Nebraska nurses are in great demand, according to the Nebraska Center for Nursing. As reported by the state’s website, the nursing shortfall — which is most severe in small towns and rural areas — is projected to rise to 20%, or 4,000 nurses, by 2020. Six counties in Nebraska report no registered nurses (RNs) within their boundaries, while another six are home to just one RN each.

The Cornhusker State is hungry for nursing professionals to meet the shortage. Entering the nursing profession in this state could mean secure roles with higher prospects for career development. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, recognizing the need for nurses, granted the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Nursing $1.67 million for a nursing residency program in 2019.

Read on for more information on Nebraska’s nursing landscape and the best nursing colleges that can help you pursue this noble profession in this state.

Best Nursing Schools in Nebraska

Nebraska Badge ImageNebraska is home to 21 schools [A1] offering nursing degrees at different levels. With such a wide range of options available, it can be essential for prospective nursing students to possess the information necessary to make the right decision. Nebraska’s nursing schools cater to candidates with varying levels of experience, from prospective students seeking to get into nursing for the first time to experienced nurses looking to further their qualifications.

To aid this important decision, we have dug into the data to rank Nebraska’s best nursing schools for both undergraduate and graduate students. The methodology used to compile these rankings, which are based on data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), can be found at the bottom of the page.

Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$2,340
Undergraduate graduation rate
31%
Undergraduate retention rate
53%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
87%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$2,820
Undergraduate graduation rate
55%
Undergraduate retention rate
68%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
90%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$15,327
Undergraduate graduation rate
32%
Undergraduate retention rate
N/A
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
N/A
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$15,327
Undergraduate graduation rate
25%
Undergraduate retention rate
100%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
100%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$37,086
Undergraduate graduation rate
81%
Undergraduate retention rate
89%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
100%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$19,950
Undergraduate graduation rate
48%
Undergraduate retention rate
84%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
98%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$12,384
Undergraduate graduation rate
74%
Undergraduate retention rate
77%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
89%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$2,640
Undergraduate graduation rate
40%
Undergraduate retention rate
65%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
88%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$2,670
Undergraduate graduation rate
35%
Undergraduate retention rate
63%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
95%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$3,468
Undergraduate graduation rate
31%
Undergraduate retention rate
62%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
77%
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
5
Graduate Tuition
$10,128
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
5
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
4
Graduate Tuition
$10,128
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
4
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Graduate Tuition
$4,740
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
5
Graduate Tuition
$10,350
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
4
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
4
Graduate Tuition
$15,300
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
3
Graduate Tuition
$13,086
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
3
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
3
Graduate Tuition
$18,356
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Graduate Tuition
$16,820
Number of graduate-level nursing programs offered through distance education
0

Nursing Accreditation in Nebraska

Attending an accredited nursing program is usually vital for building a career in nursing. Accredited schools are held to national academic standards and students can be satisfied that the teaching, facilities, and examinations generally meet the quality required to produce qualified nurses.

Schools featured on NursingDegrees are accredited by official organizations. Prospective students considering applying to nursing schools in Nebraska not displayed on our rankings should make certain the school is recognized by an official accrediting body recognized by the state of Nebraska, such as the:

  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

Nebraska Nursing Licensure

In order to practice as a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), candidates generally need to complete a one-year nursing program approved by the state and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for LPNs (NCLEX-PN). Approval is required by law and an approved nursing program simply means that it meets the minimum standards as set down by the Nebraska Board of Nursing.

RNs generally need to complete a two-year associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). These nursing programs must be approved by the Nebraska Board of Nursing and a recognized accrediting agency.  Candidates seeking to become licensed RNs need to take the NCLEX-RN.

Nurses wishing to take their career to the next level by becoming a licensed NP typically complete a program offering a graduate degree that is — at minimum — a master’s level. The program generally includes 30 contact hours of pharmacotherapeutics coursework and 500 hours of clinical practice under supervision. Certification by one of the following bodies is a requirement for NPs:

  • The American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • The National Certification Corporation for Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing Specialties
  • The Pediatric Nursing Certification Board

For more information on Nebraska nursing licensure, visit the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

Nebraska Nursing organizations

Professional nursing organizations can offer ongoing support for nurses throughout their careers, from networking and career development opportunities to training and advocacy. There are a variety of nursing organizations in Nebraska that nursing students and professionals should consider joining. Here’s a selection of nursing organizations in Nebraska

  • Nebraska Organization of Nurse Leaders (NONL):

    This nonprofit organization offers opportunities for nurse leaders to network with others in Nebraska in order to share knowledge and expertise. Its members have access to a plethora of resources, as well as conferences. NONL aims to share health policy and nursing education through leadership.

  • Nebraska Nurses Association (NNA):

    Established in 1906, the NNA upholds four core values, according to their website: Collaboration, Advocacy, Recognition, and Education. While it does not engage in individual workplace advocacy, it operates holistically to support nurses throughout the state. It hosts many useful events, from educational webinars and problem-solving conventions to fundraising fun runs.

  • Nebraska Nurse Practitioners (NNP):

    NNP aims to promote the role of NPs within Nebraska, through high standards of clinical practice, professional leadership, legislation, continuing education, and peer support. Members can have access to myriad of helpful events, including the annual conference, specialty summits, and academic lectures.

