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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 Southwest rankings: Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. 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: University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston | Houston, TX
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) is located in the renowned Texas Medical Center. The School of Nursing offers bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), master of science in nursing (MSN), doctor of philosophy in nursing (PhD), and doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degrees. UTHealth currently enrolls more than 1,000 nursing students, and it confers over 400 undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees annually. BSN students have earned a National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) pass rate of 96% for the past decade.


#2: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center | Lubbock, TX
Texas Tech’s School of Nursing holds the National League for Nursing Center of Excellence designation for enhancing student learning and professional development. The university offers four undergraduate pathways: traditional BSN, second-degree web-based, Veteran-to-BSN, and a degree completion program for existing registered nurses. Graduate offerings include nine MSN specializations, eight post-master’s programs, graduate certificates in global health and rural community health, and a DNP program designed for working professionals. The school produces ~350 BSN graduates annually who have passed the NCLEX licensure exam at rates as high as 97% in recent years.


#3: University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston | Galveston, TX
The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB Health) has recently been ranked among the top twenty online graduate nursing programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers a prelicensure BSN program, which boasted an impressive 97% NCLEX-RN exam pass rate in each of the past two years. UTMB Health also leads RN-to-BSN, MSN, DNP, and PhD programs. Six MSN tracks are available including clinical nurse leader, family nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, and nurse educator. Post-BSN and post-MSN students can also quickly earn a certificate in nursing education by completing three focused courses.


#4: University of Texas at Austin | Austin, TX
The UT Austin School of Nursing has recently been ranked among the top 20 in the nation for its graduate nursing program by U.S. News & World Report. The school also ranks among the top 30 universities in nursing research funding by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). UT Austin enrolls nearly 1,100 students across a wealth of nursing programs, including traditional BSN, RN-to-BSN, traditional and alternate-entry MSN, traditional and alternate-entry PhD, and DNP options. The school produces approximately 120 prelicensure BSN and 50 prelicensure MSN graduates annually. Both programs produce graduates who have passed the NCLEX licensure exam at a rate of 94% since 2008.


#5: University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio | San Antonio, TX
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is the only Tier 1 research university in South Texas. The School of Nursing is home to 750 students enrolled in traditional BSN, accelerated BSN (also known as “ABSN”), MSN, DNP, and PhD degree programs. In addition, the school offers post-graduate certificates in specialty areas from FNP to NED, plus a unique alternate-entry MSN option for ADN- or diploma-educated RNs. The School of Nursing produces 250-350 prelicensure BSN graduates annually who have posted an 86% NCLEX first-attempt pass rate over the past decade.


#6: University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center | Oklahoma City, OK
The University of Oklahoma is home to the state’s largest nursing program. Managed by the Health Sciences Center, the Fran and Earl Ziegler College of Nursing spans three campuses in Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Lawton. The college offers four BSN options: traditional, accelerated, LPN-to-BSN, and RN-to-BSN. Prelicensure students across all three campuses enjoy strong NCLEX pass rates: since 2008, Oklahoma City has posted a 91% pass rate, Tulsa 94%, and Lawton 89%. At the graduate level, OU offers MSN tracks in administration management, clinical nurse specialist, education, and family nurse practitioner, as well as DNP and PhD degrees.


#7: Baylor University | Dallas, TX
The Louise Herrington School of Nursing is part of the oldest Baptist university in the world, so it is based on the idea that nursing is a profession and a ministry. The BSN program has two tracks: traditional and 12-month FastBacc. Baylor graduates between 200 and 250 BSN students annually, who have enjoyed an excellent 95% NCLEX-RN pass rate over the past decade. Graduate options include an MSN in leadership and innovation, plus three DNP specializations: family nurse practitioner, neonatal nurse practitioner, and nurse midwifery. These graduate programs are delivered in an online or hybrid format.


#8: University of Arizona | Tucson, AZ
The College of Nursing at the University of Arizona consistently ranks among the top 30-40 graduate nursing schools in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report. The college currently enrolls well over 1,000 nursing students, and its prelicensure graduates have posted excellent first-time pass rates on the NCLEX exam. For example, BSN graduates have passed the licensure exam at a 94% rate over the past decade, while graduates of the MSN for entry into the profession of nursing (MEPN) program have scored a 92% pass rate since inception. The University of Arizona has online offerings for students in the RN-to-MSN, DNP, and PhD pathways. Graduate certificates are also available for aspiring NPs in the fields of family health, adult-gerontology acute care, pediatric care, and psychiatric-mental health.


#9: Texas Woman’s University | Denton, TX
Texas Woman’s University (TWU) College of Nursing has a primary campus in Denton and satellite locations in Dallas and Houston. The school offers online, on-campus, and hybrid programs across a wide breadth of nursing pathways. Undergraduates may pursue traditional, second-degree, weekend / evening, and RN-to-BSN programs. TWU’s prelicensure BSN students have maintained a stellar 94% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. Graduate students have two RN-to-MSN pathways (post-ADN and post-baccalaureate) and four choices of MSN degree or certificate (NP, CNL, NED, health systems management). Doctoral offerings include DNP, PhD, and a DNP-to-PhD bridge program. TWU’s Center for Global Nursing Scholarship provides the opportunity to study in places such as Vietnam, Peru, Turkey, and Tanzania.


#10: University of Texas at Arlington | Arlington, TX
UT Arlington’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation is the largest producer of baccalaureate-educated nurses in the state. The school has approximately 17,000 online and on-campus students, and it holds the prestigious NLN Center of Excellence designation. Undergraduates can pursue a traditional four-year BSN, a Veterans BSN for former military healthcare specialists, or an RN-to-BSN completion program for existing nurses. UT Arlington graduates over 400 prelicensure BSN students annually who have achieved a 91% NCLEX-RN pass rate since 2008. At the graduate level, nurses can pursue a number of MSN specializations including administration, education, and seven distinct nurse practitioner roles. The college also offers DNP and nursing PhD programs.


#11: Texas Christian University | Fort Worth, TX
TCU’s Harris College of Nursing & Health Sciences offers both a traditional BSN and a 16-month accelerated BSN pathway. The school graduates approximately 200 students annually across the two programs, and collectively they have achieved NCLEX exam pass rates as high as 97% in recent years. TCU’s online MSN program offers two clinical nurse specialist areas of focus, in addition to clinical nurse leader and nurse educator options. The university also leads a post-master’s DNP program for advanced practice registered nurses and nurse administrators, as well as a BSN-to-DNP family nurse practitioner track.


