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50 Most Affordable Online RN to BSN Programs for 2019

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The demand for educated nurses with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in nursing, or BSN, is on the rise. Not only are many hospitals around the country beginning to require their nurses to hold this advanced degree, but the significant pay raise nurses enjoy after earning this credential offers a substantial incentive for working nurses complete a Bachelor’s degree. Working RNs may have concerns about how to earn their BSN degree while working full-time in their current roles; however, online RN to BSN programs provide a convenient solution to this problem. In this ranking, we explore our top 50 most affordable RN to BSN online programs.

Rating and Ranking Methodology
Tuition Points:

  • Under $25,000—1 point
  • Under $20,000—2 points
  • Under $15,000—3 points
  • Under $10,000—4 points
  • Under $5,000—5 points

US News and World Report Recognition as a Top Online School for Bachelor’s Degree Programs

  • Top 265— 1 point
  • Top 150 —2 points
  • Top 100 —3 points
  • Top 50 —4 point
  • Top 25 —5 point

Customization Options

  • Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, Accelerated, Degree Completion, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
  • Content Customizations (e.g. Minors, Concentrations, Specializations, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option (5-point cap)

Wow Factor

  • 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us

Ranking the Top Bachelor’s in RN to BSN Online

To compile this ranking, our editors first looked to US News & World Report for the top online bachelor’s degree programs offering an RN to BSN online option. Extra points were given for ranked schools. We then narrowed the pool down to tuition under $25,000 out-of-state tuition, unless otherwise stated in some cases. With an initial pool of nearly 80 schools, we applied the rating and ranking methodology above to determine the top 50 affordable online RN to BSN programs. In the case of a tie, the most cost-efficient school appears higher in the rankings.

#50 University of North Georgia

Online RN to BSN Degree

Website
Points: 3

A part of the University System of Georgia, the University of North Georgia is 1 of 6 senior military colleges in the United States and houses over 18,000 students. UNG offers a 3-semester online RN to BSN program that is designed for active RNs seeking higher education. Required coursework includes classes like Cultural and Health Assessment, Population Health, The Transformation to Professional Practice, and Health Policy, Finance, and Regulation. Interesting elective courses include Impact of Chronic Illness, Teaching Adults in Nursing Practice, Sociology of Aging, and Transcultural Communication in Nursing. It is important to note that while the program can be completed 100% online, there is a one-week mandatory orientation for enrollees during the first week of the semester. Unlike many programs in this ranking, clinical requirements can be completed through online activities or through a more traditional on-site experience. This program would be a great fit for someone who does not desire the extra real-world experience.
Tuition: $12,834
Enrollment: 18,782

#49 Ohio University

RN to BSN Online

Website
Points: 4

Ohio University, located in Athens, Ohio in the beautiful Appalachia, provides a student-centered education that strives for excellence, preparing graduates to become global leaders. The university houses over 36,000 students between its on-campus programs, eLearning, and graduate programs. Among Ohio University’s 15 online degree programs is the fully online RN to BSN program, offered through the school’s eCampus and Distance Learning sector. The online RN to BSN degree program is only available for applicants with an active U.S. nursing license who currently reside in one of the following states: Ohio, California, Delaware, Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, or West Virginia. Students will take upper-level nursing classes like Family Nursing, Leadership in Nursing, Evidence-Based Nursing Practice, and Gerontologic Nursing Care. Through the RN to BSN Knowledge Center, students will have online assess to many resources like textbooks, library services, technical support, and financial aid opportunities.
Tuition: $$21,360
Enrollment: 29,369

#48 Clayton State University

RN to BSN Online

Website
Points: 4

Located in the heart of Atlanta, GA, Clayton State University was born from a dream coming to life—a dream of bringing accessible and affordable education to the state of Georgia and beyond. It’s that dream that crafts the vision to help all students at CSU to realize their own dreams as well. Among CSU’s 43 degree programs is the fully online RN to BSN program that can be completed on a full-time or part-time basis. If taking a full-time load, students can complete their degree in as little as 1 year. Classes are delivered in a synchronous format, where students will attend live classes at specific times. Therefore, this program might be best suited for the student who prefers a stricter schedule. Specific courses include Professional Issues, Research for Evidence-based Practice, Community and Population-Focused Nursing Practice for RNs, and Nursing Leadership and Management for RNs. All students will take a hands-on 9- hour Practicum internship course. One unique feature about this program that makes it stand out amongst others on this list is its double major in Nursing and Healthcare Management, which sets graduates up for larger administration and business roles in the framework of the healthcare field. To gain a double degree, students will take an extra 11 courses, including coursework in accounting, marketing, policy, and legal issues.
Tuition: $15,880
Enrollment: 7,003

#47 St Petersburg College

Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Website
Points: 4

Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, St. Petersburg College offers an evidence-based online RN to BSN program designed to develop leaders and managers in the nursing field. The program offers maximum flexibility as students can take anywhere from 1 to 4 courses per semester, depending on work and life schedules. If taken on a full-time basis, this online RN to BSN program can be completed in as little as 4 semesters. Students will take 40-credit hours of upper-level major courses, including Health Assessment and Physical Appraisal, Nursing in a Multicultural Society, Legal and Ethical Aspects of Nursing, and Informatics and Clinical Reasoning. St. Petersburg College provides 56 online degrees to over 20,000 students and has been voted the number 1 online college in Florida by Online Colleges.
Tuition: $$11,607
Enrollment: 29,548

#46 Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing

Online RN to BSN Degree Program

Website
Points: 4

Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing, accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, specializes in the discipline of nursing with a vision to create compassionate, lifelong learning professionals in the medical field. The fully online RN to BSN program offered at Bon Secours Memorial College is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. With three start dates per year, students are able to create maximum flexibility by creating a course schedule that works best with their busy working lives. Though students have up to 4 years to complete the degree, most finish in less than 2, or as little as 3 semesters. Sample coursework includes classes like Vulnerable Population and Global Health, Business of Health Care in Complex Systems, Nursing Research, and Servant Leadership. Advanced Standing for prior nursing experience is awarded after completion of Nursing 3209. Students will have constant and one-on-one contact with faculty as well as a student advisor to help guide the academic process from beginning to end. Impressively, BSMCN has a 98% job placement post-graduation and 97% NCLEX-RN pass rates. A 20% discount is granted to all Bon Secours employees.
Tuition: $10,260
Enrollment: 477

