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 (deals with your ability to sit for licensing tests), NCLEX pass rates, employment rates, and more.
2017-2018 U.S. News & World Report’s Nursing School Rankings
|Duke University||Durham, NC|
|Johns Hopkins University||Baltimore, MD|
|University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, PA|
|Emory University||Atlanta, GA|
|Ohio State University||Columbus, OH|
|University of Washington||Seattle, WA|
|Yale University||New Haven, CT|
|Columbia University||New York, NY|
|University of Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh, PA|
|University of Maryland – Baltimore||Baltimore, MD|
|Case Western Reserve University||Cleveland, OH|
|University of Michigan – Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI|
|New York University (Meyers)||New York, NY|
|University of Alabama – Birmingham||Birmingham, AL|
|University of California – Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA|
|Vanderbilt University||Nashville, TN|
|University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill||Chapel Hill, NC|
|Rush University||Chicago, IL|
|University of Virginia||Charlottesville, VA|
|Pennsylvania State University – University Park||University Park, PA|
|Rutgers University – Newark||Newark, NJ|
|University of Illinois – Chicago||Chicago, IL|
|University of Iowa||Iowa City, IA|
|University of Texas – Austin||Austin, TX|
|University of Texas Health Science Center – Houston||Houston, TX|
|Medical University of South Carolina||Charleston, SC|
|University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus||Aurora, CO|
|Georgetown University||Washington, DC|
|Indiana University-_Purdue University – Indianapolis||Indianapolis, IN|
|University of San Diego||San Diego, CA|
|Arizona State University||Phoenix, AZ|
|Boston College||Chestnut Hill, MA|
|The Catholic University of America||Washington, DC|
|George Washington University||Washington, DC|
|University of Utah||Salt Lake City, UT|
|Oregon Health and Science University||Portland, OR|
|University of Rochester||Rochester, NY|
|University of Cincinnati||Cincinnati, OH|
|University of Miami||Coral Gables, FL|
|University of Missouri||Columbia, MO|
|University of Arizona||Tucson, AZ|
|Washington State University||Spokane, WA|
|University of Connecticut||Storrs, CT|
|University of Missouri – Kansas City||Kansas City, MO|
|Florida Atlantic University (Lynn)||Boca Raton, FL|
|University of Massachusetts – Amherst||Amherst, MA|
|University of South Florida||Tampa, FL|
|University of Alabama||Tuscaloosa, AL|
|University of Tennessee – Knoxville||Knoxville, TN|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||Richmond, VA|
|Wayne State University||Detroit, MI|
Compare the nursing ranking below with top online nursing school rankings, here
- Tips for How to Find the Best Nursing School.
- See Nursing Salaries by State
- Learn About Nursing School Accreditation
- Learn About Online Nursing Schools
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?
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.
Explore Careers Search for nursing schools
Nursing School Rankings by Specialty
- Clinical Nurse Specialist: Adult / Medical-Surgical
- Clinical Nurse Specialist: Community / Public Health
- Clinical Nurse Specialist: Psychiatric / Mental Health
- Nurse Practitioner: Adult
- Nurse Practitioner: Family
- Nurse Practitioner: Gerontological/Geriatric
- Nurse Practitioner: Pediatric
- Nursing Service Administration
Featured Nursing Programs
|Southern New Hampshire University You have goals. Southern New Hampshire University can help you get there. Whether you need a bachelor's degree to get into a career or want a master's degree to move up in your current career, SNHU has an online program for you. Find your degree from over 200 online programs. Learn More >|
|Kaplan University Kaplan University's campus locations provide the facilities, faculty, staff and career programs to help you achieve your personal goals. You can learn from professionals specializing in identifying career opportunities and preparing students for a brighter future. Learn More >|
|Grand Canyon University (GCU) With a spotlight on intellectual creativity and innovation for the 21stcentury, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at GCU provides a job focused education. It blends the study of traditional humanities in a modern context. Through academic inquiry and beyond the box thinking, the college advances our society and its accomplishments. Learn More >|
|South University For over a century, South University has given students the personalized attention they need to achieve their career goals. With small class sizes and faculty with real-world experience, we prove to our students that when they commit to us, we commit to them. You'll find that our students are as serious as you are about taking their lives in a new direction, and we're serious about making that happen. Learn More >|
|Brown Mackie College At Brown Mackie College, you don't need to wait for a traditional 'Fall Start.' Because our students aren't always living 'traditional' lives we offer new starts each month with day or evening classes that fit your schedule. We keep the focus on one course, one subject at a time to help you succeed. Learn More >|