Online CCNE (BSN) Accredited Degree Programs

CCNE-accredited BSN degree programs are designed for aspiring nurses who seek a blend of convenience, flexibility, and quality in their education. In today’s fast-paced world, the opportunity to pursue a nursing degree online is not just a convenience; it’s a necessity for many. 

These programs, accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), offer the high standards of nursing education you need to excel in the healthcare field. Whether you’re transitioning from another career, expanding your nursing skills, or starting fresh, an online CCNE-accredited BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) program can be the key to unlocking your potential as a healthcare professional. Join us as we explore what these programs have to offer, and how they can set you on the path to a rewarding and impactful career in nursing.


What Is CCNE?

While there are many RN to BSN degree programs, you should consider a CCNE-accredited program. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education is a national accreditation agency recognized by the US Secretary of Education. CCNE-accredited schools offer the high standard of education set by the organization.

CCNE Accreditation

This commission identifies and assesses programs based on their integrity and quality. While not mandatory, this process helps prospective students identify programs that wish to continue to improve and provide leading instruction for a registered nurse to receive a Bachelor of Science in nursing. CCNE-accredited nursing schools can help prepare students for the world of nursing in many ways.

The Accreditation Process

The process is self-regulatory and completely voluntary. Programs submit evidence of growth and improvement in the education process to the CCNE. This autonomous agency accredits programs committed to improvement after conducting curriculum and on-site evaluations.

Online programs may not have on-site evaluations, but an assessment by a team of experts is still an essential part of the accreditation process. Once approved, accredited programs must still improve and submit progress reports to CCNE for continuous review.

What Are the CCNE Accreditation Standards?

CNNE accreditation standards are critical to understand selecting a college or program that fits your enrollment guidelines.

There are four key accreditation standards to consider:

  • Program Quality: Based on the Mission and Governance
  • Program Quality: Institutional Commitment and Resources
  • Program Quality: Curriculum and Teaching-Learning Practices
  • Program Effectiveness: Assessment and Achievement of Program Outcomes

CCNE vs. ACEN Accreditation 

CCNE and ACEN are two different accrediting agencies. The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) provides accreditation for all nurse education levels. CCNE only focuses on graduate programs and nursing fellowship programs. Each organization sets its own accrediting requirements, processes, and standards. 

Comparing and Contrasting CCNE and ACEN Standards

For prospective nursing students, understanding the differences between the two primary accrediting bodies for nursing programs, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), is crucial. Both set standards for quality nursing education, but they have distinct focuses and accreditation processes.

CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education)

  • Focus: CCNE primarily accredits baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.
  • Standards: Emphasizes the effectiveness of the nursing program in achieving its goals and outcomes, faculty qualifications, and curriculum quality.
  • Process: Conducts a self-study by the institution, followed by an on-site evaluation.
  • Recognition: CCNE is officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency.

ACEN (Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing)

  • Focus: ACEN accredits all types of nursing education programs, including practical, diploma, associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and clinical doctorate.
  • Standards: Focuses on a comprehensive review of the program, including curriculum, faculty, student policies, outcomes, and overall program effectiveness.
  • Process: Involves a self-study report, site visit, and review by the ACEN Board of Commissioners.
  • Recognition: ACEN is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.

Both CCNE and ACEN aim to ensure the quality and integrity of nursing programs, but their scope and approach differ. CCNE’s focus is more on higher-level nursing education, while ACEN covers a broader range of nursing education programs. When choosing a nursing program, consider which accreditation aligns with your career goals and educational needs. 

What Is an Online CCNE Accredited RN to BSN Program?

An online CCNE-accredited RN to BSN program prepares you to transition from an RN to a BSN. As an RN, you may have already completed an associate’s or bachelor’s degree and passed the NCLEX-RN exam. You may also be working in a hospital or other healthcare situation.

With a BSN, however, you may have the opportunity to earn more and expand your expertise in the industry. Learn more about your online opportunities, program requirements, and BSN career opportunities to see if one of these programs is right for you.

Accredited RN to BSN Program Curriculum

The best CCNE accredited RN to BSN programs don’t just offer you a new degree but expand your expertise in the medical field. As an RN to BSN student, you have the opportunity to study these and other courses in CCNE accredited programs:

  • Legal and ethical decision-making in nursing
  • Global health
  • Nursing leadership
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Community health
  • Specialty courses, like emergency or pediatric care

An online RN to BSN program is a competitive option if you’re already working as an RN since you can tailor your curriculum and timeline to your busy schedule. You can choose specialty courses to continue to pursue your focus in the medical field, and you can schedule assignments around your shifts.

