If you’re looking to start or advance your career as a nurse, earning your Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree is the perfect place to start.
Now, earning your degree can be an expensive and time-consuming process–but it doesn’t have to be!
In fact, there are lots of online BSN programs that allow you to get your nursing education for a fraction of the time and cost of traditional, on-campus programs.
In this article, we researched all the online BSN programs we could find to determine the best ones. From there, we ranked each program based on a number of factors, like:
- Number of degree pathways
- Alumni outcomes (for example, salary score and employment rate)
- Other unique and distinguishing features
The final result was this list of 17 best online BSN programs. To learn more about any of these universities, just click on the links to read our more in-depth reviews.
What Is The Best Online BSN Program?
Grand Canyon University is the best online BSN program based on our evaluation of their degree offerings, alumni outcomes, and other key performance indicators.
However, just because they topped our list doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right choice for you.
For example, your needs may differ depending on your location, if you’re already an RN, if you plan to get an advanced degree after your Bachelor’s, or so many other factors.
Keep reading to discover more about GCU and the other top-rated online BSN programs.
17 Best Online BSN Programs Ranked
GCU earned the number one spot in our rankings of the best online BSN programs for 2022 based on the criteria we discussed earlier.
The school offers three pathways for getting your Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree:
- Pre-licensure BSN
- Accelerated BSN (ABSN)
The alumni outcomes for this program were the best of any of the other programs we looked at. Impressively, GradReports awarded this school an 87/100 salary school.
Not only were salary outcomes great, but so was their average NCLEX pass rate. The overall first-time pass rate for Grand Canyon University was 96.17%, far surpassing the national average of 86.58%.
The only thing to be wary of is that this is likely one of the more academically-challenging programs. However, if you want to be prepared to become the best nurse you can be, it may be worth the extra effort.
The second-ranked school on our list of top-rated online BSN programs is WGU.
This college provides two pathways for obtaining your Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing online:
- B.S. Nursing Prelicensure
Like GCU, Western Governors University also boasts an impressive salary school with a 79/100. The school also boasts several post-graduate degree options.
The Prelicensure track emphasizes the importance of hands-on experience. In fact, 60% is online coursework, while the other 40% focuses on clinical work.
Finally, keep in mind that the Prelicensure program is only offered in eight states. If you don’t live in one of the states the program is offered, you’ll need to pick a different option. However, if you do live in one of those states, it could be a great choice.
3. Herzing University
Herzing University is the next school in our online BSN program rankings.
There are four different tracks for getting your degree at Herzing:
- Online BSN Program For Non-Nurses
- Accelerated BSN
The Accelerated BSN track is for students who already hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, while the Pre-nursing pathway is for students who don’t qualify for direct entry into the Online BSN Program For Non-Nurses.
Herzing even offers degree tracks to obtain your BSN for:
- Respiratory Therapists
- Cardiovascular Technicians
So, one of the best things about this university is the number of degree pathway options they offer.
You should keep in mind, however, that Gradreports only gave the Herzing University’s BSN program a 45/100 salary score. However, just because their score isn’t as high as GCU or WGU, it doesn’t mean you can’t earn just as much as alumni from those schools.
The fourth best-rated online BSN program in our rankings is Walden University.
This school offers only one track for getting your BSN: the RN-to-BSN Completion Program. This means you’ll already need to already be a licensed RN in order to enroll in this program.
While the undergraduate options are a bit limited, this school still ranked high on our list because there are lots of great things about it.
For one, the school has an 85/100 salary score on GradReports, and 99% of students found employment after graduation.
Additionally, Walden University offers two different online learning formats: Course-based Learning and Tempo-learning. The former is a more traditional format, while the latter utilizes a flexible schedule with no predetermined deadlines.
Finally, despite a lack of undergraduate options, there are lots of master’s- and doctoral-level opportunities available. You can even skip your BSN altogether and enroll directly in Walden’s RN-to-MSN program.
5. Purdue University Global
The fifth top-rated BSN program in our rankings is Purdue University Global.
This university offers two way to get your Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing online:
- ExcelTrack BSN
Both of these pathways are RN-to-BSN completion programs, meaning you’ll already need to be a licensed RN to enroll at this school. The difference between these is that the ExcelTrack is competency-based and accelerated, which allows you to learn at your own pace on a flexible schedule.
