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For our 2019 rankings, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac collected data on over 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.

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#1: Emory University | Atlanta, GA
The Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University is home to approximately 600 students enrolled in BSN, ABSN, MSN, PhD, and DNP programs. The university is consistently ranked among the top ten graduate nursing schools by U.S. News & World Report, including a number of highly rated specialty programs. At the undergraduate level, Emory produces approximately 200 BSN graduates annually who have passed the NCLEX-RN examination at a 90% rate since 2008. The nursing school has an impressive 82% employment rate immediately after graduation, and students have landed positions at more than 500 diverse clinical sites nationwide.


#2: Georgia College | Milledgeville, GA
Georgia College graduates approximately 100 students from its prelicensure BSN program each year. These students have posted consistently excellent scores on the NCLEX licensure exam, with a cumulative 96% pass rate since 2008. The School of Nursing also offers an RN-to-BSN degree completion program, two MSN majors (FNP and NED), a post-master’s FNP certificate, and a post-master’s DNP that can be completed in just five semesters of fulltime study. The DNP program is offered in an online, executive-style format with minimal campus requirements.


#3: Mercer University | Atlanta, GA
Georgia Baptist College of Nursing conducts a breadth of nursing programs at Mercer University’s Atlanta campus. The school offers three BSN pathways (traditional, accelerated second degree, RN-to-BSN), three MSN tracks for aspiring nurse practitioners (family, adult-gerontology acute care, adult-gerontology primary care), and two doctoral degrees with a hybrid online format (DNP, PhD). Georgia Baptist College of Nursing is the second-largest Baptist-affiliated institution in the world, with access to more than thirty clinical sites for valuable hands-on experience. The college graduates 120-150 prelicensure BSN students each year, who have averaged a 93% first-time NCLEX pass rate over the past decade.


#4: Augusta University | Augusta, GA
Augusta University’s College of Nursing takes full advantage of the university’s Medical College of Georgia and the 350-plus clinical training sites of its teaching hospitals. This provides nursing students the opportunity to gain experience in the full spectrum of medicine, from tertiary/quaternary care hospitals to small-town solo practices. The College of Nursing offers three BSN pathways (traditional, accelerated, RN-to-BSN), two MSN-CNL pathways (direct-entry, BSN-prepared), a breadth of DNP specializations (adult gerontology, anesthesia, executive, family, pediatric, psychiatric mental health), and a nursing PhD program. Graduates of all programs enjoy some of the nation’s highest exam pass rates. For example, BSN graduates have achieved an 88% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade, while direct-entry MSN graduates have achieved a 90% NCLEX pass rate during that timeframe.


#5: Kennesaw State University | Kennesaw, GA
Kennesaw State University is home to the WellStar School of Nursing, the largest nursing school in northern Georgia. WellStar School of Nursing has produced thousands of graduates who are currently employed in a breadth of healthcare settings including Atlanta’s world-class medical facilities, the United States military, and medically underserved regions of the Southeast. Nursing programs are offered at the baccalaureate and master’s degree levels. The BSN has both traditional and accelerated second degree options. BSN graduates have achieved a stellar 95% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam over the past decade, including a perfect (170 out of 170) pass rate in 2018. The MSN program offers tracks in family nurse practitioner, nursing administration, and nursing education.


#6: Georgia State University | Atlanta, GA
Georgia State University is home to the Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions. The school offers its nursing students more than 200 clinical practice sites, including trauma / intensive care wards, long-term care facilities, and home care services. Georgia State has traditional, accelerated, and degree completion pathways to the BSN degree. The BSN program’s 120-140 annual prelicensure graduates have posted a strong NCLEX-RN pass rate of 91% over the past decade. Graduate nursing students can pursue four NP specialties (adult health, pediatrics, family, psychiatric-mental health), an adult-gerontology CNS degree, or a focus on nursing leadership in healthcare innovations.


#7: University of West Georgia | Carrollton, GA
Tanner Health System School of Nursing (THSSON) at the University of West Georgia offers a prelicensure BSN program, an RN-to-BSN pathway, an MSN degree, and a doctorate (EdD) in nursing education. The MSN has role options in education and health systems leadership; post-master’s certification is also available in both areas. The THSSON doctorate degree, master’s program, and RN-to-BSN pathway can each be completed 100% online. By contrast, the four-year BSN program is campus-based and graduates approximately 100 newly minted nurses each spring. Over the past decade, these students have achieved a solid 90% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam.


