Best Nursing Schools: Top 20 Nursing Schools and Programs in the US

By Sarah Collins

04/14/2022

Are you considering a career in nursing? Best know early that your education lays the groundwork.

Excellent schools naturally mean excellent nurses.

Selecting the ideal nursing school from the vast pool available is subsequently vital.

To assist you, this guide shortlists actual tested, proven, and established nursing institutions with accredited nursing programs.

Keep reading for a digestible view of the most reputable US nursing schools — for new nursing students, advancing registered nurses (RNs), and cross-over professionals — criteria for admission, standard nursing programs, and other essential knowledge.

Here we go!

Requirements for Admission Into a Nursing School

Best Nursing Schools

The criteria for admission vary according to your choice school and program — as it’s a tradition that the more prestigious the institution, the higher the requirements.

Nonetheless, a few requirements cut across the board. With that, here are standard achievements nursing schools might need you to meet;

  • A GPA of 3.0 or higher for Bachelor’s courses and a  GPA of 2.5 or more for Associate’s degrees
  • Prerequisites in courses like English, Math, Anatomy, Chemistry, and Biology
  • Acceptable scores on the ACT or ACT exam

Types of Nursing Programs: What Type of Nurse Can I Become?

Available nursing programs across US schools range from practical nursing diplomas and undergraduate nursing programs to graduate nursing programs doctoral nursing degrees.

The onus lies on you. What program has your interest?  Remember, these plans open you up to varied opportunities in the nursing industry.

Below are standard nursing programs you’ll find in most schools;

Practical Nursing Diplomas; Licensed Practical Nurse/Licensed Vocational Nurse (LPN/LVN) Programs

Practical nursing diplomas mold nursing students into Licensed Practical Nurses and Licensed Vocational Nurses within about two years (5 terms), offering the fastest path to becoming a nurse.

These courses train learners in basic nursing skills through a combination of coursework and clinical experience to prepare them for entry-level nursing expertise in diverse health settings.

Students who complete the program subsequently sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) and have a chance to practice as practical nurses under the guidance of registered nurses or licensed physicians if they pass.

Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)

An ADN is the minimum education qualification to become a Registered Nurse (RN). The program is advisable for applicants keen to spend less time and cash before becoming RNs.

Typically, the entry-level nursing degree program takes two years and is most common in community colleges, although a few traditional 4-year universities offer the course, too.

On completing the program, a learner is eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), complete licensing requirements in their state, and start working as an RN.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)

BSN programs cover a broad nursing range, including health promotion, patient care technology, research, and healthcare system quality. As such, it’s the most comprehensive and popular option.

You’d commonly complete these programs in 3–4 years, and even more, there are Accelerated BSN programs for people with non-nursing degrees, which take about 18 months, or less.

Passing the NCLEX-RN licensure exam qualifies your practice in multiple healthcare environments and the management of RNs with associate degrees.

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

The advanced MSN course is an avenue for nurses to specialize in specific nursing areas. Consider it as a step-up program for BSN-educated registered nurses.

MSN students can specialize in any sector, such as nurse anesthesia, nursing leadership, nursing education, nurse-midwife, and more.

An MSN degree usually runs for 2–3years and is also a requirement for nurses that might want to proceed into doctoral nursing programs.

Doctoral Nursing Degrees (Doctor of Nursing Practice and Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing) DNP/PhD. Programs

Doctoral nursing degrees allow nurses the opportunity to impact healthcare on a wide scale within 3–5 years. It’s currently the highest educational accreditation for a nurse.

The advanced practice-oriented DNP program is a doctorate program for nurses that want to become Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRNs) or become nurse administrators.

These programs include the PhD.., which is more research-heavy and an option for APRNs interested in the world of clinical academia to improve healthcare systems.

