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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 included the following states within our Great Lakes rankings: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. We evaluated each nursing school in the region 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: Rush University | Chicago, IL
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: University of Michigan | Ann Arbor, MI
The University of Michigan School of Nursing (UMSN) offers the #8 MSN program and the #14 DNP program in the country according to U.S. News & World Report. The school’s nursing administration, adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, and nursing informatics specialties are all ranked in the top ten nationally. At the undergraduate level, BSN students have achieved strong NCLEX pass rates, as high as 97% in some recent quarters. In addition to a wide range of nursing courses, the school provides innovative opportunities like its Global Health Concentration. Students benefit from state-of-the-art clinical simulation labs and partnerships with some of the best preceptors in the country.


#3: Indiana University School of Nursing | Indianapolis, IN
Indiana University School of Nursing (IUSON) was the first college in the history of the NLN to hold two simultaneous designations as a Center of Excellence. The school also receives over $3 million annually in NIH funding for its nursing research. Almost 40% of Indiana’s baccalaureate-prepared professional nurses graduate from IUSON, with consistently strong NCLEX pass rates of 87-94% each year. Students benefit from IUSON’s active partnerships with 60+ healthcare providers in Indiana, including five well-known facilities directly on campus. Study abroad courses and bi-national exchanges are also encouraged.


#4: Case Western Reserve University | Cleveland, OH
The Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University prides itself on innovation. The school was among the first in the country to offer several nursing programs, including acute care nurse practitioner, gerontological nursing, and doctor of nursing practice. It is also one of few private research universities to offer both a traditional four-year BSN degree and a direct-entry MSN pathway. BSN graduates have earned as high as a 95% pass rate in recent years. Case Western students benefit from their proximity to University Circle, a 550-acre scientific hub with numerous premier healthcare organizations. The school also has seven centers of excellence for nursing opportunities and experiences.


#5: University of Illinois at Chicago | Chicago, IL
Educating a diverse student body of more than 1,300 nursing students, UIC College of Nursing is consistently in the top tier of colleges for research funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It also has three specialty programs historically ranked in the top ten nationally by U.S. News & World Report: family nurse practitioner (FNP), adult-gerontology nurse practitioner, and nursing administration. The college offers nursing degrees and certifications across five regional campuses. Nursing students have access to seven health science colleges at UIC, enabling enhanced interprofessional classroom and clinical opportunities.


#6: University of Wisconsin - Madison | Madison, WI
Established in 1924, the UW Madison School of Nursing enrolls more than 1,000 students across its undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. The school graduates approximately 150 prelicensure BSN students annually, who consistently achieve solid NCLEX pass rates of 85-93% each year. Graduate students can pursue either type of doctoral degree (DNP, PhD) as well as four certificate programs (clinical nurse specialist, nurse educator, psychiatric mental health, school nursing). The school’s new Signe Skott Cooper Hall has state-of-the-art simulation labs and research facilities. Adjacent is the Health Sciences Learning Center that brings students together across the disciplines of nursing, medicine, and pharmacy. Nursing students also have access to leading facilities in Madison for their clinical practice and research.


#7: Saint Anthony College of Nursing | Rockford, IL
Saint Anthony College of Nursing is a private Catholic college with a variety of regionally acclaimed nursing programs. Undergraduates can pursue a traditional BSN or RN-to-BSN pathway. Graduate nursing students have four MSN tracks (CNL, CNS, FNP, nurse educator) and four DNP specializations (CNS, FNP, AGPCNP, healthcare leadership) from which to choose. Saint Anthony’s BSN students earn consistently stellar scores on their licensure exams, passing the NCLEX exam at a 95% rate over the last decade, including a 99% pass rate for the classes of 2015 and 2017. Graduate students have performed similarly well on the APRN certification tests, including a 100% (nine out of nine) FNP pass rate for one of Saint Anthony’s recent MSN classes.


#8: Ohio State University | Columbus, OH
Twice designated a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing, Ohio State’s College of Nursing has educated over 12,000 nurses since its inception. The college places a strong emphasis on research and patient-centered practice across its various program offerings. Ohio State’s online MSN program consistently ranks among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report. Several of its offline programs have garnered top-30 rankings, including the traditional MSN, nursing-midwifery MSN, and doctor of nursing practice. The school graduates 200-230 students annually from its four-year BSN program, with an excellent first-time NCLEX pass rate of 94% over the past decade.


#9: Illinois State University | Normal, IL
Mennonite College of Nursing (MCN) offers a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programs. Approximately 150 BSN graduates from the college appear for the NCLEX exam annually, with an excellent pass rate of 94-100% every single year since 2008. MCN students have access to a 10,000-square-foot Nursing Simulation Laboratory, enjoy an 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio in clinical settings, and can travel to five international locations for nursing experiences. The college is focused on diversity and recently received a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services towards increasing nursing education for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.


#10: Michigan State University | East Lansing, MI
The College of Nursing at Michigan State University has educated more than 6,000 nurses in its storied history. Over the past decade, MSU is among the top 30 universities nationwide in NIH funding for nursing research. The College of Nursing has received over $7.4 million in grants to enhance its nursing infrastructure. Students benefit from the new three-story, 50,000-square-foot Bott Building for Nursing Education and Research, which includes several seminar classrooms, faculty workstations, a PhD student collaboratory, and a student lounge. The school also supports initiatives for international learning in Africa, China, and England.


#11: Purdue University | West Lafayette, IN
Purdue University’s School of Nursing is part of the College of Health and Human Sciences. The school enrolls 550 undergraduates in its traditional and second-degree BSN programs, as well as 50 graduate students in its MSN and DNP programs. Purdue’s graduating BSN class has passed the NCLEX exam at a strong rate of 92% since 2011. Nursing students can take advantage of unique facilities including the Center for Nursing History, Ethics, Human Rights, and Innovations; the Center for Nursing Education and Simulation; and the Nursing Center for Family Health. They can also seize the opportunity to study in four international locations.


#12: Loyola University Chicago | Chicago, IL
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 91% 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.


#13: Mount Carmel College of Nursing | Columbus, OH
Mount Carmel College of Nursing enrolls over 1,000 students and conducts one of the largest baccalaureate nursing programs in the state, with 200+ annual BSN graduates. Since 2009, these students have passed the NCLEX exam at an 88% rate on their first effort. The college also offers an MSN program with four specialty tracks and a DNP program. Mount Carmel fosters ethnic diversity in its student body and emphasizes small class sizes and personal faculty attention. Students have easy access to hands-on learning at Mount Carmel West Hospital, located right on campus.


