graduateshotline logo - Home

Nursing- Top Schools, degrees, career prospects

Types of Nursing Degrees : Associate, BSN, MSN

The nursing degree that requires the least amount of education is the associate's in nursing, also known as an AND. An AND is a two-year program and is a popular way to enter the nursing profession. Many AND's go back to earn their BSN. Coursework for the AND includes courses in anatomy and physiology, chemistry, sociology, and even English and writing. AND's must successfully pass an licensure exam to practice.

The bachelor's of science in nursing generally requires four years of tertiary education, especially if it is an individuals first bachelor's degree. Many of the courses AND's take are also taken by BSN's. The difference is that BSNs have substantially more nursing clinical experience and education than an ADNS. Essentially, they have much broader exposure in their education. Like ADNS, BSN nurses need to become certified with a license to work.

The best programs for BSNs are Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Washington. These are competitive schools in general, so students must have high standardized test scores and high GPAS to be admitted. Johns Hopkins, the University of California - San Francisco and the University of Pennsylvania in particular only admit about 10-15% of all applicants. It is not uncommon for students to have GPAS over 4.0 and near perfect SAT scores.

Advanced Degrees in Nursing : Masters (MSN)

After earning a BSN, nurses have the option of completing a Master's Degree in Nursing. Most of these programs are two years long if nurses choose to complete them full-time. However, most continue to work while earning the degree. The master's is a specialized degree with technical skills to focus on a specific area of health. Possible career paths include nurse anesthetist, nursing administrator, nurse midwife, or nurse practitioner. Some of these master's programs may be completed online.

The best schools to receive your MSN are the same schools to receive your BSN. These schools are the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University The University of California - San Francisco, and the University of Washington. Some of these programs offer degrees to students transitioning from a different field. For instance, Johns Hopkins admits students to programs designed solely for students with an a undergraduate degree in a major other than nursing. For the most part though, applicants need to be a licensed nurse with a bachelor's of science in nursing. GPA's need to be above a 3.0. Some require GRES but many do not require them. An online application and letters of recommendation are also usually required.

Finally, nurses may also receive doctoral degrees in nursing. These degrees all called either PhDs or Doctors of Philosophy in Nursing, or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Introduction: Job Market, Degrees, and Employment Positions

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the job market for nurses will continue grow at nearly 20% , much faster than the vast majority of other professions. The average salary for a nurse is in the mid $60,000s. A comfortable salary and decent job outlook are drawing more and more people to the nursing field. As demand for nurses grow, so to does the availability of nursing programs and types of nursing degrees. Nurses may earn an associate's in nursing, a bachelor's of science in nursing, or a master's degree in nursing which allows individuals to be nurse practitioners or midwifes earning up to six figures. Finally, nurses may work in a variety of settings. The vast majority work in hospitals (over half) though some working in nursing and care facilities, doctors' offices, in home health care environments, or for the government.

Top Nursing Programs

  1. University of Washington Seattle, WA - School. of Nursing
  2. University of California, San Francisco, CA - School of Nursing
  3. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - School of Nursing
  4. Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD - School of Nursing
  5. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI - School of Nursing
  6. University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC - School of Nursing
  7. Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR - School of Nursing
  8. University of Illinois, Chicago, IL - School of Nursing
  9. University of Maryland, Baltimore, MD - School of Nursing
  10. University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA - School of Nursing
  11. Yale University New Haven, CT
  12. University of California, Los Angeles, CA - School of Nursing
  13. University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA - School of Nursing
  14. Case Western Reserve University Cleveland, OH - School of Nursing
  15. Duke University, Durham, NC - School of Nursing
  16. Indiana University-Purdue University--Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN - School of Nursing
  17. University of Colorado--Denver and Health Sciences Center Denver, CO - School of Nursing
  18. Columbia University New York, NY- Dept. of Nursing - School of Nursing
  19. Rush University Chicago, IL- Dept. of Nursing - School of Nursing
  20. University of Texas, Austin, TX- Dept. of Nursing - School of Nursing
  21. University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA - School of Nursing
  22. University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI - Dept. of Nursing
  23. Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN - School of Nursing
  24. Boston College Chestnut Hill, MA - School of Nursing
  25. Emory University Atlanta, GA - School of Nursing
  26. New York University New York, NY - School of Nursing
  27. University of Alabama, Birmingham, AL - School of Nursing


Nursing degree courses