Find a nursing school near you

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

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. Approximately 1,300 of the institutions surveyed were private, including vocational and career schools, liberal arts colleges, and universities. 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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#1: Duke University | Durham, NC
The National League for Nursing (NLN) has twice designated Duke University a Center of Excellence (COE): in 2013 for promoting the pedagogical expertise of faculty, and in 2015 for enhancing student learning and professional development. The School of Nursing consistently ranks among the highest in the nation among U.S. News & World Report’s top master of science in nursing (MSN) programs, and it was the first school in North Carolina to offer the doctor of nursing practice degree. Duke also graduates 130-150 students each year from its accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program, who have passed the NCLEX exam at a stellar rate of 98% since 2010.


#2: 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.


#3: Rush University | Chicago, IL
Since its inception, well over 7,000 baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral students have graduated from Rush University’s College of Nursing. The college currently maintains a graduate enrollment of approximately 1,000, of whom 350 are full-time students. Rush’s direct-entry MSN students have passed the NCLEX exam at an exemplary rate of 97% over the past eight years. The Rush University Medical Center provides a rich environment where students of nursing, medicine, and allied health sciences learn in an interdisciplinary and dynamic setting.


#4: 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.


#5: 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.


#6: Emory University | Atlanta, GA
The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University is home to approximately 600 students enrolled in BSN, ABSN, MSN, PhD, and DNP programs. The university is consistently ranked among the top ten graduate nursing schools by U.S. News & World Report, including a number of highly rated specialty programs. At the undergraduate level, Emory produces approximately 200 BSN graduates annually who have passed the NCLEX-RN examination at a 90% rate since 2008. The nursing school has an impressive 82% employment rate immediately after graduation, and students have landed positions at more than 500 diverse clinical sites nationwide.


#7: Samford University | Birmingham, AL
The Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing at Samford University is home to more than 700 nursing students. The undergraduate BSN program offers four education pathways, including a traditional four-year degree, standard and accelerated versions of the second-degree program, and a unique Veterans’ BSN. In total, Samford graduates over 100 newly minted RNs annually. These BSN students have passed the NCLEX exam at a 94% first-try rate over the past eight years, including an incredible 99% pass rate for the class of 2015. Samford’s graduate nursing curriculum includes specialty programs for family nursing practice, health systems and administration, nursing anesthesia, and nurse education.


#8: 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.


#9: 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.


#10: Yale University | New Haven, CT
One of the first university schools to prepare nurses under an educational rather than apprenticeship program, Yale School of Nursing (YSN) has educated health professionals since 1923. YSN maintains a consistently stellar NCLEX pass rate of 94-98% in its entry-level MSN program, and the school’s MSN and DNP offerings are both highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report. The university’s 320 nursing students interact with over 100 faculty members and 1,000+ preceptors focused solely on graduate nursing education. Yale is also one of the top recipients of nursing research funding from the National Institutes of Health, averaging $3.5 million annually in grants over the past decade.


#11: Boston College | Chestnut Hill, MA
The William F. Connell School of Nursing is geared towards global diversity and social justice. The college’s nursing students enjoy a liberal arts education and receive a range of cultural healthcare perspectives, with access to six international locations. Approximately 100 BSN and 40 MSN students graduate from the school’s prelicensure programs each year. BSN students have maintained a strong 93% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade, while direct-entry MSN students scored a perfect pass rate in eight of the past ten years. The school offers a wide range of graduate programs, including certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA) and pediatric or psychiatric nurse practitioner (NP) options.


#12: Case Western Reserve University | Cleveland, OH
The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University prides itself on innovation. The school was among the first in the country to offer several nursing programs, including acute care nurse practitioner, gerontological nursing, and doctor of nursing practice. It is also one of few private research universities to offer both a traditional four-year BSN degree and a direct-entry MSN pathway. BSN graduates have earned as high as a 95% pass rate in recent years. Case Western students benefit from their proximity to University Circle, a 550-acre scientific hub with numerous premier healthcare organizations. The school also has seven centers of excellence for nursing opportunities and experiences.


#13: University of Miami | Coral Gables, FL
The University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS) will soon host one of the nation’s first education-based simulation hospitals. The school historically ranks in the top 25 nationwide in National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding among nursing schools. A member of the respected UHealth family, SONHS offers BSN, ABSN, RN-to-BSN, MSN, DNP, and PhD degrees in many specializations. Post-master’s certificates are also on the menu. SONHS graduates 160-200 students annually from its flagship prelicensure BSN program. During the 2010-16 time period, more than 94% of these students passed the NCLEX-RN licensure exam on their first try.


#14: 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.


#15: Simmons College | Boston, MA
Simmons’s low student-to-faculty ratio allows it to concentrate on strong, clinically based baccalaureate, master’s, post-master’s, and doctoral programs in nursing. Simmons students can also take advantage of Boston’s Longwood Medical Area, which features 21 renowned medical and academic institutions in their immediate backyard. The school graduates 200-250 students annually from its prelicensure BSN program, with a strong 92% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. Simmons’s direct-entry MSN program graduates an additional 30-50 students annually. It has boasted a phenomenal 98% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade, with most cohorts scoring a perfect 100% pass rate.