#8: Brenau University | Gainesville, GA
Established in 1878, the Gainesville campus of Brenau University serves 1,800 students and comprises four academic colleges. The College of Health Sciences is home to the Mary Inez Grindle School of Nursing, which has several CCNE-accredited programs. Aspiring nurses can pursue a pre-nursing BS in health science, a traditional BSN, or an accelerated BSN. Brenau graduates approximately 75 BSN students each year, and they have maintained an 81% first-time NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. At the graduate level, both the MSN program (family nurse practitioner, nursing leadership and management) and the DNP program (advanced practice nursing, leadership and management) provide two specializations. Brenau also offers a graduate certificate for aspiring adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioners.


#9: Georgia Southern University | Statesboro, GA
Georgia Southern University’s School of Nursing offers two prelicensure BSN programs (traditional, LPN-to-BSN) plus an RN-to-BSN degree completion program. The school’s prelicensure students have achieved an 88% pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam since 2010. Graduate students can pursue the BSN-to-DNP program with MSN opt-out or the post-master’s DNP program. Georgia Southern also offers post-MSN certificates for family nurse practitioners and psychiatric / mental health nurse practitioners. All nursing students can participate in a two-week study-abroad summer program titled Nursing & Cultural Immersion: Costa Rica.


#10: Piedmont College | Demorest, GA
The R.H. Daniel School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Piedmont College offers a prelicensure BSN that takes four years to complete. The program provides a foundation in the liberal arts and the biological, social, and behavioral sciences. It also includes a clinical practice component that gives students the opportunity to apply their nursing theory and skills in multiple healthcare settings. All students have the opportunity to work with underserved populations as part of their clinical practice. Piedmont College graduates approximately 60 new nurses annually. Since 2008, these students have scored an exceptional 94% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam.


#11: University of North Georgia | Dahlonega, GA
In January 2013, two of the top-performing schools in the University System of Georgia – North Georgia College & State University and Gainesville State College – joined forces to create the new University of North Georgia (UNG). The school serves 18,000 students in total, making it one of Georgia’s largest public universities. UNG’s Department of Nursing offers a breadth of degree programs. Undergraduates can pursue a traditional BSN degree or an RN-to-BSN completion pathway. The traditional BSN program graduates well over 100 students annually, and these graduates have posted an 87% NCLEX pass rate since the program’s launch. At the graduate level, UNG offers two MSN specializations, three graduate certificates, and the terminal DNP degree.


#12: Chamberlain University | Atlanta, GA
The Atlanta campus of Chamberlain University was established on March 5, 2012. The campus facilities include Chamberlain’s SIMCARE Center, which provides high-tech simulated patient care in a clinical learning environment. The school’s BSN curriculum features participation in the Global Health Education Program, which allows students to serve communities in diverse places such as Brazil, India, and Kenya. There are no prerequisite requirements, and the BSN degree can be completed in as little as three years of continuous study. Chamberlain’s Atlanta campus graduates approximately 275 BSN students annually. Since the program’s inception, these graduates have achieved a noteworthy 85% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.


#13: Berry College | Mount Berry, GA
Berry College was established in 1902 as the Boys Industrial School, with a mission to provide educational opportunities to poor children of the rural south. In 1926, the school became coeducational. It has grown steadily ever since, serving approximately 2,100 students today. Berry College’s BSN program sits within the Charter School of Education and Human Sciences. Nursing students have access to clinical rotations at local hospitals, internships in critical care and high-intensity units, and the opportunity to develop care plans for patients in underserved communities. Since the BSN program’s launch, graduates have enjoyed an 86% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination and a 100% job placement rate.


#14: Clayton State University | Morrow, GA
Established in 1969, Clayton State University (CSU) is one of the youngest universities in the state of Georgia. The school provides practical classes, internships, and real-life experiences to nearly 7,000 students from more than 34 states and 32 countries. The School of Nursing, also established in 1969, is part of CSU’s College of Health and has strong relationships with Atlanta-area hospitals. The college also has a unique study abroad program that allows students to learn and serve in places such as Guadalajara, Haiti, and Korea. The School of Nursing offers two BSN pathways (prelicensure, RN-to-BSN degree completion) and an MSN degree with a family nurse practitioner focus. Over the past decade, approximately 80-100 annual graduates of the prelicensure BSN program have achieved a 90% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam.


