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2021 Best Nursing Bachelor's Degree Schools

969 Colleges
$62,245 Avg Salary
$22,670 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Nursing Bachelor's Degree School for You

Nursing is the most popular major in the United States with 305,309 degrees and certificates handed out in 2018-2019.

It's not easy to decide which nursing program to enroll in when you have so many options available. With more and more schools offering online options, you could even register for a great program on the other side of the country. On top of that, there are a considerable number of trade schools that offer fast-track entry to many fields.

Along with in-depth profiles of schools and the programs they offer, Nursing Degree Search has created the Best Nursing Bachelor's Degree Schools to help you in your search for the best school for you. This report analyzed 969 schools in the United States to see which ones offered the best bachelor's degree programs for nursing students. Factors related to overall quality of the school, post-graduation earnings, average student debt, and more accumulated were considered when coming up with this list.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools in the United States

The colleges and universities below are the best for nursing majors pursuing a bachelor's degree.

Top 25 Top Schools for a Bachelor's in Nursing

Our analysis found Samuel Merritt University to be the best school for nursing students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the United States. Samuel Merritt University is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Oakland.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Samuel Merritt University take out while working on their Bachelor's Degree is $18,813. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $195.

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You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. The school came in at #2 on this year’s Best Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. Located in the city of Lubbock, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is a public college with a moderately-sized student population.

After completing their Bachelor's Degree, nursing graduates from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center carry an average student debtload of $12,581. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $130.

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You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. The school came in at #3 on this year’s Best Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. Located in the large city of Houston, UTHealth is a public college with a medium-sized student population.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at UTHealth take out while working on their Bachelor's Degree is $16,034. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $158, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#3

Saint Johns University

Collegeville, MN

Out of the 1,087 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Saint Johns University landed the # 3 spot on the list. SJU is a small private not-for-profit school located in the rural area of Collegeville.

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#4

Northwestern College

Orange City, IA

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Northwestern College. The school came in at #4 on this year’s Best Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. NWC is a small private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of Orange City.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at NWC take out while working on their Bachelor's Degree is $24,139. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $270.

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#4

Loma Linda University

Loma Linda, CA

The excellent bachelor’s degree programs at Loma Linda University helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the best nursing schools in the United States. Located in the suburb of Loma Linda, Loma Linda University is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

After completing their Bachelor's Degree, nursing graduates from Loma Linda University carry an average student debtload of $26,422. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $259.

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You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend University of Nebraska Medical Center. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. Located in the city of Omaha, UNMC is a public school with a small student population.

Nursing majors at UNMC take out an average of $14,678 in student loans while working on their Bachelor's Degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $151.

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#6

University of Providence

Great Falls, MT

University of Providence ranked #6 on this year’s Best Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. Located in the city of Great Falls, University of Providence is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at University of Providence take out while working on their Bachelor's Degree is $14,054. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $130.

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Concordia University - Saint Paul landed the #7 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best bachelor’s degree nursing programs. Concordia University - Saint Paul is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Saint Paul.

On average, nursing graduates from Concordia University - Saint Paul take out $15,928 in student loans while working on their Bachelor's Degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $182.

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#8

Stanbridge University

Irvine, CA

With a ranking of #8, Stanbridge University did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students working on their bachelor’s degree. Stanbridge is a small private for-profit school located in the city of Irvine.

On average, nursing graduates from Stanbridge take out $14,149 in student loans while working on their Bachelor's Degree.

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#8

Siena College

Loudonville, NY

Siena College ranked #8 on this year’s Best Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. Located in the large suburb of Loudonville, Siena is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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#9

Pacific College

Costa Mesa, CA

Pacific College ranked #9 on this year’s Best Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. Pacific College is a fairly small private for-profit school located in the midsize city of Costa Mesa.

On average, nursing graduates from Pacific College take out $11,149 in student loans while working on their Bachelor's Degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $130.

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American Sentinel University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a bachelor’s degree. It came in at #10 on the list. Located in the city of Aurora, American Sentinel University is a private for-profit school with a small student population.

After completing their Bachelor's Degree, nursing graduates from American Sentinel University carry an average student debtload of $17,541. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $184, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Linfield College - School of Nursing ranked #11 on this year’s Best Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. Linfield Nursing is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Portland.

After completing their Bachelor's Degree, nursing graduates from Linfield Nursing carry an average student debtload of $21,383. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $244.

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Emmanuel College Massachusetts did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a bachelor’s degree. It came in at #12 on the list. Located in the city of Boston, Emmanuel Boston is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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Linfield College - Online and Continuing Education came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools ranking. Linfield OCE is a fairly small private not-for-profit school located in the distant town of McMinnville.

While working on their Bachelor's Degree, nursing majors at Linfield OCE accumulate an average of around $21,383 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $244.

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Citadel Military College of South Carolina ranked #13 on this year’s Best Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. The Citadel is a small public school located in the midsize city of Charleston.

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#13

Molloy College

Rockville Centre, NY

Molloy College landed the #13 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best bachelor’s degree nursing programs. Molloy is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Rockville Centre.

Nursing majors at Molloy take out an average of $31,324 in student loans while working on their Bachelor's Degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $302.

