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Nursing Schools in Washington in 2018: The Best Programs (Online & On-Campus)

Nursing Schools in Washington in 2018: The Best Programs (Online & On-Campus)

Being a nurse is a job that few are cut out to do. You have to be dedicated, driven, compassionate, and above all, always ready for improvement. For those that are thinking about becoming a nurse, there are a few different things to consider. For starters, the average pay for a registered nurse in the United States is around $48,000 a year.

There are a wide range of reasons why someone would want to obtain a nursing degree. In order to obtain gainful employment at a hospital that is in good standing, it is often the requirement that the nurse have at least a 2 year nursing degree. Nurses are a special group of people. They are able to help us in our worst times, laugh with us in our best times, and take care of situations where most people would buckle.

There are a wide range of benefits when it comes to getting an RN degree. Those that have an RN degree are able to gain employment in some capacity at most hospitals or doctor’s offices. Most programs for an RN degree require only prerequisite courses which can be obtained through the school of your choice. For those in the Washington state area, here are a few of the best nursing schools in Washington state you can attend.

The Best Nursing Schools in Washington in 2018

1. University of Washington, Seattle, WA

university of washington nursing school

The nursing program at the University of Washington is open to juniors that have completed some college courses and that have a GPA of 2.0 minimum. They offer a wide range of class types and offer both online and in-person courses to give students the best possible chance to succeed.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 92%
  • CCNE accredited
  • Tuition is $26,595 per year
  • BSN, MS, DNP and more
  • Requirements vary by program

2. Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA

Gonzaga University is a fantastic university for those that want to have access to state of the art equipment and teaching opportunities. There are nursing degrees of nearly all levels.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 89%
  • CCNE accredited
  • Tuition is $57,350 per year
  • Variety of degrees
  • Requirements vary by program

3. Seattle University, Seattle, WA

Seattle University offers a fantastic range of programs, of which the adult-gerontology care program is especially noted. They offer BSN, MS and more.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 88%
  • CCNE accredited
  • Tuition is $59,607 per year
  • They offer a DNP, BSN, and more
  • Requirements vary by program

4. Washington State University, Pullman, WA

The nursing program at Washington State University is not offered at the main campus but rather at five different locations around the state. This allows for ease of access for students and for a great opportunity for anyone looking to attend.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 86%
  • CCNE accredited
  • Tuition is $25,936 per year
  • BSN, RN to BSN, RN, DNP and more
  • Program requirements vary by program

5. Seattle Pacific University, Seattle WA

Seattle Pacific University offers a straightforward nursing program that is easy to follow and that does not have a lot of extras. This is a great opportunity for those that just want to get it done and get it done right.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 85%
  • CCNE accredited
  • Tuition is $56,415 per year
  • BSN, MSN, DNP programs
  • Requirements vary per program

6. Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA

Pacific Lutheran University offers a very standard nursing program that is perfect for students of all levels. They offer a range of programs from BSN to DNP and are highly accessible.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate 90%
  • CCNE accredited
  • Tuition is $55,170 per year
  • Variety of programs with differing requirements

7. Olympic College, Bremerton, WA

Olympic College offers an interactive learning environment that encourages students to take charge of their own education. They are also accredited by multiple agencies and offer fantastic results.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 93%
  • ACEN and CCNE accredited
  • Tuition is $3,837 per semester for in state and out-of-state students
  • Variety of programs with differing requirements

8. Walla Walla University, College Place, WA

At Walla Walla University students spend the first two years of their degree at College Place where the university is located. The second half of the program is spent in Portland, Oregon where they get hands-on experience and work on their clinical rotations.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 89%
  • Accreditation through ACEN
  • Tuition is $39,030 per year
  • Traditional BSN degree

9. Whitworth University, Spokane, WA

Whitworth University works with Washington State University to offer a BSN program. They offer the expertise from the faculty of both facilities to offer the best education possible.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of nearly 100%
  • Accredited
  • Tuition is $41,086 per year
  • BSN program requires you are a high school graduate or have a GED

