A portrait of Civil War nurse Harriet Patience Dame has hung in the New Hampshire State House for over a century, commemorating the gumption and compassion of this beloved nursing icon. Known as “Aunt Harriet” to the soldiers she called “her boys,” Harriet P. Dame unswervingly tended the wounded on both sides of the war, earning the admiration of New Hampshire Governor Nathaniel Berry, a host of medals and awards, and a legacy that lives on to this day.

If you are interested in a like-minded career, then this page might be able to help you. Details on how to become a nurse in New Hampshire, the top nursing schools in the state, the nursing certification process and more can be found on this page, helping aspiring nurses to find their niche in a hospital, school, long-term care or outpatient care setting in New Hampshire.

Best Nursing Schools in New Hampshire

NewHampshire Badge ImageAs of October 2018, New Hampshire is home to more than 17 schools that offer nursing degree programs at various degree levels. Navigating the sea of information about all those nursing schools can be quite a task, so we’ve put together two lists of the best nursing programs in New Hampshire to help narrow down your search.

The first list ranks the best nursing schools in New Hampshire at the undergraduate level; the second list covers the state’s top education options at the graduate level. Both lists were compiled using data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data Systems (IPEDS). To find out more about the methodology we used to calculate the rankings, see the bottom of this page.

Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$29,900
Undergraduate graduation rate
54%
Undergraduate retention rate
73%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
100%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
2
Undergraduate tuition
$38,960
Undergraduate graduation rate
80%
Undergraduate retention rate
89%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
99%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$14,770
Undergraduate graduation rate
78%
Undergraduate retention rate
86%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
85%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$11,188
Undergraduate graduation rate
62%
Undergraduate retention rate
71%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
96%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$6,720
Undergraduate graduation rate
29%
Undergraduate retention rate
60%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
89%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$40,386
Undergraduate graduation rate
59%
Undergraduate retention rate
73%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
100%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$11,300
Undergraduate graduation rate
54%
Undergraduate retention rate
68%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
99%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$6,720
Undergraduate graduation rate
29%
Undergraduate retention rate
62%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
71%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$6,720
Undergraduate graduation rate
49%
Undergraduate retention rate
67%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
92%
Number of undergraduate-level nursing programs offered
1
Undergraduate tuition
$6,720
Undergraduate graduation rate
24%
Undergraduate retention rate
51%
Percent of undergrad students awarded financial aid
89%

Nursing Accreditation in New Hampshire

Students looking into nursing programs in New Hampshire should make sure that the school they choose is accredited through an official accrediting agency. These agencies conduct periodic evaluations of a school or program and certify the quality of the instruction it offers. Top nursing schools in New Hampshire may be accredited by one or more of the following organizations:

  • Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
  • Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education
  • National League for Nursing
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC)

New Hampshire Nursing Licensure

To become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN) in New Hampshire, candidates must complete and submit a licensure application, either online or in hard copy, to the New Hampshire Board of Nursing. To be eligible for licensure, applicants must complete an approved academic program and pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN) or Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Applicants must also submit to fingerprinting and a criminal background check, as well as pay an application fee.

Advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), including nurse practitioners (NPs), also apply for licensure through the New Hampshire Board of Nursing. A current RN license is required of all applicants. Prospective APRNs must show that they have completed a graduate level nursing program, submit a copy of their current national nursing certification and pay the applicable fee. The completed nursing program should include at least 225 hours of theoretical nursing content and 480 hours of clinical nursing practice, which must include a precepted experience and pharmacological interventions.

New Hampshire Nursing organizations

Joining a New Hampshire nursing association can be beneficial for many reasons, from networking events, to community outreach resources, to career opportunities. Whether you’re a student nurse or already working as an LPN, RN or APRN, you may want to consider what one of the following organizations may be able to offer you.

  • New Hampshire Nurse Practitioner Association:

    Members of this association receive access to legislative boot camps and discounted rates to the regional NP conference. A members-only directory, designed to help nurses find and connect with their colleagues in the state, is another benefit to membership.

  • New Hampshire Nurses Association:

    From a graduating student conference to a “Spotlight on Nursing” event that focuses on issues important to New Hampshire nurses, this organization offers a range of educational and networking opportunities. Additionally, the association hosts an awards banquet and annual meeting and conducts a scholarship 5K and health fair each year.

