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When it comes to pursuing a career as a registered nurse, choosing a nursing school is one of the most important decisions that you will have to make. While associate degree in nursing, or ADN, programs are available, you will have more opportunities and chances for advancement by earning a bachelor of science in nursing, or BSN, from a top-rated nursing school.
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- University of Washington School of Nursing
- UCLA School of Nursing
- University of North Carolina School of Nursing
- University of Virginia School of Nursing
- Berea College
- Texas A&M University Health Science Center College of Nursing
- University of Michigan School of Nursing
- University of Wisconsin at Madison School of Nursing
- James Madison University
- University of Florida College of Nursing
- Truman State University
- Michigan State University College of Nursing
The following 12 nursing schools make the list for their excellent reputations, exceptional NCLEX-RN pass rates and top-notch facilities and faculties:
1. University of Washington School of Nursing
With multiple campuses across the state of Washington, including the main one in Seattle, the University of Washington has a long history of success. One of the oldest universities on the West Coast, its School of Nursing was just the second in the country to offer a baccalaureate program. In-state tuition averages around $12,000 while out-of-state tuition averages around $34,000.
2. UCLA School of Nursing
The University of California at Los Angeles, or UCLA, has one of the most prestigious and competitive nursing schools in the country. The school itself received more than 92,000 applications in 2015, and the School of Nursing received more than 1,900 for just 40 available spots. Among its many distinctions, it has one of the oldest nurse practitioner operated health centers in the country. In-state tuition averages around $15,000 while out-of-state tuition averages around $40,000.
3. University of North Carolina School of Nursing
The main campus of the University of North Carolina, which is located at Chapel Hill, was one of the first public universities in the country. Its School of Nursing offers both BSN and MSN programs as well as a highly regarded doctoral program. The school has approximately 500 students and boasts a student-to-teacher ratio of 4:1. 97 percent of graduates pass the NCLEX-RN the first time. In-state tuition averages around $9,000 while out-of-state tuition averages around $34,000.
4. University of Virginia School of Nursing
Located in Charlottesville, VA, the University of Virginia was founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819. Its School of Nursing has nearly 800 students, and the school boasts some of the highest graduation rates in the country. In-state tuition averages around $14,000 while out-of-state tuition averages around $44,000.
5. Berea College
Founded in 1855, Berea College is one of just seven "work colleges" in the United States. This means that they don't charge tuition. Instead, students work on campus to pay their way. Located in Madison County, KY, this Christian college offers a well-regarded BSN program that includes many prestigious summer internship opportunities. There is no tuition, but the average annual fee to attend is around $570.
6. Texas A&M University Health Science Center College of Nursing
This highly respected university's College of Nursing offers programs at its Byron and Round Rock campuses; the school does not operate out of the main campus in College Station. The College of Nursing offers a 1:10 faculty-to-student ratio and a 99-percent NCLEX-RN pass rate. Approximately 95 percent of graduates find jobs within three months. In-state tuition averages around $7,000 while out-of-state tuition averages around $17,000.
7. University of Michigan School of Nursing
Located at University of Michigan's main campus in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the U of M School of Nursing was ranked among the top graduate schools of 2017 by U.S. News and World Report. Founded in 1817, the university is located on a 781-acre campus with more than 580 buildings. Its School of Nursing includes a state-of-the-art Clinical Learning Center. In-state tuition averages around $14,000 while out-of-state tuition averages around $45,000.
8. University of Wisconsin at Madison School of Nursing
The first public university in Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin at Madison is often regarded as a "Public Ivy." Its School of Nursing was founded in 1924 and has enjoyed a history of innovation and progress in nursing. In-state tuition averages around $10,000 while out-of-state tuition averages around $29,000.
9. James Madison University
Located in Harrisonburg, VA, within close proximity of the home of the former U.S. president, James Madison University was originally a women's school when it opened in 1908. With its 6,000-square-foot Clinical Lab and other innovative features, its nursing program is considered to be among the best in the Mid-Atlantic. In-state tuition averages around $10,000, while out-of-state tuition averages around $25,000.
10. University of Florida College of Nursing
The College of Nursing at the University of Florida in Gainesville, FL, was founded in 1956. Today, it has an enrollment of around 700 undergraduate students and around 370 graduate students. Approximately 70 percent of graduates go on to pursue advanced degrees within five years. In-state tuition averages around $6,000, and out-of-state tuition averages around $28,000.
11. Truman State University
Unlike many nursing programs, this one is located in a fairly isolated rural area. With a population of just around 6,200 students, it is also a small school. Its School of Health Sciences and Education offers a nursing major that is considered one of the best in the country. Around 96 percent of graduates find jobs within a few months of graduation, and the school offers small classes. In-state tuition costs around $7,000 while out-of-state tuition costs around $14,000.
12. Michigan State University College of Nursing
Located in East Lansing, MI, MSU is the eighth-largest university in the nation. Sprawling over more than 5,000 acres, its College of Nursing was founded in 1950. Today, it is located in the Bott Building for Nursing Education and Research. In-state tuition averages around $14,000 while out-of-state tuition averages around $37,000.
If you're serious about pursuing a career in nursing, I highly recommend considering one of the twelve schools listed above. With an education from a top-rated nursing school, you will be well-equipped to succeed in this rewarding and challenging field.