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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: Duke University | Durham, NC
The National League for Nursing has designated the Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) a Center of Excellence on five separate occasions. The school consistently ranks among the highest in the nation in U.S. News & World Report’s top MSN and DNP programs. Indeed, DUSON was the first school in North Carolina to offer the doctor of nursing practice degree. Duke also graduates 120-150 students each year from its accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program. These students have passed the NCLEX exam at a stellar 98% first-attempt rate over the past decade.

#2: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill | Chapel Hill, NC
The UNC School of Nursing was the first in the state to offer a four-year BSN, an MSN degree, a nurse practitioner (NP) program, and a doctor of philosophy (PhD) in nursing. The school, which also offers RN-to-BSN, DNP, and post-master’s certificate programs, ranks near the top 20 in the nation on two separate U.S. News & World Report lists (best MSN programs, best DNP programs). The traditional BSN program graduates a class of approximately 175 students annually, who have passed the NCLEX licensure exam at a rate of 96% since 2010.

#3: East Carolina University | Greenville, NC
East Carolina University has garnered multiple designations as an NLN COE over the last few years. The ECU College of Nursing offers traditional BSN, accelerated BSN (ABSN), and RN-to-BSN pathways, plus the innovative Eastern North Carolina Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses program. This initiative dually admits students to ECU and one of six local community colleges that partner with the university. The College of Nursing’s 250 annual BSN graduates consistently pass the NCLEX exam at a rate of 96% or better, including a phenomenal 98% pass rate during 2015. ECU also offers a breadth of graduate nursing options including MSN, DNP, and PhD programs.

#4: University of North Carolina at Greensboro | Greensboro, NC
The UNCG School of Nursing has earned multiple COE designations from the National League for Nursing in recent years. The school offers three undergraduate pathways: traditional four-year BSN, RN-to-BSN, and BSN as a second degree. UNCG graduates close to 100 prelicensure BSN students annually, who have achieved a strong NCLEX exam pass rate of 91% since 2010. The school’s online MSN program is ranked near the top 50 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report. UNCG also offers a dual MSN / master of business administration (MBA) degree and very selective DNP and PhD programs.

#5: University of North Carolina at Wilmington | Wilmington, NC
The UNC Wilmington School of Nursing has 1,000 current students and more than 2,100 alumni in North Carolina alone. Undergraduates can pursue a traditional prelicensure BSN, an online RN-to-BSN program, or a unique Bachelor of Science in Clinical Research degree – one of just four such programs in the United States. UNC Wilmington’s prelicensure BSN students have enjoyed a 94% NCLEX pass rate since 2010, with a stellar 98% pass rate in 2015. The school’s graduate offerings include an MSN with FNP focus, a Master of Science in Clinical Research degree, post-master’s FNP and NED certificates, and a newly launched DNP program.

#6: University of North Carolina at Charlotte | Charlotte, NC
The UNC Charlotte School of Nursing achieved a 92% NCLEX pass rate among its 2016 BSN graduates. Just as impressively, August 2015 graduates of the adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner (AG-ACNP) MSN track achieved a 100% pass rate on their certification exam. In addition to traditional BSN, MSN, and DNP degrees, UNC Charlotte leads an interdisciplinary, collaborative PhD program in the College of Health and Human Services. The school also offers an online RN-to-BSN completion program, an RIBN option in partnership with local community colleges, and several post-master’s and graduate certificates.

#7: Western Carolina University | Cullowhee, NC
The School of Nursing at Western Carolina University offers a breadth of nursing pathways. Options include four BSN programs (traditional, accelerated, online RN-to-BSN, and RIBN), an MSN degree, post-MSN certificates, and a DNP program in nurse anesthesia. Graduates of the traditional and accelerated BSN programs have achieved a phenomenal 98% first-time NCLEX pass rate since 2010. The RIBN program provides students with a seamless four-year, associate-to-baccalaureate nursing education. Unlike in a traditional BSN program, RIBN students have the opportunity to begin working as an RN at the start of their fourth year. The MSN program has specialty tracks in family nurse practitioner, nurse educator, and nursing leadership, with the final two options offered online.