#16: Northeastern University | Boston, MA
Northeastern’s School of Nursing, part of the Bouvé College of Health Sciences, provides students broad interaction across Bouvé’s entire faculty. The school maintains a strong focus on research and an interdisciplinary approach to healthcare. Indeed, Northeastern was designated an NLN Center of Excellence in 2013 for enhancing student learning and professional development. Prelicensure students perform well on the NCLEX exam: the school’s BSN program has posted a 91% pass rate since 2008, while its direct-entry MSN program boasts a phenomenal 96% pass rate. Northeastern also offers an online RN-to-BSN program, an MSN curriculum with six NP specialties, two doctoral nursing degrees (PhD, DNP), and nurse anesthesia programs at both the master’s and doctoral levels.


#17: 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.


#18: 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.


#19: Allen College | Waterloo, IA
Allen College graduated its first DNP class in 2013. The school also offers four nurse practitioner tracks in its MSN program, including adult-gerontology acute care, adult-gerontology primary care, family practice, and family psychiatric mental health. The school’s baccalaureate program has three prelicensure tracks (traditional, accelerated, and LPN-to-BSN) and two postlicensure tracks (RN-to-BSN and public health). BSN students have the option to earn a minor in the pioneering area of population health. Allen College produces 100-125 prelicensure BSN graduates annually, and these students have passed the NCLEX exam at a stellar 94% rate over the past decade.


#20: 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.


#21: 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.


#22: Barnes-Jewish College | Saint Louis, MO
The Goldfarb School of Nursing at Barnes-Jewish College is recognized as a Laerdal Center of Educational Excellence. The school welcomes more than 700 nursing students annually and awards the bachelor of science in nursing, master of science in nursing, and dual doctor of nursing practice / doctor of philosophy in nursing degrees. Approximately 400 BSN graduates sit for the National Council Licensure Examination annually, and they have passed this test at a 90% rate over the past decade. More than 40% of graduates land positions at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.


#23: 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.


#24: Seattle University | Seattle, WA
The Seattle University College of Nursing offers a unique nursing curriculum that combines local and international nursing education. Students may take single academic courses abroad or enroll in a short- or long-term study abroad experience. Locations run the gamut from South America to Africa to Australia. The college offers a four-year BSN program as well as traditional and non-nurse immersion pathways to a DNP degree. Prelicensure students perform well on the NCLEX exam: over the past decade, 88% of BSN students and 94% of graduate immersion students passed the exam on their first attempt. Graduate students can choose from several nurse practitioner specializations, nurse midwifery, or advanced community public health nursing.


#25: Vanderbilt University | Nashville, TN
Vanderbilt University School of Nursing focuses solely on graduate nursing study. The university offers traditional and direct-entry MSN programs, 11 distinct post-master’s certificates for aspiring advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), and two doctoral options (DNP and PhD). The direct-entry MSN program graduates approximately 150 new nurses annually who have passed the NCLEX exam at a 93% first-try rate over the past decade. Vanderbilt’s APRN specialties run the gamut from family nurse practitioner to nurse-midwifery to nursing informatics. The MSN program also partners with Vanderbilt Divinity School to offer two innovative dual degrees.


#26: University of Portland | Portland, OR
The University of Portland School of Nursing awards BSN, MSN, and DNP degrees. The baccalaureate program incorporates study abroad experiences in countries like Australia, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Tanzania. UP produces approximately 200 BSN graduates annually who have averaged a solid 89% NCLEX pass rate since 2008. The graduate program employs a convenient hybrid delivery model of monthly immersion weekends and online learning modules. UP offers an MSN degree with clinical nurse leader and nurse educator tracks, as well as a DNP program with a family nurse practitioner population focus.


#27: Samuel Merritt University | Oakland, CA
Samuel Merritt University has prepared professional nurses for a century. Undergraduates can enroll in either a traditional or accelerated BSN program. Across the two pathways, SMU graduates 350-400 BSN students each year who have passed the NCLEX exam at an 88% rate since 2008. Just as impressively, the school’s entry-level MSN program, which graduates 80-100 students annually, has a 90% NCLEX exam pass rate over that same time period. MSN students may prepare for careers as a case manager, certified registered nurse anesthetist (CRNA), or family nurse practitioner. The university also offers a DNP degree with an FNP specialization. All SMU nursing students have access to global medical mission opportunities as well as the Health Sciences Simulation Center, one of the region’s most advanced healthcare simulation facilities.


#28: Quinnipiac University | Hamden, CT
With a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio that beats the national average of 15:1, Quinnipiac University allows students closer interaction with faculty. USA Today has named Quinnipiac one of the top ten places to earn a nursing degree in the country. The school’s flagship bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program graduates well over 100 students annually from its traditional four-year pathway. Another 50 students graduate from the accelerated BSN program each year. Quinnipiac students have passed the NCLEX exam at a solid 90% rate over the past decade, including an impressive 93% pass rate for the accelerated BSN program. Quinnipiac also offers an online BSN for registered nurses and a full slate of graduate degrees and certificates.


#29: Regis College | Weston, MA
The Richard and Sheila Young School of Nursing at Regis College has received three consecutive NLN Center of Excellence designations since 2008. With small class sizes and four high-tech simulation labs, the school provides its students experience-oriented nursing education. Enrollees in the direct-entry MSN program have passed the NCLEX licensure exam at a stellar 96% rate over the past ten years. The school also offers a traditional four-year BSN, an RN-to-BSN program with two pathways (non-nursing bachelor’s, no bachelor’s), a postlicensure MSN program with ten specialty tracks (five in leadership, five for nurse practitioners), and a DNP program that is delivered both on campus and online.


