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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. It was also (until very recently) the primary evaluation metric used by the Wisconsin Board of Nursing. Whenever possible, we calculated this first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate over an extensive period of time, typically the past seven available years of student performance. We then used this metric to rank all of Wisconsin’s ADN programs accordingly.

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#1: Milwaukee Area Technical College
700 West State Street | Milwaukee, WI 53233
https://www.matc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 96.5%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 118
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#2: Fox Valley Technical College
1825 North Bluemound Drive | Appleton, WI 54912
https://www.fvtc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 95.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 76
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#3: Waukesha County Technical College
800 Main Street | Pewaukee, WI 53072
https://www.wctc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 95.5%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 70
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#4: Moraine Park Technical College
235 North National Avenue | Fond du Lac, WI 54936
https://www.morainepark.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 93.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 91
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#5: Blackhawk Technical College
6004 County Road G | Janesville, WI 53547
https://www.blackhawk.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 93.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 39
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#6: Mid-State Technical College
500 32nd Street North | Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54494
https://www.mstc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 92.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 64
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#7: Southwest Wisconsin Technical College
1800 Bronson Boulevard | Fennimore, WI 53809
https://www.swtc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 91.2%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 42
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#8: Nicolet College
5364 College Drive | Rhinelander, WI 54501
https://www.nicoletcollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 90.8%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 25
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#9: Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
2740 West Mason Street | Green Bay, WI 54307
https://www.nwtc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 172
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#10: Northcentral Technical College
1000 Campus Drive | Wausau, WI 54401
https://www.ntc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.4%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 89
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#11: Western Technical College
400 Seventh Street North | La Crosse, WI 54602
https://www.westerntc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 89.3%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 92
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#12: Madison Area Technical College
1701 Wright Street | Madison, WI 53704
https://www.madisoncollege.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 86.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 146
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#13: Chippewa Valley Technical College
620 West Clairemont Avenue | Eau Claire, WI 54701
https://www.cvtc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 86.0%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 170
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#14: Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College
505 Pine Ridge Drive | Shell Lake, WI 54871
https://www.witc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 85.9%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 98
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#15: Lakeshore Technical College
1290 North Avenue | Cleveland, WI 53015
https://www.gotoltc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 85.7%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 46
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#16: Gateway Technical College
3520 30th Avenue | Kenosha, WI 53144
https://www.gtc.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 85.6%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 118
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#17: Bryant & Stratton College
10950 West Potter Road | Wauwatosa, WI 53226
https://www.bryantstratton.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 83.4%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 164
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2011 through 2017


#18: Rasmussen College
904 South Taylor Street, Suite 100 | Green Bay, WI 54303
https://www.rasmussen.edu

NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers: 72.1%
Average number of ADN students graduating annually: 89
Data analyzed: Calendar years 2012 through 2017; includes both the Green Bay and Wausau campuses