RN vs BSN Degree

RN vs BSN Education

In the United States, there are three different educational programs in becoming a registered nurse. The three different types of nursing programs and nursing schools are; Diploma programs, associate’s degree programs and baccalaureate degree programs. All programs prepare students to take the national exam for registered nurses NCLEX. NCLEX stands for National Council (of State Boards of Nursing) Licensure Examination. The differences between the programs are the amount of education and course you take and the length of time to complete the program.

  • Diploma and associate programs will take 2-3 years to complete
  • Baccalaureate program will take 4-5 years to complete.

One major difference between the programs is the amount of classes required for a BSN Degree for Nursing. For example, nutrition is a core competency requirement for nursing education. In a baccalaureate program, students will often take a 2 or 3 credit nutrition class. In a diploma and ADN programs, nutrition content is often integrated thought-out the different nursing classes, and although the content is covered it is not a separate class. Nutrition is often a class that a diploma or ADN nurse will need to take in an RN to BSN program.

RN vs BSN Guide

RN vs BSN Work and Career

All students who pass the NCLEX exam and become a registered nurse. All programs prepare nurses to practice at an entry level nursing position. However, there are fundamental differences in work and job opportunities between the educational preparation of an RN with a BSN degree and RN with an ADN or Diploma degree.

The differences in job opportunities are usually not significant at the beginning of a nurse’s career or if you work in an area with an extreme shortage of registered nurses. All nursing programs prepare nurses to care for patients in the hospital setting.

The difference in opportunities comes later as the nurse considers the opportunities for career advancement, for positions that are highly competitive, and/or for positions that are beyond bedside nursing. The BSN has had a more expansive educational preparation, their education prepares them for a broader scope of nursing and includes essential aspects such as management, leadership, community, and case management to name a few.

RN vs BSN Salary

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) statistics from January 2014 show that the average salary for an RN was $66,620, while the average for BSN-educated RNs was $75,484. Learn more about RN Salaries.

RN vs BSN Career Advancement

One major incentive for getting a BSN is for the many career advancement opportunities. Hospitals and healthcare organizations are now listing a BSN as a requirement for many positions including some entry level positions. This is a major change from previous positions “preferring” nurses with a BSN and now many “requiring” a BSN degree.

As this change occurs registered nurses with a diploma or an ADN degree will have a much harder time obtaining positions than an RN with a BSN. Nurses with a BSN degree will be able to apply for a greater number of positions and have a much easier time getting a position. This will soon change the landscape of where nurses can work and soon fewer

Diploma and ADN nurses will be working in hospitals and will be working in other healthcare sectors, such as skill nursing facilities and nursing homes. Having a BSN also can mean a difference in pay. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income for a registered nurse working in a hospital $71,640, and the average annual income for a registered nurse working in a skilled nursing facility is $62,440.

Another serious concern for non-BSN nurses are fewer job options, even in a hospital. If hospitals and healthcare institutions are moving towards having available positions requiring a BSN degree in nursing, then nurses without a BSN may be stuck in their current position and not able to change departments or specialties. Issues with morale can occur because BSN nurses with only a few years’ experience may be chosen for specific positions over nurses without a BSN despite their years of experience.

Top 100 BSN Programs In the United States

The Best 100 Bachelor Degree in Nursing (BSN) Programs

Best Nursing Schools RNCareers.org

One of the best measures of a nursing program’s ability to prepare its students to become a practicing nurse is to look at an institutions first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate. We went directly to each state board of nursing to find, report and rank the the best BSN degree programs in the country.

Find the BSN degree program(s) that will best prepare you for your RN licensing exam and beyond.

We compiled the first-time NCLEX passing for more than 921 BSN Degree programs across the United States for as many as 7 years running. We then complied our results and ranked the top 644 BSN Degree programs across the country. You will find the top 100 in the list below. Research the best BSN nursing schools state-by-state.