#30: Fairfield University | Fairfield, CT
Ranked #9 in the country by RNtoBSN.org for their hybrid RN-to-BSN program, Fairfield University’s graduate nursing program is also listed among the best in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. In fact, their Master’s in Nursing Leadership (LEAD) program was recently recognized for its excellence by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). The Marion Peckham Egan School of Nursing and Health Studies also offers both traditional and accelerated BSN tracks. Graduates have passed the NCLEX licensure exam at a rate of ~90% over the past decade.


#31: Saint Mary’s College | Notre Dame, IN
The Department of Nursing Science at Saint Mary’s College offers three distinct nursing programs: traditional BSN, DNP with BSN entry, and DNP with MSN entry. With just 40-60 graduates annually, the BSN program is very selective. It also prepares students well for their licensure exams: over the past decade, approximately 90% of graduates have passed the NCLEX exam on their first try. Students begin clinical experiences during sophomore year under the supervision of qualified faculty members in small classes. These experiences are facilitated by the school’s affiliations with local hospitals, long-term care facilities, health departments, and other community settings.


#32: 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.


#33: Pacific Lutheran University | Tacoma, WA
The School of Nursing at Pacific Lutheran University offers a top-tier MSN program with several entry points and specializations. Entry points include the traditional post-BSN program, an RN-to-MSN pathway for nurses with a bachelor’s degree in another field, and an entry-level program for non-nurses. Students can specialize as either an advanced generalist or a clinical nurse leader. The entry-level MSN program is select, admitting just twenty candidates each year, and its students have maintained an exceptional 97% NCLEX exam pass rate over the past decade. The School of Nursing also offers two BSN pathways – traditional and LPN bridge – as well as a DNP program that prepares aspiring FNPs and PMHNPs. Approximately 80 BSN graduates each year consistently achieve NCLEX exam pass rates of 90-98%.


#34: Mercer University | Atlanta, GA
Georgia Baptist College of Nursing is part of Mercer University. The school consists of two campuses: an Atlanta campus where the main nursing college is located, and a Macon campus where students take pre-nursing coursework. Georgia Baptist offers two BSN pathways (traditional, RN-to-BSN), two MSN tracks (adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner), and two doctoral degrees with a hybrid online format (DNP, PhD). The college is the second-largest Baptist-affiliated institution in the world, with access to more than 30 clinical sites for valuable hands-on experience. Georgia Baptist graduates 120-140 prelicensure BSN students each year, who have achieved a superior 94% NCLEX exam pass rate over the past decade.


#35: Bradley University | Peoria, IL
Bradley University’s Department of Nursing offers two BSN pathways (four-year, accelerated) and three traditional MSN tracks (general, nursing administration, nursing education). The BSN program graduates 65-90 students annually and has maintained a remarkable 94% NCLEX pass rate over the past ten years. Undergraduates learn from 22 experienced faculty and begin clinical experiences during sophomore year. Bradley’s traditional MSN program is complemented by its extensive online curriculum, including an RN-to-MSN bridge, two MSN concentrations (nursing administration, FNP), and two DNP concentrations (leadership, FNP). These online programs provide flexibility and easy access so that working nurses can improve their educational qualifications while in the field.


#36: University of St. Francis | Joliet, IL
USF’s Cecily & John Leach College of Nursing draws on its Catholic heritage of community service. The school offers a broad range of baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral nursing degrees, including a popular RN-to-BSN bridge program for existing nurses with an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or hospital diploma. The school has a small graduating class of 60-90 traditional BSN students who consistently perform very well on the NCLEX licensure exam. Indeed, USF’s first-time NCLEX pass rate over the last decade has been an impressive 93%. Students have access to a virtual simulation laboratory, and they can take advantage of acute and long-term care clinical experiences in a variety of community settings.


#37: Marymount University | Arlington, VA
The Malek School of Health Professions houses the Marymount University nursing department. Each year, approximately 50 students graduate from the school’s traditional BSN program, and roughly 100 students complete the accelerated BSN program. Across these two pathways, graduates have passed the NCLEX-RN licensure exam at a strong 90% rate over the past decade. Marymount University also offers a hybrid online RN-to-BSN program, an MSN degree with a family nurse practitioner focus, and an online DNP program that requires just one on-campus component per semester. Clinical experiences and internships take place at some of Virginia’s leading healthcare organizations.


#38: Saint Louis University | Saint Louis, MO
The School of Nursing at Saint Louis University created the first accelerated BSN and comprehensive online MSN programs in the nation, the first accelerated MSN and nursing PhD programs in Missouri, and the first DNP program in St. Louis. SLU’s BSN graduates have maintained a strong NCLEX-RN exam pass rate of 90% over the past decade, well above both state and national averages. In addition to impressive licensure exam pass rates, all of Saint Louis University’s programs are nationally recognized for their innovative and comprehensive curriculum.


#39: 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.


#40: 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.


#41: Belmont University | Nashville, TN
Belmont University’s School of Nursing has program options for students new to nursing, RNs looking to complete their baccalaureate education, and seasoned nurses seeking career advancement. Undergraduate offerings include a traditional four-year BSN, an accelerated BSN, and an RN-to-BSN program. Belmont graduates 100-150 prelicensure BSN students each spring, who have posted an impressive first-time NCLEX pass rate of 91% over the past decade. Graduate options include MSN, post-bachelor’s DNP, and post-master’s DNP programs. The School of Nursing provides several innovative opportunities in its curriculum, include the Cambodia Study Abroad Program and the Nursing Christian Fellowship.