#8: Gardner-Webb University | Boiling Springs, NC
The Hunt School of Nursing at Gardner-Webb University is part of the College of Health Sciences. The school offers all levels of nursing education including an associate’s degree, three pathways to a bachelor’s degree (traditional, accelerated second degree, RN-to-BSN), a master’s degree with several specialty tracks (education, administration, family nurse practitioner), and a doctor of nursing practice. In addition, Hunt SON offers a post-baccalaureate certificate in nursing education and post-master’s certificates in all three MSN specialty areas. Undergraduates consistently perform well on their licensure exams. Since 2010, ADN graduates have averaged a 91% pass rate on the NCLEX exam, while their counterparts in the BSN program have scored an exceptional 96% pass rate since the program’s launch.

#9: Wake Forest School of Medicine | Winston Salem, NC
Wake Forest School of Medicine has two graduate programs for aspiring APRNs: Master of Science in Nurse Anesthesia (MSNA) and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP). The nurse anesthesia program was established in 1942 as one of the professional schools of North Carolina Baptist Hospital and the Bowman Gray School of Medicine. Since then, Wake Forest Baptist Health has served as the program’s sponsor and the major facility for clinical education of WFSM students. The DNP program is designed for nurses seeking a terminal degree in nursing practice, offering an alternative to research-focused doctoral programs. Coursework for the program is offered 100% online.

#10: Cabarrus College of Health Sciences | Concord, NC
Cabarrus College of Health Sciences is home to the Louise Harkey School of Nursing. The school offers a pre-nursing track, an ADN program, and an RN-to-BSN program. The pre-nursing track includes two semesters of general coursework, and admitted students are guaranteed a space in the ADN program. The ADN prepares students to take the NCLEX licensure examination and assume entry-level employment as registered nurses. Since 2010, Cabarrus has graduated 60-100 ADN students annually, scoring an excellent 94% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX exam. The RN-to-BSN is an online program designed for RNs who are seeking to expand their skills or prepare for graduate-level nursing education.

#11: Carolinas College of Health Sciences | Charlotte, NC
In just over a quarter of a century, Carolinas College of Health Sciences (CCHS) has become one of the most highly regarded vocational nursing schools in the country. The college offers both a traditional ADN program and an LPN-to-ADN matriculation option. Students enjoy a small-school academic environment, with access to world-class clinical experiences at the Carolinas Medical Center and its multidisciplinary Carolinas Simulation Center. Every nursing faculty member has at least a master’s degree in the field, and many hold specialty certifications. Not surprisingly, the college’s ADN graduates have passed the NCLEX licensure exam at a 95% clip since 2010, one of the strongest pass rates in the state. Approximately 80% of CCHS nursing students take a position with Carolinas HealthCare System upon graduation.

#12: Appalachian State University | Boone, NC
The Department of Nursing at Appalachian State University offers traditional BSN, RN-to-BSN, and MSN programs. The traditional BSN is a prelicensure program that prepares students to practice as nurse generalists in a variety of healthcare settings. Appalachian State University’s traditional BSN students have scored a 91% first-time NCLEX pass rate over the past six years, including a perfect 100% (38 out of 38) pass rate in 2018. The RN-to-BSN pathway is designed for registered nurses who possess an ADN or diploma and wish to earn a BSN degree. The MSN curriculum has a nurse educator concentration that prepares students for leadership roles in nursing education. MSN students engage in primarily online learning environments.

#13: Northeastern University | Charlotte, NC
Northeastern University’s Charlotte campus offers a range of executive-level degree programs, including an education doctorate and master’s degrees in several business and technology fields. One of the campus’s newest offerings is an accelerated BSN program. Offered by Northeastern’s Bouvé College of Health Sciences, the accelerated BSN is a full-time 67-credit program that provides three convenient start dates per year. The program blends online courses, hands-on learning at the school’s state-of-the-art nursing center in uptown Charlotte, and clinical practice at premier healthcare facilities in the Charlotte metro area. Coursework covers topics like cultural diversity, nursing informatics, and evidence-based practice that are critical to success in today’s healthcare environment.

