Best Research Universities for Nursing Degrees

Best Research Universities for Nursing Degrees

The best nursing research universities are those with rich histories of influence, proven through the work produced by the program’s faculty and alumni. Beyond demonstrating scholarly impact in the field, the best nursing degree programs maximize your opportunities to interact with outstanding nursing faculty.

A bachelor’s degree in nursing is an excellent starting point for a career providing care in an emergency room, mental health facility, or home healthcare setting. In fact, an undergraduate degree in nursing could qualify you to work in an extremely wide range of healthcare contexts. As a nursing major, you’ll study the basic principles of care as well as medical ethics, anatomy, pathology, and more. You can also choose from a wide range of specializations in areas like rehabilitation, radiology, and anesthetics. The best schools for nursing are those which are regionally accredited, which offer a full array of nursing concentrations, and which give you the chance to work with the best and most influential professors and classmates.

Degree popularity: Nursing bachelor’s degrees are the 3rd most popular undergraduate degrees across all student demographics, ranking slightly higher for women at 2nd compared to 9th for men. Nursing is one of the few degrees that ranks among the top 10 most desired degrees for all demographics, and consistently in the top 3 for women, according to the number of degree earners reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing Bachelor’s Degrees

This four-year degree will qualify you to work as a Registered Nurse, once you’ve successfully completed your National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), as well as any state-specific requirements. Though you can become an RN with an associate’s degree, a bachelor’s degree can elevate your candidacy for nursing leadership roles. Some healthcare settings may also offer support to nurses with associate’s degrees to enroll into RN-to-BSN degree programs.

As a registered nurse, you’ll get the chance to play a critical role in shaping and improving the treatment strategies and philosophies of care in use today. This means that leaders, researchers, and innovators in the field have a direct impact on our everyday experiences in the healthcare system. Today, top influencers in nursing are breaking new ground in Nurse Practitioner Programs, Primary Nursing, Oncology Nursing, and more.

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Nursing is a popular major because there is an extremely high demand for qualified and capable registered nurses. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of new positions in the nursing field is expected to grow at a rate of 7% by 2029, which is significantly faster than the average rate of growth for jobs across all fields. In addition to likely adding more than 220,000 jobs during that time, the nursing sector offers higher than average pay as well. The BLS reports that nurses earned a median salary of $73,300 in 2019.

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Once you’ve declared your major in nursing, you will likely be required to complete a set of core courses in a number of healthcare-related subject areas. While your concentration will give you a chance to choose from a wide range of highly-specialized nursing electives, there are several common courses that most nursing majors will be required to take, including:

  • Physiology
  • Nursing Fundamentals
  • Mental Health Counseling
  • Pharmacology
  • Community and Environmental Health
  • Clinical Nursing
  • Nursing Leadership
  • Gerontology
  • Women’s Health Issues

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Majoring in nursing can lead you into a wide variety of healthcare settings, and into any number of areas in clinical treatment, healthcare administration, or research. You have numerous options, and your degree program can help you hone in on the path that feels most suited to your skills and interests. As you consider career prospects, be sure that you know the degree requirements specific to your desired role. With the proper education and credentials, your nursing major can lead to a wide range of career opportunities, including these top jobs:

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Best Research Universities for Nursing Degree Programs

If you think a liberal arts college may be a better fit for you, see our ranking of the best liberal arts colleges for a bachelor’s in nursing.

Best Research Universities for Nursing Degrees

  1. #1

    University of Pennsylvania

    Philadelphia , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $62K

    Acceptance

    9%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    University of Pennsylvania Nursing Major:

    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    Source
  2. #2

    Columbia University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $64K

    Acceptance

    7%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    28K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1505/34

    Columbia University Nursing Major Concentrations:

    • Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Family Nurse Practitioner
    • Midwifery
    • Pediatric Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
    • Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
    • Transgender/Gender Non-Binary (Trans GNB) Health Care for Nurse Practitioners
    Source
  3. #3

    Johns Hopkins University

    Baltimore , MD
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    11%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    26K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1510/34

    JHU Nursing Major:

    • Summer-Entry Accelerated Bachelor’s Program
    Source
  4. #4

    Duke University

    Durham , NC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    8%

    Graduation

    96%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1525/34

    Duke University Nursing Major:

    • Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    Source
  5. #5

    University of Michigan

    Ann Arbor , MI
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $17K

    Acceptance

    26%

    Graduation

    93%

    Student body

    45K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1435/32

    University of Michigan Nursing Major:

    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    Source
  6. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $13K

    Acceptance

    14%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    45K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1415/32

    What is University of California, Los Angeles known for?

    University of California, Los Angeles’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    UCLA Nursing Major:

    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    Source
  7. #7

    Georgetown University

    Washington , DC
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $60K

    Acceptance

    17%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    14K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1465/33

    Georgetown University Nursing Major:

    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing

    Related:

    • Global Health
    • Health Care Management & Policy
    • Human Science
    Source
  8. #8

    New York University

    New York , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    21%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    49K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1440/32

    NYU Nursing Majors:

    • Global Public Health/Nursing
    • Traditional 4-year
    • RN-to-BS
    • Accelerated 15-month
    Source
  9. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $9K

    Acceptance

    25%

    Graduation

    91%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1405/30

    What is University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill known for?

