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Best Nursing Schools in New Hampshire for 2024

Are you looking to embark on a nursing career in the Granite State? This guide to the best nursing schools in New Hampshire will help you find the perfect program to start or level up your healthcare career.

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WRITTEN BY: Emily Kelley
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REVIEWED BY: Edumed Editing Staff

Last Updated: 09/06/2023

Editorial Values and Practices

Nurses are a rare breed. They are deeply caring and intuitive, but they’re also tough as nails and possess the ability to logically and efficiently navigate their occupational challenges. If you feel called to this profession, which is both art and science, you’ll find plenty of job opportunities in New Hampshire. The state is experiencing dire shortages of registered nurses and other healthcare workers. In response to this crisis, nursing schools in New Hampshire are rising to the challenge with excellent programs that provide the highest quality of education.

This guide spotlights some of the top nursing schools in New Hampshire to help you discover the one that fits you best. Learn about financial aid opportunities, licensure steps, and state-specific earning potential. Keep reading to map out your rewarding future career as a nurse in New Hampshire. Get started by seeing who made our list of the top online programs for the ’23-’24 school year:

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About the ranking

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Base Methodology for EduMed’s Best Online College Rankings for the ’23-’24 school year.

One: Create list of Eligible Schools and Programs

To be eligible, schools were required to meet the following criteria based on data pulled from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), which was self-reported by the schools themselves.

  • Institutional accreditation from an organization recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • At least 1 online component in a program within the ranking-subject area.

Two: Assign Weighting

After creating the list of eligible schools, EduMed data scientists assigned weights and ranked schools based on a mix of metrics, which were all self-reported by the schools themselves to the U.S. Department of Education and IPEDS. 

The metrics are listed below in order of most- to least-heavily weighted. 

Online Programs – Number of online programs in the relevant subject area.

Online Student % – Number of total students who are enrolled in at least 1 distance-learning course in the relevant subject area.

Tuition – The average in-state tuition for undergraduate students studying full-time, as self-reported by the school.

Institutional Aid – Percent of full-time undergraduate students who are awarded institutional grant aid, as self-reported by the school.

Academic Counseling – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Career Placement Services – Existence of this service on campus or online.

Student/Faculty Ratio

About Our DataEduMed’s rankings use the latest official data available from The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Most recent data pull: July 2023

# School Name Type Tuition Online Programs More Details School Information Online Students Academic Counseling Career Placement Students w/Institutional Aid Median Earnings 10yrs After Entry Accreditation
1 Granite State CollegeConcord, NH Public $ 1

The University of New Hampshire College of Professional Studies (formerly Granite State College) online RN to BSN program is designed to offer a flexible and affordable bridge for working nurses to boost their credentials. The program is built in collaboration with other schools in the New Hampshire University System, so students benefit from the combined experience and knowledge of nursing instructors statewide. The school prides itself on fostering close relationships between students, their peers, and their instructors to provide personalized learning experiences and promote student success.

Program Feature:

RN to BSN

  • Credits: 60
  • Length: Varies
  • Cost: $314/credit
  • Mode: Online
  • Accreditation: CCNE
Academic
Counseling
Yes
Career
Placement
Yes
Student/
Faculty Ratio
17/1
Online
Student %
100%

Program Profiles: Nursing Schools in New Hampshire

With so many choices for nursing schools in New Hampshire, it can be difficult to narrow the field. That’s why we highlighted some of the most popular nursing schools in NH so you can see what students just like you look for when choosing a program:

University of New Hampshire

The extensive catalog for the Department of Nursing at the University of New Hampshire includes a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, three post-graduate certificate options, and more than seven graduate programs. Department faculty believe in acting as supportive mentors and facilitators who allow students to take charge of their learning. This approach is effective since the school boasted an NCLEX pass rate of 93.59% in 2021. Students in the pre-licensure BSN program learn in a state-of-the-art lab environment with mannequins, task trainers, and clinical simulation equipment. Each student is assigned a faculty member adviser who helps them navigate the program. The school also has a shadowing program for admitted students that allows them to attend classes alongside current undergraduate students.

Colby-Sawyer College

Colby-Sawyer College in New London offers its students affordability, degree options, and a top-notch educational experience. Its undergraduate programs include an accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) and an RN to BSN bridge program. The ABSN allows students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree to finish a BSN in less time by transferring applicable credits. ABSN students also benefit from highly desirable clinical placements at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and New London Hospital. The RN to BSN program allows students to transfer up to 90 credits toward the program total of 120. This program is also offered asynchronously online. The college’s NCLEX pass rate was 95% in 2021, so its students are definitely gaining the knowledge and experience necessary for the job.

Rivier University

Rivier University offers the entire spectrum of nursing degrees. The school has everything from ASN to doctoral-level programs. Students learn from highly qualified, experienced nurse educators and nurse practitioners, and they get a truly hands-on education that makes them top-tier nurses with excellent decision-making skills. The experiential learning model includes six simulation labs designed to emulate various clinical settings like pediatric/neonatal and medical/surgical hospital rooms, obstetrics rooms, exam rooms, and even telehealth offices. Students can also participate in supervised clinical experiences to develop their critical thinking and clinical acumen. The school earned an NCLEX pass rate of 91.67% in 2021, and its average pass rate from 2018-2021 was 96.2%.

