- HBCUs have a long legacy of developing excellent professionals in a variety of fields, including nursing.
- HBCU nursing programs help create a more diverse nursing workforce.
- Many HBCUs have nursing programs. Some of the best HBCU nursing schools include Delaware State University, North Carolina A&T State University and Bowie State University.
Table of Contents
- 1. Albany State University
- 2. Alcorn State University
- 3. Bethune-Cookman University
- 4. Bluefield State College
- 5. Bowie State University
- 6. Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
- 7. Chicago State University
- 8. Claflin University
- 9. Coahoma Community College
- 10. Coppin State University
- 11. Delaware State University
- 12. Dillard University
- 13. Fayetteville State University
- 14. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
- 15. Grambling State University
- 16. Hampton University
- 17. Howard University
- 18. Kentucky State University
- 19. Lincoln University
- 20. Morgan State University
- 21. Norfolk State University
- 22. North Carolina A&T State University
- 23. North Carolina Central University
- 24. Oakwood University
- 25. Prairie View A&M University
- 26. Southern University and A&M College
- 27. Tuskegee University
- 28. University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
- 29. University of The District of Columbia
- 30. Winston-Salem State University
For decades, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have nurtured exceptional talent and promoted diversity in a number of disciplines. Nursing is just one of those many disciplines. Many HBCUs established these programs to combat the roadblocks that aspiring Black nurses faced as they attempted to join nursing programs at other institutions. While Black students today do not face many of those same challenges, HBCU nursing programs have consistently stood out as institutions of excellence and have trained many elite medical professionals. Not only do these programs foster a new generation of caring and skilled nursing professionals, but they help to create a more diverse nursing workforce.
Today, approximately 43 HBCUs have nursing programs, with some offering simply undergraduate degrees, while others provide broader options like Ph.D.s and DNP degrees. Below, in no particular order, we explore the best 30 HBCU nursing schools.
1. Albany State University
Albany State University has a Department of Nursing in the Darton College of Health Professionals. The school offers a wide variety of programs through diverse coursework for all students. In particular, the department offers several types of ASN programs, Healthcare-Professional-to-RN Bridge programs and a BSN program. Additionally, it offers an online RN to BSN nursing program and online family nurse practitioner, nurse educator and nursing MSN programs.
2. Alcorn State University
Founded in 1977, the Alcorn State University School of Nursing has a legacy of developing excellent nursing professionals who make a difference where they live and work. Through the school’s undergraduate and graduate programs, students can gain the knowledge and skills they need to enter the nursing workforce. Specifically, the school offers a few undergraduate programs, including an AAS in nursing and a BSN. It also offers two graduate programs, including an MSN and DNP.
3. Bethune-Cookman University
Bethune-Cookman University School of Nursing offers a BSN and a Certified Nursing Assistant Program. The school prides itself on providing its students with a nurturing learning environment that prepares them for fruitful careers post-graduation.
4. Bluefield State College
Bluefield State College offers a wide array of nursing programs that cater to certificate, undergraduate and graduate education needs. The school’s undergraduate programs include online and in-person BSN courses. For those seeking advanced courses, the school’s graduate program offers an MSN and specialized certifications in family nurse practitioner, leadership/education and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. The school’s ultimate goal is to train and empower aspiring nurses to become exemplary leaders.
5. Bowie State University
Bowie State University’s Nursing School is one of the few HBCU nursing programs to offer its students a comprehensive range of undergraduate and graduate programs for aspiring nurses. The undergraduate program equips students with a BSN. The graduate program offers two tracks for an MSN: Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator.
6. Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science
Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, founded in 1966, offers its students a comprehensive nursing program. In particular, undergraduate students are eligible to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. Upon completion of an undergraduate degree, students can apply for RN programs. Additionally, the university has several master’s programs in nursing. Notably, the university’s nursing program is accredited by the Commission of Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), ensuring the highest standards of healthcare training.
7. Chicago State University
The creation of Chicago State University’s Department of Nursing stemmed from the Illinois Implementation Commission on Nursing’s (IICON) advice to increase the number of baccalaureate nurse graduates in Chicago, IL. Between 1973 and 1974, the school hired its first dean, and the program became an official college. Today, the school offers four-year bachelor’s degrees and an RN-BSN program. The department prides itself on providing its students with exceptional training through small class sizes, mentorship programs and hands-on experiences.
8. Claflin University
Claflin University’s Department of Nursing started in 2016. Since then, the school has been determined to train its students to become leaders to help shape the future of the profession. The school offers both BSN and MSN programs.
9. Coahoma Community College
Coahoma Community College has a small nursing degree program that offers an associate of science degree in nursing. Given the small size of the program, the school’s faculty can get to personally know their students in the classroom.
10. Coppin State University
Coppin State University is home to the Helene Fuld School of Nursing, which is known for its wide range of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The school’s undergraduate degrees include BSN and RN training, and the graduate programs include MSN and DNP.
11. Delaware State University
Founded in 1891, Delaware State University offers an excellent BSN program that students can complete in four years. With a focus on inclusivity, the nursing department strives to offer educational opportunities to a diverse student body. With a firm commitment to nurturing future professionals, the department’s ultimate goal is to teach its students the skills and knowledge they need to excel as nurses in the healthcare industry. To ensure its students are well-rounded, Delaware State University partners with several institutions in different countries, such as France and Nigeria. These partnerships offer students an opportunity to study in a new atmosphere. The nursing program in particular gives students a glimpse into the health problems faced by countries of different economic standings.
