The bustling city of Chicago has plenty of employment and education opportunities in the nursing field. There are more than fifty schools in the Chicagoland metropolitan area offering a wide variety of programs for nurses at all levels. Deciding which type of nursing program you want to pursue is one of the most important considerations.

If you are a naturally caring and social person, a career as a certified nursing assistant could be for you. CNAs provide basic frontline healthcare that aids patients with daily necessities like bathing and eating. CNA programs are offered at community colleges and vocational schools, and they can be completed in a matter of weeks. There are approximately 50,000 nursing assistants in Chicago, and the demand for qualified CNAs is projected to grow in the years ahead.

Licensed practical nurses provide for their patients’ overall well-being, and they often supervise nursing assistants in doing so. LPN programs are offered at community colleges and vocational schools, and generally require 12 to 18 months to complete. As an LPN in Chicago, you could expect to earn around $45,000 per year.

Registered nursing is a good choice for those who are natural leaders. As an RN, you would manage a team of other nurses and medical support staff in planning, implementing, and assessing individualized patient care. In Chicago, there are over 20 schools offering pre-licensure programs for RNs, including the City Colleges of Chicago, Chicago State University, and University of Illinois Chicago.

Regardless of which career path you choose, there are plenty of opportunities in Chicago and the surrounding areas. Some of the major nursing employers in Chicago include Tenet Health, Sinai Health System, and Northwest Community Hospital.


For our 2024 rankings, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac collected data on nearly 3,000 nursing schools and campuses throughout the United States. We evaluated each school on three dimensions:

  • The institution’s academic prestige and perceived value
  • The breadth and depth of nursing programs offered
  • Student success, particularly on the NCLEX licensure examination

We then combined these assessments into an overall score and ranked the schools accordingly. For a detailed description of our assessment methodology and dimension weights, please see here.

  1. #1: Rush University

    Since its inception, well over 7,000 baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral students have graduated from Rush University’s College of Nursing. The college currently maintains a graduate enrollment of approximately 1,000 students, of whom 350 are studying fulltime. Rush’s direct entry MSN students have passed the NCLEX exam at an exemplary rate of 97% over the past decade. The Rush University Medical Center provides a rich environment where students of nursing, medicine, and allied health sciences learn in an interdisciplinary and dynamic setting.

  2. #2: University of Illinois Chicago

    Educating a diverse student body of more than 1,300 individuals, UIC College of Nursing is consistently among the top ten nursing schools nationwide by National Institutes of Health research funding. The college also has three specialty programs that are frequently ranked in the top tier by U.S. News & World Report: family nurse practitioner, adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, and nursing administration. UIC offers nursing degree programs at its flagship campus in Chicago as well as regional sites in Peoria, Quad Cities, Rockford, Springfield, and Urbana. Nursing students have access to seven health science colleges at the university, enabling enhanced interprofessional classroom and clinical opportunities.

  3. #3: Chamberlain University

    Founded in 1889 to address a lack of healthcare services, Chamberlain University continues to increase access to nursing education nationwide. Chicago is just one of over twenty Chamberlain locations across the country. The school offers a three-year BSN program, geared towards students who want to accelerate their degree with summer study. The Chicago campus graduates hundreds of new nurses annually, by far the largest prelicensure BSN program in the state. Despite the school’s size, students receive highly individualized attention, enabling them to pass the NCLEX exam at an 84% rate over the past decade. At the graduate level, Chamberlain University offers a fully online MSN program with tracks for nurse educators, nurse executives, nursing informatics, healthcare policy, population health, and several nurse practitioner specialties. Each MSN track is also available as a standalone graduate certificate. Finally, Chamberlain offers a post-master’s DNP with leadership-themed elective focus areas in advanced practice, education, and healthcare systems.

  4. #4: Loyola University Chicago

    In 1935, Loyola University Chicago was the first Illinois university to offer a BSN degree. Today, the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing offers undergraduate (BSN), master’s (MSN), and doctoral (DNP and PhD) nursing programs. More than 85% of the school’s full-time faculty have doctoral degrees. Loyola’s BSN graduates have scored an impressive NCLEX pass rate of 92% over the past decade. Community outreach is a priority for the school, and it operates two nurse-managed centers that also serve as clinical sites for student practice.

