2 student nurses stand at bedside of patient dummy in nursing lab

Worcester State nursing program earns No. 1 ranking in Massachusetts

January 29, 2024
By: Deborah Alvarez O'Neil

Worcester State University’s Lillian R. Goodman Department of Nursing has once again topped RegisteredNursing.org’s ranking of 20 nursing schools in Massachusetts. 

The 2024 ranking analyzed the 2017-2021 pass rates on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) for registered nurses, the test all nurses must pass to be licensed. School pass rates were averaged together and weighted by the recency of the exam; for example, exam pass rates in 2021 count more towards overall rankings than scores from 2017. 

Using the RegisteredNursing.org methodology, Worcester State’s NCLEX score was 97.3, the highest among the 20 public and private schools included in the ranking. “Worcester State University is home to an excellent nursing degree program, with BSN and LPN to BSN pathways. Enrolled students work to perform effectively and collaboratively in ways that will enhance their future interdisciplinary healthcare team,” according to the ranking website.

Worcester State’s NCLEX pass rates have consistently exceeded the statewide pass rate, said Dr. Catherine Thomas, associate dean of nursing. The pass rate, she said, is just one indicator among several that demonstrate the quality of the BSN program. Worcester State’s program was also ranked #1 in the 2023 RegisteredNursing.org ranking.

“We’re very proud of the NCLEX pass rate, and pleased by the 2024 ranking,” she shared. “We also have a long history of high employment rates and very positive feedback about our graduates from our clinical partners. That is not reflected in our pass rate, but those are additional quality indicators we celebrate.” 

Other schools in the RegisteredNursing.org ranking include #2 Bunker Hill Community College, #3 Boston College and #4 Simmons University. Among Massachusetts public universities, Fitchburg’s program was ranked #12 and UMass Amherst ranked #15.

RegisteredNursing.org is a California-based nursing advocacy organization. 


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