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The 30 Best Nursing Schools in Chicago

best nursing schools in ChicagoChicago offers a variety of nursing programs designed to help individuals to become much-needed, skilled workers. There are numerous schools available offering focused programs such as RN schools and nurse practitioner programs, and a major purpose of this article is to introduce you to 30 best nursing schools in Chicago, which offers both local and online nursing programs, providing ample opportunity for individuals to get started right away. Start working in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and other medication facilities quickly.

One of the most sought after skilled workers in Chicago is the RN (or registered nurse). The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the 2015 median pay for those working in this field was $67,490 per year and that from 2014 through 2024, this occupation will be in great need of workers as it is expected to grow 16 percent, well above the average rate of growth for jobs in the area.

Those who wish to work in a field like this in Chicago will need to research RN programs in Chicago to complete their educational requirements and then sit and pass the NCLEX exam, administered by the state’s nursing board. This is a challenging test, requiring individuals to be ready to work in this demanding, but highly lucrative and rewarding field.

For those interested in jobs in nursing in Chicago, such as at Rush University Medical Center, Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, or any of the many doctor’s offices, nursing homes, or medical centers will need to start with their education. Below is a ranking of the best nursing schools in Chicago based on NCLEX exam passage rates, programming offerings, and overall diversity. Take a look at the top nursing schools in Chicago, the varying nursing salaries for different types of nurses, and the surrounding area.  Also, make sure you review all other available options from a RN to a nurse practitioner program and other LPN programs in Chicago. Consider the best nursing program in Chicago for your needs.

Contact us today to learn more about the best nursing schools in Chicago and the opportunities available to you.

Top Nursing Schools in Chicago

Rank: #1

School Name: Morton College

Morton College offers a wide range of nursing program options and the highest pass rate of all Chicago nursing schools. The school offers a fast paced program for those who wish to earn a generalist degree. Students will study basic foundational programs but also learn interpersonal skills. The initial program is two years and provides students with basic skills. The school also offers a Practical Nurse Certificate Program for students to complete.

A key area of focus for this nursing program is on teaching compassion and caring skills that students will take into their careers with a specific focus on vulnerable community members. The program combines a nursing and general education design with active learning paths to allow students to specialize as they would like to do so.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: This is a 2-year program
  • Admission Requirements: Students must have a high school diploma or the equivalent and test into the nursing program after completing a formal request for admission.
  • Tuition: $7780 per academic year
  • School Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (ACEN)

Rank: #2

School Name: Bradley University

A long-standing school in the Chicago area, Bradley University’s Department of Nursing is one of the most cutting edge facilities in the region. The school offers several nursing program paths including an undergraduate program, an accelerated program, a graduate-level program, and an online nursing program. Students will leave each of these programs with the ability to work in doctor’s offices, hospitals, and other medical facilities. Students who complete the bachelor degree will be able to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam.

Depending on the program selected, students may be able to complete their education within just 15 months. Among the benefits of attending Bradley University is the state-of-the-art facilities, the highly skilled teaching staff, and the modern course and curriculum offered.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 124 Credit Hours
  • Admission Requirements: Depending on the program selected, students will need to obtain their high school diploma or the equivalent and then apply and gain acceptance into the college before entering the nursing program.
  • Tuition: $42,130 per year
  • School Accreditation:  Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc.

Rank: #3

School Name: Trinity College of Nursing

With a diverse set of nursing program options, Trinity College of Nursing & Health Sciences provides an extensive level of training and prep for real-world situations. The program is fast-paced and designed to allow students to specialize their education. Students not only work and learn in the classroom but also through local programs, hospitals, and doctor’s offices.

