Degree Finder For Nurses

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Top 50 Most Progressive Nursing Schools

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The field of Nursing continues to grow and expand with the technology of the industry. With that growth, employment opportunities along with compensation for nursing professionals continues to grow as well.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects that jobs registered will grow at a rate of 19% (faster than the average for all industries covered) between 2012-2022, driven in part by an increased demand for healthcare services from an aging population. Growth rates for certain nursing specialization are expected to be even higher, from 25-31%.

This list of progressive nursing schools/ programs in the United States looked at a number of indicators including:

  • Investment in advanced technology.
  • An experienced and recognized teaching staff
  • Opportunities for learning experience while in school.
  • Recognition of the school by other organizations, to improve employment placement possibilities after graduation.
  • Research funds invested in the nursing programs.

Utilizing these criteria, the following schools were selected.

50. University of Southern Indiana

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The University of Southern Indiana was established in 1965. The Nursing Program focuses on cost-effective nursing and health care. This innovative focus allows the program to stay at the forefront of the industry. Degree options include BSN, RN-to-BSN, MSN, and DNP. Graduate level specialty options include Adult-Gerontology Clinical Nurse Specialist, Acute Care NP, Adult-Gerontology Acute Care NP, Family NP, Psychiatric Mental Health NP and also education, management and leadership options. Clinical learning opportunities are part of the education, and take place locally, including in hospitals, nursing homes and clinics.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1965
Location: Evansville, IN

49. Southeast Missouri State University

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Southeast Missouri State University was founded in 1873 in Cape Girardeau, and the Department of Nursing was established in 1958. With small class sizes, the faculty at Southeast Missouri State University focuses on graduating students with a progressive view of patient care. Nursing degree programs include the MSN, BSN and RN-to-BSN online program, the latter of which is 100% online, with full- or part-time options. An accelerated BSN track is also available for students who have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree and wish to complete a BSN. Students of the MSN program can focus on either Family Nurse Practitioner or nurse educator specialties.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1873
Location: Cape Girardeau, MO

48. Missouri Southern State University

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Missouri Southern State University was founded in 1937 in Joplin, Missouri. The nursing program, now housed in the Julio S. León Health Sciences Center (pictured above), has offered a top education for over 45 years. Today, the progressive courses look to the future of the nursing industry and nontraditional treatments. The MSSU nursing department had a 2012 NCLEX-RN first-time pass rate of 100%. Their program “is based on the Betty Neuman Systems Model, emphasizing Person, Health, Environment, and Nursing.” BSN Nursing students make up 6% of the MSSU student population and have attendance from around the world. For the RN-to-BSN track, the school takes in RNs as either graduates of MSSU’s Associate Degree Nursing program or as transfer students.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1937
Location: Joplin, MO

47. Wake Forest University Health Sciences

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Wake Forest College was founded in 1834 and the name was officially changed to Wake Forest University in 1967. The nursing program has been designated as Nursing of Excellence. The focus on a three-tiered model of care and a focus on research help Wake Forest University maintain its position at the top of progressive nursing programs.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1834
Location: Wiston-Salem, NC

46. Medical College of Wisconsin

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The Medical College of Wisconsin had its start in 1893. The nursing program, operating since 1981, is one of the top in research funding and continues to be an innovative force in developing patient care advances. Programs include an Advanced Practice Nurse/ Physician Assistant, offered in tandem with Froedtert Hospital and Community Memorial Hospital, and which have two dozen specialties. Froedtert Hospital has twice (2006, 2011) received the Magnet recognition award for quality patient care and nursing excellence — something awarded to only 378 of around 6,000 U.S. healthcare organizations. Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin together offer an academic medical center – the only one in eastern Wisconsin, and amongst the 6% (roughly 120) of hospitals in the U.S. that offer this.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1893
Location: Milwaukee, WI

45. University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester

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The University of Massachusetts Medical School was founded in 1962 as a state school. It consistently ranks among the top medical schools in the nation. The Graduate School of Nursing offers a practice-focused approach to nursing. With research focus on chronic conditions, the UMMS Graduate School of Nursing will continue to find a place at the top of the industry.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1962
Location: Worcester, NA

44. University of California, Davis

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The University of California Davis was founded in 1905 as a farming school with a mission to advance the human condition. That focus has continued and is not present in the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing. The Nursing Science Research is one of the reasons that UC Davis School of Nursing ranks among the top recipients for research funding.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1905
Location: Davis, CA