  • Nebraska Action Coalition:

    The Nebraska Action Coalition is a proactive organization that campaigns on many healthcare issues such as transforming nursing education and increasing diversity in nursing. Its grants and awards programs can allow nurses to explore new ideas for building healthier communities.

Nebraska-Specific Continuing Education

LPNs and RNs seeking to renew their licenses in Nebraska have several continuing education options. These typically include having practiced at least 500 hours during the past five years and having completed at least 20 contact hours of acceptable CE within the past two years.

NPs generally must hold proof of national certification and have practiced as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) for at least 2,080 hours in the last five years. They must also give proof of at least 40 contact hours of CE in their clinical specialty within the last two years, of which 10 contact hours must be in pharmacotherapeutics.

Visit the Nebraska Department of Health and Human services for more information.

Hospitals in Nebraska

Nebraska nursing students would do well to maintain a thorough knowledge of the hospitals in their state. Most nurses in the US are likely to work in a hospital at some point in their careers. Furthermore, hospitals can offer educational experiences to help student nurses get to grips with the reality of the career they have chosen. The three major hospitals in Nebraska are:

  • Bryan Medical Center, East Campus (Lincoln): Run by the Nebraska-governed, nonprofit Bryan Health, Bryan’s Medical Center is a 640-bed hospital, which includes two acute care facilities and numerous outpatient clinics. The East campus is home to an emergency department, women and children’s services, the Bryan College of Health Sciences and more.
  • The Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha):Nebraska Medical Center is a 718 acute-care bed facility, representing more than 1,000 physicians. It is also the teaching hospital for the University of Nebraska Medical Center, making it home to advanced research.
  • CHI Health Creighton University Medical Center Bergan Mercy (Omaha):CHI Health’s Academic Medical Center, this hospital is also a Level 1 Trauma Center. The campus is designed to create a more relaxing experience for patients, while services include heart, emergency services, maternity, cancer care, diagnostic imaging, and surgery.
Sources & Methodology

Methodology

Using the National Center for Education Statistics’ Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), we gathered data for 6,758 United States institutions. We then filtered that list of schools by state and analyzed the data for each state with two different methodologies, in order to create two different lists: our undergraduate list, based on 11 ranking criteria, and our graduate list, based on 9 ranking criteria.

Final data for the 2016-17 school year was used for these rankings. Schools that did not provide data for all of the required ranking criteria were disqualified from that ranking.

The 11 criteria for the undergraduate school ranking were as follows:

  1. Number of associate- and bachelor’s-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of associate- and bachelor’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of associate- and bachelor’s-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Average amount of federal grant aid awarded to full-time first-time undergraduates
  8. Percent of full-time first-time undergraduates awarded any financial aid
  9. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  10. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  11. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

The graduate school ranking scored schools based on 9 criteria, different from the undergraduate list. These 9 criteria were as follows:

  1. Number of master’s- and doctoral-level degree programs offered to nursing-related majors
  2. Number of master’s- and doctoral-level nursing-related degree programs offered via distance education
  3. Variety of master’s- and doctoral-level nursing-related degree programs offered
  4. Tuition
  5. Retention rate
  6. Graduation rate
  7. Credit offerings (Military, Dual, Life Experience, AP)
  8. Services (Career Counseling, Placement Services)
  9. Availability of tuition plans (Guaranteed, Prepaid, Payment, Other)

All schools were scored on a 10-point scale for each of the points listed above. Individual data point scores were then multiplied by their respective weights, and the scores were added together, for a maximum possible score of 10 points.

NOTE: Schools’ tuition amounts are based on 2016-17 undergraduate and graduate data reported to the National Center for Education Statistics. The actual cost of tuition may vary.

 

Sources

  • About Bryan Health, Bryan Health, Accessed September 2019, https://www.bryanhealth.com/about-bryan-health/
  • American Hospital Directory, Accessed September 2019, https://www.ahd.com/
  • Bryan East Campus, Bryan Health, Accessed September 2019, https://www.bryanhealth.com/locations/bryan-east-campus/
  • Education, Nebraska Center for Nursing, Accessed September 2019, https://center4nursing.nebraska.gov/education
  • Grants and Award Programs, Campaign for Action, Accessed September 2019, https://campaignforaction.org/our-network/grantee-and-award-programs/
  • Nebraska Center for Nursing, Accessed September 2019, https://center4nursing.nebraska.gov/
  • Nebraska Department of Health and Human services, Accessed September 2019, http://dhhs.ne.gov/publichealth/pages/crlNursingAppdNsgProgStudentLoanAct.aspx
  • Nebraska Medicine, Accessed September 2019, https://www.nebraskamed.com/
  • Nebraska Nursing License Requirements, Nursinglicensure.org, Accessed September 2019, https://www.nursinglicensure.org/state/nursing-license-nebraska.html
  • Nebraska Nurse Practitioners, Accessed September 2019, https://nebraskanp.com/
  • Nebraskanurses.org, Accessed September 2019, http://www.nebraskanurses.org/
  • Grant to establish nurse practitioner residency program, University of Nebraska, October 2019, https://www.unmc.edu/news.cfm?match=24486
  • Why Join N.O.N.L?, Nebraska Organization of Health Leaders, Accessed September 2019, https://nebraskaonl.org/become-a-member/

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