#15: Valdosta State University | Valdosta, GA
Valdosta State University opened in 1913 as a normal college for women, with a two-year course in teacher preparation. Today, the school serves a coed population of 10,500 students with over 100 programs that run the gamut from associate’s degree to doctorate. The College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers both baccalaureate and master’s degrees in nursing. All programs feature highly trained faculty, rigorous coursework, and access to facilities specifically designed for nursing students including METI simulation labs. Students gain hands-on experience by collaborating with healthcare partners throughout the community. Over the past decade, Valdosta State’s BSN graduates have averaged an 85% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam.


#16: Toccoa Falls College | Toccoa Falls, GA
Established in 1907, Toccoa Falls College is recognized as one of the best Christian colleges in the South. The school is affiliated with the Christian and Missionary Alliance denomination, and the administration works with many evangelical Christian groups to provide students opportunities to serve the community. The college’s BSN program is offered through the new Fetterman School of Nursing. This fulltime four-year program emphasizes servant leadership and nursing as a sacred ministry. Students have access to clinical partnerships in acute care settings, medical clinics, and public health departments, as well as extensive one-on-one career coaching. Graduates of the program are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN national licensure examination.


#17: Georgia Southwestern State University | Americus, GA
Georgia Southwestern State University is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s best value small colleges. The School of Nursing offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in nursing. Four undergraduate BSN pathways are available: traditional, accelerated second degree, LPN-to-BSN bridge, and online RN-to-BSN completion. Graduates of the prelicensure BSN tracks have scored a strong 91% NCLEX exam pass rate over the past decade. Nurses seeking an advanced degree can pursue an MSN with specialization options in family nurse practitioner, nurse education, nurse informatics, and nurse leader. The MSN program is offered through an online consortium between Georgia Southwestern State University and Columbus State University.


#18: LaGrange College | LaGrange, GA
Established in 1831, LaGrange College is the oldest private college in Georgia. The school’s baccalaureate nursing program offers valuable service opportunities in international destinations such as the Philippines and Uganda. The program also features study away trips in cities like London, Paris, and Madrid, as well as scientific expeditions to the jungles of Costa Rica or the shores of the Galapagos Islands. Two BSN tracks are available: a prelicensure BSN pathway and an RN-to-BSN completion option. Since the program’s launch, prelicensure BSN students have achieved an impressive 92% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.


#19: Perimeter College at Georgia State University | Decatur, GA
Perimeter College serves the largest number of dual-enrollment, international, online, transfer, and first-time freshman students in the University System of Georgia. The college’s Department of Nursing has educated nurses for nearly 50 years. In 2016, it became an administrative unit of the Georgia State University School of Nursing. Perimeter College’s ADN students train with the latest healthcare technology in the school’s nursing simulation laboratory; they also hone their skills with clinical rotations at healthcare facilities throughout the region. Perimeter College graduates 90-150 ADN students annually. Over the past decade, these graduates have sustained an excellent 93% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.


#20: Columbus State University | Columbus, GA
Providing more than 75 degree programs across four distinct colleges, Columbus State University (CSU) is among the top regional universities in the South. The university’s School of Nursing is part of the College of Education and Health Professions. CSU offers two pathways to a BSN degree: a campus-based prelicensure program and an online completion program for licensed RNs with an associate’s degree. The prelicensure BSN program graduates anywhere from 60 to 100 students annually; these graduates have averaged a 90% NCLEX exam pass rate over the past decade. CSU also offers an online MSN program in collaboration with Georgia Southwestern University that features four specialization options: family nurse practitioner, nurse educator, nurse informatics, and nurse leader.


#21: Wesleyan College | Macon, GA
Founded in 1836 as the Georgia Female College, Wesleyan College was the first college in the world chartered to grant degrees to women. Today, with a population of 700 students from across the U.S. and twenty countries, Wesleyan is one of the five most diverse colleges in Georgia. The school’s BSN program begins with a rigorous two-year foundation in the liberal arts, followed by a unique curriculum that focuses on holistic nursing and emphasizes women’s health. Clinical experiences are designed to prepare graduates for real-life nursing practice. Each class is tight-knit, with a graduating cohort of just 25 students annually. Since the program’s launch earlier this decade, BSN graduates have achieved a 91% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam, including a perfect 100% pass rate in 2018.


