The Best Online Nursing Programs in 2024

23 Min Read Published June 11, 2024
The Best Online Nursing Programs in 2024

If you’ve ever wanted to go to nursing school, or to further your education as a registered nurse, the time has never been better. Here’s your full guide to the best online nursing programs of 2024, whether you’re looking to become an RN, add on your BSN, advance your career with a master’s in nursing, or go straight to the top with a DNP

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Sponsored
Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington’s online programs are designed to help you achieve more in your nursing practice with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They offer convenient, flexible options for completing your RN to BSN or BSN online, both designed to fit into your busy schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Best Online Nursing Programs 2024

There are so many types of online nursing degrees and programs it can be overwhelming to choose the one for you. To help you with this decision, we've compiled some of the top online nursing programs in 2024. This list takes numerous factors into consideration including:

  • Accreditation
  • Clinical hour requirements
  • Clinical placement assistance
  • Cost
  • Graduation rate
  • Location
  • Program length
  • Program ranking
  • Student-faculty ratio
  • Total credit hours

Earn Your Nursing Degree Online
Sponsored

Top Online RN-to-BSN Programs

If you have your ADN and are looking to go back to school to earn your BSN, check out these top online RN-to-BSN programs:

1. The University of Oklahoma

Resident Tuition
$14,216 per/year
Non-Resident Tuition
$34,058 per/year
Accreditation
CCNE
Credit Hours
30

This online bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program is flexible for working nurses but requires two Saturday in-person orientation dates per year. It also has optional monthly on-campus sessions. Students can complete the program in as little as nine months, but it can be completed part-time. 

  • Application Deadline: April 1st and October 15th 
  • Contact Phone Number: (405) 271-2402
  • Email Information: nursing@ouhsc.edu
  • Website

2. University of Central Florida 

Tuition
$179.19 per credit hour
Non-Resident Tuition
N/A
Application Deadline
March 1st, July 1st, and November 1st 
Credit Hours
30

This online RN to BSN program consists of 30 credit hours, which can be completed in three semesters at a full-time pace or as slowly as ten semesters or five years. Students can also take up to nine credit hours of graduate-level work to apply toward an MSN degree. 

  • Contact Phone Number: (855) 903-8576
  • Email Information: ucfnurse@ucf.edu
  • Website

3. Capella University

Resident Tuition
Visit capella.edu for tuition details
Non-Resident Tuition
Visit capella.edu for tuition details
Accreditation
Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
Credit Hours
90-180

Designed by nurses, this for-profit university program is designed in 10-week courses. Capella University boasts an impressive graduation rate and generous transfer credit allowance from other nursing programs.

Students can also apply to the Accelerated Master’s Pathway (AMP) option. This allows you to take master's-level courses that apply toward your BSN. Once applied and accepted to the MSN program, those master’s courses can be applied toward the degree, potentially saving time and money.

  • Application Deadline: Rolling Admission
  • Contact Phone Number: (877) 884-0733
  • Email Information: info@capella.edu
  • Website

4. Arizona State University

Resident Tuition
$561 per credit hour
Non-Resident Tuition
$661 per credit hour
Accreditation
CCNE
Credit Hours
39

In this program, students take 10 classes that each last 7.5 weeks. Current RNs can finish this program in approximately 15 to 18 months. The program is 39 credits, longer than most other online programs, but students take classes that are considered more innovative than other traditional BSN programs. 

  • Application Deadline: Rolling Admission
  • Contact Phone Number: (866) 277-6589 
  • Email Information: asuonline@asu.edu 
  • Website*

>> Explore Arizona State's Online RN-BSN Program*

5. Herzing University

Resident Tuition
$395.00 per credit hour
Non-Resident Tuition
N/A
Accreditation
CCNE
Credit Hours
26

This program is unique because it offers rolling admission, allowing students to apply whenever is most convenient. It also allows students to start the program at their own pace.

Classes are 8 weeks long, and the degree can be finished in as little as 12 months. Students can take master's degree classes while completing the online BSN degree, saving time and money.