#12: Midwestern University | Glendale, AZ
Midwestern University’s College of Health Sciences offers a 27-month master of science in nurse anesthesia (MSNA). The program is very selective, with an enrollment of just 34 per class. Recent students have enjoyed a 94% graduation rate, an impressive 89% first-time pass rate on the board exam over the past decade, and a 100% employment rate. The university maintains a high-fidelity simulation and cadaver laboratory, as well as a variety of clinical sites with practice settings limited to certified registered nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). Midwestern University also offers a one-year full-time / two-year part-time doctor of nurse anesthesia practice (DNAP) completion program for existing CRNAs.


#13: Arizona State University | Phoenix, AZ
ASU’s Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation is consistently ranked among the top 30 in the nation for its graduate nursing programs by U.S. News & World Report. Graduate study is offered at the master’s and doctoral levels, with specializations that include informatics, nursing education, several nurse practitioner roles, and healthcare innovation. The college also provides traditional BSN, post-baccalaureate BSN, and online RN-to-BSN pathways. More than 200 prelicensure students graduate each year, and they have maintained a 90% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. In addition, ASU partners with MaricopaNursing to offer the Concurrent Enrollment Program, which allows students to enroll simultaneously in an associate of applied science (AAS) program and ASU’s BSN program.


#14: Texas A&M University Health Science Center | Bryan, TX
The BSN program at Texas A&M University Health Science Center has posted a phenomenal 98% NCLEX exam pass rate since 2010. The school has graduated hundreds of new nurses over the past decade and maintains a 95% job placement rate within three months of graduation. Texas A&M offers three BSN tracks: a traditional program in Bryan, an accelerated second degree in both Bryan and Round Rock, and an online RN-to-BSN pathway. Graduate students can pursue an online MSN in nursing education or a hybrid MSN for aspiring family nurse practitioners. Clinical locations include St. Joseph Health System and College Station Medical Center, the oldest healthcare facility in Bryan.


#15: Oklahoma City University | Oklahoma City, OK
Kramer School of Nursing has programs for traditional undergraduates, career changers, and existing nurses seeking advancement. Undergraduate options include traditional BSN, accelerated BSN, and RN-to-BSN pathways. KSN also offers a unique program at Duncan Regional Hospital that provides financial aid in exchange for a two-year work commitment following graduation. Prelicensure BSN students have passed the NCLEX exam at an 89% rate over the past decade. The university’s MSN program has education, leadership, and CNL tracks, and its DNP program features an FNP specialization. In several recent years, 100% of KSN’s FNP graduates passed the American Association of Nurse Practitioners certification exam on the first attempt.


#16: University of Texas at Tyler | Tyler, TX
UT Tyler’s College of Nursing & Health Sciences offers several undergraduate and graduate nursing programs. BSN students can pursue a traditional four-year, accelerated, or RN-to-BSN pathway. UT Tyler also partners with Jarvis Christian College to offer Jarvis BS candidates a dual BSN degree. Across all of its prelicensure programs, UT Tyler graduates over 300 new nurses annually who have posted an excellent NCLEX pass rate of 93% since 2008. At the graduate level, the College of Nursing & Health Sciences offers three MSN tracks (NED, administration, FNP), a dual MSN/MBA program, and both PhD and DNP degrees.


#17: Baptist Health System School of Health Professions | San Antonio, TX
Baptist Health System School of Health Professions has been training students in healthcare for more than a century. The school has two LVN pathways: a traditional one-year diploma and a 12-week option for active duty U.S. Air Force members. Baptist Health System boasts the #1 NCLEX-PN performance in Bexar County, with an impressive first-time pass rate of 92% over the past decade. The school also offers several degree programs including an associate of applied science (AAS) in nursing, an online RN-to-BSN completion program, and an online MSN with a nursing administration concentration. The school’s NCLEX-RN performance is similarly impressive: approximately 200 AAS graduates annually have scored an 89% first-time pass rate over the past decade.


#18: Baylor College of Medicine | Houston, TX
Baylor College of Medicine offers a DNP program in nurse anesthesia that has produced hundreds of new nurse anesthetists since its inception. The program requires 36 months of fulltime study to complete, with advanced standing granted to master’s-prepared CRNAs. Graduates are prepared to sit for the national certification exam (NCE) administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). Over the past five years, 97% of graduates have passed the NCE on their first attempt, and the remainder passed the exam on their second attempt. In fact, the school’s DNP program was recently ranked the #2 nurse anesthesia program in the country by U.S. News & World Report.


#19: University of Tulsa | Tulsa, OK
The University of Tulsa’s Oxley College of Health Sciences has forged close relationships with three major metropolitan medical centers and a number of community healthcare agencies. The School of Nursing’s unique BSN program begins clinical experiences during the spring of sophomore year, which provides students five semesters to develop clinical skills instead of the usual four. The University of Tulsa has produced nearly 1,500 BSN graduates since 1973. The typical graduating class is small (perhaps two dozen students) and well-prepared for licensure, with a stellar 92% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. Recently, the School of Nursing has added an RN-to-BSN track as well as a DNP program to better meet the healthcare needs of the Tulsa community.


#20: Northern Arizona University | Flagstaff, AZ
The School of Nursing at Northern Arizona University promotes learning in a diverse range of environments, from simulation labs to healthcare facilities, traditional classrooms to online delivery. NAU undergrads have several options, including a traditional BSN at the Flagstaff, Tucson, and Yuma campuses; a 12-month accelerated BSN; an RN-to-BSN pathway; and a ten-person American Indian program offered within the Navajo Nation. The school graduates 140-150 prelicensure candidates annually, and they have achieved a solid 89% NCLEX exam pass rate over the past decade. NAU also offers several graduate nursing programs: an MSN with two tracks (nurse generalist and family nurse practitioner), a post-master’s FNP certificate, and a DNP degree.


