Best Accelerated Nursing & BSN Programs Online

Accelerated nursing and BSN programs are designed for registered nurses already working in the healthcare field but want to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. It provides an alternative route to earning a BSN for registered nurses with an associate degree in nursing (ADN).

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Key Takeaways

  • Fast-track RN to BSN programs are designed to enable registered nurses to earn their bachelor's degrees more quickly, typically in about 9-12 months, through flexible online coursework.
  • These programs offer benefits such as career advancement opportunities, improved earning potential, and the development of leadership and critical thinking skills.
  • Considerations when choosing a fast-track RN to BSN program include program length, cost, coursework, clinical requirements, admission criteria, study habits, career goals, and financial aid options.

Flexible scheduling options are available so that students can complete school while continuing other priorities in their lives. An accelerated nursing program caters to busy individuals seeking a nursing career who cannot commit to full-time schooling. The course is accelerated because it takes just over two years to complete.

It brings together classroom learning and clinical hours into a condensed timeframe. Students participate in clinical rotations at hospitals or other healthcare facilities where they work or at nearby affiliated sites. With the demand for nursing professionals growing as Americans' average age rises, joining an accelerated nursing program will boost the career quickly.

Online Rn-to-BSN Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.  

Why an Accelerated Nursing Program?

In a recent report by Minority Nurse nurses with a bachelor's degree reported earning an average of $10,000 more per year than those with a diploma or associate's degree in nursing (ADN).

The same report showed that many facilities are requiring their staff nurses to hold a minimum bachelor's in nursing (BSN). These institutions pay higher wages to attract and retain nurses with a BSN.

Accelerated Nursing Programs

Most accelerated nursing programs require 16-24 months of coursework and clinical hours but some may be completed sooner.

Most colleges offer on-campus, online, and hybrid classes. Institutions generally discourage or prohibit students from working during their 16-24 month programs.

The most affordable online accelerated nursing program is offered by the University of South Florida at $3,152.10. The University of Wyoming offers the second cheapest accelerated online RN to BSN with a program cost of $5,370.

Online accelerated BSN degrees offer flexible scheduling and a better way to learn for some students. Online nursing programs usually use a hybrid model--theory in class, clinical experience and lab work in person. Students typically complete their clinical rotations in their community.

Fast-Track RN to BSN Online Programs for 2024

  1. University of Texas Arlington – Arlington, TX
  2. Appalachian State University – Boone, NC
    • Duration: 12 months
    • Tuition: In-state $163 per credit,Out−of−state $663 per credit
    • Program URL: Visit Program
  3. Cleveland State University – Cleveland, OH
    • Duration: 12 months
    • Tuition: $16,462 per year
    • Program URL: Visit Program
  4. Ohio State University – Columbus, OH
    • Duration: 12 months
    • Tuition: $16,200
    • Program URL: Visit Program
  5. American Sentinel University – Denver, CO
  6. University of Wyoming – Laramie, WY
    • Duration: 12 months
    • Tuition: $8,433 per semester
    • Program URL: Visit Program
  7. Capella University – Minneapolis, MN
  8. University of North Carolina Wilmington – Wilmington, NC
    • Duration: 12 months
    • Tuition: In-state $185 per credit, Out−of−state $771 per credit
    • Program URL: Visit Program
  9. University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, AK
  10. Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences – Memphis, TN
    • Duration: 12 months
    • Tuition: $16,980
    • Program URL: Visit Program

Further Reading: Cheapest Online Colleges

Cheapest Acclerated Online RN to BSN Programs 2024

University of Central Florida

  • Program Cost: $5,375.70 ($179.19 per credit hour)
  • Program Length: 30 credit hours or one year full-time

University of Wyoming

  • Program Cost: $5,370 ($154.00 per credit hour)
  • Program Length: 30 credit hours

University of South Florida

  • Program Cost: $3,152.10 ($105.07 per credit hour)
  • Program Length: 30 credit hours

Appalachian State University

  • Program Cost: $6,720 ($224.00 per credit hour)
  • Program Length: 30 credit hours

University of Texas Arlington

  • Program Cost: $8,995 ($257.00 per credit hour)
  • Program Length: 35 credit hours

LaSalle University

  • Program Cost: $10,800 ($400 per credit hour)
  • Program Length: 27 credit hours

Thomas Edison State University

  • Program Cost: $14,850 ($550 per credit hour)
  • Program Length: 27 credit hours

Florida International University

  • Program Cost: $5,491.44 ($228.81 per credit hour)
  • Program Length: 24 credit hours

Messiah University

  • Program Cost: $12,300 ($410 per credit hour)
  • Program Length: 30 credit hours

Florida Gateway College

  • Program Cost: $5,125
  • Program Length: 31 credit hours

Guide to Accelerated Online BSN Programs

Nursing professionals seeking career advancement or aiming to enhance their skills often consider enrolling in fast-track RN to BSN online programs. These programs offer the flexibility of online learning while enabling registered nurses to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree quickly. The convenience and efficiency of fast-track RN to BSN programs make them an attractive option for working professionals looking to further their education and career opportunities.