The school offers a wide range of nursing offerings including a Military medic to BSN program, designed to help support veterans returning from duty who want to pursue a degree in this field. Those who enroll in these programs will be able to gain one-on-one education and training through UnityPoint Health at various hospital locations throughout the region. Students can then enter registered nursing positions (upon the completion of the NCLEX-RN exam), as well as attend graduate school or a baccalaureate completion path.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 121 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: High school graduate or equivalent; Meet physical and aptitude requirements upon application.
  • Tuition: $687 per semester hour
  • School Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: #4

School Name: Trinity Christian College

Trinity Christian College is a diverse, modern, and advanced school providing outstanding education to students within its nursing program. The goal of this program, which has a Christian base to it, is to prepare students to achieve academic and clinical skills to allow them to work in generalist positions or continue their education further. This is very much a locally-focused program with opportunities for students to work in Chicago-area and suburban rehab facilities, immediate care locations, hospitals, home health agencies, schools, and clinics.

A key benefit of attending the Trinity Christian College is to take advantage of the Cynthia Sander Nursing Lab. This is a high-tech simulation lab providing students with advanced training and education in a life-like scenario. This type of program allows students to gain confidence and skill for emergency and job-focused needs. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing program offered by Trinity Christian Colleges will allow students to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam and upon completion, students can elect to move on to further their education or enter the workforce.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 122 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students must meet eligibility requirements to enter Trinity Christian College, complete entry-level academic programs, and apply for and be accepted into the nursing program.
  • Tuition: $36,055 per year
  • School Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: #5

School Name: University of St. Francis

Chicago’s University of St. Francis Leach College of Nursing is an exceptional program offering traditional BSN nursing education to students. This program, also from a Christian school, provides students with the education and skills they need to leave the program and work within the community. This school often reaches enrollment quickly, and applying to it as soon as possible is often recommended. The nursing program offers both baccalaureate and master’s nursing programs for those that complete their undergraduate programs. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing, RN to BSN Fast Track, and RN to BSN Fast Track Bridge program offered alongside the Joliet Junior College are undergraduate offerings.

A few key things help the Leach College of Nursing stand out. First, it offers a state-of-the-art tech lab as well as modern equipment to provide realistic training with life-like equipment. In addition, class sizes remain small, allowing students to maintain a close-knit feel and provide plenty of personal attention. The school, which has 30 years of experience in its nursing program is well recognized by area doctor’s offices, hospitals, and medical centers, some of which students may work at for training needs.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 96 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: This fast-paced program requires students to obtain undergraduate academic education before applying directly to the nursing school. Students must gain admission into the University of St. Francis as a first step.
  • Tuition: $8,125 per academic quarter
  • School Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: #6

School Name: Ambria College of Nursing

For students who need ample flexibility, Ambria College of Nursing is perhaps the best fit in the Chicago nursing school opportunities. This school offers a number of fast-pasted programs to encourage students to get into the workforce quickly. The flexible scheduling offered, including morning and evening courses, online programs, and fast-tracked programs allow students to go to school around their responsibilities. The LPN to RN bridge program is one of the highest rated in the region for its efficiency and quality. Students who obtain this program will obtain an associate of applied science degree in nursing and will then be able to sit for the NCLEX-RN state licensing exam.

With full and part time nursing degree programs, as well as an affordable educational track, students in Chicago looking for a school that is cutting-edge in terms of technology and equipment, but versatile and flexible to fit their lives will appreciate Ambria College of Nursing. Unlike other Chicago nursing schools, Ambria College of Nursing promises a short or no wait to enroll. Students can apply for the LPN, LPN to RN or RN to BSN programs currently available.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 12, 14, 18, or 22-month programs
  • Admission Requirements: Students who have completed their high school education or an equivalent can apply for the nursing program.
  • Tuition: $33,819
  • School Accreditation: Illinois Board of Nursing

Rank: #7

School Name: Lewis University

For those looking for a modern, advanced educational program, Lewis University College of Nursing and Health Professions is an ideal choice. This school offers several educational tracks including a Nursing BSN program, Adult Undergraduate programs, Graduate and Doctoral Nursing programs, and Post-Masters Certificates. The school’s programs offer a wide range of specialization as well allowing students to spend time in pediatrics, emergency medicine, or other areas. With more than 40 years of local experience, Lewis University has a long-standing tradition of providing quality education to local students.

