Top 100 Nursing Schools in the US in 2024

Top nursing schools

The Top 100 nursing schools for 2024 rankings below represent those nursing schools in the US that have consistently demonstrated a superior level of dedication to excellence in nursing education. Our rankings are based on four criteria: Affordability, Accessibility, Academic Quality, and NCLEX-RN board exam pass rates.

See also:
Top 100 Colleges and UniversitiesTop 100 Most Affordable UniversitiesTop 100 Most Affordable Community CollegesTop 100 Highest AcceptanceTop 100 Lowest AcceptanceTop Colleges by Major

RankSchool NameTuition
Board Exam Pass RateAcceptance RateStudent Body
University of Missouri–Columbia
Columbia, MO
$9,433Top 10%81.5%34,700
University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA
$8,079Top 10%78%30,100
Southeast Missouri State University
Cape Girardeau, MO
$7,058Top 5%97.2%34,000
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT
$7,835Top 10%82.6%32,400
Tennessee Technological University
Cookeville, TN
$7,679Top 20%97.4%11,500
Truman State University
Kirksville, MO
$7,374Top 10%73%6,253
Missouri Southern State University
Joplin, MO
$5,416Top 5%96.2%5,420
Sonoma State University
Rohnert Park, CA
$7,276Top 10%81.9%9,020
University of Louisiana–Monroe
Monroe, LA
$6,963Top 10%91%8,545
Brigham Young University–Provo
Provo, UT
$5,000Top 10%54.9%34,400
Nicholls State University
Thibadaux, LA
$7,234Top 10%92%6,600
University of Tennessee Chattanooga
Chattanooga, TN
$7,554Top 10%76%11,660
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Lafayette, LA
$5,374Top 5%60%16,687
Emporia State University
Emporia, KS
$5,614Top 5%72%5,870
University of Nevada–Las Vegas
Las Vegas, NV
$6,570Top 20%88%27,400
University of Southern Indiana
Evansville, IN
$6,600Top 5%72%10,500
University of Kansas
Lawrence, KS
$10,200Top 20%92.3%27,100
Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Alva, OK
$5,050Top 5%72%2,300
Metropolitan State University
St. Paul, MN
$6,650Top 20%96.7%8,170
California State University–Sacramento
Sacramento, CA
$6,700Top 10%69.7%28,500
Louisiana Tech University
Ruston, LA
$7,150Top 20%70.8%11,343
North Dakota State University
Fargo, ND
$7,240Top 20%83.5%14,430
University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO
$7,300Top 5%79%13,740
California State University–Los Angeles
Los Angeles, CA
$6,400Top 10%67%21,800
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, NM
$6,200Top 30%80%17,650
Ohio State University–Columbus
Columbus, OH
$10,040Top 20%64%56,400
Langston University
Langston, OK
$4,300Top 5%63%1,740
Southeastern Louisiana University
Hammond, LA
$5,300Top 10%89%15,602
University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, CO
$6,800Top 30%89%12,520
South Dakota State University
Brookings, SD
$7,832Top 30%92%12,580
University of North Carolina at Pembroke
Pembroke, NC
$5,300Top 20%72%6,300
Eastern Kentucky University
Richmond, KY
$7,540Top 20%60%15,970
Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne, IN
$7,100Top 20%82%13,770
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC
$5,880Top 20%62%26,950
California State University–San Marcos
San Marcos, CA
$7,060Top 10%62%10,360
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT
$15,750Top 20%77%13,100
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY
$10,110Top 20%67%28,000
Indiana University–Kokomo
Kokomo, IN
$6,680Top 20%70.4%3,720
St. Cloud State University
St. Cloud, MN
$7,480Top 30%89.7%16,460
University of New Hampshire
Durham, NH
$16,500Top 20%77.9%15,300
University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh
Oshkosh, WI
$7,360Top 20%68.5%13,400
Illinois State University
Normal, IL
$12,573Top 20%74%17,200
University of Central Oklahoma
Edmond, OK
$5,092Top 30%78.9%17,200
Fitchburg State College
Fitchburg, MA
$8,985Top 10%72.1%6,888
Georgia College & State University
