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2022 Most Popular Online Nursing Schools

2,121 Colleges
$67,065 Avg Salary
$26,282 Avg Student Debt

In 2019-2020, 313,362 nursing students received their degrees and certificates, making the major the #3 most popular in the country.

With all the programs available today, it can be tough to choose which one is the best 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 Most Popular Online Nursing Schools ranking is one of many tools that Course Advisor has developed to help you make your educational decision. Our analysis looked at 2,121 schools in the United States to see which online programs were the most popular for students. To create this ranking we looked at how many students graduated from schools with online programs.

The colleges and universities below are the most popular for nursing majors pursuing an online .

#1

Western Governors University

Salt Lake City, UT

Our 2022 rankings named Western Governors University the most popular online school in the United States for nursing students. WGU is a very large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Salt Lake City.

Read full report on Nursing at Western Governors University

You’ll join some of the best and brightest minds around you if you attend The University of Texas at Arlington. The school came in at #2 on this year’s Most Popular Online Nursing Schools list. Located in the city of Arlington, UT Arlington is a public school with a very large student population.

Read full report on Nursing at The University of Texas at Arlington

#3

Capella University

Minneapolis, MN

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Capella University. It ranked #3 on our 2022 Most Popular Online Nursing Schools list. Capella University is a fairly large private for-profit school located in the city of Minneapolis.

Read full report on Nursing at Capella University

#4

Excelsior College

Albany, NY

Out of the 396 schools in the United States that were part of this year’s ranking, Excelsior College landed the # 4 spot on the list. Located in the small city of Albany, Excelsior College is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population.

While working on their degree, nursing majors at Excelsior College accumulate an average of around $18,138 in student debt. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $200, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Full Nursing at Excelsior College Report

#6

Aspen University

Denver, CO

Aspen University did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for nursing students. It came in at #6 on the list. Located in the city of Denver, Aspen University is a private for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

Full Nursing at Aspen University Report

Southern New Hampshire University came in at #7 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Online Nursing Schools ranking. SNHU is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the medium-sized suburb of Manchester.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at SNHU take out is $13,608. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $141.

Read full report on Nursing at Southern New Hampshire University

American Sentinel University ranked #8 on this year’s Most Popular Online Nursing Schools list. Located in the large city of Aurora, American Sentinel University is a private for-profit college with a small student population.

Full Nursing at American Sentinel University Report

Maryville University of Saint Louis did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for nursing students. It came in at #9 on the list. Located in the suburb of Saint Louis, Maryville U is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

After completing their degree, nursing graduates from Maryville U carry an average student debtload of $42,102. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $482, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read More…

#10

Wilmington University

New Castle, DE

Wilmington University landed the #10 spot in the 2022 rankings for the best nursing programs. Wilmington University is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of New Castle.

After completing their degree, nursing graduates from Wilmington University carry an average student debtload of $23,279. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $260.

Full Nursing at Wilmington University Report

The University of West Florida came in at #11 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Online Nursing Schools ranking. Located in the small city of Pensacola, UWF is a public school with a large student population.

On average, nursing graduates from UWF take out $11,771 in student loans while working on their degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $122, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Full Nursing at The University of West Florida Report

University of South Florida - Main Campus landed the #12 spot in the 2022 rankings for the best nursing programs. Located in the large city of Tampa, USF Tampa is a public school with a fairly large student population.

On average, nursing graduates from USF Tampa take out $39,975 in student loans while working on their degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $458, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read full report on Nursing at University of South Florida - Main Campus

#13

Adelphi University

Garden City, NY

Adelphi University came in at #13 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Online Nursing Schools ranking. Located in the large suburb of Garden City, Adelphi is a private not-for-profit college with a medium-sized student population.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Adelphi take out is $44,075. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $497, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read full report on Nursing at Adelphi University

#14

East Carolina University

Greenville, NC

With a ranking of #14, East Carolina University did quite well on this year’s best schools for nursing students. ECU is a fairly large public school located in the city of Greenville.

Nursing majors at ECU take out an average of $32,385 in student loans while working on their egree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $367.

Full Nursing at East Carolina University Report

Indiana Wesleyan University - National & Global did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for nursing students. It came in at #15 on the list. Located in the rural area of Marion, IWU is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population.

Read full report on Nursing at Indiana Wesleyan University - National & Global

Arizona State University - Skysong did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for nursing students. It came in at #16 on the list. Located in the large city of Scottsdale, ASU - Skysong is a public school with a very large student population.

Full Nursing at Arizona State University - Skysong Report

#17

Nova Southeastern University

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Nova Southeastern University ranked #17 on this year’s Most Popular Online Nursing Schools list. NUS Florida is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the suburb of Fort Lauderdale.

