Your Guide to Nursing Careers

Plan and Advance Your Nursing Career Today With Extensive Guides, Salary Reports, Case Studies, School Rankings, Interviews, Scholarships and Advice

How to Get Started

Find our comprehensive guides to starting or advancing your nursing career. Explore hundreds of nursing careers guides, study our 2024 salary reports, find how-to licensing info for LNPs, RNs or NPs for each state. Compare nursing programs with the best nursing school awards, and see our nursing resource guides for tips on NCLEX test taking and resume writing.

Nursing Careers

Explore how-to become a nurse in over 100 nursing career specialties with step-by-step educational, licensing, certification, and continuing educational requirements with information about career outlook and salary expectations.

Salary Reports

Compare nursing salaries by education level, experience, city, state, projected demand, and more to plan your career path, negotiate your salary expectation as a CNA, LPN, RN, Instructor, Midwife, NP and Anesthetist.

Nursing Licensures

Our state-by-state reports, cover topics like eNLC membership, walk-through and temporary licenses, Nursys membership, licensure by exam or endorsement, license verification, renewal, restoration, and continuing education requirements.

Best Ranked Programs

Compare nursing schools by degree and by state in our reports for ADN Rankings, BSN Rankings, and State-by-State Rankings, RN to BSN, MSN, FNP, MSN to DNP

Nursing Resources

Find mental health support, nursing resumes tips, 100’s nursing scholarships, and inspiration from famous nurses.

2024 Best 250 Nursing Schools
8th Annual Best Ranked Nursing Schools in America

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. Below find the best 250 nursing schools. See our ranking methodology.

