Top 10 Nursing Schools That Don't Require an Entrance Exam for 2024

7 Min Read Published May 30, 2023
Top Nursing Schools Without Entrance Exams

As demand for well-trained registered nurses (RNs) rises, nursing schools' rigorous admission requirements become barriers for aspiring students. Entrance exams alone can make or break whether you become a nursing student. Unfortunately, no entrance exam nursing schools are difficult to find because there are so few.

So, we compiled a list of top-ranked nursing schools without entrance exams to help you get into nursing school. These nursing schools are easier to enter without this barrier, increasing your chances of acceptance. Read on to learn about no-entrance exam nursing schools, their requirements, merits, and costs to choose your ideal program.

Fast Facts About Nursing Programs


The average annual registered nurse salary is $77,600, or $37.31 per hour (BLS)

Program Length

2-4 years


High school diploma/GED, strong GPA, prerequisite science courses, letters of recommendation.

*Most common nursing school requirements. Actual requirements vary depending on the institution and the level of education you are pursuing.

What Are Nursing School Entrance Exams?

Many prospective nursing students must prepare for nursing school entrance exams. Often, nursing schools have applicants take the TEAS exam (Test of Essential Academic Skills) or HESI exam (Health Education Systems Incorporated). 

These admission assessments evaluate your knowledge and skills in reading, math, science, and English. Nursing schools consider them a useful tool for evaluating an applicant's academic preparedness and potential for success in a nursing program.

However, the number of quality nursing programs without entrance exams is growing. These institutions are pioneering alternative admissions processes that promote inclusivity and accessibility.

Top 10 No-Entrance-Exam Nursing Schools

We assessed nursing programs nationwide to determine the best nursing schools without entrance exams in 2024. 

As we compiled this list, we considered factors including admissions requirements, reputation, accreditation, and whether the school requires entrance exams. 

The following ten programs are nursing schools without TEAS or HESI exams that maintain exceptional education standards for nursing students.

1.  Oregon Health & Science (OHSU) School of Nursing

OHSU is a no-entrance exam nursing school that offers a traditional and accelerated BSN program. Some admissions requirements for these programs include:

  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • 30 hours of prerequisite courses
  • Admissions interview

Students with a bachelor's degree in a non-related field may follow the accelerated track. The traditional BSN is a 3-year nursing program for non-degree-holding students. OHSU is also home to the best CRNA school in Oregon, providing diverse and quality options for nursing education.

2. California State University, Fullerton

California State University, Fullerton (CSU Fullerton) does not require or accept TEAS or HESI exams for its nursing programs. However, applicants must meet other requirements, like completing high school coursework and a BSN program application. CSU Fullerton admissions will evaluate applicants based on their high school, college, and pre-req academic performance.

The university is also home to one of the top CRNA schools in California. Unfortunately, CSU Fullerton only currently accepts California applicants. The school is extremely competitive and receives many more applicants to the nursing program than it has space for.

  • Tuition: $3,489.61 per semester (including fees)
  • Program Length: Four to five years
  • Application Deadlines: November 30th
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Contact Info:
  • Online Options Available?  No

3. Western Governors University (WGU)*

WGU’s nursing school follows a competency-based education (CBE) model. This model evaluates students based on their mastery of specific skills or knowledge rather than by completing specific credit hours. 

The CBE model at WGU allows students to progress at their own pace. Moreover, students primarily attend the nursing program online, allowing them to complete coursework from anywhere. Still, WGU's nursing program has a clinical component that students must complete in person.

As a no-entrance exam nursing school, WGU evaluates applicants based on academic transcripts, work experience, and other relevant criteria.

  • Tuition: $6,430
  • Program Length: 4 years for prelicensure BSN
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: Rolling admissions
  • Contact Info:
  • Online Options Available? Yes

4. Drexel University

Drexel University offers a registered nurse program with an accelerated career entry (ACE) option. Like other accelerated BSN programs, the ACE option allows degree-holding students to earn a BSN quickly. Without an entrance exam, ACE BSN requirements include the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree in another field
  • 3.0 or higher undergraduate GPA
  • Completion of prerequisite courses

Aside from being easier to get into, this program is promising for aspiring nurses. The university reports a NCLEX exam pass rate of 97% to 100%.

  • Tuition: $18,865
  • Program Length: 11 months
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: December 1st and June 1st
  • Contact Info:
  • Online Options Available? No

5. West Chester University

WCU offers two nursing programs: a traditional BSN and an RN to BSN program for ADN-trained nurses. If you want a nursing school with no entry exam, WCU is a valid option. This university's nursing program doesn't require the TEAS or HESI exam for admissions.

Keep in mind that the university website does report that interest in the program is very high and, therefore, competitive. The WCU admissions office has a thorough selection process, which they conduct on a rolling basis.

