The 30 Best Nursing Programs in the United States

The 30 Best Nursing Programs in the United States

We’ve put together a list of The 30 Best Nursing Programs in the US, for which we created a ranking system using ‘points’ that were awarded based on a wide variety of data, including individual instructor awards, various ‘Top 10’ and ‘Top 25’ rankings, the amount of funding received from the National Institute of Health (NIH), NCLEX pass ratings on a 4-year rolling average, and more. Once the data was collected and the points awarded, we tallied everything up and arrived at the below results.

Congratulations to each school that made our list – rankings, funding, pass percentages and more all matter to prospective students, and these schools are setting the pace and standing out from an ever-growing field of options.

It is with great pleasure that we give you The 30 Best Nursing Programs in the United States. Once again, congratulations!

Best Nursing Schools in the U.S.

30. University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Nursing

Kicking off our list of the 30 Best Nursing Programs is the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing. Established in 1924, the School was the first collegiate nursing program in the state of Wisconsin and has since gone on to establish itself as one of the best in the country. The UW School of Nursing was named one of the Top 25 Best Nursing schools in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report and, like a handful of the programs on our list, was also named to Nursing School Hub’s Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing Schools list. On top of that, the School is one of the highest NIH-funded schools in the country, receiving over $280m during the 2016 fiscal year.

29. University of Cincinnati College of Nursing

Next on our list of the 30 Best Nursing Programs in the country is the University of Cincinnati College of Nursing. The College, which was founded as the Cincinnati Training School for Nurses in 1889, was named one of the Top 25 Nursing Schools for 2015 by Best Nursing Colleges. Most notably, however, are the national awards handed out by the AACN, one of which included the 2015 Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Award which was won by Associate Professor and Director of NP programs Christine Colella, DNP, RN, CS, CNP. The University’s College of Nursing also won the 2015 award for Innovations in Professional Nursing Education for an iPad initiative that was implemented in an effort to, “transform the delivery of nursing education.”

28. University of Nevada at Las Vegas School of Nursing

The School of Nursing at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas finds itself at #28 on our list of the 30 Best Nursing Programs. The UNLV School of Nursing, which was started in the Fall of 1965 as a response to a state-wide nursing shortage that began years earlier, currently boasts a 97% pass rating for first time NCLEX test takers (based on a four-year rolling average), good for the second highest pass rating to make our top 30. In addition, College Atlas recently named the School to their Top 10 Nursing Schools list.

27. Brigham Young University College of Nursing

Brigham Young University’s College of Nursing, which was started in 1952, comes in at number 27. The College, which has been led by Dean Patricia K. Ravert, PhD, RN, CNE, ANEF, FAAN since 2012, achieved a four-year rolling average pass percentage for first time NCLEX test takers of 97%, tied for second among schools on our list. To go along with that impressive accomplishment, College Atlas also recently named the program as one of the Top 10 Nursing Schools in the country, one of only four schools on our list to receive this recognition.

26. University of Colorado – Denver College of Nursing

The University of Colorado-Denver College of Nursing occupies the #26 spot on our list of The 30 Best Nursing Programs. As one of the first nursing programs west of the Mississippi river, the College was established in 1898, but it wasn’t until 1920 that the bachelor’s program got off the ground. The UC-Denver College of Nursing is one of the highest NIH-funded schools in the country, receiving over $205m in 2016, and was named to Nursing School Hub’s Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing Schools list. The College was also recently named one of the Top 25 Best Nursing schools by U.S. News & World Report for 2015.

25. Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions

The Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions, officially created in 2002, has quickly established itself as one of the best programs around and finds itself in the #25 spot on our list. Aside from being named to Best Nursing College’s List of the Top 25 Nursing Schools, the program also made College Factual’s list of the Top 25 Places to Get a Nursing Degree. The College of Nursing and Health Professions also touts a four-year rolling average of 97% pass rating for first time NCLEX test takers, the second highest average on our list.

24. University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Nursing

The UAB School of Nursing, coming in at #24 on our list, was founded in 1950 after state legislature authorized and provided funds for a collegiate baccalaureate-level school of nursing at the University of Alabama. For the 2016 fiscal year, the NIH made UAB’s School of Nursing one of the top 25 funded programs in the country. Additionally, the School also finds itself on the 2016 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Top 25 Best Nursing Programs. And last but not least, the AACN named Deborah Kirk Walker, DNP, FNP-BC, AOCN a 2015 recipient of the Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Award.

