The List: Top rated nursing schools on the East Coast


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Choosing the best nursing school for you may seem like a daunting challenge, whether you are just starting your nursing education or you’re going back to get an advanced degree. That’s why we’ve put together the Nurse’s Guide to Nursing Schools, which ranks schools on a number of factors to help give you a better idea of what institution would be the best fit for you.

Every week we highlight the best schools in the country, grouping them by a number of classifications including region. So far we’ve looked at the best schools in big cities, small towns, the West Coast and the Midwest. This week we’re looking at the best schools on the East Coast.

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. Columbia University School of Nursing
New York

If you thrive on the fast pace of the big city, then it doesn’t get much bigger than New York City. And in the middle of it all is Columbia University in Manhattan, one of the highest rated nursing schools in the country.

As you’d expect from a university the size of Columbia, the nursing school offers a number of degree programs, including the combined BS/MS degree that’s an accelerated program for those with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. The school also offers a variety of master’s specialties, as well as DNP and PhD degrees.

2. Medical University of South Carolina College of Nursing
Charleston, S.C.

If you prefer to have miles of beautiful beaches at your disposal, you may want to look at the Medical University of South Carolina. Located in the beautiful city that features a unique mix of old America and modern amenities, the university’s College of Nursing is the only academic health sciences center in South Carolina.

The university’s BSN program is an accelerated, full-time program, though most of the other degree choices are offered entirely online. These include MSN, DNP and PhD programs. Additionally, there are a number of post doctoral specialty programs available.

3. University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing

Returning to the Northeast, we have the University of Pennsylvania, located in Philadelphia. The School of Nursing is currently ranked as the number one graduate nursing program by U.S. News & World Report.

The school has an extremely wide variety of degree programs available, from a traditional four-year BSN to an accelerated BSN option to master’s and doctoral programs. The master’s program has a wide variety of specialties available, including 11 nurse practitioner programs.

4. University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing

Traveling across Pennsylvania, you have the University of Pittsburgh. The School of Nursing also appears in the top 10 of the U.S. News rankings of graduate nursing programs at number seven.

The school also offers a plethora of degree programs, including BSN, Accelerated 2nd Degree BSN, RN Options, master’s, DNP and PhD. Some of the programs are available entirely online through the school’s Pitt Online platform.

5. University Of Virginia
Charlottesville, Va.

Charlottesville, Va. is on the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, yet only an hour from Richmond, Va. and two hours from Washington, D.C. The School of Nursing was founded in 1901, though the university has its roots in the medical school Thomas Jefferson founded in 1825.

Keeping with the trend on this list so far, the school offers a wide variety of both undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. Additionally, the Master’s Entry Clinical Nurse Leader program is designed for those with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. The program is a full-time, 24-month program.


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