Find a nursing school near you

Programs include LPN/LVN, ADN, BSN, MSN, and more

For our 2018 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 national licensure exam

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: 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.


#4: 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 20 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 2017. UTMB Health also leads RN-to-BSN, MSN, DNP, and PhD programs. Six MSN tracks are available including clinical nurse leader (CNL), family nurse practitioner (FNP), neonatal nurse practitioner (NNP), and nurse educator (NED). Post-BSN and post-MSN students can also quickly earn a certificate in nursing education by completing three focused courses.


#5: 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.


#6: 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.


#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 approximately 200 BSN students annually who consistently enjoy excellent NCLEX-RN pass rates, including a rate of 98% in 2017. 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: 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.


#9: Baylor College of Medicine | Houston, TX
Baylor College of Medicine offers a DNP in Nurse Anesthesia program that has produced hundreds of new nurse anesthetists since its inception. The program requires 36 months of full-time study to complete, preparing students for the national certification exam administered by the National Board of Certification and Recertification for Nurse Anesthetists (NBCRNA). The entire Baylor class of 2015 passed the certification exam on the first try and obtained employment upon graduation. In fact, the school’s DNP in Nurse Anesthesia program was recently ranked among the best nurse anesthesia programs in the country by U.S. News & World Report.


#10: 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.


#11: 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 NP roles. The college also offers DNP and nursing PhD programs.


#12: 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, and the class of 2017 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).


#13: Texas Wesleyan University | Fort Worth, TX
Texas Wesleyan University offers a range of in-demand graduate programs in nurse anesthesia. In addition to the popular MSNA and DNAP degrees, the university leads a three-semester certificate for nurse anesthesia education. Texas Wesleyan also conducts an online master’s degree in the field of health science, providing existing CRNAs up to seven years to complete the coursework. MSNA students have access to 24 clinical sites in 11 states, and graduates of the program achieved a 91% first-time pass rate on the NBCRNA certification exam from 2012-2016. Within six months of graduation, greater than 99% of graduates pass the exam, and 100% gain employment.


#14: 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.


#15: 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.


#16: University of Mary Hardin-Baylor | Belton, TX
The Scott White College of Nursing at UMHB offers two nursing programs: a traditional four-year BSN for students seeking initial licensure, and an RN-to-BSN track for ADN-prepared nurses seeking a BSN degree. The college offers clinical experiences at local hospitals, and it provides numerous opportunities to train at the Clinical Simulation Learning Center, which features a simulation hospital, a standardized patient clinic, and skills and physical diagnosis labs. More than 150 students complete the traditional BSN program each year. They have enjoyed a solid NCLEX pass rate of 85% over the past decade, including a rate of 91% in 2017.


#17: 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.


#18: University of the Incarnate Word | San Antonio, TX
Each year, UIW’s Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions graduates a prelicensure BSN class of approximately 60-75 students. 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 passed the NCLEX exam at a solid 91% rate since 2008, including a perfect rate of 100% in 2017. UIW also offers two degree completion pathways (RN-to-BSN/MSN), two MSN or certificate specializations (CNL, CNS), and three DNP pathways (FNP certification, PMHNP certification, post-MSN completion).


#19: 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.


#20: 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 study. Courses are taught in a combination of classroom and online settings. Since 2015, accelerated BSN students have achieved a solid 88% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. 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.


#21: 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 20+ 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 experience.


#22: 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.


#23: 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.


#24: 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.


#25: 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 99% first-time pass rate since 2015. The MSN program has leadership, education, and informatics tracks, all of which may be completed entirely online.


#26: 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.


#27: Chamberlain College of Nursing | Houston, TX
Chamberlain College of Nursing’s Houston campus offers a unique three-year BSN program. The curriculum is designed so that students can earn their degrees – and start their careers – more quickly than at a traditional four-year school. Chamberlain offers small class sizes, conducts year-round study, and doesn’t mandate any prerequisite courses, helping to speed things along. There are no waiting lists, and all Chamberlain students receive hands-on experience in the college’s state-of-the-art SIMCARE CENTER. This nursing skills laboratory challenges students to react in real-time to critical patient scenarios, including childbirth, seizure, or cardiac arrest.