  • Application Deadline: Rolling Admission
  • Contact Phone Number: (800) 596-0724
  • Website*

>> Explore Herzing's Online RN-BSN Program*

Popular Online RN-to-BSN Programs

Sponsored
Purdue Global

At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

The University of Texas at Arlington
The University of Texas at Arlington’s online programs are designed to help you achieve more in your nursing practice with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. They offer convenient, flexible options for completing your RN to BSN or BSN online, both designed to fit into your busy schedule.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Grand Canyon University
GCU’s RN-BSN program is tailored to meet the needs of the RN adult learner and to maximize the strengths that the working RN already possesses. Transfer up to 90 credits and earn a BSN in as little as 12 months. GCU’s online classes allow you to study at the times that work for your schedule while still enjoying a close connection with your classmates and instructor via online discussions.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Liberty University
At Liberty, you’ll benefit from 30+ years of learning, growing, adapting, and innovating for the distance learner — and more than a decade of researching the needs of the online student. You can be confident that we’ve taken the time to learn what’s important to you.
Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Western Governors University

WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

Accreditation
CCNE
Location
Online
Prerequisite
RN Required

Enrollment: Nationwide

Top Cheap, Fast Online RN-to-BSN Programs

If you want to earn your BSN as quickly as possible, for as little money as possible, check out these top 5 fast & affordable online RN-to-BSN programs:

Tuition
Resident: $105.07  
Accreditation
CCNE
Program Length
12 months | 30 credit hours
Location
Online or face-to-face on select regional campuses

Ranked as one of the Best Online Programs by U.S. News and World Report, UCF’s program educates the most newly licensed BSN programs in the state. Programs are convenient, flexible, and more affordable than most other programs in the state and country. 

  • Admissions: Applications are accepted three times a year, with summer, fall, or spring start dates.
  • Contact Information:
    • Phone Number: 407-823-2744
    • Email Address: ucfnurse@ucf.edu
  • Website

2. University of Wyoming

Tuition

Resident: $5,970, Non-Resident: $10,770

Accreditation
CCNE
Program Length
12 months | 30 credit hours 
Location
100% online, with full- or part-time availability

The University of Wyoming offers an online, self-paced RN-to-BSN completion program with competitive rates. Courses are eight weeks and students can finish at their own rate.

  • Admissions: Applications are accepted in the fall and spring of each calendar year.
    • Contact Information:
      • Phone Number: (307) 766-6574
      • Email Address: RN.BSN@uwyo.edu
    • Website
    Tuition
    $204 per credit hour
    Accreditation
    CCNE
    Program Length
    12 months | 30 credit hours
    Location
    100% online

    Appalachian’s RN to BSN program provides a flexible, affordable, and practical pathway for working RNs to complete 100 percent of their coursework online and position themselves for advancement in a growing field. The RN to BSN program requires 30 credit hours and is offered part-time.

    • Admissions: August 1st 
    • Contact Information:
      • Phone Number: (828) 262-7877
      • Email Address: transferadmissions@appstate.edu
    • Website

    4. University of Texas Arlington

    Tuition
    $8,995 for the entire program
    Accreditation
    CCNE
    Program Length
    9 months | 35 credit hours  
    Location
    100% online

    The RN to BSN program at UTA can be completed in 9 months, the fastest RN to BSN program in Texas and one of the fastest online programs in the country. There are multiple start dates throughout the year, allowing working professionals to start at a convenient time. 

    • Admissions: Rolling
    • Contact Phone Number: 866-489-2810
    • Website*

    >> Explore University of Texas Arlington's Online RN-BSN Programs*

    5. Lasalle University

    Tuition

    $450 per credit hour 

    Accreditation
    CCNE
    Program Length
    12 months | 27 credit hours
    Location
    100% online

    The RN to BSN program at Lasalle is quick and efficient. Students can complete the program in 12 months, but some take as long as 24 months.

    Because it is an online program, students must ensure that they can enroll due to state authorization requirements. Luckily, only students living in California are not eligible at this time. 

    • Admissions: 
      • Fall 1 - August 12th
      • Fall 2 - September 30th
      • Spring 2 - February 19th
      • Summer 1 - May 6th
      • Summer 2 - June 24th
    • Contact Information:
      • Phone Number: (844) 466-5587
      • Email Address: admiss@lasalle.edu
    • Website

    Top Online MSN Programs

    Already have your BSN, or are you ready to jump straight into an MSN program? Here are the top 5 online MSN programs of 2024

    Tuition
    $319.45 per credit hour
    Accreditation
    CCNE
    On-Campus Requirement
    No

    Fort Hays State University offers two MSN degree options: Nurse Administration and Nursing Education. The program requires clinical practicum experiences; therefore, students must ensure they have clinical sites, as the school does not coordinate placements.

