Online Bachelor's in Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs Degree Programs

Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs

For registered nurses, a robust education is essential not only for their own career advancement but also for the well-being and care of their patients. While an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) offers a foundational start, its scope is limited. 

A Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) opens doors to greater career opportunities and the ability to provide more comprehensive patient care. If you are a registered nurse looking to enhance your qualifications through an affordable online RN to BSN program, this guide contains vital information to aid in making a decision that will positively impact your career trajectory.


Cheapest Online RN to BSN Programs

As a registered nurse, finding an affordable RN to BSN online program is a high priority. But when exploring options for online RN to BSN programs, it’s crucial to understand that labeling a program as the “cheapest” is not as straightforward as it might seem. 

The cost of academic programs, particularly in the field of nursing, involves a complex interplay of various factors, from tuition to other considerations like fees, resources, access to financial aid, and personal circumstances that significantly influence the overall expense. Beyond the monetary cost, the value of a program is highly subjective and varies based on individual student needs, such as career goals, program fit, and personal preferences. 

Additionally, the strengths of a program — like the quality of its instructors, the relevance and rigor of its curriculum, and the support services available — play a pivotal role in determining its value. A program that is financially affordable but lacks in quality or relevance may not serve your long-term professional goals as effectively as one that requires a higher financial investment but offers superior education and career prospects.

Therefore, our list of “cheapest online RN to BSN programs” is curated considering a variety of factors, not solely the expense. We have aimed to include programs that balance cost-effectiveness with quality, but we strongly encourage prospective students to delve deeper. Investigate each program and evaluate how well it aligns with your career aspirations, learning style, and personal circumstances. 

The best program for you is one that not only fits your budget but also provides the educational quality and opportunities you need to thrive in your nursing career. Remember, the true value of an educational program lies in how well it equips you for your future, both professionally and personally.

Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University – Online Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

Appalachian State University’s online RN to BSN program is built specifically to help busy nurses who want to expand their education while still working. They offer one-year, two-year, and three-year program options to ensure you can balance your work and learning effectively. 

The course includes 30 hours of coursework, which can be completed 100% online. They offer modules such as Nursing Informatics, Nursing Research, and Health Assessments, which will help you become a more well-rounded nurse

Pricing for this course starts at $204 per credit hour, with scholarships available for students in Western North Carolina.

College of Coastal Georgia

College of Coastal Georgia – RN to BSN Program

The College of Coastal Georgia RN to BSN program is great for students looking to add hands-on practical experience to their courses. While 100% of coursework is done online, the program requires two in-person clinical rotations, which can be completed at your location of choice.

This program offers a lot of support from your appointed nursing advisor, who will periodically meet with you to discuss your progression and help you plan your course in the most beneficial manner for your circumstances.

The course costs $106.80 per credit hour and is accredited by the ACEN (Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing).

To be accepted on this course, you must have either a Georgia or Compact nursing license.

Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University – Registered Nurse (RN) to Bachelor in Science Nursing (BSN) Program

The Fayetteville State University RN to BSN program differs slightly from other options on this list. To be eligible for online learning, you must either have already completed the University College Core Curriculum or be dual enrolled with a partnering community college. You can contact the University directly to see if you meet their requirements for online learning.

This course is great for registered nurses looking to expand on the knowledge acquired from their ADN in a flexible way while still being able to work at the same time.

The University has a robust set of scholarships and financial aid to explore, which may help you through your educational journey.

Florida International University

Florida International University – RN to BSN – Bachelor of Science in Nursing Online Program

Florida International University’s RN to BSN online program is great for those looking for flexible start times, with courses starting in spring or summer. 

This course focuses on nursing across cultures, global healthcare, and teaches you how to adapt your workplace experience for better patient healthcare outcomes. And with excellent faculty teaching, you’re in great hands.

Tuition starts at $235.57 per credit hour, with out-of-state students expecting to pay considerably more. 

Fort Hays State University

Fort Hays State University – RN to BSN Online Program

The Fort Hays University online RN to BSN program is 100% online and can be started in the spring, summer, or fall semesters, so you can get started as soon as you’re ready. The course length is flexible, allowing you to work alongside your studies if you choose to.

Modules from this course include Trends Facing Healthcare, Nursing Inquiry for the RN, and Community-Focused Care for the RN.

Fort Hays State University offers a wide range of scholarships and grants for RN to BSN students to help you afford your education.

Minot State University

Minot State University – RN to BSN Completion Program

The Minot State University RN to BSN program is 100% online, with the option to complete either direct or indirect clinical trials.

The program is flexible, allowing students the ability to set their schedule by choosing how long their course will take. 

The university offers in-state fees for all students, regardless of location, and offers the opportunity to apply for an MSU scholarship to help pay tuition costs.

Ohio University

Ohio University – Online RN to BSN Degree

Ohio University is a 100% online program, allowing schedule flexibility. According to their website, students can complete their course in as little as one year, spending less than $10,000, making it one of the more affordable RN to BSN programs available.

They offer eight different start dates across the year, making it easier for students to get started on their program quickly.

Most of their modules last just five weeks, making it easier to schedule your study timetable.