Rank
University
Based In
NCLEX Grade
Reporting Years
1 Longwood University Farmville, VA 100.00 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
1 Ohio Northern University Ada, OH 100.00 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018
1 Saint Francis University Loretto, PA 100.00 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
1 Berea College Berea, KY 100.00 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
1 Spring Hill College Mobile, AL 100.00 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
1 Colby-Sawyer College New London, NH 100.00 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
1 Harding University Searcy, AR 100.00 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
1 The University of Tennessee-Martin Martin, TN 100.00 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
1 Sonoma State University Rohnert Park, CA 100.00 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
1 MacMurray College Jacksonville, IL 100.00 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
1 University of Dubuque Dubuque, IA 100.00 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
2 Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY 99.37 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
3 University of Kentucky Lexington, KY 99.33 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
4 Mississippi University for Women Columbus, MS 99.22 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
5 Trinity Christian College Palos Heights, IL 99.00 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
5 Morehead State University Morehead, KY 99.00 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
6 Saint Anselm College Manchester, NH 98.99 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
7 Waynesburg University Waynesburg, PA 98.72 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
8 The University of Tampa Tampa, FL 98.67 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
9 California State University-Long Beach Long Beach, CA 98.58 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
10 Bethel University McKenzie, TN 98.52 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
10 Gardner-Webb University Boiling Springs, NC 98.52 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
11 Western Governors University Salt Lake City, UT 98.43 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
12 Carlow University Pittsburgh, PA 98.35 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
13 Anderson University Anderson, IN 98.24 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
14 Montana Tech of the University of Montana Butte, MT 98.20 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
15 Luther College Decorah, IA 98.09 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
16 University of South Carolina Columbia, SC 98.02 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
17 Sentara College of Health Sciences Chesapeake, VA 98.01 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
18 Florida Atlantic University Boca Raton, FL 97.80 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
19 Allen College Waterloo, IA 97.70 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
20 Western Carolina University Cullowhee, NC 97.67 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
21 Indiana University-Northwest Gary, IN 97.58 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
22 California State University-Channel Islands Camarillo, CA 97.56 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
23 Avila University Kansas City, MO 97.55 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
24 West Virginia Wesleyan College Buckhannon, WV 97.53 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
25 Delta State University Cleveland, MS 97.49 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
26 Duke University Durham, NC 97.48 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
27 Kennesaw State University Kennesaw, GA 97.47 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
28 California State University-Stanislaus Turlock, CA 97.40 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
29 Western Kentucky University Bowling Green, KY 97.37 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
29 Brigham Young University-Provo Provo, UT 97.37 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
30 Georgia College & State University Milledgeville, GA 97.34 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
31 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA 97.33 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
32 Radford University Radford, VA 97.31 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
32 Muskingum University New Concord, OH 97.31 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018
33 Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania Bloomsburg, PA 97.29 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
34 William Carey University Hattiesburg, MS 97.22 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
35 Lincoln University Jefferson City, MO 97.17 2016, 2017, 2018
36 University of New Hampshire-Main Campus Durham, NH 97.16 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
37 University of Southern Mississippi Hattiesburg, MS 97.14 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
38 Bon Secours Memorial College of Nursing Richmond, VA 97.13 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
39 Carson-Newman University Jefferson City, TN 97.04 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
40 Carroll University Waukesha, WI 96.98 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
41 College of Coastal Georgia Brunswick, GA 96.96 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
42 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL 96.94 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
43 San Diego State University San Diego, CA 96.83 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
44 Lander University Greenwood, SC 96.71 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
45 University of Southern Indiana Evansville, IN 96.68 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
46 Thomas More College Crestview Hills, KY 96.67 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
47 Louisiana State University Health-Science Center New Orleans New Orleans, LA 96.66 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
48 University of Nevada-Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV 96.54 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
49 Missouri State University-Springfield Springfield, MO 96.53 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
50 California State University-Chico Chico, CA 96.52 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
50 Thomas Edison State College Trenton, NJ 96.52 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
51 Tennessee Technological University Cookeville, TN 96.48 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
51 East Carolina University Greenville, NC 96.48 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
52 California State University-Sacramento Sacramento, CA 96.45 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
53 University of Louisiana at Lafayette Lafayette, LA 96.44 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
54 Troy University Troy, AL 96.41 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
55 Simpson University Redding, CA 96.36 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
55 Baldwin Wallace University Berea, OH 96.36 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018
56 Lincoln Memorial University Harrogate, TN 96.30 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
57 California State University-San Marcos San Marcos, CA 96.27 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
58 Emory University Atlanta, GA 96.20 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
59 Florida Gulf Coast University Fort Myers, FL 96.15 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
60 University of Mississippi Medical Center Jackson, MS 96.04 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
60 Sacred Heart University Fairfield, CT 96.04 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
61 University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Oshkosh, WI 96.02 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
62 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chapel Hill, NC 96.00 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
62 Bradley University Peoria, IL 96.00 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
63 University of Louisiana-Monroe Monroe, LA 95.97 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
63 Cedar Crest College Allentown, PA 95.97 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
64 Messiah College Mechanicsburg, PA 95.91 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
65 Rhode Island College Providence, RI 95.89 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
66 Saint Anthony College of Nursing Rockford, IL 95.81 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
67 Florida Southern College Lakeland, FL 95.78 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
68 Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus University Park, PA 95.71 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
69 McNeese State University Lake Charles, LA 95.67 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
70 Bloomfield College Bloomfield, NJ 95.52 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
71 Mansfield University of Pennsylvania Mansfield, PA 95.49 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
72 Appalachian State University Boone, NC 95.44 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
73 University of Arkansas Fayetteville, AR 95.43 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
74 University of Northern Colorado Greeley, CO 95.39 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
75 West Virginia University Morgantown, WV 95.38 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
76 Jacksonville University Jacksonville, FL 95.37 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
77 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA 95.29 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
78 Southeastern Louisiana University Hammond, LA 95.27 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
78 The University of Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL 95.27 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
78 Augustana University Sioux Falls, SD 95.27 2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017

