Guides for Registered Nursing Degrees and Careers

From your potential earnings to selecting the right nursing school, our Career Guides give prospective nursing students a much-needed compass for their first or next chapter in their nursing careers. We provide a wealth of information for aspiring nursing professions at all stages of their career. Our database includes campus, online and hybrid nursing schools that offer programs from the certificate level all the way through to earning a Ph.D.

Our editorial team of nurse educators, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and practical nurses explain how to choose the perfect program for you, and we provide the data and information we wish we had when searching for and applying to our nursing program(s). We write about the hard-won knowledge on how to succeed once you become a practicing nurse, specific details on the nursing school application process, scholarships and more.

Become an RN

RNs are qualified to assess patients health status, administer medications and initiate treatment plans, evaluate outcomes, make recommendations, provide patient education, and work as a part of a healthcare team to optimize patient well-being.

RNs play a key role in making decisions for patients that can have positive impacts on their healthcare. As one of the most trusted professions, RNs are often seen as patient advocates.

 

Go Beyond – NP, MSN, DNP

Being an RN is a rewarding career that many people love. But it is also not the end point. If you want to advance your RN Career, you can further your education by earning one of 100+ specialty RN certificates or degrees, earn your MSN or DNP degree in nursing.

With these degrees you can work as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN), a Nurse Practitioner (NP) go into research or teaching and play a pivotal role in advancing healthcare.

 

Online BSN Programs Liked by Registered Nurses

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

2021 Nursing School Rankings
6th Annual Best Nursing Schools in America

Best Nursing School Programs State

Let’s be real. Googling nursing programs can lead your down a rabbit hole of information that is tough to sort through. That’s why we have created our nursing school rankings to help you understand the various programs out there. Now you can make an educated decision about what program will best fit your lifestyle and background.

Using NCLEX first-time exam pass rates, program accreditation, number of students taking the exam, and other key data, we ranked every CCNE, ACEN, and state-approved nursing programs throughout the country. You now have a clear and transparent view into what matters to you most when it comes to deciding which nursing program(s) to apply to.

Sources for our rankings include the State Board of Nursing (BON) from each state, each nursing school’s website and the IPEDS. See our ranking methodology.

