With a favorable career outlook and a consistently high demand worldwide, nursing is one of the most popular degrees in the medical field. If you want to have a career as a registered nurse (RN), it is important that you get quality education and experience from your schooling. The universities in this list of the 7 best nursing schools in the world will definitely help kickstart your career in this field:

Top Nursing Schools in the World

1. University of Pennsylvania (Penn)

Part of the Ivy League, University of Pennsylvania is a highly-ranked and extremely selective university most known for its business school and nursing program. With its renowned faculty and innovative programs, the School of Nursing is currently ranked as the very best in the world and boasts of its proficiency in incorporating theory with practical application to create a first-class nursing program.

Undergraduate students can do the traditional 4-year BSN or the Nursing & Health Care Management Coordinated Dual Degree which combines Penn’s two best programs, i.e. nursing and business. The School’s MSN degrees are globally recognized and allow its students to have a specialization while deepening their theoretical and practical knowledge of the field. Finally, the Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) and PhD degrees trains its graduates to be leaders in nursing research and innovation.

2. King’s College London (KCL)

An internationally esteemed university, King’s College London is known as one of the top nursing institutions in the world and for its pioneering research and excellent teaching. Its Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care (NMPC) is a direct descendant of the world’s first school of nursing, the Nightingale Training School, and is home to the world’s first center for palliative care, the Cicely Sander’s Institute. As such, the NMPC is a world-leading institute for high-quality research and nursing education and training.

The Faculty’s degrees are separated into pre-registration, post-qualification, and postgraduate research. Pre-registration courses allows students to graduate with registration as a nurse specialized to work with a certain age group, while post-qualification courses are for qualified professionals. Postgraduate research are PhD degrees in nursing, in which students focus on certain fields for their research. The fields include COVID-19, Care in Long-term Conditions, Methodologies, and Palliative Care.

3. Johns Hopkins University

As a place that is considered the first research university in the US and has revolutionized higher education in the US, Johns Hopkins University encourages cutting-edge advancements in research by its scholars in order to advance the society and the world at large. Its School of Nursing is committed to providing the best possible education to the best possible students to create the best possible professionals.

While the School doesn’t offer undergraduate degrees, its graduate programs are known for being among the world’s best. The MSN can be taken in 3 different fields: Entry into Nursing, Healthcare Organizational Leadership (HOL), and a combined HOL/MBA. The doctoral programs can result in a PhD, a DHP Advanced Practice in a specialized nursing field, or a DHP combined with a PhD, an MBA or an MPH. In all of these, graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills to make advancements in healthcare.

4. University of Washington

Established in 1861 in Seattle, the University of Washington is an excellent nursing university across the globe and is one of the oldest universities in the US West Coast. It is among the world’s most prominent public research institutions and is known for its programs in medicine, science, and engineering, but also in law, business, and computer science. Ranking well among all institutions, its School of Nursing is a leader at both the national and international stage.

The main undergraduate course BSN is a two-year degree that makes use of a safe learning environment to prepare its students to become a competent RN. The School also offers BSN as a fast-track degree and as a degree with early DNP admission. They also offer an online MS degree in Clinical Informatics & Patient-Centered Technologies for those who want to implement technology use in the clinical setting. Its PhD and multiple DNP degrees prepares students to be leaders in healthcare in certain specializations.

5. The University of Manchester

Thanks to Manchester’s development as the world’s first industrial city, the University of Manchester became England’s first civic university. Imbued with progressive principles and the ambition to change people’s lives for the better, the university is constantly on the edge of discovery and expansion of knowledge. Its Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health applies a translational approach to research and education, ensuring first-rate scientific discoveries and patient care.

The undergraduate degrees in nursing and midwifery are offered in 4 areas: Adult Nursing, Children’s Nursing, Mental Health Nursing, and Midwifery. For the taught Master’s program, students can choose to take the professional or certificate course that leads to the specialization of their choosing, such as in Social Work, Primary Mental Health Care, and Cancer Specialist Care. The Faculty’s PhD and MPhil programs in the mentioned nursing fields may be done full or part-time or even through distance learning.

6. University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

The University of California (UC) is recognized as one of the best nursing schools in the world and is an acclaimed system of public research universities spread throughout the state of California, with many of its campuses consistently ranked as part of the world’s best. Dedicated entirely to the health sciences, the UCSF campus is a major center for biomedical research and education. Its School of Nursing is a recognized topnotcher in the field around the world.

Because UCSF only offers graduate degrees, there are no undergraduate options. However, its graduate programs are first-rate, and many students choose to pursue further studies here. There is an MS entry program for non-RNs, a general MS program for RNs to become competent healthcare leaders, and an MS program in Healthcare Administration and Interprofessional Leadership Program. Its doctoral studies can be done as a PhD in Nursing or Sociology, or as a DNP.

7. Yale University

Part of the famed Ivy League schools, Yale University is an excellent nursing school in the world and is a private research university that is usually found at the top of university rankings from year to year. Its School of Nursing is the first school within a university to use an educational system to produce RNs, rather than an apprentice system. Its esteemed faculty and alumni who have brought new ideas that have shaped the modern world of healthcare and its world-class facilities help to educate its nurses to become leaders in global health improvement.

Like UCSF School of Nursing, YSN also does not offer undergraduate degrees. Its graduate degrees include the Graduate Entry Prespecialty in Nursing (GEPN), which integrates nursing basics with a clinical specialty, and MS Nursing, which trains RNs to become competent health care specialists. On the other hand, the PhD in Nursing aims to train nurse scientists in clinical research, while the Yale Health Care Leadership, Systems, and Policy Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) is for future healthcare leaders.

Healthcare is an important part of how the world continues to go round. High quality healthcare not only prevent diseases, but also improves quality of life of those who are already sick. Moreover, the world will need more and more RNs as the population grows. But while this career path is already promising, earning a degree from the top-ranked nursing schools in the world is sure to stand out on your resumé when applying for your future jobs.


I hope this article on the best nursing schools in the world was informative and insightful. To know more information on studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students.