#45 Delta State University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 4

Located in Cleveland Mississippi’s Delta region, Delta State University strives to provide a quality education through small class sizes and positive student/faculty interactions. DSU offers 40 different degree programs that serve over 3,000 students nationally and internationally. One of those degrees is the fully online RN to BSN degree program designed to advance RNs to leadership and managerial roles in the healthcare field. While all classes begin in the fall term, students can complete their nursing courses in only 2 semesters. Next, students will participate in a clinical experience in their regional location 1 practicum per semester. Depending on the student’s life obligations, the program can be taken on a full-time or a part-time basis. Required coursework includes Comprehensive Health Assessment, Transition to Professional Nursing, Management of Nursing Care, and Health Policy and Ethical Decision Making. Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA or a grade or “C” or better in all nursing classes to remain in the program. Delta State University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
Tuition: $6,859
Enrollment: 3,785

#44 Oklahoma Pan Handle University

Online BSN Degree

Website
Points: 4

Originally created in 1909, Oklahoma Pan Handle University was established as the premier source of agricultural education to the panhandle area of Oklahoma. OPHU prides itself on student-centered learning principles that translate into life-long learners who are empowered to make a difference in the career fields. Through the College of Agriculture, Science, and Nursing, Oklahoma Pan Handle University offers an online RN to BSN degree program that consists of 30 upper-level major nursing courses. Sample course offerings include Nursing in Rural America, Pharmacotherapeutics, Community Health Nursing, and Nursing Leadership. OPHU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. All work culminates into a Professional Practice Seminar course for a hands-on learning experience.
Tuition: $6,196
Enrollment: 1,138

#43 Northwestern Oklahoma State University

Online RN to BSN Degree

Website
Points: 5

With three start times per year, Northwestern Oklahoma State University offers an online and flexible RN to BSN degree program that can be completed in as little as 12 months. Because this program does not require traditional clinical requirements, this online RN to BSN program would be a great fit for students who do not desire that hands-on educational component. After completing the general education requirements, students will take classes like Human Life Span, Holistic Assessment, Nursing Care in Mental Health, Nutrition, and Nursing Care in the Family. Students will be required to finish classes with a grade of “C” or better. For those interested, Northwestern Oklahoma State University also offers a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree that allows graduates to become a Family Nurse Practitioner. NWOSU is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN).
Tuition: $14,183
Enrollment: 2,096

#42 Cleveland State University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 5

Located in Cleveland, Ohio, Cleveland State University provides a rich and engaged education to its 17,000 students and offers over 175 diverse academic programs to choose from. CSU’s School of Nursing offers an asynchronous 3 semester-long online RN to BSN degree program designed to prepare nurses for leadership roles in healthcare or to propel graduates to CSU’s Master’s Degree in Nursing graduate program. Both the undergraduate and graduate nursing programs offered at CSU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). The online RN to BSN degree is a 27-credit hour program that begins each fall and ends with a hands-on practicum experience. Specific coursework includes Nursing Research, Leadership and Management, Community as a Client Clinical, and Gerontological Nursing. It is important to note that applicants must hold an active registered nurse license from the state of Ohio and that students must uphold a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better during the program. Cleveland State University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Tuition: $13,829
Enrollment: 16,371
 

#41 Removed by Editor

 
 

#40 Eastern New Mexico University-Main

Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing, RN to BSN Completion Program

Website
Points: 5

Eastern New Mexico University, located in Portales, NM, is made up of just over 6,000 students, with an impressive 17:1 faculty/student ratio. Among its 60+ degree programs is the online Bachelor in Nursing degree. Accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), the online RN to BSN program at ENMU is presented in an 8-week format and strategically geared towards working RNs, as 90% of all enrolled students are currently employed in their field. And depending on the student’s work or life schedule, they can choose a part-time path or a full-time path. One of the most unique features of this program, and one that makes it stand out on this list, is its Surface Tablet Loan Program where students are able to borrow a laptop loaded with the necessary and applicable software for the duration of their enrolled time at ENMU.
Tuition: $$11,788
Enrollment: 6,023

#39 Nevada State College

RN to BSN Online

Website
Points: 5

Positioned beautifully at the bottom of a mountain in Henderson, Nevada, Nevada State University provides a comprehensive education that aims to develop future-minded leaders in today’s workforce. NSU serves a population of about 5,000 students with the goal of empowering graduates to take on their new careers with confidence. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the School of Nursing offers a fully online RN to BSN degree program that can be taken on a full-time or part-time path. As a part of the 36-credit curriculum, students will complete 12 upper-level nursing courses, including classes like Theory of Caring Science, Caring in Nursing Communities, Bioethics and Health Informatics, and Holistic Health Assessment. Classes are delivered in a 7-week format. The core of this program, however, is its commitment to dive deeper than curriculum by engaging in the nurse’s instinct to build a trustworthy relationship with the patient, thus increasing the quality of patient care.
Tuition: $8,900
Enrollment: 4,216

#38 Grantham University

Online RN to BSN Degree Completion

Website
Points: 5

Grantham University provides a high-quality education that hones in on underserved academic populations like first-generation college students and active service members or veterans. Accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC), a well-respected institution targeting eLearning, GU offers over 50 online certificate and degree programs in dynamic careers. Through the College of Nursing and Allied Health, Grantham University offers a fully online RN to BSN degree. To be admitted into the program, students need an Associate’s degree in Nursing as well as an active Registered Nurse license from any state. Enrollees will receive 30-credit hours for their RN experience, then take 39-credit hours to complete the degree, including coursework like Introduction to Nursing Informatics, Pharmacology, Case Management Concepts, and Population Health in the Global Community. All work will culminate to an RN-BSN Capstone Project. Graduates will be career ready to work as registered nurses in hospitals, schools, the military, nursing homes, offices and clinics, or home healthcare.
Tuition: $6,540
Enrollment: 9,303

