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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 Washington State Department of Health’s Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission. 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 Washington’s ADN programs accordingly.

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#1: Big Bend Community College
7662 Chanute Street NE | Moses Lake, WA 98837
https://www.bigbend.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 98.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 17
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#2: Whatcom Community College
237 West Kellogg Road | Bellingham, WA 98226
https://www.whatcom.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 97.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 30
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#3: Peninsula College
1502 East Lauridsen Boulevard | Port Angeles, WA 98362
https://www.pencol.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 95.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 21
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#4: Everett Community College
2000 Tower Street | Everett, WA 98201
https://www.everettcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 94.3%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 99
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#5: Shoreline Community College
16101 Greenwood Avenue North | Shoreline, WA 98133
https://www.shoreline.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 93.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 87
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#6: Bellevue College
3000 Landerholm Circle SE | Bellevue, WA 98007
https://www.bellevuecollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 93.4%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 59
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#7: Columbia Basin College
891 Northgate Drive | Richland, WA 99352
https://www.columbiabasin.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 92.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 49
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#8: Yakima Valley College
South 16th Avenue & Nob Hill Boulevard | Yakima, WA 98907
https://www.yvcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 92.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 53
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#9: Lake Washington Institute of Technology
11605 132nd Avenue NE | Kirkland, WA 98034
https://www.lwtech.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 92.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 70
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#10: Walla Walla Community College
500 Tausick Way | Walla Walla, WA 99362
https://www.wwcc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 91.3%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 112
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#11: Skagit Valley College
2405 East College Way | Mount Vernon, WA 98273
https://www.skagit.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 91.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 65
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#12: Olympic College
1600 Chester Avenue | Bremerton, WA 98337
https://www.olympic.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.4%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 66
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#13: Seattle Colleges
1701 Broadway Avenue | Seattle, WA 98122
https://www.seattlecentral.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 124
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018; includes all students from Seattle Central College, North Seattle College, and South Seattle College


#14: Grays Harbor College
1620 Edward P Smith Drive | Aberdeen, WA 98520
https://www.ghc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.1%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 29
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#15: Pierce College
1601 39th Avenue SE | Puyallup, WA 98374
https://www.pierce.ctc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 35
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#16: Wenatchee Valley College
1300 Fifth Street | Wenatchee, WA 98801
https://www.wvc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.3%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 69
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#17: Clark College
1933 Fort Vancouver Way | Vancouver, WA 98663
https://www.clark.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 88.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 120
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#18: Lower Columbia College
1600 Maple Street | Longview, WA 98632
https://www.lowercolumbia.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 87.6%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 112
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#19: Highline College
2400 South 240th Street | Des Moines, WA 98198
https://www.highline.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 87.6%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 64
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#20: Centralia College
600 Centralia College Boulevard | Centralia, WA 98531
https://www.centralia.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 87.4%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 22
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#21: South Puget Sound Community College
2011 Mottman Road SW | Olympia, WA 98512
https://www.spscc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 86.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 48
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#22: Spokane Community College
1810 North Greene Street | Spokane, WA 99217
https://www.scc.spokane.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 84.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 117
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#23: Bellingham Technical College
3028 Lindbergh Avenue | Bellingham, WA 98225
https://www.btc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 81.5%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 50
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#24: Tacoma Community College
6501 South 19th Street | Tacoma, WA 98466
https://www.tacomacc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 80.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 105
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018


#25: Renton Technical College
3000 NE Fourth Street | Renton, WA 98056
https://www.rtc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 72.5%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 35
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2009 through 2018