#21: Abilene Christian University | Abilene, TX
The ACU School of Nursing prepares aspiring nurses by offering training exercises at the school’s simulation lab, clinical experiences at community hospitals, research assistant opportunities, and medical mission trips around the world. Students are mentored by faculty and practicing nurses who help to hone their technical and critical thinking skills. The school graduated its first class of traditional four-year BSN students in 2015. Each of the past two graduating classes scored a 91% pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam. Abilene Christian University also offers an online DNP program that features integrated practice learning experiences and two focal areas (advanced practice nursing, executive nursing leadership).


#22: University of the Incarnate Word | San Antonio, TX
UIW’s Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions graduates a prelicensure BSN class of approximately 60-90 students annually. Students may enter the BSN program through regular admission (typically spring of sophomore year), as a high-performing direct admit from high school, or as a second degree candidate. Across all pathways, prelicensure BSN students have scored a 93% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade, including a perfect 100% pass rate in each of the past two years. UIW also offers two degree completion pathways (RN-to-BSN/MSN), two MSN specializations (CNL, CNS), and three DNP pathways (FNP certification, PMHNP certification, post-MSN completion).


#23: West Coast University | Dallas, TX
In 2008, West Coast University (WCU) became the first privately held university in California approved to offer a BSN degree. The school now offers nursing and allied health programs across five cities including Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Ontario, and Orange County. WCU Dallas is dedicated entirely to higher education for nurses. It offers two campus-based programs: a traditional BSN and an LVN-to-BSN bridge program. Students can join global study trips to a range of international locations such as England, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, and Moldova. WCU also offers a full complement of online degrees, including RN-to-BSN / RN-to-MSN completion programs and MSN tracks in FNP, NED, and nursing informatics.


#24: Texas State University | Round Rock, TX
St. David’s School of Nursing at Texas State University grants BSN and MSN degrees. Since its inaugural graduating class in 2012, the BSN program has educated hundreds of new nurses with an outstanding first-time NCLEX pass rate of 98%. The school’s MSN graduates are prepared to sit for the FNP certification exam proctored by either the American Nurses Credentialing Center or the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners. Texas State students gain valuable training at the school’s five interactive simulation laboratories, and they engage in clinical experiences at area hospitals and healthcare facilities.


#25: Creighton University | Phoenix, AZ
Creighton University is in the midst of constructing a new 180,000-square-foot health sciences campus in Phoenix. Slated for completion in 2021, the new campus will house a four-year medical school as well as programs for nursing, occupational therapy, pharmacy, physical therapy, and physician assistants. The university has already launched an accelerated BSN program for the Phoenix market in partnership with Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. St. Joseph’s was the first hospital in the Phoenix area and is nationally recognized for its quality tertiary care, medical education, and research. Applicants to the accelerated BSN program must hold a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or higher. The curriculum is streamlined and focused, enabling students to earn the BSN degree in just 12 months of fulltime study. Creighton offers both January and August start dates on its Phoenix campus.


#26: University of Houston | Sugar Land, TX
The University of Houston is an institutional member of the Texas Medical Center. The College of Nursing offers two BSN tracks (second degree, RN-to-BSN) and three MSN specializations (administration, education, family nurse practitioner). The second degree BSN program is offered at the university’s Sugar Land campus. Graduates of this accelerated 12-month program have posted phenomenal NCLEX pass rates over the past several years, including a perfect 100% pass rate each year from 2015 through 2017. The RN-to-BSN and MSN programs are offered at both the Sugar Land and Houston main campuses, with select tracks available online as well. Each graduating class of the FNP track has achieved a 100% pass rate on the national certification exam.


#27: University of Texas at El Paso | El Paso, TX
UTEP Nursing has developed a wide variety of degree programs during its forty-year history. Undergraduates must first complete pre-nursing courses before progressing into either the traditional or fast-track BSN program. The school graduates 200-300 BSN students annually who have passed the NCLEX exam at rates as high as 95% in recent years. Existing nurses may enroll in the university’s 100% online RN-to-BSN program or one of several graduate pathways. UTEP offers three MSN majors (nursing education, nurse practitioner, nursing systems management), an MSN-to-DNP program, and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Health Sciences.


#28: Chamberlain University | Phoenix, AZ
Chamberlain University’s BSN program enables students to earn their degree in as little as three years of fulltime study. The Phoenix campus offers access to real-life training at local clinical sites, a Chamberlain SIMCARE Center that replicates the hospital setting, and a Global Health Education Program that features trips to Kenya and Brazil. Approximately 200 BSN students graduate from the Phoenix campus annually, consistently achieving NCLEX pass rates of 86-93% each year. Chamberlain students also have access to an online MSN program that is ranked among the top 150 nationally by U.S. News & World Report.


#29: Covenant School of Nursing | Lubbock, TX
Covenant School of Nursing (CSON) is the oldest nursing school in the South Plains. A member of Covenant Health, the region’s largest health system, the school has produced more than 4,500 nurse graduates. CSON awards a nursing diploma and prepares 110-140 students annually for the NCLEX-RN national licensure examination. These students have passed the exam at rates as high as 95% in recent years. CSON graduates have the option to enter the BSN completion program at nearby Lubbock Christian University, which requires just two additional semesters to finish.


#30: Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi | Corpus Christi, TX
TAMUCC’s College of Nursing & Health Sciences launched the first accredited RN-to-BSN program in an upper-level university during the early 1970s, and the first accredited online BSN program in 2003. Today, the school offers numerous BSN pathways including traditional, accelerated, two online options, and an RN-to-BSN completion program. The prelicensure tracks graduate 200-250 students annually who have averaged an 87% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade, including a phenomenal 97% pass rate in 2018. TAMUCC is also home to the fourth-largest MSN program in Texas, which has ranked among U.S. News & World Report’s top ten online MSN programs multiple times. Master’s degree candidates can specialize in family nurse practitioner, nursing education, or leadership. The university also began a post-master’s DNP program in the fall of 2016.


#31: Grand Canyon University | Phoenix, AZ
The College of Nursing and Health Care Professions at Grand Canyon University (GCU) connects classroom theories to working scenarios through hands-on practice, online and lab simulations, and in-depth peer discussions. This private Christian college offers a traditional prelicensure BSN, an RN-to-BSN pathway, an MSN degree, and a DNP degree. The MSN program has a breadth of specialties including adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner, family nurse practitioner, health informatics, nursing education, and public health nursing. GCU’s prelicensure BSN students have posted an 84% first-time NCLEX exam pass rate over the past decade, including an impressive 92% pass rate last year.


