Online Nursing Programs

Whether you’re interested in starting a nursing career in which you can make a positive difference in your community, or you’re already a nurse who would like to further your education and seek to position yourself for potential career advancement, Grand Canyon University has a program suited to your needs and goals. With a comprehensive curriculum and nursing instructors who are dedicated to supporting your progress, our online1 nursing programs are designed to empower you to achieve your professional goals.

Benefits of Pursuing an Online Nursing Degree Program

Personal fulfillment, a feeling of being called to serve others and opportunities to position yourself for potential career advancement are all common reasons to pursue a nursing career. Whatever your reasons are, at GCU, you can enjoy opportunities to develop a firm foundation of nursing competencies online.1 Choose from a variety of undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. Our coursework can prepare for a healthcare career while enjoying the flexibility that online1 learning offers to fit your schedule.


GCU was ranked by as the #15 best college for nursing in America for 20242

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Explore Online Nursing Degree Programs at GCU

GCU is pleased to offer distance learning opportunities in nursing education for both undergraduate and graduate students.1 Here, you’ll find a wide range of remote nursing degree programs designed for learners at every stage of their career and academic journey and across a range of nursing specialties.

By enrolling in one of the accredited nursing degrees online at GCU,1 you may join a career field you find rewarding. Offered through the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, our programs are designed to help you foster best practices and improve patient outcomes.

GCU’s admission requirements vary based on whether you are applying to an undergraduate or graduate program and whether you are a prospective transfer student. In addition, admission requirements may vary from one nursing program to the next. Please review our admission requirements and reach out to a university counselor to receive personalized guidance.

Undergraduate Online Nursing Programs

GCU’s accredited undergraduate nursing coursework allows you to take a close look at core topics in informatics, community health, healthcare management and professional nursing practice.

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Graduate E-Learning Nursing Programs

Continue your education and examine advanced nursing skills by enrolling in one of GCU’s online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs.1 These graduate distance learning programs can help you position yourself to potentially grow, serve and lead at higher levels in the nursing field in a variety of environments.

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MSN Fast Track Option Available

During your BSN program, you can complete two graduate-level courses from your chosen MSN emphasis as electives toward meeting the BSN requirements to potentially earn your MSN at GCU more quickly.

  • Be enrolled in a GCU BSN program.
  • Need at least one elective course to reach degree completion. Your university counselors should request a LOPES Pre-Evaluation to determine the number of available electives. LOPES Pre-Evaluations will not include the MSN courses.
  • Complete and submit the RN to BSN to MSN Fast-Track Request Form
  • Have a 3.5 GPA at the time 33 of the 36 BSN core credits are complete.
  • Should a student’s GPA at this 33-credit checkpoint fall below the 3.5 GPA, they may complete the capstone course and be re-evaluated at the 36-credit checkpoint for consideration.


Postgraduate Nursing Certificate Programs

If you have already completed your Master of Science in Nursing but wish to further your education, consider earning a specialized certificate with one of GCU's online Post-Master of Science in Nursing certificate programs.1 Our nursing certificates focus on applicable skills to help you prepare to work with diverse populations across the lifespan or to mentor and teach the next generation of nurses.

Online Doctorate in Nursing Programs

The doctoral degree in nursing represents the highest level of academic achievement in the field. Position yourself to pursue potential career advancement while enjoying opportunities to sharpen your research skills and clinical competencies at GCU online.1

The Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is designed for practice-focused leaders who are interested in translating current research into innovative solutions that can help achieve positive outcomes. The DNP can help you meet your personal and professional goals while preparing to position yourself for a potential career as a nurse executive or educator.

Online nursing student typing on laptop

Online Nursing Degree FAQs

If you’re considering remote nursing degree programs, read through our frequently asked questions to learn more about GCU’s online programs and discover the best program for you.1

The length of time it takes to earn one of our online nursing degrees will depend on your previous education and individual schedule.1 RN to BSN candidates who want to earn an MSN can accelerate their nursing education by choosing the BSN to MSN fast track option. There are specific requirements you must meet to be eligible for the fast-track program. To learn more, fill out the form on this page to speak with a university counselor.

