Accredited Online Nursing Schools and Degree Programs

For decades, nursing has been one of the most popular college majors in the United States, and enrollments in the field have only risen as web-based programs have grown in number. Whether you choose to study nursing on-campus or online, it’s important that both your school and degree program have been accredited by a legitimate agency. This article will discuss accreditation requirements for nursing education, as well as a few schools with choice online nursing degree programs for you to consider and some employment data related to nursing careers.

  • Accreditation Agencies
  • Career Options
  • Notable Schools

Accreditation Agencies

All higher-learning institutions should earn national or regional accreditation in order to merit your consideration. Additionally, your nursing program should also be accredited by at least one of the following organizations; each agency has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education and/or the Council of Higher Education Accreditation.

Career Options

Trained, degree-holding nurses can seek out employment at a wide range of medical institutions, including hospitals, schools, adult care facilities, and military installations. Here are some of the most popular career tracks for nurses, as well as employment and salary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Job Title National Employment Mean Hourly Wage Mean Annual Wage
Registered Nurse 2,737,400 $31.10 $64,690
Nurse Practitioner 105,780 $43.97 $91,450
Nursing Assistant 1,420,020 $12.32 $25,620
Nurse Anesthetist 34,180 $74.22 $154,390
Nurse Midwife 5,710 $43.78 $91,070

Figures from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012

Notable Schools

Picking a school can be a daunting task, especially when considering the sheer number of accredited colleges there are across the nation. Our database below can help with narrowing down your options for your specific program. In addition, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most notable online and campus-based schools offering degrees in this subject to help you begin your school search.


To accommodate nursing students with full-time jobs, small children, and other major commitments, many colleges and universities have begun to offer online programs. Although web-based learning must abide by the same accreditation standards as brick-and-mortar education, the latter differs considerably from the former with regard to format, coursework, and the program’s overall timetable. Here are some of the most reputable providers of online nursing education in the country.

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, Maryland / Online

Widely regarded as the finest medical learning institution in the country, Johns Hopkins currently offers online master’s tracks in three fields: clinical nurse specialist, health systems management, and clinical nurse specialist/health systems management. Online degrees in the fields of health informatics and nursing education are also available at Johns Hopkins.

University of Michigan-Flint

Flint, Michigan / Online

This university offers a fully online bachelor’s degree program for registered nurses (BSN), which includes nine entry-level foundational courses and a series of core and elective courses that are taken after the student has received RN licensure. University of Michigan-Flint also provides online doctoral degrees in nursing practice and two related fields (anesthesia practice and physical therapy). University of Michigan-Flint’s faculty helps set this program apart; it’s faculty includes professional, experienced individuals, many of which have publishing credits, or are Fellows in professional organizations.

Clarkson College

Omaha, Nebraska / Online

Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the ‘Best Online Nursing Program for Veterans’, the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program at Clarkson College combines web-based coursework with on-site clinical training. Roughly 90% of the school’s student body enrolls in at least one online course per semester, and the teacher-to-student ratio for all distance learning courses is 25 to 1. This program, which is over 125 years old, has an edge on its competition simply because of its long term dedication to providing great education in the field of nursing.

Campus Only

In addition to the online programs listed above, there are plenty of exclusively brick-and-mortar options for today’s nursing students. The following colleges and universities have earned an outstanding reputation for their academic offerings for prospective nurses.

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

This Ivy League school, which placed No. 1 on U.S. News and World Report‘s list of best nursing schools, offers a wide range of academic options for nursing students. These include four accelerated programs, a doctoral program, and post-doctoral courses in nursing. The University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing also boasts 16 specialized master’s-level programs, including tracks for family nurse practitioners, adult gerontology clinical nurses, anesthesiologists, midwives, and pediatric clinical nurse specialists.

University of Washington

Seattle, Washington

UW ties with University of Pennsylvania and Johns Hopkins University for 1st place on U.S. News and World Report‘s list of best nursing schools. UW allows undergraduates to enroll in either a standard or accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree track; the former requires two years for completion, while the latter requires five quarters of study. Three advanced nursing degrees, a Master of Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice, and Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing Science, and a graduate certificate in advanced practice nursing are also offered through the UW School of Nursing.