#14: Bradley University | Peoria, IL
Bradley University’s Department of Nursing offers two BSN pathways (four-year, accelerated) and three traditional MSN tracks (general, nursing administration, nursing education). The BSN program graduates 65-90 students annually and has maintained a remarkable 94% NCLEX pass rate over the past ten years. Undergraduates learn from 22 experienced faculty and begin clinical experiences during sophomore year. Bradley’s traditional MSN program is complemented by its extensive online curriculum, including an RN-to-MSN bridge, two MSN concentrations (nursing administration, FNP), and two DNP concentrations (leadership, FNP). These online programs provide flexibility and easy access so that working nurses can improve their educational qualifications while in the field.


#15: Marquette University | Milwaukee, WI
Founded in 1936, the College of Nursing at Marquette University has more than 7,000 alumni and educates approximately 350 nursing students annually. The college offers BSN, MSN, post-master’s certificate, DNP, and PhD nursing programs, with a low 8:1 student-to-faculty ratio across all clinical settings. Graduates of the school’s flagship BSN program have passed the NCLEX exam at an 85% first-time rate since 2011, including an excellent 92% first-time pass rate in 2017. The College of Nursing is housed in 46,000-square-foot Emory T. Clark Hall, where students benefit from new facilities like the Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Center for Clinical Simulation.


#16: University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire | Eau Claire, WI
UW Eau Claire graduated its first nursing class in 1968. Today, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences offers a range of nursing degrees including traditional BSN, BSN completion, MSN, and DNP programs. In total, the college educates 800 undergraduate and graduate students and offers 300+ clinical affiliations. Approximately 100-130 students complete the traditional BSN program annually, with a stellar 92% first-time NCLEX pass rate since 2012. Nearly 100% of students are either employed or enrolled in further nursing education within six months of graduation.


#17: Grand Valley State University | Grand Rapids, MI
Since its inception in 1973, Grand Valley State University’s Kirkhof College of Nursing (KCON) has a history of successful innovations in nursing education. KCON has 26 tenured or tenure-track faculty members and hosts a dedicated academic nurse-managed center that provides care to students, faculty, and staff – part of a national network of nursing centers that share expertise. The college offers three BSN tracks (traditional, second degree, RN-to-BSN), two graduate degrees (MSN, DNP), and a post-baccalaureate Interprofessional Palliative and Hospice Care Certificate.


#18: Valparaiso University | Valparaiso, IN
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 93% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure examination over the past eight years. 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.


#19: University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh | Oshkosh, WI
Graduating its first class of 22 in 1970, the UW Oshkosh College of Nursing has since graduated approximately 6,000 nurses. It offers students a range of undergraduate and graduate programs, including an innovative, predominantly online accelerated bachelor of science in nursing. Each year, approximately 200 prelicensure BSN students pass the NCLEX exam at a consistently high rate of 92-97%. UW Oshkosh’s clinical nurse leader graduate program has also maintained a stellar 100% pass rate on the Commission on Nurse Certification CNL certification exam since 2009. The school provides students evidence-based hands-on clinical training, with opportunities for international study in South America and India.


#20: University of St. Francis | Joliet, IL
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’s 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 93%. 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.


#21: Edgewood College | Madison, WI
Edgewood College has awarded nursing degrees since 1983. The Henry Predolin School of Nursing recently launched a DNP program and now offers the full gamut of baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral nursing degrees. The traditional BSN program graduates about 100 students each year. These individuals have passed the NCLEX exam at a 90% first-time rate since 2011, including a stellar 97% first-time pass rate in 2017. Nursing students take advantage of the college’s clinical partnerships with over 70 facilities in southcentral Wisconsin, including University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, American Family Children’s Hospital, and UnityPoint Health - Meriter Hospital.


#22: Ball State University | Muncie, IN
Ball State University’s nursing department focuses intensely on the use of information technology. Designated a Center of Excellence by the National League for Nursing, Ball State’s MSN program is the eleventh-largest such online offering in the country. In fact, the department archives all graduate courses for easy access. The traditional BSN program graduates approximately 150 candidates each year, with an impressive NCLEX pass rate of 92% over the past eight years. Nursing students can use Ball State’s recently updated Simulation and Information Technology Center on campus.


#23: Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing | Peoria, IL
As the only Catholic nursing school in Peoria, Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing is proud of its heritage. It offers students a range of programs including prelicensure BSN, RN-to-BSN, an MSN with eight specialty tracks, several post-master’s certificates, and a DNP taught predominantly online. Graduates from the college’s prelicensure BSN program have passed the NCLEX exam at an 86% rate over the past decade. The college provides students with hands-on clinical experiences and a low student-to-faculty ratio. Its recently renovated Nursing Learning Center is a state-of-the-art facility with four simulation laboratories.


#24: Lewis University | Romeoville, IL
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 97% NCLEX pass rate since 2008. 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.


#25: Viterbo University | La Crosse, WI
Viterbo University’s School of Nursing is a fully accredited institution that offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Over 600 nursing students are currently enrolled across the school’s four nursing programs: traditional BSN, RN-to-BSN, BSN-to-DNP, and MSN-to-DNP. The traditional BSN program graduates 100-130 new nurses annually, and these students have passed the NCLEX exam at a strong 91% first-try rate over the past seven years. Nursing students have access to 35 fulltime and part-time faculty, a well-equipped clinical simulation learning center, and global education opportunities in Belize, Guatemala, Japan, and Korea.


#26: Xavier University | Cincinnati, OH
The nursing program at Xavier University is one of just a handful of programs in the nation endorsed by the American Holistic Nursing Association. Students learn from faculty with a diverse range of specialties including epidemiology, natural health, gerontology, and occupational health. With an emphasis on improving medical care for the Hispanic community, Xavier’s nursing department has also created an exclusive program that specializes in educating nurses fluent in Spanish. Graduates of all programs perform well on their licensure exams. The accelerated BSN class scored a perfect 100% NCLEX pass rate in 2018, and the direct entry MSN program accomplished the same feat in 2017.


#27: Goshen College | Goshen, IN
Goshen College is a private Christian liberal arts college known for its affordability and sustainability. Named one of the greenest colleges in the United States, the school conducts Indiana’s oldest baccalaureate nursing program. BSN graduates have scored an impressive 93% NCLEX pass rate over the past five years, and 96% are employed as nurses within a year of graduation. At the graduate level, Goshen College offers an MSN program for aspiring family nurse practitioners. Nearly 100% of the school’s MSN graduates are employed in an APRN role within a year of program completion. The college also conducts an online post-master’s DNP program in collaboration with Eastern Mennonite University. Goshen nursing students enjoy partnerships with a breadth of local healthcare facilities including Borgess Health System, Saint Joseph Regional Health System, and South Bend Clinic.


#28: Oakland University | Rochester Hills, MI
Oakland University’s School of Nursing is the largest state-supported nursing program in Michigan, with more than 1,600 undergraduates and 200 graduate students. Greater than 95% of alumni find employment in the tri-county area, contributing substantially to the region’s economy. The school has approximately 270 clinical partners including some of Detroit’s top hospitals and facilities, and it boasts 360 one-on-one preceptor experiences. Nursing students can apply to a broad range of undergraduate and graduate programs, including a unique MSN in forensic nursing.


