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 Pennsylvania State 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 Pennsylvania’s prelicensure BSN programs accordingly.

#1: Waynesburg University
51 West College Street
Waynesburg, PA 15370
https://www.waynesburg.edu

98.0% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 46 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#2: Saint Francis University
117 Evergreen Drive
Loretto, PA 15940
https://www.francis.edu

97.3% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 18 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#3: Bloomsburg University
400 East Second Street
Bloomsburg, PA 17815
https://www.bloomu.edu

96.7% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 80 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#4: Drexel University
1601 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
https://www.drexel.edu

96.3% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 388 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#5: Pennsylvania College of Health Sciences
850 Greenfield Road
Lancaster, PA 17601
https://www.pacollege.edu

96.0% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 38 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2018-19 through 2019-20


#6: Pennsylvania State University
201 Nursing Sciences Building
University Park, PA 16803
https://www.psu.edu

94.3% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 204 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#7: Cedar Crest College
100 College Drive
Allentown, PA 18104
https://www.cedarcrest.edu

94.3% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 89 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#8: Indiana University of Pennsylvania
1011 South Drive
Indiana, PA 15705
https://www.iup.edu

93.5% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 131 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#9: University of Scranton
800 Linden Street
Scranton, PA 18510
https://www.scranton.edu

93.4% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 73 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#10: Eastern University
1300 Eagle Road
Saint Davids, PA 19087
https://www.eastern.edu

93.2% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 28 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#11: Messiah University
One University Avenue
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
https://www.messiah.edu

92.7% 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


#12: University of Pennsylvania
418 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
https://www.upenn.edu

92.7% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 173 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#13: DeSales University
2755 Station Avenue
Center Valley, PA 18034
https://www.desales.edu

92.6% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 87 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#14: Carlow University
3333 Fifth Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
https://www.carlow.edu

92.3% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 48 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#15: Misericordia University
301 Lake Street
Dallas, PA 18612
https://www.misericordia.edu

91.7% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 57 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#16: Gannon University
109 University Square
Erie, PA 16541
https://www.gannon.edu

91.6% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 54 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#17: Villanova University
800 Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
https://www.villanova.edu

91.4% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 200 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#18: Temple University
1316 West Ontario Street
Philadelphia, PA 19140
https://www.temple.edu

91.3% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 74 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#19: Duquesne University
600 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15282
https://www.duq.edu

91.2% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 200 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#20: Neumann University
One Neumann Drive
Aston, PA 19014
https://www.neumann.edu

91.2% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 78 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#21: West Chester University
930 East Lincoln Highway, Suite 100
Exton, PA 19341
https://www.wcupa.edu

90.7% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 85 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#22: Mansfield University
71 South Academy Street
Mansfield, PA 16933
https://www.mansfield.edu

90.7% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 30 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#23: Edinboro University
219 Meadville Street
Edinboro, PA 16444
https://www.edinboro.edu

90.5% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 60 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#24: Pennsylvania College of Technology
One College Avenue
Williamsport, PA 17701
https://www.pct.edu

90.5% 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


#25: Alvernia University
400 Saint Bernardine Street
Reading, PA 19607
https://www.alvernia.edu

90.1% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 48 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#26: University of Pittsburgh
3500 Victoria Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
https://www.pitt.edu

89.8% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 221 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#27: Moravian University
1200 Main Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018
https://www.moravian.edu

89.8% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 49 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#28: Thomas Jefferson University
901 Walnut Street, Eighth Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
https://www.jefferson.edu

89.4% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 278 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#29: York College of Pennsylvania
441 Country Club Road
York, PA 17403
https://www.ycp.edu

88.9% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 109 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#30: Holy Family University
9801 Frankford Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19114
https://www.holyfamily.edu

88.5% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 143 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#31: Clarion University
1801 West First Street
Oil City, PA 16301
https://www.clarion.edu

88.3% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 34 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2017-18 through 2019-20


#32: Robert Morris University
6001 University Boulevard
Moon Township, PA 15108
https://www.rmu.edu

88.3% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 73 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#33: Widener University
One University Place
Chester, PA 19013
https://www.widener.edu

87.6% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 129 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#34: Wilkes University
84 West South Street
Wilkes-Barre, PA 18766
https://www.wilkes.edu

87.4% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 75 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#35: Gwynedd Mercy University
1325 Sumneytown Pike
Gwynedd Valley, PA 19437
https://www.gmercyu.edu

87.2% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 209 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2015-16 through 2019-20


#36: East Stroudsburg University
200 Prospect Street
East Stroudsburg, PA 18301
https://www.esu.edu

85.8% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 33 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#37: Marywood University
2300 Adams Avenue
Scranton, PA 18509
https://www.marywood.edu

85.7% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 24 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#38: La Salle University
1900 West Olney Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19141
https://www.lasalle.edu

81.7% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 145 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#39: Wilson College
1015 Philadelphia Avenue
Chambersburg, PA 17201
https://www.wilson.edu

75.6% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 26 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2017-18 through 2019-20


#40: Immaculata University
1145 West King Road
Immaculata, PA 19345
https://www.immaculata.edu

74.8% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 34 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011-12 through 2019-20


#41: Lincoln University
1570 Baltimore Pike
Lincoln University, PA 19352
https://www.lincoln.edu

58.8% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Average of 14 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2014-15 through 2019-20