Top 25 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Nursing Programs for 2020



The best RN to BSN online programs can provide you with additional skills that will allow you to expand your current boundaries. If you are an RN and are interested in becoming an educator, an administrator, or a Director of Nursing, enrolling in a good online BSN program is the best way to accomplish your goals. RNs who are already working in the field have valuable experience that will accentuate the lessons offered in an online BSN program. Being able to combine your experience with the lessons you have learned will be what makes you an asset to your profession.

The Top 5 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Degrees are: 

  • 1. Daytona State College
  • 2. University of Missouri – St Louis
  • 3. Minot State University
  • 4. Nicholls State University
  • 5. College of Coastal Georgia

Advancing from an RN to a BSN degree program will provide you with management and organizational skills you will need to take on more responsibility. Added responsibility can take the form of managing a department, organizing accurate and concise records, and supervising the hands-on care that your staff provides to the patients they serve. As a Director of Nursing or an Administrator, you will be held accountable for the actions of your staff. Earning your BSN allows you to pursue many different positions outside of providing direct care to patients.

Methodology: Ranking the Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs 

Value Colleges is committed to pointing prospective nursing students to the programs that save them money while also providing a real career boost. That’s why the Most Affordable ranking features only accredited, reputable institutions, ranked according to their tuition cost (based on current IPEDS data). Students may also want to look into options for getting a free nursing degree.

1. Daytona State College

Daytona State College’s School of Nursing offers one of the most affordable online RN to BSN programs that are the perfect fit for new or working nurse professionals. Among the most affordable nursing schools, Daytona State College requires students to complete 120 credit hours, of which 48 credit hours of the nursing curriculum. Specific coursework for Daytona State College’s RN to BSN online program includes Pharmacology, Ethical Aspects of Nursing, Clinical Decision Making, Healthcare Economics, and Community Health Nursing, to name a few.

Daytona State College (DSC) was established in 1957 and is a member school of the Florida College System. The school’s urban campus in Daytona Beach is home to more than 18,000 students, of which more than 10,000 were studying part-time. Daytona State College partners with several local Florida county school districts to offer high school juniors/seniors the opportunity to earn credits.

Degree: RN to BSN

2. University of Missouri-St. Louis

The University of Missouri-St. Louis’ College of Nursing offers an RN to BSN degree program that can be completed 100% online. This RN to BSN online program from the University of Missouri is one of the most affordable online RN to BSN programs. Additionally, online students receive their textbooks at no cost from one of the most affordable nursing schools in the nation. UMSL’s online RN to BSN degree is completed in five semesters but admits incoming students all year.

The University of Missouri in St. Louis was founded in 1960. This land-grant institution of higher education operates facilities in St Louis county. The school’s campus covers more than 300 urban acres and is home to more than 16,500 students. The University of Missouri–St. Louis owns and co-operates the St Louis national Public radio station.

Degree: RN to BSN

3. Minot State University

Minot State University ‘s Department of Nursing offers an RN to BSN degree program that can be completed as a part-time or a full-time student. Minot State University ‘s most affordable online RN to BSN programs require students to finish 122 credit hours to complete the RN to BSN degree, of which 30 credit hours must be completed at Minot State University. This RN to BSN online program from one of the most affordable nursing schools has received accreditation from the ACEN – the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Minot State University was founded as a teacher’s training school in 1913. The school is organized into three colleges/schools – the arts and science school, education, and business. Minot State University’s student enrollment exceeds 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Minot State University is a member school of the ND University System.

Degree: RN to BSN

4. Nicholls State University

Nicholls State University’s College of Nursing offers an RN to BSN articulation degree program that awards credit for current knowledge and work experience. Coursework for Nicholls State University’s most affordable online RN to BSN programs includes gerontic nursing care, health assessments, nursing research, nursing practices, and community health nursing, to name a few. Students enrolled in this online RN to BSN degree program from one of the most affordable nursing schools allows students to transfer up to 75% of the programs required credits.

Nicholls State University was established as a junior college in 1948. NSU is a member school of the University of Louisiana System. NSU’s campus in Thibodaux is home to more than 6,100 students and once a large portion of a plantation abutting the Bayou Lafourche. The school’s name honors Francis Nicholls, a member of the state’s supreme court and a former governor.

