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 2023 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.

2023 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 Ohio Northern University 1 1 Ada OH
100.00 College of the Ozarks 1 1 Point Lookout MO
100.00 Bethany Lutheran College 1 1 Mankato MN
100.00 Berea College 1 1 Berea KY
100.00 Muskingum University 1 1 New Concord OH
100.00 Trinity Christian College 1 1 Palos Heights IL
99.80 University of Mississippi 1 2 University MS
99.47 Mississippi University for Women 2 3 Columbus MS
99.39 University of South Carolina-Columbia 1 4 Columbia SC
99.29 California State University-Long Beach 1 5 Long Beach CA
99.21 University of Hawaii @ Manoa-MEPN 1 6 Honolulu HI
98.99 Saint Anselm College 1 7 Manchester NH
99.01 Fransciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University 1 8 Baton Rouge LA
99.12 Messiah University 1 9 Mechanicsburg PA
99.01 The Catholic University of America 1 10 Washington DC
99.01 University of New Hampshire (DEMN), Durham 2 11 Durham NH
99.00 Worcester State College (WSU) 1 12 Worcester MA
98.99 Colby-Sawyer College 3 13 New London NH
98.96 Georgetown University 2 14 Washington DC
98.87 University of the Incarnate Word 1 15 San Antonio TX
98.67 Lindsey Wilson College 2 16 Columbia KY
98.69 University of Southern Mississippi 3 17 Hattiesburg MS
98.68 California State University-Stanislaus 2 18 Turlock CA
98.33 Saint Anthony College of Nursing 2 19 Rockford IL
98.45 University of Holy Cross 2 20 New Orleans LA
98.33 Southern Connecticut State University 1 21 New Haven CT
98.28 The University of Texas Medical Branch School of Nursing 2 21 Galveston TX
98.40 Florida Gulf Coast University 1 22 Fort Myers FL
98.33 University of Kentucky 3 23 Lexington KY
98.26 Delta State University 4 24 Cleveland MS
98.23 Concordia College 1 25 Bronxville NY
98.15 Sonoma State University 3 26 Rohnert Park CA
98.07 California State University-Bakersfield 4 27 Bakersfield CA
98.00 Radford University (Roanoke) 1 27 Radford VA
98.00 Harding University - Searcy 1 28 Searcy AR
98.15 West Liberty University 1 29 West Liberty WV
97.92 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 1 29 Ann Arbor MI
97.92 University of Dubuque 1 30 Dubuque IA
97.71 University of Louisiana at Lafayette 3 31 Lafayette LA
97.80 University of Southern Indiana 1 32 Evansville IN
97.91 Western Governors University 1 33 Salt Lake City UT
97.75 California State University-Sacramento 5 34 Sacramento CA
97.87 Concordia University Irvine 6 35 Irvine CA
97.84 California State University-Fullerton 7 36 Fullerton CA
97.67 University of Massachusetts-Lowell 2 37 Lowell MA
97.53 McNeese State University 4 38 Lake Charles LA
97.84 Mira Costa College 8 38 Oceanside CA
97.67 Sacred Heart University 2 39 Fairfield CT
97.53 Indiana University-Northwest 2 40 Gary IN
97.33 Northwestern College 2 41 Orange City IA
97.56 West Virginia University 2 42 Morgantown WV
97.59 The University of Texas at El Paso 3 43 El Paso TX
97.60 William Carey University 5 44 Hattiesburg MS
97.67 Central Connecticut State University 3 45 New Britain CT
97.53 Purdue University 3 46 West Lafayette IN
97.56 Concordia University-Texas 4 47 Austin TX
97.36 Allen College 3 48 Waterloo IA
97.32 Lander University 2 49 Greenwood SC
97.38 Louisiana State University (LSU) Health Science Center 5 50 New Orleans LA
97.52 Bryan Health College 1 51 Lincoln NE
97.62 LeTourneau University 5 52 Longview TX
97.62 Alcorn State University 6 52 Alcorn State MS
97.39 The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio 6 53 San Antonio TX
96.97 Wheeling University BA-BS To BSN Program 3 53 Wheeling WV
97.37 California State University-Chico 9 54 Chico CA
97.31 Southeastern Louisiana University 6 55 Hammond LA
