The Best Online Nursing Schools and Programs

Written by Brandon L.
May 06, 202418 min read

If you are a busy professional looking to start or advance your nursing career, choosing an online program is a good idea. You can earn an associate's, bachelor's, or master’s degree in nursing online. Online nursing programs are an alternative to traditional on-campus degrees. They offer flexibility, especially for those working full time, living far away from college campuses, veterans, or those looking after their families.

As an aspiring registered nurse (RN), you can enrol in online associate or bachelor’s degrees in nursing. For experienced nurses, you can explore the option of distance learning programs for your master’s degree in nursing.

Even though most online nursing programs have online distance learning courses alongside supervised clinical hours, the wisest choice you can make is where to pursue the nursing program. There are various nursing schools but not all of them are the best in offering online nursing education.

The following is a list of the finest nursing institutions with strong traditional academic foundations, student-centred learning, and high graduation rates.

John Hopkins University School of Nursing

Considered the best nursing school, John Hopkins School of Nursing is a private university offering various online nursing programs for students who want to start a career in nursing and professionals who want to advance their careers.

Online programs;

Program details:

John Hopkins is ranked as number one out of 169 in Best Nursing Schools: Masters and number one out of  156 in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice.

These programs are designed to prepare students for healthcare leadership roles.

Duke University School of Nursing

The Duke University School of Nursing is ranked number 3 out of 169 in Best Nursing School: Master and number 3 out of 156 in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice as the best nursing school in the country.


The school of nursing includes a diverse community of educators and clinicians to educate the next generation of leaders.

Getting into Duke University is highly competitive. It has an acceptance rate of about 9%. The education requirements are as follows:

Program details

University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

Penn Nursing has consistently been considered among the best nursing schools in the world to begin or accelerate your nursing career. Online nursing programs are considered some of the best because they emphasize critical thinking and innovation in the healthcare industry.

Online programs:

Program details:

The Penn Nursing RN to BSN program is among the best nursing programs in the nation. It is designed to help you advance your career and move to a supervisory role in your profession. The school of nursing has an acceptance rate of 25%

Emory and Henry School of Nursing

U.S. News ranked Emory and Henry School of Nursing number 3 in the nation as the Best Nursing School for the third year. Additionally, Emory School of Nursing is ranked the top school for the MSN program, third best school for BSN, and sixth best school for DNP. The National League for Nursing also named Emory School of Nursing a 2022-2027 Center of Excellence.

The RN-BSN nursing program at Emory and Henry College of Nursing equips students with knowledge of social, cultural, political, and economic concerns affecting patients. After graduation, students will be able to actively practice and engage in the nursing profession throughout their careers.

Program Details

The acceptance rate at the nursing school is 10.3%.

George Washington University

Have you been asking, "Is George Washington University a good nursing school?" GW Nursing is considered among the best nursing schools in the nation, offering innovative educational programs offered by top-tier faculty supported by modern healthcare technology.

GW School of Nursing was ranked as number 7 in Masters of Nursing Administration.

Program details

University of Connecticut (UCONN)

UCONN  is a public university that has consistently been considered among the best schools for online nursing programs. The U.S. News & World Report ranked the UCONN as number eight in online nursing master's programs in the country.

The school of nursing is also the best Online Master in Nursing Program. Some of the online programs available include:

Program details

Louisiana State University Health Science Center (LSU)

LSUHC's online and continuing education is part is an accredited nursing institution, which is leading to distance learning innovation. The online RN-BSN program is designed to equip students with analytical and information management skills that prepare them for the nursing profession.

LSUHC has ranked as the second-best online RN-BSN program in Louisiana since 2023. The school is also number 3 as the Most Affordable Online Bachelor’s Degree. So, if your tuition fees are a problem, consider this LSUHC.

Program details

University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing

U W Madison offers registered nurses with associate's degrees an opportunity to advance their academic level in the BSN program.

University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing

UTA is a CCNE-accredited school that offers undergraduate, Master's, and DNP nursing programs. It is among the best online nursing schools. By total enrollment, UTA is also the number one nursing public institution in the USA. The school ranks as a center of nursing education excellence.

UTA College of Nursing is a pioneer program offering various online nursing programs. The MSN program includes the following specializations:

Program details:

Saint Xavier University

Saint Xavier University is a private institution where online nursing classes are recorded and achieved for students to access them at all times.

For ten consecutive years, Saint Xavier has appeared in the top 10 list of Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs. This is a demonstration of the school's determination to offer innovative, rigorous curricula and opportunities that prepare students to be compassionate and knowledgeable leaders in the healthcare field.

Program details

For MSN programs, you must have graduated from an ACEN or CCNE-accredited BSN program with a minimum GPA of 3.0.

Tuition: $750 per credit hour

If you want to pursue an MSN, consider Saint Xavier University. The school of nursing is also ranked number 3 out of 186 in the Best Online Master's in Nursing programs.

University of South Carolina (USC) College of Nursing

Over the past ten years, the USC School of Nursing in Charleston has maintained a top 10 position in its graduate nursing education. What’s more, the school is also among the top 1% for NCLEX pass rate.


Furthermore, if you wish to pursue an MSN, USC should be your go-to school. According to the US News and World Annual Report, it is the number one school for online master's programs. It has maintained this ranking for four straight years. This is proof that both the faculty and students are dedicated to achieving the best in online education.

