Do you feel unfulfilled in your current job? Looking for a career that lets you do meaningful, important work? A new career in nursing may be the perfect fit for you. The field is challenging but incredibly rewarding, and demand for nurses has never been higher – reflected in abundant job openings and high salaries. 

Online programs make nursing education more accessible than ever, especially if you don’t live near a college campus. And, if you hold a bachelor’s degree in another field, your new career in nursing could be closer than you think. Read on to learn about some of the best online ABSN programs available. 


What is an Accelerated BSN Program? 

Accelerated nursing programs leverage your prior bachelor’s degree to help you transition into nursing in two years or less. They teach the same foundational nursing skills and theory as a traditional BSN in a condensed timeline. 

The accelerated format of an ABSN can also be combined with the convenience of online learning. Online ABSN programs are an increasingly popular way for career-changers to earn their degrees and enter the nursing workforce. 


What Does an Accelerated BSN Program Entail? 

Specifics vary by program, but a typical ABSN consists of coursework and clinical hours. Coursework provides nursing theory, while clinical hours teach you to apply that theory in real-world situations. 

Online ABSN programs use the same curriculum as a typical ABSN, but coursework is completed online. Clinicals are still completed in person to provide hands-on experience. The best online ABSN programs will help you find a clinical placement near you. 

It’s also common in online ABSN programs to bring students to campus for some form of residency. These campus visits help you make the transition from nursing theory to nursing practice and are a good way to assess your skills in the risk-free environment of simulation labs. 


What Are the Prerequisites for an ABSN Program? 

Prerequisites are courses you’ll need to complete before starting your program. In some cases, you can apply before completing these prerequisites. However, you will usually need to complete them before your new classes start. Different programs and colleges will ask for different prerequisites. 

Introductory science courses are common prerequisites for an online ABSN program. Examples would include chemistry, biology, physiology, and psychology. Some schools also require a credit or two in the social sciences. 

Application requirements will vary by program, but you can typically expect the following: 

  • Meet GPA requirements (generally around 2.7 - 3.0) 
  • Submission of transcripts 
  • Completion of prerequisite courses
  • Letters of recommendation (1-2) 
  • A written statement outlining your career goals 

After obtaining your BSN degree, you will have to pass the NCLEX-RN to receive licensure from your state to practice. This is what allows you to legally work as a nurse, so it’s important to choose a school that sets you up for success on the NCLEX-RN. 


The Best Online Accelerated Nursing Programs 

Determining the “best” online ABSN programs can be subjective, but there are a few qualities to look for in a good program. Our criteria for choosing these schools includes accreditation, a focus on support, and clinical placement help. Here’s why: 

Accreditation – It’s important to pick a legitimate school, which is why independent accrediting bodies exist. Look for CCNE-accredited institutions to ensure a quality nursing education. 

Student Support – Online learning can be daunting, so some schools offer advisors or counselors who work solely with online students to provide extra support. 

Clinical Placement Assistance – Finding your own placement sites can be hard. Look for schools who will help you find local preceptors so you can focus on your studies. 

We’ve done the legwork for you; the list below only includes schools that meet these requirements. Click the button below to find programs available in your state, or scroll to explore the list. 




Baylor University Logo

Baylor University

Baylor is an esteemed, private university located in Waco, Texas. Their Louise Herrington School of Nursing is ranked as the #1 nursing school in Texas, and #25 for the United States’ Most Innovative Schools. This accelerated nursing program is flexible, remote and perfect for students looking to begin their nursing careers.

Prerequisites for this nursing degree program are as follows:

  • Microbiology
  • Anatomy and Physiology I & II
  • Chemistry
  • English Composition I & II
  • English Literature
  • Federal Government
  • Bible-Based Religion
  • World Religion
  • History
  • Nutrition
  • Statistics
  • Intro to Psychology & Developmental Psychology
  • Intro to Sociology

This program didn’t earn such esteemed rankings without offering a few highly-valuable advantages. Just to name a few, here are some of the benefits of this online ABSN program:

  • Assistance with clinical placement – Baylor’s faculty assists online students in finding appropriate healthcare facilities to fulfill their required clinical hours. Not only are these hours necessary for credit completion, but they also ensure graduates of the program are prepared for a career outside of nursing school.
  • Practical skills – Baylor students emerge with more than just technical knowledge of the medical field. They learn the ins and outs of the job through practical skill development in addition to textbook studying. You’d cover such topics as professional nursing, fulfilling patient needs, clinical care for all life stages and healthcare issues and policies.
  • Experienced faculty – Classes are taught by some of Baylor’s finest faculty, including nationally recognized leaders in the medical field.


CSU Logo


Cleveland State University 

Cleveland State University’s online Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program prepares engaged and passionate aspiring nurses for practice through an affordable, fast-paced degree pathway. This program will prepare you to work as a bedside nurse, caring for patients in various healthcare settings. 

