Delaware may not be on your shortlist of places to live. But, if that’s the case, you should reconsider. Delaware is a beautiful coastal state just north of Washington DC. It has close to thirty miles of coastline with bays, beaches, and wildlife areas that offer ample recreational opportunities.
Delaware has many great nursing schools and programs. Nurses in Delaware enjoy relatively high wages and a low cost of living. In addition, the state is close to Washington DC, New York, Philadelphia, and many other metropolitan areas. Additionally, Delaware is part of the Nursing Licensing Compact (NLC). This membership means opportunities for finding a nursing job after completing one of the best online nursing programs in Delaware are tremendous! So, if you are interested in becoming a nurse in Delaware, you have come to the right place. We have compiled a list of nursing programs for nurses interested in a nursing career in Delaware.
How We Ranked The Best Nursing Programs In Delaware
The Nursing School Hub editors ranked the Delaware nursing programs using data from IPEDS and Niche, including cost and potential salary. Sometimes our lists are huge, and we leave many great schools on them them. However, in small states like Delaware, we included all the programs we found and ranked those.
1. University of Delaware
The University of Delaware has one of the best nursing programs in Delaware. UDel offers nursing degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate levels. The amount and variety of quality nursing programs offered by the University of Delaware are why the school is number one on our list. There are three paths to earn a BSN – traditional, accelerated, and RN-BSN. The graduate programs include a Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) generalist and a MSN in Health Systems Leadership. In addition, the doctorate programs offered are a DNP and Ph.D. The nursing program delivery and format include traditional, online, accelerated, and bridge.
The University of Delaware is the largest public university in Delaware and was established in 1833. The school’s main campus is in Newark, and there are three satellite campuses in Georgetown, Wilmington, and Lewis. The nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Degrees: traditional BSN, ABSN, RN-BSN, MSN, MSN-HSL, POST Master’s Certificate Program, DNP, PhD
2. Delaware State University
Another one of the best nursing programs in Delaware is at Delaware State University through the Wesley College of Health & Behavioral Sciences. Delaware State offers a basic traditional BSN program that features a high degree of instructor-student interaction. In addition, students use simulation labs and smart classrooms to get the optimal amount of hands-on experience. At the master’s level, there are three specialization options. Students can choose from the MSN: Clinical Nurse Specialist Adult-Gerontology, the MSN: Nursing Education, or the MSN: Global Leadership.
The school was establi1shed in 1891 under a different name. After a few name changes, the school settled on its current name in 1993. Delaware State University is a historically black, public university with the main campus in Dover and two satellite campuses in Wilmington and Georgetown. DSU is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.
Degrees: BSN, MSN-AG, MSN-NE, MSN-CNS-AG
3. Delaware Technical Community College – Stanton
Delaware Technical Community College in Stanton has one of the best nursing programs in Delaware. Delaware Tech has an Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) that prepares students to become licensed registered nurses (RN). The ASN program at Delaware Tech is a Connected Degree. Nursing graduates who meet the admission requirements can enter the RN-BSN or RN-MSN programs at Delaware State University and Wilmington University.
The Delaware Tech was established in 1967. Today the community college has four campuses in Wilmington, Dover, Georgetown, and Stanton. The ADN degree is offered at all campuses except Wilmington. Delaware Technical Community College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, and the nursing program at the Stanton campus is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The 2020 NCLEX-RN licensure exam pass rate for the Stanton Campus was 92.8%.
Degrees: ADN (RN)
4. Wilmington University
Through its College of Health Professions, Wilmington University offers some of the best nursing programs in Delaware. WilmU boasts a robust nursing degree program with degrees at the bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels. The school also offers many nursing certificate programs. All the nursing programs use guided pathways to ensure students don’t waste time or money.
Wilmington University is a large private school in New Castle, Delaware. The school offers over 200 certificate and degree undergraduate programs and provides in-demand degrees catered to working adults. They have flexible delivery options, including online degrees. Wilmington University is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The nursing programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
Degrees: traditional BSN, RN-BSN, ABSN, MSN, RN-MSN, DNP, DNP-PhD, and many certificates
5. Wesley College + Delaware State
On July 1, 2021, Wesley College was acquired by Delaware State University. Both campuses are in Dover, Delaware, and are about 1.7 miles apart. Wesley College was established in 1873 and had an active nursing program offering a BSN and an RN-MSN. The partnership between these schools is exciting! It will only serve to create more opportunities and more diversity in nursing programs! The Wesley College of Health and Behavioral Sciences at Delaware State University now houses the Wesley Nursing programs.
Currently, the nursing programs for the two schools still show different web pages. So, until next year we are going to leave Wesley on our list as one of the best nursing programs in Delaware. But, next year, we expect the new power duo may move to the number one spot! Delaware State University & Wesley – “Power of We”.
Degrees: BSN, RN-MSN
6. Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing at Beebe Medical Center
The Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing at the Beebe Medical center has one of the best nursing programs in Delaware. The Beebe center is a primary medical center for the community and an accredited nursing school, all wrapped into one. The two-year nursing program at Beebe is a very traditional, hands-on program. Beebe is known for its extensive clinical training and provides a quality nursing education. Graduates receive a diploma and not a degree but can sit for the NCLEX exam and become licensed. Students who choose to continue their education are prepared to earn a BSN from either the University of Delaware or Wilmington University.
Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing at Beebe Healthcare is in the town of Lewes, Delaware. The school was formed in 1921 and celebrated its one-hundredth anniversary this year! The nursing program at Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing at Beebe Healthcare is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Degrees: Nursing Diploma
7. Delaware Technical Community College – Dover
The Terry Campus of the Delaware Technical Community College in Dover has one of the best nursing programs in Delaware. Similar to the Stanton campus, his campus also has an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN). However, the location of the school in Dover may offer more job opportunities for nursing students after they graduate. The ASN program at Delaware Tech in Dover is also a Connected Degree. Nursing graduates who meet the admission requirements can enter the RN-BSN or RN-MSN programs at Delaware State University and Wilmington University.
The ADN degree program at the Delaware Technical Community College Terry Campus in Dover, Delaware is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The 2020 NCLEX-RN licensure exam pass rate for the Terry Campus in Dover was 91.4%.
Degrees: ADN (RN)
8. Polytech Adult Education
POLYTECH Adult Education has one of the best nursing programs in Delaware. The school specializes in career and trade education as well as continuing education for different professions. POLYTECH offers an entry level Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certificate program that is about three months. In addition, the school has a Practical Nursing Diploma program that prepares students to sit for the Delaware Practical Nurse license exam (NCLEX-PN) and become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN). The program is a full-time in person program that lasts approximately eleven months.
POLYTECH Adult Education is a small, public college in Woodside, Delaware. It is part of the Polytech School District in Kent County that provides educational programs and training for high school students and adult education programs. The POLYTECH practical nursing program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Degrees: CNA Certificate, PN Diploma ( LPN)
9. Delaware Technical Community College – Georgetown
The Jack F. Owens Campus of Delaware Technical Community College in Georgetown has one of the best nursing programs in Delaware. Similar to the other locations of the college, this campus also has an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN). The ADN program at Delaware Tech in Georgetown is also a Connected Degree. Nursing graduates who meet the admission requirements can enter the RN-BSN or RN-MSN programs at Delaware State University and Wilmington University.
The ADN degree program at the Delaware Technical Community College Jack F. Owens Campus in Georgetown, Delaware is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The 2020 NCLEX-RN licensure exam pass rate for the Owens Campus in Georgetown was 90.7%.
10. Western Governors University
Western Governors University has one of the best nursing programs in Delaware. WGU offers an online RN-BSN for registered nurses interested in earning a BSN. Most students complete the BSN program in eighteen months while continuing to work. WGU also offers online master’s degrees in nursing.
WGU is an online university that was founded in 1997 by a group of US governors. Western Governors University is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). In addition, the bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs at WGU are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.
Degrees: online RN-BSN, online MSN
How Do I Choose A Nursing School In Delaware State?
Choosing one of the nursing schools in Delaware first begins with making a list of all possible schools you are interested in attending. For example, you may only be interested in online nursing programs in Delaware or accelerated nursing programs in Delaware.
Next, you should prepare your paperwork. When you apply to a college or university, you may be asked to provide a high school transcript, standardized test scores, a personal essay, and letters of recommendation. Once you have gathered your documents and are prepared to apply to schools, you will want to narrow down your list.
Start with only leaving schools that are accredited on your list. School accreditation lets you know the academic quality of the institution. When applying to nursing schools in Delaware, make sure the Middle States Commission on Higher Education has accredited them. Additionally, the nursing program should have programmatic accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
After you have made your list of only accredited schools, you can narrow it down further. If you have a tuition budget, you can remove the nursing programs that cost too much. Knowing how much the total cost of attendance for a program can be tricky. Make sure you include tuition, textbooks, housing, uniforms, and a computer.
If you need to commute to the school, you can only leave Delaware nursing programs near me on the list. Since Delaware is such a small state, you should now have a list of two or three schools where you can apply.
How Is The Job Market For Nurses In Delaware?
Although the state is small, there will always be RN jobs in Delaware. Students need to maintain good grades and get as much experience as possible because the outlook is competitive. As nurses begin to retire in the next ten years, there will be an increase in the demand for younger nurses to take their place. Assisted living facilities, hospitals, and home health care agencies will likely be the places to look for a job after graduating.
Also, remember that Delaware is a member of the Nursing Licensure Compact (NLC). Therefore, you can apply for a multi-state license and work in another NLC state once you are licensed. Travel Nurses are exposed to many different types of nursing and can see the world while working.
How Much Can I Earn As A Nurse In Delaware?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nurses in Delaware earn an annual mean wage of $74,330, which is under the national mean of $80,010. However, the cost of living in Delaware is slightly lower than the national average. Therefore, it helps to offset the lower average salaries.
Nurses with higher levels of education make more than their counterparts with less education. For example, an LPN salary in Delaware will be less than an RN salary in Delaware. And the RN-BSN salary in Delaware will be higher than just the RN. So earning a more advanced degree can fetch you a higher salary. If you have an RN, many of the RN-BSN programs are online and can be completed while you continue to work.
In addition, nurses in Delaware can find higher wages in urban areas and hold a nursing specialization. For example, a Nurse Anesthetist Salary in Delaware can easily be over $150,000 and well above the national average. Other nursing specializations that pay well are a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, a Nurse Midwife, a Gerontological Nurse Practitioner, and a Nurse Educator.
Nursing continues to be an in-demand profession and will likely stay that way for the foreseeable future. So, a nursing career in Delaware is a solid choice!