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BSN Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

To become a registered nurse (RN) in the U.S., individuals must first complete a program at an accredited university, college, or hospital. An associate's degree or diploma is typically the minimum educational requirement for earning licensure as a registered nurse, though many individuals choose to attend a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program to gain a greater understanding of healthcare theory, nursing administration, and research.

Aspiring nursing students should take stock of their educational backgrounds before enrolling in a BSN program; for example, a high school graduate who is interested in nursing can enroll in a traditional 4-year BSN program, while a student who already holds an associate's degree or diploma in nursing and is a registered nurse (RN) may enroll as an RN to BSN. A student who already holds a bachelor's degree in a non-nursing field may enroll in an accelerated BSN program to take only core nursing classes.

10 BSN Schools

These ten colleges and universities are some of the best nursing schools in the country that feature BSN programs. Tuition rates from the 2015-2016 school year are available for each.

College/University Location Institution Type Tuition (2015-2016)*
Columbia College of Nursing Glendale, WI 4-year, Private not-for-profit $27,330
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private not-for-profit $47,750
Georgetown University Washington, DC 4-year, Private not-for-profit $48,611
Molloy College Rockville, Center 4-year, Private not-for-profit $28,030
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private not-for-profit $49,536
University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Public $12,763 for in-state/$37,471 for out-of-state
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 4-year, Private not-for-profit $48,710
Simmons College Boston, MA 4 year, Private not-for-profit $37,380
Drexel University Philadelphia, PA 4 year, Private not-for-profit $48,791
Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT 4 year, Private not-for-profit $42,270

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

School Selection Criteria

Some important factors to consider when choosing where to earn a BSN degree include the following:

  • Any student who is interested in enrolling in a BSN degree program should first make sure that the program is properly accredited through organizations such as the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission.
  • The location of the school and its proximity to clinical sites is also an important factor, as this effects where students are able to complete their required rotation.
  • If a student would like to continue on to graduate school after completing their BSN, they may want to select a school that offers a BSN to MSN degree program.
  • Students who want to complement their BSN with a minor or a dual degree should explore the options offered at different schools.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Programs

BSN programs typically provide a combination of conceptual scientific coursework, lab-based training and clinical experience in the field. Many programs are designed specifically to prepare students for the registered nurse licensure exam (NCLEX-RN). Some schools also enable students to choose a minor in a relevant topic, such as global health, health communications, nursing & health services management or nutrition. Depending on the school and the student's previous experience, there are a variety of scheduling format options; students may enroll in a traditional four-year program, an accelerated 16-month program, an accelerated two- or three-year program or a five-year BSN to MSN program. Accelerated programs are particularly relevant for students who have already earned an associate's degree and/or LPN licensure as well as adult learners who have a bachelor's degree in another field of study.

There are many paths towards earning a BSN degree. These programs are invaluable for building crucial skills for the healthcare industry and can serve as a stepping stone to higher levels of education after graduation.

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