Nicholls State University's online program that allows registered nurses to earn a bachelor's degree was ranked No. 7 in the nation by an nursing education website.

The website, RegisteredNursing.org, provides resources to future nurses, including rankings of programs across the country.

Nicholls' program is offered in as an eight-week session that lets students complete the online curriculum "with ease and on their own time," according to the website. Sessions start in January, March, June, August and October.

The website said the goal of the programs is to allow registered nurses to expand their career options without requiring them to leave work.

"Instructors are skilled and responsive to student needs," stated the website.

To rank programs, the website awarded points for accreditation, the ratio of nurse completions versus total program completions, the annual tuition and fees, the ratio of tenured faculty, the acceptance rate and the graduation rate. It analyzed over 450 online programs.

Nicholls is one of only three universities in the state with an online RN to BSN program. It is also the least expensive. Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University and University of Louisiana at Lafayette host the other two programs.

Staff Writer Halle Parker can be reached at hparker@houmatoday.com or 857-2204. Follow her on Twitter, @_thehalparker.