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.
BSN Programs Recommended by Our Education Experts
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
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.
|100.00||Muskingum University||1||1||New Concord||OH|
|100.00||East Texas Baptist University||1||1||Marshall||TX|
|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|
|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|
|99.21||University of the Incarnate Word||2||6||San Antonio||TX|
|99.15||Thomas Edison State College||1||7||Trenton||NJ|
|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|
|98.52||The University of Tampa||2||22||Tampa||FL|
|98.52||Carson-Newman University||3||22||Jefferson City||TN|
|98.48||Kennesaw State University||1||23||Kennesaw||GA|
|98.45||University of Holy Cross||2||24||New Orleans||LA|
|98.45||Georgia College and State University||2||24||Milledgeville||GA|
|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|
|98.22||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|
|98.10||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|
|97.89||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|
|97.57||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|
|97.43||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|
|97.17||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|
|96.97||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|
|96.78||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||WV University Morgantown Campus BA-BS To BSN Program||2||81||Morgantown||WV|
|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 accreditation, start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.
Nursing School Scorecard
By aggregating information from 1,046 ADN and 931 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||1,046||931|
|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)|
Keep up-to-date with RNCareers and what we are writing about. Suggest an article or help us write by using our Contact Us page.
Delve into some of our most popular articles and data about nursing schools.
- Best ADN Programs in the United States
- Best BSN Programs in the United States
- Nurse Practitioner Versus Physician Assistant
- RN vs BSN / LPN vs RN
- RN Nursing Specialties for ADN/BSN
- Transfer your RN License to Another State
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