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Best Nursing Schools: Top Nursing Schools in the US

Getting into nursing school can be challenging. According to Best Colleges, the rate of acceptance for nursing school depends largely on the school. While some schools, especially community colleges, have a 100% acceptance rate, the top schools can have acceptance rates of 10% or less. Getting into a competitive program requires dedication and careful planning.

To help them on their educational journeys, pre-nursing students may want to take a look at nursing school rankings to help them decide on the right school for their needs. Rankings consider factors like the academic challenge, reputation, and quality of the nursing program at a particular school. Once you understand rankings, you can choose a school that fits your goals. This guide will help you understand what the top-ranking nursing schools are so you can get into the program that best fits your needs.

How Top-Ranking Nursing Schools Are Chosen

Through rating organizations such as US News and World Reports, nursing schools receive rankings using a variety of factors. These may include:

  • Student-to-faculty ratio: Lower numbers here give students a more personalized education.
  • Accreditation: Schools can be accredited through the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) or the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
  • Faculty: High-ranked schools have faculty with excellent qualifications.
  • Pass rates: If a school has a high pass rate on nursing examinations, then it shows they effectively prepare their students for their future careers.

These are the specific factors that land a school among the best nursing schools in the US, but there are other factors that may dictate which school is right for you. These might include:

  • Tuition
  • Deadlines
  • Acceptance rate
  • Clinical hours requirements
  • Prerequisites
  • Testing requirements
  • Location

Make sure you have the right qualifications for the school you’re considering. Then, check their requirements to carefully prepare yourself to get accepted. By being proactive in your application, you can increase your chances of success.

Top Nursing Schools in the US

Checking rankings, such as US News and World Reports, can help you compare the best nursing schools. As you compare, don’t forget to consider the personal factors that affect you as well. This will help you select the right school for your needs. These are the top-ranked nursing programs across the country.

Emory University (Woodruff) in Atlanta, GA

The Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University is the top-ranked Master of Science in Nursing program in the country. It has been training nursing professionals for over 100 years, and it is a more selective program. The school has numerous healthcare partnerships to provide its students with hands-on training at some of the top locations across the nation. It also has a high rate of success for students finding jobs after graduation, with 97% finding nursing jobs when they complete their training. The university’s nursing program earns an overall 4.4 from US News.

Key Admission Insights:

  • GPA Range: 3.00
  • GRE or GMAT: Mandatory
  • License: RN license
  • Undergraduate: BS in Nursing from an accredited school
  • Acceptance Rate: 63%

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD

Home to one of the nation’s top research hospitals, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore also has a top-ranked nursing program. Its Master of Science in Nursing is one of the nation’s top two, and its Doctor of Nursing Practice is ranked as the best in the country. There are 88 full-time faculty members in the nursing program, giving students many opportunities to learn from some of the nation’s top nursing professionals.

Key Admission Insights:

  • GPA Range: 3.00
  • GRE or GMAT: Mandatory
  • License: RN license
  • Undergraduate: BS in any field
  • Acceptance Rate: 62%

University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA

Ranked third in the best Master of Science in Nursing programs and number one for its undergraduate nursing program, the University of Pennsylvania offers a top-ranked education for nursing students. This program is research-intensive and provides education from some of the nation’s top research professionals. The program focuses on research, leadership training, and professionalism. It uses a state-of-the-art simulation system to simulate hands-on practice. The school’s nursing program has a 4.5 ranking on US News.

Key Admission Insights:

  • GPA Range: 3.00
  • GRE or GMAT: Not required
  • License: RN and CPR licensure
  • Undergraduate: BS in any field from an accredited school
  • Acceptance Rate: 62%

West Coast University in Richardson, TX

Named as one of the top undergraduate nursing schools by Niche Best Colleges, West Coast University in Texas offers a generous acceptance rate. Most students who apply to this school get in, but they all receive exceptional training in nursing. The school is known for its diverse faculty and hands-on training. They also have advanced simulation centers, including manikins that can sweat and react similar to real patients. For nursing students looking for a top undergrad program, this one may be the right choice.

Key Admission Insights:

  • GPA Range: None
  • HESI composite score: 76 or higher
  • ACT/SAT Scores: 16 on ACT, 835 on SAT
  • Acceptance Rate: 100%

Duke University in Durham, NC

Duke University, which houses the Duke University Medical Center, is the top-ranked college for a BS in Nursing, according to US News and World Report, tied with the University of Pennsylvania. Its connection to the Duke University Medical Center provides practical training for nursing students. This prestigious school has more rigorous requirements for its nursing students and a competitive acceptance rate. Their high level of commitment to nursing earns a 4.5 on US News.

  • GPA Range: 3.00
  • GRE or GMAT: Not required
  • License: RN licensure
  • Undergraduate: BS in Nursing and 1 year of nursing experience
  • Acceptance Rate: 33%

Get Ahead with Advanced eClinical Certificates

If you’re hoping to get into one of these institutions, you may find that their competitive nature makes it a bit more challenging. Many nurses will choose a mentorship program from Advanced eClinical Training to help give them a competitive edge. Not only will a mentor provide help with applying to nursing school, but they can also help students understand the jobs you can get with a nursing degree. As you plan your nursing education, consider a pre-nursing certificate with mentorship options from Advanced eClinical Training. Enroll now to get started.

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