EDUCATION
March 15, 2018

Top 10 Best Nursing Schools in Washington

For many nurses, the most important part of their career is getting the job they want in the area they love.

However, those same nurses also know that the most important step in getting their dream job is getting the right education. In a career as demanding as nursing, education is important to show that you’re qualified.

To get the right education, nurses need to attend the right schools. For nursing jobs in Washington, one of the highest paying nursing states according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that may also mean studying in Washington state.

Washington is home to some of the top nursing programs in the nation, and each one has its own specialties. Depending on what you’re looking to get out of your nursing career, one of these schools could be the perfect fit for you!

Choosing the Right School

Choosing the right school isn’t as easy as picking the highest rated or cheapest school. Just because a school is rated highly for their master’s programs doesn’t mean they have a strong BSN program – and vice versa.

Also, while cheaper schools are certainly more attractive as college prices rise, some institutions may not offer the specific area of education you’re interested in. Some Washington schools also offer cheaper tuition to in-state residents, and not all applicants will be eligible for that.

The cost of school can also be mitigated with financial aid, particularly in the form of scholarships. Scholarships could make the most expensive schools become affordable.

Before deciding for or against any schools, ask yourself these questions:

  • What are your career goals as a nurse?
  • What level of education are you studying toward? Do you want to stop with a BSN, or do you think that an MSN or DNP will open more doors? Does one school offer the specific program you want?
  • Do you prefer to study in a bigger city like Seattle, or are you more interested in more rural areas?
  • Do any of the schools you’re looking at offer accelerated programs that could help you get your BSN or MSN faster?
  • Which schools are in your price range, and what financial aid is available for those that aren’t?

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10 best nursing schools in Washington

Some of the top nursing programs are in Washington state, and they’re a great way to get your foot in the door for a position as a nurse in-state. While Washington isn’t the largest state, they have plenty of different schools that offer a variety of programs and benefits.

Here are the 10 best nursing schools in Washington:

University of Washington

In-state Tuition: $26,595 | School Admission Rate: 45%

On top of low in-state tuition, the majority of UW nursing students also receive additional support in the form of scholarships. UW is also great for acquiring grants for research projects, making this a place to keep in mind for graduate students. 

Gonzaga University

Tuition: $57,350 | School Admission Rate: 67%

Gonzaga nursing students at all levels have the benefit of practicing on-site. That means that they’re making actual decisions that impact lives, giving them the real-world experience that most students crave before graduation. It’s a little pricey, but well worth cost for the quality of education.

Seattle University

Tuition: $59,607 | School Admission Rate: 74%

The highlight of Seattle U’s nursing school is their adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner program. There are three ways students can earn this graduate degree, so anyone interested in the field should find the right fit. Seattle U students also get a lot of help in scholarships, making this school more affordable than it seems.

Washington State University

In-state Tuition: $25,936 | School Admission Rate: 73%

Although Washington State is based in Pullman, their nursing programs aren’t available in the city. Instead, nurses can study at one of five different locations across the state, making it a little easier to find a fit for students that already live in Washington. Each campus still offers the same high-quality WSU education as well.

Seattle Pacific University

Tuition: $56,415 | School Admission Rate: 87%

Faith plays a large role in the curriculum at Seattle Pacific University, a big reason why they’ve adopted the holistic approach to nursing. On top of their BSN program, SPU also offers three DNP programs as well as master’s in clinical leadership in practice and nurse education.

Pacific Lutheran University 

Tuition: $55,170 | School Admission Rate: 77%

For students that want a cut-and-dry nursing education, Pacific Lutheran University is the school to pick. They offer three programs – a BSN, MSN and DNP. The BSN is offered in a traditional four-year format or LPN to BSN, and the MSN and DNP programs are non-specialized. This is ideal for nurses that want to go on to earn certificates or don’t want to specialize.

Walla Walla University 

Tuition: $39,030 | School Admission Rate: N/A

The traditional BSN program at Walla Walla University is broken into two parts. First, students will spend two years studying at College Place, the home of the school. Second, students will spend their final two years studying in Portland, Oregon, getting experience at the campus there while earning clinical experience.

Whitworth University

Tuition: $57,824 | School Admission Rate: 89%

Whitworth University combines with Washington State University’s Spokane campus to offer their BSN program. This program combines the expertise of the faculty from both schools, allowing students to benefit from the best of both programs.

Northwest University

Tuition: $41,770 | School Admission Rate: 99%

Northwest University prides itself on having the best equipment available for training nurses. Their program strives to stay modern while also drawing from their Christian roots. However, Northwest only offers a BSN in nursing, so there’s nothing for graduate students at the moment.

Bellevue College

In-state Tuition: $23,690 | School Admission Rate: 49%

The nursing programs at Bellevue College are designed more for current RNs than other students. Their main program is the RN to BSN program, an accredited degree that aims to give professional nurses the education they need to advance their career.

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Paying for school

It’s no secret that the cost of a college education is rising, and schools in Washington are no exception. However, that doesn’t mean that school is unaffordable.

In order to avoid massive student loans, lots of nursing students look to grants and scholarships to help pay for school. What’s more, there are hundreds of scholarships that are available only to nursing students.

New scholarships are becoming available all the time, so keeping track of ones that you’re eligible for can help put a dent in the cost of nursing school.

Check out some of the scholarships that are available to nursing students.

Final Evaluations

While rankings can give you a better idea of how good a school is, a high ranking may not necessarily mean that it’s the right school for you. The best nursing school for you should come down to what’s best for yourself.

To find the best program for you, consider the following:

  • What’s the total cost of the program and can you afford it?
  • How difficult is it to get accepted into the school and nursing program?
  • Does this school have any benefits over other schools?
  • What are drawbacks to choosing this school over others?

After thorough research, you should have a much better idea of which school is going to be best for your nursing career!

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