43. University of Chicago

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The University of Chicago was founded in 1890 with a commitment to ground breaking research and innovation. The Nursing program continues the tradition by cutting new pathways for the approach and treatment of patients. The focus on research and continued education are two of the reasons that the University of Chicago ranks as a progressive nursing education option.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1890
Location: Chicago, IL

42. University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

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UT Southwestern Medical Center, part of the University of Texas System (admin building in Austin pictured above), was formed in 1943 and has grown from the small, wartime medical college to a progressive leader in the industry. The nursing program is nationally recognized and it ranks as one of the top schools for research funding. The school is breaking the barriers for cancer-fighting drugs and cardiovascular research.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1943
Location: Dallas, TX

41. Yeshiva University

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Yeshiva University, founded in 1886, is based in New York City. YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine, established 1955, offers hands-on training to variety of healthcare professionals, including to nurses, via the Children’s Evaluation and Rehabilitation Center (CERC), under a LEND (Leadership in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities) program, with intermediate-term or short-term training. (The college receives funding from NIH for several research centers for diabetes, cancer and other initiatives.) As well, YU’s Stern College for Women offers combined and joint programs (in partnership with Johns Hopkins University) in nursing, with BA, BSN, and MSN degree options. (Related options include occupational therapy BA/MS, physician assistant BA/MPS). As the joint program is in partnership with Johns Hopkins University, bachelor’s requirements are three years at Stern College and a one-year accelerated program at Johns Hopkins, resulting in a BA (Stern) and BSN (Johns Hopkins). A subsequent MSN can take one to two years.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1953
Location: Bronx, NY

40. Northwestern College

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Northwestern College was established in 1902 in Chicago and provided specialized training to both men and women. That nature of progressive focus continues today. The Violet L. Schumacher School of Nursing is located in nearby Bridgeview, about 13 miles south of the Chicago Loop (pictured above). VLS offers a wide range of nursing programs and a challenging curriculum are two of the reasons that the School of Nursing ranks at the top for the country. Degree programs include practical hands on experience, which amounts to nurse training. Specialties include medical surgical nursing, pediatric nursing, and maternity/ women’s health nursing.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1902
Location: Chicago, IL

39. Oregon Health and Science University

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The Oregon Health & Science University had its beginnings in 1887 and has continued a tradition of innovation care and treatment. The School of Nursing traces its start back to 1910 and continues to work to build partnerships that drive the nursing profession to new levels. The wide range of educational opportunities helps the Oregon Health & Science University School of Nursing continue to rank at the top of nursing programs around the country.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1887
Location: Portland, OR

38. University of Iowa

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The University of Iowa was founded in 1847. The College of Nursing, founded in 1898, has a tradition of innovation. The quality of faculty and the top level of research funding help push the University of Iowa College of Nursing to the front of progressive nursing programs. Facilities include a $6M, 20,000 square-foot Nursing Clinical Education Center (NCEC) with an 11-room clinical simulation lab that covers a number of areas, including patient simulation, pediatric intensive care unit, adult medical surgical care and more. The center is open 24/7 and faculty, nurse educators and practicing clinicians all contribute to instruction. Several of the degree programs have ranked #11 or #12 in the recent past (US News) and the Gerontology and Nursing Service Administration programs have both ranked #2. Nursing degree programs include BSN, RN-BSN, MSN:CNL, PhD and DNP.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1847
Location: Iowa City, IA

37. Baylor College of Medicine

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Baylor University, the oldest Baptist university in the world, was founded in 1845 and is situated in Waco, TX. Baylor College of Medicine started in 1900 as a separate entity by another name, being acquired by Baylor in 1903. The Louise Herrington School of Nursing, situated in Dallas, TX (downtown view of Texas Medical Center pictured above), offers a Learning Resource Center that allows for a research-focused advanced education. Undergraduate programs include both a traditional track and a FastBacc Track, which is a 12-month accelerated post-baccalaureate program that follows any non-nursing bachelor’s degree and requires just over 60 hours of nursing course work. Graduate programs include a BSN to DNP (family), Nurse-Midwifery, a post-Master’s DNP, and others. Technology used for education includes a state-of-the-art Patient Simulation Lab.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1900
Location: Waco, TX

36. Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai was chartered in 1963. The Center for Nursing Research and Education allows Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Department of Nursing is one of the only nursing centers established with a medical school. That connection helps lead the Nursing Department to the forefront of the nursing industry around the country.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1963
Location: New York, NY