Degree: RN to BSN Articulation

5. College of Coastal Georgia

The College of Coastal Georgia offers an online RN to BSN degree program that is recognized among the number one most affordable online RN to BSN programs by NursingSchoolHub.com. As one of the most affordable nursing schools in the nation, RN to BSN students have the option to complete the degree in three or six semesters. Students can complete coursework online, but clinical rotation hours are also required. Applicants to the College of Coastal Georgia’s RN to BSN degree program must have a diploma in nursing or an Associate of Science (AS) in Nursing from an accredited institution of higher education. 

The College of Coastal Georgia was founded as a public institution of higher education in 1961, as Brunswick College. The College of Coastal Georgia (CCGA) is one of the newest colleges in the Peach State of Georgia. The school’s student enrollment exceeds 3,100 students. The College of Coastal Georgia is organized into four schools, nursing/health, arts/sciences, education, and business/public management. 

Degree: RN to BSN

6. Columbia College

Columbia College’s Nursing Department offers an RN to BSN degree program is recognized among the most affordable online RN to BSN programs by BestHealthDegrees.com. This RN to BSN program from one of the most affordable nursing schools offering exclusively online nursing degrees has received accreditation from the CCNE. Coursework for Columbia College’s RN to BSN program includes pathophysiology, human nutrition, nursing research, biomedical ethics, and community health nursing, among others. Columbia College’s RN to BSN completion program requires the completion of 120 credit hours.

Columbia College was established in 1851. The college is denominational, although it once had an affiliation with the Church of the Disciples of Christ. Columbia College’s campus covers more than 200 urban acres and serves nearly 2,000 students. One in three students enrolled at Columbia is affiliated with the US military. Columbia College operates facilities in fourteen states and Cuba.

Degree: RN to BSN

7. West Virginia University

West Virginia University’s School of Nursing offers an RN to BSN completion degree program that is available entirely online. These most affordable online RN to BSN programs from West Virginia University has received accreditation from the CCNE. Classes for this RN to BSN program from one of the most affordable nursing schools include clinical pharmacology, adult health, evidence-based practice, and health assessment, plus a simulation experience at the end of the course.

West Virginia University was established under the Morrill Land Grant Colleges Act in 1867 as the Agricultural College of West Virginia. West Virginia University operates academic facilities in each of the state’s 55 counties. WVU is also a space-grant university that serves nearly 30,000 students vying for degrees provided by the university’s fourteen colleges/schools. West Virginia University partners with the FBI as a leading biometric technology research center.

Degree: RN to BSN

8. University of Utah

The University of Utah’s College of Nursing offers an RN to BSN degree completion program that is considered among the most affordable online RN to BSN programs available. In addition to the required credit hours, students enrolled in the RN to BSN track from one of the most affordable nursing schools; degree candidates are required to complete a clinical practicum of 68 hours and a clinical rotation of 45 hours.

The University of Utah was founded in 1850 and is a member school of the Utah System of Higher Education. The U of U was originally established as the University of Deseret. The University of Utah operates four hospitals, plus a dozen healthcare clinics throughout nearby communities. The University of Utah is recognized as the state’s oldest higher institution of higher learning, having been founded decades before statehood.

Degree: RN to BSN

9. Southwestern Oklahoma State University

Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s College of Professional and Graduate Studies offers one of the most affordable online RN to BSN programs that have received accreditation the state’s Board of Nursing and ACEN – the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. Among the most affordable nursing schools, Southwestern Oklahoma State University’s RN to BSN degrees requires degree candidates to complete the RN to BSN program within five years of starting the program. Coursework for this program includes Concepts of Nursing, Gerontology, Evidenced-based Research, Pathophysiology, and Human Nutrition, to name a few.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) was founded in 1901 as a teacher’s training school and a prep school. SWOSU is a member school of the University System of Oklahoma. The student enrollment at Southwestern Oklahoma State University nears 4,500 students studying for degrees on the school’s 300+ acre campuses in rural Oklahoma. Sayre Junior college and Southwestern Oklahoma State University merged to create the school’s Sayre campus.

Degree: RN to BSN

10. University of Illinois at Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Nursing offers one of the country’s most affordable online RN to BSN programs, from one of the most affordable nursing schools in the country. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits UIC’s RN to BSN completion program. US News recognizes UIC’s College of Nursing programs among the top 3 online undergraduate programs available. Coursework for this RN to BSN program includes nursing care of populations, nursing informatics, health assessment, nursing leadership, and issues in nursing practice.

