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Best Nursing Degree Programs in 2019 (On-Campus & Online)

Best Nursing Degree Programs in 2019 (On-Campus & Online)

The number of available career nursing positions continues to increase across the U.S. with shortages of nurses in some areas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) indicates a range of nursing job titles and salaries for nurses, along with important information about job growth in nursing. And we’ve created a list of the best nursing degree programs to help you get started.

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) provide basic medical care to patients and keep records related to each patient‘s health, working under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or physician. The BLS indicates a ‘faster than average’ job growth rate for LPNs, with a median pay rate of $22.23 per hour. Some of the best nursing schools offer LPN programs.

Registered nurses have a projected job growth rate of 15 percent, or ‘much faster than average’ with a median salary of $34.48. Individuals that complete some nursing courses or that enroll in a nursing program as a first-time student have the opportunity of pursuing a rewarding career in a variety of health care settings.

Nurses that pursue a nurse practitioner, a nurse midwife, or nurse anesthetist degree, also referred to as an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), likely have outstanding future opportunities, with a job growth rate of 31 percent and a median salary of $54.78 per hour. Choose this option and you can work independently or collaborate with physicians.

How do I know which nursing program is the best option?

Nursing programs vary in the number of programs and degrees offered, and the cost of tuition and fees. Some schools fare better than others on the NCLEX exam, which often leads to higher rankings. 

Choose your desired path from among the best nursing degree programs in 2019!

1. Crowder College – Neosho campus – RN

The Crowder College Neosho Missouri campus offers current LPNs the opportunity to enter into its RN degree program with advanced standing. The college also accepts students with no previous nursing education. The school takes pride in 99 percent of its graduates finding employment after graduation. 

  • Tuition: $92 per credit hour, resident; $148 per credit hour, non-resident
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: 24 months

2. Florida Atlantic University – Accelerated BSN

Do you have a baccalaureate degree in another field and desire a career in nursing? Choose Florida Atlantic University and follow a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Accelerated track. Experience intensive, full-time study in this program and realize your dream of having a nursing career.

  • Tuition: $105.07 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: 24 months

3. Barton County Community College – Practical Nursing (PN) Certificate

Earn your Practical Nursing Certificate at Barton Community College in just six months and sit for the NCLEX exam. Prepare for your nursing career through classroom learning and clinical partnerships.

  • Tuition: $114 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: est. 6 months

4. Coahoma Community College – ADN

Coahoma Community College offers several nursing programs including an Associate Degree in Nursing. Licensed practical nurses seeking their Associate Degree in Nursing enjoy low tuition while building on existing skills. Students are provided with virtual learning methods, clinical simulations, and clinical experiences that include direct patient care.

  • Tuition: $160 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX first-time pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: 18 months

5. Valencia College – Accelerated Associate in Science (A.S.) degree

Valencia College offers students enrolled in the two-year Associate of Science in Nursing degree an accelerated option with the opportunity to complete the program in just three semesters. Students that already have current standing as a paramedic, LPN, registered respiratory therapist, and certain other health care professionals are eligible for this accelerated A.S. degree program.

  • Tuition: $103.06
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 96.75%
  • Program length: approx. 18 months

6. Los Angeles Harbor College – Associate of Science

Receive an Associate of Science in Professional Nursing degree from Los Angeles Harbor College, which educates and prepares students for a career in nursing. Educating registered nurses since 1963, the college fosters an environment featuring academic and clinical excellence.

  • Tuition: est. $166.97
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX first-time pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: 24 months

7. Snead State Community College – Associate of Applied Science

Snead State Community College provides a quality nursing education program that prepares students for a nursing career. Students participate in on-campus classroom and laboratory experiences along with an external clinical laboratory experience.

  • Tuition: $160 resident per credit hour; $289 non-resident per credit hour
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 97.6%
  • Program length: 24 months

8. Central Oregon Community College

Students admitted to the Central Oregon Community College nursing programs apply in the spring and start classes in the fall. Some students provide transfer credits while others begin their nursing education at Central Oregon Community College, located in Bend, Oregon.

  • Tuition: $106.50 resident per credit hour; $148.50 non-resident per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Oregon State Board of Nursing
  • NCLEX: first-time pass rate: 97.5%
  • Program length: 24 months

9. Lincoln University – Jefferson City – RN to BSN

Choose Lincoln University in Jefferson City Missouri to complete your RN to BSN degree and enjoy a hybrid-learning format. This means that you take some online nursing degree courses and others on campus.

