Here Are This Year's Top Schools for an Undergraduate Nursing Degree

— Duke, University of Pennsylvania shared the No. 1 spot

A photo of two nursing students practicing on a medical dummy.

For those looking to pursue a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree, Duke University and the University of Pennsylvania were tied as the top places to do so, according to U.S. News & World Report.

The University of Pennsylvania has held the No. 1 spot by itself for each of the last 2 years (the inaugural BSN rankings from U.S. News were released in 2021). Duke climbed from third place last year, and from second place the year prior.

Emory University -- another mainstay near the top of the list -- rounded out the top three schools this year.

In releasing the third iteration of the "Best Nursing Schools" rankings, U.S. News wrote in an explanation of this year's methodology that they were "based solely on the judgments of deans and senior faculty members of nursing schools and departments at institutions around the country who participated in a peer assessment survey."

In order to receive the survey, schools must be accredited at the bachelor's level by either the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, and be a regionally accredited institution that awarded at least 40 BSN degrees, according to 2020-2021 data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) Data Center.

U.S. News surveyed deans and senior faculty members at 657 programs that met the criteria during the spring and summer of 2023. Deans and faculty members were asked to rate the academic quality of peer institutions' BSN programs on the following 5-point scale: outstanding (5), strong (4), good (3), adequate (2) or marginal (1). Individuals who were unfamiliar with a particular school's programs were asked to select "don't know."

"Average peer assessment scores for each nursing program were determined by computing a trimmed mean -- eliminating the two highest and two lowest scores given by respondents," U.S. News wrote. "Average scores were then sorted and BSN programs were ranked in descending order based on the average peer assessment score. Of those surveyed, 30% responded."

All 657 programs were ranked. Programs with average peer assessment scores of less than 2.0 were listed in alphabetical order in a ranking range based on the number of programs that also earned scores below that number. Listed schools would be supplied with their numerical rankings if they submit a request.

Earlier this year, U.S. News released medical school and hospital rankings, even as certain institutions withdrew from participation.

The full rankings are available here. The top of this year's list is as follows:

1. Duke University (Durham, North Carolina) -- tie

  • Reputation score: 4.5
  • Tuition: $66,172
  • Enrollment: 6,640 (fall 2022)

1. University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) -- tie

  • Reputation score: 4.5
  • Tuition: $66,104
  • Enrollment: 9,760 (fall 2022)

3. Emory University (Atlanta, Georgia)

  • Reputation score: 4.4
  • Tuition: $60,774
  • Enrollment: 7,101 (fall 2022)

4. The Ohio State University (Columbus, Ohio) -- tie

  • Reputation score: 4.3
  • Tuition: $36,722 (out-of-state); $12,485 (in-state)
  • Enrollment: 46,123 (fall 2022)

4. University of Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa) -- tie

  • Reputation score: 4.3
  • Tuition: $32,927 (out-of-state); $10,964 (in-state)
  • Enrollment: 21,973 (fall 2022)

4. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, North Carolina) -- tie

  • Reputation score: 4.3
  • Tuition: $39,338 (out-of-state); $8,998 (in-state)
  • Enrollment: 20,210 (fall 2022)

7. University of Alabama at Birmingham (Birmingham, Alabama) -- tie

  • Reputation score: 4.2
  • Tuition: $26,520 (out-of-state); $11,040 (in-state)
  • Enrollment: 13,032 (fall 2022)

7. University of Michigan -- Ann Arbor (Ann Arbor, Michigan) -- tie

  • Reputation score: 4.2
  • Tuition: $57,273 (out-of-state); $17,786 (in-state)
  • Enrollment: 32,695 (fall 2022)

7. University of Washington (Seattle, Washington) -- tie

  • Reputation score: 4.2
  • Tuition: $41,997 (out-of-state); $12,643 (in-state)
  • Enrollment: 36,872 (fall 2022)
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    Jennifer Henderson joined MedPage Today as an enterprise and investigative writer in Jan. 2021. She has covered the healthcare industry in NYC, life sciences and the business of law, among other areas.