Second-degree nursing programs are intended for people with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field. They want to become a registered nurse. The program takes between 12 to 18 months to complete if you attend full-time with an additional six months if you go part-time.
Nurses generally receive a nice benefits package for themselves and their families and you have different shifts to choose from, which can make your home life more enjoyable.
With the opportunity to travel, traveling nurses can take assignments that last anywhere from 6 weeks to six months. Traveling nurse jobs pay nearly double the amount that a regular nurse gets working at his/her local hospital. Travel agencies also offer day one benefits, a safe and clean apartment near the hospital, sign on bonuses, completion bonuses and much more.
Attending a second-degree nursing program opens up the opportunity for working in prestigious specialty areas and pursuing a higher level of education such as a master’s degree in nursing, Nurse Practitioner, midwife etc.
Nursing is one of the most rewarding, fastest growing, and well-paid occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statics the demand for nurses is projected to rise by at least 15% over the next decade.
When choosing a school, it’s important to pick from the best nursing programs around. The following schools list tuition cost per year for in-state residents unless otherwise stated and does not include room and board.
Wayne State University is located in Detroit MI, founded in 1868, voted one of the safest campuses in the United States. The student body is made up of students from over 70 countries and is one of the most diverse schools in the United States. Nursing students must maintain a GPA of 2.5 to graduate.
Anderson University is a private Christian community focused school located in Indiana that was founded by The Church of God in 1917. AU is a small school with approximately 1,800 students that is recognized as one of the top colleges in the United States by several organizations. AU requires its nursing students to have a GPA of 2.5 or higher to graduate.
SUNY Brockport is one of 64 institutions within the SUNY university system in NY state. Founded in 1835, the college is located in the small village of Brockport that runs along the Erie Canal. The campus has an annual enrollment of about 8,000 students. A GPA of 2.5 is needed for graduation.
Auburn University was founded in 1856 and has grown from an all-male college to the third largest university in the state of Alabama. The university has a student body of 28,000+ annually. Auburn has a separate School of Nursing Program. All nursing students must have a GPA of at least 2.5 to graduate.
The University of Utah, also called The U, is located in Salt Lake City. Attendance is roughly 30,000. The U has 17 colleges and over 100 programs. The College of Nursing is part of the University of Utah Health system. Students must maintain a GPA of 2.5 to graduate.
The School of Nursing and Health Studies is a sub-college of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. The school was founded in 1903 and has a student body of about 1,400. The school requires a GPA of 2.8 or higher for graduation.
The Q Nursing program is part of Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT. The university has three campuses including one for Law School and Medical School. The college is ranked in the top 7% of health science universities. A GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation.
Bowie State University is located in Maryland and was founded in 1865. It has a student body of 5,500 students from several cultural and ethnic backgrounds. The university sits on a serene 300-acre campus close to both Baltimore and Washington D.C. A GPA of 2.5 is required for graduation.
Albany State University is located in Albany, Georgia and was founded in 1903. The university has five campuses that allow them to offer serval types of programs for students from all sorts of academic backgrounds. The students on campus come from numerous different cultural, ethnic and gender backgrounds. Albany State University was voted the Best Nursing Program in 2015. A minimum GPA of 2.5 is necessary for graduation.
Arizona State University, or ASU, is made up of five campuses spread out among the Phoenix metro area. The Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation offers nursing programs on the Downtown Phoenix campus. U.S. News and World Report voted Arizona State #1 for innovation for the fifth consecutive year in 2019. There are two second degree nursing pathways – the Accelerated BSN and the Master of Science in Nursing (Entry to Nursing Practice).
Wichita State’s School of Nursing is located in Wichita, KS. Wichita State University is the only school in the state of Kansas to offer a second-degree nursing program. The campus owns 330 acres and is filled with cultural activities. The student-to-teacher ratio is 30:1 and graduation requires students to have a 2.0 GPA.
CSULB School of Nursing is a 322-acre campus with plenty of activities to participate in outside the classroom. The average class size is 25 students. A GPA of 2.7 must be maintained to graduate.
CSUN was founded in 1958 and is one of the largest public colleges in the United States. CSUN has won numerous awards from a multitude of institutions through the nation. The student body is made up of more than 38,000 students from 93 different countries. A GPA of 2.8 is required to graduate.
CSU San Marcos is another top-rated California nursing school, that is taking a slightly different approach to its nursing program by creating “cohorts.” The university believes this will allow for each nursing student to have a strong support system during and after their college career. A GPA of 2.8 must be maintained to graduate.
BW’s second degree Bachelor of Science in Nursing is a combination of rigorous classroom learning, labs and clinical experience in the real world. Nursing students need to have a GPA of at least 3.0 to graduate.
EMU is very proud of their nursing program. They teach students to care for the whole person, the family, and the community. A GPA of 2.8 is necessary for graduation.
Emory Nursing School is located in Atlanta, Georgia. The nursing school has about 500 students per year spread out over all their different programs. 90% of the students are female and 10% are male, while about 75% of the students are enrolled in one of the BSN programs. Students must maintain a GPA of 2.0 to graduate.
VCU School of Nursing is located in Richmond, VA. VCU has a rich history and was founded in 1893. The nurses back then followed the Florence Nightingale method of nursing. There is even a small museum on campus with original uniforms, books, instruments, and yearbooks. The average student population is 900. VCU has one of the most advanced clinical stimulation centers on the East Coast, where students learn numerous skills before and during their clinical hours.
SDSU College of Nursing‘s second-degree nursing program is offered in both Sioux Falls and Aberdeen, South Dakota. SDSU was founded in 1935. Each year the student body is made up of roughly 1,800 students. A GPA of 2.0 is required for graduation.
Lienhard School of Nursing is located in Pleasantville, New York. Students have been studying nursing at Lienhard for over 48 years. A GPA of 3.0 is required to graduate.
Mount Saint Mary’s University is located in sunny Los Angeles, California and was founded in 1925 by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. This is an all-female college with a student body of 3,200. A GPA of 2.5 is required for graduation.
The Rife and Carolyn Saunders Division of Nursing (DON) located at Louisiana College is located in Pineville, LA and is a private, Christian-focused college with the purpose of serving Jesus Christ. The student body is made up of 1,400 nursing students. The nursing school is also involved with several community services and projects. In order to graduate a student must have a GPA of at least 2.3.
Keigwin School of Nursing is located in Jacksonville, Florida. The second-degree program is extremely competitive and only 41 students are admitted per year. A GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation. Tuition is a bit high but financial aid and grants are plentiful.
Capital University is located in Columbus, Ohio. Each year they have roughly 400 nursing students on campus. A GPA of 2.5 is required for graduation.
Louise Herrington School of Nursing of Baylor University is located in Dallas, Texas. The nursing program is one of the best in Texas. The school is located across the street from the medical center where all the clinical work is done. The GPA required to graduate is 2.8.
To determine the ranking of each college/university, we researched and assessed certain factors. These factors included the NCLEX-RN pass rate, tuition, acceptance rate and graduation rate. Ultimately, the NCLEX-RN pass rate was the highest determining factor, while the other factors played a part in the ranking of each institution the higher the NCLEX-RN rate determined the rank of each college/university. If you are interested in learning more about our ranking system please feel free to visit our methodology page.
If your college/university did not make our list of best second-degree nursing programs or you would like edits made to your school if it was reviewed please feel free to contact us.