2020 Most Affordable Online Nursing Programs

2020 Most Affordable Nursing Bachelors Degrees Badge

The list below highlights the 25 schools offering the most affordable online bachelor's in nursing degrees, starting with Tallahassee Community College at $2,570 per year. All of our ranked schools are accredited and offer either an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or an online RN to BSN program specifically for registered nurses (RNs). The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that RNs earned a median annual salary of $73,300 in 2019. Job openings in the nursing field are projected to grow faster than average for all U.S. occupations. Below, we provide information about typical nursing courses, funding a degree, and answers to frequently asked questions that may be helpful for prospective students.

You can read more about our ranked schools below or browse our rankings of the most affordable online master's in nursing degrees. View our methodology or learn more about OnlineU.

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Rank School Annual Tuition
# 1 #1 $2,570
# 2 #2 $2,753
# 3 #3 $2,850
# 4 #4 $3,579
# 5 #5 $4,080
# 6 #6 $4,785
# 7 #7 $4,896
# 8 #8 $4,949
# 9 #9 $5,041
# 10 #10 $5,335
# 11 #11 $5,463
# 12 #12 $5,487
# 13 #13 $5,490
# 14 #14 $5,580
# 15 #15 $5,706
# 16 #16 $5,970
# 17 (tie) #17 (tie) $6,000
# 17 (tie) #17 (tie) $6,000
# 17 (tie) #17 (tie) $6,000
# 17 (tie) #17 (tie) $6,000
# 21 #21 $6,006
# 22 #22 $6,044
# 23 #23 $6,159
# 24 #24 $6,169
# 25 #25 $6,211
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OnlineU is supported by advertising. Schools that compensate us advertise via school search results and featured placements. This does not influence our college rankings or our content.
  • Annual Tuition: $2,570
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • Example Classes: Cultural Issues in Nursing; Nursing Informatics; Population-Based Nursing

Tallahassee Community College (TCC) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) program that requires 120 credits. It must be completed within four years and includes 72 credits from a previously earned associate degree, 18 credits of general education requirements, and 48 credits of upper-division nursing courses. A final capstone course requires students to complete an evidence-based project.

Courses are delivered through the Canvas platform, where students can learn at their own pace and access lectures, assignments, and other class materials. Online students have access to several services, including a career center, accessibility center, academic advising, IT help desk, testing center, and electronic library resources. TCC offers a $10K BSN program to students who meet certain eligibility requirements, which include maintaining Florida residency, a 3.0 minimum GPA, and full-time status. After completing the BSN, qualified students will receive a refund of tuition payments in excess of $10,000. Additionally, a tuition payment plan is offered for any academic term.

The BSN program is available to currently licensed, registered nurses who have completed an Associate of Science in Nursing program with a minimum 2.0 GPA. Prospective students must have a current and unrestricted registered nurse license in their state of residence. Applicants must submit an online TCC application and a BSN program application to be considered.

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Annual Tuition: $2,753
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • Example Classes: Multicultural Nursing; Pathophysiology for Nursing Practice; Pharmacology and Alternative Therapeutics; Professional Roles and Dimensions

Florida Southwestern University (FSW) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) program for registered nurses to pursue career advancement in their fields. The 120-credit program includes 30 credits of upper-division nursing courses, which cover pathophysiology, nursing research, and advanced health assessment. A portfolio capstone is also included. Nursing students can complete the program in four semesters; however, there is an option for students to enroll in the fall and spring semesters on a full-time basis to graduate in three semesters.

Online coursework is asynchronous and hosted on the Canvas learning management system. FSW offers a tuition installment plan so that payments can be made on a monthly basis. Additionally, scholarships are available to BSN students to help with tuition and the cost of course materials. Online students have access to various resources, including technical support and academic advising and support.

Enrollment into the RN to BSN program is limited and based on the number of open spots available. Applications are accepted in the fall, spring, and summer semesters. Before applying, prospective students must have an associate degree, complete all general education courses and RN to BSN prerequisites with a grade "C" or better, and fulfill the foreign language competency requirement.

