As of 2015, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Washington are ranked by CollegeAtlas.org as the top American nursing schools. These rankings are based on side-by-side comparisons of methodology-driven university rankings by publications including U.S. News & World Report and Princeton Review.
In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked the graduate nursing programs at the University of Pennsylvania, Johns Hopkins University and University of California, San Francisco, as the best in the United States. The Guardian ranked the University of Edinburgh, University of Liverpool and University of Portsmouth as the United Kingdom's top nursing schools, also in 2015. The Times Higher Education's rankings of clinical, pre-clinical and health programs around the world identified the University of Oxford, Harvard University and the University of Cambridge as the top three for 2014-2015, taking into account teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. In terms of affordability, academic quality, accessibility and NCLEX-RN board exam pass rates, CollegeAtlas ranked the nursing programs at the University of Missouri, Columbia, University of Utah and University of Iowa as the best based on 2013-2014 data.
The most important indicator in the evaluation of nursing programs is accreditation status. Accreditation ensures that quality standards are met.