One of the questions we’re asked is if it matters where you went to nursing school. Whether you went to private or public school, as long as you have a degree from an accredited nursing school you will be able to find work. To be a travel nurse, you will also need 1 – 2 years of work experience on top of your degree. In a pandemic world that is experiencing a nursing shortage, you may have a different path than your predecessor, but there are many opportunities out there for you to expand your career after college.
We say all of that to encourage you if you’re thinking about going to one of the best nursing schools or are thinking of additional education. Here are the best nursing schools and programs.
When considering private versus public for the best nursing schools and programs, consider the following:
- As with undergraduate education, the cost of private schools is significantly more than public. There are typically fewer, if any, scholarship options for graduate programs as a whole, not just for nursing.
- Consider that if you establish residency in the state where you want to attend a nursing program, the cost may be less. In-state versus out-of-state tuition is less for public than private programs and even less for residents.
- If you’re seeking a particular specialty or to work with a particular professor or researcher, your choice may be different, and options are fewer than if you opted for other programs.
Best Nursing Schools – Private Universities
- Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. Located in Baltimore Maryland, this nursing program is ranked at the top of the list of S. News and World Report’s 2022 list of Best Nursing Schools. With 85 full-time faculty members and an enrollment of just 974 students, it is an exclusive program, not to mention expensive, but they also have a 91% success rate at placements at a Johns Hopkins facility.
- Duke University. Located in the Research Triangle in Durham, North Carolina, the nursing school ranks #2 to Hopkins. Designated as a Center of Excellence five times by The National League for Nursing, Duke offers accelerated BSN or ABSN programs. If you’re one of the 8% to be accepted, you’re like to stay as they boast a 97% retention rate.
- The University of Pennsylvania. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the nursing program has an 8% acceptance rate and 98% retention rate. That means you’re among the exclusive and will stay in the program. Two of their five nurse practitioner specialty tracks are also top-ranked. It’s also the first nursing doctorate in the Ivy League.
- Emory University. Located in Atlanta, Georgia, the nursing program boasts a 97% placement rate of 2020 graduates within six months of graduation. The program also has a higher acceptance rate than the previous nursing programs with a 16% acceptance rate. Overall, the program has an 82% employment rate right after graduation at more than 500 clinical sites nationwide.
- Samuel Merritt University. Located in Oakland, California, the College of Nursing boasts a 98% first year retention rate. It is also a Top10 Nursing School out of 55 programs in California.
Best Nursing Schools – Public Universities
- The University of Washington. Located in Seattle, Washington, the program boasts a 98% graduation rate and 93% NCELX first-attempt pass. Programs include traditional and accelerated BSN, MS in clinical informatics and patient-centered technologies, a PhD in Nursing Science, and graduate certificates in a variety of programs including palliative care and nurse-midwifery.
- The University of Maryland. Located in Baltimore and Rockville, Maryland, the BSN program boasts a 94% retention rate and 89.7% on-time graduation. It is also 13th in National Institutes of Health research funding over the last decade. There are approximately 300 prelicensure BSN students and 100 MSN students annually.
- Louisiana State University. Located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the nursing program boasts a 97% NCLEX pass rate over the last decade. They offer the CARE BSN for those who have not previously earned a bachelor’s in nursing. Great for someone seeking a new career and much needed in today’s pandemic world.
- The University of Michigan. Located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the program boasts a 97% NCLEX pass rate over the last few years. In addition to nursing, students may earn a Global Health Concentration, setting it apart from other programs.
- The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Located in the Research Triangle, UNC-CH nursing program offers a public university option in a great area. The traditional BSN program graduates approximately 175 students annually with a 96% NCLEX pass rate.
Choosing the right nursing schools and programs for your career can be overwhelming.
Wherever you decide to go to nursing school, there will be many opportunities when you graduate. The nursing shortage is real and it’s here to stay. Let us know if you have any questions or need help finding a job when you graduate.