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For our 2018 rankings, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac collected data on over 3,000 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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#1: Johns Hopkins University | Baltimore, MD
The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing is ranked #1 among graduate nursing programs and #5 among online nursing programs by U.S. News & World Report. The school also earned an NLN Center of Excellence designation for enhancing student learning and professional development. Johns Hopkins educates approximately 1,200 diverse nursing students, including 500 full-time and 700 part-time. The university recently transitioned from a prelicensure BSN program to a direct-entry MSN program. The first two graduating classes of the direct-entry MSN have scored a stellar 96% NCLEX pass rate. Johns Hopkins offers two other MSN tracks, a DNP with seven advanced practice specializations, and a doctor of philosophy (PhD) in nursing.

#2: New York University | New York, NY
U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks the adult-gerontology nurse practitioner programs at Rory Meyers College of Nursing among the top ten nationally. The college is also seventh in the nation in terms of NIH nursing research funding awarded over the past decade, and NYU Meyers has twice earned a Center of Excellence designation from the National League for Nursing. In its flagship BSN program, the college graduates approximately 400 students each year who have passed the NCLEX exam at an 86% rate since 2008. NYU Meyers also offers an MSN degree, post-master’s advanced certificates, a DNP program, and a PhD in Research Theory and Development.

#3: University of Pennsylvania | Philadelphia, PA
The MSN program at Penn’s School of Nursing is consistently ranked as one of the top programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report, along with four of its nurse practitioner (NP) specialty tracks in their respective categories. The school enrolls approximately 600 students across its undergraduate and graduate programs, and Penn is in the top tier of research-funded institutions according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Graduates of the BSN program have passed the NCLEX exam at a 92% rate since 2009. Students also benefit from 41 full-time faculty and two world-class hospitals in their backyard.

#4: University of Maryland | Baltimore, MD
The University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) currently enrolls almost 1,900 nursing students. The university has received a top-ten ranking from U.S. News & World Report in at least ten different nursing specialty areas. UMSON also places #14 in NIH nursing research funding over the past decade. The school graduates 250-300 prelicensure BSN students annually and another 50-100 direct-entry MSN students. These individuals have passed the NCLEX exam at an impressive 91% rate since 2008. UMSON has 147 faculty members (136 of whom are full-time), engages with more than 600 faculty associates and clinical preceptors, and offers students access to four highly regarded medical centers and institutes.

#5: Villanova University | Villanova, PA
Drawing on its Christian beliefs and values, Villanova University has provided nursing education for over sixty years. The nursing college typically has more than 700 students enrolled in its undergraduate program. These BSN graduates have achieved an outstanding 94% NCLEX pass rate for three consecutive years. Another 300 students are enrolled across Villanova’s MSN, DNP, and PhD programs. Designated a Center of Excellence by the NLN multiple times, the college boasts 7,000 alumni, 55% of whom live in the tristate area. Over 80% of the college’s full-time and part-time faculty hold doctoral degrees.

#6: Georgetown University | Washington, DC
Georgetown University has educated more than 8,000 nurses since its nursing program was founded in 1903. The School of Nursing & Health Studies (NHS) provides nursing education across two academic departments. The Department of Advanced Nursing Practice houses several MSN specialties, and the Department of Professional Nursing Practice leads the BSN, CNL, and DNP programs. The school’s BSN students have a remarkable 97% NCLEX exam pass rate over the past decade. Students at NHS further benefit from state-of-the-art facilities like the O’Neill Family Foundation Clinical Simulation Center and the Discovery Center.

#7: University of Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh, PA
Pitt Nursing earns high marks from U.S. News & World Report across several of their programs. Pitt is also consistently ranked in the top 10 in nursing school research funding by the National Institutes of Health. In addition to its graduate offerings, the school teaches traditional and accelerated bachelor’s degree programs, and its BSN students have passed the NCLEX exam at a rate of almost 90% since 2009. Pitt Nursing has almost 100 full-time faculty, approximately 98% of whom hold doctoral degrees. The School of Nursing was also recently ranked near the top 10 globally by QS World University Rankings.

#8: 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 decade, 91% 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.

#9: Columbia University | New York, NY
As part of Columbia University Medical Center, Columbia Nursing enjoys a unique collaboration with the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Mailman School of Public Health, and the College of Dental Medicine. In fact, Columbia is one of eight nursing schools in the nation associated with a major academic medical center. Since its establishment in 1892, Columbia Nursing has graduated approximately 12,000 nurses. The school has a history of innovation: it launched the first master’s degree in clinical nursing in 1956, and it recently introduced a fifteen-month direct-entry MSN program for non-nurse college graduates. Columbia Nursing is proud to boast 38% ethnic diversity.

#10: Jefferson College of Nursing | Philadelphia, PA
Jefferson College of Nursing enrolls over 1,000 students across its nursing programs. Its 250-280 annual BSN graduates have achieved an admirable NCLEX pass rate of 90% since 2009. The school also has an extensive range of programs for graduate students, with many MSN specializations and doctoral programs. Students benefit from access to Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, one of the top-ranked hospitals nationwide. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) recently recognized Jefferson for its quality patient care, nursing excellence, and innovations in professional nursing.