33.33 Baldwin Wallace University 2 56 Berea OH
97.00 University of Saint Joseph 4 57 West Hartford CT
97.05 Sam Houston State University 7 58 Huntsville TX
97.20 University of Charleston 4 59 Charleston WV
97.13 Stephen F Austin State University 8 60 Nacogdoches TX
97.22 Nebraska Methodist College of Nursing & Allied Health 2 61 Omaha NE
97.23 University of North Georgia 1 61 Dahlonega GA
64.37 Augustana University 1 62 Sioux Falls SD
97.23 Longwood University 2 63 Farmville VA
97.00 Lee University 1 64 Cleveland TN
97.00 Southern Arkansas University Main Campus - Magnolia 2 65 Magnolia AR
97.09 Saint Francis University 2 66 Loretto PA
96.97 California State University-San Marcos 10 67 San Marcos CA
97.22 Oklahoma Wesleyan University 1 68 Bartlesville OK
96.88 The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston 9 68 Houston TX
97.00 Eastern Kentucky University 4 69 Richmond KY
96.73 Carlow University 3 70 Pittsburgh PA
96.75 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center 10 71 Lubbock TX
96.56 University of San Diego/Hahn 11 72 San Diego CA
97.00 Freed-Hardeman University 2 73 Henderson TN
64.52 University of Sioux Falls 2 74 Sioux Falls SD
96.39 University of Mary 1 75 Bismarck ND
96.33 Cumberland University 3 76 Lebanon TN
96.50 Stanbridge University 12 77 Irvine CA
96.72 Waynesburg University 4 78 Waynesburg PA
96.67 Lincoln Memorial University 4 79 Harrogate TN
96.57 Pennsylvania College of Technology 5 80 Williamsport PA
96.37 University of North Dakota 2 81 Grand Forks ND
96.33 Lewis University 3 82 Romeoville IL
96.35 University of Louisiana Monroe 7 83 Monroe LA
96.67 East Texas Baptist University 11 84 Marshall TX
96.43 Kennesaw State University 2 85 Kennesaw GA
96.17 Metropolitan State University of Denver (TNO) 1 85 Denver CO
96.33 Tennessee Technological University 5 86 Cookeville TN
96.05 Union College 3 86 Lincoln NE
96.28 California State University-Los Angeles 13 86 Los Angeles CA
96.33 Liberty University 3 87 Lynchburg VA
96.41 The University of Tampa 2 88 Tampa FL
96.43 Arizona College of Nursing-Tempe 1 89 Tempe AZ
96.02 Rio Hondo College 14 89 Whittier CA
96.20 James Madison University 4 90 Harrisonburg VA
96.15 Missouri State University-Springfield 2 90 Springfield MO
95.83 Clarkson College 4 91 Omaha NE
96.00 Bakersfield College 15 92 Bakersfield CA
95.80 University of Iowa 4 93 Iowa City IA
96.01 Clemson University 3 94 Clemson SC
95.90 Bethel College-Indiana 4 95 Mishawaka IN
96.00 University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth 3 96 North Dartmouth MA
95.94 Texas Christian University 12 96 Fort Worth TX
95.73 Shenandoah University -Eleanor Wade Custer 5 97 Winchester VA
95.82 West Virginia University Institute of Technology 5 98 Beckley WV
95.65 Chamberlain University-California 16 99 Rancho Cordova CA
95.93 University of Arizona 2 100 Tucson AZ
95.61 Oral Roberts University 2 101 Tulsa OK
95.70 San Diego State University 17 102 San Diego CA
95.67 Simmons College 4 103 Boston MA
95.46 Texas A & M International University 13 103 Laredo TX
95.60 St. John Fisher College 2 104 Rochester NY
95.22 Medical University of South Carolina 4 105 Charleston SC
95.49 Southern Utah University 2 106 Cedar City UT
95.33 Northern Kentucky University 5 107 Highland Heights KY
95.33 Morehead State University 5 107 Morehead KY
95.33 Fairfield University 5 108 Fairfield CT
95.70 Cedar Crest College 6 109 Allentown PA
95.52 Drexel University 6 109 Philadelphia PA
95.56 Villanova University 6 109 Villanova PA
95.59 Baker University 1 110 Baldwin City KS
95.67 Western Kentucky University-Bowling Green 6 111 Bowling Green KY
95.53 Nazareth College 3 112 Rochester NY
95.44 University of Missouri-Kansas City 3 113 Kansas City MO
97.14 Bloomfield College 1 114 Bloomfield NJ