#29: DePaul University | Chicago, IL
DePaul’s School of Nursing was the first in Illinois to offer a two-year direct-entry MSN program for non-nurses. The school also conducts a three-year RN-to-MSN program for nurses who hold an ADN or hospital diploma, and it offers a DNP program with specializations in nurse anesthesia, family nursing, and adult-gerontological nursing. The direct-entry MSN program graduates 100+ students annually, with an impressive NCLEX pass rate of 89% since 2008. DePaul’s pass rate on the nurse anesthesia certification exam has reached a stellar 100% in recent years. Students enjoy a network of 75+ clinical sites and state-of-the-art facilities across two campuses in Lincoln Park and North Chicago.


#30: Resurrection University | Oak Park, IL
Resurrection University (ResU) offers several degree pathways for aspiring nurses. Options include the prelicensure BSN, RN-to-BSN, MSN, hybrid RN-to-MSN, and DNP. ResU’s prelicensure BSN program is large, graduating almost 250 students per year. These students have maintained a nearly 90% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam since 2008. The RN-to-BSN program prepares existing RNs for a variety of advancement opportunities. The RN-to-MSN and MSN programs have three focal areas: health systems leadership, nurse educator, and nurse practitioner (either family or adult-gerontology). The DNP at ResU 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 to complete.


#31: Bellin College | Green Bay, WI
Bellin College specializes in nursing and medical imaging education. Undergraduates can pursue several BSN pathways including traditional prelicensure, sophomore and junior transfer, an accelerated 15-month option, and RN-to-BSN completion. The college graduates approximately 100 prelicensure BSN students each year. Since 2011, these students have averaged an impressive 92% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure examination. At the graduate level, Bellin College offers an MSN degree with family nurse practitioner and nurse educator specialties. The nurse educator curriculum is available online. Bellin’s nursing programs are noted for their extensive clinical experiences and numerous service learning opportunities.


#32: Saint Mary’s College | Notre Dame, IN
The Department of Nursing Science at Saint Mary’s College offers three distinct nursing programs: traditional BSN, DNP with BSN entry, and DNP with MSN entry. With just 40-60 graduates annually, the BSN program is very selective. It also prepares students well for their licensure exams: over the past decade, 89% of graduates have passed the NCLEX exam on their first try. Students begin clinical experiences during sophomore year under the supervision of qualified faculty members in small classes. These experiences are facilitated by the school’s affiliations with local hospitals, long-term care facilities, health departments, and other community settings.


#33: University of Saint Francis | Fort Wayne, IN
The University of Saint Francis offers a breadth of nursing degrees and pathways. Undergraduate options include an ASN program at both the Fort Wayne and Crown Point campuses, a traditional four-year BSN program, and a BSN completion pathway for working RNs. Since 2011, USF’s ASN graduates have maintained an 86% pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam, while BSN students have achieved an exceptional 95% pass rate. Graduate options include an MSN degree with an FNP focus, an RN-to-MSN transitional track, a BSN-to-DNP program in nurse anesthesia, and an MSN-to-DNP pathway focused on population health.


#34: University of Detroit Mercy | Detroit, MI
The McAuley School of Nursing at the University of Detroit Mercy offers a broad range of nursing programs. Options include a traditional BSN, a second degree BSN, an RN-to-BSN completion pathway, and a DNP with post-BSN and post-MSN entry points. The DNP program has several popular majors including adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist, clinical nurse leader, health systems management, family nurse practitioner, and nursing education. Detroit Mercy also offers a master of science in nurse anesthesia (MSNA) degree program that has been ranked among the top ten in the country by U.S. News & World Report. An impressive 91% of MSNA graduates pass the NBCRNA certification exam on their first attempt.


#35: Walsh University | North Canton, OH
The Gary and Linda Byers School of Nursing at Walsh University offers global learning experiences in countries like Haiti, Tanzania, and Italy; close proximity to top local hospitals like Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and Mercy Medical Center; and state-of-the art laboratory facilities. The university graduates 60-90 students annually from its traditional prelicensure and accelerated second degree BSN programs. These students have scored an impressive 93% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. In fact, the most recent graduating cohort passed the exam at a 97.6% rate. Walsh University also offers an MSN degree with three specialties (acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, nurse educator) and a DNP program that is offered entirely online.


#36: Indiana Wesleyan University | Marion, IN
Indiana Wesleyan University’s School of Nursing graduated its first class of 33 students in 1975. Today, the school employs 200 faculty and educates 2,000 full-time nursing students across its 16 regional education centers in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio, as well as online. IWU offers a variety of nursing programs including three BSN tracks (traditional, accelerated, RN-to-BSN), four MSN majors, an MSN/MBA dual degree, and an online DNP with a classroom-based residency. The Marion campus graduates 140-170 prelicensure BSN students each year, who have passed the NCLEX exam at a strong 91% rate over the past eight years. All students can take advantage of the Fortune Simulation Lab’s cutting-edge facilities, including eight simulators.


#37: Concordia University Wisconsin | Mequon, WI
The School of Nursing at Concordia University Wisconsin offers traditional BSN, accelerated BSN, and RN-to-BSN programs at the undergraduate level, with a strong foundation in the liberal arts. The prelicensure BSN tracks graduate 40-50 students each year, and these individuals have scored a first-time NCLEX pass rate of 92% since 2011. CUW undergraduates benefit from global study trips and clinical experiences that start during their sophomore year. The university’s MSN program has specialty tracks for aspiring nurse educators, family nurse practitioners, and adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioners. The school also has an accelerated RN-to-BSN-to-MSN bridge program, a DNP degree, and a unique certificate in parish nursing.


#38: University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee | Milwaukee, WI
Operational since 1965, the UW Milwaukee College of Nursing conducts the largest nursing program in the state. The college boasts over 7,000 alumni and currently enrolls 1,200 undergraduates and 300 graduate students. UW Milwaukee offers excellent nursing facilities, 95 dedicated faculty, and 200+ clinical affiliations. Each year, approximately 200-225 students complete the traditional BSN program. These students pass the NCLEX licensure exam at a solid rate; for example, 86% of students (including repeat test-takers) passed in 2018. UW Milwaukee was the first university to offer an asynchronous online nursing PhD in 2003. Today, most campus-based undergraduate and graduate courses are available online as well.


#39: Elmhurst College | Elmhurst, IL
Elmhurst’s School for Professional Studies offers a traditional prelicensure BSN, an RN-to-BSN completion program, and an MSN degree with three tracks (clinical nurse leader, nurse educator, nurse administrator). Since 2008, graduates of the school’s traditional BSN program have passed the NCLEX exam at an impressive 91% rate on their first attempt. Elmhurst is focused on innovation in nursing education: the school’s new preoperative nursing course was the first of its kind offered in the Chicago area. Located just 16 miles from downtown Chicago, the school’s students have access to a wealth of premier institutes for clinical studies.