#11: 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 multiple 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 88% first-time NCLEX pass rate since 2009. The School of Nursing also provides graduate programs at the master’s, graduate certificate, and doctoral levels, including both DNP and PhD options.

#12: University of Scranton | Scranton, PA
Established in 1984, Scranton’s Department of Nursing draws from its Jesuit roots and offers nursing education with a strong base in the liberal arts. The department offers traditional BSN, RN-to-BSN, LPN-to-BSN, MSN (with four specialty tracks), and DNP programs. Students benefit from small class sizes and a strong clinical focus, with clinical experiences beginning during sophomore year. Indeed, Scranton’s BSN graduates have passed the NCLEX licensure exam at an impressive 93% rate since 2009. Undergraduates also have opportunities for research, study abroad, and participation in domestic and international service trips.

#13: Drexel University | Philadelphia, PA
Drexel University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions has developed and refined more than 25 undergraduate and graduate nursing programs since 2002. The college currently includes more than 5,000 students, 200 full-time faculty, and 104 staff. Drexel graduates approximately 300-400 traditional BSN students each year with an exemplary NCLEX pass rate of 97% since 2009. The college’s performance on numerous other board certification and licensing exams is well above average, including recent 100% pass rates for the physician assistant and nurse anesthesia programs.

#14: The College of New Jersey | Ewing, NJ
The Department of Nursing at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) was recently designated an NLN Center of Excellence for enhancing student learning and professional development. BSN students have achieved an impressive 93% first-time NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. 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.

#15: 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 40-50 students, and these nurses have passed the NCLEX exam at a stellar 99% first-try rate since 2009. Nursing students at Waynesburg enjoy the recent addition of a state-of-the-art simulation lab.

#16: Messiah College | Mechanicsburg, PA
The Department of Nursing at Messiah College recently constructed a state-of-the-art advanced simulation lab. This complements the college’s slate of newly renovated labs including a maternal-child lab, a psychiatric-mental health lab, two basic skills labs, and a physical assessment lab. Messiah College also maintains contracts with a wide variety of excellent clinical agencies in the Central Pennsylvania area. In the college’s flagship BSN program, students have achieved an outstanding 96% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam over the past four years. Graduate nursing students can pursue an MSN degree with a nurse educator or nursing administration focus, a post-graduate certificate in nursing education, or a DNP with a family nurse practitioner focus.

#17: Teachers College at Columbia University | New York, NY
Teachers College at Columbia University has trained nurse education leaders since 1899. Offered through the Department of Health & Behavior Studies, the college conducts programs for MSN-prepared and advanced practice nurses. Teachers College’s doctor of education (EdD) in nursing education has a newly revised curriculum, designed by nursing education experts and recently approved by the State of New York as an online offering. Doctoral students who would like clinical expertise in diabetes management may take advantage of the school’s Diabetes Education and Management curriculum. The school also offers a five-course advanced certificate in nursing education specifically designed for doctorally prepared nurses.

#18: Upstate Medical University | Syracuse, NY
Upstate Medical University’s College of Nursing strives to meet the needs of RNs in the Syracuse and Central New York area. In 1959, to address the region’s nursing shortfall, Upstate Medical University launched an ADN program that educated more than 500 registered nurses over the next two decades. Today, Upstate Medical University is one of the longest-established upper-division nursing schools in the region. It offers an RN-to-BSN degree completion program, three MSN tracks, two post-master’s advanced certificates, and a part-time MSN-to-DNP program.

#19: Hunter College | New York, NY
Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing (HBSON) offers three undergraduate programs: a traditional BSN, an accelerated second-degree program, and an RN-to-BSN bridge. It also provides six MSN specialization tracks, a post-master’s certificate in psychiatric-mental health, and a DNP program. The school graduates 90-130 BSN students annually, who have passed the NCLEX exam at a solid 88% rate over the past ten years. With an aim to provide care in culturally diverse communities, HBSON has supported nursing education initiatives in Haiti and introduced a Global Health Nursing elective at the undergraduate level.

#20: 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, scoring a 93% pass rate over the past decade. 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.

#21: Pace University | New York & 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 an 89% rate over the past ten 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.

#22: University of Delaware | Newark, DE
Founded 50 years ago, University of Delaware’s School of Nursing is focused on increasing the cultural and ethnic diversity of nurses in the state. In fact, the school received a three-year grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration in 2014 towards this effort. Roughly 150-180 students graduate from UD’s BSN program each year, achieving a first-time NCLEX pass rate of 88% over the past decade. The school places an emphasis on learning experiences and students have access to well-equipped simulation labs, including the Clinical Critical Care Lab and the Clinical Maternal Child Lab.