94.88 Coe College 5 114 Cedar Rapids IA
95.30 Northwestern State University of Louisiana 8 115 Natchitoches LA
95.38 Texas A & M University-Commerce 14 115 Commerce TX
95.23 The University of Texas at Austin 15 116 Austin TX
95.65 Rutgers University-New Brunswick 2 116 New Brunswick NJ
95.51 California State University-Channel Islands 18 117 Camarillo CA
95.15 Grand Valley State University 2 118 Allendale MI
95.10 University of Saint Mary 2 118 Leavenworth KS
94.85 Concordia College at Moorhead 2 118 Moorhead MN
95.10 Northern Arizona University 3 119 Flagstaff AZ
95.06 Iowa Lakes Community College 6 120 WV
95.37 Hampton University 6 120 Hampton VA
94.95 Texas Woman's University 16 121 Denton TX
95.06 Simpson University 19 122 Redding CA
95.00 Murray State University 7 123 Murray KY
94.67 Western Illinois University 4 123 Macomb IL
95.03 Nevada State College 1 124 Henderson NV
94.67 Westfield State University 5 125 Westfield MA
94.85 Bethel University 3 126 Saint Paul MN
94.78 College of Coastal Georgia 3 127 Brunswick GA
94.75 Hope College 3 128 Holland MI
94.86 University of New England 1 129 Biddeford ME
94.88 Mississippi College 7 130 Clinton MS
95.01 Eastern University 7 131 Saint Davids PA
94.57 Chamberlain College 5 132 Indianapolis IN
95.05 Gonzaga University 1 132 Spokane WA
94.74 Truman State University 4 133 Kirksville MO
94.98 Rhode Island College 1 133 Providence RI
65.00 South Dakota State University 3 134 Brookings SD
94.79 West Texas A & M University 17 135 Canyon TX
94.67 Union University 6 136 Jackson TN
94.67 MGH Institute of Health Professions 6 136 Boston MA
94.66 Saint Joseph's College of Maine 2 137 Standish ME
94.75 University of Northwestern-St Paul 4 137 Saint Paul MN
94.52 Lewis-Clark State College 1 137 Lewiston ID
94.33 Baptist Memorial College of Health Sciences 7 138 Memphis TN
94.73 University of California-Los Angeles 20 138 Los Angeles CA
94.43 Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania 8 139 Bloomsburg PA
94.44 Maranatha Baptist University (Maranatha Baptist Bible Col.) 1 140 WI
94.46 Modesto Junior College 21 141 Modesto CA
94.34 University of Mary Hardin-Baylor 18 142 Belton TX
94.45 University of Maine at Orono 3 143 Orono ME
94.33 Fitchburg State University 7 144 Fitchburg MA
94.26 Antelope Valley College 22 144 Lancaster CA
94.16 Northwest University 2 145 Kirkland WA
94.36 University of Nebraska Medical Center 5 146 Omaha NE
94.13 Salisbury University 1 147 Salisbury MD
94.40 Grand Canyon University 4 148 Phoenix AZ
94.24 University of South Carolina-Aiken 5 149 Aiken SC
94.33 The University of Tennessee Health Science Center 8 150 Memphis TN
94.00 John Brown University 3 150 Siloam Springs AR
94.01 University of Central Oklahoma - Edmond 3 150 Edmond OK
93.92 The University of West Florida 3 151 Pensacola FL
94.22 Pittsburg State University 3 152 Pittsburg KS
93.78 Benedictine College 4 153 Atchison KS
93.93 Baylor University 19 154 Waco TX
94.07 Angelo State University 20 155 San Angelo TX
94.33 Millikin University 5 156 Decatur IL
94.33 Austin Peay State University 9 156 Clarksville TN
94.00 Indiana University-Kokomo 6 157 Kokomo IN
93.86 DeSales University 9 158 Center Valley PA
93.93 Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing 7 159 Richmond VA
93.62 Oregon Health and Science University - Accelerated Portland 1 160 Portland OR
93.06 Belhaven University 8 161 Jackson MS
93.80 Creighton University 6 162 Omaha NE
93.65 Mount Mercy University 6 163 Cedar Rapids IA
93.72 Georgia Southwestern State University 4 164 Americus GA
93.82 Edinboro University of Pennsylvania 10 165 Edinboro PA
94.00 The University of Tennessee-Martin 10 166 Martin TN
93.86 Missouri Western State University 5 167 Saint Joseph MO
93.66 The University of Texas at Tyler 21 168 Tyler TX
