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 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: Salisbury University
1101 Camden Avenue
Salisbury, MD 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 2010-11 through 2019-20


#2: University of Maryland
620 West Lexington Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
https://www.umaryland.edu

89.5% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 251 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#3: Notre Dame of Maryland University
4701 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21210
https://www.ndm.edu

87.0% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 26 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2014-15 through 2019-20


#4: Towson University
8000 York Road
Towson, MD 21252
https://www.towson.edu

86.6% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 166 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#5: Stevenson University
1525 Greenspring Valley Road
Stevenson, MD 21153
https://www.stevenson.edu

85.4% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 76 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#6: Hood College
401 Rosemont Avenue
Frederick, MD 21701
https://www.hood.edu

82.4% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 11 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2017-18 through 2019-20


#7: Coppin State University
2500 West North Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21216
https://www.coppin.edu

76.6% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 70 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#8: Bowie State University
14000 Jericho Park Road
Bowie, MD 20715
https://www.bowiestate.edu

61.2% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 63 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#9: Washington Adventist University
7600 Flower Avenue
Takoma Park, MD 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 2010-11 through 2019-20


#10: Morgan State University
1700 East Cold Spring Lane
Baltimore, MD 21251
https://www.morgan.edu

47.3% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 36 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20