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

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

We evaluated a total of 731 schools offering nursing programs in the Southeast.

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

To come up with the list of best BSN programs in the Southeast, we looked into 731 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 (2018-2021): 60%

• 2018 Pass Rates: 10%
• 2019 Pass Rates: 20%
• 2020 Pass Rates: 30%
• 2021 Pass Rates: 40%

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


15 Best BSN Programs in the Southeast for 2023

1. University Of South Carolina-Columbia - Columbia, SC

For over 75 years, the University of South Carolina has been providing students with innovative and employer-tailored nursing programs. If you are just beginning with your nursing education you can sign up for the traditional BSN curriculum that is delivered on campus, on a full-time basis. Taking advantage of the several scholarship opportunities at USC-Columbia, you can enjoy a pleasant academic experience without burning a hole in your pocket. Alternatively, if you are already an RN, you can enter the college’s RN to BSN and earn your baccalaureate nursing in as little as 12 months.

2. Florida Gulf Coast University - Fort Myers, FL

Florida Gulf Coast University’s nursing school aims at providing you with superior student-centric education to help you keep up with the healthcare requirements of a diverse global population. Here more than 68% of students receive financial aid in the form of scholarships, loans, and grants. The college offers a full-time BSN program that will take you 4 years to complete by dedicating 60 hours per week in classroom lectures and laboratory classes. Over the 8 semesters of this curriculum, you will learn general biology, statistical methods, psychology, gerontological nursing, adult health nursing, and patient care management.

3. The University of Tennessee-Chattanooga - Chattanooga, TN

Ever thought of studying at a campus that is situated in one of the most livable cities? Well, you can make this happen with the University of Tennessee's beautiful location in the southeast mountains in the city of Chattanooga, known to be one of the best places to live. During your on-campus BSN study, you will not only be prepared to pass the NCLEX-RN exam but by thoroughly training you in functional human anatomy, community health, pathophysiology, chronic health deviations, and conceptual thinking, you will acquire skills to work as a registered nurse in varied healthcare settings. Additionally, to hone practical skills you will be provided with clinical experiences in real-time hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, and clinics.

4. Mississippi University for Women - Columbus, MS

For professionals looking to climb the career ladder, joining Mississippi University for Women’s BSN program can be a great option. The college provides you with a generic 4-year course and an RN to BSN curriculum which is also listed among the best hybrid-online programs of the country. Regardless of the program you choose, you will complete in-depth coursework in humanities nutrition, microbiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology, therapeutic interventions, and leadership & management. Additionally, studying in classrooms with not more than 20 students will help you gain from one-on-one training with its experienced faculty.

5. Radford University - Radford, VA

Since 1966, Radford University has been producing highly skilled nursing graduates who are sensitive to the needs of their patients and use their knowledge effectively to better health outcomes. The campus is stationed in the scenic New River Valley, surrounded by the lush green countryside and the magnificent Blue Ridge Mountains. Inside the campus, you will have access to several multi-use classrooms, a videoconferencing room, a clinical simulation center, and a physiology lab. As a BSN student here, you can also participate in the Student Nurse Organization that serves as an excellent means to make new friends, work on your leadership skills, or take up responsibilities.

6. Berea College - Berea, KY

Berea College is a highly ranked nursing school in KY that offers one of the reputable BSN programs in the Southwest. Here you will practice clinical skills in well-equipped nursing simulation labs that feature high-fidelity simulators, latest patient care equipment, and birthing & pediatric manikins. What’s more, if you are in the top 35% of your class, you also get the opportunity to be a part of Sigma Theta Tau honor society, which is the 2nd largest international community of leading nurses. As a member of this esteemed organization, you will work towards upgrading the health conditions of people around the world. You will also gain access to exclusive knowledge, research work opportunities, and scholarships.

7. University of Kentucky - Lexington, KY

With close to 100% of its graduates passing the NCLEX-RN Examination, University of Kentucky promises a successful nursing career to its students. To enhance your practical skills the college provides several internship and externship opportunities, besides, you will also learn in small clinical groups with a faculty to student ratio of 1:8 making your hands-on experiences more interactive. What’s more, the college offers mental health resources in the form of crisis and emergency assistance, relaxation rooms, nutrition counseling, a stressbuster wellness app, group counseling, and individual therapy, so you will always find help to make your four-year journey here a rather smooth one.

