Best Nursing Schools in the South in 2023 (Online & On-Campus)

Best Nursing Schools in the South in 2023 (Online & On-Campus)

Nursing Schools In The SouthAre you looking for nursing schools in Georgia, nursing programs in Alabama, or another nursing school in the south? You’ve come to the right place. The south is considered a beautiful area of the nation and is filled with historic landmarks and scenic parks. Rich with culture and exciting activities, the south is definitely an interesting place to live with endless possibilities along the Atlantic. Picking the right college for you can be complicated. There are a lot of factors that need to be considered. These could include location, cost, types of classes, programs, and community. To better help you in your search for the perfect school, we’ve compiled a list of the best nursing schools in the south below. Whether you’re looking for a nursing program in South Carolina, Florida, or another nursing school in the south, you’ll be sure to find an option here.

Obtaining a nursing license is fairly standard across the states. After completing a professional nursing program and sitting for the NCLEX, you can apply for a license. If you’re applying for an LPN then you need to have at least 520 hours of practice in the preceding two years.

Here are the best nursing schools in the south:

1. Emory University – Georgia

Emory University Best Nursing Schools in the South

Emory University is a private university founded in 1836 by the Methodist Episcopal Church. It is internationally known for its healthcare systems and generates $689 in research funding annually. Emory is dedicated to preparing students to impact the world.

  • Tuition: $37,800
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 96%

2. Duke University – North Carolina

Duke University is a prestigious, well-established university that maintains its historic affiliation with the United Methodist Church. Duke fosters problem-focused education, research, and the life-long quest for knowledge to better serve the world.

  • Tuition: $27,940
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 88%

3. University of Miami – Florida

The University of Miami is a private research university focused on the discovery of new knowledge. UM is a vibrant and diverse community, offering over 180 different programs and majors, and is considered one of America’s top research facilities.

  • Tuition: $25,200
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 93%

4. University of North Carolina – North Carolina

The University of North Carolina was the nation’s first public university and has held its ground with high rankings ever since. UNC offers world-class education, research, and study abroad opportunities, and celebrates several rewards in diversity.

  • Tuition: $3,509
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 87%

5. University of Florida – Florida

The University of Florida is known for its biotechnology incubator, ranked number 1 in the entire world. This university receives $838 million in research grants in land, sea, and space, and they are dedicated to converting potential into actual results.

  • Tuition: $6,380
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 100%

6. University of Virginia – Virginia

The University of Virginia was founded over 200 years ago by Thomas Jefferson and is still thriving. UV boasts of distinguished faculty, a diverse student body, nationally ranked programs and a proud history that make UV worth attending.

  • Tuition: $13,682
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 97%

7. University of Texas – Texas

The University of Texas has a deep history coupled with traditions that give the university a rich environment. It has many nationally ranked programs and there are half a million longhorn alumni and 50,000 more on the way.

  • Tuition: $5,718
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 94%

8. George Mason University – Virginia

George Mason University knows we live in a rapidly changing world, so they are constantly adapting to the world’s needs and preparing students to meet them. They focus on freedom and learning to create well-rounded graduates who have the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in their careers.

  • Tuition: $4,530
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 90%

9. Nova Southeastern University – Florida

Nova Southern University is known for its natural science and oceanography programs, but that doesn’t mean their other programs fall by the wayside. With experienced faculty and excellent academic programs, you can be sure you’ll receive the best at NSU.

  • Tuition: $15,575
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 88%

10. James Madison University – Virginia

James Madison University knows that happier students learn better, so they’re striving always to provide their students with the best experience possible. JMU has been ranked #1 in the nation and is full of long-standing traditions that link alumni through generations.

  • Tuition: $7,250
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 96%

11. University of Arkansas – Arkansas

The University of Arkansas was founded in 1871 and is consistently ranked on the nation’s top universities. Through character building, curiosity, and creativity, UARK is providing the opportunities and skills needed to make others lives better.

  • Tuition: $7,568
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 94%

12. Union University – Tennessee

Union University is a private, Christian, four-year, liberal-arts-based university and is the oldest institution affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention. 100% of new freshman can expect financial assistance at this highly recognized and Christ-centered school.

  • Tuition: $16,740
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 95%

13. Auburn University – Alabama

Auburn University was founded in 1856 and now supports over 30,000 students. Auburn aspires to educate students with the skills and knowledge they need in life, drive the development of research, and engage the community.

  • Tuition: $4,908
  • NCLEX Pass rate: 86%

14. University of Kentucky – Kentucky

The University of Kentucky is based in the heart of the Bluegrass and offers a wide array of programs. It’s multi-faceted mission statement promises students the best care, education, faculty, and experience they need to become successful in the real world.

