2018 Top Online Nursing Schools

Scroll down to see the top not-for-profit colleges offering nursing degrees online.

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School Rankings

1

Barnes-Jewish College Goldfarb School of Nursing

The Goldfarb School of Nursing at the Barnes Jewish College offers a full-time, three-semester program for nurses who want to complete their bachelor's degree. Students may enter the nursing portion of the RN to BSN program after they have completed all required prerequisites and general studies classes. Students move through the online classwork as a cohort. Twice each semester, students come to campus for an all-day intensive experience, which leads to the completion of a major project each semester. Applicants to the program must have an active RN license and a minimum 2.5 GPA. Including transfer credits, students must complete 87 general education requirements before beginning nursing coursework. Cohorts start in the spring, summer and fall semester.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

2

Chatham University

Registered nurses who want to advance their career by earning another degree have three online options at Chatham University. The RN to BSN program includes 26 core credits and requires students to complete self-directed practice experiences in some of their coursework. Students can transfer up to 90 credits to meet the 120 required for the degree. The RN to MSN nursing educator track allows students to acquire two degrees, a BSN and MSN, by completing only 50 credits instead of the 62 needed to earn both degrees separately. The regular Master of Science in Nursing program is completely online and has three tracks: leadership, educator, or informatics. A full-time and part-time cohort for each track is admitted in the fall.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

3

Drexel University

Drexel University has online programs for a wide variety of nursing degrees, including an RN to BSN degree-completion program, master's programs, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and many post-bachelor's and post-master's certificates in specialties. The RN to BSN program allows students to transfer up to 135 of the 180 required quarter credits, including credits for all general studies. Registered Nurses who already have a bachelor's degree can work on an advanced degree through an online RN to MSN degree. Some of the MSN specialties require students to attend a brief on-campus residency, which varies by specialty. Students may earn their MSN in areas such as clinical trials research, adult-gerontology acute or primary care, nursing innovation, nursing leadership, or pediatrics.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

4

East Carolina University

Licensed nurses can find online programs to complete a bachelor's degree or earn a master's degree in nursing through East Carolina University. The RN to BSN allows participants to move quickly through the program. Some classes are offered in a half-semester format, allowing students to complete two classes in one semester but concentrate on one course at a time. Students may have to arrange practice experiences in their home community. ECU also offers an online program for students who want to earn a Master of Science in Nursing in clinical nurse specialist, nursing leadership, or nursing education. The clinical nurse specialist program offers tracks in neonatal and adult-gerontology. ECU strives to meet the clinical placement needs of distance students.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

CAG Score 94.4

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

28,289 Students

5

East Tennessee State University

East Tennessee State University offers 100-percent online programs for nurses who want to finish their bachelor's degree or earn a Master of Science in Nursing. Online options for the MSN are concentrations in family nurse practitioner, nursing administration, and nursing education. Applicants to the MSN program must have an active, unencumbered nursing license, a GPA of at least 3.0 on undergraduate work, and must have taken an undergraduate course in statistics. The education concentration requires 39 credits, the administration concentration requires 36 credits, and the nurse practitioner program requires 46 credits. Students in the RN to BSN program must complete 32 to 35 credits and may choose a full-time or part-time course of study.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

6

Florida Atlantic University

Nurses can complete their bachelor's degree or earn one of four master's degrees in nursing online through Florida Atlantic University, which was tied for No. 43 in the 2017 U.S. News and World Report listing of Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. Specializations for the Master of Science in Nursing program offered online include advanced holistic nursing, clinical nurse leader, nurse educator, and nursing administrative and financial leadership. When an online nursing program requires practicum experiences, students are allowed to arrange a practicum near their home. Full-time and part-time options are available for the master's programs. The RN to BSN program requires 32 credits.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

CAG Score 92.8

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

30,380 Students

7

Frontier Nursing University

Frontier Nursing University offers advanced nursing degrees through an online distance education model that requires two sessions on campus. All students begin the program by attending a three-day orientation in Hyden, Kentucky, then return home to complete web-based coursework, which they can do on a full-time or part-time basis. After completing classwork, they return to Hyden for an eight-day intensive experience in which they develop and validate clinical skills. This Clinical Bound program is offered eight to 12 times annually. Students then return to their community and perform a clinical practicum under the guidance of a local preceptor. Students can use the program to earn a Master of Science in Nursing, post-master's certificate, or Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education

8

Gwynedd Mercy College

Gwynedd Mercy University has two online programs in nursing: Accelerated RN to BSN and Doctor of Nursing Practice. The BSN completion program is designed for nurses who have an associate degree, and nurses with a diploma may have to take additional courses. This two-year program includes classes to improve research skills and some that provide strategies for managing teams or treating patients. The DNP is for nurses with a master's degree or higher. The two-year program includes 13 courses and 400 hours of practicum experience with a preceptor. Students can complete all the work online or in their home area except for an in-person executive session held the week of graduation.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.