12. Dillard University
Dillard University’s College of Nursing has a rich legacy of providing its students with exceptional training for over 75 years. Its mission is to develop courageous nurses for their future careers and prepare them to excel with a well-rounded education. The school offers undergraduate and master’s degrees in nursing.
13. Fayetteville State University
Fayetteville State University School of Nursing provides pre-licensure degrees, including an RN-BSN program and an MSN in patient safety and quality. The school first began training students in 1992. Fayetteville has educated many leaders in nursing in the state of North Carolina.
14. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University, also known as Florida A&M University, has the oldest baccalaureate nursing program in the U.S. at an HBCU. The program, founded in 1904, prepares students to serve as leaders in the nursing community. The school also offers both a bachelors and a master’s program, which students can complete online or in person.
15. Grambling State University
Grambling State University School of Nursing, located in Washington, D.C., has both graduate and undergraduate programs. The school strives to train a diverse student body of nurses at various levels of education.
16. Hampton University
Hampton University offers accelerated one- and two-year RN programs on campus and online. Some of the programs that Hampton University students can choose from include a BSN, DNP, LPN to BSN, Ph.D., RN to BSN and RN to MSN level degrees.
17. Howard University
Howard has established itself as one of the top HBCUs in the country. Since 1969, Howard University’s Division of Nursing has provided aspiring nursing professionals with state-of-the-art training. The division offers several education options, including the BSN, MSN and a post-master’s certificate with an emphasis on important issues, such as homelessness and elderly care. Howard University’s Division of Nursing is also proud to partner with institutions across the world, including South Africa and Cuba.
18. Kentucky State University
Kentucky State University’s School of Nursing started as a two-year program in 1967. The school is committed to providing its diverse student population with a high-quality nursing education. Students at the school can choose from several degree routes, including an Associate of Applied Sciences (AAS), a BSN and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). Some of these programs are offered online, and in person, class sizes are small so that students have more opportunity to work one on one with their professors.
19. Lincoln University
Lincoln University’s nursing department offers a BSN. The program trains its students to excel in their nursing careers by providing an immersive experience that focuses on perfecting skills and gaining knowledge.
20. Morgan State University
Morgan State University Department of Nursing offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in nursing. The school prides itself on having a diverse student and faculty population, which helps to foster new ideas. Together, Morgan State University students and staff work to create the best academic environment possible.
21. Norfolk State University
Norfolk State University Nursing School trains its students to create a meaningful and positive impact on their patients’ lives. The school offers students the opportunity to earn a BSN degree through a combination of hands-on instruction and rigorous classwork. It also provides the ability for RN nurses to complete their studies online.
22. North Carolina A&T State University
North Carolina A&T State University School of Nursing is the state’s most affordable nursing school. The school provides students with three ways to earn a BSN degree and boasts a job placement rate of 100%. Students who are already registered nurses can enhance their career options by completing the BSNC Entry Option. Students who still need to complete an Associate of Arts (A.A.) in nursing or an Associate of Science (A.S.) in nursing can earn a BSN through the traditional route or enter an accelerated program. North Carolina A&T State University School of Nursing is known as a research institution and has a partnership with NC Registry for Brain Health.
23. North Carolina Central University
North Carolina Central University Department of Nursing offers three nursing programs: students can participate in an RN-BSN program, a traditional BSN or an accelerated BSN. The school was first established in 1948 and received full accreditation in 1970. North Carolina Central University Department of Nursing is also ranked for its overall academic and affordability.
24. Oakwood University
Oakwood University School of Nursing and Health Professionals offers a religious-centered education. The school has an RN to BSN program, a four-year BSN program and a five-year BSN program.
25. Prairie View A&M University
Prairie View A&M University College of Nursing has been educating nurses for 100 years. The school’s College of Nursing offers several programs, including a BSN, MSN Family Nurse Practitioner, MSN Nurse Administration, MSN Nurse Education and DNP. Those who partake in the nursing program have access to the cutting-edge Texas Medical Center, which helps make this institution one of the finest in the country.
26. Southern University and A&M College
Southern University and A&M College’s School of Nursing started in 1988 with a class of only 14 students. Since then, the school has graduated more than 2,000 BSN graduates. The school’s BSN program is nationally recognized for providing educational opportunities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
27. Tuskegee University
Tuskegee University’s nursing department was originally known as the Tuskegee Institute Training School of Nurses – the first nursing school in Alabama. It was founded in 1892 to teach aspiring Black American nurses how to care for the sick. Approximately 56 years after the school was established, it developed its baccalaureate program, which led to its BSN program. In 2020, the school’s nursing department had a graduation rate of 98%.
28. University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff was founded in 1873 and became a land-grant institution in 1890. The school offers an exemplary nursing program that includes a registered nursing degree (RN) that can be done online, in person or in a hybrid combination. This esteemed institution works to promote academic excellence by equipping its aspiring nurses with the skills and knowledge they need to thrive in the healthcare field.
29. University of The District of Columbia
University of The District of Columbia offers several graduate and undergraduate programs. Additionally, the school has an online RN to BSN curriculum for students who wish to continue their nursing education. The ultimate goal of the university’s nursing division is to maximize its students’ success as healthcare professionals.
30. Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University’s Division of Nursing excels in fostering a nurturing learning environment that blends education, research, public service and a commitment to diversity among its student body. With a range of degree options at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels, its graduates are prepared to become leaders in their field.
Follow Robert F. Smith on LinkedIn to learn more about HBCUs and other topics.