35. University of California – San Diego

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The University of California San Diego was chartered in 1949. The Nursing program works through the UC San Diego Health Sciences and provides the most current research and a distinguished faculty. These focuses allow the University of California San Diego to stand at the forefront of progressive nursing.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1949
Location: San Diego, CA

34. University of Texas at Austin

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The University of Texas at Austin opened its doors in 1883. The School of Nursing was reorganized into the UT System School of Nursing in 1968 and has been focused on leading the nursing industry in innovation and research ever since. The Cain Center for Nursing Research and the St. David’s Center for Health Promotion & Disease Prevention in Underserved Populations are two of the reasons that the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing is one of the top funded research programs in the country.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1883
Location: Austin, TX

33. University of Florida

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The University of Florida began as the East Florida Seminary in Ocala, Florida in 1853. It was moved after the Civil War to Gainesville and the name was changed in the early 1900’s. The College of Nursing was founded in 1956. It features the UF Health Science Center, which is an interdisciplinary resource unmatched in the rest of the Southeast. The University of Florida College of Nursing ranks as one of the top progressive programs because of the focus on offering the top technological tools, the focus on collaboration with the community, and the outreach around the globe.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1853
Location: Gainesville, FL

32. University of Arizona

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The University of Arizona was established in 1885 in the middle of the Sonoran Desert (Tucson, Arizona). The School of Nursing was recognized in 1957, although the University of Arizona had been offering nursing programs since the early 1940’s. The research programs are nationally funded, and the School of Nursing consistently lands in the top tier for researching funding in the country. This focus on research combined with the collaborative connections around the globe, are some of the main reasons that the University of Arizona School of Nursing is considered one of the most progressive nursing programs in the United States.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1885
Location: Tucson, AZ

31. University of Maryland

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The University of Maryland was chartered in 1856 and first opened its doors in 1859 in College Park, Maryland. The School of Nursing was established in 1889 with a focus on research that continues to drive the school to the forefront of innovation in the nursing industry. The University of Maryland School of Nursing features two research centers, and is the only school in the state with an Institute for Educators in Nursing and Health Professions.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1856
Location: College Park, MD

30. New York University School of Medicine

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NYU School of Medicine had its start in 1837 and the College of Nursing was founded in 1932. NUYCN graduates are taking a lead in innovations for the nursing profession. The College of Nursing ranks at the top for research funding. The focus on innovations and research keep NYU College of Nursing at the top of the field.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1837
Location: New York, NY

29. Rush University

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Rush Medical College received its charter in 1837. It became Rush University Medical Center in 2003 and is located in Chicago, Illinois. The Medical Center was ranked in U.S. News’ America’s Best Hospitals list for 2010. The focus on research, with Rush involved in more than 1,600 projects, helps the College of Nursing rank at the top for progressive nursing programs in the country.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1837
Location: Chicago, IL

28. Arizona State University

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Arizona State University had its start in 1885 as the Tempe Normal School. The name changed in 1958 to Arizona State University. ASU College of Nursing offers a strong research focus and ranks in the top for research funding in the nation. It is the only college of nursing that has been selected as National Institute of Mental Health Outreach Partner to research ways of improving health outcomes. It is the pursuit of research that helps keep Arizona State University College of Nursing ranked as one of the best graduate nursing programs in the nation.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1885
Location: Tempe, AZ

27. Emory University

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Emory University was founded by the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1836 in Oxford, Georgia. The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing evolved from a small training school to one of the best private nursing schools in the nation. With small class sizes and top faculty members, the School of Nursing has consistently ranked in the top 20% for research funding, specialty programs, and faculty support. This personal touch from Emory University helps to create a progressive nursing program.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1836
Location: Druid Hills, GA

26. University of Utah

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The University of Utah was founded in 1850 in Salt Lake City. The College of Nursing focuses on an interactive education through innovative practice models. This approach to nursing education, combined with a focus on communication and collaboration is one of the reasons that the University of Utah College of Nursing offers one of the first VA Nursing Academies. Looking for new ways to approach nursing keeps the University of Utah College of Nursing ranking in the top programs around the country.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1850
Location: Salt Lake City, UT

25. Boston College

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Boston College was founded in 1863. It moved to Chestnut Hill in 1909. The Boston College School of Nursing opened its doors in 1947 and was dedicated as the William F. Connell School of Nursing in 2003. The new Maloney Hall will open in 2015 and will feature a custom designed that fosters interaction and collaboration. A commitment to research, inquiry and collaboration continues to drive Boston College and the William F. Connell School of Nursing to the forefront of the nursing industry.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1863
Location: Chestnut Hill, MA

24. Medical University of South Carolina

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The Medical University of South Carolina has been serving the state since 1824. It started as a small private college and has expanded to a state university. The College of Nursing is the only academic health science center in South Carolina. The College excels in innovative technologies for improving the learning experience but also to deal with the changing times of health care.

