Top Nursing Colleges and Universities In The US and How Much You’ll Have to Pay to Go There

Kathryn Norcutt has been an active member of the health care community for over 20 years. During her time as a nurse, she has helped people from all walks of life and ages. Now, Kathryn leads a much less hectic life and devotes most of her free time to writing for RNnetwork, a site specializing in RNnetwork.

A lot of schools will tout their “great” nursing programs, but it’s difficult to wade through the hype and find out who is really the best. US News and World Report is handy for a lot of things, especially ranking post-secondary schools. Their new report for the 2012 school year has a lot to say about the current top nursing schools. For anyone who wants to go into the field of Nursing specifically, it’s good to know where you can find the best nursing education possible. Even if you want to shift your focus to nursing after studying other areas of study, you’ll want to know the top schools.

The ratings are on a scale of 1 through 5, with a 1 being “marginal” and 5 being “outstanding,” according to the US News and World Report rankings page. The rankings are derived from peer assessment reviews. Surveys were only sent to accredited schools in good standing. As posted on the US News and World Reports website, there are multiple ties for certain spots. This is the top ten schools, however, it is not a list of the schools ranked 1 through 10.

These costs are not just tuition, but the estimated costs of an academic year composed of two full semesters, including books, living, housing, fees, and other expenses in order to get a more comprehensive picture of the actual cost of attending these schools. The information was gathered where available. This information was compiled to give a potential student the most realistic cost of attending each institution, rather than just the barebones tuition costs. It is assumed that the student will be an out of state resident looking to attend one of these schools.

The costs involved with attending each school also assume that the student is looking to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, rather than any other specific type of program or any post-graduate credits. The potential student is assumed to have little or no previous college credits and will be completing the Bachelor’s as a traditional student.

Top ten US schools for nursing and their estimated tuition + other expenses costs for an academic year as a full-time student:

  1. Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore MD (4.6)
    Tuition costs for their undergraduate nursing program: $99,941 (13 month summer entry program) and $104,801 (17 month fall entry program)
  2. University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (4.6)
    Attendance costs for their undergraduate nursing program: $59,600 per academic year
  3. University of Washington, Seattle WA (4.6)
    Attendance costs for their undergraduate nursing program: $43,621 per academic year for a non-Washington resident at their Seattle campus
  4. University of California-San Francisco, CA (4.5)
    Attendance costs for their undergraduate nursing program: $83,698 per academic year for a non-resident
  5. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, NC (4.5)
    Attendance costs for their undergraduate nursing program: $37,645 per academic year for a non-resident ($13,464 for a resident)
  6. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, MI (4.4)
    Attendance costs for their undergraduate nursing program: $39,122 per academic year for a non-resident
  7. Duke University-Durham, NC (4.3)
    Attendance costs for their undergraduate nursing program: $26,024 per academic year for their ABSN program
  8. Oregon Health and Science University-Portland, OR (4.3)
    Attendance costs for their undergraduate nursing program: $18,922 per academic year (non-resident)
  9. University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh, PA (4.3)
    Attendance costs for their undergraduate nursing program: $21,250 per academic year (non-resident)
  10. Yale University-New Haven, CT (4.3)
    Post-Graduate nursing school only, no BSN. Costs $1,220 per credit for part-time grad students for their Masters in Nursing program

Among the ten top schools in the US for nursing, the most expensive and the least expensive per year are quite different in cost, despite their being the very top of their fields. Johns Hopkins weighs in at a hefty cost of attendance of $104,801 per year, while number seven ranked Oregon Health and Science University will cost you only a cool $18,922 per year to attend. That’s a difference of $85,879, making Johns Hopkins 454% more expensive than Oregon.

The real question, and unfortunately this information was not listed on any of these school’s websites, is how much of a difference does it make to have a nursing degree from a top ranked school that costs $104,801 per year and one that costs $18,922 per year? We know that name recognition counts for a lot in the “real world,” but how much difference does it make in actual job performance? We may never know the answer to that question, but at least it is good to know that there are top ranked nursing schools that are in reach of just about any budget.

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