Top 5 Online CCNE Accredited Nursing Degree Programs

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Professionals who are interested in a rewarding healthcare career are flocking to the field of nursing in large numbers. Future job projections for nurses by the US government indicate that jobs for RNs will increase by 16% by 2024, and by 30% for nurse practitioners. This strong increase in job demand is causing many healthcare workers and people from other fields to take online nursing degree programs.

There are many of these programs to choose from that confer either a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) or a master of science in nursing (MSN).

But as you are considering a degree program, it is recommended that you choose a program that has been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or CCNE. This accreditation agency has been recognized by the US Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency. When you see that a nursing degree program is CCNE-accredited, you can be confident that the program has met the highest standards in the field.

Our research of the available online nursing programs that are CCNE-accredited has shown us that the programs below are worth your consideration:

#1 Drexel University

Drexel University offers a CCNE-accredited RN To BSN to MSN degree that is designed specifically for professionals who have a bachelor’s degree in another field. Thus, you may enter this program without your RN designation, and can become a registered nurse with your BSN and MSN in less than four years in many cases.

This program also is available to current nurses with an RN who wish to earn their BSN and MSN at the same time. Earning your MSN degree is the path to working at the top of the profession as a nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist or nurse midwife.

Required courses include these:

  • Advanced Ethical Decision Making in Healthcare
  • Quality and Safety in Healthcare
  • Research Methods and Biostatistics
  • Evaluation and Translation of Health Research
  • Innovation in Advanced Nursing Practice

More Info

  • Campus: Philadelphia, PA; online
  • Type: Non Profit
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Per Credit Hour: $1044 per credit hour
  • GRE Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Programs Offered: RN to BSN to MSN

#2 Arizona State University

Arizona State University offers a CCNE-accredited RN to BSN program that will prepare you as a nursing professional who is able to use evidence-based practice to bring positive changes to patient care. Graduates of this online BSN program demonstrate holistic and population based points of view. They are critical thinkers, patient advocates and strong and effective communicators.

Students choose ASU because it is known as one of the best and most innovative nursing schools according to US News and World Report. It also features highly acclaimed faculty, and the BSN can be completed in only 15 months for some students.

Required courses for the BSN program include these:

  • Nursing Research and Application to Practice
  • Professional Nursing Theory
  • Health Promotion Across the Life Span
  • Community and Public Health Nursing in the US
  • Innovation in Nursing

ASU also offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice or DNP degree that is appropriate for the nurse with a BSN who wishes to become a nurse practitioner.

More Info

  • Campus: Tempe, Arizona; online
  • Type: Non Profit
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Per Credit Hour: $490-$633 for BSN; $490-$1132 for DNP
  • GRE Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 15 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Programs Offered: RN to BSN, DNP

 #3 Southern New Hampshire University

SNHU offers an innovative RN to MSN program that allows current RNs to earn both their BSN and MSN degrees simultaneously, saving them months off of their time in school.

This accelerated RN to MSN degree program is an ideal choice for the professional nurse who wants to move into advanced practice nursing roles including nurse educator and clinical nurse leader.

Required courses in this CCNE-accredited program include:

  • Ethical and Legal Considerations of Healthcare
  • Healthcare Management and Finance
  • Community and Population Health
  • Systems Leadership for Continuous Quality
  • Patient Assessment and Health Literacy

More Info

  • Campus: Manchester, NH; online
  • Type: Non Profit
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Per Credit Hour: $627
  • GRE Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Programs Offered: RN to MSN

#4 Chamberlain College

Chamberlain College offers an RN to BSN online degree program that is CCNE-accredited. This program is appropriate for the current RN who has an associate’s degree or a diploma of nursing and a few years of nursing experience.

This accredited, online BSN program will provide you with the knowledge and skills to work as a clinical nurse at a higher level than you can with only an associate’s degree or diploma. Earning your BSN is a wise career move; more and more hospitals are insisting that their nurses eventually get their bachelor’s degree.

Required courses in the RN to BSN program include:

  • Transitions in Professional Nursing
  • RN Information Systems in Healthcare
  • Statistics for Decision Making
  • RN Community Health Nursing
  • RN Evidence Based Practice

This online university also offers an RN to BSN to MSN option. This program is a good fit for the current RN with a diploma of nursing or an associate’s degree, who wants to obtain her BSN and MSN at the same time. The MSN is the degree required to work as a nurse practitioner or nurse midwife, as well as other advanced nursing practice specialties.

More Info

  • Campus: Downers Grove, IL; online
  • Type: For Profit
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Per Credit Hour: $640
  • GRE Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 36 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Programs Offered: RN to BSN, BSN to MSN

#5 Colorado Technical University

You can take advantage of Colorado Technical University’s online nursing degree programs without leaving the comfort of your own home. This accredited university offers an RN to BSN and MSN nursing program. Both of them are built upon foundational nursing knowledge, and will give you the essential tools to provide evidence based care, and to drive change at the patient’s bedside.

Students who already have their RN can earn the RN to BSN degree in as few as nine months. This program begins eight times per year, so you will not have to wait very long after you are accepted.

The RN to BSN courses include:

  • Challenges and Trends in Contemporary Nursing
  • Nursing Informatics
  • Population Based Nursing
  • Health and Wellness Assessment
  • Innovation in Nursing
  • Nursing Theory and Critical Thinking

Students who already have their BSN and want their MSN can earn their degree in some cases in as little as 18 months. Available specialties are nursing education and nursing administration. These specialties are a good choice if you want to be either a nurse educator or a nurse administrator.

More Info

  • Campus: Aurora, Colorado; online
  • Type: For Profit
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Per Credit Hour: Total cost: $12,480 for BSN; $17,760 for MSN
  • GRE Required: No
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months
  • On Campus Requirements: No
  • Programs Offered: RN to BSN, MS


Our editorial staff determined the ranking for the above schools by considering the following ranking factors:

  • School accreditation
  • Program accreditation
  • Curriculum quality
  • Flexibility of online course delivery
  • Specialties available
  • Institution reputation

Additional Resources


Sady Brown
Written by Sady Brown
Sady Brown is Editorial Strategist for