Find the Top 25 Best Nursing Schools and Universities in the U.S.

Best Nursing Colleges and Universities

University Headquarters

We Can Help You Find the Best Colleges & Universities for Nursing

Learn More Below

If you feel a calling to work as a nurse and think you’re the right person to fill this vital role in our healthcare system, the first thing you’re going to need is to find the right program to prepare you for the field. Here you can peruse the best nursing programs in the nation. Whether you’re looking for an excellent program that’s close to you, or you’re more interested in the cost of tuition or a school’s graduation rate, we have you covered. Find the best nursing program that works for you.


Columbia University in the City of New York

Located in the heart of New York City, Columbia University is one of the state’s oldest colleges. Students interested in pursuing a career in nursing can benefit from an extensive selection of program options at this prestigious college such as MSN, DNP, or PhD degrees. Students who would like to secure a master’s degree in nursing can choose from the Masters Direct Entry Program for non-nurse college graduates, the Masters in Nurse Anesthesia, and the Masters in Advanced Clinical Management and Leadership. In addition, there are several DNP programs for those interested in being a nurse practitioner or midwife. A Doctor of Philosophy is also available for those who see themselves as a nurse scientist. Columbia University nursing graduates report an annual income between $71,000 and $150,000 a year.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $61,788
    • Out-of-State: $61,788
  • Rank: #1
  • Total Enrollment: 31,077
  • Graduation Rate: 96%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 249

Yale University

New Haven, Connecticut, is home to Yale University School of Nursing, a top college offering full-time and part-time options for students. The college ensures that students are on the right track toward a nursing career with several unique graduate programs including the master of science in nursing, doctor of nursing practice, and doctor of philosophy. A Graduate Entry Prespecialty in Nursing program is also offered to students who would like to receive knowledge about basic nursing and clinical specialties. As of today, there are roughly 324 students enrolled in the college’s nursing programs. Students who graduate from these nursing programs can earn between $72,000 and $98,000.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $55,500
    • Out-of-State: $55,500
  • Rank: #2
  • Total Enrollment: 13,433
  • Graduation Rate: 97%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 118

University of Pennsylvania

At University of Pennsylvania, students are presented with several different nursing options including a traditional four-year bachelor’s, accelerated bachelor’s second degree, a direct entry BSN/MSN program, a wide variety of specialized MSN programs, a doctor of philosophy in nursing, and a doctor of nursing practice program. The university’s primary mission is to prepare students to achieve their career goals, whether they want to be a neonatal nurse practitioner, a registered nurse, a midwife, or to work in nurse education. Graduates of the University of Pennsylvania nursing programs can earn a starting salary of $82,960.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $57,770
    • Out-of-State: $57,770
  • Rank: #3
  • Total Enrollment: 25,860
  • Graduation Rate: 95%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 478

Duke University

Duke University, located in Durham, North Carolina, is praised for its commitment in developing the next generation of nursing leaders. The college offers an accelerated bachelor of science nursing program for students who already have an undergraduate degree in another discipline. Students can also choose to purse a master’s, doctorate, or PhD nursing degree. In these programs, students learn exceptional nursing skills in a variety of different settings including modern classrooms, simulation labs, and affiliated medical facilities. The average salary for a Duke University graduate is $84,000.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $58,031
    • Out-of-State: $58,031
  • Rank: #4
  • Total Enrollment: 16,606
  • Graduation Rate: 96%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 353

Boston College

Students attending Boston College can greatly benefit from this prominent institution as its goal is to help them achieve success in a multitude of healthcare careers, whichever they choose to pursue. Among the healthcare related programs offered at this excellent college include pre-licensure nursing programs and more advanced degrees including a master’s, and PhD nursing programs. Graduates of the Boston College Connell School of Nursing are qualified to serve in a variety of nursing roles in many different settings. The average salary of a Boston College graduate is $75,000.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $57,910
    • Out-of-State: $57,910
  • Rank: #5
  • Total Enrollment: 14,720
  • Graduation Rate: 92%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 109

University of California-Los Angeles

The University of California campus, located in Los Angeles, is a prestigious public university that offers more than 160 areas of study for undergraduate and graduate students. The college’s nursing program is a popular choice for students as it includes degree options such as a traditional four-year bachelor’s, a Masters Entry Clinical Nursing degree, Master of Science in Nursing, a PhD in Nursing, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice program. The UCLA School of Nursing boasts a total enrollment of almost 600 students. After graduating from the nursing program, these students go on to earn an average yearly income of $75,000.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $13,240
    • Out-of-State: $42,994
  • Rank: #6
  • Total Enrollment: 44,537
  • Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 227

Georgetown University

A private, not-for-profit college, Georgetown University has a total of 19,204 students enrolled. The college proudly offers almost 100 undergraduate and graduate programs with bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral nursing programs being among its top studies. The O’Neill Family Foundation Clinical Simulation Center is available to help students hone their nursing skills, whether they are training to become a registered nurse or a family nurse practitioner. Students graduating from Georgetown University state that they earn an average of $78,000 a year.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $56,058
    • Out-of-State: $56,058
  • Rank: #7
  • Total Enrollment: 19,204
  • Graduation Rate: 94%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 322

University of Virginia

University of Virginia in Charlottesville is a public institution and a great choice for anyone hoping to study nursing. The university features two undergraduate nursing programs including a traditional four-year bachelor of science in nursing and an RN to BSN program for registered nurses who would like to receive a bachelor’s degree. The college also provides advanced nursing programs for students seeking a master’s or doctoral degree. University of Virginia prides itself on educating students who will earn an annual income of roughly $67,000.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $17,798
    • Out-of-State: $50,900
  • Rank: #8
  • Total Enrollment: 24,639
  • Graduation Rate: 94%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 217

Vanderbilt University

Located in Nashville, Tennessee, Vanderbilt University is a private institution that prepares students for various healthcare careers. Students who would like to pursue a nursing career can benefit from several graduate level programs such as a master of science in nursing, doctor of nursing practice, PhD in nursing science, postgraduate certificates, and a postdoctoral program. Students are supported on their nursing journey with a newly opened state-of-the-art simulation and skills lab as well as scholarships providing financial assistance. Graduates of Vanderbilt University can expect to earn an annual income of about $80,000.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $52,070
    • Out-of-State: $52,070
  • Rank: #9
  • Total Enrollment: 12,824
  • Graduation Rate: 94%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 325

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill is home to the University of North Carolina is a large public university with a total enrollment of 30,011 students. The college offers a few nursing degree programs including a bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD in nursing. These top notch nursing programs prepare students to be registered nurses, nurse practitioners, healthcare administrators, and nurse researchers/scientists The university is proud to boast a 97%first-time pass rate on a nursing examination known as the NCLEX. Students who graduate fro the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill report earning around $79,400 mid-career.

  • Tuition
    • In-State: $8,980
    • Out-of-State: $36,159
  • Rank: #10
  • Total Enrollment: 30,011
  • Graduation Rate: 89%
  • Diplomas Awarded: 261
Full Ranking Report