12 Best Online Nursing Programs for Non-Nurses

Are you considering making a switch to a nursing career, but don’t have a background in the field?

Many people transition into nursing from other industries, and with the right education and training, it’s entirely possible to become a successful nurse.

In this article, we highlight 12 of the best online nursing programs for non-nurses: essentially, people without a nursing background or education.

These programs are designed to provide the necessary foundation for you, an aspiring nurse, to succeed in your studies and ultimately in your career.

Read: Guide to Accelerated Nursing Programs: What are they?

The programs are flexible, convenient, and comprehensive enough to cater to your needs.

But first, here is a visual graphic for:

12 Best Online Nursing Programs for Non-Nurses, Ranked by NCLEX-RN Pass Rate

Ok, enough chit-chat! Here we go:

1. Emory University’s Distance Accelerated BSN

Program Overview

Emory’s Distance Accelerated BSN program (DABSN) allows you to get a degree in one year. If you do not live in Atlanta, you’re allowed to do your labs in approved facilities near your location.

Duration: 1 year

Campus Location: Atlanta, Georgia

To qualify, you are required to have a bachelor’s degree in another subject from an accredited university. Also, there are 48 credit hours, and to meet them, you enroll for 3 semesters.

The first semester covers the basics, the second your labs and clinical practice, and the third intensive clinical practice on the Emory campus.

Admission Requirements

  • Non-nursing Bachelor’s degree
  • Transcripts
  • Resume
  • Prerequisites
  • $50 application fee

What We Like

Just 3 semesters and you’ll be ready for your NCLEX-RN exams! They also help you pay for the mandatory visits to Emory.

2. Kent State’s Accelerated Second Degree BSN

Program Overview

Kent State’s ABSN is one of the best partially online programs for non-nurses who already have a degree in a different field. It combines classroom, laboratory, and supervised clinical setting instruction to prepare you for professional nursing.

Duration: 15 months

Campus Location: Kent, Ohio

Kent State will give you the 59-credit hours degree in 15 months. You’ll complete your labs and other hands-on exercises at approved facilities nearby.

Admission Requirements

  • High school GPA of at least 2.75 out of a possible 4.0 or an ACT score of 22 or an SAT of 1100
  • Prerequisites in Anatomy & Physiology I, Anatomy & Physiology II, Microbiology, and Chemistry.
  • A “C” or higher in algebra, too.

What We Like

Being a public research university, tuition is cheaper.

3. Marymount University Accelerated Second-Degree BSN

Program Overview

This online nursing program for non-nurses prepares you for the deeper aspects of nursing, including the mental health aspects of nursing.

Duration: 16 months

Campus Location: Arlington, Virginia.

You’ll do your clinical and residency parts of the course on campus in Virginia. Check here to know if your state participates in Marymount’s online nursing programs.

You’ll have prepared your prerequisites with a “C” grade, a Bachelor’s degree in anything, a GPA of 2.8 out of 4.0, a recommendation letter, and a writing example.

The program is 16 months for a total of 65 credit hours and 640 clinical hours.

Admission Requirements

  • Transfer application
  • Transcripts,
  • TEAS exam
  • Resume
  • Letter of recommendation
  • An essay on nursing
  • Complete your prerequisites.

What We Like

This university places its grads in professional positions. Also, the course isn’t long and costs much the same as other universities.

Related: 8 Best TEAS Prep Courses Today, According to Nursing Students

4. Chamberlain University’s BSN Online

Program Overview

Chamberlain’s BSN Online program combines a high-quality curriculum specifically designed for online delivery with opportunities to gain hands-on skills and experience through clinical rotations.

Duration: 3 years

Campus Location: Addison, Illinois.

You’ll do your clinicals in Iowa, Wisconsin, Virginia, Maryland, or Nebraska.

This online nursing program is 3 years long and has 122 credit hours, including general education and nursing courses.

Admission Requirements

  • 2.75 GPA from an approved high school or institution of higher learning.
  • A score of 73 or higher on a custom HESI Admission Assessment or A2 test.
  • Drug test, background check, and fingerprint information within 120 days of beginning the course.

What We Like

It’s a fantastic convenience that you can attend a university for your labs and clinicals at a campus near you. Unfortunately, you still have to travel to Illinois for your skills evaluation, but that’s a minor consideration.

