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Most Popular Nursing Bachelor's Degree Schools

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2021 Most Popular Nursing Bachelor's Degree Schools

1,160 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.

To assist you in seeing some of the education options that are available to you, Nursing Degree Search has created its Most Popular Nursing Bachelor's Degree Schools ranking. Our analysis looked at 1,160 schools in the United States to see which bachelor's degree programs were the most popular for nursing students. To create this ranking we looked at how many students graduated from the Nursing program at each school on the list.

Check out the nursing bachelor's degree programs at these schools if you want to attend one of the most popular in the United States.

#1

Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, UT

Our analysis found Western Governors University to be the most popular school for nursing students who want to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the United States. WGU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Salt Lake City.

Women make up 90% of the nursing majors at the school.

While working on their Bachelor's Degree, nursing majors at WGU accumulate an average of around $10,147 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 $100.

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The in-demand bachelor’s degree programs at Chamberlain University - Illinois helped the school earn the #2 place on this year’s ranking of the most popular nursing schools in the United States. Chamberlain - Illinois is a fairly large private for-profit school located in the large suburb of Addison.

Of the 7,915 students majoring in nursing at Chamberlain - Illinois, 11% are male and 89% are female.

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

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#3

Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, AZ

The in-demand bachelor’s degree programs at Grand Canyon University helped the school earn the #3 place on this year’s ranking of the most popular nursing schools in the United States. Grand Canyon University is a fairly large private for-profit school located in the city of Phoenix.

Of the 4,367 students majoring in nursing at Grand Canyon University, 12% are male and 88% are female.

On average, nursing graduates from Grand Canyon University take out $17,327 in student loans while working on their Bachelor's Degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $189, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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A rank of #4 on this year’s list means The University of Texas at Arlington is a great place for nursing students working on their bachelor’s degree. Located in the large city of Arlington, UT Arlington is a public college with a fairly large student population.

Women make up 84% of the nursing majors at the school.

On average, nursing graduates from UT Arlington take out $18,282 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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The in-demand bachelor’s degree programs at Ohio University - Athens Campus helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the most popular nursing schools in the United States. Located in the town of Athens, OHIO Athens is a public school with a very large student population.

Of the 2,464 students majoring in nursing at OHIO Athens, 12% are male and 88% are female.

After completing their Bachelor's Degree, nursing graduates from OHIO Athens carry an average student debt load of $17,487. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $169.

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#6

Capella University

Minneapolis, MN

Capella University came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools ranking. Capella University is a fairly large private for-profit school located in the city of Minneapolis.

Of the 1,338 students majoring in nursing at Capella University, 9% are male and 91% are female.

After completing their Bachelor's Degree, nursing graduates from Capella University carry an average student debt load of $22,354. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $237.

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Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center did quite well in this year’s ranking of the most popular places for nursing students to get a bachelor’s degree. It came in at #7 on the list. Located in the large city of Lubbock, TTUHSC is a public college with a medium-sized student population.

Women make up 85% of the nursing majors at the school.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at TTUHSC take out while working on their Bachelor's Degree is $12,581. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $130.

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National University College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the most popular places for nursing students to get a bachelor’s degree. It came in at #8 on the list. Located in the city of Bayamon, National University College is a private for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

Of the 1,038 students majoring in nursing at National University College, 22% are male and 78% are female.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at National University College take out while working on their Bachelor's Degree is $14,958. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $140, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#9

Walden University

Minneapolis, MN

Walden University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the most popular places for nursing students to get a bachelor’s degree. It came in at #9 on the list. Located in the large city of Minneapolis, Walden University is a private for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

About 90% of the students majoring in nursing at the school are women while 10% are male.

After completing their Bachelor's Degree, nursing graduates from Walden University carry an average student debt load of $21,911. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $249.

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Southern New Hampshire University ranked #10 on this year’s Most Popular Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. SNHU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized suburb of Manchester.

About 92% of the students majoring in nursing at the school are women while 8% are male.

After completing their Bachelor's Degree, nursing graduates from SNHU carry an average student debt load of $13,493. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $141, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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University of North Carolina at Wilmington landed the #11 spot in the 2021 rankings for the most popular bachelor’s degree nursing programs. UNCW is a fairly large public school located in the city of Wilmington.

Of the 789 students majoring in nursing at UNCW, 8% are male and 92% are female.

