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2021 Best Nursing Associate's Degree Schools

870 Colleges
$54,473 Avg Salary
$16,880 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Nursing Associate's Degree School for You

With 305,309 degrees and certificates handed out in 2018-2019, nursing is the #3 most popular major in the United States.

There are lots of options to pick from today when trying to decide which program is right for you. As online education oppotunities continue to grow, you're not restricted to just schools in your local area anymore. Even some of the 'big name' schools are offering online courses. Also, there are a number of trade schools with offerings that you might find attractive.

The Best Nursing Associate's Degree Schools ranking is one of many tools that Course Advisor has developed to help you make your educational decision. Our analysis looked at 870 schools in the United States to see which associate's degree programs offered the best educational experiences for students. To come up with a school's ranking, we analyzed numerous factors related to post-graduation wages, the quality of education offered by the school, average accumulated student debt, and more.

View our full ranking methodology.

2021 Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools in the United States

The colleges and universities below are the best for nursing majors pursuing a associate's degree.

Top 25 Top Schools for an Associate's in Nursing

#1

Unitek College

Fremont, CA

Our 2021 rankings named Unitek College the best school in the United States for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. Located in the suburb of Fremont, Unitek College is a private for-profit college with a small student population.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Unitek College take out while working on their Associate's Degree is $17,986. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $183.

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#2

Stanbridge University

Irvine, CA

A rank of #2 on this year’s list means Stanbridge University is a great place for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. Stanbridge is a small private for-profit school located in the city of Irvine.

Nursing majors at Stanbridge take out an average of $30,037 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $304.

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A rank of #3 on this year’s list means Standard Healthcare Services-College of Nursing is a great place for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. Standard College of Nursing is a fairly small private for-profit school located in the suburb of Falls Church.

Nursing majors at Standard College of Nursing take out an average of $17,772 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $208.

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#4

Excelsior College

Albany, NY

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend Excelsior College. The school came in at #4 on this year’s Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. Located in the small city of Albany, Excelsior College is a private not-for-profit school with a very large student population.

On average, nursing graduates from Excelsior College take out $10,346 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $108.

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#5

Mount Saint Mary's University

Los Angeles, CA

The excellent associate’s degree programs at Mount Saint Mary’s University helped the school earn the #5 place on this year’s ranking of the best nursing schools in the United States. MSMU is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Los Angeles.

After completing their Associate's Degree, nursing graduates from MSMU carry an average student debtload of $18,577. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $190.

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Columbia Gorge Community College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a associate’s degree. It came in at #6 on the list. Located in the town of The Dalles, Columbia Gorge Community College is a public college with a small student population.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Columbia Gorge Community College take out while working on their Associate's Degree is $19,855. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $206, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#7

Ambria College of Nursing

Hoffman Estates, IL

With a ranking of #7, Ambria College of Nursing did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. Located in the city of Hoffman Estates, Ambria College of Nursing is a private for-profit school with a fairly small student population.

After completing their Associate's Degree, nursing graduates from Ambria College of Nursing carry an average student debtload of $25,788. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $262.

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#8

Jersey College

Teterboro, NJ

Jersey College did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a associate’s degree. It came in at #8 on the list. Located in the suburb of Teterboro, Jersey College is a private for-profit school with a small student population.

While working on their Associate's Degree, nursing majors at Jersey College accumulate an average of around $24,114 in student debt. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $218, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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With a ranking of #9, Lawrence Memorial Hospital School of Nursing did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. Located in the suburb of Medford, Lawrence Memorial is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

While working on their Associate's Degree, nursing majors at Lawrence Memorial accumulate an average of around $19,259 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $208.

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Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a associate’s degree. It came in at #10 on the list. Located in the city of San Mateo, Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts is a private for-profit school with a small student population.

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Riverside College of Health Careers landed the #11 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best associate’s degree nursing programs. Located in the city of Newport News, Riverside College of Health Careers is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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#12

Vermont Technical College

Randolph, VT

Vermont Technical College came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools ranking. Vermont Tech is a small public school located in the rural area of Randolph.

While working on their Associate's Degree, nursing majors at Vermont Tech accumulate an average of around $15,775 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $197.

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Baptist Health System School of Health Professions ranked #13 on this year’s Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. Baptist Health System School of Health Professions is a fairly small private for-profit school located in the city of San Antonio.

On average, nursing graduates from Baptist Health System School of Health Professions take out $17,762 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $203.

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With a ranking of #14, Helene Fuld College of Nursing did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. HFCN is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of New York.

Nursing majors at HFCN take out an average of $14,662 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $149, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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St Joseph School of Nursing came in at #15 in this year’s edition of the Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools ranking. St Joseph School of Nursing is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Nashua.

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With a ranking of #16, Baptist Health College-Little Rock did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students working on their associate’s degree. BHCLR is a fairly small private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Little Rock.