    • Application Deadline: 
      • Summer: February 1st
      • Fall: July 1st
      • Spring: September 1st 
    • Contact Information: 
      • Phone Number: (785) 628-4256
      • Email Address: nurs.aps@fhsu.edu
    Tuition
    $1,881 per credit
    Accreditation
    CCNE
    On-Campus Requirement
    No

    Johns Hopkins offers a variety of MSN online programs, including tracks for an MSN in Healthcare Organizational Leadership or MSN in Healthcare Organizational Leadership/MBA.

    • Contact Information: 
      • Phone Number: (410) 955-4766  
      • Email Address: jhuson@jhu.edu
    Tuition
    $1,235 per credit hour
    Accreditation
    CCNE
    On-Campus Requirement
    No

    Simmons offers two online MSN degree options: Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP). Simmons assists with clinical placements, which is a huge draw. The programs require a total of 48 credit hours.

    The Simmons MSN programs are incredibly flexible, and there are options to work with any schedule. Full-time programs take 24 months, and part-time programs take 28 months. Students can also choose an extended program that stretches the program over 32 months.

    • Application Deadline: Rolling 
    • Contact Information: 
      • Phone Number: (617) 521-2605 
      • Email Address: snhs@simmons.edu
    Tuition
    $440 per credit hour
    Accreditation
    CCNE
    On-Campus Requirement
    Yes. Two on-campus sessions.

    The University of Alabama offers several online MSN options:

    • MSN in Nurse Administration
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
    • Dual Psychiatric Mental Health and Family Nurse Practitioner

    Postgraduate certificate programs with Family Nurse Practitioner and Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner options are also available.

    • Application Deadline: 
      • Fall: March 1st
      • Spring: August 1st
      • Summer: December 1st
    • Contact Information: 
    Tuition
    $2,166 per credit hour
    Accreditation
    CCNE
    On-Campus Requirement
    Yes

    Duke University currently offers eight online MSN programs that utilize the latest evidence-based practices and high-fidelity simulation labs to educate students. Additionally, students are guaranteed clinical placement at one of the 2,000 clinical sites nationwide.

    Programs include Adult-Gerontology NP—Acute Care and Primary Care, Family NP, Neonatal NP, Pediatric NP—Acute Care and Primary Care, Psychiatric Mental Health NP, and Women’s Health NP. 

    Students are required to come to campus at least once every semester for two- to five-day intensives for face-to-face interactions, simulation, and hands-on activities. 

    • Application Deadline: 
      • Fall: December 1st
      • Spring: May 1st
    • Contact Information: 
      • Phone Number: (877) 415-3853
      • Email Address: SONAdmissions@dm.duke.edu

    Popular Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Programs

    Sponsored
    Grand Canyon University

    GCU's College of Nursing and Health Care Professions has a nearly 35-year tradition of preparing students to fill evolving healthcare roles as highly qualified professionals. GCU offers a full spectrum of nursing degrees, from a pre-licensure BSN degree to a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program.

    Accreditation
    CCNE
    Location
    Online
    Prerequisite
    RN Required

    Enrollment: Nationwide

    Purdue Global

    At Purdue Global, discover a faster, more affordable way to earn your Nursing degree. Purdue Global is committed to keeping your tuition costs as low as possible and helping you find the most efficient path to your degree.

    Accreditation
    CCNE
    Location
    Online
    Prerequisite
    RN Required

    Enrollment: Nationwide, but certain programs have state restrictions. Check with Purdue for details.

    Western Governors University

    WGU's award-winning online programs are created to help you succeed while graduating faster and with less debt. WGU is a CCNE accredited, nonprofit university offering nursing bachelor's and master's degrees.

    Accreditation
    CCNE
    Location
    Online
    Prerequisite
    RN Required

    Enrollment: Nationwide

    Georgetown University
    Nursing@Georgetown delivers Georgetown University’s MS in Nursing program online, preparing RNs with a BSN to pursue certification in an APRN specialty. Students can earn their degree in as few as 19 months.
    Accreditation
    CCNE
    Location
    Online
    Prerequisite
    RN Required

    Enrollment: Nationwide, excluding NY and WA.

