15 Best Trade Schools for Nursing in 2025 | Apply Now

The nursing school you select and the study plan will affect your future job if you wish to become a registered nurse (RN). With so many options, how do you choose the best trade schools for nursing in 2025?

 In this guide, let’s explore the best nursing programs and steps that help students find a nursing school that matches their schedule, budget, and goals.

Before choosing a nursing school, prospective students must determine the type of nurse they would like to become, whether licensed as a practicing nurse, a certified nurse assistant, a registered nurse, or a nurse. Each meets different educational requirements.

What Is a Trade School?

A trade or vocational school is a specialized educational institution focused on a single skill-based vocation.

Also, a trade school, usually a technical school, is an institution of higher learning created to prepare students for a particular vocation in a skilled professional career.

Most significantly, a trade school gives students practical training to prepare them for jobs in their sector of choice. Unlike 2-year or 4-year schools that often need general education classes like English or Biology, trade school programs are entirely focused on relevant career training.

See: Full List of Top Nursing Certifications In 2025

Why Go To Trade Schools for Nursing?

Nursing school programs prepare students to become nurses. They are offered through community and four-year colleges that lead to several types of degrees, including licensed general practice nursing and licensed professional nurse certification.

Trade school programs are also offered through the same institutions and private educational and public institutions. Trade schools prepare students for the workforce with skills taught in a specific field for specific jobs.

What is the Cost of Trade Schools for Nursing?

BSN programs offered at trade schools and public colleges are much cheaper. Tuition and tuition fees at these faculties can range from $3,000 to about $ 4,000 per year.

A bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) costs from $40,000 to more than $100,000 annually in private institutions and large universities. This degree usually takes four years.

Application Requirements for Nursing Schools

Here are the things you need to bring to begin your application to a nursing school:

  • Official transcript from high school and other college-level coursework
  •  Admission application
  •  Application fee
  •  Personal essay or statement letter
  •  Letters of recommendation
  •  Standardized test scores
  •  Volunteer experience
  •  Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), if applicable

What is the Quickest Way You Can Become a Nurse?

Below are the best ways to become a nurse fast:

ADN Avenue

The quickest path to a registered nurse job is to earn an Associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), especially when you have your eyes focused on the coveted position of RN without any detours along the way.

You might not be aware that an RN title can be obtained with either an Associate’s degree or a Bachelor’s degree if you are inexperienced in the sector. You might start your registered nursing profession in as little as 18 months if you choose to pursue your ADN.

LPN Lane

The Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) path is the quickest method to become a nurse if you’re eager to start.

You may finish a Practical Nursing degree and be well-headed to begin a nursing profession in as little as 12 months, even though you wouldn’t be an RN. With this strategy, you might start collecting experience while having the possibility to strive toward RN certification subsequently.

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A-BSN

Another fast-track option for nursing is a BSN second degree program for people who already have a bachelor’s degree and want to switch to nursing.

If you fall into this group, an Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (A-BSN) degree is the best option, even if your undergraduate degree is unrelated to nursing.

This option could make it possible for you to switch occupations quickly and become an RN in as little as 18 months.

How to Get Into a School of Nursing

Here is how you can quickly get into a nursing school:

Either complete high school or obtain a GED.

You must have obtained your GED or have completed your high school diploma to be admitted to a nursing degree program. This initial step is necessary regardless of the type of nursing program you intend to apply to (BSN or ADN).

Meet all the nursing school requirements

Every school has particular necessary courses, regardless of whether you’re applying for an ADN or BSN nursing degree. High school courses often serve as the groundwork for more advanced, college-level courses.

Requirements for nursing schools

  • One year of biology in high school with a C or above
  •  One year of chemistry in high school with a C or above
  •  A C or above in two years of college-preparatory math
  •  ADN program GPA of 2.75 or above, or
  •  TEAS vs. SATs (Test of Essential Academic Skills)
  •  3.0 GPA or above for the BSN program

Research the different nursing programs

Choosing the type of nursing program in which you are interested is critical.

Plan out your financing for nursing school.

Education costs a lot. The cost of nursing programs is high. Most students need financial help, so discussing your choices with a financial assistance representative at the university or community college is crucial.

Although not everyone will be eligible for every sort of aid, federal loans, grants, and scholarships help many students make the expense of nursing school more reasonable.

Fill out the application.

Each nursing program’s entrance materials and required information will vary. The Common Application, often known as the Universal College Application, is accepted by universities. Consult an admissions counselor before using one of these forms; it will likely save you time and money.

Apply early

An early application demonstrates the applicant’s dedication to the program and enthusiasm for admission. Additionally, submitting your application early gives the admissions staff time to contact you if more information is required.

Some prestigious universities offer rolling admission, while others provide early admission to the nursing program.

Given how competitive nursing programs are, we advise submitting applications to several. If accepted into several programs, you can choose the nursing school that best suits your academic and financial needs.