#37 Western Governors University

Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing RN to BSN

Website
Points: 5

Western Governor University, a non-profit university in Tennessee, focuses its efforts on developing graduates who can confidently enter the careers and address the current needs in the workplace. WGU offers an online RN to BSN program that is different than most on this rankings list, as it utilizes a non-traditional competency and evidence-based education. Students will show mastery of content through various assessments, and once the students show they have mastered the specific content, they have passed the course. Not only will students get one-on-one faculty support, but they will also have the opportunity to develop a personalized learning plan that best fits each student’s needs and preferences. The curriculum will focus on fundamental aspects of nursing like Care of the Older Adult, Health and Wellness through Nutritional Science, and Community Health and Population-Based Nursing. One of the most impressive features WGU offers is its term tuition structure. Students will pay a fixed rate per 6-month term, no matter how many courses they take. Therefore, this program might be the best fit for students looking to take several classes at once to maximize on that financial benefit. Western Governor’s University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Tuition: $$6,070
Enrollment: 98,627

#36 Great Basin College

RN to BSN Online

Website
Points: 6

Great Basin College, located in Nevada, offers many certificates and degrees in both the career-driven and technical arenas. A pioneer in the online education delivery format, GBC is licensed to provide distance education to students in every US state. Among its online degrees is the 51-credit Bachelor of Science in Nursing online, which is designed for current RNs who hold an Associate’s degree and are seeking higher education. A unique feature that sets this program apart is its emphasis on principles of nursing for rural and underserved communities. Coursework includes Diversity and Healthcare Policy in Rural Environment, Population Focused Community Health Theory, and Nursing Leadership & Management Theory. The program does not require a clinical component and would be best suited for the student not seeking this hands-on requirement. Please note that admission to this program requires a minimum of a 3.0 GPA. The Nursing program at Great Basin College is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN).
Tuition: $9,793
Enrollment: 3,244

#35 Missouri State University

Online BSN Nursing Completion Programs for RNs

Website
Points: 7

At the core of Missouri State University’s mission is a dedicated emphasis on developing community-centered and culturally aware leaders. With four on-site campuses and a distance learning presence, MSU houses more than 25,000 students, both on-campus and online. Among the 10 undergraduate programs offered fully online is the RN to BSN online program. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, Missouri State University’s School of Nursing BSN completion program requires 125 credits, featuring 40-credit hours of upper-level nursing courses and electives. The program offers multiple start dates per year and allows the flexibility for students to pursue their degree on a part-time or full-time basis, depending on current work schedules. All enrolled students will be required to earn a “C” or better in each course taken. Note that students will have additional financial responsibilities like purchasing uniforms and equipment and paying extra fees for clinical classes. Upon graduation, graduates holding their online BSN degree will be ready to pursue leadership roles within the nursing field or can continue to graduate-level nursing work.
Tuition: $14,746
Enrollment: 23,697

#34 Northeastern State University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 7

Located in Oklahoma, Northeastern State University provides a rigorous and well-rounded education, pulling from its vast Cherokee heritage. NSU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree completion program is offered fully online and designed for current RNs who work full-time. However, students can complete this program in as little as 10 months if taken on a full-time coursework schedule. In contrast, full-time working students can complete the program in 4-5 semesters, totally about 2 years. The curriculum includes coursework like Family Health Nursing, Community Health Nursing, Nursing Leadership & Management, and Current Trends & Issues in Nursing. Embedded in two of the courses are a 1-credit field experience component, to be completed locally or in their current place of employment. For interested students, NSU also offers a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN). NSU’s School of Nursing is fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN).
Tuition: $14,022
Enrollment: 7,909

#33 Coastal College of Georgia

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 7

As its name implies, Coastal College of Georgia is located along the beautiful Atlantic coast of Georgia, positioned halfway between Savannah and Jacksonville, FL. The school may operate on island time, but the educational backbone is robust, affordable, and interactive. Among its many online degrees is the Department of Nursing’s online RN to BSN degree program. The goal of the program at Coastal College of Georgia is to prepare RNs to advance in their careers or by propelling them into graduate nursing work. While the RN to BSN program can be taken completely online, it is important to note that students will have offline practicum requirements and must hold a current Georgia nursing license. Therefore, this program might be best suited for RNs currently working in the state of Georgia. There is only one start time per year, with RN to BSN online enrollment beginning in the fall semester.
Tuition: $12,918
Enrollment: 3,663

#32 Minot State University

Online BSN Nursing Completion Program for RNs

Website
Points: 7

A small school located in North Dakota, Minot State University provides a rigorous education that is centered around the needs of the modern-day student, both traditional and non-traditional. Accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, the RN to BSN online degree completion program at Minot State University is designed to provide students with advanced healthcare and nursing skills, building on life experiences and prior knowledge. One of the most impressive features of the online RN to BSN program at MSU is its commitment to providing a flexible education that fits the lifestyle of the busy working student or students with extra life obligations. Students can choose from part-time or full-time study, as well as a degree completion plan that works best for their schedules. Two, three, and four semester options are available. After completing general education requirements, students will take upper-level nursing courses like Issues in Healthcare Regulation & Professional Practices, Quality and Risk, Public Health for the Professional Nurse, and Transcultural Healthcare.
Tuition: $6,810
Enrollment: 3,216