10. Northwest University, Kirkland, WA

Northwest University offers the best equipment possible for nursing students and works to keep their teaching founded in their Christian roots. The college offers only a BSN degree.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rates of 97%
  • Accredited by CCNE
  • Tuition is $41,770 per year
  • BSN
  • Students must be a high school graduate or have a GED

11. Bellevue College, Bellevue, WA

The program at Bellevue College is geared more toward current RNs that need to increase their certification. They offer an RN to BSN program that gives the professional nurse the chance to succeed.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of
  • Accredited by
  • Tuition is $23,690 per year
  • RN to BSN
  • Must be a currently licensed nurse

12. Pierce College, Puyallup, WA

Pierce College offers an Associate Nursing Degree which qualifies students to take the NCLEX-RN exam.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 100%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $13,000 total
  • RN program available
  • Must be a high school graduate or have GED

13. Everett Community College, Everett, WA

Everett Community College offers a range of learning outcomes and objectives so that students are challenged in the day to day life and given every opportunity to flourish.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 96%
  • Accredited
  • Tuition is $3,643 in-state per year and $8,981 per semester for out-of-state students
  • They offer a BSN program
  • Requires prerequisite classes and a 2.0 GPA

14. Lake Washington Institute of Technology, Kirkland, WA

The Lake Washington Institute of Technology offers students a chance at hands-on learning that will stay with them for a lifetime. It has programs for both new nurses and those that are already licensed.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 95%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $3,880 per year for in-state students and $9,218 for out-of-state students
  • RN, CAN and more
  • All programs require the student to be a high school graduate or have a GED

15. Skagit Valley College, Mt Vernon, WA

Skagit Valley College offers a standard nursing degree for students that are looking for a lifelong career in nursing with a strong foundation and a chance for improvement.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 94%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $4,200 per year for in-state students and $4,700 for out-of-state students
  • Standard nursing degree

16. Big Bend Community College, Moses Lake, WA

Big Bend Community College provides an ongoing foundation that students can continue to build upon as they grow in their career. They offer a range of degree options for students at all points in their career.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 94%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $3,846 per year for in-state students and  $4,254 for out-of-state students
  • They offer a certified nursing assistant degree and an associate of nursing degree

17. Columbia Basin, Pasco, WA

The program at Columbia Basin is six quarters in length and offers students the chance to have some real hands-on learning. It offers students the chance to prepare for the NCLEX-RN test.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 93%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $3,580 per year
  • AND in nursing

18. Whatcom Community College, Bellingham, WA

Whatcom Community College offers a two-year nursing degree for those that are just starting out their nursing career.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 93%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $4,311 per year for in-state students and $9,727 for out-of-state students
  • 2-year nursing degree
  • General education courses required

19. South Puget Sound Community College, Olympia, WA

South Puget is one of the first schools to accept the Associate of Nursing transfer DTA degree. They offer a chance for students to further their education and up their certifications.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate 92%
  • Accredited
  • Tuition of $3,857 for in-state students and $9,096 for out-of-state students
  • DTA, CNA, RN
  • Different programs have different requirements

20. Yakima Community College, Yakima, WA

Yakima offers an associate of nursing degree with many pathways and concentrations. They have courses that focus on pediatric nursing, oncology nursing, mental health nursing, and more.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 90%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $4,090 for in-state students per year and $4,491 for out-of-state students
  • Associates degree in nursing
  • Requires general education credits

21. Seattle Central Community College, Seattle, WA

The program at Seattle Central Community College works to combine both clinical and classroom learning for the best of both worlds approach.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 90%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $3,891 for in-state students and $9,083 for out-of-state students per year
  • Associate of Nursing and Nursing Direct Transfer degree
  • Students must have prerequisite courses completed

