Find Nursing Schools In Your State
Welcome to BestNursingDegree.com, the web’s most complete list of nursing education programs in the U.S. Our passion is sharing information about the best nurse schools and nursing program options with people like you. If you are just becoming interested in a nursing career, or if you are a current professional nurse who wants to take the next step, we are here to help. To begin your search, just click on one of the schools in the featured school box below. To see more schools, you can click “More Schools.” You can also use the “Find Schools Near You” box at the top of the page to find more programs that meet your needs.
We work with nursing schools across the country to help nurses and potential nursing students in every state find the best nursing school options. There are so many paths a person can take in the profession of nursing; it can be kind of intimidating. Hopefully, we can clear up some of your questions about nursing school and point you in the right direction to help set you on the nursing career path that is best for you. Whether you have your Associate (ADN) and want to look into BSN programs, or if you have your RN or BSN and are ready to explore graduate nursing programs, you have several doors of opportunity that can be opened.
So where do you start?
One thing you will notice as you compare campus and online nursing programs in your state is how many options you have for training. There are also many types of degree programs you can pursue after you complete your initial nurse schooling that allow you to specialize. This is one reason why the field of nursing is so rewarding; your options are broad and your education is only limited by how far you want to go in the healthcare industry
How Can You Benefit From Our Nursing Schooling and Career Resources?
Below those links you will see options for career paths, including midwife, educator, nurse practitioner, and others. You can see what those careers entail and browse the specialty areas below the career paths. There may seem like a lot to look through, but that is because there are so many options for nurses.
Take your time…no one is rushing you.
With campus programs more available than online nursing options, you might want to look for programs by location first. If you want to browse nursing schools by state, use the links above, or also to your left, to access your state. If you don’t know where you want to go to nursing school, or if you are looking for the best states to be a nurse in, take a sneak peek at geographic data further down. We can give you an idea of what to expect when you work in the field of nursing, and which states employ the most nurses and pay nurses the best.
Still trying to figure out your best path within nursing? Hey, no problem there either. Not only do we have information about nursing schools in every state, we also have a nursing education map that is easy to digest, and extremely helpful too.
We also have several interviews with real nurses and physicians who make an impact in the field of healthcare. Their insight, much like the unique knowledge you gain from experienced professors, can prove valuable as you try to make the best decisions for your education and training.
So browse around, and absorb as much information as you can. We are here to help, however we can! Then, contact the schools in your area that offer programs that fit your goals in nursing.
Online vs. Campus Nursing Program Options
This can be a complicated topic, because you won’t always find online nurse programs for one simple reason: Clinical nursing requirements. There are so many hands-on skills that are critical to patient outcomes, you simply can’t phone it in from home. Sure, watching tutorials, simulations, lectures by professors, participating in online discussions, and other distance education tools are helpful supplements to classroom training. But for nurses’ programs, you absolutely must have real life, hands-on training.
On the other hand, if you’ve already earned your nursing license, there are some higher level nursing program options that are billed as 100% online. In these cases, you will take all of your courses, except any clinical requirements, from home. Some schools have testing sites, where students from different regions of the country have to go a few times throughout each semester to verify their knowledge and skills match their online performance. Other schools have a one-time research practicum or nursing intensive you must attend in order to graduate.
With nursing school options changing and expanding all the time, along with advances in learning technology, we’ve got one simple rule for choosing a nursing school. It’s always best to speak with a mix of nursing schools, experienced nursing professionals and conduct your online research yourself. Nursing education is no joke, so make sure you take finding a school seriously.
Contact the nursing schools on our website to learn more about achieving your goals.
One of ways you can check out nurse credentials and compare them to yours and your goals in the field is to look at nurse professionals on LinkedIn to see what they have on their resume. When you start to notice education and work experience patterns among people who have been successful, you will start to see how you can accomplish your own professional nursing goals more clearly.
What Is Important to Look for in Nursing Programs?
If you are screaming ‘I need help finding a nursing school’ then you can take a deep breath. As a nurse myself, (this is your Editor, a real nurse speaking) I have been exactly where you are, and I have some advice: First, you should make sure to contact multiple schools, so you can compare their requirements, offerings, cost, and so on. There are many differences between the schools, even for identical programs. This is the key to finding a program that will work for you. If you want some more of my own nursing advice, feel free to check out some of the articles I’ve written.
