2018 Best Schools for an Online Master's in Nursing

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Nursing-Top Online Graduate Schools-2018-Badge

This year, these 25 schools rose to the top of our online master's in nursing list based on feedback from students and graduates. The University of Southern California earned an impressive 97.50 score which clinched the #1 spot. Other well-ranked universities include Ball State University, Simmons College, the University of Cincinnati, and Georgetown University. The University of Texas Medical Branch costs $18,179 for out-of-state tuition while the University of Alabama at Birmingham is $16,628. For a college that rose to the #2 spot, Graceland University is an impressively low-cost option with annual tuition set at $9,440.

Students who went to our #1 contender commented on the novelty of USC's program with one student stating, “USC's FNP online program is the first of its kind in the country, being associated with the school of Social Work. This is quite intriguing and definitely will broaden nurses' perspectives regarding healthcare and overall patient care." Another student was very impressed with the faculty, writing, “I cannot recommend USC's Master's in Nursing program for Family Nurse Practitioner enough! USC has a tremendous faculty and staff that have put my needs at the forefront, and who work just as hard for me as I would for myself. The resources and support available to students is unparalleled." If you would like more information about any of these winning online programs click on the college names below.

Find an Online Degree:
Rank College 2018 Student Score
#1 #1 University of Southern California 2018 Student Score 97.50
#2 #2 Graceland University 2018 Student Score 93.33
#3 #3 Ball State University 2018 Student Score 91.33
#4 #4 The University of Texas Medical Branch 2018 Student Score 91.20
#5 #5 Western Governors University 2018 Student Score 90.88
#6 #6 University of Alabama at Birmingham 2018 Student Score 90.77
#7 (tie) #7 (tie) Gonzaga University 2018 Student Score 90.53
#7 (tie) #7 (tie) Texas Woman's University 2018 Student Score 90.53
#9 #9 Duke University 2018 Student Score 90.43
#10 #10 Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center 2018 Student Score 90.25
#11 #11 Georgetown University 2018 Student Score 86.22
#12 #12 Simmons College 2018 Student Score 84.38
#13 #13 Liberty University 2018 Student Score 84.00
#14 #14 The University of Texas at El Paso 2018 Student Score 83.89
#15 #15 University of South Alabama 2018 Student Score 83.63
#16 #16 Loyola University New Orleans 2018 Student Score 83.33
#17 #17 Drexel University 2018 Student Score 83.21
#18 #18 Maryville University 2018 Student Score 82.95
#19 #19 Rush University 2018 Student Score 82.89
#20 #20 Regis University 2018 Student Score 82.60
#21 #21 University of South Carolina-Columbia 2018 Student Score 80.88
#22 #22 University of San Francisco 2018 Student Score 80.83
#23 #23 University of Cincinnati 2018 Student Score 80.66
#24 #24 The University of Texas at Arlington 2018 Student Score 79.86
#25 #25 University of South Florida - Main Campus 2018 Student Score 70.28


Our goal in presenting this school data is to create a standardized and trustworthy method to assess institutions based on reliable statistics. In order for a school to be eligible to be featured on a 2018 Top Programs List, at least five students from that particular degree program must have submitted feedback on their institution. Graduate Programs only considers regionally or nationally accredited, non-profit institutions for our rankings. Aggregated student rating values were multiplied by 20 to create a Student Score out of 100; in the event of a tie, schools were awarded the same rank value.

Together with our internal recommend rate data, which is calculated based on tens of thousands of student reviews submitted to our site, the data used in the school listings were gathered in 2016-2017 from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). This site is the primary governmental entity for gathering and presenting data related to education. NCES data is updated annually. However, in many cases the most recently available data will not be for the current academic year. Additionally, tuition rates may vary by program, so prospective students should contact a representative from their institution of choice for more details.

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This indicates that a school has an annual tuition of $15,000 or less as reported to the National Center for Education Statistics or based on the school's website.