What Are the Best Schools for Registered Nurses?

Learn about three good schools that offer education programs for registered nurses. See about school rankings, undergraduate and graduate program options, areas of specialization and unique learning opportunities. Schools offering Nursing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look For in a Top Registered Nursing School?

Top schools may have high pass rates on the National Council of States Boards of Nursing's National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX). You might want to gain experience through a school that offers clinical practice or international study opportunities.

Perhaps completing some of your courses online or the chance to combine your bachelor's degree with an advanced degree would appeal to you. Schools with research centers and other study options that address your specific nursing interests might be desirable.

What Are Three Top Schools for Registered Nurses?

University of Alabama in Birmingham

The University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing tied for 13th among nursing graduate programs according to U.S. News & World Report in 2015. You will have the option to study nursing at the undergraduate or graduate level, as well as complete some of your courses online. The nursing school is an approved Peace Corps Fellows program, which means you can earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) or accelerated master's degree in nursing upon your return.

If you are an RN, you could pursue the RN-BSN program, one of the school's certificate programs or the Registered Nurse First Assist (RNFA) post-baccalaureate program for Adult-Gerontology Acute Care nursing. You will also have access to campus facilities, including the Center for Nursing Research and the Sparkman Center for Global Health. Your degree options include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

University of Kentucky in Lexington

The University of Kentucky (UK) is a public university in Lexington, KY. In 2014 UK reported that BSN graduates achieved an average 98% NCLEX examination pass rate.

If you are an RN, you may be interested in the traditional BSN, second degree BSN or the RN-BSN options. UK's nursing college operates the Phyllis D. Corbitt Community Health Center, which provides health care services for local residents. As a UK student, you will have the opportunity apply to three different types of internships: Nursing Practice, Nursing Research, and Nursing Skills Lab. Your degree options include:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

University of Minnesota in Minneapolis-St. Paul

You can complete the full-time day BSN program at University of Minnesota's Twin Cities or Rochester campus to prepare for certification as a public health nurse. As a nursing student, you will have access to clinical training at the University of Minnesota Medical Center or the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. If you are interesting in conducting nursing research, you may be interested in the university's Center for Gerontological Nursing or the Katharine J. Densford International Center for Nursing Leadership. You can study as an undergraduate or graduate student through the following programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Post-Masters Certificate in Nursing
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing

Top Ten Schools That Offer Nursing Degrees

College/UniversityInstitution TypeLocation
University of Pennsylvania 4-year, PrivatePhiladelphia, PA
Johns Hopkins University4-year, PrivateBaltimore, MD
University of California-San Francisco4-year, PublicSan Francisco,CA
University of Washington4-year, PublicSeattle, WA
University of Pittsburgh4-year, PublicPittsburgh,PA
Duke University4-year, PrivateDurham, NC
New York University4-year, PrivateNew York, NY
University of Maryland-Baltimore4-year, PublicBaltimore, MD
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor4-year, PublicAnn Arbor, MI
Emory Univeristy4-year, PrivateAtlanta, GA

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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  • Kaplan University

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