Nursing majors at UNCW take out an average of $17,375 in student loans while working on their Bachelor's Degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $166, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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With a ranking of #12, Purdue University Northwest did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for nursing students working on their bachelor’s degree. Purdue Northwest is a large public school located in the suburb of Hammond.

Of the 782 students majoring in nursing at Purdue Northwest, 13% are male and 87% are female.

While working on their Bachelor's Degree, nursing majors at Purdue Northwest accumulate an average of around $21,147 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 $195.

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West Coast University - Orange County landed the #13 spot in the 2021 rankings for the most popular bachelor’s degree nursing programs. Located in the large city of Anaheim, West Coast University - Orange County is a private for-profit college with a small student population.

Of the 684 students majoring in nursing at West Coast University - Orange County, 20% are male and 80% are female.

Nursing majors at West Coast University - Orange County take out an average of $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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With a ranking of #14, University of Central Florida did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for nursing students working on their bachelor’s degree. UCF is a fairly large public school located in the suburb of Orlando.

About 84% of the students majoring in nursing at the school are women while 16% are male.

Nursing majors at UCF take out an average of $15,780 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 $150.

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#15

Aspen University

Denver, CO

Aspen University came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the city of Denver, Aspen University is a private for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population.

Of the 661 students majoring in nursing at Aspen University, 9% are male and 91% are female.

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With a ranking of #16, California State University - San Marcos did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for nursing students working on their bachelor’s degree. CSUSM is a large public school located in the suburb of San Marcos.

Women make up 83% of the nursing majors at the school.

On average, nursing graduates from CSUSM take out $23,516 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 $259.

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#17

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

With a ranking of #17, Drexel University did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for nursing students working on their bachelor’s degree. Drexel is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Philadelphia.

Women make up 86% of the nursing majors at the school.

On average, nursing graduates from Drexel take out $18,712 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 $193.

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With a ranking of #18, University of Phoenix - Arizona did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for nursing students working on their bachelor’s degree. UOPX - Arizona is a fairly large private for-profit school located in the large city of Tempe.

Women make up 90% of the nursing majors at the school.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at UOPX - Arizona take out while working on their Bachelor's Degree is $24,299. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $243.

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American Sentinel University came in at #19 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the city of Aurora, American Sentinel University is a private for-profit school with a small student population.

About 89% of the students majoring in nursing at the school are women while 11% are male.

While working on their Bachelor's Degree, nursing majors at American Sentinel University accumulate an average of around $17,541 in student debt. 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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#20

West Coast University - Los Angeles

North Hollywood, CA

With a ranking of #20, West Coast University - Los Angeles did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for nursing students working on their bachelor’s degree. West Coast University - Los Angeles is a small private for-profit school located in the city of North Hollywood.

Of the 587 students majoring in nursing at West Coast University - Los Angeles, 21% are male and 79% are female.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at West Coast University - Los Angeles take out while working on their Bachelor's Degree is $32,550. 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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#21

Northern Arizona University

Flagstaff, AZ

Northern Arizona University landed the #21 spot in the 2021 rankings for the most popular bachelor’s degree nursing programs. NAU is a very large public school located in the small city of Flagstaff.

About 85% of the students majoring in nursing at the school are women while 15% are male.

On average, nursing graduates from NAU take out $20,153 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 $216.

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The University of West Florida did quite well in this year’s ranking of the most popular places for nursing students to get a bachelor’s degree. It came in at #22 on the list. Located in the city of Pensacola, UWF is a public school with a fairly large student population.

About 83% of the students majoring in nursing at the school are women while 17% are male.

After completing their Bachelor's Degree, nursing graduates from UWF carry an average student debt load of $13,263. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $122, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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University of South Florida - Main Campus ranked #23 on this year’s Most Popular Nursing Bachelor’s Degree Schools list. Located in the city of Tampa, USF Tampa is a public college with a fairly large student population.

Women make up 85% of the nursing majors at the school.

While working on their Bachelor's Degree, nursing majors at USF Tampa accumulate an average of around $18,023 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 $182.

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With a ranking of #24, University of Louisiana at Lafayette did quite well on this year’s most popular schools for nursing students working on their bachelor’s degree. UL Lafayette is a large public school located in the medium-sized city of Lafayette.

Of the 553 students majoring in nursing at UL Lafayette, 10% are male and 90% are female.

Nursing majors at UL Lafayette take out an average of $18,151 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 $170.

