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Hospital Based Nursing Schools in the U.S.

Hospital-based nursing programs train students to become registered nurses. Students may choose from diploma and associate's degree programs based on several factors, such as accreditation and specialties offered.

2- and 4-year, private and public schools across the country offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in nursing that require students to complete in-person components at a hospital or health center. Students who select an associate's degree program must take general education courses at a local college and may be awarded both a diploma and an associate's degree.

10 Schools with Hospital-Based Nursing Programs

Here are some of the colleges that offer hospital-based nursing programs, as well as their location and tuition:

College/University Location Institution Type Programs Offered Tuition (2015-2016)*
College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas, NV 4-year, Public Certificate, AAS $2,805 (in-state)
Everest College Arlington, TX 2-year, Private Diploma, ADN $10,800
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA 4-year, Private MS $1,733 per credit
Sam Houston State University Huntsville, TX 4-year, Public BSN $7,618 (in-state)
University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public BSN, MSN, PhD, DNP $9,806 (in-state, undergraduate), $10,934 (in-state, graduate)
East Tennessee State University Johnson City, TN 4-year, Public BSN, MSN, PhD, DNP, Postgraduate Certificate $8,153 (in-state, undergraduate), $7,812 (in-state, graduate)
Ferris State University Big Rapids, MI 4-year, Public BSN, MSN, DNP $10,970 (in-state, undergraduate), $6,324 (in-state, graduate)
University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA 4-year, Public BSN, MSN, PhD, DNP $15,192 (in-state, undergraduate), $19,018 (in-state, MSN), $15,026 (in-state, PhD), $15,450 (in-state, DNP)
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 4-year, Private MSN, PhD, DNP $37,056 (MSN), $41,360 (PhD), $29,196 (DNP)

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics, School websites (2016-2017)

College Selection Criteria

When looking at nursing programs it is important to find a school that will prepare you for your desired occupation, especially with the number of specializations available. Consider the following when looking for hospital-based nursing schools:

  • The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission accredits programs and provides a state-by-state list of approved programs.
  • The prerequisite coursework required by some programs and the corresponding program length varies between programs.
  • Students interested in specializing in a particular area of nursing should make sure that clinical rotations are available in that focus area, such as cardiac nursing, critical care nursing, neonatal nursing, emergency nursing, obstetrics, surgery and trauma.

Diploma in Nursing

Diploma programs combine theory classes with clinical experience. Clinical experience trains students to work as part of a healthcare delivery team alongside physicians and other nurses. Some programs have an agreement with nearby community colleges that allow students to complete the additional coursework for an associate's degree while they earn their diploma.

Associate's Degree in Nursing

Students that choose to complete an associate's degree fulfill the same theory and clinical requirements as students in a diploma program. In addition to these courses, students complete general education requirements that may transfer over to a four-year college. The general education courses are typically taken at an affiliated college rather than in the hospital setting.

Students interested in a career in nursing can pursue diplomas and associate's degrees in nursing as well as bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, doctoral degrees and certificates. Most of these training programs require in-person clinical experiences, and tuition costs vary greatly depending on the program level, a student's state residency and whether a school is public or private.

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