The Pacific Northwest's crowning jewel, Washington boasts world-class educational institutions, making it the perfect locale to earn your degree as a registered nurse. Graduates of these nursing programs are poised to have very lucrative careers, as the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the average salary of a Washington state registered nurse at roughly $95,350 annually.

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Cities in Washington

2023 Best RN Programs in Washington

Selecting the best nursing school in Washington can be difficult. To make the process easier first look for a school that supports students towards licensure and beyond. A great way to measure this is through NCLEX-RN "pass rates." We have ranked the top 10 nursing schools in Washington by analyzing current and historical NCLEX-RN "pass rates", meaning the percentage of graduates who pass the exam, out of the 34 RN programs in the state. Programs reviewed include schools that offer an Associate in Nursing (ADN/ASN), BSN, or Direct-Entry MSN Degree.

For more information on our top nursing school rankings, see our Methodology Page (https://www.registerednursing.org/rn-ranking-methodology/).

1.

7662 Chanute St NE, Moses Lake, WA 98837

Score: 97.94

Moses Lake's Big Bend Community College tops the list of exemplary nursing programs in Washington with its ADN program. BBCC admits students in the fall quarter, and students can complete their coursework in just 2 years. With high first-time NCLEX-RN pass rates, prospective students can rest assured that BBCC's comprehensive nursing curriculum will leave them poised for success.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (509) 793-2137
2.

3028 Lindbergh Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225

Score: 95.82

Bellingham Technical College offers a full-time, 2-year ADN program in the concept-based Direct Transfer Agreement/Major Ready Pathway. Enrolled students learn nursing basics and also take courses in arts and sciences. The school also offers an LPN to RN path for nurses looking to bridge to RN practice.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing, LPN to RN
  • Phone: (360) 752-7000
3.

6501 S 19th St, Tacoma, WA 98466

Score: 94.88

Tacoma Community College features several nursing pathways, including an exceptional ADN program. TCC's ADN is a Direct Transfer Agreement/Major Related Program (DTA/MRP), making it easy for students to transfer to a university to complete a bachelor's in nursing at the completion of the program. The ADN is designed to be completed in 3 years.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (253) 566-5000
4.

204 S College Ave, College Place, WA 99324

Score: 93.41

Walla Walla University offers a bachelor's of science in nursing (BSN) degree route for aspiring RNs. This faith-based school's program boasts small class sizes, a curriculum that includes nearly 1,000 hours of clinical experience, and high fidelity simulations. An NCLEX prep course is also included as part of the program.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN, LPN to BSN
  • Phone: (509) 527-2461
5.

237 W Kellogg Rd, Bellingham, WA 98226

Score: 93.27

A concept-based curriculum is what fuels the ADN program at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham, Washington. Graduates are given every opportunity to excel in simulations, theoretical practices, and clinical experiences. With an over 96% program completion rate and an above-average first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate, it's easy to see why WCC is a popular choice for nursing students.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (360) 383-3080
6.

502 E Boone Ave, Spokane, WA 99202

Score: 93.22

Located in the city of Spokane, Washington, and sitting on both the Spokane River and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Gonzaga offers students flexibility when it comes to their Jesuit nursing programs. The school's BSN program is framed around Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) - an interconnected approach to give students the skills and experience needed to succeed.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (800) 986-9585
7.

2405 E. College Way, Mount Vernon, WA 98273

Score: 93.09

Mount Vernon's Skagit Valley College offers several associate degree in nursing options for aspiring RNs. SVC offers a traditional AAS, a DTA/MRP option designed for easy transfer to a BSN program later on, and even an Associate in Pre-Nursing DTA/MRP pathway. These programs prepare students with the problem-solving and clinical skills necessary to succeed in the field.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (360) 416-7933
8.

1502 E Lauridsen Blvd, Port Angeles, WA 98362

Score: 92.91

Peninsula College believes that nursing is an exciting career for those who are highly skilled in the sciences and who have a desire to help others. The associate degree nursing program at Peninsula College prepares students with a keen scientific mind, a solid social sciences foundation, and focused attention to detail for a rewarding and challenging career.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (360) 417-6455
9.