Some of the key things to ask nursing schools about include:
- Nursing School Tuition- Make sure to ask what kind of financial aid they provide, as well as whether they know of nursing education scholarships you might be eligible for. There are more of these every day – both the government as well as nonprofits realize that we need to encourage people to join the nursing profession. We offer one as well, so be sure to apply before you go!
- Nurse Licensure Requirements – Programs that are aimed at current registered nurse (RN’s) or LPNs/LVNs will require you to have an active RN or LPN/LVN license. Some will require that your license be in the state the school is located in, whereas others will accept students who are licensed in other states, so you should make sure to ask them about this.
- Clinical Nursing Requirements – For entry level nursing programs, plan on going to school near where you live. We wish we could tell you that you’ll have all kinds of distance learning options, but the truth is–you won’t get out of clinicals. The best you can hope for in most cases is night and weekend classes, and maybe a couple of online classes to reduce the amount of time you need to spend on campus. If you’re already an RN or LPN/LVN, and are going back to school, make sure to ask what kinds of part-time, distance learning, or other flexible arrangements the program offers. Programs for working RNs do often offer a substantial portion of their classes online.
- Nursing Program Accreditation – One of the biggest factors in your decision to choose the right nursing school should be the accreditation status of the school you choose. Accreditation is key to qualifying for nursing licensure exams and state requirements across the country. For nursing, you should look for two main sources of accreditation for programs. First, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) is nationally recognized as a leader in helping shape the standards for education in the field of nursing. They recognize nursing programs at all degree levels, including certificate, diploma, associates, bachelor’s, and graduate programs. The other main accrediting body for nursing programs is the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). This organization aims to be a leading force in academic nursing, according to their website. They fulfill this mission by working with schools, policy leaders, hospitals and every type of healthcare facility that engages students, and helps ensure they are prepared for jobs after their education and training is complete.
- Nursing Career Services – This should be standard advice for any type of student enrolling in any kind of postsecondary school. You should know what employer relationships they have, which you can cross-reference by contacting those healthcare sites to inquire about each school. There may be a healthcare site you want to work at who have a good relationship with your preferred school. By working with career advisors who work to help you find a job, your education can feel so much more rewarding. Plus, having someone hold your hand and prepare you for success as a new graduate nurse will make it easier for you to stay tuned into your studies, and focused when you start your clinical rotations.
- Experienced Nursing Faculty – Part of choosing the right registered nurses program, whether it is online, campus, or blended, is making sure you are comfortable with the nurse educators who will teach your courses. You want to be sure you learn from experienced nursing professionals who can share with you the kind of insight you can only gain from working in the field. Along with this, make sure you are comfortable with how each school integrates its curriculum into your current career. It can be a real benefit to have your career and education work together. That’s what is so cool about many nursing programs for students already working in healthcare. Just make sure you are learning from instructors you are comfortable, and aiming for clinical rotations at facilities that align with your goals.
- Campus, Online and Blended Options – While it isn’t always practical, optional, or preferred, to take an online registered nursing program, they do exist for a reason. Whether you choose a 100% online course option that adds residency requirements at the end, or a 100% campus or blended option, you should consider everything – as long as that program is accredited, of course.
Again, all of these requirements vary by nursing school, so you will need to speak directly with each school to understand their exact requirements and what you may need to do to prepare. If you want to know how to find out if a nursing school is accredited, you shouldn’t have to look very hard. Most schools highlight their accreditation on their website homepage or program information page. If they don’t, be sure to ask!
State Data for Nursing Professions
Just to give you a glimpse of how nursing can vary by state, we put together some quick information on the topic.
According to 2017 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for registered nurses (RNs) across the United States was averaging $67,490 per year. Additionally, the anticipated growth for these occupations is expected to be 16% from 2014-2024. Just to give you perspective, the average growth for all occupations combined in the United States over the same period is expected to be 7%. So you can see why the salary and outlook for RN’s can entice medically minded students to consider these career paths.
As you can see, the pay and employment levels can vary greatly among the states. But this should give you a good idea of the range. When you speak with nursing schools near you, you should inquire about the job landscape for graduates in your area, if you aren’t already working in nursing.
Can you help us further our mission on your search for the perfect nursing program?
Of course, our top priority is helping you chart the right path for your nursing education. But don’t forget, we want to be the top resource for nurse education information and finding accredited nursing schools on the web.
We’re constantly looking for more nurse schools and programs to include, to make sure the database is as fresh and useful as possible, so please let us know if you think we’re missing any schools or programs on our site. If you speak with a nursing school not listed in your search results, let them know if you found our resources helpful in making your decision to enroll in a nursing program.