23. The Ohio State University College of Nursing

The Ohio State University College of Nursing, the 23rd ranked program on our list, was founded in 1914 as the Homeopathic Hospital Training Program for Nursing. Carole A. Anderson, who has served OSU in many capacities over the years, won the AACN’s 2012 Sister Bernadette Armiger Award, which is only handed out by the to, “individuals who significantly advance nursing education and practice.” The College of Nursing also finds itself on the 2016 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Top 25 Best Nursing Programs and was named a Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing School by Nursing School Hub.

22. University of Virginia School of Nursing

The UVA School of Nursing, founded in 1901 and home to a 577-bed hospital, is the 22nd ranked program on our list of the 30 Best Nursing Programs. The School of Nursing made the 2015 edition of Nursing School Hub’s Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing Schools list. On top of that, U.S. News & World Report ranked the School among their top 25 nursing programs in the country for each of the last two years, ranking the school 18th for 2015 and 16th for 2016.

21. University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing

Admitting the first class in September of 1954, the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Nursing comes in at #21. Like a number of other schools on our list, the College of Nursing at UIC was named to U.S. News & World Report’s Top 25 Best Nursing Schools list for both 2015 and 2016, coming in at #13 and #17 respectively. The program was also recognized by Nursing School Hub as being one of the Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing Schools.

20. Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis School of Nursing

Founded in 1914 and graduating it’s first five students in 1917, the Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis School of Nursing lands at #20 on our list of the 30 Best Nursing Programs around. The School of Nursing at IUPUI was named to Nursing School Hub’s Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing Schools list for 2015. What’s more, U.S. News & World Report ranked the School among their top 20 for each of the last two years.

19. University of Iowa College of Nursing

Established in 1898, the University of Iowa College of Nursing finds itself ranked 19th on our list of the 30 Best Nursing Programs. The UI College of Nursing earned itself spots on Nursing School Hub’s Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing Schools lists for 2015 and Best Nursing College’s Top 25 Nursing Schools list. On top of that, the program was named the 11th best nursing school in the country by U.S. News & World Report for 2015 and was only one of four schools on our list to make the College Atlas Top 10 Nursing Schools: The A-List, coming in at #3 overall.

18. University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing

The University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing, which comes in at the 18th spot on our list, first offered on nursing courses on campus in 1960 and officially became part of the UT System School of Nursing in 1968. The UT Austin School of Nursing not only made Nursing School Hub’s Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing Schools list, but it also earned itself ranked #13 on U.S. News & World Report’s Nursing School Rankings for 2016. Even more, the School posted an average of 95% NCLEX passer rating for first time test takers from 2012-2015.

17. University of California San Francisco School of Nursing

Getting its start over a century ago, the University of California San Francisco School of Nursing became the first ever autonomous School of Nursing at any state university in 1939. U.S. News & World Report named the School to their Top 25 Nursing Schools for both 2015 and 2016, ranking it #4 and #2 respectively, a standout achievement by nearly all standards. The San Francisco School was also one of the highest funded university nursing programs by the NIH during the 2016 fiscal year, being awarded the second highest amount of any school on our list at more than $575m.

16. Vanderbilt University School of Nursing

Rounding out the lower half of our 30 Best Nursing Programs list is the Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, known as one of the very first to launch a ‘PreSpecialty’ program, a degree path that allows students with non-nursing degrees access to the MSN program without having to repeat undergraduate classes. For the 2016 fiscal year, Vanderbilt’s School of Nursing was one of the top 25 funded university nursing programs by the NIH, receiving nearly $250m. On top of that, U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks the program near the top of their annual Top 25 Nursing Schools list, and for 2015 the School was awarded a Top 25 Nursing Schools accolade by Best Nursing Colleges.

15. Yale University School of Nursing

The Yale School of Nursing was the first university program to prepare nurses through an educational setting rather than through an apprenticeship and finds itself in the very middle of our list of best nursing programs in the country at #15. U.S. News & World Report named the program to their Top 25 Nursing Schools for both 2015 and 2016, and for the 2016 fiscal year, the School was one of the highest funded university nursing programs by the National Institute of Health, receiving over $400m. Last but not least, the Yale School of Nursing was also named a Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing School by Nursing School Hub.

14. University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing

The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, which was started in 1939 as a result of recent military escalation in Europe and Asia, comes in at #14 on our list. The first students were admitted in 1940, and since then the School has established itself as one of the best in country as it consistently ranks highly in U.S. News & World Report’s Top 25 Best Nursing Schools. Moreover, the School of Nursing received a Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing Schools nod from Nursing School Hub and, for the 2016 fiscal year, received more than $470m in funding from the NIH.

