What Are the Best-Reviewed Online Nursing Degrees?

By Alexander MiradorLast Updated Jun 24, 2020 7:18:19 PM ET
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With the increasing need for more qualified nurses in the United States, even prestigious colleges and universities have made their nursing programs available online. Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the median pay for nursing jobs was $113,000 in 2018, making it a distinctly viable career choice. Easier access to nursing programs at prominent universities makes it easier than ever for students to advance in their career at a pace that suits their budgets and other needs. The following are the best-reviewed online nursing degrees.

Georgetown University

It’s hard to overlook Georgetown University and the high National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) pass rate of its nursing program — 99.2 percent, to be exact. Students who take part in the program prime themselves for a successful and financially rewarding career in the medical field.

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Georgetown offers four online nursing Master’s degrees: family nurse practitioner, nurse-midwifery/women’s health nurse practitioner, adult gerontology acute nurse practitioner and women’s health nurse practitioner. The programs require a registered nursing (RN) degree or a Bachelor of Science in medicine major in nursing (BSN) degree to enroll in an advanced practice specialty area. Certification in such areas can come in as few as 19 months. Tuition is approximately $40,000.

Rush University

Rus University is part of the Illinois medical district in Chicago and a good alternative for students who are working on a budget, with tuition costs around $12,000. What makes Rush University’s online nursing programs attractive is that students can enroll either in part-time or full-time programs. That gives students more flexibility in completing their coursework at their own pace. The university has an excellent NCLEX pass rate of 97 percent and offers 14 separate nursing programs for students to specialize in their fields.

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University of Cincinnati

The University of Cincinnati has a reputation across many educational review sites as having one of the best online nursing programs. Those looking to advance their skills and specialty from RN to BSN can do so 100 percent online with University of Cincinnati’s BSN degree online nursing program. The program has a convenient asynchronous format, and degrees from the University of Cincinnati nursing programs are recognized worldwide. Advanced University of Cincinnati specialty programs include nurse midwifery, adult gerontology primary care nurse practitioner and family nurse practitioner. Tuition costs around $12,000 a year.

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University of Central Florida

The University of Central Florida (UCF) is one of the biggest universities in the United States, offering more than 200 programs to 63,000 students. Online nursing programs at UCF are also some of the most affordable in the country, at slightly more than $11,000 per year. UCF nursing programs consist of 30 credit hours that can be accomplished in as few as three semesters. Students looking to apply for a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) have the option of taking a maximum of nine credited hours of online coursework. Apart from the comparatively low tuition, UCF also has one of the highest NCLEX pass rates at 98.06 percent.

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Duke University

It shouldn’t be surprising to see Duke University on this list, as it was one of the first schools to offer distance education in the field. On average, most of the online programs require some two and a half years to complete. Among the advanced specialties that Duke offers are a Doctor of nursing practice degree and MSN. While students should expect to pay a premium for the programs ($1,111 per credit hour as an undergraduate and $1,425 per credit hour as a graduate), Duke University’s high NCLEX passing rate of more than 98 percent makes it worthwhile.

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The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs for nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and nurse anesthetists are set to have a faster than average growth rate of 26 percent between 2018 and 2028. The aging patient population and baby boomers retiring from the profession make it highly likely that there will a greater demand for caregivers and medical experts for years to come.