Best ADN Programs in the Southwest Region

Written By: Editorial Staff @

How Many Schools from the Southwest Region were Evaluated for our Rankings?

We evaluated a total of 268 schools offering nursing programs in the Southwest.

Ranking Methodology: How Were the Best ADN Programs in the Southwest Region Ranked?

To come up with the list of best ADN programs in the Southwest, we looked into 268 nursing schools in the region and ranked them based on four important factors - NCLEX-RN pass rates, academic quality, the nursing school’s reputation, and affordability. Following is the weightage we assigned to each of these factors.

1. NCLEX-RN Pass Rates (2019-2022): 60%

• 2019 Pass Rates: 10%
• 2020 Pass Rates: 20%
• 2021 Pass Rates: 30%
• 2022 Pass Rates: 40%

2. Academic Quality: 20%
3. The Nursing School's Reputation: 10%
4. Affordability: 10%

15 Best ADN Programs in the Southwest Region for 2024

1. Laredo College - Laredo, Texas

Being a learner-centric institution, Laredo College focuses on creating a teaching environment that not only opens doors for rewarding careers to its student, but also leads to the all-around development of the community. Once you enroll in its ADN degree you will complete courses in fundamentals of lifespan growth and development, pharmacology, mental health nursing, pediatrics, psychology, English composition, microbiology, and complex concepts of adult health to earn a total of 60 credits. Towards the end of your journey here, you will also participate in a capstone based on adult health of 3 credits to gain the on-field experience you need.

2. Eastern Arizona College - Thatcher, Arizona

Are you browsing through ADN programs in the Southwest? If so, you can consider Eastern Arizona College as an option. The school is one of the oldest and aesthetically pleasing community colleges in Arizona. Its campus is rooted in the Gila Valley and is encircled by mountain ranges. The associate degree prepares you to take the NCLEX-RN and before you start the nursing program you are required to complete pre-requisite courses in fundamental chemistry, psychology, and human anatomy & physiology with a minimum grade “C”. To graduate you must earn 72 to 79 credits, out of which 18 to 25 comprise general education and the remaining 54 credits in nursing courses.

3. Howard College - Big Spring, Texas

If you are empathetic by nature and also carry the attitude to help people in the face of illness, then striving for an education in nursing can help you achieve your aspirations. The Associate degree of Howard College allows you to complete your theoretical coursework online thereby giving you the flexibility to take classes from any remote location. The college has collaborated with several four-year universities that can help you swiftly transition into major universities to earn a BSN degree. Before starting your journey here, you are required to have completed 15 hours of pre-requisite courses with a minimum grade of ‘C’.

4. Blinn College District - Bryan, Texas

Are you looking for a career that provides you with the required mobility and is also both financially and emotionally fulfilling? If so, then a career in nursing can surely tick these boxes for you. Blinn College District’s ADN program is listed among the best associate degree programs in Texas. The college also boasts of a close to 100% job placement rate for its ADN graduates. What’s more? The college not only maintains affordable tuition fees but also offers extensive scholarship opportunities, making your journey here as seamless as possible. You can enroll in its two-year-long traditional associate coursework or an accelerated ADN curriculum that is specifically designed for licensed vocational nurses who wish to obtain higher education.

5. Lone Star College - Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris, & Tomball, Texas

Lone Star College’s ADN curriculum is offered at 4 of its campuses in Texas giving you the convenience to sign-up for the one that is in closest proximity to you. The college also hosts the largest Hispanic student population in the country allowing you to study alongside students from varied cultures and ethnicities. Here you will learn 60 credits worth of courses in liberal arts and core nursing. These include medical microbiology, integrated care of the patient, integrated patient care management, general psychology, and human anatomy & physiology.

6. Oklahoma City Community College - Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Employment for registered nurses is estimated to increase by 12% from 2018 to 2028, which is much higher than the average growth rate of other occupations. With impressive NCLEX-RN pass rates, Oklahoma City Community College’s ADN program is carefully designed to empower you with marketable skills that are relevant to employers of today and the future. The curriculum provides you with a robust background in the nursing process, mental health nursing, American federal government, medical-surgical nursing, nursing care for childbearing family, and U.S. history.

