The List: Top rated large nursing schools


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Last week, we took a look at the best small nursing schools around the United States as rated in our Nurse’s Guide to Nursing Schools, but we know that some prospective nursing students want a larger learning environment. So this week, we want to highlight the best large nursing schools in the U.S.

All schools on the list have a total enrollment (including undergraduate and graduate students) of at least 20,000. After checking out these schools, be sure to see our list of the best small schools, as well as other top rated schools around the country.

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. Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, Ariz.

Northern Arizona University has a total enrollment of just over 26,000 students. Though the flagship campus is located in Flagstaff, the university has a number of satellite campuses around the state, and many students take courses entirely online as well.

The school offers three undergraduate degree programs: Traditional BSN, accelerated BSN and RN to BSN. The graduate program offers an MSN, post-master’s certificate and DNP. Unique to the university is its BSN American Indian Program, offering the first BSN program within an American Indian Nation.

2. Northern Illinois University
Dekalb, Ill.

Northern Illinois University is the third largest campus in Illinois, located in Dekalb. The city of just over 40,000 people is right outside of the Chicago metro area, and is about an hour’s drive from the city. The university has a total student population that’s just shy of 22,000.

The school offers a traditional, four-year BSN as well as a RN to BSN program. The MSN program either prepares students for advanced practice (in family practitioner, adult nurse practitioner or adult clinical nurse specialist) or for nursing education.

3. Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio

Ohio State University is one of the top 10 largest schools in the U.S., with a total enrollment of nearly 65,000 students across a variety of satellite campuses and online programs. The total number of students at the main Columbus campus is more than 55,000.

As you might expect from a university of its size, OSU offers a wide variety of degree programs for nurses and prospective nurses, with BSN, MSN, DNP and PhD offered as degree options. The College of Nursing has a total of around 1,500 students.

4. Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey-Newark College of Nursing
Newark, N.J.

Rutgers has a total enrollment of more than 58,000 students across three main campus in New Jersey: Newark, New Brunswick and Camden. There also are additional satellite campuses in other parts of the state.

The College of Nursing is located at both the Newark and New Brunswick campuses, and a wide variety of degree programs are offered. The undergraduate program offers a traditional BSN, an accelerated BSN and a RN to BSN, as well as a school nurse certificate. At the graduate level, degrees offered include MSN, DNP and PhD.

5. University of Buffalo
Buffalo, N.Y.

Total enrollment at the University of Buffalo is just under 30,000 students, and the university is the flagship institution in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. The city of Buffalo is the second largest city in New York by population (behind New York City), and its metro area contains over 1 million people.

Like all of the universities on the list, the UB School of Nursing offers many degree options at both the undergraduate and graduate level. The school offers a unique master’s program in Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems.


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