Milledgeville, GA
$8,790Top 20%66.3%6,400
University of Memphis
Memphis, TN
$7,900Top 20%64.7%22,200
University of South Alabama
Mobile, AL
$8,150Top 30%87.2%14,600
West Virginia University
Morgantown, WV
$6,450Top 50%85.1%29,700
Northwestern State University of Louisiana
Natchitoches, LA
$6,300Top 30%84.9%9,450
Louisiana State University–Alexandria
Alexandria, LA
$4,600Top 20%61.1%2,400
51California State University–Bakersfield
Bakersfield, CA
$6,792Top 10%67%8,720
52Youngstown State University
Youngstown, OH
$7,712Top 30%86.7%13,800
53Worcester State University
Worcester, MA
$8,157Top 5%68.1%6,200
54California State University–Stanislaus
Turlock, CA
$6,664Top 30%72.2%8,900
55Ball State University
Muncie, IN
$9,300Top 20%61.2%21,000
56University of South Carolina–Columbia
Columbia, SC
$10,800Top 20%60.6%31,300
57Morehead State University
Morehead, KY
$7,500Top 50%84.5%11,100
58Southern Utah University
Cedar City, UT
$5,924Top 5%57.2%8,300
59Weber State University
Ogden, UT
$4,800Top 50%100%26,500
60Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Bloomsburg, PA
$8,582Top 20%67.6%9,950
61University of Maryland–College Park
College Park, MD
$9,200Top 20%46.8%37,200
62University of Washington
Seattle, WA
$12,383Top 20%59%42,500
63University of Evansville
Evansville, IN
$10,000Top 10%80%34,000
64Western Kentucky University
Bowling Green, KY
$8,722Top 50%92.3%21,100
65Saint Mary’s College
Notre Dame, IN
$34,600Top 5%84.8%1,450
66University of Florida
Gainesville, FL
$6,263Top 50%44.1%49,900
67Indian River State College
Fort Pierce, FL
$2,760Top 50%100%17,800
68Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Indiana, PA
$9,100Top 20%61%15,400
69Radford University
Radford, VA
$9,026Top 30%76.4%9,500
70Metropolitan State College of Denver
Denver, CO
$6,400Top 30%71.3%23,300
71University of Colorado–Denver
Denver, CO
$7,500Top 50%75.9%22,400
72University of North Florida
Jacksonville, FL
$6,380Top 20%52%16,201
73University of Louisville
Louisville, KY
$9,750Top 30%76.3%21,300
74Auburn University
Auburn University, AL
$9,880Top 50%77.4%16,500
75California State University–Chico
Chico, CA
$8,900Top 50%79.2%16,470
76Clemson University
Clemson, SC
$13,400Top 20%57.9%20,770
77Washburn University
Topeka, KS
$5,780Top 50%95.5%7,200
78Lamar University
Beaumont, TX
$9,050Top 50%88.3%14,300
79West Texas A&M University
Canyon, TX
$6,990Top 30%69.4%7,900
80Valparaiso University
Valparaiso, IN
$34,760Top 5%79.6%4,080
81University of Central Florida
Orlando, FL
$6,300Top 20%62.5%59,760
82Rutgers Camden Regional Campus
Camden, NJ
$13,430Top 20%80%6,350
83Murray State University
Murray, KY
$6,840Top 50%82.2%10,800
84Wichita State University
Wichita, KS
$6,927Top 50%95.2%14,890
85Temple University
Philadelphia, PA
$14,400Top 30%67.2%36,700
86Indiana University Southeast
New Albany, IN
$6,700Top 30%77.9%6,900
87University of Nevada–Reno
Reno, NV
$6,150Top 50%83%18,230
88University of Texas–El Paso
El Paso, TX
$7,020Top 50%99.8%22,800
89University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM
$7,300Top 50%64.6%29,000
90University of Massachuetts–Amherst
Amherst, M
$13,258Top 30%62.6%28,200
91Austin Peay State University
Clarksville, TN
$7,160Top 50%85.7%10,600
92Northern Kentucky University
Highland Heights, KY
$8,400Top 5%46.7%15,630
93Missouri Western State University
St. Joseph, MO
$6,500Top 50%100%6,060
94Pittsburg State University
Pittsburg, KS
$5,850Top 50%79.3%7,480
95Louisiana College
Pineville, LA
$14,520Top 20%73.9%1,260
96Indiana University South Bend
South Bend, IN
$6,800Top 30%57.3%8,500
97Richard Stockton College of New Jersey
Galloway, NJ
$12,000Top 5%57.3%8,400
98Winston-Salem State University
Salem, MA
$8,050Top 20%69.3%9,400
99Pacific Lutheran University
Tacoma, WA
$36,530Top 5%73.6%3,470
100Texas State University–San Marcos
San Marcos, TX
$9,200Top 50%76.6%34,200

