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The List: Top rated nursing schools in the Midwest

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Every week, we’re highlighting the best nursing schools in different regions of the U.S. according to their ratings in our Nurse’s Guide to Nursing Schools. This week brings us to the Midwest, where we take a look at five of the best nursing schools in the region and what each has to offer prospective students.

Schools in the Midwest roundup are in cities that range from smaller college towns to major metropolitan hubs. With each school offering different advantages, we feel there’s something for every type of nursing student, whether you’re just starting your nursing education or are going back for another degree.

Additionally, if you’ve already been through nursing school, don’t forget to rate your own school or alma mater at The Nurse’s Guide to Nursing Schools and leave comments about your personal experience to help out those who may be thinking about following in your footsteps. Got a question about a school? Leave a comment on the school’s page, and the Scrubs community will help find an answer.

1. University of Iowa College of Nursing
Iowa City, Iowa

U.S. News & World Report ranks a number of programs at the UI’s College of Nursing in the top 10 in the nation, with its Nursing Service Administration and Gerontology programs both ranked number two and the graduate program ranked at number 11 overall.

The school offers two BSN programs: One a traditional four-year program and another for RNs who want to earn their bachelor’s degree. The latter program is taught primarily through online courses. The grad program offers an MSN, PhD and DNP, each with a variety of focuses. Many can be taken as either a part-time or full-time program.

2. College of Saint Mary
Omaha, Neb.

The College of St. Mary’s undergraduate nursing education is described by the school as a “ladder.” With programs including PN, LPN-ASN, ASN and RN-BSN, students can “enter the program at various points along the ladder,” depending on previous education and work experience. Some of these programs have online options, allowing nurses to continue working while advancing their education.

The school also offers an MSN, a program consisting of both in-classroom sessions and online learning. This program is designed for students interested in obtaining certification in nursing education or an educational doctoral degree.

3. University of Southern Indiana
Evansville, Ind.

All of USI’s programs for those with previous nursing experience are distance learning programs. These include the university’s RN to BSN, MSN and DNP programs. Most of these require no campus visits during the degree program.

The school also offers a traditional four-year BSN degree program for those who do not have previous nursing experience.

4. Ball State University
Muncie, Ind.

Ball State also offers a variety of online programs, including RN to BS, RN to MS, master’s and DNP. Additionally, the school has a hybrid program for its LPN transition track that combines in-class and online instruction. Finally, the school also offers a traditional four-year BSN degree.

Once primarily an industrial town, Muncie has come to be known as a college town since Ball State has become one of the largest employers in the town. Another large industry in town is healthcare, driven primarily by Ball Memorial Hospital.

5. Clarkson College
Omaha, Neb.

This year, Clarkson College is ranked as the fourth best online nursing program by U.S. News & World Report. All graduate level nursing programs at the college are completed entirely online, and 100 percent of students in the grad program are employed while they continue their education.

The school also offers BSN, RN to BSN and LPN to BSN programs. Both the RN to BSN and LPN to BSN are offered full-time or part-time, but the former is an online program, while the latter is on-campus. The BSN is an on-campus, full-time program that takes advantage of the school’s partnership with the Nebraska Medical Center, also located in Omaha.

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