Leading USA Nursing Schools: First Look

  1. Best nursing school overall – Johns Hopkins University
  2. Best online programs – Duke University
  3. Leading graduate nursing programs – University of Pennsylvania
  4. Unmatched graduate and postgraduate school – University of California – San Francisco
  5. Best in New York – New York University – Meyers
  6. Unique nursing program offerings – Emory University
  7. Great DNP options – University of Illinois – Chicago
  8. Top public university – University of Carolina – Chapel Hill
  9. Exclusive graduate students school – Columbia University
  10. Top public university – University of Washington
  11. Best NCLEX-RN exam pass rates – Yale University
  12. Great academic collaborations – University of Maryland
  13. The go-to option for non-nurses – University of Rochester
  14. 100% online MSN nursing program – The Ohio State University
  15. Best Michigan collegiate nursing education – University of Michigan
  16. Impressive academic support – University of Alabama
  17. Very flexible programs – West Coast University
  18. Distance and in-person graduate options – Georgetown University
  19. Wide study options – Villanova University
  20. Best entry MSN program – Rush University

Top Nursing Schools and Nursing Programs

1. Johns Hopkins University — Best Overall Nursing School

Johns Hopkins University

The Johns Hopkins University is a private research university in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1876, the university was named for its first benefactor, the American entrepreneur and philanthropist Johns Hopkins.…....

Agricultural Studies Biology Biotechnology Chemistry
Maryland, US    School Type : Private research university

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Estimated tuition fees: $70,794 – MSN (Entry) / $58,048 – Other MSN / $48,132 – Doctoral

Acceptance rate: 11%

Graduation rate: 93%

NCLEX-RN pass rate: 96%

Programs available: MSN (Entry into Nursing / Healthcare Organization Leadership) / MSN (Healthcare Organization Leadership) /MBA / Postgraduate certificates / DNP Executive/MBA / DNP Executive/MPH / DNP/PhD / DNP Executive / DNP (Adult Gerontological Acute Care NP / Adult Gerontology Primary Care NP / Family Nurse Practitioner / Pediatric Primary Care NP / Pediatric Dual Primary/Acute Care NP / Psychiatric Mental Health NP / Adult Gerontological CNS / Adult Critical Care CNS / Pediatric Care CNS / Nurse Anesthesia

Johns Hopkins University’s commitment to quality and wholesome education is evident at a glance. The school lays strong claims to be the most prestigious nursing school globally.

For a start, the university bills itself in the fact that 97% of its faculty have a doctoral degree — an assuring figure to illustrate the high educational standards in the school.

Similarly, the QS World University Rankings ranked the school 25th globally, and the School of Nursing at the institution exemplifies the quality well.

Ranked 7th in 2022 Best Medical Graduate Schools by the US News and World Reports 2021, Johns Hopkins University is undeniably one of the best options for graduate nursing students.

Also, being a research university, the school provides nursing students with good research opportunities and funding to make innovative clinical improvements.

Finally, tons of the courses are available online to give you ample time to practice as a nurse. There are also interesting dual programs that complement nursing practice with business and public health knowledge.

2. Duke University — Top Online Nursing Programs

Duke University

North Carolina is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States. North Carolina is the 28th largest and 9th-most populous of the 50 United States. It is bordered…....

Acting & Performing Arts Biology Chemistry Computer Engineering
North Carolina, US    School Type : Private research university

Location: Durham, North Carolina

Estimated tuition fees: $1,910 per credit hour

Acceptance rate: 8%

Graduation rate: 95%

NCLEX-RN pass rate: 99%

Programs available: Accelerated BSN / MSN (Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP / Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP / Family Nurse Practitioner / Health Informatics / Neonatal Nurse Practitioner / Nursing and Healthcare Leadership / Nursing Education / Pediatric Acute Care NP / Pediatric Primary Care NP / Psychiatric Mental Health NP / Women’s Health NP / DNP /PhD

If flexibility and convenience are a priority for you, Duke University aims to allow the most comfortable time pursuing your nursing education.

Most programs allow students to make a tailored schedule to suit them. Better yet, all the MSN programs are online, with maybe 1-2 on-campus visits per semester for programs that might require clinical hours.

The MSN programs seem to be the school’s biggest asset, but there’s a second-degree accelerated BSN option for people with non-nursing degrees, and it takes just 18 months.

Duke University’s esteem speaks for itself, scooping the 3rd best graduate nursing school in a 2022 compilation made by the US News and World Reports.

Duke University is an inclusive society with one of the most diverse student populations. To conclude, 52% of students get some sort of financial aid, which you can seek to take some weight off the tuition.

3. University of Pennsylvania —Leading Graduate Nursing School

University of Pennsylvania

Are you a nurse looking to start advanced practice or striving to foray into nursing administration, leadership, or education? It looks like the Ivy League – the University of Pennsylvania…....