#32: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso | El Paso, TX
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso is home to the Gayle Greve Hunt School of Nursing. The school offers two undergraduate pathways (accelerated BSN, RN-to-BSN) and an MSN degree. The accelerated BSN can be completed in four consecutive semesters, or just 16 months of fulltime study. Courses are taught in a combination of classroom and online settings. Since 2015, accelerated BSN students have achieved a solid 87% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination. TTUHSC El Paso’s RN-to-BSN program is conducted entirely through web-based instruction, while its MSN program is delivered in a hybrid format designed to be completed in seven consecutive semesters.


#33: Texas Wesleyan University | Fort Worth, TX
Texas Wesleyan University’s School of Health Professions conducts the largest nurse anesthesia program in the country, with twenty primary clinical sites across nine states. The school’s MSNA graduates have achieved a 91% first-time pass rate on the NBCRNA certification exam over the past five years, with a stellar 99.6% pass rate within six months of graduation. In addition to the MSNA degree, the university offers two DNAP tracks: a 100% online completion program for CRNAs, and an entry-level pathway for baccalaureate-prepared nurses. Texas Wesleyan also recently launched a DNP program for aspiring family nurse practitioners, with a unique curriculum that emphasizes both holistic patient care and self-care to prevent burnout and stress.


#34: Concordia University Texas | Austin, TX
Concordia University Texas seeks to develop Christian leaders across a broad range of more than twenty academic fields. The College of Nursing offers several pathways at both the undergraduate level (traditional BSN, accelerated BSN, online RN-to-BSN) and graduate level (traditional MSN, RN-to-MSN, RN+-to-MSN). Concordia’s undergraduates have a phenomenal track record on the NCLEX licensure examination, scoring a 98% first-time pass rate over the past five years. The MSN program has leadership, education, and informatics tracks, all of which may be completed entirely online.


#35: Houston Baptist University | Houston, TX
HBU’s School of Nursing and Allied Health prepares the highest-quality RN clinicians and leaders through its BSN program. The program offers three pathways: a traditional plan of study, an Honors College curriculum that students may complete in just three years, and a fully online RN-to-BSN program. HBU students gain hundreds of hours of hands-on experience in renowned clinical settings, an on-campus simulation lab, and Bradshaw Fitness Center. The school’s prelicensure graduates, typically 50-80 each spring, have scored a cumulative 89% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade.


#36: University of New Mexico | Albuquerque, NM
UNM’s College of Nursing offers many innovative opportunities. The school’s massive open online course in rural health nursing enrolls students from more than 100 countries worldwide. UNM also offers a post-master’s clinical DNP, a nursing PhD with a unique health policy concentration, and a dual ADN / BSN program that allows community college students to obtain both degrees without leaving their home community. For traditional college students, UNM conducts a four-year prelicensure BSN program at its flagship Albuquerque campus. Traditional BSN graduates have averaged a stellar 95% first-time NCLEX pass rate since 2016.


#37: University of Mary Hardin-Baylor | Belton, TX
The Scott & White School of Nursing at UMHB offers programs at the baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral levels. Undergraduates have two options: a traditional four-year BSN and an online RN-to-BSN pathway. The traditional BSN conducts clinical experiences at local hospitals, and it provides numerous opportunities to train at the school’s Clinical Simulation Learning Center. This facility features a simulation hospital, a standardized patient clinic, a skills lab, and a physical diagnosis lab. More than 150 students complete the traditional BSN program each year. They have enjoyed a solid NCLEX pass rate of 86% over the past decade, including a stellar 96% pass rate in 2018. Graduate nursing students at UMHB have several options. The MSN program offers nurse educator, family nurse practitioner, and adult-gerontology acute care nurse practitioner tracks. The university also offers two doctoral nursing degrees: a post-master’s DNP and a doctor of education (EdD) focused on leadership in nursing education.


#38: Southern Nazarene University | Bethany, OK
Southern Nazarene University offers opportunities to specialize in many nursing areas, including community nursing, prenatal health, pediatric care, and gerontology. The School of Nursing conducts clinical experiences at a variety of local hospitals and agencies, and it boasts a 90% employment rate over the past five years. Nursing students can pursue a traditional BSN, an accelerated RN-to-BSN pathway, or an MSN degree with a major in either nursing education or nursing leadership. The traditional BSN program graduates a small class of approximately twenty students each year. These RN candidates have scored an 89% first-time NCLEX pass rate over the past two years.


#39: Oklahoma Wesleyan University | Bartlesville, OK
The OKWU School of Nursing prepares nurse generalists with knowledge of biological, physical, social, and behavioral sciences, enhanced by a background in the humanities and the Christian faith. Nursing pathways include three BSN programs (traditional, LPN-to-BSN, RN-to-BSN) and an MSN program with concentrations in nursing administration and nursing education. Prelicensure BSN graduates have averaged an 86% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam since 2010. The postlicensure RN-to-BSN and MSN programs are offered both on campus and online. Students in all programs obtain hands-on training through the school’s state-of-the-art simulation lab, a wide variety of clinical experiences, and mission trips to domestic and international destinations.


#40: Oklahoma Baptist University | Shawnee, OK
Oklahoma Baptist University launched the state’s first baccalaureate nursing program in 1952. In addition to the traditional BSN, OBU College of Nursing offers an accelerated second degree pathway and an LPN-to-BSN bridge program. Across the three options, the college graduates approximately 30-40 BSN students annually who have averaged a 93% NCLEX pass rate over the past five years, including a perfect 100% pass rate in 2017. At the graduate level, OBU offers an RN-to-MSN bridge program and two MSN specializations: nursing education and global nursing. Post-master’s students can pursue a brief certificate in either specialization. All graduate coursework is completed online.


#41: Western Governors University Texas | Austin, TX
WGU Texas offers a wide breadth of nursing programs. Traditionally an online university, Western Governors University recently launched a prelicensure BSN program in Texas with local clinical experiences that feature high-fidelity simulations, agency-based hospital rotations, and personalized guidance from an experienced clinical coach. Existing nurses can pursue several bridge programs (e.g., RN-to-BSN/MSN) and two MSN specializations (education, leadership) entirely online. The College of Health Professions also leads several online degree programs in adjacent healthcare fields, including a BS in health informatics, an MS in integrated healthcare management, and an MBA in healthcare management.


