Nursing Programs: Top School with Nursing Degrees - St. Louis, MO

Students interested in studying nursing in St. Louis have many schools to choose from. Read about the top local schools' degree programs, tuition and ranking info to find the right one for you.

School and Ranking Information

The city of St. Louis has about nine schools that offer nursing programs, including both public and private not-for-profit 4-year schools. Based on rankings and available programs, the top three nursing schools in St. Louis are as follows. All three schools offer nursing degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels, and all schools have high pass rates (above 90%) for the NCLEX-RN exam:

  • Winner: Saint Louis University is ranked in the top 100 for graduate nursing programs by US News & World Report in 2011 and was the first school in Missouri offering a PhD in nursing.
  • Runner-Up #1: University of Missouri - St. Louis is also ranked in the top 100 for graduate nursing programs by US News & World Report in 2011 and has flexible class options.
  • Runner-Up #2: Barnes-Jewish College Goldfarb School of Nursing offers a PhD/DNP combination program for doctoral nursing students and has the highest graduation rate of these three schools.

School Comparison Chart

Category Saint Louis University University of Missouri - St. Louis Barnes-Jewish College Goldfarb University
Rankings Graduate nursing program is ranked 50th in the nation* Ranked 64th in the nation among graduate schools in the nursing field* Tied for 99th best nursing graduate program*; Nurse Anesthesia Graduate Program ranked 7th in the nation*
Location St. Louis, MO St. Louis, MO St. Louis, MO
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit
Tuition and Fees (2012-2013) Undergraduate: $35,256; Graduate: $18,266 Undergraduate: $9,314 (in state), $22,883 (out-of-state); Graduate: $9,632 (in state), $22,863 (out-of-state)** Undergraduate $29,547; Graduate: $15,895**
Nursing Degree Levels Offered Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees; post-graduate certificates Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees; post-graduate certificates Bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees; post-graduate certificates
Nursing Degrees Awarded (all levels) in 2011-2012 392** 277** 441**
Most Popular Nursing Degree Level in 2011-2012 Bachelor's degree (234 awarded)** Bachelor's degree (206 awarded)** Bachelor's degree (401 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2005 Entering Class 71%** 51%** 100%**
Noteworthy Missouri's first PhD in Nursing program originated at this school Nursing students have a pass rate of 98%*** for those taking the state board exam on the first try, which exceeds 2013's national average of 90%**** Utilizes two top ten Magnet hospitals (Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children's Hospital)

Sources: *U.S. News & World Report 2011 rankings, **NCES College Navigator, ***Missouri Board of Nursing, ****National Council of State Boards of Nursing

Winner: Saint Louis University

  • Past doctoral nursing students have won National Research Service awards
  • Home to two nursing research centers
  • Offers scholarships to nursing students
  • Students can get hands-on experience with the SimMan patient simulator
  • Graduates have a 90.34% pass rate on the NCLEX exam, according to the Missouri Board of Nursing

In addition to a traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, Saint Louis University offers an accelerated BSN program that can be completed in one year, an international BSN program and an RN to BSN program at the undergraduate level. Graduate students can find a standard and accelerated Master of Science in Nursing program, a PhD program and two Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) options. A post-master's certificate is also available. All of the traditional graduate-level programs, except for the PhD program, can be taken completely online. Some courses in the Ph.D. program can be taken through online study.

Runner-Up #1: University of Missouri - St. Louis

  • Features the Nu Chi Chapter of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing
  • According to the school, Academic Analytics Faculty Productivity Index ranks UMSL 1st in the Midwest and 9th nationally among universities with 15 or fewer doctorates
  • The bachelor's degree in nursing program is fully accredited by the Missouri State Board of Nursing, and both the DNP and master's programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • More than 58,000 alumni live and work in the St. Louis area and earn a cumulative $3 billion annually
  • Since 1966, UMSL has had 23 students and 34 faculty members earn Fulbright Scholarships

UMSL has a student-faculty ratio of 17:1 and employs about 500 full-time and 500 part-time faculty members. Bachelor's, master's, PhD, and DNP programs are offered. Students may choose from a traditional or accelerated BSN program in addition to a FLEX RN-BSN or part-time option. The FLEX RN-BSN program can be taken on campus as well as online or via outreach sites in the St. Louis area. According to the Missouri Board of Nursing, 98% of UMSL students passed the NCLEX-RN exam on their first try in 2013. Students interested in an MSN program can find specializations for nurse practitioner or nurse educator.

Runner-Up #2: Barnes-Jewish College Goldfarb School of Nursing

  • Fully accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Missouri Coordinator Board for Higher Education
  • Recognized as a Laerdal Center for Educational Excellence and hosts a SimMan patient simulator
  • Offers a combination DNP/PhD program, which is the only one in the country
  • Small school with about 700 students enrolled

At Barnes-Jewish College Goldfarb School of Nursing, students can choose to pursue a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The college also offers a program for transfer students as well as a 1-year accelerated option for those who already hold a bachelor's degree or higher. An online program for students wishing to complete their RN-BSN training is also available. According to the Missouri Board of Nursing, approximately 94% of 2013 graduates passed the NCLEX-RN on their first attempt.

Graduate students can find a 2-year Master of Science in Nursing program. A variety of concentrations are available for the MSN program, including adult acute care nurse practitioner, adult nurse practitioner, nurse anesthesia, nurse educator, and nurse executive. Students in the DNP/PhD program participate in academic and clinical coursework and write a doctoral dissertation. The combined program can be completed in four years.

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