In this ranking, we examine the best value colleges for online RN programs in 2016.

Registered nursing is one of the most popular online degrees in the United States. With over 200 programs available through distance education, it’d be hard for a student NOT to find something that works for them. Schools offer nursing programs of all prices, sizes, and shapes, but the most common by far is the RN-BSN. Perfect for registered nurses who still need to earn their baccalaureate diploma, these “bridge” programs are intended to close the gap between technical nursing knowledge and the broad-based education of a full B.S. or B.A. And since most professional nurses are likely to continue working while they study, the convenience of online courses is especially important here. All of the schools below are exceptional values in terms of affordability and student success — and we didn’t stop at just 10! Click on the link at the bottom of the article to see another 20 of the best online RN programs.

University of Tennessee Martin Best online RN programs

The University of Tennessee Martin offers up one of the most affordable online RN programs and provides great resources for nurses looking to expand their education.

10. The University of Tennessee-Martin

Online RN-BSN Option

The field of modern medicine is expanding rapidly, which has created an enormous need for nurses in a variety of practice areas. Nurses with bachelor’s degrees are in a unique position to take advantage of these opportunities around the country, which makes the University of Tennessee-Martin’s cheap online RN degree so attractive to practicing nurses today. Accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and approved by the Tennessee Board of Nursing, UTM provides ample curricular and professional resources for nurses looking to advance in their careers, and it even allows them to do so from the comfort of their own homes!
Net Price: $8,512/yr
Score: 70.3

Stony Brook University Best online RN programs

One of the best online RN programs on the list, Stony Brook University offers its students flexibility and the advantage of completing course work at home.

9. Stony Brook University

Online Registered Nurse Baccalaureate Program

Even as a registered nurse, climbing the ranks in the healthcare industry is difficult without an advanced degree. At Stony Brook University, RNs can use their professional experience to get ahead in a rigorous online RN degree program that is specifically designed to offer the utmost in flexibility and convenience. Rather than starting their degree from scratch, RN students can submit a clinical practice portfolio and earn as many as 28 credits of introductory nursing coursework. And although there are several on-site requirements—including laboratory courses and a nursing management practicum—Stony Brook students can complete the majority of both their upper-level nursing courses and the 57 required general education credits right from their home computer.
Net Price: $13,352/yr
Score: 70.5

Winston Salem State University Best online RN programs

The cheap RN degree online available through Winston-Salem State University allows its mostly adult students to learn on their own time.

8. Winston-Salem State University

Online RN-BSN Option

Winston-Salem State University has developed an RN degree online program that caters to adult learners, facilitating a pathway to more advanced nursing knowledge that doesn’t require them to take a leave of absence from work. This program is ideal for self-directed learners who are looking to progress into management, education, or graduate work, but there is limited online availability. Students who are interested in this program should apply well before the deadline; for those who can’t, WSSU provides off-site courses in 18 locations around the state. Students who qualify can also transfer their previous credits from approved North Carolina community college courses.
Net Price: $7,737/yr
Score: 70.9

Michigan State University Best online RN programs

Michigan State University offers an affordable RN degree online through its partnership with six local community colleges.

7. Michigan State University

Online RN to BSN Community College Partnership Program

The RN to BSN Community College Partnership Program at Michigan State University offers a completion RN degree online that draws on the curriculum of six local community colleges. Qualified students at these local schools can transfer their credits to gain admission to MSU’s part-time online RN to BSN program. In fact, the partnership is structured so that students can take courses at both institutions simultaneously. During the school year, you’ll work toward your ADN and prepare for the NCLEX examination at a community college, then spend your summers enrolled at special sessions through MSU. Once you’ve earned enough credits, make the full transition to online courses at Michigan State and earn your BSN in just a few short semesters.
Net Price: $14,791/yr
Score: 71.4

University of North Carolina Charlotte Best online RN programs

University of North Carolina at Charlotte joins the ranks of the best accredited online RN programs, offering affordable and flexible options to students looking to earn their BSN.

