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For our inaugural rankings, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac collected data on over 3,200 nursing schools and campuses throughout the United States. We included the following states within our Mid-Atlantic rankings: Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. We evaluated each nursing school in the region on three dimensions:

  • The institution’s academic prestige and perceived value
  • The breadth and depth of nursing programs offered
  • Student success, particularly on the NCLEX national licensure exam

We then combined these assessments into an overall score and ranked the schools accordingly. For a detailed description of our assessment methodology and dimension weights, please see here.

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#41: West Chester University | West Chester, PA
The Department of Nursing at West Chester University offers traditional BSN, second-degree BSN, and RN-to-BSN options at the undergraduate level. The school’s prelicensure students have consistently performed well on the NCLEX exam, passing on the first try at an 89% rate since 2008. West Chester’s graduate nursing programs include a school nurse certification, an MSN program with nursing education and adult-gerontology tracks, and a DNP program for MSN degree-holders. Students benefit from a variety of clinical experiences including acute care, community health, daycare centers, retirement centers, and veterans’ hospitals.


#42: Carlow University | Pittsburgh, PA
Founded in 1948, the Department of Nursing at Carlow University prides itself on innovation, integrating art and science with a “high-touch and high-tech” approach. The school offers a range of undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral nursing programs including a dual-degree MSN-MBA option. Carlow’s BSN students have maintained a strong NCLEX pass rate of 88% over the past four years. During the 2014-2015 academic year, 95.7% of the nursing department’s BSN graduates passed the NCLEX exam on their first attempt, one of the highest pass rates in the region.


#43: Stockton University | Galloway, NJ
Stockton University’s School of Health Sciences offers four nursing programs: a traditional BSN, an RN-to-BSN completion program, an MSN for aspiring adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners (AGPCNPs), and post-master’s certificates for both AGPCNPs and FNPs. During 2015, 94% of the school’s MSN students and 100% of its FNP students passed their respective national certification exams. The undergraduate program demonstrates similar excellence: BSN students have passed the NCLEX licensure exam at a 90% rate over the past three years. Stockton University has an on-campus simulation lab that mimics real-life experiences, with actors playing patients.


#44: Ramapo College of New Jersey | Mahwah, NJ
Ramapo College graduates a class of ~75 BSN students each spring, and these students have excelled on their licensure exams in recent years. In fact, the school achieved an NCLEX pass rate of 92% during 2014 and 2015, far above state and national averages. Ramapo also offers an RN-to-BSN program and an MSN focused on nursing education. The college maintains a clinical partnership with The Valley Hospital, which is designated a magnet hospital by the ANCC. In addition, Ramapo students have access to a well-equipped learning center with two designated computer labs, four patient stations, and a patient simulator.


#45: Daemen College | Amherst, NY
The nursing department at Daemen College partners with local community colleges to deliver an innovative 1+2+1 curriculum. This unique program confers both an ADN and a BSN degree in only four years of study, and it enables students to work as a registered nurse after just their third year. The college also offers a traditional RN-to-BSN bridge, a DNP program, and three MSN tracks in adult-gerontology primary care, nursing executive leadership, and nursing education. Daemen’s nursing department strives to integrate several methods of instruction, including traditional classroom, distance education, hybrid, and online.


#46: Wagner College | Staten Island, NY
In 2012, the Evelyn L. Spiro School of Nursing Accreditation earned a coveted COE designation from the National League for Nursing. The school offers a traditional BSN, second-degree BSN, and RN-to-BSN completion program at the undergraduate level. It also offers MSN tracks for aspiring nurse educators and family nurse practitioners, a post-master’s FNP certificate, and a DNP program. Wagner produces 50-80 new BSN-educated nurses each year, and these graduates have passed the NCLEX exam at a solid 89% rate since 2010. Students learn at the Nursing Resource Center, which has a well-equipped high-fidelity simulation lab and a general skills lab.


#47: UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing | Pittsburgh, PA
Since graduating its first class in 1887, UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing has educated more than 4,000 men and women. The school has been twice recognized as an NLN Center of Excellence™ for its diploma program in registered nursing. Approximately 150 students graduate from the program each spring, posting a solid NCLEX pass rate of 88% since 2008. UPMC Shadyside maintains an 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio in most clinical courses, and the school offers both part-time and full-time study options. Over the past four years, graduates from UPMC Shadyside have achieved an 87% job placement rate.


#48: Gwynedd Mercy University | Gwynedd Valley, PA
GMercyU’s Frances M. Maguire School of Nursing and Health Professions has educated nurses for more than 50 years. The school offers BSN, ABSN, and RN-to-BSN programs for its undergraduates. At the graduate level, GMercyU has an online DNP program, a post-master’s nurse practitioner certificate, and three MSN tracks: adult-gerontology CNS, nurse educator, and nurse practitioner. Nursing students benefit from the university’s 200+ affiliations with regional healthcare facilities, such as Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, Doylestown Hospital, and Abington Memorial Hospital.


#49: Molloy College | Rockville Centre, NY
Molloy College graduates a BSN class of approximately 300 students each spring, the second-largest such cohort in the entire state (after NYU). Molloy students perform well on their licensure exams, maintaining a first-time NCLEX pass rate of 80% since 2012. The college also offers a BSN degree completion program for RNs, as well as a unique dual-degree option that enables students to enroll in both undergraduate and graduate courses simultaneously. At the graduate level, Molloy offers seven distinct MSN tracks, nine post-master’s nursing certificates, and a highly regarded nursing PhD program.


#50: Misericordia University | Dallas, PA
The College of Health Sciences at Misericordia University provides flexibility in its program offerings. The undergraduate division offers a traditional four-year BSN, a part-time evening BSN, a full-time second-degree BSN, and an accelerated RN-to-BSN program. At the graduate level, Misericordia offers an MSN with FNP specialization option, an FNP post-master’s certificate, and an online DNP. The school’s BSN program is the oldest such offering in Northeastern Pennsylvania and the largest discipline within the college. Students from the program have passed the NCLEX exam at a stellar 91% rate over the past five years.


The accredited schools below also offer highly regarded nursing programs in the Mid-Atlantic region.

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