When deciding on a nursing school, it's important to consider what degree and career you're seeking. Whether you want to earn your associate bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree, there are several schools to choose from each with unique factors to help you decide. Let's look at some schools.
Best Nursing Schools
Highly-rated nursing schools are usually very competitive and expensive. However, these schools are considered the best due to their academic excellence, prestige, and proven student success, so they shouldn't be ignored as you explore your options.
New York University (NYU) - Rory Meyers College of Nursing
NYU offers a top-ranked bachelor's degree program in nursing offered in both an accelerated and traditional four-year format. The school also has a RN-to-BS program for students who already have an associate degree in nursing. The school is also very highly ranked for its MSN (#16) and DNP (#13) programs in 2018 by U.S. News and World Report.
NYU offers a unique BSN degree experience focused on clinical education that includes practicing in some of the world's most prestigious medical centers. It also is home to the Clinical Simulation Learning Center and has a high graduate success rate, with 91% of graduates passing the NCLEX-RN in 2016. Tuition at NYU is relatively expensive, with a full-time BSN student paying $23,971 per term and a full-time (12-credit) graduate student paying $20,352 per term.
Johns Hopkins University - School of Nursing
Johns Hopkins is home to an extremely well-ranked graduate nursing program. Its master's in nursing program was ranked #1, and its DNP program was ranked #2 in 2018 by U.S. News and World Report. The school offers several well-ranked MSN and doctoral degree programs as well as nursing specialty programs. For example, the school's nurse practitioner degree specialties in adult gerontology and family care were both ranked #4 by the same report. The school also offers highly-rated online degrees.
Johns Hopkins School of Nursing boasts a 100% NCLEX pass rate and low student-to-faculty ratios, especially in lab and clinical coursework. Tuition for a graduate degree at Johns Hopkins comes at a high price, with full-time MSN students paying $38,184 and DNP students paying $45,568 annually.
Take a look at the top 10 nursing schools if you're interested in exploring more nursing programs.
It's always a good idea to consider safety schools that you're more likely to get into. These schools are generally less competitive, but they can still offer a high-quality nursing education. Let's look at a few options.
Georgia Southwestern State University
Georgia Southwestern offers various BSN degree programs including an accelerated, LPN-to-BSN, and online program. The school also offers an online MSN degree. The school's nursing program is unique in that it has a guaranteed acceptance program in which students from Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, and Georgia are automatically accepted into the nursing program provided they meet GPA and SAT/ACT requirements.
GSW's nursing program has a low student-to-faculty ratio with curriculum that is hands-on with clinical experiences and diverse learning opportunities. The school also has an NCLEX pass rate above the national average. Full-time tuition for the school is very affordable with Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee residents paying $2,478 in undergrad tuition and $2,276 for graduate tuition in fall 2018.
University of Kansas
KU's School of Nursing is a nationally recognized program with a grad school acceptance rate above 97%. This school not only offers a #50 ranked MSN and #48 ranked DNP degrees according to the U.S. News and World Report, but it also offers a few options to earn your BSN, such as the traditional path, RN-to-BSN, and through a community college partnership.
KU offers a student-centered environment focused on innovation and research. The program is located on the University of Kansas Medical Center's campus, so students have access to the high-tech facility and a variety of clinical experiences. Boasting an 87% NCLEX pass rate in 2016, KU grads are well-prepared for a career upon graduation. Tuition for full-time, in-state graduate students is $12,585 per year.
Student debt is consistently on the rise and can be a significant burden for many nursing school graduates. Although expensive universities often come with prestige, there are many nursing programs that can provide you with a high-quality education without emptying your wallet. Here we will look at a few options.
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook offers an affordable, well-ranked nursing program for BSN, master's, and DNP students. Semester tuition in 2017 for full-time, in-state students was $3,335 for undergraduate, $5,435 for a master's, and $12,195 for a DNP degree.
Stony Brook BSN degree holders had an exceptionally high NCLEX pass rate of 97% in 2017, so students are well-prepared to enter the nursing workforce. Clinical work is done at Stony Brook University Medical Center, so students can work closely with other experts in their fields.
University of Michigan, Flint
University of Michigan in Flint offers traditional and accelerated BSN programs as well as an MSN and DNP program. It's also unique in that it offers a Veteran's BSN degree. The nursing programs 2017-2018 tuition for full-time, in-state students ran $4,810 per term for the MSN and DNP programs and $6,087 for the undergrad nursing program, so it's one of the more affordable options out there.