#31 Broward College

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 8

Located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Broward College provides a flexible and renowned online education, housing over 70 online programs that serve over 56,000 students. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), the online RN to BSN degree program at Broward College is a hybrid model, where most classes can be taken online, but there is one on-campus lecture per week. Classes are formatted in 8-week blocks, and the whole degree can be completed in 3 semesters or as little as 12 months. There are 3 start times per year, including Fall, Spring, and Summer. Specific coursework includes Nursing Theory, Research for Nurses, and Nursing Leadership Development. Unique courses offered in the program include a one-of-a-kind End of Life course and a Legal Ethics for Nurses course. Students can expect clinical and lab work in addition to academic instruction. It is important to note that students must have a registered nurse license from the state of Florida, and therefore, this program would be best suited for RNs already residing and working in Florida. With the most affordable tuition on this list, Broward College is an economical choice for an online RN to BSN degree.
Tuition: $4,476
Enrollment: 40,754

#30 University of Wisconsin Green-Bay

RN to BSN Online

Website
Points: 9

Accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s reputable nursing program is designed for the busy, working professional who is self-motivated. This low-cost RN to BSN online program features asynchronous class styles, which means students can complete their coursework on their own schedule and pace. Courses include Women’s Health, Information Managemen, and Healthcare Technology, and Geographic Information Systems in Health.
Out-of-State Tuition: $15,728
Enrollment: 7,174

#29 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 10

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center offers an affordable online RN to BSN degree program through their Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing. Mini-semesters are divided into 7-week formats to accommodate the working professional. If taken on a full-time basis, students can complete this 30-credit program in only 3 semesters. Part-time students can finish in only 4 semesters. Learning outcomes include the ability to “access and use evidence in clinical decision-making, to understand informatics and their impact on practice; to have an expanded view of the impact of families and communities on health outcomes; and to serve in a leadership role on any healthcare team.”
Out-of-State Tuition: $18,848
Enrollment: 5,453

#28 Davenport University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 10

Davenport University’s nursing completion program results in an online BSN degree with an option to specialize in Medical Case Management. This online BSN program combines critical thinking skills, in-depth medical knowledge, and leadership and management skills to prepare students for careers in the nursing field. This program would be ideal for students who already work for Michigan Hospital Association, as they receive 20% tuition discounts. Students who are enrolled in a partnered community college could simultaneously earn their ADN and BSN in only three years by applying for the BSN Concurrent Pathway program.
Out-of-State Tuition: $17,558
Enrollment: 7,160

#27 Georgia Southern University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 10

Georgia Southern University offers an online RN to BSN program to students who have an RN license with the state of Georgia. Students are also required to attend an orientation on campus. Both of these requirements make this program less than ideal for prospective students from other states. However, students who are able to meet these requirements enjoy a flexible and affordable education that has been ranked highly by multiple publications. Courses comprising this include Nursing Leadership and Management, Community Health Nursing, and Health Assessment. Classes are taught in both asynchronous and synchronous methods and can be completed in 3-4 semesters while continuing to work.
Out-of-State Tuition: $17,142
Enrollment: 20,418

#26 University of Louisiana Lafayette

Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) Online Program

Website
Points: 11

The University of Louisiana Lafayette’s online Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offers a 30-credit comprehensive curriculum that blends professional, research, leadership, and collaboration skills to prepare graduates to confidently advance their careers in the patient care arena. With 4 start times per year, students can expect to take courses like Community Health Nursing with Diverse Population, Nursing in a Disaster, Evidence-Based Practice for RN to BSN, Nursing Leadership and Management, and Trends in Genetics and Genomics. In this fully online affordable RN to BSN program, students can complete the degree in as little as 12 months.
Out-of-State Tuition: $23,616
Enrollment: 17,297

#25 University of West Florida

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 11

The University of West Florida’s RN to BSN online degree program can be completed in as little as 12 months. With 6 convenient start dates per year and 7-week class format, students will take courses such as Health Education in the Community, Nursing Systems Management, and Law & Ethics in Nursing. Each online student will receive support and mentorship from an individual student coordinator throughout their entire program. This online degree may not be available in all states, so make sure to check your state’s eligibility before applying. Out-of-State residents may also qualify for tuition assistance which can make up the difference between out-of-state and in-state tuition up to 90%. A Master of Science in Nursing is also available.
Out-of-State Tuition: $19,241
Enrollment: 13,040

#24 Clarion University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 11

Clarion University offers an RN to BSN affordable online program that focuses on building on students’ previous education and experience to develop professional nursing skills. Students can earn college credits for life experience through both the Credit for Prior Learning Procedure and the College-Level Examination Program. Students can enter the program with up to 90 previously-earned credits through both these programs as well as transfers from other institutions. Online RN to BSN students who start with the maximum amount of previous credits can complete this program in only three semesters.
Out-of-State Tuition: $15,636
Enrollment: 5,225

#23 South Dakota State University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 11

South Dakota State University’s flexible low-cost online RN to BSN program can be completed in either 3 or 5 semesters. After completing the university core, students will take upper-level nursing courses like Family, and Communication, Leadership and Management, and Community Health. For students seeking graduate degrees in the nursing field, this program would be a great fit, as students can substitute two undergraduate courses for two graduate courses and get a jump-start on their graduate coursework. Online students will receive the same quality education and attention as on-campus students and will have thorough communication with faculty and professors.
Out-of-State Tuition: $11,689
Enrollment: 12,516

#22 Florida International University

RN to BSN Online

Website
Points: 12

Florida International University offers a fully online RN to BSN affordable degree program that can be taken part-time or full-time and can be completed in as little as 3 semesters. The coursework will focus on key areas like health, wellness, and care across cultures, nursing leadership in global healthcare, and community health. Specific upper-level courses include Professional Nursing Leadership: Concepts & Issues, Adult Physiological Nursing, Childrearing, and Adult Nursing. Students will also be required to participate in 30 hours of a workplace practicum, a class which also contains a theory component.
Out-of-State Tuition: $18,954
Enrollment: 56,718

