For our 2022 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 Maryland Board of Nursing and 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 Maryland’s prelicensure BSN programs accordingly.

  1. #1: Salisbury University
    92.9% first-time NCLEX pass rate

    1101 Camden Avenue
    Salisbury, Maryland 21801
    https://www.salisbury.edu

    92.9% first-time NCLEX pass rate
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    Average of 88 students graduated per year
    Data analyzed from 2011-12 through 2020-21

  2. #2: University of Maryland
    89.3% first-time NCLEX pass rate

    620 West Lexington Street
    Baltimore, Maryland 21201
    https://www.umaryland.edu

    89.3% first-time NCLEX pass rate
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    Average of 260 students graduated per year
    Data analyzed from 2011-12 through 2020-21

  3. #3: Towson University
    87.1% first-time NCLEX pass rate

    8000 York Road
    Towson, Maryland 21252
    https://www.towson.edu

    87.1% first-time NCLEX pass rate
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    Average of 168 students graduated per year
    Data analyzed from 2011-12 through 2020-21

  4. #4: Stevenson University
    85.0% first-time NCLEX pass rate

    1525 Greenspring Valley Road
    Stevenson, Maryland 21153
    https://www.stevenson.edu

    85.0% first-time NCLEX pass rate
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    Average of 83 students graduated per year
    Data analyzed from 2011-12 through 2020-21

  5. #5: Notre Dame of Maryland University
    83.6% first-time NCLEX pass rate

    4701 North Charles Street
    Baltimore, Maryland 21210
    https://www.ndm.edu

    83.6% first-time NCLEX pass rate
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    Average of 31 students graduated per year
    Data analyzed from 2014-15 through 2020-21

  6. #6: Hood College
    80.7% first-time NCLEX pass rate

    401 Rosemont Avenue
    Frederick, Maryland 21701
    https://www.hood.edu

    80.7% first-time NCLEX pass rate
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    Average of 14 students graduated per year
    Data analyzed from 2017-18 through 2020-21

  7. #7: Coppin State University
    75.9% first-time NCLEX pass rate

    2500 West North Avenue
    Baltimore, Maryland 21216
    https://www.coppin.edu

    75.9% first-time NCLEX pass rate
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    Average of 67 students graduated per year
    Data analyzed from 2011-12 through 2020-21

  8. #8: Bowie State University
    59.0% first-time NCLEX pass rate

    14000 Jericho Park Road
    Bowie, Maryland 20715
    https://www.bowiestate.edu

    59.0% first-time NCLEX pass rate
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    Average of 63 students graduated per year
    Data analyzed from 2011-12 through 2020-21

  9. #9: Washington Adventist University
    54.6% first-time NCLEX pass rate

    7600 Flower Avenue
    Takoma Park, Maryland 20912
    https://www.wau.edu

    54.6% first-time NCLEX pass rate
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    Average of 47 students graduated per year
    Data analyzed from 2011-12 through 2020-21

  10. #10: Morgan State University
    47.0% first-time NCLEX pass rate

    1700 East Cold Spring Lane
    Baltimore, Maryland 21251
    https://www.morgan.edu

    47.0% first-time NCLEX pass rate
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing
    Average of 37 students graduated per year
    Data analyzed from 2011-12 through 2020-21