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What Are the Top Undergraduate Nursing Programs in the United States?

Students seeking to enroll in a superior nursing program may choose to attend one of the following three schools. Learn more about the rankings of said schools, the program requirements and courses, and other details. View article »

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  • 0:00 Schools Overview
  • 0:36 University of Pennsylvania
  • 1:14 Boston College in…
  • 2:07 Auburn University in…
  • 2:50 Top Undergraduate…

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Video Transcript

Schools Overview

Prospective undergraduate nursing students may chose from programs leading to bachelor's degrees. Additional programs, such as an accelerated track and a combined bachelor's/master's degree, are also available.

The three schools we'll review have been nationally ranked by U.S. News & World Report for 2017. Once enrolled, nursing students may gain experience through work-study rotations at local hospitals or might have the chance to study abroad, depending on the school in which they choose to enroll. Additionally, research fellowship opportunities may be extended to some nursing students.

1. University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA

The University of Pennsylvania was the first Ivy League school to offer baccalaureate degrees in nursing, remaining as the only one to still offer them to potential nursing students.

The School of Nursing at this university offers undergraduate programs to high school seniors and transfer students who are ready to explore the options of what this university has to offer, as far as nursing is concerned. A BSN Second Degree Program (second degree program) is offered for students looking to acquire a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing but are not set on a Master's specialty.

The school was ranked tied at #8 among national universities by U.S. News & World Report for 2017.

2. Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA

Boston College offers a combination of clinical and classroom practice, as well as providing nursing majors and non-nursing majors with courses in the arts and sciences.

The William F. Connell School of Nursing offers a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in nursing that incorporates courses in liberal arts, social and natural sciences nursing. Nursing students in their junior year may elect to study abroad.

Graduates of Boston College's nursing school have a 94% passing rate on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses, based on students who took the exam, in the years 2014-2015. Select nursing majors may qualify for undergraduate research fellowship opportunities or early entrance into the university's nursing master's program.

For 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Boston College #31 among national universities.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Clinical Nursing
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  • Mental Health Nursing
  • Neonatal Nursing
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Nurse Assistant or Patient Care Assistant
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Nurse Practitioner or Family Nurse Practitioner
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  • 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

3. Auburn University in Auburn, AL

At Auburn University, student with health care majors can spend a summer term in Malawi, where the education focus includes the African healthcare system. At the undergraduate level, Auburn University School of Nursing offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The program is designed to prepare students for the NCLEX-RN examination. The program is divided between the pre-professional curriculum, which comprises the first two years of study, and the professional nursing curriculum, which comprises the remaining five semesters of the degree.

Students with bachelor's degrees in other fields can apply directly to the professional nursing program. Auburn was ranked within the top 100 national universities and the top 50 public schools by U.S. News and World Report for 2017.

Top Undergraduate Nursing Schools

Now, let's take a look at which other schools offer great undergraduate nursing programs:

College/University Name Distinction Location
Michigan State University Offers BSN, second-degree BSN, and online BSN for RN programs East Lansing, MI
New York University First-time NCLEX pass rate is better than 91% for students who took the exam in the first quarter of 2016 New York, NY
Purdue University, Main Campus Students can participate in Indian Health Service and study abroad programs West Lafayette, IN
Temple University The NCLEX pass rate was 97% for undergraduates in 2012 Philadelphia, PA
University of Florida Member of one of only three health science centers in the state Gainesville, FL
University of Iowa Students granted admission through early decision can complete the BSN program in four years Iowa City, IA
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities NCLEX pass rate is 89% in 2015 Minneapolis, MN

Aspiring nurses can get the undergraduate training they need for RN licensure at well-regarded universities across the country.

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