While working on their degree, nursing majors at NUS Florida accumulate an average of around $51,486 in student debt. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $587, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read More…

#18

National University

La Jolla, CA

National University ranked #18 on this year’s Most Popular Online Nursing Schools list. National University is a large private not-for-profit school located in the large city of La Jolla.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at National University take out is $63,556. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $720, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

Read More…

Chamberlain University - Illinois ranked #19 on this year’s Most Popular Online Nursing Schools list. Chamberlain - Illinois is a fairly large private for-profit school located in the large suburb of Addison.

Full Nursing at Chamberlain University - Illinois Report

#20

Liberty University

Lynchburg, VA

Liberty University landed the #20 spot in the 2022 rankings for the best nursing programs. Liberty University is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Lynchburg.

Read More…

University of Michigan - Flint did quite well in this year’s ranking of the best schools for nursing students. It came in at #21 on the list. UM Flint is a moderately-sized public school located in the small city of Flint.

While working on their degree, nursing majors at UM Flint accumulate an average of around $42,108 in student debt. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $478.

Full Nursing at University of Michigan - Flint Report

Frontier Nursing University landed the #22 spot in the 2022 rankings for the best nursing programs. Located in the rural area of Hyden, Frontier Nursing University is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population.

Nursing majors at Frontier Nursing University take out an average of $52,079 in student loans while working on their egree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $607.

Full Nursing at Frontier Nursing University Report

University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus came in at #23 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Online Nursing Schools ranking. CU Anschutz is a fairly large public school located in the city of Denver.

After completing their degree, nursing graduates from CU Anschutz carry an average student debtload of $32,646. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $366.

Full Nursing at University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Report

#24

University of North Florida

Jacksonville, FL

University of North Florida landed the #24 spot in the 2022 rankings for the best nursing programs. Located in the city of Jacksonville, UNF is a public college with a large student population.

While working on their degree, nursing majors at UNF accumulate an average of around $44,960 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $515.

Read full report on Nursing at University of North Florida

#25

University of Arkansas

Fayetteville, AR

University of Arkansas came in at #25 in this year’s edition of the Most Popular Online Nursing Schools ranking. UARK is a very large public school located in the small city of Fayetteville.

On average, nursing graduates from UARK take out $18,750 in student loans while working on their degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $195.

Read More…

#26

Georgia Southern University

Statesboro, GA
#27

Grand Canyon University

Phoenix, AZ
#28

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL
#36

University of Memphis

Memphis, TN
#37

University of Louisville

Louisville, KY
#40

Winston - Salem State University

Winston-Salem, NC
#41

University of Kansas

Lawrence, KS
#43

University of Toledo

Toledo, OH
#45

Old Dominion University

Norfolk, VA
#46

Columbus State University

Columbus, GA
#47

Cleveland State University

Cleveland, OH
#47

St Petersburg College

Clearwater, FL

Remaining Award Winners

This list represents the rest of the schools awarded a Most Popular Online Nursing Schools badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 2121 different United States nursing schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
51 SUNY Delhi Delhi, NY
52 Davenport University Grand Rapids, MI
53 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
54 University of Northern Colorado Greeley, CO
55 Dixie State University Saint George, UT
55 University of Colorado at Colorado Springs Colorado Springs, CO
57 Amarillo College Amarillo, TX
58 University of Missouri - St Louis Saint Louis, MO
59 Fayetteville State University Fayetteville, NC

Additional Noteworthy Schools

These are some additional schools worth mentioning that are also great but just didn't quite make the cut to earn our top Most Popular Online Nursing Schools award.

Rank College Location
60 Stevenson University Stevenson, MD
61 Texas A&M University - College Station College Station, TX
62 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC
63 University of Arkansas at Little Rock Little Rock, AR
64 Vermont Technical College Randolph, VT
65 Wichita State University Wichita, KS
66 Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond, LA
67 Washburn University Topeka, KS
68 University of Indianapolis Indianapolis, IN
69 George Mason University Fairfax, VA
70 New England Institute of Technology East Greenwich, RI
71 University of Central Missouri Warrensburg, MO
71 California University of Pennsylvania California, PA
73 ECPI University Virginia Beach, VA
74 Bemidji State University Bemidji, MN
75 University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI
76 Frostburg State University Frostburg, MD
76 University of Providence Great Falls, MT
76 Fort Hays State University Hays, KS
79 California State University - Dominguez Hills Carson, CA

View the Most Popular Online Nursing Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

More Nursing Rankings

Nursing is one of 30 different types of programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Practical Nursing & Nursing Assistants 86,912
Health & Medical Administrative Services 81,317
Allied Health Professions 81,167
Allied Health & Medical Assisting Services 77,593
Public Health 38,020

Notes and References

*These averages are for the top 25 schools only.

  • 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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