#42: Western University of Health Sciences | Pomona, CA
The College of Graduate Nursing (CGN) at Western University of Health Sciences launched the nation’s first online curriculum for family nurse practitioners. The school also established the first DNP and direct-entry MSN programs in Southern California. CGN’s direct-entry MSN students have passed the NCLEX exam at a strong 90% rate over the past decade, including a 100% pass rate during the 2012-13 academic year. In addition to direct entry, the MSN program offers a bridge option for RNs with an associate’s degree in nursing (ADN). MSN students can choose to specialize as administrative nurse leaders, clinical nurse leaders, ambulatory care nurses, or family nurse practitioners. A post-master’s FNP certificate is also available.


#43: Sacred Heart University | Fairfield, CT
Drawing from its Catholic traditions, Sacred Heart University’s College of Nursing places a strong focus on community and service. Its state-of-the-art laboratory, furnished with a high-tech patient simulation system, lets students practice in a realistic and risk-free environment. Smaller classes and hands-on experience have helped the college’s BSN students to pass the NCLEX licensure exam at an impressive 96% rate since 2011. Sacred Heart also offers several graduate nursing programs, including MSN specializations for aspiring clinical nurse leaders (CNLs), nurse managers, nurse educators, and family nurse practitioners (FNPs).


#44: MGH Institute of Health Professions | Boston, MA
The MGH Institute of Health Professions is always innovating. In 2007, its School of Nursing was one of the first four institutions in the country to create an accredited DNP program. The school introduced a holistic Mind Body Spirit program in 2011 and a Global Health Nursing certification program in 2013. More than 80% of the school’s faculty members possess a doctoral degree. MGH Institute students perform very well on licensure and certification exams. For example, prelicensure BSN students have achieved an 87% NCLEX pass rate since the program’s inception, while their counterparts in the direct-entry MSN program scored a 90% pass rate over the same time period. Advanced practice students perform similarly well on their APRN certification exams.


#45: 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.


#46: Mount Carmel College of Nursing | Columbus, OH
Mount Carmel College of Nursing enrolls over 1,000 students and conducts one of the largest baccalaureate nursing programs in the state, with 200+ annual BSN graduates. Since 2009, these students have passed the NCLEX exam at an 88% rate on their first effort. The college also offers an MSN program with four specialty tracks and a DNP program. Mount Carmel fosters ethnic diversity in its student body and emphasizes small class sizes and personal faculty attention. Students have easy access to hands-on learning at Mount Carmel West Hospital, located right on campus.


#47: Loma Linda University | Loma Linda, CA
At Loma Linda University, students have access to the largest medical simulation center in the United States. They are also proximally located to Loma Linda University Medical Center, which hosts some of the nation’s largest clinical programs. Undergraduate pathways include the traditional BSN, accelerated BSN for non-nursing degree-holders, LVN-to-BSN, and RN-to-BSN. The prelicensure pathways have grown rapidly in recent years: LLU graduated over 150 new BSN-educated nurses during the 2014-15 academic year, and graduates have earned a solid NCLEX pass rate of 86% since 2008. The university also offers MSN tracks for aspiring CRNAs, nurse administrators, and nurse educators, in addition to DNP and nursing PhD programs.


#48: University of San Diego | San Diego, CA
U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks USD’s Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science in the top tier of graduate nursing schools. USD offers a direct-entry MSN option for non-nurses; this pathway graduates 30-50 new nurses each year and has maintained a 91% NCLEX pass rate since 2008. Existing nurses can pursue an MSN in eight different areas of emphasis, a DNP with two entry points (post-BSN, post-MSN), or a PhD with three entry points (post-BSN, post-MSN, post-DNP). In addition to a diverse collection of graduate offerings, Hahn provides the opportunity to participate in international mission trips to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.


#49: Brigham Young University | Provo, UT
BYU College of Nursing is home to nearly 400 nursing students from 38 states and four international countries. The college offers two degree pathways: a prelicensure BSN program for aspiring registered nurses and an MSN degree for aspiring family nurse practitioners. BYU awards approximately 100-125 baccalaureate degrees and a dozen master’s degrees in each academic year, and these nursing students achieve stellar test scores. The college’s BSN graduates have passed the NCLEX exam at a 94% rate or higher for an amazing ten consecutive years. Several recent MSN cohorts have achieved a perfect 100% pass rate on the American Nurses Credentialing Center FNP certification exam.


#50: University of Indianapolis | Indianapolis, IN
UIndy’s School of Nursing is the only institution in the state that offers both nurse-midwifery and neonatal nurse practitioner programs. The school also provides five other MSN specializations; traditional, accelerated, and degree-completion BSN programs; and a doctorate of nursing practice. Prelicensure students from UIndy’s BSN programs have achieved an NCLEX exam pass rate of 91% over the past decade. The school’s “Education for Service” motto is deeply embedded in its nursing curriculum, including a number of student volunteer and mission opportunities each year.


#51: 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.


#52: DePaul University | Chicago, IL
DePaul’s School of Nursing was the first in Illinois to offer a two-year direct-entry MSN program for non-nurses. The school also conducts a three-year RN-to-MSN program for nurses who hold an ADN or hospital diploma, and it offers a DNP program with specializations in nurse anesthesia, family nursing, and adult-gerontological nursing. The direct-entry MSN program graduates 100+ students annually, with an impressive NCLEX pass rate of 89% since 2008. DePaul’s pass rate on the nurse anesthesia certification exam has reached a stellar 100% in recent years. Students enjoy a network of 75+ clinical sites and state-of-the-art facilities across two campuses in Lincoln Park and North Chicago.


