Best Colleges for Nurses

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Nursing School Rankings

Nursing school rankings will help you compare the relative value of nursing schools based on generally accepted indicators of quality such as acceptance rate, tuition, retention, graduation rates, NCLEX pass rates, post-graduation employment rates, and nursing faculty credentials and reputation. Nursing rankings may also help to broaden your nursing program options as you may not have known about or considered some of the top colleges for nurses before viewing the Best Nursing Schools Rankings.

We recommend you evaluate nursing programs based on a holistic view of national and regional nursing school rankings, regional and national accreditation, state licensing board approval (determines if you’re able to sit for licensing tests), NCLEX pass rates, employment rates, and more.

Earn your accredited nursing degree online. You may qualify for a $6,095 grant!

2018-2019 U.S. News & World Report’s Nursing School Rankings

Ranking College Name Location
#1
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD
#2
Duke University Durham, NC
#3
Emory University Atlanta, GA
#4
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
#5
University of Washington Seattle, WA
#6
Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH
#7
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA
#8 Tie
University of Alabama – Birmingham Birmingham, AL
#8 Tie
University of Michigan – Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI
#8 Tie
Yale University New Haven, CT
#11 Tie
Columbia University New York, NY
#11 Tie
University of California – San Francisco San Francisco, CA
#13
University of Maryland – Baltimore Baltimore, MD
#14 Tie
University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
#14 Tie
Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
#16 Tie
New York University (Meyers) New York, NY
#16 Tie
Ohio State University Columbus, OH
#18 Tie
Rush University Chicago, IL
#18 Tie
University of Illinois – Chicago Chicago, IL
#20 Tie
Rutgers University – Newark Newark, NJ
#20 Tie
University of California – Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
#20 Tie
University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA
#23
University of Texas – Austin Austin, TX
#24
Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, SC
#25
Georgetown University Washington, DC
#26
Pennsylvania State University – University Park University Park, PA
#27 Tie
University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
#27 Tie
Washington State University Spokane, WA
#29
George Washington University Washington, DC
#30 Tie
University of San Diego San Diego, CA
#30 Tie
University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
#32 Tie
Arizona State University Phoenix, AZ
#32 Tie
Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA
#32 Tie
Florida Atlantic University (Lynn) Boca Raton, FL
#32 Tie
Oregon Health and Science University Portland, OR
#32 Tie
University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
#37 Tie
University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
#37 Tie
University of Rochester Rochester, NY
#39 Tie
University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
#39 Tie
University of South Carolina Columbia, SC
#41 Tie
The Catholic University of America Washington, DC
#41 Tie
Indiana University-_Purdue University – Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN
#41 Tie
University of Texas Health Science Center – Houston Houston, TX
#41 Tie
Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA
#45
University of Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH
#46 Tie
University of California – Davis Sacramento, CA
#46 Tie
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus Aurora, CO
#46 Tie
University of Colorado – Colorado Springs Colorado Springs, CO
#46 Tie
Villanova University Villanova, PA
#50 Tie
Northeastern University Boston, MA
#50 Tie
Saint Louis University St. Louis, MO
#50 Tie
University of Kansas Kansas City, KS
#50 Tie
University of Texas – Arlington Arlington, TX
#50 Tie
Wayne State University Detroit, MI
#55 Tie
George Mason University Fairfax, VA
#55 Tie
Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL
#55 Tie
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
#55 Tie
University of North Carolina – Greensboro Greensboro, NC
#55 Tie
University of South Florida Tampa, FL
#60 Tie
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences Bethesda, MD
#60 Tie
University of Missouri Columbia, MO
#62 Tie
University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, NE
#62 Tie
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City, OK
#62 Tie
University of Tennessee – Knoxville Knoxville, TN
#65
Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ
#66 Tie
Florida International University Miami, FL
#66 Tie
Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
#66 Tie
Purdue University – West Lafayette West Lafayette, IN
#66 Tie
Stony Brook University – SUNY Stony Brook, NY
#66 Tie
University of California – Irvine Irvine, CA
#66 Tie
University of Massachusetts – Boston Boston, MA
#72 Tie
Baylor University Dallas, TX
#72 Tie
Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA
#74 Tie
Fairfield University Fairfield, CT
#74 Tie
Frontier Nursing University Hyden, KY

Source: U.S. News & World Report


Earn your accredited nursing degree online. You may qualify for a $6,095 grant!

Compare the nursing ranking below with top online nursing school rankings, here


Below you’ll find a little bit more information that will assist you in your search for the best possible nursing school to meet your needs.

How To Find The Best Nursing School

As nursing rankings are a good reference point in your search for the best nursing school. There are many things you should consider as you search for a nursing program. These things can and should include:

  • If you need to work during nursing school, does the program offer a heavily structured environment or a more flexible one?
  • How involved are the school’s faculty and administration in the program and the curriculum?
  • How strong is a nursing program’s affiliation with local or national hospitals and clinics?
  • How much clinical and internship work is required for graduation?
  • What are the nursing school’s most recent NCLEX-RN (National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses) pass rates?
  • Does the nursing program provide adequate resources including computers, science laboratories, and off-campus clinical work?
  • How large are the class and lab sizes?
  • If you want to specialize, does the school offer the curriculum that helps you to do that?
  • What type of academic and career counseling services does the school provide?
  • How much one-on-one time can you expect to receive with your professors and instructors?
  • What is the school’s job placement rate for graduates of their nursing program?

Colleges for nurses - Young nursing student in nursing school

Earn your accredited nursing degree online. You may qualify for a $6,095 grant!

Nursing School Accreditation

One of the first things you should look at when evaluating a nursing school is whether or not it’s accredited. You also want to look at the accrediting body that has granted the nursing school accreditation. Proper accreditation ensures that a nursing program meets the minimum standards that are associated with a quality education.

The two types of higher education accreditation are national accreditation and regional accreditation. While national accreditation is acceptable, regional accreditation is preferred, especially if you plan to pursue a graduate nursing degree down the road at an accredited four-year college.

Two other organizations that play a role in the accreditation of nursing programs are the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Both of these organizations provide specialized accreditation for schools that offers degree, certificate and diploma programs in nursing.

Online Nursing Schools

Online college programs are now available for just about every field of study or academic discipline, nursing is no exception.

If you’re a self-starter and highly motivated, an online degree in nursing may be an option to consider. While most of your coursework can be done online, you may have to attend some campus-based research labs to obtain hands-on training.

Online nursing degrees and schools allow you to complete a majority, if not all, your classroom courses online. Online nursing programs are particularly useful for registered nurses who already have experience and want to increase their salary by earning a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing.

The RN to BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) degree program for registered nurses who already have an associate’s degree is a perfect example. In most cases, a registered nurse can complete this entire degree program online, without ever stepping foot on a campus. If clinical work is required, it usually can be completed at their current job or at a nearby hospital or medical facility.

Graduate degrees in nursing are also growing in popularity. The Internet provides the perfect medium for practicing nurses to add to their nursing knowledge, understanding, and skills in nursing (while earning a degree).

There are several master’s degree options in advanced practice nursing for RNs who want to specialize in a particular area of medicine or direct patient care, such as Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Executive, or even Nurse Anesthetist.

Other graduate degrees in nursing include the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and Doctor of Nursing Science (DNSc), which are also available online. However, some graduate degrees, especially those that focus on clinical skills, may require practicums or clinicals.

When considering online nursing programs, again, the first thing you’ll want to look at is accreditation. Earning a degree on-campus or online from an unaccredited school can make it difficult to obtain a nursing license, pursue higher education opportunities down the road, or get a job in certain states.

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