Top 10 Best Nursing Schools in Nevada
While the desert is hardly the place you'd expect to find a career, nurses in Nevada receive excellent pay and work in both rural and urban areas.
While all you need to get started is a license as a registered nurse (RN), nurses who complete a bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN) may end up getting better positions and a higher salary.
If you want to work as a nurse in Nevada, the best approach is to complete your schooling in the state. By choosing one of the best nursing programs in Nevada, you'll be preparing yourself for a long, successful nursing career.
Because nursing careers take different forms, the top 10 Nevada nursing schools are ranked in no particular order.
Top 10 Nursing Schools in Nevada
Annual In-State Tuition: $5,384 (based on per-credit tuition rate) | Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $12,500 | NCLEX Pass Rate: N/A
Located just outside of Las Vegas in Henderson, Nevada State College has an unbeatable location at the foot of a mountain range. Enrollment has been booming at NSC, growing from 3,394 in 2013 to 5,577 in 2019. This has coincided with a growth in the nursing program. Nursing students can choose three options: full-time pre-licensure BSN, part-time pre-licensure BSN, and an online RN-BSN track. While Nevada State College doesn't disclose recent NCLEX pass rates, past classes have aced the NCLEX on their first try.
Annual Tuition: $10,050 | NCLEX Pass Rate: N/A
Touro University Nevada focuses primarily on healthcare and education, and the majority of its programs are graduate-level. The nursing school's two main on-campus options are a master of science in nursing (MSN) and a doctoral nurse practitioner (DNP). The only undergraduate degree offered by the nursing school (and Touro University as a whole) is the RN-BSN, an online, one-year program. Touro University Nevada uses trimesters, so you'll have three potential start dates throughout the year.
Annual Tuition: $19,764 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 91.7%
With locations across the US, students interested in a Nevada nursing program will study at Arizona College's Las Vegas campus. Interestingly, Arizona College doesn't offer a traditional four-year BSN -- instead, all nursing students enrolled in the accelerated three-year program. This accelerated program requires no prerequisites, and you could save money by only studying for three years.
Annual In-State Tuition: $7,456 | Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $15,051| NCLEX Pass Rate: 90+%
Located in Northern Nevada, the University of Nevada, Reno places you near Lake Tahoe and the California border. There's plenty for nursing students to do year-round, so long as they can take a break from their studies. The Orvis School of Nursing is one of the best in the state, and students can choose from a traditional BSN, online RN-BSN, and various graduate-level degrees and certificates. Like many other schools in Nevada, UNR doesn't disclose its NCLEX pass rates; however, UNR states that each of the past 10 graduating classes had pass rates above 90%.
Annual In-State Tuition: $8,291 | Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $23,342 | NCLEX Pass Rate: N/A
Despite first offering classes in 1957, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas has grown into one of the top research schools in the region. UNLV's current goal is to be recognized as one of the top public research schools in the nation by 2025, which could appeal to graduate-level nursing students. Undergraduate students currently can choose a traditional BSN or an online RN-BSN bridge program. In 2021, the School of Nursing is adding an accelerated second-degree BSN, so if a BSN is a few years out for you, this may be available when you're ready.
Annual Tuition: $21,600 (based on per-credit tuition rate) | NCLEX Pass Rate: 96%
Another school with locations across the country, Chamberlain University has a nursing school located in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas nursing school only has an accelerated three-year BSN, though outcomes for the program are excellent. Applicants also don't have to worry about wait lists for entry, and tuition is charged per credit. If you currently are an RN, an online RN-BSN is available through Chamberlain. This program takes just three semesters to complete, so long as students are studying full-time.
Annual Tuition: $51,000 | NCLEX Pass Rate: N/A
With multiple campuses across Henderson and Las Vegas, Roseman University nursing students can attend courses in different cities and online. The College of Nursing offers an on-campus BSN, an on-campus/online hybrid BSN, and an MSN. Both BSN options require either a previous bachelor's degree or at least 54 transferable credits, so you won't be able to earn your entire degree at Roseman. One interesting option at Roseman is the veteran-BSN option, a program that allows veterans to use experiential military credits to earn a BSN in 16 or 18 months.
Total Tuition: $10,100 | Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $6,192 | NCLEX Pass Rate: N/A
Great Basin College has five locations across Nevada, most of which lie on state borders. GBC's low out-of-state tuition rate helps draw students from the area, perfect for anyone who wants to earn a degree in Nevada. Unfortunately, GBC doesn't offer a traditional BSN. Instead, students need to complete their RN then enroll in the RN-BSN. This option is entirely online, so you don't need to relocate to get closer to any of GBC's campuses. GBC only accepts students in the fall, and all applications are due the first week of July.
Annual In-State Tuition: $3,127 | Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $10,317 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 88.57%
The College of Southern Nevada has main campuses in Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, and Henderson, though students study across Southern Nevada. For example, students studying to become an RN attend courses at the Charleston campus. Despite offering four-year degrees, CSN doesn't have a four-year BSN option. Instead, students complete an associate degree in nursing, become an RN, then enroll in an RN-BSN program through another school. If you're planning on taking a non-traditional route to earn your BSN, this is an affordable way to do so.