  • Tuition: Approx. $7,716.00 per year
  • Program Length: 4-5 years
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: Rolling admissions
  • Contact Info:
  • Online Options Available? No

6. The University of South Florida

The USF College of Nursing does not use TEAS, HESI, recommendations, or resumes when evaluating applicants for their undergraduate nursing programs. Instead, admission decisions are made by taking into account several factors, such as:

  • Cumulative GPA
  • Prerequisite course grades
  • Admissions interview

USF offers two prelicensure BSN programs. The first is an accelerated BSN for students with a prior non-nursing bachelor's degree. USF's other BSN program is a traditional, 4-year nursing degree track.

  • Tuition: $105.07 per credit unit
  • Program Length: 
    • Accelerated BSN: 4 semesters
    • Traditional BSN: 4 years
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: Rolling admissions
  • Contact Info:
  • Online Options Available? No

7. The University of Arkansas at Little Rock

The nursing department at UA Little Rock is the largest program on campus, accommodating over 600 students. A dedicated team of twenty-six faculty and staff members supports this nursing college.

The university reports that, at this time, there are no entrance exam requirements for their traditional nursing programs. The school offers two prelicensure nursing programs, including an associate of applied science (AAS) RN program and a BSN program.

8. Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois Univerisity's BSN program offers a rigorous education, equipping students with the skills necessary to excel in nursing. With a higher-than-average NCLEX pass rate, this no-entrance exam nursing school promises a high standard for prospective students.

  • Tuition: $5,075.06 per term
  • Program Length: 4 to 5 years
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: January 15th
  • Contact Info:
    • Phone: (815) 753-1231
    • Email:
  • Online Options Available? No

9. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

UNC at Chapel Hill offers three pre-licensure BSN programs: a traditional BSN, an accelerated BSN, and a military BSN pathway. All programs are completed in person at the campus and do not require TEAS or HESI exams for acceptance.

  • Tuition:
    • BSN 
      • $32,255 (total cost in-state)
      • $91,120 (total cost out-of-state)
    • Accelerated BSN
      • $25,039 (total cost in-state)
      • $66,961 (total cost out-of-state)
    • Military BSN Pathway: Contact UNC  for more information 
  • Program Length: 
    • Traditional BSN: 4 years
    • Accelerated BSN: 4 semesters
    • Military BSN Pathway: Contact UNC for more information 
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Contact Info:
  • Online Options Available? No 

10. George Washington University

George Washington University’s accelerated BSN program is for individuals with bachelor's degrees in a field other than nursing. The program is a second-degree option, allowing students to transition into nursing. 

The nursing school also has a BSN veterans option. Veterans with 60 college-level credits from military and academic experiences may be eligible for this program without a prior degree.

This school also requires no entrance exams, including the TEAS or HESI.

  • Tuition: $82,400 (entire program)
  • Program Length: 4 semesters
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application Deadline: Rolling admission
  • Contact Info:
  • Online Options Available? No


  • What is the nursing school entrance exam called?

    • Most nursing schools use one of two entrance exams: the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) or the Health Education Systems Incorporated (HESI) exam.
  • Do all nursing schools require entrance exams?

    • No. Though many nursing schools require entrance exams, some evaluate applicants based on other factors like GPA, pre-requisites, and admissions interviews.
  • What is the easiest nursing degree to get?

    • All nursing degrees require significant coursework, clinical practice, and exams. However, earning an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is often considered the easiest. This is because ADN programs are shorter and focus on technical topics rather than broad knowledge.
  • How hard is it to pass the nursing entrance exam?

    • The difficulty level of the TEAS and HESI A1 is comparable to the SAT or ACT. Depending on your preparation, education, and test-taking skills, these nursing school entrance exams may be very challenging or relatively easy.
  • Who has the easiest BSN program?

    • The easiest BSN program is different for every student. Factors like curriculum, teaching methods, faculty, and available resources can impact how hard you find the coursework. Finding a school that suits your needs will help you find the easiest BSN program for you.
  • Is it possible to never get into nursing school?

    • While it is possible to face challenges in gaining admission to nursing school, it doesn't mean that you will never get in. If you are initially unsuccessful, keep trying and apply to multiple programs to increase your chances of success!

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Sarah Jividen
Sarah Jividen Contributor

Sarah Jividen, RN, BSN, is a trained neuro/trauma and emergency room nurse turned freelance healthcare writer/editor. As a journalism major, she combined her love for writing with her passion for high-level patient care. Sarah is the creator of Health Writing Solutions, LLC, specializing in writing about healthcare topics, including health journalism, education, and evidence-based health and wellness trends. She lives in Northern California with her husband and two children. 

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