National League for Nursing Names the Best Nursing Schools in the U.S.A.

top nursing schools

The Nursing Schools Almanac recently collected data on over 3,200 nursing schools across the US. Schools were ranked on:

  • The institution’s academic prestige and perceived value

  • The breadth and depth of nursing programs offered
  • Student success, particularly on the NCLEX national licensure exam

What RNs Should Know About These Picks

The results are evaluated, weighted and compiled into a list of 100 esteemed nursing schools. 

Top 6 Universities Named

These universities turn out rock stars in the nursing field, and are often associated with prestigious medical centers.  Many are also located in areas known for advancements in medical research. As such, they are often wonderful choices for travel nursing as well. 

  • Duke University, Durham, NC Graduates of this school’s (BSN) program routinely pass the NCLEX-RN national licensure exam at a rate of 97% or higher.
  • Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD Johns Hopkins has earned the NLN’s Center of Excellence™ designation since 2010. JHU has a diverse body of 1,200 students and a variety of graduate nursing programs.
  • University of Pennsylvania, Philadephia PA - U Penn Nursing students have access to outstanding medical facilities. The Hospital of UPenn and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia are just behind the nursing school.
  • University of California, San Francisco CA -UCSF's master's entry program in nursing (MEPN) is a three-year course of study for students without any previous education in the nursing field.
  • University of Maryland has its main campus just outside of the nation's capital. UM is home to one of the nation’s largest, broadest, and most diverse schools of nursing.
  • University of Washington, Seattle WAthe UW School of Nursing was ranked as #4 graduate nursing program by U.S. News.

NLN Recognition

The National League for Nursing is a highly-regarded nursing school accreditation body which also compiles a list of high-performing educational institutions. See their list of Centers of Excellence ™ here. »

Footnote: Information for this blog was taken from