22. Highline Community College, Des Moines, WA

Highline offers a comprehensive approach to learning that includes both study and theory practice of nursing. This program allows students to take attain an RN degree and take the NCLEX-RN test.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 90%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $3,846 for in-state and $4,253 for out-of-state students per year
  • Registered nursing program
  • Prerequisite courses required

23. Wenatchee Valley College, Wenatchee, WA

Wenatchee Valley offers a range of nursing programs to help find a place for every student. They offer nursing focuses in a range of subjects so that students can truly customize their experience.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 89%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $3,576 for in-state students and $4,010 for out-of-state students per year
  • Nursing Assistant, Registered Nurse, and BSN
  • Requirements differ from program to program

24. Lower Columbia College, Longview, WA

The degree offered at Lower Columbia College prepares students to continue their degree to a four-year bachelor degree. The two-year program focuses on readying students for board testing and for taking further classes.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 89%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $4,131 for in-state students per year and $4,644 for out-of-state students
  • Associates degree
  • Prerequisite classes required

25. Peninsula College, Port Angeles, WA

Peninsula College offers allows students to obtain a two-year nursing degree then eventually transfer to the University of Washington Bothell and Tacoma to obtain their four-year degree. Olympic College also allows graduates of this program to obtain a four-year degree.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 89%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $4,191 for in-state students and $4,591 for out-of-state students per year
  • Two-year nursing degree
  • Prerequisite courses required

26. Bellingham Technical College, Bellingham, WA

Bellingham offers two different options when it comes to completing your degree. You can either take a two-year degree or you can opt to enroll in the direct transfer program at which time you will transfer to Washington State after completing your two-year degree at Bellingham.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 87%
  • Accredited
  • Tuition is $3,389 per year for in-state students and $8,728 for out-of-state students per year
  • Two programs, two-year associate and a direct transfer agreement program
  • Prerequisite courses must be completed

27. North Seattle Community College, Seattle, WA

North Seattle Community College offers a two-year degree that gets nurses ready for the workforce. They encourage evidence-based learning and also ready students to further their education by transferring for a BSN.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate 86%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $4,458 per year for in-state students and $9,693 for out-of-state students
  • Two-year degree
  • Prerequisite courses and a good GPA are required

28. Centralia College, Centralia, WA

Centralia offers the Associate in Applied Science transfer degree. This degree allows students to take the licensing test but also prepares them to transfer to another college to obtain a four-year BSN degree.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 82%
  • Accredited
  • Tuition is $4,188 for in-state students and $4,600 for out-of-state students
  • Two-year degree
  • Prerequisites required

29. Shoreline Community College, Shoreline WA

Shoreline offers a range of options when it comes to the overall programs they offer. They have a 6 quarter option, 10 quarter option, and an advanced placement option for those that are already LPNs.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 84%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $3,730 for in-state students per year and $6,451 per year for out-of-state students
  • Various programs
  • Requirements vary depending on program

30. Clark College, Vancouver, WA

The program at Clark College is very straightforward and offers an easy-to-follow path to the degree that you want.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate 84%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $3,456 for in-state students per year and $8,794 for out-of-state students
  • Pre-nursing and associate in nursing
  • Both programs require prerequisite courses

31. Grays Harbor College, Aberdeen, WA

Grays offers a range of programs as well as learning tools including state of the art simulations paired with clinical and hands-on learning for the best education possible.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 82%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $3,688 for in-state students per year and $9,054 for out-of-state students
  • RN, LPN and CAN
  • All programs require prerequisite courses

32. Spokane Community College, Spokane, WA

Students can obtain a two-year nursing degree at Spokane Community College that qualifies them for the NCLEX-RN test and prepares them to enter a four-year program as a junior or senior.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 80%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $3,388 for in-state students per year and $8,726 for out-of-state students per year
  • Two-year nursing program
  • Prerequisite classes required