Purdue University Global also boasts impressive alumni outcomes, featuring a 98% employment rate for graduates and a 70/100 salary score. Additionally, there are quite a few options for obtaining your MSN with Purdue.
One more great thing is that they offer elective courses aligned to certifications by Magnet, meaning you’ll be well-prepared for optional certification exams should you choose to pursue them.
The next school on our list of best online BSN programs is SNHU.
This university offers only one pathway to get your undergraduate nursing degree: the RN-to-BSN program.
However, while Bachelor’s-level options are a bit limited, the school does offer an Accelerated MSN track, which allows you to to complete two graduate-level courses while you earn your BSN.
This can save you both time and money should you choose to pursue an advanced degree. Just keep in mind that you’ll need to finish your BSN before you can transition to the MSN track.
It’s also worth noting that this school has received a number of accolades, grants, and recognition from organizations like US News & World Report and Google.
Finally, 96.5% of students surveyed said they would recommend this school, indiciating alumni are pleased with the results of their education from SNHU’s online BSN program.
7. South University
South University is the seventh school on our list of top-rated online BSN programs.
There is one pathway for obtaining your Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree from this school: the RN-to-BSN Completion program.
While there is a lack of undergraduate degree pathways with this school, it is worth noting that South University offers a number of advanced degree options, which could make this an attractive choice for those looking to get their MSN.
One of the key differentiators for this school is their emphasis on delivering curriculum with easy-to-use technology. The program utilizes the online learning platform Brightspace, in addition to the Pulse App.
Overall, if high-quality tech and course delivery are priorities for you, this could make a great choice.
8. Capella University
The ninth school on our list of top online BSN programs is Capella University.
The only pathway to get your Bachelor’s degree from university is the RN-to-BSN completion program.
However, there is some flexibility here. You can choose to enroll in FlexPath, which allows you to work at your own pace with no set deadlines. According to Capella, FlexPath can help you earn your degree in as little as nine months, which could save you a lot of money.
Additionally, this school boasts impressive alumni outcomes. According to GradReports, the employment rate for graduates is 97% with a 78/100 salary score.
Finally, it’s worth noting that this school offers several advanced degree options as well. For example, you could enroll in Capella University’s Accelerated Master’s Pathway (AMP), which allows you to begin taking Master’s-level courses while you get your BSN.
9. University of Maryland Global
Number ten in our rankings of top online BSN programs is University of Maryland Global.
This school offers two tracks for getting your undergraduate nursing degree:
- Associate-to-Bachelor’s (ATB) Dual Enrollment
The ATB pathway allows you to work toward your BSN while getting your Associate degree. While the program only collaborates with a limited number of community colleges, it could be a great way to save time and money in completing your BSN if you’re enrolled at one of them.
One of the best things about University of Maryland Global’s program is their alumni outcomes. According to GradReports, the school’s graduates boast an impressive 100% employment rate, and an 85/100 salary score.
Finally, the school offers lifetime career services and a Nursing Club, allowing you to network with other nursing graduates. Overall, it seems you’ll be well-prepared to advance your career as a nurse.
10. Sacred Heart University
Sacred Heart University is the eleventh school on our list of best online BSN programs.
This school offers one way to obtain your undergraduate nursing degree: the RN-to-BSN program.
One of the most impressive things about this university is its alumni outcomes. According to GradReports, Sacred Heart boasts a 100% employment rate, as well as an 85/100 salary score.
Additionally, this program provides what they call a “holistic” education. This means they not only focus on teaching you how to be a great nurse, but they also incorporate material from other academic disciplines to prepare you to be a leader in nursing.
Finally, while this school is limited when it comes to pathways for obtaining your BSN, they do offer a lot of advanced degree options should you choose to pursue your MSN or DNP.
11. Chamberlain University
Twelfth on our list of top-rated online BSN programs is Chamberlain University.
Chamberlain University provides two pathways for getting your undergraduate nursing degree:
- Pre-licensure BSN
Not only is Chamberlain one of the few online programs to offer a pre-licensure track, but they also claim to have the largest Nursing Prelicensure program in the country. The nursing program at this university has also been around for over 130 years.
Additionally, Chamberlain University offers a host of dynamic online learning experiences, from virtual labs and online simulations to live instruction.
One thing to note, however, is that the program is only offered in a limited number of states. While the RN to BSN track is available in a lot of states across the country, clinical rotation opportunities are only available in six states.