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Samuel Merritt University landed the #25 spot in the 2021 rankings for the most popular bachelor’s degree nursing programs. Samuel Merritt University is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Oakland.

Women make up 80% of the nursing majors at the school.

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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#26

Wilmington University

New Castle, DE
#33

Adelphi University

Garden City, NY
#39

New York University

New York, NY
#41

Universidad Metropolitana

San Juan, PR
#42

Oakland University

Rochester Hills, MI
#44

Eastern Michigan University

Ypsilanti, MI
#45

Molloy College

Rockville Centre, NY
#47

Gwynedd Mercy University

Gwynedd Valley, PA
#47

Resurrection University

Chicago, IL

Remaining Award Winners

This section shows the remainder of the schools awarded a Most Popular Nursing Bachelor's Degree Schools badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 1160 different United States nursing schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL
52 University of Rhode Island Kingston, RI
53 Roseman University of Health Sciences Henderson, NV
54 Utica College Utica, NY
55 The University of Texas at El Paso El Paso, TX
56 Liberty University Lynchburg, VA
57 Washington State University Pullman, WA
58 Weber State University Ogden, UT
58 Galen College of Nursing - Louisville Louisville, KY
60 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
61 University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, NE
61 West Coast University - Ontario Ontario, CA
63 Nova Southeastern University Fort Lauderdale, FL
63 Mississippi University for Women Columbus, MS
65 Kaplan University-Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN
66 Denver College of Nursing Denver, CO
67 University of Alabama at Birmingham Birmingham, AL
68 Winston - Salem State University Winston-Salem, NC
69 National University La Jolla, CA
70 East Carolina University Greenville, NC
71 Jacksonville University Jacksonville, FL
71 East Tennessee State University Johnson City, TN
73 Mount Carmel College of Nursing Columbus, OH
74 Marian University Indianapolis, IN
75 Chamberlain University - Georgia Atlanta, GA
76 University of South Carolina - Upstate Spartanburg, SC
77 Chamberlain University - Texas Houston, TX
77 Chamberlain University - Florida Jacksonville, FL
79 Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Boston, MA
79 LIU Post Brookville, NY
81 University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Denver, CO
82 Georgia Southern University Statesboro, GA
83 George Washington University Washington, DC
83 University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI
85 Regis University Denver, CO
85 University of Memphis Memphis, TN
87 Boise State University Boise, ID
88 The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio San Antonio, TX
89 University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee Milwaukee, WI
90 Thomas Jefferson University Philadelphia, PA
91 South Dakota State University Brookings, SD
92 Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL
93 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR
93 Jacksonville State University Jacksonville, AL
95 University of Oklahoma - Health Sciences Center Oklahoma City, OK
96 University of Massachusetts - Boston Boston, MA
97 California State University - Fullerton Fullerton, CA
98 University of Detroit Mercy Detroit, MI
99 University of Michigan - Flint Flint, MI
99 Miami Dade College Miami, FL
101 Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, TX
102 Emory University Atlanta, GA
102 University of Kentucky Lexington, KY
102 Arizona State University - Skysong Scottsdale, AZ
105 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
105 Towson University Towson, MD
105 Florida International University Miami, FL
108 Excelsior College Albany, NY
109 Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA
110 Baylor University Waco, TX
111 Holy Family University Philadelphia, PA
111 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
113 Ohio State University - Main Campus Columbus, OH
113 Brigham Young University - Idaho Rexburg, ID
113 University of Mississippi University, MS
116 University of South Alabama Mobile, AL
117 Northeastern University Professional Advancement Network Boston, MA
117 Nevada State College Henderson, NV
117 University of Louisville Louisville, KY
117 Winona State University Winona, MN
121 Thomas Edison State University Trenton, NJ
122 Villanova University Villanova, PA
122 Rutgers University - Camden Camden, NJ
124 Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center - New Orleans New Orleans, LA
125 University of Illinois at Chicago Chicago, IL
126 The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences Cincinnati, OH
127 Universidad del Sagrado Corazon Santurce, PR
128 Minnesota State University - Mankato Mankato, MN
129 California State University - Sacramento Sacramento, CA
130 Arizona State University - Downtown Phoenix Phoenix, AZ
131 Pace University - New York New York, NY
132 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
133 The College at Brockport Brockport, NY
133 St Petersburg College Clearwater, FL
135 University of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
136 Southwestern Oklahoma State University Weatherford, OK
136 Central Methodist University - College of Graduate & Extended Studies Fayette, MO
136 University of North Florida Jacksonville, FL
139 Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond, VA
140 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
140 Lehman College Bronx, NY
142 University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC
142 California University of Pennsylvania California, PA
142 The University of Tennessee - Knoxville Knoxville, TN
142 Chamberlain University - Arizona Phoenix, AZ
146 Montana State University Bozeman, MT
147 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
147 Colorado Technical University - Colorado Springs Colorado Springs, CO
147 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
147 Curry College Milton, MA
151 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
151 University of Phoenix - California Costa Mesa, CA
151 University of South Carolina - Columbia Columbia, SC
154 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL
155 Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY
156 Regis College Weston, MA
157 Xavier University Cincinnati, OH
157 Medical University of South Carolina Charleston, SC
157 University of North Carolina at Charlotte Charlotte, NC
157 Lamar University Beaumont, TX
161 Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences Kansas City, MO
162 North Dakota State University - Main Campus Fargo, ND
162 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
164 University of Pittsburgh - Pittsburgh Campus Pittsburgh, PA
165 New Jersey City University Jersey City, NJ
165 University of Akron Main Campus Akron, OH
165 Arkansas State University - Main Campus Jonesboro, AR
165 University of Toledo Toledo, OH
165 Inter American University of Puerto Rico - Metro San Juan, PR
165 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
171 Daemen College Amherst, NY
172 University of Wisconsin - Madison Madison, WI
173 South University’s online programs Savannah, GA
173 University of Portland Portland, OR
173 Creighton University Omaha, NE
173 University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, AL
173 Metropolitan State University Saint Paul, MN

