Accelerated Online BSN Admissions Requirements by Program

All registered nurses (RNs) must complete an accredited nursing education program. At a minimum, aspiring nurses need to earn an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or an associate’s of science in nursing (ASN). However, a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) is highly recommended as it demonstrates additional education and competency. 

While some students may complete a BSN as their first degree, many more have only completed an associate’s or diploma but want to pursue additional education. These programs are called RN-to-BSN degrees. Many RN-to-BSN programs do not have a previous degree requirement and only ask for proof of a current, active, and unencumbered RN license. 

Additionally, some students pursue a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing and want to make the career switch. These students don’t need to complete a full four-year BSN and can enroll in a program that offers just the necessary nursing education. 

Both types of BSN are available online in an accelerated format that can be completed in as little as a year. Some accelerated programs can take longer, depending on how much education is completed. Typical, accelerated BSN programs for non-nursing bachelor’s degree holders take the least time. Some schools call these programs accelerated bachelor’s of science in nursing (ABSN) or distance-based accelerated bachelor’s of science in nursing (DABSN), as is the case at Emory University. 

Other than a previous degree or RN licensure, admission requirements include prerequisite coursework, a minimum GPA in prior coursework, letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and previous work experience. Applicants must demonstrate aptitude for rigorous studies as online accelerated BSN programs are intensive. 

Some programs may require applicants to take a Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) or Health Education Systems, Inc. (HESI) exam before applying. These tests evaluate a candidate’s academic readiness for these demanding programs or demonstrate the applicant’s current healthcare knowledge. While some schools may require all applicants to sit for these exams, some may only require it of candidates whose GPA falls below a given threshold. 

There are many accelerated BSN programs available through online learning. All accelerated online BSN programs require students to complete hands-on labs and clinical experiences in person. RNs may be able to meet these at their place of employment, although attending clinicals through the program is most common. Some may require students to all attend clinicals at approved locations near the school, while others may let students find a location near their home. 

Here is a list of 30 schools that offer accelerated online BSN degrees, along with their admission requirements: 