1600 Chester Ave, Bremerton, WA 98337

Score: 92.63

Olympic College is home to an associate's degree in nursing program that offers a dynamic, evidence-based curriculum. Key skills taught in the program include critical reasoning, legal and ethical values, and collaborative patient care. Graduates are empowered to promote lifelong wellness amongst their communities.

Program Details

  • Programs: Associate in Nursing
  • Phone: (360) 475-7748
10.

5520 108th Ave NE, Kirkland, WA 98033

Score: 92.14

Northwest University, located in Kirkland, offers students a BSN degree with a unique, Christian perspective. With small cohorts of 48 students admitted each year, Northwest nursing students are prepared to provide holistic healthcare services to patients of diverse populations.

Program Details

  • Programs: BSN
  • Phone: (425) 889-7822

ADN Programs in Washington

An Associate's Degree in Nursing (ADN) is one of the quickest ways to become a registered nurse, with most programs lasting 2 years. Skills like processing patient information, math competency, analytical and critical thinking, as well as interpersonal communication are all honed in the ADN program.

With over 25 schools from rural areas to urban Seattle offering an ADN program accredited by the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission, you have more than a few choices if you are looking for an excellent ADN program in the state.

What to Look For in an ADN Program in Washington

There are so many factors to consider when choosing an ADN nursing program. Here are some key examples of what you'll want to look for as you check out different schools:

Accreditation

National accreditation organizations can offer value and legitimacy to nursing programs, so you'll want to look for ADN programs that have these affiliations. Some of the main national organizations to watch for include the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing's Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). It is also very important to look for schools that hold local accreditation from the Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission.

Licensing

You will want to ensure that upon completing the ADN program at your preferred school that you will be eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for licensure as a Registered Nurse (NCLEX). Many test prep options are available for those looking to study for this important examination.

Program Outcomes

It is wise to inquire about the statistics regarding your school's ADN program. The following are all good indications of the school's reputation:

  • Graduation rate
  • Licensure exam pass rate
  • Graduate satisfaction
  • Employment rate

Bellevue College, located just outside of Seattle in Bellevue, Washington is just one of the schools in the region that offers an accredited ADN program.

ADN Program Admission Requirements in Washington

You may be wondering what the admission requirements are for an ADN program. While all schools will vary in their exact requirements, here is an example of what you can expect:

  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0
  • Have at least a 2.0 for all pre-requisite classes
  • A minimum 74% score on the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)
  • A minimum score of 8 on the COMPASS E-Write Test

Tuition and Costs of ADN Programs in Washington

Tuition is often one of the main things prospective students worry about when trying to decide on a nursing program. It's important to remember that tuition is just one portion of what you'll be paying for. Textbooks, fees, and uniforms are all examples of costs you may incur, and these may or may not be included in the price of your school's tuition. As an example, the estimated program cost for the 2-year ADN program at Columbia Basin College in Pasco, Washington is around $119 per credit for in-state residents, not including additional fees.

Advantages of ADN Programs

If you are eager to start a career in nursing as soon as possible, an ADN program is a great route to take. With a shorter, 2-year curriculum, you can be working as a registered nurse much faster than you could by going through a traditional 4-year program. With so many schools in the state that offer an ADN program, from junior colleges to technical colleges to state schools, finding a great program is convenient and easy as well.

LPN to RN Programs in Washington

For Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) who wish to enter the ranks of registered nursing, specialty LPN to RN bridge programs in Washington make the process quicker and easier. These programs build upon the knowledge and skills that LPNs already have, providing a seamless transition into RN practice.

LPN to ADN/BSN Programs

LPN students who wish to cross over to registered nursing have a few different pathways they can choose. The quickest route is the LPN to ADN program, where students graduate with an associate’s degree in nursing. Tacoma Community College, for example, offers an LPN to ADN program which admits students every winter. For those wanting to earn the coveted bachelor’s degree in nursing, LPN to BSN programs also exist in the state. Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma offers an LPN to BSN pathway that can be completed in just five semesters, or 2.5 years, of study following prerequisite courses.

