Top 10 Online Nursing Schools

For those who are considering a career in nursing, it is important that you turn to the right institution. If you want to get your degree online, there are a number of online nursing schools you can choose from. Depending on what field you want to work in, what you want to specialize in, what you can afford, and other important factors, including how quickly you want to finish, there are a number of programs out there to consider. These are the top 10 online nursing schools to consider, on your path to receiving a nursing degree.

1. Kaplan University Nursing School

Since 1937 it has been a leader in online education. The coursework you will complete is done online as well as in person, for labs you have to complete, when getting an associate. For those who already have an associate, you can enroll to receive your RN to Bachelor of Science degree; you can also receive a master’s through the online program. A two year online program ranges in cost from $39,500 up to $44,600, depending on current degree, labs, and coursework you complete.

Although the programs are generally two to four years, you can complete them in less (or more time), depending on whether you do accelerated degrees (18 months) or part time (up to 6 years). As a respected institution, not only is it a leader in online education, but you will find it to be more affordable than other institutions, and you are receiving a degree from an accredited institution.

You can reach the institution at 866.527.5268, or at

2. Northwestern Michigan College Nursing School

This is one of the few online institutions offering an associate program in nursing, but physical presence is required for your labs to be completed. Since 1951 the institution has been accredited, and it also provides completion programs for nurses. Whether you are in or out of state, tuition costs vary, from about $84 to $150 per credit hour. As a public institution, it is recognized as a leader in the US, and it is one of the only programs that focuses specifically on associate level degree learning.

More information can be found at (231) 995-1000, or

3. Capella University Nursing School

Here you can receive your RN to bachelors, or master level degrees in nursing. All programs are accredited by the CCNE. Depending on the degree type, cost will vary for each program.
– RN to bachelors is about $290 per credit hour.
– MSN are about $360 per credit hour; and
– DNP is about $1860 per credit hour. Your residency program is approximately $1500.
All degrees are graduate level, and from there, you can do your residency through the same institution, to complete all educational requirements in less time. Not only is it an accredited institution, but the fact that it focuses on graduate level degrees, means you are working with upper level instructors in all courses.
Basic information can be found at 1 (612) 339-8650, or

4. Indiana State Nursing School

The accredited institution offers distance learning for those completing RN to BSN and LPN to BSN degrees; all programs are approved by the Indiana State Board of Nursing, and all work is done completely online. Semesters can range from 12 to 18 credits, and is approximately $4000 for students.

As a major university, you are also working with top professors from around the US; this means you will find a variety of specialty courses. And, as you are receiving upper level degrees, you are strictly focusing on the type of nursing you specifically want to enter and focus on. Regardless of where or what you end up doing, you are getting an accredited degree, from a top university in the US.
You can contact the institution at 1-800-GO-TO-ISU, or online at

5. Chamberlain College of Nursing

This is one of the oldest institutions for online learning, since 1889, and has recently been bought by DeVry online programs. It is accredited by the online learning commission, and provides associate degree studies, being completed entirely online. Any clinical work is done in person. RN to BSN or MSN programs are also available for those with the entry level degree. As one of the oldest universities, it is also one of the most respected and offers a variety of program options for students to choose from. You can contact the institution at (877) 751- 5783 or

6. Old Dominion University Nursing School

RN to BSN or MSN programs are the only ones available to students here. DNP is also web based, but it is a requirement that students attend a weekend seminar as well. The university was founded in 1930, and has been providing online education for quite a few years. It offers accelerated 18 month programs, and part time options as well. Tuition is a bit higher than other universities, at about $35,500 annually; but, as a respected institution provides you an opportunity to find work through several programs once you complete your schooling. Prospective students can call (757) 683-3000 or visit

7. Grand Canyon University

The RN to BSN program is one of the most widely chosen in the country. With full accredited status, students can complete coursework for as low as $450 per credit hour. Programs will vary in length, and students can complete their residency on site. Depending on the specialty area of practice, seminars and on site lab hours are required for many students to complete as well. Visit, or call at (602) 639-7500.