BSN Programs Rankings by State

View all BSN Degree Program rankings by state using the map below.

  • Total BSN Degree Programs: 921
  • Ranked BSN Degree Programs: 644
AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

List of Best BSN Nursing Schools

View the top 100 ADN programs In the United States.

For information about how we rank BSN programs, please see our ranking methodology.

Top 100 ADN Programs In the United States

The Best Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) Programs

Best Nursing Schools RNCareers.org

One of the best measures of a nursing program’s ability to prepare its students to become a practicing nurse is to look at an institutions first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate. We went directly to each state board of nursing to find, report and rank the the best

We compiled the first-time NCLEX passing for more than 1,050 RN-ADN programs across the United States for as many as 7 years running. We then complied our results and ranked the top 909 RN-ADN programs across the country. You will find the top 100 in the list below. Research the best RN-ADN nursing schools state-by-state.

Find the ADN program(s) that will best prepare you for your RN licensing exam and beyond.

Rank
University
Based In
NCLEX Grade
Reporting Years
1 Crowder College Neosho, MO 100.00 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
1 Reedley College Reedley, CA 100.00 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
1 Coahoma Community College Clarksdale, MS 100.00 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
1 Cuesta College San Luis Obispo, CA 100.00 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
1 Danville Community College Danville, VA 100.00 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
1 College of Coastal Georgia Brunswick, GA 100.00 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
1 Helena College University of Montana Helena, MT 100.00 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
1 Stanbridge University Irvine, CA 100.00 2016, 2017, 2018
2 Cayuga County Community College Auburn, NY 99.26 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
3 Chabot College Hayward, CA 99.22 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
4 Mississippi University for Women Columbus, MS 99.19 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
5 Louisiana Tech University Ruston, LA 99.10 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
6 Lane Community College Eugene, OR 99.06 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
7 Jefferson Community College Watertown, NY 99.02 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
8 Southeastern Illinois College Harrisburg, IL 99.00 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
9 Victor Valley College Victorville, CA 98.95 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
10 Laredo Community College Laredo, TX 98.90 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
11 Seminole State College of Florida Sanford, FL 98.82 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
11 Pikes Peak Community College Colorado Springs, CO 98.82 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
12 Coastal Alabama Community College (James H Faulkner State) Bay Minette, AL 98.79 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
13 Washington State Community College Marietta, OH 98.72 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018
14 East Central College Union, MO 98.59 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
15 Great Basin College Elko, NV 98.57 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
16 Holmes Community College Goodman, MS 98.52 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
16 Eastern Kentucky University Richmond, KY 98.52 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
16 University of Pikeville Pikeville, KY 98.52 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
17 Jackson State Community College Jackson, TN 98.44 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
18 Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Perkinston, MS 98.41 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
19 Rowan College at Gloucester County Sewell, NJ 98.40 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
20 Chattanooga State Community College Chattanooga, TN 98.37 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
21 Cape Fear Community College Wilmington, NC 98.33 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
21 Worcester State University Worcester, MA 98.33 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
21 Wiregrass Georgia Technical College Valdosta, GA 98.33 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
21 San Juan College Farmington, NM 98.33 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
21 Robeson Community College Lumberton, NC 98.33 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
22 Pierce College at Puyallup Puyallup, WA 98.26 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
23 Chattahoochee Technical College Marietta, GA 98.20 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
24 Northwest Mississippi Community College Senatobia, MS 98.17 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
24 York Technical College Rock Hill, SC 98.17 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
25 Lakes Region Community College Laconia, NH 98.15 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
25 Big Bend Community College Moses Lake, WA 98.15 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
26 Sierra College Rocklin, CA 98.08 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
27 State College of Florida-Manatee-Sarasota Bradenton, FL 98.01 2010, 2011, 2017, 2018
28 Nashville State Community College Nashville, TN 98.00 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