#28: 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 offers an RN-to-BSN completion program and an MSN degree in nursing administration for existing registered nurses, and very recently developed a prelicensure BSN program that launched during the summer of 2017. The school delivers its RN-to-BSN program in eight-week blocks rather than across the semester, allowing working students to better focus their efforts and manage their time. Students in all programs meet in the STEM Building which houses the new Innovation Lab, a multidisciplinary research environment.


#29: 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 students each year who have scored an 86% NCLEX pass rate since 2008, including a 91% pass rate in 2017. 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 FNP, NED, or leadership, and the university also began a post-master’s DNP program in the fall of 2016.


#30: Western Governors University | 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.


#31: 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.


#32: 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 been serving students since 1976. TSU undergraduates have several options for pursuing a BSN degree, including traditional (four-year) and alternate entry (LVN-to-BSN and RN-to-BSN) options. The BSN program has more than doubled in size since 2012 without sacrificing quality: students have achieved a solid 84% 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.


#33: 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.


#34: 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.


#35: 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.


#36: 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 an on-campus Nursing Health & Wellness Clinic. The school offers multiple pathways at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Undergraduates can pursue a traditional prelicensure BSN degree or an online RN-to-BSN degree completion program. BSN graduates have a stellar record of seven consecutive years with an NCLEX pass rate above 94%. Graduate students can choose from two MSN specializations: comprehensive nursing (offered online) and family nurse practitioner (hybrid delivery). A post-master’s FNP certificate is also available.


#37: Vista College | El Paso, TX
Vista College offers healthcare education across nine campus locations in Texas, New Mexico, and Arkansas, as well as online. Aspiring LVNs can pursue a vocational nursing diploma at four Texas campuses: Beaumont, El Paso, Killeen, and Lubbock. The college also offers a practical nursing diploma at its Las Cruces, NM campus. The nursing curriculum provides real-world instruction in a broad range of pertinent topics, including health science, professional development, maternal-newborn nursing, child health, and pharmacology. Vista College graduates approximately 250 LVN candidates annually, and these students have achieved a solid 84% NCLEX-PN pass rate over the past decade.


#38: Brazosport College | Lake Jackson, TX
Brazosport College has twice been recognized as one of the top ten community colleges in the nation by the Aspen Institute, a DC-based educational and policy studies organization. The school offers an 11-month LVN curriculum and two ADN pathways: a two-year option for non-nurses and a three-semester bridge program for existing LVNs. Graduates of all programs enjoy healthy employment prospects, with job placement rates frequently in excess of 80%. They are also well-prepared for their licensure exams. Brazosport College’s ADN students have achieved an 84% NCLEX-RN pass rate since the program’s inception, and the LVN program has posted an unbelievable 98% NCLEX-PN pass rate over the past decade.


#39: Midwestern State University | Wichita Falls, TX
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 a solid 85% NCLEX pass rate since 2015. The university also offers an MSN degree with majors available in family nurse practitioner, nurse educator, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Each specialization option is also available as a post-graduate certificate.


#40: 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.


#41: Midland College | Midland, TX
Midland College offers three programs for aspiring nurses: an LVN certificate, a traditional ADN program, and an LVN-to-RN bridge. The LVN certificate is a 12-month program that prepares graduates to take the NCLEX-PN licensure exam. Since 2014, Midland’s LVN students have posted a stellar 96% NCLEX-PN pass rate. The traditional ADN program is a full-time, four-semester curriculum that prepares graduates to take the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. The LVN-to-RN track does likewise over an accelerated three-semester curriculum that provides LVNs advanced standing for their previous coursework. Since 2014, Midland’s ADN students have achieved a solid 87% NCLEX-RN pass rate.


#42: 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.


#43: 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 15-30 students in each graduating cohort. These students have maintained a strong 90% 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 full-time or three years part-time. The program’s hybrid delivery model combines online courses with web-enhanced on-campus modules.


#44: 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.


#45: 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 (FNP) 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 94% NCLEX pass rate for four consecutive years, while FNP graduates have achieved a perfect 100% pass rate on the national certification exam for three consecutive years.


#46: 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.


#47: 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 full-time. Last year’s graduating class scored an impressive 93% 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 86% NCLEX-RN pass rate last year. The RN-to-BSN degree completion program is offered fully online and requires just 12 months to complete.