Keep in mind that all CCNE-accredited schools and CCNE-accredited programs are a bit different. You will want to compare each accredited BSN program individually to determine which offers the services you desire.

Program Requirements

You must be a registered nurse to qualify for an online RN to BSN program. Otherwise, you’ll need to enroll in a BSN program. Some programs require an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, while others accept hospital-based RN education. You’ll need to submit official transcripts from your RN program.

You also must have a high school diploma or GED equivalency to apply for most programs. As an online student, you must have your own computer and reliable internet connection for your courses.

In some programs, there are minimum GPA requirements to apply. You may need a particular GPA from your RN program or a particular course, such as microbiology. These requirements vary from program to program, so be sure you’ve met the minimum GPA requirements before you apply.

CCNE-accredited nursing schools set their own rules for admission. Be sure to verify these as you compare CCNE-accredited schools.

RN to BSN Program Costs

The cost of an online RN to BSN program can vary considerably. Most online programs can be significantly more affordable than on-campus options because online programs don’t require the same campus-based fees.

Expect to pay between $10,000 and $80,000 for your online RN to BSN program.

This is a wide price range, and the price of your program depends on the school you choose, the number of credits you already have, and any applicable scholarships.

NCLEX Pass Rates

One way RN to BSN and other nursing programs are rated is their NCLEX pass rate. This rate shows how many graduates successfully pass the NCLEX exam on the first try. You may not need to take this exam again if you’re already an RN, but this rate can be a helpful way to compare the strength of programs.

Career Opportunities

Whether you’re preparing to apply to nursing positions or already working as an RN, you can strengthen your application with a BSN degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual salary for registered nurses was about $81,220 as of August 2022. For BSN degree holders, however, the median annual salary was approximately $93,000 as of December 2023.

Accreditation can help you improve your opportunities. While not highlighted by Payscale, choosing an accredited program may improve your application. If you’re seeking a high-paying job and a promising career in nursing, CCNE accreditation offers a competitive edge to your training. It shows hospitals and other employers that you not only have a BSN degree but completed rigorous courses in nursing.

What Are the Benefits of a CCNE-Accredited RN to BSN Program?

There are many reasons to consider enrolling in an accredited online program as a registered nurse. Explore each of these reasons as you compare schools and prepare to improve your career opportunities.

Connect With Expert Instructors

Online nursing programs connect you with experienced instructors around the country. Instead of working with only the professors and experts in your local community, you can take online courses with instruction from a leading university.

Compare schools based on the strength of the program, not the convenience of the location. An online RN to BSN program still comes with essential clinical experience, either coordinated with a local hospital or conducted virtually. Virtual clinical experience includes simulations for state-of-the-art training.

Expand Your Learning Opportunities

Looking for specialized courses in your area of focus? Local RN to BSN programs may not have the specific courses you’re passionate about. If you choose a program that isn’t accredited, you may not receive state-of-the-art training.

Explore the best programs for modern education in your area of focus. Receive a broad base of nursing courses with electives in pediatrics, cardiac care, emergency care, or case management.

Enjoy Flexible Scheduling

You can transition from an RN to a BSN in just one year or take part-time courses over four years. Some on-campus programs offer a flexible schedule, but online RN to BSN opportunities allow you to take courses that fit your shift schedule.

If you work night shifts, it can be difficult to find a convenient time to take college courses. Don’t let your scheduling conflict with coursework, but study online to continue to move forward in your nursing career.

Improve Your Application

Whether applying for a position in another hospital or looking to improve your salary, advancing from an RN to a BSN can be a major career move. Not only do BSN degree holders earn more, on average, but there are many medical facilities and states that require nurses to have BSN degrees.

Are CCNE Accredited Online BSN Programs entirely online? 

CCNE-accredited nursing schools may offer in-person or online education. These programs are versatile in what they offer.

There are some CCNE-accredited programs that are fully online. However, most will have some requirements to visit on-campus or at a local facility to complete necessary lab courses. 