#23: University at Buffalo | Buffalo, NY
University at Buffalo’s School of Nursing has educated nurses for over 75 years. The school provides a traditional BSN, accelerated BSN, RN-to-BSN bridge, master’s in nursing leadership, DNP program, and PhD program. The latter two are available in a distance learning format. The university graduates about 120 new nurses from its BSN program each year, and these students have passed the NCLEX exam at an 87% rate over the past ten years. UB School of Nursing students can access a varied list of clinical partners including a major cancer center, several comprehensive healthcare providers, a hospice center, and a veterans’ medical center.

#24: Widener University | Chester, PA
Formerly the Crozer College of Nursing, Widener’s School of Nursing opened in 1966 and marked the first time women were admitted as students. The school graduates 100-150 BSN students annually, and they have passed the NCLEX exam at rates as high as 90% in recent years. Widener is particularly recognized for its graduate nursing programs: the school offers five specialty master’s tracks, two doctoral programs (DNP and PhD), and three accelerated graduate options. Students at Widener enjoy an 8:1 student-to-faculty clinical ratio and state-of-the-art facilities at the Center for Simulation and Computerized Testing.

#25: Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences | Lancaster, PA
Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences recently announced the launch of a three-year prelicensure BSN program, the first of its kind in the region. Meanwhile, the school’s existing full-time ADN program has graduated 200-300 students annually with NCLEX pass rates as high as 98% in recent years. PA College also offers an online MSN program with specializations in nursing administration and nursing education, as well as a hybrid post-master’s DNP that features a clinical affiliation with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health. Students enjoy the college’s recently built 24.7-acre campus with state-of-the-art facilities.

#26: Gannon University | Erie, PA
Gannon University’s Villa Maria School of Nursing boasts a nearly 100% job placement rate for graduates. Since 2009, the school’s traditional BSN students have passed the NCLEX exam at a stellar 92% first-try rate, well above state and national averages. Gannon also offers an online RN-to-BSN program, four distinct MSN programs, and a DNP. Students benefit from a low 10:1 student-to-faculty ratio and at least 980 hours of hands-on experience before graduation. The university also hosts the region’s largest technically advanced Patient Simulation Center, located in the Morosky College of Health Professions and Sciences.

#27: DeSales University | Center Valley, PA
DeSales University established the Department of Nursing and Health in 1974, along with its first BSN program. Today the school offers an abundance of undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. DeSales has both full-time and part-time study options, and the school partners with more than 300 sites and preceptors to provide clinical experiences. Its BSN graduates have achieved a 91% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX exam since 2009. Moreover, MSN graduates have typically earned a 100% pass rate on national certification examinations across all tracks since the program’s inception in 1984.

#28: 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 doctoral programs. The school has earned particular recognition for its online offerings, including its 100% online MSN program, from national publications like U.S. News & World Report.

#29: 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 90-120 students each year, and these graduates have passed the NCLEX exam at an 88% rate since 2009. 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.

#30: 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. Recent NCLEX performance has been solid for both programs, with an 80% pass rate for BSN graduates and an 88% pass rate for CNL graduates over the past three years. The college also offers an RN-to-BSN bridge, four MSN specializations, and three post-master’s certificates.

#31: Wagner College | Staten Island, NY
In 2012, the Evelyn L. Spiro School of Nursing earned a coveted COE designation from the National League for Nursing. The school offers a traditional BSN, second-degree BSN, and RN-to-BSN completion program at the undergraduate level. It also offers MSN tracks for aspiring nurse educators and family nurse practitioners, a post-master’s FNP certificate, and a DNP program. Wagner produces 60-100 new BSN-educated nurses each year, and these graduates have passed the NCLEX exam at rates as high as 92% in recent years. Students learn at the Nursing Resource Center, which has a well-equipped high-fidelity simulation lab and a general skills lab.

#32: West Chester University | West Chester, PA
The Department of Nursing at West Chester University offers traditional BSN, second-degree BSN, and RN-to-BSN options at the undergraduate level. The school’s prelicensure students have consistently performed well on the NCLEX exam, passing on the first try at an 89% rate since 2009. West Chester’s graduate nursing programs include a school nurse certification, an MSN program with nursing education and adult-gerontology tracks, and a DNP program for MSN degree-holders. Students benefit from a variety of clinical experiences including acute care, community health, daycare centers, retirement centers, and veterans’ hospitals.

#33: Chatham University | Pittsburgh, PA
Chatham University offers RN-to-BSN, MSN, and DNP programs in nursing. The RN-to-BSN option is designed for practicing RNs and offered online through the College of Continuing and Professional Studies. Chatham’s graduate nursing program includes specialty tracks in education and leadership / management. The school redesigned its online MSN program in 2013; modeled after the DNP program, it offers three tracks: leadership, education, and informatics. In 2015 the school introduced its first international track in the MSN program and had 21 Chinese nurses learning at Chatham.

#34: Robert Morris University | Moon Township, PA
Robert Morris University’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences educates more than 600 students. Its BSN graduates consistently pass the NCLEX exam at an impressive rate; in fact, the school’s 2017 NCLEX pass rate for first-time test takers was 96%, exceeding both the national and state averages. DNP program graduates also perform extremely well on standardized tests, with a 96% pass rate on the nurse practitioner certification exam in 2015. Robert Morris students enjoy a low 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio in clinical settings. Over 50% of undergraduates take advantage of the school’s international program with clinical experiences in Managua, Nicaragua.

