The Best Military/Veteran Friendly Nursing Schools in the Nation – 2020


Military personnel usually like to balance life in the armed forces with an alternate career that they can take-up after retirement. It seems that nursing as a career can be a prudent choice as it offers considerable stability and professional growth. In fact, this serves well for military nurses who can build-up on their past nursing knowledge by completing higher education. Even for students without a nursing background, nursing can be a promising second career to start with, as there are a number of colleges across the nation offering entry-level nursing programs. Either way, you must go back to college to earn a degree. However, often it becomes difficult to take up a nursing program, sometimes due to lack of scheduling options, or at times the tuition costs are too high. Military friendly nursing schools make it possible for active, reservists, retired service members, and their spouses and dependents to pursue a nursing degree by offering several special benefits. Although there are a number of benefits already in place by the federal government, these schools offer additional aid in terms of reduced tuition costs, flexible scheduling options, financial aid, and transfer of credits. Some colleges offer more assistance than others and therefore we have ranked the Best Veteran friendly Nursing Schools in the nation that not only participate in government-funded programs but also offer servicemen a host of other benefits.

Ranking Methodology

To rank the Best Military/Veterans Nursing Schools we looked into several factors that let us know the extent of support and assistance the schools provide military students. Apart from the assistance they provide to military students, schools were also evaluated for academic quality and the reputation they carry online. Nursing Schools that have it to our rankings are committed to serve military students and provide them with various resources to support their special needs. Besides, these schools have established superior education standards and enjoy a stellar online reputation. The following are the three factors that form the base of our ranking methodology:

1) Veteran Resources (50%)

To make it to our rankings, a school must fulfill any of the following criteria -

• The institution is certified for the GI Bill.
• The institution participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program
• The College offers the ROTC program (Army, Navy, Air Force)
• The college provides a Dedicated point of Contact for veterans and service-members

2) Academic Quality (25%)

We figured a military student’s academic success directly depends on the quality of education a school offers and hence included a nursing school’s academic quality into our ranking methodology. We measured the academic quality by taking into account a school’s acceptance rate, graduation rate, retention rate, and student to faculty ratio.

3) The Nursing School’s Reputation (25%)

To make our ranking more complete we considered college rankings and reviews from reputed online publications such as US News, Niche, Grad Reports, and Rate My Professors.

What are the 10 Best Veteran/Military Friendly Nursing Schools in the Nation for 2020?

1) University of California-Irvine, Irvine – CA    Visit Program Page

University of California’ excellence and innovation in nursing education produces competent nursing graduates who are compassionate caregivers and practitioners of evidence-based nursing knowledge. One of the popular veteran-friendly nursing schools in the nation, the college offers several funding, housing, and education benefits through its UCI Veterans Center. The center assists aspiring nursing students from the US armed forces to navigate their way through student life. Undergraduate and graduate nursing students can avail of exclusive scholarships and veteran emergency grants to sail through financial troubles. Besides, on-campus housing for the eligible single students and those with families are also provided throughout the program. Furthermore, women veteran moms enjoy childcare assistance, enabling them to better focus on academics.

2) Sacred Heart University, Fairfield – CT    Visit Program Page

If you are a serviceman and aspire to become a nurse post-retirement, then Sacred Heart University is not only one of the top nursing schools in the nation but also military-friendly. The college offers undergraduate and graduate nursing education, mainly in an online format. The college houses a Veterans Affairs department that is dedicated to helping new students seamlessly transition into the program. The office assists students to avail tuition payments through the GI Bill, the Yellow Ribbon Program, and other funding opportunities. Besides, qualified servicepersons with service-connected disabilities can apply for books and supplies and also a monthly stipend. Eligible spouses and children of veterans can benefit from a monthly payment of up to 1,248 towards their nursing program.

3) Mount Saint Mary's University, Los Angeles – CA    Visit Program Page

Mount Saint Mary’s University’s has been offering nursing education for more than 70 years through its ABSN, BSN, and RN to BSN programs. Its BSN program, a blend of liberal and arts and sciences enjoys the distinction of being the first in the state of California. Impressively, the college bases its curriculum on the Roy Adaptation Model, which integrates the biological, psychological, and social aspects of treating a patient. With service to humanity being the motto of a ‘Mount Nurse’, the college extends this policy in serving students coming from the armed forces. They are awarded a generous military credit of up to 15 credits for their military service courses. This transfer of credits helps students save a considerable amount of time and money.