An online nursing school follows a hybrid approach designed to offer greater convenience and flexibility to nursing students, as well as to enable them to complete coursework irrespective of geographical location. In an online program, you’ll complete nursing classes via an e-learning platform that allows access to coursework and also provides for remote academic discussions with peers. Online nursing education typically requires in-person experiential hours. You’ll complete clinical, practicum and immersion hours onsite locally.

Virtual nursing education classwork is completed online, but with clinical, practicum and immersion hours completed in person locally. Clinicals are an essential part of most nursing programs, as they are intended to allow you to apply what you’ve been taught and provide opportunities to gain hands-on skills. Many of GCU's online programs contain clinical and practicum hours, and an evidence-based capstone course, all of which are designed to help put your knowledge into practice. At GCU, the Office of Field Experience can help you set up your clinical/practicum experience.

If you are a registered nurse and hold a bachelor’s degree that is not in nursing, you may be eligible to enroll in one of our bridge to MSN pathways. Students completing a bridge pathway do not receive a BSN degree upon completion but rather finish their program with an MSN. The nursing bridge pathways include “bridge” courses designed to help you meet the prerequisite requirements needed to enroll in an MSN program. Each bridge can be taken online. Contact an enrollment representative for more information on our nursing bridge pathways.

All online nursing degree programs require some form of direct clinical experience, practicum or immersion experience that allows you to demonstrate achievement of clinical competency at the baccalaureate or graduate levels. Therefore, both traditional and online programs at GCU require clinical, practicum or immersion experiences. For many online programs, you complete your clinical requirements in your local community. Contact the Office of Field Experience to learn more about the specialized support offered to GCU students completing their nursing clinical experiences.

Nursing program length can vary depending on the program format and required number of credits. The RN to BSN core courses can be completed in as few as 14 months. Students who transfer in the maximum of 90 credits, including six upper division, may be able to complete the core courses in as few as 12 months.3 The accelerated BSN programs can be completed in as few as 16 months.4

Online and on-campus nursing programs both deliver the same caliber of education.1 The main differences between the two lie in their flexibility, time of completion and location of clinical sites. The cost of these programs is typically comparable, but there may be slight differences in specific fees or tuition that are important to consider. It’s also important to assess your self-discipline, as that is a more critical factor when completing online programs than on-campus programs.

What Can You Do With an Online Nursing Degree?

With an undergraduate degree in nursing, you may pursue licensure as an RN and apply for employment across a wide range of nursing specialties, including:5

  • Pediatric nursing
  • Ambulatory care nursing
  • Cardiac care
  • Emergency room nursing
  • Geriatrics
  • Intensive care
  • Medical surgical nursing
  • Obstetrics

If you choose to pursue an online graduate degree to further your career qualifications, you may position yourself to potentially pursue higher-level positions as a nurse executive or nurse educator.6,7

Online nursing student graduate gathering supplies

Start or further your nursing education in a convenient online format at GCU.¹ Develop your nursing knowledge today!

1 While all courses are completed online, you will need to attend clinical, practicum and immersion hours in person locally.

2 (n.d.). 2024 Best College for Nursing in America. Retrieved March 20, 2024.

3 The entire program requires 120 credits.

4 Secondary Applicants must transfer a minimum of 60 of the required 123 credits or have completed a baccalaureate degree which includes nine prerequisite courses/labs and 10 general education courses prior to starting the core nursing courses, which can be completed in as few as 16 months. Direct Entry Applicants that do not transfer 60 credits but meet the minimum requirements can complete these credits through GCU prior to starting the core nursing courses. Depending on the state where student has enrolled or intends to complete the program, student may require additional courses. This may include, but is not limited to, additional general education courses, courses in the major, clinical courses, or a different course sequence. See University Policy Handbook.

5 Johnson & Johnson. (n.d.). Nursing specialties. Retrieved March 20, 2024.

6 NurseJournal. (2023, Oct. 10). Nurse executive career description. Retrieved March 20, 2024.

7 NurseJournal. (2024, Feb. 26). How to become a nurse educator. Retrieved March 20, 2024.