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25 of the Easiest Nursing Schools to Get Into

What’s Covered:


If you want to make a difference in the world by helping people, nursing could be the perfect career for you. There is always a demand for more nurses, but programs can be competitive. In this post, we’ll share 25 of the easiest nursing schools to get into and some strategies for you to increase your odds of acceptance.


Nursing Schools with High Acceptance Rates




Acceptance Rate 

Georgia State University | GSU

Atlanta, GA


University of Texas at El Paso | UTEP

El Paso, TX


Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences | MCPHS

Boston, MA


Union College 

Lincoln, NE


University of St. Thomas 

Houston, TX


California State University, Fresno | CSU Fresno

Fresno, CA


Sam Houston State University | SHSU

Huntsville, TX


University of New Mexico | UNM

Albuquerque, NM


University of Toledo

Toledo, OH


University of Wyoming

Laramie, WY


Edgewood College

Madison, WI 


Old Dominion University | ODU

Norfolk, VA


University of Maine

Orono, ME


University of Southern Indiana | USI

Evansville, IN 


University of Southern Mississippi | Southern Miss

Hattiesburg, MI


Wright State University

Dayton, OH


University of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT 


University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY


Maryville University

Saint Louis, MO 


Wichita State University | WSU

Wichita, KS


Spalding University

Louisville, KY 


West Virginia University | WVU

Morgantown, WV


University of Mount Union

Alliance, OH 


Loyola University New Orleans

New Orleans, LA


Saint Martin’s University | St. Martin’s

Lacey, WA 



The acceptance rate of a university doesn’t tell the whole story. Most of the schools listed above have separate admissions for their nursing programs once you’ve spent your first year completing pre-nursing requirements. This second round of admission requires good grades in pre-nursing courses and a minimum GPA.


Other colleges may offer direct admission to their nursing programs as a senior in high school, using minimum ACT and high school GPA. These programs are often more competitive, but both routes will get you the same degree. Always aim above minimum requirements wherever you apply and check out our complete guide on how to become a nurse.


1. Georgia State University | GSU


Location: Atlanta, GA

Acceptance rate: 100%

Undergraduate enrollment: 28,900

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 990-1210/19-27


GSU is the largest university in Georgia and, according to the website Niche, one of the most diverse colleges in the nation, ranking 57th out of 1,546 schools. GSU’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is designed to be completed in eight semesters; the first four semesters are focused on the university’s core curriculum and prerequisites for nursing majors while the final four semesters are centered on the nursing curriculum and relevant electives.


Students must first be accepted to GSU as exploratory nursing students before applying for admission to its nursing program.


2. University of Texas at El Paso


Location: El Paso, TX

Acceptance rate: 100%

Undergraduate enrollment: 20,000

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 940-1130 SAT/17-22 ACT


The University of Texas at El Paso is known for its distinctive Bhutanese dzong architecture and for being one of the country’s largest Hispanic-serving institutions, with an over 80% Hispanic student body. UTEP’s nursing program has an impressive 97.5% NCLEX-RN pass rate, considerably higher than the 86.6% national average. Students become eligible for the nursing school after four to five semesters of pre-nursing courses with at least a 3.0 collegiate GPA, however, the average student admitted into the nursing program has a 3.77 GPA.


3. Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences | MCPHS


Location: Boston, MA

Acceptance rate: 98%

Undergraduate enrollment: 3,600

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: N/A


MCPHS is a private college focused on healthcare education. The school’s nursing major is an accelerated 32-month program that provides students with both classroom instruction and real-world experience—beginning by building a base in the liberal arts and sciences and progressing to nursing-specific curriculum and educational activities. Graduates of the MCPHS nursing program consistently pass the NCLEX RN on their first attempt at a higher rate than the national average.


4. Union College


Location: Lincoln, NE

Acceptance rate: 98%

Undergraduate enrollment: 600

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: N/A


Union College is a Seventh-day Adventist college with a 9:1 student-to-faculty ratio and an average class size of 11. To be admitted to the nursing program, you must complete prerequisite courses with a C or better and have an overall 2.75 collegiate GPA or above.