#42: Midwestern State University | Wichita Falls, TX
The Wilson School of Nursing is part of the Robert D. & Carol Gunn College of Health Sciences & Human Services. The school offers several undergraduate degree pathways including a traditional prelicensure BSN, a 15-month second degree BSN known as ACCEL-RN, and an online RN-to-BSN program with three annual start dates. Each year, MSU graduates 125-150 students combined from the traditional and accelerated tracks. These students have averaged an 82% first-time NCLEX pass rate since 2015. The university also offers an MSN degree with tracks for aspiring family nurse practitioners, nurse educators, and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners. Each specialization option is also available as a post-graduate certificate.


#43: Tarleton State University | Stephenville, TX
Tarleton State University is a member of the Texas A&M University System. The school’s Department of Nursing has served students since 1976. TSU undergraduates have several options for pursuing a BSN degree, including a traditional four-year program and two alternate entry pathways (LVN-to-BSN and RN-to-BSN). The BSN program has more than doubled in size since 2012 without sacrificing quality: students have averaged an 84% first-time NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. The university’s MSN program also supports multiple entry points, including a traditional pathway for BSN-educated nurses and an RN-to-MSN pathway for ADN- or diploma-educated nurses. All nursing programs are available at Tarleton’s main campus, and the LVN-to-BSN pathway is also available at the school’s Waco campus.


#44: University of Texas Rio Grande Valley | Edinburg, TX
The UT System Board of Regents recently formed UT Rio Grande Valley by consolidating the system’s Pan American (Edinburg) and Brownsville campuses. UTRGV’s nursing department maintains deep offerings in both locations, including a prelicensure BSN, an RN-to-BSN completion program, and three MSN tracks (nursing administration, nursing education, FNP). The school also offers a graduate certificate for aspiring psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners. UTRGV graduates 100-200 prelicensure BSN students each year, who have achieved a strong pass rate of 87% on the NCLEX licensure exam over the past ten years.


#45: Texas A&M University - Texarkana | Texarkana, TX
Texas A&M University - Texarkana (TAMUT) is home to the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Nursing. The college conducts an RN-to-BSN completion program and an MSN degree in nursing administration, both for existing registered nurses. The RN-to-BSN curriculum is delivered in eight-week blocks rather than across the semester, allowing working students to better focus their efforts and manage their time. During the summer of 2017, TAMUT also launched a prelicensure BSN program. Students meet in the university’s STEM Building which houses the new Innovation Lab, a multidisciplinary research environment.


#46: University of St. Thomas | Houston, TX
UST’s Carol and Odis Peavy School of Nursing offers a traditional four-year BSN program grounded in patient-centered nursing. The school’s newly developed curriculum integrates healing and holistic care within the religious, ethical, and intellectual traditions of Catholic higher education. Incoming freshmen begin prerequisites immediately, but most students don’t formally apply to the nursing school until the end of freshman year. Admission is competitive, with just 20-40 students in each nursing cohort. The university also reserves space in the BSN program for high-performing high school seniors upon their acceptance into UST as freshmen.


#47: Lamar University | Beaumont, TX
The Joanne Gay Dishman School of Nursing offers several pathways to a BSN or MSN degree. The traditional BSN is a four-year campus-based program, while the RN-to-BSN bridge program is offered online. Lamar University graduates roughly 100 traditional BSN students each year, with an impressive 93% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. The online MSN program has twice been ranked in the top twenty nationally by U.S. News & World Report. The MSN curriculum offers concentration options in nursing administration and nursing education, an RN-to-MSN bridge program, and a joint MSN/MBA degree option.


#48: University of Central Oklahoma | Edmond, OK
Since 1972, more than 3,000 men and women have graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma’s nursing program. The Department of Nursing offers a robust BSN program and recently launched one of just three public MSN programs in Oklahoma. The MSN is designed for working professionals with early evening classes, part- and full-time options, and a centrally located campus. The BSN offers three pathways: traditional four-year (the core of the program), LPN-to-BSN, and RN-to-BSN. UCO graduates approximately 100 prelicensure BSN students annually, and they have passed the NCLEX exam at a very strong and consistent rate of 91% over the past decade.


#49: West Texas A&M University | Canyon, TX
The Department of Nursing at West Texas A&M University is a student-centered learning community that provides valuable hands-on experience through its on-campus Nursing Health & Wellness Clinic. The school offers multiple pathways at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduates can pursue a traditional prelicensure BSN degree or an online RN-to-BSN completion program. Prelicensure BSN graduates have a stellar record of eight consecutive years with a first-time NCLEX pass rate above 94%. Graduate students can choose from two MSN specializations: comprehensive nursing (offered online) and family nurse practitioner (delivered in a hybrid format). A post-master’s FNP certificate is also available.


#50: Texas A&M International University | Laredo, TX
Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) is home to the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and the Dr. F. M. Canseco School of Nursing. The school offers both traditional and degree completion pathways to a BSN degree. Graduate students can pursue an MSN with either a family nurse practitioner or nursing administration focus. The FNP curriculum emphasizes topics like health assessment, pharmacology, healthcare policy, and social justice, while the nursing administration curriculum covers issues like healthcare informatics, organizational behavior, and nursing leadership. All of TAMIU’s nursing programs are conducted on campus only. BSN graduates have scored an outstanding 93-95% NCLEX pass rate for five consecutive years, while FNP graduates have achieved a perfect 100% pass rate on the national certification exam for four consecutive years.


#51: Oral Roberts University | Tulsa, OK
Oral Roberts University is home to the Anna Vaughn College of Nursing. In addition to traditional BSN and RN-to-BSN programs, the school offers outstanding study abroad opportunities in Mexico, Nigeria, Ghana, and the Ivory Coast. Graduates are routinely hired at leading Tulsa-area hospitals, OSU Health Care Center, and the Tulsa Health Department. Students also enjoy consistent success on their licensure exams: since 2008, the prelicensure BSN program’s 40-60 annual graduates have posted an average NCLEX exam pass rate of 90%.


