Best Nursing Schools in Chicago, Illinois

Ah, Downtown Chicago, Illinois. Is there a cooler place to live? While the Winter can be quite cold, Chicago is a great place to find the best nursing schools to attend and get more information on.

There’s a myriad of considerations to take into account when choosing an institution for continuing education. If you’re looking at pursuing nursing in Chicago, here’s a breakdown to help navigate choosing from the 15 accredited schools and over 50 programs.

When choosing a program there’s any number of considerations that can be used to weigh your options, whether it’s the type of program you want, campus size, student/teacher ratios, or ranking. Things like location and cost should also be factored in as any program could be 2-4 years of your time.


Top Schools

As far as degree options go universities tend to have the most options and more resources available to students. Based on this, these nursing schools rank very highly within the city.

1. University of Chicago at Illinois

2. Rush University

3. DePaul University

4. Loyola University Chicago

5. Resurrection University

That being said, there’s plenty of other things you should consider, based on your own needs.


Degrees & Classes

Your first concern will likely be what programs are offered, especially if you’re in search of something specific. For graduate programs the choices are limited to the larger universities, but University of Illinois Chicago (UIC), DePaul University, Loyola University, North Park University, Rush University, Resurrection University, and St. Xavier all offer wonderful program opportunities.  These schools, along with Chicago State University, also offer RN Baccalaureate Programs and Masters entry levels can be found at DePaul, Rush, and UIC.


RN associate degree programs are more readily available and can be found at City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College, Richard J Daley College, Truman College, and Wilbur Wright College as well as Robert Morris University.  CCC-Malcom X and Wilbur Wright also have Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) programs as do Americare Technical School, ATS Institute of Technology, Northwestern Institute of Health & Tech.


City colleges tend to be more flexible with night time classes. However, many larger universities have moved learning to online platforms. UIC and Loyola offer RN and BSN Degrees completely online, Rush has several online programs as does Resurrection.



Nursing schools located in the heart of the city are all relatively close to each other and well connected to public transportation include Robert Morris University, DePaul, National-Louis University, UIC, Rush, and CCC-Malcolm X. There’s still plenty of options if you want to head further out into the suburbs in any direction. Some options include Purdue University-Calumet Campus, Chamberlain College of Nursing, Elmhurst College, Triton College, among others.


Campus Size & Student/Teacher Ratios

Of the urban school DePaul and UIC have large campuses (26,000+) with good student/teacher ratios (17:1, 18:1); the mid-sized CCC-Malcom X, Harry S Truman, and Kennedy, though smaller, have much higher student teacher ratios (30+:1) while National-Louis University boasts a 9:1 ratio; Robert Morris University and Rush are both tiny campuses with 20+:1 ratio.


National Rankings

If school ranking is a concern for you, both UIC and Rush have nursing programs ranked by U.S. National News, coming in at #11 and #15, respectively, while Loyola was #50.


Public or private, the four year universities will always cost more than city colleges with two year programs. Costs not directly related to your studies should also be taken into account from room and board to commuting times.


By the way, here is the page I was mentioning.

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