The Healthcare Simulation Center provides students with over 3,000 simulations. The Technology Applications Center for Healthful Lifestyles focuses on prevention and management. Medical University of South Caroline College of Nursing ranks in the top progressive programs because of a focus on innovative technology and training.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1824
Location: Charleston, SC

23. Yale University

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Yale University was founded in colonial America in 1701 in New Haven, Connecticut. The Yale School of Nursing was founded in 1923 with a vision to create nurses prepared for a highly skilled profession. The Center for International Nursing Scholarship and Education (CINSE) takes this vision around the globe. This world focus and world reach marks some of the reasons that Yale University School of Nursing consistently ranks among the top programs in the United States. The school offers a number of degrees in Nursing, include an NP (Nurse Practitioner), DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) a Doctor of Philosophy and others, and offers both pre- and post-doctoral research training certificates relevant to NP specialties.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1701
Location: New Haven, CT

22. University of Wisconsin – Madison

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The University of Wisconsin – Madison was founded in 1848 on 936 acres in Madison, Wisconsin as a public land grant institution. The School of Nursing was established in 1924 and continues to be a crucial component to the Wisconsin health care system. With a high investment and focus on research, the University of Wisconsin-Madison ranks in the top five research programs in the country. U Wisconsin’s School of Nursing launched a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice) program in 2010, offering post-BS and post-MS options as well. In 2011, they received approval for a new building, Signe Skott Cooper Hall. Their first online nursing course was offered the same year that their Web site was launched, in 1996. Earlier milestones include a PhD joint program in nursing and psychology launched in 1984, amongst many other milestones.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1848
Location: Madison, WI

21. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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The University of Illinois has been on the cutting edge of research since 1867. Today the Chicago campus is still one of only a handful of universities that is recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for its research activity. The College of Nursing pursues this same target of research, achieving a rank of #2 in terms of NIH research funding. An award-winning faculty combined with a research focus allows the University of Illinois College of Nursing to remain a nationally recognized program for progressive nursing education. One-third of the faculty are AAN (American Academy of Nursing) Fellows and six are AAN Living Legends. The programs, which have helped rank the nursing school in the top in various lists, include BSN, MS, PhD, and DNP degrees.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1867
Location: Chicago, IL

20. Case Western Reserve University

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Case Western Reserve was founded in 1826 and continues to be one of the top-ranked universities in the country. The nursing school started its history in 1898 as Lakeside Hospital Training School for Nursing. Now known as the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, founded in 1923 (from an endowment from Ohio’s first elected congresswoman, Frances Payne Bolton), it fosters a spirit of innovation and focuses on outcome-based research — which helps to keep the FPB School of Nursing ranked among the top programs each year. FPB is now receiving around $1.6M in grant money from the National Cancer Institute to aid oncology nurses in educating cancer patients about clinical trials. FPB is also one of 10 WHO (World Health Organization) Collaborating centers in the U.S.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1826
Location: Cleveland, OH

19. Ohio State University

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Ohio State University was established in 1870 in Columbus, Ohio. The College of Nursing celebrates 100 years of operation in 2014. The College of Nursing is part of the “Doctoral/Research Universities-Extensive” that increases collaboration and cooperation for more creative research. This research focus helps Ohio State University College of Nursing continue to rank among the most progressive programs in the nation. The nursing school has two DNP options: a DNP Clinical Expert practice doctorate and a DNP Nurse Executive doctorate, with common core classes plus specialties for each. The state of Ohio requires that schools have legal authorization to offer online courses, and both DNP options have that. Note that on-campus visits are required for both orientation and Final Document Project defense events.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1870
Location: Columbus, OH

18. Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis

University Library-Noon

Indiana University offers its first classes in Indianapolis in 1891, it then merged with Purdue University in 1969 culminating in Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis. It is one of the nation’s premier research universities. The School of Nursing, opened in 1914, includes the 10,000 square foot Resource Center for Innovation in Clinical Nursing Education. This multimedia resource is one of the reasons the Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis offers a top progressive nursing program.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1969
Location: Indianapolis, IN

17. University of Virginia

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The University of Virginia was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson in Charlottesville. The university remains public. The School of Nursing provides a well-rounded education with a focus on technologically advanced care with a human touch. In the classroom, students are paired with medical students to help stimulate an emphasis on compassionate care. This approach to nursing is one of the reasons that the University of Virginia School of Nursing ranks among the top programs in the nation.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1819
Location: Charlottesville, VA

16. University of Rochester

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The University of Rochester is a leading research school located in Rochester, New York. It was founded in 1850. Today, the School of Nursing pushes the envelope of progressive studies in the nursing industry with a curriculum that emphasizes the science and the humanity. U of Rochester’s School of Nursing, which runs three research Centers of Excellence, has the philosophy of “the unification of education, research, and practice” — something the school claims to have pioneered in the 1980s, which is now a model for other American nursing programs.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1850
Location: Rochester, NY

15. University of Minnesota

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The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities campus – was founded in 1851. The School of Nursing, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2009, introduced the Bentson Center in 2013. The center provides state-of-the-art technology and simulated environments that help to keep the University of Minnesota School of Nursing as one of the most progressive educations in the nursing industry. The school has also been ranked #21 (of 400) by U.S. News for its nursing programs, who also ranked their nurse midwifery program as #6.

In terms of funding from the NIH (National Institutes of Health), it ranks #15 nationally, and the school receives over $6M per in research grant funding per year. It was also the first American school of nursing to offer DNP programs with the specialties Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, Nursing Informatics and Health Innovation and Leadership. Their midwifery program is also the first fully accredited under a DNP degree. In terms of research centers, it has seven, including nursing leadership. Finally, over 90% of both BSN and MN grads pass the NCLEX certification exam on their first try.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1851
Location: Minneapolis, MN

14. University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

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The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill holds the honor of being the nation’s oldest state university, charted in 1789 and opening its doors to the first student in 1795. The School of Nursing has been leading the industry since 1950. It is one of only a handful of schools in the country that houses a Biobehavioral Laboratory – part of the Research Support Center. This emphasis on non-invasive monitoring helps the UNC School of Nursing maintain its position as one of the top progressive nursing schools.

The school offers a number of degree programs, including BSN, MSN, RN-MSN, post-master’s, and a PhD. The PhD program was the first for nursing in the state of North Carolina, as were the four-year nursing bachelor’s, nursing master’s, and nurse practitioner program. The school tied for #4 in US News’ 2012 list of Best Graduate School Rankings. It also tied for #4 in the psychiatric/ mental health clinical nurse specialist category, and ranked highly for three other specialties.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1789
Location: Chapel Hill, NC

13. University of California, Los Angeles

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UCLA was founded in 1919 with the School of Nursing being authorized in 1949. It is the largest university in the State of California. A focus on hands-on experience helps students at UCLA School of Nursing lead the industry in health care impact around the world. The Global Health Experience offers students the chance to learn aboard. The unique learning experiences combined with the focus on research allow the University of California Los Angeles School of Nursing to remain one of the top most progressive programs in the nation.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1919
Location: Los Angeles, CA

12. University of Colorado – Denver

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The University of Colorado began with the establishment of a Boulder campus in 1883. The Denver Campus was established in 1912 and gained its independence in 1973. The College of Nursing was founded in 1898 in Bolder as the Training School for Nurses, later became the School of Nursing in 1924, and was renamed in 2008 to College of Nursing. It consistently ranks at the top for the master’s programs offered. The Anschutz Medical campus integrates education, research and patient care into a new level of health standards and is one of the top reasons that the University of Colorado Denver College of Nursing continues to lead as a progressive choice for those pursuing a nursing career. Ranking accolades include #16 or higher (US News, 2015 list) for Family NP, Nursing-Midwifery, Pediatric NP and overall master’s programs, as well as #10 in 2014 for best online grad programs.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1898
Location: Denver, CO

11. University of Michigan

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The University of Michigan was founded as one of the first public universities in the nation in 1817. It was moved to Ann Arbor in 1837. The teaching and research staff are ranked as one of the top faculties in the country.