9

Immaculata University

Immaculata University has an RN to BSN program that allows working nurses to complete their bachelor's degree in two years or less of online study. The program is open to licensed nurses who graduated from an accredited nursing program with a GPA of at least 2.0. Including transferred credits, students must earn 126 credits, which includes 41 general studies credits. Upper division nursing classes and support classes total 41 credits, and cover topics such as holistic nursing practice, holistic health assessment, nursing research, nursing leadership, nursing and the law, holistic care of the chronically ill, and a capstone project in public health nursing.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

10

Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis has online options for students interested in a bachelor's, master's or post-master's degree in nursing. The bachelor's program is a RN to BSN degree-completion program that full-time students can finish in 12 months and part-time students can complete in 18 to 24 months. Classes are offered in a seven- or eight-week format, and students may be able to receive some academic credit for prior learning. The Master of Science in Nursing nurse educator program provides all coursework online, and students can complete practicum hours in their own community. The Doctor of Nursing Practice is a full-time, five-semester program that requires four on-campus meetings - a boot camp and three integrative experiences.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

CAG Score 94.9

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

30,105 Students

11

Jacksonville State University

The Lurleen B. Wallace College of Nursing and Health Sciences at Jacksonville State University offers an RN to BSN program and several Master of Science in Nursing degrees though its online education program. The MSN programs all focus on community health nursing. MSN candidates major in community health nursing and can choose to concentrate in emergency management or nursing education. The MSN with a major in community health nursing requires 38 credits, while adding the nursing education concentration increases the total to 50 credits, and the emergency management concentration requires 53 credits. Applicants to the RN to BSN program can complete their bachelor's degree in a year after meeting general studies requirements.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

12

Jacksonville University

Jacksonville University offers online programs for active nurses who want to complete a bachelor's degree or earn a master's degree. The university's RN to BSN and RN to MSN programs are offered completely online, and classes are offered in eight-week sessions with no required log-in times to provide flexibility for working nurses. Courses are offered in six terms per year, and students may enroll on a full-time or part-time basis. All practicums can be completed near the student's home, and the program is open to U.S. military nurses stationed anywhere in the world. Jacksonville University also has an online MSN program for nurses who already have a BSN; specializations available are clinical nurse educator, health informatics, and health care leadership.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

13

Keiser University

The Online Division of Keiser University offers a Master of Science in Nursing and an RN to BSN program. The MSN program is open to practicing professional nurses who have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a GPA of at least 2.7. The MSN curriculum prepares nurses to lead evidence-based practices, improve quality outcomes, be lifelong learners, develop innovative nursing practices, and integrate services across the health care team. The RN to BSN program requires students to complete 60 credits, including 48 credits in nursing major classes and 12 credits in upper division general education classes, such as critical thinking and interpersonal communication for professionals.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

14

Kent State University at Kent

Nurses seeking to advance their careers can choose from several online programs at Kent State University. At the most basic level, nurses with a diploma or associate degree can earn a BSN in an accelerated online format that allows them to attend full time or part time. The Master of Science in Nursing offers four fully online concentration areas, including nursing and healthcare management and women's health nurse practitioner. The Doctor of Nursing Practice is also offered online. Nurses who already have a graduate degree can add a specialization by earning a certificate online; the options are the same four areas that are offered as MSN concentrations.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

15

Liberty University

Liberty University Online has programs for nurses who want a bachelor or master's degree. The RN to BSN program is open to applicants who have a nursing license and who earned an associate degree or hospital diploma in nursing. Classes are offered in an eight-week format that gives working nurses flexibility in scheduling. Most RN to BSN students complete the program in about two years. Liberty also has an online Master of Science in Nursing program with concentrations in nurse educator or nursing administration. Students work with a local preceptor and perform practicums in their local community (although applicants must confirm their state allows them to do this while taking classes from an out-of-state university).