Accounting Art Art History Arts and Design
United States, US    School Type : Private

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Estimated tuition fees: $5,956 per course unit

Acceptance rate: 9%

Graduation rate: 96%

NCLEX-RN pass rate: 94.6%

Programs available: Traditional BSN / Accelerated BSN / Direct Entry BSN-MSN / BSN-PhD / MSN (Adult Gerontology Acute Care NP / Adult Gerontology Primary Care NP / Family Nurse Practitioner / Neonatal NP / Pediatric Acute Care NP / Pediatric Primary Care NP / Psychiatric Mental Health NP / Women’s Health NP / Nurse Midwifery / Health Leadership / Nursing and Healthcare Administration

Are you a nurse looking to start advanced practice or striving to foray into nursing administration, leadership, or education? It looks like the Ivy League – the University of Pennsylvania has you in mind.

The University of Pennsylvania offers a broad selection of MSN programs for nurses looking to specialize and improve their nursing skills in specific areas. Additionally, there are DNP programs for nurses who want to tap into really advanced practice.

Naturally a private research university, the school claims to receive the highest research funding of all private universities from the National Institutes of Health, making it an excellent haven for future nurse researchers.

Well, Penn Nursing might not be big on online programs, but this could be because its on-campus classes are remarkably practical. From technology-wired classrooms to state-of-the-art simulation labs to clinical experiences in Pennsylvania’s top-ranked hospitals, you can be sure to get the most comprehensive nursing education.

4. University of California – San Francisco — Best Graduate and Post Graduate Nursing School

University of California, San Francisco

University of California--San Francisco is a public school. The School of Nursing has an application deadline of Feb. 1 and an application fee of $105 for U.S. residents. Tuition for…....

DNP Program MSN Program
San Francisco, CA, US    School Type : public

Location: San Francisco, California

Estimated tuition fees: $81,467 – Masters Entry Program in Nursing / $31,883 – MSN / $19,124 – DNP

Acceptance rate: 2%

Graduation rate: 67%

NCLEX-RN pass rate: 87%

Programs available: MSN (Entry Program) / MSN / MSN (Healthcare Administration and Interprofessional Leadership) / Post Masters certificates / PhD / DNP

Serving exclusively as a school for nursing graduates and postgraduates, the University of California San Francisco is keen on building generations of nurse leaders, advanced practitioners, administrators, and researchers.

Yes, even for someone with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, UCSF’s Masters Entry Program in Nursing ensures that even you can make that career switch into nursing without starting from the ground up.

However, what we like most about UCSF is its unwavering focus on imparting the most hands-on expertise possible. Clinical training is not limited to UCSF’s Health Hospitals and clinics, as the school assigns students roles in nearby hospitals for a more natural experience.

5. New York University – Meyers — Best New York Nursing School

New York University

New York University is a private institution that was founded in 1831. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 27,444 (fall 2020), and the setting is Urban. It utilizes a…....

Art Art History Arts and Design Arts and Humanities
New York, US    School Type : Private

Location: New York City, New York

Estimated tuition fees: $1,537 per credit hour

Acceptance rate: 59%

Graduation rate: 83%

NCLEX-RN pass rate: 99%

Programs available: Traditional BSN / Accelerated BSN / Second degree BSN transfer / BSN-MSN / MSN (Adult-Gerontology Acute and Primary Care NP, Pediatrics NP, Psychiatric Mental Health NP, Nurse-Midwifery, Nursing Administration, Nursing Informatics) MSN/MPH / Advanced Certificates / DNP / PhD

Rory Meyers College of Nursing at New York University is a go-to option for students that may want to study within the environment of NYC and possibly practice in the state for its high average nurse salary wages.

The school boasts seasoned faculty and researchers, with research being their primary focus. Moreover, the school ranks 7th nationally in NIH research funding, making the school an excellent breeding ground for innovative nurses.

Additionally, there’s the right fit for everyone, including regular BSN programs, accelerated and non-accelerated second-degree BSN programs, and doctorate programs for future nurse researchers and advanced practitioners.

The MSN programs are their broadest offerings for nurses who want to specialize. We must also point out the 3-year dual MSN/MPH course for nurses looking into public health systems.

6. Emory University — Unique Nursing Programs

Emory University

Emory University is a private institution that was founded in 1836. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 7,010 (fall 2020), its setting is city, and the campus size is…....