#40: Kent State University | Kent, OH
In its mission to address the healthcare needs of Ohioans, Kent State University offers nursing programs at several sites in Northeast Ohio. The ADN program graduates 200-250 new nurses annually at regional campuses in Ashtabula, East Liverpool, Geauga, and Tuscarawas. The prelicensure BSN program graduates another 400-500 students per year at the main campus in Kent and regional campuses in Geauga, Salem, Stark, and Trumbull. Kent State students consistently perform well on the NCLEX licensure exam, scoring an 86% ADN pass rate and an 88% BSN pass rate over the past decade. Graduate nursing students can select from four online tracks and five hybrid (mix of in-person and online) tracks in the MSN program. Kent State also offers a joint MSN/MBA degree and both types of doctoral nursing degrees. The university boasts clinical experiences with more than 350 partners and a 99.6% job placement rate within six months of graduation.


#41: Wayne State University | Detroit, MI
Wayne State University is the third-largest public educational institution in Michigan and one of the nation’s fifty largest public schools. The university serves over 27,000 students across thirteen distinct colleges and schools. The College of Nursing offers a breadth of BSN options for undergraduates including traditional, freshman direct-admit, honors, second degree, veterans, and RN-to-BSN pathways. Prelicensure BSN students consistently perform well on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam, with a 94% first-time pass rate in 2016 and a perfect 100% first-time pass rate in 2015. Graduate students can pursue six different tracks in the MSN program and eight distinct clinical specialties in the DNP curriculum. Wayne State also conducts a nursing PhD program that offers full-time and part-time pathways to both BSN- and MSN-prepared entrants.


#42: Madonna University | Livonia, MI
Madonna University’s College of Nursing and Health offers a breadth of undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. Undergraduates can pursue a prelicensure BSN or RN-to-BSN degree completion. Graduate students have five MSN specialty tracks, a joint MSN/MBA dual degree option, four graduate certificates, and a post-master’s DNP degree. These nursing programs embody the university’s Catholic and Franciscan commitment to serving the community. Twenty-six nursing faculty members guide students through lab experiences, high-fidelity simulation, and clinical practice in a variety of healthcare settings. The college’s Nursing Simulation Lab has four mock hospital rooms, a home health community room, and a ten-bed skills laboratory.


#43: Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing & Health Sciences | Quincy, IL
Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing & Health Sciences offers four BSN pathways: a traditional BSN, a BSN transfer option, a second degree BSN, and an online RN-to-BSN. In total, the college graduates 40-60 prelicensure BSN students annually, and they have achieved an impressive 90% pass rate on the NCLEX exam over the past decade. Nursing students receive hands-on learning in the school’s multimillion-dollar Simulation Center, which features a hospital unit complete with nine patient rooms and a nurses’ station. To hone their skills, students work one-on-one with an instructor on different types of manikins including male, female, pediatric, and a birthing mother. Blessing-Rieman also offers an online MSN degree with tracks in nursing administration and nursing education.


#44: Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences | Rock Island, IL
Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences offers three BSN pathways depending upon the student’s educational background. The traditional BSN (BSN-B) allows students who have completed all general education courses to earn a BSN in six semesters. The accelerated BSN (BSN-A) provides a more rapid 15-month timeline for students with a non-nursing baccalaureate degree. Students in the BSN-A and BSN-B pathways take the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. Their performance is stellar, averaging a 95% first-time pass rate since the program’s inception. The completion BSN (BSN-C) is designed for RNs who already hold an ADN or nursing diploma and would like to earn a bachelor’s degree. Trinity College also offers a two-year MSN degree. This is a direct entry program designed for students who hold a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing discipline.


#45: University of Southern Indiana | Evansville, IN
USI’s College of Nursing and Health Professions offers a prelicensure BSN program, an RN-to-BSN pathway, an MSN degree, several APRN certificates, and a DNP program. The college adopts a unique dedicated education unit (DEU) model, featuring exclusive clinical education partnerships with both Deaconess Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital. The school’s BSN graduates have an outstanding NCLEX pass rate of 98% since 2011. Students applying for APRN certifications from the American Nurses Credentialing Center have scored a perfect 100% pass rate on several exams since 2012.


#46: Columbia College of Nursing | Glendale, WI
Columbia College of Nursing (CCON) dates back to 1901. The college has been affiliated with Columbia Hospital since 1909 and serves a vital role in the education of competent nurses. CCON offers three distinct nursing programs. Prelicensure students can enroll in the college’s upper division “2 plus 2” BSN program. This curriculum allows students to complete their first 60 general education credits at an accredited school and their final 60 nursing credits at CCON. Approximately 60-80 students graduate from the prelicensure BSN program each year. Since 2011, these graduates have averaged an 83% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam. Columbia College of Nursing also offers an 11-month RN-to-BSN program and a 17-month MSN program. The MSN degree has a clinical nurse leader focus and features 400 hours of clinical practice.


#47: Governors State University | University Park, IL
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.


#48: Franciscan University of Steubenville | Steubenville, OH
Franciscan University’s nursing program draws on its Christian values, providing education geared towards holistic health-oriented care. The program offers a traditional BSN for undergraduate students, an RN-to-BSN articulation option for registered nurses, and an MSN program with a family nurse practitioner specialization. Franciscan University’s small BSN graduating class, typically 50-60 students annually, has passed the NCLEX exam at a 90% rate since 2009. Students have access to a well-equipped Nursing Simulation Laboratory that incorporates the latest Laerdal human patient simulator technology.


#49: Ursuline College | Pepper Pike, OH
Ursuline was the first women’s college in Ohio and one of the first women’s colleges in the country. Its Breen School of Nursing maintains this tradition, educating female nurses in the following programs: traditional BSN, accelerated BSN, RN-to-BSN, traditional MSN, RN-to-MSN, and DNP. The school provides five distinct MSN tracks: adult nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, palliative care, adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist, and nursing education. Approximately 75-100 students graduate annually from the four-year BSN program, and they have maintained a solid NCLEX exam pass rate of 87% since 2009.


#50: University of Indianapolis | Indianapolis, IN
UIndy’s School of Nursing is the only institution in the state that offers both nurse-midwifery and neonatal nurse practitioner programs. The school also provides five other MSN specializations; traditional, accelerated, and degree-completion BSN programs; and a doctorate of nursing practice. Prelicensure students from UIndy’s BSN programs have achieved an NCLEX exam pass rate of 90% over the past decade. The school’s “Education for Service” motto is deeply embedded in its nursing curriculum, including a number of student volunteer and mission opportunities each year.


