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Why Online for an RN to BSN Program

For registered nurses (RNs) considering a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, an online option like the one offered by the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) might be the best fit. According to the American Association for Colleges of Nursing (AACN) there are well over 700 RN to BSN degree completion programs available in the U.S., and 650 programs offer at least some portion of classes online (as of 2023). With the expected rise in demand for BSN-prepared nurses, now may be the best time to consider an online RN to BSN program.

The numerous benefits of an online degree program for working nurses are particularly appealing. Learning is more accessible, and nurses can tailor their coursework to their individual schedules and needs. Students enrolled in UNCW’s online RN to BSN program can earn the valuable degree in as few as 12 months. The following are the main benefits of a BSN degree:


A flexible online nursing degree program allows students to learn when and where it is most convenient. Most online courses are accessible anytime, day or night — whenever the student can make the time between work, family and other commitments. Whether they log on over a lunch break, while the kids are in bed or between shifts, nursing students can make the most of their time with the convenience of the online RN to BSN model.

Students can take classes anywhere they have access to the internet, and many online programs offer multiple start dates. This gives working nurses the flexibility to jump in and start learning when it makes sense.


Tuition for many online degree programs is a fraction of the typical cost of traditional programs. Lower overhead and fewer fees mean students can benefit from the savings without sacrificing quality instruction. Because students can do the work from anywhere, those enrolled in an RN to BSN online program save on commuting and other costs. Students also save on opportunity costs — the income and opportunities they would have to give up to attend a full-time, on-campus program. Avoiding such opportunity costs can dramatically improve the relative affordability of an RN to BSN program.

Job Outlook

According to the 2022 National Nursing Workforce Survey, over 70% of nurses now have a baccalaureate degree or higher. Given continuing increases in the education level of the nursing workforce, a BSN degree is essential for nurses seeking a competitive advantage in the job market. Further 2023 data from AACN suggests that roughly 25% of hospitals and other healthcare facilities require that new nurse candidates have at least a bachelor’s degree, and nearly 70% of employers express a “strong preference for BSN program graduates.”

Nurses who complete an RN to BSN online develop essential leadership skills in key areas. These nurses gain insight into health policy and health care financing, community and public health, systems thinking and quality improvement. By choosing an online RN to BSN program, nurses gain the skills and experience necessary to provide the best nursing care and advance their careers.

Learn more about the UNCW online RN to BSN program.

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