In the last ten years, USC has had an expansion of faculty scholars, which has resulted in new research and grant awards, thus earning them the top position for National Health Insurance (NIH) funding.

The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

CU Anschutz in Colorado is a public institution offering various medical programs, including nursing. The school was ranked position 28 in Best Nursing Schools: Master's (tie), number 54 in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice (tie), and number 11 in the Nursing DNP Nurse Practitioner: Family (tie)

Program details 

RN to BSN completion is four semesters (16 months) or 1½-2½ years.

The school of nursing has an acceptance rate of 25%.

The University of Texas at Arlington School of Nursing

The school of nursing is ranked number 14 out of 169 in Best Nursing Schools: Master and position 26 out of 156 in Best Nursing Schools: DNP. UTA is also the number one public college school in the country by total enrollment and graduates.

UTA offers BSN, MSN, and DNP for aspiring nurses or professionals looking to advance their careers.

Programs details

BSN online

RN to BSN online

RN to MSN – Family Nurse Practitioner online

Click here for more details on online nursing programs at UTA.

George Washington University

Joining GW Nursing means you are joining a community of scholars, leaders, and providers who share the belief in equitable and quality health care for all. The school offers the following nursing programs;


GW Nursing is a great school for advancing your education. In a recent report, It was ranked position one as the best for an Online master's Program, number 4 in Online MSN: Administration and Leadership, and number 7 in Online MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner.

Program details

Click here to find out more about the nursing programs' tuition rates.

Fort Hayes States University 

FHSU online is an accredited institution by the Higher Learning Commission to offer quality education. It is considered one of the best online nursing school, which offers students a 100% online option to complete their studies while working.

The programs offered online at FHSU include:

FHSU nursing program requirements include a GPA of 3.0 and a grade of C or above in prerequisite courses.

Program details:

Indiana University -Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)

Purdue University is a public institution that is the nation's largest institution, offering various nursing programs. Enrolling at IUPUI means that you are joining a world of opportunities from advanced degree tracks and nursing research endeavors that will advance your nursing career to greater heights.

The school was ranked as the second-best school for online BSN to RN programs, with a 99% employment rate for graduates. The master's nursing degree program is ranked number 2 nationally. It was also ranked as the second best for Online Masters in Nursing Education Programs.

IUPUI is also ranked number 11 in Best Online Masters in Nursing Administration programs.

The Ohio State University College of Nursing

In 2023, the OSU College of Nursing was ranked number 4 out of 186 as the best school for online master programs. It was also ranked as number 2 as the best school for Online Family Nurse Practitioner Master’s program.


OSU's online program provides students with clinical opportunities for telehealth and allows them to engage in interprofessional collaborative practices to help them in patient care management.

The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

The school of nursing is a public institution that has been ranked number 7 out of 169 in Best Nursing Schools: Masters and position 8 out of 156 in Best Nursing School: Doctor of Nursing Practice.

The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor has some of the best online nursing programs with different specializations you can take online. Some of the Master's program specializations include:

 The school also offers an RN to BSN online nursing program for practicing nurses.

Average tuition: $3,093 per credit for masters students.

University of Central Florida College of Nursing

The online nursing degree program at the University of Central Florida is designed to equip students with relevant clinical nursing practice and leadership skills. The RN-BSN program is designed for registered nurses who want to advance their nursing careers.

Tuition: $179 per credit hour for Florida residents; $715 per credit hour for out-of-state students.

Program length: 30 credit hours.

University of Central Florida College of Nursing is among the top schools to consider for your online nursing program. It holds the position of one of the best colleges of nursing schools in Florida. It was also ranked position five among the best public institutions and number 22 nationally.

Additionally, UCF College of Nursing was ranked 59th out of 156 in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Auburn University College of Nursing

The school of nursing offers a fully online RN to BSN degree program for nurses with an RN licence to advance to BSN.

Auburn University is a public institution that was ranked 87th out of 169 in the Best Nursing Schools: Masters. It was also ranked as the best school in Alabama to offer nursing education and training.

Programs details

University of California-Davis

UC Davis is among the best institutions in the country. It is a public grant research university in a laid-back town in California. The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis has an award-winning online nursing program designed to provide professionals with a convenient way to advance education.

Program details

MSN in Nursing Science and Healthcare Leadership: Family Nurse Practitioner.

Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences at the Florida International University

The School of Nursing at FIU  is dedicated to providing and expanding scientific knowledge and evidence-based care. The school offers an online bachelor of science in nursing for registered nurses.

FIU (Wertheim) was ranked number 34  out of 169 in Best Nursing Schools: Masters programs and position 42 out of 156 in Best Nursing Schools: Doctor of Nursing Practice.

You can earn your musters in under 24 months through the online program from wherever part of the country.

Final Word

The above is a list of all the best nursing schools offering online programs. Please note that to become a nurse, you must have a license and proper education and training. The Board of Nursing Requires you to complete a state-approved nursing program before applying for a permit. Many online nursing programs in the USA offer.

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NB: All the trademarks belong to the different institutions mentioned herein. We wrote the blog post based on information from our research. If you spot any mistake, feel free to reach out to us. Happy Reading!

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