6 Best Nursing Schools in Nebraska – 2023 Rankings

Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH

Registered nurses in Nebraska earn $73,510 a year on average. They have great job security and career advancement opportunities, too, because over the next 10 years, the need for RNs in the Cornhusker State is projected to grow by 7.73 percent. Students at nursing schools in Nebraska enjoy great scheduling flexibility: In addition to traditional campus programs, there are also online options that allow you to keep up with the family and work obligations you’re already juggling. Ready to find out more? Information on the 6 best nursing schools in Nebraska for 2023 is presented below.


(After closely assessing all nursing schools approved by the Nebraska State Board of Nursing, based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the best accredited nursing schools in Nebraska offering BSN programs.)

1. University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha

About UNMC College of Nursing: "U.S. News and World Report" counts the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha among the top ten medical schools in the nation. When its College of Nursing opened in 1917, it was one of the very few nursing schools in the U.S. to offer a five-year baccalaureate nursing degree as well as a three-year diploma. The U.S. Health Services & Resources Administration (HRSA) recently awarded UNMC’s nursing college a $2.6 million grant to complete a nursing education model that aims to improve primary health care throughout Nebraska. Whether you’re interested in clinical practice, research, nursing education, or health policy, this is the nursing school in NE you’ll want to attend if your ambition is to become a leader in your field.

The college is located on UNMC’s campus in the heart of downtown Omaha. Nursing students share the 7,750-square-foot Michael F. Sorrell Clinical Simulation Lab with students attending the Medical College. Here, they develop clinical skills by using actual hospital equipment, and by practicing on manikins and task trainers. Students continue their training through clinical rotations at medical centers, hospitals, and other health facilities in Omaha and adjacent communities. The College of Nursing also offers opportunities for international nursing study in Jordan, Oman, China, Sweden, and Norway.

Financial Aid: The College of Nursing administers a limited number of merit-based, nursing-specific scholarships. One of these is the Northeast Nebraska Scholarship. A single application is used for all scholarship awards, and it must be submitted by April 1. Filling out Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may also help you qualify for needs-based federal aid.


2. Creighton University, Omaha

About Creighton College of Nursing: The College of Nursing at Creighton University is one of two nursing programs in Nebraska that’s affiliated with the Catholic Church. Creighton University was founded by the Society of Jesus in 1878. Though it’s open to students of all religious denominations, the holistic approach to health care that’s taught here is grounded in Jesuit principles. Social justice is an important value at this school; students have the opportunity to work closely with projects like Project Homeless Connect, which delivers health care and dental services to Omaha’s transient population.

A newly renovated simulation lab equipped with IV pumps, other medical equipment, and high-fidelity manikins allows nursing students to hone clinical skills such as IV insertion, urinary catheterization, and patient assessments. Clinical rotations are scheduled at large hospitals, specialty hospitals, and free health clinics throughout the greater Omaha metropolitan area as well as at smaller hospitals in surrounding rural communities. Nursing students also have the chance to study abroad in the Dominican Republic, Ireland, Germany, Spain, and Tanzania.

Financial Aid: Creighton University offers a number of scholarship opportunities for nursing students. You’ll need to fill out and submit a FAFSA form to the Financial Aid Office in order to qualify. The information on your FAFSA form will also be used to determine your eligibility for needs-based grants and loans.

3. Nebraska Methodist College, Omaha

About Nebraska Methodist College: Nebraska Methodist College in Omaha is mainly focused upon providing nursing degrees in NE, although it does offer respiratory therapy and imaging science degrees as well. The college was founded as a nursing diploma training school in 1891. The college has been recognized as a military-friendly school for veterans and their spouses.

Nursing classrooms are located in the 26,000-square-foot Riley-Leinart Center and the 75,000-square-foot Clark Center. The Nursing Arts Center, which is housed in the Riley-Leinart Center, has 13 hospital beds equipped with patient monitors, oxygen dispensers, and suction devices as well as an electronic medication dispensing machine. Students practice bedside techniques on high-fidelity manikins so that they can grow confident in their clinical skills before they begin working with actual patients. Nebraska Methodist College is an affiliate of the Methodist Health System, and nursing students participate in hands-on clinical rotations at Omaha’s Methodist Hospital and Methodist Women’s Hospital.