#14: Queens University of Charlotte | Charlotte, NC
The Presbyterian School of Nursing at Queens University of Charlotte offers both BSN and MSN degree programs. The BSN has three pathways: a traditional track, an accelerated second degree option, and an online RN-to-BSN degree completion program. The traditional and accelerated tracks are designed for students without a nursing license. These prelicensure programs graduate 80-90 students in total each year, with a stellar 97% first-time NCLEX pass rate over the past four years. The online RN-to-BSN program just recently launched in the fall of 2018. Queens University’s online MSN program has three specializations: clinical nurse leader, nurse administrator, and nurse educator.

#15: Lenoir-Rhyne University | Hickory, NC
The School of Nursing at Lenoir-Rhyne University offers three undergraduate pathways, as well as an MSN program that can be completed entirely online. The three undergraduate pathways are a traditional prelicensure BSN, the Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) program, and an RN-to-BSN bridge. The traditional prelicensure program graduates 30-40 students annually. These students have achieved an impressive 91% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam since 2010. The RIBN program provides a four-year nursing option that concurrently enrolls students in a community college (where they obtain their ADN) and a university (where they later complete their BSN). The RIBN program started in 2010, and it has since expanded to include several regional partnerships across the state.

#16: Chamberlain University | Charlotte, NC
Chamberlain University’s Charlotte campus is one of the newest additions to the Chamberlain family. The school’s first campus in North Carolina offers a three-year prelicensure BSN program that consists of 129 credit hours, including 69 credit hours in nursing and 60 credit hours in the liberal arts and sciences. Students will obtain hands-on experience in both the Chamberlain SIMCARE CENTER and on-site clinical settings. These experiences allow students to work side-by-side with faculty, mentors, peers, and experienced professional nurses as they refine their skills in nursing and direct patient care.

#17: Campbell University | Buies Creek, NC
The Catherine W. Wood School of Nursing at Campbell University offers a traditional BSN program that prepares students for initial licensure as a registered nurse. The first two years of the program provide a broad science and liberal arts foundation, enabling students to develop clinical judgments, challenge assumptions, visualize a systems approach, and appreciate diversity and professionalism. In the final two years, clinical experiences greatly enhance the classroom didactic content. The school’s curriculum covers a breadth of nursing topics including adult health, gerontology, human anatomy, informatics, mental health, pharmacology, population health, and women’s health. This year’s graduating BSN class – the program’s first – achieved both a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam and a 100% job placement rate upon graduation.

#18: Winston-Salem State University | Winston-Salem, NC
Winston-Salem State University’s Division of Nursing has a BSN program with five pathways: traditional, accelerated, paramedic-to-BSN, LPN-to-BSN, and RN-to-BSN. The accelerated pathway is designed to give individuals with a bachelor’s degree in another discipline an opportunity to complete the BSN in just 13 months. The paramedic-to-BSN pathway provides advanced standing to licensed EMTs who possess at least one year of paramedic experience, and the LPN-to-BSN pathway provides similar advanced standing for licensed practical nurses. Since 2010, BSN graduates have achieved a solid 90% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. WSSU also offers an MSN degree for aspiring family nurse practitioners (FNPs) and nurse educators, as well as a DNP program that prepares students for either the American Nurses Credentialing Center FNP certification exam or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners certification exam.

#19: Watts School of Nursing | Durham, NC
Established in 1895, Watts School of Nursing is the oldest continuously running nursing program in North Carolina. The school offers a unique curriculum that enables students to earn both an RN diploma from Watts and an associate of science degree in health science from the University of Mount Olive. Prerequisite courses for the program are offered online and seated at the University of Mount Olive’s Research Triangle Park campus. Over the past five years, Watts School of Nursing graduates have averaged a stellar 95% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam.

#20: University of North Carolina at Pembroke | Pembroke, NC
The UNC Pembroke Department of Nursing has three undergraduate pathways: a traditional prelicensure BSN degree, an RN-to-BSN bridge program, and the dual-enrollment Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) option. The traditional BSN consists of 62 semester credit hours of lower-division work, including liberal arts and nursing prerequisites, and 62 semester credit hours of upper-division work in the nursing major. Graduates of the traditional BSN program have achieved a strong 93% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam since 2010. At the graduate level, UNC Pembroke offers an MSN degree with concentrations for aspiring clinical nurse leaders, nurse educators, and rural case managers.

