The 10 Best Nursing Degree Programs

best nursing schoolsThe profession of nursing can provide an individual with personal satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment as they spend much of their career helping others. Nurses are in high demand all over the world and varied career opportunities make it easy to find the realm of nursing that provides a level of stability and personal fulfillment.

The helpful and extensive knowledge acquired through nursing school can be useful in everyday situations as well as throughout an individual’s nursing career. Online education provides flexible scheduling that allows a student to successfully balance education, work and family obligations.

Finding a quality nursing school is essential to obtaining the knowledge and skills needed to become a professional nurse and begin making a difference in other people’s lives.

#1. Chamberlain College of Nursing

The Associate Degree of Nursing program offers students with no prior nursing experience or education to obtain the basic fundamentals in nursing through a six-semester program. Students who continue on to the second year level of nursing studies have the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree in nursing and sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. They also offer Bachelor of Science in Nursing as well as Master of Science in Nursing for those already in the nursing profession. Accreditation includes The Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), and National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). Tuition costs for the first six credits are $665 per credit hour and $100 per credit hour after earning seven credits and above. Admission requirements include a completed application submitted along with the application fee, previous transcripts if applicable and an interview with a counselor.

#2. Capella University

The RN to BSN program offers registered nurses the chance to receive credit completion based on their work experience. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Capella University offers online courses lasting from 10 to 12 weeks in length. Lower level credit hours average $290 and higher level courses are $305 per credit hour. Financial aid is available for qualified students. BSN requirements include previous diploma or associate’s degree in nursing and a 2.3 cumulative GPA from an accredited institution. Graduate studies in nursing require a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

#3. Keiser University

Keiser University offers an undergraduate RN to BSN program as well as a graduate MSN program. Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, potential students can apply completely online and a placement test is required for all students. Classes start each month and are taken one at a time. Online students have access to student services that are available 24/7 to answer any questions and concerns. Tuition rates are determined based on level of program study and can be discussed with an admissions counselor after applying online.

#4. Western Governors University

Bachelor’s and master’s degree programs have earned accreditation by the CCNE and offer several areas of nursing degrees including health informatics, education and leadership and management. Admissions for undergraduate programs include applicable transcripts from previous schools, high school diploma or GED and an interview with a school counselor to determine if the school is a good fit for the potential student. Unlike other online nursing schools, WGU offers a flat tuition rate per six month term. The average tuition per term is $2,890. Although time of completion may vary, programs typically take 18 months to complete.

#5. Walden University

Walden University’s School of Nursing offers individual courses in healthcare, certificate programs, bachelor’s and master’s in nursing programs and also a doctoral program for experienced nurses. Also accredited by CCNE, tuition ranges from $280 to $760 per credit hour depending on the program. Admission requirements include a completed online application, application fee, a list of transferrable credits from other colleges attended, official transcripts and employment history.

#6. Grand Canyon University

Classes at Grand Canyon University are offered one at a time to ensure students get a solid grasp of the presented material. Nursing courses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. Class sizes are small to allow personalized learning and each nursing course equals four credits. RN to BSN program tuition averages about $28,450 with financial aid options available for students who qualify. Books and supplies are not included and average about $1,600. An application for admission must be submitted and an admissions counselor will contact the student with information on the next step towards enrollment.

#7. Colorado Technical University

The associate degree in nursing program requires applicants to successfully complete entrance testing, complete a drug screening and background check with negative results and show proof of a GPA of 2.75 from high school or previous college transcripts. The RN to BSN program tuition rates average $27,755 total cost with a $50 application fee. CTU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is also a member of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

#8. South University

South University, accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and the CCNE, offers graduate nursing studies online for those seeking higher learning opportunities in areas such as administration, education and nurse practitioner. Interested individuals must request information and speak with an admissions representative before applying. The representative will walk the potential student through the application process and determine if the school is right for the individual and their needs. Tuition rates depend on the type of nursing degree and can average from $391 to $436 per credit hour.

#9. Kaplan University

Associate’s degrees in nursing include online coursework and clinical experience at designated sites to prepare for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). To be considered for admission, an applicant must have a high school diploma or GED. The BSN program offers a tuition rate of $315 per credit hour with a minimum of 90 credit hours from an associate’s degree. Kaplan University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) with nursing programs accredited by the CCNE.

#10. University of Phoenix College of Nursing

One of the largest accredited universities in the United States, University of Phoenix College of Nursing offers many programs for working nurses to obtain further education and pursue their personal goals in nursing. Programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and are offered online and at select campus locations. Classes are typically five to six weeks in duration and are taken one at a time to allow in-depth understanding of the class material. Undergraduate programs include the LPN/LVN to BSN and RN to BSN. Nurses who want to pursue a graduate degree can choose from several MSN programs and those with a master’s in nursing can enhance their career with a Ph.D. in nursing. For undergraduate nursing programs, admission requirements include a high school diploma or GED, valid LPN/LVN license, signed Criminal Background Check Disclosure and proof of legal citizenship or permanent residency. Graduate program requirements include an undergraduate degree in nursing, valid RN license, legal citizenship or permanent residency and a grade point average of at least 2.5 on their undergraduate transcript.