  • Tuition: $209 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: approx. 18 months

10. Rasmussen College – RN to BSN online

Rasmussen College offers several nursing options, including the RN to BSN online nursing degree. Students earn Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) competencies, and prepare for leadership roles in nursing.

  • Tuition: $229 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: 18 months

11. Santa Fe College – BSN

Santa Fe College offers the BSN completion-nursing program for students that completed their Associate Degree in Nursing. Obtain your degree after just 30 credit hours. There is a lab experience and two clinical experiences in this program.

  • Tuition: $106.77 resident per credit hour; $382.90 non-resident per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges, ACEN, CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 96%
  • Program length: est. 24 months

12. Southeast Technical Institute – LPN

Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls, South Dakota offers the Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) diploma. Learn how to provide basic direct patient care, administer medications, and give injections. Take classes during traditional daytime hours or during the evening. Some students continue their nursing education and enroll in the LPN to RN program at Southeast Technical Institute.

  • Tuition: $240 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 99%
  • Program length: 11 months

13. Oregon Health and Science University – RNBS Online

Oregon Health and Science University recently announced a significant reduction in tuition for students in the RNBS Online program. Students receive the same high-quality education, with opportunities for innovative practice experience within their own community and development of professional and personal skills needed in nursing.

  • Tuition: $288 per credit hour (formerly $459)
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, CCNE
  • NCLEX First time pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: 12 months

14. Blue Mountain Community College – A.A.S.

Earn your Associate of Applied Science Degree in Nursing from Blue Mountain Community College, and learn how to practice relationship-centered care, collaborate as part of a health care team, and develop other professional and personal qualities required of a nurse.

  • Tuition: $108 in-state per credit hour; $324 non-resident per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, fully approved by the Oregon State Board of Nursing
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 94.12%
  • Program length: 24 months

15. Owens Community College – LPN to ADN

The Owens Community College School of Nursing and Health Professions offers several certificates and degree program options, including the LPN to ADN program. Licensed practical nurses take their courses from a modified program that prepares graduates for positions in a variety of health care settings.

  • Tuition: approx. $152.13
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 96.67%
  • Program length: 18 months

16. Northwest State Community College – LPN to RN

The Northwest State Community College in Archbold, Ohio offers licensed practical nursing students that want to pursue an exciting career in nursing the opportunity to continue their education by completing the LPN to RN program. Expand your career options with this program.

  • Tuition: $167.33 resident per credit hour, $328.66 non-resident per credit hour
  • Accreditation: ACEN 
  • NCLEX pass rate: 100%
  • PN program length: 18 months

19. Missouri Valley College – BSN

Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Missouri prepares students for a nursing career that fosters critical thinking and lifelong learning. Experience classroom learning and clinical settings while completing your Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.

  • Tuition: $350 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 100%
  • Length: 24 months

20. San Diego State University – RN to BSN

San Diego State University School of Nursing students learn in an intellectually stimulating environment that incorporates training in state-of-the-art facilities, clinical research, and opportunities to study and travel around the world.

  • Tuition: approx. $371.42 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first-time pass rate: 98.04%
  • Program length: 15 months

21. West Virginia University – RN to BSN online

Enroll in the West Virginia University online RN to BSN program and pay the same tuition as students attending on-campus classes. The university accepts students for this program during the fall, spring, or summer terms.

  • Tuition: $396 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: approx. 18 months

22. Fort Hays State University – RN to BSN online

Choose the Fort Hays State University online option and complete requirements for your BSN degree. Current RNs enrolling in the program pay only the Virtual College tuition amount.

  • Tuition: $218.67 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 95%
  • Program length: 9 months

23. University of Alabama at Birmingham – BSN

The University of Alabama at Birmingham offers a variety of nursing program options, including a BSN degree. Engage in state-of-the-art technologies and simulations as you learn about making informed judgments in a variety of health care settings and working as a member of an interdisciplinary health team.

  • Tuition: $421 per credit hour for residents
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: approx. 36 months

24. Morgan State University – PhD

Do you have at least two-year’s experience as a registered nurse and hold active licensure? Obtain your Ph.D. in Nursing at Morgan State University in Baltimore and pursue a career in nursing administration, teaching or research.