    Top Cheap, Fast Online MSN Programs

    If cost and program length are your major concerns when looking for an online MSN program, check out these fast & affordable online MSN programs:

    Tuition
    $319.45 per credit hour
    Accreditation
    CCNE
    Program Length
    2 years
    On-Campus Requirement
     In-person clinical requirement

    Fort Hays State University offers two MSN degrees: Nurse Administration and Nursing Education. Fort Hays works with clinical sites across the country to accommodate out-of-state students and notes that if an acceptable site can not be found in your area, a site will be made available to you on their campus. The program does not accept students from Tennessee, Utah, Alabama, or Washington based on licensing restrictions.

    • Total approximate cost of the program: $11,500.20 (for 36 credits)
    • Application Deadline: February 1 for the summer, July 1 for the fall semester, and October 1 for the spring semester
    • Contact Information: 785-628-4256
    • Website
    Tuition
    $440 per credit hour
    Accreditation
    CCNE
    Program Length
    1-3 years 
    On-Campus Requirement
    Two on-campus sessions and in-person clinical requirement

    The University of Alabama offers four specialized online MSN concentrations

    • MSN in Nurse Administration
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
    • Dual Psychiatric Mental Health and Family Nurse Practitioner

    The programs are available 100% online, with clinical sites chosen by you (although they are subject to approval by the College of Nursing) and two on-campus sessions that must be completed throughout the study. 

    • Total tuition cost:
      • MSN Nurse Administration (33 credits): $14,520
      • MSN NP (45 credits): $19,800
      • MSN Dual FNP and PMHNP (66 credits): $29,040
      • MSN concentrations: 
      • Nurse Administrator (1-2 years)
      • Family Nurse Practitioner (2-3 years)
      • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (2-3 years), and 
      • Dual Psychiatric Mental Health and Family Nurse Practitioner (3 years)
    • Contact Information: 205-348-6639
    • Website
    Tuition

    Texas Resident: $990, Non-Texas Resident: $1,488

    Accreditation
    CCNE
    Program Length
    2 years (full-time) or 3 years (part-time)
    On-Campus Requirement
    Two on-campus sessions and in-person clinical requirement

    Also boasting a low per-credit tuition cost and a low credit requirement for degree completion, the University of Texas-Tyler has multiple MSN tracks, which include:

    • Business Administration
    • Nurse Administration
    • Nurse Education
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Informatics, Quality, & Safety
    • Psychiatric Mental Health NP

    Anyone enrolling in the NP program must have an RN license in Texas as all clinical hours are required to be completed in Texas. The other degree tracks, however, are completely done online.

    • Total sample tuition cost: Varies based on program, credit hours per semester, and resident eligibility
      • Non-clinical MSN (36 credits): $35,640
      • Nurse Practitioner (47 credits): $46,530
      • MSN-MBA (63 credits): $62,370
    • Contact Information: 903-566-7457
    • Website
    Tuition
    $538 per credit hour
    Accreditation
    CCNE 
    Program Length
    3 years (51 to 54 credits)
    On-Campus Requirement
    Six-day on-campus session and in-person clinical requirement

    Briar Cliff is one of the cheapest online MSN-NP programs. It offers a variety of advanced track specialties, and students can choose to specialize as Family Nurse Practitioners, Adult/Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioners, or Psychiatric Mental Health Care Practitioners. 

    Additional requirements to enroll include having an RN license valid in Iowa and the ability to demonstrate with a letter from your employer that you have worked at least 2,000 hours as an RN within the last two years to be eligible to apply.

    • Total cost of program: $27,438 to $29,052 
    • Contact Information: 800-662-3303 or 712-279-5200
    • Website
    Tuition
    $702 per credit hour
    Accreditation
    CCNE
    Program Length
    13 to 24 months + one 16-week capstone
    On-Campus Requirement
    No

    The University of Arizona offers one of the fastest available MSN programs, allowing you to earn an MSN in Nursing Clinical Systems Leadership completely online in as little as 13 months. The program offers two pathways:

    • RN-MS (for students with a BSN), completable in as few as 13 months
    • RN-MSN (for students with an ADN), completable in as few as 24 months

    This program has the advantage of being made up of 7 week-long courses, so admission rotates every five months, allowing students three opportunities per year to enroll. To be eligible for admission, you must have a BSN or ADN and have passed a 3-credit, college-level statistics class within the last five years, test out, or take the class at the start of the program.

