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Registered Nurse Colleges and Schools in the U.S.

In a registered nursing program, students learn to assist in the treatment and education of patients and their families in hospitals, nursing homes and private clinics. There are many registered nursing colleges to choose from in the United States.

Registered nursing programs are offered at 2- and 4-year colleges and universities. Prospective students can choose between pursuing an associate's or bachelor's degree when selecting a program; completion of these programs allows them to pursue specialized graduate study

Schools with Registered Nurse Programs

Some of the most well-known and respected registered nursing programs in the United States are offered at the institutions listed here.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)
Ohio State University Columbus, OH 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state $10,037; Out-of-state $27,365
The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state $9,806; Out-of-state $34,676
Houston Community College Houston, TX 2-year, Public Associate's In-district $1,632; In-state $3,360; Out-of-state $3,756
Texas A & M University College Station, TX 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state $10,176; Out-of-state $28,768
Michigan State University East Lansing, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state $13,560; Out-of-state $36,360
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state $15,054; Out-of-state $30,214
Lone Star College System The Woodlands, TX 2-year, Public Associate's In-district $1,504; In-state $3,184; Out-of-state $3,544
Tarrant County College District Fort Worth, TX 2-year, Public Associate's In-district $1,320; In-state $2,064; Out-of-state $4,920
California State University-Long Beach Long Beach, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state $6,452; Out-of-state $17,612
University of Maryland-Baltimore Baltimore, MD 4-year, Public Bachelor's In-state $10,143; Out-of-state $32,779

Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES); School websites

School Selection Criteria

An associate's degree in nursing is available at 2-year colleges. Bachelor's degrees in nursing are also available and go far beyond the coursework in associate's programs. Consider the following when looking for RN schools:

  • Graduation from an associate's degree program makes the student eligible for the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN), which all registered nurses are required to pass.
  • A 4-year degree program should offer classes in communication, writing, math, business, leadership and social sciences, which may not be included in the associate's degree program.
  • A registered nurse college degree program should offer extensive clinical training in addition to classroom study.
  • Some institutions offer distance learning, which may appeal to students who need to work part-time, or are unable to location for their studies.

By completing an associate's or bachelor's degree it is possible to become a registered nurse; those with a bachelor's degree can consider graduate studies in nursing. Tuition costs vary widely, and may be a factor in deciding which program to attend.


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