Prepare for your admission interview.

The candidate has the opportunity to market themselves during the interview. The nursing program committee members are interested in learning why a student would make a good nurse and serve as a good ambassador for the program.

Essential things to keep in mind while preparing for your interviews

  • Keep up with news on health issues today
  •  Learn the basics about the university and the nursing program.
  •  Practice interviews to get ready.
  •  Don’t exaggerate, deflect questions, or lie during the interview.

Await your acceptance letters.

This is the most challenging step in the application procedure. You have done your research, applied, and are now just waiting. While some nursing programs provide rolling admissions, others offer acceptance or rejection at predetermined intervals.

Also, see: 10 Best Trade Schools For Dental Hygienist In 2025

Best Trade Schools for Nursing

Here are our top picks for the best trade schools for nursing:

  1. Riverside City College
  2. Coastal Pines Technical College (Waycross, GA)
  3. Rio Hondo College (CA)
  4. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College (GA)
  5. City College of San Francisco (CA)
  6. West Kentucky Community and Technical College (Kentucky)
  7. Olney Central College (Illinois)
  8. Oconee Fall Line Technical College
  9. Georgia Northwestern Technical College
  10. West Georgia Technical College
  11. South Georgia Technical College
  12. Long Beach City College
  13. Pasadena City College
  14. Sacramento City College
  15. Santa Rosa Junior College

1. Riverside City College

Located in Riverside, this public school offers a full-time professional nursing certification program that can be finished in a year. The school accepts 40 to 60 students each fall semester; ineligible persons may re-apply next year.

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Applicants must complete the prerequisite courses and meet all the requirements for admission to this program.  

LVNs interested in becoming RNs can obtain a nursing degree by completing the certificate requirements and general education and elective courses to meet the 60-degree degree requirement.

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2. Coastal Pines Technical College (Waycross, GA) 

Coastal Pines Technical College, which enrolls over 3,400 students each semester and has a convenient student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1, has the highest graduation percentage of any of the institutions, making it one of the best trade schools for nursing.

For those who meet the requirements, this university in southeastern Georgia offers affordable tuition for its nursing programs.

A one-semester nursing aide certificate, an LPN certification, or a complete Associate of Science in Nursing (A.S.N.) degree are all options for students at this school. Evening and weekend general education core classes are available for all three degrees, and specific courses could be provided online.

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3. Rio Hondo College (CA)

After taking the prerequisite courses, students can finish the professional nursing program at Rio Hondo College in Whittier in two semesters.

The program prepares students to work in various medical settings, including medical offices, hospitals, and surgical centers. The college studies include nursing/surgery, cardiovascular and respiratory issues, maternal and pediatric care, cancer care, and pharmacology.

Students must complete prior courses, meet health and immunization requirements, and be CPR-certified.  

Before a student can begin the clinical part of the program, criminal background checks and drug tests are required. Once a student completes the program, they will receive a career certificate and be able to pass NCLEX to obtain a license as an LVN.

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4. Wiregrass Georgia Technical College (GA)

Wiregrass Georgia College of Technology has one of the five lowest average net prices nationwide. It is also one of the best trade schools for nursing.

Nursing Programs at WGTC: Several nursing programs are offered here.

Two associate degree plans are designed to prepare students for the National Council of Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) license, an associate specialist in nursing, and the LPN-ASN liaison program. Certificate and diploma programs are also available.

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5. City College of San Francisco (CA)

The San Francisco City College of San Francisco offers a three-semester professional nurse program that requires 44.5 units to complete. The program is open to high school graduates (or equivalents) who are in good health and eligible for admission.

Each applicant must attend an orientation program and take prerequisite courses for the past five years. 

Students take courses in children’s growth and development, nutrition, and pharmacology.

They learn about different areas of nursing, such as mental health, pediatrics, motherhood, and medical/surgical.  

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6. West Kentucky Community and Technical College (Kentucky)

The West Kentucky Community and Technical College might be a fantastic option for individuals who love the camaraderie of studying with a sizable group of nursing students.

The biggest cohort of nurses of all the institutions on our list is represented by the over 400 nurses and certificates granted here in 2025—roughly one-sixth of all graduates.

The WKCTC Nursing Assistant Program offers three credential options: Medicaid Nurse Aide, Kentucky Medication Aide, and Advanced Nursing Assistant (ANA) (MNA).

Nursing students with LPN experience can complete their studies in one year thanks to the LPN-RN Accelerated Course.

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7. Olney Central College (Illinois)

Student and graduate success rates were outstanding for this Eastern Community Colleges of Illinois school.

Only one other institution on our list recorded a greater retention percentage for first-year students, and Olney Central College graduates rank 93rd nationwide. Within six years of graduation, almost 83% of graduates had jobs.

OCC Nursing Programs: The OCC Junior Nursing Diploma requires 72 credits and gives qualified students with transfer access to higher work. Two regular semesters and one summer semester are offered for the 44-credit Certificate of Practical Nursing.

