The Top 10 Online Nursing Schools

nursing schoolsThe rapid growth of the nursing industry leads naturally to online nursing schools. Large public universities and small private colleges are offering some form of online nursing education. The most common form of online training offered involves already licensed nurses earning higher degrees online. There are only a limited number of schools that offer the online training designed to allow entry to the nursing field.

#1. Kaplan University

Kaplan University was originally established as the American Institute of Commerce in 1937. Today it is part of the Kaplan Higher Education Corporation, which is a subsidiary of Kaplan, Inc., which is itself a subsidiary of The Washington Post Company. Kaplan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has membership in the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Coursework for the Associate in Science nursing program is online, but the clinical and lab work is done in person. Students who earn or already possess an Associate in Science degree are able to continue their education online by enrolling in the RN to Bachelor of Science program. There is also a program online to earn the Master of Science degree. The total cost of completing the online two-year nursing program is $39,715-$44,267.

#2. Capella University

Founded in 1993 as The Graduate School of America, Capella University is a subsidiary of Capella Education Company. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Capella University is a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Capella University offers RN to Bachelor of Science or Master of Science completion programs online.
There is also a Doctor of Nursing Practice program for students to earn their DNP. These programs are accredited by the CCNE or Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. Tuition for the RN to BSN program begins at $290 per credit for lower level courses and increases to $305 for the upper level courses. Coursework for the MSN costs $361 an hour. The DNP is $816 per credit plus $1495 for residency.

#3. Indiana State University

Indiana State University officially opened in 1965, 100 years after the original school named Indiana State Normal School opened. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools since 1915, this university offers distance learning for the completion programs of RN to BSN and LPN to BSN. Indiana State Board of Nursing approves this program. There are a number of Masters programs and a Doctor of Nursing Practice program, all are available completely online. The semester cost for an in state student taking between 12-18 credits is $3,949 plus an additional fee of $30 per course taken online.

#4. Northwestern Michigan College

Northwestern Michigan College is one of the few places to obtain an online Associate’s Degree in Nursing. The program still requires a physical presence for clinical and lab courses. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Northwestern Michigan College is also a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Founded in 1951, the school offers completion programs for nurses but not online. The tuition ranges from in district students, to in state to out of state. In district students pay $84.60 per contact hour. online students pay $150 per hour.

#5. Old Dominion University

Old Dominion University offers RN to BSN or MSN completion courses completely online. The DNP is also web-based but requires weekend seminars on campus. Founded in 1930 as the Norfolk Division of the College of William and Mary, became independent in 1962. Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. $35,400 a year is the estimated cost for undergraduates.

#6. Chamberlain College of Nursing

Established in 1889 as Deaconess College of Nursing, it became Chamberlain College of Nursing after being purchased by DeVry Inc. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the school is also a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Chamberlain College offers an Associate Degree program with all coursework online. The clinical work is completed in person. The school also offers a RN to BSN completion program online along with a RN to BSN to MSN online option. The Associate Degree program costs $655 per credit hour for the first six credits. The fee is $100 per credit hour above six. This is per session of the college.

#7. Walden University

Founded by two teachers in 1970, Walden University earned accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission in 1990. It is also a member of the North Central Association. Walden University offers an online RN to BSN that has CCNE accreditation. Students are able to earn credits through meeting competencies via a diploma or Associate Degree program. There is also an online Master of Science in Nursing program available. The fees for the online nursing completion program are $290 per quarter credit hour.

#8. University of Phoenix

Founded in 1976 by Dr. John Sperling, The University of Phoenix offers nursing programs accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The programs are LPN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing or RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing. A student here may also earn a Master of Science in Nursing degree. The RN to BSN completion program costs between $25,350-$50,895.

#9. Grand Canyon University

Established in 1949 as Grand Canyon College, the school transitioned to a university in 1989. Grand Canyon University is an accredited online university. The RN to BSN program is online as are a number of Master of Science in Nursing programs. The online program costs $465 a credit.

#10. MUST University

Billing itself as the largest university in the world, MUST maintains an international focus to their degree programs. It is the only degree program that allows the Associate Degree necessary for entry to the nursing occupation to be earned entirely online. All programs offered by MUST are accredited by the International Accreditation Organization. The AS degree in nursing program costs $7,800 in total. The school also offers a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Nursing.