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For our 2021 rankings of ADN programs, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac compiled an extensive database of student performance on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Aspiring registered nurses in the United States must pass this examination before they may commence practice. Thus, student performance on the NCLEX-RN exam provides an excellent benchmark for comparing the relative quality of associate’s degree programs.

For our 2021 rankings of LPN programs, the research team at Nursing Schools Almanac compiled an extensive database of student performance on the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN). Aspiring practical nurses in the United States must pass this examination before they may commence practice. Thus, student performance on the NCLEX-PN exam provides an excellent benchmark for comparing the relative quality of practical nursing programs.

Nursing Schools Almanac is excited to announce that Shawna Stephens is the second annual recipient of the $2,500 RN-to-BSN Scholarship. Shawna has worked for several years to improve nutrition, lifestyle, and health outcomes among patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. In 2016, she completed the ADN program at Excelsior College and earned her RN license. Shawna is now enrolled in the online RN-to-BSN degree program at Colorado Mesa University.

Nursing Schools Almanac is excited to announce that Lilian Chen is the fourth annual recipient of the $1,000 Aspiring Nurse Scholarship. Lilian recently graduated from Lynbrook High School in San Jose, California. She is currently enrolled in the Nursing and Healthcare Management dual degree program at the University of Pennsylvania, where she will pursue both a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from Penn Nursing and a bachelor of science in economics (BSE) from The Wharton School.

Nursing Schools Almanac is proud to announce our second annual RN-to-BSN Scholarship. We will award a $2,500 scholarship for a nursing student to pursue baccalaureate education through an RN-to-BSN program. Applicants should demonstrate:

  • A track record of prior academic excellence in a prelicensure RN program
  • A passion for leadership in nursing and the overall field of healthcare

We encourage applicants to read the competition guidelines on this page in their entirety before completing the online application.

Nursing Schools Almanac is excited to announce that Pearl Phillips is the inaugural recipient of the $2,500 RN-to-BSN Scholarship. Pearl has worked for several years in the New York City healthcare system, including various LPN roles with Sisters of Charity Health. In 2017, she completed the ADN program at Excelsior College and earned her RN license. Pearl is now enrolled in the online RN-to-BSN degree program at Villanova University.

The post-master’s doctor of philosophy (PhD) equips masters-prepared nurses to become “global and national leaders, scientists and scholars who make significant contributions in theory generation and knowledge development,” explains the School of Nursing at University at Buffalo. Programs accomplish this through curriculums that cover advanced areas of nursing such as healthcare research, health care policy, information technology, and designing and testing interventions.

Though the path from bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) to doctor of philosophy (PhD) can be challenging, most graduates would agree that it’s well worth the journey. This terminal degree can open the door to top positions at prestigious institutions and major healthcare facilities across the country, leading to higher pay, greater stability, and many other benefits. For example, professionals that hold a doctoral degree have the lowest employment rate in the United States. As of 2016, the unemployment rate for these degree holders was 1.6 percent.

The doctor of philosophy (PhD) in nursing is one of the highest degree levels a nurse can achieve. The program is best suited for registered nurses (RNs) seeking an advanced degree that focuses on research in a clinical, academic or scientific environment. RNs with a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) or a master of science in nursing (MSN) qualify for entry into programs such as the BSN-to-PhD or MSN-to-PhD option. Nurses who have attained a doctor of nursing practice (DNP) qualify for the DNP-to-PhD option.

Post-master’s doctor of nursing practice (DNP) programs are designed for master of science in nursing (MSN) prepared registered nurses (RNs) looking to take their nursing career, leadership skills, and clinical expertise to the next level. Programs focus on preparing experts in advanced nursing practice, with opportunities in clinical practice, leadership, and policy. Curriculums incorporate the eight essential competencies set by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) including: