2021 Best Fast Track RN to BSN Online Programs

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If you are currently a registered nurse, fast track RN to BSN online programs can help you further your career in the rewarding field of nursing.

Fast Track RN to BSN

Online RN to BSN programs offer convenience and flexible scheduling, letting you develop new knowledge and skills while maintaining other life responsibilities.

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If you are currently employed as a nurse, this pathway can allow you to continue working while you earn your degree.

Fast Track RN to BSN Online Programs

easiest online RN to BSN programs

Online BSN programs typically include courses in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and psychology. Social and behavioral sciences may be included as well. Generally, RN-BSN online programs also include additional education in communication and leadership.

The quickest online RN to BSN programs enable you to enhance your scientific knowledge and improve your general critical thinking and problem solving skills while you continue to work and manage family and life responsibilities.

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is most useful for pursuing nursing careers. While many registered nurses hold only an associates degree, having a bachelor’s degree can open up more job opportunities. Many employers also prefer candidates who hold bachelors degrees.

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There are a variety of nursing careers that can be found in different industries. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the most common sectors in which nurses find employment are government, hospitals, ambulatory healthcare services, nursing and residential care facilities, and educational services.

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing can not only equip you for traditional nursing roles but also help you qualify you for administrative positions in hospitals and other healthcare settings.

If you’re interested in pursuing a graduate degree in nursing down the road, an accelerated online RN to BSN program can help you build a solid academic foundation for further studies.

If you do decide to pursue a doctorate degree, you may want to note that some universities offer BSN to DNP programs online with no GRE requirements.

Nursing Careers & Salaries

Nursing Careers & Salaries

Many people automatically picture nurses working in hospitals. While many nurses do work in hospitals, they can also work in schools and a variety of other settings.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following are different types of nursing careers and careers related to nursing.

Careers Annual Median Salaries
Medical and Health Services Managers $100,980
Registered Nurses, Government $79,790
Registered Nurses, Hospitals $75,030
Registered Nurses, All $73,300
Registered Nurses, Ambulatory Healthcare Services $70,330
Registered Nurses, Nursing and Residential Care Facilities $66,250
Registered Nurses, Educational Services $63,690
Health Education Specialists $55,220
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses $47,480
Community Health Workers $40,360

There are many different, well-paying career paths you can pursue in the field of nursing.

Nursing Curriculum & Courses

Nursing Curriculum

Here are some examples of courses that are often part of the curriculum in RN-BSN online programs:

  • Nursing Pathophysiology: This course covers physiological changes that take place in the human body when someone is sick or injured.
  • Health Assessment: This course helps you learn how to determine the specific needs of individual patients.
  • Nursing Fundamental Concepts: This course teaches basic nursing skills.
  • Medical-Surgical Nursing: This course covers how to care for patients who are preparing for or recovering from surgery.
  • Pharmacology: This course explains the uses and side effects of different types of medications.
  • Mental Health Nursing: You’ll learn how to care for patients who are receiving psychiatric care.
  • Advanced Leadership and Management: This course prepares you to organize and oversee the work of others in a healthcare setting.
  • Public Health and Global Based Nursing: This course develops your ability to think about the health of your community as a whole, such as considering environmental hazards or the spread of contagious diseases.
  • Evidence Based Practice in Nursing: This course teaches you how to understand scientific research and how to apply knowledge from scientific research to your own work.
  • Nursing Informatics: This course teaches you about the use of computational systems within the field of nursing.

RN to BSN programs online can vary in their course requirements. You can check with the school you wish to attend to learn their exact requirements.

Admissions Requirements

RN to BSN Programs Admissions

Here are some common admissions requirements for an RN to BSN bridge program.

  • Licensure as a registered nurse
  • Personal essay
  • Letters of recommendation

Admissions standards can vary considerably among schools and programs. If you intend to apply for an accelerated online RN to BSN program, you can check with that specific school’s website to learn their admissions standards.

You may need prior work experience to apply for the shortest online RN to BSN program track. The quickest online RN to BSN nursing programs are intended for currently employed nurses, with your current work counting as clinical experience.

Accreditation

RN to BSN Programs Admissions

When researching fast track BSN programs, it’s important to consider a school’s accreditation status. Regional accreditation is a process by which colleges and universities are assessed by outside organizations to ensure that they meet certain standards.

If a college or university is accredited, you can trust that its degree programs have been evaluated objectively. While looking at online RN to BSN programs, you may want to check to make sure the specific programs you are interested in are in fact accredited.

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To learn more, you can visit the website of the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Financial Aid and Scholarships

RN to BSN Programs Financial Aid

There are many financial aid opportunities available for online Bachelor of Science in Nursing students who qualify. You may be able to qualify for federal aid, state aid, employer programs, or scholarships. You can also consider taking out student loans to finance your education.

You will likely also be able to continue working part-time or full-time while earning your degree, even counting your work hours as clinical experience for your degree. To apply for federal financial aid, you can fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

What Is a BSN Degree?

BSN Degree

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a type of degree that prepares you to work in the medical field. Nurses tend to care for sick or injured patients, often in a hospital or clinical setting.

Obtaining a BSN usually involves studying anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, and other subjects related to medicine. Clinical experience is also required. Most online RN to BSN programs allow you to complete your clinical experience at a hospital or other location that is convenient to where you live.

If you are already employed as a registered nurse, many RN to BSN degree programs will count your current work hours as clinical experience.

What Is the Fastest Way to Get a BSN?

Fastest Way to Get a BSN

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing can generally take around 4 years to earn. If you are already a registered nurse with an associate’s degree, though, you may be able to complete your bachelors much more quickly.

The fastest RN to BSN online program options allow you to count coursework from your associate’s degree toward your bachelor’s degree. This can save you both time and money, as you will not need to start from scratch to earn your BSN.

Traditional on campus RN to BSN programs typically take 2 years to complete. Some online RN to BSN programs offer classes in 5 to 8 week sessions, which could enable you to complete your degree in as little as 12 to 18 months.

What Can I Do with a BSN?

BSN Employment

With a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, you can work as a nurse in many different types of healthcare settings. Nurses often work in hospitals, private medical practices, clinics, assisted living facilities, and hospices.

Nurses are occasionally employed in other settings as well. For instance, some nurses find employment as a school nurse or even as a staff nurse on a cruise ship. Many different places also need nurses on duty to take care of people in case of accidents or illness.

What Can I Do with a BSN Besides Nursing?

You may be wondering if there is anything you can do with a BSN besides nursing. What if you earn your degree and find yourself craving a career change?

Some graduates with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing work in healthcare settings doing administrative work rather than patient care. An administrative role might have a job title like nurse manager or nurse administrator.

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Professionals in the field can also become nursing informatics specialists at a hospital. This role applies knowledge of information technology to healthcare. Nurses can also sometimes find employment for insurance companies, helping them assess risks and set rates.

How Long Are RN to BSN Programs?

How long it takes to complete a RN to BSN degree program varies, depending mostly on time commitment. The more credit hours you complete each semester, the more quickly you can finish your Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

It’s typical to complete an online RN to BSN program in 12 to 18 months. Some accelerated programs, though, may enable you to finish in less than a year, especially if you enter the program with 60 or more transfer credits.

What Is the Fastest RN to BSN Program Available?

Fastest RN to BSN Program

The fastest RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs take approximately 9 months to complete.

Completing an accelerated program involves devoting a lot of time to studying, but it can be a strategic option if your goal is to earn your degree as quickly as possible. These fast track degree programs are often online, and they are usually designed so that you can log in and work on coursework at any time.

What Is the Difference Between an RN vs BSN?

Here are some of the differences between an RN and a BSN.

RN BSN
  • RN stands for registered nurse.
  • RN is a licensure, not a degree.
  • RNs can hold an associate’s, a bachelor’s, or a diploma from a nursing program.
  • BSN stands for Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
  • Some employers require RNs to have a BSN.
  • A BSN can qualify an RN for administrative positions.

This table should provide some clarity regarding the meanings of these terms.

Is an Accelerated BSN Worth It?

Accelerated BSN

Yes, an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) is worth it for many students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 7% over the next ten years.

The job market typically has a consistent demand for nurses and healthcare workers. If you are a registered nurse, earning your bachelor’s degree in nursing can be a beneficial investment for your career. You can develop new knowledge and skills that may lead to opportunities for more responsibilities and advancement in this field.

Universities Offering Online RN to BSN Degree Programs

Methodology: The following school list is in alphabetical order. To be included, a college or university must be regionally accredited and offer degree programs online or in a hybrid format.

Anderson University

Anderson University

Anderson University offers an online program for registered nurses to gain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Students may take 4 courses during one 7 week term. A total of 28 credit hours must be completed to graduate. To be eligible, applicants must be registered nurses and have a GPA of 2.75 and CPR certification.

Anderson University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University offers an online, part-time Bachelor of Science in Nursing for registered nurses. A total of 30 credit hours are required to graduate, and the program usually takes a year to complete. Applicants must have an associate’s degree in nursing, be registered nurses, and have a GPA of 2.5.