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing - RN to BSN
  • Annual Tuition: $2,850
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • Example Classes: Current Trends, Issues & Interventions: Best Clinical Practices in Nursing; Ethics in Nursing; Health Assessment; Health Promotions in Communities; Nursing Research: Introductory Evidence-Based Practice; Professional Nurse as Leader/Designer/Manager/Coordinator; Transition into Professional Nursing

East Georgia State College (EGSC) offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-BSN Bridge) program for students with a current registered nurse (RN) license. The program takes four semesters and requires 120 credit hours. Credit hours are divided into 60 core credits, 30 transfer credits, and 30 credits for nursing courses taken at EGSC. Classes cover topics in health assessment, nursing research, and ethics in nursing. Students also complete capstone courses where they work with a nurse mentor.

Coursework is delivered through the Brightspace learning management system, where instructors post grades, create assignments, and provide students with content and quizzes. Students can access clinical laboratory space and computer labs on campus, but coursework may be completed entirely online. Once accepted, students attend a mandatory online orientation. Online nursing students have access to a student and clinical handbook and electronic resources from the library. EGSC Foundation Scholarships cover the cost of education for one year and are offered to eligible students.

Students can apply for the fall and spring semesters. Interested candidates must be accepted into EGSC before applying to the nursing program. They must also have an associate degree or diploma in a registered nurse program, pass a background check and drug screen, and maintain Health and Professional Malpractice Insurance or a waiver while enrolled. It is recommended that students complete core classes before applying to the program; however, students who have not met these requirements may petition for consideration. EGSC accepts transfer credits from other colleges with a grade "C" or better, or a minimum 2.5 GPA.

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing - RN to BSN - Bridge Program
  • Annual Tuition: $3,579
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • Example Classes: Contemporary Issues in Aging; End-of-Life; Ethics/Legal Aspects; Nurse as a Scholar; Nursing Care of Vulnerable Populations; Nursing Informatics

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing - RN-BSN (Hybrid)
  • BS in Nursing
  • Annual Tuition: $4,080
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NECHE
  • Acceptance Rate: 80%
  • Example Classes: Caring for Forensic Populations; Genomics for Nursing Practice; Nursing in a Global Community; Social Justice and Advocacy

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Annual Tuition: $4,785
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • Example Classes: Evidence-Based Practice & Research in Nursing; Nursing Leadership & Management Practicum; Nursing Leadership & Management Theory; Population Focused Community Health Theory; Transition to Professional Nursing

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Annual Tuition: $4,896
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 53%
  • Example Classes: Ethical-Legal Issues in Nursing; Gerontological Nursing; Nursing Care of the Client with Complex Health Needs

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • BS in Nursing - RN to BSN
  • Annual Tuition: $4,949
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: Open Admissions
  • Example Classes: Clinical Prevention & Population Health Management; Leadership & Health Policy; Quality & Safety in Healthcare
  • Annual Tuition: $5,041
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%
  • Example Classes: Evidence-Based Research; Nursing in the Community; Nursing Leadership & Management

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Annual Tuition: $5,335
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 90%
  • Example Classes: Community as a Client; Gerontological Nursing; Gerontological Nursing Clinical; Nursing Research

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • RN to BSN (Hybrid)
  • Annual Tuition: $5,463
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 59%
  • Example Classes: Holistic Health Assessment for RNs; Nursing Informatics for RNs; Transition to Professional Nursing Practice for RNs

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing - RN to BSN
  • Annual Tuition: $5,487
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 90%
  • Example Classes: Health Assessment; Nursing Research; Pathophysiology

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Annual Tuition: $5,490
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 42%
  • Example Classes: Community and Population-Focused Nursing Practice for RNs; Nursing Leadership and Management for RNs; Pathophysiology for RNs

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Annual Tuition: $5,580
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 68%
  • Example Classes: Complementary Therapies; Complex Nursing Concepts; Critical Inquiry - Research; Nursing Leadership