Best Ranked Nursing Schools
Grade
University
State Rank
US Rank
City
State
100.00 Plymouth State University 1 1 Plymouth NH
100.00 College of the Ozarks 1 1 Point Lookout MO
99.12 Messiah University 1 2 Mechanicsburg PA
99.12 University of Hawaii @ Manoa-MEPN 1 2 Honolulu HI
99.11 West Virginia University 1 3 Morgantown WV
98.79 University of South Carolina-Columbia 1 4 Columbia SC
98.74 University of Louisiana at Lafayette 1 5 Lafayette LA
98.51 California State University-Long Beach 1 6 Long Beach CA
98.41 Simmons College 1 7 Boston MA
98.35 San Juan College BSN & UNM BSN Aggregated 1 8 Farmington NM
98.23 Medical University of South Carolina 2 9 Charleston SC
98.15 Allen College 1 10 Waterloo IA
98.14 California State University-Bakersfield 2 11 Bakersfield CA
98.11 Southern Arkansas University Main Campus - Magnolia 1 12 Magnolia AR
98.01 Saint Anselm College 2 13 Manchester NH
97.93 Florida Gulf Coast University 1 14 Fort Myers FL
97.82 Northwestern College 2 15 Orange City IA
97.72 McNeese State University 2 16 Lake Charles LA
97.70 Cumberland University 1 17 Lebanon TN
97.66 Lander University 3 18 Greenwood SC
97.63 The University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing 1 19 Galveston TX
97.53 Waynesburg University 2 20 Waynesburg PA
97.53 Oklahoma Wesleyan University 1 20 Bartlesville OK
97.53 Texas A & M University-Texarkana 2 20 Texarkana TX
97.48 California State University-Fullerton 3 21 Fullerton CA
97.34 California State University-Stanislaus 4 22 Turlock CA
97.33 University of Saint Joseph 1 23 West Hartford CT
97.16 University of San Diego/Hahn 5 24 San Diego CA
97.09 Montana Tech of the University of Montana 1 25 Butte MT
97.09 Longwood University 1 25 Farmville VA
97.09 University of Mississippi Medical Center 1 25 Jackson MS
97.08 Carroll College 2 26 Helena MT
97.01 Northern Kentucky University 1 27 Highland Heights KY
96.99 Fransciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University 3 28 Baton Rouge LA
96.99 Stephen F Austin State University 3 28 Nacogdoches TX
96.95 Coe College 3 29 Cedar Rapids IA
96.95 Stanbridge University 6 29 Irvine CA
96.95 Augustana University 1 29 Sioux Falls SD
96.79 Concordia University Irvine 7 30 Irvine CA
96.74 Saint Anthony College of Nursing 1 31 Rockford IL
96.72 University of Mary 1 32 Bismarck ND
96.72 University of Colorado College of Nursing (Traditional) 1 32 Denver CO
96.63 Holy Names University 8 33 Oakland CA
96.59 Tennessee Technological University 2 34 Cookeville TN
96.52 Harding University - Searcy 2 35 Searcy AR
96.33 Sacred Heart University 2 36 Fairfield CT
96.30 University of Kentucky 2 37 Lexington KY
96.30 Central Connecticut State University 3 37 New Britain CT
96.29 California State University-Sacramento 9 38 Sacramento CA
96.26 Shenandoah University -Eleanor Wade Custer 2 39 Winchester VA
96.18 Concordia College 1 40 Bronxville NY
95.91 Clarkson College 1 41 Omaha NE
95.87 Sam Houston State University 4 42 Huntsville TX
95.87 University of Missouri-Kansas City 2 42 Kansas City MO
95.75 California State University-Los Angeles 10 43 Los Angeles CA
95.71 Southeastern Louisiana University 4 44 Hammond LA
95.68 Hope College 1 45 Holland MI
95.58 Brigham Young University-Provo 1 46 Provo UT
95.56 Southern Connecticut State University 4 47 New Haven CT
95.56 Fairfield University 4 47 Fairfield CT
95.53 Farmingdale State College 2 48 Farmingdale NY
95.45 University of Holy Cross 5 49 New Orleans LA
95.45 Metropolitan State University of Denver (TNO) 2 49 Denver CO
95.41 Bryan Health College 2 50 Lincoln NE
95.37 Carlow University 3 51 Pittsburgh PA
95.33 Western Illinois University 2 52 Macomb IL
95.23 California State University-Chico 11 53 Chico CA
95.15 Lewis University 3 54 Romeoville IL
95.08 University of the Incarnate Word 5 55 San Antonio TX
95.02 The College of New Jersey 1 56 Ewing NJ
95.01 California State University-San Marcos 12 57 San Marcos CA
94.98 Adams State University 3 58 Alamosa CO
94.98 Mississippi College 2 58 Clinton MS
94.83 Sonoma State University 13 59 Rohnert Park CA
94.77 University of Southern Indiana 1 60 Evansville IN
94.74 University of Iowa 4 61 Iowa City IA
94.74 Bethel College-Indiana 2 61 Mishawaka IN
94.67 University of South Dakota 2 62 Vermillion SD
94.57 Neumann University 4 63 Aston PA
94.57 Concordia College at Moorhead 1 63 Moorhead MN
94.57 South Dakota State University 3 63 Brookings SD
94.47 Northern Arizona University 1 64 Flagstaff AZ
94.44 Worcester State College (WSU) 2 65 Worcester MA