#22: Thomas University | Thomasville, GA
Located just 30 miles north of Tallahassee, Thomas University dates back to 1950 when the Primitive Baptist Church chartered the institution as Birdwood Junior College. The school’s original campus was the winter home of W. Cameron Forbes, the grandson of Ralph Waldo Emerson and a former Governor General of the Philippines. The school’s Division of Nursing focuses on baccalaureate and graduate programs for nurses seeking career advancement. Available pathways include an RN-to-BSN completion program, an MSN degree with two concentrations (nursing administration and nursing education), and an MSN/MBA dual degree program. All nursing programs at this non-profit university are fully accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).


#23: Albany State University | Albany, GA
Albany State University’s Darton College of Health Professions offers a broad spectrum of nursing degrees and certifications. Each program provides a diverse mix of courses in the liberal arts, sciences, and nursing, as well as practical hands-on experience in providing high-quality healthcare in a dynamic environment. The undergraduate nursing programs include four ADN offerings (traditional, evening, hybrid, healthcare-professional-to-RN) and three BSN pathways (generic, accelerated second degree, RN-to-BSN). Approximately 300 ADN students graduate each year, with a solid 85% NCLEX exam pass rate over the past decade. BSN students have scored a similarly strong 83% NCLEX exam pass rate over the same time period. At the graduate level, professional nurses can earn an MSN degree with either a family nurse practitioner or nurse educator specialization.


#24: Gwinnett Technical College | Lawrenceville, GA
Gwinnett Technical College is a career-focused school that has served communities in the southern region for more than 25 years. More than 140 programs are available in a broad range of fast-growing fields including nursing. The Nursing and Life Sciences Division offers both CNA and ADN programs. The CNA program prepares students to sit for the National Nurse Aide Assessment Program (NNAAP) exam, which determines competency to enroll in the state’s nurse aide registry and receive a CNA certificate. ADN graduates are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. Since the program’s launch, ADN graduates from Gwinnett Technical College have achieved an excellent 94% first-time NCLEX pass rate.


#25: Middle Georgia State University | Macon, GA
Middle Georgia State University is one of Georgia’s oldest and newest universities. The school traces its beginnings to 1884 and the establishment of New Ebenezer College in the city of Cochran. The modern-day institution was formed through the 2013 merger of Middle Georgia College and Macon State College, and this institution achieved university status in 2015. Several nursing programs are offered through the School of Health Sciences, including an ADN degree (at the Cochran and Dublin campuses), two BSN pathways (traditional and RN-to-BSN), and an online MSN. The ADN program graduates approximately 40 students annually, and they have scored an excellent 93% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. The traditional BSN program graduates over 100 students annually, with a similarly strong 91% NCLEX pass rate since inception.


#26: Reinhardt University | Waleska, GA
Established in 1883, historic Reinhardt University is Cherokee County’s only institution of higher learning that offers undergraduate and graduate degrees. The university conducts four graduate programs and more than forty undergraduate programs through several schools. The Cauble School of Nursing & Health Sciences is the home for Reinhardt’s BSN program. Two pathways are available: a traditional prelicensure curriculum and an RN-to-BSN bridge option. Students in both programs utilize the labs and classrooms of Chattahoochee Technical College’s Appalachian campus in order to gain hands-on experience with state-of-the-art equipment. Patient care clinicals take place in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Graduates of the traditional BSN program are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN examination and, upon successful completion, to pursue initial RN licensure.


#27: South University | Savannah, GA
South University was founded in 1889 as Draughon’s Practical Business College. The school was acquired by the South family in 1974, and the institution’s name was successively changed to Draughon’s Junior College, South College, and finally South University. Today, the school has more than a dozen campuses across the United States. South University’s College of Nursing offers several programs at the Savannah campus. Nurses who already hold an associate’s degree or diploma can enroll in the college’s BSN completion program. Graduate nursing students can pursue either an MSN degree with family nurse practitioner emphasis or a terminal DNP degree.


