20 Best Rn Programs In Cleveland, OH (2023 Updated) – Save Our Schools March

Here is a 2000+ word blog post on the 20 best RN programs in Cleveland, OH for 2023:

20 Best RN Programs in Cleveland, OH (2023 Updated)

Cleveland, home to world-renowned medical institutions like the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals, is an excellent location to earn a nursing degree. With a growing need for qualified nurses and a thriving healthcare sector, Cleveland offers ample opportunities for those seeking nursing careers.

This blog post highlights the 20 best RN programs in Cleveland based on reputation, affordability, program variety, and career support services. Whether you’re looking for an ADN, BSN, MSN, DNP, or PhD in nursing, these schools provide exceptional nursing education to prepare students for licensure and rewarding nursing professions.

  1. Case Western Reserve University

Case Western Reserve University, home to the world-class Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, tops this year’s list of best nursing schools in Cleveland. Ranked among the nation’s top nursing schools (#9 by US News in 2022), CWRU nursing graduates consistently post exceptional first-time NCLEX-RN licensure exam pass rates over 90%.

Beyond licensure, CWRU prepares nurses for advanced specialty certifications and leadership roles in clinical practice, research, policy, and education. Its expert nursing faculty lead dynamic, simulation-based nursing programs blending cutting-edge technology with compassionate, patient-focused care.

CWRU offers several program options: traditional BSN, accelerated BSN, online or hybrid MSN program with 10+ specializations, DNP, and PhD in nursing. With ample scholarships and Cleveland’s highest nursing salaries (per BLS), CWRU nursing graduates gain outstanding career preparation and ROI.

  1. Cuyahoga Community College

For affordability and convenience, Tri-C tops as the #1 option for earning an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) cost-effectively. Part of Ohio‘s largest community college network, Tri-C offers an accredited nursing program on 4 local campuses, with affordable tuition under $5,000 for the entire 70-credit ADN.

Tri-C has an admirable ADN first-time NCLEX-RN exam pass rate consistently over 85%, aided by small class sizes, rigorous nursing curriculum, smart labs utilizing advanced patient simulators, and extensive clinical rotation partnerships throughout Cleveland’s major medical centers. Once licensed, Tri-C ADN graduates may pursue flexible RN-to-BSN programs to advance professionally.

  1. Baldwin Wallace University

This private, liberal arts-based university in Berea, OH holds ACEN accreditation for its rigorous four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. BW maintains exceptional NCLEX-RN first-time pass rates over 95% aided by a selective admission process (3.0 GPA required in science prerequisites) and comprehensive nursing curriculum preparing grads for generalist nursing practice.

BW prioritizes clinical competency and critical thinking via interactive assignments in its nursing simulation labs and over 400 hours of supervised clinical rotations across the lifespan. With dedicated nursing advisors and abundant medical experiences starting freshman year, BW Nursing caters towards motivated students seeking a personalized path to registered nursing.

  1. Chamberlain University

Chamberlain is one of the nation’s leading nursing schools, offering online and on-campus BSN degree options with six start dates yearly. Qualified students can complete an accelerated three-year BSN bridging healthcare diplomas to registered nursing licensure and professional advancement.

Chamberlain delivers a flexible blend of interactive virtual nursing labs, supervised clinical rotations, and self-paced coursework online. Their storied Continuing Education Division also offers RN-to-BSN and 30+ MSN specialization tracks to grow licensed nurses into advanced practice roles. With stellar pass rates and career outcomes, Chamberlain Nursing graduates hold in-demand expertise.

  1. Ursuline College

This private Catholic women’s college, founded in 1871, holds a century-long tradition training exceptional nurses across practice levels. Ursuline offers a mix of groundbreaking nursing programs including traditional four-year BSN with competitive direct entry, online RN-to-BSN completion, and hybrid MSN with eight specialties like Clinical Nurse Leader and Nurse Anesthesia.

Ursuline nursing students benefit from the college’s prime location in Pepper Pike near the world-class Cleveland Clinic, and Ursuline‘s reputation facilitating unparalleled clinical experiences across NE Ohio’s elite hospital networks. Supported by expert faculty, graduates excel on the NCLEX and as compassionate advanced practice nursing leaders.

  1. Notre Dame College

Notre Dame College, founded in 1922 in South Euclid, offers renowned nursing programs at the bachelor‘s and master‘s levels. Notre Dame holds CCNE accreditation for several pathways to registered nursing and advanced practice including direct entry MSN, RN to MSN, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), and Nursing Education.

Notre Dame nursing students gain intensive clinical skills training via the school’s state-of-the-art Simulation Center outfitted with computerized mannequins and realistic hospital units. Compassionate faculty lead small class cohorts through evidence-based nursing theories intersecting high-tech simulation labs with spiritual care education grounded in Notre Dame’s Catholic heritage.

