For our 2021 rankings of direct entry MSN 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 prelicensure programs.

We used our database to calculate each program’s NCLEX-RN pass rate among first-time test-takers. This is the standard program assessment metric reported by the Ohio Board of Nursing and the test’s administrator, Pearson Vue. Whenever possible, we calculated this first-time NCLEX-RN pass rate over an extensive period of time, typically the past decade of student performance. We then used this metric to rank all of Ohio’s direct entry MSN programs accordingly.

#1: Xavier University
3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45207
https://www.xavier.edu

92.5% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Direct Entry MSN
Average of 27 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#2: Case Western Reserve University
10900 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44106
https://www.case.edu

91.1% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Direct Entry MSN
Average of 31 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#3: Mount St. Joseph University
5701 Delhi Road
Cincinnati, OH 45233
https://www.msj.edu

88.1% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Direct Entry MSN
Average of 51 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020


#4: University of Cincinnati
3110 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45221
https://www.uc.edu

87.5% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Direct Entry MSN
Average of 12 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2019 through 2020


#5: University of Toledo
3000 Arlington Avenue
Toledo, OH 43614
https://www.utoledo.edu

86.1% first-time NCLEX pass rate
Direct Entry MSN
Average of 30 students graduated per year
Data analyzed from 2011 through 2020