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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 included the following states within our Mid-Atlantic rankings: Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. We evaluated each nursing school in the region 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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#11: University of Rochester | Rochester, NY
The School of Nursing at University of Rochester prides itself on innovation in nursing education, including the country’s first Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program and its first Center for Nursing Entrepreneurship. The school’s most recent initiative is its Council for Diversity and Inclusiveness. Over the past seven years, 92.4% of Rochester’s BSN students have passed the NCLEX licensure exam on their first try. The school also provides RN-to-BSN, MSN, PhD, and post-PhD programs. Nursing students have access to a state-of-the-art Clinical and Educational Resource Center as well as a 52-bed neonatal intensive care unit.


#12: Waynesburg University | Waynesburg, PA
Waynesburg University’s nursing programs are offered across the university’s four academic centers, allowing students greater flexibility. The university offers a traditional BSN along with RN-to-BSN, LPN-to-BSN, accelerated BSN, MSN, and DNP programs. Waynesburg maintains a small BSN graduating class of 40 students, and these nurses have passed the NCLEX exam at a stellar 99.2% first-try rate since 2008. Future nursing students at Waynesburg will enjoy the recent addition of a state-of-the-art simulation lab.


#13: Duquesne University | Pittsburgh, PA
The School of Nursing at Duquesne University is recognized for creating Pennsylvania’s first BSN program in 1937 and the nation’s first online nursing PhD program in 1997. Duquesne has been designated an NLN Center of Excellence™ three consecutive times since 2008. In addition to traditional BSN and RN-to-BSN programs, it offers undergraduates an innovative five-year dual degree program in biomedical engineering and nursing. Overall, the school’s BSN graduates have maintained an 86.3% first-time NCLEX pass rate over the past five academic years. The School of Nursing also provides graduate programs at the master’s, graduate certificate, and doctoral levels, including both DNP and PhD options.


#14: Salisbury University | Salisbury, MD
The Department of Nursing at Salisbury University graduates 80-100 BSN students each year. These students consistently maintain one of the strongest baccalaureate NCLEX performances in Maryland, including a pass rate of almost 93% over the past eight academic years. Salisbury has three BSN options: the traditional undergraduate degree, an accelerated pathway for non-nursing college graduates, and an RN-to-BSN completion program. Its MSN program has two tracks: nurse educator and healthcare leadership. Salisbury also offers post-BSN and post-MSN entry points for its DNP program.


#15: Pace University | Pleasantville, NY
The Lienhard School of Nursing (LSN) at Pace University’s College of Health Professions offers its students learning opportunities by partnering with many well-known primary, acute, and tertiary care facilities and community agencies. LSN’s small class sizes ensure greater faculty attention, enabling BSN students to pass the NCLEX exam at a 90.6% rate over the past five years. Across its two campuses in Pleasantville and New York City, LSN offers traditional and accelerated BSN programs for undergraduates as well as a variety of graduate degree and certificate programs.


#16: The College of New Jersey | Ewing, NJ
The Department of Nursing at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) was recently designated a COE by the National League for Nursing. BSN students have achieved an impressive NCLEX first-time pass rate of ~93% since 2009. Moreover, 100% of BSN graduates that seek full-time employment are placed within six months. Class sizes are small: the typical nursing class has 15 to 30 students, and the school limits clinical groups to a maximum of eight students. TCNJ also offers MSN programs for aspiring adult, family, and neonatal nurse practitioners; clinical nurse leaders; and school nurses.


#17: George Washington University | Washington, DC
Founded in 2010, George Washington University’s School of Nursing is already educating nearly 800 students, including ~225 on campus and over 550 online. The school employs 58 faculty and 300 clinical preceptors across its two campus locations in Foggy Bottom and Ashburn. These sites are also home to three premier Skills and Simulation Laboratories. The School of Nursing provides baccalaureate, master's, and doctorate programs, and has earned recognition for its online offerings. In fact, their online MSN is currently ranked #13 nationwide by US News & World Report.


#18: York College of Pennsylvania | York, PA
York College’s Stabler Department of Nursing offers traditional BSN, RN-to-BSN, MSN, and DNP programs to a total enrollment of nearly 600 students. The school’s flagship BSN program graduates ~120 students each year, and these graduates have passed the NCLEX exam at an 87% rate over the past seven years. Stabler students enjoy personalized attention, with approximately 36 individuals per class and an 8:1 clinical student-to-faculty ratio. York College’s recently renovated nursing building, Diehl Hall, includes state-of-the-art simulation rooms and critical care equipment.


#19: Seton Hall University | South Orange, NJ
Seton Hall University’s College of Nursing was established in 1937 as New Jersey’s first college of nursing. The university continues to lead in nursing scholarship, teaching, and practice. In addition to the state’s first entry-level CNL program, the college boasts one of just three nursing PhD programs in the state. Seton Hall graduates approximately 200 new nurses from its BSN program each year, and an additional 10-20 students from its entry-level CNL program. The college also offers an RN-to-BSN bridge, four MSN specializations, and three post-master’s certificates.


#20: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey | Newark, NJ
The Rutgers School of Nursing became the fourth school on the Rutgers Camden campus in 2011, but their experience in nursing education extends 35 years. With small class sizes of ~36 students, BSN graduates from Rutgers perform well on the NCLEX exam. For example, 84% of the school’s 2015 applicants passed the licensure exam on their first try. In addition to traditional BSN, accelerated BSN, and RN-to-BSN undergraduate programs, the university offers MSN, DNP, and PhD degrees as well as a school nurse certificate. Rutgers students have access to clinical learning at 16+ prominent organizations in the area.


The accredited schools below also offer highly regarded nursing programs in the Mid-Atlantic region.

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