state students. The costs will nearly quadruple to attend private schools with an average tuition of approximately $30,000 to $40,000. plus lab fees, textbooks, and supplies. There are various financial aid programs in the form of grants, scholarships, and loans that are available to qualified students. Working nurses may also obtain tuition assistance from their employers, provided they earn a B in each course and agree to remain with the employer a certain number of years following graduation.

Career Options for BSN Degree Holders

The nursing sector will continue to be in a tremendous demand for years to come. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the anticipated growth rate will be 22 percent throughout 2018 with the need for nearly 590,000 additional nurses throughout the country.  This demand arises from the continuing aging of the population with its increased need for healthcare services.

Nurses who earn a BSN degree will be eligible to assume positions of greater responsibility with regard to patient care and become involved with health assessment and treatment planning, triage, and the supervision of diploma and associate degree-level nurses, as well as LPNs and CNAs. Employment may be found in such facilities as:

  • Private and group doctor offices
  • Medical and surgical hospitals
  • Home health agencies
  • Outpatient clinics and surgery centers
  • Nursing facilities
  • BSN earnings

As per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the current median salary for registered nurses ranges from $63,000 to $73,000 per year. Keep in mind that are median salaries and actual earnings will depend on several factors including geographic location (urban areas tend to pay higher than rural), job title, certifications earned, as well as a number of year’s experience. All figures are from the BLS.

RN to BSN Programs – Selected Reviews

Lakeview College of Nursing
Lakeview College of Nursing is located in Danville, Illinois.  Lakeview is dedicated to providing high-quality nursing courses for advanced studies in the nursing profession.  The RN to BSN program offers accelerated courses to allow RNs to continue working while earning their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.  The bridge program allows nursing students with the required minimum basic credits to work towards their BSN through an evening and weekend course schedule. The program can be completed in just 16 months.  Graduates earn their BSN degree and are prepared to take the NCLEX exam for licensing.

Ball State University
Located in Muncie, Indiana, Ball State University offers high-quality nursing programs including an RN to BSN bridge program.  The program offers either a three or six-semester option.  Coursework includes both classroom study and clinical settings.  Nursing students may take prerequisite courses ahead of time to qualify for the program.  RNs must have proof of their current license status.  Students will receive credit allowing for special placement for the nursing experience.

Clayton State University
Clayton State University is located in Morrow, Georgia.  CSU offers nursing programs including an RN to BSN bridge program.  The bridge program allows current RNs to reduce the length of the regular BSN program.  Students will get credit for previous education and work experience and may shorten the length of the program.  Nursing programs at CSU are accredited through the CCNE.  The RN to BSN bridge program may be completed in four semesters after the credit is applied for nursing experience and previous education.

Mount Carmel College of Nursing
Mount Carmel College of Nursing is located in Columbus, Ohio.  The on-campus nursing programs include an RN to BSN completion program.  The RN to BSN program allows nursing students with a current nursing license the ability to enter a completion program to earn their Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.  The BSN program is shortened by providing credit for previous education and also for work experience.

Midwestern State University
Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas, offers nursing degrees including the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.  MSU also offers RNs an RN to BSN bridge program.  This program allows current nurses to enter the BSN program with credits for their work experience and previous education.  The program allows students to complete the BSN program in a shorter length of time than the standard BSN program.  Typically, students can expect to complete the program in 2 ½ to 3 years rather than 4 years.  Students must have a current nursing license.

University of Washington
The University of Washington offers nursing programs through its Bothell, Washington campus.  The RN to BSN program is available for nurses who want to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.  Students must complete 30 credits of core nursing classes along with 15 credits of required electives.  Students earn credits for their clinical nursing experience.  They must meet general admission requirements.  New nursing classes are admitted for the summer and fall quarters.  Full-time students can complete the program in four quarters (two years).