LVN/LPN Programs Ranking Methodology

Welcome to our 4th Annual LPN/LVN Program Rankings - 2018 Edition!

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. To this end, NCLEX-PN rates are one of the best ways 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 in this manner.


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
Alabama2013 - 2017205
Arkansas2013 - 20172710
California2011 - 201413450
Connecticut2011 - 2013105
Florida2013 - 20179030
Georgia2013 - 20172210
Illinois2013 - 20173810
Indiana2013 - 20172410
Iowa2013 - 2017115
Kansas2013 - 2017185
Kentucky2011 - 20152110
Maryland2013 - 2017115
Massachusetts2013 - 2017185
Michigan2012 - 20162110
Minnesota2013 - 20172610
Missouri2013 - 20174120
New HampshireN/A2N/A
New Jersey2013 - 20173110
New MexicoN/A6N/A
New York2013 - 20176720
North Carolina2013 - 20173710
North DakotaN/A9N/A
Ohio2013 - 20176420
Oklahoma2013 - 20174720
Oregon2013 - 2017125
Pennsylvania2013 - 20175320
Rhode IslandN/A2N/A
South Carolina2013 - 2017165
South DakotaN/A5N/A
Tennessee2011 - 2014195
Texas2011 - 20148030
Virginia2011 - 20145220
Washington2011 - 2014135
Washington, DCN/A1N/A
West Virginia2012 - 20152510

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