#21 University of Toledo

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 12

The University of Toledo’s online affordable RN to BSN program provides an intense, relevant, and thorough instruction for practicing nurses. With multiple plans of study options, students can enroll two times per year and utilize the asynchronous class structure. Students can expect both academic support and technical support throughout their program. Sample courses include Transition to BSN Practice, Nursing Leadership and Management, Theory and Collaborative Practice, Health Promotion and Assessment of Families Across the Lifespan. Post-graduation, graduates can pursue management roles in the nursing profession or continue their education at the University of Toledo to pursue either an MSN or DNP degree.
Out-of-State Tuition: $18,885
Enrollment: 20,579

#20 California State University at Dominguez

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 12

California State University at Dominguez offers an online Bachelor of Science in Nursing designed for students who already hold a registered nurse license and operates for two main objectives (1) to make quality higher education in nursing more accessible to employed RNs and (2) to improve health care in California. It is important to note that this program has a few hybrid coursework elements, so it may be the best fit for students who reside in California or can access campus 1-3 days a semester. Students will have access to an academic advisor. For those desiring to pursue graduate work, CSU at Dominguez also offers a Master of Science in Nursing as well many post-masters nursing certificates.
Out-of-State Tuition: $18,717
Enrollment: 16,219

#19 Bowling Green State University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 12

Bowling Green State University’s RN to BSN online program is based around Orem’s self-care deficit theory in nursing. This makes the program a great fit for students who want to take a more person-centered and community-centered approach to nursing. Students can choose between four different pacing options, with the most rigorous option being the two semesters completion track and the most relaxed option being the seven semesters completion track. All seven core nursing courses are offered completely online, so online RN to BSN students don’t have to worry about dropping their nursing responsibilities to meet on campus. Core courses include Applied Pathophysiology and Pharmacology, Interpersonal Skills in Nursing of Older Adults, and Nursing Leadership and Management.
Out-of-State Tuition: $18,593
Enrollment: 17,357

#18 Lamar University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 12

Lamar University’s online RN to BSN program is a broad program that prepares students for a wide variety of healthcare settings. Topics studied include synthesis in professional nursing, care of communities, and evidence-based practice. Courses are designed to be immediately applicable to students’ current jobs. Most students can complete this 30-credit program in just over a year, even when working full time. Flexibility is a priority, so online RN to BSN students don’t have to worry about compromising their work responsibilities for their school responsibilities or vice-versa.
Out-of-State Tuition: $18,274
Enrollment: 14,506

#17 California University of Pennsylvania

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 12

California University of Pennsylvania’s online RN to BSN program is delivered in an accelerated cohort format. This means that students enjoy the benefits of a close-knit community of peers, but they give up some flexibility. Students take three courses per semester for three semesters and finish the program in only a year or can pursue a part-time path and finish in 4 semesters. Courses include Family Health Nursing, Community Health Nursing, Health Assessment, and Trends and Issues in Nursing. This RN to BSN online program is great for students who need an online program to fit their busy schedules but still want a bit more structure than most online programs offer.
Out-of-State Tuition: $15,326
Enrollment: 7,788

#16 Slippery Rock University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 12

Slippery Rock University’s RN to BSN low-cost online program is designed to accommodate students with full-time jobs. Delivered in a 7.5-week class format, the curriculum is completely online and asynchronous, so students can access course materials when it’s most convenient to them. It was one of the first regionally accredited nursing programs to be offered online, so faculty members are experienced in teaching via this format. Topics studied include healthcare information systems, diversity, and evidence-based decision making. Interesting courses offered are Social Media and Healthcare, Health Care Informatics, and Medical/Health Care Ethics. After graduation, online RN to BSN students will be prepared for a wide range of nursing jobs, as well as entry into graduate programs.
Out-of-State Tuition: $14,193
Enrollment: 8,866

#15 Linfield College

RN to BSN Online

Website
Points: 12

With three start times per year, Linfield College’s reputable and fully accredited online programs offer admissions counselors, academic advisors, and strong technical support to all online students. Among the 30+ degree and certificate programs offered online is the online RN to BSN degree. This affordable online nursing program utilizes a community-centered curriculum to build skills in key areas like professional communication, leadership, cultural sensitivity, and population health. Students will be prepared to advance their careers in fields such as Nurse Training/Education, Public and Community Health, Leadership and Management in Nursing, Hospice and Home Health, RN Case Management.
Out-of-State Tuition: $13,365
Enrollment: 344

#14 Bellevue University

RN to BSN Online

Website
Points: 12

Bellevue University’s RN to BSN online program not only prepares nurses to excel in the ever-evolving world of healthcare, but also prepares graduates to pursue roles in leadership by integrating skills in decision-making, management, and health promotion into the curriculum. After completing online core requirements and some upper-level coursework, students will complete a practicum in their local area. Students will take one asynchronous class at a time every six weeks, giving them the flexibility to work around their schedules and to focus on one subject matter at a time. Specific coursework includes Strategic Nursing Leadership, Healthcare Regulation, and Professional Collaborative Strategies for Nurses. Because of its low tuition costs and emphasis on leadership skills, Bellevue’s cheap RN to BSN online degree program would be a great decision for aspiring nurses.
Out-of-State Tuition: $7,752
Enrollment: 8,655

#13 Northern Arizona University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 13

Ranked #1 Best Online College by Affordable Colleges online, Northern Arizona University provides two flexible paths towards online learning. Students can choose a structured and guided path where tuition is based on credit hours, and there are multiple start dates per year and organized class schedules. In contrast, students could choose a self-paced path where students can start at any time of the year, set their own schedule, and pay a flat subscription rate that lasts 6 months. Among their many online programs is the RN to BSN online degree program. Learning outcomes include Clinical Practice and Prevention, Communication, Critical reasoning, Leadership, Professionalism and Professional Values, and Global Health.
Out-of-State Tuition: $24,841
Enrollment: 31,051

