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Top Nursing Schools in 2017

By Sabrina Collier

Updated March 26, 2020 Updated March 26, 2020

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

Starting last year, the QS World University Rankings by Subject now includes a ranking of the world’s 100 top nursing schools, based on a methodology which assesses academic and employer reputation.

Read on for an overview of the top universities for nursing in each world region, or click here to view the full results.

Top 10 Nursing Schools in 2017

Based on the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017


University of Pennsylvania

United States


Johns Hopkins University



King's College London (KCL)

United Kingdom


University of Manchester



University of Technology Sydney



University of Toronto



University of Washington



University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)



University of Sydney



University of Southampton


See the full nursing school ranking >


Top nursing schools in the US and Canada

As is the case across the overall World Rankings by Subject, the US is especially well-represented in the nursing school, claiming 34 of the 100 positions, including 16 in the top 50. As well as having four institutions in the top 10 (above), other top universities for nursing in the US include: the University of Michigan (ranked 11th),  the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Yale University (both joint 14th), and the University of Pittsburgh (17th).

Heading north to Canada, the country has nine top nursing schools, six of which are in the top 50. Outside of the University of Toronto in the top 10, other high-ranking institutions for this subject include the University of Alberta (16th), the University of British Columbia (=20th) and McMaster University (=27th).

Top nursing schools in Europe

Of the 100 institutions featured in the nursing school ranking, over a quarter (26) are located within Europe, including 11 in the United Kingdom. Outside the three UK universities in the top 10, three other UK nursing schools feature in the top 50: the University of Edinburgh (29th), Ulster University (37th) and the University of Nottingham (=42nd). 

Another strong European country for nursing is Sweden, which claims five of the world’s top nursing schools, including Karolinska Institutet (=12th). Fellow Nordic nations Denmark and Finland also perform well, with Denmark’s sole entrant Aarhus University in the top 50, while Finland’s two representatives also achieve top 50 positions: the University of Turku and the University of Eastern Finland.

Meanwhile Ireland has four representatives in the ranking, led by Trinity College Dublin at 36th. Elsewhere, Belgium, Spain and Switzerland claim one top nursing school apiece, all ranked 51-100.

Top nursing schools in Asia

Asia is home to 11 of the world’s top universities for nursing, with Hong Kong and Taiwan claiming three representatives each. Two of Hong Kong’s entrants are in the top 50: the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)  (=27th) and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (=30th), and Taiwan’s National Taiwan University (NTU) is also featured in the top 50 (at joint 20th).

Singapore’s sole entrant, the National University of Singapore (NUS), is the highest-ranked university in Asia for nursing, placing 19th this year.

Two more top nursing schools can be found in South Korea, while Japan and Taiwan claim one each – of these, all four institutions are ranked 51-100. 

Top nursing schools in Latin America

Latin America is less prominent in the nursing school ranking, with Brazil the only Latin American country to feature. Brazil’s three top universities for nursing are all ranked 51-100, including the Universidade de São Paulo (USP).

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This article was originally published in March 2017 . It was last updated in March 2020

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Written by

The former Assistant Editor of, Sabrina wrote and edited articles to guide students from around the world on a wide range of topics. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth University and grew up in Staffordshire, UK. 

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