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2022 Registered Nursing Degree Guide

A Recent Jump in Registered Nursing Degrees

#3 Most Popular Major
259k Degrees Awarded
4.8% Increase in Graduates

Registered Nursing was the 3rd most popular major in the 2019-2020 school year. Colleges in the United States reported awarding 259,493 degrees in this year alone. This is a difference of 12,414 over the prior year, a growth of 4.8%.

There are 1,984 schools offering degrees in registered nursing in the United States. Our 2022 Best Registered Nursing Schools ranking analyzes 1780 of these schools to determine the best overall colleges for registered nursing students. Explore this or one of our many other custom registered nursing rankings further below.

Requirements for Getting a Degree in Registered Nursing

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times is a required skill for registered nursing majors. Talking to others to convey information effectively and understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents are all required skills for careers related to this major.

Getting Accepted Into a Registered Nursing Program

registered nursing degree applicants generally need have finished high school or their GED. Many schools may also have GPA and SAT/ACT score minimums that must be met. In addition to these basic registered nursing program qualifications, to serve in some registered nursing careers, special certification may be required outside of your degree.

Registered Nursing Degree Types

There are various different levels of registered nursing degrees. You can spend many years getting as high as a in registered nursing to something that takes less time like a . Depending on the registered nursing degree you choose, obtaining your diploma can take anwhere from 1 to 4+ years.

Degree Credit Requirements Typical Program Length
Associate Degree 60-70 credits 2 years
Bachelor’s Degree 120 credits 4 years
Master’s Degree 50-70 credits 1-3 years
Doctorate Program required coursework including thesis or dissertation At least 4 years

An associate degree is the most common level of education achieved by those in careers related to registered nursing, with approximately 33.1% of workers getting one. Find out other typical degree levels for registered nursing workers below.

Level of Education Percentage of Workers
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 36.1%
Master’s Degree 23.7%
Doctoral Degree 17.1%
Bachelor’s Degree 15.1%
Some College Courses 5.8%

61.6% of registered nursing workers have at least a bachelor's. The chart below shows what degree level those who work in registered nursing have obtained.


The education level required is different depending on the registered nursing career you are seeking.

Registered Nursing Careers

Above Average Number of Jobs
78.4k Avg. Related Jobs Salary
15% Growth Job Outlook 2016-26

Solid Growth Projected for Registered Nursing Careers

Want a job when you graduate with your registered nursing degree? Registered Nursing careers are expected to grow 15.0% between 2016 and 2026.

The following options are some of the most in-demand careers related to registered nursing.

Occupation Name Projected Jobs Expected Growth
Registered Nurses 3,393,200 14.8%
Nursing Instructors and Professors 84,200 24.0%

Registered Nursing Degree Salary Potential

As you might expect, salaries for registered nursing graduates vary depending on the level of education that was acquired.

High Paying Careers for Registered Nursing Majors

Salaries for registered nursing graduates can vary widely by the occupation you choose as well. The following table shows the top highest paying careers registered nursing grads often go into.

Occupation Name Median Average Salary
Nursing Instructors and Professors $81,350
Registered Nurses $75,510

Getting Your Registered Nursing Degree

With over 2,841 different registered nursing degree programs to choose from, finding the best fit for you can be a challenge. Fortunately you have come to the right place. We have analyzed all of these schools to come up with hundreds of unbiased registered nursing school rankings to help you with this.

Registered Nursing is one of 22 different types of Nursing programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Family Practice Nurse/Nursing 16,802
Nursing Administration 8,073
Nursing Practice 7,550
Other Registered Nursing, Nursing Administration, Nursing Research and Clinical Nursing 5,655
Nursing Science 4,637

View All Registered Nursing Related Majors >


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