#21: Lenoir Community College | Kinston, NC
Lenoir Community College is one of the oldest institutions in the North Carolina Community College System. The college’s Health Science Program offers an LPN diploma and several pathways to an associate’s degree in nursing (traditional, LPN-to-ADN, paramedic-to-ADN). Graduates of the LPN program have enjoyed a 100% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN licensure examination for the past decade. Over the same time period, ADN graduates have averaged a 90% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. In addition to these prelicensure programs, Lenoir Community College participates in the state’s Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses program through its collaboration with East Carolina University.

#22: University of Mount Olive | Mount Olive, NC
The University of Mount Olive offers an RN-to-BSN program that may be completed 100% online. The curriculum is designed for licensed and practicing RNs, and it consists of three sections: general education, core requirements, and community nursing experience. This accelerated program – most courses are only five weeks in length – can be completed on a full-time or part-time schedule. The university also offers an MSN degree. This program is delivered in an asynchronous online format and offers a dual concentration in nursing education and nursing administration. Students can complete the program in as few as four consecutive semesters.

#23: Barton College | Wilson, NC
The School of Nursing at Barton College houses the Judy Howard Hill Nursing Program. Students can earn a traditional BSN, RN-to-BSN, or MSN degree. Both BSN pathways feature partnership and cooperative agreements with more than 20 facilities and agencies, many of which offer tuition remuneration or pay competitive salaries during the externship experience. Since 2010, approximately 30-40 students have graduated annually from the prelicensure BSN, averaging an 80% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. The MSN degree prepares students for roles in either nursing administration or post-secondary nursing education, and it is designed to be completed in just two years of full-time study.

#24: Sandhills Community College | Pinehurst, NC
The nursing program at Sandhills Community College features a 5,000-square-foot Center of Learning and Simulation, colloquially known as CoLaS. This facility actually consists of three distinct centers: the Primary Simulation Center, the Family Life Center, and the Pediatric Center. Nursing students at Sandhills Community College can pursue either a traditional ADN program or an LPN-to-ADN bridge option. Approximately sixty students graduate annually across the two pathways. Over the past decade, these students have averaged an outstanding 93% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. Sandhills Community College also partners with the University of North Carolina at Pembroke to provide students a four-year pathway to the BSN degree, known as the Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses program.

#25: Wingate University | Wingate, NC
Wingate University offers a prelicensure BSN that features small class sizes, close relationships with area hospitals, and the opportunity to gain real-world experience in a clinical setting. Students in the program can add a minor, such as sociology, which prepares them for success as a public health nurse. Alternatively, students who hone their science skills and have an interest in the law could pursue a career as a forensics nurse. The curriculum also adequately prepares students for graduate study in an advanced degree program. The past three graduating BSN classes from Wingate University achieved a perfect 100% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam.

#26: Pfeiffer University | Misenheimer, NC
The Division of Applied Health Sciences at Pfeiffer University offers two pathways for nursing students: a prelicensure BSN program and an online RN-to-BSN bridge. The prelicensure BSN is a traditional four-year program that includes both classroom instruction and clinical experience. The curriculum covers a breadth of nursing topics including community health, adult care, and pharmacology. Over the past four years, prelicensure BSN students have scored an 84% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN examination. The RN-to-BSN pathway is a 120-semester-hour program designed for working RNs who seek flexibility and convenience. Coursework covers the topics of health assessment, health promotion, and nursing leadership.

#27: Catawba College | Salisbury, NC
The Department of Nursing at Catawba College currently offers two programs: the prelicensure BSN (a day program) and the RN-to-BSN (an evening program). The prelicensure BSN is designed for individuals with no prior nursing education or experience. Applicants must be high school graduates and complete prerequisite courses like Anatomy and Physiology, Microbiology, and Chemistry before gaining admission to the program. The RN-to-BSN is designed for registered nurses looking to broaden their career options or prepare for graduate study. Students in the program can expect to take courses such as Transitioning to Baccalaureate Nursing Practice, Holistic Health Assessment, and Leadership and Management in Nursing.

