Nursing Schools in Las Vegas with Degree Program Overviews

Las Vegas has five schools within 22 miles of its city center that offer nursing programs. Learn about the programs, admissions policies and program requirements for three of these schools to make an informed education decision.

Las Vegas Nursing Schools

Students seeking nursing degree programs in Las Vegas have multiple options for schools, all located less than half an hour from downtown. This article profiles three of the schools and also provides a table that compares important statistics among them.

  • The University of Nevada-Las Vegas, just over 3 miles from the city center, offers programs ranging from Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) to Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). This school also began offering a Nursing PhD program in 2005.
  • At the College of Southern Nevada, students can choose from a two-year practical nursing certificate program or an associate's degree RN program. The college is only 6.5 miles from downtown.
  • A bit farther away at about 21 miles, the BSN program at Nevada State College offers four completion options to accommodate students with diverse educational backgrounds.

Comparison of Schools

The right school choice can be as important as the right program. Check out the table below to see how the three featured schools are both similar and different.

University of Nevada-Las Vegas College of Southern Nevada Nevada State College
School Type 4-year, public 4-year, public 4-year, public
Total Enrollment (2014) 28,515* 35,943* 3,555*
Campus Setting Midsize city Large city Large City
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees 2015-2016 $6,943 in-state; $20,853 out-of-state* $2,805 in-state; $9,450 out-of-state* $4,738 in-state; $15,423 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Undergraduate Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2014) 88%* 72%* 89%*
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (2014) 87%* N/A - Open admissions 55%*
Undergraduate Retention Rate (2014) 77% for full time students; 53% for part time students* N/A 68% for full time students; 40% for part time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (for students beginning in Fall 2008) 39%* 9% (15% transfer-out rate)* 14% (5% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

University of Nevada-Las Vegas

The programs at the School of Nursing at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) are accredited by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Commission of the Collegiate Nursing Education (AACN-CCNE) and the Nevada State Board of Nursing. Both tracks in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program are also available as post-master's certificates.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Students wishing to earn a BSN begin as pre-nursing majors. After completing prerequisite coursework, students submit transcripts, GPA information and the results from standard admissions tests. Once admitted, students complete 60 credits of nursing classes over the course of four semesters. Coursework covers patient-centered care, health assessment, pharmacology, pathophysiology, nursing care for diverse populations and nursing leadership. Roughly one-third of the curriculum comprises a clinical component, allowing students to obtain hands-on experience. Graduates are eligible to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), administered by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Master of Science in Nursing

The web-based MSN program offers both a Family Nurse Practitioner and a Nurse Educator track. The Nurse Educator track prepares students to teach in classroom or clinical settings. Coursework covers nursing theory, evaluation strategies, research methods, curriculum development and nursing informatics. A thesis, research project or professional paper is required.

The Family Nurse Practitioner track enhances students' capabilities as nurses. Graduates are prepared to perform physical examinations, order tests and treatment and prescribe medications for individuals across the lifespan in a variety of settings. Coursework includes advanced physical assessment, nursing theory, pharmacology and primary care of the family. Students take a series of capstone courses or complete a thesis.

PhD in Nursing

This program is designed for students who are interested in academia or leadership positions in nursing. The program is online with 3-day on-campus sessions held each fall. Applicants must have either a BSN or an MSN and be eligible for licensure in Nevada. Students can select an emphasis of interdisciplinary health sciences or nursing education. Core coursework for both programs covers teaching and learning, theory development, research methods and other topics.

The nursing education option covers curriculum development and educational theory and requires two teaching practicums. The interdisciplinary health sciences option was started in 2012 and covers issues such as health care research and interdisciplinary research to complex healthcare issues. Both tracks require a dissertation. Students entering with a DNP can take a specially designed, 42-credit course of study in which they can use their clinical expertise to provide innovative methods of treating patients.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The DNP is an online, post-master's professional practice program that prepares nurses to become leaders in administration, clinical practice, teaching and research. The program offers two tracks: Advanced Practice and Nurse Executive. Both cover healthcare organization, nurse leadership and public policy. The Nurse Executive option goes on to provide coursework in management strategies and implementing change. The Advanced Practice track addresses the use of geographic information systems and epidemiological methods as tools in evaluating issues of public health and health care. Both programs require a research project and dissertation.

College of Southern Nevada

The College of Southern Nevada's School of Health Sciences offers degree and certificate programs in several areas of allied health and clinical laboratory science. In addition to the practical and registered nursing programs outlined below, the school offers a Registered Nurse First Assisting Program, which prepares operating room nurses to become first assistants in surgery.

Certificate of Achievement in Practical Nursing

The Certificate of Achievement in Practical Nursing includes classroom instruction and hands-on practice. This two-year curriculum covers medical terminology, pharmacology, nursing fundamentals and nursing for various populations. Graduates are eligible to sit for the state licensing exam for practical nurses.

Associate of Applied Science in Nursing

Successful completion of this two-year associate degree program qualifies graduates to sit for the NCLEX-RN and become Registered Nurses. Coursework includes general education and prerequisite courses that must be completed before beginning major coursework. Nursing classes cover pharmacology, management, mental health nursing, pediatric nursing and surgical nursing. Students spend time in the classroom and complete clinical component. An accelerated option is available to Licensed Practical Nurses who wish to become RNs.

Nevada State College

Nevada State College's BSN program offers small class sizes and flexible options for completion. Students complete the clinical component of the program at area clinics, hospitals and health care settings.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

This school offers four routes to a BSN. After completing prerequisites and general education courses, students can follow a two-year track, a part-time, two-and-a-half-year track or an accelerated one-year track to attain the BSN. Registered Nurses who have earned an associate's degree or diploma can complete the RN to BSN program online in conjunction with UNLV. Coursework includes pharmacology, adult health nursing, gerontology, health assessment and other areas.

Other School Options

Roseman University of Health Sciences in nearby Henderson offers a BSN and is 10.9 miles from downtown Las Vegas. Touro University Nevada, just 13.6 miles from Las Vegas and also in Henderson, offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs in nursing.

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