94.44 Maranatha Baptist University (Maranatha Baptist Bible Col.) 1 65 WI
94.44 Maranatha Baptist University (Maranatha Baptist Bible Col.) 1 65 WI
94.43 Benedictine College 1 66 Atchison KS
94.42 Pennsylvania College of Technology 5 67 Williamsport PA
94.33 Southern Utah University 2 68 Cedar City UT
94.31 Liberty University 3 69 Lynchburg VA
94.26 Texas Christian University 6 70 Fort Worth TX
94.23 York College Pennsylvania 6 71 York PA
94.21 Saint Cloud State University 2 72 Saint Cloud MN
94.21 Simpson University 14 72 Redding CA
94.14 University of New Hampshire (DEMN), Durham 3 73 Durham NH
94.07 Edinboro University of Pennsylvania 7 74 Edinboro PA
94.07 St Vincent's College - Evening 5 74 Bridgeport CT
94.07 Trinity Christian College 4 74 Palos Heights IL
94.07 Middle Tennessee State University 3 74 Murfreesboro TN
94.05 James Madison University 4 75 Harrisonburg VA
94.01 Duquesne University 8 76 Pittsburgh PA
93.91 Missouri State University-Springfield 3 77 Springfield MO
93.90 Otterbein Nursing Program (Otterbein University) 1 78 Westerville OH
93.86 Florida National University-Miami 2 79 Miami FL
93.81 Endicott College 3 80 Beverly MA
93.81 Texas Woman's University 7 80 Denton TX
93.78 Mennonite Nursing at Illinois State University 5 81 Normal IL
93.76 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 2 82 Ann Arbor MI
93.75 Mississippi University for Women 3 83 Columbus MS
93.70 Gonzaga University 1 84 Spokane WA
93.68 California State University-San Bernardino 15 85 San Bernardino CA
93.63 Cedar Crest College 9 86 Allentown PA
93.63 Western NM University/BSN 2 86 Silver City NM
93.57 Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania 10 87 Bloomsburg PA
93.53 University of Phoenix-Phoenix Campus 2 88 Tempe AZ
93.49 Clemson University 4 89 Clemson SC
93.49 University of Miami 3 89 Coral Gables FL
93.47 The University of Texas at El Paso 8 90 El Paso TX
93.42 The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio 9 91 San Antonio TX
93.34 San Diego State University 16 92 San Diego CA
93.26 The University of Tennessee-Martin 4 93 Martin TN
93.25 Colby-Sawyer College 4 94 New London NH
93.24 Mount Mercy University 5 95 Cedar Rapids IA
93.23 University of North Georgia 1 96 Dahlonega GA
93.19 Morehead State University 3 97 Morehead KY
93.16 Union College 3 98 Lincoln NE
93.13 Northwestern State University of Louisiana 6 99 Natchitoches LA
93.05 University of Central Missouri 4 100 Warrensburg MO
93.03 Saint Francis University 11 101 Loretto PA
92.98 University of North Dakota 2 102 Grand Forks ND
92.95 Nevada State College 1 103 Henderson NV
92.93 Arkansas State University - Jonesboro 3 104 Jonesboro AR
92.92 California State University-Channel Islands 17 105 Camarillo CA
92.89 University of Pennsylvania 12 106 Philadelphia PA
92.86 North Dakota State University (Combined NDSU Fargo campus and NDSU Nursing at Sanford Health Bismarck) 3 107 Fargo ND
92.85 University of Louisville-Louisville 4 108 Louisville KY
92.80 Salisbury University 1 109 Salisbury MD
92.78 University of Massachusetts-Lowell 4 110 Lowell MA
92.78 Union University 5 110 Jackson TN
92.78 Milligan College 5 110 Milligan College TN
92.78 Fort Hays State University 2 110 Hays KS
92.74 Western Governors University 3 111 Salt Lake City UT
92.73 Purdue University 3 112 West Lafayette IN
92.71 Park University 5 113 Parkville MO
92.59 Northwestern Okla. State University-Alva 2 114 Alva OK
92.59 South University-Columbia 5 114 Columbia SC
92.59 Lincoln Memorial University 6 114 Harrogate TN
92.59 Crown College 3 114 Saint Bonifacius MN
92.59 Lewis-Clark State College 1 114 Lewiston ID
92.59 Murray State University 5 114 Murray KY
92.56 California State University-Fresno 18 115 Fresno CA
92.56 Villanova University 13 115 Villanova PA
92.51 Anderson University 6 116 Anderson SC
92.47 Oregon Health and Science University - Accelerated Portland 1 117 Portland OR
92.46 Eastern University 14 118 Saint Davids PA
92.44 Boston College 5 119 Chestnut Hill MA
92.42 University of Nevada-Reno 2 120 Reno NV
92.39 The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston 10 121 Houston TX
92.31 Grand Valley State University 3 122 Allendale MI
92.30 University of St Francis 4 123 Fort Wayne IN
92.27 Colorado State University-Pueblo 4 124 Pueblo CO
92.18 University of Sioux Falls 4 125 Sioux Falls SD
92.11 Olivet Nazarene University 6 126 Bourbonnais IL
92.10 Drexel University 15 127 Philadelphia PA
92.07 Berea College 6 128 Berea KY
92.05 Baker University 3 129 Baldwin City KS
92.04 University of Central Florida 4 130 Orlando FL