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

16

Mississippi University for Women

Registered nurses can complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing online through the RN to BSN Advanced Placement Option offered by the Mississippi University for Women. Students can choose a fully online option or a hybrid option. The online option is designed for working nurses, and the clinical time is built into each course. An on-campus orientation is held in Tupelo each semester, and attendance is recommended but not required. Applicants must have an unencumbered RN license and a 2.0 or higher GPA on previous college work. There are 62 credits in prerequisites, although students lacking up to 12 of those credits may enter the program. Students can only enter in the fall.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

17

National University

Nurses seeking to advance their education and credentials can choose from three online programs through National University. The RN to BSN degree-completion program is open to nurses with an unencumbered license who have at least a 2.0 GPA on all previous college work. The curriculum includes 10 core nursing courses and seven upper-division electives, and students must complete at least 45 quarter units through National University. Nurses with a master's degree or higher can earn a Post-Graduate Certificate in Family Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. These are both hybrid programs that include online, onsite, and clinical activities with a preceptor, and each program requires at least a year to complete.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

18

Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University offers a range of online nursing degrees, including an RN to BSN program, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and two master's degrees. The Master of Science in Nursing programs offered online have a generalist option and a family nurse practitioner option. The generalist option is a 30-credit program while the nurse practitioner program requires 48 credits. The Doctor of Nursing Practice is a clinical doctorate that allows nurses to develop their leadership and policymaking skills, and the program is open to licensed, practicing nurses who already have an MSN. The online RN to BSN program is available to licensed nurses throughout Arizona.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

19

Nova Southeastern University

Nova Southeastern University has an online program for nurses who already have a bachelor's degree and wish to earn a Master of Science in Nursing. Nova Southeastern offers tracks in nursing informatics, health system leadership, and nursing education. Each program requires 36 credits, including a practicum that students can arrange to take place in their home community. The programs share a common core of 15 credits, with the rest of the coursework dedicated to the specialty. Students can complete the online program in eight semesters or fewer. An applicant to any of the programs must be an active registered nurse with an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

20

Oakland University

Oakland University offers an RN to BSN program that is 100 percent online. Nurses with an associate degree or nursing diploma can earn their bachelor's degree in two to four years; students who take two courses per semester can complete the program in five semesters once they complete general education requirements. The program requires students to complete a capstone experience. All required general education and nursing classes are offered online. The program is open to nurses with a valid RN license who earned at least a 2.5 GPA in their diploma or associate degree work.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

21

Ohio State University-Main Campus

The College of Nursing at the Ohio State University has three online degree programs. The bachelor's program is a degree-completion program for registered nurses with a diploma or associate degree. BSN students can attend as full-time or part-time students. The Master of Science in Nursing has three specialization tracks: family nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. The Doctor of Nursing Practice has two specialty tracks: clinical expert and nurse executive. All three of OSU's online nursing programs scored near the top of the 2018 U.S. News college rankings, with the MSN program listed as No. 3 in Best Online Master's in Nursing Programs.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

22

Ohio University

Ohio University has a nursing bachelor's completion program that is available entirely online. Students interested in a Master of Science in Nursing can also complete coursework for the degree entirely online. The RN to BSN program offers eight start dates each year, and many classes are offered in a five-week format. Applicants must have an active nursing license and an associate degree or diploma in nursing with a GPA of 2.0. The online M.S.N. has a concentration in family nurse practitioner and can be completed in two years. All coursework is offered online, and students work with preceptors to perform required clinical work in their own community. The M.S.N. program is open to students in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

23

Old Dominion University

Nurses at all levels can earn a degree to advance their career through the online programs offered by Old Dominion University. ODU offers an online RN to BSN program, a Master of Science in Nursing with multiple specialties, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice with two specialties. MSN candidates can choose specialties including nurse midwifery, neonatal nurse practitioner, nurse administrator, family nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist/educator, or pediatric nurse practitioner acute/critical or primary care. DNP degrees are available in advanced practice or nurse executive. Many classes are offered in an asynchronous format for flexibility, and the university will work with the student to find a location for practicum experiences.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