#53: Concordia University Wisconsin | Mequon, WI
The School of Nursing at Concordia University Wisconsin offers traditional BSN, accelerated BSN, and RN-to-BSN programs at the undergraduate level, with a strong foundation in the liberal arts. The prelicensure BSN tracks graduate 40-50 students each year, and these individuals have scored a first-time NCLEX pass rate of 92% since 2011. CUW undergraduates benefit from global study trips and clinical experiences that start during their sophomore year. The university’s MSN program has specialty tracks for aspiring nurse educators, family nurse practitioners, and adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners. The school also has an accelerated RN-to-BSN-to-MSN bridge program, a DNP degree, and a unique certificate in parish nursing.


#54: Edgewood College | Madison, WI
Edgewood College has awarded nursing degrees since 1983. The Henry Predolin School of Nursing recently launched a DNP program and now offers the full gamut of baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral nursing degrees. The traditional BSN program graduates about 100 students each year. These individuals have passed the NCLEX exam at a solid 90% rate since 2011, including a stellar 97% pass rate in 2017. Nursing students take advantage of the college’s clinical partnerships with over 70 facilities in southcentral Wisconsin, including University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, American Family Children’s Hospital, and UnityPoint Health - Meriter Hospital.


#55: 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.


#56: Creighton University | Omaha, NE
The College of Nursing at Creighton University was the first nursing school in Nebraska to offer clinical nurse leader and doctor of nursing practice programs. The school also has MSN and post-graduate certificate programs, as well as both a four-year BSN and an accelerated BSN that can be completed in just one year. The college produces approximately 150 prelicensure BSN graduates annually, and these students have achieved a 92% NCLEX exam pass rate since 2010. Just as impressively, Creighton’s graduate students typically score a 90-100% pass rate on their nurse practitioner certification exams.


#57: Maryville University | Saint Louis, MO
The Catherine McAuley School of Nursing at Maryville University has a considerable collection of program offerings for aspiring nurses. Maryville offers traditional and degree completion BSN programs, as well as a fast-track BSN for students who have completed 65 hours of liberal arts and science coursework. Across the prelicensure BSN pathways, the school graduates 100-150 students annually who score consistently stellar marks on the NCLEX licensure exam, averaging a 93% pass rate since 2011. Maryville’s MSN and DNP programs have five specialty NP tracks: family nursing, adult-gerontology primary care, adult-gerontology acute care, pediatric nursing, and psychiatric mental health.


#58: Valparaiso University | Valparaiso, IN
Valparaiso University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions offers undergraduate students BSN, ABSN, RN-to-BSN, and RN-to-MSN options. At the graduate level, BSN-educated nurses may pursue an MSN with a focus on nursing education, a joint MSN/MBA program, or a DNP degree. Valparaiso’s graduating prelicensure BSN class of ~100 students has passed the NCLEX exam at a 93% rate since 2012. More than 60% of the faculty hold doctoral nursing degrees, and students enjoy access to state-of-the-art facilities such as the Virtual Nursing Learning Center and the SIM-Center.


#59: 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.


#60: University of San Francisco | San Francisco, CA
The USF School of Nursing and Health Professions was the first California institution to offer a DNP for working nurses. The school also offers prelicensure BSN and MSN programs, an online MSN program with two entry points (post-ADN, post-BSN), and a traditional campus-based MSN program at several locations in the San Francisco and Sacramento metropolitan areas. USF’s combined “4+1” bachelor’s and master’s program culminates with an MSN-CNL, master of public health (MPH), MS in behavioral health, or MS in health informatics. Prelicensure students consistently perform well on their licensure exams: since 2008, 87% of BSN graduates and 89% of direct-entry MSN graduates have passed the NCLEX-RN exam on their first try.


#61: Nebraska Methodist College | Omaha, NE
Nebraska Methodist College has just one focus: healthcare education. The school provides programs both for students who wish to study on campus and for those who prefer to study online. Because of its singular focus and multiple delivery options, Nebraska Methodist offers one of the largest collections of nursing programs in the region. Degree options include several BSN pathways (traditional, accelerated, LPN-to-BSN, RN-to-BSN), three MSN specializations (educator, executive, informatics), and a DNP program with two focuses (family nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist) and two entry points (post-BSN, APRN). The college graduates 100-150 prelicensure BSN students each year, with a strong 94% NCLEX-RN exam pass rate since 2010.


#62: Marquette University | Milwaukee, WI
Founded in 1936, the College of Nursing at Marquette University has more than 7,000 alumni and educates approximately 350 nursing students annually. The college offers BSN, MSN, post-master’s certificate, DNP, and PhD nursing programs, with a low 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio across all clinical settings. Graduates of the school’s flagship BSN program have passed the NCLEX exam at an 85% rate since 2011, including an excellent 92% pass rate in 2017. The College of Nursing is housed in 46,000-square-foot Emory T. Clark Hall, where students benefit from new facilities like the Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Center for Clinical Simulation.