4) Pace University - New York, New York – NY    Visit Program Page

Whether veterans wish to start a career in nursing or expand on their nursing knowledge as military nurses, either way, Pace University’s Nursing School equips them with professional skills and knowledge through its undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral programs. Its ‘Grow Our Own’ program is a unique opportunity for those aiming to get into teaching. This is a doctoral program in nursing, upon completion of which, students are provided with the opportunity of pursuing teaching at Pace. Well, veterans at the nursing school also enjoy several benefits that include an exclusive Veterans Scholarship and financial aid opportunities as the school, besides being a partner to the GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program offers additional financial benefits. Furthermore, you can accelerate your admission process by applying on Military Mondays that mainly focus on prioritizing the admission process for veterans, reservists, and active military personnel.

5) University of Nevada-Reno, Reno – NV    Visit Program Page

If you are considering a military-friendly nursing school to pursue a career in nursing, then University of Nevada-Reno can be given a thought. The school takes pride in its 50 years of experience of creating a competent nursing workforce. The college offers a traditional BSN, RN-BSN program, ABSN, MSN, DNP, and an advanced post-master's certificate program. To help servicemen transition into student life, the college has a department dedicated to veterans’ affairs. It provides support in terms of enrolment, educational assistance, tutoring, Work-Study wage, and financial benefits ranging from the Post-9/11 GI Bill to Vocational Rehabilitation (Chapter 31). This supports also extends to the spouses and children of veterans.

6) Grand Canyon University, Phoenix – AZ    Visit Program Page

Grand Canyon University honors the contribution of military and veteran students and serves them, and their dependents to seamlessly make a switchover to student life. Students are eligible for a special tuition rate per credit, in addition to scholarships and other financial aid opportunities. Grand Canyon’s nursing education focuses on developing vital traits of critical thinking, effective communication, and evidence-based practice. Its online and in-class nursing programs rooted in Christian values combine courses in liberal arts and science. This veteran-friendly nursing school offers an RN to BSN to MSN Fast Track option, ABSN, and BSN to DNP in Leadership pathway that students can take. Regardless of the program, you enter, the Veteran’s Affairs Office will assist you with a customized plan to help you reach academic goals.

7) Michigan State University, East Lansing – MI    Visit Program Page

Michigan State University, committed to training the nurses for the future offers several pathways in both online and on-campus learning mediums. To become a caregiver, you can either start with a BSN or take an MSN, DNP, or Ph.D., depending on your current credentials and career goals. Quality teaching, innovative research, and active community outreach set the nursing school apart. To make students coming from the armed forces feel at home in their new environment, the college’s veterans resource center ensures personal and professional advancement through various services. Apart from transition services, the center is dedicated to veterans and military students’ financial aid application support, career development, and employment & internship opportunities. The center also provides for exclusive space where students can conduct meetings and social dos.

8) Molloy College, Rockville Centre – NY    Visit Program Page

Molloy College located just at an hour’s drive from Manhattan is easily one of the affordable military friendly nursing schools in NY. The school emphasizes on clinical expertise and partners with more than 250 clinical sites to provide nursing students with extensive experiential learning. The college offers a variety of programs, including BSN, RN to BSN, Second Degree BS/MS, LPN to BSN MSN, DNP and Ph.D. programs. Valuing human dignity, spirituality, and community service are the cornerstones of nursing education at Molloy. Military students can transition into civilian life by entering into a nursing program that matches their career goals. For smooth sailing, the college’s admission office provides veterans, reservists, or active military students with a number of benefits, including tuition assistance, deferred payment plan, career planning, and transfer credits. To receive these benefits, all you need to do is certify your status as active military, veteran, or reservist at the time of enrollment.

9) University of Arizona, Tucson – AZ    Visit Program Page

If you are looking at nursing as an alternate career, then the University of Arizona offers community-based nursing education through its BSN, MSN, DNP, Ph.D., and continuing education courses. No matter the program you enter, when you graduate from this college, you will be adept with the professional skills and knowledge required to offer competent nursing care to a diverse patient population. Also, with some programs offering courses online, you can easily schedule academics into your life as a defense personnel. The college designates its Office of Registrar to look into the affairs of military students. Among the several benefits, students can avail are management of the GI Bill and Yellow Ribbon Program, payment assistance, priority registration, tutoring services, credit transfers, and transition services, extending these benefits to eligible dependants as well. Notably, the college agrees to comply with the Principles of Excellence laid down by the US Department of Veteran Affairs, so you are assured of receiving the military-connected benefits.

10) Georgetown University, Washington – DC    Visit Program Page

Georgetown University takes pride in its long history of more than 100 years during which it has focused on the promotion of health improvement. Today, its graduates are playing pivotal roles in government, public, and private healthcare organizations. If you are looking at veteran-friendly nursing schools, then you can give a thought to GU’s bachelor’s master’s, doctoral, and non-degree programs. In its endeavor to serve the community, the college extends its service to help military students make the change happen from the US army to student life. Its Veteran’s Office serves as a one point of contact where students seek assistance concerning enrollment, financial aid, and other resources. The college also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program that provides students with additional funding.