#35: Misericordia University | Dallas, PA
The College of Health Sciences at Misericordia University provides flexibility in its program offerings. The undergraduate division offers a traditional four-year BSN, a part-time evening BSN, a full-time second-degree BSN, and an accelerated RN-to-BSN program. At the graduate level, Misericordia offers an MSN with FNP specialization option, an FNP post-master’s certificate, and an online DNP. The school’s BSN program is the oldest such offering in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the largest discipline within the college. Students from the program have passed the NCLEX exam at rates as high as 96% in recent years.

#36: Binghamton University | Binghamton, NY
Since its establishment in 1969, the Decker School of Nursing (DSON) has earned a reputation for its baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral nursing programs in the state of New York. DSON graduates 150-200 BSN students each year that have passed the NCLEX exam at a rate of 82% over the last decade. The school provides its nursing students with intensive clinical experiences and state-of-the-art facilities. Students complete hundreds of clinical rotation hours in acute care and community settings, and they also enjoy access to DSON’s Simulation and Practice Center.

#37: Pennsylvania State University | University Park, PA
Penn State’s College of Nursing offer an experience grounded in a student-centered environment with low student-to-faculty ratios. The college’s graduating BSN class of 150-200 students consistently performs very well on the NCLEX exam, with a pass rate as high as 99% in 2017. Undergraduates can study abroad in four international locations to observe different healthcare and nursing education systems. Penn State also offers a breadth of master’s and doctoral nursing degrees, and the school’s Center for Nursing Research provides consulting services for quantitative and analytical work.

#38: St. John Fisher College | Rochester, NY
The Wegmans School of Nursing recently launched three new MSN specializations with an eye on the healthcare needs of the Rochester community: adult-gerontology primary care, adult-gerontology acute care, and psychiatric-mental health. The graduate nursing department also offers an M.S. in Mental Health Counseling and a Doctor of Nursing Practice, while the undergraduate department leads traditional BSN and online RN-to-BSN programs. Wegmans’ BSN students have passed the NCLEX exam at a solid 90% rate since 2008.

#39: Temple University | Philadelphia, PA
The College of Public Health at Temple University offers both BSN and DNP degree programs. The BSN curriculum has three entry points: a freshman option for high-performing high school graduates, a transfer option for current Temple students, and an external transfer option for applicants who are enrolled in another college or university. Qualified nursing students can join Temple’s Honors Program to take advantage of smaller course sizes, priority course registration, and enhanced networking opportunities. Since 2015, the university has graduated 60-80 BSN students annually with a stellar 94% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam. Temple’s DNP program is one of the few offered in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. The curriculum offers two clinical tracks, with entry options for both BSN and MSN degree-holders.

#40: Catholic University of America | Washington, DC
Established in 1935, the CUA School of Nursing offers on-campus degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school has BSN tracks for traditional and second-degree students, three nurse practitioner MSN specialties, and both DNP and PhD nursing programs. Students in CUA’s nursing programs can gain clinical experience in 100 local healthcare facilities, often with alumni preceptors. The school’s research-intensive doctoral program is located near preeminent research and health facilities, including the National Institutes of Health and the Institute of Medicine. Prelicensure BSN students have achieved a solid 85% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN examination since 2013.

#41: Saint Vincent College | Latrobe, PA
Saint Vincent College offers two innovative and collaborative programs in the nursing arena. At the undergraduate level, the college has partnered with Carlow University to deliver the Carlow BSN program on the Saint Vincent campus. Students complete all coursework in Latrobe, beginning clinical nursing courses during their sophomore year. Clinical rotations take place at a variety of regional sites, including nearby Excela Health locations and Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. At the graduate level, Saint Vincent College teams up with Excela Health to deliver a nurse anesthesia program. The Excela Health School of Anesthesia is currently in the process of transitioning this offering from a 27.5-month Master of Health Science in Nurse Anesthesia to a 36-month Doctor of Nurse Anesthesia Practice.

#42: Stony Brook University | Stony Brook, NY
At Stony Brook University’s School of Nursing, all graduate-level and online classes are recorded and archived, allowing students to access lecture materials at their convenience. Not surprisingly, Stony Brook’s online MSN program consistently ranks highly according to U.S. News & World Report. The school annually sits 100-160 BSN students for the NCLEX exam, and they have passed at a strong 90% rate since 2008. Stony Brook also offers a wide breadth of graduate nursing programs, including nine MSN / advanced certificate tracks and a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

#43: Monmouth University | West Long Branch, NJ
Monmouth University is home to the Marjorie K. Unterberg School of Nursing and Health Studies. The school’s Department of Nursing offers a number of degree options, including two BSN pathways (prelicensure, RN-to-BSN), two MSN pathways (traditional, RN-to-MSN), and a 36-credit online DNP. Monmouth also offers graduate certificates in forensic nursing and school nursing, along with post-master’s certificates in nursing education and several popular nurse practitioner fields (adult-gerontological, family, psychiatric-mental health). All nursing students are members of the Monmouth University Professional Nurses Association. Top BSN and MSN performers can apply for membership in the Lambda Delta chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society.