13. University of Michigan School of Nursing

The School of Nursing at the University of Michigan, which finds itself 13th in our rankings of the best nursing schools, has approximately 1,100 students enrolled in their BSN and graduate programs. On the award side of things, however, the School was named a Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing School by Nursing School Hub, and when it comes to funding, it was one of the highest funded university nursing programs by the National Institute of Health, receiving the 3rd most at nearly a half billion dollars. On top of that, U.S. News & World Report named the School one of the Top 25 Nursing Schools in the country for both 2015 and 2016.

12. University of Washington School of Nursing

The University of Washington School of Nursing, which comes in at #12 in our list of the 30 Best Nursing Programs, was among the first universities in the nation to be accredited by the National Organization of Public Health Nurses. Since then, the UW School of Nursing has been recognized by College Factual as being one of the Top 25 Places to Get a Nursing Degree. On top of that, U.S. News & World Report has named the School to their Top 25 Nursing Schools list for the last two years, and it was one of the highest funded university nursing programs by the NIH during the 2016 fiscal year with more than $400m in coming their way.

11. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing

Since opening its doors in 1950, the University of North Carolina School of Nursing was the first in the state to offer a four-year baccalaureate nursing degree and finds itself in the 11th spot on our list. UNC’s School of Nursing was recognized in U.S. News & World Report’s Top 25 Best Nursing Schools lists for both 2015 and 2016 and was named to the Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing Schools list published by Nursing School Hub. Furthermore, the School was on the the receiving end of more than $400m in funding from the NIH for the 2016 fiscal year.

10. Case Western Reserve University School of Nursing

Case Western Reserve University’s School of Nursing, led by Dean Mary Kerr since 2011, makes its appearance on our list in the 10th spot. College Factual recognized the School of Nursing as being one of the Top 25 Places to Get a Nursing Degree and U.S. News & World Report named it among the Top 25 Best Nursing Schools list for both 2015 and 2016. Case Western’s School of Nursing was also given the 2014 Innovations in Professional Nursing Education Award by the AACN.

9. Emory University School of Nursing

The School of Nursing at Emory University finds itself ninth on our list of the 30 Best Nursing Programs. Having begun as a small training school in a fifty-bed hospital in 1905, Emory’s School of Nursing was awarded a Top 25 Nursing Schools accolade by Best Nursing Colleges and a Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing Schools nod from Nursing School Hub. On top of those, U.S. News & World Report has named the program to their Top 25 Nursing Schools list 2 years in a row, and for 2016 it was one of the highest funded university nursing programs by the National Institute of Health.

8. Columbia University School of Nursing

Columbia University’s School of Nursing finds itself in the eighth spot on our list of The 30 Best Nursing Programs. Having been around since 1892 and graduated more than 12,000 nurses in that time, the School of Nursing at Columbia has established itself as one of the best in the country and is consistently among the largest recipients of NIH funding on a yearly basis. The School of Nursing was also named to Nursing School Hub’s Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing Schools list and to Best Nursing College’s Top 25 Nursing Schools list. The awards and accolades don’t stop there however, as Columbia University’s School of Nursing made U.S. News & World Report’s Top 25 Best Nursing Schools in 2015 and 2016 as well.

7. University of Maryland School of Nursing

Coming in at seventh is the University of Maryland’s School of Nursing, which has been in existence for over 125 years. The program, which claims that it provided the first online RN-to-BSN program in the nation, boasts an impressive resume of awards and accolades, including being named to Nursing School Hub’s Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing Schools lists and Best Nursing College’s list of Top 25 Nursing Schools. Furthermore, UM’s School of Nursing also found itself listed in U.S. News & World Report’s Top 25 Best Nursing Schools lists for both 2015 and 2016. And last but not least, Assistant Professor Susan Bindon, DNP, RN-BC, CNE was recently named the AACN’s 2016 recipient of the Excellence and Innovation in Teaching Award.

6. Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing

Oregon Health & Science University’s School of Nursing comes in at number six in our rankings. OHSU, with over 1,000 nursing students currently enrolled, finds its School of Nursing high on our list due in part to a large number of accolades that have been awarded to it, but also because of their four-year rolling average of 92% pass rating for first time NCLEX test takers, an extraordinary accomplishment by any standard. On top of that, OHSU’s School of Nursing was recently named one of the Top 25 Best Nursing schools by U.S. News & World Report, a Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing School by Nursing School Hub, and was the recipient of more than $180m in funding from the NIH.