29 Rogue Community College Grants Pass, OR 97.92 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
30 Clinton Community College Plattsburgh, NY 97.81 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
31 Monterey Peninsula College Monterey, CA 97.78 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
32 Los Angeles Harbor College Wilmington, CA 97.73 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
33 Johnston Community College Smithfield, NC 97.70 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
34 North Iowa Area Community College Mason City, IA 97.64 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
35 Howard College Big Spring, TX 97.63 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
35 College of the Albemarle Elizabeth City, NC 97.63 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
36 Southside Virginia Community College Alberta, VA 97.62 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
37 Southwest Mississippi Community College Summit, MS 97.51 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
37 Chemeketa Community College Salem, OR 97.51 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
38 Tallahassee Community College Tallahassee, FL 97.38 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
39 Colorado Mountain College Glenwood Springs, CO 97.34 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
40 John Tyler Community College Chester, VA 97.31 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
40 Northeast Mississippi Community College Booneville, MS 97.31 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
41 Mitchell Community College Statesville, NC 97.26 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
42 Arkansas Northeastern College Blytheville, AR 97.24 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
43 Clackamas Community College Oregon City, OR 97.15 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
44 Bismarck State College Bismarck, ND 97.10 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
44 State Fair Community College Sedalia, MO 97.10 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
45 Hartnell College Salinas, CA 97.06 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
46 Wake Technical Community College Raleigh, NC 97.04 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
47 NHTI-Concord's Community College Concord, NH 96.99 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
48 Saddleback College Mission Viejo, CA 96.92 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
49 Central Oregon Community College Bend, OR 96.91 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
50 Brunswick Community College Bolivia, NC 96.85 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
51 Valencia College Orlando, FL 96.82 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
52 Western Piedmont Community College Morganton, NC 96.81 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
53 Itawamba Community College Fulton, MS 96.80 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
54 Massachusetts Bay Community College Wellesley Hills, MA 96.74 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
54 Gaston College Dallas, NC 96.74 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
55 Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College Orangeburg, SC 96.66 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
56 North Dakota State College of Science Wahpeton, ND 96.63 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
57 Blackhawk Technical College Janesville, WI 96.54 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
58 Gordon State College Barnesville, GA 96.51 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
59 Peninsula College Port Angeles, WA 96.49 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
60 Cecil College North East, MD 96.45 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
61 Greenville Technical College Greenville, SC 96.40 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
62 Simmons College Boston, MA 96.33 2016, 2017, 2018
63 Gwinnett Technical College Lawrenceville, GA 96.30 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
63 Manchester Community College Manchester, NH 96.30 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
63 Central Carolina Technical College Sumter, SC 96.30 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
63 Fox Valley Technical College Appleton, WI 96.30 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
63 Clatsop Community College Astoria, OR 96.30 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
64 Mississippi Delta Community College Moorhead, MS 96.24 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
65 Milwaukee Area Technical College Milwaukee, WI 96.22 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
66 Mountain View College Dallas, TX 96.14 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
67 Hopkinsville Community College Hopkinsville, KY 96.04 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
67 Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas Helena, AR 96.04 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
68 Chaffey College Rancho Cucamonga, CA 96.00 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
69 Albany Technical College Albany, GA 95.97 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018
69 Scottsdale Community College Scottsdale, AZ 95.97 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
70 Santa Rosa Junior College Santa Rosa, CA 95.94 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
71 NorthWest Arkansas Community College Bentonville, AR 95.93 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
71 John A Logan College Carterville, IL 95.93 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018
72 North Central Missouri College Trenton, MO 95.91 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018