This program has a student-centered approach focused on evidence-based and cultural awareness in providing care in theoretical and clinical experiences.
Online Nursing Schools
Online nursing schools give you flexibility in time and location, so you can complete your coursework when and where it's best for you. Online nursing programs offer the same academic rigor that a traditional classroom would provide, but with the additional convenience factor built in. If you're considering online programs for your nursing education, here are some schools to consider.
University of Texas, Tyler
UT Tyler offers an RN-to-BSN degree completely online that can be completed in one year. It was ranked #5 by U.S. News and World Report for online graduate nursing degree programs. All the school's graduate nursing degrees are offered completely online except for the family nurse practitioner (FNP) and DNP degrees, which require clinical courses and intensives that happen on campus.
2018-19 tuition at UT Tyler for full-time (12 credits), in-state students is $3,419 for undergraduate programs, $4,609 for grad programs, and $5,063 for doctorate programs.
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
UNLV was ranked as the sixteenth best online graduate nursing program by the U.S. News and World Report in 2018. Its online MSN coursework gives students the skills needed for safe and effective nursing practices. Students build on foundational clinical knowledge to prepare for careers as an advanced practice nurses. In-state MSN degree students at UNLV can expect to pay $274 per credit as of fall 2018.
Potentially Perfect School
There are several nursing programs available that have the perfect combination between program recognition and cost no matter what your expectations are. Affordable tuition doesn't have to mean sacrificing the quality of a nursing education, so you should seek programs that fit your model of perfect. Here are a few options to consider.
Clemson - School of Nursing
Clemson offers direct admission into their bachelor's degree nursing program, but the program is competitive. The School of Nursing also offers master's and doctoral level nursing degrees as well as a RN-to-BSN program. Clemson BSN graduates have nearly 100% job placement rate within 90 days of graduation. Graduates also have NCLEX pass rates above the national average of 91% for bachelor's degree holders.
Clemson's BSN program has high-tech IV and various-age patient simulators. Upon graduation, 95% of graduates said they were well prepared to work with patients in a variety of settings. Undergraduate tuition in Clemson's nursing program runs at $7,356 for in-state, full-time students.
Ohio State University
Ohio State offers degrees ranging from a BSN, RN-to-BSN online, master's in nursing, DNP, and a Ph.D. in nursing. Ranked #6 for its MSN program and #21 for its DNP program in 2018 by U.S. News and World Report, Ohio State's nursing program is highly recognized nationally.
2017-2018 semester tuition for full-time, in-state students is more affordable, with BSN tuition coming in at $4,858 and MSN tuition at $5,780.
California State University, Fullerton
CSU Fullerton offers BSN, LVN-BSN, RN-BSN, MSN, and nursing support (NSP) programs. BSN programs can be taken either traditionally or in an accelerated format. Based on 2017 data, the school's BSN graduates have very high NCLEX pass rates at around 95%. Students are also given quality academic experiences with hands-on simulation training, research opportunities, and eleven partner hospitals.
Full-time, California resident tuition for the fall 2018 semester came in at $2,871 for undergraduate students, $3,588 for graduate students, and $7,635 for DNP students.
Nursing School Cost
We looked at some schools here that range greatly in cost. Some traditional and online schools cost about $10,000 in yearly tuition, while more prestigious colleges can set you back $40,000 or more. Cost obviously varies greatly depending on what school you choose, but it also varies for what degree you're pursuing. An LPN/LVN program or associate degree in nursing are the most affordable options and can get you into a career more quickly than pursuing a BSN degree.
In addition to tuition, you should also take into account other necessary expenses, such as books, uniforms, required medical devices, and lab fees. It's also important to consider living expenses, including both housing and meals. Keep in mind financial aid and scholarship opportunities are available, so be sure to check out these options to help cut the cost of your nursing program.
Nursing School Scholarships
Earning your nursing degree can be a huge commitment both time-wise and financially. Thankfully, there are thousands of scholarship options out there for specifically for students who want to attend nursing programs. There are undergraduate and graduate nursing scholarships available, each one with different requirements and locations, so be sure to explore all options available to you.
If you're seeking a more advanced degree while working, you should ask your employer about tuition reimbursement programs. In these types of programs, employers will help reimburse you for tuition to attend nursing school, so they are an excellent option to help relieve some payment stress.
Resources for Nursing Degree Students
With an aging population, the nursing shortage is going to get much worse in the coming years and Study.com is doing what it can to help.
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