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Continuing your education with a six-month RN-to-BSN degree program can be a game-changer if you’ve been an RN for a while and are seeking higher pay or more job security. As nursing jobs with an associate degree become increasingly rare, these programs offer a pathway to more lucrative roles. Graduates can expect higher salaries, with RNs earning a median of $86,070. Additionally, a BSN provides opportunities in leadership, with positions like Nurse Manager making a median salary of $110,680 and administrative roles such as Case Manager, with a median salary of $77,030.

True to their name, these degrees can often be completed in six months, making advancing your education and career an achievable goal.

How to Choose a Six-Month RN-to-BSN Program

Choose your area of study

Choosing an area of study for this degree can boost your career prospects and help align your education with your interests. Consider asking yourself:

  • What are my career goals?
  • Which nursing fields am I passionate about?
  • What skills do I want to develop?

Options may vary depending on the program but can include choices like community health, nursing leadership, and informatics. While not all programs guarantee specialization, many offer relevant coursework to support your interests.

Research schools and programs

With your specialization in mind, you can begin researching schools and programs for your accelerated RN-to-BSN degree. Think about the following questions to help guide your research:

  • Are there opportunities for specialization or relevant coursework?
  • What are the program’s accreditation and reputation?
  • How are courses delivered (online, in-person, hybrid)?
  • What are the clinical requirements and placements?
  • What are the program’s completion rate and job placement statistics?

You can find this information by visiting program websites, speaking to an admissions counselor, or attending an information session. Many students also benefit from seeking out alums or current students on websites like Reddit and LinkedIn, where you can gain an insider perspective.

Prepare for tests and applications

To best prepare for tests and applications for these programs, you’ll need to gather and organize all required materials early. Standard application components include:

  • Official transcripts from previous institutions
  • Proof of RN licensure
  • Professional resume or CV
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement or essay

Many programs don’t require ACT or SAT scores, but if your top school does, consider enrolling in a test prep program to boost your scores.

Select your program

If you receive multiple acceptance letters, revisit your initial criteria to compare each program. Double-check that the program format fits your needs, considering whether you prefer asynchronous or synchronous coursework. Then, evaluate how clinical hours and placements align with your schedule.

Determine how you’ll pay for your degree

Paying for this degree can feel intimidating, but many financial aid resources are available to help. Start by completing the FAFSA to access federal grants, loans, and work-study programs; then, search for nursing-specific scholarships through professional organizations and your school.

If you’re currently employed as a nurse, check if your employer offers tuition reimbursement or scholarships for continuing education. Additionally, investigate state-specific grants and scholarships specifically designated for nursing students.

Best 50 Accredited Six-Month RN-to-BSN Programs

Top Six-Month RN-to-BSN Degree Programs_2024 badge

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

UTMB School of Nursing

University of Utah

Georgia Southern University

GMU School of Nursing

University of Central Oklahoma

University of South Alabama

The University of Toledo

Californa State University, Fullerton

University of Central Missouri

Delta State Unviersity

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How we rank schools

This list features some of the top six-month RN-to-BSN degree programs at top colleges nationwide. Each school featured is a nonprofit, accredited institution — either public or private — with a high standard of academic quality for postsecondary education.

We evaluated each school’s program on admission, retention, and graduation rates as well as tuition costs, faculty, reputation, and student resources. Then, we calculated the Intelligent Score on a scale of 0 to 100. Read more about our ranking methodology.

Next, we compared this comprehensive list of six-month RN-to-BSN degree programs to a list of aggregated college rankings from reputable publications like U.S. News & World Report, among others, to simplify a student’s college search. We pored through these rankings so students don’t have to.

What Can You Expect From a Six-Month RN-to-BSN Program?

In a six-month RN-to-BSN degree program, you can expect an accelerated curriculum to build on your nursing knowledge, bridging the gap between your experience and education. This program focuses on advanced nursing concepts, leadership, community health, and evidence-based practice. These degrees typically involve a combination of online coursework and clinical practice, allowing those enrolled to study while continuing to work. Most curriculums include coursework in health assessment, nursing research, healthcare policy, and patient care technologies.

To graduate, you’ll need to complete a set number of clinical hours and potentially a capstone project, demonstrating your ability to apply your knowledge in practical settings.

Potential courses you’ll take in a six-month RN-to-BSN program

  • Health Assessment and Promotion: Although it may go by a different name depending on the program, this course is foundational in most curriculums. Here, students learn advanced techniques for conducting comprehensive health assessments. They develop skills in identifying and addressing health risks and promoting wellness across diverse populations.
  • Leadership and Management in Nursing: This course focuses on developing leadership and management skills essential for nursing roles in different healthcare settings. Students learn about team coordination, conflict resolution, and effective communication strategies to improve healthcare delivery.
  • Nursing Research and Evidence-Based Practice: In this foundational course, students are introduced to nursing research principles and the importance of evidence-based practice. Participants learn to critically evaluate research studies and apply findings to improve patient care and outcomes.

What Can I Do With an RN-to-BSN Degree?

Careers in this field are expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade, with 1.8 million openings projected. The median salary is $80,820, significantly higher than the national median for all occupations.

Career outlook

  • Nurse Manager — As nurse managers, graduates will oversee nursing staff, coordinate patient care, and establish compliance with healthcare regulations and standards. They will also manage budgets, handle administrative tasks, and foster a positive work environment to improve patient care quality.
    • Median annual salary: $110,680
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 28%
    • New jobs projected: 54,700
  • Registered Nurse — With the additional education a BSN provides, a nursing career becomes more accessible and offers more significant opportunities for advancement. A registered nurse provides direct patient care, administers medications, and collaborates with healthcare teams to develop and implement patient care plans.
    • Median annual salary: $86,070
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 6%
    • New jobs projected: 193,100
  • Case Manager — Case managers coordinate comprehensive care plans, ensuring patients receive the appropriate medical services and support throughout their treatment.
    • Median annual salary: $77,030
    • Projected employment growth (through 2032): 9%
    • New jobs projected: 16,000)

Six-Month RN-to-BSN Degree Frequently Asked Questions

How do accelerated degree programs work?

Accelerated six-month RN-to-BSN programs condense the traditional coursework into six months, allowing registered nurses to advance their education quickly. These programs typically offer online classes and flexible schedules, enabling students to balance their education with other responsibilities — like a full-time job.

It’s important to note that these programs are designed for motivated individuals seeking rapid career advancement. To learn more about whether an accelerated program is right for you, visit our page, which delves more into the pros and cons.

How long does it take to earn a six-month RN-to-BSN degree?

True to its namesake, these programs take just six months to complete. However, reviewing the total number of required credits is still important, as this can impact completion time. Review credit requirements to ensure you can meet the program’s demands within the specified time frame.

How much does a six-month RN-to-BSN degree cost?

A six-month RN-to-BSN degree program can be less expensive than the average $25,910 tuition for a bachelor’s degree, as it bridges an educational gap and doesn’t require four years. Costs vary by institution, so checking with financial aid offices is crucial for exact figures. Additionally, evaluate each school’s overall cost of attendance to account for expenses like textbooks, course materials, and technology fees — as this will ensure you have a complete understanding of all potential costs.

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