Pensacola State University

Pensacola State University – Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

The Pensacola State University RN to BSN degree has been designed to allow students the flexibility to work while they study. They offer three, four, and five-semester programs designed to offer more or less time depending on your needs.

The majority of the course can be done online, with just two credit hours of in-person clinical practice required at the location of your choosing. 

St. Petersburg College

St. Petersburg College – Nursing RN-BSN Degree

St. Petersburg College allows you to complete your RN to BSN degree in as little as three semesters. They also allow you to choose to schedule between on to four courses at a time, giving you maximum flexibility over your workload at any given time.

All classes are done online, with the ability to complete clinical hours at an approved facility in your community.

This degree is CCNE accredited, which will allow you to work anywhere across the country.

University of Central Florida

University of Central Florida – Post Licensure Nursing Degree Program

The University of Central Florida RN to BSN program opens three times a year — spring, summer, and fall — allowing you greater flexibility in starting your degree.

They offer a flexible schedule with the option to complete your program in just three semesters when taken full-time.

The program places a strong emphasis on science and ethics to help you build the foundations to advance into leadership roles and specialization.

They also allow you to take up to nine credits of MSN or DNP work which you can later transfer to the relevant courses should you choose to pursue them.

University of Texas Arlington

University of Texas Arlington – Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing Online

The University of Texas Arlington offers students the possibility to complete clinical practicums in their workplace, allowing students to continue to work without interference with their studies.

The program focuses on building leadership and critical thinking skills by learning how to implement appropriate strategies for healthcare and disease prevention.

Tuition costs as little as $8,995 when completed in one year, and the university has a tuition price lock guarantee.

Benefits of RN to BSN Online Programs

While going through the ADN is enough to become a registered nurse, it may not give you the personal and professional elements you need to fulfill your aspirations and set you on the path you envisioned for your nursing career. That’s why so many registered nurses opt to convert their degree into a BSN through a conversion program such as the RN to BSN course. 

Some of the key benefits you can expect when enrolling in RN to BSN online programs include:

1. Improved Work-Life Balance

Online RN to BSN programs offer flexibility in your schedule, allowing you to complete your studies in one to three years. This level of flexibility means you can adapt your schedule to fit around your personal needs, including your job, family, and other life commitments you may have.

2. Reduced Costs

As online study happens off-site, it requires less resources for the university to host it. This is often reflected in a lower tuition fee for your course. Every university has its own pricing system, however, with some offering a flat online fee while others offer different costs depending on whether you live in or out of state. Do your research to find the best price for you (but remember, price shouldn’t be the only factor in making your decision!).

3. Location Independent Learning

Online RN to BSN programs allow you to study from anywhere across the country. So, if there’s a university you really want to study at, or you want to skip the daily commute to class, an online program unlocks you from location restrictions and allows you to fit education in wherever is most convenient for you.

4. Keep Earning While You Study

As we’ve discussed, doing an online program to get your BSN means you have flexibility in your schedule and learning location. And while there is plenty of financial aid available for RNs looking to get their BSN, many people still need to work in order to afford their education, rent, food, and other everyday costs. So, having the option to continue your nursing job while studying is ideal for most students. Plus, some universities may count your clinical hours working towards your degree.

5. Improved Job Prospects

Thanks to the enhanced knowledge and skills required to get your BSN in areas including patient care, ethics, and research, you’ll find more career opportunities opening up to you. Higher nursing roles, including leadership positions, specialized nursing positions, and advanced practice specialties, all look for nurses with a minimum of a BSN. 

How to Choose the Right Program for You

Choosing to take an RN to BSN online program is a big step that requires a lot of careful consideration. And with a lot of information to go through, it can feel overwhelming trying to decide between courses. It takes a lot of introspection and consideration to decide what is most important to you in a prospective online BSN program.

It’s important to remember that the “perfect” course doesn’t exist for everyone and that depending on your most important deciding factor, you may have to make a few compromises when choosing which online RN to BSN program to choose.

To help you prioritize your program needs, we’ve outlined the most important program aspects to pay attention to in order to help you make the best decision for you.

1. Cost

The most limiting factor for most registered nurses hoping to pursue a conversion course to BSN is cost. University education is expensive, and not everyone can afford to attend.

Most online programs offer cheaper tuition fees than their in-person counterparts, which makes it more affordable. But, of course, fees vary highly between universities, so if money is tight, it’s vital you shop around to find the most affordable online RN to BSN program for your budget. 

You should also investigate whether the university offers financial aid such as scholarships and grants for your program. This will heavily relieve you of the financial burden you may be placed under. 

2. Schedule and Duration

Online education allows for flexible learning, which is ideal if you’re looking to work and learn at the same time. 

Depending on your goals, you may want the option to finish your studies sooner or later. Perhaps you are looking to quickly advance your career and finish your degree in as little as three semesters, or maybe you prefer a slower-paced program over a few years that allows you to continue working without overloading your schedule and burning yourself out.

Additionally, some online universities offer multiple start dates, with options to commence your RN to BSN program in the spring, summer, or fall semester. If you want to get started and can’t wait a year for the next academic cohort, this is a key benefit to look out for

Take time to sit down and evaluate your study scheduling needs before you start researching so you can highlight the universities that best match your needs.

