LVN/LPN Programs Ranking Methodology

Through our mission statement, we believe providing students with better transparency in regards to practical and vocational nursing programs throughout their state allows them to better match the right school accessible to them. This is the reason we have developed our LPN & LVN Programs Ranking based on NCLEX-PN exam passing rates.

The NCLEX-PN exam is used by state boards of nursing around the country for testing proficiency and granting licensure. Many state boards of nursing use the combined NCLEX-PN exam pass rates for each school as one of the primary ways to approve or deny a school's ability to provide practical and vocational nursing education. As can be seen, NCLEX-PN rates is one of the best way we have to determine how well a school is preparing their students for a career in practical nursing, and that is why we have chosen to rank them based on this.


Our ranking methodology began with retrieving NCLEX-PN pass rates from all the LPN & LVN programs state by state through various methods include making Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Our requests were for the previous 5 years of information available.

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

  • Programs with no pass rates for the previous 1 or 2 years, depending on the state and number of years of data available
  • Programs with less than 2 year of pass rates
  • Programs that no longer are operational

Upon filtering out programs, the ranking process is as follows:

  1. Pass rates were analyzed going back to the most recent years of data available up to 5 years, each state may have varying years, please see the data sources table below for each state's years analysis.
  2. Schools pass rates were averaged together and weighted by the recency of the exam, e.g. pass rates in 2015 count more towards overall rankings than scores from 2013. 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
  3. If schools had the same overall NCLEX-PN pass rates after being ranked, additional program characteristics were then analyzed, including (1)
    number of students taking the NCLEX-PN, with the higher the number the greater the ranking position, and (2) number of years of test data available, the schools with more years of NCLEX-PN pass rate data the greater the ranking position.

Ranking Details By State

The table below lists information by state, including the years of NCLEX-PN 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
Alabama2015 - 20132110
Arizona2014 - 2011105
Arkansas2015 - 20112710
California2014 - 201112750
District Of ColumbiaN/A2N/A
Florida2015 - 20128130
Georgia2015 - 20122210
Illinois2015 - 20113610
Indiana2014 - 20112210
Iowa2014 - 2011135
Kansas2014 - 2011205
Kentucky2015 - 2011205
Maryland2015 - 2011105
Massachusetts2014 - 2011175
Michigan2014 - 20122510
Minnesota2014 - 20112310
Missouri2014 - 20114420
New HampshireN/A2N/A
New Jersey2015 - 20133210
New MexicoN/A7N/A
New York2014 - 20136720
North Carolina2014 - 20123410
North DakotaN/A9N/A
Ohio2015 - 20126020
Oklahoma2014 - 20114720
Oregon2014 - 2011125
Pennsylvania2015 - 20114920
Rhode IslandN/A2N/A
South Carolina2014 - 2011165
South DakotaN/A5N/A
Tennessee2014 - 2011165
Texas2014 - 20117730
Virginia2014 - 20114820
Washington2014 - 2011135
West Virginia2015 - 20122310

Concerns, Questions, and Corrections

We do realize there is far more in deciding which school provides the best education and training for practical and vocational nurses, but we felt that providing this information for students can add one more thing to consider prior to choosing which school to attend. Our recommendations would be to use our rankings list as a supplemental tool in helping find the right school.

Please send comments, questions, or correction requests via our contact form