The University of Illinois – Chicago was founded in 1982. The school operates two Chicago campuses – one next to the famous Chicago Loop. UIC is a member campus of the University of Illinois System with a student enrollment that nears 33,500. The University of Illinois – Chicago offers academic degrees from its sixteen schools/colleges. UIC’s roots are traced to several health-related colleges established in the 1800s.

Degree: RN to BSN

11. Columbus State University

Columbus State University’s School of Nursing offers an RN to BSN completion program that can be finished entirely online, which means totally flexible scheduling for students. These most affordable online RN to BSN programs from Columbus State University have been accredited by CCNE. CSU’s employment rate is 100% after graduation, which makes the school one of the most affordable nursing schools in the country. CSU’s RN to BSN program can be completed in about one year.

Columbus State University (CSU) was founded in 1958 as a junior college. CSU is a member school of the University System of Georgia. Columbus State University’s 120+ acre campus serves more than 7,600 students. CSU operates a satellite facility in Fort Benning. Columbus State University partners with Oxford to use the Spencer House in Great Britain.

Degree: RN to BSN

12. University of Southern Indiana

The University of Southern Indiana offers an RN to BSN degree completion program from one of the country’s most affordable nursing schools. Degree candidates enrolled in USI’s most affordable online RN to BSN programs have received accreditation from the state’s Board of Nursing and the CCNE. Nursing coursework for USI’s RN to BSN completion degree includes nursing informatics, nursing leadership, clinical synthesis, and care coordination, to name a few. USI requires 120 credit units to graduate from the BSN program.

The University of Southern Indiana was founded in 1965 as a public institution of higher education. USI is a member school of the American Association of State Colleges & Universities. USI’s campus in Evansville covers more than 1,000 suburban acres and serves more than 9,000 students. The USI theatre group partnered with the new Harmony Theatre.

Degree: RN to BSN

13. Lamar University

Lamar University offers an RN to BSN program that can be completed entirely online. These most affordable online RN to BSN programs can be completed in about one year and require 30 credit hours to graduate. The ACEN – the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing has accredited the nursing programs offered by Lamar University, one of the most affordable nursing schools in the nation. Degree candidates enrolled in Lamar University’s RN to BSN degree can opt for eight week or 15-week class schedules.

Lamar University founded as a public university in 1923. As a space-grant institution of higher learning, Lamar University is named for the Texas Republic’s second president. More than 15,000 students attend classes on Lamar’s urban campus in Beaumont. US News recognizes the school and programs offered by Lamar University across several academic categories.

Degree: RN to BSN

14. Sam Houston State University

Sam Houston State University’s offers an RN to BSN degree program that is considered among the most affordable online RN to BSN programs in the state of Texas. Sam Houston State University is also considered one of the most affordable nursing schools in the Lone Star State. The curriculum for Sam Houston State University’s RN to BSN program includes ethical issues in nursing, rural health, community nursing, leadership, nursing informatics, plus a capstone nursing project. Degree candidates must complete 121 credit hours to graduate.

Sam Houston State University was established in 1879 as a training institute for teachers. As a member school of the Texas State University system, SHSU serves more than 20,000 students studying for academic degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Sam Houston State University was created as a result of the Texas legislature business.

Degree: RN to BSN

15. Indiana University

Indiana University offers several nursing completion programs that are recognized among the most affordable online RN to BSN programs available. Among the most affordable nursing schools, Indiana University provides degree candidates an option of an LPN to BSN degree program or an RN to BSN degree program. The RN to BSN degree requires the completion of 35 credit hours; however, up to ten credit hours may be earned through a demonstrated professional portfolio. Indiana University’s nursing programs have been recognized among the best online degrees.

Indiana University operates nine campuses (2 core campuses) across the state of Indiana in Bloomington, Richmond, Fort Wayne, Gary, and Kokomo, to name a few. Indiana University has a student enrollment across all campuses that exceeds 110,000 students. In 2016, Indiana University was granted more than 100 global patents and 50+ US patents.

Degree: RN to BSN or LPN to BSN

16. Florida International University

Florida International University Online offers an RN to BSN degree program that is recognized as one of the top & most affordable online RN to BSN programs. The RN to BSN program from FIU – one of the most affordable nursing schools in Florida, includes coursework like adult physiological nursing, childrearing, global health systems, psychosocial nursing, plus a clinical practicum, among others. Students enrolled in FIU’s RN to BSN program generally complete the program as full -time students in three semesters.

