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Best Nursing Colleges and Universities in the United States

Higher Education Articles January 14, 2013

Nurse specialists, nurse practitioners and registered nurses (RNs) prepare for their careers by completing nursing school programs. In this article, we will look at some of the best nursing schools in the United States.

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

A number of publications rate Johns Hopkins University as the best nursing school in the country. These include the Princeton Review, according to which Johns Hopkins was the Best Value College as well as the Best Northeastern College in 2011. In 2011, the School of Nursing at Johns Hopkins shared top ranking with the University of Washington and the University of Pennsylvania as the nation’s best graduate nursing schools. Every year, about 800 students join the School of Nursing where students can complete a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), with a specialization, or a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Alternatively, they can combine the master degree with any of thirteen choices including Master of Public Health (MPH), Master of Business Administration (MBA), women’s health, clinical specialty, family care and adult primary care. The school also offers a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), apart from a combined BSN/MSN course and a program with a fast-track BSN curriculum that can be succeeded by a paid residency program in a nursing clinic setting and a part-time MSN course.

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This private research institution has over 25,000 enrollments. In 2011, the U.S. News and World Report ranked this Ivy League university the best private nursing schools in the United States. It offers graduate and undergraduate nursing degree programs; these include eighteen master degree programs and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Master nursing degree programs has different specialty areas including women’s health care, psychiatric and mental health care, nurse mid-wifery, pediatrics, gerontology, and family health. The University of Pennsylvania also offers a doctoral degree in nursing along with post-doctoral degree programs. There are accelerated and combined specialty courses offered including a BSN as a second degree program and a BSN/MSN program.

University of Washington, Seattle, Washington

Not for a single year between 1984-2011 has the U.S. News and World Report failed to ranked the University of Washington as the best nursing school in the United States. Psychosocial and Community Health, Family and Child Nursing, and Behavioral Nursing and Health Systems are the three academic departments that comprise the school of nursing where students can seek to complete a DNP, Ph.D. in Nursing Science, Master of Nursing, and BSN program. Aspiring registered nurses (RNs) can opt for the BSN. The focus of the master degree programs are theory application and nursing research. The school also offers graduate certificate programs in midwifery, nursing education, leadership, infant mental health, infectious diseases and control, alternative medicine, environmental health, adult psychiatric patient care and adult nurse practitioner.

List of Ten Best Nursing Schools

School Name Location
Duke University Durham, North Carolina
Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, Maryland
Oregon Health and Science University Portland, Oregon
University of California – San Francisco San Francisco, California
University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Michigan
University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, North Carolina
University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
University of Pittsburgh Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
University of Washington Seattle, Washington
Yale University New Haven, Connecticut

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  • Choose from Undergraduate and Graduate classes
  • Business, Health Care, Psychology and Liberal Arts programs to choose from
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