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Best HBCU Nursing Programs

The education and training required to get ready for a career in nursing are offered by all approved nursing programs in the US. Historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that offer nursing programs do this by giving Black students access to education in areas where there were previously barriers.

Even with the removal of those obstacles, HBCUs still provide Black students with special advantages. For students and alumni to overcome obstacles that have existed for decades, HBCU nursing programs create networks and offer possibilities.

Approximately forty-three HBCU universities provide nursing programs for aspiring nurses to select from. While some only provide undergraduate degrees, others include a variety of graduate programs, such as Ph.D. and DNP degrees. Finding the best HBCU nursing programs is made easier with the help of this post, regardless of the kind of nurse you choose to become.

What is an HBCU Nursing Program?

African American students were the primary focus of the founding of historically black institutions and universities. According to the Higher Education Act of 1965, Congress defines HBCUs as accredited institutions of higher learning founded before to 1964 with an emphasis on African American education.

HBCUs now provide students of all races with the chance to pursue higher education and advance their academic careers. According to research by the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, 22% of Black students’ bachelor’s degrees are given from HBCUs, even though they only make up 3% of US institutions.

Students can pursue undergraduate pathways to get a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) at HBCUs that have nursing programs. Additionally, a lot of HBCU nursing schools provide programs at different educational levels, such as:

  • Accelerated BSN programs for students with a non-nursing degree
  • LPN to BSN programs
  • Paramedic to RN programs
  • Traditional four-year BSN programs
  • RN to BSN programs

Following graduation with a BSN and several years of work experience, students can pursue further degrees at HBCU nursing programs. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) tracks are available in graduate nursing programs.

On the list of the best nursing programs in the US, several HBCU nursing programs rank highly.

Types of HBCU Nursing Programs


Online lectures and courses are available for students to do from a distance in certain HBCU nursing programs. All ADN and conventional BSN nursing programs, however, have in-person clinical requirements that students must fulfill.


The majority of HBCU BSN nursing programs are offered on campus, where students must physically attend classes. Nonetheless, a lot of on-campus programs are “hybrid,” meaning they include some online learning.


Through bridge programs, RNs and LPNs can obtain a BSN without having to start over as first-year students. In order to allow students to finish their degrees more quickly, several colleges and institutions incorporate professional experience and previous nursing education into bridge programs.


Those holding a bachelor’s degree in a field other than nursing usually qualify for an expedited BSN program. These students can obtain a BSN through an ABSN program without having to reapply as freshmen. Compared to a regular BSN, students can finish their degrees more quickly with this degree choice.

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10 Best HBCU Nursing Programs

Every HBCU is the ideal university for its students and alumni because of its distinct history, qualities, and advantages. We considered those qualities as well as elements unique to the nursing field when choosing the top ten HBCU nursing programs.

Our primary considerations were as follows:

  • Pass rates on the NCLEX
  • A variety of nursing programs are available for varying degrees and professional goals.
  • Program expense
  • The availability of online courses

1. Fayetteville State University – Fayetteville, North Carolina

Best HBCU Nursing Programs

The nursing program at Fayetteville State University began in 1992. One advantage of Fayetteville State is that all of its graduates are placed in jobs 100% of the time. The institution provides a range of nursing programs, such as:

Prelicensure Registered Nurse to Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) Quick Track Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in Patient Safety and Quality

The Collaborative Institute for Interprofessional Education and Practice is also housed inside the campus. The nursing department, social work, psychiatry, and the Fort Bragg Veterans Center have joined forces to create this special program. It emphasizes comprehensive strategies for mental wellness.

Training to become a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, or SANE Nurse, is also provided by the nursing school. Healthcare workers who attend this program will learn about forensic exams of patients who have been victims of sexual assault or violence.


  • Undergraduate: $41.67 per credit hour for residents and $208.34 for nonresidents
  • Online graduate: Residents pay $191.00 per credit hour; non-residents pay $477.50 and non-residents of North Carolina $805.75.

