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One of the fastest paths to licensure as a registered nurse is an associate’s degree in nursing, or ADN, program. Associate’s degree options vary by school and may include an associate of science (AS) and/or an associate of applied science (AAS) track. These programs take approximately two years of fulltime study to complete, and they prepare graduates to sit for the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

ADN programs typically require approximately sixty credit hours of study. Some Texas schools offer evening and weekend schedules to accommodate working professionals. Many schools also offer advanced standing for licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) to complete the curriculum in an accelerated timeframe. Upon graduation, most ADN students will seek immediate nursing employment. However, many of these nurses return to school at a later date to pursue a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) degree. Texas has numerous campus-based RN-to-BSN programs, as well as a plethora of online options.

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Newly licensed Texas RNs can expect an excellent job outlook and competitive salaries. Employment growth is projected at 7% over the next decade, faster than the average for all occupations. Texas-based registered nurses earn an average salary of $76,800 per year, according to recent data (May 2020) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Major Texas healthcare providers like Baylor Scott & White Health, Texas Children’s Hospital, HCA Healthcare, and UT Health Services are continually hiring new nurses, both to replace retirees and to meet growing patient demand.

To help aspiring nurses evaluate their options, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac has compiled an extensive database of student performance on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. We analyzed this data over a lengthy period of time -- the past decade when possible -- to calculate each program’s NCLEX pass rate among first-time test-takers. We then used this metric to rank Texas’s ADN programs, from the strongest NCLEX-RN performance (Howard College - Big Spring) to the weakest (Lamar State College Port Arthur). You can find the detailed results of our analysis below.


#1: Howard College - Big Spring
1001 Birdwell Lane
Big Spring, TX 79720
https://www.howardcollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 95.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 26
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#2: Rio Grande Valley College
5419 North Cage Boulevard
Pharr, TX 78577
https://www.rgvcollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 95.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 24
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2020 through 2020


#3: Alvin Community College
3110 Mustang Road
Alvin, TX 77511
https://www.alvincollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 94.6%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 72
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#4: Laredo College
West End Washington Street
Laredo, TX 78040
https://www.laredo.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 94.1%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 34
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#5: Austin Community College
3401 Webberville Road
Austin, TX 78702
https://www.austincc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 93.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 252
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#6: Blinn College
1366 Bryan Road
Bryan, TX 77807
https://www.blinn.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 93.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 88
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#7: Wharton County Junior College
911 East Boling Highway
Wharton, TX 77488
https://www.wcjc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 92.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 46
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#8: Lone Star College - Montgomery
3200 College Park Drive
Conroe, TX 77384
https://www.lonestar.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 92.1%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 59
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#9: Central Texas College
6200 West Central Texas Expressway, Building 155
Killeen, TX 76549
https://www.ctcd.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 90.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 81
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#10: South Plains College
202 Clubview Drive
Levelland, TX 79336
https://www.southplainscollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 90.5%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 63
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#11: Weatherford College
225 College Park Drive
Weatherford, TX 76086
https://www.wc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 90.4%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 112
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#12: Tyler Junior College
1327 South Baxter Avenue
Tyler, TX 75701
https://www.tjc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 146
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#13: Del Mar College
4101 Old Brownsville Road
Corpus Christi, TX 78405
https://www.delmar.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 122
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#14: Victoria College
2200 East Red River Street
Victoria, TX 77901
https://www.victoriacollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 91
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#15: Baptist Health System School of Health Professions
8400 Datapoint Drive
San Antonio, TX 78229
https://www.bshp.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 197
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#16: Collin College
2200 West University Drive
McKinney, TX 75071
https://www.collin.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 137
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#17: Lone Star College - Tomball
700 Graham Drive, Suite 201-L
Tomball, TX 77375
https://www.lonestar.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 45
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#18: North Central Texas College
1525 West California Street
Gainesville, TX 76240
https://www.nctc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 83
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#19: El Paso Community College
100 West Rio Grande Avenue
El Paso, TX 79902
https://www.epcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 130
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#20: Panola College
1109 West Panola Street
Carthage, TX 75633
https://www.panola.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.6%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 47
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#21: Amarillo College
6222 West Ninth Avenue
Amarillo, TX 79106
https://www.actx.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.5%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 150
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#22: Navarro College
1900 John Arden Drive
Waxahachie, TX 75165
https://www.navarrocollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.4%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 81
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#23: Dallas College - Brookhaven
3939 Valley View Lane
Farmers Branch, TX 75244
https://www.dallascollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.3%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 78
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#24: San Jacinto College - Central
8060 Spencer Highway
Pasadena, TX 77505
https://www.sanjac.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 151
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#25: Howard College - San Angelo
3501 North US Highway 67
San Angelo, TX 76905
https://www.howardcollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.1%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 34
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2017 through 2020


#26: Angelina College
3500 South First Street
Lufkin, TX 75901
https://www.angelina.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.1%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 74
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#27: Grayson College
6101 Grayson Drive
Denison, TX 75020
https://www.grayson.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 119
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#28: Temple College
2600 South First Street
Temple, TX 76504
https://www.templejc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 87.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 78
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#29: Lone Star College - CyFair
9191 Barker Cypress Road
Cypress, TX 77433
https://www.lonestar.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 87.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 66
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#30: Southwest Texas Junior College
2401 Garner Field Road
Uvalde, TX 78801
https://www.swtjc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 87.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 25
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#31: Dallas College - Mountain View
4849 West Illinois Avenue
Dallas, TX 75211
https://www.dallascollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 87.4%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 29
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2020