CAG Score 94.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

24,672 Students

24

Olivet Nazarene University

Olivet Nazarene University has online programs leading to a Master of Science in Nursing and a degree completion plan for practicing nurses who want a bachelor's degree in nursing. The MSN program is offered in an accelerated format that allows students to complete 36 credits and earn the degree in just 16 months. The program offers two tracks: nurse education and management/leadership. Students take seven core courses and five courses in their area of concentration. Both tracks require students to complete a practicum of at least 180 hours. The RN to BSN program uses a cohort format and takes about 17 months to complete 30 credits. Both of the online degree programs have multiple start dates each year.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

25

Oregon Health & Science University

Registered nurses can upgrade to a bachelor's or master's degree by completing online coursework through the School of Nursing at Oregon Health and Science University. The RN to BSN degree-completion program has asynchronous theory classes and uses a hybrid format, including face-to-face meetings, for clinical classes. Nurses with a BSN can earn an online Master of Nursing in nursing education or in health systems and organizational leadership. The nursing education program is open to full-time and part-time students, and some classes require in-person intensives. Candidates choose a clinical focus: adult gerontological nursing, community health nursing, or psychiatric mental health nursing. The health systems program prepares nurses for leadership roles in a variety of settings.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

26

Purdue University-Northwest

Purdue University Northwest has an online degree-completion program for working nurses who earned a diploma or associate degree in nursing. Students can complete the 34-credit nursing portion of the program in as few as 16 months. All classes are offered in a five-week, online format, and students must take the courses in a prescribed order. Required courses cover topics such as nursing research, professional ethics, health promotion and education, nursing families, nursing the aged, safety in nursing practice, nursing leadership, and nursing informatics. Students finish the program with a capstone project. To earn the BSN, students must also take 24 credits in specific non-nursing courses, which are all available through Purdue Northwest as online classes.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.

27

Regis University

The Loretto Heights School of Nursing at Regis University offers two online nursing programs. The RN to BSN program is open to Registered Nurses with an active license who earned a diploma or associate degree. The coursework can be completed entirely online, and all classes are offered in an eight-week flexible format. Classes are asynchronous, allowing students to work on their studies at the time they choose as long as they meet weekly deadlines. Students may enter the program at three points during the year. Regis also offers an RN to MSN program that is delivered online. Classes are asynchronous and delivered in eight-week sessions. Students can earn both their bachelor's and their master's degrees in two to three years.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

28

Saint Louis University-Main Campus

Nurses can complete their bachelor's degree or advance to a Doctor of Nursing Practice through online programs at Saint Louis University. The RN to BSN program is open to full-time and part-time students. Once students complete their pre-nursing courses, they can finish the BSN classes in as few as two semesters. The DNP program is open to nurses with a BSN or a master's. Students can choose from five specialties, including adult/gerontological care, family nurse practitioner, and pediatric primary care. BSN students must come to the campus four times during the program, and master's students must come to campus twice. Students complete their clinical requirements with a preceptor.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

29

Samuel Merritt University

Samuel Merritt University offers three online programs in nursing: Master of Science in Nursing - Case Management (post-professional), MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner (post-professional), and Doctor of Nursing Practice. The case management program is a 37-credit master's program that students can complete in four semesters of full-time study or six semester of part-time study. Students must complete an in-person preceptorship. The family nurse practitioner program requires 49 credits and can be completed in as few as 20 months of full-time study. Participants must perform three semesters of clinical practicums. Applicants for either MSN program must be a practicing licensed nurse with a BSN. The Doctor of Nursing Practice is offered online with a requirement for a three-day meeting on campus each December.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

30

South Dakota State University

Nurses can complete a bachelor's degree or earn a master's through online classwork at South Dakota State University. Registered nurses with an associate degree or diploma can complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in a program SDSU calls Upward Mobility. Students take online courses and complete practicums near their residence, but out-of-state nurses should talk to a SDSU adviser about their state's practicum requirements. Students can start the RN to BSN program in any semester. The Master of Nursing has four specializations: clinical nurse leader, nurse administrator, and nurse educator all have one class that requires time on campus. The family nurse practitioner option includes online and in-person course delivery plus a clinical practice preceptorship.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