Accounting Acting & Performing Arts ADN Program Advertising
United States, US    School Type : Private

Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Estimated tuition fees: Traditional BSN – $2,211 per credit hour / Distance Accelerated BSN – $1,608 per credit hour / MN-MSN – $1,928 per credit hour / Pre-licensure MSN – $1,901 per credit hour /  MSN – $1,963 per credit hour / DNP – $1,671 per hour

Acceptance rate: 19%

Graduation rate: 91%

NCLEX-RN pass rate: 98%

Programs available: Traditional BSN / Accelerated Distance BSN / Dual BA/BS + BSN / MSN (Adult-Gerontology Acute and Primary Care NP, Emergency Health NP, FNP, Neonatal NP, Nurse Anesthesia, Nurse-Midwifery, Nursing, and Public Health, Pediatric Acute and Primary Care NP, Women’s Health NP / MN-MSN (Nurse Midwife) / DNP / PhD

Established in 1836, Emory University adds to a long-standing reputation with the school’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, whose esteemed nursing courses continue attracting recognition.

The US News and World Report recently ranked the EU 2nd in the country in Masters programs, 4th in undergraduate nursing programs, and 8th in DNP programs, showing the school’s weight amongst the nation’s leading nursing schools.

Above all are its unique and flexible nursing program selections, like the dual BA/BS + BSN dual program, accelerated distance learning BSN, and the MN-MSN option for aspiring nurse-midwives that don’t have a nursing degree.

In addition, the nursing school offers a variety of collaborative programs with other reputed colleges to ensure you complete your studies in the shortest time possible. And let’s not forget that Emory University employs good grant and scholarships programs to help many students graduate debt-free.

7. University of Illinois – Chicago — Great DNP Degrees

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Illinois—Chicago is a public institution that was founded in 1965. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 21,921 (fall 2020), its setting is urban, and the campus size…....

BSN Program
Illinois, US    School Type : Public

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Estimated tuition fees: $20,838 In-State / $33,076 Out-of-State annually

Acceptance rate: 73%

Graduation rate: 57%

NCLEX-RN pass rate: 84%

Programs available: Traditional BSN / Online RN-BSN / Non-RN MSN / MSN (Clinical Nurse Leader, Women’s Health NP) /DNP / PhD

As Chicago’s largest and most diverse higher education institution with over 34,000 students, the University of Illinois is a popular option for nursing students who can’t afford a private school.

In 2021, the Wall Street Journal ranked the institution the 8th best-value university in the US, thanks to its effective balancing of effective programs and affordable fees.

Covering undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs, the college of nursing at UIC is open to every prospective nursing student.

However, their DNP courses represent their most significant offering. There are 12 majors to prepare advanced practice registered nurses, including Advanced Population Health Nursing, Neonatal NP, and more.

Additionally, with the online and part-time MSN and RN-BSN programs, working students can easily find a way to navigate their studies while still making their careers count.

8. University of Carolina – Chapel Hill — Best Public Nursing School

University of Carolina - Chapel Hill

University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill is a public institution that was founded in 1789. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 19,399 (fall 2020), its setting is suburban, and the…....

Art Art History Arts and Design Arts and Humanities
United States, US    School Type : Public

Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Estimated tuition fees: $19,062 In-State / $40,394 Out-of-State

Acceptance rate: 25%

Graduation rate: 91%

NCLEX-RN pass rate: 98%

Programs available: BSN / Hybrid MSN (Adult-Gerontology Primary Care NP, FNP, Pediatric Primary Care NP, Psychiatric-Mental Health NP) / Online MSN (Health Care Leaderships Administration) / Hybrid DNP practitioner programs / Online BSN-DNP (Health Care Leadership and Administration) / Online MSN-DNP / PhD

Touted as the best public nursing school, the University of Carolina, Chapel Hill’s prestigious reputation rivals some Ivy League universities. But here’s what’s better: it’s more affordable, especially for North Carolina natives.

To provide innovative and evidence-based practice, the nursing school at UNC-Chapel Hill has constantly churned our skilled clinical leaders, educators, administrators, and practitioners.

To illustrate the proficiency of their graduates, UNC-Chapel Hill proclaims that 97% of their BSN graduates get employed within three months of their graduation.

Finally, the BSN program is mainly on campus, but the MSN and DNP give more room for nurses to find a suitable work-study harmony with their online and hybrid options.