92.03 St. John Fisher College 3 131 Rochester NY
92.03 Creighton University 4 131 Omaha NE
92.01 George Fox University 2 132 Newberg OR
91.99 Nicholls State University 7 133 Thibodaux LA
91.95 Walla Walla University 2 134 College Place WA
91.93 Chamberlain University 3 135 Phoenix AZ
91.89 Bethel University 4 136 Saint Paul MN
91.85 Luther College 6 137 Decorah IA
91.82 Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health 5 138 Omaha NE
91.71 University of Arizona 4 139 Tucson AZ
91.70 Lipscomb University 7 140 Nashville TN
91.69 West Texas A & M University 11 141 Canyon TX
91.69 Linfield College-School of Nursing 3 141 Portland OR
91.68 The University of Tampa 5 142 Tampa FL
91.67 Schreiner University 12 143 Kerrville TX
91.67 PIMA Medical Institute-Tucson 5 143 Tucson AZ
91.63 Eastern Kentucky University 7 144 Richmond KY
91.59 Blessing Rieman College of Nursing 7 145 Quincy IL
91.57 Pennsylvania State University 16 146 University Park PA
91.52 La Salle University 17 147 Philadelphia PA
91.46 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center 13 148 Lubbock TX
91.44 University of Virginia 5 149 Charlottesville VA
91.41 Bradley University 8 150 Peoria IL
91.41 Baylor University 14 150 Waco TX
91.37 Thomas Edison State College 2 151 Trenton NJ
91.37 Stockton University 2 151 Galloway NJ
91.36 Grand Canyon University 6 152 Phoenix AZ
91.35 University of Scranton 18 153 Scranton PA
91.30 Western Connecticut State University 6 154 Danbury CT
91.26 DeSales University 19 155 Center Valley PA
91.25 University of Evansville 5 156 Evansville IN
91.20 University of Dubuque 7 157 Dubuque IA
91.17 SUNY College at Plattsburgh 4 158 Plattsburgh NY
91.15 Regis College 6 159 Weston MA
91.12 Georgia Southwestern State University 2 160 Americus GA
91.12 CUNY Hunter College 5 160 New York NY
91.09 University of Pittsburgh 20 161 Pittsburgh PA
91.07 Freed-Hardeman University 8 162 Henderson TN
91.05 Brigham Young University Idaho 2 163 Rexburg ID
90.98 Westminster College 4 164 Salt Lake City UT
90.95 The University of Texas at Arlington 15 165 Arlington TX
90.94 University of Northern Colorado 5 166 Greeley CO
90.93 Lindsey Wilson College 8 167 Columbia KY
90.90 Chamberlain College of Nursing 6 168 St. Louis MO
90.85 Austin Peay State University 9 169 Clarksville TN
90.80 The Valley Foundation School of Nursing at San Jose State University 19 170 San Jose CA
90.79 Minot State University 4 171 Minot ND
90.71 College of Coastal Georgia 3 172 Brunswick GA
90.69 Lamar University 16 173 Beaumont TX
90.68 Angelo State University 17 174 San Angelo TX
90.52 Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences 10 175 Memphis TN
90.48 Truman State University 7 176 Kirksville MO
90.44 Baldwin Wallace University 2 177 Berea OH
90.43 Maryville University of Saint Louis 8 178 Saint Louis MO
90.41 Nazareth College 6 179 Rochester NY
90.40 Bethel College-North Newton 4 180 North Newton KS
90.40 University of Florida - Gainesville 6 180 Gainesville FL
90.38 Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing 6 181 Richmond VA
90.34 Pacific Union College 20 182 Angwin CA
90.34 University of South Carolina-Aiken 7 182 Aiken SC
90.28 University of North Florida 7 183 Jacksonville FL
90.25 Roseman University of Health Sciences 3 184 Henderson NV
90.24 Mansfield University of Pennsylvania 21 185 Mansfield PA
90.19 Northwest University 3 186 Kirkland WA
90.16 Chamberlain College 6 187 Indianapolis IN
90.13 Denver College of Nursing 6 188 Denver CO
90.09 Central Methodist University-College of Graduate and Extended Studies 9 189 Fayette MO
90.05 The University of West Florida 8 190 Pensacola FL
90.05 Marywood University 22 190 Scranton PA
90.04 Anna Maria College 7 191 Paxton MA
90.00 Aultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences 3 192 Canton OH
90.00 Bethune-Cookman University 9 192 Daytona Beach FL
89.98 University of Nevada-Las Vegas 4 193 Las Vegas NV
89.96 Indiana University of Pennsylvania 23 194 Indiana PA
89.96 University of South Florida College of Nursing 10 194 Tampa FL
89.89 Florida State University 11 195 Tallahassee FL
89.89 The University of Texas at Austin 18 195 Austin TX
89.80 Jacksonville University 12 196 Jacksonville FL
89.78 Hesston College 5 197 Hesston KS
89.77 California State University-Northridge 21 198 Northridge CA
89.74 Loyola University - Chicago 9 199 Chicago IL
89.73 University of California-Los Angeles 22 200 Los Angeles CA
89.71 Indiana University-Northwest 7 201 Gary IN
89.71 Indiana University-South Bend 7 201 South Bend IN