#44: SUNY Downstate Medical Center | Brooklyn, NY
SUNY Downstate College of Nursing offers two baccalaureate options: a second-degree accelerated BSN and an RN-to-BSN completion program. The BSN class is on the smaller side, graduating 50-75 students annually, and they are exceptionally well-prepared for licensure, with an NCLEX pass rate of 90% since 2008. SUNY Downstate is one of only four colleges in the state to offer an MSN in all four advanced practice roles: clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, and nurse midwife. The college also offers advanced certificates in family nurse practitioner and women’s health primary care nurse practitioner.

#45: Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey | Newark, NJ
The Rutgers School of Nursing is New Jersey’s largest institution of nursing education, with more than 1,600 students across campus sites in Newark, New Brunswick, and Blackwood. Undergraduates may select from three BSN pathways (traditional, accelerated second degree, RN-to-BSN) as well as a post-baccalaureate school nurse certificate. The school graduates 200-300 new nurses annually from its prelicensure BSN programs, maintaining a solid 84% NCLEX pass rate over the past three years. At the graduate level, Rutgers offers an MSN with concentrations in informatics and nursing leadership, six distinct post-master’s certificates, a unique HIV care specialization, a DNP with two entry points, and PhD programs in either nursing or urban systems.

#46: Gwynedd Mercy University | Gwynedd Valley, PA
GMercyU’s Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions has educated nurses for more than 50 years. The school offers BSN, ABSN, and RN-to-BSN programs for its undergraduates. At the graduate level, GMercyU has an online DNP program, a post-master’s nurse practitioner certificate, and three MSN tracks: adult-gerontology CNS, nurse educator, and nurse practitioner. Nursing students benefit from the university’s 200+ affiliations with regional healthcare facilities, such as Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Doylestown Hospital, and Abington Memorial Hospital.

#47: Bloomsburg University | Bloomsburg, PA
Bloomsburg University’s Department of Nursing offers several nursing degree options. Undergraduates can enroll in the school’s traditional BSN program, whose students have achieved an astounding 97% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX exam since 2009. The BSN program has a small graduating class of 60-100 students each year, enabling close interaction with faculty. Existing nurses may opt instead for the school’s RN-to-BSN or RN-to-MSN program, both geared towards ADN- or diploma-educated nurses. Graduate students can pursue specialization as a family nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, or nursing administrator.

#48: Carlow University | Pittsburgh, PA
Founded in 1948, the Department of Nursing at Carlow University prides itself on innovation, integrating art and science with a high-touch and high-tech approach. The school offers a range of undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral nursing programs including a dual-degree MSN-MBA option. Carlow’s BSN students have maintained an NCLEX pass rate above 92% every year since 2014. In fact, during the past two academic years, 100% of the nursing department’s BSN graduates passed the NCLEX exam on their first attempt.

#49: Indiana University of Pennsylvania | Indiana, PA
With an admirable 94% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam since 2009, IUP’s Department of Nursing and Allied Health Professions is recognized for its excellence. In addition to four- and five-year BSN programs, the department offers MSN tracks in administration and education, two PhD pathways, and several healthcare certificates. IUP strives for state-of the-art facilities: the nursing department introduced its first simulation laboratory in 2007 and recently received a $300,000 federal grant to fund a second one.

#50: La Salle University | Philadelphia, PA
La Salle University’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares its students to provide care to underserved, diverse populations. Indeed, this is a core way the university delivers on its mission of service rooted in solidarity and justice. Nursing degree programs run the gamut from traditional and bridge BSN pathways to graduate-level MSN and DNP offerings. The school also offers a full complement of certificates including adult-gerontology (both CNS and NP), family NP, nurse anesthetist, nursing administration, nursing education, public health nursing, and school nursing. Students hone their skills in state-of-the-art simulation labs and clinic spaces with the assistance of experienced faculty. BSN students have scored an exceptional 96% NCLEX pass rate over the past two years.

#51: Adelphi University | Garden City, NY
With 70 years of nursing education experience, the Adelphi College of Nursing and Public Health is designated a Center of Excellence by the NLN. The college currently enrolls over 1,000 undergraduates and approximately 150 graduate nurses. Adelphi students benefit from small class sizes and strong collaboration with faculty. Approximately 250-350 BSN students appear for the NCLEX exam each year, and they have scored a 76% pass rate since 2008. The college also prides itself on the fact that 89% of Adelphi master’s degree students gain employment within a year of graduation.

