Top Schools for Nursing Administration

Learn about nursing administration programs, which are graduate courses of study that train nurses to work in executive and leadership roles. Read summaries of the programs offered by three universities, and find a list of other schools in the U.S. that provide training in nursing administration.

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Programs in nursing administration are designed for experienced nurses who want to advance to management positions in the field. They lead to master's or doctoral degrees.

School Information

Admission to nursing administration programs typically requires a bachelor's degree in nursing and a passing score on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Students can find programs at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, an Ivy League school, the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Johns Hopkins University. These schools were ranked among top schools by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia

School Highlight: Dual majors allow students to combine clinical and administrative studies.

U.S. News & World Report ranked the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia as tied for first among nursing service administration schools in 2017. The nursing school offers several Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) programs for students looking to become nurse administrators. The programs include an MSN in Nursing and Health Care Administration and MSN in Health Leadership. A dual MSN and Master of Business Administration program is also available.

University of Michigan in Ann Arbor

School Highlight: Students work mainly online and visit campus on two consecutive days a month.

The nursing administration program at the University of Michigan tied for sixth in the country for 2016, according to U.S. News & World Report. Students can pursue a master's degree in nursing leadership and health systems, as well as dual degrees through either the Ross School of Business or School of Public Health. Those seeking a more advanced degree can apply to the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program, which features classes on leadership and health informatics.

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD

School Highlight: At JHU, both online and on-campus learning options are available.

Johns Hopkins University was tied for #1 among graduate nursing administration programs in 2017, per U.S. News & World Report. Through the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, students in the Master of Science in Nursing program can choose between a Health Systems Management track and a Public Health Nursing track. There is also an option to pursue a dual MSN/MPH degree. At the doctoral level, both DNP and PhD programs are available.

Top Nursing Administration Schools

Here are some more schools with outstanding graduate programs in nursing administration:

  • New York University in New York, NY, offers an M.S. and a graduate certificate in nursing administration.
  • At Northeastern University in Boston, MA, students in their final year gain practical experience by working directly in the field.
  • The University of Kentucky in Lexington was the first school in the U.S. to offer a DNP program.
  • The University of Minnesota in Minneapolis has a partially online DNP that allows students the opportunity to design their own plan of study.
  • Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH, offers an MSN with a concentration in administration or a dual MSN and Master of Business Administration.

For nurses who want to pursue advanced studies in the field, there are a variety of master's and doctoral degree programs at top-notch schools that provide the opportunity to study nursing administration.

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