ADN Program Rankings by State

View all RN-ADN Degree Program rankings by state using the map below.

  • Total RN-ADN Programs: 1,050
  • Ranked RN-ADN Programs: 909
AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

List of Best RN-ADN Nursing Schools

View the top 100 BSN programs In the United States.

For information about how we rank ADN programs, please see our ranking methodology.

List of State Boards of Nursing (BON)

Your State Board of Nursing (BON) is an invaluable resource for you career. Find fees, dates, and the requirements to initially obtain your nursing license and to maintain it. Most BONs require continuing education between licensing periods. Get to know your requirements and dates so you can plan according to earn your license and maintain it.

Learn how to transfer your nursing license between states.

Complete List of Boards of Nursing

Alabama State Board of Nursing

770 Washington Avenue
RSA Plaza, Suite 250
Montgomery, AL 36130-3900
(334) 293-5200

Fees
Initial fee, RN: $100
Renewal (every two years), RN: $100

Alaska State Board of Nursing

Dept. of Comm. & Econ. Development
Div. of Occupational Licensing
550 West 7th Ave., Suite 1500
Anchorage, AK 99501
(907) 269-8161 

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $334
License renewal (every two years), RN: $175
Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP): $25

Arizona State Board of Nursing

4747 N. 7th St.
Suite 200
Phoenix, AZ 85014
(602) 771-7800

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $300
License renewal (every four years), RN: $160

Arkansas State Board of Nursing

University Tower Building
1123 S. University, Suite 800
Little Rock, AR 72204-1619
(501) 686-2700

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $125
License renewal (every two years), RN: $100

California State Board of Registered Nursing

1747 N. Market Blvd., Suite 150
PO Box 944210
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 322-3350

Colorado State Board of Nursing

1560 Broadway, Suite 1350
Denver, Colorado 80202
(303) 894-2430

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $88
License renewal (every two years), RN: $123

Connecticut State Board of Examiners for Nursing

Dept. of Public Health
410 Capitol Avenue
PO Box 340308
Hartford, CT 06134
(860) 509-8000 

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $180
License renewal (annual), RN: $100

Delaware State Board of Nursing

Cannon Building
861 Silver Lake Blvd.
Cannon Building, Suite 203
Dover, DE 19904
(302) 744-4500

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $124
License renewal (every two years)

District of Columbia State Board of Nursing

Department of Health
899 N. Capitol Street, N.E., 1st Floor
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 442-5955

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $187
License renewal (every two years), RN: $145

Florida State Board of Nursing

4052 Bald Cypress Way, Bin #C01
Tallahassee, FL 32399-3251
(850) 488-0595

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $175
License renewal (every two years), RN: $80