  5. #5: Lewis University

    The College of Nursing and Health Professions at Lewis University has forty years of experience educating nurses. Lewis offers a full range of nursing programs including traditional BSN, RN-to-BSN, MSN with six specialization options, a dual MSN/MBA degree, post-master’s certificates, and a doctor of nursing practice. The college graduates 110-140 prelicensure BSN students each year, who have achieved a remarkable 96% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. Lewis students learn through one-on-one faculty interactions in state-of-the art simulation labs, and they experience diverse patient populations though the college’s 50+ clinical affiliations. Many courses are also offered online to accommodate a variety of schedules.

  6. #6: Oak Point University

    Oak Point University offers a broad range of degree pathways for aspiring nurses. Prelicensure students can enroll in the university’s traditional BSN program, which produces nearly 400 graduates annually. Oak Point’s BSN students have averaged an 80% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam over the past decade. Post-licensure students have several options, including RN-to-BSN, RN-to-MSN, traditional MSN, and DNP pathways. Oak Point offers four nurse practitioner specializations within its MSN program, as well as a nurse educator option. Two NP specializations are also available as post-master’s certificates. The DNP curriculum is specifically designed for the working professional, so the program is offered completely online. It consists of 32 semester hours and takes just six semesters, or two years of year-round study, to complete.

  7. #7: Valparaiso University

    Valparaiso University’s College of Nursing and Health Professions offers undergraduate students BSN, ABSN, RN-to-BSN, and RN-to-MSN options. At the graduate level, BSN-educated nurses may pursue an MSN with a focus on nursing education, a joint MSN/MBA program, or a DNP degree. Valparaiso graduates a prelicensure BSN class of 100-140 students annually. These RN candidates have scored a 92% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure examination over the past decade. More than 60% of the faculty hold doctoral nursing degrees, and students enjoy access to state-of-the-art facilities such as the Virtual Nursing Learning Center and the SIM Center.

  8. #8: University of St. Francis

    USF’s Cecily & John Leach College of Nursing draws on its Catholic heritage of community service. The school offers a broad range of baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral nursing degrees, including a popular RN-to-BSN bridge program for existing nurses with an associate degree in nursing (ADN) or hospital diploma. The school has a small graduating class of 60-90 traditional BSN students who consistently perform very well on the NCLEX licensure exam. Indeed, USF’s first-time NCLEX pass rate over the last decade has been an impressive 91%. Students have access to a virtual simulation laboratory, and they can take advantage of acute and long-term care clinical experiences in a variety of community settings.

  9. #9: DePaul University

    DePaul’s School of Nursing was the first in Illinois to offer a two-year Master’s Entry to Nursing Practice (MENP) program for non-nurses. The school also conducts a traditional undergraduate BSN program, an RN-to-MSN pathway for nurses who hold an ADN or hospital diploma, and a DNP program with specializations for aspiring nurse anesthetists, family nurse practitioners, and adult-gerontology nurse practitioners. The MENP program graduates almost 200 students annually, with an impressive 90% first-time NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. DePaul’s pass rate on the nurse anesthesia certification exam has reached a stellar 100% in recent years. Students enjoy a network of more than 75 clinical sites and state-of-the-art facilities across two campuses in Lincoln Park and North Chicago.

  10. #10: Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

    Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science launched a new College of Nursing in 2022, the first of its kind in Lake County. The college offers two graduate programs: a 24-month direct entry MSN curriculum for prelicensure students, and a 33-month DNP pathway for aspiring psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners. RFU designed the two programs to build the local nursing workforce and to expand community access to nursing education. In addition, the university’s long-standing College of Health Professions offers a DNP nurse anesthesia program with two pathways. The nurse anesthesia entry pathway was created for RNs who wish to continue their education to become CRNAs and earn the DNP degree. The program curriculum is predominately delivered on campus, with some upper-level doctoral content presented online. The DNP completion pathway, which was created for current CRNAs, builds on the competencies and achievements of an MSN nurse anesthesia degree. The program can be completed online in just 24 months of part-time study.

  11. #11: Saint Xavier University

    Founded in 1935, the Saint Xavier University School of Nursing has educated well over 5,000 nurses and was the first nursing school in the state to offer an accredited baccalaureate program. Saint Xavier has received four consecutive NLN Center of Excellence designations for enhancing student learning and professional development. The school engages 33 faculty members across its numerous undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. BSN students have passed the NCLEX exam at an 87% rate over the past decade, significantly above state and national averages.

