Find Nursing Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Best Nursing Master's Degree Schools

Find Schools Near

2021 Best Nursing Master's Degree Schools

581 Colleges
$97,473 Avg Salary
$48,249 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Nursing Master'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 Master's Degree Schools to help you in your search for the best school for you. This report analyzed 581 schools in the United States to see which ones offered the best master'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 Master’s Degree Schools in the United States

The following schools top our list of the Best Nursing Master's Degree Colleges.

Top 25 Top Schools for a Master's in Nursing

Our analysis found Middle Tennessee School of Anesthesia Inc to be the best school for nursing students who want to pursue a master’s degree in the United States. MTSA is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Madison.

On average, nursing graduates from MTSA take out $107,795 in student loans while working on their Master's Degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $1,260.

Read More…

Request Information

The excellent master’s degree programs at Samuel Merritt University helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the best nursing schools in the United States. Samuel Merritt University is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Oakland.

While working on their Master's Degree, nursing majors at Samuel Merritt University accumulate an average of around $152,000 in student debt. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $1,759, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read More…

Request Information

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Bryan College of Health Sciences. The school came in at #3 on this year’s Best Nursing Master’s Degree Schools list. Bryan College of Health Sciences is a fairly small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Lincoln.

While working on their Master's Degree, nursing majors at Bryan College of Health Sciences accumulate an average of around $71,134 in student debt.

Full Nursing at Bryan College of Health Sciences Report

Request Information
#4

Villanova University

Villanova, PA

A rank of #4 on this year’s list means Villanova University is a great place for nursing students working on their master’s degree. Located in the large suburb of Villanova, Villanova is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Villanova take out while working on their Master's Degree is $70,044. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $951, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read full report on Nursing at Villanova University

Request Information
#5

Saint Vincent College

Latrobe, PA

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Saint Vincent College. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Nursing Master’s Degree Schools list. Saint Vincent is a small private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Latrobe.

Nursing majors at Saint Vincent take out an average of $113,186 in student loans while working on their Master's Degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $1,339.

Read More…

Request Information

Albany Medical College ranked #6 on this year’s Best Nursing Master’s Degree Schools list. Located in the city of Albany, AMC Albany is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly small student population.

Nursing majors at AMC Albany take out an average of $103,444 in student loans while working on their Master's Degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $1,284, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read More…

Request Information
#7

Mount Marty College

Yankton, SD

Mount Marty College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a master’s degree. It came in at #7 on the list. Located in the remote town of Yankton, Mount Marty is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

While working on their Master's Degree, nursing majors at Mount Marty accumulate an average of around $100,628 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $1,339.

Read More…

Request Information

Midwestern University - Glendale landed the #8 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree nursing programs. Located in the suburb of Glendale, Midwestern University - Glendale is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

Read full report on Nursing at Midwestern University - Glendale

Request Information

Medical University of South Carolina came in at #9 in this year’s edition of the Best Nursing Master’s Degree Schools ranking. MUSC is a small public school located in the medium-sized city of Charleston.

While working on their Master's Degree, nursing majors at MUSC accumulate an average of around $119,471 in student debt. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $1,663, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read full report on Nursing at Medical University of South Carolina

Request Information

The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston came in at #10 in this year’s edition of the Best Nursing Master’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the city of Houston, UTHealth is a public school with a moderately-sized student population.

After completing their Master's Degree, nursing graduates from UTHealth carry an average student debtload of $34,111. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $398, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Full Nursing at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Report

Request Information

With a ranking of #11, University of Southern California did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students working on their master’s degree. USC is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Los Angeles.

Nursing majors at USC take out an average of $124,841 in student loans while working on their Master's Degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $1,759, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Full Nursing at University of Southern California Report

Request Information
#12

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA

University of Pennsylvania came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Nursing Master’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the city of Philadelphia, UPenn is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at UPenn take out while working on their Master's Degree is $70,711. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $740, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read More…

Request Information
#13

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC

Wake Forest University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a master’s degree. It came in at #13 on the list. Located in the medium-sized city of Winston-Salem, Wake Forest University is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

On average, nursing graduates from Wake Forest University take out $77,015 in student loans while working on their Master's Degree.

Read More…

Request Information
#14

Texas Wesleyan University

Fort Worth, TX

Texas Wesleyan University landed the #14 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree nursing programs. Texas Wesleyan is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Fort Worth.

Nursing majors at Texas Wesleyan take out an average of $113,366 in student loans while working on their Master's Degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $1,471.

Read full report on Nursing at Texas Wesleyan University

Request Information
#15

Duke University

Durham, NC

Duke University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a master’s degree. It came in at #15 on the list. Located in the large city of Durham, Duke is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Duke take out while working on their Master's Degree is $74,781. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $860, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read More…

Request Information

Emmanuel College Massachusetts landed the #16 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree nursing programs. Located in the large city of Boston, Emmanuel Boston is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

Read full report on Nursing at Emmanuel College Massachusetts

Request Information
#16

Quinnipiac University

Hamden, CT

Quinnipiac University landed the #16 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree nursing programs. Quinnipiac is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Hamden.

Read More…

Request Information

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota ranked #17 on this year’s Best Nursing Master’s Degree Schools list. Located in the town of Winona, SMU MN is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

While working on their Master's Degree, nursing majors at SMU MN accumulate an average of around $63,628 in student debt. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $705.