Notable Online CCNE (BSN) Accredited Degree Programs

The tuition figures provided in subsequent sections reflect the cost of attendance for full-time, first-time, degree/certificate-seeking undergraduates for the academic year 2022-23, as per the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). However, for the most accurate and current information on tuition and fees for specific programs, prospective students should directly visit the websites of the respective schools or contact them. Educational institutions regularly update these details, ensuring the information is tailored to the latest academic year and program specifics.

Arizona State University 

Arizona State University offers a BSN program that can be completed in as little as 16 months without a summer break or 24 months on a traditional schedule. There are core classes for all students and courses for required nursing subjects. To enter the program, students need to fulfill one of the following:

  • Graduate in the top 10% of high school class
  • High school cumulative GPA of 3.8
  • Overall high school GPA of 3.50 and a 25 on the ACT or 1230 on the SAT

Tuition: $11,618 in-state, $30,592 out-of-state

Augusta University 

The BSN at Augusta University requires a total of 124 credit hours, with 60 of those hours from the nursing program. This is a four-year program with a number of focus areas to choose from.

Augusta University requires all students to show proof of completion of the required high school curriculum. In addition, SAT or ACT test scores are required, with a minimum of 480 in reading and writing and 440 in math for the SAT. The minimum score for the ACT is 17 in both reading and math.

Tuition: $8,122 in-state, $23,500 out-of-state

Bethel University 

To earn a BSN from Bethel University, you need to complete 129 credit hours. Thirty-three of those hours come from general education, with 67 in the nursing program and 29 from the core. This is a four-year program.

To gain admission into this program, all students must apply by March 1 of the admission year. In addition, applicants are required to take the ATI TEAS exam, which is given in January and February each year.

Tuition: $32,040

Bradley University 

The BSN program at Bradley University is designed to prepare students to pass the nursing licensure exam. It’s a four-year program and requires the completion of 109 credits from a variety of areas.

To apply for the program at Bradley University, students need:

  • Completed application
  • High school transcripts
  • 1-2 page personal essay

There are no testing requirements for admission.

Tuition: $37,800

Colorado Christian University 

The Colorado Christian University program can be completed in 13 months if you are already an RN. Otherwise, it is a four-year program that requires the completion of 120 credit hours, which prepares students to take and pass the nursing licensure exam.

Admission requirements for the BSN include the following plus other additional items:

  • Application completed by December 1
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Students must have a minimum of a “C” in all science courses
  • Pass the ATI TEAS exam
  • Pass an interview as a sophomore with the Nursing Admission Progression and Retention Committee

Tuition: $37,432

Creighton University 

Creighton University offers a four-year BSN program to allow students to pursue other interests and focus on their nursing degree. The program allows students to continue studying abroad, among other activities, while pursuing their degree.

Creighton does not have a minimum GPA requirement or standardized test scores for admission to the school. The Nursing program does require the completion of a chemistry course while in high school with a minimum of a “C” grade.

Tuition: $45,590

DePaul University 

DePaul University offers a four-year BSN degree program. It provides a number of options to choose from and has a major focus on preparing students for the NCLEX Exam to become licensed.

To apply to DePaul University, students fill out the application for Early Action by November 15 and for regular admission by February 1. Students will need to provide a copy of their official high school transcripts as well. It is recommended that students complete the following in high school:

  • Four years of English
  • Three years of math
  • Three years of science
  • Two years of social science
  • Two years of foreign language

Tuition: $42,840

Florida Atlantic University 

Florida Atlantic University offers a BSN program as a traditional, accelerated, and RN to BSN program. Each program offers different options but has the same goal of preparing students to pass the NCLEX exam and become licensed nurses in the field.

Florida Atlantic University requires all applicants to have a minimum of 3.60 cumulative GPA. They are also required to complete the SAT or ACT with scores of 1200 or 25, respectively. The early admission deadline is November 1, and the regular admission deadline is January 15.

Tuition: $4,879 in-state, $17,324 out-of-state

Indiana University 

Indiana University offers multiple ways to earn a BSN. There is, of course, the traditional four-year program requiring the completion of 120 credit hours, the RN to BSN option, and an accelerated program for students who have already completed a bachelor’s degree but want to go into nursing.

To get into the BSN program at Indiana University, you will need to be admitted as an undergraduate and then apply to the program following completion of 28-31 credits of pre-nursing coursework. Students must also meet GPA requirements from a set of courses as outlined by the program.