Grade
University
State Rank
US Rank
City
State
100.00 Saint Francis University 1 1 Loretto PA
100.00 Texas State University San Marcos and St. David School of Nursing 1 1 San Marcos TX
100.00 Berea College 1 1 Berea KY
100.00 Muskingum University 1 1 New Concord OH
100.00 East Texas Baptist University 1 1 Marshall TX
99.49 California State University-Long Beach 1 2 Long Beach CA
99.41 Mississippi University for Women 1 3 Columbus MS
99.36 University of South Carolina-Columbia 1 4 Columbia SC
99.33 Longwood University 1 5 Farmville VA
99.21 University of the Incarnate Word 2 6 San Antonio TX
99.15 Thomas Edison State College 1 7 Trenton NJ
99.15 Concordia University-Texas 3 7 Austin TX
99.11 Trinity Christian College 1 8 Palos Heights IL
99.10 Saint Anselm College 1 9 Manchester NH
99.09 University of Houston-Victoria 4 10 Victoria TX
99.07 Florida Gulf Coast University 1 11 Fort Myers FL
99.04 Fransciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University 1 12 Baton Rouge LA
98.96 Eastern Kentucky University 2 13 Richmond KY
98.93 University of Mississippi Medical Center 2 14 Jackson MS
98.89 The University of Tennessee-Martin 1 15 Martin TN
98.88 Colby-Sawyer College 2 16 New London NH
98.78 The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga 2 17 Chattanooga TN
98.77 Western Governors University 1 18 Salt Lake City UT
98.67 Gardner-Webb University 1 19 Boiling Springs NC
98.63 University of Kentucky 3 20 Lexington KY
98.60 Harding University - Searcy 1 21 Searcy AR
98.60 Carlow University 2 21 Pittsburgh PA
98.52 Carson-Newman University 3 22 Jefferson City TN
98.52 The University of Tampa 2 22 Tampa FL
98.48 Kennesaw State University 1 23 Kennesaw GA
98.48 Duke University 2 23 Durham NC
98.45 Georgia College and State University 2 24 Milledgeville GA
98.45 University of Holy Cross 2 24 New Orleans LA
98.43 OHSU Accelerated Portland 1 25 Portland OR
98.40 Montana Tech of the University of Montana 1 26 Butte MT
98.36 University of Virginia-MSN 2 27 Charlottesville VA
98.36 Delta State University 3 27 Cleveland MS
98.35 University of New Hampshire (DEMN), Durham 3 28 Durham NH
98.33 Lincoln Memorial University 4 29 Harrogate TN
98.24 Anderson University 1 30 Anderson IN
98.22 Southern Connecticut State University 1 31 New Haven CT
98.18 California State University-Sacramento 2 32 Sacramento CA
98.15 South University 3 33 Glen Allen VA
98.13 York College 1 34 Jamaica NY
98.10 The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio 5 35 San Antonio TX
97.98 Oklahoma Baptist University 1 36 Shawnee OK
97.96 Western Kentucky University-Bowling Green 4 37 Bowling Green KY
97.90 Lander University 2 38 Greenwood SC
97.89 University of Southern Mississippi 4 39 Hattiesburg MS
97.85 University of Sioux Falls 1 40 Sioux Falls SD
97.83 Univ. of Louisiana Lafayette 3 41 Lafayette LA
97.82 University of Dubuque 1 42 Dubuque IA
97.78 Sonoma State University 3 43 Rohnert Park CA
97.76 The University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing 6 44 Galveston TX
97.73 Western Carolina University 3 45 Cullowhee NC
97.68 McNeese State Univ 4 46 Lake Charles LA
97.65 Saint Joseph's College of Maine 1 47 Standish ME
97.62 Ohio Northern University 2 48 Ada OH
97.61 Cedar Crest College 3 49 Allentown PA
97.60 East Carolina University 4 50 Greenville NC
97.58 Indiana University-Northwest 2 51 Gary IN
97.57 Chamberlain College of Nursing 3 52 Columbus OH
97.53 Rhode Island College 1 53 Providence RI
97.52 Austin Peay State University 5 54 Clarksville TN
97.50 Emory University 3 55 Atlanta GA
97.48 Messiah University 4 56 Mechanicsburg PA
97.43 Pennsylvania College of Technology 5 57 Williamsport PA
97.42 LSU Health Science Center 5 58 New Orleans LA
97.38 Bryan Health College 1 59 Lincoln NE
97.26 Southeastern LA Univ 6 60 Hammond LA
97.21 University of Arizona 1 61 Tucson AZ
97.20 Allen College 2 62 Waterloo IA
97.20 Concordia College 2 62 Bronxville NY
97.17 Brigham Young University-Provo 2 63 Provo UT
97.17 University of Charleston 1 63 Charleston WV
97.15 Sacred Heart University 2 64 Fairfield CT
97.11 Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health 2 65 Omaha NE
97.10 Ohio University-Zanesville Campus 4 66 Zanesville OH
97.00 Colorado State University-Pueblo 1 67 Pueblo CO
96.99 Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania 6 68 Bloomsburg PA
96.98 Eastern University 7 69 Saint Davids PA
96.98 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center 7 69 Lubbock TX
96.98 Carroll University 1 69 Waukesha WI
96.97 William Carey University 5 70 Hattiesburg MS
96.93 University of Miami 3 71 Coral Gables FL
96.91 Fairleigh Dickinson University-Metropolitan Campus 2 72 Teaneck NJ
96.90 Stephen F Austin State University 8 73 Nacogdoches TX
96.89 Saint Anthony College of Nursing 2 74 Rockford IL
96.89 Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing 4 74 Richmond VA
96.88 University at Buffalo 3 75 Buffalo NY
96.80 Nazareth College 4 76 Rochester NY
96.78 Anderson University 3 77 Anderson SC
96.78 Lipscomb University 6 77 Nashville TN
96.78 Spring Hill College 1 77 Mobile AL
96.74 Geo. Mason Univ. Acc 2nd Deg 5 78 Fairfax VA
96.74 Appalachian State University 5 78 Boone NC
96.71 University of Alabama at Birmingham 2 79 Birmingham AL
96.70 Tennessee Technological University 7 80 Cookeville TN
96.68 University of Southern Indiana 3 81 Evansville IN
96.68 The University of Texas at El Paso 9 81 El Paso TX

Find Accredited Online Nursing Schools Recommended by RNCareers.org

 

Beyond an RN Career
Explore High Paying, In-Demand Nursing Degrees

Becoming a nurse can offer you a lifetime of opportunities. You never have to worry about being stuck in a career specialty you don’t like because you will always have the flexibility to change it up — something not everyone can say about their profession. You can specialize, become a clinical nurse specialist, a nursing administrator, nurse educator, conduct research, become an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) and more. Check out some of our most popular guides to see the possibilities yourself:

MSN Programs Reommeded by Our Education Experts

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

Nursing School Scorecard

By aggregating information from 1,044 ADN and 933 BSN accredited nursing schools and combining the school data with 100,000 data points, prospective nursing students the data they need to make a sound decision about the best nursing school to attend. RNCareers.org empowers prospective nursing students with real-time information taken from the sources – the institutions themselves and the U.S. Department of Education. We pride ourselves on providing the most accurate up-to-date information about nursing programs.

Nursing School Comparison: ADN vs BSN

Compare ADN to BSN Programs Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Bachelor Degree in Nursing  (BSN)
Number of Nursing Programs 1,044 933
Average NCLEX Passing Rate 85.48% 87.22%
NCLEX Passing Rate Range 22.50% to 186.10% 42.50% to 100.00%
Average Net Price $9,169.31 $17,218.69
Average Net Price Range $61.00 to $41,243.00 $1,846.00 to $39,975.00
Average Student Loan $8,833.57 $18,429.83
Average Student Loan Range $1,325.00 to $28,333.00 $3,125.00 to $42,625.00
Average Annual Salary $65,470 $71,730
See Additional Detail Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Programs Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BSN)

 

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NCLEX Practice Exams

Prepare for this important exam by taking our free, timed NCLEX exams with rationales.

Take the next step toward your healthcare future with online learning.

Discover schools with the programs and courses you’re interested in, and start learning today.


Sources: 50 State Boards of Nursing, University Websites, U.S. Department of Education, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Ranking Methodology.