Welcome to our 8th Annual RN Program Rankings – 2024 Edition!

We are firm believers in providing students with all the information possible to make the right choice when selecting a nursing school. With this in mind, we feel a great way to provide this transparency is through studying nursing programs and their students’ performance on the NCLEX-RN exam.

The NCLEX-RN exam is used by all state boards of nursing across the United States to help assess a student’s competency and is required for licensure. Many state boards of nursing use the total overall NCLEX-RN pass rates for a school as one of the main ways to approve a school’s ability to provide a nursing education in the state. This is why we feel the NCLEX-RN pass rates are one of the best ways to determine a nursing program’s student preparedness, and that is why we have chosen to rank them using this method.


Our methodology began with obtaining NCLEX-RN exam pass rates for all RN programs (ADN, BSN, Direct-Entry MSN) state by state through several methods, including making a number of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. We requested the previous 5 years of information that is available.

Once this data was obtained, we filtered out the programs with the following characteristics:

  • Programs that have closed or will be closing at the time of data collecting
  • Programs with no pass rate data available for the previous 1 or 2 years, depending on the state and number of years of data available
  • Programs with only one year of pass rates

Once non-qualifying programs had been filtered, the ranking process began:

  1. NCLEX-RN pass rates were analyzed going back to the most recent years of data available up to 5 years, each state may have varying years, see the data table below for each state’s year range analysis.
  2. Schools’ pass rates were averaged together and weighted by the recency of the exam; for example, exam pass rates in 2021 count more towards overall rankings than scores from 2017. The weighting cofactor values table used:
Number Years of Data AvailableWeighting Cofactors (Most Recent First)
5 Years 0.37,0.27,0.17,0.12,0.07
4 Years 0.4,0.3,0.2,0.1
3 Years 0.45,0.35,0.2
2 Years 0.65,0.35
1 Year1

Ranking Details By State

The table below lists information by state, including the years of NCLEX-RN pass rate data analyzed, the number of schools in each state, and the number of top-ranked programs.

StateYears Rankings Based OnNumber Schools AnalyzedNumber Schools Ranked
Alabama2018 - 20223810
Arizona2018 - 20223310
Arkansas2017 - 20213010
California2018 - 202213020
Colorado2017 - 20212810
Connecticut2018 - 20222210
Delaware2018 - 202263
Florida2017 - 202114820
Georgia2017 - 20215120
Hawaii2016 - 202083
Idaho2018 - 2022115
Illinois2017 - 20217920
Indiana2016 - 20204720
Iowa2017 - 20213210
Kansas2017 - 20213210
Kentucky2017 - 20214920
Louisiana2014 - 20182510
Maine2018 - 2022125
Maryland2018 - 20222510
Massachusetts2017 - 20214120
Michigan2012 - 20165920
Minnesota2018 - 20224420
Mississippi2018 - 20222310
Missouri2017 - 20215320
Montana2018 - 2022145
Nebraska2018 - 2022165
Nevada2018 - 2022125
New Hampshire2018 - 2022155
New Jersey2017 - 20214920
New Mexico2017 - 2021205
New York2017 - 202110220
North Carolina2017 - 20218320
North Dakota2018 - 2022115
Ohio2017 - 20219420
Oklahoma2017 - 20214620
Oregon2018 - 20222710
Pennsylvania2017 - 20217720
Rhode IslandN/A5N/A
South Carolina2017 - 20213110
South Dakota2018 - 2022115
Tennessee2017 - 20214720
Texas2017 - 202112020
Utah2018 - 2022175
Virginia2017 - 20216720
Washington2017 - 20213410
West Virginia2017 - 20212610
Wisconsin2018 - 20223910
Wyoming2018 - 202293

LPN to RN & Paramedic to RN Ranking Details

Much of our main state ranking methodology above was used in coordination with the Online LPN to RN ranking. Other contributing factors weighted into this ranking include but not limited to:

  • Tuition cost
  • Average program length
  • Geo coverage
  • Further educational pathways and partnerships
  • # of cohorts annually

Referenced Rankings

Concerns, Questions, and Corrections

We understand there is much more in deciding which school best supports students on their path to becoming registered nurses, but providing this information for students can be another point to consider in choosing a school to attend. Our recommendation would be to use our rankings in addition to other factors in helping find the right school.

Please send comments, questions, or corrections to us via our contact form

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