Surgical Nursing Schools and Colleges in the U.S.

Surgical nursing programs teach students how to care for patients before, during and after surgery. Schools offer nursing programs with formal surgical nursing tracks; the most common option is a Master of Science in Nursing with a medical-surgical clinical nurse specialist concentration.

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At many nursing schools aspiring surgical nurses can get the graduate-level training they need for success in the field.

Top 10 Schools with Graduate Nursing Programs

According to U.S. News and World Report's 2016 rankings, these are some of the best nursing schools in the country:

College/University Location Institution Type Tuition (In-state, 2015-2016)*
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA 4-year, Private $38,060
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD 4-year, Private $36,216
University of California-San Francisco San Francisco, CA 4-year, Public $26,803
University of Washington Seattle, WA 4-year, Public $21,370
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, PA 4-year, Public $37,392
Duke University Durham, NC 4-year, Private $1,568 per credit
New York University New York, NY 4-year, Private $40,024
University of Maryland--Baltimore Baltimore, MD 4-year, Public $682 per credit
University of Michigan--Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI 4-year, Public $20,550
Emory University Atlanta, GA 4-year, Private $1,750 per credit

Source: *U.S. News and World Report

School Selection Criteria

Prospective students may want to consider the following when selecting a college or program:

  • Some surgical nursing programs are more flexible than others, so if you want to specialize in a particular area of surgical nursing, find out about the school's class and elective offerings in the subfield. Specialties include oncology, orthopedics, neurosurgery, urology, gynecology, transplants, trauma, cardiac, thoracic and general surgery.
  • Explore the research opportunities offered by the school, either at the institution itself or at outside hospitals and medical facilities.
  • Get an idea of the curriculum at the school, including the number of clinical practice hours required for graduation.
  • Make sure that the program fulfills the educational prerequisites for the certification level or career title you are seeking.

By studying to become a surgical nurse at a highly ranked school with strong academic offerings, aspiring surgical nurses can maximize their chances for success in the field.

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