Duration of Program:

  • 4-semester accelerated BSN program
  • RN to BSN: 2.5 full semesters, 5 part-time semesters
  • MSN online: four semesters

Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

2. Bethune-Cookman University – Daytona Beach, Florida

Offering a “faith-based environment of academic excellence and transformative experiences that educates and empowers people to seek their own solutions” is the goal of Bethune-Cookman University’s L. Gale Lemerand School of Nursing. The HBCU nursing curriculum incorporates the fundamental principles of creativity, distinction, and inclusivity.

The curriculum of the BSN program equips its graduates to lead their patients toward optimal wellbeing by providing them with professional nursing care and education. The three-year NCLEX first-time pass percentage for Bethune-Cookman University was 90.50% on average.


  • $6,922 in tuition per semester

Program Duration: Four Years

Accreditation: The Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

3. Albany State University – Albany, Georgia

The Darton College of Health Professions is home to the nursing department at Albany State University. The institution offers a variety of nursing degrees and certificates, which makes it one of the top HBCU nursing programs. These include:

  • Online RN-to-BSN
  • Traditional 2+2 BSN
  • Accelerated second-degree BSN
  • Traditional, evening, and hybrid Associate of Science in Nursing
  • Healthcare professional-to-registered nurse bridge programs
  • Online Family Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator MSN programs

Students primarily enroll in the traditional BSN program on campus, despite the fact that numerous programs offer online options. The clinical skills lab, Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital, and other nearby facilities are used by the school for its clinical experiences.

With the typical BSN program, which is a 2+2 arrangement, students complete the core curriculum during their first two years of college and nursing courses during their final two years. Over a three-year period, the average first-time NCLEX pass percentage for graduates of the institution was 93%.

Are There Online Options Available? Indeed.

4. Grambling State University – Grambling, Louisiana

Best HBCU Nursing Programs

Prospective students can choose from a variety of nursing programs offered by Grambling State University, including:

  • Pre-nursing
  • Traditional BSN
  • Post-licensure RN-BSN
  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Educator
  • Post-masters certificate programs

In 2022, the school’s BSN NCLEX-RN pass rate was 100%, and 78.9% of students completed the program. Furthermore, Grambling State achieved a 100% job placement rate in 2022. Additionally, the graduate program has attained a 100% certificate and job placement record.


  • Undergraduate: $7,501.50 on-campus; $12,013 for non-resident
  • Graduate: $7471.50 for residents who commute, and $11,983 for non-residents

Duration of Program:

  • Four years for the BSN program
  • Master’s degree programs: five semesters, 21 months
  • Accreditation: Master’s  program: ACEN; Baccalaureate program: CCNE

Online Options Available: Yes.

5. Southern University and A&M College – Baton Rouge, Louisiana

One of the top HBCU nursing programs, the Southern University School of Nursing was founded in 1986 and presently offers four degrees:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)

In the fall of 2023, the school will launch an online RN-to-BSN program in addition to the conventional BSN option.

The leadership of the institution takes pleasure in being one of the biggest producers of African American nurses in the country and highlights that it has graduated over 2,500 BSN students. Over the last three years, its BSN graduates have averaged an 87% first-time NCLEX pass rate.


  • Undergraduate: $4,921 for residents and $8,596 for non-residents per semester
  • Online: $395 per credit hour for RNs to BSNs
  • Graduate: $5,611 for residents and $8,834 for non-residents each semester

Duration of Program:

  • BSN: four years
  • Five semesters to earn a BSN from an RN
  • MSN: two years
  • Doctorate: two and a half years
  • DNP: a year

Accreditation: CCNE

Online Options Available? Yes, only the RN-to-BSN Program

6. Alcorn University – Natchez, Mississippi

Established in 1977, the Cora S. Balmat School of Nursing is located at Alcorn State University’s Natchez Campus. It has graduated entry-level and advanced practice nurses over the years, readying them to work in a variety of healthcare settings. The institution offers a cutting-edge learning environment that equips students with the theoretical knowledge and practical skills necessary to deliver superior patient care.

The Associate of Science in Nursing and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing are part of the undergraduate program. A Master of Science in Nursing and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree are also available through the graduate program.


