The List: Top rated nursing schools in the South


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Where a nursing school is located can be, for many, one of the most important factors in the decision-making process about which school to attend. Because of that, we’re looking at the best schools for nurses in different regions across the country based on ratings in our Nurse’s Guide to Nursing Schools, and this week we’re taking a look at five of the best schools in the South.

Here are the other regions we’ve looked at so far:

But location is certainly not the only factor when choosing schools, particularly if you’re a veteran nurse looking to earn a new degree and prefer to take your courses online. We’ll look at a bit of what each school on the list offers all potential students.

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. Our Lady Of The Lake College
Baton Rouge, La.

The Our Lady of the Lake College School of Nursing offers a variety of bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. While the traditional BSN is a full-time, four-year program, the LPN to BSN track is designed for nurses who wish to continue working while earning their bachelor’s degree. It should be noted that though nurses can continue employment while continuing their education, the school does not offer an online option, so you must live in the area.

The nursing master’s degree is has two program options: administrator and educator. Grad students also can choose the M.S. Nurse Anesthesia program.

2. Belmont University
Nashville, Tenn.

Located in the city nicknamed Music City, Belmont has become known for its music program. However, the university also offers a wide variety of great nursing degree programs, from bachelor’s to doctorate.

While the traditional and accelerated BSN programs require full-time, on campus attendance, the RN to BSN degree is an online program designed for nurses who wish to continue working. In the graduate department, the university offers BSN to DNP, MSN to DNP and FNP programs. The MSN to DNP program is a hybrid format consisting mostly of online courses combined with a few weekend on-campus classes each semester. The other programs have on-campus classes every week.

3. East Carolina University
Greenville, N.C.

If you are looking for a larger school, you may want to consider East Carolina, which has a total enrollment just shy of 30,000, and is the third-largest university in North Carolina. As you may expect from such a large institution, the nursing school offers a wide variety of program options.

While the traditional BSN and PhD programs are only offered on campus, the rest of the offerings can be taken online. These include RN to BSN, RN to MSN, DNP and MSN in specific areas including Adult-Gerontology NP, Nursing Leadership, FNP, Nurse Midwifery and Nursing Education.

4. East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, Tenn.

If going to school near the mountains is more your style, you may want to look into East Tennessee State, located in the Appalachian Mountains at Johnson City, Tenn. While many schools nestled in the mountains are fairly small, East Tennessee has a relatively large student body of over 15,000.

Like the other schools on the list, a wide variety of programs and concentrations are offered, and many can be taken online or as a hybrid online and on-campus format. Many of the programs designed for working nurses to advance their careers have cohort groups available across Tennessee.

5. Georgia Regents University
Augusta, Ga.

Because of several changes in the University System of Georgia over the past few years, you may know Georgia Regents as either Medical College of Georgia or Georgia Health Sciences University. Regardless, the school is ranked in the top 50 grad schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report.

Like most schools on the list, the university offers both traditional and online options, and the school also has three satellite campuses across the state. For most programs, the school also offers clinical opportunities in various locations around the state.


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