Nursing Degrees & Schools / Best Schools Washington
More than 59,000 registered nurses reside in Washington State, which makes it one of the most highly concentrated areas for registered nurses in the country. Additionally, Washington state is one of the more lucrative places to work as well as a nurse.
Whether you are new to the field of nursing or are trying to advance your career, getting a quality education is critical. There are many degree types available for nurses who choose to attend college.
The main degree types are:
- Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN)
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
- Accelerate Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN)
- Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
- Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
The good news is that Washington has many great nursing programs to choose from. In this guide, we’ve ranked some of the best nursing schools to attend.
In total, this article will provide an overview of:
To capture the best schools in each state, we applied a rigorous formula, isolating five variables that were weighted equally:
- Graduation rate
- NCLEX pass rate
- CCNE accreditation
- Programs offered
- Tuition costs (based on in-state tuition, attending the maximum number of credits; mandatory fees not included)
Washington state’s top nursing program:
- University of Washington
- Gonzaga University
- Pacific Lutheran University
- Walla Walla University
- Seattle Pacific University
Below is a list of the top nursing schools in Washington. This list isn’t exhaustive, but we felt that it highlights the programs worth mentioning.
NCLEX pass rate: 94.35%
Tuition per year: $12,076
The University of Washington, located in Seattle, Washington, is home to over 46,000 students making it one of the larger schools on our list.
Its nursing program offers a:
The school is known specifically for its graduate programs and research offerings. Additionally, the University of Washington has relatively cheap tuition in comparison to the other schools on our list.
NCLEX pass rate: 98.70%
Tuition per year: $47,560
Gonzaga University is a private, Catholic university in Spokane, Washington. One of the unique aspects of the program is that it offers an online component for some of the advanced degrees.
The school offers the following nursing programs:
- Online RN to MSN
- Online MSN
- Online DNP post baccalaureate
- Online DNP post masters
NCLEX pass rate: 89.16%
Tuition per year: $49,472
Pacific Lutheran University is a private, Lutheran university in Tacoma, Washington. Home to over 3,100 students, the school gives students a small campus feels and allows for small class sizes.
The school provides its students with the following options for degree programs:
- BSN to MSN
Students have a great opportunity to complete clinical work in the surrounding Tacoma community as well.
NCLEX pass rate: 91.18%
Tuition per year: $29,487 (three quarters)
Walla Walla University is a Christian, liberal arts college in College Place, Washington. Home to about 1,900 students, the school provides small class sizes, which some students prefer. Also, the school gives students an opportunity to study abroad as nurses.
The school offers nursing students the following degree options:
- LPN to BSN
- RN to BSN
NCLEX pass rate: 92.31%
Tuition per year: $35,100
Seattle Pacific University is a private, Christian university in Seattle, Washington. Given its location in Seattle, the school gives students a great opportunity to practice clinicals with a large, diverse population. Another interesting thing about the school is the clinical learning lab, where students can get hands-on experience in a controlled environment.
The school offers the following degree programs:
How to choose a nursing program
Choosing the right nursing program may feel stressful. The good news is that we’ve provided several factors for you to consider to help make your decision easier. Some of the factors you should consider when choosing a school are location, tuition, NCLEX scores, and programs offered.
This is a major factor for a lot of nursing students when choosing a program to attend. Most nursing programs don’t have online components, so you must select a program to which you can easily commute. The worst thing would be to choose a program that becomes a burden to you simply because it’s too far from your house. Below is a map that shows where each school is located.
Let’s face it: paying for school can be a huge barrier for students. Also, many nurses end up absorbing a massive amount of student debt from their years of college. Additionally, some nurses transition into the field after spending years in another specialty or having another degree from which they’ve already accumulated student debt.
Finding a school that’s both affordable and reputable can seem challenging. Fortunately, you don’t have to jeopardize quality over price. Several of the schools we analyzed were both affordable and highly respected.
One of the most critical measures of a nursing program’s credibility is its NCLEX pass rates. The NCLEX test is an examination that measures a potential registered nurse’s aptitude. A good NCLEX pass rate for a school is anything in the 90th percentile and above.
The programs offered at the particular school you want to go to is important. You need to make sure that the school you are applying to has the program that you need. There are many different nursing programs offered at various schools. The principal baseline program offered at most universities is the BSN program. However, every person has different needs, and choosing the right program depends on the career track you are interested in.
The last factor that you should consider when choosing a nursing program is the graduation rate. A higher graduation rate indicates that the school graduates first-year students within 4-6 years at a greater rate than other schools. Knowing that your school has a proven track record of graduating students on time is crucial.
Expert advice from nurses like you
We retrieved our data from the following locations:
- University webpages
- The state board of registered nursing if applicable (for example, Washington State Board of Registered Nursing)
- The U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard
- The American Association of Colleges of Nursing
- U.S. News Best Colleges
To calculate the scores for the respective schools, we took the lowest-scoring school from each individual metric, assigned it a 1 and gave the highest score a 10. We then were able to create brackets within that range to place each college in.
After coming up with a score for each school out of ten for their respective metric, we added them up and multiplied them by two to come up with a score out of 100.
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