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2021 Highest Paid Nursing Graduates

154,540 Bachelor's Degrees
$62,245 Avg Salary
$22,670 Avg Student Debt

Finding the Best Nursing School for You

Highest Paid Nursing GraduatesWith 154,540 bachelor's degrees handed out in 2018-2019, nursing is the #2 most popular major in the United States. Since picking the right college can be one of the most important decisions of your life, we've developed the Highest Paid Nursing Graduates ranking, along with many other major-related rankings, to help you make that decision.

This year's Highest Paid Nursing Graduates ranking analyzed 840 colleges that offered a bachelor's degree in nursing.

The numbers used in this ranking are early career salaries, which we define to be 10 years after a student started college. This is the salary typically earned 4-6 years after graduation, but may be different depending on how long a person takes to complete their degree.

How Much Do Nursing Majors Make After Graduation?

After graduation, nursing majors from schools in the United States earn an average salary of $62,245 per year. This is 56% higher than the average college graduate, who only makes around $39,802 a year.

Average Salary for Nursing Graduates from Schools Nationwide  62,245
0K
124,400
National Average Salary for All College Grads (Regardless of Major)  39,802
0K
124,400

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2021 Highest Paid Nursing Grads in United States

The highest paid nursing majors graduate from the following colleges and universities.

Top 25 Best Schools for Highly Paid Nursing Graduates

#1

Sonoma State University

Rohnert Park, CA

Our rankings recognize Sonoma State University as the #1 school in this year's rankings. Located in the suburb of Rohnert Park, SSU is a public college with a medium-sized student population. Nursing majors who obtain their bachelor's from the school make an average salary of $110,300.

After completing their bachelor's degree, nursing graduates from SSU carry an average student debtload of $15,011. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $130, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Our rankings recognize California State University - East Bay as the #2 school in this year's rankings. Located in the suburb of Hayward, California State University - East Bay is a public school with a large student population. Students who receive their bachelor's in nursing from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $109,500.

On average, nursing graduates from California State University - East Bay take out $18,849 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $174.

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Our rankings recognize California State University - Sacramento as the #3 school in this year's rankings. Located in the large city of Sacramento, California State University - Sacramento is a public school with a very large student population. Students who receive their bachelor's in nursing from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $106,600.

Nursing majors at California State University - Sacramento take out an average of $17,638 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $176.

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Our rankings recognize Samuel Merritt University as the #4 school in this year's rankings. Samuel Merritt University is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Oakland. The average salary for a student who gets a bachelor's degree in nursing from the school is $102,400.

While working on their bachelor's, nursing majors at Samuel Merritt University accumulate an average of around $18,813 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $195.

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#5

Mercy College

Dobbs Ferry, NY

Mercy College comes in at #5 in this year's ranking. Located in the large suburb of Dobbs Ferry, Mercy is a private not-for-profit school with a large student population. Students who receive their bachelor's in nursing from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $98,600.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Mercy take out while working on their bachelor's is $23,506. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $246, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#6

Pacific College

Costa Mesa, CA

Pacific College landed the #6 spot in our 2021 rankings for highest paid nursing school. Pacific College is a small private for-profit school located in the medium-sized city of Costa Mesa. Students who receive their bachelor's in nursing from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $98,400.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Pacific College take out while working on their bachelor's is $11,149. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $130, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#7

University of Providence

Great Falls, MT

University of Providence landed the #7 spot in our 2021 rankings for highest paid nursing school. Located in the small city of Great Falls, University of Providence is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. Nursing majors who obtain their bachelor's from the school make an average salary of $97,000.

After completing their bachelor's degree, nursing graduates from University of Providence carry an average student debtload of $14,054. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $130, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Our rankings recognize California State University - Stanislaus as the #8 school in this year's rankings. Located in the small suburb of Turlock, Cal State Stanislaus is a public college with a large student population. Students who receive their bachelor's in nursing from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $96,800.

Nursing majors at Cal State Stanislaus take out an average of $19,720 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $230.

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Our rankings recognize SUNY Downstate Medical Center as the #9 school in this year's rankings. Downstate Medical Center is a small public school located in the large city of Brooklyn. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, nursing majors make an average salary of $94,800.