#48: University of Houston | Houston, TX
An institutional member of the Texas Medical Center, UH School of Nursing offers two BSN tracks (second degree, RN-to-BSN) and three MSN specializations (nursing education, nursing administration, 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% each year from 2015-2017. The MSN curriculum is offered at both the Sugar Land and Victoria campuses. This program’s inaugural May 2015 FNP class achieved a 100% first-time pass rate on the FNP national certification exam.


#49: Dallas Nursing Institute | Dallas, TX
Dallas Nursing Institute provides rigorous technical training at several levels of nursing. Program options include an LVN certificate, an ADN program, and an RN-to-BSN degree completion pathway. The LVN certificate may be completed in 51 weeks full-time or 68 weeks part-time. Since 2016, Dallas Nursing Institute’s LVN graduates have scored an excellent 96% pass rate on the NCLEX-PN licensure exam. The ADN program offers two pathways: a traditional 80-week curriculum and an LVN-to-RN transition program. The latter option can reduce the traditional ADN timeline by up to six months. Since 2016, Dallas Nursing Institute’s ADN graduates have scored a solid 87% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam. Finally, the two-year RN-to-BSN program is an online offering with four distinct concentrations: transcultural nursing, mental health focus, eHealth and telemedicine, and ethics and professional practice.


#50: 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 93% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN licensure exam, while their ADN counterparts have achieved a solid 87% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam.


#51: 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 100 years. 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 91% 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: 175-200 annual graduates have scored a 90% average pass rate since the AAS program’s inception.


#52: 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. Since the program’s launch, students in these two pathways have scored an 85% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam, including an impressive 93% 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.


#53: East Texas Baptist University | Corpus Christi, 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 three 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.


#54: Del Mar College | Corpus Christi, TX
The Nursing Education Department at Del Mar College offers a multiple entry / exit program (MEEP). Students may pursue a four-semester vocational nursing certificate or a five-semester professional nursing degree. Students in the RN program can obtain either the standard associate of applied science (AAS) degree or an associate of arts (AA) degree which will facilitate completion of a BSN degree at an upper-level program. The associate’s degree program also awards advanced standing to current LVNs. Del Mar College graduates 80-150 new RNs annually, and these students have scored an impressive 92% NCLEX-RN pass rate since 2012. Those individuals who opt for the LVN certificate almost always pass the NCLEX-PN exam at a perfect 100% rate.


#55: 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 both a generic pathway and an RN-to-BSN degree completion option. The generic BSN graduates 60-70 students annually, who have achieved a noteworthy 88% 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. All 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.


#56: 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.


#57: Collin College | McKinney, TX
The Collin College Nursing Department offers three ADN pathways for aspiring nurses: a traditional program, an LVN-to-RN bridge, and a medic / paramedic fast-track program. The traditional program requires four semesters of study, while the LVN and medic advanced placement pathways may be completed in just three semesters. Coursework includes psychology, growth and development, professional nursing concepts, and healthcare concepts. Across all pathways, Collin College graduates 100-150 ADN students annually. These individuals have achieved an excellent 92% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam over the past decade.


#58: Brookhaven College | Farmers Branch, TX
The Health and Human Services Division of Brookhaven College offers a 60-credit ADN program leading to the associate of applied science degree. Established in 2003, the program is offered in an accelerated format where students attend classes for 16 consecutive months, including summers. Coursework covers a broad survey of critical topics like pediatric, family, adult, and mental health nursing. Brookhaven College accepts approximately 50 ADN students each fall and spring semester. The college has averaged an 88% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN licensure exam over the past decade, including three consecutive years with a 92% pass rate or higher.


#59: 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.


#60: Tyler County Hospital School of Vocational Nursing | Woodville, TX
Tyler County Hospital School of Vocational Nursing offers a 12-month LVN program that progresses through several curricular levels. The first 16 weeks focus on classroom lectures and demonstrations, with a few hours of clinical experience. The remaining 36 weeks of the program increasingly shift the focus to clinical experience, supplemented with fewer classroom hours. The program begins in January of each year and accepts a maximum of 72 students per cohort, including at least 15 Tyler County residents. Over the past decade, graduates have achieved an impressive 90% first-time pass rate on the NCLEX-PN licensure exam.