31

Texas Woman's University

Texas Woman's University offers a variety of nursing programs that are online or have a hybrid format. The RN to BSN program, open to registered nurses with an associate degree or diploma, is 100 percent online, and students work with a preceptor to complete a capstone project. Courses for the master's in nursing education are also 100 percent online, and students in this program complete practicum hours in their home region. For the nursing health systems management program, the amount of online coursework varies with the minor a student pursues. With the business minor, courses are 100 percent online with practicum completed in the student's home region. The Doctor of Nursing Practice has a hybrid format.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

CAG Score 95.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

15,286 Students

32

The University of Alabama

The University of Alabama offers online programs for nurses leading to a bachelor's or master's degree or a Doctor of Nursing Practice. Working nurses with an associate degree or diploma can earn a Bachelor of Science or Master of Science in Nursing through the university's online RN to BSN and RN to MSN programs. The bachelor's program requires students to complete all general education requirements and 25 credits in nursing, while the master's program is an accelerated program that results in both a bachelor's and master's degree. The University of Alabama offers online MSN degrees in case management leadership and clinical nurse leader. The online DNP program requires students to attend one intensive on campus in the spring.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

33

The University of Texas at El Paso

The University of Texas in El Paso has online programs leading to a Master of Science in Nursing as well as an RN to BSN program for working nurses who want to finish the courses required to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The MSN programs offered online are nursing education, nursing systems management, and nurse practitioner. Students in the nurse practitioner program can choose to specialize in family nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner/primary care, or adult/gerontologic nurse practitioner/acute care. Students in the nurse practitioner program may have to come to campus up to three times per semester in the last three semesters of the program. They may also have to travel long distances to fulfill clinical requirements.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

34

The University of Texas Medical Branch

The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston offers a BSN completion program and several Master of Science in Nursing programs online. To enter the RN to BSN program, students must have completed all prerequisites and general education credits. Students can complete the BSN program is as little as two semesters, and they only need to go to the UTMB campus once, at the beginning of the program for a two-day orientation session. The online MSN program allows students to select from six specialty tracks: family nurse practitioner, adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, clinical nurse leader, executive nurse leader, and nurse educator. M.S.N. students must visit campus for a few clinical experiences and evaluations.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

35

Thomas Edison State University

Thomas Edison State University has online options for nurses seeking a bachelor's completion program as well as for nurses who want a master's degree or Doctor of Nursing Practice. The RN to BSN program is extremely flexible, allowing nurses to enter the program at any time and work at their own pace, as long as they complete at least three credits every 12 months. Participants in the RN to BSN program can apply nine credits to the online Master of Science in Nursing program, which prepares nurses for a role as a nurse educator, nurse administrator, or nursing informatics specialist. Students can complete the Doctor of Nursing Practice in 18 months with no required campus visits.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

36

University of Alabama in Huntsville

The University of Alabama in Huntsville has online programs for nurses at several education levels. Online programs are offered for RNs who want to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, as well as programs leading to a Master of Science in Nursing: Leadership in Health Care Systems, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice. A graduate certificate in nursing education is also offered online. The DNP program is available to both part-time and full-time students. DNP students must attend an orientation on the campus in Huntsville and an annual DNP Intensive each spring semester. The MSN program is entirely online except for two two-day experiences in Huntsville. Preceptor clinical experiences can be tailored to a student's career goals.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

37

University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas has online nursing programs at three levels. Registered nurses can complete a BSN in as little as three semesters. This 29-credit program includes one project-based practicum that students complete in their home area. Students start in spring or fall and may attend full time or part time. The MSN has a thesis and non-thesis option, and students work with a local preceptor to complete clinical practicum hours. Full-time and part-time students are welcome; the program starts in the summer. The Doctor of Nursing Practice has online coursework and practicum hours arranged with a local preceptor. Tracks are available for BSN to DNP and MSN to DNP. Students must come to campus for a required orientation.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

CAG Score 93.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

26,754 Students

38

University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida has online programs for nursing students interested in completing a bachelor's degree, or in earning a master's or Ph.D. in nursing. Students with an associate degree or diploma who are Registered Nurses can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing completely online with the exception of clinical requirements, which they can complete in their local community. UFC's online Master of Science in Nursing program has tracks in Nurse Educator and in Nursing Leadership and Management. Classes are offered online, but students must come to Orlando for orientation and to present their maser's project. UFC also has online programs leading to a Ph.D. in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and an Executive Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

