Top 5 Nursing Schools

In terms of job security, medical careers are difficult to beat. Medical practitioners are always in high demand, no matter where you live. The medical field is also diverse. There are some careers which require many years of expensive training, but not all career paths involve intensive training. If you want to work directly with patients but do not want to go through all the extra schooling to get your doctorate, becoming a nurse is a great choice.

Nurses have multiple responsibilities, which can vary depending on where you work and your official job title. You can expect to care for patients, administer medication and help with treatment, check on patient vital signs and communicate with doctors and patients. In larger medical facilities, nurses often represent the largest part of the staff. More information about becoming a nurse, including five of the top nursing schools, are listed below.

Different Types of Nursing Degrees

There are several types of nursing degrees. Each degree requires slightly different certification and education. Two of the most common types of nursing degrees are certified nursing assistant (CNA) and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN). With both of these degrees, you provide basic patient care. This includes monitoring vital signs, administering medication and helping patients eat or get dressed while in the hospital. The main difference is, nursing assistants work under a vocational nurse. Many students start as a CNA to earn practical experience, then pursue a specialty or become a registered nurse (RN).

Advanced degrees are available. If you get a Master of Science, you may become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN). An APRN performs the same tasks as a registered nurse, but they can run more elaborate tests and reference patients to specialists. Some APRNs also work in teacher settings.

There are additional specialties, such as a nurse anesthetist, who works specifically with any medical procedure involving anesthetics. NICU nurses work exclusively with newborn children. Labor and Delivery nurses help pregnant mothers, while pediatric nurses work with children. There are also ambulatory nurses, who respond to medical emergencies and nurse educators, who work in a classroom setting.

Duke University

Duke is considered one of the top nursing schools in the United States. This honor comes with a higher tuition, costing around $60,000 as of writing. Duke is one of the top research schools in the United States, which attracts an experienced teaching staff. In addition to the base medical program, Duke offers an undergraduate degree through their School of Nursing program. Completing the program only requires taking 58 credits worth of classes. All students are required to receive 800 hours of clinical experience as part of the graduating requirements. For advanced nursing degrees, Duke is known for their nurse anesthesia program. Duke has options for both online and accelerated nursing programs.

Georgetown University

Georgetown University is a private college, costing around $58,000 in tuition. Georgetown uses a direct entry program for their BSN nursing program. This allows high school applicants to know whether they are accepted into the program before officially enrolling at the school, making it easier to search for colleges. Students must have a minimum of 850 clinical hours before graduating. Students work with local hospitals and medical centers all throughout Washington, D.C. Online classes are available, but there are currently no accelerated programs. In addition to the BSN program, there are also courses for becoming a midwife or nurse practitioner, both of which take two years to complete.

New York University

New York University is one of the largest nursing schools, with students from over 133 different countries. There are also multiple campuses located outside of the United States, which is perfect for graduates interested in joining an overseas nursing program to get real world experience. There are also a host of nursing programs to choose from, including an accelerated BSN degree. The university also has generous transfer options, accepting credits from most other universities. There are also two master’s programs for existing nurses who want to further their education. Tuition is normally around $50,000 to $53,000. As of writing, online classes are not available, but there are accelerated nursing programs.

University of Pennsylvania

The University of Pennsylvania is home to one of the oldest nursing programs. The school was first established in 1740, and boasts an impressive student to teacher ratio. This is important for nurses, who benefit from personalized education due to how many practical lessons are included in the nursing program. The school has multiple nursing programs, including multiple pediatric programs and a focus on administrative nursing positions.

What sets the University of Pennsylvania apart from other schools is the simulation lab. The simulation lab uses start of the art technology, allowing students to experience practical lessons without physically going into a hospital. Tuition normally costs around $57,000 each year. Both online and accelerated classes are available.

University of Michigan

If cost is an issue, consider attending the University of Michigan. If you live in state, there are numerous financial assistance programs available, cutting the costs down to under $10,000. If you are attending out of state, the costs are still manageable, costing around $25,000 to $30,000. No accelerated programs are available as of writing, but there are online classes. The school features eight different nurse specialty programs, in addition to the standard BSN degree.