  12. #12: Elmhurst University

    Elmhurst University’s Department of Nursing and Health Sciences offers a traditional prelicensure BSN, an RN-to-BSN completion pathway, and an MSN program with a master’s entry option and three concentrations (clinical nurse leader, nurse educator, nurse administrator). Over the past decade, graduates of the traditional BSN program have passed the NCLEX exam at a 90% rate on their first attempt. Master’s entry students have fared even better, posting a stellar 96% NCLEX pass rate since the program’s inception. Elmhurst is focused on innovation: the school’s preoperative nursing course was the first of its kind in the Chicago area. Located just 16 miles from downtown Chicago, the university’s students have access to a wealth of premier institutes for clinical studies.

  13. #13: Purdue University Northwest

    Purdue University Northwest was formally established in 2016 through the merger of Purdue University’s Calumet and North Central campuses. Both campuses date back to a 1946 founding in the aftermath of World War II. PNW’s College of Nursing is a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence, one of just 62 institutions so designated nationwide. Undergraduates can choose from several BSN pathways including traditional, accelerated, and online RN-to-BSN. Prelicensure students have achieved an 88% first-time NCLEX pass rate over the past decade (including the track records of the legacy institutions), with a stellar 98% pass rate in 2018. At the graduate level, PNW offers an MSN degree with concentrations in adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist, family nurse practitioner, nurse education, and nurse executive. The university also launched a DNP program in 2015.

  14. #14: Governors State University

    Governors State University’s nursing curriculum incorporates the latest recommendations from the Carnegie Foundation Report and the Institute of Medicine. The Department of Nursing aims to educate nurse leaders who will address the challenges of local, regional, and national healthcare reform. The school has 15 full-time nursing faculty and primarily offers graduate programs, including a DNP and three MSN concentrations (nursing administration, CNS in adult healthcare, FNP). Governors State also conducts a completely online RN-to-BSN completion program for registered nurses.

  15. #15: Aurora University

    Aurora University offers a traditional prelicensure BSN program at both the main AU campus and at George Williams College in Williams Bay, Wisconsin. The program features small class sizes, with a 32:1 student-to-faculty ratio in classes and an 8:1 ratio in clinical practicum. Nursing students complete 40 hours of prerequisites, 59 hours of nursing courses, and clinical experiences at area hospitals, clinics, and community agencies. Aurora University graduates approximately 150 newly minted nurses each spring. Over the past decade, these students have sustained a strong 91% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.

  16. #16: North Park University

    The School of Nursing and Health Sciences at North Park University has a breadth of options for nursing students, including two BSN programs (traditional, RN-to-BSN), an MSN degree, a DNP degree, and post-master’s certificates. The traditional BSN program graduates about 80 students annually, who have achieved a solid 85% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam over the past decade. The RN-to-BSN pathway blends online and in-person classes, allowing students to continue working full-time. The MSN program has three degree focuses: adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, and leadership / management. The DNP program allows students to complete coursework online, with a visit to North Park’s campus once a semester.

  17. #17: Northern Illinois University

    Northern Illinois University’s School of Nursing offers a traditional BSN program that consists of 61-64 nursing credits and 31-33 non-nursing credits. Sample courses for the program include Genetics & Human Genomics, Microbiology, and Nursing Ethics & the Law. Students enjoy a wide range of clinical experiences with over 230 regional healthcare partners, a dedicated advisor, and a Student Success Program that helps students meet program demands. Over the past decade, graduates of the four-year BSN program have achieved an 88% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. NIU’s School of Nursing also offers an online RN-to-BSN, an MSN with two specializations (education, FNP), a post-master’s certificate in nurse education, and a DNP with FNP focus.

  18. #18: Benedictine University

    Benedictine University’s Department of Nursing and Health offers both an accelerated RN-to-BSN pathway and an MSN degree. The flexible RN-to-BSN program features courses that can be taken at various community colleges and medical centers near the cities of Lisle and Springfield. Students are prepared for employment opportunities in the fields of case management, informatics, occupational health, public health, quality improvement, and nursing supervision. BenU’s MSN program offers concentrations in nurse educator and nurse executive leader. The MSN coursework is offered 100% online.

  19. #19: Ambria College of Nursing

    Ambria College of Nursing has several options for aspiring nurses: an LPN certificate, two ADN pathways (traditional, LPN-to-RN), and an RN-to-BSN degree completion program. With day, evening, fulltime, and parttime schedules, Ambria’s flexible LPN and LPN-to-RN programs can be completed in just 12 months. The traditional ADN is a two-year program that prepares graduates for initial RN licensure, and the RN-to-BSN is a fast-track program that students can complete in just eight months. Ambria’s ADN program graduates about fifty students annually, with a strong 90% NCLEX-RN pass rate since the program’s inception. The classes of 2019 and 2020 scored NCLEX-RN pass rates of 96% and 100%, respectively. Ambria graduates another 40-50 LPN candidates each year, with a stellar 95% NCLEX-PN pass rate over the past decade. Indeed, five of the past six graduating LPN classes scored a perfect 100% NCLEX-PN pass rate.