#12 University of Arkansas

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 13

The University of Arkansas offers a completely online RN to BSN program that is designed and taught by full-time faculty members with experience in the field. This program consists of 11 eight-hour courses, one of which is an immersion course that can be completed locally. Flexibility in scheduling is a priority, so students can pace themselves to complete the program in only one year or in up to two years. Topics comprising the curriculum for this RN to BSN online program include critical care, pharmacology, and professional role implementation.
Out-of-State Tuition: $24,308
Enrollment: 27,558

#11 Sam Houston State University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 13

Sam Houston State University offers its fully online RN to BSN program to students with a Texas RN license. The degree program can be taken full-time or part-time. The curriculum emphasizes patient advocacy, ethical accountability, and therapeutic communication. Students who complete this program are prepared for both graduate nursing programs and career advancement. Specific coursework includes Rural Health Nursing, RN-to-BSN Role Transition, Legal & Ethical Issues in Nursing, and Nursing Genetics and Genomics.
Out-of-State Tuition: $18,022
Enrollment: 20,938

#10 Western Carolina University

RN to BSN Online

Website
Points: 13

Western Carolina University offers a fully online RN to BSN degree program that is designed for working nurses. The coursework consists of 4 Blocks of learning (Professional transitions in nursing, community health, leadership, and research) as well as upper-level electives and a practicum. Students can earn their BSN degree in only 4 semesters. For those students living in North Carolina, tuition has dropped to only $53.88 per credit hour, making the cost of the program only about $3,500 (the cheapest RN to BSN degree program on this rankings list).
Out-of-State Tuition: $17,290
Enrollment: 11,034

#9 Indiana University School of Nursing

Online RN to BSN Degree Completion

Website
Points: 13

Indiana University offers an affordable RN to BSN degree completion option through their School of Nursing. The program is designed to fit the needs of the working professional who already holds their registered nurse license, and it can be completed in as little as 12 months or can be stretched out to 2 years. The coursework is delivered in 6 and 8-week learning formats, and students can expect to take classes like Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Response, The Art and Science of Complementary Health, New Innovations in Health and Health Care, and Global Health Issues in Nursing. Students will also be able to pursue clinical experiences where they currently work.
Out-of-State Tuition: $17,271
Enrollment: 12,431

#8 Fort Hays State University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 13

Fort Hays State University offers a completely online RN to BSN program that is designed to be completed in three semesters. With 3 start times per year, students can access their coursework anytime that fits their schedules and from anywhere in the world. Prospective RN to BSN online students should consult the university’s website and faculty to determine whether or not their previous education will transfer, as many institutions’ credit is not accepted by Fort Hays. Upper-level courses include Intro to Evidence-Based Research, Legal & Ethical Issues in Healthcare, and Trends Facing Healthcare.
Out-of-State Tuition: $14,832
Enrollment: 15,100

#7 SUNY—Delhi

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 13

SUNY – Delhi’s online RN to BSN affordable program is designed to be flexible enough to accommodate students working full time as registered nurses, but can be taken as a part-time or full-time commitment. The program requires no visits to campus, with students completing their practicum experiences in their local area. Courses are taught by faculty with experience and the highest available credentials in the field. Courses offered include Ethics in Health Care, Epidemiology, and Population and Community Health Nursing. Most students who complete this RN to BSN online program find employment or are enrolled in a graduate program within six months of graduation.
Out-of-State Tuition: $12,290
Enrollment: 3,511

#6 University of North Alabama

RN to BSN Online

Website
Points: 13

The University of North Alabama’s 30-credit asynchronous, online RN to BSN degree completion program utilizes innovative strategies and flexible schedules to accommodate and prepare the working RN student for a Bachelor’s degree and career as a nurse. Specific coursework includes Diversity, Ethics, Health Promotion, & Informatics in Patient-Centered Care, Health Policy, Social Issues, and Theory, and Quality and Safety in Professional Nursing. One positive feature is that online students are not charged non-resident fees, resulting in in-state tuition for online programs and making it one of the cheapest RN to BSN online programs on this rankings list. Note that residents in California, Florida, or Massachusetts are not eligible for this program. The tuition at the University of North Alabama is one of the cheapest RN to BSN online degree programs on this list.
In-State Tuition for Online Students: $8,480
Enrollment: 7,204

#5 University of Central Florida

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 14


The University of Central Florida’s RN to BSN online degree program is open to practicing registered nurses from a variety of educational backgrounds. However, application requirements can be difficult to navigate and fulfill for prospective students whose previous education was not completed in Florida. This program can be completed without any visits to UCF’s campuses, however. Students can complete this program in only three semesters if students choose the heaviest course load allowed, but those online RN to BSN students who prefer a more relaxed pace can take one course at a time and take as long as 10 semesters if necessary. Students will complete 56 credit hours of core requirements, including classes like Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing, Health Promotion Across the Lifespan, and Nursing Care of the Adult I. One degree certificate in Aging Studies and 4 related minors are available in this affordable online RN to BSN program.
Out-of-State Tuition: $22,467
Enrollment: 66,059

#4 CUNY School of Professional Studies

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 14

The CUNY School of Professional Studies offers an online RN to BSN program that emphasizes professional development and adaptation to the changing global healthcare market. Topics studied include nursing informatics, care of culturally diverse populations, and global health and policy. This program is transfer friendly, and students can earn credit for work experience and non-collegiate education through multiple options, including portfolio evaluation and subject-area examinations. Altogether, students can enter this RN to BSN online program with up to 90 prior learning credits, which allows them to complete the program quickly and advance in their careers.
Out-of-State Tuition: $18,000
Enrollment:

#3 American Public University

RN to BSN Online

Website
Points: 15

Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), American Public University offers a fully online Bachelor of Science in Nursing, designed for current RNs in the workplace who hold a current, active, and unencumbered license. The curriculum focuses on developing nurses in the three core areas of Practitioner, Scientist, and Leader, preparing them to excel as nurses or propel them into graduate studies. Benefits of the program include earning college credits for work or military experience and free online books at no additional cost. Note that this program is not open to admission for students in Tennessee or Washington State. American Public University holds the cheapest tuition for online RN to BSN programs on this rankings list.
Out-of-State Tuition: $6,880
Enrollment: 46,420

