Find a nursing school near you

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

For our inaugural rankings, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac collected data on over 3,200 nursing schools and campuses throughout the United States. We evaluated each school on three dimensions:

  • The institution’s academic prestige and perceived value
  • The breadth and depth of nursing programs offered
  • Student success, particularly on the NCLEX national licensure exam

We then combined these assessments into an overall score and ranked the schools accordingly. For a detailed description of our assessment methodology and dimension weights, please see here.

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#51: University of Florida | Gainesville, FL
Ranked in U.S. News & World Report’s top 50 graduate programs nationally, the University of Florida College of Nursing (CON) boasts an annual BSN graduating class that is perennially among the state’s largest. Upon graduating, approximately 70% of BSN degree-holders pursue an advanced degree within three years; 75% do so within five years. A visionary leader for nursing schools across the state, the CON started Florida’s first master’s and doctoral programs, as well as its first BSN-to-PhD and DNP offerings.

 

#52: University of Wisconsin - Madison | Madison, WI
The UW Madison School of Nursing offers a number of degree options, including BSN, MSN, DNP, and PhD programs. Approximately 150 students complete the BSN program annually; these students perform well on the NCLEX-RN exam, passing at a rate of ~89% over the past five years. UW Madison is the third-largest research university nationally, and researchers at the nursing school focus their work on pain / symptom management and informatics. The school recently initiated a nurse educator certificate program to prepare DNP and PhD students for this critical field.

 

#53: Georgia Baptist College of Nursing | Atlanta, GA
The Georgia Baptist College of Nursing at Mercer University provides a range of options for students, from pre-licensure to BSN to graduate programs. The school’s MSN program prepares students to use research effectively and serve in leadership roles upon graduation; they even have the option to specialize as a family nurse practitioner. Regardless of the program, every nursing student has access to over 100 healthcare agencies in the greater Macon metropolitan area, enabling an impressive level of collaboration and off-site learning to further develop nurses’ skillsets.

 

#54: University of California, Los Angeles | Los Angeles, CA
UCLA’s School of Nursing recently earned the #12 spot in U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of MSN programs. In fact, the same publication ranked the UCLA Hospital System as the #1 hospital west of the Mississippi River for 23 years running. The school boasts an impressive faculty, which earns the fifth-most NIH funding of all nursing schools and has contributed 350 articles to renowned peer-reviewed journals over the past decade. A total school enrollment of just 600 students allows classes to remain small and student-centered.

 

#55: University of Utah | Salt Lake City, UT
The University of Utah College of Nursing (CON) was one of the first nursing research institutions in the western part of the country. In fact, the school ranked #2 nationally in NIH funding during 2015, receiving over $7 million in grants. Utah’s nursing faculty uses this funding to advance causes like chronic disease and disability treatment, patient safety, and women’s health. The CON also houses the Gerontology Interdisciplinary Program for students seeking a degree or certificate in the field of gerontology.

 

#56: University of Minnesota | Minneapolis, MN
The University of Minnesota School of Nursing has almost 1,000 enrollees across its baccalaureate and graduate programs. The school recently celebrated 100 years of nursing innovation; indeed, it was the first nursing school in the country with programs for certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs) and practitioners of nursing informatics. The University of Minnesota now offers the nation’s third-largest DNP program with a classroom component, and its nursing informatics graduate program ranks #2 in the country according to U.S. News & World Report.

 

#57: Marymount University | Arlington, VA
Offering three ways to earn a BSN, Marymount University boasts a five-year NCLEX pass rate of 87% for traditional four-year BSN graduates and 91% for accelerated second-degree graduates. Students in the school’s MSN program have the opportunity to conduct clinical fieldwork at several agencies and sites in the greater Washington, DC area. Marymount’s DNP degree provides a desirable level of flexibility for working nurses: courses are offered online on a part-time basis, with only one on-campus facet each semester.

 

#58: University of New Hampshire | Durham, NH
The University of New Hampshire’s College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) emphasizes reflective thinking and critical thinking skills in its BSN program. Its graduate program in nursing offers tracks for clinical nurse leaders, evidence-based nursing, and family nurse practitioner. The DNP program at CHHS is fully online with only two required visits to campus. It is designed to prepare APRNs for leadership roles as future educators who will further the discipline of nursing.

 

#59: North Dakota State University | Fargo, ND
The North Dakota State University School of Nursing maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1, allowing a personalized level of support for each student. The school’s BSN program is its largest and most popular, featuring clinical experiences in long-term care, pediatrics, and mental health. NDSU’s DNP program prepares family nurse practitioners for careers that will require problem-solving skills in an ever-changing nursing environment. The school maintains faculty and staff in both Fargo and Bismarck.

 

#60: University of Iowa | Iowa City, IA
The University of Iowa College of Nursing is renowned for several of its graduate degrees. Indeed, the school offers the #2 nursing service administration and #9 nurse anesthetist programs in the country according to U.S. News & World Report. The UI College of Nursing uses its relatively small size to serve as a center for innovation and experimentation. Most recently, the school committed to becoming a national vanguard in the field of clinical genetics. Its partnership with the UI Hospitals and Clinics provides students plenty of opportunities to build nursing skills in a variety of practice settings.

 

The accredited schools below also offer highly regarded nursing programs. Many of them are taught online.

Featured Schools

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