Top Montana RN to BSN Programs

In recent years, due to structural healthcare reforms combined with an aging baby boomer population, registered nurses have seen their responsibilities expand greatly. As a result, nurses are increasingly being called upon to advance their educational credentials. The Institute of Medicine has called for 80 percent of RNs practicing in the U.S. to hold BSN degrees by the end of 2020. Large numbers of forward-thinking nurses who are looking to stay competitive in the field, increase their earning potential, and enhance their career prospects have responded to the call by heading back to college and enrolling in RN to BSN programs. Meanwhile, colleges and universities have also responded to meet the demand for more BSN-educated nurses by making it possible for working RNs to earn their BSNs entirely online, in just one or two years, without breaking the bank. With so many degree-granting institutions offering RN to BSN programs, however, finding the top ones can be difficult. To help make that process easier, we've compiled a list of the top RN to BSN programs in Montana.

How to Choose a Top RN to BSN Program in Montana

Deciding which RN to BSN program to enroll in requires some research. While looking into Montana's top programs, consider the following factors:

  • Percentage of program graduates who found employment
  • Student satisfaction rate
  • Program acceptance rate
  • Program success rate
  • Program accreditations
  • Total cost of attendance
  • Class sizes
  • Age of the institution
  • Internship opportunities at local hospitals/healthcare facilities
  • Cost of living in the immediate area
  • Faculty experience

Testing and Certification

Graduates of ADN programs must first pass the NCLEX-RN licensing exam before acquiring their RN license. This means that RN to BSN students do not need to take the licensing exam again following the completion of their program.

List of Top RN to BSN Programs in Montana

1. Montana State University - Northern

Originally established in 1929, Montana State University - Northern is a public university situated in the city of Havre. MSU - Northern's RN to BSN program is delivered to students mainly online through the university's distance learning program, but also includes a two-credit clinical course that's carried out in the student's geographical location. Community health, nursing leadership and management, and advanced clinical practice are all emphasized in the program. Over the past four years, MSU - Northern has reported that 100% of RN to BSN graduates found jobs.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Northern Montana Health Care
  • Havre Veterans Administration Clinic


While in-state students who enroll in MSU - Northern's RN to BSN program can expect to pay $8,670 in tuition plus fees, out-of-state students can expect to pay about $24,540.

2. Montana State University – Billings

Founded in 1927, Montana State University – Billings is a public university located in downtown Billings. MSUB offers a hybrid online/in-person, 49 credit hour RN to BSN which seeks to help nurses to advance their career by equipping them with excellent clinical and administrative skills. Courses are delivered in an eight-week block schedule. Outside of the didactic, online coursework, students must complete two 45 hour clinical courses that are offered at a local healthcare facility in the student's geographical area. During the program, students can expect to take courses like Nursing Informatics, Global Nursing, and Advanced Technical Writing.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Vincent Healthcare
  • Billings Hospital: Murter Melody Ann
  • Advanced Care Hospital Montana


Information on MSUB's program tuition can be found by contacting the University's College of Health Sciences at (406) 265-4196.

3. Montana Tech

Montana Tech is a 120-year old public university that was founded in the city of Butte. MT offers students an online RN to BSN program that's composed of 33 credit hours. The program, which is comprised of courses like Family Nursing, Health Promotion and Education, and Nursing Informatics, can be completed in three semesters.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • James Healthcare
  • Community Hospital of Anaconda


For information on tuition and fees, contact MT's Nursing Department at (406) 496-4390.

4. Salish Kootenai College

Founded in 1977 in the town of Pablo, Salish Kootenai College is a private Native American tribal college that was originally established to serve the Bitterroot Salish, Kootenai, and Pend d'Oreilles tribes. SKC offers an RN to BSN program that students can enroll in full-time or part-time. The program's coursework is delivered fully-online or in a hybrid online/in-class format. Aside for the didactic coursework, students are required to complete a total of 100 precepted clinical hours at a local healthcare facility. Some courses that students can expect to undertake during the program include Pathophysiological and Pharmacological Concepts, Health Promotion, and Nursing Assessment. New students are admitted three times each year.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Providence St. Joseph Medical Center - Polson
  • Luke Community Healthcare


To find out the approximate tuition cost of Salish Kootenai College, please refer to the college's tuition and fees webpage.

5. University of Providence

First established in 1932, The University of Providence is a private Roman Catholic university situated in the city of Great Falls. UP offers a 37 credit hour, online RN to BSN program that students can finish in as little as three semesters. In addition to the didactic coursework, the program has mandatory live video conferences one day every other week. During the program, students will tackle courses like Ethics and Spirituality in Nursing Care, Pathophysiology and Pharmacology Concepts, and Public Health, just to name a few. New cohorts begin twice a year in the winter and fall.

Hospitals and healthcare centers in the area currently hiring RNs:

  • Great Falls Clinic Hospital
  • Benefis Health System
  • Alluvion Health


Students who enroll in UP's RN to BSN program can expect to pay approximately $29,600 in tuition plus additional fees.