The school also has undergone extensive renovation including a large, new, state-of-the-art simulation lab to provide safe and supportive training to students. The school also offers opportunities for students to enter into the community’s numerous medical facilities and clinics to gain advanced training. Lewis University has the largest bachelor’s degree program in the state in not for profit schools and private universities. Consider this school for its advanced and continuing educational tracks as well, which are considered some of the most flexible and modern programs available in Chicago.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 95%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 131 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students must first gain access to Lewis University as an undergraduate and then complete undergraduate course requirements before applying to the nursing program. Bridge programs are available.
  • Tuition: $14975 per semester
  • School Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: #8

School Name: Aurora University

The Aurora University School of Nursing is a diverse program in a smaller size. The program is competitive because it provides students with a very intimate setting, keeping class sizes small and creating a more community-based feel to it. However, this program is diverse with numerous options available including MSN, BSN, BSN Bridge programs, online nursing programs in Chicago, and RN to BSN programs. Post-graduate nursing administration and education certificates are also available and a popular option for continuing education here.

To remain highly competitive, Aurora University offers a state of the art program with simulation labs and extensive technology. It also has several partnerships with local hospitals to provide students with hands-on learning experiences within the community. The programs are made to fit everyone’s needs in that they offer flexible options including full time and part time education, off-campus learning, online learning, and traditional programs. The university has campuses throughout the area to make attending courses easier to do.

NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94%

Program Length or Credit Hours: 123 total credit hours

Admission Requirements: To gain admission, students must first apply to Aurora University directly and then complete necessary pre-course work in health and sciences before entering the nursing program.

Tuition: $10,930 per semester

School Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: #9

School Name: Loyola University

At Loyola University’s Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, students are given a comprehensive number of options in program selection and specialization. This nursing program is well recognized throughout the country for its diversity and overall success. Among the courses offered here are a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree, Accelerated BSN, RN to BSN, Master of Science in Nursing program with specialization tracks students can select from and the RN to MSN program. Students can continue to an MSN to MBA, Doctor of Nursing Practice, PhD program, or several certificate programs. Specializations here are outstanding, allowing students to train in areas they are comfortable with and want to pursue later.

A few things help this school stand out. First, it has an excellent level of faculty to student ratio. It also has experienced, industry-known staff working directly with students. The simulation labs are modern and, in many cases, new. Additionally, students can enroll in a variety of course offerings to specialize their degree and to gain insight into the various nursing roles they can take on.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 125 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students must enter with an undergraduate degree or enroll in Loyola University’s undergraduate programs before entering into the School of Nursing. The program is competitive with GPA, completed courses, and educational track determining enrollment in the nursing program.
  • Tuition: $20,005 per semester
  • School Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: #10

School Name: Illinois Central College

Illinois Central College offers several healthcare-focused degree programs including a Registered Nursing program, LPN to RN Completion program, Licensed Practical Nursing, and a Nursing Assistant program. The Registered Nursing program allows students to work in physician offices, hospitals, clinics, and extended care facilities upon completion. Students will gain the necessary knowledge to sit for their NCLEX-RN exam after completion.

The school is a modern state college. It offers fast track options as well as distance learning opportunities. Students will be able to work at their own pace, though the school does have a recommended curriculum. Illinois Central College has several affiliations associated with area hospitals to provide hands-on learning opportunities. It has a modern lab, affordable pricing, and overall easy acceptance into its nursing program as long as students achieve general education requirements first. The school does require students to maintain a 75% or “C” or higher grade in order to remain within the program. Students can also continue their education here beyond an RN degree using part-time courses if they would like to.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 60 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students must complete undergraduate course requirements before applying to the competitive nursing programs. Students can register into the nursing programs each semester through direct application.
  • Tuition: $16,500 per year
  • School Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

Rank: #11

School Name: Prairie State College

Prairie State College is a smaller school with a quality nursing program. The Department of Nursing at the school provides students with the ability to learn in a well-rounded program and in a fast-paced setting. The program allows students to obtain the necessary education to become a Registered Professional Nurse and sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. The school has a long history of high NCLEX-RN pass rates, providing exceptional opportunities for students who want to just focus on their nursing education. The school’s nursing program dates back to 1957. Since that time, the schools nursing program has been well recognized as a quality offering for students.