Georgia State Board of Nursing

237 Coliseum Drive
Macon, GA 31217-3858
(478) 207-2440

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $40
License renewal (every two years), RN: $65

Hawaii State Board of Nursing

King Kalakaua Building
335 Merchant Street, Room 301
Honolulu, HI 96813
(808) 586-3000

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $40
License renewal (every two years), RN: $160

Idaho State Board of Nursing

280 N. 8th Street, Suite 210
PO Box 83720
Boise, ID 83720
(208) 577-2476

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $90
License renewal (every two years), RN: $90

Illinois Department of Professional Regulation

James R. Thompson Center
100 West Randolph, 9th Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 814-4500

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $91
License renewal (every two years), RN: $50

Indiana State Board of Nursing

Indiana Professional Licensing Agency
402 W. Washington Street, Room W072
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 232-2960

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $50
License renewal (every two years), RN: $50

Iowa State Board of Nursing

River Point Business Park
400 S.W. 8th Street
Suite B
Des Moines, IA 50309-4685
(515) 281-3255

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $143
License renewal (every three years), RN: $99

Kansas State Board of Nursing

Landon State Office Bldg.
900 SW Jackson, Suite 1051
Topeka, KS 66612-1230
(785)296-4929

Fees

Initial licensing fee, RN: $75
License renewal (every two years), RN: $60

Kentucky State Board of Nursing

312 Whittington Parkway, Suite 300
Louisville, KY 40222
(502) 329-7000

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $110
License renewal (every two years), RN: $50

Louisiana State Board of Nursing

17373 Perkins Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70810
(225) 755-7500

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $142.50
License renewal, RN: $80-$105 depending on date or renewal

Maine State Board of Nursing

161 Capitol Street
158 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
(207) 287-1133

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $75
License renewal, RN (every two years): $75

Maryland State Board of Nursing

4140 Patterson Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21215
(410) 585-1900

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $100
License renewal (annual), RN: $73

Massachusetts State Board of Nursing

Board of Registration in Nursing
239 Causeway Street
Boston, MA 02114
(617) 973-0900 

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $230
License renewal (every two years), RN: $120

Michigan Board of Nursing

Ottawa Towers North
611 W. Ottawa, 4th Floor
Lansing, MI 48933
(517) 373-9280

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $54
License renewal (every two years), RN: $60

Minnesota State Board of Nursing

2829 University Avenue SE
Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 617-2270

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $115.50
License renewal (every two years), RN: $93.50

Mississippi State Board of Nursing

713 Pear Orchard Road, Suite 300
Ridgeland, MS 39157
(601) 957-6300

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $100
License renewal (every two years), RN: $100

Missouri State Board of Nursing

3605 Missouri Blvd
P.O. Box 656
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0656
(573) 751-0293

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $45
License renewal (every two years), RN: $60

Montana State Board of Nursing

301 South Park
PO Box 200513
Helena, MT 59620-0513
(406) 841-2345 

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $200
License renewal (every two years), RN: $100

Nebraska Health and Human Services System

Dept. of Regulation & Licensure, Nursing Section
301 Centennial Mall South
Lincoln, NE 68509
(402) 471-3121

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $123
License renewal (every two years), RN: $123

Nevada State Board of Nursing

License Certification and Education
4220 S. Maryland Parkway
Suite B300
Las Vegas, NV 89119

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $100
License renewal (every two years), RN: $100

New Hampshire State Board of Nursing

21 South Fruit Street, Suite 16
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-2323 

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $120
License renewal (every two years), RN: $80

New Jersey State Board of Nursing

P.O. Box 45010
Newark, NJ 07101
(973) 504-6430

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $200
License renewal (every two years), RN: $120

New Mexico State Board of Nursing

6301 Indian School Road NE
Suite 710
Albuquerque, NM 87110
(505) 841-8340

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $110
License renewal (every two years), RN: $93

New York State Board of Nursing

State Education Building
89 Washington Avenue
2nd Floor West Wing
Albany, NY 12234
(518) 474-3817 Ext. 120

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $143
License renewal (every three years), RN: $50