CAG Score 94.5

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

62,953 Students

39

University of Cincinnati

Licensed Registered Nurses can continue their education online with several programs offered by the University of Cincinnati. The RN to BSN program is offered entirely online in either a full-time or part-time format. Students can complete the degree in one academic year of full-time study or in 12 to 18 months of part-time study. The university also has an online program leading to a Master of Science in Nursing in several specialties: nurse-midwifery, family nurse practitioner, women's health nurse practitioner, and adult-gero primary care nurse practitioner. All coursework for the master's program is offered online, and students can complete any clinical requirements in their home community, so they never have to come to campus.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

40

University of Colorado Denver

The University of Colorado Denver offers a variety of online nursing degrees, from a bachelor's completion program to advanced degrees. The online RN to BSN program allows working nurses who earned an associate degree or diploma to earn a bachelor's degree, enhancing their career mobility. Nurses with a bachelor's degree who wish to advance their career further can earn an online Master of Science in Nursing. The university offers a 30-credit program in nursing leadership and a 35-credit program in nursing informatics. Nurses interested in working as a nurse practitioner or independent practice may be interested in the 41-credit Doctor of Nursing Practice, while those interested in research or health policy may pursue the 72-credit Ph.D. in Nursing.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

CAG Score 93.0

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

23,671 Students

41

University of Hawaii at Manoa

The University of Hawaii at Manoa offers a bachelor degree-completion program specifically for nurses who earned an associate degree in nursing and want to earn the four-year degree to increase their career prospects. The program is intended for nurses who have less than two years of experience. Courses are offered in an online format and students must earn 34 credits in upper division nursing coursework. The program has prerequisites of 44 credits in general studies topics and 42 credits in nursing and elective classes. Students can only enter the online program in the fall.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

CAG Score 94.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

18,865 Students

42

University of Louisiana at Lafayette

University of Louisiana at Lafayette places three nursing degrees online. First, the RN to BSN is a 30-credit program with three start dates. All core courses are online, but one or two corequisite courses may need to be taken on campus; students who transfer in must ensure they take at least 30 credits via UL Lafayette. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is for aspiring advanced practice nurses. Students can pursue tracks for family nurse practitioners or nurse educators. Finally, students can set out for the Doctor of Nursing Practice after finishing either a BSN or an MSN. DNP-seekers need to meet on campus before the program for orientation and afterwards for project presentations.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

43

University of Massachusetts-Boston

The University of Massachusetts Boston has an online degree completion program for Registered Nurses and an online program leading to a Doctor of Nursing Practice. The RN to BSN program uses a cohort format, with cohorts completing the work in five semesters. Students may have to take additional classes to complete general education requirements they didn't take in community college. The university's DNP program is open to applicants who have a master's degree in nursing who prepared as family, gerontological, or adult nurse practitioners, clinical nurse specialists, nurse midwives, or nurse anesthetists. Applicants must be licensed in and live in Massachusetts. DNP candidates have to come to campus for orientation, two intensives, and to defend their capstone project.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

CAG Score 95.3

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

17,030 Students

44

University of Memphis

The Loewenberg School of Nursing at the University of Memphis offers a fully online program that allows Registered Nurses with an associate degree to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The program does not require any campus visits and offers flexibility to working professionals. Most classes are offered in an asynchronous format with no need to log in at a specific time. Students in the RN to BSN program acquire leadership skills, learn how to manage and coordinate care, gain an understanding of technology and how it plays a part in global health care, and gain skills in communicating and collaborating with patients, their families, and other members of the health care team.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

45

University of South Alabama

The College of Nursing at the University of South Alabama offers a wide range of nursing degrees through its online programs, which provide coursework via the internet and allow students to perform clinical work in their own community while working with a preceptor. For Registered Nurses, options include an RN to BSN pathway as well as an RN to BSN/MSN pathway. The online Master of Science in Nursing allows students to specialize in about a dozen areas, including adult-gerontological care, family medicine, pediatrics, neonatal, women's health, clinical leadership, or health care informatics. The online DNP program offers similar specialties. Students in any program may be able to add a subspecialty, such as oncology, cardiovascular, or nurse educator.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