The University of Michigan School of Nursing, founded 1893, focuses on training students to be leaders in the health care industry around the globe, including by holding training programs in other countries. The national and international recognized faculty continues to achieve top accolades for research and innovation. These faculty members combined with a technologically focused curriculum help the University of Michigan School of Nursing continue to be a leading force in progressive nursing education. In addition traditional undergrad and grad nursing programs, there is also an Accelerated Second Career BSN track, several Acute Care Master’s tracks, a number of NP and Nurse Midwife tracks, and PhD and Post-Masters DNP programs.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1817
Location: Ann Arbor, MI

10. Vanderbilt University

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Vanderbilt University was founded in 1873 in Nashville, Tennessee and was under the auspices of the Methodist Episcopal Church until 1914. Always an innovator, at least one woman has attended Vanderbilt University every year from 1875 on.

Research has always been an important part of Vanderbilt University. The school ranks at the top of research grants received. Technology also plays an important part of the School of Nursing with classrooms that are interactive for computer presentations. A focus on innovation and technology help the Vanderbilt School of Nursing programs, like the Family Nurse Practitioner program, to rank as the most progressive in the country. The nursing school also has MSN and PhD degree programs, as well as post-Master’s certificates and a postdoc program. for extending research knowledge.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1873
Location: Nashville, TN

9. University of Pittsburgh

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The University of Pittsburgh had its beginnings in a log cabin in 1787 as Pittsburgh Academy. The University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing has been leading the industry since its founding in 1939. Its leadership in research and clinical opportunities for students help the school to consistently rank in the top for nursing programs.

Students can achieve everything from certificates or minors up to Master’s and Doctor of Nursing degrees. There is also an option for an “accelerate 2nd degree BSN,” designed for students with an existing bachelor’s degree, and the DNP program has clinical focus or systems focus options. The high level of research leadership and a wide range of academic options are two of the reasons that the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing continues to be at the front of the industry. It ranked #5 in terms of NIH funding, and 7th in US News’ 2011 Best Graduate Schools list.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1787
Location: Pittsburgh, PA

8. University of Washington

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The University of Washington was founded in 1861 in the heart of downtown Seattle, Washington. It serves more students than any other institution in the Northwest. The University of Washington School of Nursing, in operation since 1918, has been one of the top rated schools for the last 27 years (top-ranked for 17 years on US News’ nursing schools list), with a focus on innovative and technology based curriculum being one of the top factors in the recognitions. It has also enjoyed being in the top 3 for nursing research grants. Nearly 100% of tenured faculty have PhDs, and resources include the Health Sciences Library and five research and training centers.

The Global Center for Integrated Health of Women, Adolescents, and Children (Global WACh) focuses on health issues around the globe. The focus on improving the health and well-being of people around the globe pushes the University of Washington School of Nursing to the forefront of progressive nursing programs, which include the ACNP, ANP, FNP, Midwifery, NCNS, NNP, PNP. Certification results for these and other programs averaged 93-99% in the years 2009-2012. The nursing school also has over a dozen graduate tracks, particularly under the Nurse Practitioner designation.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1861
Location: Seattle, WA

7. Duke University

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Duke University was originally founded as Trinity College in 1838 but renamed in 1924 to Duke University. The School of Nursing began in 1931 and continues today as a champion in innovation for nursing practice, research and education.

Duke University School of Nursing consistently ranks in the top listings for the size of the research pursued and the amount of research monies received. The wide range of programs, including masters, PhD and doctor of nursing degrees help to keep Duke University at the forefront of progressive nursing. The nursing school has had a number of accolades, including #1 Best Nursing School for Men (2010, American Assembly for Men in Nursing), #7 Best Grad Schools for Nursing (2011, US News), #11 for NIH funding (2013), and also runs a National Center of Excellence in Nursing Education.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1838
Location: Durham, NC

6. Stanford University

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Stanford University first opened its doors in 1891 in Stanford, California and still draws upon the entrepreneurial character of its founders, Leland and Jane Stanford. Stanford University School of Medicine launched the Center for Advanced Practice that offers an innovative and visible role in the health care industry throughout the nation.

