How We Ranked the Best Graduate Nursing Programs in Your State and City for 2024?

Well, to begin with, there is no such definition of a good Graduate Nursing program. Each program has pros and cons, and this makes compiling a ranking list quite cumbersome. Nevertheless, our approach to ranking Graduate 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.


At we have ranked the following Graduate Nursing programs in your state and city:

1. Direct-Entry MSN Programs
2. RN to MSN Programs
3. MSN Programs
4. BSN to MSN Programs
5. MSN to DNP Programs
6. MSN/MBA Dual Degree Programs
7. BSN to DNP Programs
8. DNP Programs
9. CRNA Programs


The Graduate Nursing program must be approved by either ACEN or CCNE.


After filtering out the list, eligible Graduate Nursing programs were ranked based on 4 important factors including the Graduate Nursing program's academic quality, range of Graduate Nursing programs and specialties offered by the school, affordability, and our editorial team ratings. 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 Quality40%
Acceptance Rate 35%
Graduation Rate 35%
Retention Rate 20%
Student to Faculty Ratio 10%
Range Of Graduate Nursing Programs And Specialties Offered20%
Affordability 20%
Our Editorial Team Ratings 20%


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 (40%)

The academic quality of a program is one of the most important factors to gauge its success, and seemingly so, it constitutes 40% of our total ranking score. This factor is based on four components, including Acceptance Rate, Graduation Rate, Retention Rate, and Student-to-Faculty Ratio.

Acceptance Rate:

Acceptance rate is the number of students a school accepts in proportion to the applications it receives. A school stringent about maintaining quality standards looks out for high-performing candidates, is selective in its admission policy, and has a low acceptance rate.

Graduation Rate:

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

Retention Rate:

The retention rate is the number of students who continue with the college to complete the program. A high retention rate reflects fewer dropouts or transfers, indicating students are happy with the quality of education and the support they are receiving from the faculty and the college as a whole.

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. Range Of Graduate Nursing Programs And Specialties Offered (20%)

The range of Graduate Nursing programs and specialties offered by a school constitutes 20% of our ranking score. A School with a wide range of Graduate Nursing programs and specialties not only provides you with multiple entry options but offers you the opportunity to graduate with specialized skills in your area of interest. This we believe indicates the college’s commitment to wholesome Graduate Nursing education. Moreover, with a wide range of programs and specialties, the college will be more resourceful in terms of learning opportunities and clinical training.

3. Affordability (20%)

Affordability is an important factor when considering a Graduate Nursing program and constitutes 20% of our ranking score. Affordable education can help you graduate with lesser debt, and to decipher this factor, we have considered the school’s net price. The net price is the cost you are going to incur to complete the Graduate 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.

4. Our Editorial Team Rating (20%)

Our editorial team rating accounts for 20% of our total score and is based on both internal as well as external pointers. While internal pointers considered include the school’s infrastructure, faculty credentials, student services, use of technology, awards, recognition, and industry partnerships. The external pointers considered include college rankings, ratings, and student reviews from respected online publications such as US News, Niche, Grad Reports, and Rate My Professors.


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 Graduate Nursing programs in each state and city was collected from their respective State Boards and accrediting body websites - ACEN & CCNE.
• The National Center for Education Statistics was our source for information on acceptance rates, graduation rates, retention rates, student-to-faculty ratio, and net price.
• College rankings, ratings and student reviews were sourced from U.S. News, Niche, Grad Reports, and Rate My Professors.
• Additional information and data required for our rankings about each Graduate Nursing program were gathered from their official college website.


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 right Graduate 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 Graduate Nursing program. We do not promote the Graduate Nursing programs 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 to bring you a list of the best Graduate Nursing programs 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.



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.


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


Best Nurse Practitioner Schools in Your State

Latest From Our Blog