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Washington’s Tri-Cities metropolitan area refers to the combined region of Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland. The area is home to Columbia Basin College in Pasco and Washington State University’s Tri-Cities campus in Richland. Collectively, these nursing schools offer the full array of programs for aspiring certified nursing assistants (CNAs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), and registered nurses (RNs).

Overview of the three key nursing roles
CNAs provide basic bedside care for patients, including assisting them with dressing, bathing, and eating. While LPNs can perform all the duties of a CNA, they are also trained to change bandages, insert catheters, keep medical records, report a patient’s status to RNs and doctors, and discuss care directly with patients. Registered nurses hold the most senior and independent nursing position. RNs administer medication, establish patient care plans, perform diagnostic tests, analyze results, operate medical equipment, and advise patients how best to manage their health conditions.

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Nursing careers in the Tri-Cities
Kadlec Regional Medical Center, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, and Trios Health are several of the top nursing employers in the Tri-Cities metropolitan area. Altogether, the region’s 530 CNAs earn a median annual salary of $26,000. The 210 LPNs working in the area earn approximately $44,800 per year. Registered nurses make up two-thirds of the nursing workforce in Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland, comprising almost 1,600 professionals in total. They receive annual pay in excess of $66,000 on average.

To help the aspiring nurses of the Tri-Cities find the best nursing education programs, we’ve profiled each accredited local nursing school in detail below.

Featured Schools

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Tri-Cities nursing schools by NCLEX score

Columbia Basin College
891 Northgate Drive | Richland, Washington 99352
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 92.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Nursing Assistant Certificate
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Washington State University - Tri-Cities
1266 Lee Boulevard | Richland, Washington 99352
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 87.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • DNP: Family Nurse Practitioner
  • DNP: Population Health
  • DNP: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
  • Graduate Certificate: Nursing Education
  • Graduate Certificate: Nursing Leadership
  • Graduate Certificate: Public Health
  • Master of Nursing in Population Health
  • Post-Master's DNP
  • RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
  • RN-to-MN Degree Completion
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Columbia Basin College Associate's Degree in Nursing 92.8% 2009 to 2018
Nursing Assistant Certificate
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
Washington State University - Tri-Cities Bachelor of Science in Nursing 87.5% 2009 to 2018
DNP: Family Nurse Practitioner
DNP: Population Health
DNP: Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner
Graduate Certificate: Nursing Education
Graduate Certificate: Nursing Leadership
Graduate Certificate: Public Health
Master of Nursing in Population Health
Post-Master's DNP
RN-to-BSN Degree Completion
RN-to-MN Degree Completion