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For our 2020 rankings of ADN programs, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac compiled an extensive database of student performance on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Aspiring registered nurses in the United States must pass this examination before they may commence practice. Thus, student performance on the NCLEX-RN exam provides an excellent benchmark for comparing the relative quality of associate’s degree programs.

We used our database to calculate each program’s NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers. This is the standard program assessment metric reported by Pearson Vue (the test’s administrator) and the Tennessee Board of Nursing. Whenever possible, we calculated this first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate over an extensive period of time, typically the past decade of student performance. We then used this metric to rank all of Tennessee’s ADN programs accordingly.

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#1: Chattanooga State Community College
4501 Amnicola Highway | Chattanooga, TN 37406
https://www.chattanoogastate.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 96.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 128
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#2: Motlow State Community College
6015 Ledford Mill Road | Tullahoma, TN 37388
https://www.mscc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 95.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 62
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#3: Jackson State Community College
2046 North Parkway | Jackson, TN 38301
https://www.jscc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 95.5%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 127
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#4: Lincoln Memorial University
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway | Harrogate, TN 37752
https://www.lmunet.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 93.5%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 124
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#5: Pellissippi State Community College
7201 Strawberry Plains Pike, Room ST3646 | Knoxville, TN 37914
https://www.pstcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 93.1%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 66
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2012 through 2018


#6: Columbia State Community College
1665 Hampshire Pike | Columbia, TN 38401
https://www.columbiastate.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 92.6%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 105
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#7: Roane State Community College
276 Patton Lane | Harriman, TN 37748
https://www.roanestate.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 91.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 89
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#8: Fortis Institute
3354 Perimeter Hill Drive, Suite 105 | Nashville, TN 37211
https://www.fortis.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 91.6%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 14
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2018; includes both the Nashville and Cookeville campuses


#9: Southwest Tennessee Community College
737 Union Avenue | Memphis, TN 38103
http://www.southwest.tn.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 91.3%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 64
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#10: Nashville State Community College
120 White Bridge Road | Nashville, TN 37209
https://www.nscc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 91.3%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 31
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2012 through 2018


#11: Walters State Community College
500 South Davy Crockett Parkway | Morristown, TN 37813
https://www.ws.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.1%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 126
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#12: Dyersburg State Community College
1510 Lake Road | Dyersburg, TN 38024
https://www.dscc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 83
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#13: Northeast State Community College
2425 Highway 75 | Blountville, TN 37617
https://www.northeaststate.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 49
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#14: Southern Adventist University
4881 Taylor Circle | Collegedale, TN 37315
https://www.southern.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.1%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 121
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#15: Cleveland State Community College
3535 Adkisson Drive | Cleveland, TN 37312
https://www.clevelandstatecc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 86.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 60
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#16: Tennessee State University
3500 John A Merritt Boulevard | Nashville, TN 37209
http://www.tnstate.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 76.5%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 83
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#17: Concorde Career College
5100 Poplar Avenue, Suite 132 | Memphis, TN 38137
https://www.concorde.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 73.1%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 20
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2018