While working on their bachelor's, nursing majors at Downstate Medical Center accumulate an average of around $12,581 in student debt. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $130, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#10

San Francisco State University

San Francisco, CA

San Francisco State University earned the #10 spot in our 2021 rankings. SFSU is a very large public school located in the city of San Francisco. Students who receive their bachelor's in nursing from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $94,700.

After completing their bachelor's degree, nursing graduates from SFSU carry an average student debtload of $17,728. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $186, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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The #11 spot in this year's ranking belongs to California State University - Chico. Chico State is a large public school located in the city of Chico. Students who receive their bachelor's in nursing from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $93,500.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Chico State take out while working on their bachelor's is $19,449. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $194, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#12

St. Francis College

Brooklyn Heights, NY

Our rankings recognize St. Francis College as the #12 school in this year's rankings. Located in the city of Brooklyn Heights, SFC is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. The average salary for a student who gets a bachelor's degree in nursing from the school is $93,300.

After completing their bachelor's degree, nursing graduates from SFC carry an average student debtload of $23,323. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $259, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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Helene Fuld College of Nursing comes in at #13 in this year's ranking. HFCN is a fairly small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of New York. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, nursing majors make an average salary of $92,900.

After completing their bachelor's degree, nursing graduates from HFCN carry an average student debtload of $25,683. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $259, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#14

New York University

New York, NY

New York University earned the #14 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the large city of New York, NYU is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, nursing majors make an average salary of $91,800.

After completing their bachelor's degree, nursing graduates from NYU carry an average student debtload of $18,589. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $209.

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Dominican University of California landed the #15 spot in our 2021 rankings for highest paid nursing school. DUofC is a small private not-for-profit school located in the small city of San Rafael. The average salary for a student who gets a bachelor's degree in nursing from the school is $91,600.

Nursing majors at DUofC take out an average of $31,119 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $322, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#16

CUNY Hunter College

New York, NY

CUNY Hunter College earned the #16 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the large city of New York, Hunter is a public college with a fairly large student population. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, nursing majors make an average salary of $91,100.

Nursing majors at Hunter take out an average of $17,019 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $156, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#17

LIU Post

Brookville, NY

The #17 spot in this year's ranking belongs to LIU Post. Located in the suburb of Brookville, LIU Post is a private not-for-profit college with a large student population. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, nursing majors make an average salary of $90,900.

On average, nursing graduates from LIU Post take out $28,852 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $262, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#18

Farmingdale State College

Farmingdale, NY

Farmingdale State College landed the #18 spot in our 2021 rankings for highest paid nursing school. Located in the suburb of Farmingdale, SUNY College of Technology at Farmingdale is a public college with a medium-sized student population. Upon graduating with a bachelor's degree, nursing majors make an average salary of $90,900.

While working on their bachelor's, nursing majors at SUNY College of Technology at Farmingdale accumulate an average of around $21,346 in student debt. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $201.

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#19

Wagner College

Staten Island, NY

Our rankings recognize Wagner College as the #19 school in this year's rankings. Wagner is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large city of Staten Island. The average salary for a student who gets a bachelor's degree in nursing from the school is $90,700.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at Wagner take out while working on their bachelor's is $22,855. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $259, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#20

CUNY Medgar Evers College

Brooklyn, NY

CUNY Medgar Evers College comes in at #20 in this year's ranking. Located in the large city of Brooklyn, Medgar is a public college with a moderately-sized student population. Nursing majors who obtain their bachelor's from the school make an average salary of $89,900.

After completing their bachelor's degree, nursing graduates from Medgar carry an average student debtload of $11,140. When it comes time to repay the loan, graduates who are on a 10-year repayment plan pay an average monthly payment of $117.

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#21

New York Institute of Technology

Old Westbury, NY

New York Institute of Technology comes in at #21 in this year's ranking. Located in the suburb of Old Westbury, NYIT is a private not-for-profit school with a medium-sized student population. Students who receive their bachelor's in nursing from the school go on to jobs that make an average salary of $89,800.

While working on their bachelor's, nursing majors at NYIT accumulate an average of around $30,523 in student debt. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $323.

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#22

Pacific Union College

Angwin, CA

Pacific Union College earned the #22 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the rural area of Angwin, PUC is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. The average salary for a student who gets a bachelor's degree in nursing from the school is $89,700.