5. University of St. Thomas


Location: Houston, TX

Acceptance rate: 98%

Undergraduate enrollment: 2,600

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1030-1202.5/19-25


The University of St. Thomas is grounded in Catholic intellectual traditions and committed to the love of Christ (67% of freshmen are Catholic). The university’s nursing program focuses on holistic nursing—that is, caring for a patient’s body, mind, and spirit. The University of St. Thomas’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program is a four-year commitment that incorporates the school’s core curriculum, specific pre-nursing coursework, and classes in the nursing major.


6. California State University, Fresno | CSU Fresno


Location: Fresno, CA

Acceptance rate: 97%

Undergraduate enrollment: 22,100

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: N/A


CSU Fresno is one of the 23 campuses of the California State University System. Students interested in nursing at CSU Fresno begin in the three-semester Pre-Health Program. After that, they can apply to the nursing program, provided they’ve completed their prerequisites with a GPA of 3.0 and passed the TEAS test with a 75% or higher.


7. Sam Houston State University | SHSU


Location: Huntsville, TX

Acceptance rate: 97%

Undergraduate enrollment: 18,200

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 960-1130/18-24


Sam Houston State University is the third-oldest public institution of higher education in Texas. SHSU students must take a number of prerequisites—such as human anatomy, nutrition, and intro to psychology—through the pre-nursing program to gain acceptance to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program. It’s common for the school to only accept between 80 and 90 applicants to its BSN program from a pool of more than 350 applications.


8. University of New Mexico | UNM


Location: Albuquerque, NM

Acceptance rate: 97%

Undergraduate enrollment: 15,700

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 20-26 (ACT Only)


The University of New Mexico is one of just a few select schools that are both designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and classified as a Carnegie Research University with Very High Activity.


UNM offers a variety of pathways for students interested in pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, including a freshman direct-entry option for high school seniors as well as an option to apply to the program in their sophomore year. UNM’s BSN program is notable for its diversity—of its 805 enrolled students, 491 are minorities, and 128 are male.


9. University of Toledo


Location: Toledo, OH

Acceptance rate: 97%

Undergraduate enrollment: 13,100

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1060-1280/21-28


The University of Toledo provides two pathways for students to enter its Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program: direct-admission and pre-nursing. Direct-admission applicants are required to possess a 3.6 high school GPA and an 1130 SAT or 23 ACT score (test-optional applicants must have a 3.8 GPA). Pre-nursing candidates must have a 2.75 high school GPA and a 990 SAT or 19 ACT score (test-optional applicants need a 3.0 high school GPA).


10. University of Wyoming


Location: Laramie, WY

Acceptance rate: 97%

Undergraduate enrollment: 8,800

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1030-1230/20-27


With the largest study-abroad scholarship endowment in the nation for land-grant universities, the University of Wyoming is committed to giving its students a global education. Freshmen admitted to the nursing major—the school accepts up to 48 students to the program annually—must have a minimum 2.75 high school GPA and complete prerequisite courses in their first year with a 3.0 GPA. Overall, the university’s nursing majors have a 90.91% NCLEX-RN examination pass rate.


11. Edgewood College


Location: Madison, WI

Acceptance rate: 96%

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,200

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1030-1230/20-27


The nursing program at Edgewood College is five semesters long and features one of the lowest clinical faculty-to-students ratios in the state (7:1) that ensures nursing students receive the support they need to succeed.


Applicants to Edgewood College’s BSN program are required to be enrolled or have completed 45 college credits, including completing specific courses in everything from writing to statistics to chemistry. They must also possess a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 2.75 and a minimum 2.75 GPA in all required math and science courses.


12. Old Dominion University | ODU


Location: Norfolk, VA

Acceptance rate: 96%

Undergraduate enrollment: 18,600

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1100-1240/22-27


ODU has been preparing nurses for professional practices for more than five decades and boasts an impressive 99% employment rate for students within one year of graduation. In 2019, ODU nursing students had an NCLEX-RN pass rate of 92.15%.


The minimum GPA for admission into ODU’s BSN program is 3.0, however, students commonly admitted to the program possess at least a 3.6 GPA. To complete the BSN program, ODU students must complete between 120 and 126 credits: 66 credits in the nursing major and 54 to 60 credits in liberal arts and sciences.


