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Top 10 Nursing Schools in the Nation

Many of the top nursing schools in the United States offer numerous degree options for aspiring as well as already-licensed nurses. Program options typically include bachelor's, master's and doctoral nursing degrees and specialty graduate certificates for those interested in areas like pediatrics, mental health care, midwifery and oncology.

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Top Nursing Schools in the U.S.

1. Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OR

Opened in 1887, the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) serves as a training clinic and place for research in many medical-related fields, with nursing as one of its specialties. In 2011, it ranked seventh in nursing on U.S. News and World Report's list of best grad schools, with its programs for aspiring family nurse practitioners and gerontological or geriatric nurse practitioners placing in the top ten for those specialties as well.

OHSU offers a pre- and post-A.A.S. transfer program for aspiring nurses seeking a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). The school also offers a BSN, both as an accelerated curriculum and a traditional 4-year curriculum, a Registered Nurse (RN) to BSN program, a Master of Nursing (MN) with areas of specialization including family nurse practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist, and both a Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.) and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.). Some of the school's graduate programs are also available online.

2. University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA

As of 2011, this Ivy League school placed fifth on U.S. News and World Report's national university ranking. The school also ranked first on the magazine's list of graduate nursing programs, pediatric nursing programs and adult/medical-surgical clinical nurse specialist programs in 2011. Students can earn an accelerated BSN, a combined BSN/Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), a combined BSN/Ph.D. in Nursing and a Ph.D. in Nursing. Topics available for master's and postmaster's certificate study include adult acute care, family health, pediatric acute care, pediatric oncology, psychiatric-mental health nursing, nurse midwifery, nurse anesthesia and women's health care. Continuing education is also available through the school's Center for Professional Development.

3. University of California - Los Angeles

University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA) was named one of The Princeton Review's Best Western colleges and Best Public Value colleges in 2011. The school also ranked 25th on U.S. News and World Report's 2011 national universities ranking, second on its public school ranking and 21st on the list of schools offering a graduate degree in nursing. Students can earn a pre-licensure BSN or MSN. Licensed nurses can apply to the MSN program and a postmaster's certificate program with a concentration in nursing administration, gerontology, family population, pediatrics or under-served populations. Ph.D. in Nursing specialties include biobehavioral sciences, biologic sciences, health disparities in at-risk populations and health services.

List of Ten Notable Nursing Schools in the U.S.

College/University Name Distinction Location
Boston College Joint MSN/M.A. in Pastoral Ministry program Chestnut Hill, MA
Duke University 16-month Accelerated BSN program Durham, NC
Johns Hopkins University Ph.D. program ranked number one by the National Research Council Baltimore, MD
Oregon Health and Science University Only health and research university in Oregon Portland, OR
University of California - Los Angeles Postdoctoral nursing fellowships Los Angeles, CA
University of Michigan - Ann Arbor Clinical Learning Center Ann Arbor, MI
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Specialist programs in psychiatric/mental health clinical nursing, nursing service administration and pediatric nurse practitioner Chapel Hill, NC
University of Pennsylvania Graduate-level adult home care specialization Philadelphia, PA
University of Texas at Austin Named 2005 Best School or College of Nursing for Men by American Assembly for Men in Nursing Austin, TX
University of Washington Nursing program first ranked number one by U.S. News and World Report in 1984 Seattle, WA
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