#52: Thomas Edison State University | Trenton, NJ
The W. Carey Edwards School of Nursing at Thomas Edison State University offers flexible, self-paced programs for students seeking an alternative to traditional campus-based instruction. Options include a second degree BSN program, an MSN degree with several specializations, RN-to-BSN and RN-to-BSN/MSN degree completion pathways, and a DNP program. The second degree BSN is a 12-month program designed for adults who have already earned a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. TESU graduates have maintained an impressive 94% pass rate on the NCLEX licensure examination since the program’s inception. The MSN program offers tracks in nursing administration, education, and informatics. The DNP has a specialty option in systems-level leadership and may be completed online in just 18 months.

#53: Lehman College | Bronx, NY
The Department of Nursing at Lehman College is part of the School of Health Sciences, Human Services, and Nursing. The department offers three undergraduate nursing pathways including a generic BSN, an accelerated BSN, and an online RN-to-BSN program. Since 2016, prelicensure BSN graduates have achieved a noteworthy 89% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam. At the graduate level, Lehman College offers two MSN specializations (family nurse practitioner, pediatric nurse practitioner) and four post-master’s certificates (FNP, PNP, nursing education, nursing administration). The college is currently seeking approval to offer a DNP program with an adult-geriatric clinical nurse specialist focus.

#54: Wilkes University | Wilkes-Barre, PA
Passan School of Nursing at Wilkes University offers a full complement of programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students seeking a BSN degree can pursue a traditional, accelerated, or LPN-to-BSN pathway. Wilkes University graduates 70-100 students annually from its BSN program, and they have scored an impressive 92% pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam since 2016. Graduate options include an MSN degree with six concentrations and both types of nursing doctoral programs (DNP and PhD). Graduate nurses can concentrate in executive leadership, education, informatics, or three nurse practitioner fields (adult-gerontology primary care, family, psychiatric / mental health). Coursework for all graduate programs may be completed entirely online.

#55: Molloy College | Rockville Centre, NY
Molloy College graduates a BSN class of approximately 300 students each spring, the second-largest such cohort in the entire state (after NYU). Molloy students perform well on their licensure exams, passing at rates as high as 92% in recent years. The college also offers a BSN degree completion program for RNs, as well as a unique dual-degree option that enables students to enroll in both undergraduate and graduate courses simultaneously. At the graduate level, Molloy offers seven distinct MSN tracks, nine post-master’s nursing certificates, and a highly regarded nursing PhD program.

#56: Kean University | Union, NJ
The Kean University School of Nursing offers educational preparation for nurses at the baccalaureate and graduate levels. Pathways include an online RN-to-BSN; a transculturally focused MSN with specializations in clinical management, school nursing, or community / public health nursing; an RN-to-MSN for registered nurses with non-nursing baccalaureate degrees; and a DNP in educational leadership. The online RN-to-BSN program consists of 125 credits that may be completed in just three to four years part-time. Job placement rates for Kean’s nursing graduates are stellar, including a 97% job placement rate for RN-to-BSN graduates and a 100% job placement rate for MSN graduates over the past three years.

#57: Stockton University | Galloway, NJ
Stockton University’s School of Health Sciences offers five nursing programs: a traditional BSN, an accelerated second degree BSN, an RN-to-BSN completion program, an MSN for aspiring adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners (AGPCNPs), and post-master’s certificates for both AGPCNPs and FNPs. In recent years, 94% of the school’s MSN students and 100% of its FNP students have passed their respective national certification exams. The undergraduate program demonstrates similar excellence: prelicensure BSN students have passed the NCLEX exam at a 92% rate over the past three years. Stockton University has an on-campus simulation lab that mimics real-life experiences, with actors playing patients.

#58: Moravian College | Bethlehem, PA
Moravian College’s Nursing and Public Health Department offers three undergraduate nursing pathways: a traditional four-year BSN, a 16-month accelerated BSN for college graduates, and an RN-to-BSN completion program. Over the past five years, the school’s prelicensure BSN graduates have achieved a strong 91% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. At the graduate level, Moravian has an MSN program that prepares clinical nurse leaders, nurse administrators, nurse educators, and adult-gerontology nurse practitioners. The AGNP focus has both acute care and primary care options. For additional flexibility, the college provides an RN-to-MSN pathway for nurses who earned a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing discipline.

#59: The Graduate Center, CUNY | New York, NY
The Graduate Center at The City University of New York offers a PhD program for nurses that hold a master’s degree in nursing from an accredited school. The PhD program – formerly called a doctor of nursing science, or DNS – is composed of 49 post-master’s credits with no clinical component, as these courses would have been completed at the master’s level. Sample courses for the program include Applied Statistics, Bioethics, and Nursing Care Perspectives to Eliminate Health Disparities. In years one and two of the program, students will complete twenty hours of required courses each year. In the third year, students will complete nine hours of required coursework, and in the fourth year, students will complete and defend their dissertation.

#60: SUNY Polytechnic Institute | Utica, NY
SUNY Polytechnic Institute offers several innovative pathways for nursing students. The school’s 1+2+1 partnership with St. Elizabeth College of Nursing (SECON) enables students to complete two nursing degrees – an ADN from SECON and a BSN from SUNY Poly – in four years, all while living on the SUNY Poly campus. The school’s two-year RN-to-BSN program is now offered online beginning with the 2018 fall semester. SUNY Poly also offers an accelerated BSN/MSN program with specializations in family nurse practitioner and nursing education, as well as certificates of advanced study in both fields.