  • $7,766 in tuition each semester

Duration of Program:

  • Five semesters for an associate in science.
  • BSN: 4 years
  • BSN to RN program: 2 years
  • MSN: Four academic terms
  • DNP: Five semesters

Accreditation: ACEN

7. Lincoln University of Missouri – Jefferson City, Missouri

The School of Nursing at Lincoln University was established in 1971 and has grown to be a reputable and respected provider of excellent nursing education. Both a Bachelor of Science and an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing are offered by the institution. Additionally, they offer an RN-to-BSN program for registered nurses who want to advance their education and develop new competencies.

The BSN program offers some general education and nursing courses online in addition to on-campus instruction. The average first-time NCLEX pass rate for graduates is 88%, and for the past two years, the employment placement rate for BSN holders has been 100%.


  • Undergraduate: $3,510 for residents and $7,125 for non-residents each semester
  • Graduate: $324 for residents and $602 for non-residents per credit hour

Duration of Program:

  • Applied Science Associate: Two summers and six semesters
  • BSN: four years
  • RN to BSN program: 1 year

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8. Prairie View A&M University – Prairie View, Texas

For a century, professional nurses have been graduating from Prairie View A&M University’s College of Nursing. The undergraduate curriculum at the school provides both an online RN-to-BSN program and a regular BSN program. The average first-time pass rate for graduates of these courses on the NCLEX is 88%.

Additionally, Prairie View offers a comprehensive graduate program with the following degree options:

  • Family Nurse Practitioner MSN
  • Nurse Administration MSN
  • Nurse Education MSN
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice degree

The four and a half-year BSN program is built on lower level preparatory courses. These prerequisites for nursing school can be fulfilled on campus or transferred from another recognized college or university. The university must accept you before you can designate pre-nursing as your major.


  • Undergraduate: $5,649.59 for residents and $13,437.21 for non-residents per semester
  • Graduate: $3,996.15 for residents and $8,689.32 for non-residents each semester

Duration of Program:

  • RN to BSN program: 1 year
  • BSN: four and a half years
  • MSN: 42–53 hours of credit
  • 39 hours plus 1,000 clinical hours make up the DNP.

9. Hampton University – Hampton, Virginia

With its Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing degree, Hampton University holds the distinction of being the first HBCU to launch a nursing Ph.D. program. Because of its creativity, it is one of the top HBCU nursing programs in the nation.

The university provides both an online expedited RN-to-BSN track and a standard in-person BSN program. It also offers a number of programs that lead to a Master of Science. These include advanced nursing practice positions in administration or education, or advanced nursing practice as a Family Nurse Practitioner.

Annual tuition: $26,198

Duration of Program:

  • BSN: four years
  • Accelerated RN-to-BSN program: two years full-time or one year part-time.

10. Howard University – Washington, D.C.

The Division of Nursing at Howard University was founded in 1969 and offers a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program. Since then, the institution has grown to offer three bachelor undergraduate study options.

There are two divisions for the fundamental undergraduate BSN track: lower division and upper division. With this division, students can finish both a strong liberal education program and a nursing specialty. Additionally, there are two fully online tracks: one from RN to BSN and the other from LPN to BSN.

A graduate nursing program at Howard University is available to registered nurses who want to work as nurse educators or family nurse practitioners. It provides both full-time and part-time online courses, including 720 clinical hours and 46 semester hours for the FNP route. In contrast, 39 semester hours are required for the Nurse Educator route.


  • Undergraduate tuition: $32,878 per term
  • Graduate: $37,328 every academic year

Duration of Program:

  • 12-month RN-to-BSN program
  • Two years to get from LPN to BSN
  • BSN: four years
  • MSN: 39–46 hours per semester

Accreditation: CCNE

Best HBCU Nursing Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

What are HBCUs?

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are institutions founded before 1964 primarily for Black students during racial segregation. Today, they welcome students of all backgrounds and offer diverse academic programs.

Why choose an HBCU?

HBCUs cultivate supportive and inclusive environments, often with strong mentorship programs and vibrant campus life. They also excel in preparing students for STEM careers and promoting academic success.

How many HBCUs are there?

The US has 101 accredited HBCUs, including public and private institutions, located across 19 states, Washington D.C., and the Virgin Islands.


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