Florida International University was founded as a space-grant institution of higher education in 1965 by a bill introduced by senator Bob Haverfield. As a state university, Florida International University serves nearly 59,000 students in South Florida. FIU is the first public institution of higher education in Miami when built. Florida International University holds the distinction of being the largest university in the Miami metropolitan area.

Degree: RN to BSN

17. Ferris State University

Ferris State University offers an RN to BSN completion program that is ranked among the most affordable online RN to BSN programs in the midwestern United States. Students applying for FSU’s nursing completion program must hold an unencumbered Registered Nurses license. More than 80% of the students attending FSU – one of the most affordable nursing schools in the Midwest – receive financial aid to help pay tuition and expenses. Students graduate and re-enter the workforce taking on more responsibility as educators, leaders, and administrators.

Ferris State University (FSU) was established in 1884 as an industrial school. FSU’s operates an urban and a rural campus. Both campuses serve nearly 15,000 students each year. FSU’s first graduating class was noteworthy as it included female graduates. An educator from NY, Woodbridge Ferris, who later became Michigan’s governor, founded Ferris State University.

Degree: RN to BSN

18. Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers one of the most affordable online RN to BSN programs in the state of Arizona that requires degree candidates to complete 39 credit units to graduate. Students complete ten classes during 7.5-week class formats and generally finish in 14 months to 2 years. Among the most affordable nursing schools, ASU requires degree candidates to complete coursework in nursing management, nursing theory, public health nursing, nursing research, plus a capstone project to synthesize the principles of professional nursing.

Arizona State University was founded as a public teaching training school in 1885 before Arizona received statehood. ASU’s student enrollment is recognized among the largest in the country, at 90,000, including distance learning students. Arizona State University operates several campuses through the greater Tempe and Phoenix, AZ locations.

Degree: RN to BSN

19. Oakland University

Oakland University’s School of Nursing is recognized among the most affordable nursing schools offering online education in the upper midwestern portion of the United States. Oakland University’s RN to BSN degree program is recognized as one the most affordable online RN to BSN programs available. Oakland University’s BSN completion program includes a full year of coursework that includes health promotion, nursing leadership, community nursing, health disparities, plus a nursing capstone project. Part-time students complete Oakland University’s RN to BSN in about twenty months. 

Oakland University was established in 1957. Oakland University holds the distinction of being the second oldest institution of higher education in the greater Detroit metro area. Oakland University’s 1,400+ acre campus serves more than 20,000 students. Meadow Brook Hall is listing as a national landmark and the 4th largest mansion (museum) in the country.

Degree: RN to BSN

20. Western Carolina University

Western Carolina University’s School of Nursing offers an RN to BSN completion degree program that is available 100% online. WCU’s nursing programs are offered from one of the most affordable nursing schools in the southern United States and can be completed in only four semesters. In-state and out of state, students pay the same tuition for these most affordable online RN to BSN programs. Western Carolina University’s nursing programs are accredited by CCNE and approved by the state’s Board of Nursing.

Western Carolina University was founded in 1889. Western Carolina University is a member school and the fifth oldest campus within the University of NC System. Western Carolina University’s valley location campus covers more than 500 acres and serves more than 12,000 students. WCU was created to serve the education needs of the citizens of the mountains in Western North Carolina.

Degree: RN to BSN

21. Northern Arizona University

Northern Arizona University’s School of Nursing offers a degree program for Registered Nurses seeking to earn their undergraduate degree in nursing. NAU’s RN to BSN program is recognized among the most affordable online RN to BSN programs in Arizona requires degree candidates to complete 120 credit hours to meet the program requirements, of which 30 credit hours must be from the BSN requirements. The coursework for this RN to BSN completion program – from one of the most affordable nursing schools – includes gerontology, palliative care, human anatomy, family nursing, nursing informatics, and nursing in public health.

Northern Arizona University (NAU) was founded in 1899 as a public institution of higher learning and training institute for teachers. NAU’s small city campus is home to nearly 31,000 students. Northern Arizona University’s undergraduate students are offered a pledge where tuition rates remain the same for four years.