  • Tuition: $443 resident per credit hour, $851 non-resident per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education, approved by the State of Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) to grant the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree.
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: est. 24 months

25. Pennsylvania State University World Campus – RN to Certificate in Nursing Forensics

The Pennsylvania State University College of Nursing educates nurses at all levels of practice. Students sometimes wish to further their nursing education to a particular specialty. One way that the university accommodates this is through the Undergraduate Certificate in Nursing Forensics program. Current RNs learn to combine their nursing skills with the law, and become what is often the first line of defense for patients experiencing acts of violence, neglect, or abuse.

  • Tuition: $555 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: approx. 6 months

26. Morehead State University – AASN

Earn your Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (AASN) Degree at Morehead State University and experience completing requirements in a classroom environment, state-of-the-art simulation laboratory, and clinical practicum. 

  • Tuition: $365 per credit hour residents; $552 per credit hour non-resident
  • Accreditation: ACEN, Kentucky Board of Nursing
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 96%
  • Program length: 24 months

27. University of Texas at Austin – Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Pursue your Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) at the University of Texas at Austin and prepare for clinical leadership roles and increasingly complex practices. Learn to employ advanced levels of clinical judgment, design and implement evidence-based approaches and processes to meet current needs, and improve future needs of patient populations upon completion of your DNP degree.

  • Tuition: approx. $625 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: approx. 24 months

28. University of Colorado – BS to DNP

The University of Colorado offers students with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree the opportunity to complete a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Choose from 10 different specialties, including Family Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist – Adult Gerontology, Nurse-Midwifery, and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Acute Care.

  • Tuition: $655 resident per credit hour, $1060 non-resident per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: approx. 30 months

29. Truman State University – Traditional BSN

The four-year traditional BSN program at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri provides classroom, high-tech simulation, and field experiences. Nursing students have the option of studying abroad in the Philippines, Costa Rica, Africa, and other locations.

  • Tuition: $495 resident per credit hour, $951.80 non-resident per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 97.73%
  • Program length: 48 months

30. Texas A&M University – Traditional BSN

Texas A&M University offers several nursing program options including the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The College of Nursing strives to address the nursing shortage by educating students through cutting-edge classroom, laboratory, and clinical experiences. The School of Nursing has recognition as an NLN Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.

  • Tuition: approx. $608.40 resident per credit hour, $1360.40 non-resident per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 98%
  • Program length: 15 months

31. Walden University – RN to MSN

The Walden University online MSN Family Practitioner track allows students the opportunity to earn an MSN online nursing degree. Advance your career and provide care for patients of all ages in this exciting field.

  • Tuition: $710 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: approx. 24 months

32. Ohio State University – MSN

The Ohio State University offers a variety of nursing options, including the Master of Science in Nursing program. The MSN degree program offers 11 specializations. Students complete core curriculum, specialty curriculum courses and a clinical experience.

  • Tuition: $722.50 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: 24 months 

33. St. Xavier University – MSN

The St. Xavier University online Master of Science in Nursing Executive Leadership prepares students to become nursing administrators. Focus on developing critical thinking skills required for leading patient care in a department or unit, a leadership role in the continuous improvement of processes, and integrating up-to-date evidence-based practices and technologies.

  • Tuition: $750 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE, designated as center of excellence by the National League for Nursing (NLN)
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: approx. 18 months

34. Winona State University – RN to BSN

Are you a registered nurse with an associate degree or diploma in nursing that wants to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing? Winona State University offers the RN to BSN completion program at three locations. Choose from the full-time or part-time plan, along with online or hybrid format options.

  • Tuition: $244.56 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 86.90%
  • Program length: approx. 18 months

35. University of Iowa – BSN

The University of Iowa College of Nursing offers flexible learning opportunities at state-of-the-art facilities, and consistently remains ranked as one of the top nursing programs in the country.  

  • Tuition: $429 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 95.4%
  • Program length: approx. 36 months

36. Southeast Missouri University – RN to BSN Online

Southeast Missouri University offers a BSN degree, an RN to BSN online degree option and an MSN. The online option offers a well-rounded education with 100 percent online courses.

  • Tuition: $281 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 86.56%
  • Program length: 24 months

37. Bradley University – MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Online

The Bradley University MSN Family Nurse Practitioner program is for nurses that are passionate about family practice, that are ready to earn an advanced nursing credential and that want a flexible online learning environment. 

  • Tuition: $890 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: approx. 36 months

38. University of New Mexico – RN to BSN

The University of New Mexico offers the RN to BSN degree completion option as an online program. Gain knowledge to apply leadership principles in a variety of nursing roles. Incorporate up-to-date technological advances into your career. The university offers advanced nursing degrees for students that wish to continue their education, including an MSN, Post-Master’s degree certificate, DNP, and Ph.D. in Nursing.