46

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

UWM Online runs nursing programs at multiple levels. The RN-BSN program uses the UW Flexible Option, allowing for start dates at the beginning of any month and self-paced learning-without a semester schedule. Nurses in the RN-MN program can take undergraduate credits online, though they may need to head to campus for graduate credits. Enrollees in the online PhD in Nursing only have to come to Milwaukee for three weeks total across their three-year program, which incorporates a research-centered practicum and a dissertation. The two-year post-master's Doctor of Nursing Practice, by contrast, molds advanced nurse practitioners via coursework and a residency.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

47

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

The Accelerated Online Bachelor's to BSN is a UW-Oshkosh specialty: a 12-month program for baccalaureate holders who are not registered nurses. With merely a current Nursing Assistant Certification (CNA), incoming students can become BSNs in just one calendar year. Designed for students without work commitments, the cohort program has start dates in February, May and October. Students complete clinical rotations near them and only step on campus three times: for a three-day orientation, a two-week intensive lab 12 weeks into the program, and a capstone week at the end. MSN-holders, meanwhile, might be interested in the Clinical Nurse Leader Certificate or the Nurse Educator Certificate, both of which are 100% online.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education; Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs

CAG Score 94.1

  • Advanced Placement Credit
  • ROTC Program

14,051 Students

48

Western Governors University

For undergrads, WGU runs both a standard RN to BSN program as well as a pre-licensure program. At the graduate level, WGU is stacked with nursing specializations in Education, Nursing Informatics and Leadership Management. Each has an RN to MSN and BSN to RSN option. New BSN- and MSN-seekers alike are eligible for the $2,000 Leaders in Nursing Scholarship, awarded based on a combination of academic performance and financial need. Members of the Association for Nursing Professional Development may qualify for the ANPD Excellence in Nursing Education Scholarship, also worth $2,000.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

49

Western Kentucky University

Nurses with a bachelor's degree in nursing or an associate degree in nursing can earn a Master of Science in Nursing though online programs offered by Western Kentucky University. Students in either the MSN program or the RN to MSN Bridge program can choose a concentration in nurse educator or nurse administrator. Students in the nurse administrator program must complete 33 credits, and students in the nurse educator program must complete 40 to 47 credits. Students can complete any practicums for the degree in their home area. The university also has post-MSN certificates in nurse educator or nurse administrator that are available online.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

50

Wilmington University

Wilmington University offers an online program for nurses who want to gain a Doctor of Nursing Practice as well as a degree-completion program for RNs who want to finish a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The amount of time it takes students to earn the BSN will vary depending upon how many general studies requirements they have met, which will vary depending upon whether they earned an associate degree or diploma. Students can find options to meet all general education requirements online, and all upper-level nursing classes are online. The DNP program is open to applicants who have a Master of Science in Nursing with a focus as a nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse midwife, or nurse anesthetist.

Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.; Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

51

Winston-Salem State University

Winston-Salem State University has an online option for students interested in its RN to BSN degree completion program. The university forms full-time student cohorts for the program and cohorts enter the program in the spring or summer semesters. Members of the cohort finish the program in 12 months, taking three classes each semester for three semesters, if students have the required general education credits from previous college enrollment. Applicants should have an associate degree and a nursing license. Space in the online RN to BSN program is limited. The program is accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education.

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Evaluating Online Nursing Degrees

Since nursing is a hands-on profession, it’s near impossible to gain your LPN qualification, ADN or BSN completely online. However, many schools now offer hybrid programs that allow you to take core nursing and science classes via the Internet. Your clinical work could be performed at a local hospital, nursing home or medical facility.

During your search for online programs, you will find a lot of listings for online LPN to BSN or RN to BSN degrees. These are accelerated degrees that licensed practical nurses or registered nurses can take to gain a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Universities are more comfortable offering these degrees online because they know LPNs and RNs already have a certain amount of clinical experience under their belt.

Online Graduate Nursing Programs

Thanks to demand, online graduate nursing programs continue to grow in number and scope. You’ll find online RN to MSNs, direct entry MSNs and traditional MSN programs focusing on a particular specialty (e.g. midwifery, family practice, etc.). If clinical work is required (and it usually is), a large number of universities will allow you to complete your practicums at a nearby hospital, health center or school.

Some universities have taken cyber education a step further and now offer online DNP, PhD and DSN programs. These are usually hybrid affairs. In the case of an online DNP, for example, you might take courses and talk to your supervisor via the Internet. Meanwhile, you would be conducting research and working on a capstone project in your local area.

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