Students will find the nursing program intense with a great deal of focus on practical skills. Students will also learn how to work in various health care settings, manage direct care using nursing practices, and provide compassionate care to patients. The courses offer some variation to allow students to customize their learning path and career path. The small class sizes create a friendly, positive environment here.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 64 credits
  • Admission Requirements: The school does have prerequisites for students prior to applying to the nursing program. Students will need to successfully pass English, math, reading tests as well as complete several classes prior to enrolling.
  • Tuition: $158.50 per credit hour
  • School Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

Rank: #12

School Name: Black Hawk College

The nursing program at Black Hawk College offers two main options for students. This includes a degree-based program to obtain a registered nursing degree as well as several certificate programs. Students can complete programs such as CAN, LPN, and RN programs. The AND program is one of the most popular courses of action available at the school. The nursing programs offer advanced training and curriculum that prepares students with the education necessary to sit for and pass the NCLEX-RN state exam.

This is a fast paced program with opportunities for part-time learning and flexible scheduling. Students who are enrolled at Black Hawk College may also be able to take courses at satellite campuses. The school is affiliated with several area hospitals and medical centers for hands-on learning as well. It also has a strong international program for students overseas looking for opportunities in the United States. The school offers transfer opportunities as well.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 72 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students must have a high school diploma or equivalent and apply directly to Black Hawk College with a transcript. Prerequisite courses are a requirement as well.
  • Tuition: $147 per credit hour
  • School Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

Rank: #13

School Name: John Wood Community College

Students who want a fast route into the career of nursing can enroll in the John Wood Community College program. The school’s Associate Degree in Nursing, for RN designation, can provide an opportunity for students to not only get their education quickly but also to achieve their underlying goals in the field since various internships and hands-on learning in local hospitals is routinely available. As one of the state’s top-ranked community colleges, students who sit for the NCLEX-RN test tend to do well here.

Key benefits of the school’s nursing program include a simulation lab for risk-free learning as well as clinical experience. The program is very diverse as well, offering opportunities for a wide range of students. Small class sizes are also very common here, and the faculty is well recognized as leaders in the local industry. The school believes that preparing students through the Student Nurses organization, community involvement, and worldwide appeal make it the ideal choice for students in the Chicago area.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 2-year program
  • Admission Requirements: Students must have a high school diploma or equivalent to apply to the college. Some prerequisite courses are required prior to being admitted into the nursing program.
  • Tuition: $147 per credit hour
  • School Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

Rank: #14

School Name: South Suburban College

For full-time learning, the South Suburban College Department of Nursing is the ideal choice. The school offers an Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program. Students are able to specialize their education in areas such as pediatrics or geriatrics. The RN program allows for students to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. The school offers an advanced curriculum with a simulation lab with state-of-the-art technology. The school also offers a number of advanced programs and continuing education in the nursing field.

South Suburban College has two campuses for students in the Chicago area. It offers various programs for adults and continuing education as well as students entering after completing high school.  In addition to on-campus learning, students can also take advantage of the school’s distance learning, hybrid learning opportunities, and online programs. This can help students to study at their own pace. Some lab work is required. Tuition assistance programs are available as are scholarships.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 69 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students must be a high school graduate or have a GED. Aptitude testing is required as is prerequisites completed at the college or eligible for transfer.
  • Tuition: $135 per credit hour
  • School Accreditation: Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation
  • IDFPR Approval Only

Rank: #15

School Name: Oakton Community College

A straightforward, outstanding community college in the Chicago area, Oakton Community College is an ideal choice for nursing education for students who want an affordable way to learn the skills necessary to work in a registered nursing position. The school offers an advanced curriculum in nurse training that focuses on a hands-on learning approach. Students gain classroom and clinical experience. Most students will meet at the school’s Des Plaines campus, but will then participate in clinical at local hospitals, medical centers, and skilled nursing facilities throughout the city in their advanced training.

