To be considered for NursingCareer.org rankings, schools need to offer at least one nursing degree in the program type (online or campus) for the degree level that was ranked. Schools ranked for bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees must be CCNE-accredited, while schools ranked for associate degrees must be regionally or nationally accredited. NursingCareer.org offers three different types of rankings:
For our Best Nursing Programs rankings, we only considered schools with reported PayScale salaries. Schools were then ranked according to the median mid-career salaries of alumni. Salaries are specific to the degree level and program of each list and represent the reported mid-career (10+ years of experience) salaries of alumni from each school.
For our Most Affordable Nursing Programs rankings, schools were ranked according to their annual tuition. School tuition was gathered from the National Center for Education Statistics.
Our ranking lists of Nursing Programs with the Highest NCLEX Pass Rate were ranked based on NCLEX-RN pass rate. In the case of ties, schools with the same NCLEX-RN pass rate were ranked according to lowest tuition. Only schools that offer Associate or Bachelor’s level degrees in nursing qualified for the lists, excluding RN to BSN programs.
Schools with programs that require some on-campus coursework were still considered for online rankings if the amount of in-person work required was limited to two weeks or less. This allows students to retain their current employment or other personal responsibilities.
Program data, including available degrees and details about program coursework, was collected from official school websites, reflecting data for the 2018-2019 school year.
Tuition data was collected from the National Center for Education Statistics. The NCES is the primary governmental entity for gathering and presenting data related to education. NCES data is updated annually. The NCES does not release data in downloadable formats until it has been approved, so the most current available data will not be for the most recent academic year.
Programmatic accreditation and profit status of schools were collected from official websites of the accreditation agencies or from the National Center for Education Statistics. NCLEX pass rates were gathered from a variety of sources including state nursing boards and official school websites.