The Top Nursing Schools in Delaware

NurseJournal Staff
Updated June 5, 2023
Top NCLEX-RN pass rates indicate quality nursing schools in Delaware. Learn degree and licensing requirements, salaries, and job growth projections for nurses.
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Delaware ranks third in the nation for National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) pass rates, demonstrating the state’s commitment to quality education through its nursing programs. As a Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC) state, nurses can secure a multistate license and work across state lssalines with other compact states.

Keep reading to learn more about the top nursing programs in Delaware, including requirements, earning potential, and job outlook for nurses.

The Best Nursing Schools in Delaware

Each nursing school in Delaware holds both benefits and shortcomings. Ensure your program choice aligns with your professional goals and objectives.

Our Methodology: We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best nursing schools in Delaware, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

#1 The Top Nursing Schools in Delaware

University of Delaware

  • Location-markerNewark, DE
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$12,730
  • Out-of-state$34,160
  • Retention Rate90%
  • Acceptance Rate66%
  • Students Enrolled23,613
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment96%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 The Top Nursing Schools in Delaware

Delaware State University

  • Location-markerDover, DE
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,038
  • Out-of-state$16,960
  • Retention Rate74%
  • Acceptance Rate39%
  • Students Enrolled4,739
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment65%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 The Top Nursing Schools in Delaware

Delaware Technical Community College-Terry

  • Location-markerDover, DE
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$4,575
  • Out-of-state$11,438
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled12,955
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment93%
  • AccreditationYes

Popular Online Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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How to Choose a Nursing Program in Delaware

When deciding on a nursing program in Delaware, consider tuition, program length, the acceptance rate, location of clinical experiences, and placement assistance. Decide whether to take classes online or on campus.

Other considerations include the NCLEX-RN pass rate, which demonstrates how well a program prepares its students for success, nursing accreditation, and financial aid options for nurses.

Why Become a Nurse in Delaware

Historically known as the “First State,” Delaware has also been called the “Most Tax-Friendly State.” Despite its small population, almost 70% of Fortune 500 companies are located in Delaware.

Do not let the size of this small state fool you. Delaware is bursting with treasures, including historical landmarks, museums and galleries, and scenic beaches.

The increase in federal funding for nursing offers many benefits as well, skyrocketing from $232,210 to almost $1.3 million in just two years.

Ranked as the ninth highest state with RN projected employment growth and the 12th with RN projected supply demand, Delaware offers freedom for nurses to unionize. Additionally, it boasts the third-highest NCLEX-RN pass rate among all states.

Two avenues for nurse licensing in Delaware include licensure by examination or by endorsement. First-time RN licensing is referred to as license by examination, while license by endorsement is for RNs relocating to Delaware who hold licenses in other jurisdictions or states.

Delaware is among the 39 states and jurisdictions that have entered the NLC agreement, allowing nurses to practice across state lines. This multistate license permits nurses from another compact state to practice in Delaware without having to apply for state licensure. It also allows nurses with a Delaware license to practice in other compact states.

Salary and Job Outlook for Nurses in Delaware

RN and nurse practitioner (NP) salaries in Delaware are below the national average. However, the cost of living is higher, with an index of 107.9.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average salary for RNs in Delaware is $74,330 with a national level of $80,010. Delaware NPs earn an average mean wage of $112,230 compared to $114,510 nationally. Learn more about RN salaries in Delaware

RN employment in Delaware is projected to grow 20% from 2018-2028, and NP employment growth could increase 30.8% during that time frame.

Highest-Paying Cities for Nurses in Delaware

Some of the highest-paying cities for RNs in Delaware include Wilmington, Dover, Newark, Middletown, and Milford. However, nurse salaries in Delaware are below the national average. The table below demonstrates the average salaries for RNs in the top-paying metropolitan areas.

For four years in a row, ChristianaCare in Newark, Delaware, has been ranked among the World’s Best Hospitals by Newsweek.

Highest-Paying Cities
Top Paying Metropolitan AreasMedian Salary for RNs
Philadelphia — Camden — Wilmington$79,980
Source: BLS

Steps to Becoming a Nurse in Delaware

All prospective nurses need a nursing degree, a passing score on the NCLEX, and a clear criminal background check to practice. Additionally, there are specific prerequisites unique to Delaware to become an advanced practice registered nurse (APRN).

RN Requirements

To become licensed as an RN, you must complete an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program, meet the prerequisites, and pass the NCLEX exam. Earning nursing licensure in Delaware through the board of nursing also requires an FBI and state background check.

APRN Requirements

To become an APRN, you’ll need to earn amaster of science in nursing (MSN) ordoctor of nursing practice, hold a Delaware (or other NLC state) RN license, become certified, and get an APRN licensure from the state board of nursing. The four certification specialties include clinical nurse specialist, nurse practitioner, certified nurse midwife, or certified registered nurse anesthetist.

Criteria for licensure include an application with fees and supporting documents and a criminal background check. Additional requirements specific to Delaware include a Delaware controlled substance registration and registration with the Drug Enforcement Administration if you are prescribing controlled substances. Also, a collaborative agreement information form is required.

Frequently Asked Questions About Delaware

question-mark-circleHow do I become an RN in Delaware?

Steps to becoming an RN in Delaware include choosing your degree, meeting the prerequisites, and passing the NCLEX. For an NP, earn an MSN, become certified in a specialty, and apply for licensure as an APRN.

question-mark-circleHow much does a BSN make in Delaware?

According to, a BSN graduate in Delaware earns $61,614-$78,525 with a median salary of $68,685 as of March 2022.

question-mark-circleHow much does nursing school cost in Delaware?

Tuition for nursing school in Delaware varies by program. For an ADN, in-state tuition can range from $4,000-$5,000 per year. For a BSN, the cost can be between $7,000 and $14,000 annually for state residents.

question-mark-circleHow should I choose a nursing field to go into?

To help you choose the nursing path for you, know your strengths, weaknesses, passions, personality. Find a field that fits your personal goals and aspirations. Explore opportunities, test the waters, and determine if you need additional nursing certifications or education.

Find Nursing Programs in Other States

Choose Your State Below

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