A key concern about the Oakton Community College program is the limited admissions. The school’s program is smaller to create a more intimate setting. However, it routinely turns away applicants in its nursing program when class sizes are larger. Students must apply to the program through an appointment. Degree options here include an Associate of Applied Science. Students will be able to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam upon completion of this program.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 89%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 70 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students must have a high school diploma or equivalent, sit for the HESI Admission exam, have an ACT of 18 or higher, and an overall 2.5 GPA to enroll. Completion of the Certified Nursing Assistant program is necessary as well.
  • Tuition: $123.50 per credit hour
  • School Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

Rank: #16

School Name: DePaul University

At DePaul University’s School of Nursing, students are given an opportunity to learn and grow in their skills in a realistic environment with a focus on hands-on and real life training. The school has a rigorous academic curriculum to develop the very best students possible. This allows these individuals not only to do well in the school but also to take on leadership roles in the workforce. The school aims to ensure licensing but also to ensure those who graduate have the type of on-the-job experience they need to secure lucrative career paths.

The nursing school has a network of more than 75 clinical sites to provide students with specialized education in the field. It also has a state-of-the-art lab in North Chicago and a second one at the Lincoln Park location. The program options are flexible, with numerous start dates throughout the year. This allows students to have the ability to gain education at their own pace and without waiting. The DePaul University’s School of Nursing offers a master’s Entry to Nursing Practice (MENP) for non-nurses, a Doctor of Nursing Practice, and an RN to MS in Nursing program.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 89%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 40 credit hours all online
  • Admission Requirements: Students must apply for and be accepted into DePaul University. It is then necessary to complete prerequisites courses and maintain a 2.5 GPA or higher before gaining acceptance into the nursing program.
  • Tuition: $680 per credit hour
  • School Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: #17

School Name: Resurrection University

A modern, excellence-based school, the Resurrection University College of Nursing & College of Allied Health offers several undergraduate and graduate degree programs for students. One of the key benefits of this school’s programs is its flexibility. The school offers standard courses as well as evening and weekend programs. The college itself has provided nursing training for more than 100 years. It offers a modern program and curriculum today, though. It is affiliated with the Presence Health System, which allows students who enroll in the BSN or higher programs to work within the largest Catholic health system in the state for hands-on learning.

The school does offer a number of advantages including pre-nursing education, an RN program, Radiography BSIT, health information and informatics, as well as graduate programs. Students will benefit from the modern simulation lab, state-of-the-art technology throughout the campus, and the small class sizes. This program is well equipped to prepare students for the NCLEX-RN exam. Terms start throughout the year to allow for as much flexibility as possible. The program can be completed in as little as 16 months.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 88%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 16 months
  • Admission Requirements: Students must meet pre-requisite education. Students also must have a cumulative undergraduate college grade point average of at least 2.75 and an overall Test of Essential Academic Skills score of 68 percent or higher.
  • Tuition: $12,281 per semester
  • School Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: #18

School Name: Olivet Nazarene University

The Olivet Nazarene University offers a complete, modern nursing education program with several different courses of study. This school also offers an advanced graduate and continuing education program allowing students to get their nursing degree and to continue their education as they would like to do so. Key program offerings include an Accelerated BSN, as well as an accelerated BSN for paramedics, RN to BSN, Family Nurse Practitioner Certification, MSN, RN to MSN, and Doctor of Education program. Students can expect advanced courses of education in each of these programs.