#2 Penn State University- World Campus

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 17
Penn State World Campus
Penn State University – World Campus offers an RN to BSN program that is especially flexible when it comes to format. Students can choose between traditional, online, and hybrid formats, and they can choose whether or not to take it at an accelerated pace. This flexibility does not come at the cost of quality or interaction with peers and professors. Students are taught the same curriculum and have the same professors as their on-campus counterparts, and RN to BSN online students are able to regularly interact with faculty and with each other through email, discussion boards, and video chat. To set students apart from their peers, they can earn 3 various certificates including Nursing Management, Nursing Informatics, or the Nursing Forensics. Ranked in the top 10 online Bachelor’s degree programs by the US News and World Report and one of the most low-cost RN to BSN degrees on this list makes Penn State’s online RN to BSN degree very desirable.
Out-of-State Tuition: $13,988
Enrollment: 14,301

#1 West Texas A&M University

Online RN to BSN

Website
Points: 17

Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), West Texas A&M University’s online RN to BSN program is designed to be flexible. Students can set their pace to complete the program in only one year or in roughly two years. Advisors work closely with students to ensure that their plans of study meet their needs. Practical and clinical experience requirements can be met through a variety of methods, including simulations, mentored experiences, and case studies. Students who graduate from this RN to BSN online program are prepared for both a wide variety of nursing jobs and master’s programs in nursing. As one of the most affordable programs on this rankings list, West Texas A & M also offers a post-graduation tuition rebate program for those that qualify.
Out-of-State Tuition: $9,117
Enrollment: 10,060

 

 

What is a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing?

A Bachelor’s degree in Nursing is an undergraduate degree from select colleges and universities that provides active Registered Nurses with the knowledge and credentials to confidently work in the nursing sector of healthcare. While it’s not necessary to hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree to work as a Registered Nurse, many RNs are considering this option to get better paying jobs and positions of leadership. Students seeking an online RN to BSN degree will already hold an Associate Degree of Nursing (ADN), which allows graduates to perform simple nursing duties like reading medical charts, performing medical assessments, and recording patient symptoms. An ADN degree usually takes about two years to complete. Most students in RN to BSN programs are also working full-time in their nursing careers, and are therefore juggling work and school. BSN programs keep that in mind with their extreme flexibility, allowing students to complete degrees in as little as 12 months or in some cases, up to five years. Many healthcare institutions are now desiring BSN degrees because research has shown that patients who receive better quality care from RNs with higher education. The Bachelor of Nursing degree will also help RNs advance to positions of leadership and management. For those RNs desiring even more responsibility, including larger supervisory and administrative roles, a Master’s Degree in Nursing online is also available from many programs listed on this rankings list.

What are the most frequently searched RN to BSN programs?

Grand Canyon University – Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing: GCU offers an RN to BSN program that can be completed in as few as 12 months. They also offer a fast-track option to achieve both a BSN and an MSN in as few as 30 months.

University of Phoenix – Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing: The RN to BSN program at University of Phoenix is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and can be completed in 14 months. The program’s format allows you to take one five-week course at a time as you earn the required 120 credits which makes it ideal for working adults.

Chamberlain University – Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing: The RN to BSN program at Chamberlain offers a comprehensive curriculum that was developed by registered nurses and can be completed in as few as 14 months. Its 100% online format allows working RNs to tailor their course of study to fit their schedules.

Western Governors University – Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing: Accredited by the CCNE, the online RN to BSN program at WGU is offered 100% online. The program is credit transfer friendly and tuition rates remain the same regardless of how many classes you take per semester.

Ohio University – Online Bachelor of Science in Nursing: The Ohio University’s online RN to BSN program is CCNE accredited and courses are offered in 5-week increments with 8 start dates per year. It should be noted that only residents of Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia will be accepted into the program.

FAQs

1. Are online RN to BSN programs hard?
Some people have a misconception that online schooling is an easier option than attending on-campus. However, most programs share that online school can, in fact, be harder than on-campus programs because attending school online takes an immense amount of self-discipline. The coursework for online RN to BSN programs is usually the same as traditional programs, but the main factor to consider when thinking of enrolling in an online program is whether or not you have the time and motivation to complete the degree within the given timeframe. But one positive thing to point out is that RNs already have an Associate’s degree in nursing and experience working in the healthcare field, so adding this additional degree won’t be as hard as it seems if you utilize the knowledge and skills you already have gained.

2. Are online RN to BSN programs good?
While some students may be concerned that an online degree may not hold the same weight as a traditional degree, as culture changes, employers are thinking less about the nature of the degree and more about the total package of the applicant. In fact, RN to BSN programs are geared toward working nurse professionals, so employers 100% understand that students are juggling work and school at the same time, which could most likely say a lot about your ability to manage schedules and work under pressure. And because online education requires a high amount of self-discipline, completing the degree can be a sign of a hard worker that would be an asset to any nursing staff.

3. Are there any RN to BSN programs that do not require clinicals?
While clinical and practicum experiences are a requirement of most BSN programs, a select few do not require clinical field experiences, including schools like Grand Canyon University. Other programs like the University of North Georgia offer flexible options for fulfilling clinical requirements, including online activities. However, don’t fret. If you do select a program that requires logging hours, most clinical work can be documented at your current place of work, which fulfills the requirement while you are getting paid. Win-win? We think so!

4. Are there any RN to BSN programs that do not require chemistry?
Most RN to BSN programs do not have a chemistry component, as the curriculum focuses on upper-level nursing courses. However, chemistry is a prerequisite in most ADN programs, which is a requirement for entrance to the RN to BSN degree programs. The good news is that once you complete your ADN degree and start working towards your BSN degree, your general education curriculum has already been completed, and you can focus on specialized nursing courses.