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Annual Tuition: $5,706
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Acceptance Rate: 92%
  • Example Classes: Complex Healthcare Needs; Global Nursing; Leadership and Management for the RN

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing Completion Post-Licensure
  • Annual Tuition: $5,970
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 67%
  • Example Classes: Care of Childbearing Family; Gerontological Nursing; Human Pathophysiology; Mental Health Nursing
  • Annual Tuition: $6,000
  • School Type: For-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: Not Provided
  • Example Classes: Case Management; Health Care Delivery and Quality Outcomes; Reflective Practice, Issues, and Trends

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • RN to Bachelor of Science in Nursing/Master of Science Nursing
  • RN to Bachelor of Science Nursing
  • RN to Bachelor of Science Nursing, CBE
  • Annual Tuition: $6,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 36%
  • Example Classes: Community Health Nursing; Major Health Issues and Problems of the Elderly; Transcultural Nursing

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing - 1 Year Accelerated (RN to BSN)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing - 2 Year Accelerated (RN to BSN)
  • Annual Tuition: $6,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 53%
  • Example Classes: Clinical Applications for the RN; Community Nursing and Population Health; Health Assessment for the RN; Nursing Leadership and Management for the RN; Research and Evidence Based Practice; Transition to Baccalaureate Nursing Role

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Annual Tuition: $6,000
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 79%
  • Example Classes: Ethics in Nursing Practice; Health Care Delivery III; Nursing Perspectives in Pharmacotherapy
  • Annual Tuition: $6,006
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: NWCCU
  • Acceptance Rate: 76%
  • Example Classes: Contemporary Issues in Nursing for the RN to BSN; Influencing Quality Within Healthcare; Management of the Complex Patient for RN to BSN; Nursing for Wellness in Older Adults for the RN to BSN

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Annual Tuition: $6,044
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 50%
  • Example Classes: Family and Community Health Nursing for RNs; Pathophysiology and Pharmacology for RNs; Policy, Politics, and Ethics
  • Annual Tuition: $6,159
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 66%
  • Example Classes: Introduction to Professional Nursing Concepts; Nursing Concepts: Older Adult; Nursing Informatics; Pharmacology in Nursing; Statistics in Nursing; Therapeutic and Interprofessional Communication

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (LPN to BSN)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Annual Tuition: $6,169
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: SACS COC
  • Acceptance Rate: 53%
  • Example Classes: Applied Pathophysiology RN; Evidence Based Practice RN; Professional Development Perspectives RN II

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • Annual Tuition: $6,211
  • School Type: Non-Profit
  • School Accreditation: HLC
  • Acceptance Rate: 56%
  • Example Classes: Integrative Nursing Care; Lifespan Transitions: Aging and Health; Medical Ethics

Online Bachelor's Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing - RN to BSN (Hybrid)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Common Nursing Courses

Nursing students will likely take some of the following courses while pursuing their degree, though course names will vary across schools and programs.

  • Anatomy and Physiology: Nursing students may be required to take a series of online courses on this topic. Learners will be given an introduction to the body and how organs function. Related topics include how the body and associated structures respond to disease.
  • Community Health Nursing: Community health nursing is related to public health and addresses the specific health needs of diverse populations and groups. This course examines disease prevention and management at the individual, family, and community levels. Other topics include healthcare promotion and comprehensive care planning.
  • Ethical-Legal Issues in Nursing: This course introduces nursing students to clinical ethics across various healthcare settings. Students learn how to use ethical reasoning and analysis to resolve issues with patients as they arise in clinical practice. The topics covered can include current legislation and differences in politics or religion.
  • Foundations of Nursing Practice: This topic is covered as a single course or as a series of courses, depending on the school. Coursework emphasizes patient health assessments and clinical concepts. Nursing students learn to promote patient health and safety through communication and proper assessment techniques. Students may also study the role of technology in providing patient care.
  • Nursing Informatics: Students take this course to learn about the applications of information technology in nursing. Students learn how to manage clinical information as it relates to patient care. Other topics include ethical issues and emerging technologies in the field.
  • Nursing Research: Nursing research is designed to teach students the fundamentals of evidence-based practice. Students learn about research processes related to nursing knowledge and care. Additionally, students are taught how to identify valid research in the field.
  • Pharmacology: An online class in pharmacology teaches students how to administer drug therapy to patients. Topics covered include the major drug groups, the mechanisms of drugs in the human body, and drug testing and approval. Additionally, students must demonstrate competency in their knowledge of drug interactions and side effects.