Read full report on Nursing at Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota

Request Information

With a ranking of #18, Central Connecticut State University did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students working on their master’s degree. CCSU is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of New Britain.

Nursing majors at CCSU take out an average of $40,866 in student loans while working on their Master'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 $513.

Read More…

Request Information

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a master’s degree. It came in at #19 on the list. Located in the city of Lubbock, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center is a public school with a moderately-sized student population.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center take out while working on their Master's Degree is $49,845. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $499.

Full Nursing at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Report

Request Information
#20

Yale University

New Haven, CT

Yale University landed the #20 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best master’s degree nursing programs. Located in the city of New Haven, Yale is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

On average, nursing graduates from Yale take out $88,717 in student loans while working on their Master's Degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $963.

Read full report on Nursing at Yale University

Request Information

Touro University California did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a master’s degree. It came in at #21 on the list. Located in the midsize city of Vallejo, TUC is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

On average, nursing graduates from TUC take out $51,133 in student loans while working on their Master'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 $478.

Read More…

Request Information
#22

Fairfield University

Fairfield, CT

With a ranking of #22, Fairfield University did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students working on their master’s degree. Located in the suburb of Fairfield, Fairfield U is a private not-for-profit school with a medium-sized student population.

On average, nursing graduates from Fairfield U take out $50,521 in student loans while working on their Master's Degree.

Full Nursing at Fairfield University Report

Request Information

University of Nebraska Medical Center ranked #23 on this year’s Best Nursing Master’s Degree Schools list. Located in the city of Omaha, UNMC is a public school with a small student population.

While working on their Master's Degree, nursing majors at UNMC accumulate an average of around $50,670 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $579.

Read More…

Request Information
#24

Loma Linda University

Loma Linda, CA

Loma Linda University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a master’s degree. It came in at #24 on the list. Located in the large suburb of Loma Linda, Loma Linda University is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

While working on their Master's Degree, nursing majors at Loma Linda University accumulate an average of around $81,082 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $855.

Full Nursing at Loma Linda University Report

Request Information

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

#27

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD
#28

University of Scranton

Scranton, PA
#30

University of New England

Biddeford, ME
#31

Le Moyne College

Syracuse, NY
#32

Gannon University

Erie, PA
#36

Mount Saint Mary's University

Los Angeles, CA
#37

James Madison University

Harrisonburg, VA
#38

Clarkson College

Omaha, NE
#39

Gonzaga University

Spokane, WA
#41

Emory University

Atlanta, GA
#42

Newman University

Wichita, KS
#44

Wagner College

Staten Island, NY

Remaining Award Winners

This list represents the remainder of the schools awarded a Best Nursing Master's Degree Schools badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 581 different United States nursing schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
50 University of Virginia - Main Campus Charlottesville, VA
51 University of Delaware Newark, DE
52 Holy Names University Oakland, CA
53 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
54 University of North Dakota Grand Forks, ND
55 Georgetown University Washington, DC
56 Endicott College Beverly, MA
57 Molloy College Rockville Centre, NY
58 California State University - Stanislaus Turlock, CA
59 West Coast University - Dallas Dallas, TX
60 University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Little Rock, AR
61 Augsburg University Minneapolis, MN
62 Florida International University Miami, FL
63 Frontier Nursing University Hyden, KY
64 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
65 Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Boston, MA
66 Framingham State University Framingham, MA
66 Touro University Nevada Henderson, NV
67 George Washington University Washington, DC
68 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
69 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
70 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
71 Marquette University Milwaukee, WI
72 Wilkes University Wilkes-Barre, PA
73 Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX
74 California State University - Chico Chico, CA
75 Otterbein University Westerville, OH
76 University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Ann Arbor, MI
77 University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
78 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI
79 New York University New York, NY
80 St. John Fisher College Rochester, NY
81 Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA
82 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC
83 Creighton University Omaha, NE
84 Northeastern University Boston, MA
85 Maryville University of Saint Louis Saint Louis, MO
86 Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH
87 William Paterson University of New Jersey Wayne, NJ

Additional Noteworthy Schools

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Best Nursing Master's Degree Schools award.

Rank College Location
88 Sacred Heart University Fairfield, CT
89 Ramapo College of New Jersey Mahwah, NJ
90 Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Bloomsburg, PA
91 Bellin College Green Bay, WI
92 Winona State University Winona, MN
93 Simmons University Boston, MA
94 Moravian College Bethlehem, PA
95 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
96 University of Mary Bismarck, ND
97 Adelphi University Garden City, NY
98 Oregon Health & Science University Portland, OR
99 Towson University Towson, MD
100 Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA
101 Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO
102 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
103 The University of Texas at Austin Austin, TX
104 Misericordia University Dallas, PA
105 San Jose State University San Jose, CA
106 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
107 Immaculata University Immaculata, PA
108 Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego, CA
109 Bethel University Minnesota Saint Paul, MN
110 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC
111 Franklin Pierce University Rindge, NH
112 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
113 Missouri State University - Springfield Springfield, MO
114 Purdue University - Main Campus West Lafayette, IN
115 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
116 Upstate Medical University Syracuse, NY

Nursing by Region

View the Best Nursing Master'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 26 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.

Featured Schools

Find Nursing Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited nursing schools across the U.S.