9. Columbia University — Exclusive Graduate Nursing School

Columbia University

The Columbia Business School at Columbia University offers these departments and concentrations: accounting, consulting, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, general management, health care administration, international business, leadership, marketing, not-for-profit management, production/operations management,…....

American Conversational English American Sign Language/ASL Architecture Art
New York, US    School Type : Private

Location: New York City, New York

Estimated tuition fees: $1,768 Per Hour

Acceptance rate: 7%

Graduation rate: 95%

NCLEX-RN pass rate: 94%

Programs available: MSN / Non -Nurse MSN / DNP / PhD

Ivy League universities are known for distinguished programs, cutting-edge facilities, experienced faculty, small classes, just to mention a few, and Columbia University checks all the boxes.

Being an exclusive graduate school, the school of nursing at Columbia University caters to MSN, PhD, and DNP students looking to become advanced practice nurses, nurse researchers, and nurse leaders.

Utilizing lectures, simulated clinical settings, and final intensive practice, the MSN and DNP degrees prove their record nurturing the most steadfast nurses.

The courses revolve around Midwifery, Adult-Gerontology, Pediatric Care, Mental Health, Family Nurse Practitioner, Pediatric Care, and many more, giving nurses a trove of avenues for advancement or specialization.

Lastly, it’s noteworthy that 90% of the students in the school receive some form of financial aid, so you can apply to ease the tuition weight.

10. University of Washington — Most Reputable West Coast Nursing School

University of Washington

University of Washington is a public institution that was founded in 1861. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 35,582 (fall 2020), its setting is urban, and the campus size…....

Art Art History Biology BSN Program
Washington, US    School Type : Public

Location: Seattle, Washington

Estimated tuition fees: $11,745 In-State / $39,114 Out-of-State Annually

Acceptance rate: 56%

Graduation rate: 84%

NCLEX-RN pass rate: 93%

Programs available: Traditional BSN / Accelerated BSN / Accelerated BSN-Early DNP / Online MSN (Clinical Informatics and Patient Care Technologies) / Post graduate certificates / DNP / PhD

With a 160-year-old prestigious reputation, it’s easy to understand why the University of Washington sits seventh in the latest US News and World Report’s best university global rankings.

Know what’s better? The school posts a 56% acceptance rate, a surprisingly welcoming stat for an institution of its caliber.

The nursing programs are relatively comprehensive, as they spread across three campuses in Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma.

Programs include an accelerated option for people with non-nursing degrees, a fast-track BSN for nurses that want to explore midwifery, an online MSN, and diverse DNP courses with majors in midwifery, public health systems, psychiatric mental health, and many more.

11. Yale University — Excellent Eight MSN Programs

Yale University

Yale University is a private institution that was founded in 1701. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 4,703 (fall 2020), its setting is city, and the campus size is…....

American Conversational English Architecture Biology Biomedical Laboratory Science
United States, US    School Type : Private

Location: New Haven, Connecticut

Estimated tuition fees: $47,114 – Annually full time / $31,274 Part time

Programs available: MSN / Graduate Entry Prespecialty in Nursing / DNP (Leadership, Clinical) / Post Masters Advanced Practice RN Certificates / PhD

Being the third oldest higher education institution in the US, Yale University needs no introduction in the Ivy League university world.

Although the school has long built its forte on the arts, the Yale School of Nursing is fast becoming a staple place for graduates nurses who want to propel their nursing careers.

The school provides eight MSN programs for practitioners and nurse-midwives. Additionally, there is a hybrid DNP nursing program for practicing nurses that desire a more feasible schedule for their careers. Along with those are a PhD course and post-master certificates to give nurses further knowledge in particular areas.

Capping off is Yale’s consistent 94–98% NCLEX-RN first-time pass rate, a relatively excellent figure for a school for its caliber today.

12. University of Maryland, Baltimore — Top Nursing Programs Partnerships

University of Maryland-Maryland English Institute

Dear English Language Learner,Imagine yourself on a lovely university campus filled with trees and plenty of green space... practicing your English with new friends from around the world. Sharing your culture…....

