This is a career and technical education program. Upon successful completion of all program requirements an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing is awarded. This is commonly called Associate Degree Nursing (ADN). Upon satisfactory completion of the program, students (a) receive an Associate of Applied Science in Nursing (Associate Degree (b) are eligible to write the National Council Licensing Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Graduates who successfully complete the examination and meet all other state requirements are able to work as registered nurses. Some courses may not transfer to four-year institutions, but transfer opportunities exist for students wanting a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN).

The ADN Program is a selective admission program, and minimum criteria must be met to apply. Admission to the program is by application. Admission to Richland Community College does not guarantee acceptance to the program. The program begins each fall and spring semester, and takes two full years to complete. Late and out-of-district students will be considered for the program when space is available.

Career and Technical Education Options

This is a career and technical education program. Some courses may not transfer to four-year institutions, but opportunities exist for ADN-to-BSN Programs.

Program Information

Personal responsibility is a key characteristic of health professionals. ADN candidates must review the pertinent information linked from this page as the first step in the application process. The Health Professions has a selective admissions process.

Overview

Career as a Nurse

Nursing positions are available throughout the United States as well as internationally. Nurses care for people in hospitals, schools, clinics, corporations, homes, wellness centers, or anywhere people need health care services. Areas of nursing practice include pediatric, geriatric, obstetrics, intensive care, emergency care, mental health, oncology, orthopedic, and medical-surgical.

According to the most recent statistics released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurses in Decatur make an average annual salary of $71,400.

Accreditation

Richland’s Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program is approved by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (1-888-473-4858) and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc., 3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400 | Atlanta, GA 30326 | P. (404) 975-5000 | www.acenursing.org

Student Achievement Outcome Data

Year RCC

NCLEX-RN Pass Rate (Jan 1 – Dec 31)

National NCLEX-RN Pass Rate State NCLEX-RN Pass Rate Program Completion (July 1 – June 30)
2017 83% 87% 86% 70%
2018 89% 88% 88% 74%
2019 87% 88% 88% 66%
2020 83% 87% 88% 77%

Graduate Employment Rate = 100% (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020)

Program Mission and Goals

The ADN Program Mission reflects Richland’s Mission. The ADN Program at Richland Community College was developed to meet the need for registered nurses in the Decatur and surrounding areas. The Program’s mission is to prepare nurses to work in a multicultural, multiracial, diversified metropolitan industrial area that is surrounded by rural communities.

The purpose of the ADN Program at Richland Community College is to prepare competent, caring, and critically thinking graduates for entry level positions in a variety of health care settings and to encourage commitment to personal and professional growth.

Program Costs

Please be aware that costs may change. Please be aware that costs may change. Tuition estimates are for in-district students.

Projected Program Costs

Admission Information

Admission

Unlike many academic and career and technical education programs at Richland, admission into the Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program is selective and competitive. Admission to Richland Community College does not guarantee acceptance to the program. Out-of-district students will be considered for the program when space is available.

Students must meet the minimum admission criteria to be eligible to apply. Please read below for description of prerequisites and admission criteria. Once the criteria is met, applicants are scored on a rubric. Applicants with the highest scores are accepted in rank order.

Transfer Students

Transfer credit for nursing course credit completed at another approved program may be earned by students who wish to transfer core nursing courses from approved programs in the United States. All required forms, transcripts, and supportive documentation must be received by September 1st to be considered for spring admission. Credit for previous nursing coursework is not automatically granted.  Students may be asked to complete competency testing and/or successfully pass the corresponding standardized exam in order to obtain equivalent credit for the transfer coursework. Students are responsible for the cost of the standardized tests. All admission and graduation requirements must be met, including completion of a minimum of two semesters of core nursing courses at Richland. Students are responsible for the cost of the standardized tests.

To learn more about transferring to the Richland AD Nursing Program, please download the AD Nursing Program Transfer Application Packet. PDF Document icon

Eligibility to Apply

Please read below to determine if you are eligible to apply. Current or former students may also use the Pre-Advisement Plan on myRichland to review unmet prerequisites. If you have questions, please speak with an advisor in the Student Success Center.
Prerequisites and Admission Criteria
  • Eligibility for ENGL 101 Composition I.
  • Eligibility for MATH 110 or MATH 113 or completion of MATH 099 with a “C” or better

