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Most Popular Online Nursing Schools

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2021 Most Popular Online Nursing Schools

254 Colleges
$67,065 Avg Salary
$26,282 Avg Student Debt

Nursing is one of the most popular majors in the nation, ranking 2nd of all the majors we analyze. In 2018-2019, 63,380 degrees and certificates were awarded to students with this major.

There are lots of options to pick from today when trying to decide which program is right for you. Along with traditional schools that require in-person attendence, you can attend one of many reputable online schools. Some programs even offer a hybrid experience. Alternatively, you may choose a trade school that prepares you to enter the workforce with knowledge in a specific field.

To help you arm yourself with the information you need to make your decision, Grad Degree Search has developed this Most Popular Online Nursing Schools ranking. Our analysis looked at 254 schools in the United States to see which online programs were the most popular for students. To create this ranking we looked at how many students graduated from schools with online programs.

Check out the online nursing programs at these schools if you want to attend one of the most popular in the United States.

Our 2021 rankings named Chamberlain University - Illinois the most popular online school in the United States for nursing students. Chamberlain - Illinois is a fairly large private for-profit school located in the large suburb of Addison.

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You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Maryville University of Saint Louis. The school came in at #2 on this year’s Most Popular Online Nursing Schools list. Located in the large suburb of Saint Louis, Maryville U is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

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#3

Walden University

Minneapolis, MN

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Walden University. It ranked #3 on our 2021 Most Popular Online Nursing Schools list. Located in the large city of Minneapolis, Walden University is a private for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

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The excellent online programs at University of South Alabama helped the school earn the #4 place on this year’s ranking of the best nursing schools in the United States. USA is a fairly large public school located in the midsize city of Mobile.

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A rank of #5 on this year’s list means Frontier Nursing University is a great place for nursing students pursuing an online degree. Located in the rural area of Hyden, Frontier Nursing University is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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#6

Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, AZ

Grand Canyon University came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Online Nursing Schools ranking. Grand Canyon University is a fairly large private for-profit school located in the large city of Phoenix.

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#7

Rush University

Chicago, IL

With a ranking of #7, Rush University did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students. Rush University is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Chicago.

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University of Cincinnati - Main Campus did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for nursing students. It came in at #8 on the list. UC is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Cincinnati.

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#9

Capella University

Minneapolis, MN

Capella University landed the #9 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best nursing programs. Capella University is a fairly large private for-profit school located in the large city of Minneapolis.

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South University’s online programs did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for nursing students. It came in at #10 on the list. South University's online programs is a medium-sized private for-profit school located in the city of Savannah.

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American Sentinel University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for nursing students. It came in at #11 on the list. Located in the city of Aurora, American Sentinel University is a private for-profit school with a small student population.

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#12

University of Arizona

Tucson, AZ

University of Arizona landed the #12 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best nursing programs. University of Arizona is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Tucson.

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#13

Kaplan University-Indianapolis

Indianapolis, IN

Kaplan University-Indianapolis did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for nursing students. It came in at #13 on the list. Kaplan University-Indianapolis is a very large public school located in the city of Indianapolis.

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With a ranking of #14, The University of Tennessee - Health Science Center did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students. UTHSC is a small public school located in the large city of Memphis.

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#15

University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY

University of Kentucky landed the #15 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best nursing programs. UK is a fairly large public school located in the city of Lexington.

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#16

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Drexel University came in at #16 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Online Nursing Schools ranking. Drexel is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Philadelphia.

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#16

University of North Florida

Jacksonville, FL

University of North Florida did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for nursing students. It came in at #16 on the list. Located in the city of Jacksonville, UNF is a public college with a fairly large student population.

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#18

Chatham University

Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for nursing students. It came in at #18 on the list. Located in the city of Pittsburgh, Chatham is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for nursing students. It came in at #19 on the list. Located in the city of Edinburg, UT Rio Grande Valley is a public college with a fairly large student population.

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#20

Wilkes University

Wilkes-Barre, PA

Wilkes University landed the #20 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best nursing programs. Located in the small city of Wilkes-Barre, Wilkes is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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#21

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD

Johns Hopkins University landed the #21 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best nursing programs. Johns Hopkins is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Baltimore.

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#22

Brandman University

Irvine, CA

With a ranking of #22, Brandman University did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students. Located in the large city of Irvine, Brandman is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population.

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Concordia University, Wisconsin did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for nursing students. It came in at #23 on the list. Located in the large suburb of Mequon, Concordia University, Wisconsin is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population.

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Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center came in at #24 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Online Nursing Schools ranking. Located in the city of Lubbock, TTUHSC is a public school with a medium-sized student population.

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#24

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL

University of Florida did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for nursing students. It came in at #24 on the list. Located in the city of Gainesville, UF is a public college with a fairly large student population.

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#26

East Carolina University

Greenville, NC
#28

Augusta University

Augusta, GA
#29

Samford University

Birmingham, AL
#30

The University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, AL
#32

University of Kansas

Lawrence, KS
#32

Bradley University

Peoria, IL
#35

University of Iowa

Iowa City, IA
#37

Regis University

Denver, CO

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Nursing students that almost earned our Most Popular Online Nursing Schools award.

Rank College Location
40 George Washington University Washington, DC
41 University of Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, NE
42 University of Michigan - Flint Flint, MI
43 Old Dominion University Norfolk, VA
43 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
45 Barry University Miami, FL
46 California State University - Fresno Fresno, CA
47 University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, AL
48 Touro University Nevada Henderson, NV
48 Azusa Pacific University Azusa, CA
50 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS
50 University of Southern Indiana Evansville, IN

View the Most Popular Online Nursing Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 33 majors within the area of study, nursing has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Rehabilitation & Therapeutic Professions 23,124
Medicine 19,720
Public Health 18,212
Pharmacy/Pharmaceutical Sciences 16,970
Health & Medical Administrative Services 14,633

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Aleksahgabrielle.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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