So you want to be a nurse? That’s great! You’ll have to study up and get certified as the first few steps on the exciting journey to come. That’s where a nursing program comes in.

We’ve compiled a list of the best places to complete your training. Here’s a list of 10 of the top programs in the United States, in no particular order.

1. Columbia University—New York City

If you want to go the traditional four-year undergraduate work, and you’re lucky enough to get into an Ivy League school, Columbia will give you a walloping good education—and not just as a nurse. All undergraduates have to complete a thorough core curriculum, and there are numerous opportunities for competitive internships. As a nursing student, you’ll be given plenty of opportunities to get the practical experience you’ll need for your first job.

2. Duke University—Durham, N.C.

Duke’s nursing program is part of Duke University Medical Center in the middle of an area known as the Research Triangle—where there are more PhDs per square foot than most places in the world! The nursing school offers several different programs, including MS in Nursing, ABSN, and post-doctoral fellowships. And nurses are in high demand in North Carolina, where at least an Associate’s degree is required.

3. Azusa Pacific University—Azusa, Calif.

This is a Christian college in sunny California that offers a diverse, mid-sized student body, and where nursing is the most popular major. Graduates of Azusa who go into nursing earn an average salary of $67,000 per year.

4. UCLA—Los Angeles

The UCLA BA in nursing is one of the most competitive fields on campus, so be sure to have your ducks in a row. Though if you’re lucky enough to graduate, you can expect to earn an average of $65,000 per year. They also offer master’s and PhD programs in nursing.

5. Villanova University—Villanova, Penn.

Get experience with nursing in the big city, while living and studying in the leafy suburbs. The nursing program’s graduates boast an average annual salary of about $63,000, with an 86% on-time graduation rate.

6. Johns Hopkins University—Baltimore

This university has a very strong reputation where the medical field is concerned. There’s a world-renowned faculty, plus the opportunity to pursue advanced degrees. You’ll have a great boost to start your nursing career, and your starting salary will average between $56,000…