On average, nursing graduates from BHCLR take out $13,761 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $148, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a associate’s degree. It came in at #17 on the list. Located in the small city of Troy, Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

While working on their Associate's Degree, nursing majors at Samaritan Hospital School of Nursing accumulate an average of around $17,154 in student debt. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $189.

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#18

Southeast Technical Institute

Sioux Falls, SD

Southeast Technical Institute did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best places for nursing students to get a associate’s degree. It came in at #18 on the list. Located in the rural area of Sioux Falls, Southeast Technical Institute is a public school with a small student population.

On average, nursing graduates from Southeast Technical Institute take out $15,214 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $146, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Saint Elizabeth College of Nursing landed the #19 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best associate’s degree nursing programs. Located in the small city of Utica, Saint Elizabeth College of Nursing is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population.

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Rasmussen College - Minnesota landed the #20 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best associate’s degree nursing programs. Rasmussen College - Minnesota is a small private for-profit school located in the city of St. Cloud.

After completing their Associate's Degree, nursing graduates from Rasmussen College - Minnesota carry an average student debtload of $20,107. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $205.

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Rasmussen College - Florida landed the #21 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best associate’s degree nursing programs. Rasmussen College - Florida is a medium-sized private for-profit school located in the city of Ocala.

Nursing majors at Rasmussen College - Florida take out an average of $20,107 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $205.

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#22

Laboure College

Milton, MA

Laboure College landed the #22 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best associate’s degree nursing programs. Laboure College is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Milton.

Nursing majors at Laboure College take out an average of $24,130 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $252, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Pennsylvania College of Technology ranked #23 on this year’s Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools list. Located in the small city of Williamsport, Penn College is a public college with a small student population.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Penn College take out while working on their Associate's Degree is $31,491. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $291.

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Maine College of Health Professions came in at #24 in this year’s edition of the Best Nursing Associate’s Degree Schools ranking. Located in the small city of Lewiston, MCHP is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

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Dallas Nursing Institute landed the #25 spot in the 2021 rankings for the best associate’s degree nursing programs. Dallas Nursing Institute is a fairly small private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Dallas.

On average, nursing graduates from Dallas Nursing Institute take out $25,026 in student loans while working on their Associate's Degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $239.

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Rest of the Top 50 Best Nursing Associate's Degree Schools