33. Tacoma Community College, Tacoma, WA

Tacoma Community Colleg is among several colleges that have adopted the AAS-T or Associate of Science transfer degree. This degree prepares you to transfer to a major university to fulfill your four-year nursing degree upon completing the program.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 80%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $4,194 for in-state students per year or $9,354 for out-of-state students
  • Two-year nursing degree
  • Prerequisite classes required

34. Clover Park Technical College, Lakewood, WA

Clover Park offers a range of option when it comes to obtaining your degree. They have a pre-nursing degree, a CNA degree, and an accelerated RN program for LPNs that want to advance.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 65%
  • Accredited
  • Tuition is $5,382 for in-state students per year and $12,855 per year for out-of-state students
  • Pre-nursing degree, RN option, and a CNA program as well
  • Prerequisite classes are required for all programs

35. Renton Technical College, Renton, WA

Renton Technical College offers both an RN degree and a nursing assistant degree. Admission is selective so it is important to take the time to fully apply. Students that would benefit from this program are those that are looking for a quick degree that is easy to follow and that promotes success.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 64%
  • Accredited
  • Tuition is $4,836 per year
  • RN and nursing assistant
  • Prerequisite classes required, other criteria listed on site.

36. Bates Technical College, Tacoma, WA

Bates offers a practical nursing degree that allows students to take the NCLEX-RN licensure test and also to go on to attain a four-year degree if they choose.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 96%
  • Accredited
  • Tuition is $3,681 for in-state students and $8,676 for out-of-state students
  • Practical nursing degree
  •  Students are required to take the prerequisite nursing pathway

37. Edmonds Community College, Lynnwood, WA

The program at Edmonds Community College is designed for students that are already working in the nursing field such as CNAs or other direct patient care programs. This is a fantastic program for those that already have some medical experience and just want to get their license.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 93%
  • ACEN accredited
  • Tuition is $3,758 per year for in-state students and $9,096 for out-of-state students per year
  • LPN program, 21 months part-time
  • See site for details about admission requirements

38. Green River Community College, Auburn, WA

Green River Community College works to provide students with both practical and theory based education so that they can have a well-rounded knowledge base to draw from. They offer a range of programs to choose from that have a range of time spans to get students out and into the workforce.

  • High NCLEX-RN pass rate
  • Accredited
  • Tuition is $4,495 for in-state students per year and $10,431 for out-of-state students per year
  • Nursing assistant, practical nursing associate of applied science, or BSN
  • Program requirements vary from program to program.

39. Heritage University, Toppenish, WA

Heritage offers a four year BSN degree for students that want the full on-campus experience. They offer a range of teaching methods to prepare future nurses for all that they will come up against when they start their career in nursing.

  • High NCLEX-RN pass rate
  • Accredited
  • Tuition is $19,122 per year
  • Four year BSN program
  • Students must have prerequisite courses

40. Saint Martin’s University, Lacey, WA

Saint Martin’s University offers a hybrid program that is both online and in person, only requiring that students attend class one night a week. Program start dates are flexible and vary depending on the time of year and the number of students that are applying. Class sizes are small for one on one attention for students.

  • High NCLEX-RN pass rate
  • CCNE accredited
  • Tuition is $33,194 per year for both in-state and out-of-state students
  • BSN in as little as one year
  • Prerequisite courses are required

41. South Seattle Community College, Seattle, WA

South Seattle offers a range of programs including an associate degree as well as a certified nursing assistant degree. It is required for both programs that students have taken prerequisite courses.