  • Tuition: $12,360
  • NCLEX Pass rate: 99%

15. Virginia Commonwealth University – Virginia

Virginia Commonwealth University has been diverse and ambitious since it was founded in 1838. VCU is committed to the teaching of healthcare that strives to restore health to all people as well as push the boundaries of research and science in search of new knowledge.

  • Tuition: $14,596
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 100%

16. East Carolina University – North Carolina

East Carolina University was built “by the people, for the people” and has been doing so for over a century. ECU strives to provide the highest quality of further education while increasing the quality of life for the entire region.

  • Tuition: $4,452
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 88%

17. Georgia College and State University – Georgia

Georgia College is settled in a charming southern town only a few hours from Atlanta. Georgia College is the state’s only public liberal arts university and they are dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge and the passion of life-long learning.

  • Tuition: $3,754
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 99%

18. Marymount University – Virginia

Marymount University is a comprehensive Catholic university celebrating its 70th anniversary. Marymount is affiliated with Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary and they focus on intellectual curiosity, service to others, and global perspective.

  • Tuition: $33,200
  • NLEX Pass Rate: 94%

19. Lincoln Memorial University – Tennessee

Lincoln Memorial University’s historic campus is located in the scenic Appalachian Mountains. LMU prides itself on its high-quality education, experienced faculty, and cutting-edge technology. Come visit and you may even see the Grant-Lee Hall Ghost.

  • Tuition: $22,200
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 91%

20. Bellarmine University – Kentucky

Bellarmine University is the number 1 Catholic college in Kentucky. They strive to provide students with academic excellence while pursuing enlightenment, spiritual understanding, and the journey to becoming your best self.

  • Tuition: $43,070
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 89%

21. Clemson University – South Carolina

Clemson University has a scenic campus located at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and borders Lake Hartwell. Originally a military school, Clemson is now open to all students who are seeking higher education at the perfectly placed campus.

  • Tuition: $8,560
  • NCLEX Pass rate: 92%

22. University of Alabama – Alabama

The University of Alabama is the state’s flagship university, and so is dedicated to being the best in every way. Nicknamed “the capstone”, UA fosters responsibility, creativity, fairness, integrity, and respect to help students reach their full potential.

  • Tuition: $10,780
  • NCLEX Pass rate: 87%

23. University of South Florida – Florida

The University of South Florida was founded in 1956 in the heart of Tampa Bay. Now the fastest-growing university in the nation, USF believes that every student can succeed if given the opportunity and they are dedicated to giving students every opportunity available.

  • Tuition: $1,260
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 97%

24. University of South Carolina – South Carolina

The University of South Carolina has over 200 years of rich history and is still impressing the nation today. USC consistently ranks #1 in international experiences and programs and is considered one of the nation’s best “first-year experiences”.

  • Tuition: $12,688
  • NCLEX Pass rate: 94%

25. University of Central Florida – Florida

The University of Central Florida is known for its growing space program, but it’s dedicated to providing talent to central Florida in all other areas as well. It is considered one of the top ten innovative universities through quality, access, impact, and value.

  • Tuition: $6,379
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 100%

26. University of Tennessee – Tennessee

The University of Tennessee is made up of 11 colleges with 900+ programs and majors. It was founded in 1794 and is now Tennessee’s flagship university that embodies creativity, innovation, leadership, research, and engagement.

  • Tuition: $13,264
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 100%

27. Mercer University – Georgia

Black and orange Mercer University believes that its students can make a genuine difference and gives them every opportunity to do so. Mercer focuses on global impact, research, discovery and innovation, and even gives proper attention to the flourishing arts.

  • Tuition: $18,754
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 89%

28. Florida State University – Florida

Florida State University is located in the heart of the state capitol and is considered one of the nation’s elite research universities. FSU is dedicated to preserving and expanding knowledge under the traditions of liberal arts and critical thinking.

  • Tuition: $6,516
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 81%

29. Eastern Mennonite University – Virginia

Eastern Mennonite University is an intentionally faith-based, Christian institution affiliated with the Mennonite Church USA. More than 30 religious groups are represented and supported on the campus and every denomination is welcome.

  • Tuition: $19,425
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 84%

30. Louisiana State University – Louisiana

Louisiana State University is the state’s flagship university offering unique academic, research, and cultural opportunities. LSU gives away $300 million in financial aid and 2 in 3 students graduate completely debt-free.

  • Tuition: $11,962
  • NCLEX Pass rate: 94%

31. Samford University – Alabama

Samford University is rooted in the vibrant Christian faith and is considered one of Alabama’s top universities and #3 for Christian universities in the nation. Qualified faculty and small class sizes make this university perfect for anyone pursuing higher education.

  • Tuition: $34,198
  • NCLEX Pass rate: 94%

32. Jacksonville University – Florida

Jacksonville University takes an active academic approach that allows students to explore opportunities and create their own future. Each program is highly customizable to meet each student’s needs and wants.

