LVN/LPN Programs Ranking Methodology

Welcome to our 8th Annual LPN/LVN Program Rankings - 2021 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.

Methodology

Our ranking methodology began with retrieving NCLEX-PN pass rates from all the LPN & LVN programs state by state through various methods, including 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 years of pass rates
  • Programs that are 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 analysis.
  2. School pass rates were averaged together and weighted by the recency of the exam, e.g. pass rates in 2019 count more towards overall rankings than scores from 2015. 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 Year 1
  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 receive a higher 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.

State Years Rankings Based On Number Schools Analyzed Number Schools Ranked
Alabama 2016 - 2020 16 5
Alaska N/A 0 N/A
Arizona 2016 - 2020 12 5
Arkansas 2016 - 2020 24 10
California 2016 - 2020 122 50
Colorado 2018 - 2020 8 3
Connecticut 2015 - 2019 8 3
Delaware 2018 - 2020 4 3
Florida 2016 - 2020 91 30
Georgia 2016 - 2020 21 10
Hawaii N/A 2 N/A
Idaho 2018 - 2020 6 3
Illinois 2016 - 2020 36 10
Indiana 2016 - 2020 20 5
Iowa 2016 - 2020 12 5
Kansas 2016 - 2020 19 5
Kentucky 2016 - 2020 21 10
Louisiana 2019 - 2020 43 20
Maine N/A 2 N/A
Maryland 2016 - 2020 12 5
Massachusetts 2016 - 2020 18 5
Michigan 2012 - 2016 19 5
Minnesota 2016 - 2020 25 10
Mississippi N/A 14 N/A
Missouri 2016 - 2020 35 10
Montana 2019 - 2020 5 3
Nebraska 2014 - 2018 10 3
Nevada N/A 1 N/A
New Hampshire N/A 2 N/A
New Jersey 2016 - 2020 26 10
New Mexico 2016 - 2020 5 3
New York 2013 - 2017 64 20
North Carolina 2016 - 2020 39 10
North Dakota 2016 - 2020 8 3
Ohio 2016 - 2020 64 20
Oklahoma 2016 - 2020 43 20
Oregon 2016 - 2020 4 3
Pennsylvania 2016 - 2020 52 20
Rhode Island N/A 2 N/A
South Carolina 2016 - 2020 16 5
South Dakota 2018 - 2020 5 3
Tennessee 2016 - 2020 21 10
Texas 2016 - 2020 77 30
Utah 2011 - 2014 8 3
Vermont N/A 3 N/A
Virginia 2016 - 2020 55 20
Washington 2016 - 2020 5 3
Washington, DC N/A 1 N/A
West Virginia 2012 - 2015 24 10
Wisconsin 2020 - 2020 10 3
Wyoming 2019 - 2020 5 3

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