Find a nursing school near you

Programs include LPN/LVN, ADN, BSN, MSN, and more

Nursing is a large industry in Washington, DC. From Washington Hospital Center to the Department of Veteran Affairs, nurses are in high demand. Area hospitals and medical offices employ over 40,000 individuals in healthcare occupations and support. In the nursing field specifically, the District has 3,700 certified nursing assistants (CNAs), over 1,200 licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and 11,000 registered nurses. In addition, almost 700 nurse practitioners (advanced degree-holders in the field of nursing) work in Washington, DC.

If you’re considering nursing education, you have a wide field of options available. You can pursue a traditional four-year bachelor’s degree, earn a two-year associate's degree, complete an LPN certificate in 12-18 months, or take a nursing assistant certificate program in as little as eight weeks. The program you choose should fit your needs. For a traditional four-year degree, a large public university offers a cost-effective program of study. These institutions typically have larger classes but can marshal significant resources including state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. Private colleges provide smaller class sizes with individualized attention; a degree from these schools often carries more weight during the job search as well.

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While many employers are seeking nurses with a four-year bachelor’s degree, there are fast-track options as well. Vocational, career, and community colleges offer associate's degree (ADN), LPN certificate, and CNA certificate programs. These courses of study require anything from two months (CNA) to two years (ADN) to complete. They can provide an intermediate stepping stone for nurses who plan to pursue baccalaureate education at a later date.

Once you've chosen the best educational route, you’ll need to select the best school. To aid that decision, we’ve compiled below a list of the top nursing schools in Washington, DC, organized by class size.

District of Columbia nursing schools: Largest to smallest

Georgetown University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 117 students during the 2009-10 period
University of the District of Columbia
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 91 students during the 2009-10 period
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 27 students during the 2009-10 period
Catholic University of America
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 81 students during the 2009-10 period
Radians College
Associate's Degree in Nursing: 56 students during the 2009-10 period
Certificate in Practical Nursing: 45 students during the 2009-10 period
Howard University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 26 students during the 2009-10 period