#51: Otterbein University | Westerville, OH
Otterbein University has a proud heritage of equality and inclusion, including its status as the first college in the nation to include women as both faculty members and students. The Department of Nursing’s flagship BSN program prepares students for careers in acute care, primary care, extended care, mental health, and community health settings. Coursework covers critical topics like pharmacology, nursing research, and informatics. The BSN program graduates 40-60 students annually, with an impressive 93% first-time NCLEX pass rate since 2015. The class of 2018 scored a perfect 100% (48 out of 48) NCLEX pass rate. Otterbein also offers graduate nursing programs that award MSN and DNP degrees. Concentrations are available for aspiring family nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners.


#52: Andrews University | Berrien Springs, MI
The Andrews University School of Health Professions has two undergraduate nursing programs and one graduate nursing program. Undergraduates can pursue either a prelicensure BSN degree or an online RN-to-BSN. Prelicensure BSN graduates have enjoyed strong NCLEX-RN exam pass rates of 94-100% over the past several years. At the graduate level, the university offers a DNP program with family nurse practitioner emphasis. Andrews is the first Seventh-day Adventist school to allow students to matriculate directly from a bachelor of science track into the DNP program.


#53: Saginaw Valley State University | University Center, MI
The College of Health and Human Services at Saginaw Valley State University offers several options in both baccalaureate and graduate nursing education. Undergraduate programs include a prelicensure BSN and an RN-to-BSN completion pathway. Graduate students can pursue either a traditional MSN or an RN-to-MSN pathway. The MSN program has an accelerated option and four tracks including family nurse practitioner, clinical nurse leader, nurse educator, and nurse administrator. A primary care FNP post-graduate certificate is also available, with non-clinical courses offered in a hybrid format for working nurses who already hold a graduate nursing degree in another concentration.


#54: Concordia University Ann Arbor | Ann Arbor, MI
Concordia University Ann Arbor (CUAA) is a member of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and one of nine campuses that form the nationwide Concordia University System. The Ann Arbor campus opened its doors more than fifty years ago. Today, CUAA serves more than a thousand students, making it one of the fastest-growing private universities in the Midwest. The School of Nursing offers a prelicensure BSN program, an MSN degree with three concentrations (adult-gerontology primary care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, nurse educator), and a post-master’s DNP program. Nursing students have the opportunity to work and learn in the skills lab, simulation center, and abroad. The simulation center includes five hospital rooms, an apartment, a chapel, and a courtroom.


#55: Ashland University | Mansfield, OH
The Dwight Schar College of Nursing & Health Sciences at Ashland University has nearly a dozen nursing program offerings. Undergraduates may choose from four BSN tracks including traditional, advanced entry, accelerated second degree, and online RN-to-BSN. Over the past decade, prelicensure BSN students have achieved a noteworthy 88% pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam. At the graduate level, Ashland offers both BSN and MS/MSN entry points for its DNP program. Students entering post-BSN may specialize in family nurse practitioner or health systems leadership, while those entering post-MS/MSN may specialize in advanced practice nursing or health systems leadership. The college also offers certificates for aspiring school nurses and nurse educators. All graduate programs are offered online.


#56: Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science | North Chicago, IL
The College of Health Professions at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science 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.


#57: Methodist College | Peoria, IL
Methodist College offers BSN and MSN programs. Both degree programs have three options. The BSN has a traditional prelicensure track, an RN-to-BSN completion pathway, and an accelerated second degree track. Students also have the option to add a certificate, such as gerontology, or a minor in arts and humanities, behavioral and social sciences, or math and science. The college graduates 100-160 students each year across the traditional and accelerated BSN tracks. These students have passed the NCLEX-RN licensure exam at an 84% rate over the past decade, including a 91% pass rate by the most recent class. The MSN program has nurse educator, nurse leader executive, and generalist options.


#58: Saint Xavier University | Chicago, IL
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 consistently receives the COE designation from the National League for Nursing. 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.


#59: Hope College | Holland, MI
Hope College is a four-year private liberal arts college that serves more than 3,000 students across ninety majors, minors, and pre-professional programs. The Department of Nursing offers a prelicensure BSN program that boasts a 97% NCLEX exam pass rate over the last seven years. Students graduate from the program with hands-on research experience and at least 500 hours of clinical practice. Nursing majors can choose to graduate with a minor – or even a double major – in related fields like psychology, sociology, or modern and classical languages.


#60: Southern Illinois University Edwardsville | Edwardsville, IL
The SIUE School of Nursing provides traditional BSN, accelerated BSN, and RN-to-BSN degree programs for undergraduates. It also offers three distinct MSN tracks (healthcare informatics, nurse education, healthcare and nursing administration) and a DNP program with two specialization options (nurse anesthesia, family nurse practitioner). BSN graduates have maintained a solid 81% NCLEX pass rate since 2008. SIUE students learn in active classroom settings and a high-technology simulation laboratory, and they are guaranteed clinical placement among the school’s 28 community partners in the St. Louis metropolitan area. SIUE pursues a federally funded program called SNAP, which is designed to recruit racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse high school graduates.


#61: Marian University | Indianapolis, IN
Marian University’s Leighton School of Nursing offers several pathways to a BSN degree. In addition to a traditional four-year BSN program, the school offers an on-campus ABSN, an online ABSN program for residents of Indianapolis and Nashville, and an online RN-to-BSN program. Since 2011, the school’s prelicensure BSN students have passed the NCLEX exam at an 88% first-try rate. Marian University recently launched a new Master of Science in Nursing Education curriculum. In addition, the school offers the terminal DNP degree for two APRN specializations: family nurse practitioner and certified registered nurse anesthetist. The MSN and DNP programs are delivered through a hybrid platform.


#62: St. John’s College | Springfield, IL
St. John’s College offers traditional BSN, accelerated BSN, RN-to-BSN, and MSN programs. The traditional BSN is designed for students who have already completed 56 semester hours of lower-division coursework, while the accelerated BSN is designed for students who have already received a bachelor’s degree in another field. Across these two prelicensure programs, St. John’s students have maintained a strong 91% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam over the past decade. The RN-to-BSN program is an online, postlicensure pathway for nurses who hold an unencumbered RN license and have graduated from an accredited diploma or ADN program. The MSN program has two focal areas: nursing administration / leadership and family nurse practitioner.


#63: University of Cincinnati | Cincinnati, OH
The College of Nursing at the University of Cincinnati offers nursing programs from the undergraduate to the professional level. There are two pathways to the BSN: a traditional prelicensure program and an online RN-to-BSN completion program. The prelicensure program generates 200-250 new nurses annually, and these graduates have maintained an 83% first-time NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. At the graduate level, UC offers two entry points for the MSN degree (traditional post-BSN, accelerated direct-entry) and a breadth of specialization options, including nurse midwifery and five NP tracks. The university also offers both DNP and nursing PhD programs. DNP students may complete four additional online courses (12 credit hours) to earn a nurse education certificate.


