The Top New Hampshire Nursing Schools and Programs

February 24, 2022 , Updated on June 28, 2022 · 6 Min Read

Check out some of the best nursing programs in New Hampshire and find out how to become licensed to practice in the state.

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The Top New Hampshire Nursing Schools and Programs
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In 2020, over 96% of New Hampshire nursing students passed the National Council Licensure Examination-Registered Nurse (NCLEX-RN) on their first attempt. This figure shows that nursing schools in New Hampshire provide quality, career-focused education. Coupled with high average salaries and strong projected job growth, New Hampshire offers nurses many opportunities for success.

Read on to learn how to become a nurse in New Hampshire and explore some of the state's best nursing programs.

The Best Nursing Schools in Hampshire

This section introduces some of the best schools and nursing programs in New Hampshire. These programs give prospective and current nurses the skills they need to excel in their profession.

Our Methodology: We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best nursing schools in New Hampshire, 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

Saint Anselm College

School Information
Location Manchester, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 75%
Graduation Rate 78%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 0% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The Department of Nursing at Saint Anselm College offers two bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) options. Learners can pursue a four-year pre-licensure program or a post-licensure RN-to-BSN program. The curriculum includes classes like critical care nursing, medical ethics, and nursing research.

  • Program(s): BSN - pre-licensure; BSN - post-licensure
  • Campus: Manchester 
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $42,550 per year (plus a $1,055 clinical nursing fee for upperclassmen per semester and a $530 clinical nursing fee for sophomores in spring semester only)
  • Admission Requirements: Common Application and essay; official high school transcript that meets all college requirements; SAT or ACT scores; school report and counselor recommendation; teacher recommendation
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 4 years (pre-licensure BSN)
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $68,860 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
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#2

University of New Hampshire-Main Campus

School Information
Location Durham, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 84%
Graduation Rate 76%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 16% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The University of New Hampshire runs one of the best nursing schools in New Hampshire. The 133-credit bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program incorporates evidence-based knowledge, patient-centered care, and professional values.

Learners study topics like child health nursing and clinical judgment in complex illness. Students complete clinical coursework throughout the program.

  • Program: BSN
  • Campus: Durham
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $15,520 per year for in-state learners; $33,760 per year for out-of-state learners
  • Admission Requirements: High school or GED transcript or HiSET scores; recommendation letter; chemistry and biology or physics prerequisites
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 4 years
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 98.5% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $62,620 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
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#3

Keene State College

School Information
Location Keene, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 88%
Graduation Rate 63%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 3% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Keene State College offers an interdisciplinary bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program for first-year students to the major. One of the best nursing programs in New Hampshire, the 120-credit program requires classes like nursing leadership and fundamentals of patient-centered care. The program admits a 32-student cohort each year.

  • Program: BSN
  • Campus: Keene
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $11,754 per year for in-state learners; $22,110 per year for out-of-state learners. Pre-licensure nursing students pay a $500 tuition differential for each of their four clinical semesters.
  • Admission Requirements: Official high school transcript, minimum 3.25 GPA
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 4 years
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $62,840 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
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#4

Nashua Community College

School Information
Location Nashua, New Hampshire
Graduation Rate 32%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 24% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Nashua Community College offers an associate degree in nursing (ADN) program that prepares students for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. 

Nursing majors take classes like pharmacology for nursing practice and fundamental concepts for nursing practice. They also explore management of nursing care across the lifespan.

  • Program: ADN
  • Campus: Nashua
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing 
  • Tuition: $215 per credit for in-state learners; $323 per credit through the New England Regional Student Program; $490 per credit for out-of-state learners
  • Admission Requirements: Attend a nursing information session; complete prerequisite courses; submit two professional references; pass the pre-admission exam 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 2 years
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 81.8% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $47,950 for associate graduates, according to College Scorecard
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#5

Manchester Community College

School Information
Location Manchester, New Hampshire
Graduation Rate 34%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Manchester Community College offers a two-year, evidence-based associate degree in nursing (ADN) program that includes clinical experiences and classroom learning. Learners study topics like microbiology and human growth and development. 