Most of the programs offered can be completed within two years. The school has a state of the art simulation lab to help with life-like learning. It also offers a number of online and technological advanced educational tracks. Students who enroll in this nursing program can also benefit from the local affiliations that offer opportunities for clinical in offices.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 87%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 4 year program
  • Admission Requirements: Students must apply and gain admission into the college as a first step. An entrance exam test score of over 77% is necessary as well as additional prerequisite education before enrollment.
  • Tuition: $32,950 per year
  • School Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: #19

School Name: Elmhurst College

A positive and energetic environment, the Elmhurst College Nursing and Health Science program can be an excellent choice for many of today’s students. This school provides not only nurse skill training but there is a significant focus on leadership development as well as communication skill development. Students who complete a nursing program here will have a scientific understanding of nursing and practical skills to enter the workforce. The “Sim” lab is one of the newest additions to this school’s nursing program and it offers some of the most up to date training for students.

There is a good deal of flexible education here. Students can specialize their education in one of many areas. All faculty members have modern skills and most hold master’s degrees or doctorates in the field of study. The school states that it has graduated more than 1,000 nurses over the years and nearly all of its graduates are employed within 12 months of completing their education.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 85%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 4-year program
  • Admission Requirements: Testing requirements and prerequisite classes are necessary to enroll in one of the school’s nursing programs. Students must maintain a 2.5 GPA throughout their undergraduate studies as well.
  • Tuition: $17,625 per semester
  • School Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: #20

School Name: City Colleges of Chicago-School of Nursing Malcolm X College

The City Colleges of Chicago, School of Nursing Malcolm X College is one of the most sought after programs from the school. This is a highly competitive school with limited admission options.  Students will learn in a hands-on environment that is very fast paced and designed to provide outstanding skill training. The most common nursing program is the Associated of Applied Science in Nursing program, though the LPN bridge program is also a popular option. Students may be able to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam upon completion.

There are many advantages to this particular school. Specifically, it offers an opportunity for online learning as well as flexible night and evening courses. As a diverse program, it also provides a number of connection points for students, allowing them to work within the field and in the area’s hospitals and medical centers. Students who enroll in these programs are generally able to complete their education within a matter of months and begin working right away. Internships may be available as well.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 85%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 69 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: This is a competitive school and students will need to complete nursing prerequisites prior to enrolling. Students will gain admission if they are one of the top applicants for that year.
  • Tuition: $2429 per semester
  • School Accreditation: The National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission

Rank: #21

School Name: Triton College

The nursing program at Triton College offers a focused level of training on nursing practice, humanities, social and biological sciences, and theory. It allows students to sit for the NCLEX-RN with the necessary knowledge and confidence to do well. The student will gain insight into the real working environment of this field since clinical experiences are a part of the program. Those who obtain the Associates of Applied Sciences Degree will be able to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. The program is advanced and offers a rigorous and challenging curriculum.

Like many Chicago nursing programs, there are limited spots available in this well-rounded program. Triton College’s nursing program offers one of the most hands-on training opportunities, which is highly desirable. Additionally, the selective admission program places a great deal of focus on students who are the most highly qualified within the applications received. Students will spend their first two semesters focused on studies before entering into clinical coursework. Some will work in area hospitals and medical centers to further their education and skill training.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 84%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 71 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students must apply to the program. Students must complete placement tests in reading, math and writing, have a high school diploma or GED, and take a nursing pre-admission test with a proficient score.
  • Tuition: $113 per credit hour
  • School Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

Rank: #22

School Name: North Park University

A modern and invigorating educational track, the North Park University School of Nursing and Health Sciences is an excellent choice for today’s millennial student. The school offers a number of nursing programs including a graduate nursing program track, RN to BSN program, and a number of undergraduate nursing tracks for those just beginning their education. The program provides a good deal of individual attention and allows students to focus their education on the skills they want to learn for their career goals.

