Northwestern's nursing program ranked among nation's best

Nursing students and professorNorthwestern College’s nursing program has been ranked among the nation’s top 20 percent, as well as 35th out of the best 100 in the Plains region, by Nursing Schools Almanac (

More than 3,000 institutions offering nursing degrees were evaluated using three factors: the institution’s academic prestige and perceived value; the breadth and depth of nursing programs offered; and student success, particularly on the NCLEX national licensure exam. Schools from Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota were included in the Plains region rankings.

The website notes several of Northwestern’s nursing program distinctives, including hands-on training through health care-related mission trips and a state-of-the-art nursing laboratory with six human patient simulators. It also highlights Northwestern graduates’ success on the NCLEX licensure exam.

“This ranking—as well as the 100% NCLEX first-time pass rate of our 2020 nursing graduates—is evidence of the high quality of Northwestern’s nursing program,” says Dr. Julie Dragstra, assistant professor and nursing department chair. “Our curriculum prepares nurses who are excellent clinicians, able to care for their patients’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Students are challenged to think critically and develop clinical reasoning to prepare them for a variety of practice settings. As a result, our graduates are sought after by hospitals and other medical providers, identified as well prepared to provide compassionate care.”

Northwestern offers a traditional undergraduate BSN degree in addition to an RN-to-BSN online option, both of which are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing. The college’s nursing arts laboratory is located in the DeWitt Family Science Center and includes high-fidelity simulators and patient rooms, a flexible learning space with eight bays, IV practice arms and other training equipment, a hospital-based computerized medication system, and an electronic health record simulation program.

Nursing Schools Almanac strives to provide detailed, comprehensive and analytical resources for aspiring nurses.

Study nursing at Northwestern

Northwestern’s BSN program will prepare you to be a healer in a hurting world. With more than 700 hours of clinical experience in both rural and urban healthcare settings, multiple opportunities to learn by serving through healthcare-related mission trips, and a state-of-the-art nursing laboratory in the DeWitt Family Science Center, Northwestern’s program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing.