The Master of Science in Nursing is usually taken by those who aspire to the independence and higher pay of a career as a nurse practitioner. An MSN can also lead to a job that requires additional supervisory responsibilities or a career in nursing informatics. Those who wish to contribute to the body of knowledge in the nursing industry, or teach at the university level, can also pursue a Ph.D.
List of Largest Schools by Student Population
These are the 10 largest nursing schools with graduate programs, ranked by their student population.
|College or University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Graduate Tuition 2015-2016*|
|Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus||University Park, PA||4-year, Public||Master's, Doctoral||$20,070 in-state, $34,084 out-of-state|
|New York University||New York, NY||4-year, Private not-for-profit||Master's, Advanced Certificate, Doctoral||$40,984|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||Madison, WI||4-year, Public||Advanced Certificate, Doctoral||$11,870 in-state, out-of-state $25,196|
|Purdue University||West Lafayette, IN||4-year, Public||Master's, Advanced Certificate, Doctoral||$10,002 in-state, $28,804 out-of-state|
|University of Michigan||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||Master's, Doctoral||$20,966 in-state, $42,016 out-of-state|
|University of Washington||Seattle,WA||4-year, Public||Master's, Advanced Certificate, Doctoral||$16,278 in-state, $28,326 out-of-state|
|Florida International University||Miami, FL||4-year, Public||Master's, Doctoral||$11,097 in-state, $23, 578 out-of-state|
|Florida State University||Tallahassee, FL||4-year, Public||Master's, Doctoral||$11,543 in-state, $25, 975 out-of-state|
|University of California-Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA||4-year, Public||Master's, Doctoral||$12,629 in-state, $27,731 $12,629 out-of-state|
|University of Arizona||Tucson, AZ||4-year, Public||Master's, Advanced Certificate, Doctoral||$12,048 in-state, $29,370 out-of-state|
Sources: *National Center for Educational Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Students should keep these points in mind when choosing a program:
- Choose a program that is accredited by The Accreditation Commission For Education in Nursing (ACEN) or The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
- Look at the hands-on experiences offered and opportunities for research study.
- Students who are currently employed should consider programs with more flexible schedules.
- Research the master's program tracks offered by each school.
Master's programs may be offered in different tracks, depending on the career objectives of the student. Some schools may offer a master's degree designed for nursing leadership and one for nursing educator. These 2-year programs offer coursework in nursing research methods, health assessment, pharmacology and biostatistics. Doctoral programs typically take longer and are catered toward individuals who seek a career in research.
Graduate programs in nursing are typically designed for those who are already working nurses and who wish to advance their careers. Students in a master's degree program may choose a track depending upon their future career goals, such as education or leadership.