    • Tuition cost:
      • RN to MS, BSN Track: $21,032
      • RN to MS, ADN Track: $28,828
    • Contact Information: 520-621-0898 or heidim@arizona.edu
    • Website

    >> Show Me Online MSN Programs

    Types of Online Nursing Programs 

    Nearly every type of nursing degree can be completed online. However, any type of degree that requires clinical work, such as your initial RN or an NP degree, will require a combination of both online work and in-person clinical work. 

    Non-clinical degrees, however, such as MSN administration degrees, can be completed entirely online. Here’s a closer look at each type of nursing degree program you can choose. 

    LPN to RN Bridge Programs

    LPN to RN bridge programs take you from an LPN to RN. After completing the coursework, you must pass your nursing boards to earn your RN license in your state. If you have your LPN, you can choose to get your RN with an associate’s degree or enter a bridge LPN-BSN program. An LPN-RN with an associate’s degree will take about two years; an LPN-BSN-RN program will take around three to four. 

    RN to BSN Bridge Programs

    An RN to a BSN program is appropriate for anyone who has already earned their associate’s degree to become an RN and wants to add a bachelor’s degree to their resume. RN-BSN programs are one of the most popular online programs available and can be completed entirely online, since you have already done the clinical nursing portion. 

    Accelerated BSN Programs

    If you have a bachelor’s degree in another non-nursing field, you are eligible to apply for an accelerated BSN program. You can use an accelerated BSN program to go straight from a non-medical field and earn your RN and BSN all at once, in as little as 12 to 18 months. And although it’s rarer, if you happen to have both your RN and your bachelor’s in another degree, you can also use the accelerated BSN program to earn your BSN. 

    >> Show Me Online RN-to-BSN Programs

    Direct-entry MSN Programs

    Similar to accelerated BSN programs, direct-entry MSN programs let anyone with a bachelor’s degree in another field go straight into earning their RN and MSN all at once. And incredibly, it’s not that much longer of a program than just getting your BSN. A direct-entry MSN program can also be completed in as little as 18 months. Most of these programs don’t actually confer a BSN onto you; instead, you just earn your MSN. 

    >> Show Me Online MSN Programs

    RN to MSN Programs

    If you already have your RN and want your MSN, you can go straight into an online MSN program. You have two options with an RN-MSN program: you can go the accelerated route and go straight from your RN to earning your MSN, skipping right over the bachelor’s part (so you’ll end the program with just your MSN). Or, if you want the whole thing, you can earn your RN-BSN and  master’s degree. 

    The accelerated RN to MSN will be faster, requiring a little less coursework. In most cases, the RN-MSN program prepares you for a more non-clinical role, such as in administration, unlike a Master’s degree as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), which we describe in the next section. 

    BSN to MSN Programs

    If you’re already the proud owner of a BSN and would like to advance on to earning your Master’s of Science in Nursing, you’re in luck: there are a ton of online options for furthering your career. 

    If you want a master’s in a clinical role – to become a Nurse Practitioner or a CRNA, for example – your program will be a combination of online work and in-person clinicals. However, the advantage of an online program is that many times, the school will work with you to arrange clinicals locally to your area as opposed to you traveling to on-site locations only near the school. 

    Nurse Practitioner (NP) Programs

    Many types of online NP programs will prepare you to become a Family Nurse Practitioner, FNP. But there are also specialized NP programs that can prepare you for a specific type of NP, such as a Women’s Health NP or a Geriatric Care NP. In general, the program lengths will be similar, but a specialty program may take a little longer. 

    Online NP programs typically take 2-3 years full-time and include online coursework and in-person clinical work. They can be completed part-time as well, although some schools will have caps on how long you can take to finish the program.

    >> Show Me Online Nurse Practitioner Programs

    Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) & Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice (DNAP) Programs

    A DNAP program will take three full years, and many schools ask students to only plan on being able to work full-time for one year of those, with the plan to quit employment for the last two intensive years. 

    Speaking of your DNP, there are also a few pathways you can take to earn it online. Depending on where you’re at in your educational pathway, you can choose from the following online DNP programs:

    • RN-DNP: about 4 years in length (full-time)
    • BSN-DNP: about 2-4 years in length
    • MSN to DNP: about 1-2 years

    ​​>> Show Me DNP Programs

    Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM) Programs

    A CNM is an RN who earns a master’s degree in midwifery to care for women during their reproductive years and beyond. A CNM degree will take about two years and includes clinical work that will not be online. 

    Clinical Nurse Specialist (CNS) Programs

    A CNS is similar to an NP but will focus on a clinical specialty at the bedside. NPs often deliver primary care, while a CNS will focus on a hospital specialty in order to deliver specialized care at the bedside. 