  1. Cleveland State University

As one of Ohio’s largest public research universities, Cleveland State University holds NLNAC accreditation for its comprehensive nursing programs integrating urban health perspectives within the heart of the city. CSU Nursing offers traditional four-year BSN, RN-to-BSN completion, MSN, post-master’s certificates, and DNP programs to advance students towards ethical, culturally-competent nursing practice.

The school also runs the Nightingale Nursing Scholarship program providing full rides towards bachelor’s or graduate nursing study including tuition, fees, books, and paid clinical externships. Graduates benefit from Cleveland State’s prime partnerships facilitating clinical rotations across every major hospital system throughout NE Ohio.

  1. Kent State University

Kent State‘s College of Nursing offers acclaimed CCNE-accredited nursing programs across seven campuses including the school‘s long legacy training exceptional nurses at its main campus just southeast of Cleveland. KSU prepares nurses through several pathways including traditional BSN, accelerated BSN for those holding bachelor‘s degrees in other fields, an online RN-to-BSN completion program, and numerous graduate-level MSN and DNP specializations.

The school holds stellar first-time NCLEX-RN pass rates over 95% in recent years. Kent Nursing students refine their skills across the program’s three simulation centers outfitted with cutting-edge computerized mannequins and simulated hospital units to enable immersive clinical scenarios. With small faculty-student ratios and renowned medical center alliances facilitating clinicals, KSU builds highly competent nursing graduates.

  1. Bryant & Stratton College

Bryant & Stratton offers accredited nursing diplomas and degree programs from practical nursing and associate levels up to an online RN to BSN pathway. The private college holds campus locations across Ohio including Cleveland-Akron metro regions. Bryant & Stratton nursing graduates consistently achieve excellent first-time NCLEX pass rates.

From foundation classes in anatomy, physiology, chemistry, microbiology, and nutrition to advanced medical, surgical, critical care, pharmacology, and evidence-based practice courses, Bryant & Stratton nursing students gain expertise across essential concepts. The school’s nursing skills labs feature cutting-edge simulation mannequins and supplemental resources like ATI Nursing Education facilitating NCLEX exam preparation.

  1. Fortis College

Fortis College, located in the southeast Cleveland suburb of Cuyahoga Falls, holds institutional accreditation and Ohio Board of Nursing approval for several nursing program offerings including: associate degree in nursing (ADN), practical nursing diploma (PN), and an online RN-to-BSN bridge program.

Nursing students refine clinical skills via onsite medical simulation labs alongside faculty facilitating role-play exercises using highly-advanced patient mannequins. Fortis prioritizes clinical competencies, critical thinking, and compassion training nursing professionals equipped for modern healthcare challenges. Graduates consistently post strong first-time NCLEX pass rates, aided by the school’s NCLEX pass guarantee.

  1. Herzing University

Herzing University, based in Akron south of Cleveland, holds CCNE accreditation for its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree granting graduates eligibility to take the NCLEX-RN exam. Herzing Nursing tailors its curriculum for the needs of working adults through flexible online course delivery paired with hands-on clinical training at partnered medical facilities.

Herzing also offers an online RN to BSN completion program for ADN nurses seeking to enhance their competence, advance their careers, and boost earning potential. With multiple Columbus-area campuses and online offerings, Herzing University enables nurses throughout Ohio to pursue their BSN affordably and conveniently.

  1. South University

South University offers accelerated nursing education options including an online RN to BSN program and MSN pathways for fast-tracking nurses towards advanced practice registered nursing roles. South University holds CCNE accreditation affirming its graduate nursing programs meet stringent standards for quality and scope of practice preparedness.

Based at campuses in Westlake, Ohio and Beachwood east of Cleveland, South MSN graduates specialize in fields like Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP), Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (AGPCNP), Nurse Educator, Informatics, and more. Aspiring nurses seeking graduate training from diploma to doctoral can find flexible, career-focused nursing programs through South University.

  1. Western Governors University

WGU utilizes a revolutionary online competency-based education model granting course credit towards BSN or MSN completion for proven mastery of nursing concepts. This flexible approach benefits working nurses seeking to complete their BSN or advance into graduate nursing specialties like education, leadership, public health, and more with tuition costs averaging just $7,000 annually.

WGU holds CCNE accreditation validating its curriculum prepares graduates to excel in nursing certification exams and practice. Designed for independent, self-motivated students, WGU’s innovative online nursing programs enable working adults to progress careers affordably at their own pace guided by faculty mentors.

  1. Walden University

Walden University offers world-class online nursing programs spanning BSN completion, MSN, post-graduate certificates, and doctoral programs including DNP and PhD in Nursing. One of the foremost online universities in the US, Walden holds CCNE accreditation and exceptional first-time NCLEX and certification exam pass rates for its nursing graduates.