Bridge Programs Business English English for Academic Purposes English for Specific Purposes Programs
Maryland, US    School Type : University/Intensive English Program

Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Estimated tuition fees: $829 – Total Tuition for Part-time, $5,447 — Total Tuition for Full-time

Programs available: Traditional BSN / Online RN-BSN / Dual ADN/BSN / MSN Entry into Nursing / RN-MSN / Dual MSN/MBA / Dual MSN/MPH / DNP / PhD / Postgrad certification

Thanks to eminent faculty, expert clinicians, and outstanding scientist researchers. The University of Maryland provides students with an excellent education experience inaccessible elsewhere.

The School of Nursing at UMB is a one-for-all institution, covering everything from a traditional BSN to PhD and bridge programs in between. Suffice to say, the school is an explorable option for new nursing students, advancing nurses, and career changers.

For advancing nurses, it’s great that a good chunk of the programs is available online so that you can have a bearable time working on your present career as well.

That said, the dual nursing degree academic partnerships at UMB eat other nursing schools. Partnering with top community colleges, 4-year universities, and even hospitals, UMB gives you a faster, more affordable, and more effective pathway to getting two nursing degrees.

13. University of Rochester — Unmatched Accelerated BSN and MSN Programs for Non-Nurses

University of Rochester

University of Rochester is a private institution that was founded in 1850. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 6,521 (fall 2020), its setting is urban, and the campus size…....

American Conversational English American Sign Language/ASL Arabic Art
NY, US    School Type : Private

Location: Rochester, New York

Estimated tuition fees: $1,200 per credit hour BSN / $1,640 per credit hour Graduate courses

Programs available: Accelerated BSN / Online RN-BSN / Dual BA or BS/BSN / Accelerated MSN / RN-BSN-MSN / MSN (Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Leader, Health Care Systems, Nursing Education) / Post Masters Certificates / DNP / PhD / Accelerated MSN-PhD

Want to ditch your career for nursing and are worried about starting from scratch? Worry not. The University of Rochester is an excellent place for non-nurses with their accelerated BSN and MSN programs that take 12 months.

The nursing school offers a range of graduate and undergraduate nursing programs, and there are convenient online and hybrid options for the RN-BSN and DNP options.

The school currently has a 92% NCLEX-RN pass rate to prove its worth. Plus, there’s a guarantee of most immersive training with the help of small classes, world-class facilities, student support services, and research opportunities.

14. The Ohio State University — Fully Online MSN Nursing Programs

Ohio State University

The Ohio State University, commonly Ohio State or OSU, is a public land-grant research university in Columbus, Ohio. The flagship of the University System of Ohio, it is considered a…....

Accounting Agricultural Business Agricultural Studies Art
Ohio, US    School Type : Public land-grant research university

Location: Columbus, Ohio

Estimated tuition fees: $16,422 for Ohio residents / $17,022 for non-residents

Programs available: Traditional BSN / Online RN-BSN / MSN (Graduate Entry) / MSN (Clinical Research, Healthcare Innovation) / Traditional MSN / Certificates / BSN-DNP / Post Masters DNP / PhD

Widely regarded as a Public Ivy school, the Ohio State University anchors its education on features like evidence-based practice, innovation, and research.

OHU’s MSN options are available online entirely, and you may even take clinical experiences wherever you live. Therefore, registered nurses with an eye on an MSN program will notably have the most favorable time balancing their education with their profession.

15. University of Michigan — Top Ranking Michigan Nursing School

University of Michigan

University of Michigan—Ann Arbor is a public institution that was founded in 1817. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 31,329 (fall 2020), its setting is city, and the campus…....

Architecture Arts and Design BSN Program Business Information Systems
Michigan, US    School Type : Public

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Estimated tuition fees: $33,272 annually In-State / $69,362 Out-of-State

Programs available: BSN / MSN / DNP / PhD

The University of Michigan offers pathways for nurses to pursue advanced clinical practice and leadership in healthcare settings, informatics, and research. Still, even with no prior nursing education, you can start from the foundational BSN nursing program and work your way up the nursing ladder.

Save for the BSN program, many of the graduate and doctoral programs here are provided in blended programs to give you the possibility of crafting a work-study schedule. Some programs like MSN in Leadership,  Analytics, and Informatics are primarily offered online.

The public research university also boasts a variety of academic support programs to ensure that you get the most out of your education. In conclusion, the school has always maintained high NCLEX-RN first-time pass rates, with a 98.06% in 2021.

16. University of Alabama — Great Academic Support Nursing Programs

University of Alabama

We are dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and service. We provide a robust campus environment where our students can reach their greatest potential while learning from the best and…....

