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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. 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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#71: Fortis College - Ravenna | Ravenna, OH
Fortis College operates more than 35 campuses across the country. The college is known for accelerated programs with no wait list, enabling students to graduate and enter the workforce rapidly. The Ravenna campus offers several healthcare programs, including a certificate in licensed practical nursing. A hybrid LPN curriculum is delivered primarily on campus, with several online courses to enhance student flexibility and convenience. Since the program’s inception, graduates have earned a very strong 92% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN national licensure examination. The most recent LPN class also enjoyed an 88% job placement rate, thanks in part to the on-site career services center that Fortis College maintains at all of its campuses, including Ravenna.


#72: Naugatuck Valley Community College | Waterbury, CT
With more than 100 students enrolling annually, the AS degree in registered nursing is one of the five most popular programs at Naugatuck Valley Community College (NVCC). The nursing department is one of six participants in the Connecticut Community College Nursing Program, which provides common curriculum and admissions requirements across institutions. NVCC students have enjoyed success on the NCLEX licensure exam, achieving a 95% average first-time pass rate since 2010. The nursing program has also consistently delivered three-year graduation rates between 73% and 80%, and employment rates in the field between 91% and 100%. All three outcomes are very strong relative to peers. NVCC graduates can pursue further nursing education through CT-CCNP’s articulation agreements with a dozen RN-to-BSN programs and two RN-to-MSN programs.


#73: Great Falls College | Great Falls, MT
Great Falls College is one of six institutions of higher learning in the Montana State University System. The school offers three nursing pathways: a one-year certificate in practical nursing, a two-year AS degree in registered nursing, and an LPN-to-RN bridge program. Admission is very selective, with an intake of just 30 RN candidates and 30 LPN candidates each year. While the ADN program just recently launched, the practical nursing certificate (formerly an AAS degree) has a storied history of success. Highlights include a 97% NCLEX-PN pass rate over the past eight years and a consistent track record of 100% job placement. Nursing students at Great Falls College have access to the largest simulated hospital in Montana, with state-of-the-art high-fidelity patient simulators and computerized patient simulation experiences.


#74: Phillips School of Nursing | New York, NY
An integral part of Mount Sinai Beth Israel hospital in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, the Phillips School of Nursing (PSON) is one of just forty schools deemed a Center of Excellence™ by the National League for Nursing. PSON offers three distinct programs: an accelerated BSN for baccalaureate degree-holders from non-nursing fields, an RN-to-BSN completion program for nurses with an associate’s degree or diploma, and an accelerated AAS degree for academically gifted students who are new to nursing. Each program is designed for completion in just 15 months of fulltime study. The accelerated AAS degree launched in fall 2016 to replace the school’s traditional ADN program, which was known for strong student outcomes. In particular, PSON graduates have passed the NCLEX-RN licensure exam at an 88% clip since 2008, exceeding both state and national averages.


#75: Ohio Valley College of Technology | East Liverpool, OH
Ohio Valley College of Technology trains hundreds of future healthcare professionals each year, with a breadth of program offerings that includes dental assisting, medical assisting, medical office administration, and registered nursing. The school’s ADN program provides direct admittance and requires only 24 months of fulltime study to complete. Students review critical topics like health promotion and maintenance, nursing roles, nursing values, and therapeutic communication. Each spring, a select class of approximately 20 aspiring nurses graduates from the ADN program. These students scored an impressive 100% first-time NCLEX pass rate during the most recent calendar year. They also achieved an exceptional 100% job placement rate in the field.


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

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