Nurses require at least an associate degree, though those with bachelor's degrees are qualified for administrative, research, and teaching positions. Master's degrees are often given in nursing specialties, like pediatric care.
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Clinical Nursing
- Critical Care Nursing
- Direct-Entry Midwifery - LM, CPM
- Licensed Vocational Nurse Training
- Mental Health Nursing
- Neonatal Nursing
- Nurse Anesthetist
- Nurse Assistant or Patient Care Assistant
- Nurse Midwife
- Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner
- Nursing Administration
- Nursing for Adults and Seniors
- Nursing Science
- Occupational Health Nursing
- Operating Room and Surgical Nursing
- Pediatric Nursing
- Public Health Nurse or Community Nurse
- Registered Nurse
Top 10 Nursing Schools
There are many nursing schools in the country, with the following considered among the top fifteen in the country by the educational ranking site US News & World Report. When considering a nursing program, you may want to look into applying to the following schools:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||In-state Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*|
|University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, PA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$49,536 (undergrad); $34,268 (graduate)|
|Johns Hopkins University||Baltimore, MD||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$48,710 (undergrad); $50,510 (graduate)|
|University of California-San Francisco||San Francisco, CA||4-year, Public||Master's, Doctoral||$12,445 per year in-state, $72,547 out-of-state (graduate)|
|University of Washington||Seattle, WA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$11,839 (undergrad); $16,278 (graduate)|
|University of Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh, PA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$18,192 (undergrad); $22,060 (graduate)|
|Duke University||Durham, NC||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$49,241 (undergrad); $48,656 (graduate)|
|New York University||New York, NY||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$47,750 (undergrad); $40,984 (graduate)|
|University of Maryland-Baltimore||Baltimore, MD||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$11,006 (undergrad); $14,761 (graduate)|
|University of Michigan-Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$13,856 (undergrad); $20,966 (graduate)|
|Emory University||Atlanta, GA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$46,314 (undergrad); $41,940 (graduate)|
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when selecting a nursing program:
- Completing a 2-year associate program and passing the NCLEX qualifies a nurse for entry level positions. However, bachelor's degrees are increasingly becoming the norm for moving up in the profession.
- If a student has an interest in management, pursuing a master's degree can help them advance toward those positions.
- Since passing the NCLEX is a prerequisite for entry level positions, when choosing a school students should make sure the program meets all NCLEX requirements for their state.
- Schools with affiliated or on-campus hospitals offer a close clinical experience and potential for employment after graduation.
When picking a nursing degree program and level, students should consider their career aspirations within the healthcare industry. All nurses must pass the NCLEX examination before qualifying to work within their field, so it is vital that students bear this in mind when choosing a school.