6. University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Online RN to BSN Completion Program

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte makes it easy for working nurses to advance their career with this Online RN to BSN Completion Program. After completing UNCC’s general education requirements and transfer program prerequisites, students can earn their affordable RN degree online in 31 credits hours – or just a year’s worth of upper level nursing courses. With year-round admission and cohort programs starting in each fall, spring, and summer semester, there’s never a bad time to start taking your future into your own hands and earning the degree you need to succeed.
Net Price: $10,196/yr
Score: 72.2

University of Wisconson Eau Claire Best online RN programs

UW Eau Claire is another option on this online RN programs ranking that coordinates with local community colleges to offer convenient, accessible course options.

5. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Online RN-BSN Completion Program

The Online RN to BSN Completion Program at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is another collaborative distance learning program that leverages the resources of six schools in the University of Wisconsin system (Eau Claire, Green Bay, Madison, Milwaukee, Osh Kosh, and Stevens Point) to provide an uncompromising and unparalleled online RN degree. The university has designed its program to complement the curriculum at each local campus, helping students stay on track regardless of where they earned their associate’s degree. And thanks to a condensed curriculum that focuses on only the most relevant coursework, RN online degree students at UW Eau Claire can graduate in just three semesters, or 1.5 years.
Net Price: $12,439/yr
Score: 73.9

Florida Gateway University Best online RN programs

Florida Gateway College takes its place on the list as having one of the best online RN programs because a wide range of courses prepares students for diverse careers.

4. Florida Gateway College

Online RN-BSN Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing

In many ways, a bachelor’s degree in nursing is a gateway —a gateway to higher levels of understanding, to a higher rung on the career ladder, and of course to higher wages. Florida Gateway College’s Online RN-BSN Baccalaureate Degree in Nursing program is another gateway that allows professional RNs to take the next step in their nursing career and earn their RN degree online without sacrificing their livelihood in the process. With coursework that emphasizes public health, leadership, management, and research experience, FGC prepares students for diverse roles in the field of nursing, including supervisory positions like patient unit coordination and health administration.
Net Price: $4,677/yr
Score: 75.2

Brigham Young University Idaho Best online RN programs

Brigham Young in Idaho has a top affordable RN degree online that focuses on skill sets that will provide students with long-term career success.

3. Brigham Young University-Idaho

Online BS in Nursing RN to BSN

Brigham Young University-Idaho’s Online BS in Nursing RN to BSN degree completion program takes between three to six semesters to complete. In that time, BYU-I inculcates RN online degree students in four basic precepts of quality nursing: stewardship, knowledge, professionalism, and caring. Through rigorous coursework, expert faculty guidance, practical experience, and a great learning opportunity, BYU brings all nursing students up to a level of excellence that can sustain a lifelong career. This is a particularly advantageous program for Pathway (a distance-learning initiative partnered with the university) alumni, who receive special tuition reductions.
Net Price: $7,968/yr
Score: 78.6

Appalachian State University Best online RN programs

Appalachian State University allows RN degree online students to work from home with new technology, helping them receive a stellar education for an affordable price.

2. Appalachian State University

Online Nursing (RN-BSN)

Students pursue BSNs for a variety of reasons, but the most common are either to apply new skills to diversify their practice or to go on to graduate education. Either way, earning an RN degree online at Appalachian State University is the one of the fastest and most convenient steps to get there. In addition to introducing students to the new technologies, research methods, and best practices in the modern nursing industry, App State makes it easy to balance work and school by offering the program entirely online. App State also provides excellent career resources for nurses, including contacts with professional nursing organizations and associations.
Net Price: $11,508/yr
Score: 79.2

Allen College Best online RN programs

Allen College’s flexible scheduling and generous financial programs make it one of the best choices on this online RN programs ranking.

1. Allen College

Online RN to BSN

The online RN degree program at Allen College follows the statutes of the Iowa Articulation Plan, one of the first formal initiatives for helping and encouraging registered nurses to seek advanced degrees. This provides students with three customizable matriculation plans, ranging from direct credit transfer from their associate’s degree or diploma program to standardized exams for out-of-state (or even out-of-country) coursework. Allen College is also noted for providing an impressive 114 merit- and need-based scholarships (including diversity and/or religious support programs) to subsidize its already highly competitive tuition rate.
Net Price: $6,953/yr
Score: 94.9

This concludes our ranking of the top 10 values in online RN programs.

See our methodology page for more information about how we calculated this ranking, and click here to see more best value RN programs online.

College Navigator

By CVO Staff
Published February 2016

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