Also, the admissions requirements and tuition are comparable to other universities. You’ll be licensed and ready to rock at the end of your course.

What We Don’t Like

Takes significantly longer than most other online nursing programs for non-nurses. 3 years to be exact.

5. Methodist College BSN Second Degree

Program Overview

If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and want to be an RN, this 75-credit units program is perfect for you.

Duration: Approx 15 months

Campus Location: Peoria, Illinois.

Classes are held online, except for weekend (early Saturday to late Sunday afternoons) face-to-face classes and clinicals, which are held physically in the school’s Peoria facilities.

The synchronous and asynchronous online classes are offered on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

Admission Requirements

  • Proof of a bachelor’s degree in another field
  • Minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 (on a 4.0 scale)
  • Transcripts,
  • Personal Statement, and letters of reference.
  • For prerequisites, you’ll need Anatomy and Physiology I and II, and Microbiology- all with labs for 4 credits each.

What We Like

The admissions process is relatively simple. Plus, you get to complete the coursework in under two years. Also, labs and clinicals are done on the weekends, which hopefully won’t interfere with your weekday day job.

What We Don’t Like

You have to live nearby to attend this program. Even though you can attend online, you are required to be available for weekend face-to-face classes.

Note: If you have a non- bachelor’s degree and want to become an RN and still intend to pursue more career opportunities or doctoral studies in nursing, then you should also consider Methodist’s Master of Science in Nursing Prelicensure.

Related: Pros and Cons of Accelerated Nursing Programs

6. Marian University Accelerated BSN Program

Program Overview

Specifically designed for students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, Marian’s Second-Degree ABSN program combines online theoretical courses with hands-on skills training, simulation labs, and in-person clinical experiences, and is completed in four semesters of full-time study.

Duration: 16 months

Campus Location: Indianapolis, IN.

Clinical sites include Nashville, TN, Indianapolis, IN, and Oklahoma City, OK. You may begin in January, May, or August.

At the end of your course, you’ll be able to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.

Admission Requirements

  • Proof of a non-nursing bachelor’s degree
  • Minimum overall cumulative 2.8 GPA or a 3.0 GPA for the last 60 credit hours completed.
  • Complete all ABSN prerequisites
  • Get drug tested, a background check, immunizations, and other screenings as required.

What We Like

Marian University is a faith-based institution teaching holistic healing (mind, body, and spirit), and that might be a positive for some students.

Also, we like that you have 3 campuses on which to do your in-person work. Lastly, the tuition is pretty reasonable, too.

You’ve made it this far? Great! Here’s a short video on ABSN programs. Enjoy!

7. Northeastern University Online Accelerated BSN Program

Program Overview

The Northeastern University ABSN program offers a fast track for individuals with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree to become an RN.

Duration: 16 months

Campus Location: Boston, Massachusetts.

With locations near Boston, MA, and Charlotte, NC, the program is hybrid and combines online coursework with hands-on clinical experiences.

It can be completed in just 16 months, with three start dates available each year – January, May, and September. If you are a transfer student with a minimum of 62 non-nursing college credits and are interested in a career in nursing, the Northeastern University ABSN program at Charlotte is the best fit for you.

Admission Requirements

  • A 3.0 GPA in a non-nursing field
  • A Personal Statement, an up-to-date resume, a video essay, 3 letters of reference
  • Complete your prerequisites with a “C” or higher. Further instructions are here.

What We Like

The program promises to get you practice-ready in 16 months!

8. Thomas Edison State University Accelerated BSN Program (BSNA)

Program Overview

Like most ABSN courses, this one too is a hybrid. You’ll spend most of your 15 months attending a blend of online and on-campus courses, as well as clinicals performed in the local New Jersey area.

Duration: 15 months

Campus Location: Trenton, New Jersey.

To attend this program, you either need to have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or have earned at least 60 non-nursing college credits.

You may begin in winter, spring, or fall in 8-week courses and four 16-week terms.

Admission Requirements

What We Like

9 credits earned in this program can be applied toward an MSN degree. In addition, there are 2 special scholarship awards up for grabs for you: the Helene Fuld Health Trust Scholarship Fund, and the Janssen Pharmaceuticals Scholarship.