#28: Gaston College | Dallas, NC
Gaston College’s Health and Human Services Department offers an LPN diploma, a traditional ADN pathway, and an LPN-to-RN bridge program. The LPN diploma and LPN-to-RN bridge program each take three semesters to complete, while the traditional ADN program requires five semesters of continuous study. Student outcomes are strong across all nursing programs. Associate’s degree candidates have averaged a 94% NCLEX-RN pass rate over the past decade, while LPN students have earned a stellar 99% NCLEX-PN pass rate over the same timeframe. Gaston College also partners with Lenoir-Rhyne University to offer the Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses program. This four-year cooperative allows students to receive an associate’s degree from Gaston College in year three and a bachelor’s degree from Lenoir-Rhyne University in year four.

#29: Lees-McRae College | Banner Elk, NC
The May School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Lees-McRae College offers a prelicensure BSN program and an online RN-to-BSN pathway. All students engage in lab experiences at the LMC Hart Simulation Center, which has 3G wireless human simulators and a simulated inpatient hospital unit complete with a replicated efficiency apartment, exam tables, and hospital beds. Students complete 25% of their clinical time in the center, which has been designated a Gaumard premier site – one of only 33 such sites in the United States.

#30: Fayetteville State University | Fayetteville, NC
Fayetteville State University’s nursing program traces its roots back to 1992, when the university first launched a joint partnership with UNC Pembroke. Today, the FSU School of Nursing offers both a prelicensure BSN and an RN-to-BSN bridge program. The curriculum covers a breadth of topics including community nursing, nursing research, pediatrics, nursing theory, health assessment, and nursing ethics. Students also receive extensive hands-on training, both in laboratories with state-of-the-art simulators and in guided clinical settings. Prelicensure BSN students have achieved an impressive 95% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX exam since the program’s inception. They also boast a 100% job placement rate after graduation.

#31: Methodist University | Fayetteville, NC
Methodist University’s Department of Nursing has a BSN program that prepares students to provide patient-centered care, work with interdisciplinary teams, and address critical issues in today’s ever-changing healthcare industry. Sample courses for the four-year program include Fundamental Nursing Care, Nutrition for Health and Healing, and Pharmacotherapeutics for Nursing. The clinical component of the program begins in the student’s junior year and ends after the spring semester of senior year. Upon completion of the program, graduates are prepared to take the NCLEX licensure examination. Since the launch of Methodist University’s prelicensure program, BSN students have achieved an 81% first-time NCLEX pass rate, including an impressive 97% pass rate in 2018.

#32: ECPI University | Charlotte, Greensboro, & Raleigh, NC
ECPI University’s College of Nursing offers year-round programs that allow students to complete their LPN diploma or RN associate’s degree in just 15 or 18 months, respectively. ECPI offers the LPN diploma across all three of its North Carolina campuses. Since 2010, students in Greensboro and Raleigh have averaged an 83% pass rate on the NCLEX-PN licensure exam, while Charlotte students have scored an impressive 94% pass rate. ECPI also offers the associate’s degree at its Charlotte campus. The ADN curriculum prepares students for entry-level RN positions at hospitals, primary care clinics, and private practices through comprehensive coursework that spans acute care, medical/surgical nursing, pharmacology, and a breadth of other topics. Charlotte’s ADN graduates have scored an 87% NCLEX-RN pass rate since the program’s inception.

#33: Surry Community College | Dobson, NC
Surry Community College offers several prelicensure pathways into the nursing profession, including a practical nursing diploma and two entry points for the associate’s degree (traditional and LPN-to-ADN bridge). The college graduates 30-60 ADN students annually. Over the past decade, these students have scored a solid 93% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. LPN graduates have an even more impressive track record: eight consecutive cohorts have scored a perfect 100% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN licensure exam. In addition to its standalone offerings, Surry Community College partners with Lees-McRae College to provide students an affordable and accessible pathway to the BSN degree. This collaborative, known as the Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses program, offers both traditional and LPN-to-BSN tracks.

