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New Ranking of the World’s Top Nursing Schools

By Laura Bridgestock

Updated March 25, 2020 Updated March 25, 2020

Discover the top Nursing schools based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020.

This year sees the QS World University Rankings by Subject extended to feature a brand new ranking of the world’s top nursing schools. Published annually, the rankings now cover a total of 42 subjects. Also new for 2016 are rankings of the world’s top universities for anthropology, archaeology, mining engineering, performing arts and social policy.

The new nursing school ranking features 100 top nursing schools based in 19 different countries. As is the case across the QS World University Rankings by Subject, the US is especially well represented, claiming almost a third (32) of the 100 top nursing schools. Australia follows with 16 entries, while the UK makes 12 appearances, Canada 10 and Sweden six.

Top 10 Nursing Schools in 2016

Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016


University of Pennsylvania

United States


Johns Hopkins University

United States


University of Toronto



University of Alberta



Karolinska Institute



King's College London (KCL)

United Kingdom


University of Michigan

United States


University of Manchester

United Kingdom


University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

United States


University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

United States

See the full ranking of the world’s top nursing schools >


The rankings aim to help prospective students identify the leading institutions in their subject, with a particular focus on those planning to study outside of their own country. Institutions are assessed on indicators reflecting academic reputation, employer reputation, and research impact in the field.

Outside of the top 10, Australia’s top place is claimed by the University of Sydney (13th), closely followed by Monash University (16th) and the University of Melbourne (19th). Nearby New Zealand first appears in 32nd place with the University of Auckland, and Massey University is also featured.

Asia’s leading representatives are the National University of Singapore (18th) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong (joint 22nd). Taiwan, China, South Korea and Japan also claim at least one entry, contributing to a total of 11 Asian universities in the table.

Collectively, European countries account for 28 of the top 100 nursing departments. Aside from Sweden and UK, particularly strong performances are also claimed by Finnish and Irish institutions, with the University of Turku in joint 24th place, while Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork are ranked 31st and 34th respectively.

The only Latin American country to feature in this first edition of the nursing ranking is Brazil, with three entries: Universidade de São Paulo, Universidade Estadual de Campinas (Unicamp) Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP), all in the second half of the table.

Prospective students consulting the nursing ranking may also be interested in the rankings for other life sciences subjects, including medicine, pharmacydentistry and biological sciences.

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This article was originally published in March 2016 . It was last updated in March 2020

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The former editor of, Laura oversaw the site's editorial content and student forums. She also edited the QS Top Grad School Guide and contributed to market research reports, including 'How Do Students Use Rankings?'

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