    To become a CNS, you will follow a similar path as an NP: enroll in a hybrid online master's in nursing program and choose your CNS specialization. CNS can prescribe medications in a majority of states in the U.S. 

    Nurse Educator Programs

    A nurse educator is someone who works in an educator role, typically educating other nurses or future nurses. They are the people who will communicate updates to nurses and other healthcare staff at a hospital level, or become a teacher at a university or college to prepare the next generation of nurses. 

    Most professor roles require a minimum of a master’s degree, but many nurse educators choose to also earn their DNP as well. These degrees can be completed entirely online. 

    >> Show Me Online Nurse Educator Programs

    Nurse Administrator Programs

    A nurse administrator will work as a manager at a healthcare facility and can choose an MSN degree that is geared towards administration. Typically, these are non-clinical degrees and can be completed entirely online. 

    Healthcare Administration Programs

    If your goal is to work in healthcare administration, there are other routes you can take outside of just earning your MSN as well. For instance, depending on your goals, you can choose a master’s degree in a related health field or a general master’s degree in business or administration. Some of the common master’s degrees that an RN might choose for a career in healthcare administration include: 

    >> Show Me Online Healthcare Administration Programs

    What to Expect in an Online Nursing Program 

    Online nursing programs operate in different formats. Some schools may feature live instruction from a teacher that you watch virtually or a later, recorded version, while others may use a virtual classroom with self-paced instructional videos and educational materials like slideshows for presentations that you work through on your own. 

    All online nursing school programs will require written work from you in the form of research papers, essays, and online discussion boards to collaborate with your classmates. If your program requires any on-campus days, those will be clearly outlined before you begin. For instance, some online programs require an “immersion” weekend at the beginning of the semester or even halfway through. 

    Some programs--like a BSN or a non-clinical MSN or an MPH--can be completed 100% online. Any nursing program that requires clinicals, practicums, or internships, however, will require in-person time as well. 

    Depending on your school’s policy, these can be arranged locally for you, or may be required at hospitals or facilities the school already has an arrangement with. It’s important to know the school’s policy for in-person requirements, especially if you are not local to the school. 

    Online Nursing Program Cost

    The cost of an online nursing program can obviously vary quite a bit, depending on whether you’re choosing an RN-ADN program or heading for a more expensive degree, like a DNP. 

    The final cost will also depend on what type of financial aid package you receive, if you can secure any scholarships, and if you have any other type of tuition assistance (for instance, such as if your employer offers any help paying for your degree.)

    In general, the costs for online nursing programs are: 

    • RN-ADN: $10,000 - $20,000
    • RN-BSN: $10,000 - $80,000
    • MSN: $30,000 - $65,000
    • DNP: bridge programs can cost as little as $17,000, but DNP programs could go as high as several hundred thousand dollars (really)

    >> Show Me Online RN-to-BSN Programs

    Online Nursing Program Accreditation

    When choosing an online nursing program, the single most important thing you need to do is ensure that the program you pick is accredited. Especially with online programs, accreditation is necessary to ensure that the program you enroll in meets all the requirements you need to graduate and pass any licensing exams you will need. 

    Without accreditation, there is no standard that the program has to meet, which means that the education you receive could be subpar and equally as troublesome, not actually giving you what you need to pass an exam at the end. Additionally, if you are using financial aid to attend school, you might not be able to use your entire financial aid package unless you attend an accredited school, so it’s very important. 

    You’ll want to look for schools that have at least one of the following accreditations, depending on the specialty you’re choosing:

    Overall, if you are interested in pursuing any aspect of nursing, from your RN all the way up to your DNP, know that a large majority of your nursing degree can be completed totally online. And depending on what degree you pick, the entire program can be done 100% online. 

    Nursing school has never been easier to complete online, and this nation needs nurses more than ever, so get started today by reaching out to an accredited school to see what type of online nursing programs they offer. 

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    Chaunie Brusie
    BSN, RN
    Chaunie Brusie
    Nurse.org Contributor

    Chaunie Brusie, BSN, RN is a nurse-turned-writer with experience in critical care, long-term care, and labor and delivery. Her work has appeared everywhere from Glamor to The New York Times to The Washington Post. Chaunie lives with her husband and five kids in the middle of a hay field in Michigan and you can find more of her work here

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