For our 2021 rankings of RN diploma programs, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac compiled an extensive database of student performance on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Aspiring registered nurses in the United States must pass this examination before they may commence practice. Thus, student performance on the NCLEX-RN exam provides an excellent benchmark for comparing the relative quality of RN diploma programs.

We used our database to calculate each program’s NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers. This is the standard program assessment metric reported by the Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing and the test’s administrator, Pearson Vue. Whenever possible, we calculated this first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate over an extensive period of time, typically the past decade of student performance. We then used this metric to rank all of Pennsylvania’s RN diploma programs accordingly.

#1: Geisinger Lewistown Hospital School of Nursing
400 Highland Avenue
Lewistown, PA 17044
https://www.geisinger.org/geisinger-lewistown-hospital-school-of-nursing

97.2% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Diploma in Nursing
Average of 18 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#2: Washington Health System School of Nursing
155 Wilson Avenue
Washington, PA 15301
https://www.whs.org/school-of-nursing

94.1% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Diploma in Nursing
Average of 37 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#3: St. Luke’s School of Nursing
801 Ostrum Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015
https://www.slhn.org/son

93.4% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Diploma in Nursing
Average of 77 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#4: Roxborough Memorial Hospital School of Nursing
5800 Ridge Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19128
https://www.roxboroughmemorial.com/school-of-nursing

91.8% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Diploma in Nursing
Average of 62 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#5: Conemaugh School of Nursing
1086 Franklin Street
Johnstown, PA 15905
https://www.conemaugh.org/education/school-of-nursing

90.8% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Diploma in Nursing
Average of 58 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#6: UPMC Jameson School of Nursing
2414 Wilmington Road
New Castle, PA 16105
https://www.upmc.com/healthcare-professionals/education/schools-of-nursing/campuses/jameson

90.7% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Diploma in Nursing
Average of 27 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#7: Sharon Regional Medical Center School of Nursing
740 East State Street
Sharon, PA 16146
https://www.sharonregionalmedical.org/school-nursing-sharon

90.0% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Diploma in Nursing
Average of 20 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#8: Joseph F. McCloskey School of Nursing
420 South Jackson Street
Pottsville, PA 17901
https://www.lvhn.org/education/joseph-f-mccloskey-school-nursing

89.4% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Diploma in Nursing
Average of 28 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#9: Heritage Valley Kennedy School of Nursing
25 Heckel Road
Kennedy Township, PA 15136
https://www.heritagevalley.org/pages/school-of-nursing

88.8% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Diploma in Nursing
Average of 21 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#10: West Penn Hospital School of Nursing
4900 Friendship Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
https://www.ahn.org/health-care-professionals/education/nursing/west-penn-hospital

88.5% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Diploma in Nursing
Average of 44 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#11: Reading Hospital School of Health Sciences
1025 Old Wyomissing Road
Reading, PA 19611
https://www.rhsohs.com

87.8% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Diploma in Nursing
Average of 103 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#12: Citizens School of Nursing
539 Pittsburgh Mills Circle
Tarentum, PA 15084
https://www.ahn.org/health-care-professionals/education/nursing/citizens-school

87.2% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Diploma in Nursing
Average of 76 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#13: UPMC St. Margaret School of Nursing
221 Seventh Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15238
https://www.upmc.com/healthcare-professionals/education/schools-of-nursing/campuses/st-margaret

86.1% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Diploma in Nursing
Average of 50 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#14: UPMC Mercy Hospital School of Nursing
1401 Boulevard of the Allies
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
https://www.upmc.com/healthcare-professionals/education/schools-of-nursing/campuses/mercy

85.5% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Diploma in Nursing
Average of 55 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20


#15: UPMC Shadyside School of Nursing
5230 Centre Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
https://www.upmc.com/healthcare-professionals/education/schools-of-nursing/campuses/shadyside

85.3% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Diploma in Nursing
Average of 136 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2010-11 through 2019-20