On average, nursing graduates from PUC take out $32,179 in student loans while working on their bachelor's degree. The average monthly payment of a loan this size is about $322, assuming that the borrower is on a 10-year repayment plan.

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#23

College of Staten Island CUNY

Staten Island, NY

College of Staten Island CUNY earned the #23 spot in our 2021 rankings. CSI is a large public school located in the city of Staten Island. The average salary for a student who gets a bachelor's degree in nursing from the school is $89,500.

While working on their bachelor's, nursing majors at CSI accumulate an average of around $19,113 in student debt. For students who choose a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly student loan payment is $183.

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#24

San Jose State University

San Jose, CA

San Jose State University landed the #24 spot in our 2021 rankings for highest paid nursing school. Located in the city of San Jose, San Jose State is a public school with a fairly large student population. Nursing majors who obtain their bachelor's from the school make an average salary of $89,400.

While working on their bachelor's, nursing majors at San Jose State accumulate an average of around $16,455 in student debt. This translates to an average monthly loan payment of $143, based on a 10-year repayment plan.

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California State University - Dominguez Hills earned the #25 spot in our 2021 rankings. Located in the city of Carson, California State University - Dominguez Hills is a public college with a fairly large student population. Nursing majors who obtain their bachelor's from the school make an average salary of $89,400.

The average amount in student loans that nursing majors at California State University - Dominguez Hills take out while working on their bachelor's is $18,494. Assuming that a graduate chooses a 10-year repayment plan, the average monthly loan payment is $174.

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Rest of the Top 50 Schools for Highest Paid Nursing Graduates

#27

Bay State College

Boston, MA
#29

Simpson University

Redding, CA
#30

SUNY Empire State College

Saratoga Springs, NY
#31

Molloy College

Rockville Centre, NY
#32

Adelphi University

Garden City, NY
#34

University of San Francisco

San Francisco, CA
#37

Monmouth University

West Long Branch, NJ
#41

San Diego State University

San Diego, CA
#42

Loma Linda University

Loma Linda, CA
#44

CUNY Lehman College

Bronx, NY
#46

Pace University - New York

New York, NY
#47

Grantham University

Lenexa, KS
#48

SUNY Delhi

Delhi, NY

Remaining Award Winners

This section shows the remainder of the colleges awarded a Highest Paid Nursing Graduates badge. Showing in this list means the college was ranked in the top 15% of the 840 different United States nursing schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
50 California State University - Long Beach Long Beach, CA
51 College of Saint Elizabeth Morristown, NJ
52 California State University - San Marcos San Marcos, CA
53 CUNY New York City College of Technology Brooklyn, NY
54 Stony Brook University Stony Brook, NY
55 Felician University Lodi, NJ
56 Concordia College - New York Bronxville, NY
57 University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
58 California State University - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
59 California State University - San Bernardino San Bernardino, CA
60 CUNY York College Jamaica, NY
61 California Baptist University Riverside, CA
62 New Mexico Highlands University Las Vegas, NM
63 National University La Jolla, CA
64 California State University - Fresno Fresno, CA
65 University of Hartford West Hartford, CT
66 Saint Peter’s University Jersey City, NJ
67 Nyack College Nyack, NY
68 American University of Health Sciences Signal Hill, CA
69 Thomas Edison State University Trenton, NJ
70 California State University - Monterey Bay Seaside, CA
71 Linfield College - School of Nursing Portland, OR
72 Linfield College - Online and Continuing Education McMinnville, OR
73 Point Loma Nazarene University San Diego, CA
74 American Sentinel University Aurora, CO
75 Mount Saint Mary College Newburgh, NY
76 Kean University Union, NJ
77 California State University - Bakersfield Bakersfield, CA
78 West Coast University-Miami Doral, FL
79 West Coast University - Los Angeles North Hollywood, CA
80 West Coast University - Dallas Dallas, TX
81 West Coast University - Orange County Anaheim, CA
82 West Coast University - Ontario Ontario, CA
83 United States University San Diego, CA
84 Broward College Fort Lauderdale, FL
85 Governors State University University Park, IL
86 Fairleigh Dickinson University - Metropolitan Campus Teaneck, NJ
87 Oregon Health & Science University Portland, OR
88 University of California - Irvine Irvine, CA
89 University of Scranton Scranton, PA
90 AmeriTech College - Draper Draper, UT
91 Dominican College of Blauvelt Orangeburg, NY
92 Walden University Minneapolis, MN
93 Biola University La Mirada, CA
94 Grand Canyon University Phoenix, AZ
95 Fairfield University Fairfield, CT
96 Immaculata University Immaculata, PA
97 Concordia University - Portland Portland, OR
98 Mount Saint Mary’s University Los Angeles, CA
99 Goodwin College East Hartford, CT
100 University of Houston - Victoria Victoria, TX
101 Excelsior College Albany, NY
102 University of Portland Portland, OR
103 Walla Walla University College Place, WA
104 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT
105 Roseman University of Health Sciences Henderson, NV
106 Ramapo College of New Jersey Mahwah, NJ
107 SUNY Canton Canton, NY
108 New Jersey City University Jersey City, NJ
109 Quinnipiac University Hamden, CT
110 Capella University Minneapolis, MN
111 Metropolitan State University Saint Paul, MN
112 Rasmussen College - Minnesota St. Cloud, MN
113 Rasmussen College - Florida Ocala, FL
114 Western Connecticut State University Danbury, CT
115 Bloomfield College Bloomfield, NJ
116 Sacred Heart University Fairfield, CT
117 Southern New Hampshire University Manchester, NH
118 Colorado Technical University - Colorado Springs Colorado Springs, CO
119 University of Nevada - Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV
120 Seton Hall University South Orange, NJ
121 Wilmington University New Castle, DE
122 Coppin State University Baltimore, MD
123 University of Washington - Tacoma Campus Tacoma, WA
124 University of Washington - Bothell Campus Bothell, WA
125 University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
126 William Paterson University of New Jersey Wayne, NJ

