The Top New Hampshire Nursing Schools and Programs

February 24, 2022 , Modified on April 27, 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.

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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.

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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