Appalachian State University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

Capella University

Capella University

Capella University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing for working nurses. To graduate, students must complete 8 courses. To be eligible for the program, applicants must be registered nurses and have an associate’s degree in nursing with a GPA of 2.0.

Capella University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Clemson University

Clemson University

Clemson University offers an online Bachelor of Science completion program for registered nurses. The program typically takes 12 months to complete. Students may also be eligible to take 6 graduate-level courses to put towards a master’s degree. Applicants must submit a high school transcript and SAT or ACT scores.

Clemson University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Franklin University

Franklin University

Franklin University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing for registered nurses. Students must complete 120 semester hours and are encouraged to transfer in qualified credits from other programs.

A minimum GPA of 2.0 must be maintained during the program. To be eligible, applicants must have an associate’s degree in nursing and be registered nurses.

Franklin University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University

Georgia Southern University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing for registered nurses. Only 8 courses are needed to obtain the 28 credits they need to graduate. To be eligible, applicants must have an associate’s degree in nursing and a minimum GPA of 3.0 and be registered nurses in Georgia.

Georgia Southern University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Ohio State University

Ohio State University

Ohio State University offers an online Bachelor of Science for registered nurses. The program usually takes 12 to 15 months to complete. A minimum of 30 credit hours must be obtained from Ohio State. To be eligible, applicants must have an associate’s degree in nursing and a GPA of 2.0 or higher and be registered nurses.

The Ohio State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University

Oklahoma State University offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing. At least 30 semester hours must be obtained from the school and a total of 120 credits must be obtained to graduate. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have an associate’s degree in nursing and a GPA of 2.0 or higher.

Oklahoma State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Texas A and M University

Texas A and M University

Texas A&M University offers an online program designed for registered nurses with associate degrees in nursing to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Students must complete 30 credit hours to graduate. Applicants must have a GPA above 3.0, at least 59 credit hours of prerequisites, and professional references.

Texas A&M University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Massachusetts – Amherst

University of Massachusetts - Amherst

The University of Massachusetts—Amherst offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing for registered nurses.

Students may choose between spring and summer semesters to start and typically graduate within a year. A total of 30 credits are needed to graduate. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a GPA of 2.5 and be registered nurses.

The University of Massachusetts Amherst is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education.

University of North Carolina – Wilmington

University of North Carolina Wilmington

The University of North Carolina—Wilmington offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing for registered nurses. The program requires 29 credit hours and can usually be completed in 12 months. To apply, applicants must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher and an official high school transcript or GED.

The University of North Carolina Wilmington is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of North Florida

University of North Florida

The University of North Florida offers an online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Students can start the program at six different points in the year. A total of 30 credit hours are needed to graduate. Interested applicants must have an associate’s degree in nursing and a minimum GPA of 2.8.

The University of North Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Tennessee – Knoxville

University of Tennessee Knoxville

The University of Tennessee—Knoxville offers an online program for registered nurses interested in gaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

The program can usually be completed within a year and only requires 34 credit hours to complete. Courses last for 8 weeks. Applicants must have an associate’s degree in nursing and 63 credits to transfer into the program.

The University of Tennessee – Knoxville is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of West Florida

University of West Florida

The University of West Florida offers an online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program.

The program requires a total of 124 credit hours, including the credits gained from being a registered nurse. To apply, applicants must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher and must submit both transcripts and a level 2 criminal background check.

The University of West Florida is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

University of Wisconsin – Madison

University of Wisconsin - Madison

The University of Wisconsin—Madison offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing for registered nurses. The program requires 30 credits to be completed.

Courses are offered in 7 week sessions or 14 week sessions. Interested applicants must have an associate’s degree in nursing and a minimum GPA of 2.5 and must have completed 24 transferable, non-nursing credits.

The University of Wisconsin–Madison is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Getting Your RN to BSN Degree Online

RN to BSN Degree Online

The next step in your nursing career may be to earn your RN to BSN degree online. Earning your bachelor’s degree can enable you to qualify for a wider variety of nursing roles or to learn new things that will help you advance at your current job.

There are many affordable and flexible RN to BSN degree options available. Online programs provide you the opportunity to earn your degree while continuing to work, and they can enable you to graduate in 2 years or less.

If you hope to earn your doctorate degree in nursing in the future, it may benefit you to also explore the shortest online DNP programs that some universities offer. You can start your educational journey today by exploring accelerated RN to BSN online programs from accredited universities.

Ready to start your journey?
Amy Wilson
WRITTEN BY
Amy Wilson
Amy attended the University of Georgia, enrolling in both online and on-campus classes. Her research and writing focuses on how differing education methodologies can affect student outcomes, as well as making education accessible to more students.