Admission requirements for CSU's online ABSN program include: 

  • Bachelor’s degree  
  • 2.50 Cumulative GPA, 3.0 Prerequisites GPA  
  • Completion of prerequisite courses  
  • Resume  
  • Interview  
  • Essay  
  • Two letters of recommendation  
  • Transcripts from all institutions attended  


  • Anatomy & Physiology I & II with lab  
  • Chemistry I & II with lab  
  • Microbiology with lab  
  • Introduction or General Psychology  
  • Statistics  
  • Health Care Ethics or General Ethics  

*Students may apply to the program before having all prerequisites completed. 

Program overview:

  • #1 in Ohio – CSU is the #1 public university in Ohio for social mobility (U.S. News & World Report) 
  • Two residencies – Refine your skills and learn face-to-face at our state-of-the-art nursing resource laboratory in downtown Cleveland, Ohio 
  • 16-month program – You can complete this program in 4 semesters/16 months (full-time). 
  • NCLEX preparation – Preparation is integrated throughout the program, and extra study tools are provided upon completion. 


Elmhurst Logo


Elmhurst University

Elmhurst University is a private liberal arts college located in the suburb of Elmhurst, Illinois. The school not only offers in-person classes, but also an online ABSN program. Requirements for this program include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • A minimum 3.2 GPA
  • 25 credit hours in the following prerequisite courses:
    • Anatomy and Physiology I & II
    • Microbiology with Lab
    • Statistics
    • Chemistry with Lab
    • Lifespan Psychology
    • Abnormal Psychology

Just a few advantages of this unique program include:

  • Award winning – The distance ABSN program at Elmhurst is the only one of its kind in Illinois, and U.S. News ranks it the #3 Most Innovative School in the Midwest and the #7 Best Undergraduate Teaching in the Midwest. The program is also accredited by the CCNE.
  • Full time and fast paced – This full time program can be completed in as little as 16 months. Elmhurst also accepts a large variety of credits from other programs, allowing graduates to complete their core requirements with greater ease.
  • Support – Every student will have full access to a staff of advisors. Your advisor will be there to help every step of the process, from application to graduation.


Holy Family Logo


Holy Family University

Holy Family University is a private Catholic institution that embraces diversity and inclusion, ensuring a welcoming and accessible learning community for everyone. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, their core values encourage students to pursue a holistic path that emphasizes family, respect, integrity, service and responsibility, learning, and vision. Holy Family's mission is to immerse students in the tradition of service so they can lead with purpose.

Admission requirements for Holy Family's second-degree hybrid ABSN program are as follows:

  • Bachelor’s degree in any field
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA 
  • (2.75 GPA in math and science prerequisite courses)
  • Personal statement 
  • 1 letter of recommendation from a supervisor or academic professor

Benefits of Holy Family's Second Degree Distance Hybrid ABSN program include the following:

  • 100% online coursework – Flexible learning with Synchronous and Asynchronous sessions make it easier to balance school responsibilities with life responsibilities.
  • 1 on-campus residency – Build hands-on clinical skills in Holy Family's high-tech simulation lab help students translate theory into practice during the one on-campus residency visit.
  • 14-month program – The degree can be completed in just 14 months, which is faster than many hybrid ABSN programs.
  • Exam preparation – Holy Family's NCLEX-RN pass rates are above the national average.


Marymount Logo


Marymount University

Located in Arlington, Virginia, Marymount University is a private institution that U.S. News ranks as #31 for Regional Universities South. Requirements for this program include a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, and successful completion of the following prerequisite courses:

  • Anatomy and Physiology I & II
  • Chemistry
  • Developmental Psychology 
  • Microbiology with Lab
  • Nutrition
  • Sociology
  • Statistics

If you meet the admission requirements, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of this ABSN program, including:

  • NCLEX preparation – Over the past 5 years, Marymount graduates consistently pass the NCLEX at a high rate of 90%. Students at Marymount are thoroughly prepared for their licensing exam, and learn a well-rounded curriculum that covers all elements of nursing.
  • Mentorship and support – Every student is appointed their own Success Advisor during their time at Marymount. Advisors help students choose the right classes, provide mentorship within the department and keep them on track for efficient program completion.
  • Flexible GPA requirements – While most ABSN programs have a minimum GPA requirement of 3.0, Marymount allows admission with a 2.8 or above. This flexibility is proof that Marymount is concerned with your aptitude and passion for nursing, rather than focusing on your performance in a previous major.



Rockhurst Logo

Rockhurst University

Rockhurst is a Jesuit University located in Kansas City, Missouri. Their Saint Luke’s™ College of Nursing and Health Sciences is committed to preparing the health care workforce of tomorrow by offering undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate programs for adult learners with an emphasis on the education of the whole person. Rockhurst's hybrid accelerated nursing is a full-time program that prepares you to become a skilled nurse in just 16 months.