#63: Xavier University | Cincinnati, OH
The nursing program at Xavier University is one of just a handful of programs in the nation endorsed by the American Holistic Nursing Association. Students learn from faculty with a diverse range of specialties including epidemiology, natural health, gerontology, and occupational health. With an emphasis on improving medical care for the Hispanic community, Xavier’s nursing department has also created an exclusive program that specializes in educating nurses fluent in Spanish. Graduates of all programs perform well on their licensure exams: BSN students passed the NCLEX exam at an 88% rate as recently as 2015, and the direct-entry MSN program posted a 100% NCLEX pass rate in 2017.


#64: 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.


#65: Azusa Pacific University | Azusa, CA
Azusa Pacific University School of Nursing has a nursing program for every career objective. Undergraduates can pursue a four-year BSN, an LVN-to-BSN bridge, an RN-to-BSN completion program, or the Two-Plus-Two BSN. The final option is a unique track designed for APU transfer students. Prelicensure BSN candidates have passed the NCLEX exam at a solid 84% first-time rate since 2007. The university’s MSN program includes a direct-entry pathway, and these students have demonstrated a similarly strong NCLEX pass rate of 86%. The MSN curriculum features specialties in nursing education, school nursing, two CNS areas, and four NP roles. APU also offers a DNP program, a nursing PhD program, and eight post-master’s nursing certificates.


#66: 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.


#67: Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences | Rochester, MN
Mayo School of Health Sciences is part of the prestigious Mayo Clinic, which ranks number one in more specialties that any other hospital in the nation. The school enrolls nursing students across its three campuses in Jacksonville, Florida; Phoenix / Scottsdale, Arizona; and Rochester, Minnesota. The Rochester campus houses a wide breadth of clinical graduate nursing programs including nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, and nurse anesthetist offerings. Clinical experiences allow students to rotate through the entire hospital care setting, from pediatrics to critical care.


#68: University of Saint Joseph | West Hartford, CT
A tight student-to-faculty ratio of 8:1 allows the USJ School of Health & Natural Sciences to provide students with intensive personal attention and guidance. It’s no wonder, then, that USJ routinely graduates BSN students with an NCLEX pass rate of 90% or higher. Interestingly, the traditional BSN is only available to women, while the accelerated second-degree BSN and RN-to-BSN programs are available to men as well. In addition to FNP master’s and online DNP programs, USJ also offers a post-master’s certification for psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners.


#69: Endicott College | Beverly, MA
Fully equipped laboratories, intensive clinical experiences, and small class sizes are several of the benefits that Endicott nursing students enjoy. A typical nursing class has between 10 and 36 students, and clinical groups average seven students per instructor. The BSN curriculum includes a minimum of 920 clinical practice hours, for which the school has an affiliation with 60 local healthcare facilities. In the final semester, an experienced preceptor mentors each student during a 144-hour internship. This hands-on instruction has helped Endicott’s BSN graduates to pass the NCLEX exam at an 85% rate over the past decade. Graduate nursing students can choose from Endicott’s four MSN specializations, three post-master’s certificates, and a nursing PhD program.


#70: Bellarmine University | Louisville, KY
The Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Bellarmine University offers three BSN pathways: traditional, accelerated second degree, and RN-to-BSN. The school graduates 130-150 students from the two prelicensure BSN tracks each year. These students perform impressively well on the NCLEX licensure exam, scoring a 94% first-time pass rate over the past decade. The graduate nursing department offers an MSN with tracks in education, administration, and family nursing practice; an MSN/MBA dual degree; and a DNP with focuses in advanced nursing practice and executive leadership. Bellarmine offers study abroad programs in Australia and Sweden, service learning experiences in Appalachia and Guatemala, and overseas volunteer missions.


#71: Elmhurst College | Elmhurst, IL
Elmhurst’s School for Professional Studies offers a traditional prelicensure BSN, an RN-to-BSN completion program, and an MSN degree with three tracks (clinical nurse leader, nurse educator, nurse administrator). Since 2008, graduates of the school’s traditional BSN program have passed the NCLEX exam at an impressive 91% rate on their first attempt. Elmhurst is focused on innovation in nursing education: the school’s new preoperative nursing course was the first of its kind offered in the Chicago area. Located just 16 miles from downtown Chicago, the school’s students have access to a wealth of premier institutes for clinical studies.


#72: Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing | Peoria, IL
As the only Catholic nursing school in Peoria, Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing is proud of its heritage. It offers students a range of programs including prelicensure BSN, RN-to-BSN, an MSN with eight specialty tracks, several post-master’s certificates, and a DNP taught predominantly online. Graduates from the college’s prelicensure BSN program have passed the NCLEX exam at an 86% rate over the past decade. The college provides students with hands-on clinical experiences and a low student-to-faculty ratio. Its recently renovated Nursing Learning Center is a state-of-the-art facility with four simulation laboratories.


#73: Nova Southeastern University | Fort Lauderdale, FL
Nova Southeastern University’s College of Nursing enrolls more than 1,300 students from coast to coast. Nursing programs are offered at the university’s primary campus in Fort Lauderdale, through satellite campuses in Miami and Fort Myers, and online. The prelicensure BSN program graduates 150-250 new nurses each year, who have passed the NCLEX exam at rates as high as 91% in recent years. NSU also offers RN-to-BSN and RN-to-MSN bridge programs through its undergraduate nursing department. Graduate nursing students can pursue three nonclinical MSN tracks, two clinical MSN tracks for aspiring nurse practitioners, an online DNP, or a PhD focused on nursing education.


#74: 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.


#75: Walsh University | North Canton, OH
The Gary and Linda Byers School of Nursing at Walsh University offers global learning experiences in countries like Haiti, Tanzania, and Italy; close proximity to top local hospitals like Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and Mercy Medical Center; and state-of-the art laboratory facilities. The university graduates 60-90 students annually from its traditional prelicensure and accelerated second degree BSN programs. These students have scored an impressive 93% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. In fact, the most recent graduating cohort passed the exam at a 97% rate. Walsh University also offers an MSN degree with three specialties (acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, nurse educator) and a DNP program that is offered entirely online.


#76: 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.


#77: 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.


#78: Gonzaga University | Spokane, WA
Gonzaga University’s School of Nursing & Human Physiology offers a variety of baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral nursing programs. Undergraduates can pursue a traditional prelicensure BSN; admission occurs during freshman year and is highly competitive. Not surprisingly, BSN students perform exceptionally well on the NCLEX licensure exam, posting a 93% first-time pass rate since 2010. Gonzaga’s MSN program is offered entirely online, featuring three entry points (traditional, post-ADN, second master’s) and three specialty tracks (health systems leadership, family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner). The university offers two doctoral nursing programs: a doctor of nurse anesthesia practice (DNAP) ranked in the top 20 nationally by U.S. News & World Report, and an online DNP.


#79: Baylor University | Dallas, TX
The Louise Herrington School of Nursing is part of the oldest Baptist university in the world, so it is based on the idea that nursing is a profession and a ministry. The BSN program has two tracks: traditional and 12-month “FastBacc.” Baylor graduates approximately 200 BSN students annually who consistently enjoy excellent NCLEX-RN pass rates, including a rate of 98% in 2017. Graduate options include an MSN in leadership and innovation, plus three DNP specializations: family nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, and nurse midwifery. These graduate programs are delivered in an online or hybrid format.


#80: Loyola University Chicago | Chicago, IL
In 1935, Loyola University Chicago was the first Illinois university to offer a BSN degree. Today, the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing offers undergraduate (BSN), master’s (MSN), and doctoral (DNP and PhD) nursing programs. More than 85% of the school’s full-time faculty have doctoral degrees. Loyola’s BSN graduates have scored an impressive NCLEX pass rate of 91% over the past decade. Community outreach is a priority for the school, and it operates two nurse-managed centers that also serve as clinical sites for student practice.


#81: Indiana Wesleyan University | Marion, IN
Indiana Wesleyan University’s School of Nursing graduated its first class of 33 students in 1975. Today, the school employs 200 faculty and educates 2,000 full-time nursing students across its 16 regional education centers in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, as well as online. IWU offers a variety of nursing programs including three BSN tracks (traditional, accelerated, RN-to-BSN), four MSN majors, an MSN/MBA dual degree, and an online DNP with a classroom-based residency. The Marion campus graduates 140-170 prelicensure BSN students each year, who have passed the NCLEX exam at a strong 90% rate over the past seven years. All students can take advantage of the Fortune Simulation Lab’s cutting-edge facilities, including eight simulators.


#82: Viterbo University | La Crosse, WI
Viterbo University’s School of Nursing is a fully accredited institution that offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Over 600 nursing students are currently enrolled across the school’s four nursing programs: traditional BSN, RN-to-BSN, BSN-to-DNP, and MSN-to-DNP. The traditional BSN program graduates 100-130 new nurses annually, and these students have passed the NCLEX exam at a strong 91% rate over the past seven years. Nursing students have access to 35 full-time and part-time faculty, a well-equipped clinical simulation learning center, and global education opportunities in Belize, Guatemala, Japan, and Korea.


#83: University of Southern California | Los Angeles, CA
The University of Southern California conducts an online MSN. Offered through the Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, the MSN is designed for RNs who hold a bachelor’s degree and have at least one year of clinical experience. This evidence-based nursing program prepares family nurse practitioners to provide comprehensive care to individuals and communities. Students will complete clinical experiences at family practices, pediatric offices, urgent care facilities, internal medicine clinics, and community health clinics. Graduates of the program are trained to offer integrative care to infants, children, adolescents, and adults throughout their lives.


#84: 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.


#85: 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.


#86: Lewis University | Romeoville, IL
The College of Nursing and Health Professions at Lewis University has forty years of experience educating nurses. Lewis offers a full range of nursing programs including traditional BSN, RN-to-BSN, MSN with six specialization options, a dual MSN/MBA degree, post-master’s certificates, and a doctor of nursing practice. The college graduates 110-140 prelicensure BSN students each year, who have achieved a remarkable 97% NCLEX pass rate since 2008. Lewis students learn through one-on-one faculty interactions in state-of-the art simulation labs, and they experience diverse patient populations though the college’s 50+ clinical affiliations. Many courses are also offered online to accommodate a variety of schedules.


#87: Regis University | Denver, CO
The Loretto Heights School of Nursing (LHSON) offers a broad range of nursing degree and certificate programs. Undergraduates can choose one of five BSN pathways: traditional, accelerated (for non-nursing college graduates), CHOICE (for individuals working in healthcare), RN-to-BSN, or RN-to-BSN/MSN. Across the three prelicensure pathways, BSN graduates have maintained a strong 93% NCLEX exam pass rate since 2012. The graduate nursing department provides MSN tracks in education, management, family nurse practitioner, and neonatal nurse practitioner, as well as graduate certificates in most of these fields. LHSON also leads a two- to three-year DNP program that students may complete 100% online.


#88: 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.