#28: Georgia Gwinnett College | Lawrenceville, GA
Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) opened its doors in 2006 as the first four-year college founded in Georgia in more than 100 years, and as the first four-year public college created in the U.S. in the 21st century. GGC’s baccalaureate nursing program sits within the School of Health Sciences. The first class started in fall 2014 and enjoyed a 100% employment rate prior to graduation. The BSN curriculum has both class and clinical components that prepare students to pass the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. Graduates have enjoyed a stellar 94% first-time pass rate on the exam since the program’s inception.


#29: College of Coastal Georgia | Brunswick, GA
The College of Coastal Georgia (CCGA) is part of the University System of Georgia. The school’s main campus is located in the port city of Brunswick, which boasts Atlantic Ocean beachfront and expansive nature preserves. In addition to a serene setting, CCGA nursing students can take advantage of clinical experiences within the Georgia Health System and more than 40 other local healthcare facilities. The Department of Nursing offers three pathways: a two-year associate’s degree, a four-year prelicensure BSN, and an RN-to-BSN completion program. Graduates of the ADN program have enjoyed a strong 92% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam over the past decade, including three consecutive years with a perfect 100% pass rate. Likewise, BSN graduates have averaged an impressive 93% NCLEX pass rate since the program’s launch.


#30: Gordon State College | Barnesville, GA
Gordon State College began in 1832 as a little schoolhouse for local children. Today, the school sits on 235 acres of land and serves approximately 4,000 students. Aspiring nurses at Gordon State receive training through the School of Nursing & Health Sciences, which offers programs at both the associate’s degree and baccalaureate levels. The three-year ASN program leads directly to a career in healthcare. Gordon State graduates 60-100 ASN students annually, who have sustained an excellent 95% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. The recently launched prelicensure BSN program features 78 credit hours of study, as well as extensive clinical experiences at local hospitals. Gordon State also offers an RN-to-BSN program that may be completed 100% online.


#31: Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College | Tifton, GA
Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College is one of twenty-six member institutions within the University System of Georgia. The college was originally devoted to associate’s degree-level studies in agriculture, home economics, and related fields. Today, ABAC offers more than fifty associate’s degrees and a dozen bachelor of science degrees. Nursing is the single largest major at the college. The School of Nursing and Health Sciences offers a traditional four-semester pathway to an associate of science in nursing (ASN); a one-year ASN bridge option that grants advanced placement to LPNs, paramedics, and respiratory therapists; and an RN-to-BSN degree completion program. Across its two tracks, the ASN program typically graduates 100-150 students annually. Over the past decade, these students have achieved a 92% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam.


#32: Shorter University | Rome, GA
Shorter University is a Christ-centered, four-year liberal arts institution with approximately forty traditional baccalaureate programs of study. The school also offers online programs for working adults across several popular associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degree topics. The university’s Ben and Ollie Brady School of Nursing leads a traditional four-year BSN program. Students complete an extensive two years of general coursework before advancing to the upper-level nursing curriculum. Nursing coursework includes critical healthcare topics like health assessment, pathopharmacology, and vulnerable populations. The BSN program typically graduates between twenty and forty students annually. The past two graduating classes have averaged an 83% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX national licensure examination.


#33: Georgia Highlands College | Rome, GA
Georgia Highlands College has been ranked one of the “best value” and “best return on investment” colleges in the state. Students can complete an associate’s degree for less than $8,000. The college offers two pathways to an associate of science in nursing: a traditional prelicensure program and an ASN bridge program that grants advanced standing to LPNs and paramedics. Across these pathways, ASN students have scored an 86% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam over the past decade. The class of 2018 scored an impressive 95% first-time NCLEX pass rate. Georgia Highlands College also offers an RN-to-BSN completion program that students may complete in as little as three semesters fulltime or four semesters part-time. BSN courses are delivered in an asynchronous online format that allows students to balance educational, work, and family responsibilities.


#34: Southern Crescent Technical College | Griffin, GA
Southern Crescent Technical College originated in July 2010 with the merger of Griffin Technical College and Flint River Technical College. The college serves the workforce and community needs of eight counties in the southern Atlanta metropolitan area. SCTC has offered a practical nursing diploma since well before the merger of its predecessor institutions. Typically 40-50 students graduate from the LPN program each year. These candidates have averaged an excellent 93% NCLEX-PN pass rate over the past decade. In 2016, the Georgia Board of Nursing approved Southern Crescent Technical College to offer an associate of science degree in nursing. Graduates are qualified to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. The first cohort of approximately thirty students graduated from the ASN program in 2018.


