Clarkson College Review

The online graduate nursing degrees at Clarkson College include highly sought after specialities for nurse practitioners and nurse anesthesia. An affordable cost of attendance combined with a high-quality online curriculum makes the program one of the most distinguished in the field.

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The Good

Nurse anesthesia and four other areas of emphasis

Clarkson College offers a total of five areas of emphasis for the online master’s degree in nursing, including nurse anesthesia which is not available at most other nursing programs. Other speciality areas include family nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, nursing education, and nursing healthcare administration. The nurse practitioner specialities require three on-campus sessions, while the coursework for the nursing education and nursing administration specialities are entirely online. The courses for the nurse anesthesia option are not entirely online as you are required to take five practicum courses and three lab courses for such a highly specialized area.

Low application fee and average tuition

The costs associated with the online nursing program at Clarkson College are more budget friendly than other similar schools. The application fee is $35, which is low compared to the $50-$75 charged at most other schools. Additionally, the tuition costs per credit hour fall within the exact, average going rate for an online nursing degree. The most expensive nursing degrees options at Clarkson College include the nurse anesthesia program and the doctorate of nursing program, but even the rates for these meet the average cost that you will find at other comparable programs. The only way you could potentially find a lower tuition estimate for an online nursing degree is if you qualified for in-state tuition with a state school.

Doctor of Nursing Practice degree

A doctorate of nursing practice, or DNP, degree is available almost entirely online at Clarkson College. Your coursework consists of 39 credit hours which can be completed in as little as seven semesters, but you have up to seven years to fully complete. The program also requires that you complete 1,000 clinical hours, but if you attended the school’s MSN program, your hours from that program can count towards your total. Your final component for degree completion is a dissertation and a residency experience.

Easy application process

The online application for Clarkson College is easy to find and easy to complete. You’ll fill out a one-screen application that asks about your previous education experience and other relevant personal information. You’re also given the option to email, mail, or fax any supporting documents. If you’d prefer to apply by mail, you can simply download an application, fill it out, and send it to the school with the necessary documents. As you research other programs, you’ll appreciate the application process at Clarkson as many similar programs don’t provide the same level of simplicity and flexibility.

RN to MSN degree option

There is a degree plan for registered nurses (RN) who hold a bachelor’s degree in a field outside of nursing, but want to earn a bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) and then continue on to earn a master’s of science in nursing (MSN). If you enroll in the RN to BSN degree program at Clarkson College, you can automatically progress into the MSN program without having to apply, but you do have the option to stop at the bachelor’s level. Not every online nursing program offers an alternative degree plan like this, and fewer award both bachelor’s and master’s diplomas at the end of the program.

The Bad

Most degree options require offline components

The majority of online nursing degree options at Clarkson College require on-campus sessions which will means extra time and travel on your part. The nurse practitioner specialities require three two-day sessions at the school’s Omaha, Nebraska main campus. The nurse anesthesia speciality requires you to take some courses on-campus, as the entire curriculum is not available online. Also, the DNP program requires a residency experience, but the programs coursework is available entirely online. In the field of nursing it is understandable that many on-site or on-campus components are needed in order for student to demonstrate competencies, and if you are looking for an entirely online degree, your choices in nursing may be limited.

State by state availability is limited

Online degree programs at Clarkson College are not available in every state due to education regulations, so you will want to check the status of your own home state before applying. Currently, there is limited availability of online programs in Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Tennessee, and Washington. Additionally, the school is not able to accept applicants to the online program who reside in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Minnesota, Virginia, or Wisconsin. If you live in any other state in the U.S. you should have no problems enrolling in an online degree program or fulfilling your locally based on-site clinic components to the program.

The Details

General Information

  • Academic Year Founded: 1999-2000
  • Application Deadline: July 1
  • Application Fee: $35
  • Location: NE
  • Number of Graduate Nursing Programs: 4
  • Region: Northeast
  • School Type: Private
  • Term Schedule: Semester

Tuition Rates (per Credit)

  • In-State: $497
  • Out-of-State: $497


  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • Doctorate of Nursing Practice
  • Doctor in Health Care Education and Leadership (Ed.D)


  • Family Nurse Practitioner
  • Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner
  • Nursing Education
  • Nursing Health Care Administration
  • Nurse Anesthesia


  • Post-MSN Nurse Practitioner

Class Profile

  • Acceptance Rate: 54%
  • Average Student Age: 32
  • Average Undergraduate GPA: 3.50
  • Gender Ratio: 92.4% female, 7.6% male
  • Maximum Class Size: 20
  • Total Enrollment: 448


  • Average Online Teaching Experience: 7 Years
  • Full-Time Instructional Faculty: 6
  • Part-Time Instructional Faculty: 21

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2009): 82%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2010): 89%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2011): 89%
  • 1 Year New Student Retention Rate (2013): 88%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2009-2010): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2010-2011): N/A
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2011-2012): 82%
  • Graduation Rate Within 3 Years (2012-2013): 89%

U.S. News Rankings

  • Admissions Selectivity Rank: 7
  • Admissions Selectivity Score: 93/100
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Rank: 50
  • Faculty Credentials and Training Score: 80/100
  • Student Engagement Rank: 7
  • Student Engagement Score: 87/100
  • Student Services and Technology Rank: 16
  • Student Services and Technology Score: 66/100

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