13. University of Maine


Location: Orono, ME

Acceptance rate: 96%

Undergraduate enrollment: 10,100

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1080-1320/24-30


The University of Maine (UMaine) is home to the state’s first baccalaureate program for nurses—it established its nursing program in 1939. UMaine students can apply to transfer into the nursing program after completing a minimum of 24 credits and earning a cumulative GPA of 3.5 and a science course GPA of 3.0 or above. Applicants to the nursing program must also complete two 500- to 1,000-word essays on topics such as leadership, patient-centered care, evidence-based practice, and teamwork and collaboration.


14. University of Southern Indiana | USI


Location: Evansville, IN

Acceptance rate: 96%

Undergraduate enrollment: 7,900

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 990-1080/19-25


The University of Southern Indiana is a public university in suburban Evansville with a sleek modern campus. It has a direct admission program from senior year, so long as you have a 3.5 high school GPA and a 26 ACT or a 1240 SAT. The program also has conditional direct admission if your GPA is from 3.4 to 3.49. Finally, standard admission is an option after you have taken 31 credit hours in the nursing curriculum. USI has had an NCLEX-RN pass rate ranging from 93% to 100% over the past five years.


15. University of Southern Mississippi | Southern Miss


Location: Hattiesburg, MS

Acceptance rate: 96%

Undergraduate enrollment: 10,600

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 19-27 (ACT Only)


A school with huge spirit and pride in its black and gold school colors, the University of Southern Mississippi boasts a 95% NCLEX-RN pass rate for its nursing students. Early admission to the nursing program requires a 3.5 high school GPA and a minimum ACT of 25. Once admitted, you must maintain good academic standing while completing prerequisite courses. For standard admission, students need a minimum 2.5 GPA in nursing prerequisites and at least a 21 ACT.


16. Wright State University


Location: Dayton, OH

Acceptance rate: 96%

Undergraduate enrollment: 7,400

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 970-1280/17-24


Wright State University offers two pathways to its Bachelor of Science in Nursing BSN degree program: students are either admitted directly from high school or in their sophomore year of college. In 2021, Wright State School of Nursing, Kinesiology, and Health Sciences had an NCLEX pass rate of 84.85%, which was higher than both the 82.48% national average and the 79.07% average in the state of Ohio.


17. University of Utah


Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Acceptance rate: 95%

Undergraduate enrollment: 25,800

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1190-1380/22-30


The University of Utah’s College of Nursing celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2023. University of Utah students must complete all of their general education requirements—including nine prerequisite courses—before starting the nursing program. They must also possess both a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and a minimum 3.0 GPA in the prerequisite courses. Nursing is a competitive program at the University of Utah and applicants are warned that meeting the minimum requirements doesn’t guarantee admission.


18. University of Kentucky


Location: Lexington, KY

Acceptance rate: 94%

Undergraduate enrollment: 21,900

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1080-1310/22-29


The University of Kentucky has the largest library of all US public universities and a huge focus on research. The nursing track at UK requires admittance to the pre-nursing program, which requires a minimum 3.4 high school GPA. In your freshman year, you will take prerequisite courses and must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA as well as complete an interview to be admitted to the College of Nursing.


19. Maryville University


Location: Saint Louis, MO

Acceptance rate: 92%

Undergraduate enrollment: 5,600

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 1080-1360/19-26


With miles of walking trails on campus along with two lakes and creeks, Maryville is a great place for the nature-inclined despite being just 20 minutes from downtown St. Louis. More importantly, Maryville offers freshman direct entry into the Bachelor of Nursing program. A minimum 3.25 high school GPA is required, with a 3.0 in STEM classes. It also offers an on-campus program for students who’ve completed 65 hours of general education and nursing prerequisite courses.


20. Wichita State University | WSU


Location: Wichita, KS

Acceptance rate: 91%

Undergraduate enrollment: 12,000

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: 960-1240/19-26


Wichita State is Kansas’s most diverse college and is fully committed to ensuring its students have a good time. Wichita State hosts unique, local food trucks and has billiards, bowling, and restaurants in the center of campus. You can be admitted to the nursing program after maintaining a 2.75 overall collegiate GPA while completing the prerequisite nursing courses with at least a 3.0 GPA. You must also have an 1125 SAT or a 27 ACT score.


