Nursing programs reject qualified applicants due to limited clinical placements and faculty. By admitting the strongest candidates, schools of nursing will reduce attrition rates, increase NCLEX-RN pass rates, and speed the entry into practice of well-prepared nurses to help stem the nursing shortage. This integrative review identified the standardized admission exams most predictive of student success. Included were articles published between 2005 and 2016 that focused on admission criteria, RN programs, specific exams (e. g., HESI-A 2 , TEAS, SAT, CAAP, or ACT), NCLEX-RN performance, or program success. Standardized exams are effective predictors of success in programs of nursing and first-attempt NCLEX-RN. While predictive accuracy differs between exams, findings suggest that the HESI-A 2 is currently the best predictor of success. By optimizing the use of standardized exams as admission criteria, nursing programs can reduce attrition rates and improve NCLEX-RN pass rates. This will maximize program capacity and contribute to a greater number of practicing nurses.