Walden’s online course delivery grants flexibility for working nurses to advance their careers while fulfilling other commitments. Coursework blends multimedia nursing concepts, faculty-guided research, and clinical hours completed in nurses’ home regions. With multiple start dates yearly and 100% online curricula, Walden enables nurses nationwide to pursue nursing bachelor’s or master’s coursework cost-effectively.

  1. Remington College

Remington College, located in the Cleveland suburb of North Olmsted, holds institutional accreditation for its Diploma in Practical Nursing and Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) programs. Nursing students refine essential skills in Remington’s on-campus medical simulation labs using advanced patient simulators.

The curriculum grounds students in foundational nursing competencies like pharmacology, anatomy, physiology, biology, nutrition, lifespan development, and geriatric care. Faculty with extensive nursing experience facilitate clinical rotations at Cleveland-area hospitals and clinics, enabling Remington graduates to launch careers confidently with strong regional networking.

  1. American Sentinel University

American Sentinel University offers accredited online nursing programs including RN to BSN, RN to MSN bridge, MSN plus over 15 specializations, and DNP degrees to advance licensed nurses from bachelor’s towards doctoral-level expertise.

The private university offers rolling admissions and monthly start dates to fit working nurses’ schedules. Specialized tracks like Infection Prevention, Informatics, Nursing Management and more blend multimedia concepts, virtual simulations, customizable clinical hours and project-based learning towards niche nursing roles meeting growing healthcare demands. American Sentinel enables aspiring nurses to pursue bachelor’s or master’s degrees 100% online at their pace.

  1. Capella University

Capella, one of the first and most reputable online universities in the US, holds CCNE accreditation for multiple nursing offerings including RN-to-BSN, MSN, post-master’s certificates, and DNP. Capella grants flexibility for working nurses to progress credentials without work-life disruption through self-paced online curricula.

From foundations like advanced pathophysiology, pharmacology, research, ethics, health policy, leadership and beyond, Capella’s rigorous graduate-level coursework readies nurses for specialty roles as Nurse Educators, Healthcare Administrators, Public Health Nurses, Clinical Nurse Specialists and Clinical Nurse Leaders meeting growing industry demand.

  1. Indiana Wesleyan University

Indiana Wesleyan, the largest private university in Indiana, confers respected online nursing degrees from ADN to post-graduate certificates. IWU utilizes a spent learning model enabling working nurses to convert knowledge honed through employer-paid training, past course credits, and career experiences towards degree completion through testing rather than redundant coursework.

This optimized approach benefits nurses holding LPN, ADN, or diplomas seeking accelerated paths to BSN or MSN credentials required for advanced roles. IWU also offers affordable off-campus cohorts blending online and evening coursework in Ohio cities including Cleveland and regional hubs.

  1. Purdue University Global

Part of the prestigious Big Ten member Purdue University system, Purdue Global offers flexible and accredited online nursing programs. PG holds CCNE accreditation for multiple programs including RN-to-BSN, Accelerated MSN, DNP featuring Nurse Educator and Family Nurse Practitioner tracks and a MSN-FNP to DNP pathway.

Utilizing course-layering technology, PG Nursing programs customize curricula based on incoming students’ credentials, enabling efficient degree advancement by building upon rather than duplicating existing knowledge. Designed for working nurses, PG’s self-paced competency model grants course credit via skills assessments while faculty tutors provide personalized guidance.

  1. Ohio Christian University

A private evangelical university located south of Cleveland in Circleville, Ohio, Ohio Christian University holds CCNE programmatic accreditation for its Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Blending faith-based perspectives on compassionate, ethical healthcare delivery with rigorous science curriculum, OCU Nursing prepares graduates for holistic nursing practice.

The small cohort admissions process ensures faculty develop personal connections with students for mentorship throughout the four-year program. Extensive coursework in advanced physiology/pathophysiology, clinical pharmacology, community health, research and evidence-based practice grounds graduates towards competent generalist registered nursing roles.

With excellent NCLEX-RN pass rates and employer partnerships facilitating clinical rotations across OhioHealth and Mount Carmel Health Systems, OCU BSN graduates enter rewarding nursing careers well-prepared to impact their communities.


Earning a nursing degree in a major metro area like Cleveland with globally-renowned medical institutions provides long-reaching career advantages. This blog presented 20 programs spanning ADN, BSN, MSN, DNP, and PhD credentials offered by highly ranked nursing schools in Cleveland proper and nearby region.

Whether seeking licensure soon through an ADN or BSN, or progressing existing nursing credentials to advanced master’s and doctoral levels, Cleveland nursing graduates gain expertise at the heartbeat of modern medicine. Backed by heavy demand from world-class employers, abundant experiential learning resources, and faculty mentors guiding students’ professional growth, these nursing schools position graduates to excel at the forefront of healthcare innovation.

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