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2020 Best Online Bachelor's in Nursing Degree Programs

By the GradReports team | Updated 4/1/2020

This list highlights the best 25 colleges with an online Bachelor's in Nursing, in order of highest median salary for graduates with this major one year after college. The school with the highest median salary for this degree is Mercy College, at $98,600. New Mexico Highlands University students with this major graduate with $10,750 of student debt, the lowest median debt out of the schools ranked in the top 25 for salary. Median salaries for the top 25 schools range from $78,300-$98,600. The majority of the schools on this list offer online RN to BSN programs for registered nurses who wish to earn a bachelor's degree in nursing.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2019. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

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Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 Dobbs Ferry (NY) Dobbs Ferry (NY) $21,358 $23,750 $98,600
#2 #2 Costa Mesa (CA) Costa Mesa (CA) $26,900 $12,500 $98,400
#3 #3 Great Falls (MT) Great Falls (MT) $27,606 $12,500 $97,000
#4 #4 Turlock (CA) Turlock (CA) $19,614 $22,188 $96,800
#5 #5 Farmingdale (NY) Farmingdale (NY) $18,486 $19,371 $90,900
#6 #6 Boston (MA) (and 1 other) Boston (MA) (and 1 other) $29,500 $15,866 $88,400
#7 #7 Winona (MN) Winona (MN) $41,150 $17,189 $88,400
#8 #8 Saratoga Springs (NY) Saratoga Springs (NY) $17,540 $23,390 $88,000
#9 #9 Rockville Centre (NY) Rockville Centre (NY) $36,030 $29,119 $87,600
#10 #10 Nationwide Nationwide $9,552 $23,438 $86,100
#11 #11 Loma Linda (CA) Loma Linda (CA) $31,780 $25,000 $84,700
#12 #12 Kansas City (KS) Kansas City (KS) $8,280 $15,314 $84,500
#13 #13 New York (NY) New York (NY) $50,026 $24,000 $84,500
#14 #14 Delhi (NY) Delhi (NY) $12,490 $16,518 $84,200
#15 #15 San Marcos (CA) San Marcos (CA) $19,613 $25,000 $83,300
#16 #16 Lodi (NJ) Lodi (NJ) $36,410 $23,546 $82,500
#17 #17 Riverside (CA) Riverside (CA) $38,058 $31,000 $81,400
#18 #18 Las Vegas (NM) Las Vegas (NM) $11,988 $10,750 $81,300
#19 #19 La Jolla (CA) La Jolla (CA) $13,320 $32,354 $81,100
#20 #20 Jersey City (NJ) Jersey City (NJ) $39,890 $23,926 $80,900
#21 #21 Trenton (NJ) Trenton (NJ) $9,556 $15,625 $79,500
#22 #22 McMinnville (OR) McMinnville (OR) $13,365 $23,485 $79,300
#23 #23 Aurora (CO) Aurora (CO) Not Provided $17,745 $79,200
#24 #24 Union (NJ) Union (NJ) $20,364 $17,750 $78,900
#25 #25 Bakersfield (CA) Bakersfield (CA) $19,517 $12,153 $78,300

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

Learn more about the top colleges for a Bachelor's in Nursing degree. You can also read student reviews of each school by clicking on the stars. Although student reviews were not used as a ranking factor in this list, we provide ratings and reviews so students can consider the experience of alumni in their decision-making process.

Dobbs Ferry (NY)
Median Salary $98,600
Median Debt $23,750
Annual Tuition $21,358
Graduation Rate 47%

Mercy College in New York City offers a fully online RN-B.S. completion program to registered nurses with an associate’s degree or have graduated from a diploma program in nursing, and are looking to pursue a bachelor’s degree. The 120-credit program takes 1-2 years to complete for full-time students, or 2-3 years for part-time students and students may enroll in 3-15 credits per semester. Credits from prior schools may be transferable, including up to 75 credits from a two-year institution, and 90 from a four-year institution. Being online, tuition is offered at a reduced cost of $425 per credit, and Mercy College also offers a wide variety of economically need-based and academic financial aid programs.

The BS in Nursing program is focused on preparing students for work as professional nurses and leaders in the healthcare system. Core courses include Contemporary Topics in Professional Nursing, Transcultural Nursing, Nursing Informatics, Intro to Health Policy, Statistics for Nurses, Leadership & Management, and Health Assessment/Health Promotion. Students must also complete a required 135 hours of clinical in community health, with the location being coordinated by faculty and the student. Individuals who live out of the area are frequently allowed to choose a location for completing the requirement near their home.

The program is accredited by both the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and the New York State Education Department.

Visit Mercy College's website.