Types of Nursing Programs Available in New Hampshire

There are a wide variety of nursing programs in New Hampshire to meet the needs of individuals at all career stages. Some programs target those with no prior nursing education; others can advance the careers of licensed individuals, and some fall between these two categories. Take a look at the most common types currently offered in the state.

Pre-Licensure Nursing Programs in New Hampshire

ADN Programs

An associate degree in nursing (ADN) program takes two years, leading to nursing licensure. If you want to enter the profession as quickly as possible, an ADN program is a sound choice. The ADN is also a useful stepping stone to advanced nursing degrees down the line if you choose to deepen your knowledge and further your career.

Examples of New Hampshire Nursing Schools with this Program

New Hampshire Technical Institute

River Valley Community College

Traditional BSN Programs

Four-year traditional Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) programs also lead to licensure, but they offer a more in-depth education when compared to two-year ADN programs. Registered nurses with BSN degrees also have greater earning potential than nurses with ADNs.

Examples of Alaska Nursing Schools with this Program

Keene State College

Plymouth State University

Accelerated BSN Programs

If you already hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree, an accelerated BSN program allows you to capitalize on your prior education and earn your nursing degree in less time. In general, accelerated BSN (ABSN) programs take 12-24 months to complete, a timeframe that gets you where you want to go a lot sooner.

Examples of New Hampshire Nursing Schools with this Program

New England College

Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences Manchester, NH campus

Nursing Bridge Programs in New Hampshire for Current Nurses

LPN to RN and LPN to BSN Programs

For licensed practical nurses (LPNs) who wish to level up, an LPN to RN or LPN to BSN program is a good fit. Since the LPN is an entry-level nursing degree, the RN is an intermediate step on the way to a BSN. In general, earning potential increases at each degree step.

Examples of New Hampshire Nursing Schools with this Program

River Valley Community College

Manchester Community College

RN to BSN Programs

An RN to BSN program is for licensed nurses with ADNs who wish to obtain four-year degrees. It’s the next step on the ladder of undergraduate nursing education. In general, BSN-holders are more sought after on the job market due to their greater depth of knowledge.

Examples of New Hampshire Nursing Schools with this Program

Franklin Pierce University

Granite State College

RN to MSN Programs

RN to Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) bridge programs are for nurses who do not hold BSNs but want to go straight to master’s degrees. If a graduate degree is your goal, this option saves you some time since you won’t have to complete your BSN separately.

Example of New Hampshire Nursing School with this Program

Southern New Hampshire University

Advanced Nursing Programs in New Hampshire

MSN Programs

There are two types of MSN programs, standard and direct entry. Standard MSN programs require BSNs before acceptance, but direct-entry MSN programs accept applicants with bachelor’s degrees in any subject. Either path allows you to obtain your master’s in nursing, but BSN holders may have a slightly easier time with their studies.

Examples of New Hampshire Nursing Schools with This Program

University of New Hampshire

Granite State College

DNP and PhD Doctoral Programs

The DNP differs from the PhD in nursing because the DNP is practice-focused, whereas the PhD is research-focused. Common career paths for DNP degree holders include nurse practitioners, nurse educators, and nurse managers. Those holding a PhD are usually more involved with nursing research in policy and innovation. An MSN is a prerequisite for both degrees.

Examples of New Hampshire Nursing Schools with This Program

University of New Hampshire

Rivier University

Post-Graduate Certificates

Post-graduate certificates are for MSN nurses who want to specialize in a new or secondary niche. In general, they take about one to two years and can help graduate nurses obtain new roles or advance their careers.

Examples of New Hampshire Nursing Schools with This Program

Rivier University

University of New Hampshire

Inside Look at Online Nursing Programs in New Hampshire

Online education is becoming increasingly commonplace, and the field of nursing is no exception. Although it’s hard to beat the flexibility an online program offers, it’s important to form a general understanding of what completing one requires. First, due to the fact that a nursing education requires a great deal of hands-on experience, many online nursing programs in New Hampshire are hybrid instead of fully online. For example, undergraduate programs have lab and clinical requirements that must be completed in person, but the fully remote program components impart theoretical content that is applied during this in-person, experiential learning. Graduate programs, however, are more likely to be fully online since students in these programs already have real-world experience in the profession. Keep reading to learn more about three popular online/hybrid nursing programs in New Hampshire.

Pierce University

The online programs offered through Franklin Pierce’s School of Nursing include both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Although the RN to BSN is the only undergraduate program offered entirely online, the three MSN programs (nursing leadership and healthcare administration, nursing education, and a dual-degree MSN/MBA) are all offered fully online. The RN to BSN program is flexible, so students can work with an adviser to create a personalized schedule that suits their needs. Students are taught by experienced, knowledgeable faculty who believe in patient-centered, evidence-based care, so students are well prepared for the workforce upon graduation. Online students are supported at Franklin Pierce through access to its many resources, including advising, IT services, and the writing center.

