Nursing Degrees & Schools / Best Schools Montana
Home to the Rocky Mountains, Montana boasts some of the most distinguished nursing colleges. The state is one of 39 states who belong to the Nurse Licensure Compact, allowing the nurses of Montana to work across all those states with multi-state licenses.
Choosing the perfect nursing program and school depends on various interrelated factors. Be it accelerated programs or bridge programs; the right school can really kickstart your career as a nurse in the ever-changing medical field.
However, all the considerations and plethora of choices made are enough to make the process a daunting task – whether you are an aspiring nursing student or an experienced practicing nurse. With our comprehensive list of the best nursing schools in Montana, you can earn a stellar academic certificate and, later on, a well-suited job with a deserving RN salary.
Montana’s top nursing programs:
1. Montana Technological University– Score: 72.50
NCLEX Pass Rate: 96.88%
In-State Annual Tuition: $7,580
Out-of-State Annual Tuition: $23,210
According to US News, Montana Technological University has ranked #35 among regional universities in the west. Located in Butte, the university offers two nursing courses—BSN and RN to BSN. Montana Tech is one of the only two nursing programs in Montana to offer a pre-licensure Bachelor of Science in Nursing course—a 4-year program designed for students without a prior nursing education, experience or a state nursing license. Further, the B.S. in Nursing Post-Licensure program is an online course.
Montana Technological University offers the following nursing courses:
- RN to BSN
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2. Montana State University– Score: 67.50
NCLEX Pass Rate: 76.19%
In-State Annual Tuition: $7,726
Out-of-State Annual Tuition: $29,804
The largest research entity in Montana, Montana State University has been recognized by Forbes’ list of America’s Top Colleges.
The university offers 5 graduate, post-graduate, and certificate nursing programs. The Doctor in Nursing program has two specialty areas to choose from – Family Nurse Practitioner or Psychiatric or Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Besides advanced clinical skills, the MSN degree program focuses on instilling leadership qualities in budding nurses.
The nursing programs offered by Montana State University are as follows:
- Certificate of Nursing Education
3. Carroll College– Score: 57.50
NCLEX Pass Rate: 95.35%
In-State Annual Tuition: $37,828
Out-of-State Annual Tuition: $37,828
Ranked #1 among the regional colleges in the west by US News, Carroll College has proven itself to be an eminent institution for preparing skilled and dedicated nurses. Carroll’s Wiegand Nursing Simulation Center is among the best nurse training facilities in the region. The college offers one BSN course and the best available equipment as well as high-fidelity patient simulators for an all-around practical experience. The college boasts a graduation rate of 70%.
4. University of Providence– Score: 52.50
NCLEX Pass Rate: 86.36%
In-State Annual Tuition: $27,256
Out-of-State Annual Tuition: $27,256
Ranked #23 among the regional colleges in the west by US News, the University of Providence offers three graduate and postgraduate nursing courses—BSN, RN to BSN and MSN. The university has a 14:1 student-faculty ratio, allowing personalized care for the students. 96% of students at the University of Providence get financial aid that is either merit-based or a need-based federal loan, scholarship or job. Apart from financial aid, here are a few benefits students enrolled in their program can enjoy—opportunities in the industry owing to their connections in the health system and career advancement.
In 2020, the University saw a graduation rate of 94% for their BSN course as opposed to the national pass-rate of 87.5%.
The nursing courses provided by the University of Providence include:
- RN to BSN
How to choose the right nursing program
A career in nursing is not singular anymore; it involves several pathways. Likewise, you need to keep track of several factors while choosing the perfect nursing college for yourself. Thorough research on aspects such as the location of the college, mode of learning, affordability, and credibility will help you choose the right school. Below are the critical factors to consider before you settle on a college to study nursing.
Whether you are an aspiring nurse or a practicing one looking for an academic upgrade, ease of commute should be considered. Especially for practicing nurses, the distance between college and clinic should be manageable to balance study and work efficiently. If you have a hectic work schedule, look for colleges that offer online or hybrid programs.
Besides the commute, other key location-related factors to consider are whether it is situated in a rural or urban area and if it’s in a family-friendly location.
No matter how ambitious you are with your career, affordability is a primary concern for the majority of the students. Be clear about your budget and look at the different in-state and out-of-state tuition fees that different colleges offer.
To make higher studies more accessible, most nursing schools nowadays offer scholarships, work-study, and other financial aid. Many nursing students also opt for federal loans through FAFSA. If you are a qualified nurse, you may already have student debt. In such cases, applying for student loan forgiveness is also a good option.
NCLEX pass rate
Passing the NCLEX test is a primary condition for becoming a licensed nurse, so pay attention to the NCLEX pass rate of different nursing schools. This is also a reflection of the college’s credibility as a nursing academic institution as well as its efficiency in providing the necessary tools and resources for preparation.
Different individuals in the field of nursing have different academic needs. While recent high school graduates should look for a good BSN program, a practicing nurse looking to advance their career should opt for a college providing advanced certificate courses. Align your choices with your goal of professional development as a nurse.
Want to predict a college’s track record? Find out its graduation rate. Researching how many students graduated and how long it takes them to complete the course will give you an idea of how the college performs when it comes to academics.
However, it may not hold much value to some since less than 60% of students have earned their bachelor’s degree even 6 years after enrolling for the program. This is due to changing college models where students aren’t only in the 18-24 years age group anymore. Older students manage families, jobs, and college which may contribute to wavering graduation rates across colleges. Let’s also not forget about the changes in the economy that affects people’s ability to complete college in 4 years.
For a successful career in nursing, choosing the right school is the first and the most important step. But among the sea of choices, the whole process can be very confusing. With Incredible Health’s comprehensive guides and resources, you can easily find suitable colleges to apply to.
However, the real journey starts after you graduate from nursing college. Does looking for nursing jobs seem like a daunting task? We have got you covered! Incredible Health’s guides on things like license requirements, free CEUs, and job opportunities will help you navigate your nursing career with ease. Moreover, the extensive Q&A and advice from experienced nurses on our platform will give you the edge over other candidates.
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In order to determine the best nursing schools in a state, Incredible Health compared the top schools among five categories: graduation rate, tuition, NCLEX pass rate, accreditation, and the number of nursing programs offered.
Each metric was scored on a 100-point scale, with 100 representing the highest total for that category. Then we compiled the individual scores to get an overall score.
We used data from:
- University webpages
- Montana Board of Nursing
- U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard
- American Association of Colleges of Nursing
- Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
- U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges Rankings
- “Carroll College.” carroll.edu. Accessed on July 26, 2022
- “Carroll College.” usnews.com. Accessed on July 26, 2022
- “Montana State University.” montana.edu. Accessed on July 26, 2022
- “Montana Technological University.” mtech.edu. Accessed on July 26, 2022
- “Montana Technological University.” usnews.com. Accessed on July 26, 2022
- “University of Providence.” uprovidence.edu. Accessed on July 26, 2022
- “University of Providence.” usnews.com. Accessed on July 26, 2022