SIC Bests IL Universities for Top Nursing Program in the State

February 14, 2018, an organization founded by practicing registered nurses, has evaluated all of the Associate’s Degree in Nursing programs in Illinois. This list helps aid potential nurses in their search for the best nursing program in the state.

Southeastern Illinois College’s Registered Nursing (RN) Program was selected as the state’s best with SIC being ranked number one with a score just points below perfect.

Standings for each program were decided upon by the evaluation of current and previous years National Council Licensure Examination – RN (NCLEX-RN) pass rates. The NCLEX-RN exam is used across the United States by licensing boards to determine a student’s proficiency and is necessary to obtain a nursing license. Also considered, was the program’s ability to support students past licensure.

“SIC has long been known for exceptional educational opportunities, and our nursing program is par excellence,” said SIC President Dr. Jonah Rice. “It is humbling to be above so many of other quality programs like Bradley University and Rush University.”

SIC graduates have been consistently ranking above state and national averages in recent years, and 2017 is no exception.  The official results were released this month by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation for the 2017 NCLEX.   Pass rates for SIC graduates in both RN and Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) were at 97 percent. 

The national average on the RN test was 87 percent, and state average was 86 percent.  LPN tests averaged 86 percent in the state of Illinois, with the national average at 84 percent.

“I always say it:  programs aren’t buildings; programs are people. And we have a great staff,” added Rice.  “SIC has the best percentage of full-time instruction compared to so many other colleges in the area. And that is a big part of the secret of our success.”

Illinois and many other states are facing an impending nursing shortage as a result of a larger than usual population needing nursing care from the baby boomer generation and the rapid nursing retirements coming from that same generation.  To help meet this need, SIC will open up more regional spots this year for nursing students.  Those with the top entrance scores will be accepted.  SIC is accepting applicants now through March for the fall semester.  To inquire, contact the nursing office at 618-252-5400, ext. 2331 or, or visit

The Southeastern Illinois College nursing program is ranked #1 in the state of Illinois.  The program began in 1955 with a class of 13 students in the lower level of Harrisburg High School.  It was the only program of its kind in Illinois, south of St. Louis, at that time.  Since then, it has grown to approximately 100 students each year and includes online and traditional classes.  

Following is the ranking found at

  1. Southeastern Illinois College
  2. Trinity Christian College
  3. Bradley University
  4. MacMurray College
  5. St. Anthony College of Nursing
  6. Rush University
  7. McHenry County College
  8. Illinois State University
  9. Lewis University
  10. Joliet Junior College
  11. John A. Logan College
  12. Kishwaukee College
  13. University of Saint Francis
  14. Waubonsee Community College
  15. Illinois Valley Community College
  16. Trinity College of Nursing
  17. Illinois Wesleyan University
  18. Oakton Community College
  19. Western Illinois University
  20. Aurora University
  21. Harper College
  22. Loyola University Chicago
  23. Lincoln Land Community College
  24. Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing
  25. St. John’s College of Nursing
  26. City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X-School of Nursing
  27. Black Hawk College
  28. Kankakee Community College
  29. Kaskaskia College
  30. Dominican University
  31. Northern Illinois University
  32. Spoon River College
  33. Heartland Community College
  34. Graham Hospital School of Nursing
  35. South Suburban College
  36. Elmhurst College
  37. Methodist College
  38. Lake Land College
  39. John Wood Community College
  40. Southwestern Illinois College
  41. Sauk Valley Community College
  42. DePaul University
  43. Rock Valley College
  44. Ambria College of Nursing
  45. Olivet Nazarene College
  46. Resurrection University
  47. Elgin Community College
  48. Highland Community College
  49. Richland Community College
  50. Shawnee Community College