#89: Rivier University | Nashua, NH
Rivier University’s ASN, BSN, and MSN programs are all accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, and its DNP program is currently a candidate for ACEN accreditation. Students across all programs have performed well on licensure and certification tests. Rivier’s undergraduates passed the NCLEX exam at a 94% rate over the past two years, while MSN students recently scored a perfect 100% pass rate on both the FNP and PMHNP certification exams. All of these scores far exceeded the respective national averages. Rivier’s undergraduate programs are noted for their flexibility: students can pursue a part-time evening ASN, a traditional four-year BSN, or a flexible online RN-to-BSN pathway.


#90: Augsburg University | Minneapolis, MN
The nursing programs at Augsburg University are designed to address the specific needs of diverse populations, both in the U.S. and abroad. Immersion courses and study abroad experiences are integrated into all of the school’s nursing programs. Many of these experiences take students to overseas locations ranging from England to Namibia. Classes for all of the school’s nursing programs meet at both the Minneapolis and Rochester campuses. Augsburg University offers a BSN completion pathway, a master of arts in nursing, and a DNP degree with tracks in transcultural nursing leadership and family nurse practitioner.


#91: Union University | Jackson, TN
The Union University School of Nursing offers well more than 15 different nursing programs. Undergraduates can pursue five pathways to a BSN degree: traditional, accelerated, LPN-to-BSN, RN-to-BSN, and a unique First Step to BSN program which helps adult students with few college credits earn their degree. The school graduates 130-140 prelicensure BSN students annually who have passed the NCLEX exam at a 93% rate since 2010, well above state and national averages. Union’s graduate nursing students can pursue one of six MSN tracks, six DNP tracks, or seven graduate certificates in nursing.


#92: 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.


#93: Texas Christian University | Fort Worth, TX
TCU’s Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences offers both a traditional BSN and a 16-month accelerated BSN pathway. The school graduates approximately 200 students annually across the two programs, and collectively they have achieved NCLEX exam pass rates as high as 97% in recent years. TCU’s online MSN program offers two clinical nurse specialist areas of focus, in addition to clinical nurse leader and nurse educator options. The university also leads a post-master’s DNP program for advanced practice registered nurses and nurse administrators, as well as a BSN-to-DNP family nurse practitioner track.


#94: 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.


#95: 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.


#96: Saint Anthony College of Nursing | Rockford, IL
Saint Anthony College of Nursing is a private Catholic college with a variety of regionally acclaimed nursing programs. Undergraduates can pursue a traditional BSN or RN-to-BSN pathway. Graduate nursing students have four MSN tracks (CNL, CNS, FNP, nurse educator) and four DNP specializations (CNS, FNP, AGPCNP, healthcare leadership) from which to choose. Saint Anthony’s BSN students earn consistently stellar scores on their licensure exams, passing the NCLEX exam at a 95% rate over the last decade, including a 99% pass rate for the classes of 2015 and 2017. Graduate students have performed similarly well on the APRN certification tests, including a 100% (nine out of nine) FNP pass rate for one of Saint Anthony’s recent MSN classes.


#97: Jefferson College of Health Sciences | Roanoke, VA
Jefferson College of Health Sciences is the oldest hospital-based college in Virginia and an academic pillar of Carilion Clinic. Undergraduate students can select from two prelicensure programs (traditional and accelerated) and an online RN-to-BSN program. The traditional program follows a four-year curriculum, while the accelerated program is a 16-month track for students who hold a baccalaureate degree in a non-nursing discipline. Traditional BSN students have achieved a solid 87% NCLEX pass rate since the program’s launch, while accelerated BSN students have posted an excellent 93% NCLEX pass rate. The School of Graduate and Professional Studies offers an MSN degree with family nurse practitioner and nursing administration tracks.


#98: Ashland University | Mansfield, OH
The Dwight Schar College of Nursing & Health Sciences at Ashland University has nearly a dozen nursing program offerings. Undergraduates may choose from four BSN tracks including traditional, advanced entry, accelerated second degree, and online RN-to-BSN. Over the past decade, prelicensure BSN students have achieved a noteworthy 88% pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam. At the graduate level, Ashland offers both BSN and MS/MSN entry points for its DNP program. Students entering post-BSN may specialize in family nurse practitioner or health systems leadership, while those entering post-MS/MSN may specialize in advanced practice nursing or health systems leadership. The college also offers certificates for aspiring school nurses and nurse educators. All graduate programs are offered online.


#99: Augustana University | Sioux Falls, SD
The Department of Nursing at Augustana University is home to the only four-year professional nursing program in the region that is part of a liberal arts college or university. The department offers a unique nursing exchange program that partners with six Norwegian institutions. Augustana’s nursing degree options include both traditional and accelerated BSN programs. The accelerated program requires a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field, and it takes just 16 months to complete. Both programs prepare students for the NCLEX licensure examination, where Augustana’s ~50 annual graduates have performed impressively well, scoring a 95% pass rate over the past decade.


#100: University of Mary | Bismarck, ND
The School of Health Sciences at the University of Mary offers a community-focused nursing program with several degree paths. Undergraduates can pursue a traditional four-year BSN or a BSN completion program with LPN and RN entry points. The school produces 50-70 prelicensure BSN graduates annually, and these students have passed the NCLEX-RN licensure examination at a solid 86% rate over the past ten years. At the graduate level, the University of Mary offers two MSN tracks (nursing administrator, nursing informatics) and a DNP program with an FNP focus. The university offers clinical opportunities at CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck and at local public health agencies, nursing homes, hospitals, and schools.