nursing schools almanac 2020

nursing schools almanac 2020

National Statistics

If you’re contemplating becoming a nurse, you’ll be in good company: as of 2017, there are over 3 million registered nurses (RNs) in the United States. There were almost 2 million licensed practical nurses (LPNs), more than 700 thousand advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs), and over 200 thousand nursing assistants. In fact, RNs make up the largest healthcare occupation!

The following sections will explain why nursing is such an important field to get involved with and how you can become part of it.

Nursing School Programs and NCLEX-RN Performance

In 2017, there were 55,923 students enrolled in U.S. nursing schools and 50,816 graduates of those programs. Of the graduate pool, 56,029 took the NCLEX-RN exam for the first time and passed at a rate of 88.68 percent (Table 1).

It’s helpful to compare graduation rates with the number of students who took part in each program style to better understand how these programs are helping prepare nurses for licensure exams (Table 2). Based on this data, ADN diploma programs had a graduation rate of 43 percent and a pass rate for first-time test takers at 88 percent. RN-to-BSN degree completion programs had a graduation rate of 71 percent and an NCLEX pass rate of 82%.

2020 Best Online Nursing Schools Ranking

A career in nursing is a worthy and rewarding pursuit, but it can be difficult to know exactly where to start. With so many options for nursing schools across the nation, how do you choose the right one? How do you know if an online program is right for you? You can find answers to these questions and more in this edition of the Nursing Schools Almanac. We’ve collected information on over 3,000 institutions with nursing degree programs (including roughly 2,400 at which students may earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing), as well as over 1,000 graduate-level programs (such as master’s degrees or Doctor of Nursing Practice).


  • [The 100 Best Online RN to BSN Programs](
  • [The 50 Best Online RN to MSN Programs](

Online nursing programs have become increasingly popular among prospective nursing students. This is especially true for nontraditional students who are unable to attend a traditional campus-based program. These programs provide an ideal alternative for those who need to schedule around work and family. There are more than 50 schools with accredited online nursing programs across the country, which makes it difficult for potential nurse to know where to begin their search. The following ranking of the best online nursing schools was created with the help of our methodology. We reviewed more than 80 colleges and universities listed by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator that offered online RN-to-BSN or RN-to-MSN degree options in the United States. Our methodology considered several aspects of each institution, including faculty-to-student ratio, graduation rate, reputation and cost, in order to narrow down our original pool of schools by more than half and ultimately arrive at the best.

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2020 Best Online RN-to-BSN Nursing Schools Ranking

To help you find the best online RN-to-BSN programs, we ranked the top schools by affordability, flexibility, and academic quality. The resulting list highlights 10 of the best online RN-to-BSN programs in the country. You can learn more about each school by clicking its name in the table below.

At number one on our list is George Mason University. With an annual tuition rate of $15,570, George Mason University offers an affordable online RN to BSN degree program that takes only two years to complete—and it’s fully accredited! Students who enroll at George Mason University receive access to a top quality education that focuses on practical skills and prepares graduates for a wide variety of nursing careers.

The next school on our list is Thomas Edison State University. Founded in 1972 as New Jersey’s first public college for working adults and career professionals, Thomas Edison State University offers a high quality education for working adults who want to further their nursing careers by earning an online BSN degree from an accredited college or university.

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