With over 700 bachelor nursing degree programs offered in the United States, finding and selecting the right program can be a daunting task. It’s important that prospective nursing students do their due diligence to determine which programs are a good match for their needs and career ambitions. When selecting a nursing school there are several factors you should consider.

However, before you can decide which nursing school is going to serve your career objective, you have to know what your career objectives are. Do you want to start as a licensed practice nurse (LPN)? If so, you can get started with a diploma or associate degree from an accredited program. However, if you want to launch your career as a registered nurse (RN) you’ll want to earn either an Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) or preferably a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), which will allow you further your education down the road.

Some of the general factors to consider when selecting a nursing program, once you’ve determined which degree path to pursue, include the following:

  • Nursing school specialties. Certain schools offer specific degrees and specialties. If your goal is to become a registered nurse, then you’ll want to research accredited schools that provide associate and bachelor degree programs that will prepare you to pass the NCLEX exam. If you want to become a nurse practitioner, then you’ll want to find schools that offer specific programs in the nursing specialty you’re interested in.
  • Accreditation. Earning your nursing degree at an accredited program will ensure you receive an education that meets industry standards. There are general nursing education accrediting organizations as well as associations that offer nursing accreditation for specialized education programs. Nursing school accrediting organizations include The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), which accredits all levels of nursing education, The Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), which accredits only bachelor’s and master’s level nursing degrees, The Council on Accreditation of Nurse Anesthesia Educational Programs (COA), which accredits nurse anesthesia programs, and The American College of Nurse-Midwives Division of Accreditation (ACNM), which, as its name suggests, accredits midwifery education programs.
  • NCLEX examination pass-rates. At the end of the day, if you want to become a licensed registered nurse (RN), you have to pass the NCLEX examination. When selecting a nursing program, you’ll want to find out what percentage of a school’s students typically pass this exam. Ask the school for the past 5 to 10 years of NCLEX exam pass rates of their students. A school with a high pass rate is a good indicator that they prepare their students well.
  • Tuition. The cost of tuition for attending a nursing program can vary dramatically from school to school. Financial aid and assistance also varies between schools. Attending a more expensive nursing program doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get a better education or higher paying job. The average rate of tuition per semester for full-time instate students is roughly $860 to $1,020.
  • Clinical rotations. Does the program you’re considering provide a substantial amount of clinical rotation time? Do the clinical rotations provide hands-on experience? Are the clinical placements varied? If not, you may want to consider a different program. The best place to find out about the quality of a program’s clinical rotations is from previous students.
  • Size of school. Size doesn’t necessarily need to be a determinant in your decision making process–but it is something to consider. Do you prefer smaller schools where you receive more personal attention, or the intellectual stimulation of a larger institution, such as a four-year college or university. There’s no right or wrong answer, it’s just a matter of personal preference.
  • Class size. When researching prospective programs, you’ll want to find out about the student-to-faculty ratio. The student-to-faculty ratio is a good indicator of how much personalized attention you can expect to receive in the classroom and in clinical instruction. While it doesn’t really matter how large the classes are for your prerequisite courses, when it comes to your core nursing courses and clinical rotations, smaller class sizes are better.
  • Location of school. Location is a factor to consider when selecting any college or university to attend. If location is a factor for you, you’ll want to limit your search the region where you want to study. Earning your nursing degree in area where you want to work once you graduate can also be advantageous. You can start your job search while you’re still finishing your degree and the school you attend may have established relationships with employers in the area.