How We Ranked The Best Nursing Programs In The Nation For 2023?

Well, to begin with, there is no such definition of a good nursing program. Each program has pros and cons, and this makes compiling a ranking list quite cumbersome. Nevertheless, our approach to ranking nursing programs is a simple one. Firstly, we get our data from reliable and unbiased sources. We then assess programs based on various factors, which we believe are crucial to a successful educational experience. Furthermore, to add an external perspective to our rankings, we also consider rankings, ratings, and reviews from other major publications.

What Are The Minimum Requirements To Be Eligible For Our Rankings?

With numerous schools across the nation offering nursing programs, it becomes a daunting task to choose the right one to pursue the program of your interest. Our first step was to filter out schools using the following two minimum requirements.

• The program must be accredited by a nationally recognized accreditation body.
• The program must be approved by the respective state nursing board.

What Factors Were Considered For Our Rankings?

After filtering out the list, eligible nursing programs were ranked based on 4 important factors including academic quality, the nursing school's reputation, affordability, and our editorial team rating. The table below lists all 4 factors that form the base of our ranking methodology along with the weightage assigned to each one of them.

Factor Weightage
Academic Quality 50%
Acceptance Rate 20%
Enrollment Rate 20%
Graduation Rate 20%
Full-Time Retention Rate 20%
Student-to-Faculty Ratio 20%
The Nursing School's Reputation
(Student Reviews, Rankings, and Ratings from popular publications such as US News,,, and Grad Reports.)
Affordability 15%
Net Price 60%
Percentage of Enrolled Students Receiving Financial Aid (Grants, Loans, & Scholarships) 40%
Our Editorial Team Rating 15%

Why Were The Above Factors Considered For Our Rankings?

Each of the above 4 factors is clearly explained below to help you understand why we considered them for our ranking methodology.

1. Academic Quality (50%)

The academic quality of a college is one of the most important factors to gauge its success, and seemingly so, it constitutes 50% of our total ranking score. This factor is based on five components, including Acceptance Rate, Enrollment Rate, Graduation Rate, Full-Time Retention Rate, and Student-to-Faculty Ratio.

Acceptance Rate:

Acceptance rate is the number of students accepted into a college as against the total number of applications received. Schools with a highly selective admission process accept fewer numbers. A low acceptance rate emphasizes the fact that the school is stringent about maintaining quality standards.

Enrollment Rate:

The enrollment rate is the percentage of students choosing to enroll in a college after their application has been accepted. Higher enrollment points towards the college being a preferred choice among nursing students for the positive learning experience it offers.

Graduation Rate:

The graduation rate signifies the number of students completing the nursing program within the stipulated time frame. A school with a high graduation rate indicates a supportive learning environment and an effective teaching pedagogy.

Full-Time Retention Rate:

The retention rate indicates the percentage of students continuing with the college to complete their nursing program. A high retention rate means, greater number of students are happy to continue their education with the college as they find the quality of education and faculty support satisfactory.

Student to Faculty Ratio:

The student to faculty ratio indicates the number of students per instructor. A lower ratio is better as students are more likely to benefit from individualized attention and achieve a positive academic outcome.

2. The Nursing School's Reputation (20%)

20% of our total ranking score is based on a nursing school's reputation. To gauge a nursing school’s overall reputation, we have considered student reviews, rankings, and ratings from popular publications such as US News,,, and Grad Reports. With this well-rounded perspective from credible external sources, we were able to make our rankings more meaningful and complete.

3. Affordability (15%)

Affordability is an important factor when considering a nursing school and constitutes 15% of our ranking score. Affordable education can help you graduate with lesser debt, and to decipher this factor, we have considered a nursing college’s net price and the percentage of students receiving any kind of financial aid.

Net Price:

The net price is the cost you are going to incur to complete the nursing program. A school with a high net price can put a great deal of financial burden on you, whereas a school with a lower net price makes your education more affordable.

Percentage of Enrolled Students Receiving Financial Aid (Grants, Loans, & Scholarships):

Financial aid helps you pay for college. A high percentage of students receiving financial aid indicates the college’s financial aid office has been instrumental in matching eligible students to suitable grants, loans, or scholarships. A high percentage of students receiving financial aid means you stand a better chance of receiving financial aid, thus reducing the overall cost of your education.

4. Our Editorial Team Rating (15%)

Our editorial team rating accounts for 15% of our total score and is based on several factors such as the nursing school’s infrastructure, faculty credentials, research activity, funding from NIH and non-NIH sources, student services, use of technology, awards, recognition, and industry partnerships. We have also factored in the NCLEX pass rates wherever applicable.

Where Did We Gather The Data From?

To create a firm base for our ranking methodology, we have extracted accurate and updated information from various reliable and unbiased sources:

• The complete list of accredited programs was gathered from the respective program’s official nationally recognized accrediting body website.
• The National Center for Education Statistics was our source for information regarding acceptance rate, enrollment rate, graduation rate, full-time retention rate, student-to-faculty ratio, net price, and percentage of enrolled students receiving financial aid.
• College rankings, ratings and student reviews were sourced from U.S. News, Niche, Grad Reports, and Rate My Professors.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is The Main Purpose Behind Our Rankings?

The main purpose behind our rankings is to help you in your search to find the best nursing program. The ranking list can serve as a great starting point and saves you from spending long hours going through scores of college sites.

2. What Is The Guarantee Our Rankings Are Fair And Unbiased?

Our rankings are completely unbiased and fair as we are a neutral third party who has no direct association with any of the colleges; neither do we have anything to gain from the ranking order of colleges. Our rankings are solely based on data collected from reliable and unbiased sources. To maintain transparency, we clearly publish the factors that our rankings are based on.


At, we understand that our rankings can influence a student's decision in making a choice for the right nursing school. We do not promote the nursing schools that have made it to our ranking list; neither do we disregard schools that haven't made it to our list.

Although we have tried our best in bringing you a list of the best nursing schools that can simplify your search, please note there is no one perfect ranking tool or formula to devise a list of the best schools.

Our rankings are fair and unbiased, and we are in no way associated with any educational institution and thus have nothing to gain out of the ranking order. To maintain transparency, we have clearly mentioned the factors considered for our rankings for everyone to see.

How To Interpret Our Rankings?


As a student, you are advised to take the rankings as a starting point in your search and make a final decision about your education only after extensive research.


We understand that the education domain is a complex one, and the reputation of a school cannot be reduced to a ranking. We believe that the academic outcome of any program depends on a student's talent and hard work as much as it depends on the college. Rankings of any nature must not be construed as a barometer of a college or program's success. Also, at times some schools may have not made it to our list simply because we could not source accurate data to derive a conclusive ranking score.

Any Further Questions

If you have questions, comments, or corrections about our ranking methodology, please feel free to connect with our staff through the Contact Form.