  • Tuition: $331.67 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 86.67%
  • Program length: approx. 12 months

39. University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh – ADN to BSN online

University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh prospective nursing students that hold a diploma or associate degree in nursing have the unique opportunity of obtaining their Bachelor of Science in Nursing through online and other distance learning opportunities.

  • Tuition: $508.13 resident per credit hour, $1013.06 non-resident per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 96.45%
  • Program length: approx. 24 months

40. Minot State University – BSN

Minot State University prepares nursing students for a career in nursing with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. The university expresses that this degree program opens doors to a variety of career options. Student nurses engage in a hands-on learning environment by providing care to the elderly through the Minot Adult Health Clinic.

  • Tuition: $374.40 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX first-time pass rate: 92.86%
  • Program length: approx. 36 months

41. University of Minnesota – MSN Accelerated

The University of Minnesota offers an accelerated MSN program for students that have a bachelors degree in another field. Each semester, the university offers every credit after 13 credit hours free of charge to students.

  • Tuition: approx. $1,006.93 resident per credit hour, $2,222 non-resident per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 100%
  • Program length: 16 months

42. Galen College – ADN

Attend classes at one of the four Galen College campuses and earn an associate degree in nursing. There are no prerequisites for entering into the nursing program.

  • Tuition: $380 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 91%
  • Program length: 24 months

43. Ohio State University – RN to BSN Online

The Ohio State University offers an online RN to BSN for students that prefer to pursue their BSN in an online nursing format. Students have the flexibility of an online environment while completing specialized courses along with core courses. Ohio State takes pride in making nursing programs affordable, first by waiving all textbook costs, and by allowing online students to pay in-state tuition costs.

  • Tuition: approx. $411 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE, American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation 
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 91.98%
  • Program length: 18 months

44. Western Wyoming Community College – ADN

Attend Western Wyoming Community College and learn the art and science of nursing while completing your associate degree in nursing.

  • Tuition: $139 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 83.87%
  • Program length: approx. 18 months

45. University of Pittsburgh – BSN

Students attending the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing BSN program gain substantial knowledge through a variety of processes including a classroom-learning environment and clinical experiences. The BSN serves as a foundation for graduate nursing education programs, including the university’s MSN, DNP, and Ph.D. nursing programs.

  • Tuition: approx. $760.86 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 93.56%
  • Program length: 48 months

46. Utica  College – Accelerated RN to BSN

Utica College urges prospective nursing students to ‘get off a waitlist and into nursing school.’ The accelerated RN to BSN track allows for completion of the program in just 16 months. 

  • Tuition: $883 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 93%
  • Program length: 16 months

47. Midwestern State University – BSN

Students prepare for their nursing career with the pre-licensure program at Midwestern State University. Enter the program during the spring or fall semester and begin your nursing education.

  • Tuition: $640.06 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first-time pass rate: 87%
  • Program length: approx. 36 months

48. Rochester College – BSN

Rochester College offers challenging academics that prepares socially conscious graduates for a nursing career. The BSN degree program helps first-time college students develop leadership and clinical skills. The college boasts a 100 percent employment rate for nursing students after graduation.

  • Tuition: $445 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 81%
  • Program length: 36 months

49. New York University – BSN

Attend New York University and earn the traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. Faculty includes nationally recognized scholars in their field at the NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, considered one of the top-ranked bachelors of science programs in the nation. New York University also offers graduate nursing programs.

  • Tuition: $1373 per credit hour 
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 91%
  • Program length: 48 months

50. Westfield State University – RN to BSN

Build on your existing nursing skills by completing the RN to BSN program at Westfield State University. The program is in a hybrid format, with some courses taken online and others in-person. 

  • Tuition: approx. $772.46 per credit hour
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • NCLEX first time pass rate: 81%
  • Program length: approx. 15 months

Methodology

We selected each school and nursing degree program by assigning a score for criteria that included tuition, first-time NCLEX pass rates, and accreditation. We try our best to be fair, accurate, and honest in our representation of each school by gathering information directly from each school or the NCES. 

No school can pay us for higher ratings. Any supported school is listed separately and labeled as SUPPORTED.

Disclaimer: We cannot guarantee current tuition rates or other information as these things sometimes change. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to check for current tuition rates and other relevant information.

If you would like to have your school included in our rankings or labeled as a supported school, please contact us.

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