  • Tuition: $12,272
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 67%

33. Western Carolina University – North Carolina

Western Carolina University believes that nothing is impossible, so the sky is the limit when it comes to higher education. WCU offers experienced faculty, state-of-the-art curriculum, and cutting-edge technology to give students the best university experience possible.

  • Tuition: $3,452
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 88%

34. Western Kentucky University – Kentucky

Western Kentucky University is home of the Hilltoppers and is 1 of 4 campuses globally named a Safe Community. WKU is a friendly university that feels like home while offering research and learning opportunities to students and faculty alike.

  • Tuition: $5,401
  • NCLEX Pass rate: 90%

35. William Carey University – Mississippi

William Carey University is a Christian institution that embraces its Baptist heritage. They value each student as a creation of God and believe that learning is a life-long process that needs collaboration between students, faculty, and community.

  • Tuition: $4,740
  • NCLEX Pass rate: 97%

36. University of North Florida – Florida

The University of North Florida is a military-friendly school ranked in the top 10% of universities globally. For eleven years in a row, it has ranked as Best in the Southeast, and it continues to impress the world today as it constantly strives to improve.

  • Tuition: $1,260
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 100%

37. Georgia Southern University – Georgia

Georgia Southern University is a military-friendly school with over 100 years of experience. GS is dedicated to providing students the skills and knowledge they need to have successful careers in the real world.

  • Tuition: $2,185
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 87%

38. Mississippi College – Mississippi

Mississippi College is the oldest university in the state and they aim to infuse Jesus Christ into every aspect of their culture. Mississippi College’s top commitments are academic excellence and the cause of Christ.

  • Tuition: $9,100
  • NCLEX Pass rate: 94%

39. Spalding University – Kentucky

Spalding University is an inclusive community for students who want to obtain a degree while serving others. Spalding strives to help students discover their strengths, elevate those around them, and grow through real-world experiences.

  • Tuition: $12,900
  • NCLEX Pass rate: 77%

40. University of Mobile – Alabama

The University of Mobile is a Christ-centered academic community that wants to help students come to know themselves and know God. UM promises strong academics and small class sizes to help students get the individual attention they need and succeed in their lives.

  • Tuition: $11,125
  • NCLEX Pass rate: 89%

41. Jefferson College – Missouri

Whatever your educational goals, you can achieve them at Jefferson College. Jefferson opens the doors to a world of possibilities and prepares students with the skills and knowledge they need to accomplish their goals and lead fulfilling lives.

  • Tuition: $1,344
  • NCLEX Pass rate: 97%

42. Belmont University – Tennessee

Belmont University is a student-focused Christian institution with a rich Baptist background. They strive to meet all of the students’ intellectual, spiritual, and academic needs through collaboration, inquiry, integrity, and humility.

  • Tuition: $37,030
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 83%

43. Southern Adventist University – Tennessee

Southern Adventist University is grounded in the teachings of Jesus Christ and the beliefs of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. They combine education with a relationship with God, who is the source of all knowledge.

  • Tuition: $22,060
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 92%

44. Nicholls State University – Louisiana

Nicholls State University is a military-friendly, family-oriented university and boasts a large percentage of first-generation students. NSU is immersed in the Bayou Region culture and offers a spirited campus with comprehensive learning opportunities.

  • Tuition: $3,948
  • NCLEX Pass rate: 92%

45. Northern Kentucky University – Kentucky

Northern Kentucky University is a growing metropolis university only seven miles from Cincinnati. NKU is now one of the fastest-growing universities in the state while providing private school education at a fraction of the cost.

  • Tuition: $4,956
  • NCLEX Pass rate: 92%

46. Vanderbilt University – Tennessee

Vanderbilt University was founded in 1873 and ranks highly in academics and financial aid. VU offers an immersive learning experience to the world’s brightest students seeking the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in the real world.

  • Tuition: $50,800
  • NCLEX Pass Rate: 94%

47. West Liberty University – West Virginia

West Liberty University is West Virginia’s oldest higher education institution. They believe in facilitating vibrant relationships while obtaining high-quality education to prepare them for future education or employment.

  • Tuition: $3,995
  • NCLEX Pass rate: 83%

48. University of Oklahoma – Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma was founded in 1890 and offers a university experience to over 20,000 students. UO is committed to providing students with top-tier education while living in the university culture.

  • Tuition: $2,394
  • NCLEX Pass rate: 97%


From the list of schools we obtained, we sorted them through average tuition, acceptance rate, class size, and more. Each school has been hand-picked and ranked accordingly, and every school has something unique to offer so it’s worth looking into each one. Please contact us with any questions about the best nursing schools in the south.

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