  20. #20: Trinity Christian College

    The BSN program at Trinity Christian College prepares generalists to begin practice in all areas of clinical nursing. The 120-credit program features Christian faculty, hands-on experience, a worldwide alumni network, and a perfect 100% rate of graduate employment. Sample coursework includes health assessment promotion, mental healthcare nursing, principles of community health, and therapeutic nursing intervention. The college’s BSN graduates have enjoyed a phenomenal 99.5% first-time NCLEX pass rate over the past six years.

  21. #21: Dominican University

    Dominican University offers a traditional prelicensure BSN program and an RN-to-BSN pathway. The four-year traditional BSN includes courses such as Adult Health Nursing: Medical and Surgical, Evidenced-based Practice, and Transcultural Nursing. Since the program’s inception several years ago, traditional BSN graduates have maintained a strong 91% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. The three-semester RN-to-BSN curriculum is designed for working nurses. This flexible program offers a mix of on-campus and online courses; individual and group activities; and discussion boards, readings, and special assignments. Sample RN-to-BSN courses include Community, Family, and Population Nursing; Professional Development for the RN; and Nursing Leadership and Management.

  22. #22: Carthage College

    Carthage College has been a leading producer of Fulbright scholars for several years. Six recent graduates won Fulbright awards for 2018-19, the highest of all baccalaureate institutions in Wisconsin. The college launched its undergraduate nursing program in 2015 and recently graduated the first cohort of thirteen seniors. Grounded in the liberal arts, humanities, and sciences, the BSN program introduces students to patient care situations within the first few weeks of the program. Students begin clinical work during sophomore year. Carthage College has partnerships with many local clinical sites including Ascension Health System, Kenosha Brookside Care Center, and Milwaukee VA Medical Center. Nursing graduates will have nearly 1,200 hours of clinical experience on their resumes. The Carthage nursing program has grown quickly, with approximately 200 students now enrolled across the four-year curriculum.

  23. #23: Indiana University Northwest

    Indiana University Northwest is home to Northwest Indiana’s only medical school and one of the area’s top business schools. It is also home to the School of Nursing, whose BSN graduates have posted one of the state’s highest NCLEX pass rates over the past decade – approximately 95% among first-time test-takers. IU Northwest offers three distinct BSN pathways: traditional prelicensure, accelerated second degree, and RN-to-BSN completion. The school’s state-of-the-art learning laboratory has both mid- and high-level simulation equipment, allowing students to hone the skills they acquire in class before applying them in clinical experiences. These supervised clinicals take place throughout Lake County, Porter County, and the Chicago metropolitan area. IU Northwest also leads a master of science in nursing program for aspiring family nurse practitioners.

  24. #24: CAAN Academy of Nursing

    CAAN Academy of Nursing is a nonprofit entity designed to help adult learners enter the nursing profession. Accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools, the institution offers two prelicensure nursing programs. CAAN launched its 59-week practical nursing certificate program over a decade ago. During the past ten years, LPN graduates have enjoyed an 88% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN licensure exam, including several years with a perfect pass rate. Recent LPN graduating classes have also enjoyed a 100% job placement rate. In 2018, CAAN launched a new LPN-to-RN bridge program that awards an associate degree and prepares students for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam.

  25. #25: Oakton Community College

    Oakton Community College serves 46,000 students annually across more than eighty areas of study, preparing graduates either to transfer to four-year institutions or to step directly into rewarding careers. The college’s nursing programs include a certificate for aspiring LPNs and an associate degree for aspiring RNs. Both programs feature a rigorous combination of classroom learning and clinical experiences, preparing students for a variety of healthcare settings. Over the past decade, LPN graduates have achieved an outstanding 96% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN exam. During the same timeframe, ADN graduates scored an excellent 93% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam.

  26. #26: Roosevelt University

    Roosevelt University’s College of Science, Health & Pharmacy offers an accelerated direct-entry nursing program at its downtown Chicago campus. Students begin nursing-focused courses during the first semester, and they may complete the BSN curriculum in just three years of study. Coursework covers a breadth of critical topics like medical-surgical nursing, psychiatric-mental health nursing, pharmacology, anatomy, and physiology. Roosevelt holds clinical affiliations with a number of highly regarded local healthcare providers, including UChicago Medicine Ingalls Memorial Hospital and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Since the program’s recent inception, BSN graduates have achieved an 81% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure examination.