Costa Mesa (CA)
Median Salary $98,400
Median Debt $12,500
Annual Tuition $26,900
Graduation Rate 46%
Student Reviews None (Add review)

At Pacific College, current registered nurses can complete the requirements for earning a Bachelor of Science degree through an online program. Special emphasis is placed on leadership, research, management, physical assessment, health promotion, and critical thinking, as well as gaining a better understanding of how patients and healthcare delivery are affected by various ethical, cultural, political, economic, and social issues. Core courses include Working Around the World, Communication for the Workplace, Principles of Nursing, Disease Process/Role of Nursing, Transformational Leadership, Pharmacology, Nursing in the Geriatric Population, and Evidence-Based Practice. Two courses also involve experiential learning: Community Health Nursing and Organizational Behavior. The holistic and evidence-based focused curriculum is designed to be completed in 17 months, or fewer, and all instructors have experience in both education and the healthcare industry.

To be admitted, students must hold a current, active license as a registered nurse, have a GPA average of 2.5 or higher, and be a graduate of a nursing associate degree program. Students must also have an interview with the Program Director and complete the Online Program Orientation. Financial aid is available to those who qualify, and graduates of the program have access to job placement assistance services. The baccalaureate degree program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, and approved by the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians through 2022.

Visit Pacific College's website.

Great Falls (MT)
Median Salary $97,000
Median Debt $12,500
Annual Tuition $27,606
Graduation Rate 40%

The Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree completion program at the University of Providence is offered to licensed, practicing Registered Nurses, preparing them to become leaders in healthcare. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accredited program works towards instilling its graduates with evidence-based practices that are population centered and also grounded in compassionate, ethical, and spiritual care. The 12-month program is spread out over three semesters and employs a cohort model for students to gain a sense of community by progressing through the program with the same group of students, and also providing them with individual attention.

Cohorts begin twice each year, in January and August, and students complete a face-to-face Program Immersion Day before the start of the program. Courses feature mandatory live video conference class meetings one day every other week. Subjects include Research Methods and Statistics, Evidence Based Practice, Public Health: Nursing Care of Populations, Organizational Leadership in Quality and Safety, Ethics and Spirituality in Nursing Care, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology Concepts, Global Health Nursing, and Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, as well as a Nursing Capstone Course. Those without a bachelor’s degree must complete both an English course and an Integrated Learning Community course.

There are also scholarship funds available to students who are currently employed as an RN at a Providence St Joseph Health or a partner organization facility in a benefited position, working part- or full-time, and in good standing.

Visit University of Providence's website.

Median Salary $96,800
Median Debt $22,188
Annual Tuition $19,614
Graduation Rate 55%

Students who are already registered nurses can take advantage of California State University-Stanislaus’s online RN-BSN program, allowing them to benefit from the opportunity to learn alongside other nurses, and applying learned solutions to their current work. The 26-credit core curriculum is made up of nine courses that engage students’ critical thinking, and which prompt them to solve problems creatively, become culturally aware, and work towards resolving health disparities through research.

Through clinical courses and Community Health Theory, students gain a framework to more effectively collaborate with individuals, families, organizations, and communities. These courses include Transcultural Nursing, Pathophysiology, Nursing Research, Leadership & Management, Health Assessment, and Frontiers in Biology. The learning outcomes of online courses are identical to face-to-face courses, and the program is also designed in a sequential cohort-based model.

The Blackboard course management system is used to make sure that students have 24/7 access to course lectures, readings, and assignments, as well as communication with their instructors and classmates. All courses are delivered in 10-week sessions, with the program being designed to be completed in one year. Students do meet face-to-face for initial orientation, community health clinicals, and final health assessment check off, though the rest of the program is provided online.

Visit California State University-Stanislaus's website.

Farmingdale (NY)
Median Salary $90,900
Median Debt $19,371
Annual Tuition $18,486
Graduation Rate 53%

Farmingdale State College’s 100% online RN-BS Completion program is designed to meet the needs of both recent graduates with an associate degree in Nursing and registered nurses with experience in the field looking to advance their careers. The program features small class sizes, faculty with substantial experience and research in the field, one-on-one advising, and can be completed in four semesters. Students are required to complete 60 college credits beyond the associate degree level, though some transfer credits may be accepted upon evaluation.

Core courses include The Art of Nursing, Health Promotion and Patient Education, Modes of Inquiry, Nurse as Advocate and Change Agent, Health Care Organization, Statistics, Bioethics, and Developing Nurses’ Ways of Knowing. There are also courses that involve hands-on experience, such as Community Nursing which requires completion of 90 clinical hours, and a Senior Leadership Practicum which requires 120 clinical hours to complete. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, as well as the New York State Department of Education, and approved by the New York State Office of the Professions. For those with questions regarding online learning, Farmingdale provides online orientation for distance learning as well as any support services, including personal advisement.

Visit Farmingdale State College's website.