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional popular schools for Nursing students that almost earned our Most Popular Nursing Bachelor's Degree Schools award.

Rank College Location
178 Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA
178 Grand Valley State University Allendale, MI
178 Saginaw Valley State University University Center, MI
178 Columbus State University Columbus, GA
182 Sacred Heart University Fairfield, CT
182 Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA
184 University of Missouri - Columbia Columbia, MO
185 Northwestern State University of Louisiana Natchitoches, LA
185 California State University - Long Beach Long Beach, CA
187 University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Colorado Springs, CO
188 Olivet Nazarene University Bourbonnais, IL
189 Chamberlain University - New Jersey North Brunswick, NJ
189 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV
191 Aurora University Aurora, IL
191 St. John Fisher College Rochester, NY
193 Indiana State University Terre Haute, IN
194 University of South Dakota Vermillion, SD
195 University of Utah Salt Lake City, UT
195 University of Kansas Lawrence, KS
195 University of Missouri - St Louis Saint Louis, MO
198 SUNY Empire State College Saratoga Springs, NY
199 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC
199 Saint Louis University Saint Louis, MO
201 Baker College Flint, MI
201 University of Delaware Newark, DE
203 Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KY
203 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS
203 University of Southern Indiana Evansville, IN
203 University of Washington - Bothell Campus Bothell, WA
207 MidAmerica Nazarene University Olathe, KS
208 Bemidji State University Bemidji, MN
208 University of Maryland Global Campus Adelphi, MD
208 Ferris State University Big Rapids, MI
208 University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA
212 State College of Florida - Manatee - Sarasota Bradenton, FL
212 Mount Saint Mary’s University Los Angeles, CA
212 Texas Christian University Fort Worth, TX
215 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA
215 Cleveland State University Cleveland, OH
215 Widener University Chester, PA
215 University of Arkansas at Little Rock Little Rock, AR
219 Augusta University Augusta, GA
219 MGH Institute of Health Professions Boston, MA
219 Lewis - Clark State College Lewiston, ID
222 University of Providence Great Falls, MT
222 University of Northern Colorado Greeley, CO
222 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
222 Fayetteville State University Fayetteville, NC
226 Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences Lancaster, PA
226 Tarleton State University Stephenville, TX
226 Stevenson University Stevenson, MD
229 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
229 Union University Jackson, TN
229 Colorado Mesa University Grand Junction, CO
232 San Jose State University San Jose, CA
232 Illinois State University Normal, IL
232 Linfield College - School of Nursing Portland, OR
232 Binghamton University Vestal, NY

Nursing by Region

View the Most Popular 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 25 schools only.

  • 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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