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Oregon Health & Science University ranked #14 on this year’s Best Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. Located in the city of Portland, OHSU is a public school with a small student population.

On average, nursing graduates from OHSU take out $20,176 in student loans while working on their Bachelor's Degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $178, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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West Coast University - Orange County landed the #15 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best bachelor’s degree nursing programs. Located in the city of Anaheim, West Coast University - Orange County is a private for-profit college with a small student population.

On average, nursing graduates from West Coast University - Orange County take out $32,550 in student loans while working on their Bachelor's Degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $362, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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CUNY Graduate School and University Center came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Best Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the large city of New York, The Graduate Center is a public college with a moderately-sized student population.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at The Graduate Center take out while working on their Bachelor's Degree is $11,188. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $111.

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#17

Villanova University

Villanova, PA

Villanova University came in at #17 in this year’s edition of the Best Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the suburb of Villanova, Villanova is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Villanova take out while working on their Bachelor's Degree is $22,745. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $259.

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The University of Texas Medical Branch did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a bachelor’s degree. It came in at #18 on the list. The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston is a small public school located in the town of Galveston.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston take out while working on their Bachelor's Degree is $13,919. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $135.

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SUNY Downstate Medical Center did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a bachelor’s degree. It came in at #19 on the list. Downstate Medical Center is a small public school located in the city of Brooklyn.

On average, nursing graduates from Downstate Medical Center take out $12,581 in student loans while working on their Bachelor's Degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $130.

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Chamberlain University - Illinois did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a bachelor’s degree. It came in at #20 on the list. Chamberlain - Illinois is a fairly large private for-profit school located in the suburb of Addison.

On average, nursing graduates from Chamberlain - Illinois take out $26,148 in student loans while working on their Bachelor's Degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $249.

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Nursing Bachelor's Degree Schools

#27

Creighton University

Omaha, NE
#29

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
#31

New York University

New York, NY
#32

Wagner College

Staten Island, NY
#33

Duquesne University

Pittsburgh, PA
#36

George Washington University

Washington, DC
#38

Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT
#39

Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Valley, PA
#39

Rider University

Lawrenceville, NJ
#41

Duke University

Durham, NC
#42

Misericordia University

Dallas, PA
#42

Defiance College

Defiance, OH
#43

St. John Fisher College

Rochester, NY
#43

Wittenberg University

Springfield, OH

Remaining Award Winners

This list shows the rest of the colleges awarded a Best Nursing Bachelor's Degree Schools badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 969 different United States nursing schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
46 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
47 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
47 Culver - Stockton College Canton, MO
48 Chamberlain University - Georgia Atlanta, GA
49 University of Maryland - Baltimore Baltimore, MD
50 Chamberlain University-Indiana Indianapolis, IN
51 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
52 SUNY Delhi Delhi, NY
53 Resurrection University Chicago, IL
54 Adelphi University Garden City, NY
55 Dickinson State University Dickinson, ND
55 Sonoma State University Rohnert Park, CA
56 West Coast University-Miami Doral, FL
57 American University of Health Sciences Signal Hill, CA
58 West Coast University - Ontario Ontario, CA
59 California State University - San Marcos San Marcos, CA
60 Salve Regina University Newport, RI
61 West Coast University - Los Angeles North Hollywood, CA
62 Sacred Heart University Fairfield, CT
63 Kettering College Kettering, OH
64 University of Scranton Scranton, PA
65 Vanguard University of Southern California Costa Mesa, CA
66 Rutgers University - Camden Camden, NJ
67 Chamberlain University - Florida Jacksonville, FL
68 The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX
69 Bellin College Green Bay, WI
70 Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO
71 Southwestern College Winfield, KS
71 Pennsylvania State University - World Campus University Park, PA
72 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
73 Chamberlain University-Nevada Las Vegas, NV
74 Chamberlain University - Virginia Arlington, VA
75 University at Buffalo Buffalo, NY
76 University of Wisconsin - Green Bay Green Bay, WI
77 Illinois State University Normal, IL
77 Mayville State University Mayville, ND
78 Mount Carmel College of Nursing Columbus, OH
78 University of Mary Washington Fredericksburg, VA
79 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
80 Dominican University of California San Rafael, CA
81 Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania Slippery Rock, PA
82 California State University - Sacramento Sacramento, CA
83 Baptist Health System School of Health Professions San Antonio, TX
84 University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
85 University of Portland Portland, OR
86 Utica College Utica, NY
87 University of Oklahoma - Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City, OK
88 University of Mount Union Alliance, OH
89 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
90 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
91 California State University - Dominguez Hills Carson, CA
92 Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ
93 Eastern Mennonite University Harrisonburg, VA
94 Frostburg State University Frostburg, MD
95 Simpson University Redding, CA
96 University of St Francis Joliet, IL
97 University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI
98 Bethel University Minnesota Saint Paul, MN
99 Excelsior College Albany, NY
100 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT
101 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
102 Bay Path University Longmeadow, MA
103 National University La Jolla, CA
104 Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA
105 The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio San Antonio, TX
106 Lewis University Romeoville, IL
107 Bay State College Boston, MA
108 Stevenson University Stevenson, MD
109 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
110 The College of New Jersey Ewing, NJ
111 University of Rhode Island Kingston, RI
112 Mount Saint Mary’s University Los Angeles, CA
113 Chamberlain University-Michigan Troy, MI
114 Vermont Technical College Randolph, VT
115 Millersville University of Pennsylvania Millersville, PA
116 Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts San Mateo, CA
117 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
118 Eastern Illinois University Charleston, IL
119 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
120 SUNY Plattsburgh Plattsburgh, NY
121 Emory University Atlanta, GA
122 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
123 University of Virginia - Main Campus Charlottesville, VA
124 CUNY Lehman College Bronx, NY
125 Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL
126 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS
126 Franklin Pierce University Rindge, NH
128 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
129 University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI
130 La Salle University Philadelphia, PA
131 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI
132 Chamberlain University - Arizona Phoenix, AZ
133 Fitchburg State University Fitchburg, MA
134 Mercy College of Health Sciences Des Moines, IA
135 Felician University Lodi, NJ
136 Minnesota State University - Moorhead Moorhead, MN
137 McKendree University Lebanon, IL
138 South Dakota State University Brookings, SD
139 Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences Kansas City, MO
140 Cardinal Stritch University Milwaukee, WI
141 Saint Anselm College Manchester, NH
142 St. Francis College Brooklyn Heights, NY
143 Mercy College Dobbs Ferry, NY
144 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
145 College of Saint Benedict Saint Joseph, MN
151 Becker College Worcester, MA
155 Missouri Valley College Marshall, MO