The North Park University program also has a quality simulation lab as well as several connections with area hospitals and medical settings to provide even more hands-on education. In fact, it has access to some of the top tier hospitals and health care facilities in the community. The school is Christian based as well. It’s experienced faculty and its specialties allow this school’s students to do well within the field.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 84%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 120 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students will need to complete undergraduate course of study and gain admission into North Park University prior to completing their application into the nursing program. Prerequisites and admission testing are necessary.
  • Tuition: $26,840 per year
  • School Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: #23

School Name: St. Xavier University

A few key things make St. Xavier University a top nursing program for Chicago students. First, the school offers a full span of nursing educational tracks. This includes undergraduate and graduate programs, online programs, special entry opportunities for the MSN programs, and even post-master education. This truly provides an avenue of learning that is customized to meet the students’ needs now and within their career. The school has over 5,229 graduates from the nursing field alone since its founding in 1935, making it one of the best choices for those who want a well-versed and accredited school.

The St. Xavier University nursing program is one of only 17 schools who hold the National League for Nursing Center of Excellence designation. This is one example of who the school does an exceptional job of providing quality education. Students may wish to enroll in the BSN, BSN to LPN, BSN to ACC or the RN to BSN program, some of which offer online opportunities.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 83%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 4-year program
  • Admission Requirements: Students can apply as freshmen, though course availability is often limited. Students must gain admission into the college itself and then must meet specific prerequisites before being admitted into the nursing programs.
  • Tuition: $31,220 per year
  • School Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: #24

School Name: Chamberlain College of Nursing

Chamberlain College of Nursing offers several Chicago and Illinois-based nursing programs. The Chicago campus is the home of the school’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, one of the most common options for students. The program is a three-year long degree. One of the key benefits to this nursing degree is that there are no prerequisites required and there is no waiting list. Because the school is focused on a slightly longer educational track, all of the necessary training is incorporated into the program, minimizing both costs as well as overall delays. Students can take year-round education to earn their degree faster than those who enroll in a typical four-year college.

There are other program offerings available as well including a Bachelor Science in Nursing, international transfer options, and various specialization tracks. Students can expect to work with well trained and experienced instructors. The school also offers the SIMCARE CENTER for hands-on learning.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 83%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 122 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students need to have a GED or high school diploma and meet basic reading, writing, and math skill tests.
  • Tuition: $14,160 per year
  • School Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: #25

School Name: Millikin University

Becoming a nurse can be enjoyable and rewarding, both key things the Millikin University College of Professional Studies teaches its students. The school applies a scientific, practical, and industrial focus to the skills, allowing students to learn in a traditional and modern way side-by-side. The school says that 100 percent of its students are placed in professional positions and many are sought out by health care facilities around the country. However, it does train students for global skills, allowing them to work throughout the world.

The course offerings here include a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Master of Science in Nursing, Doctor of Nursing Practice and more. There are several traditional and bridge programs available. Each program offers simulation and real world training and small class sizes.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 78%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 128 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students must maintain a high GPA and test well on admission testing while also gaining admittance into the college itself.
  • Tuition: $31,032 per year
  • School Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: #26

School Name: Moraine Valley Community College

A fast paced educational program that keeps nursing education affordable is the Moraine Valley Community College. This is a fully accredited nursing program that offers an intense level of study for students. It also offers a great deal of flexibility with both online and local education, in-class training, and clinical at area hospitals. The school also has some of the most advanced technology for a community college.

Most students complete their AAS program and enter directly into the workforce after passing the NCLEX-RN program. Evening and weekend hours are available. The school also offers an optional LPN licensure program.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 77%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 64 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students must have a high school diploma or GED and complete entry level testing to ensure proficiency in math, reading and writing.
  • Tuition: $119 per credit hour
  • School Accreditation:  Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

Rank: #27

School Name: University of Illinois at Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago is a well-respected local university offering outstanding nursing training. The nursing program here is consistently rated highly year after year. The school offers a number of different campuses and a variety of opportunities for intensive training at area affiliated hospitals and medical centers.