Admission requirements for LPN to RN programs in Washington typically include the following:

  • Graduate of an approved LPN program
  • Active LPN licensure
  • Official transcripts from all colleges attended
  • Prerequisite coursework may be required

BSN Programs in Washington

To broaden your horizons in the nursing profession, a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing (BSN) is an excellent option, with greater job opportunities and higher pay. A traditional BSN program lasts about 4 years, although there are shorter RN to BSN options if you already hold your nursing license. With more than 10 schools that offer a traditional BSN and roughly 14 that offer an RN to BSN, you are bound to find a school in your region of the state with the right program for you.

What To Look For in a BSN Program in Washington

Along with the variety of schools that offer a BSN comes the big decision of choosing one. Just like selecting an ADN program, deciding on your BSN school should consider a mix of factors, including proper accreditation, positive program outcomes, and more. You can also consider the types of classes available; full-time, part-time, and/or online. If you are already a registered nurse, you'll want to look for a specific RN to BSN program.

Gonzaga University, located in Spokane, Washington, is an excellent example of a school that offers an accredited BSN program.

BSN Program Length in Washington

You can expect an undergraduate BSN program to last 4 years. If you are doing an RN to BSN program, the length will be shorter, depending on the program you choose and the classes you have already completed. It's always wise to check with prospective schools about specific program lengths.

BSN Program Admission Requirements in Washington

Every BSN program has its own admission requirements, but you can use the following as a guideline of what's to be expected:

  • Completed the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)
  • 50 hours of work/volunteer experience
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Completion of pre-requisite courses with a GPA of 2.0 or higher for each course

Tuition and Costs of BSN Programs in Washington

Figuring out the cost of a BSN program can be challenging. Not only will you have to factor in tuition, but also additional fees such as books, uniforms, equipment, and more. At the University of Washington, located in Seattle, quarterly tuition for the BSN program is generally $4,081 for residents, not including any additional costs or fees.

Advantages of BSN Programs

There are two areas of interest for BSN programs. You can either go right into one as an undergrad, or go through additional schooling as an already-licensed RN. Either way, a BSN is going to open you up to a wide array of increased career and salary options. With so many BSN and RN to BSN programs all throughout the state, it's a logical choice if you are looking for a more advanced nursing career.

MSN Programs in Washington

To really hit the peak of higher learning in nursing, you'll want to look into earning your Masters of Science in Nursing degree (MSN). There are more than 10 schools in the state that offer an accredited MSN program. This advanced degree can lead to nursing jobs including Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Nurse Midwife, and Nurse Practitioner, among other specialties. You must already hold a BSN if you want to move on and earn an MSN.

MSN Program Length in Washington

An RN to MSN program can last roughly 3 years, depending on the school and the previous coursework the student has taken. As most nurses who opt to go for their MSN are busy working RNs, it is a good idea to inquire with your preferred school about the availability of flexible schedule classes or even online classes.

MSN Admission Requirements in Washington

Like all nursing programs, MSN program requirements may vary. Here are some of the standard requirements you might face:

  • A bachelor's degree from an accredited nursing program
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • GRE scores from within 5 years with minimum scores in required sections
  • Current WA state nursing license

Tuition and Costs of MSN Programs in Washington

Tuition for MSN programs can vary. For example, the MSN program at Pacific Lutheran University, located in Tacoma, Washington, costs approximately $77,731 in tuition.

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Getting a Washington Nursing License

Washington State Board of Nursing regulations for nursing licensure is clearly laid out for both examination process and by endorsement.