8. Harding University - Searcy, AR

If you are looking for faith-based BSN programs in the Southeast then you may want to zero down on Harding University that prepares nurses as Christian servants who are committed to serving. Students can complete this program in around 4 years. If you have already graduated from a B.A. or B.S., then you can enroll in the fast track BSN that allows you to graduate in just 18 months. You will study general chemistry, pathophysiology, pediatrics, leadership and management, maternity, and psychiatric health, apart from core nursing courses.

9. Kennesaw State University - Kennesaw, GA

Kennesaw State University’s WellStar School of nursing offers the biggest nursing program in North Georgia. If you hold a baccalaureate degree in some other field and wish to pursue nursing, then the accelerated BSN curriculum could be the right choice for you. This traditional program comprises of rigorous training in community health, clinical pharmacology, microbiology, developmental psychology, and parent-child nursing. The college realizes the pressure a challenging field like nursing can create, therefore it has thoughtfully designed a ‘staying healthy in nursing school’ program that directly focuses on physical health, stress management, and nutrition to keep you constantly motivated during your journey here.

10. Longwood University - Farmville, VA

Longwood University allows you to enroll in its Bachelor of nursing degree without having you worry about pre-requisite courses. With the help of its nursing advisors, you will be assisted in achieving your academic and career goals starting from enrollment to finding a suitable placement. Before entering the real world, the college allows for ample practice in its clinical simulation learning center where you hone practical skills in a secure environment. The program begins in the fall semester and covers human anatomy and physiology, English literature, biomedical ethics, pharmacology, gerontology, nursing care for adults and children, and safety outcomes.

11. The University of Tampa - Tampa, FL

Ranked #1 in the state of Florida, the University of Tampa prepares you for a career in nursing with rigorous training in theoretical aspects and clinical functions. Here travel goes hand in hand with learning as the college offers annual travel experiences that provide you with the required-on field exposure in places like the Dominican Republic and Guana. What's more, for over 7 years its graduates have consistently achieved a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN examination.

12. Georgia College & State University - Milledgeville, GA

Nursing employment is expected to grow by 19% which is much more than the other healthcare careers. You can become a part of this high-in-demand field by completing Georgia College and State University’s BSN program. This undergraduate curriculum prepares you for employment in a vast variety of clinical settings. What’s more to provide global exposure the college also offers several ‘study abroad scholarships’ between April and September to eligible students.

13. Eastern Kentucky University - Richmond, KY

Completing your nursing degree from Eastern Kentucky University, known among the best BSN programs in the southeast can open doors to remunerative nursing jobs in Physicians’ offices, research labs, hospitals, clinics, and nursing care facilities. This four year or 8 semesters long BSN program uses a perfect blend of clinical and general education courses, enabling you to pass the NCLEX-RN examination and transition into the workforce with confidence. The college’s ‘nursing student network’ arranges several healthcare activities, interdisciplinary events, placement opportunities that inculcate effective leadership and communication skills in students.

14. The University of Tennessee-Martin - Martin, TN

Did you know that a BSN education makes you qualified for 88% of nursing positions available in the country? The University of Tennessee promises a lucrative start to your career through its on-campus and online BSN tracks. As a nursing student here, you can participate in Nurses Christian Fellowship, Sigma’s Pi Tau Chapter, Nurses Association, and the Army ROTC program that offer valuable learning and networking opportunities. Upon completion of the program, you will graduate with critical thinking, time management, problem-solving, and effective communication skills helping you to smoothly function as an effective member of the healthcare team.

15. Carson-Newman University - Jefferson City, TN

Carson Newman University recognizes your work and accomplishments by presenting deserving students with ‘outstanding student’, ‘highest academic standing’, ‘achievement’, and ‘leadership’ awards. Such honors can elevate your credibility and make you more visible at the time of job placements. Its BSN program in Tennessee is delivered through the traditional and accelerated formats. To foster learning outside the classroom, the college hosts medical mission trips each year to destinations like Belize and Haiti, where you gain real-world knowledge under the close supervision of your instructors. Events like the nursing summer camp organized by the nursing-department also provide students with on-field experiences helping them keep motivated.

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