The College of Nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago offers several nursing options including an RN program, RN to BSN, MS, DNP, and PhD program. Students will be focused on a curriculum-based program that uses cutting-edge technology within it. The faculty has awards and a high level of training. This is very much a student-focused school. It works hand-in-hand with students to offer exceptional training and guidance while also supporting students with financial aid and evening and weekend options.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 75%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 120 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students must apply for and gain admittance into the University of Illinois at Chicago as a first step, complete prerequisites and meet testing requirements.
  • Tuition: $9,543 per semester
  • School Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Rank: #28

School Name: Chicago State University

Chicago State University is a fantastic option for many students who want a fast-paced educational track especially for those who have not worked in the industry yet. It offers several undergraduate programs including various bridge programs to enable individuals to get into the field faster. The school also offers a wide range of opportunities for distance learning and online learning. It does offer a Master of Science in Nursing as well, which is ideal for those who are looking for continuing education in nursing.

This school offers several specialization options. Students often will graduate, pass the NCLEX-RN and then work in area hospitals and doctor’s offices. The school does a good job of providing real-life experiences to students with various clinical opportunities throughout the area. The program can be limited in terms of enrollment, so applying early can help.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 71%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 166 credit hours
  • Admission Requirements: Students must have a high school diploma or GED, pass specific TEAS testing, and take prerequisite undergraduate and general education courses while maintaining a high GPA to gain admittance into the nursing program.
  • Tuition: $5,126 per semester
  • School Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

Rank: #29

School Name: College of DuPage

A modern, stellar school, the College of DuPage Nursing Department is a fantastic tool for students in the Chicago area that want to move into the nursing field. There are several key offerings including RN nursing programs. Students are required to attend a Program Advising Session to learn more about nursing and their chosen field. Only then will students be able to apply for the school’s programs.

Program offerings for the College of DuPage include RN to BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, and several other options. Clinical training includes both simulation labs as well as various opportunities for in-hospital training. Students will see just how hands-on this school is from the start.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 62%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 2-year program
  • Admission Requirements: Complete necessary prerequisites. Students will need to pass health and professional conduct requirements, drug screening, a criminal background check, and meet GPA requirements in undergraduate general education studies.
  • Tuition: $151 per credit hour
  • School Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing

Rank: #30

School Name: Robert Morris University Illinois

At the Robert Morris University Illinois campus, students are given the opportunity to experience modern training and exceptional hands-on experience in the field of nursing. There are various benefits to enrolling in this four-year nursing program. The students are more like mentors, helping students throughout their educational track. Students will work rotations at local, leading hospitals to give them real life experience. The curriculum is quite modern and up to date as well.

As a full, four-year school, there are a variety of benefits to enrolling here including the diversity in course offerings. This school has several Master’s Degree programs including an MM in Sports Administration. It offers a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing that prepares students to take the NCLEX-RN exam. This program also has affiliations with The Clare, Plymouth Place, and NorthShore University HealthSystems, all area medical facilities.  Students will benefit from the hands-on learning, simulation labs, and the advanced career management tools available at this school.

  • NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 56%
  • Program Length or Credit Hours: 4-year program
  • Admission Requirements: Students must apply to the college first and complete at least one year of undergraduate general studies prior to applying to the college of nursing. GPA, TEAS scoring, and prerequisite training are necessary.
  • Tuition: $8,400 per quarter
  • School Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education

Choosing the Right School for You

It’s essential to choose the right school for your needs. We’ve invested the time in finding the best schools and ranked them based on NCLEX-RN pass scores for this year. Remember, check out the details of any program by working with us first. You’ll find everything from the nurse practitioner program in Chicago you have been eyeing to comprehensive training for advanced PhDs available to you here.

Are you ready to explore a nursing program in Chicago? Take a closer look at the best nursing schools in Chicago and contact us to learn more about enrollment options.