  • High NCLEX-RN pass rates
  • Accredited
  • Tuition is $280 per credit hour
  • There are a range of programs to choose from like ADN and certified nursing assistant
  • Program requirements vary from program to program

42. Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA

Western Washington University offers an RN to BSN program that allows students that already have their RN certification to complete their four-year degree and become a BSN. The program consists of 45 upper division credits and is perfect for those practicing nurses that just need to complete their degree.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rates high
  • CCNE accredited
  • Tuition is $8,611 for in-state students and $20,963 for out-of-state students
  • RN to BSN
  • Must be an RN

43. Skagit Valley College-Whidbey, Oak Harbor, WA

Skagit Valley College-Whidbey offers a two year ADN degree that is perfect for students that want to start their nursing career right away.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 81%
  • Accredited
  • Tuition is $4,200 for in-state students per year and $4,700 per year for out-of-state students
  • ADN
  • Prerequisite courses are required

44. Walden University, Online

Walden University offers an entirely online degree which is perfect for nurses that are already practicing or that are looking to attain a higher degree but that may not have time to pursue a traditional degree. This college offers a range of traditional degree options in the online format and works with students to use their current workspace as their clinical rotation space as well making obtaining a higher degree incredibly simple.

  • NCELX-RN pass rate near 100%
  • Higher Learning Commission and CCNE accredited
  • DNP, MSN, BSN and Post Masters Certificate
  • Tuition $12,075 per year
  • Requirements vary depending on program

45. Ashford University Online

Ashford University’s fully online program offers a range of class options and is perfect for practicing nurses that need to further their degree.  This fully online school is perfect for those RNs that are already working and want to get a BSN to help increase their pay or move to another position. They offer classes on a rotating, year-round schedule making it incredibly accessible to students.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate
  • WASC Senior College and University Commission accredited
  • RN to BSN
  • Tuition varies dependent on program
  • Must be a licensed RN

46. University of Alabama Online

University of Alabama‘s fully online program is perfect for those that may not want to or may not have time to devote to a traditional on-campus degree. This is a widely known school and a degree from the University of Alabama should help any nurse get their foot in the door after obtaining a higher degree. This fully online program is perfect for non-traditional students that may not have time for a traditional degree.

  • NCLEX-RN 95%
  • Fully accredited
  • BSN
  • Tuition is $7,510 per year
  • Must be a high school graduate or have a GED

47. Ball State University Online

This fully online program at Ball State University is great for students that are currently working as a nurse and simply want to further their current degree but that do not have time to complete on-campus classes. Again, online programs are perfect for non-traditional students that may already be working as a nurse and simply do not have the time to visit a campus every day for classes. Students can complete assignments on their own time and in their own space.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate 100%
  • Accredited
  • RN to MS and online MS, BSN
  • Tuition $8,682 per year
  • Requirements differ from program to program

48. Fort Hays State University Online

Fort Hays State University has a completely online program. The university was first run out of the infirmary rooms at the Fort Hays military base but now serves more than 15,000 students. The University has since expanded wildly and now offers more programs, both in person and online, than ever before. They are one of the largest colleges in their area now and offer a fantastic online program for those nurses that are already working and looking to get a higher certification.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate 95%
  • Accredited
  • BSN and MSN
  • Tuition $3,450
  • Requirements differ from program to program

49. University of Phoenix online

The University of Phoenix offers a range of online options when it comes to nursing degrees. It is perfect for students that want a non-traditional experience and want to get their degree but that may not have time to get a traditional degree.

  • High NCLEX-RN pass rates
  • Accredited
  • Tuition varies dependent on financial aid
  • RN to BSN degree
  • Requirements vary

50. Spring Hill College, online

The program at Spring Hill College is fully online and offers students the chance to obtain their degree through distance learning.

  • NCLEX-RN pass rate of 100%
  • Accredited
  • Tuition is $37,584 per year
  • MSN, MSN-RN, BSN, and more
  • Requirements vary by program

Nursing Schools in Washington Ranking Method

Schools were ranked based on NCLEX-RN pass rates, ease of access for students, and overall quality of the programs provided.

If you represent a school that was featured on this list and would like to amend or edit the content therein, please feel free to contact us.

Nursing is a career of passion. If you feel the passion to become a nurse, check out some of the schools mentioned here today to see what they have in store for you.

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