Best BSN Programs in the Midwest - (Primarily Based on Excellence in NCLEX-RN Pass Rates)

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

We evaluated a total of 660 schools offering nursing programs in the Midwest.

Ranking Methodology: How were the Best BSN Programs in the Midwest Ranked?

To come up with the list of best BSN programs in the Midwest, we looked into 660 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 BSN Programs in the Midwest for 2023

1. Allen College - Waterloo, Iowa

If you are committed to playing a vital role in the healthcare system, then completing your nursing coursework from Allen College can provide you with immense possibilities of growth and learning. Its traditional BSN program takes just 2.5 years to complete and is divided into 5 semesters. On graduating you will be able to demonstrate evidence-based practices, control medical data and information, and utilize the concepts of effective communication and core nursing courses to deliver safe patient care.

2. Augustana University - Sioux Falls, South Dakota

For over 75 years Augustana University has been providing students with innovative nursing programs, making it a leading nursing school in the region. In its BSN curriculum, you will engage in clinical experiences in local hospitals or clinics each week, participate in several research activities, and conduct several case study reviews. Once you are in your senior year, you also get the opportunity to work alongside social work, medical, pharmacy, and chaplaincy students in a five-week-long palliative care program.

3. Bryan College of Health Sciences - Lincoln, Nebraska

Did you know that 80% of healthcare centers prefer hiring BSNs? If you are interested in pursuing this degree you should consider Bryan College of Health Sciences as an option. With its student-faculty ratio as low as 6:1 you will have access to an individualized learning experience. You can enroll in this dynamic program without having to stress over any pre-requisite courses. The college understands the importance of practical knowledge for a successful career in nursing, therefore in addition to your theoretical classes, you will be completing 1200 clinical hours which is the more than what any college offers in the state.

4. Lewis University - Romeoville, Illinois

Graduating from Lewis University’s BSN program can open doors to several job options like a critical care nurse, pediatric nurse, surgical nurse, home care nurse, and long-term care nurse. The college is ranked 9th in the state and offers clinical rotations at more than 20 medical facilities allowing you to choose one that is close to you. Through one-on-one classes with its experienced instructors, you will gain a vast base of knowledge in therapeutic interventions, speech-language pathology, movement science, and core nursing.

5. Trinity Christian College - Palos Heights, Illinois

If you are aiming at increasing your earning capabilities as a nurse, completing your BSN coursework can have a direct impact on your income. At Trinity Christian College 100% of its BSN graduates gain employment opportunities soon after graduation. Under the guidance of its caring faculty, you will complete 120 credit hours of coursework. You will also gain the required practical experiences at its Cynthia Sander Nursing Laboratory that features high-fidelity manikins and the latest equipment helping you enhance your skills in a secure environment before entering the real world.

6. Bradley University - Peoria, Illinois

Pursuing a BSN degree provides you with wider options in job positions as well as specializations. Bradley University’s BSN program offers you the outside exposure you need by providing you opportunities to participate in the Sigma Theta Tau honor society, Nurses Christian fellowship, and clinical teams. After you sign up for this program you will study courses in cell biology, oral communication, nutrition, nursing of children, adult health, and psychiatric nursing to complete a total of 109 credit hours of this curriculum.

7. University of Nebraska Medical Center - Omaha, Nebraska

The nursing school of the University of Nebraska is stationed on its main campus, in the lively and buzzing center of the city of Omaha. Here you will complete two years of pre-requisite courses in essential sciences and general education before you start with your BSN coursework. To graduate you will attend classes in patient care, pathophysiologic alterations, pharmacology, leadership, and population centered care to earn a total of 120 credits. Clinical rotations in local medical centers and simulation training in state-of-art laboratories are also an important part of this program.

8. University of Northwestern - Saint Paul, Minnesota

The University of Northwestern can be a great choice for Catholic as well as non-Catholic students as its robust 134-138 credits BSN coursework provides you with complete training in not only the core nursing courses but also liberal arts and biblical studies. It's number one ranking in the state of Minnesota helps 100% of its graduates gain excellent employment opportunities within 6 months of graduation. The curriculum is delivered through a blended schedule where you will complete part of your coursework online. The remaining part of your education will take place in interactive small-sized classrooms and well-equipped laboratories.

9. University of Dubuque - Dubuque, Iowa

Upon graduating from the BSN program at the University of Dubuque you will have thorough knowledge in patient-centric care, demonstrate evidence practices, and will be able to work seamlessly in multidisciplinary teams. In the first two years of your journey here, you will study courses in social and basic sciences, liberal arts and humanities, technology, verbal and written communication, mathematics, and nutrition. The last two years of your education will comprise of classes in critical nursing courses and clinical experiences in actual medical facilities.

10. University of Sioux Falls - Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Being among the best BSN programs in the Midwest the University of Sioux Falls promises you a high-flying career in today’s challenging healthcare industry. This 4-year long program inculcates feelings of empathy and compassion and creates a foundation for life-long learning and growth. Here you will study in classrooms that utilize simulation methods and complete 128 credits of nursing and general education courses. With the help of substantial hands-on experiences with actual patient contact, you will gain the required practical training to function in a nursing facility effortlessly.

11. Ohio University School of Nursing - Zanesville, Ohio

Being one of the best BSN programs in the Midwest, the Ohio School of Nursing provides you with more than 550 ways of participating in student organizations and gain knowledge that goes beyond the classroom. With a student to instructor ratio of 1:17, you will study in a conducive environment where you will have one-on-one interactions with your faculty every single day. Since there has been no rise in its tuition fees from over four years the program is also very affordable. To earn 122 credits of this curriculum you will complete courses like child psychology, elementary statistics, mental health nursing, and clinical judgment.

12. Wright State University - Dayton, Ohio

The main goal of Wright State University is to provide students with dynamic nursing programs that serve as a base for lifelong learning and helps serve local, regional, national, and global communities. The college has collaborated with more than 200 medical facilities such as rehabilitation centers, hospitals, county health departments, and nursing homes that allow you to gain diverse clinical experiences. The program guides you into utilizing effective inter-professional communication methods, manage healthcare informatics, and implement core nursing practices within ethical and legal guidelines.

13. Walsh University - North Canton, Ohio

Did you know that job opportunities for nurses are expected to increase by close to 20% in the coming years? Therefore, it would be wise to stop procrastinating and start your BSN education as soon as possible. At Walsh University you will gain hands-on experiences with almost every nursing course helping you put your theoretical understanding into actual practice. Its recently updated laboratory encompasses control rooms, a high-fidelity simulation patient, iPads, computers, a maternal-fetal birthing simulator, and a ventilator allowing you to have access to the latest equipment. Additionally, the college also helps you gain international exposure by providing you with on-field training at medical facilities in destinations like Haiti, Mexico, and Tanzania.

14. Malone University - Canton, Ohio

At Malone University all deserving students are immediately accepted without worrying about passing any entrance tests. The rigorous coursework comprises of 59 credits in nursing courses such as foundations in nursing: theory and clinical, pathophysiology, and nursing research. You will also complete support courses and nursing electives like microbiology, anatomy and physiology, psychology, a caring externship, and a nursing seminar. What more, to keep you debt-free more than 90% of students of this school receive some kind of financial aid.

15. Graceland University - Lamoni, Iowa

Graceland University offers its BSN program at its Independence campus located in the suburban region of Kansas City, around two hours away from its main campus in Lamoni. The program can be taken up not only by students who are starting with their nursing education but also by RNs looking for professional advancement. The college gives you the flexibility to transfer as many as 61 credit hours, allowing you to complete your BSN coursework in just 18 months.

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