Top Nursing Universities in The USA

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Hadeel Hossam

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11 May, 2021

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5 mins read

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University Life

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Working in the medical sector is one of the most rewarding careers you could have. Nursing, in specific, is a medical career that requires a lot of patience, empathy, and communication skills. Nurses around the world help dozens of people daily by providing them with the necessary care. They get to make a difference in their community and people’s lives. However, Nursing is a career that requires a good set of skills and academic knowledge since you will be responsible for people’s health and wellbeing. Therefore, If you are aiming to become a nurse, you need to know the top nursing universities in the USA.

What are the Best Nursing Schools in the U.S?

1. Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University is a public research university located in Baltimore, Maryland, and its nursing program takes first place in US News Rankings 2021. The university was named after its benefactor, an entrepreneur & philanthropist, who established it in 1876. Now, its nursing school is among the top three Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), DNP, and online nursing programs, according to the U.S. News & World Report. The university has four campuses in Baltimore: Homewood, East Baltimore, Peabody, and Harbor East. It also has a campus in Washington D.C, Montgomery County, Maryland, Columbia, Maryland, Italy, and China. 

The Johns Hopkins School of Nursing officially opened in 1889 and was founded by M. Adelaide Nutting, Isabel Hampton Robb, and Lavinia Dock. It became the eighth division in the university in 1983 after proving its excellence in training nursing students. In 1998, the school moved to the Anne M. Pinkard building on the East Baltimore campus. The school now holds accreditation from The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE), Doctor of Nursing Practice, and its nursing master’s degrees are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education.

2. Duke University

Duke University is a private research university founded in 1838 and is considered one of the top nursing universities in the USA. It’s located in Durham, North Carolina, with an 8,600 acres campus and three sub-campuses, West, East, and Central campuses. It ranks second place in US News Rankings 2021 and 7th in QS Rankings 2021 for nursing. The Duke University School of Nursing was established in 1931 and is now designated by the National League for Nursing as a Center of Excellence five times. It was the first school in North Carolina to offer a doctor of nursing practice degree. The school offers an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice, and a PhD. Program in Nursing.

3. New York University

Officially chartered in 1831, New York University (NYU) is one of the USA’s largest and most prestigious universities. The university is known for its diversity, making it one of the best nursing schools in the USA for international students. Its Rory Meyers College of Nursing is ranked at #2 in College Factual's most recent rankings. The school started in 1923 with Accident Prevention and Education in Health courses in the Physical Education Department. It now offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing, a Doctor of Philosophy in Research Theory and Development, Post-Master's Advanced Certificate Programs, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. The college’s name was officially changed in 2006 after Rose Marie "Rory" Meyers and her husband Howard Meyers made a generous donation of 30 million dollars.

4. University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is also among the top nursing universities in the USA. It was ranked first in the QS Rankings 2021 is always at the top of the World Report list. It’s a private Ivy League research university in  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and goes back as far as 1740. In fact, it is one of the 9 colonial colleges chartered before the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Penn Nursing School offers traditional and accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing programs on the undergraduate level. It also a variety of master’s programs, and students have the opportunity to get joint degrees from the school with other University of Pennsylvania schools such as the Nursing and Health Care Management program. Penn Nursing also received the most NIH research funding than any other US nursing school for three consecutive years, which reached 11 million dollars in 2019.

5. University of California

The University of California is a public land-grant research university system in the state of California. It has 10 campuses in Berkley, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Davis, Irvine, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbra, and Santa Cruz. The San Francisco campus took 4th place in the QS Rankings 2021 for top nursing universities in the USA. Its School of Nursing was established in 1907 after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It offers a variety of masters and post-masters programs, including many clinical nurse specialists and nurse practitioner ones.

The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) is also known for its high-quality nursing programs. It’s located in the Westwood neighbourhood of Los Angeles, California, and its school of nursing is housed in the Doris and Louis Factor Health Sciences Building. The school always earns a spot in the U.S. News & World Report's Top Nursing Schools list. It offers the chance to study a  Bachelor of Science, MSN – Master's Entry Clinical Nurse,  Master of Science in Nursing – Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Doctor of Philosophy, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice.

6. University of Washington

Coming in 3rd in the QS Rankings 2021 and 7th in the US News Rankings 2021 for top nursing universities in the USA is the highly acclaimed University of Washington. It was founded in 1861 on Pacific St, Seattle, and is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast. The University of Washington School of Nursing offers both traditional and accelerated BSN programs, a Ph.D. in nursing science, an MS in clinical informatics and patient-centred technologies, as well as eleven DNP tracks. There are also graduate degrees in fields like palliative care and nurse-midwifery. Students get to gain practical experience at 700 community sites, including the University of Washington Medical Center and Seattle Children’s Hospital.

7. The University of North Carolina At Chapel Hill

Chartered in 1789, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is one of the oldest public universities in the USA. It landed third place in US News Rankings 2021 and 6th in QS Rankings 2021 for top nursing schools in the USA. The UNC School of Nursing was the first in the state of North Carolina to provide an MSN degree, a nurse practitioner program, a four-year BSN, and a doctor of philosophy in nursing for those looking to pursue a career in research. They also offer pre-licensure programs for non-nurses as well as post-degree opportunities.

These are just some of the top universities for nursing in the USA that offer high-quality education and training. Make sure you choose the university with the program that will give you sufficient knowledge and practical experience to be a successful nurse. These options are not only also considered top nursing schools in the USA for international students, offering them support and tools for success. If you’re considering switching the destination to the UK, here are 7 Reasons to Study Nursing in the UK


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