7. San Jacinto College - Pasadena, Texas

While the demand for RNs is soaring up, the availability of high paying nursing jobs is also rising. With the help and support of its award-winning instructors, you can take your career to the next level at San Jacinto College. By participating in several sports, debates, music, and other club activities you can make new friends and pursue something you enjoy, apart from attending regular classes. Upon enrolling in its ADN program in the fall or spring semesters, you will be thoroughly trained in leadership & management, concepts of adult health, maternal & newborn nursing, lifespan growth & development, and mental health nursing.

8. Eastern Oklahoma State College - Wilburton, Oklahoma

Located at the center of the valley between the scenic San Bois and Winding Stair Mountain Ranges, Eastern Oklahoma State College’s ADN program in the Southwest region allows you to study in a serene campus environment. This associate degree comprises general education and nursing science courses such as political science, developmental psychology, American history, physical & mental illness, family nursing, current issues in nursing, and health assessment. Here some courses are offered online, and you also have the option to graduate from the generic degree plan or the LPN-RN transition plan based on your qualification.

9. Temple College - Temple, Texas

Temple College was founded in 1926 and has been a leader in providing flexible, affordable, and employer-centric programs for more than 90 years. Through its associate degree in nursing, you will participate in clinical experiences not only in hospitals but also in several home health and community agencies and extended care facilities. You can enroll in this curriculum in either the fall or spring semester and you will be trained to deliver to patient needs, demonstrate basic analytical skills, and perform complex nursing procedures. You will also develop essential time management, critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills upon graduating from this 4 semester-long program.

10. Austin Community College - Austin, Texas

If you are a practical nurse looking for deeper knowledge in nursing, then enrolling in an ADN program could be the right choice for you. Austin Community College’s Nursing Mobility-ADN track intends to educate you in social, behavioral, biological, and social sciences through didactic coursework, practical experiences, and research activities. This track is specifically designed for students who have a certification or licensure in fields such as vocational nursing, dental hygiene, paramedics, occupational therapy, and medical laboratory technology. You can also join its traditional track that provides you with nursing training from scratch.

11. El Paso Community College - El Paso, Texas

Being among the best ADN program in the Southwest region, El Paso Community College’s instructors are masters in their field with more than 20 years of experience. The school’s partnership with several hospitals, medical centers, and clinics in the region allows you to gain hands-on experiences by working in diverse settings in the industry. This associate training utilizes a perfect balance of classroom lectures and actual on-field experiences and requires completing a total of 60 credits.

12. Central Texas College - Killeen, Texas

An associate degree in nursing in comparison to a BSN degree allows you to become a registered nurse with limited financial resources. Central Texas College’s associate degree program holds the number one position among veterans for its tuition assistance facilities. It's ADN curriculum prepares you to deliver effective nursing care practices in a variety of healthcare settings and also prepares you to sit for the NCLEX-RN examination. The coursework is divided into 5 semesters where you will obtain knowledge about health assessment, principles of clinical decision making, general psychology, mental health nursing, life span growth & development, microbiology, and nursing care of childbearing & childrearing family.

13. Dallas College - Dallas, Texas

An ADN degree prepares you to become a multifaceted healthcare worker and allows you to take up varied roles in research, nursing education, and direct care. Established in 1965, Dallas College has become one of the biggest community colleges in the state since then. The program is delivered at the Brookhaven campus in Dallas, where you will have complete access to excellent faculty, high-tech classes, fully equipped laboratories & libraries, and career counseling services providing you with everything that you need to have a comfortable learning experience. Before beginning with your coursework here, you are required to earn a minimum GPA of 3.00 in pre-requisite courses like chemistry, English, psychology, and biology.

14. Del Mar College - Corpus Christi, Texas

Did you know that nursing is one of the most swiftly-expanding occupations in the U.S.? To become a part of this dynamic field you can sign-up for Del Mar College’s associate degree in nursing. Here a few courses are delivered online giving you the advantage of studying at the comfort of your home. This 5-semester or 60 credits long program typically includes courses in introduction to health care concepts, microbiology, ethics, human anatomy & physiology, general psychology, and composition.

15. Eastern New Mexico University - Roswell, New Mexico

Did you know that Eastern New Mexico University is the only college in Southeast New Mexico to have a high-fidelity medical simulation center? Its campus comprises of ‘Smart Classrooms’ equipped with cutting edge technology to make teaching and learning more effective. The college also focuses on maintaining a smaller student to faculty ratio giving you the benefit of having one-on-one interactions with your faculty. Its associate degree in nursing takes three years to complete and includes certain pre-requisite courses in the first year.