#35: Dalton State College | Dalton, GA
Dalton State College’s Department of Nursing is one of three departments within the broader School of Health Professions. The department offers a licensed practical nurse certificate, an associate of science in registered nursing, and an RN-to-BSN degree completion program. All three programs have produced excellent student outcomes for years. The LPN program graduates 20-30 students annually, with an impressive 93% first-try pass rate on the NCLEX-PN exam over the past decade. The ASN program graduates a larger class of 50-75 students each year. ASN students passed the NCLEX-RN exam at an 82% first-try rate over the past decade. Within one year of graduation, 94-98% of ASN students find employment in the field. The RN-to-BSN program enrolls two cohorts annually of approximately 25 students apiece. Over the past several years, 96% of RN-to-BSN students successfully graduated in six semesters or less.


#36: Chattahoochee Technical College | Marietta, GA
Chattahoochee Technical College serves a six-county area in northern Georgia through its eight campus locations. The college offers several nursing programs including a healthcare assistant certificate, a practical nursing diploma, a traditional associate of science in nursing, and an LPN-to-RN bridge option. The programs are small in size; approximately 25-40 students graduate annually with an LPN diploma, and a similar number graduate across the two ASN pathways. The programs also boast outstanding student outcomes, including a 96% NCLEX-PN pass rate and a 97% NCLEX-RN pass rate over the past decade. Graduates frequently land positions in hospitals, clinics, extended care facilities, physicians’ offices, governmental agencies, and home healthcare settings.


#37: Savannah Technical College | Savannah, GA
Savannah Technical College offers nearly 150 different instructional programs across a diverse range of topics including aviation technology, business, public service, industrial technology, and health sciences. The college’s LPN program incorporates 57 credit hours of study and extensive clinical experiences. The curriculum covers an array of occupational topics like diet and nutrition, functions of the human body, pharmacology, nursing fundamentals, medical-surgical nursing, maternity nursing, and nursing leadership. Approximately 15-30 students graduate annually from the practical nursing program. These students have achieved an excellent 94% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN licensure examination over the past decade. The class of 2017 scored a perfect 100% (31 out of 31) first-time NCLEX pass rate.


#38: Lanier Technical College | Oakwood, GA
Lanier Technical College serves more than 26,000 students across a seven-county area in northern Georgia. The college has offered a practical nursing diploma program for many years, typically graduating between thirty and fifty students annually. The LPN curriculum requires 57 credit hours and covers core healthcare topics like medical terminology, medical-surgical nursing, and nursing leadership. Graduates of the diploma program have averaged an impressive 94% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN licensure exam over the past decade. During the fall of 2020, Lanier Technical College will start the first cohort of its new associate of science degree in nursing. The ASN program will require two years of fulltime study, preparing students to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam.


#39: Athens Technical College | Athens, GA
Athens Technical College offers a breadth of vocational programs that run the gamut from accounting to welding technology. The college has three nursing programs: a licensed practical nursing diploma, a traditional associate’s degree pathway, and an LPN-to-ADN bridge option. The bridge option is open to licensed practical nurses and paramedics personnel. It follows an accelerated curriculum that requires just three semesters of fulltime study to complete. Graduates of all programs have enjoyed success on their licensure examinations. Over the past decade, graduates of the LPN diploma program have scored a 91% NCLEX-PN pass rate. Graduates of the ADN programs have averaged a 92% NCLEX-RN pass rate over that time period.


#40: Columbus Technical College | Columbus, GA
Columbus Technical College opened its doors in 1961 with seven instructors, thirty-nine students, and eight academic programs. Today the college has an annual enrollment of 6,000 students across a breadth of associate’s degree, diploma, and technical certificate programs. The Division of Health Sciences & Nursing offers both a practical nursing diploma and an associate’s degree in nursing with two tracks (generic, LPN-to-ADN bridge). The practical nursing diploma program graduates 20-30 students annually. Over the past decade, LPN candidates have averaged a 90% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN licensure exam. The ADN program graduates 30-60 students annually across both tracks. ADN students have scored an impressive 93% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam over the past decade.