Funding a Nursing Degree

To be eligible for federal student aid, including grants, loans, and work-study awards, students must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for every academic year. Online nursing students have additional financial aid or scholarships options available to them to reduce or cover the cost of their education:

  • American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN): The AACN offers multiple scholarships to nursing students pursuing degrees at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Some undergraduate scholarship options include the Geraldine "Polly" Bednash Scholarship, the National Black Nurses Association, Inc (NBNA), and the Foundation of the National Student Nurses Association (FNSNA) Undergraduate Scholarship.
  • Nursing Student Loans (NSL): These loans are offered by the Health Services and Resource Administration (HRSA). They are long-term, low-interest loans for students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are pursuing an associate degree in nursing, a BSN, or an MSN.
  • Nurse Corps Scholarship Program: The HRSA also offers the Nurse Corps program to currently enrolled nursing students. If accepted into the program, the HRSA pays all of the student’s tuition, fees, and textbooks and provides a monthly stipend. In exchange, students must work at a facility that has a critical shortage of nurses after graduation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Affordable Online Nursing Degrees

Do employers hire online nursing graduates?

In a 2019 survey of HR leaders conducted by Northeastern University, 61% reported that they view online credentials equal in quality to those completed in-person. To ensure that a college or university is reputable, students should determine that the institution is accredited. The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an accrediting body for nursing programs that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Other factors to consider are graduation rate, course content, clinical experiences facilitated by the program, student support services, and employment rate after graduation.


What are the advantages of pursuing a nursing degree online?

One major advantage of online learning is affordability. For the 2017-2018 academic year, the average cost for tuition among all higher education institutions was $23,835 per year. In comparison, the highest annual tuition rate featured in our list of affordable online colleges for nursing is $6,211. Enrollment in an online program is generally more affordable because additional on-campus service fees aren’t included in the overall cost. Additionally, many schools charge their online students the reduced in-state tuition rate regardless of their location.

Other advantages of online programs are increased flexibility and convenience, sometimes with the option to pursue a degree in a part-time capacity. The majority of online nursing programs are RN to BSN, which are intended for working RNs who want to earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. The ability to watch lectures and participate in classroom discussions when convenient may be helpful for students who work full time while pursuing their education.


Will I pay the full listed tuition?

Students can reduce their annual tuition costs by receiving financial aid through the federal government or scholarships from their college or university. Regardless of whether students enroll in an accredited online or an on-campus degree program, they apply for aid in the same way.

Students must submit a FAFSA each year to be considered for need-based financial aid offered through the federal government. There are several types of federal student aid available, including grants or loans. Grants do not need to be repaid, so they have the potential to significantly reduce tuition costs. However, students must follow specific requirements in order to maintain eligibility.

Colleges or universities also offer new or currently enrolled students need- or merit-based scholarships. Students should check with their school’s financial aid office or website to view a list of available scholarships, application requirements, and deadlines.


Can I earn my nursing degree entirely online?

Our sister site reports that the COVID-19 pandemic has inspired a new generation of healthcare workers, and that the field is growing, with online education in nursing a viable option for some students. There are several types of bachelor’s programs in nursing that are available online. If students don’t have a nursing license, they can pursue an online BSN degree. However, due to the hands-on nature of the nursing occupation, students must complete clinical hours in person at an approved healthcare facility in addition to completing their online coursework. When researching online options, students should ensure they attend an accredited program.

The most common type of online nursing degree is the RN to BSN program. These programs are intended for students who have an active RN license and want to complete their bachelor’s degree in the field. Since these students have already met the clinical prerequisites and are active in their profession, the remaining nursing classes can often be completed entirely online.