Accounting Aeronautical Engineering Aeronautical Science Art History
Alabama, US    School Type : Public

Location: Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Estimated tuition fees: $5,390 for 12–16 hours for residents, $15,125 for non-residents

Programs available: BSN / Second degree BSN / RN-BSN / RN-MSN / MSN (Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Administrator)

How does studying in a calm small-town environment sound? The University of Alabama offers a serene academic setup for on-campus students.

And it’s not just a pleasant learning landscape; the university’s Capstone College of Nursing provides distinguished nursing courses. In 2022, the US News and World Reports went ahead to rank the school’s Online MSN courses 11th best in the nation.

To further make your time at UA worthwhile, the university offers commendable academic help services, including distance and physical tutoring services and academic coaching to explore when you need help.

17. West Coast University — Flexible Nursing Programs

West Coast University - North Hollywood

West Coast University is a private institution. West Coast University is one of more than 800 institutions with graduate schools surveyed by U.S. News on an annual basis. West Coast…....

BSN Program DNP Program MSN Program
California, US    School Type : Private

Location: Campuses in Los Angeles, Ontario, Orange County – California

Estimated tuition fees: $1,158 per credit hour

Programs available: BSN / LPN/LVN-BSN / Online RN-BSN / Online RN-MSN / Online DNP

West Coast University understands that flexible programs are a priority for most nursing students. As such, the university offers most programs with convenient online options.

Again, accelerated and working professional options ensure an excellent middle ground between your work and education.

West Coast University boasts an advanced simulation lab and partners with many healthcare facilities. Moreover, you’re generally assured of personalized academic support, as the classes here are pretty small to allow for one-on-one faculty support when necessary.

18. Georgetown University — Distance and Online Options for Graduate Nursing Programs

Georgetown University

Georgetown University is a private research university in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington, D.C.....

Accounting Business Business Administration Business Analytics
District of Columbia, US    School Type : Private

Location: Washington D.C.

Estimated tuition fees: $1,446 per credit

Programs available: Direct Entry BSN / MSN / DNP /PhD

The School of Nursing and Health Studies at Georgetown University employs the guidance of established practitioners, researchers, scholars, and teachers to take students through in-class and clinical experiences.

Georgetown University’s nursing programs cut across the board of everything nursing, and their graduate programs have both on-campus and distance learning options, so there’s the freedom to choose ideally.

19. Villanova University — Widest Nursing Programs Study Options

Villanova University

Villanova University is a private institution that was founded in 1842. It has a total undergraduate enrollment of 7,037 (fall 2020), its setting is suburban, and the campus size is…....

Accounting Business Business Administration Business Analytics
United States, US    School Type : Private

Location: Villanova, Pennsylvania

Estimated tuition fees: $60,768 annually

Programs available: BSN / Second degree BSN / MSN / DNP / PhD

With a 98.8% placement rate of nursing undergraduates, it’s evident that the M. Louise Fitzpatrick College of Nursing provides a good foundation for nursing students. Giving you many avenues to take your nursing program, e.g., full-time, part-time, online, in-person, or hybrid, Villanova University sure gives everyone a chance at finding a schedule that works for them.

20. Rush University – Great Entry MSN Collegiate Nursing Education

Rush University

Rush University is a private school. The College of Nursing has an application fee of $115 for U.S. residents. Tuition for the master's program at the College of Nursing is…....

Accounting Art Art History Arts and Design
United States, US    School Type : Private

Location: Chicago, Illinois

Estimated tuition fees: $58,958 annually.

Programs available: Entry MSN (Clinical Nurse Leader) / DNP / PhD / Certificates

Rush University has a course for you as a new nursing student or advancing professional nurse. New nursing students can start with the entry masters program, while nurses who continue their education have many MSN, DNP, and PhD programs. Above all, numerous graduate programs are available online and part-time to help working nurses.

Best US Nursing Education: Conclusion

With this guide on the nation’s top nursing schools, deciding what school to consider is now easier. Depending on your career goals, budget, and the convenience you might seek, rest assured there’s a school for you.

Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, and the University of Pennsylvania respectively take our top spots for their enduring reputation, seasoned faculty, efficient programs, and high graduate success rates.

That said, the other nursing schools are worth consideration, too, as they have their unique strengths, are more affordable, and might even fit your goals better.

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