  27. #27: Verve College

    Verve College is a professional career certification and training institute with more than twenty years of experience. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation approved the college’s practical nursing program in 2007, and the first class graduated in 2008. The 1,080-hour program may be completed in 14 to 15 months fulltime. Verve College offers its students a full suite of career services including job placement assistance, resume development, and interview coaching. Recent graduates have earned some of the nation’s highest pass rates on the NCLEX-PN licensure examination, including a perfect 100% pass rate in 2017 and a 98% pass rate in 2020.

  28. #28: Moraine Valley Community College

    Founded over fifty years ago, Moraine Valley Community College is the second-largest community college in Illinois. The ADN program is a two-year special admission program which starts in either the fall or spring of each year. It features in-class high-fidelity simulations, hybrid and online courses, clinical experiences in hospital and community-based settings, and a 90% job placement rate immediately after graduation. The traditional ADN curriculum takes five semesters to complete, excluding summers. An LPN-to-RN bridge pathway is also available, and it may be completed in four consecutive semesters. Over the past decade, Moraine Valley’s ADN graduates have achieved a noteworthy 88% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam.

  29. #29: Harper College

    Harper College is named for Dr. William Rainey Harper, a pioneer in the junior college movement and the first president of the prestigious University of Chicago. It is one of the largest community colleges in the Chicagoland area, serving more than 35,000 students annually. Harper offers several nursing programs including a six-credit-hour CNA certificate, a 15-month LPN certificate, and a two-year associate degree. A unique military-medical-corpsman-to-LPN pathway is also available. Over the past decade, ADN graduates have achieved an outstanding 93% NCLEX-RN pass rate, while LPN graduates have scored a near-perfect 99% NCLEX-PN pass rate. Harper College also partners with more than twenty colleges and universities to provide seamless transfer into their RN-to-BSN completion programs.

  30. #30: McHenry County College

    McHenry County College offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs, including several options within the nursing field. Aspiring nurses can pursue either a nursing assistant certificate or an associate of applied science (AAS) degree. The associate degree program offers both generic and LPN bridge pathways. MCC graduates a tight-knit cohort of approximately 25 AAS students each year. These nursing graduates have posted an impressive 97% first-time NCLEX pass rate over the past decade, including a perfect 100% pass rate the last two years. Graduates who wish to continue their nursing studies can consult the college’s RN-to-BSN transfer planning guides for approximately twenty four-year colleges and universities in the surrounding area.

  31. #31: Chicago State University

    Chicago State University’s Department of Nursing sits within the College of Health Sciences. Students can earn either a BSN degree or an MSN degree. The BSN program prepares 20-50 graduates each year for the NCLEX-RN licensure examination, posting a 70% first-time pass rate over the past decade. BSN students have also achieved 100% graduation and job placement rates since 2015. The 45-credit MSN program is designed to prepare nurses for the challenges facing the profession in the 21st century. The program focuses on three specialties: community health nursing, nursing administration, and nursing education. Additional nursing specialties will be developed in the future.

  32. #32: Joliet Junior College

    The Nursing Education Department at Joliet Junior College has three programs of study: an LPN certificate of achievement, a traditional ADN curriculum, and an LPN-to-RN transition pathway. The department offers a state-of-the-art simulation center, clinical experiences at a number of community health facilities, and a 91% job placement rate across all programs. Licensure exam pass rates are stellar as well. Over the past decade, the school’s 120-150 ADN graduates per year have posted an outstanding 95% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam. JJC’s 50-70 annual LPN graduates have performed even better, with a near-perfect 99% pass rate on the NCLEX-PN exam over the same time period.

  33. #33: Waubonsee Community College

    Founded in 1966, Waubonsee Community College serves nearly 12,000 credit students across campuses in Sugar Grove, Aurora, and Plano. The school offers certificates and associate degrees in more than 80 different disciplines, as well as noncredit classes for personal enrichment to another 2,300 students. Programs are organized into ten academic groups, including Health Sciences, which offers a one-semester CNA certificate and an associate degree in nursing. The associate degree program has two distinct tracks: a traditional associate in applied science (AAS) and an associate in science (AS) transfer degree pathway. After the fourth semester in the transfer degree pathway, students may enroll in a BSN program at a four-year college or university. Traditional AAS nursing students are eligible to sit for the NCLEX licensure examination. Waubonsee Community College graduates nearly 100 AAS nursing students each year. Over the past decade, these nursing graduates have achieved an excellent 90% first-time NCLEX pass rate.