#32: Paris Junior College
2400 Clarksville Street
Paris, TX 75460
https://www.parisjc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 87.3%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 46
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#33: College of the Mainland
1200 Amburn Road
Texas City, TX 77591
https://www.com.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 87.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 70
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#34: Tarrant County College
245 East Belknap Street
Fort Worth, TX 76102
https://www.tccd.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 86.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 247
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#35: Lone Star College - Kingwood
20000 Kingwood Drive
Kingwood, TX 77339
https://www.lonestar.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 86.5%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 118
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#36: Galen College of Nursing
7411 John Smith Drive, Suite 1400
San Antonio, TX 78229
https://www.galencollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 86.5%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 280
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#37: Lone Star College - North Harris
17200 Red Oak Drive, Suite 200X
Houston, TX 77090
https://www.lonestar.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 86.1%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 101
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#38: South Texas College
1101 East Vermont Avenue
McAllen, TX 78503
https://www.southtexascollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 85.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 200
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#39: Vernon College
4400 College Drive
Vernon, TX 76384
https://www.vernoncollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 84.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 90
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#40: Midland College
3600 North Garfield Street
Midland, TX 79705
https://www.midland.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 84.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 62
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#41: Texarkana College
2500 North Robison Road
Texarkana, TX 75599
https://www.texarkanacollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 84.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 75
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#42: Lee College
200 Lee Drive
Baytown, TX 77520
https://www.lee.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 84.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 72
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#43: Lamar State College Orange
410 Front Street
Orange, TX 77630
https://www.lsco.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 83.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 47
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#44: Brazosport College
500 College Drive
Lake Jackson, TX 77566
https://www.brazosport.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 83.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 28
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#45: Trinity Valley Community College
1551 State Highway 34 South
Terrell, TX 75160
https://www.tvcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 83.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 120
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#46: San Jacinto College - South
13735 Beamer Road
Houston, TX 77089
https://www.sanjac.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 82.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 60
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#47: Texas State Technical College - West Texas
300 Homer K. Taylor Drive
Sweetwater, TX 79556
https://www.tstc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 81.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 52
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#48: Galveston College
4015 Avenue Q
Galveston, TX 77550
https://www.gc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 81.6%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 50
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#49: Clarendon College
1601 West Kentucky Avenue
Pampa, TX 79065
https://www.clarendoncollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 81.5%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 25
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2015 through 2020


#50: Kilgore College
1100 Broadway Boulevard
Kilgore, TX 75662
https://www.kilgore.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 81.3%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 85
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#51: Northeast Texas Community College
2886 Farm to Market Road 1735
Mount Pleasant, TX 75455
https://www.ntcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 81.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 40
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#52: Odessa College
201 West University Boulevard
Odessa, TX 79764
https://www.odessa.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 80.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 58
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#53: McLennan Community College
1400 College Drive
Waco, TX 76708
https://www.mclennan.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 80.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 100
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#54: Cisco College
717 East Industrial Boulevard
Abilene, TX 79602
https://www.cisco.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 80.6%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 46
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#55: Hill College
1800 Corsicana Highway
Hillsboro, TX 76645
https://www.hillcollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 79.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 18
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#56: Dallas College - El Centro
801 Main Street
Dallas, TX 75202
https://www.dallascollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 79.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 259
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#57: Coastal Bend College
3800 Charco Road
Beeville, TX 78102
http://www.coastalbend.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 79.5%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 38
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#58: Ranger College
300 Early Boulevard, Suite 105
Early, TX 76802
https://www.rangercollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 79.4%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 23
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2020


#59: Houston Community College
1900 Pressler Street, Suite 344
Houston, TX 77030
https://www.hccs.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 79.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 130
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#60: San Antonio College
1819 North Main Avenue
San Antonio, TX 78212
https://www.alamo.edu/sac

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 79.1%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 263
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#61: Southwest University at El Paso
1414 Geronimo Drive
El Paso, TX 79925
https://www.southwestuniversity.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 76.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 20
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2019 through 2020


#62: Texas State Technical College - Harlingen
1902 North Loop 499
Harlingen, TX 78550
https://www.tstc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 75.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 19
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2013 through 2020


#63: St. Philip's College
1801 Martin Luther King Drive
San Antonio, TX 78203
https://www.alamo.edu/spc

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 73.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 18
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2017 through 2020


#64: College of Nursing and Advanced Health Professions at The Chicago School
2101 Waterview Parkway
Richardson, TX 75080
https://www.thechicagoschool.edu/college-of-nursing-and-advanced-health-professions

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 70.3%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 33
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020


#65: Texas Southmost College
80 Fort Brown Street
Brownsville, TX 78520
https://www.tsc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 68.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 83
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#66: College of Health Care Professions
240 Northwest Mall Boulevard
Houston, TX 77092
https://www.chcp.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 68.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 25
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2016 through 2020


#67: Lamar State College Port Arthur
1500 Procter Street
Port Arthur, TX 77640
https://www.lamarpa.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 59.5%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 126
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2020