#61: Ramapo College of New Jersey | Mahwah, NJ
Ramapo College of New Jersey graduates a class of approximately 75 BSN students each spring, and these students have excelled on their licensure exams in recent years. The school has achieved an NCLEX pass rate higher than 90% for four consecutive years, including a stellar 96% pass rate in 2017. Ramapo College also offers an RN-to-BSN program and an MSN focused on nursing education. The college maintains a clinical partnership with the Valley Hospital, which is designated a magnet hospital by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. In addition, Ramapo students have access to a well-equipped learning center with two designated computer labs, four patient stations, and a patient simulator.

#62: Fairleigh Dickinson University | Teaneck, NJ
The Henry P. Becton School of Nursing & Allied Health at Fairleigh Dickinson University has educated nursing students since 1952. The school offers programs at both the Metropolitan and Florham campuses of FDU. The Metropolitan campus houses a full breadth of nursing programs including three BSN pathways, an MSN degree with five clinical tracks and three non-clinical tracks, five post-master’s certificates, and a DNP program with several entry points. The Florham campus focuses its nursing education on a traditional BSN degree and an MSN degree with two nurse practitioner specializations (adult gerontology, family psychiatric / mental health). Over the past three years, FDU’s prelicensure BSN graduates have achieved a strong 91% pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam.

#63: Stevenson University | Stevenson, MD
The Sandra R. Berman School of Nursing and Health Professions at Stevenson University offers traditional BSN, associate’s-to-bachelor’s (ATB), RN-to-BSN, MSN, and RN-to-MSN programs. The traditional BSN program features small class sizes and clinical courses beginning in junior year. Over the past decade, BSN graduates have achieved an 86% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. The ATB program allows students to begin courses toward a baccalaureate degree in nursing at Stevenson while they are simultaneously completing their associate’s degree in nursing at another institution. The RN-to-BSN and MSN programs are both offered online, and the RN-to-MSN pathway is available in both hybrid and fully online formats.

#64: Daemen College | Amherst, NY
The nursing department at Daemen College partners with local community colleges to deliver an innovative 1+2+1 curriculum. This unique program confers both an ADN and a BSN degree in only four years of study, and it enables students to work as a registered nurse after just their third year. The college also offers a traditional RN-to-BSN bridge, a DNP program, and three MSN tracks in adult-gerontology primary care, nursing executive leadership, and nursing education. Daemen’s nursing department strives to integrate several methods of instruction, including traditional classroom, distance education, hybrid, and online.

#65: Millersville University | Millersville, PA
Millersville University’s Department of Nursing offers both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs for licensed nurses. At the undergraduate level, Millersville offers an RN-to-BSN program in two formats: traditional (a mix of online and face-to-face) and 100% online. At the graduate level, the school has an MSN program for nurses who wish to pursue an advanced practice role like family nurse practitioner or nurse educator. In addition, Millersville offers a DNP program for RNs who already have a master’s degree in a related area, such as an MSN or an MPH. This 36-credit-hour program is structured for flexibility and part-time study, with a mix of blended, online, and face-to-face courses.

#66: Wilmington University | New Castle, DE
The College of Health Professions at Wilmington University has more than a dozen nursing programs for aspiring nurses seeking an undergraduate degree, an advanced degree, or a certificate. Undergraduate pathways include a pre-RN option for second-level ADN students, an RN-to-BSN for nurses that hold a diploma or ADN, and an accelerated RN-to-BSN for nurses that have a bachelor’s degree in another field. Graduate options include an MSN with nurse practitioner or leadership specialization, dual-degree tracks that pair the MSN with a healthcare-focused MS or MBA, and a terminal DNP degree. Wilmington University also offers post-graduate certificates in several nurse practitioner fields (FNP, AGNP, PMHNP) as well as nursing leadership.

#67: Towson University | Towson, MD
The Department of Nursing at Towson University has a unique dual-enrollment program that allows students to enroll simultaneously in an ADN program at a participating community college and the BSN program at Towson University. Students in this accelerated year-round program can earn both degrees in just 2.5 years. Towson also offers a traditional BSN program that graduates 150-200 prelicensure candidates each year. These students have maintained an 87% first-time NCLEX pass rate since 2012. Nurses who already possess a BSN degree may enroll in Towson’s nursing education certificate program or its MSN degree program. MSN students take classes together one day each week, making this the only graduate nursing program in Maryland organized as a full-time cohort.

#68: Alvernia University | Reading, PA
Alvernia University offers two pathways to a BSN degree (traditional, online RN-to-BSN) as well as a full slate of MSN and DNP programs. The undergraduate program has a track record of success on the NCLEX licensure exam: students have averaged a stellar 95% pass rate over the past five years. BSN coursework covers a breadth of critical topics including leadership and ethics, geriatric nursing, family and community nursing, cultural competency, and informatics. The MSN degree offers specializations in nursing leadership and healthcare administration, nursing education, and healthcare informatics. The DNP program has two post-BSN nurse practitioner tracks (adult-gerontology, family) and two post-MSN leadership tracks (clinical, health systems).