8. Walden Nursing School

CCNE accredited online institution offers RN to BSN programs. One benefit of this institution is that students can earn credits by completing mere competency scores through an associate level program, and can eliminate certain coursework requirements prior to being able to enroll in to the institution. Courses are about $290 per credit hour, and there is also an online master’s program, where students can complete alongside with their residency program, if they choose to specialize in a specific field. Most students complete the program in 4 years, and master in an additional 2 years, but many can take longer if going on a part time basis. Interested individuals can call (866) 492- 5336, or go to

9. MUST University Nursing School

As the largest online university, it takes a central focus on international nursing degrees, which is what sets it apart from other online institutions. In order to enroll, students must already have completed their associates’ degree, and entry to the program provides a completely online method of teaching. All programs are fully accredited and recognized internationally as well as in the US. Students will be able to receive their bachelor’s degree, or can do specialty training courses as well. Depending on courses required, and what international skills one chooses to receive, completion can be in as little as 3 years (accelerated) and up to 5 years to complete all necessary course work. You can call (866) 533- MUST or visit

10. University of Phoenix Nursing School

Nursing programs have been available since 1976 at this institution. LPN to Bachelor of Science degrees is offered or RN to bachelor’s programs can also be completed by students. It is also possible to earn a master’s of science upon completing the bachelor’s requirements, and students can choose to branch off in to a specialty field. Courses are offered entirely online, and labs are offered in person. For those who are receiving a master’s you can also complete your residency, in a shorter time period, by doing the entire program through the same institution. Costs can range from about $25,500, up to just over $50,000, depending on the type of schooling and the length of study. Interested candidates can call (602) 557-2000 or visit

Online Nursing Schools

Overall online nursing schools review

These are among the top online nursing schools in the US, namely because of the recognition, the fact that all are accredited, and each one offers a variety of learning options for students to choose from. Depending on whether or not labs are required in the program, certain institutions provide students the ability to do it all online, if they do not want to go any higher than their associate’s level degree. Students, who want to take an accelerated course, also have the option with each of these institutions, and many offer master’s and residency programs. Some of the features that set these apart from other institutions include:Affordability in pricing, and both in and out of state tuition differences (saving in state students’ money).

  • Both local and online options; students have to take labs, and weekend seminars are offered for speedy completion of certain programs.
  • Certain institutions offer degree options from associate, up to master, and specialty training.
  • The ability to complete schooling on an accelerated basis, or slower pace for part time students; and,
  • A variety of degree options, and varying prices.

Each institution is accredited, which is very important to consider when deciding on the online nursing schools of choice. Additionally, each one provides students the opportunity to select courses they will complete, the type of degree option, and the rates will vary for courses, based on the type of degree they plan on earning through the online nursing school they decide to enroll in.

Additional factors to keep in mind when selecting an online nursing school

In addition to finding an institution that is fully accredited, there are a few additional factors to consider; some of these include:

  • Going with a well-known institution (each of these has been in business for at least 20 years, and many of these have been providing online programs for quite a bit longer). The more well-known an institution, the better your chances of landing a great job once you finish.
  • Consider location – especially if labs are required, you have to find an institution that is in close proximity to where you live, so you can meet the required lab hours.
  • Residency? – If you want to go on to a master’s program, you want to find the online institution that also offers a residency program attached to it. This will require less time commitment, and is possibly going to save you over the long run as well.
  • Scholarships – grants and any other money you can get. You have to consider this when deciding where to apply; not only do you want to go to the top online nursing schools, you also want to find those that are most affordable, and provide you with certain forms of financial assistance.
  • Arrangements? – In the event you do not live locally, you want to look for an institution that will make arrangements with you as far as lab hours, seminars, and other in person requirements. So, you should call around, find out what is required, and find out what can be done, if you are not local.
  • Time – If you work full time, you want to make sure the institution allows for part time learning, at your own pace. If you want to complete your degree in a shorter period of time, you also want to find a program that offers you accelerated options, so you can finish in less time. No matter what time restrictions you set for yourself, you want to find the institution that provides something that you can complete, when you have the time to do so.
  • Nursing Careers – You also have to decide what is right for you. For some, it is a matter of time, for others, it is a matter of eventually earning the highest possible salary. No matter what kind or line of work you eventually want to go in to, or how much time you are willing to go to school, you have to decide what is best for you. Whether it is an RN, BSN, MSN, or something further, in a specialty setting, you have to decide what you can commit to, and what you want to do, when you are deciding on the online nursing schools to consider applying to for your schooling.

Each student has different goals, financial limitations, location based limitations, and other restrictions to consider, as they are deciding on their nursing education. It is not only important to consider the cost, but also time, what you want to do, which degree you want to attain, and how much you are willing to put in to it, when you finally decide on a program. Each of these 10 schools is highly respected, provide a series of degree options, and provide you with flexibility when it comes to learning. So, comparing them, and any other schools you might be interested in, are some things you should do before you decide where you will eventually attend, if you choose to do your schooling through an online institution, on your way to getting your nursing degree.

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