5. New York University College of Nursing

New York University’s College of Nursing, founded in 1932, finds itself ranked fifth on our 30 Best Nursing Programs list. Known as the second-largest private university college of nursing in the US, NYU’s program has accumulated a handful of prestigious awards. In 2013, Dr. Larry Slater, then a Clinical Assistant Professor at the NYU College of Nursing, was awarded the Didactic Teaching Award by the AACN. NYU’s nursing program garnered top recognitions from Nursing School Hub, College Factual and Best Nursing Colleges as well, and received over $180m in funding from the NIH this year. In addition, the College of Nursing also finds itself on the 2016 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s Top 25 Best Nursing Programs.

4. University of California – Los Angeles School of Nursing

The School of Nursing at the University of California – Los Angeles, which has more than 500 students enrolled, makes its appearance on our list at number four overall. UCLA’s School of Nursing, like a number of the schools on this list, is one of the top 25 NIH-funded schools in the country and was named to Nursing School Hub’s Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing Schools list. College Atlas named the program to their Top 10 Nursing Schools list, and College Factual recognized the School of Nursing as being one of the Top 25 Places to Get a Nursing Degree. And last but not least, like a number of other schools on our list, the School of Nursing at UCLA was named to U.S. News & World Report’s Top 25 Best Nursing Schools list for both 2015 and 2016.

3. University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing finds itself in the third place spot on our list of the 30 Best Nursing Programs having garnered a large variety of awards. Penn’s School of Nursing, which was founded in 1886 and has been in existence for 130 years, was awarded a Top 25 Nursing Schools spot, a Top 25 Places to Get a Nursing Degree award, and a Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing Schools accolade. On top of those, U.S. News & World Report has named the program to their Top 25 Nursing Schools list 2 years in a row, and was one of the highest funded university nursing programs by the NIH.

2. Duke University School of Nursing

Duke University’s School of Nursing comes in at the second overall spot in our 30 Best Nursing Programs rankings with a slew of awards and honors in tow. Despite the BSN degree only being around since 2002 (the original BSN degree program was shuttered in ‘84), Duke’s School of Nursing is known as one of the finest in the country. Aside from being mentioned on various top 25 rankings and lists, the program boasts a four-year rolling average of 98% pass rating for first time NCLEX test takers, the highest on our list. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Duke in it’s top 10 nursing schools the last two years in a row, and it is one of the highest NIH-funded programs in the country.

1. Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing

Coming in as the best nursing school in the United States and raking in 9 total accolades is the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Opening in 1889, the School of Nursing at Johns Hopkins has established itself as one of the premier nursing training programs in the country, consistently being ranked at or near the top of many ‘best nursing schools’ lists. Professors from the program have racked up numerous AACN awards and the school itself has been listed at or near the top of U.S. News & World Report’s rankings nearly every year. The NIH made Johns Hopkins University the number one funded program in the country, and it’s been labeled one of the most cutting edge degree programs in the nation.The list of recent accolades could go on and on – named to the Top 25 Cutting Edge Nursing Schools list by Nursing School Hub, called one of the Top 25 Places to Get a Nursing Degree by College Factual, named one of the Top 25 Nursing Schools by Best Nursing Colleges… the list just goes on and on.

30-best-nursing-schools

References:

  1. NCLEX Pass Ratings: no link. These are details that are provided by individual states and there is no online database that houses all of these statistics in one place.
  2. AACN Awards: www.aacn.nche.edu/membership/awards
  3. Top Nursing School Rankings
    1. College Atlas – Top 10 Nursing Schools: The A-List: http://www.collegeatlas.org/top-nursing-schools-2014.html
    2. U.S. News & World Report – Nursing School Rankings: http://www.collegeatlas.org/nursing-college-rankings.html
    3. Best Nursing Colleges – 2015 Ranking – Top 100 nursing schools: http://best-nursing-colleges.com/
    4. College Factual – Nursing – Overall Best (Nationwide): http://www.collegefactual.com/majors/health-care-professions/nursing/rankings/top-ranked/
    5. Nursing School Hub – Top 30 Cutting Edge Nursing Schools: http://www.nursingschoolhub.com/cutting-edge-nursing/
  4. NIH Funding, Fiscal Year 2016: https://report.nih.gov/award/index.cfm?ot=&fy=2016&state=&ic=&fm=&orgid=&distr=&rfa=&om=n&pid=

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Jay Willis

Jay Willis joined Mometrix as Vice President of Sales in 2009, and has developed several key strategic relationships that have enhanced the distribution of Mometrix products. With nearly 20 years of sales experience in the publishing industry, his dedication to providing the highest quality experience for customers, coupled with his sales and marketing expertise, has resulted in significant growth of the Institutional Sales division.

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