#52: Texas Lutheran University | Seguin, TX
Texas Lutheran University’s Department of Nursing offers a BSN program with two pathways: a prelicensure BSN track and an RN-to-BSN degree completion track. TLU recently launched both programs after receiving official approval from the Texas Board of Nursing in April 2014. The prelicensure pathway features an average class size of 30 students (or less) and clinical groups of just six to eight participants, ensuring personalized instruction and hands-on practice. The RN-to-BSN pathway can be completed in 12 months of full-time study, but it also includes a part-time option and hybrid online courses to provide flexibility for working professionals.


#53: Lubbock Christian University | Lubbock, TX
The Department of Nursing at Lubbock Christian University offers a pre-nursing program, an RN-to-BSN bridge program, an MSN degree with two specialization options (education / leadership and family nurse practitioner), and a post-master’s FNP certificate. The pre-nursing program allows students to complete the curricular requirements for entry to Covenant School of Nursing, an LCU partner school. The RN-to-BSN pathway is for working nurses who wish to complete their baccalaureate education while continuing their employment. The FNP specialization uses both traditional and hybrid delivery models, with a substantial amount of time in lectures, labs, and clinical experiences. The education / leadership specialization uses a short-course format, supplementing in-person meetings of three to four days per semester with online instruction.


#54: Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing | Abilene, TX
Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing (PHSSN) is a consortium of Hardin-Simmons University and McMurry University, making it the only intercollegiate nursing program in the nation that serves two private universities. PHSSN offers several nursing degree pathways including a traditional BSN, an RN-to-BSN completion program, and an MSN with functional tracks for education and family nurse practitioner. The school also offers a highly regarded CNA program, available for enrollment to the broader Abilene community. PHSSN’s prelicensure BSN students have passed the NCLEX-RN exam at rates as high as 92% in recent years. It is also common for all CNA graduates to pass the state certification exam.


#55: LeTourneau University | Longview, TX
The School of Nursing at LeTourneau University (LETU) offers a prelicensure BSN program that takes four years to complete. The curriculum features small class sizes, a diverse faculty, and extensive clinical experiences with more than twenty agency partners in the East Texas area. Graduates of the LETU BSN program are prepared to seek positions in acute care hospitals, primary care clinics, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, faith-based organizations, community agencies, and schools. The university’s BSN graduates have achieved a perfect 100% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam since the program’s recent launch. LETU also offers an online RN-to-BSN program that features year-round, seven-week courses deployed in a cohort model and complemented with local practice experiences.


#56: University of Houston - Victoria | Victoria, TX
Initially chartered as an upper-division and graduate school, the University of Houston - Victoria (UHV) expanded in the fall of 2010 to admit freshmen and sophomores. The university now offers seventy bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. UHV is subdivided into three academic schools, with its nursing program led by the School of Education, Health Professions and Human Development. The RN-to-BSN curriculum is designed for ADN- or diploma-educated nurses who hold an active, unencumbered license. The program builds on its students’ existing knowledge and skills, preparing them to meet the challenges of a dynamic and complex healthcare environment. Students are also prepared for graduate nursing study.


#57: University of Houston - Clear Lake | Pearland, TX
The University of Houston - Clear Lake enrolls 9,000 students annually in more than ninety degree programs across four colleges. The university’s nursing program is led by the College of Human Sciences and Humanities. This RN-to-BSN completion program is delivered in a blended format with both face-to-face and online components. Students may enroll in either the fulltime, three-quarters, or half-time track, allowing them to tailor the program’s pace for their needs as working professionals. Fulltime students can complete the program in just two semesters, while part-time students may take as many as six semesters. The university’s new nursing simulation and skills lab provides valuable hands-on training that prepares students to deliver safe and effective care.


#58: Weatherford College | Weatherford, TX
Established in March 1869, Weatherford College is the oldest continuing community college in the southwestern United States. The college offers both a vocational nursing certificate and two pathways to an associate of applied science (AAS) degree in nursing. The LVN certificate program prepares students for entry-level positions in clinics, doctors’ offices, and hospitals. Approximately 40-70 students graduate from the LVN program each year, with a stellar 95% NCLEX-PN pass rate over the past decade. The AAS program prepares students for more advanced positions in a range of healthcare environments. Weatherford College offers both a traditional four-semester track and an LVN-to-RN transition track. Across the two tracks, the college graduates approximately 125 students annually, with a strong 91% NCLEX-RN pass rate over the past decade.


#59: Aspen University | Phoenix, AZ
Traditionally an online institution, Aspen University recently launched a hybrid prelicensure BSN program in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Students attend nursing core classes at one of the university’s two Arizona campus locations, while completing non-clinical courses – approximately 70% of the curriculum – 100% online. Fulltime students can complete the program in just 36 months (or nine semesters) of year-round study. The school maintains clinical partnerships with Maricopa Integrated Health System, HonorHealth, and several other healthcare institutions in the Phoenix metropolitan area. Graduates from the prelicensure BSN program have the opportunity to matriculate into Aspen University’s online MSN program which offers five distinct specializations. The school also offers a post-master’s DNP curriculum.


#60: Sam Houston State University | Huntsville, TX
The School of Nursing at Sam Houston State University has several undergraduate options. A pre-nursing program provides foundational coursework in anatomy, physiology, microbiology, chemistry, algebra, statistics, nutrition, and psychology. SHSU offers two prelicensure BSN pathways: a traditional program for students with no nursing education or experience, and an LVN-to-BSN bridge for practicing LVNs who want to advance into the RN role. The university graduates 60-90 students annually across these two programs, with a solid 88% pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam since launch. Finally, SHSU offers a fully online RN-to-BSN program designed for working nurses who want to complete their baccalaureate education.


#61: Oklahoma Christian University | Edmond, OK
Oklahoma Christian University’s School of Nursing offers several unique learning opportunities. The school’s mission of Christian service is embodied in its coursework, with classes like Contemporary Christian Nursing Leadership and Health Care Missions & Christian Service Strategies. OC also provides medical mission opportunities like HonduraServ (a service trip to Honduras) and domestic rotations in local hospitals and clinics. The university offers two BSN pathways: a traditional four-year program and an online RN-to-BSN with flexible class scheduling. Graduates of the traditional program have averaged an 85% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam since 2012.