Advantages of Fast-Track RN to BSN Online Programs

Fast-track RN to BSN online programs offer several benefits, including:

  1. Resume enhancement and expanded career opportunities
  2. Increased earning potential
  3. Development of leadership and critical thinking skills
  4. Rapid progression towards a BSN degree
  5. Flexible online format for working professionals
  6. Preparation for advanced nursing roles

Selecting the Right Program

When choosing a fast-track RN to BSN online program, consider the following factors:

  1. Program length and cost
  2. Coursework and clinical training requirements
  3. Admission criteria, including licensure and residency requirements
  4. Time management and study habits
  5. Career goals and opportunities post-graduation

Financial Considerations

Financial aid options for fast-track RN to BSN programs may include:

  1. Hospital tuition benefits for nursing staff
  2. Federal student aid through FAFSA
  3. Scholarships and grants for nursing students
  4. Private student loans for education expenses

Career Opportunities for RN to BSN Graduates

Graduates of fast-track RN to BSN programs can pursue a variety of career paths, including:

  1. Leadership positions in nursing management
  2. Specialized roles in research and academia
  3. Opportunities in Magnet recognized facilities
  4. Enhanced patient care and improved patient outcomes

Top 13 Fast-Track RN to BSN Online Programs for 2024

  1. University of Texas Arlington
  2. Appalachian State University
  3. Cleveland State University
  4. Ohio State University
  5. American Sentinel University
  6. University of Wyoming
  7. Capella University
  8. University of North Carolina Wilmington
  9. University of Arkansas
  10. Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences
  11. Georgia Southern University
  12. The University of Louisiana At Lafayette
  13. University of Cincinnati

Expert Insights and FAQs

Experts highlight challenges such as time management and accountability for fast-track RN to BSN students and offer advice on overcoming them. They address common questions about program costs, credit requirements, peer interaction, and balancing work with part-time study.

In conclusion, pursuing a fast-track RN to BSN online program can lead to numerous benefits for nursing professionals seeking career advancement. By carefully considering program options, financial aid opportunities, and career pathways, individuals can make informed decisions to achieve their educational and professional goals efficiently.

Program Insights and Analysis

Fast-track RN to BSN programs offer a unique opportunity for registered nurses to earn their bachelor's degree in nursing in a shorter period compared to traditional programs. These accelerated programs are becoming popular among working professionals who seek career advancement and higher earning potential.

Benefits of Fast-Track RN to BSN Programs:

  1. Time Efficiency: Accelerated programs enable nurses to complete their BSN quickly, usually within 9-12 months, saving time and getting them into the workforce faster.
  2. Career Advancement: A BSN degree opens up doors to higher-paying and leadership positions in nursing, along with increased job opportunities.
  3. Flexibility: Online delivery of these programs allows nurses to balance their studies with work and personal commitments.
  4. Enhanced Skills: The curriculum in fast-track RN to BSN programs focuses on crucial skills like leadership, critical thinking, and evidence-based practice, enhancing nurses' overall competencies.

Considerations When Choosing a Fast-Track RN to BSN Program:

  1. Program Length: Understanding the duration of the program and ensuring it aligns with your career goals and commitments.
  2. Cost: Comparing tuition fees and exploring financial aid options to make informed decisions about affordability.
  3. Curriculum: Reviewing the course offerings and ensuring they align with your career aspirations and learning objectives.
  4. Clinical Training: Confirming the clinical requirements and assessing how they fit within your schedule and location.
  5. Admission Requirements: Meeting all prerequisites, such as holding an active RN license and meeting GPA criteria.
  6. Study Habits: Considering your learning style and ensuring that the program's format matches your preferences for success.
  7. Career Goals: Identifying how the program will help you achieve your desired nursing career path and advancement opportunities.

Career Outlook for Fast-Track RN to BSN Graduates:

  1. Professional Advancement: BSN-prepared nurses are sought after for leadership roles, research positions, and specialty practice areas within healthcare settings.
  2. Increased Earning Potential: Graduates with a BSN generally earn higher salaries and have better career prospects compared to those with an ADN.
  3. Job Market Demand: The need for BSN-prepared nurses is rising, with opportunities in diverse healthcare settings and specialties, providing a strong job outlook for graduates.