#64: University of Michigan - Flint | Flint, MI
With nearly a dozen degree pathways, the School of Nursing at the University of Michigan - Flint has one of the largest nursing programs in the country. Undergraduate options include the traditional BSN, accelerated second degree BSN, RN-to-BSN, veterans BSN, and a nursing direct program for exceptional high school seniors. UM-Flint also offers a breadth of graduate nursing options, including the Rural Health program and the Academic Partnerships for Nurse Practitioner Students program. These unique programs place MSN and DNP nurse practitioner students in primary care clinics in rural and underserved settings. Licensed nurse practitioners may also earn a post-graduate PMHNP certificate.


#65: Mount St. Joseph University | Cincinnati, OH
The Department of Nursing at Mount St. Joseph University has more than eighty years of experience educating nurses. The department offers several undergraduate and graduate options, including the MAGELIN (Master’s Graduate Entry-Level into Nursing) program for second-degree students. This program has maintained a first-time NCLEX pass rate of 87% since 2011. The school’s prelicensure BSN students also perform well on their exams: over the past decade, they have passed the NCLEX exam at an 88% rate on their first attempt. Mount St. Joseph also offers traditional MSN and DNP programs for existing registered nurses.


#66: Ohio Northern University | Ada, OH
Ohio Northern University offers a four-year prelicensure BSN program. Students begin their clinical experiences during sophomore year and benefit from an 8:1 student-to-faculty clinical ratio. The university graduates 20-30 prelicensure BSN candidates each year. These students have performed exceptionally well on the NCLEX exam, with a 96% first-time pass rate over the past decade. The graduating class of 2018 scored a perfect 100% (30 out of 30) NCLEX pass rate. ONU students utilize state-of-the-art laboratory facilities and experience a diverse range of healthcare settings. Over the past three years, 98.6% of nursing majors were either gainfully employed or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.


#67: Olivet Nazarene University | Bourbonnais, IL
Olivet Nazarene University offers nursing instruction in the context of a Christian liberal arts education. Students learn from twenty faculty members who lead an array of nursing programs, including BSN, ABSN, RN-to-BSN, two MSN tracks (generic and FNP focus), and a post-master’s FNP certification. Olivet’s small class sizes and personalized instruction have helped BSN graduates to pass the NCLEX exam at an 88% rate over the last decade. The school’s well-equipped Simulation Lab includes wireless smart mannequins, and the nursing curriculum incorporates innovative learning techniques like disaster simulation.


#68: Maranatha Baptist University | Watertown, WI
Maranatha Baptist University is the only regionally accredited university of the Independent Fundamental Baptist faith to offer a BSN degree. The school has access to grants from the Health Resources and Services Administration for facilities improvements, scholarships, loans, and student loan repayment programs. Maranatha has a small and tight-knit class of nursing students, with fewer than 20 BSN candidates typically graduating each spring. Since 2011, these graduates have passed the NCLEX exam on their first attempt at a stellar 95% rate. Undergraduates have multiple opportunities to apply their nursing skills on international mission trips.


#69: Aurora University | Aurora, IL
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 100 newly minted nurses each spring. Over the past decade, these students have sustained a strong 93% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam.


#70: Purdue University Northwest | Hammond, IN
Purdue University Northwest (PNW) 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 64 institutions so designated nationwide. Undergraduates can choose from several BSN pathways including traditional, accelerated, and online RN-to-BSN. Prelicensure students have achieved an 87% first-time NCLEX pass rate since 2011 (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.


#71: Ferris State University | Big Rapids, MI
Ferris State University has five nursing degree pathways including prelicensure BSN, RN-to-BSN, traditional MSN, RN-to-MSN, and DNP. The prelicensure BSN program is a five-semester professional sequence track for traditional nursing students. The RN-to-BSN is designed for nurses who were originally prepared at the ADN or diploma level. The MSN programs at Ferris offer three concentrations: nursing administration, nursing informatics, and nursing education. The RN-to-BSN and MSN pathways are all offered fully online. Launched in 2017, the DNP is mostly online as well with one intensive year. Students may complete the program within two calendar years.


#72: Calvin University | Grand Rapids, MI
Calvin University is one of the top regional colleges in the Midwest. A Christian school, Calvin University serves 3,700 students across more than 100 majors, minors, and programs. The university offers a fully accredited BSN program that emphasizes practical training and experience. Nursing simulation is integrated throughout the curriculum with a variety of across-the-life-span, scenario-based simulations. Students have opportunities to work in local hospitals, neighborhood clinics, and schools. They can also study abroad in places like Nepal, Mexico, and China. 100% of Calvin University’s BSN graduates are in graduate school or a job within a year of graduation.


#73: Illinois Wesleyan University | Bloomington, IL
The School of Nursing at Illinois Wesleyan University offers a traditional BSN program that allows students to pursue a minor in Hispanic studies, human services management, or health. The program has several unique features including collaborative research opportunities with nursing faculty, facilities that simulate hospital and home healthcare settings, internships across several healthcare fields, study abroad trips, and early clinical experiences. School of Nursing students also benefit from the program’s 100% job placement rate. Since 2008, the BSN program has graduated 30-40 students each year who achieved an excellent 92% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam.


#74: Carroll University | Waukesha, WI
The College of Health Sciences at Carroll University offers a traditional prelicensure bachelor of science in nursing. Students develop entry-level nursing skills through a combination of coursework, laboratory simulations, and clinical experiences. Nursing courses and laboratory simulations begin during freshman year. As students move through the program, they have the opportunity to focus their training on specific domains like medical-surgical nursing, pediatric nursing, palliative care, psychiatric nursing, or intensive care. Since 2011, Carroll’s BSN graduates have achieved a phenomenal 97% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam.


#75: Millikin University | Decatur, IL
Millikin University’s School of Nursing offers BSN, MSN, and DNP degree programs. The BSN program has both a traditional prelicensure pathway and an online RN-to-BSN pathway. The MSN program has a track for RNs who already hold a BSN degree, as well as a master’s entry into nursing practice: prelicensure (MENP-PL) track for aspiring nurses with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. The DNP has four options: BSN-to-DNP nurse anesthesia, BSN-to-DNP family nurse practitioner, MSN-to-DNP family nurse practitioner, and DNP completion for APRNs. A school nurse certificate is also available. Traditional BSN graduates have scored an 86% pass rate on the NCLEX exam over the past decade, while their MENP-PL counterparts have achieved a perfect 100% pass rate.