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8. Oconee Fall Line Technical College

The average net price at Oconee Fall Line Technical College should please students who aim to maximize the value of every dollar they spend on a college education.

The out-of-pocket costs in this small institution, which has about 1,400 students, gave it the most affordable net price in the country.

The path to a degree in nursing at OFTC requires students to obtain an LPN license or paramedic certification before gaining permission to enroll.

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Full-time students can expect to complete the ADN Bridge program in six semesters. The diploma of practical nurses consists of 60 credit hours of coursework.

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9. Georgia Northwestern Technical College

The Northwestern Technical College of Georgia fully demonstrates the flexibility of distance education for nursing students.

LPN is the institution on our list with the highest percentage of online enrollment (54%) thanks to its bachelor’s degree program, which allows students to complete at least half of their credits online.

The transition program here comprises at least 62 credit hours and includes courses in lifelong care, dosing calculation, and care for foster families. 

Standard A.S.N plan and practical diploma are also available.

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10. West Georgia Technical College

A college-level curriculum’s worth may be measured partly by how well graduates perform in the workforce, and West Georgia Technical College has established reliable benchmarks in this area.

Just under six years after beginning first grade, more than 84% of pupils who enrolled in the Waco, Georgia, school graduated and secured profitable employment.

Under the 70 WGTC Diploma Level Credit Plan, beginning registered nurses can get training for the NCLEX-RN. There is a certificate of assistant nursing program and a diploma program for individuals who wish to start their profession as an LPN.

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You May Also Want to See: 15 Best Trade Schools for Adults in 2025 | Apply Now

11. South Georgia Technical College

The Nurse Certificate provides general health information and teaches students nutrition, medical terminology, and the basics of nursing. The Diploma of Practical Nursing contains several clinical sections and teaches nursing surgeons, maternity care, nursing guidance, and more.

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12. Long Beach City College

Long Beach City College in Long Beach offers a professional nursing program that can be completed in less than three semesters.

At the beginning of each week, students select a patient, medical diagnosis, medication, and research and focus on that patient throughout the week, learning through lectures, clinical experience, and laboratory research.

Before beginning clinical trials, students must present evidence of criminal background, medical examinations, current vaccinations, and a CPR certificate from the American Health Association. Students who are CNAs (Certified Assistant Nurses) have already completed one of the prerequisites of the program.

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13. Pasadena City College

One year is required to finish the three-semester professional nursing program at Pasadena City College. Students must attend classes over the summer as part of the program, which starts each fall.

Nursing laboratory techniques, medication, and patient care are all covered in the core courses. Theoretical study, lab research, and clinical application are all included in the curriculum. Each theoretical course runs concurrently with a seminar and a lab course.

In addition to completing the required courses, the applicant must have CPR certification from the American Heart Association. The college also has a career ladder option for current LVNs who want to become RNs (registered nurses).

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14. Sacramento City College

A career certificate program can be completed faster than a degree program and includes courses in intravenous therapy, medication, and care plans.

Students interested in completing a professional nursing program and becoming qualified as professional nurses must also satisfy the general education requirements and take enough electives to meet the minimum requirement of 60 credit units for a degree.

To be eligible for this program, applicants must take the following prerequisite courses: anatomy and physiology, English, human development: life expectancy, nutrition, and medical language for health professionals. 

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15. Santa Rosa Junior College

Santa Rosa College has helped more than 1,000 students achieve their goals of becoming nurses. 

The three-semester program provides students with a curriculum for didactic (classroom/laboratory) and clinical practice.

Although students attend classes during the day (usually four days a week), clinical rotation can occur during the day, in the evenings, or on weekends. The college also offers a ladder option for LVNs who wish to become an RN.

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FAQs – Trade Schools for Nursing

What is the closest degree to nursing?

Medical assistants, like nurses, support physicians and nurses in various healthcare facilities, including clinics, hospitals, and doctor’s offices. Medical assistants frequently do clinical and administrative tasks in a hospital context.

What is the age limit for nursing?

35 years

What grades are needed for nursing?

While many associate’s degrees demand at least a 2.5, CNA and LPN programs may not require a minimum GPA requirement. A 3.0 GPA or above is frequently required by colleges and universities that grant bachelors and graduate degrees. Your GPA will be needed to be greater if you want to enroll in a renowned program and get an advanced degree.

How long is nurse training?

The duration of authorized full-time nursing degree programs is three years (or four years if a dual-field degree is pursued). However, it can be longer if completed on a part-time basis. For graduates, accelerated courses last two years.

Conclusion

The global population is aging. The need for nurses to care for the elderly is increasing as the population of the elderly rises. To save the day, the best nursing trade school steps in.

Even though no one can foresee the future, it is safe to assume that aging is a trend that will remain relevant. Enrolling in nursing programs at this time is ideal. 

References

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