  • New Hampshire Association of Nurse Anesthetists :

    This local resource for nurse anesthetists in New Hampshire represents more than 200 certified nurses and student registered nurse anesthetists in the state. Members can take advantage of annual meetings and participate in national American Association of Nurse Anesthetists events.

New Hampshire-Specific Continuing Education

LPNs, RN and APRNs in New Hampshire need to renew their licenses every two years. The license renewal period is based on the date of your birthday, so the first renewal cycle may in fact be shorter than exactly 24 months. The board recommends that nurses start the license renewal process four to six weeks before their birthday.

LPNs and RNs must complete 30 contact hours of continuing education (CE) during the two years prior to their license renewal. APRNs must complete 60 CE units, including at least 20 contact hours their specialty area and 5 contact hours in relevant pharmacology education. Specialty certification for APRNs counts as 30 of their 60 CE contact hours.

More details regarding continuing education for nurses in New Hampshire can be found on the New Hampshire Board of Nursing site.

Hospitals in New Hampshire

It’s easy to think of hospitals as a place where nurses can look for work after graduating from school and becoming licensed, but they can actually start benefiting you even before you earn your nursing degree. Hospitals can be an excellent place for nursing students to complete clinical hours and internships, build professional relationships and practice real-life skills. The hospitals below, the three largest in New Hampshire based on the staffed number of beds, can be sources of opportunity for new and veteran nurses alike.

  • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (Lebanon): This nonprofit healthcare center serves more than 1.9 million from across New England and encompasses a children’s hospital, a cancer center, affiliate hospitals and ambulatory clinics. It also engages in a research collaboration with the Audrey and Theodor Geisel School of Medicine.
  • Catholic Medical Center (Manchester): Originally started in 1858 by a nun from Dublin, Ireland, the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester now employs more than 3,000 people and houses the New England Heart & Vascular Institute. More than 600 open-heart surgeries were performed here in 2016.
  • Elliot Hospital (Manchester): Founded in 1890 and located in Southern New Hampshire, Elliot Hospital offers a newborn intensive care unit, a senior health center, a regional trauma center and urgent care facilities.
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

  • Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) 2016-17, National Center for Education Statistics, Accessed January 2018, http://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/
  • Harriet Dame: New Hampshire’s Angel of Mercy, New Hampshire Historical Society, Accessed January 2019, https://www.nhhistory.org/Research/Online-Exhibitions/Collection
  • About CMC, Catholic Medical Center, Accessed October 2018, https://www.catholicmedicalcenter.org/about-cmc
  • About Dartmouth-Hitchcock, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Accessed October 2018, https://www.dartmouth-hitchcock.org/about_dh.html
  • Continuing Competence, New Hampshire Board of Nursing, Accessed October 2018, https://www.oplc.nh.gov/nursing/continuing-competence.htm
  • “Flexibility cited as nurses choose private hospitals over state positions,” Dave Solomon, Union Leader, March 13, 2017, http://www.unionleader.com/health/Flexible-shifts-cited-as-issue-as-nurses-choose-private-hospitals-over-state-positions-03142017
  • Free Hospital Profiles, American Hospital Directory, Accessed October 2018, https://www.ahd.com/
  • General Licensing Questions, New Hampshire Board of Nursing, Accessed October 2018, https://www.oplc.nh.gov/nursing/documents/licensing-q-a.pdf
  • History, Catholic Medical Center, Accessed October 2018, https://www.catholicmedicalcenter.org/about-cmc/history-and-mission
  • Leadership, Visiting Nurse Association of Manchester & New Hampshire, Accessed October 2018, http://elliothospital.org/vna/leadership.php
  • Membership, New Hampshire Nurse Practitioner Association, Accessed October 2018, https://nhnpa.enpnetwork.com/membership/new
  • New Hampshire Board of Nursing Application for APRN Licensure, Accessed October 2018, https://www.oplc.nh.gov/nursing/documents/aprn-initial.pdf,
  • New Hampshire Nurse Practitioner Association, Accessed October 2018, https://nhnpa.enpnetwork.com/
  • “Silver Lining: Where are all the nurses?” Gretchen Grosky, Union Leader, December 17, 2016, http://www.unionleader.com/Silver-Linings:-Where-are-all-the-nurses
  • Welcome, New Hampshire Association of Nurse Anesthetists, Accessed October 2018, https://www.nhana.org/resources
  • Your NHNA Now!, New Hampshire Nurses Association, Accessed October 2018, https://nhnurses.nursingnetwork.com/page/63661-your-nhna-now

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