21. Spalding University


Location: Louisville, KY

Acceptance rate: 90%

Undergraduate enrollment: 700

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: N/A


With a unique block schedule and 11 students on average per class, Spalding gives a world-class education. Once admitted to Spalding, you need to maintain a 2.75 GPA in four science courses to gain admission to the College of Nursing. You must also have a minimum score of 60 on each section of the TEAS (Test of Essential Academic Skills), which you can take during your first year.


22. West Virginia University | WVU


Location: Morgantown, WV

Acceptance rate: 90%

Undergraduate enrollment: 19,500

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: N/A


There are multiple tracks for students interested in pursuing nursing at WVU, including a direct path and a pre-nursing path. WVU touts an impressive 98% pass rate for first-time takers of the BSN NCLEX exam and a near-100% job placement rate for graduates of its nursing program.


23. University of Mount Union


Location: Alliance, OH

Acceptance rate: 80%

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,800

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: N/A


Founded in 1846, Mount Union is a liberal arts college where 98% of students receive some form of financial aid. Its campus in Ohio is complete with a 162-acre nature center. The University of Mount Union has a direct-entry program into the nursing school, meaning you can take nursing courses from your freshman year. “Priority consideration” for direct admission requires a 3.3 high school GPA and a 23 on the ACT. Nursing students at Mount Union have a 98% NCLEX-RN pass rate.


24. Loyola University New Orleans


Location: New Orleans, LA

Acceptance rate: 78%

Undergraduate enrollment: 3,300

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: N/A


Nearly all (99%) of Loyola students receive some sort of financial aid to fully take advantage of the school’s 12:1 student-faculty ratio. Loyola University New Orleans offers a direct admit program to the College of Nursing, meaning that as long as you maintain a 3.0 GPA, you will be admitted.


25. Saint Martin’s University | St. Martin’s


Location: Lacey, WA

Acceptance rate: 72%

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,300

Middle 50% SAT/ACT: N/A


Saint Martin’s is one of just a handful of Benedictine colleges in the nation and still has a functioning monastery on campus! Saint Martin’s has a direct admission program to its Bachelor of Nursing as long as you have a 3.0 high school GPA. However, you must maintain a 3.0 college GPA and get a B or above in all nursing prerequisite classes in your freshman and sophomore years before taking advanced nursing classes.


How to Increase Your Chances of Acceptance


1. Get Good Grades Overall, Especially in STEM Courses


Nursing requires a superior understanding of science, strong memory, and a good work ethic. You can prove you have these by getting good grades in your classes, especially those that will align with nursing course requirements. If your school offers classes like anatomy, physiology, or sports medicine, take them. Taking rigorous STEM classes like AP Psychology, AP Biology, and AP Statistics can also show that you are ready for a college course load and prepare you for some of your nursing classes.


2. Aim For a Strong SAT Score


Getting a good SAT/ACT score shows universities that you’re ready for the rigor of collegiate coursework and gives them confidence in your ability to succeed. Some nursing schools pay special attention to your performance on the SAT math section. Check out our SAT guides and ACT Guides for free tips and practice questions that will help you improve your score.


3. Participate in Relevant Extracurriculars


During high school, get closer to the medical field through your extracurriculars. This will demonstrate your interest, while also telling you if a career in nursing and medicine is what you want to pursue long term. Medicine-related extracurriculars can be anything from organizing blood drives or volunteering at a local nursing home to starting a club at your school.


Another idea is shadowing a nurse at work or doing an informational interview to find out more about the job. You can contact your doctor’s office to set one of these up, or ask your school counselor.


4. Write a Compelling Personal Statement


Being a good nurse requires more than just excelling in school. It also requires a passion and commitment to helping people through some of the most vulnerable times of their lives, which you can show through your personal statement. Take time with this and start early to show the most accurate version of yourself. You can see our tips for writing a strong personal statement to make sure you do your story justice.


5. Review Your Chances on CollegeVine


With a free CollegeVine account, you can find your personal chances of admission to these schools, as well as receive expert college advice throughout your application process. Learn how to improve your profile, build your college list, and get your essays edited by peers. Sign up for your CollegeVine account today and take the next step in your application process.

Short Bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.