Applying by examination candidates need to complete the application forms, including the fees associated and have ready the following information:

  • Certificate of Completion - sent electronically from the school to the state Board
  • Official transcripts - mailed by the school nursing directly to the state Board
  • Register for NCLEX - successful outcome upon completion
  • Fingerprint-based Criminal Background Check

Applying by endorsement candidates are required to submit a completed application, as well as:

  • Verification of licensure - either by request for or through NURSYS
  • Verification of Education - either official transcripts or through NURSYS
  • Proof of Current/Active License
  • Passing score on NCLEX
  • Fingerprint-based Criminal Background Check

Learn more about WA RN license requirement at the Washington State of Department of Health.

Accelerated Nursing Programs in Washington

Washington state has an accelerated BSN program and a separate MSN direct entry program. The accelerated program is 12 to 18 months in length, while the MSN program normally runs for 27 months, both programs have clinical hours as a requirement before graduation. Courses that need to be taken prior to entry into the degree programs vary with each program curriculum, which means candidates should request information about the prerequisite requirements. There will be increases to fees if additional courses need to add or any other factors, such as housing should need to be included.

Latest Washington NCLEX-RN Pass Rates and Statistics

  • Total Number of State Approved Schools: 34
  • Total Number of Test Takers in 2021: 2,607
  • 2021 Average Statewide Washington NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 86.5%

Continued List of All RN Programs in Washington

Here is a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs a continued list of all RN Programs.

RankedSchoolProgramScoreWebsite
11.
Spokane, WA 99217 | Phone: (509) 533-7000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
91.93
12.
Everett, WA 98201 | Phone: (425) 388-9100
Programs: Associate in Nursing
91.78
13.
Bellevue, WA 98007 | Phone: (425) 564-1000
Programs: Associate in Nursing
91.41
14.
Seattle, WA 98195 | Phone: (206) 543-8736
Programs: BSN
91.13
15.
Seattle, WA 98119 | Phone: (206) 281-2233
Programs: BSN
90.79
16.
Walla Walla, WA 99362 | Phone: (509) 522-2500
Programs: Associate in Nursing
90.24
17.
Yakima, WA 98902 | Phone: (509) 574-4600
Programs: Associate in Nursing
89.97
18.
Vancouver, WA 98663 | Phone: (360) 699-6398
Programs: Associate in Nursing
89.88
19.
Pasco, WA 99301 | Phone: (509) 547-0511
Programs: Associate in Nursing
89.21
20.
Centralia, WA 98531 | Phone: (360) 736-9391
Programs: Associate in Nursing
89.16
21.
Wenatchee, WA 98801 | Phone: (509) 682-6800
Programs: Associate in Nursing
89.13
22.
Shoreline, WA 98133 | Phone: (206) 533-6778
Programs: Associate in Nursing
88.84
23.
Tacoma, WA 98447 | Phone: (253) 535-7411
Programs: BSN
87.98
24.
Longview, WA 98632 | Phone: (360) 442-2311
Programs: Associate in Nursing
87.85
25.
Pullman, WA 99202 | Phone: (509) 324-7360
Programs: BSN
87.44
26.
Olympia, WA 98512 | Phone: (360) 596-5200
Programs: Associate in Nursing
86.90
27.
Seattle, WA 98122 | Phone: (206) 296-6000
Programs: BSN
86.74
28.
Kirkland, WA 98034 | Phone: (425) 739-8100
Programs: Associate in Nursing
86.61
29.
Lakewood, WA 98498 | Phone: (253) 840-8355
Programs: Associate in Nursing
86.44
30.
Des Moines, WA 98198 | Phone: (206) 592-3584
Programs: Associate in Nursing
86.06
31.
Aberdeen, WA 98520 | Phone: (360) 532-9020
Programs: Associate in Nursing
83.05
32.
Seattle, WA 98144 | Phone: (206) 934-4123
Programs: Associate in Nursing
81.31
33.
Toppenish, WA 98948 | Phone: (509) 865-8551
Programs: BSN
76.82
34.
Renton, WA 98056 | Phone: (425) 235-2352
Programs: Associate in Nursing
70.56

Are we missing your school's program or need to update information listed? Please contact us so we can make the necessary changes.

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