12. Benedictine University
The next school in our rankings of the top online BSN programs is Benedictine University.
The only pathway to earn your undergraduate nursing degree from Benedictine is the RN-to-BSN track. This means you already need to be a licensed RN to get your degree from this school.
The outcomes for alumni from this university are pretty good, as they boast a 100% employment rate and 67/100 salary score.
Additionally, the school provides a number of opportunities to obtain an advanced degree. In fact, you can go for anything from an MSN to a Dual MSN/MBA to a Post-Master’s Certificate.
Finally, the instructors for Benedictine’s University’s online nursing program all have experience earning their degree while working as nurses. So, if having empathetic and understanding teachers is a priority for you, this could make a great choice.
13. Arizona State University
Arizona State University is the fourteenth school on our list of best online BSN programs.
There are two tracks for getting your BSN online at ASU:
- Concurrent Enrollment RN-to-BSN
The Concurrent Enrollment pathway is designed for students who are already enrolled in an Associate degree program at a community college but would like to work toward their BSN simultaneously.
One of the key advantages to getting your degree at this school is the quality of instruction and faculty. ASU has everything from national nursing faculty accolades to Fullbright Senior Scholars.
Additionally, Arizona State University is a well-known university, which could give you a competitive advantage when applying to jobs. Princeton Review even named it one of their top universities in 2021.
14. Ohio University
Ohio University is the next school on our list of top-rated online BSN programs.
There are two different ways to get your degree at this university:
- Early Start
The Early Start pathway is designed for students currently getting their Associate degree who would like to work towards getting their BSN simultaneously.
One of the things that really differentiates this program from the others in our rankings is their emphasis on being a “military-friendly” school. They are a Yellow Ribbon Institution, meaning they provide financial support for veterans looking to get a degree.
Finally, this school has received a number of accolades distinguishing it as one of the top nursing schools in Ohio. So, while you don’t have to live in the state to get your degree through Ohio University, it could be an especially great option if you do live there.
15. Alvernia University
The second-to-last school in our rankings of the top online BSN programs is Alvernia University.
This school provides one pathway for obtaining your Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree: RN-to-BSN.
One of the best things about this nursing program is their emphasis on support for students. For example, they’ll provide you with an enrollment counselor and online advisors to help you make sure you’re making the right choice and are on the path to success.
Additionally, the school connects you with tuition planners and their transcript team. The transcript team will help you determine if you’re eligible to transfer any previous credits toward your BSN degree. Meanwhile, the tuition planners will help you navigate how to pay for tuition and apply for financial aid.
Finally, like Ohio University, Alvernia is a Yellow Ribbon School, making this a great option for veterans and those involved in the armed forces.
Overall, Alvernia University is a distinguished nursing school, and boasts accolades to back it up.
16. University of Phoenix
University of Phoenix is the final school in our rankings of the best online BSN programs.
This university provides two pathways for obtaining your undergraduate nursing degree, both of them designed for already-licensed registered nurses:
- Competency-based RN-to-BSN
Whereas the RN-to-BSN track follows the more traditional online format, the Competency-based RN-to-BSN is self-governed and allows you to learn at your own pace with no set deadlines.
One thing that helps set University of Phoenix apart from the other nursing programs on this list is the quality of their faculty. In fact, instructors at this school have an average of 25 years of experience in the nursing field, and seven of them have worked as Chief Executive Officers.
Better yet, 85% of surveyed students said they would recommend their teachers.
Some other pros of University of Phoenix’s online BSN program include short course lengths (just five weeks for each course) and the availability of career services for life.
Overall, this could be a great choice for students looking to get their undergraduate nursing degree quickly and affordably.
Even though GCU was our top-rated online BSN program, the school you choose to enroll in should be determined by your priorities and needs.
It’s always smart to explore a few options before making your final choice. This way, you can be sure you’re making the best decision for yourself.
To discover an online BSN program that checks all your boxes, search for one here!
Nurse Luke is a CRNA who specializes in Nursing content and still enjoys a very busy career with Locum, Per Diem and Travel nursing in the greater midwest. He has over 25 years of experience in the healthcare field and received his CRNA masters degree from the Mayo Clinic School of Healthcare. He is passionate about helping nurses explore the options of becoming a travel nurse as well as spending time with his Family.