#26

New England Institute of Technology

East Greenwich, RI
#29

Centra College of Nursing

Lynchburg, VA
#30

Galen College of Nursing-Tampa Bay

Saint Petersburg, FL
#33

Santa Rosa Junior College

Santa Rosa, CA
#34

Schoolcraft College

Livonia, MI
#36

Union County College

Cranford, NJ
#38

Sumner College

Portland, OR
#43

Pacific Union College

Angwin, CA
#44

Santa Fe College

Gainesville, FL
#45

Capital Community College

Hartford, CT
#46

Sacred Heart University

Fairfield, CT

Remaining Award Winners

This list represents the remainder of the schools awarded a Best Nursing Associate's Degree Schools badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 870 different United States nursing schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 Lake Area Technical Institute Watertown, SD
52 Mercy College of Ohio Toledo, OH
53 Rivier University Nashua, NH
54 Carrington College-Sacramento Sacramento, CA
55 Fresno City College Fresno, CA
56 Lone Star College System The Woodlands, TX
57 College of the Canyons Santa Clarita, CA
58 River Valley Community College Claremont, NH
59 Riverside City College Riverside, CA
60 Nassau Community College Garden City, NY
61 College of Staten Island CUNY Staten Island, NY
62 City College of San Francisco San Francisco, CA
63 Delaware Technical Community College-Terry Dover, DE
64 Bay State College Boston, MA
65 St Joseph’s College of Nursing at St Joseph’s Hospital Health Center Syracuse, NY
66 Alvin Community College Alvin, TX
67 College of the Sequoias Visalia, CA
68 Nightingale College Salt Lake City, UT
69 Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL
70 Weatherford College Weatherford, TX
71 Amarillo College Amarillo, TX
72 Butte College Oroville, CA
73 Joliet Junior College Joliet, IL
74 Career Networks Institute Orange, CA
75 Rochester Community and Technical College Rochester, MN
76 Prince George’s Community College Largo, MD
77 Memorial College of Nursing Albany, NY
78 Chippewa Valley Technical College Eau Claire, WI
79 Seminole State College of Florida Sanford, FL
80 Shoreline Community College Shoreline, WA
81 California Career College Canoga Park, CA
82 Minnesota West Community and Technical College Granite Falls, MN
83 Daytona State College Daytona Beach, FL
84 Northwest Technical College Bemidji, MN
85 Southwest Wisconsin Technical College Fennimore, WI
86 Cypress College Cypress, CA
87 Carrington College-Boise Boise, ID
88 American River College Sacramento, CA
89 University of Pittsburgh-Titusville Titusville, PA
90 Cuesta College San Luis Obispo, CA
91 Suffolk County Community College Selden, NY
92 Keiser University - Ft Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale, FL
93 Altierus Career College-Henderson Henderson, NV
94 Texas State Technical College Waco, TX
95 Lock Haven University Lock Haven, PA
96 Victor Valley College Victorville, CA
97 College of the Mainland Texas City, TX
98 Luzerne County Community College Nanticoke, PA
99 Polk State College Winter Haven, FL
100 Galen College of Nursing-Cincinnati Cincinnati, OH
101 Denver College of Nursing Denver, CO
102 La Roche College Pittsburgh, PA
103 Harrisburg Area Community College Harrisburg, PA
104 Carrington College-Mesquite Mesquite, TX
105 Good Samaritan College of Nursing & Health Science Cincinnati, OH
106 Mercy College of Health Sciences Des Moines, IA
107 Naugatuck Valley Community College Waterbury, CT
108 Western Technical College La Crosse, WI
109 Northwest Iowa Community College Sheldon, IA
110 Alfred State College Alfred, NY
111 Taylor College Belleview, FL
112 Kent State University at Tuscarawas New Philadelphia, OH
113 University of Pittsburgh - Bradford Bradford, PA
114 North Dakota State College of Science Wahpeton, ND
115 Aultman College of Nursing and Health Sciences Canton, OH
116 Southern Adventist University Collegedale, TN
117 Passaic County Community College Paterson, NJ
118 Goodwin College East Hartford, CT
119 CUNY Medgar Evers College Brooklyn, NY
120 San Jacinto Community College Pasadena, TX
121 SUNY Delhi Delhi, NY
122 Middlesex Community College Bedford, MA
123 College of Southern Nevada Las Vegas, NV
124 Bergen Community College Paramus, NJ
125 County College of Morris Randolph, NJ
126 Louisiana Tech University Ruston, LA
127 Trocaire College Buffalo, NY
128 Yuba College Marysville, CA
129 Kent State University at Geauga Burton, OH
130 Kent State University at Ashtabula Ashtabula, OH

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Nursing students that almost earned our Best Nursing Associate's Degree Schools award.

Rank College Location
131 Cox College Springfield, MO
132 Maria College of Albany Albany, NY
133 William Rainey Harper College Palatine, IL
134 Regis College Weston, MA
135 Jefferson Regional Medical Center School of Nursing Pine Bluff, AR
136 Orange County Community College Middletown, NY
137 Kent State University at East Liverpool East Liverpool, OH
138 Ridgewater College Willmar, MN
139 Gateway Community College New Haven, CT
140 St Luke’s College Sioux City, IA
141 Glendale Career College Glendale, CA
142 St Cloud Technical and Community College Saint Cloud, MN
143 Miami Dade College Miami, FL
144 Butler County Community College Butler, PA
145 Broward College Fort Lauderdale, FL
146 Waubonsee Community College Sugar Grove, IL
147 Saddleback College Mission Viejo, CA
148 Hondros College of Nursing Westerville, OH
149 Northwestern Connecticut Community College Winsted, CT
150 Moraine Park Technical College Fond du Lac, WI
151 Evergreen Valley College San Jose, CA
152 Kansas City Kansas Community College Kansas City, KS
153 Morton College Cicero, IL
154 Rio Hondo College Whittier, CA
155 Raritan Valley Community College Branchburg, NJ
156 Lehigh Carbon Community College Schnecksville, PA
157 Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KY
158 Ohio University - Zanesville Campus Zanesville, OH
159 Brookdale Community College Lincroft, NJ
160 Mount Aloysius College Cresson, PA
161 Weber State University Ogden, UT
162 University of Saint Francis - Fort Wayne Fort Wayne, IN
163 The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences Cincinnati, OH
164 Quinsigamond Community College Worcester, MA
165 Lake Region State College Devils Lake, ND
166 Sacramento City College Sacramento, CA
167 Howard Community College Columbia, MD
168 Anoka-Ramsey Community College Coon Rapids, MN
169 Victoria College Victoria, TX
170 Mt San Antonio College Walnut, CA
171 Ocean County College Toms River, NJ
172 NHTI-Concord’s Community College Concord, NH
173 San Joaquin Valley College-Visalia Visalia, CA
174 Mount Wachusett Community College Gardner, MA

Nursing by Region

View the Best Nursing Associate's Degree 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 34 majors within the area of study, nursing has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 99,641
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 93,192
Allied Health Professions 86,697
Health & Medical Administrative Services 82,868
Public Health 36,569

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • Read more about our ranking methodology.
  • 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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