North Carolina State Board of Nursing

4516 Lake Boone Trail
Raleigh, NC 27607
(919) 782-3211

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $75
License renewal (every two years), RN: $92

North Dakota State Board of Nursing

919 South 7th Street, Suite 504
Bismark, ND 58504
(701) 328-9777

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $110
License renewal (every two years), RN: $90

Ohio State Board of Nursing

17 South High Street, Suite 400
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 466-6940

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $75
License renewal: Not listed on web site

Oklahoma State Board of Nursing

2915 N. Classen Boulevard, Suite 524
Oklahoma City, OK 73106
(405) 962-1800

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $85
License renewal (every two years), RN: $75

Oregon State Board of Nursing

17938 SW Upper Boones Ferry Road
Portland, OR 97224-7012
(971) 673-0685

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $160
License renewal (every two years), RN: $145

Pennsylvania State Board of Nursing

PO Box 2649
Harrisburg, PA 17105-2649
(717) 783-7142

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $35
License renewal (every two years), RN: $65; LPN: $60

Rhode Island State Board of Nursing

Department of Health
Three Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908
(401) 222-5960

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $135; LPN: $90
License renewal (every two years), RN: $135

South Carolina State Board of Nursing

Synergy Business Park
Kingstree Building
110 Centerview Drive
Columbia, SC 29210
(803) 896-4300 

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $90
License renewal (every two years), RN: $50

South Dakota State Board of Nursing

4305 South Louise Ave., Suite 201
Sioux Falls, SD 57106-3115
(605) 362-2760

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $100
License renewal, RN: $90

Tennessee State Board of Nursing

710 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243
(615) 741-3111

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $100
License renewal (every two years): RN: $100

Texas Board of Nurse Examiners

333 Guadalupe, Suite 3-460
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 305-7400

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $186
License renewal (every two years), RN: $70

Utah State Board of Nursing

Heber M. Wells Building
160 East 300 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84111
(801) 530-6701

Fees

Initial licensing fee, RN: $100
License renewal (every two years), RN: $58

Vermont State Board of Nursing

89 Main Street
3rd Floor
Montpelier, VT 05620-3402
(802) 828-2396

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $90
License renewal (every two years), RN: $95

Virginia State Board of Nursing

Perimeter Center
9960 Maryland Drive, Suite 300
Henrico, VA 23233-1463
(804) 367-4400

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $190
License renewal: Not listed on web site

Washington State Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission

Department of Health
PO Box 47890
Olympia, WA 98504-7864
(360) 236-4703

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $92
License renewal (annual), RN: $101

West Virginia Board of Examiners for Registered Professional Nurses

101 Dee Drive, Suite 102
Charleston, WV 25311
(304) 558-3596

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $51.50
License renewal (annual), RN: $65

Wisconsin Department of Regulation and Licensing

1400 E. Washington Avenue
P.O. Box 8935
Madison, WI 53708
(608) 266-2112

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $90
License renewal (every two years), RN: $86

Wyoming State Board of Nursing

130 Hobbs Avenue, Suite B
Cheyenne, WY 82002
(307) 777-7601

Fees
Initial licensing fee, RN: $135
License renewal (every two years), RN: $110

ACEN vs CCNE: Nursing Program Accreditation

Introduction

Many nursing schools list their accreditation. Some schools are not accredited. Other schools have either state or national, but not both. BSN accreditation is something nursing students should look for as some employers do consider it when a graduate applies. It is an important thing that can affect a nurse’s future career choices.

What is BSN Accreditation and Why Does it Matter?

BSN accreditation means a school’s program meets all professional standards. The process is completed by an outside organization. The two US nationally recognized organizations include the ACEN and CCNE. A school is not required to be accredited and must seek the accreditation. Both the school and the program may be accredited.

Accreditation does matter. It can affect several aspects of a student’s education and career such as:

  • Ability to transfer credits to other schools
  • Access to financial aid and grants
  • Ability to take licensing exams
  • Access to jobs

Students attending schools that are not accredited may not receive the same level of education and experience. Employers prefer accredited schools as they meet all the necessary educational requirements to effectively prepare students for nursing careers.