#76: Cedarville University | Cedarville, OH
The School of Nursing at Cedarville University has a number of unique programs. For undergraduates, Cedarville offers both traditional and three-year BSN programs, as well as a cross-cultural nursing minor. The minor prepares students to work with cross-cultural populations on missions either in the U.S. or abroad. Cedarville graduates almost 100 BSN students annually, with a solid 88% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. Graduate options include an MSN degree with three tracks (family nurse practitioner, global public health nursing, nurse educator) and standalone certificate programs in the final two tracks.


#77: Northern Michigan University | Marquette, MI
Northern Michigan University’s School of Nursing places special emphasis on developing critical thinking skills and therapeutic techniques through both classroom and clinical experiences. Students in the program work with faculty and other nurses in a variety of local and regional healthcare facilities to gain hands-on experience in actual patient care. Students will also hone their skills through lab and simulation experiences, as well as through clinical courses that take place in a state-of-the-art Nursing Technology Center. Graduates of the NMU nursing program enjoy a 90% job placement rate within six months of completing the program.


#78: Anderson University | Anderson, IN
Anderson University’s School of Nursing offers BSN and MSN degrees. The MSN program has four distinct tracks: administration, education, informatics, and an MSN/MBA dual-degree option. The school’s BSN graduates have passed the NCLEX exam at a 94% rate over the past eight years, and graduating classes frequently achieve a 100% job placement rate. Nursing students have clinical opportunities at two local hospitals (St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital, Community Hospital Anderson) and several other regional healthcare organizations. The school offers global education options and has integrated a mandatory intercultural experience into the curriculum.


#79: Baldwin Wallace University | Berea, OH
The School of Health Sciences at Baldwin Wallace University offers an accelerated BSN program that allows individuals with a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field to earn the BSN in just 15 months. The intensive program combines rigorous classwork and lab work with extensive clinical experiences that start in the first semester. All nursing students complete a clinical rotation at Southwest General Health Center in Middleburg Heights, Ohio. Since the program’s launch, BW has graduated 20-40 BSN students annually, with an exceptional 96% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure examination.


#80: Wright State University | Dayton, OH
The Wright State University-Miami Valley College of Nursing and Health enrolls almost 700 undergraduate and 220 graduate nursing students. Classes in a range of nursing disciplines and specializations are led by 45 experienced faculty. The college graduates a large BSN class of 150-200 students each year, who have passed the NCLEX exam at rates as high as 93% in recent years. A multi-year strategic initiative called the Wright Nurse Project helps the college improve its curriculum towards more evidence-based pedagogy. Students have several opportunities for international immersion, including a study abroad program in the United Kingdom and global health initiatives in Tanzania.


#81: Capital University | Columbus, OH
Capital University offers nursing programs for those new to the field and for those seeking an advanced degree. The university has traditional and accelerated BSN programs, an MSN degree with several pathways and specializations, and post-master’s certificates for aspiring nurse educators and adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialists. The traditional BSN is for students with no previous nursing education, while the accelerated pathway is for students who have completed a bachelor’s degree in a non-nursing field. Capital graduates 70-100 students annually across both programs, with a solid 85% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. The MSN program has both standalone and joint degree (MSN/MBA or MSN/JD) options with five possible concentrations: administration, adult-gerontology clinical nurse specialist, legal studies, nursing education, and theological studies.


#82: McKendree University | Lebanon, IL
McKendree University’s School of Nursing and Health Professions offers an RN-to-BSN completion program, an online MSN with four tracks, and a DNP in Ethical Leadership. The RN-to-BSN program builds upon the nurse’s previous ADN or nursing diploma education. The MSN offers specialization options in nursing education, nursing management / administration, and population health, as well as a dual MSN/MBA degree pathway. The DNP program is designed specifically for working practitioners. It features a 30-credit-hour online curriculum, plus two on-campus immersion experiences during each August of the two-year program.


#83: Western Michigan University | Kalamazoo, MI
The Bronson School of Nursing at Western Michigan University has a unique nursing program that encourages interprofessional activities with other College of Health and Human Services disciplines. Degree pathways include the traditional BSN, RN-to-BSN, and MSN. The four-year BSN prepares students for leadership and management roles at hospitals, clinics, public health agencies, schools, occupational settings, and health and wellness centers. The RN-to-BSN allows licensed RNs to earn the BSN online in two years or less. The MSN also features online course delivery along with nurse educator, addiction, and gerontology tracks. Students in all programs enjoy state-of-the-art classrooms and labs, clinical experiences at major healthcare facilities, and extensive job placement services.


#84: Eastern Michigan University | Ypsilanti, MI
What began as a small teacher’s college has grown into a major learning and research institution, offering more than 350 programs to 21,000 students. Eastern Michigan University has trained aspiring nurses in particular for nearly fifty years. The undergraduate curriculum offers three BSN pathways: traditional prelicensure, second degree accelerated, and RN-to-BSN degree completion. The MSN program has two adult-gerontology specializations (clinical nurse specialist or primary care nurse practitioner), as well as clinical research and nursing education tracks. Graduate students can also pursue a terminal DNP degree in either adult-gerontology specialization.


#85: Malone University | Canton, OH
Malone University’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences has educated nursing students for over twenty years. The school incorporates evidence-based practice, cultural competence, and simulation training into three nursing programs: a four-year BSN, an RN-to-BSN degree completion program, and an MSN degree with FNP and AGACNP specialty tracks. Faculty members provide students with one-on-one support through both the Center for Clinical Learning and the Center for Study and Testing. Malone’s four-year BSN program graduates 30-60 new nurses annually, and these students have passed the NCLEX licensure exam at rates as high as 97% in recent years.


#86: Chamberlain University | Chicago, IL
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 83% rate since the program’s inception. Chamberlain University also offers a fully online MSN program with specialty tracks for nurse educators, nurse executives, family nurse practitioners, nursing informatics, and healthcare policy.


#87: Bethel University | Mishawaka, IN
Bethel University was founded in 1947 by a group of Missionary Church visionaries. The university provides more than fifty areas of study in total. Bethel’s School of Nursing offers several degree programs including ADN, traditional BSN, RN-to-BSN completion, and MSN pathways. Students in all programs will practice on adult and child mannequins in high-fidelity computer-based simulation labs, mimicking the complex patient environments found in real-world settings. Bethel also conducts medical mission trips to Kenya, Guatemala, and the Dominican Republic. The school’s NCLEX-RN pass rates are impressive, with an 88% first-time pass rate for ADN students and a 92% first-time pass rate for BSN students since 2011.


#88: Milwaukee School of Engineering | Milwaukee, WI
Milwaukee School of Engineering, also known as MSOE University, is a private non-profit institution that specializes in engineering, business, and nursing education. The School of Nursing leads two baccalaureate programs: a traditional prelicensure pathway and an accelerated second degree. The traditional BSN program offers students direct admission and guaranteed placement in the clinical sequence. Admissions take place twice annually, and each cohort is limited to just 32 students. The accelerated second degree program requires just 18 months of fulltime study. MSOE graduates 50-80 students annually across these two programs. Since 2011, these students have enjoyed an 87% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX national licensure examination.