Overall, fast-track RN to BSN programs offer a strategic pathway for registered nurses to advance their careers, enhance their skills, and tap into new opportunities within the nursing profession. Through careful consideration of program factors and career goals, nurses can make informed decisions to embark on a successful academic and professional journey.

RN Statistics

Demographics and Education

Age and Retirement

  • The median age of registered nurses (RNs) has seen a slight decrease from 52 years in 2020 to 46 years in 2022. Notably, over one-quarter of RNs are considering leaving nursing or retiring within the next five years, highlighting a potential future workforce challenge.

Gender and Ethnic Diversity

  • The percentage of men in nursing has increased to 11.2% by 2022, up from 9.4% in 2020. The racial and ethnic composition of the RN population in 2022 was predominantly White/Caucasian (80%), with 7.4% Asian, 6.3% Black/African American, and 6.9% reporting Hispanic ethnicity.

Educational Preparation

  • A significant majority of RNs, 71.7%, have attained a baccalaureate degree or higher as their highest level of nursing education by 2022. This is in line with employers' preferences for baccalaureate-prepared nurses, with 28% requiring and 72% strongly preferring such educational preparation. Advanced degrees are also in demand, with 17.4% of RNs holding a master's degree and 2.7% a doctoral degree, underscoring the critical need for advanced practice, clinical specialization, teaching, and research roles.

Employment and Salary

Workforce Size and Employment Settings

  • Nursing is the nation's largest healthcare profession, with nearly 5.2 million RNs nationwide, 89% of whom are employed in the field. RNs are primarily found in general medical and surgical hospitals, representing nearly 55% of the workforce in these settings.


  • RNs are among the highest-paying large occupations, with an average salary of $77,600 per year. This reflects the critical role and the high demand for nursing professionals across various healthcare settings.

Projected Growth and Demand

  • The federal government projects over 203,000 new RN positions will be created annually from 2021-2031, indicating a strong and growing demand for nursing professionals. This is driven by an increased emphasis on preventive care, the rising prevalence of chronic conditions, and the needs of an aging population. Moreover, most healthcare services involve nursing care, underscoring the high demand for nurses in diverse healthcare settings.

Nursing Education and Workforce Trends

Advanced Degrees and Workforce Departures

  • The nursing workforce is experiencing significant changes, with over 200,000 experienced RNs leaving the workforce and an increase in the proportion of nurses with advanced degrees. These trends point to the evolving nature of nursing roles and the increasing complexity of care that requires higher levels of education and specialization.

Workload and Workforce Challenges

  • Over 60% of RNs reported an increase in workload due to the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the significant pressures faced by the nursing workforce during this period. This underscores the need for adequate support and resources for nurses to manage the increasing demands of their roles effectively.

List of Accelerated Nursing Programs

Alphabetical list of accelerated nursing programs ranked in the 2022 edition of Best Accelerated Nursing and BSN Programs Online and On-campus.

California State University—Stanislaus
Florida International University
University of Washington
Duke University
Stony Brook University
University of Miami
Truman State University
George Mason University
University of North Florida
University of Delaware
University of Houston
Michigan State University
Villanova University
Florida Atlantic University
Clemson University
California State University—Channel Islands
Binghamton University
West Virginia University
CUNY Hunter College
Montana Tech
Texas Christian University
George Washington University
University of Massachusetts—Amherst
New York University
Drexel University
University of Wyoming
East Carolina University
Wayne State University
University of Utah
University of West Florida
Barry University
University of Cincinnati
Western Kentucky University
Grand Valley State University
Samford University
Georgia College & State University
Westfield State University
University of Louisiana—Lafayette
Los Angeles Harbor College
Augustana University
Western Illinois University
Mount Carmel College of Nursing
Rhode Island College
Duquesne University
Adelphi University
Georgia Southern University
Concordia University Irvine
New Mexico State University
University of North Georgia
Ball State University
Northeast Alabama Community College
University of Tennessee—Chattanooga
Gwynedd Mercy University
Northern Illinois University
University of New England
Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis
South Dakota State University
University of North Alabama
Florida National University
University of Massachusetts—Boston
Mississippi College
Saint Xavier University
Arkansas State University
Cleveland State University
Lewis & Clark College
Curry College
Georgia Southwestern State University
University of Memphis
Del Mar College
Regis College
Augusta University
Coppin State University
University of Arkansas—Fort Smith
SUNY College of Technology at Alfred
Angelo State University
Merritt College
Utica College
Marian University
Bowie State University
Valdosta State University
Fortis College

If any of the information is incorrect for your school or you feel that your school should have received a ranking, please reach out to tstevens [at]


Online Rn to BSN Programs That Might Interest You

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.  

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