  • Program: ADN
  • Campus: Manchester 
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing 
  • Tuition: $166 per credit for in-state learners; $249 per credit through the New England Regional Student Program; $498 per credit for out-of-state learners
  • Admission Requirements: Attend a nursing information session; show completion of high school algebra, chemistry, and biology with a grade of "C" or better; submit two professional references; show satisfactory scores on the Test of Essential Academic Skills 
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 2 years
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
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#6

White Mountains Community College

School Information
Location Berlin, New Hampshire
Graduation Rate 49%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

The two-year associate degree in nursing (ADN) from White Mountains Community College prepares students to become RNs. One of the best nursing programs in New Hampshire, the program includes off-campus clinical rotation experiences, classroom lectures, and practice in a state-of-the-art simulation lab. Students can enroll part time or full time. 

Pending seat availability, qualified licensed practical nurses can transfer to the program in the second semester.

  • Program: ADN
  • Campus: Berlin
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing 
  • Tuition: $215 per credit for in-state learners; $323 per credit through the New England Regional Student Program; $490 per credit for out-of-state learners
  • Admission Requirements: 60% or better on the Test of Essential Academic Skills; official high school transcripts; two professional references
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 2 years
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100% first-time pass rate
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#7

Colby-Sawyer College

School Information
Location New London, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 90%
Graduation Rate 62%
Instituation Type Private
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 16% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Colby-Sawyer College runs one of the best nursing schools in New Hampshire. The college offers four bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) and master of science in nursing (MSN) programs, including online and accelerated options. 

The nursing curriculum includes individual and group research, hands-on lab work, and clinical experiences in the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. 

  • Program: BSN; accelerated BSN; online RN-to-BSN; MSN
  • Campus: New London
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: Varies by program
  • Admission Requirements: Varies by program
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 16 months (accelerated and online BSN programs)
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $65,800 for bachelor's graduates, according to College Scorecard
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#8

Lakes Region Community College

School Information
Location Laconia, New Hampshire
Graduation Rate 41%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 25% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Lakes Region Community College runs one of the most respected nursing schools in New Hampshire. The school's associate degree in nursing (ADN) program prepares students to take the licensing exam to become RNs. The two-year, 70-credit program requires classes like anatomy and physiology and ethics issues.

  • Program: ADN
  • Campus: Laconia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing 
  • Tuition: $215 per credit for in-state learners; $323 per credit through the New England Regional Student Program; $490 per credit for out-of-state learners
  • Admission Requirements: Completion of high school- or college-level chemistry, biology, and algebra with a grade of "C" or better; official high school transcripts; pass criminal background check and Bureau of Elderly and Adult Services check; successfully complete the Test of Essential Academic Skills exam
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 2 years
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100% first-time pass rate
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#9

Plymouth State University

School Information
Location Plymouth, New Hampshire
Admission Rate 85%
Graduation Rate 54%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Plymouth State University runs one of the top nursing programs in New Hampshire. The 121-credit, four-year bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program requires classes like maternal and newborn care and evidence-based practice in medical surgical nursing. Students complete clinical experiences. The competitive program accepts applications year-round.

  • Program: BSN
  • Campus: Plymouth
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education 
  • Tuition: $11,870 per year for in-state learners; $18,280 per year through the New England Regional Program; $21,280 per year for out-of-state learners
  • Admission Requirements: Completion of required college preparatory coursework; high school or GED transcripts; one recommendation letter; an essay
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 4 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $67,320 for bachelor's graduates according to College Scorecard
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#10

Great Bay Community College

School Information
Location Portsmouth, New Hampshire
Graduation Rate 23%
Accreditation Yes New England Commission on Higher Education
Percent Online Enrollment 28% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.

Great Bay Community College offers a 69-credit associate degree in nursing (ADN). The two-year program requires classes like human anatomy and physiology, quantitative reasoning, and human growth and development. The school prefers applicants who complete human anatomy and physiology. The school also prefers LNAs or health occupation students who completed career and technical education in high school.

  • Program: ADN
  • Campus: Portsmouth
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing 
  • Tuition: $215 per credit for in-state learners; $323 per credit through the New England Regional Student Program; $490 per credit for out-of-state learners
  • Admission Requirements: High school or GED diploma; completion of high school algebra, chemistry, and biology with a grade of "C" or better; score of 66% or better on the Test of Essential Academic Skills; two professional references
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 2 years
  • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 86.4% first-time pass rate
  • Median Earnings Two Years After Graduation: $59,010 for associate graduates, according to College Scorecard
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Featured Online MSN Programs

How to Choose a Nursing Program in New Hampshire

There are many aspects to consider as you explore nursing programs. To make the selection process easier, identify the factors that are most important to you before beginning your search. For example, you may be interested in pursuing a certain specialty, or you want to graduate within a particular timeline.

