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Top Schools for Nursing

Find information about the top schools for nursing in the U.S. Read summaries of the program options at four high-ranking universities, as well as an overview of other schools in the country that provide training for nurses.

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Many distinguished public and private schools across the country have top-rated Master of Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs, as well as bachelor's programs, Master of Science programs and certificates. Along with high rankings, these schools have a variety of unique distinctions, such as high career placement, internationally recognized professors and study abroad programs.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Clinical Nursing
  • Critical Care Nursing
  • Direct-Entry Midwifery - LM, CPM
  • Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Neonatal Nursing
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Nurse Assistant or Patient Care Assistant
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Administration
  • Nursing for Adults and Seniors
  • Nursing Science
  • Occupational Health Nursing
  • Operating Room and Surgical Nursing
  • Pediatric Nursing
  • Public Health Nurse or Community Nurse
  • Registered Nurse

School Information

Four of the top schools for nursing in the U.S. include the University of Washington in Seattle, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Iowa and Rush University. Each of these schools was highly ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2017. Nursing is a broad field of training that may lead to a career as a nurse assistant, nurse practitioner or a registered nurse. Qualified graduates may also pursue specialized positions as a certified nurse-midwife or registered nurse anesthetist, neonatal nurse or psychiatric nurse practitioner.

University of Washington in Seattle

School Highlight: The school's master's-level nursing program was tied for #4 in the country in 2017, per U.S. News & World Report.

The University of Washington's Doctor of Nursing Practice program was ranked #1 by U.S. News & World Report for 2017, serving 275 students. The school also offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing along with several other graduate degrees, including a Master of Science and Master of Nursing. Students may also pursue graduate certificate programs in infant mental health, infectious disease and environmental health, among other areas.

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD

School Highlight:The master's level nursing program at Johns Hopkins was ranked first in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report in 2017.

Along with pre-licensure, master's and doctoral programs in nursing, this top ranked nursing school also offers post-master's programs for nurse practitioners, nurse educators and clinical nurse specialists. In addition, U.S. News & World Report ranked the School of Nursing #1 in the country in 2017 for its master's program. Johns Hopkins was the first nursing school in the U.S. to offer the Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program, which gives students the opportunity to study and work abroad.

University of Iowa in Iowa City

School Highlight: The University of Iowa's School of Nursing faculty consists of internationally recognized researchers.

The graduate nursing programs at the University of Iowa include a master's degree and two doctoral programs. The doctoral program was tied for #12 in the nation for 2017, per U.S. News & World Report. The school also offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) geared toward first-year nursing students, as well as a Registered Nurse/BSN for registered nurses.

Rush University in Chicago, IL

School Highlight: The nursing program was established in the late 19th century.

Through the Rush University College of Nursing, student's can earn a master's degree, DNP, PhD or certificate. Nursing students can focus on a particular subfield, such as public health, neonatal care or anesthesia. For 2017, Rush's DNP program was ranked #5, and its master's degree program was ranked #16, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Top Nursing Schools

The following six schools also offer highly ranked nursing programs:

  • The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor was ranked #7 for its master's-level nursing program for 2017 by U.S. News & World Report.
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was the first state university in the U.S.
  • The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, was ranked the 19th best in the country in terms of career placement, according to The Princeton Review.
  • The University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA, tied for the #8 ranking for its DNP program by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.
  • At the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, the original university architecture was designed by Thomas Jefferson.
  • Yale University in New Haven, CT, was the first university in the U.S. to establish a nursing education program.

Some of the best universities in the country offer a variety of nursing programs at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral levels. Students can focus their training in a specific field of nursing, such as anesthesia, environmental health or neonatal care.

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