Tuition: $11,447 in-state, $39,120 out-of-state

Jacksonville State University 

Jacksonville State University offers a four-year BSN program that prepares students for the NCLEX Exam. Students are required to have taken the ACT or SAT and maintain a minimum 2.75 GPA for required courses.

Additional requirements for the BSN program are criminal background checks and drug screening, as well as the completion of all prerequisite courses with a minimum of a “C” grade.

Tuition: $11,952 in-state, $21,912 out-of-state

Point Loma University Nazarene 

Point Loma University Nazarene offers a four-year BSN program. The program requires over 1100 clinic hours as part of the program and provides options for pursuing an MSN or doctorate.

Students applying for the BSN program are required to complete their application by the Early Action deadline of November 15. With the application, students must provide two letters of recommendation, pay the $55 application fee, and request official high school transcripts.

Tuition: $41,100

Clemson University

Clemson University offers a four-year BSN program. In the program, students will have essentially two years of classroom instruction and two years of focus on actual nursing practice. The program works to provide options for all students and focuses on preparing students for the NCLEX.

To apply to Clemson, students must complete the application, pay the $70 application fee, submit test scores from the ACT or SAT, and provide all information from their transcripts.

Tuition: $15,558 in-state, $39,502 out-of-state

Maryville University

Maryville University offers a four-year program for students looking to earn a BSN. The school also offers options for part-time students and students looking to complete the program on weekends. The programs prepare students for careers and for passing the NCLEX during their studies.

High school seniors can begin applying on October 15, and admission is ongoing from there. Students are required to have a minimum GPA of 3.25 or have taken the ACT with a composite of 23 and math of 20 or the SAT range of 100-1190

Tuition: $27,166 

CCNE Accreditation FAQ

How Are Schools Evaluated for CCNE Accreditation Standards?

CCNE accreditation standards are multifaceted. Programs are evaluated across four key areas: mission and governance, institutional commitment and resources, curriculum and teaching-learning practices, and assessment of program outcomes. This process aims to ascertain how effectively a school meets these standards, with each area having specific criteria to gauge the school’s success in meeting its objectives.

How Long Does CCNE Accreditation Last?

CCNE accreditation for new programs is granted for a maximum of five years. To ensure ongoing compliance with standards, accredited schools undergo an annual on-site evaluation.

Are CCNE and ACEN Accreditations Equivalent?

While both CCNE and ACEN accredit nursing programs in the U.S., they have distinct scopes. ACEN accredits nursing programs at all levels, whereas CCNE focuses solely on bachelor’s and graduate nursing programs.

Is an Online CCNE-Accredited Program Equivalent to an On-Campus Program?

Despite differences in delivery methods, CCNE maintains that both online and on-campus programs must meet the same accreditation standards. Online nursing programs must include in-person clinical education and practicum to fulfill accreditation requirements.

Does a CCNE-Accredited BSN Qualify Me for a CCNE-Accredited MSN Program?

Typically, yes. A BSN from a CCNE-accredited program is a common pathway to an MSN degree. Meeting additional specific requirements of the MSN program is also necessary.

Is CCNE Accreditation Important?

Absolutely. CCNE accreditation signifies that a program provides a high-quality education and meets rigorous standards. It also supports continual improvement within the institution.

Which is More Relevant to Me, ACEN or CCNE?

Your choice depends on your educational goals. ACEN accredits a broader range of nursing programs, so it might be more suitable if your chosen program is not covered by CCNE.

What Is the Best Accreditation for a Nursing School?

Both CCNE and ACEN are recognized by the Department of Education and adhere to its guidelines.

Embarking on Your Journey to Nursing Excellence

As we wrap up our exploration of online CCNE-accredited BSN degree programs, remember that embarking on this educational path is a step towards a fulfilling and dynamic career in nursing. These programs offer not only the flexibility and accessibility needed in today’s busy world but also maintain the high standards of quality essential for competent and compassionate nursing care. Whether your goal is to enter the healthcare workforce, advance in your nursing career, or bring a new level of expertise to patient care, an online CCNE-accredited BSN degree is a significant and worthy investment in your future. With dedication and commitment, you are poised to make a profound impact in the lives of individuals and communities, upholding the noble tradition of nursing.

Scroll to Top