Southern New Hampshire University

Southern New Hampshire University has offered online nursing degrees since the early 2010s. Its only fully online undergraduate program is its RN to BSN, but its online graduate degrees include the accelerated RN to MSN, five concentration-specific MSN degree programs, and a post-graduate certificate in healthcare quality and safety. Students in the RN to BSN program can finish their studies in as little as one year, thanks to the ability to transfer up to 90 credits. All classes offer flexibility through asynchronous instruction, which means students don’t have to meet online at set times. Classwork consists of a combination of independent study, discussion board interactions with peers and instructors, group projects, and writing assignments. Resources for online students at SNHU include access to 24/7 tech support, academic coaching, peer tutoring, and the writing center.

Invest in Your Nursing Education: Financial Aid in New Hampshire

You have several options when it comes to funding your degree through one of the many nursing schools in New Hampshire. The state has many scholarship and grant programs, like those available through the New Hampshire School Nurses’ Association and the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. Some colleges also have their own scholarship and aid programs. For example, Keene State College has several awards available through its endowment association. The obvious advantage of scholarships and grants is that they do not have to be repaid, so they should always be your first plan of attack when it comes to searching for education funding. However, if your funding needs exceed these sources, you should complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to obtain federal loans. To start your search for financial aid, check out this nursing scholarship guide and financial aid guide.

Step-by-Step Guide: New Hampshire RN Licensing

Before you apply to any of the nursing schools in New Hampshire, familiarize yourself with the state’s licensure requirements. The best source of up-to-date information on New Hampshire’s specific requirements is its Board of Nursing. The section below provides a step-by-step outline of the licensure process for first-time RNs in New Hampshire.

Step #1: Complete your accredited degree program.

The pre-licensure program you select should be accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). It’s also good to look at the program’s first-time pass rates for the NCLEX-RN. A high pass rate is an additional assurance that the curriculum will adequately prepare you for RN licensure.

Step #2: Submit your application for licensure.

To get clearance to take the NCLEX-RN, you must first submit your licensure application through the New Hampshire Office of Professional Licensure and Certification. The first-time application fee is $148, and you also need to pay $48.25 for a criminal background check. As part of this step, you must request that your final transcripts be sent directly to the New Hampshire Board of Nursing. This will likely also require payment of a fee, but the amount varies from school to school.

Step #3: Register for, study for, and pass the NCLEX-RN.

Go to Pearson VUE to register for your nursing exam. The registration fee is $200 and is paid through Pearson VUE. After the nursing registration board deems you an eligible candidate, you’ll receive an authorization to test (ATT) email. You can then schedule your test and start studying. Make sure to complete as many practice exams as you can. While you can purchase test prep materials, some are free online.

Step #4: Receive your license.

The results of the NCLEX-RN usually process quickly (about 96 hours), but it might take longer to receive your license if the background check processes slowly (it can sometimes take up to eight weeks). You can keep track of your licensure status on the New Hampshire Online Licensing Portal.

Step #5: Keep your license current.

You must renew your license every two years on your birthday. The Board of Nursing will notify you by email two times before your license expiration date. For each renewal period, provide proof of completion of at least 30 contact hours of workshops, conferences, or other educational offerings and pay a renewal fee of $108. You can renew your license online through the New Hampshire Online Licensing Portal.

RN Employment Forecast in New Hampshire

RNs and BSN-educated nurses are in high demand in the state of New Hampshire. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national projected growth rate for the profession is about 6%. However, the projected job growth rate for nurses in New Hampshire is 12.1%, which is more than twice the national growth rate. The American Association of Colleges of Nursing notes that the U.S. is projected to experience a national shortage of RNs due to various factors, such as a workforce reaching retirement age and changing demographic factors, but this shortage is already affecting New Hampshire. The state is undertaking efforts to ameliorate this severe shortage by drawing more qualified candidates to the profession. As an RN in New Hampshire, you’ll be well-positioned to obtain a job quickly.

Employment Projections for RNs in New Hampshire

New Jobs
(2020-2030)
Job Growth Rate
(2020-2030)
Average Annual Openings
(2020-2030)
New Hampshire1,2308.8%880
United States371,50012.1%210,400

Source: Projections Central

RN Salary Range in New Hampshire

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, RNs in the U.S. earn an annual mean wage of $82,750. This is not very far off from New Hampshire’s annual mean wage of $78,270, and some nurses make quite a bit more than this. Two of the states bordering New Hampshire have similar (but lesser) figures, with $73,630 in Maine and $75,160 in Vermont. Massachusetts, however, far exceeds these averages with a figure of $96,630. Refer to the table below to get a better idea of what you could earn after graduating as an RN from one of the many nursing schools in New Hampshire.

Annual Earnings for Registered Nurses in New Hampshire

10th Percentile50th Percentile
(Median)
90th Percentile
New Hampshire$59,900$77,230$99,580
Dover-Durham area$59,640$75,040$94,800
Manchester, New Hampshire$59,910$77,240$99,410
Portsmouth area$61,070$78,070$99,410
United States$59,450$77,600$120,250

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021

New Hampshire Nursing Resources