For our 2021 rankings of prelicensure BSN 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 bachelor’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 the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation’s Division of Professional Regulation, as well as by the test’s administrator, Pearson Vue. 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 Illinois’s prelicensure BSN programs accordingly.

#1: Saint Anthony College of Nursing
3301 North Mulford Road
Rockford, IL 61114
https://www.osfhealthcare.org/sacn

96.9% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 75 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#2: Lewis University
One University Parkway
Romeoville, IL 60446
https://www.lewisu.edu

96.3% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 126 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#3: Illinois State University
110 South University Street
Normal, IL 61790
https://www.illinoisstate.edu

95.9% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 149 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#4: Bradley University
1501 West Bradley Avenue
Peoria, IL 61625
https://www.bradley.edu

95.6% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 77 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#5: Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences
2122 25th Avenue
Rock Island, IL 61201
https://www.trinitycollegeqc.edu

93.0% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 40 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#6: Loyola University Chicago
1032 West Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60660
https://www.luc.edu

92.3% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 225 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#7: Trinity Christian College
6601 West College Drive
Palos Heights, IL 60463
https://www.trnty.edu

92.1% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 34 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#8: Aurora University
347 South Gladstone Avenue
Aurora, IL 60506
https://www.aurora.edu

91.4% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 95 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#9: Dominican University
7900 West Division Street
River Forest, IL 60305
https://www.dom.edu

91.2% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 34 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2016 through 2020


#10: Illinois Wesleyan University
1312 Park Street
Bloomington, IL 61701
https://www.iwu.edu

90.8% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 37 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#11: University of St. Francis
500 Wilcox Street
Joliet, IL 60435
https://www.stfrancis.edu

90.8% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 80 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#12: Western Illinois University
One University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455
https://www.wiu.edu

90.6% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 22 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#13: St. John's College of Nursing
729 East Carpenter Street
Springfield, IL 62702
https://www.hshs.org/stjohnscollege

90.2% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 50 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#14: Elmhurst University
190 Prospect Avenue
Elmhurst, IL 60126
https://www.elmhurst.edu

90.2% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 56 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#15: Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing & Health Sciences
3609 North Marx Drive
Quincy, IL 62305
https://www.brcn.edu

89.7% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 58 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#16: Olivet Nazarene University
One University Avenue
Bourbonnais, IL 60914
https://www.olivet.edu

88.9% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 111 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#17: Millikin University
1184 West Main Street
Decatur, IL 62522
https://www.millikin.edu

88.2% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 43 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#18: Northern Illinois University
1240 Normal Road
DeKalb, IL 60115
https://www.niu.edu

87.7% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 138 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#19: Saint Xavier University
3700 West 103rd Street
Chicago, IL 60655
https://www.sxu.edu

87.2% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 135 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#20: Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing
511 NE Greenleaf Street
Peoria, IL 61603
https://www.osfhealthcare.org/sfmccon

85.5% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 148 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#21: North Park University
3225 West Foster Avenue
Chicago, IL 60625
https://www.northpark.edu

84.7% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 74 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#22: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
125 Peck Service Road, Suite 2117
Edwardsville, IL 62025
https://www.siue.edu

84.3% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 210 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#23: Chamberlain University - Chicago
2718 West Roscoe Street
Chicago, IL 60618
https://www.chamberlain.edu

84.1% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 641 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#24: Methodist College
7600 North Academic Drive
Peoria, IL 61615
https://www.methodistcol.edu

83.8% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 139 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#25: Rockford University
5050 East State Street
Rockford, IL 61108
https://www.rockford.edu

82.4% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 55 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#26: University of Illinois Chicago
845 South Damen Avenue
Chicago, IL 60612
https://www.uic.edu

82.4% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 157 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#27: Roosevelt University
430 South Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60605
https://www.roosevelt.edu

81.3% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 19 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2017 through 2020


#28: Oak Point University
1431 North Claremont Avenue
Chicago, IL 60622
https://www.oakpoint.edu

80.4% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 219 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#29: Lakeview College of Nursing
903 North Logan Avenue
Danville, IL 61832
https://www.lakeviewcol.edu

78.6% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 123 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#30: Chicago State University
9501 South King Drive
Chicago, IL 60628
https://www.csu.edu

70.2% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 31 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020