#62: Galen College of Nursing | San Antonio, TX
With five campuses and an online division, Galen College of Nursing is one of the largest private nursing schools in the United States. The San Antonio campus offers an LVN diploma, an LVN-to-ADN bridge program, a three-year BSN degree, and an online RN-to-BSN completion option. Students have access to laboratories with high-tech patient-simulation mannequins, clinical experiences in a variety of real-world healthcare settings, and classroom technology that enhances learning. The San Antonio LVN and ADN programs each graduate approximately 300 students annually. Since 2015, LVN students have scored an impressive 94% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN licensure exam, while their ADN counterparts have averaged an 89% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. Both programs exceeded a 95% NCLEX pass rate last year.


#63: Angelo State University | San Angelo, TX
The Angelo State University Department of Nursing welcomes students attending college for the first time, those who already have a bachelor’s degree in another field, and practicing nurses who seek more leadership responsibilities. The university’s undergraduate curriculum offers a generic pathway to a bachelor of science degree in nursing. Students have access to the department’s high-fidelity simulation laboratory, which allows them to learn and practice new nursing techniques on life-like mannequins in a real-world setting. The BSN program graduates 60-70 students annually, who have averaged a 90% first-time NCLEX pass rate since the program’s launch. Graduate students can pursue either an MSN degree or a post-master’s certificate, both offered online and each with family nurse practitioner and nurse educator specializations.


#64: Texas A&M University - Commerce | Commerce, TX
A&M-Commerce is the second-largest institution in the prestigious Texas A&M University System, with satellite campuses in six Texas cities and a robust online presence. The university offers both a traditional prelicensure BSN and an RN-to-BSN completion pathway. The traditional BSN program is select, with just 30-50 students in each graduating cohort. These students have achieved a strong 93% first-time NCLEX pass rate since the program’s recent launch. The Nursing Department also offers an MSN curriculum with family nurse practitioner emphasis that students can complete in two years fulltime or three years part-time. The program’s hybrid delivery model combines online courses with web-enhanced on-campus modules.


#65: Wayland Baptist University | San Antonio, TX
The Wayland Baptist University School of Nursing offers a traditional BSN program, an LVN-to-BSN bridge, and an online MSN degree. The traditional BSN requires seven terms (or two years) of study after completion of the WBU general education core, with both November and May start dates. The LVN-to-BSN pathway is the only such program in San Antonio. Students can earn up to 11 hours of advanced placement credit for prior nursing education, enabling them to complete the degree in just six terms. The Wayland Baptist MSN combines a primary focus on curriculum development, teaching strategies, and adult learning with a secondary focus on business management.


#66: New Mexico State University | Las Cruces, NM
New Mexico State University’s School of Nursing offers degree programs at the BSN, MSN, DNP, and PhD levels. The BSN program has three pathways: a traditional four-year prelicensure BSN, an online RN-to-BSN program for returning nurses, and an accelerated second degree option. NMSU graduates approximately 100 prelicensure BSN students annually, and these individuals have achieved a strong 88% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. The MSN features a nursing administration track and is offered online, as are both doctoral degree programs. The DNP is structured as a practice-based program for nurses in advanced and senior positions, while the PhD has a research-based emphasis for nurses looking to enter leadership positions in education, practice, or health policy.


#67: Panola College | Carthage, TX
Panola College has grown from 100 students at the first registration in 1948 to more than 2,600 students today. The Health Sciences Department offers a vocational nursing certificate and two pathways to an associate’s degree in nursing (traditional, LVN-to-RN). The LVN-to-RN bridge program is conducted in a convenient hybrid format that features online classes, one campus lab day per week, and clinical experiences during evenings and weekends. Approximately 30-50 students graduate annually from the LVN certificate program, with a solid 83% NCLEX-PN pass rate over the past decade. The ADN program graduates 30-75 students annually across both tracks, with a strong 89% NCLEX-RN pass rate over the past decade.


#68: Texas A&M University - Central Texas | Killeen, TX
Texas A&M University - Central Texas has streamlined its RN-to-BSN program to avoid duplication of courses and content previously completed by students with an associate’s degree in nursing. The flexible, 100% online program covers key subject areas like health assessment, pathophysiology, community health nursing, gerontology, informatics, and nursing research in evidence-based practice. Graduates of the program are prepared to seek positions as case manager, hospice care provider, nurse educator, nursing home director, head nurse, and other advanced-level positions.


#69: South Texas College | McAllen, TX
STC’s Division of Nursing and Allied Health offers an ADN program with three entry points: a traditional two-year pathway for non-nurses, a three-semester pathway for EMT paramedics, and a 12-month pathway for existing LVNs. STC also offers a three-semester LVN certificate program that provides classroom instruction and clinical practice in the nursing care of four populations: adults, mothers / newborns, children, and the elderly. The college graduates 70-120 new LVNs and 150-250 new RNs annually. Students in both programs have exhibited strong licensure exam pass rates. Since 2008, LVN students have achieved an 86% NCLEX-PN pass rate, while their ADN counterparts have achieved an 86% NCLEX-RN pass rate.


#70: Hallmark University | San Antonio, TX
Hallmark University is a private nonprofit institution that specializes in aeronautics, business, healthcare, and technology education. The School of Nursing features simulation labs and facilities that look and feel just like modern healthcare environments. Students practice their medical techniques by applying knowledge learned in the classroom on life-like models. The school offers two pathways to a BSN degree (prelicensure, RN-to-BSN completion) as well as a master of science in nursing education. The prelicensure BSN program just enrolled its first cohort in 2018. It follows an accelerated curriculum that enables students to complete their baccalaureate education in just 32 months of year-round study, with no prerequisites required.


#71: Prairie View A&M University | Prairie View, TX
Located in the Texas Medical Center, the College of Nursing at Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) has programs at all degree levels. Undergraduates can pursue a bachelor’s degree through three different pathways: a traditional BSN, an LVN-to-BSN bridge, and an RN-to-BSN completion program. Approximately 120-160 students complete the prelicensure BSN pathways each year, and they have achieved a solid 88% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade. Graduate programs include an MSN degree with three specializations (family nurse practitioner, nurse administration, nurse education) and a post-master’s DNP curriculum. PVAMU’s nursing programs are noted for their advanced technology, smart classrooms, transformative laboratories, and extensive clinical partnerships.


