The nursing profession is a great pick for a career. With the Baby Boomers moving heavily into retirement and senior age, the demand for health services has been skyrocketing, which means a higher need for nurses. However, like most areas of the medical field, educational requirements are a must, and for nursing, that means at a minimum a nursing degree, practical time, and licensure. Those elements don’t come together without class time, documents, and transcripts from a recognized nursing school. A number of nursing schools in D.C., the surrounding area, and nearby Arlington, Virginia, are available to meet this need with accredited programs and degree paths.
The University of the District of Columbia provides students a basic nursing education path of study among a number of science programs and fields of social science studies. Two types of nursing programs are located within two different Colleges within the university. Its degree path does provide for both an associate degree as well as a Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing completion program degree path. The RN to BSN program is accredited by The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). It is one of the few public institutions that still keeps its tuition level at an extremely affordable level. The nursing program generally retains a > 92% graduation rate and has an acceptance rate of > 95% of applications.
A bit of an anomaly among nursing schools in the D.C.-Arlington area, George Mason University stands out as a high-ranking public university as well as a primary nursing school for three bachelor programs, a master’s degree program, and a doctoral program. The school generally accepts 81% of applications completed annually, and George Mason also offers multiple nursing post-graduate certificate tracks, including the bread and butter management training path in administration. The university has been measured with 67% graduation rate and it has been repeatedly ranked in the top 5 nursing schools in the country.
Located in Arlington, VA, Chamberlain is one of the best accredited nursing schools in DC. It operates as a private institution with a 33% acceptance rate of applications. The school provides the three main levels of degree paths from bachelor to doctorate level, without any specific specialization. Chamberlain offers a semi-expedited bachelor’s program in nursing that ideally can be completed within three years. A major advantage of the university for those needing a flexible schedule is the fact that Chamberlain offers its program as an online curriculum as well, launching it into our list of one of the best nursing schools in the D.C. area. Chamberlain is accredited by both the CCNE as well as the Higher Learning Commission, and the institution is certified to operate under the State Council for Education for Virginia (as opposed to Washington D.C.).
Howard College provides students with a basic degree path in the nursing field with a bachelor’s degree, either in a general format or specific to nursing itself. The school only accepts 30% of applicants, and students also have a handful of program areas that they can choose for specialization within the degree such as clinical laboratory science, health management, nutritional science and radiation therapy. Howard has been tracked with a graduation rate of 60%.
Originally established in 1904 as a women’s college, Trinity Washington University did not become a co-ed higher education institution until the 1960s. Today, the university provides a bachelor’s program in nursing that provides students two different paths towards achieving a college-level requirement for licensure. The first is a standard Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree for a standard education path. The second involves a path for students who are already working as nurses and seeking to complement their working status with a bachelor’s degree, the RN to BSN degree path. The school is famous for providing a flexible schedule for working students and accepts 88% of new applications, as well as providing off-hour classes to accommodate varying study needs. Trinity has a 45% graduation rate.
Marymount is one of the private nursing schools in DC. Operating as a private Catholic University, Marymount University provides three different paths for a bachelor’s degree in nursing and operates with a 90% acceptance rate of applications. There is the standard program for a BSN, an accelerated BSN program for those with a personal deadline, and a hybrid approach for the RN-to-BSN track. The university also provides two master’s degrees, as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) to provide a Ph.D. path for those who want to go into teaching in institutions as well. Marymount retains a 51% graduation rate.
St. Michael’s is one of the best LPN nursing schools in DC. Operating as a satellite location in Washington D.C., St. Michael’s offers a two-year nursing school and training program for an associate degree in nursing and practical nursing licensure. The program is structured with a licensed practical nursing (LPN) curriculum for students looking to get a basic start in nursing with the primary, first level of professional training in the field. Graduates receive an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing degree, becoming eligible to pursue further studies by transferring to a bachelor’s program or going directly into the field after passing a licensing exam. The graduation rate from St. Michael’s is approximately 55%.
There is a reason why this school has such a strong reputation nationally for a go-to nursing school; one just needs to look at the program details to see why it’s easily among the best nursing schools in DC and the surrounding area. George Washington University’s nursing school provides all three levels of education: bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate. But what’s interesting is the amount of diversification in program training that is available to GW students. The school makes a point of engaging with the latest technology and top-tier teaching staff to stay relevant as much as possible with industry expectations. GW has an acceptance rate of 41 percent of general applications and provides multiple certificate programs as well for post-graduate expertise development. The university boasts a 79% graduate rate.
The Conway School of Nursing at the Catholic University of America is the specific institution in charge of both graduate and undergraduate nursing programs offered. In addition, the university provides post-graduate certifications for advanced nursing skill training and related education for those students seeking additional differentiation and higher nursing management roles. The school has a general acceptance rate of 83% of applications, and most of their nursing programs are geared to prepare the student for related certification exams and advanced licensure. The university is currently tracked with a 67% graduate rate.
Well-known as a top-notch Ivy League school, Georgetown University has a strong reputation in all the natural science and medicine fields of study as both a high-quality training institution as well as an upper-echelon research institution. Extremely hard to get into being a top 10 school, Georgetown’s acceptance rate is in the teens, holding at 16% of applications received. Georgetown also retains an extremely high graduation rate of approximately 95 percent. The school offers a robust portfolio of standard training as well as specific discipline specialization in the nursing field.
Because of the small geographical area involved, nursing schools in Washington DC are somewhat limited. That said, it’s important to remember that Washington D.C. sits fairly close to multiple other urban complexes with their own university nursing schools as well. For example, just to the northeast is Baltimore, MD, and to the west is Fairfax, VA, both with their own handful of solid-reputation nursing schools as well. So, a prospective student may be better served to take a wider look at the region around Washington D.C. when looking for a nursing school to attend than just in the District of Columbia alone or adjacent Arlington, VA. A limited look could inadvertently pass up on additional opportunity right next door to nursing schools in D.C. proper. Above are the notable institutions that are directly located in the district or right next to it geographically. They’re ranked from highest to lowest cost.
The above information can be a bit overwhelming, so it never hurts to ask if you have questions. Feel free to contact us for some further follow-up with school or ranking details.