Admission requirements for this nursing degree program are outlined below:

  • Bachelor’s degree in any field
  • 2.7 cumulative GPA or higher
  • Resume
  • Completion of prerequisite courses with a minimum grade of C, including:
    • Anatomy & Physiology I & II with lab (8 credits)
    • Microbiology with lab (4 credits)
    • General Chemistry or Organic Chemistry with lab (4 credits)
    • Nutrition (3 credits)
    • Statistics (3 credits)
    • Life Span/Developmental Psychology (3 credits)

Some of the many benefits of Rockhurst's online ABSN program include the following:

  • Clinical placement services – Rockhurst's clinical placement team works closely with you to provide a seamless placement experience, ensuring your rotations meet University and national guidelines. Based on your goals and where you live, your placement coordinator will identify an appropriate site and preceptor for you within a reasonable driving distance.
  • Holistic nursing education – Guided by Jesuit values, Rockhurst University prepares advanced practice nurses to care for the needs of the whole person through rigorous academics, rich and varied clinical experiences, and a spirit of inquiry and reflection.
  • Proven academic excellence – Rockhurst’s BSN program boasts a 100% graduate employment rate. 



St. Joseph's College of Maine Logo

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine 

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine’s Hybrid Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) is a full-time and highly respected program driven by a belief that learning best occurs in a community built on mutual respect. As an ABSN student, you’ll receive close supervision, mentoring, and individual attention from a team of passionate and experienced educators.  

Admission requirements for SJC's second-degree hybrid ABSN program are as follows: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in any field 
  • 3.0 minimum cumulative GPA 
  • (Science courses must be completed within 10 years.)  
  • Transcripts 
  • The following prerequisites: 
    • Introduction to Psychology (C- or better)  
    • Microbiology with in person lab (C or better)  
    • Anatomy & Physiology I & II with in person lab (C or better)  
    • Chemistry or Gen Chem or Organic Chem with in person lab (C or better) 
    • Nutrition (C+ or better)  
    • Statistics (C or better) 

Benefits of SJC's hybrid ABSN program include the following:  

  • Experts in distance education – The program draws from expertise gained since 1976, when SJC first began offering industry-relevant distance education. 
  • 2 on-campus residencies – Visit SJC’s beautiful campus on Sebago Lake to build hands-on clinical skills at the state-of-the-art SIM lab opened in September of 2023. 
  • 15-month program – This full-time program can be completed in just 15 months (4 semesters). 
  • Exam preparation – SJC’s first-time NCLEX-RN pass rates exceed the national average. 

*Students may apply to the program before having all prerequisites completed. 



Wilkes Logo

Wilkes University

Wilkes University is a privately owned college in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. Students looking to earn their BSN in a short amount of time can enroll in Wilkes’ online ABSN program, so long as they meet the school’s admission requirements, which include:

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0 GPA
  • A written statement of nursing career goals
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Five pre-requisite courses 

Advantages of this program include:

  • A Legacy of Nursing Excellence – Wilkes University offered one of the earliest online ABSN programs and credits its many graduates with helping to continuously refine and improve the program.
  • Competitive tuition – Your total cost of tuition at Wilkes University will fall between $60,000 and $70,000, a competitive rate for a private university with such a rigorous program.
  • Excellent NCLEX pass rates – Wilkes University consistently garners above-average passing rates for graduates of their ABSN program. The online coursework prepares you well by covering a large number of topics, including foundations of nursing, evidence-based care, leadership skills, and cultural and economic diversity among patients.
  • Clinical placement assistance – Members of Wilkes’ Placement Team are trained to help all students find clinical placement sites within their community, ensuring graduation requirements are met and enough practice is done to prepare students for a career in healthcare.



FAQ About Accelerated BSN Programs

The recent surge in popularity for online ABSN programs is raising awareness of this innovative format. That creates a lot of questions! Read through our FAQs for answers. 


Can you really earn a nursing degree online? 

All BSN-level degree programs will require some form of in-person hands-on training. Your clinicals and residencies are crucial for career-readiness. However, through engaging and interactive digital learning tools, it is possible to complete all your coursework online. 


How long is an accelerated BSN program? 

Every program is different, but the purpose of this path is to provide a quicker degree option. To that end, ABSN programs usually take between 11 and 18 months to complete. The programs on our list fall between 12 and 16 months. 


What jobs require a BSN degree? 

Compared to an associate degree in nursing, a BSN provides a wider range of job opportunities in the nursing field. This is because BSN programs include coursework in leadership, population health, and evidence-based practice. According to the AACN, 69.8% of employers strongly prefer BSN-holders when hiring. Additionally, BSN educated nurses are more likely to be promoted within healthcare organizations, based on the skills taught in these advanced programs. 


How much do BSN nurses make? 

Nurses with a BSN typically earn more than those who hold associate degrees. According to Forbes, BSN holders earn an average annual salary of around $91,000, compared to about $74,000 for ADN graduates. 


Earn Your Accelerated BSN From a Distance 

Many universities share the goal of making higher education more accessible. Online ABSN programs are a great example of this goal in action. When technological advancement meets educational innovation, students win. And when students win, the future gets brighter. 

Your future is waiting—get started today! Enter your ZIP code below to find a program available in your area.