#69: The Sage Colleges | Troy, NY
The Sage Colleges offer both BSN and MSN degrees. The BSN program is designed for students who are preparing for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. Students in the program take 60 credits in the arts and sciences, including 36 credits of general education requirements. The nursing major then includes 54 nursing credits and 27 credits of required support courses. Students may transfer up to 30 credits from an ADN program or up to 75 credits from a BSN program. The Sage Colleges’ undergraduates have achieved a solid 85% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam over the past three years. Graduate students may pursue an MSN degree in four nurse practitioner specialties (acute care, adult gerontology, family, psychiatric mental health) or a post-master’s certificate in any of these areas.

#70: Holy Family University | Philadelphia, PA
The School of Nursing & Allied Health Professions at Holy Family University has a variety of degree programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate pathways include the traditional four-year BSN, second degree ABSN, and accelerated RN-to-BSN. Prelicensure BSN students have consistently performed well on the NCLEX exam, posting an 86% pass rate over the past decade and a 93% pass rate the last two years. Graduate options include an MSN with nursing administration and nursing education certificates, as well as a new blended DNP program. Holy Family University is noted for its low student-to-faculty ratio in clinical settings, simulation in every course through the school’s simulation lab, and exposure to a variety of hospital systems and clinical placements in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

#71: Cedar Crest College | Allentown, PA
The undergraduate nursing program at Cedar Crest College has posted an NCLEX pass rate of 94% or higher for five consecutive years, including a stellar 98% pass rate in the most recent academic year. The program graduates 70-100 students annually. Many of Cedar Crest’s BSN students pursue a minor or a double major, including popular options like nursing / psychology and nursing / art therapy. Students can also expand their knowledge and employment opportunities by completing a certificate in gerontology, healthcare management, or school nursing. The graduate nursing program offers a breadth of specialty tracks, including two nurse practitioner concentrations (adult-gerontology acute care, family) at both the MSN and DNP levels.

#72: Clarion University | Oil City, PA
Clarion University’s College of Health Sciences and Human Services offers the full gamut of nursing programs at all degree levels. The university’s two-year ADN program efficiently prepares technical nurses to provide client-centered care. ADN graduates have achieved a solid 82% pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam over the past decade, including an impressive 100% pass rate for the class of 2016. At the baccalaureate level, Clarion offers both a traditional undergraduate program and a three-semester RN-to-BSN pathway. Graduate students may pursue an MSN degree with a family nurse practitioner focus or an online MSN-to-DNP program that covers leadership, policy, population health, and clinical practice.

#73: St. Joseph’s College of Nursing | Syracuse, NY
St. Joseph’s College of Nursing was founded in 1898 by the Sisters of St. Francis. Over the past 118 years, the college has produced more than 4,000 newly minted nurses, with 120-150 new graduates joining their ranks each year. St. Joseph’s offers a number of tailored pathways to the nursing profession, including a traditional two-year weekday ADN and an accelerated 18-month evening / weekend program. The school has also designed a dual degree partnership in nursing (DDPN) option with Le Moyne College, awarding both an associate’s degree and a baccalaureate degree in four years over a 1+2+1 class schedule. St. Joseph’s students have earned a stellar NCLEX pass rate of 93% over the past decade. Graduates are given transfer consideration into the RN-to-BSN programs of more than a dozen local and online nursing colleges.

#74: Mount Saint Mary College | Newburgh, NY
Mount Saint Mary College offers five pathways in nursing including a traditional BSN, an adult degree completion program, an LPN-to-BSN bridge, an RN-to-BSN bridge offered in a hybrid on-site / online model, and an MSN degree. The traditional BSN is a four-year program for students with no prior nursing education, while the adult degree completion program is an evening and weekend program designed especially for adult learners. The bridge programs are designed for existing LPNs and RNs who wish to advance their nursing education in a streamlined manner. Across prelicensure pathways, BSN students have averaged an 84% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX exam during the past decade. Mount Saint Mary’s MSN degree prepares nurses to enter the healthcare arena as nurse practitioners.

#75: La Roche College | Pittsburgh, PA
La Roche College has degree offerings at each stage of the nursing career ladder. For those new to the field, the ADN provides a streamlined pathway to becoming a registered nurse. La Roche has a very select graduating class of just 10-20 ADN students each spring, who have maintained an 83% NCLEX pass rate over the past four years. For existing nurses looking to advance their education and careers, La Roche offers both RN-to-BSN and RN-to-MSN bridge programs online. A school nurse certificate is available for BSN-prepared RNs or those who are currently enrolled in La Roche’s RN-to-BSN program. Finally, the non-bridge MSN program has specialty tracks in nursing administration, nursing education, and clinical nurse leader.