#89: University of Evansville | Evansville, IN
Founded in 1854 as Moores Hill Male and Female College Institute, the University of Evansville is a private institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church and grounded in the liberal arts and sciences. The school’s nursing program has both a direct-entry traditional BSN and an affordable, flexible RN-to-BSN program. Students enjoy small class sizes; for example, each traditional BSN cohort has just 20-40 enrollees. The program offers six semesters of clinicals at local facilities and numerous study abroad opportunities. Over the past decade, BSN graduates have enjoyed a solid 88% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.


#90: Lakeview College of Nursing | Danville, IL
Lakeview College of Nursing in Danville offers a BSN program with five progression tracks: traditional, accelerated, paced, LPN-to-BSN, and RN-to-BSN. Students have access to Lakeview College’s extensive facilities: classrooms equipped with the latest technology, a fully-stocked nursing arts laboratory, a modern chemistry laboratory, a learning resource center, a state-of-the art computer lab, quiet study areas, and a student lounge. Over the past decade, Lakeview College has graduated 100-160 prelicensure BSN students each year, with an average first-time NCLEX exam pass rate of approximately 80%.


#91: Spring Arbor University | Spring Arbor, MI
Spring Arbor University has two options for BSN students: a traditional prelicensure program and an RN-to-BSN pathway. The BSN curriculum blends the liberal arts and nursing science to lay a foundation for communication, leadership, and critical thinking. The university provides research and clinical opportunities at both Henry Ford Allegiance Health and Hillsdale Hospital. Students also enjoy a student-to-faculty ratio of 15:1 and a brand new state-of-the-art clinical simulation lab, which allows students to complete up to 50% of the required clinical hours on campus. At the graduate level, SAU offers several MSN specializations including adult-gerontology primary care, education, and family nurse practitioner. The MSN’s flexible online format accommodates a number of pathways, including RN-to-MSN and a unique MSN/MBA dual degree.


#92: Indiana State University | Terre Haute, IN
Indiana State University opened its doors in 1870 as Indiana State Normal School, with just 23 students and a faculty of three. Today, the university has hundreds of faculty members serving more than 13,000 students. Indiana State’s School of Nursing sits within the College of Health and Human Services. The school offers a variety of nursing programs including four BSN pathways (traditional, accelerated, LPN bridge, online completion), two MSN specializations (family nurse practitioner, nurse educator), and the terminal DNP degree. Approximately 150-200 prelicensure BSN students graduate each year, and these students have achieved an 85% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam since 2011.


#93: Wisconsin Lutheran College | Milwaukee, WI
Wisconsin Lutheran College is a nationally ranked Christian college that serves approximately 1,200 traditional undergraduate, adult, and graduate students through both on-campus and online programs. The school offers a prelicensure bachelor of science degree in nursing that combines a liberal arts education with a strong science foundation. Nursing students participate in a wide variety of classroom discussions, laboratory exercises, and clinical experiences, with a particular emphasis on serving diverse and vulnerable populations. Since the program’s founding approximately a decade ago, BSN graduates have averaged a 90% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure examination. The classes of 2017 and 2019 each reported a 100% NCLEX pass rate on the first attempt. All twenty-one of Wisconsin Lutheran College’s 2019 nursing graduates were employed within one month of graduation.


#94: University of Wisconsin - Green Bay | Green Bay, WI
The University of Wisconsin - Green Bay offers several nursing pathways through the College of Health, Education, and Social Welfare. Existing registered nurses can pursue a bachelor of science in nursing through the school’s RN-to-BSN completion program. This option is offered not only on campus, but also online through the University of Wisconsin System’s BSN@Home collaborative. Prelicensure students can enroll in the Nurse 1-2-1 program. This innovative partnership with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College enables high school graduates to earn an ADN from NWTC and a BSN from UW-Green Bay, all while living on campus and enjoying a traditional undergraduate experience. In the fall of 2020, the university will also launch its own four-year prelicensure BSN program. This new offering will help the state to meet the growing demand for baccalaureate-prepared healthcare providers. Finally, graduate nursing students can pursue an online MSN degree with a leadership and management focus at UW-Green Bay. With flexible course scheduling, enrollees can complete the degree in two, three, or four years.


#95: Benedictine University | Lisle, IL
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.


#96: Mercy College of Ohio | Toledo, OH
Mercy College of Ohio offers several programs for aspiring nurses including prelicensure ADN and BSN programs, an online RN-to-BSN pathway, and an online MSN degree. The ADN program graduates 120-150 students annually across both a daytime and an evening / weekend offering. These students have scored an impressive 90% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. The prelicensure BSN program graduates another 75-100 students per year, with a strong 86% NCLEX pass rate over the same time period. Mercy College offers its online MSN degree through a 36-credit-hour program that can be completed in six semesters.


#97: University of Toledo | Toledo, OH
The UT College of Nursing has a unique partnership with ProMedica. Collectively, the two institutions develop innovative educational programs, offer diverse clinical experiences, provide opportunities for interprofessional research collaboration, and build high-quality professional development programs. The College of Nursing offers a traditional BSN degree through a consortium with Bowling Green State University. UT graduates 150-200 students from this program annually, with a solid 84% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. The college also offers a graduate-entry clinical nurse leader program with just 30 students per cohort. These individuals have scored an 86% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. UT’s MSN and DNP programs both offer four distinct nurse practitioner specializations.


#98: North Park University | Chicago, IL
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 86% 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.


#99: University of Findlay | Findlay, OH
The University of Findlay has gained a national reputation for excellence in its science, health professions, animal science, and equestrian studies programs. The school recently launched a traditional BSN program that emphasizes critical thinking, ethics, diversity, health and human functioning, professional leadership, and emerging trends in healthcare. Students gain hands-on experience in Findlay’s nursing care skills lab and through clinical practice at local healthcare centers. Coursework covers important concepts like community health nursing, psychology, human anatomy, intercultural care, and maternal-child nursing. Exceptional high school students may be admitted directly into the program during their senior year.


#100: Aultman College | Canton, OH
Aultman College dates back to 1890 when Stark County’s first hospital opened its doors. The college is northeast Ohio’s only health system-affiliated institution of higher learning, with more than 350 students enrolled across its health sciences, medical assisting, nursing, radiography, and social work programs. Nursing students can enroll in one of three degree programs: an associate of science in nursing (ASN), a prelicensure bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), or an RN-to-BSN completion pathway. Students receive unparalleled clinical and learning experiences at Aultman Hospital, Stark County’s largest employer and the area’s only Magnet-designated facility. Nursing graduates have an excellent track record on their licensure examinations. Over the past decade, ASN graduates have averaged an 87% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam, including a phenomenal 98.4% pass rate in 2018.