  34. #34: Rasmussen University

    Rasmussen University offers traditional ADN, LPN-to-RN, and RN-to-BSN programs at its four Illinois campuses. The traditional ADN program can be completed in 18 to 24 months. It offers small class sizes, four start dates, and an innovative option called Flex Choice. Flex Choice allows students to combine traditional courses and optional self-directed assessments for significant time and money savings. The LPN-to-RN bridge program can be completed in 12 to 18 months. It features a streamlined curriculum for current LPNs looking to advance to an RN role. Collectively, Rasmussen’s traditional ADN and LPN-to-RN students have scored an 80% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam over the past six years. The RN-to-BSN program is conducted online and can be completed in as little as 18 months.

  35. #35: College of Lake County

    The College of Lake County provides 40 degree transfer programs and 200 career certificate options to more than 10,000 students. For aspiring nurses, CLC offers CNA, ADN, and BSN transfer pathways. The CNA program requires seven credit hours of blended coursework and clinical experiences at community health centers. The ADN program incorporates 73-74 credit hours, with coursework on nursing practice foundations, mental health nursing, family-centered nursing care, and medical-surgical nursing. Approximately 70-80 ADN graduates each year are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. These students have averaged an 86% first-time NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. The college’s BSN transfer pathway offers the opportunity to transfer to a BSN program at a major university such as University of Illinois Chicago, Olivet Nazarene University, or University of St. Francis.

  36. #36: State Career College

    State Career College is a private, accredited institution that conducts education and training for in-demand healthcare careers such as dental and medical assisting, certified nursing assistant, and practical nursing. The eight-week CNA program explores nursing roles and responsibilities, legal and ethical issues in nursing, and emergency care. Graduates of the CNA program are prepared to take the state certification examination and pursue entry-level positions such as orderly, nursing assistant, and psychiatric aide. The 69-week LPN program requires extensive study in medical-surgical nursing, pharmacology, and pediatric and geriatric nursing. More than half of the program is dedicated to practice in the SCC labs and off-campus clinical experiences. LPN graduates are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-PN licensure examination and to pursue positions at local and state healthcare facilities.

  37. #37: Elgin Community College

    The ADN program at Elgin Community College goes well beyond the traditional classroom setting, delivering content through distance learning, simulations, multimedia, small group discussions, and laboratory practice. The college believes that this approach delivers more individualized instruction and places greater responsibility on each student for his/her education. Sample ADN courses include nursing practice, pharmacology, human anatomy, and physiology. The program graduates approximately 100 students annually. Over the past decade, these individuals have scored a 90% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.

  38. #38: College of DuPage

    Serving nearly 25,000 students, College of DuPage is the largest community college in Illinois. The school offers 250 programs leading to an associate degree or career-focused certificate. Nursing options include the Certified Nursing Assistant Training Program (CNATP) and an ADN program that offers an LPN exit option. The college’s nursing curriculum combines classroom instruction, lab and simulation experiences, and clinical rotations at area hospitals. Nursing graduates are prepared for positions in acute care settings, clinics, nursing homes, and home healthcare. The ADN program graduates more than 100 students annually, with an 85% first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate over the past decade. Approximately 20-40 students take the LPN option each year, scoring an impressive 94% first-time NCLEX-PN pass rate over the past decade.

  39. #39: Triton College

    Triton College offers more than 100 degree programs for students seeking an associate degree and/or looking to transfer to a four-year institution. One of Triton’s most popular options is a highly selective ADN program that accepts only the most qualified individuals for the available seats. Students cover a broad range of nursing and healthcare topics including adult health, drug calculations, human pathophysiology, and physical assessment. In addition, students engage in clinical experiences in a variety of settings. The ADN program, which offers both traditional and LPN-to-RN pathways, has a solid 87% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam over the past decade.

  40. #40: North Shore College

    North Shore College offers a practical nursing program that is approved by the Illinois Board of Nursing and the Division of Private Business and Vocational Schools of the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Students must complete four prerequisite courses consisting of 204 theory hours and 40 lab hours; these may be completed over ten weeks during the morning fast-track session or 13 weeks during the evening session. Students may then undertake the 1,050-hour LPN curriculum, which also offers both morning and evening classes with a fast-track option available. North Shore College’s practical nursing program graduates 80-100 students annually. Since the program’s inception, these graduates have averaged an impressive 88% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN licensure examination.