Annual In-State Tuition: $3,288 (based on per-credit tuition rate) | Annual Out-of-State Tuition: $7,190 | NCLEX Pass Rate: 92%
Another program without a traditional four-year nursing program, Truckee Meadows Community College instead offers a variety of associate degrees. For nurses, the degree to earn is the associate degree in nursing, a two-three year program that leads to licensure. This might not be a traditional education, but students excelled on the NCLEX in 2019, and there are plenty of excellent RN-BSN options to take after completing the ADN. If you live in Nevada, this is an affordable way to become a nurse.
4 Key Factors That Affect Nursing School Tuition
Keep in mind that colleges and universities reserve the right to change tuition rates at any time. The yearly tuition rates listed here will vary for each student depending on various factors including,
- Transfer credits
- Completed competency exams
- Amount of credits taken per year
- Financial aid awards
Check with the specific school for current tuition rates.
Nurse Salary and Job Outlook
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS),
- Nevada nurses earn an annual mean wage of $84,980, well above the national average.
- Nevada employs 21,060 nurses, slightly lower than the per-capita national average.
Nevada's incredibly high mean wages may be due to its proximity to high-paying states like Washington, Oregon, and California. Depending on where you end up living and working, Nevada could be more affordable than any of those states.
Perhaps the biggest knock to Nevada is its low employment ratio, or number of nurses employed relative to the total number of people working in the state. In this category, Nevada ranks near the bottom across the entire nation.
If you are able to find a job as a nurse in Nevada, you're set to make a relatively high wage. To increase your chances of finding a position, a minimum of a BSN is highly recommended.
Take some time reviewing schools and determine which ones you're interested in. While you may prefer one school over another, it's best to apply to multiple colleges. Who knows -- your second-favorite could end up offering you an unbeatable scholarship!
Before you start submitting applications, here's what to do next:
Contact each school’s admissions offices. The admissions office is in charge of all-things admissions. If you have any questions during the admissions office, get in touch with a representative. They could even tell you how to make your application more desirable!
Check to see if you meet the nursing school requirements. Most nursing schools have additional (and stricter) requirements for admission than the college or university. Many nursing programs allow you to complete prerequisites during your freshman year, though you may need a high enough GPA to get admitted.
Submit your application(s). The final step is to gather all your application materials and send them in! Thankfully, some schools use the Common App, so you can submit applications to multiple schools at the same time. Just make sure to submit all your applications before the deadline!
In your application, be prepared to submit:
- High school transcript (GPA)
- ACT and/or SAT scores
- College entrance essay(s)
- Letter(s) of recommendation
Important considerations when comparing schools:
After submitting applications, you'll begin to receive acceptance letters in the mail. Next comes the hardest part: picking which school you're going to study at! Fortunately, as long as you've only applied to accredited schools, there is no "wrong answer," so pick the school that suits you best.
When comparing schools, consider the following:
- Tuition cost and cost of the nursing program
- Type of school (public or private)
- Financial aid, scholarships, and grants offered
- Cost of living on-campus or in the area
- Distance from home
- School and nursing program acceptance rate
- Program outcomes (NCLEX pass rate and job placement)
- Accreditation (regional and programmatic)
Why you should care about the nursing program’s accreditation
Accreditation is used to prove the academic quality of a school and/or program. When looking at schools, make sure the college or university has regional accreditation. In Nevada, the regionally accrediting institution is the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities. In addition, make sure the nursing program has received programmatic accreditation.
The two nursing accreditation organizations to look for are
- Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
- Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
If you earn a degree from an unaccredited school, you may have trouble securing federal financial aid and finding work as a nurse after graduation.
Getting a License in Nevada
Nevada may not be part of the Enhanced Nursing Licensure Compact (eNLC), but the process of becoming an RN is fairly straightforward. As long as you complete an accredited program at a Nevada school, you should be set to earn your nursing license.
To become licensed in Nevada, you must:
- Earn a degree from a Nevada-approved nursing program
- Take and pass the NCLEX-RN
- Submit electronic fingerprints and pass a criminal background check
- Pay an application fee and submit your application via the Nevada State Board of Nursing website
From desert to mountains, Nevada has a little bit of something for every nurse. It also helps that Nevada is one of the highest-paying states for nurses. While Nevada doesn't have as many nursing schools as other states, the options more than prepare students to take and pass the NCLEX. After finishing your degree, you're set to enjoy a well-paying nursing career out in the wild west!
This is a panel-reviewed selection based on a number of factors including,
- NCLEX pass rate
- Acceptance rate, when available
- Only ACEN or CCNE accredited schools are eligible
Our selection panel includes 4 Registered Nurses with over 55 years of combined nursing experience and 7 nursing degrees.
- Tracy Everhart, MSN, RN, CNS
- Tyler Faust, MSN, RN
- Kathleen Gaines, BSN, RN, BA, CBC
- Leah Helmbrecht, BSN, RN