5. Are all online RN BSN programs accredited?
No, not all online RN to BSN programs are accredited. While it’s not necessarily a requirement to attend an accredited school to obtain a job or sit for the NCLEX exam, it is always a good idea to receive an education from an accredited school, especially if you decide to pursue a Master’s or Doctoral degree. Many higher education programs require degrees from accredited institutions. Plus, it will give you an edge when interviewing and applying for advanced jobs with your new BSN degree. Three main accreditation institutions to look for when selecting the right college include The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN).

6. Are there online RN BSN programs with no prerequisites?
No, all RN to BSN programs require an Associate’s degree in Nursing, as well as an active nursing license. RN is short for registered nurse, so all applicants must clearly be a registered nurse. If you have your ADN, but your license has lapsed, check with the school you are applying for to determine what your next steps are. The school should be able to clearly tell you what you need to do to get your credentials in order. If you have a degree in another field but feel called to change careers, don’t let your degree stop you. You won’t eligible to apply for an RN to BSN degree program since you aren’t a registered nurse, but there are plenty of 4-year BSN programs that start the program from scratch. In addition, other programs will let you transfer most of your general education credits, so you may be farther along in the process than you think.

7. How much do online RN BSN programs cost?
The cost of RN to BSN programs varies greatly, and even on this rankings list, you will find yearly tuition costs anywhere from $5,000 all the way to $25,000. You will want to think about your budget, and how much you are willing to pay for your education. However, a higher price tag doesn’t always equal a higher quality education. When selecting the right school, make sure to also check the flexibility of the program to see if it will fit into your life. You’ll also want to determine whether classes are delivered in synchronous and asynchronous formats, and choose a program that best fits your lifestyle and commitments.

8. How can I pay for an online RN BSN?
Making room in your budget for school costs can be daunting. But luckily, there are many scholarships and financial aid options available. Most schools have information on their website to help guide you in that process. For military service members, many schools have tuition discounts or special scholarships available, so make to sure to look for those in your search. Another option is to talk to the institution where you currently work as an RN. Some have tuition reimbursement programs, where they will pay for your education, and you can pay them back through working contracts.

9. Are there any RN to BSN programs that are only one year in length?
While most programs typically take two years to complete, there are some accelerated programs available that range from 12-15 months in length. Many programs also offer flexible options, allowing students to take as many as 4 courses at a time in order to speed up the process. Check with each school to see what full-time, part-time, and accelerated options they offer. A few colleges on this rankings list that offer accelerated programs include Broward College and Clayton State University.

10. Does the location of the school matter for my online degree?
If you are taking a 100% online RN to BSN program, the location of the school will not matter, as all coursework will be submitted online and field experiences can be completed in your regional location. However, some degree programs offer blended options or have mandatory orientation requirements, so make sure to check the details of your program before fully committing. Other students might prefer to live geographically close to their chosen school for support in advising or practicum placements. That decision will be completely up to you and what you prefer. Note that many schools do have online advising and student support, as well as video/Skype capabilities with faculty and mentors. But if face-to-face support is important to you, choosing a school near to you might be a wise choice.

Concentration Types

In all of the schools surveyed for this rankings list, there are no concentrations available in this degree type, as the degree is very specific for helping Registered Nurses obtain a Bachelor’s degree. However, for those graduates desiring a Master’s or Doctorate degree, specialties are available for higher degrees, including outcomes in Nursing, Nursing Education, Business Administration, Healthcare Administration, and more. Deciding which path to take will be up to you and your career goals.

FAQ Career Questions

1. What can I do with an online RN to BSN degree?
Earning your BSN degree can advance your career in many ways, like taking on mid and higher level leadership positions that include roles in management and administration. You can choose from many different paths, including Nurse Educators, Family Nurse Practitioners, Case Managers, Midwifery, and more. Other graduates might use their BSN degree as a segue into their pursuit of a Master’s or Doctoral degree in the nursing field.

2. How much can I earn with an online RN to BSN degree?
According to Pay Scale.com, RNs with a BSN can earn anywhere from $52,000-$102,000, depending on the specific job and years experience.

3. What are the best jobs for an online RN to BSN degree?
While there are hundreds of specialized nursing positions, when choosing a career path for yourself, it’s important to think about what you love to do. For example, if you love kids, choosing a path as a Pediatric Nurse or a School Nurse would suit you well. On the other hand, if you are interested in geriatric care, choosing a field in Gerontology in Hospice Care or Retirement communities might be a better fit. If you desire to enter the education field, there are many options to become a nursing educator.

4. Can I work while I get my online RN to BSN degree? 

Yes. If you already hold an Associates Degree in Nursing, you can work and complete your online BSN degree simultaneously. In fact, there are several benefits to working while completing your degree. You will have real-world experience already under your belt, which could help you understand and apply coursework easier. In addition, some hospitals might have tuition reimbursement programs, which could help you get your degree at a reduced cost. Depending on your course load and other life commitments, you may need to work part-time in order to manage both work and school. But, that will be completely up to you and what you feel like you can handle.

5. Are there professional associations for RNs? 

Yes. There are dozens of professional associations for RNs. Two of the larger organizations that serve all RNs are the American Nurse Association (ANA) and the International Council of Nurses (INC). RNs will also want to become members of state associations in the state in which they hold their license.

Our picks for the Top 20 RN to BSN Programs of 2018

#20 – Fitchburg State University
#19 – Slippery Rock University
#18 – Clarion University
#17 – Minot State University
#16 – University of Illinois – Chicago
#15 – Georgia College
#14 – University of Central Florida
#13 – University of Arkansas
#12 – Ohio University
#11 – Georgia Southern University
#10 – Penn State University- World Campus
#9 – Southeast Missouri State University
#8 – Sam Houston State University
#7 – Arizona State University
#6 – The Ohio State University
#5 – CUNY School of Professional Studies
#4 – California University of Pennsylvania
#3 – West Texas A&M University
#2 – Fort Hays State University
#1 – New England Institute of Technology

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