Best Ranked RN to BSN Programs in Your State

Elevate your nursing career with our curated list of the best RN to BSN programs in each state. Transitioning from a Registered Nurse (RN) to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) opens doors to broader career prospects and deeper clinical knowledge. Our guide spotlights premier programs close to you, paving a well-marked path towards achieving your enhanced nursing ambitions.

See our ranking methodology for RN-to-BSN degree programs.

Best Ranked Accelerated BSN (ABSN) Programs in Your State

We rigorously identify the highest-ranked ABSN programs to accelerate nurses into purposeful practice. These intensive 11-18 month courses combine demanding classwork with clinical training. We’ll guide you to top-tier programs in your state, kickstarting your journey of compassionate care.

Best Ranked Accelerated BSN (ABSN) Programs

Best Nurse Practitioner Programs Near Me

We identified the top nurse practitioner programs for you through rigorous research. These premier schools have a record of graduating career-ready nurses who positively impact lives. Starting with the program best fit for you puts purposeful, meaningful work within reach. Let us guide your first steps towards a future of healing hope.

Best Nurse Practitioner (NP) Methodology

50 Best Nursing Programs in Each State

Team Up with Nursing Experts

At RNCareers.org, you will be teaming up with our team of nurse educators, nurse practitioners, DNPs, RNs LPNs and students to explore peer-reviewed articles, advice, data and reports on every aspect of nursing careers.

State-by-State Salary Reports

Our comprehensive salary reports combine yearly survey data from 10’s of thousands of respondents, four governments agencies and our data modelers to produce practical reports and data you can use to plan your career, negotiate a raise, or understand the cost-of-living differences between states and cities.

Nursing Assistants – CNAs

$33,250 /year

High school diploma or equivalent, completion of a state-approved CNA training program, and passing of a competency exam

6 months to complete
187,000 yearly openings
8% Job Growth

Registered Nurses

$82,750 /year

Completion of an accredited nursing program (Associate Degree in Nursing or Bachelor of Science in Nursing), passing of the NCLEX-RN exam, and obtaining a state nursing license

2-4 years to complete
194,500 yearly openings
6% Job Growth

Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN)

$51,850 /year

High school diploma or equivalent, completion of a state-approved practical nursing program, passing of the NCLEX-PN exam, and obtaining a state nursing license

1-2 years to complete
60,700 yearly openings
6% Job Growth

Nursing Instructors

$82,040 /year

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree, a valid RN license, and experience working as a nurse, teaching experience and/or a teaching certificate or licensure

1-2 years after a BSN
9,000 yearly openings
18% Job Growth

Nurse Practitioners

$82,750 /year

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, a valid RN license, completion of a graduate-level nurse practitioner program, and passing of a national certification exam

2-4 years after a BSN
26,000 yearly openings
40% Job Growth

Nurse Anesthetists

$202,470 /year

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, a valid RN license, completion of a graduate-level nurse anesthesia program accredited by the Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs, and passing of the National Certification Examination

2-4 years after a BSN
2,900 yearly openings
40% Job Growth

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