93.41 University of Northern Colorado 2 169 Greeley CO
93.06 Albany State University 5 170 Albany GA
93.57 Ball State University 7 171 Muncie IN
93.61 Duquesne University 11 172 Pittsburgh PA
93.02 Carroll College 1 173 Helena MT
93.33 Endicott College 8 174 Beverly MA
93.67 Lipscomb University 11 174 Nashville TN
93.58 Denver College of Nursing 3 175 Denver CO
93.52 Dickinson State University 3 176 Dickinson ND
93.20 Emporia State University 5 177 Emporia KS
93.40 Arizona College of Nursing-Las Vegas 2 178 Las Vegas NV
93.07 Adams State University 4 179 Alamosa CO
93.61 University of Nevada-Las Vegas 3 180 Las Vegas NV
93.16 Chamberlain University 5 181 Phoenix AZ
93.18 California State University-San Bernardino 23 181 San Bernardino CA
93.33 Arkansas State University - Jonesboro 4 182 Jonesboro AR
93.22 University of Scranton 12 182 Scranton PA
63.82 Felician University 3 182 Lodi NJ
92.93 North Dakota State University (Combined NDSU Fargo campus and NDSU Nursing at Sanford Health Bismarck) 4 183 Fargo ND
63.32 University of South Dakota 4 184 Vermillion SD
93.33 Curry College 9 185 Milton MA
93.32 Anderson University 6 186 Anderson SC
92.48 Western NM University/BSN 1 186 Silver City NM
93.15 Winona State University 5 187 Winona MN
92.97 University of Portland 2 188 Portland OR
93.37 University of Missouri-Columbia 6 189 Columbia MO
92.93 St Louis College of Health Careers-Fenton 7 190 Fenton MO
92.80 The University of Texas at Arlington 22 191 Arlington TX
92.33 University of Evansville 8 192 Evansville IN
93.24 University of Hawaii - Maui College 2 193 Kahului HI
93.15 University of Delaware 1 194 Newark DE
92.39 Shasta College 24 195 Redding CA
92.68 Bob Jones University 7 196 Greenville SC
92.70 California State University-Fresno 25 197 Fresno CA
92.61 Walla Walla University 3 198 College Place WA
91.67 Kansas Wesleyan University 6 199 Salina KS
92.69 Michigan State University 4 200 East Lansing MI
92.20 Utah Tech University 3 201 Saint George UT
92.33 Boston College 10 202 Chestnut Hill MA
92.89 Texas Lutheran University 23 202 Seguin TX
92.67 Bradley University 6 202 Peoria IL
92.80 Anderson University 9 203 Anderson 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.

Best Ranked Accelerated BSN (ABSN) Programs in Your State

Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) programs are fast-track nursing degree courses designed for individuals with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. These programs compress the traditional BSN curriculum into a shorter timeframe, often 11 to 18 months, enabling students to transition into the nursing field more rapidly. They combine rigorous classroom instruction with clinical practice, preparing graduates for the nursing profession. Find a best ranked ABSN program in your state.

Best Ranked Nurse Practitioner Programs in Your State

Embark on an enriching pathway in healthcare with our handpicked list of top Nurse Practitioner (NP) programs in each state. Whether initiating your voyage or elevating your proficiency, the right program is paramount. Our guide illuminates esteemed programs in close proximity, establishing a robust foundation for your progressive nursing career ambitions.

50 Best Nursing Programs in Each State

Embark on your nursing journey with our curated list of top-ranked programs across each state. From transitioning through RN to BSN, advancing with MSN or DNP degrees, to specializing in fields like Adult Gerontology or Family Practice, there’s a perfect match for your career aspirations. Dive into our comprehensive guide and find the pinnacle of nursing education awaiting in your 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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