Some features to explore include tuition rates, program length and structure, and potential financial aid opportunities. A program's NCLEX pass rates may tell you a lot about students' success in the workforce. You should also limit your search to accredited nursing programs in New Hampshire.

Why Become a Nurse in New Hampshire

Prospective nurses seeking a quality education need look no further than New Hampshire. In 2020, the state boasted the nation's highest NCLEX-RN pass rate, with over 96% of students passing the exam on their first attempt.

New Hampshire also participates in the Nurse Licensure Compact (NLC). As a nursing compact state, New Hampshire has agreed to a set of standards all licensed nurses must follow. Nurses who are licensed to practice in an NLC state may obtain licensure by endorsement in other NLC states with minimal paperwork.

Nurses with an NLC license can also provide telehealth care to patients across state lines.

Salary and Job Outlook for Nurses in New Hampshire

Concerning average annual salary, New Hampshire ranks anywhere from 11th to 23rd depending upon a nurse's role. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), certified nursing assistants earn $34,500, licensed practical nurses earn $56,400, registered nurses (RNs) earn $75,970, and nurse practitioners earn $112,460 annually. Learn more about RN salaries in New Hampshire.

Employment projections for registered nurses estimate a 12.7% job growth rate from 2018 to 2028, slightly higher than the national rate.

The following table identifies New Hampshire's highest paying metropolitan areas. These three cities are situated in the state's southeast corner near the Atlantic coast, with Portsmouth located along the shore.

Highest Paying Cities for Nurses in New Hampshire
Top Paying Metropolitan Areas Median Salary for RNs
Portsmouth $79,270
Manchester $75,910
Dover-Durham $72,420
Source: BLS

Steps to Becoming a Nurse in New Hampshire

Prospective New Hampshire nurses must complete a program approved by the New Hampshire Board of Nursing and pass the NCLEX-RN exam after graduation. Candidates may then apply for state licensure.

After gaining professional experience, licensed RNs may complete an approved graduate program and seek advanced practice nurse practitioner (APRN) licensure.

Both RNs and APRNs must satisfy continuing education requirements to maintain their license and continue working as a nurse in the state.

RN Requirements

Candidates must attend a nursing program accredited by the New Hampshire Nursing Board and earn an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). Graduates may then take the NCLEX-RN before applying for state licensure and submitting to a criminal background check.

RNs in New Hampshire must complete 400 working hours within four years of applying for license renewal. They should also have completed 30 hours of continuing education during the previous two years.

APRN Requirements

Prospective APRNs begin by earning an MSN or a doctor of nursing practice from an accredited nursing program. Graduates must pass a national certification exam in a state-recognized specialty. New Hampshire accepts certification from the following organizations:

  • American Academy of Nurse Practitioners
  • American Nurses Credentialing Center
  • American Midwifery Certification Board
  • National Board of Certification & Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists
  • National Certification Corporation for the Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing Specialties
  • Pediatric Nursing Certification Board

To renew their license, APRNs must complete 30 continuing education hours in their specialty, plus the 30 hours needed to maintain their RN license. Five hours must be in pharmacology, with three of those hours relating to opioid prescribing, pain management, or substance abuse.

Other Top Nursing Programs in New Hampshire

Frequently Asked Questions About Nursing in New Hampshire


Is New Hampshire a compact state for nursing?

New Hampshire participates in the NLC. Nurses who are licensed in nursing compact states can practice in other NLC states without seeking new licensure. Currently, only eight states have not approved legislation to join the list of nursing compact states (Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Oregon, and Washington). Five states have legislation pending (California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Rhode Island).

How long does it take to get a nursing license in New Hampshire?

After earning an ADN or a BSN, graduates submit their fingerprints and send an authorization form for a criminal background check. Applicants also complete a form to verify that they are a New Hampshire resident, and ask their nursing school to submit their final transcripts to the stated board. This entire process can take up to eight weeks.

What are financial aid opportunities for nursing students in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire's Department of Education's student resources include financial aid opportunities. Organizations like the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation and the New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation can help students apply for funding.

How do you renew your nursing license in New Hampshire?

RNs who want to renew their license must have accumulated 400 hours of experience within four years and have completed 30 hours of continuing education within two years of the application date.

APRNs seeking renewal should meet all of the requirements for renewing their RN license. They must also finish 30 hours of continuing education. Five of the renewal hours must be in pharmacology, and three of those five hours should relate to opioid prescribing, pain management, or substance abuse.

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NurseJournal.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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