Find a nursing school near you

Programs include LPN/LVN, ADN, BSN, MSN, and more

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. Approximately 1,900 of the institutions surveyed were vocational, career, and community colleges that focus on entry-level prelicensure education. We evaluated each school 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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#51: Chippewa Valley Technical College | Eau Claire, WI
Like many of Wisconsin’s public technical colleges, Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) offers a two-year career ladder program in nursing. CVTC enrolls new nursing cohorts at its Eau Claire and River Falls campuses each August and January. At the conclusion of the first academic year, a student may sit for the NCLEX-PN licensure exam; with a passing score, she has an “exit option” to practice as an LPN. Most students matriculate immediately to the second year of study, which prepares them to pass the NCLEX-RN licensure exam and practice as registered nurses. The school has a track record of strong performance on both tests, with an 86% NCLEX-RN pass rate and a 97% NCLEX-PN pass rate over the past five years. Recent classes have also achieved a 75-80% graduation rate and a phenomenal 98% job placement rate in the industry.

 

#52: North-West College | Los Angeles metro area, CA
Considered a leader in allied health education, North-West College has produced more than 45,000 graduates over the past fifty years. The school offers a licensed vocational nursing program that may be completed at any of its five campus locations. The program prepares students to work in medical offices, clinics, doctor’s offices, HMOs, rehabilitation centers, hospitals, and other healthcare facilities. NCLEX-PN pass rates vary by campus, with the Riverside location leading the pack: this campus has graduated 100 students annually since 2010, while posting an 84% first-time pass rate on the licensure exam. Graduates of North-West College enjoy a job placement rate of 70% or higher across all locations, including an 87% job placement rate for alumni of the Pasadena campus.

 

#53: Riverside College of Health Careers | Newport News, VA
Riverside College of Health Careers offers an AAS degree in professional nursing and a diploma in licensed practical nursing. Both programs feature a traditional day division as well as an evening / weekend division for working students. Through Riverside Medical Group, the school boasts close affiliations with a vast network of hospitals, primary care practices, women’s health practices, and retirement communities. Riverside students perform very well on their licensure tests: since 2010, the school has posted a 91% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam and a 92% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN exam. Recent graduates of the professional nursing program have also enjoyed a 93% job placement rate in the field. Riverside’s concurrent enrollment program with Old Dominion University provides an additional pathway for aspiring RNs who seek a baccalaureate nursing degree.

 

#54: LaGuardia Community College | Long Island City, NY
Founded in 1971, LaGuardia Community College is named after New York City’s New Deal mayor who inspired a generation of immigrants. Located in Queens, the city’s most ethnically diverse borough, students develop a keen awareness of the different cultures they will serve. The college offers a certificate in practical nursing and an AAS degree in registered nursing, with an LPN-to-RN advanced placement option for existing practical nurses. Nursing courses are complemented by campus laboratory experience and clinical practice in local healthcare facilities. Over the past eight years, LaGuardia students have consistently scored well on the NCLEX licensure exams, including an 83% pass rate for aspiring LPNs and an 82% pass rate for aspiring RNs. Graduates can take advantage of the college’s comprehensive transfer agreements with more than 70 four-year colleges.

 

#55: Dryades YMCA School of Commerce | New Orleans, LA
The Dryades YMCA School of Commerce has been an integral part of New Orleans and the greater metropolitan area since 1928. The school’s practical nursing program offers evening classes four days per week in order to accommodate the busy schedules of working adults. Students receive classroom instruction in nursing, biology, and pharmacology, and they develop clinical skills through hands-on experience at local healthcare facilities. Designed in conjunction with hospital and medical partners, the Dryades LPN program places particular emphasis on geriatric care, physical assessment, healthcare plan formulation, medical records documentation, and infection control methods. It is consistently the least expensive practical nursing program of any private institution within a 75-mile radius of New Orleans.

 

#56: West Virginia Junior College | Morgantown, WV
West Virginia Junior College (WVJC) offers a 24-month ADN program at its Morgantown campus and a 12-month LPN program at its Bridgeport campus. Both programs are direct-admittance, saving students valuable time and money by enrolling them immediately in the nursing curriculum. The Morgantown program has both traditional and LPN-to-ADN bridge pathways. ADN students perform well on the NCLEX licensure exam, with an 88% traditional pass rate and a 100% LPN-to-ADN pass rate since 2014. Both figures well exceed the state and national averages. These students also posted a 90%+ job placement rate within six months of graduation. WVJC’s nursing curriculum places particular emphasis on the healthcare needs of the Appalachian community.

 

#57: Colby Community College | Colby, KS
Colby Community College offers an impressive breadth of nursing programs. The school’s core offering is its 1 + 1 nursing curriculum, which enables students to earn an LPN certificate in one year of study or an AAS degree in two years. The college also provides an LPN-to-ADN evening program, an associate of arts (AA) degree with an emphasis in pre-nursing, and individual pre-nursing courses. Colby’s pre-nursing classes lay the groundwork for graduates to pursue a BSN degree at a traditional four-year institution. The core 1 + 1 program boasts strong NCLEX performance for its Level I (LPN) graduates, with an almost 90% pass rate since 2008. Level II (ADN) students have achieved an 86% graduation rate and a 100% job placement rate over the past several years.

 

#58: Eastwick College | Hackensack & Ramsey, NJ
Eastwick College is the first nationally accredited school approved for prelicensure instruction by the New Jersey Board of Nursing. It is also the state’s first private college approved for candidacy by the National League for Nursing. Eastwick offers a traditional 18-month LPN diploma program at its Hackensack and Ramsey campuses, with an emphases on vital skills like physical assessment, wound care, intravenous therapy, and medication administration. The Hackensack campus also features a bilingual LPN track with 600 hours of English as a second language (ESL) training, to ensure that students master the necessary medical terminology. In total, Eastwick College graduates 100-150 new LPNs annually. The school has maintained strong NCLEX pass rates across all campuses and programs, including Hackensack (83% since 2013), Ramsey (88%), and bilingual (86%).

 

#59: Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology | Mount Braddock, PA
Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology (PIHT) has served students and employers in southwestern Pennsylvania for more than 25 years. The school offers a direct-admittance LPN program that may be completed in just 12 months. The LPN curriculum prepares graduates to take the NCLEX-PN licensure exam and to work in a wide range of healthcare environments, including doctor’s offices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, clinics, nursing homes, and community or home-health agencies. Since the program’s inception, approximately 100 LPN students have sat for the NCLEX exam, with a stellar 92.4% pass rate. Recent graduating classes have also achieved an 88% job placement rate. PIHT offers a dozen partial scholarships, covering up to 25% of tuition for qualified applicants. Alumni are also eligible to receive brush-up training to upgrade their skills at no cost.

 

#60: Manhattan Area Technical College | Manhattan, KS
Manhattan Tech is one of just 150 community and technical colleges recently recognized for excellence by the Aspen Institute. The college offers a fast-paced practical nursing certificate program that can be completed in just nine months of study. Students have performed exceedingly well on the NCLEX-PN national licensure examination, posting a 97% first-time pass rate since 2008. Upon graduation, they can choose to enter the workforce as LPNs or to enroll directly in Manhattan Tech’s LPN-to-ADN bridge program; indeed, LPN students who maintain a 3.0 GPA have a seat reserved in the bridge program. ADN graduates also boast very strong outcomes, including a 91% NCLEX-RN pass rate since 2008 and several years of 98%+ job placement.

 

The accredited schools below also offer highly regarded nursing programs. Many of them are taught online.

Featured Schools

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