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Registered nurses (RNs) form the largest group of nursing professionals in the state of Washington. Over half of the state’s 53,000 RNs work in the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area, with smaller numbers in other major cities like Spokane and Olympia.

Overview of Washington’s RN programs
Washington has approximately 40 state-approved programs that provide RN licensure. These may be broadly grouped into three pathways: associate’s degree in nursing (ADN), bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), and direct-entry master of science in nursing (MSN). Large universities such as Washington State University, University of Washington, and Seattle University offer four-year BSN degree programs; Seattle University also has a direct-entry MSN program. Two-year ADN programs are available at a broad network of technical and community colleges throughout the state, including Bellingham Technical College, Grays Harbor College, and Lake Washington Institute of Technology. All prelicensure programs prepare their students to pass the NCLEX-RN national examination, which is a requirement to practice in Washington.

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RN careers in Washington
ADN, BSN, and MSN degree programs prepare nurses to assume leadership roles in the healthcare industry. They work directly with doctors and other medical professionals to plan and administer patient care. RNs are equipped to work in a broad range of fields, including neonatology, rehabilitation, nephrology, and pediatrics. Their skills are invaluable to top Washington medical institutions like University of Washington Medical Center, Providence St. Peter Hospital, and Evergreen Health Medical Center. The state’s RNs earn extremely competitive salaries, typically between $63,000 and $90,000 annually. This reflects the significant value placed on these qualified healthcare professionals.

Find out more about Washington’s top registered nursing programs by reviewing our list below of prelicensure ADN, BSN, and MSN programs.

Featured Schools

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Bremerton / Silverdale area

Olympic College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 89.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Olympic College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 89.4% 2009 to 2018

Olympia

South Puget Sound Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 86.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Saint Martin's University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
School Program NCLEX score Time period
South Puget Sound Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 86.0% 2009 to 2018
Saint Martin's University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Seattle

Everett Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 94.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Seattle University
  • DNP: Advanced Practice Nursing Immersion: 94.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 87.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Shoreline Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 93.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Bellevue College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 93.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
University of Washington
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 92.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 92.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
North Seattle College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 91.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Northwest University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 90.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Seattle Central College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 89.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Seattle Pacific University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 88.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Highline College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 87.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
South Seattle College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 81.4% NCLEX pass rate (2008 through 2014)
Renton Technical College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 72.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Everett Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 94.3% 2009 to 2018
Seattle University
DNP: Advanced Practice Nursing Immersion 94.2% 2009 to 2018
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 87.8% 2009 to 2018
Shoreline Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 93.9% 2009 to 2018
Bellevue College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 93.4% 2009 to 2018
University of Washington
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 92.7% 2009 to 2018
Lake Washington Institute of Technology
Associate's Degree in Nursing 92.0% 2009 to 2018
North Seattle College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 91.6% 2009 to 2018
Northwest University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 90.9% 2009 to 2018
Seattle Central College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 89.2% 2009 to 2018
Seattle Pacific University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 88.1% 2009 to 2018
Highline College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 87.6% 2009 to 2018
South Seattle College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 81.4% 2008 to 2014
Renton Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 72.5% 2009 to 2018

Spokane

Gonzaga University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 90.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Washington State University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 87.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Spokane Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 84.9% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Gonzaga University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 90.6% 2009 to 2018
Washington State University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 87.5% 2009 to 2018
Spokane Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 84.9% 2009 to 2018

Tacoma

Pacific Lutheran University
  • Direct Entry MSN: 96.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 93.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Pierce College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 88.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Tacoma Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 80.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Pacific Lutheran University
Direct Entry MSN 96.4% 2009 to 2018
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 93.0% 2009 to 2018
Pierce College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 88.7% 2009 to 2018
Tacoma Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 80.7% 2009 to 2018

Tri-Cities

Columbia Basin College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 92.8% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Columbia Basin College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 92.8% 2009 to 2018

Vancouver

Clark College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 88.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Clark College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 88.0% 2009 to 2018

Other Washington cities

Big Bend Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 98.2% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Whatcom Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 97.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Peninsula College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 95.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Yakima Valley College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 92.7% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Walla Walla University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 92.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Walla Walla Community College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 91.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Skagit Valley College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 91.0% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Grays Harbor College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 89.1% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Wenatchee Valley College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 88.3% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Lower Columbia College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 87.6% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Centralia College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 87.4% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
Heritage University
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing: 83.3% NCLEX pass rate (2018 through 2018)
Bellingham Technical College
  • Associate's Degree in Nursing: 81.5% NCLEX pass rate (2009 through 2018)
School Program NCLEX score Time period
Big Bend Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 98.2% 2009 to 2018
Whatcom Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 97.0% 2009 to 2018
Peninsula College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 95.7% 2009 to 2018
Yakima Valley College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 92.7% 2009 to 2018
Walla Walla University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 92.5% 2009 to 2018
Walla Walla Community College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 91.3% 2009 to 2018
Skagit Valley College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 91.0% 2009 to 2018
Grays Harbor College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 89.1% 2009 to 2018
Wenatchee Valley College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 88.3% 2009 to 2018
Lower Columbia College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 87.6% 2009 to 2018
Centralia College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 87.4% 2009 to 2018
Heritage University
Bachelor of Science in Nursing 83.3% 2018 to 2018
Bellingham Technical College
Associate's Degree in Nursing 81.5% 2009 to 2018