Chamberlain College of Nursing Review

Chamberlain College of Nursing is a private college that was founded in 1889. It offers primarily online nursing degrees that include both bachelor’s of science, master of science in nursing, and a doctor of nursing practice.

Favorite Features

Nursing programs are accredited by the CCNE

One of the most important parts of earning a college degree is ensuring that the education you are paying for is of very high quality. You want to ensure that you are learning things that will provide you with the skills you need to succeed in your profession. Also, you want your degree to be recognized by employers as a ‘serious’ degree so that they can be confident you have the skills required to do the job.

In the field of nursing, the gold standard for nursing program accreditation is the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education or CCNE. This Commission is recognized by the US Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency.

CCNE is know for ensuring the integrity and quality of bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and residency programs in nursing.

The CCNE is administered by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing or AACN, which is the national association dedicated to the education of nurses from the bachelor’s to doctoral levels.

Chamberlain offers a 3 year BSN

Most bachelor of science degrees in nursing take four years to complete. However, Chamberlain is unusual in that it offers a fully online program that allows you to earn your BSN in only three years. This involves foregoing summers off, but it allows you to enter the workforce a full year early.

The bachelor’s program online benefits from small class sizes with only a 23:1 student-faculty ratio in the classroom. It also has only a 9 to one student-faculty ratio during the clinical sessions.

Tuition costs are low for master’s program

The tuition per credit hour for the MSN program is a very reasonable $665 per credit hour. This means that you could conceivably earn your master’s degree for approximately $30,000. Nurses with a master’s degree can easily earn $90,000 to $100,000 or more as a family nurse practitioner. Thus this is quite a good value for a graduate education.

Many scholarships are available for undergraduate and graduate students

The Chamberlain College of Nursing has many scholarships available for both bachelor’s and master’s students. For example, the school offers the Working Parent Grant, which is for current RNs with dependent children who want to earn their MSN in an indirect care concentration, such as executive, educator, healthcare policy or informatics. This scholarship is for up to 15% of tuition pricing, up to $3480.

Another master’s scholarship option is the Clinical Educator Scholarship. This is a scholarship for RNs who have clinical experience and want to be educators in nursing in either a school or hospital. This scholarship is for $580 per semester, or $1160 per year up to $3480.

For undergraduates, you can get the New RN Grant. This is a program who is in the RN to BSN online option who has gotten their RN license in the last 60 months. The scholarship offers a 10% savings on tuition up to $2655.

With all of the scholarships that are available, it is very possible to substantially reduce the amount of tuition you pay. This is especially noteworthy for experienced nurses who are earning a graduate degree.

Fully online doctor of nursing practice degree is available

Chamberlain College of Nursing is one of the few schools to offer a fully online DNP degree. It features a high level of faculty support for all doctoral students, including from your first course all through our project and practicum at the end of your degree program.

The required practicum experience in the DNP program consists of four parts and allows you to complete an entirely customized project based upon your experience in your area of practice.

According to the program website, the DNP curriculum is based upon the eight key areas that are outlined in the AACN document, The Essentials of Doctoral Education for Advanced Nursing Practice.

Also, input from vital stakeholders in the nursing field have been incorporated into the DNP program. These include the Institute of Medicine, Quality and Safety Education for Nurses, and other national efforts that are focused on change and transformation to improve patient safety and clinical care.

Least Favorite Features

Very high acceptance rate

US News and World Report states that the nursing graduate school accepts 96% of the students who apply. For the most recent year, for example, there were 6740 applicants and 6490 accepted. It is unusual for schools to accept almost everyone who applies.

Some experts claim that one of the ways to gauge the quality of a program is how selective it is. The theory goes that if the school accepts almost everyone who applies, then the quality of the program may be less than what one might see in a more selective school.

BSN requires substantial on campus participation

The clinical aspects of your classes for the BSN program are completed on campus. This is not convenient for many students. It is important to know that the only programs that can be mostly or entirely done online are the master of science and doctoral programs.

Low standards of admission

US News and World Report also states that students do not need to supply letters of recommendation to be admitted into the graduate nursing program. There also is no application essay required. From what the magazine states on its website, the major criteria for admission into Chamberlain is your undergraduate GPA.

With such lenient admission standards, it is reasonable to question just how rigorous the nursing program is.

Unranked by US News and World Report

This school is not ranked by US News and World Report; their profile on the college only contains limited information about the programs offered. There are no rankings of any of its programs.

The college also is not ranked by any other national organization. While it is accredited by the CCNE, the fact that there are no independent, third parties recognizing its program quality is a concern.

The Details

General Information

  • Founded in 1889
  • Application deadline: Rolling
  • Application fee: $50
  • School type: Private
  • Term Schedule: Semester
  • Location: Downers Grove, Illinois
  • 7% of classes have fewer than 20 student
  • 18:1 student-faculty ratio

Tuition Rates (Per Credit)

  • $665 in state and out of state

Business Degrees

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Master of Science in Nursing
  • RN to BSN
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice


Class Profile

  • 905 total undergraduate enrollment
  • 89% female, 11% male
  • 10,366 total online graduate nursing enrollment

Graduation and Retention Rates

  • 77% of undergraduates return for their sophomore year, which is higher than the national average of 70.9%.
  • 20% of students graduate within two or four years, which is among the worst in the country.
  • 80% of students failed to graduate within 150% of the expected time. Many students transfer to other schools.

US News Rankings

  • This college is not ranked by US News and World Report