SchoolDegree Required to ApplyGPAUnencumbered and Active Nursing License?Prerequisite CourseworkOther Requirements
Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of NursingNon-nursing bachelor’sN/ANoGeneral chemistry with lab, human anatomy and, physiology I and II with lab, microbiology with lab, nutrition, introductory statistics, human growth and development or lifespan developmentCurrent resume
University of Texas at ArlingtonNone2.25YesNoneNone
Baylor University Louise Herrington School of NursingNon-nursing bachelor’s3.0 on prerequisites, 2.75 on science prerequisitesNo52 credits of prerequisite coursesHESI exam
Wilkes UniversityNon-nursing bachelor’s3.0NoMicrobiology with the lab, human anatomy and physiology one and two with lab, chemistry with lab, elementary statistics, and principles of normal nutritionTwo letters of recommendation, statement of professional goals. Must reside in Indiana, Pennsylvania, or Vermont
Chamberlain UniversityNon-nursing bachelor’s2.75NoNoneHESI exam, drug screening, background check.
Marymount UniversityNon-nursing bachelor’s2.8NoAnatomy and physiology one and two with lab, general chemistry for health science majors, developmental psychology, microbiology with lab, nutrition, sociology or anthropology, and statistical analysisTEAS exam
Roseman University of Health Sciences College of NursingNone2.75NoPhysical or biological science, social science, statistics, college composition, humanities, electives, and US or Nevada constitution.TEAS exam
Western Governors UniversityAssociate’sN/AYesNoneHESI exam, pass a criminal background check
West Coast UniversityAssociate’s2.25YesNoneNone
Marian University Leighton School of Nursing Non-nursing bachelor’s2.8NoIntroduction to microbiology, human anatomy, General human physiology, elements of general and biological chemistry, abnormal psychology, and human growth and developmentNone
Northeastern University Bouvé College of Health Sciences School of NursingNon-nursing bachelorsC or higher in prerequisite courseworkNoMicrobiology with the lab, human anatomy and physiology one and two with a lab, introduction to chemistry, statistics, Social and behavioral sciences, developmental psychology, and nutritionGoal statement, current resume, and two letters of recommendation
University of Wisconsin OshKosh College of Nursing
Non-nursing bachelor’s2.5, 3.0 on prerequisitesNoBiological concepts, anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, biochemistry, English composition, growth development and health across the lifespan, psychology, college-level math, and speechCriminal background check, proof of residence in an approved state,and  CNA certification. Current hospital employment and work experience as a CNA preferred
University of IndianapolisBachelor’s degree in any field2.82NoHuman anatomy, physiology, microbiology, organic chemistry one and two, introduction to psychology, social science, philosophy, and statistics or college algebraHESI exam
Arizona State UniversityNone2.5YesEnglish composition and college level mathMeet transfer admission requirements. Must reside in the US and there are restrictions on which states.
California State University San Marcos
ADN2.0, 2.5 for students with a bachelor’sNoStatistics, oral communication, written communication, critical thinking, microbiology for health sciences, introduction to human anatomy and physiology one and two, and general, organic and biochemistry for lifeAt least 60 transfer units.
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical UniversityNone2.0YesFreshman communicative skills, college algebra,  chemistry for health sciences, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, introduction to psychology, human growth and development, nutrition, and intro to probability and statistics. Two sequential courses of foreign language in high school required.60 transfer credits
Franklin UniversityAssociate’s or diploma in nursingC or better in prerequisite coursesYesContact the admissions teamHigh school diploma or 60 transferable credits
Eastern Michigan UniversityNone2.5YesNone
Widener UniversityAssociate’s in nursing3.0YesStatisticsStudents who don’t have their license yet can apply and be admitted but must be licensed before classes start
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
School of Nursing
ADN2.5Yes63 credit hours of prerequisitesCurrent immunizations, cleared background check.
Pennsylvania State UniversityNoneNoneYesTwo years of a world language at the high school level
Holy Family UniversityBachelor’s in any field3.0NoAnatomy and physiology 1 and 2 with lab, microbiology with lab, nutrition taught by a registered dietitian, an elementary statisticsPersonal statement and one letter of recommendation
University of Louisiana at LafayetteADN or diploma2.4YesNone
Drexel UniversityAssociate’s or diploma in nursing2.0Yes30 hours of nursing credits as well as English, humanities, anatomy and physiology, microbiology, sociology, growth and development, and psychology
Labouré College of HealthcareNone2.5YesNone
Rockhurst UniversityBachelor’s in any field2.7NoAnatomy and physiology 1 and 2 with lab, microbiology with lab, General chemistry or organic chemistry with lab, nutrition, statistics, and lifespan and developmental psychologyCurrent resume and must reside in an authorized state
LaSalle UniversityNone2.5YesNoneMust be in an authorized state
University of Hawaii Manoa Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of NursingAssociate’s or diploma in nursing2.0 for UH graduates, 2.5 for all other applicantsYesNone
Concordia University TexasNone3.0NoChemistry with a lab, microbiology with a lab, human anatomy and physiology 1 and 2 with the lab, nutrition,  intro to statistics,  lifespan development, medical Spanish for healthcare professionals, and introduction to psychologyTEAS exam, CPR and basic life support certification, background check, and drug screening
Southern Utah UniversityNone2.5YesNoneDrug screening
Kimmy Gustafson

Kimmy Gustafson


Kimmy Gustafson is a freelance writer with extensive experience writing about nursing careers and education. She has worked in public health, at health-focused nonprofits, and as a Spanish interpreter for doctor’s offices and hospitals. She has a passion for learning, which drives her to stay up to date on the latest trends in healthcare. When not writing or researching, she can be found pursuing her passions of nutrition and an active outdoors lifestyle.