    University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:

    Most Influential Alumni

    UNC Nursing Majors:

    • Traditional BSN
    • Accelerated BSN or ABSN
    • Military Pathway
    Source
  10. #11

    University of Florida

    Gainesville , FL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $6K

    Acceptance

    31%

    Graduation

    89%

    Student body

    47K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1390/30

    UF Nursing Majors:

    • Traditional BSN
    • Accelerated BSN
    • RN to BSN
    Source

    University of Florida’s Online Degrees

    BS in Advertising
    Degree Concentrations
    • Persuasive Messaging
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Anthropology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Biology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Business Administration
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Communication Science and Disorders
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Computer Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Criminology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Digital Arts and Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Education Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Environmental Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Fire and Emergency Services
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Geography
    Degree Concentrations
    • Environmental Geosciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Geology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Health Education
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Journalism: Sports and Media
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Microbiology and Cell Science
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Psychology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Relations
    • Required Credits: 124
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Sociology
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Sport Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  11. #12

    University of Virginia

    Charlottesville , VA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $19K

    Acceptance

    23%

    Graduation

    94%

    Student body

    25K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1430/32

    University of Virginia Nursing Majors:

    • Traditional BSN
    • Accelerated BSN
    • RN to BSN
    Source
  12. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    32%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1355/30

    UT Austin Nursing Major:

    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
    Source
  13. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    56%

    Graduation

    82%

    Student body

    44K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1345/30

    University of Washington Nursing Major:

    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
    Source

    University of Washington’s Online Degrees

    BA Integrated Social Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA Early Care & Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  14. #16

    University of Rochester

    Rochester , NY
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $59K

    Acceptance

    35%

    Graduation

    86%

    Student body

    12K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1405/32

    University of Rochester Nursing Majors:

    • Accelerated Bachelor’s Program for Non-Nurses
    • RN to BS

    Related:

    • Undergraduate Degree Options for High School Students
    Source

    University of Rochester’s Online Degrees

    BSN in Nursing: RN to BSN
    • Required Credits: 128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  15. #17

    Drexel University

    Philadelphia , PA
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $57K

    Acceptance

    77%

    Graduation

    71%

    Student body

    23K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1290/28

    Drexel University Nursing Majors:

    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Co-op)
    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Accelerated Career Entry)
    • RN to BSN Completion Program
    Source

    Drexel University’s Online Degrees

    BS Computing and Security Technology
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Education
    Degree Concentrations
    • Elementary Education
    • Special Education
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Communication
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Dance
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Behavioral Health Counseling
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Criminology and Justice Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS General Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Behavioral Health Counseling
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Health Services Administration
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  16. Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $11K

    Acceptance

    57%

    Graduation

    88%

    Student body

    38K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1390/29

    UW–Madison Nursing Majors:

    • Traditional BSN
    • Accelerated BSN
    • RN to BSN
    Source

    University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Online Degrees

    BLS Applied Social Science
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    Bachelor of Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • Human Resources
    • Management
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Consumer Finance & Financial Planning
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS Consumer Marketplace Studies
    • Required Credits: 120-128
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
  17. #22

    University of Miami

    Coral Gables , FL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $55K

    Acceptance

    33%

    Graduation

    83%

    Student body

    15K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1355/30

    University of Miami Nursing Majors:

    • BSN Traditional
    • BSN Accelerated
    • RN-to-BSN

    Related:

    • Bachelor of Science in Health Science
    • Bachelor of Science in Public Health
    Source
  18. #25

    University of Alabama

    Tuscaloosa , AL
    Other Rankings

    Tuition + fees

    $12K

    Acceptance

    80%

    Graduation

    72%

    Student body

    35K

    Median SAT/ACT

    1210/27

    UA Nursing Major:

    • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
    • RN to BSN
    Source

    University of Alabama’s Online Degrees

    BS in Nursing (RN-to-BSN)
    • Required Credits: 25/ 125
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Commerce and Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • General Business
    • Management
    • Accounting
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Hospitality Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Development and Family Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Child Life
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Food and Nutrition
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Environmental Sciences, Consumer Sciences
    Degree Concentrations
    • Consumer Affairs
    • Family Financial Planning and Counseling
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Public Health
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA in Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Early Childhood Education
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Food and Nutrition
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Development and Family Studies
    Degree Concentrations
    • Child Life
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Environmental Sciences, Consumer Sciences
    Degree Concentrations
    • Consumer Affairs
    • Family Financial Planning and Counseling
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Human Environmental Sciences
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Hospitality Management
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS/BA in Interdisciplinary Studies
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BA in Criminology and Criminal Justice
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Commerce and Business Administration
    Degree Concentrations
    • General Business
    • Management
    • Accounting
    • Marketing
    • Required Credits: 120
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online
    BS in Nursing
    • Required Credits: 25/ 125
    • Completion Time: None Reported
    • Format: Online

Go to all Research Universities for Nursing programs

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