#34: North Carolina Central University | Durham, NC
North Carolina Central University’s Department of Nursing offers several pathways to a BSN degree including a traditional four-year program, an accelerated second degree, an RN-to-BSN completion option, and a unique veteran-to-BSN pathway. Students may also choose a nursing concentration from more than a dozen options. Popular concentrations include community health, nursing leadership and management, and psychiatric-mental health nursing. The university’s nursing skills and simulation laboratories include a clinical learning resource center known as Eagle General Hospital. Approximately sixty prelicensure students graduate from the BSN program annually. These students have averaged an 80% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam over the past decade.

#35: Wake Technical Community College | Raleigh, NC
The Wake Technical Community College Department of Nursing offers a prelicensure ADN program with multiple entry points. The curriculum provides simulated learning in a state-of-the-art laboratory, as well as clinical experiences at a number of healthcare sites throughout Wake County. Students with no nursing experience can pursue a traditional two-year course of study, while licensed practical nurses may apply for advanced placement. The program graduates 100-150 new nurses annually, and these students perform extremely well on their licensure examinations. For example, WTCC students have averaged a phenomenal 98% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX exam over the past four years.

#36: North Carolina A&T State University | Greensboro, NC
North Carolina A&T State University’s School of Nursing sits within the College of Health and Human Sciences. Students can earn a BSN degree through three entry options: traditional, accelerated, and completion. The traditional BSN is designed for new freshmen and transfer students, while the accelerated program is for those who already possess a non-nursing bachelor’s degree. Both pathways prepare students for initial RN licensure. The school’s BSN graduates have achieved an 82% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure examination since 2013, including a strong 88% pass rate last year. A&T’s BSN completion pathway is for RNs with an associate’s degree who wish to complete their baccalaureate education.

#37: Mars Hill University | Mars Hill, NC
The Judge-McRae School of Nursing at Mars Hill University offers both traditional prelicensure BSN and RN-to-BSN programs. The traditional BSN curriculum is grounded in a rigorous study of liberal arts and nursing, preparing students to provide innovative healthcare across the lifespan as care providers, care designers, and members of the profession. Graduates are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. The RN-to-BSN program is specifically designed for working registered nurses who already possess a diploma or ADN. The curriculum consists of 128 semester hours of study. Courses are delivered in a semi-online format, with a class session once per week.

#38: Cleveland Community College | Shelby, NC
The nursing program at Cleveland Community College has two options for aspiring nurses: a practical nursing diploma and a professional nursing associate’s degree. The LPN diploma emphasizes individualized nursing care, participation in an interdisciplinary team, evidence-based practice, and quality improvement. The program graduates approximately a dozen students per year, and virtually all of these individuals pass the NCLEX-PN licensure exam on their first try. The ADN program is a member of the Foothills Nursing Consortium along with Isothermal Community College and McDowell Technical Community College. The ADN curriculum builds upon the domains of healthcare, nursing practice, and the holistic individual with coursework that spans family health, illness, and nursing transitions concepts.

#39: Brunswick Community College | Bolivia, NC
Brunswick Community College’s Nursing and Allied Health Department offers both LPN and ADN programs. The one-year LPN curriculum focuses on the assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation of nursing care. Graduates can land entry-level positions in clinics, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and physicians’ offices. LPN students have scored a perfect 100% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN licensure exam for an incredible ten consecutive years. The two-year ADN curriculum emphasizes interdisciplinary care, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, and informatics. Graduates can pursue a range of employment settings including acute, chronic, extended, industrial, and community healthcare. ADN students have averaged a stellar 94% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam over the past decade.

#40: Sampson Community College | Clinton, NC
Sampson Community College offers several prelicensure nursing pathways including an LPN diploma, a traditional two-year associate’s degree in nursing, and an LPN-to-ADN bridge option. Across all programs, coursework on healthcare, nursing practice, and the holistic individual is integrated with clinical experiences at a diverse range of local facilities. Graduates consistently perform strongly on their nursing licensure examinations. Over the past decade, ADN students averaged a 91% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam, while LPN students scored a phenomenal 98% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN exam. Sampson Community College also participates in the state’s Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses program by partnering with the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.