Learn how to win a scholarship with this Scholarship Personal Statement Guide.

9. Olivet Nazarene University Accelerated BSN Program

Program Overview

This is another full-time program combining online coursework with in-person clinicals. The program is 16 months long with 59 credit hours. You may attend the ABSN program with a non-nursing bachelor’s or associate’s degree.

Duration: 16 months

Campus Location: Bourbonnais, Illinois.

Most of the learning is online, but you will need to complete clinical practice at the school’s location, and other local facilities across the Chicagoland area.

Admission Requirements

  • A “C” or higher on your prerequisites.
  • 2.75 GPA, and earned 75 percent overall on math, reading, and English composition, and 64 percent on A&P on the HESI exam.
  • Complete a criminal background check, show evidence of good health, pass a drug test, and complete all prerequisite courses with a grade “C” or better.

What We Like

Depending on your GPA and HESI score, you could qualify for a scholarship award between $1,000 and $6,000.

10. Wilkes University Online Accelerated BSN Program

Program Overview

Wilkes University’s Online ABSN program transitions you into nursing in just 12 months, with 48 credit hours. It’s among the shortest (fastest) accelerated nursing programs for non-nurses. The program has three start dates in the year.

Duration: 12 months

Campus Location: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania

Admission Requirements

What We Like

Wilkes’ Passan School of Nursing has been training nurses for over 40 years, so they have a solid track record you can trust.

11. Notre Dame Of Maryland University Accelerated Second Degree BSN Program

 Program Overview

With a non-nursing degree, you can attend Notre Dame of Maryland’s ABSN program, which promises to transition you into the nursing profession in 15 months.

Duration: 15 months

Campus Location: Baltimore & Elkridge, Maryland.

The online-based option affords you the convenience of completing coursework from anywhere with an internet connection. You’ll participate in interactive exercises, join class discussions, and connect with your instructors online.

However, you’ll need to attend in-person labs and clinicals to get hands-on experience.

Admission Requirements

  • Proof of a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Complete ABSN prerequisites
  • Updated resume, personal essay, and 2 letters of recommendation.
  • Minimum composite score of 65% on the TEAS

What We Like

Some of Baltimore’s healthcare facilities, like Johns Hopkins Hospital, are world-renowned, and you’d be lucky to have your clinicals there.

12. Rockhurst University Online Accelerated BSN Program

Program Overview

This 60-credit 100% online coursework program, coupled with a one-time 10-day on-campus residency, transitions you into a skilled nurse in just 16 months. You need to have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree to be eligible.

Duration: 16 months

Campus Location: Kansas City, Missouri.

Your clinical rotations (to meet 582.5 clinical hours) will be guided by a dedicated placement advisor.

These are the authorized States participating in the Rockhurst Accelerated BSN Program:

  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico
  • Vermont

Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s in another field with a GPA of 2.7 or higher
  • Complete your prerequisites
  • Resume

What We Like

Only one trip to the campus for ten days sounds good; otherwise, the program is completely online.

Conclusion: Online Nursing Programs for Non-Nurses

The above-reviewed online nursing programs for non-nurses are some of the best options available if you’re looking to transition into the nursing field.

They stood out for us because of their strong reputation and high-quality online instruction.

It’s important to note that nursing programs, especially at the bachelor’s level, will usually require some in-person clinical attendance.

If you’re interested in learning more about these programs, we encourage you to reach out to the schools and connect with an admissions officer.

Related: 15 Best Accelerated BSN Programs for Non-Nurses Today


  • Information on these programs may change without notice. So, we cannot guarantee their authenticity and accuracy. You’d have to check with the school and do further research. Our review list is simply for guidance and cannot be relied upon exclusively without research on your part.
  • Before enrollment, check with your state regarding licensing rules or whether your desired program meets your home state’s certification requirements and licensure.

Related Nursing Programs:

15 Best Accelerated BSN Programs for Non-Nurses Today

Online Nursing Programs in New York

Related Nursing Programs by State:

Related Nursing Resources:

Guide to Accelerated Nursing Programs: What are they?

Pros and Cons of Accelerated Nursing Programs

The Difference Between Nurse Practitioner And Doctor

13 Best Books for Nursing Students to Read – Reviewed

How to Write the Nursing School Personal Statement: Steps, Tips, And Samples

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