Degree: RN to BSN

22. University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas’ Mann School of Nursing offers an RN to BSN completion degree program that is recognized by US News as one of the best & most affordable online RN to BSN programs available in the education marketplace. As one of the most affordable nursing schools, U of A requires students to complete 30 credit hours that can be completed in 3 semesters as a full-time student. In addition to coursework, RN to BSN nursing degree candidates must complete clinical rotation hours of at least 75 hours.

The University of Arkansas was founded in 1871. The school is a space-grant and land-grant school and a member school and the flagship campus of the University of Arkansas system. The University of Arkansas’ campus in Fayetteville is home to nearly 28,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The University of Arkansas, the state’s largest and most comprehensive university.

Degree: Online RN to BSN

23. University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida’s College of Nursing offers one of the most affordable online RN to BSN programs, as noted by US News and World Report. Students enrolled in this RN to BSN program from UCF – one of the most affordable nursing schools – are required to complete 30 credit units within three semesters, as a full-time student, or longer, for part-time students. Degree candidates enter the workforce as a case manager, educator, ER nurse, or nurse leader, among others.

The University of Central Florida was founded a space-grant university in 1963. The University of Central Florida holds the distinction of having more students enrolled in an on-campus program than any other institution of higher learning in the nation. UCF’s student enrollment nears 70,000 students, who study on the school’s campus about 10 miles from downtown Orlando. US News recognizes UCF among the top three up and coming universities in the national category.

Degree: RN to BSN

24. University of Alabama at Birmingham

The School of Nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham offers an RN to BSN program that can be completed entirely online. UAB’s most affordable online RN to BSN programs requires students to complete 30 credit hours as a full time or part-time student. As one of the most affordable nursing programs, UAB’s nursing curriculum includes systems leadership, patient safety, transitional care, informatics, population health, applied pathophysiology, and professional nursing concepts, among others.

The University of Alabama in Birmingham is a research-related university that was founded in 1969. More than 13,700 students attend classes offered by UAB. The University of Alabama at Birmingham employs about 10% of the Binghamton metro area’s population. The University of Alabama at Birmingham was originally developed as an academic outreach facility for the university.

Degree: RN to BSN

25. Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University’s Waters College of Health Professionals offers one of the most affordable online RN to BSN programs in the southern United States. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredits the RN to BSN degree program offered by Georgia Southern University. Coursework for this RN to BSN degree includes nursing research, health assessment, anatomy, pharmacology, and mental health, among others. Georgia Southern University is recognized as one of the most affordable nursing schools in Georgia.

Georgia Southern University was established in 1906. As a land-grant school, GS operates several campuses in the Statesboro area. Georgia Southern University’s campuses serve more than 26,000 students studying for the more than 130 degree programs offered by GS. GS holds the distinction of being the fifth largest campus of the University System of Georgia.

Degree: RN to BSN

How Do I Choose a Good Online RN to BSN Program?

The first step to take if you are trying to advance from an RN to a BSN degree program is to go over a list of accredited nursing schools. Find the ones that meet your specific criteria. Many RN to BSN students choose to pursue their degree online so they can continue to work while they are taking their classes. Online courses offer extremely flexible schedules so that students have the time they need to work on their courses when it is most convenient for them. This allows them to go to work and school at the same time without having conflicting schedules.

Many CCNE accredited schools offer accelerated RN to BSN online degree programs. These programs allow students to complete their coursework at a much faster rate. Where a normal degree program may take up to 24 months, an accelerated degree program can be completed in as little as 18 months. This means they can advance into a higher paying position in much less time. These programs are good choices for nurses who already have several years of knowledge and are trying to improve their ability to be hired for advanced positions.

How Much Can I Make With an Online BSN Degree?

RN’s have the ability to earn approximately $64,000 per year on average. Nurses who want to go from an RN to BSN can possibly earn as much as $68,000 per year as an average salary. Nurses who are trying to pursue a higher degree program often do so in order to make more money, but others take the advanced BSN degree program option so they can take on more responsibility and possibly move away from the hands-on, personalized patient care roles. Applying for a managerial or administrative position will earn them more money, but will also require that they assume more responsibility as well.

An RN or BSN graduate can earn far more than the average salary if they take the time to go above and beyond at their job and when they are attending school. Students with higher GPAs are more likely to get a higher wage when they are first hired. RN and BSN graduates who already have several years of experience working with direct patient care or in an administrative role can also expect to receive a higher than average starting wage. It’s understood that the years of experience working in a direct care capacity is extremely beneficial when combined with an online degree program.

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