Best HBCU Nursing Schools

Updated on April 8, 2024

At a Glance

  • HBCU nursing schools provide quality education and excellent career opportunities for minority nurses.
  • Top HBCU nursing schools offer competitive programs with high NCLEX-RN pass rates and job placement.
  • These schools prioritize community health, leadership, research, and cultural competency.
  • Tuition costs vary, and financial aid options are available for HBCU nursing students.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) have a long history of providing quality education, especially in healthcare fields like nursing. HBCU nursing schools equip students with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to launch successful careers. Many top HBCUs boast high NCLEX-RN exam pass rates, acceptance into graduate nursing programs, and excellent job placement.

Below are 10 of the best HBCU nursing schools based on factors like affordability, reputation, and student outcomes.

Xavier University of Louisiana

Location: New Orleans, LA

Rating: 9/10

Acceptance Rate: <50%

Tuition: $22,440

Avg Salary: $65,000


Xavier University consistently ranks as one of the top HBCU nursing schools in the country. Its BSN program enables students to provide compassionate, culturally-competent care and has an impressive 100% NCLEX-RN first-time pass rate.

Hampton University

Location: Hampton, VA

Rating: 8.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 50%

Avg SAT Score: 1050

Tuition: $28,983

Avg Salary: $70,000


Hampton University’s nursing school has an excellent reputation, underscored by a consistent 100% NCLEX-RN pass rate. Small class sizes and rigorous clinical training produce exceptional nurses prepared to improve community wellness.

Florida A&M University

Location: Tallahassee, FL

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: 50%

Avg SAT Score: 1020

Tuition: $6,503 (in-state)

Avg Salary: $65,000


FAMU’s BSN pathways integrate physical, social, and nursing sciences to develop nurses invested in leadership and research. The program emphasizes minority health and health equity.

Tennessee State University

Location: Nashville, TN

Rating: 8/10

Acceptance Rate: <50%

Avg SAT Score: N/A

Tuition: $8,820 (in-state)

Avg Salary: $65,500


TSU’s BSN program equips students with clinical skills and knowledge to address community health needs. Small class sizes enable personalized attention and mentoring.

Southern University at New Orleans

Location: New Orleans, LA

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 23%

Tuition: $5,880 (in-state)

Avg Salary: $60,000


SUNO’s nursing program emphasizes compassionate patient care, ethics, research, and leadership. The curriculum integrates health equity and community health principles.

Delaware State University

Location: Dover, DE

Rating: 7.5/10

Acceptance Rate: 58%

Avg SAT Score: 890

Tuition: $7,868 (in-state)

Avg Salary: $65,000


DSU’s BSN pathways highlight community health, transcultural nursing, rural care, and new healthcare technologies. Students benefit from caring faculty and small classes.

Alcorn State University

Location: Lorman, MS

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 100%

Tuition: $7,876 (in-state)

Avg Salary: $58,000


Alcorn State’s nursing graduates consistently surpass national averages on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. The program emphasizes leadership, compassion, integrity, and versatility.

North Carolina A&T State University

Location: Greensboro, NC

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 58%

Avg SAT Score: 990

Tuition: $6,357 (in-state)

Avg Salary: $60,500


NCA&T’s direct entry MSN program allows students with a non-nursing bachelor’s to become family nurse practitioners in just 3 years.

Coppin State University

Location: Baltimore, MD

Rating: 7/10

Acceptance Rate: 55%

Tuition: $5,080 (in-state)

Avg Salary: $65,500


Coppin State’s high-quality BSN program emphasizes community health, leadership, research, and transcultural nursing care.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is an HBCU?

HBCU stands for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. HBCUs are higher education institutions originally founded to serve African American students excluded from other colleges due to segregation.

Why choose an HBCU for nursing?

HBCU nursing schools have a legacy of producing exceptional minority nurses and striving to address healthcare disparities. They offer supportive environments focused on student success.

What are typical tuition costs for HBCU nursing schools?

Tuition varies, but is often $5,000-$10,000 annually for in-state students at public HBCUs. Private HBCUs average $25,000-$35,000 per year. Financial aid helps many students afford these costs.

Do HBCU nursing schools have high NCLEX pass rates?

Many top HBCU nursing schools boast NCLEX-RN first-time pass rates exceeding state and national averages. Strong academic preparation helps graduates pass this critical licensure exam.

Are the nursing faculties diverse at HBCUs?

Yes, most HBCU nursing schools have very diverse faculties, including high proportions of accomplished African American nurse educators focused on student mentorship.

What types of nursing programs are offered at HBCUs?

HBCUs offer varied undergraduate BSN pathways, accelerated BSN options for second degree students, RN-to-BSN programs, Master’s in Nursing degrees, and more specialized graduate nursing concentrations.

Do employers recruit from HBCU nursing programs?

Major healthcare employers actively recruit exceptional HBCU nursing graduates. Most students receive multiple job offers before or soon after graduation.

Can males become nurses through HBCU programs?

Absolutely! Male students are welcome in HBCU nursing programs. Nursing is an outstanding career choice for men seeking to provide compassionate patient care.

Are there online nursing program options at HBCUs?

A growing number of HBCUs now offer online RN-to-BSN completion programs, online MSN degrees, and other distance-based nursing education options.

What scholarships help students afford HBCU nursing programs?

Scholarships like the NBNA Scholarship, AACN Scholarship, and Tylenol Future Care Scholarship offer funding for minority nursing students attending HBCUs or pursuing graduate nursing education.

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