Financial Aid: Nebraska Methodist College awards scholarships on the basis of academic merit and leadership potential. Eligibility depends upon the submission of a FAFSA form by June 1. Submitting a FAFSA form may also help qualify you for grants, loans and other aid backed by the federal Title IV program.

4. Clarkson College, Omaha

About Clarkson College Nursing Programs: Clarkson College is one of the few nursing colleges in Nebraska that specialized in nursing right from the start. In 1888, Bishop Clarkson Memorial Hospital opened the first nursing program in the Cornhusker State, and that program eventually became Clarkson College. The college is affiliated with the Episcopal Church though it’s open to students of all faiths. While it’s not overtly grounded in religious values, the nursing education you’ll receive here puts a high premium on dedication, accountability, compassion, and high ethical standards. In addition to nursing, the college also offers degrees in radiography, medical imaging, health care business and administration, and health information management.

Clinical learning is facilitated in a 375-square-foot simulation lab equipped with high-tech manikins whose responses can be programmed to resemble human physiological responses. Here, nursing students learn skills like intravenous line insertion, breathing tube insertion and medication administration. The college partners with the University of Nebraska Medical Center and clinical rotations take place at hospitals affiliated with UNMC, such as CHI Health Immanuel, CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center, the Omaha VA Medical Center, and Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Omaha.

Financial Aid: Clarkson College administers 16 endowed nursing scholarships. It also offers the Gateway to Success scholarship for minority nursing students. Students may also qualify for needs-based federal funding depending upon information they submit with their FAFSA forms.

5. Bryan College of Health Sciences, Lincoln

About School of Nursing @ Bryan College of Health Sciences: Bryan College of Health Sciences is associated with Bryan Health, a nonprofit health care provider in Lincoln that also operates an acute care hospital, a cardiac institute, several outpatient clinics, and a physician network. The college was founded in 1922 after the famous Nebraska politician and orator William Jennings Bryan left his home to the United Methodist Church for the purpose of establishing a hospital. In addition to nursing education, the college also offers training to respiratory therapists, nursing assistants, and phlebotomists.

The campus is located close to downtown Lincoln. Bryan College is one of the few nursing programs in the U.S. that offers students learning experiences with plastinated body specimens and cadavers. Nursing students also have the opportunity to participate in skills labs and simulation labs using computerized manikins where they’ll develop essential nursing skills like patient assessment, IV insertion, and medication administration. Nursing students at this school log more clinical rotation hours than any other nursing students in Nebraska. Clinical rotations take place in hospitals, outpatient clinics, long-term nursing care facilities, hospices and other health care providers throughout Nebraska’s capital city and more rural surrounding communities.

Financial Aid: The college awards more than 170 scholarships every year to students in nursing and other majors through its Brian Foundation. Students will need to fill out an online application on the college’s Scholarship Manager. Students may also qualify for federal grants and loans by completing a FAFSA form and a proprietary SAINT form.

6. College of St Mary, Omaha

About College of Saint Mary Nursing Programs: The College of Saint Mary is a Catholic women’s school that was founded in 1923. The college hosts a unique Mothers Living & Learning program, which recruits single mothers. While the college is open to students from all religious backgrounds, the Catholic commitment to service is still a big component in its educational philosophy. Service missions with nonprofit organizations throughout Nebraska and surrounding states play a large role in St. Mary’s nursing curriculum.

The campus is a beautiful 25-acre landscape smack in the middle of busy Omaha. St. Mary is one of the few nursing schools in the U.S. that offers a certificate in practical nursing as well as a baccalaureate degree in nursing. St. Mary also offers the only three-year BSN program in the state. Nursing students have the opportunity to hone their clinical skills in state-of-the-art simulation labs that resemble hospital suites and are equipped with computerized manikins. Clinical rotations are scheduled at Memorial Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital in Omaha as well as at community health care sites like the Center for the Homeless, Hope Ministries, and local schools. The college also offers nursing students study abroad opportunities through its relationship with the Holy Cross Health Center in Kyembogo, Uganda.

Financial Aid: While the College of St. Mary does not offer any scholarship opportunities specifically for nursing students, the school does offer merit-based scholarships for entering students. Nebraska state residents may be eligible for a Nebraska Opportunity Grant. St. Mary disburses federal grant and loan monies through the federal Title IV program; you will need to fill out a FAFSA form to apply.


Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.

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