We've organized a comprehensive list of Washington nursing schools. Below you'll find information on specific nursing programs such as LPN certificates and ADN, BSN, and MSN degrees. You'll also find a profile of nursing education and careers in each major Washington city.

At least a dozen university campuses in Washington offer a master of science in nursing (MSN) degree. Most MSN programs enable existing registered nurses (RNs) to enter specialized fields like nursing administration, nursing education, or family practice nursing. A select number of “direct-entry” MSN programs enable students with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field to earn initial RN licensure before pursuing a specialization.

Overview of the MSN program

For our 2024 rankings of prelicensure BSN programs, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac compiled an extensive database of student performance on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Aspiring registered nurses in the United States must pass this examination before they may commence practice. Thus, student performance on the NCLEX-RN exam provides an excellent benchmark for comparing the relative quality of bachelor’s degree programs.

Aspiring nurses can pursue prelicensure programs at either public or private schools, and each path has its own advantages. Although private schools tend to be more expensive, they are generally regarded as more selective and academically rigorous. Private schools often have smaller class sizes, making it easier to seek individual help and forge connections with professors. Private schools also tend to have smaller campuses and thus more intimate communities.

A nursing degree or certificate can launch a stable and rewarding career in healthcare, with frequent opportunities for career advancement. An aspiring nurse can complete her prelicensure program at either a public or a private school. While both options have their merits, public colleges and universities in Washington are heavily subsidized by the state government. This makes them more affordable options that are ideal for state residents with a tight financial budget.