#72: Stephen F. Austin State University | Nacogdoches, TX
Founded in 1923 as a teachers’ college, Stephen F. Austin State University now offers more than 120 areas of study through six colleges and one independent school. The DeWitt School of Nursing is part of the university’s College of Sciences & Mathematics. The school offers two BSN pathways (traditional prelicensure, RN-to-BSN completion) and an MSN degree for aspiring family nurse practitioners. The MSN program requires just three campus visits, and the RN-to-BSN program requires just one campus visit; all other coursework is conducted online. Traditional BSN students will learn in the Ed and Gwen Cole Simulation Lab, which includes distinct areas for medical-surgical care, labor and delivery, nursery and neonatal care, health assessment, and emergency care. A variety of low-, medium-, and high-fidelity mannequins are used to simulate any patient condition, including childbirth. The traditional BSN program typically graduates 100-130 students annually. Over the past decade, these graduates have achieved an excellent 93% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.


#73: Northwestern Oklahoma State University | Alva, OK
Northwestern Oklahoma State University traces its roots back to 1897, when it was first established in Alva as a normal school. Today the university educates 2,000 students annually across more than forty areas of study. The Charles Morton Share Trust Division of Nursing provides several pathways to a baccalaureate nursing degree. A prelicensure BSN program is offered on the flagship Alva campus as well as satellite campuses in Enid, Ponca City, and Woodward. Across these four locations, Northwestern graduates between thirty and forty prelicensure BSN students annually. These graduates have achieved an 83% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX licensure exam over the past decade. Existing nurses can enroll in the school’s RN-to-BSN program. The curriculum is delivered 100% online with flexible enrollment dates each fall, spring, and summer semester. In 2017, the Division of Nursing launched the university’s first doctoral program, a BSN-to-DNP pathway for aspiring family nurse practitioners. The inaugural cohort of twenty students is currently completing their studies.


#74: Valley Baptist Medical Center School of Vocational Nursing | Harlingen, TX
Valley Baptist Medical Center has a proud tradition of preparing well-qualified LVNs for the workforce. The hospital’s School of Vocational Nursing launches a new class of approximately 40 individuals each January. Over the ensuing twelve months, students complete a rigorous curriculum that covers three levels of coursework, including approximately 600 lecture hours and 70 lab hours. They also receive more than 800 hours of clinical experience at VBMC Harlingen and surrounding facilities. The administration has worked hard to keep the program affordable, with tuition and fees currently totaling just $11,000. VBMC graduates have posted an exceptional 92% first-time NCLEX pass rate since 2008, well above the state and national averages.


#75: Southwestern Adventist University | Keene, TX
Southwestern Adventist University has a Nursing Department renowned for its small class sizes and personalized mentoring. The school’s BSN program offers two prelicensure pathways: a traditional four-year curriculum and an accelerated five-semester LVN-to-BSN bridge. Over the past decade, students in these two pathways have scored an 86% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam, including an impressive 91% pass rate since 2016. Southwestern also offers a postlicensure RN-to-BSN pathway that qualified nurses may complete in just one year of full-time study. The Nursing Department recently received a grant from the Ardmore Institute of Health to expand its health and lifestyle education efforts within the local community.


#76: Pima Medical Institute | Tucson, AZ
The associate’s degree in nursing program at Pima Medical Institute prepares graduates for entry-level RN positions. Students take accelerated courses in everything from anatomy to pharmacology, and they receive hands-on training in skills labs with simulation mannequins and hospital-grade equipment. Clinical externships at hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies provide students with additional real-world experience. PMI’s ADN program is offered at several campuses in Arizona and New Mexico, and it may be completed in as little as twenty months. Graduates from all campuses have achieved solid first-time pass rates on the NCLEX licensure exam over the past decade, including Tucson (87%), Mesa (86%), and Albuquerque (85%).


#77: East Texas Baptist University | Marshall, TX
East Texas Baptist University offers both a traditional BSN program and an RN-to-BSN bridge. The traditional BSN program is a four-year curriculum. Two years of basic science and liberal arts courses are followed by two years of nursing courses, including Integrated Nursing Practice, Nutrition, and Pharmacology. The program is select, with only one to two dozen students per graduating cohort. ETBU’s traditional BSN students have posted a strong 93% NCLEX pass rate over the past decade, including four consecutive years with a perfect 100% pass rate. The university’s online RN-to-BSN program is designed for graduates of associate’s degree programs who hold an unencumbered Texas RN license. The streamlined curriculum allows students to earn the BSN degree within 12 to 24 months while continuing their employment.


#78: University of Houston - Downtown | Houston, TX
The University of Houston - Downtown (UHD) is one of four distinct universities in the University of Houston System. The UHD College of Sciences and Technology offers a BSN program for students who already hold an associate’s degree in nursing and an active, unencumbered RN license. The RN-to-BSN curriculum focuses on the management and leadership skills needed to advance into senior healthcare positions. The curriculum also lays the groundwork for future graduate study in advanced nursing practice. Students can expect to complete the program in one to two years of study.


#79: Schreiner University | Kerrville, TX
Schreiner University’s main campus is situated in the Texas Hill Country, with additional first-year campuses in Mission, Brownsville, and El Paso. The school offers three nursing pathways: an LVN certificate, a traditional BSN degree, and an RN-to-BSN bridge. The LVN program takes just one year to complete fulltime. The past two graduating classes have averaged an 85% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN licensure exam. The traditional BSN is a four-year program requiring 120 credit hours of study. These students also perform well on their licensure exams, including an 89% NCLEX-RN pass rate over the past two years. The RN-to-BSN degree completion program is offered fully online and requires just 12 months to complete.


#80: Northeastern State University | Muskogee, OK
Northeastern State University is Oklahoma’s fourth-largest public four-year institution. The Department of Health Professions offers several options for professional nurses seeking career advancement, all conducted 100% online. Nurses who hold an associate’s degree or diploma can enroll in the university’s upper-division, 30-credit-hour RN-to-BSN completion program. Students employed fulltime will typically complete the program in two academic years, although they have the flexibility to do so in as little as ten months or as much as five years. Nurses who already hold a BSN degree can pursue an MSN degree at Northeastern State University, with specialization options in administrative leadership, nursing education, and nursing informatics. The MSN program is similarly flexible, with time to completion ranging from 12 months (minimum) to two years (most common) to six years (maximum). The curriculum includes a 120-hour practicum which can be completed over multiple semesters.