15 Best RN to BSN in 6-Months Online Programs For 2024

Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH

Is the lack of a nursing baccalaureate holding you back in your nursing career? online RN to BSN 6-months programs offer the quickest solution to your dilemma. You’ll save time and money if you go this route, but be prepared for a tough six months: These fast-track programs don’t let up for a single second, and it will require persistence, dedication and ambition to get the most out of them. If you want to find out more about the best RN to BSN in 6-months online programs for 2024, keep reading.

What Exactly Is the Purpose Of An RN to BSN In 6-Months Program?

RN to BSN in 6-months online programs are set up to allow you to earn a Bachelor’s in Nursing Science degree in as little as two semesters, utilizing distance learning. Since 2010, when the National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) issued its landmark report on the future of nursing, BSNs have become the gold standard of nursing professionalism. A six-month RN to BSN program lets you earn this degree in the shortest amount of time possible.

7 Advantages Of Online RN to BSN in 6-Months Programs

Furthering your education is one of the most reliable ways of commanding more respect in your workplace. That’s not the only advantage of an online 6-month RN to BSN program, though. Here are some other reasons why this fast-track option may be beneficial:



It’s fast. Like really fast. By the time most of your friends realize they haven’t seen you in a while, they’ll be seeing you again.

Scheduling flexibility:

You can fit your studies to your schedule instead of the other way around. You don’t have to stick to a classroom schedule since you can access your coursework via the internet 24/7.

Studying flexibility:

You can proceed through the study materials at your own pace. If you’re already familiar with a particular subject, you can skip it. Conversely, if you need extra time on some portion of the syllabus, you can make that time.


All you need is an internet connection to access the necessary materials. That’s it! You don’t have to worry about transportation or tracking down a bookstore that sells the textbooks you need.

Experiential learning:

Students who benefit more from interactive than didactic learning models often do better with distance education than with traditional face-to-face learning, according to a 2010 study published by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Planning.


RN to BSN in 6-months online programs are not cheap, but they are far less expensive than many other RN to BSN programs.

Clinical rotations:

Most six-month RN to BSN distance learning programs encourage you to do your clinical rotation at a healthcare facility in your own community.

How Much Do Online RN to BSN 6-Months Programs Cost?

Fees and tuition costs associated with the best online RN to BSN 6-months programs range between $7,500 and $12,000 for their circumscribed baccalaureate track. This figure does not include the cost of any nursing prerequisites you may be asked to take, however. It can be hard to find accurate tuition estimates on program websites, so if you’re seriously interested in applying to a school, it’s worth making a phone call and asking outright.

Most of these ultra-fast-track nursing programs are offered by public universities, which tend to be less expensive than private colleges and universities. Public universities often give preferential treatment to residents of the states where they’re located, so you may pay higher tuition if you’re accepted into a program that’s physically outside the state where you live. The Texas Tech University Sciences Center, for example, charges Texas resident $5,020 in fees and tuition, but students who live outside the Lone Star State must pay $11,155.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston estimates your costs will come to $10,577. The University of Central Missouri charges $8,310 for 30 credit hours (which is approximately the equivalent of two three-month semesters) while California State University at Fullerton charges full-time students $3,300 a semester, which means you’ll pay $6,600 for two semesters.


Note the descriptions in the online catalogs you’re reading. Most say, “You can finish your degree in as little as six months, and not, “You will finish your degree in as little as six months.” That word “can” is significant.

Before a school awards you a bachelor’s degree, you must complete all its general education requirements. Though these prerequisite classes will not be part of your six-month RN to BSN curriculum, they must appear on your transcript as transferred credits. If you took them more than five years ago, you may need to make some arrangement to retake them. It’s best to do this before you begin your six-month fast-track program as you almost certainly will not have time for them once you’re enrolled.

The programs themselves focus on core nursing classes in subjects like nursing leadership, current issues in nursing, nursing research, evidence-based practice and nursing information management. One or two courses are devoted to clinical rotations. In order to graduate in six months, you will need to take at least 15 credits a semester, which comes out to five classes a semester.

The University of Toledo in Ohio emphasizes the importance of pharmacology to nursing practice with a class called “Pathopharmacology for the Practicing RN.” The University of Utah in Salt Lake City offers community health-oriented courses like “Global Health” and “Public Health.” Georgia Southern University offers students the opportunity to augment core classes with one nursing elective while Delta State University in Mississippi includes a class in pathophysiology among its core requirements.

Clinical Training

There’s no hard and fast rule for the number of clinical hours you’ll be required to complete when you pursue one of the best online RN to BSN 6-months degree programs. Most schools try to arrange it so that you spend three hours in a clinical rotation for every one hour you spend in class, but there’s a considerable amount of variation. Online RN to BSN in 6-months programs will do their best to find clinical placements at healthcare facilities close to where you live. Additionally, if you keep working in a medical setting while you’re in school, you may be able to credit some of the hours you work toward your clinical requirement.

Admission Requirements

It takes a special kind of nurse to complete a fast-track, 6-month RN to BSN degree successfully. After all, it’s tough to compress a traditional four-year degree into just two semesters. Accordingly, admissions committees review all applications carefully for signs that an applicant is up to the challenge. All schools demand an unencumbered nursing license. In order to be admitted to Georgia Southern University in Savannah, that nursing license has to be from Georgia or from one of the states with which Georgia maintains a reciprocal licensure agreement.

Most schools require a minimum grade point average of 2.0 in all your past college work, but the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston requires a 2.5, and the University of Utah requires a 3.0. California State University at Fullerton will allow you to use advanced placement high school classes to fulfill prerequisite requirements.


(The typical length of the programs ranked below ranges between 6-8 Months)

1. University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston - Houston, TX

2. University of Utah - Salt Lake City, UT

3. University of Texas Medical Branch - Galveston, TX

4. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center - Lubbock, TX

5. George Mason University - Fairfax, VA

6. California State University-Fullerton - Fullerton, CA

7. Georgia Southern University - Savannah, GA

8. University of South Alabama - Mobile, AL

9. University of Central Oklahoma - Edmond, OK

10. University of Toledo - Toledo, OH

11. Texas State University - Round Rock, TX

12. Shenandoah University - Winchester, VA

13. University of Central Missouri - Warrensburg, MO

14. Midwestern State University - Wichita Falls, TX

15. Delta State University - Cleveland, MS



There’s no doubt about it: If you’re a registered nurse with an associate degree or a hospital diploma, the best online RN to BSN 6-months programs are your fastest avenue to a nursing baccalaureate. This track is a difficult one, though, because of the short amount of time you’ll have to absorb reams of information. Before you apply, be absolutely sure that you have the determination to stay the course.

Frequently Asked Questions Answered By Our Expert

Do I have to be an RN to be accepted into an online 6-month RN to BSN program?

That depends upon the school. You won’t have to be a registered nurse to be accepted into many of these programs. However, you will need to pass your NCLEX exam and be licensed before you can begin classes.

How can I pay for an online six-month RN to BSN program?

Chances are you will not be able to work while you’re enrolled in a six-month, fast-track program because the degree track will be too time-consuming. You may be eligible for needs-based federal and state aid, depending upon the information you include in your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Individual schools may have grant, loan and scholarship options, too. You also have the option of taking out a loan with a private lender although keep in mind that they usually charge high interest rates.

Will employers look down on me for having earned my RN to BSN online in 6-months?

No. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing you earn in a six-month distance learning program is fully the equivalent of a traditional BSN earned at a four-year school.

Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.