Online Nursing: RN to BSN

Looking to upgrade your nursing degree?

How To Upgrade Your RN TO BSN Online

State Laws

In the 2010 “Future of Nursing” report, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that 80% of the nursing workforce should get their BSN by 2020.

To add to that, in late 2017, New York State passed their “BSN in 10” Law according to which all nurses in the state have to obtain their BSN within 10 years from the date of their initial RN license.

The other states will soon implement similar regulations. This may sound harsh but not when you consider the need and the growing demand for qualified healthcare professionals in the country.

To make this transition easy, there is an option for working RN professionals to upgrade their RN-BSN online without quitting their jobs. 

Upgrading RN to BSN Online

The basic process of applying online is similar to looking for colleges back in high school.

  • Select an online RN-BSN nursing program
  • Apply with the necessary documents:
    • Resume
    • Recommendation letters
    • Background check
    • Drug test
  • Pay the tuition cost and start the term


  Additional requirements

  • ADN or Diploma in Nursing (GPA 2.0 or above)
  • Current and active RN license
  • Full-time RN employment while studying (most nursing programs require it)
  • Statement of professional goals


Choosing an Online RN-BSN Program

When selecting the university, a candidate must research the available courses before applying. The checklist could include these points:

  • Type of program: self-paced or structured

  • University accreditation and recognition (CCNE, ACEN)

  • Reputation among current and prospective employers and State

  • Tuition costs, scholarships, grants

  • Program duration for the structured program

  • Curriculum

  • Transfer of credits


Seven Benefits of a BSN Degree for Nursing Professionals

Why BSN?

A BSN degree compared to other nursing diplomas or associate degrees is more expensive and harder to complete. So someone with a job and good experience may think that going back to school to pursue a BSN degree is not needed.

That’s not true because BSN may soon become a mandatory qualification for nursing professionals in states like New York. Opting for a BSN or an RN-BSN program has its own share of benefits.   

Advancement of skills

A BSN program is designed to equip nurses with the essential skills needed to have a successful nursing career. Besides clinical skills, BSN enhances communication skills, critical thinking skills, and leadership qualities.

Higher paying jobs

Employers pay significantly higher salaries to nurses with a BSN degree as compared to the ones with an ADN or other nursing diplomas. Median salary for a RN-degree holder is $57272, and for a BSN-degree holder it is significantly higher at $67000.

Better job opportunities

A BSN degree opens up more exciting job opportunities for nurses that are otherwise not available to them. In fact, BSN is a basic requirement to become a nurse anesthetist, clinical nurse specialist, nurse midwife, and a nurse practitioner.  

Learn while working

Online RN-BSN programs provide working professionals with an option to earn their BSN in a shorter span of time and at lower costs. They have flexible timings and an option to study at their own pace.

Better care for patients

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) indicates that highly qualified nurses make a better diagnosis, have good patient outcomes, lower morbidity and mortality rates, and happier patients.

Careers outside the hospital

Most nurses prefer to work their entire career with patients but a BSN qualification makes them eligible to switch to careers outside the hospital. They can opt to become a legal nurse consultant, nurse case manager, research nurse, or teach nursing education.

Builds leadership qualities

BSN curriculum is designed to impart leadership skills and train nurses to take the lead and make calculated decisions. These are some top qualities that are most sought by hospitals hiring their nursing staff.

Growing Demands

Healthcare is a demanding industry and it needs qualified professionals who can provide better care to patients. Most hospitals want nurses to have a baccalaureate level education and an ability to lead the charge.

To fulfill the growing demands in the healthcare industry, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree is the preferred move. It paves the way for a desirable career path for both existing and aspiring nurses.

With these benefits, a BSN degree propels career advancement in nursing practice.

Popular BSN Online Degrees

BSN has become a must for RNs to move ahead in their careers. Busy schedules and time constraints are pushing more and more RNs to opt for online BSN degrees. With more than a handful of universities offering online BSN courses, students often look for the popular online BSN programs.

University of Texas-Tyler:

Students can complete the BSN degree within 12 months at the earliest. However, this program offers flexibility to complete the degree at your own pace. 

Since it is a hybrid course, students have to complete their clinical training from local health communities.  




$395 per credit


Ohio State University:

Students will study on diverse subjects such as community health, leadership and management, and professional issues in contemporary nursing. 

Students have to undergo hands-on clinical training at local bodies.




$385 per credit

University of South Carolina:

Rated as one of the best nursing programs in the world, the university’s nursing program requires 12 months to earn a BSN degree. 

Average annual salary of its recent graduates have been comparatively higher than graduates of other BSN programs.




$382 per credit

University of Illinois Chicago:

This course is tailor-made for RNs and is similar to the on-campus degree program as the faculty that teaches the traditional classroom program also teach online students.  




$650 per credit    

University of Cincinnati: 

This program allows students to complete the degree within 9 months. Students have to undergo hands-on clinical training at local bodies.  




$389 per credit

George Washington University:

Apart from offering a flexible RN to BSN program, it allows its students to pursue and earn an MSN degree simultaneously.




$610 per credit


University of Alabama:

The university offers two options to RNs:

  • A RN to BSN online degree with 25 credit hours
  • A RN to MSN online degree with 50 credit hours




$346 per credit


These are a few of the top nursing programs designed with curriculum and coursework appropriate for online learning that will put nursing practitioners on the right track in their nursing practice.