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Nursing students seeking high pay that almost earned our Highest Paid Nursing Graduates award.

Rank College Location
98 Framingham State University Framingham, MA
127 Franklin Pierce University Rindge, NH
128 Great Basin College Elko, NV
129 Baptist Health System School of Health Professions San Antonio, TX
130 Laboure College Milton, MA
131 University of Alaska Anchorage Anchorage, AK
132 The College of New Jersey Ewing, NJ
133 George Fox University Newberg, OR
134 Whitworth University Spokane, WA
135 Gwynedd Mercy University Gwynedd Valley, PA
136 Rutgers University - Camden Camden, NJ
137 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
138 The University of Texas at Arlington Arlington, TX
139 Prairie View A & M University Prairie View, TX
140 Eastern New Mexico University - Main Campus Portales, NM
141 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
142 Nevada State College Henderson, NV
143 College of Our Lady of the Elms Chicopee, MA
144 Stockton University Galloway, NJ
145 Benedictine University Lisle, IL
146 Southern Connecticut State University New Haven, CT
147 University of New Mexico - Main Campus Albuquerque, NM
148 Spring Arbor University Spring Arbor, MI
149 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
150 University of Wisconsin - Green Bay Green Bay, WI
151 Chamberlain University - Missouri St. Louis, MO
152 Chamberlain University - Arizona Phoenix, AZ
153 Chamberlain University - Florida Jacksonville, FL
154 Chamberlain University - Georgia Atlanta, GA
155 Chamberlain University - Illinois Addison, IL
156 Chamberlain University - Ohio Columbus, OH
157 Chamberlain University - Texas Houston, TX
158 Chamberlain University - Virginia Arlington, VA
159 Chamberlain University-Indiana Indianapolis, IN
160 Chamberlain University-Michigan Troy, MI
161 Chamberlain University-Nevada Las Vegas, NV
162 Neumann University Aston, PA
163 Baker College Flint, MI
164 Gonzaga University Spokane, WA
165 Rowan University Glassboro, NJ
166 Christian Brothers University Memphis, TN
167 The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Houston, TX
168 La Salle University Philadelphia, PA

Nursing by Region

View the Highest Paid Nursing Graduates for a specific region near you.

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

Nursing is one of 34 different types of Health Professions programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Health & Medical Administrative Services 17,317
Public Health 16,962
Health Sciences & Services 16,503
Communication Sciences 11,326
Allied Health Professions 11,092

View All Nursing Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • 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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