Accreditation Commission For Education In Nursing (ACEN)

The ACEN was formerly known as the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission. All levels of nursing programs may apply for accreditation. The process begins with the school applying for candidate status. This requires a fee and the evaluation of:

  • Faculty’s qualifications
  • Program’s plan of study
  • Resources used in the program
  • Evaluation plan
  • Catalog of courses

If candidate status is approved, the school has two years to complete the required accreditation process to meet ACEN standards. The school only receives accreditation after the successful completion of these requirements. Accreditation is maintained through regular visits and checks.

Commission On Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)

The CCNE accredits bachelor’s, master’s and residency programs. Accreditation is voluntary. The organization’s goal is to improve the quality of nursing education through regular assessments of participating schools’ programs. The CCNE evaluates programs based on:

  • Missions and goals of the program
  • Performance of program
  • Utilization of resources
  • Integrity of the program

The organization relies upon visits, self assessments and peer reviews to maintain accreditation once it is given. The goal of the CCNE is to help schools grow through self regulation to consistently improve upon existing goals.

Differences Between CCNE And ACEN

The main difference between the two licensing organization is the CCNE only accredits bachelor and master’s degree level programs. ACEN accredits all levels of nursing programs from practical to doctorate. The ACEN also works more closely with government agencies, allowing them to provide student assistance programs. This includes financial aid, counseling and job search services.

Both have their own unique accreditation process, but both meet all national standards. One is not necessarily better or worse than the other. The CCNE uses more self regulation while the ACEN prefers to follow a strict set of their own guidelines. The ACEN is the older organization which means it has had more time to perfect its process.

Both agencies are constantly evaluating their own standards to improve the quality of nursing programs. Schools may choose either organization and may achieve accreditation as long as they meet all necessary requirements. They may even choose to switch between the two depending on the school’s needs.

BSN Regional Accreditation

BSN programs can also seek regional accreditation. These agencies only work with schools in specific regions. The biggest difference for students is in how credits transfer. Credits from nationally accredited schools may not transfer to regionally accredited. Most nationally accredited schools accept transfer credits from both types.

There are currently six recognized regional agencies including:

  • Southern Association of Colleges and Schools
  • North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges
  • New England Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges
  • Middle State Association of Colleges and Schools

Some schools may seek accreditation both regionally and nationally. National is more widely recognized. Regional accreditation is not bad. Students should carefully consider the following before choosing this type of accreditation:

  • Moving to another region during the program
  • Working in other regions
  • Transferring credits
  • Number of accredited schools in the region
  • Proximity to accredited schools

Nurses who move to another region in the middle of a program may have to start over depending on whether or not credits transfer. Some schools accept credits for preliminary coursework only. If a student transfers to another accredited school in the same region, credits should transfer.

Some employers base their hiring process on whether or not the student attended an accredited program. They often look for CCNE or ACEN accreditation first as the standards are more commonly recognized. Students should check with local employers to see if regional accreditation is acceptable or not.

Types Of Accredited Programs

Current LPNs should only consider accredited schools. There is not just one type of program that receives BSN accreditation. Many schools offer several options to best fit their students’ needs. The CCNE and ACEN accredit many types of nursing programs including:

  • Traditional LPN to BSN programs
  • LPN to BSN online programs
  • Traditional LPN to RN programs
  • LPN to RN online programs

Students may not find CCNE accreditation for some LPN to RN programs as these may not require a bachelor’s or higher degree. Look for ACEN accreditation instead. This applies to both traditional on-campus and online programs.

The accreditation standards are the same for online and traditional programs. For online programs, schools may also be checked to see how well they assist students with finding local facilities for the required clinical hours. These programs are also judged based on quality of software and resources available.

These programs are offered in varying lengths. These may range from one to four years depending on the type of program. For instance, accelerated and bridge programs are designed to fast track students from an LPN to RN or BSN. Accreditation is available for all types of programs regardless of length.

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