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Nursing students that almost earned our Best Nursing Bachelor's Degree Schools award.

Rank College Location
146 Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University Baton Rouge, LA
147 Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing Peoria, IL
148 Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences Lancaster, PA
149 Clemson University Clemson, SC
150 University of Saint Joseph West Hartford, CT
151 Chamberlain University - Ohio Columbus, OH
152 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
153 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
154 Cabarrus College of Health Sciences Concord, NC
155 Barnes - Jewish College Goldfarb School of Nursing Saint Louis, MO
156 Curry College Milton, MA
157 Touro University Nevada Henderson, NV
158 Purdue University Northwest Hammond, IN
159 SUNY Polytechnic Institute Utica, NY
160 Shenandoah University Winchester, VA
161 Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA
162 Adventist University of Health Sciences Orlando, FL
163 Nebraska Wesleyan University Lincoln, NE
164 Georgetown University Washington, DC
165 Augusta University Augusta, GA
166 Endicott College Beverly, MA
167 Chamberlain University - Missouri St. Louis, MO
168 St Catherine University Saint Paul, MN
169 Pennsylvania State University - Fayette - Eberly Campus Lemont Furnace, PA
170 Presentation College Aberdeen, SD
171 Denver College of Nursing Denver, CO
172 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
173 The University of Tennessee-Health Science Center Memphis, TN
174 Widener University Chester, PA
175 Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing Richmond, VA
176 Eastern Washington University Cheney, WA
177 Mercy College of Ohio Toledo, OH
177 Texas Lutheran University Seguin, TX
178 SUNY Empire State College Saratoga Springs, NY
179 Lees - McRae College Banner Elk, NC
180 University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia, MO
181 Wilson College Chambersburg, PA
182 Bethel University McKenzie, TN
183 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
184 Goshen College Goshen, IN
185 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
186 Helene Fuld College of Nursing New York, NY
187 Bemidji State University Bemidji, MN
188 California State University - Chico Chico, CA
188 Delta State University Cleveland, MS
189 Minot State University Minot, ND
189 Alma College Alma, MI
190 Sentara College of Health Sciences Chesapeake, VA
191 California University of Pennsylvania California, PA
192 Central Methodist University - College of Graduate & Extended Studies Fayette, MO
193 Fairleigh Dickinson University - Metropolitan Campus Teaneck, NJ
202 Bluffton University Bluffton, OH
206 Carthage College Kenosha, WI
217 Ottawa University - Online Ottawa, KS

Nursing by Region

View the Best Nursing Bachelor's Degree Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

Nursing Focus Areas

Major Annual Graduates
Registered Nursing 251,279
Family Practice Nurse/Nursing 15,536
Nursing Administration 9,071
Other Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing 6,319
Nursing Practice 6,250
Nursing Science 4,704
Nurse Anesthetist 2,031
Adult Health Nurse/Nursing 2,012
Nursing Education 1,991
Psychiatric/Mental Health Nurse/Nursing 1,266
Public Health/Community Nurse/Nursing 1,022
Critical Care Nursing 643
Clinical Nurse Leader 527
School Nursing 523
Nurse Midwife/Nursing Midwifery 475
Geriatric Nurse/Nursing 464
Clinical Nurse Specialist 428
Perioperative/Operating Room and Surgical Nurse/Nursing 236
Maternal/Child Health and Neonatal Nurse/Nursing 211
Emergency Room/Trauma Nursing 37
Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing 35
Palliative Care Nursing 23

Related Major Annual Graduates
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 93,192

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 31 schools only.

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Aleksahgabrielle.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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