3. Accreditation

Your online RN to BSN course needs to be accredited by the correct bodies to allow you to pursue advanced career prospects such as leadership roles. Each state has its own accreditation needs, so it’s important to know the requirements of the state you work and live in, making sure your chosen university meets these needs.

One of the most prevalent accreditation bodies is the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). They are officially recognized by the U.S Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency. A CCNE-accredited BSN will allow you to practice in all states and is highly sought after. However, if your university offers a different accreditation, check with your state nursing board to see if it will be accepted.

4. Program Support 

Online degrees come with different levels of faculty support and student resources. If you want a program with more contact with your nursing advisor, it’s important to research this and factor it into your decision.

Financing Your Online RN to BSN Program

Some universities offer scholarships, grants, and loans to online RN to BSN program students. However, this is not the only option you have. 

Organizations, including the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the National League for Nursing (NLN), offer many grants and scholarships for students. Check with your state nursing board to see which financial aid options may be available to you.

Additionally, if you are working while studying, your employer may be able to fully or partially fund your program. Ask your boss to see what your options are.

Tips for Financial Planning

Whether you have access to financial aid or not, being smart with your money will help make your university experience more affordable. Here are a few ways you can reduce your financial burden while studying.

  • Make a weekly budget for essentials such as food, rent, transport, and self-care
  • Look at online libraries, including your university’s online selection, for textbooks. If you can’t find them, buy textbooks second-hand
  • Talk to your employer to see if there is any financial help they can give you while you study
  • Try to reduce unnecessary spending, such as takeaways and other convenience purchases

Career Outlook with a BSN

With an RN to BSN online program, your career prospects will increase greatly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage for a registered nurse is $81,220. However, nurses with a BSN can expect to earn up to $13,000 more a year, according to Indeed and Nurse Journal.

As the demand for nurses increases, nurses with a BSN are more likely to be hired above their ADN equivalent while also being considered for higher roles in leadership.

Finally, for those looking to specialize their nursing skills, the BSN is necessary to do a master’s in nursing.

Make the Most of Your Online Learning Experience

Studying online is a very different experience to in-person learning, with its own set of benefits and difficulties. There are a few things you need to keep in mind in order to maximize your online learning experience.

1. Self-Discipline

When learning online, you no longer have a fixed schedule or a teacher monitoring your attendance. It’s up to you to attend classes and make the time for learning. 

While you may be excited to do your course, there will inevitably be days when you feel unmotivated to study. When that happens, it’s vital you put systems in place to improve your self-discipline and keep pushing through. Otherwise, what should be a two-year course may take a decade to complete! 

2. Time Management

As part of your program, you’ll be expected to do coursework that can be time-consuming. Instead of trying to cram it in just before the end of the semester, make sure you schedule your time efficiently. This way, you’ll get all your work done in a timely manner while avoiding burnout.

3. Organization

Make sure you have a system in place to organize your study notes. This can be analog (like a filing box), digital, or a combination. It’s essential you keep your notes organized so you can study better and give yourself the best chance for success.

4. Technology

As you’ll be studying online, make sure your computer and wifi are up to the job. A poor connection or malfunctioning laptop will seriously impede your studying. If you need to upgrade but have a strict budget, look around for the best internet deals and see if you can find a quality second-hand laptop. Many companies offer fully refurbished computers at a fraction of the retail cost. 

Exploring Further Opportunities

By completing an RN to BSN program, you are already putting yourself in the best position for future career opportunities.

However, your education doesn’t need to stop here. There are plenty of further degrees and programs you can pursue that will enhance your career prospects and fulfill your nursing ambitions.

One such route you may consider is taking a master’s degree in nursing (MSN) or a doctorate nursing program. Choosing an accelerated RN to MSN program will allow you to quickly get your master’s while still working. If you choose this route, it’s important you pay attention to course accreditation. There are plenty of CCNE-accredited MSN programs that will help advance your career.

If a master’s or doctorate degree doesn’t appeal to you, you can also pursue specialized nursing courses in disciplines such as children’s health, elder care, and neonatal nursing.

Our knowledge of medicine is always evolving, so pursuing further education will not only allow you to continue increasing your career prospects but also make you a better, more well-rounded nurse.

Beyond the Degree: The Impact of BSN on Nursing Practice

Building your career is important, but pursuing a BSN is about more than job titles and income. 

Thanks to the in-depth knowledge learned in a BSN degree, you’ll have the skills to provide even better healthcare quality and patient care. You’ll learn new ways to support the patients under your care, including treatment, spotting potential problems, and helping your team.

Pursuing a BSN is more than just an investment in your career. It’s an investment into the health of every single patient under your care.

Moving Forward in Your Nursing Career

Nursing is one of the most fulfilling careers a person can pursue. And thanks to the flexibility of an online RN to BSN program, you can continue doing what you love while enhancing your career in nursing. 

The world needs nurses like you who are dedicated to getting the best education they can afford to bring patients world-class care. 

So, take the time to consider your education needs and career goals to find the program that’s right for you.

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