Stanford University offers a legacy of innovation that includes breakthroughs for cochlear implants, in heart disease prevention, and genetic research. With a faculty that includes an impressive array of nationally and internationally renowned scholars, Stanford University receives the most research money per researcher of any university in the country. The breakthroughs in science and the research funding help to keep Stanford University as one of the top progressive nursing programs.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1891
Location: Stanford, CA

5. Johns Hopkins University

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Johns Hopkins University was founded in 1893 and ushered in a new era for the medical industry. The emphasis on the scientific method continues to launch Johns Hopkins to the forefront of medical advances. Johns Hopkins was also the birthplace for many of the medical specialties.

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine operates six academic and community hospitals, four heath care and surgery centers and more than 30 primary health care outpatient sites. Johns Hopkins University is the one of the first schools to receive a grant to help increase the number of nurses with a doctorate. The hands-on opportunities in top facilities combined with the aggressive pursuit of educational advancement help Johns Hopkins University Nursing remain at the top of the field.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1893
Location: Baltimore, MD

4. University of California, San Francisco

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UCSF was founded in 1864 as Toland Medical College and continued under that name until it affiliated with the University of California. It became independent of the University of California in 1964 and began operating under the name University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. Today, UCSF consistently ranks at the top of the list for research funding. It has invested in research facilities that bring together specialists in stem cell research. The school continues to pursue research excellence and this endeavor helps to keep UCSF consistently in the lead.

UCSF’s School of Nursing was ranked 34 in the USA for 2012 by US News, and was tops in 2007, 2013 and four other times in the past nine year (as of Sep 2014) in terms of NIH research grants. The school has a number of nursing degree programs and specialties, including ACPNP, AGNP, FNP, PNP, NP and others. Several of these programs allow students the option of sub-specialty education such as in various diabetes-related initiatives under the public health practice category.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1864
Location: San Francisco, CA

3. Brigham Young University College of Nursing

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(source)

Brigham Young University (BYU), located in Provo, Utah, was founded in 1875 and is the largest religious university in the U.S. It is a private research university named after Brigham Young — president of the church and also founder of Salt Lake City — and is run by the LDS (Latter-day Saints) Church.

The BYU College of Nursing was established in 1952 as the BYU School of Nursing. It has both undergrad and grad degree programs in nursing. The FNP (Family Nurse Practitioner) program has an option to continue to a Master of Science (MS) degree, and there is a post-masters FNP certificate available.

BYU College of Nursing has ranked high for student experience. As of Sep 2014, a new Nursing Learning Center (NLC) was completed and unveiled. Funded by the Fritz B. Burns Foundation, the center has technology that “expands opportunity for students to be recorded and evaluated on performance.” This includes: video cameras attached to large TV screens for recording student sessions; soundproofed rooms; all new equipment; debriefing rooms with iPads that are also connected to TV screens; a new computer lab; a circulation desk for book checkout, an open lab for practice with IVs or drawing blood; several simulation rooms; “high-fidelity” mannequins that can simulate blinking, speaking, breathing, heartbeat, anaphylactic shock, and tongue swelling; a birth simulation room and more.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1875
Location: Provo, UT

2. Columbia University

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Columbia University, alma mater of President Barack Obama and both Presidents Roosevelt, was founded in 1754 and is the fifth oldest university in the United States. It offers the top nursing school (founded 1892) in the state of New York. It is considered one of the leading research universities in the world with a focus on memory, cancer, and even economic theory in relation to health. All undergraduates take core classes at the same time – connecting the classes and strengthening the learning base.

The unique curriculum carries over to the nursing program – one of the oldest in the USA – where the Columbia Nursing’s Entry to Practice program combines BS and MS degrees (the nursing master’s was first in the U.S.). The comprehensive method of education lets Columbia step out in front of the other nursing programs by preparing students “to excel as clinicians, researchers, and nurse leaders.” The school is a WHO (World Health Organization) Collaborating Center, and they have over 200 practice sites in New York City plus affiliations with three medical centers, giving students a wealth of clinical training. Funding from NIH (National Institutes of Health) makes them one of the top nursing schools on a student per capita basis.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1754
Location: New York, NY

1. University of Pennsylvania

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The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Department of Nursing Education was established in 1935. There are 18 master’s programs available, and the unique option of joint degrees with other Penn schools for undergraduates.

The Helene Fuld Pavilion for Innovative Learning and Simulation offers a unique hands-on experience for nursing students that is unmatched. Students receive exposure to situations in a controlled environment, recorded during the situations, and offered evaluation from the staff and fellow students. This one feature breaks the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing away from the rest of the pack.

Additional School Information:

Nursing website
School founded in: 1950
Location: Philadelphia, PA

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