  • Complete two years of high school biology and 1 year of high school chemistry or physics with a “B” or better within the last 3 years or successfully complete BIOL 101 with a “C” or better. Students who have completed BIOL 201, 202 or 220 must have completed one within the last 5 years.
  • Have a high school GPA or at least 2.5 and ACT scores (within the last 3 years) with composite 21, science reasoning 20, and no score below 15 OR have completed 15 credit hours of ADN program courses.
  • Have a “C” or better in all prerequisites and program courses. For admission, a Program GPA of 2.75 or better is required. The Program GPA is calculated using grades and credits earned in completed ADN program courses. Program courses that can be completed prior to admission include: BIOL 201, 202, 220, ENGL 101, Fine Art Elective, HLTH 197, PSYCH 110, 145, and SOCIO 110. Transfer and Richland credits are used in calculating the Program GPA.
  • Listed in good standing on the IDPH Health Care Worker Registry as an active CNA or provide evidence of current enrollment in a CNA training program with a test date prior to the start of the semester for which the student is applying.

* For admission, the Program GPA is calculated using the grades and credits earned in any completed ADN program course taken before admission. Courses that can be taken prior to admission include: BIOL 201, 202, 220, ENGL 101, HLTH 197, PSYCH 110, 145, SOCIO 110, and a fine art elective. Transfer and Richland credits are used in calculating the Program GPA.Note: If students have completed BIOL 201, 202, or 220, one must be within the last five years.

Application Process

The ADN Program follows the Health Profession selective admissions process. Students use the online Pre-Advisement Plan on myRichland to submit an application during the designated application period. Students must check their e-mail to verify completion of the application.

Basis of Ranking

Each spring and fall, a maximum of 24 students are conditionally admitted to the program. The following components are the basis of ranking:

  1. Program GPA (minimum 2.75)
  2. Biology 201, 202 and 220 grades (minimum C)
  3. Number of required program courses completed or ACT scores [minimum Reading (15), Math (15), English (15), Science Reasoning (20), Composite (21)] with the last three years
  4. Number of biology withdrawn (W) or repeated within the last five years
  5. Nursing readmission

The rubrics do not contain any identifying student characteristics besides the student ID number, allowing selection using non-discriminatory practices.

After the top ranked students are extended conditional admission, an alternate list of other qualified students is developed in the event that someone should cancel or not meet the conditional admission criteria. To remain eligible, alternates must continue to meet all eligibility requirements. Up to the day prior to the first ADN course, the alternates may be notified.

The ADN program does not maintain a waitlist. If not admitted, students must reapply to the program each year.

Notification of Conditional Admission

Admission is conditional. This means that students must meet certain criteria before starting the program. The criteria are as follows:

  • Students must have a “C” or better in all prerequisites and program courses and a 2.75 minimum Program G.P.A. All courses and the Program G.P.A. will be reassessed at the end of the semester in which the student applied to determine if the student is still eligible for the ADN Program
  • Students must submit their acceptance letter by the deadline
  • Students must have a primary healthcare provider complete the Health and Immunization Record Form and have updated immunizations and proof of CPR certification. The completed form should be submitted by the deadline
  • Students must complete a drug screen prior to beginning the program.
  • Verify that the CNA is active and in “good standing,” meaning the background check is clear of disqualifying offenses (or a state-granted waiver is documented) and the student has maintained active certification.
    • To ensure certification is active, a letter from a recent employer may be required.
    • If currently enrolled in a nurse assistant training programs students must successfully pass the written competency exam before the program begins.

Students not meeting all of the above criteria forfeit their admission and the open position is filled from the alternate list.

Alternate List

After the top ranked students are extended conditional admission, an alternate list of other qualified students is developed in the event that someone should cancel or not meet the conditional admission criteria. To remain eligible, students must continue to meet all eligibility requirements. Up to the day prior to the first nursing course, the alternates may be notified. The ADN program does not maintain a waitlist. If not admitted, students must reapply to the program each semester.

Requirement Information

Ethical Requirements

Background Checks

As active CNAs, students enrolled in the Associate Degree Nursing Program have completed the criminal background check requirement. However, if the background check listed on the Health Care Worker registry is not listed as a FEE APP, the student must have their employer update the information on the Registry. If a student requires a waiver, the state-approved waiver must be documented on the Health Care Worker Registry.

The background check requirements for the Health Care Worker Registry differ from those of the Illinois Board of Nursing. In the final semester of the ADN program, students must submit to an FBI fingerprint-based background check in order to apply for Registered Professional Nurse licensure. Therefore, students with a past criminal history or who have a change in status while in program (including those students who have an IDPH waiver) should review the Frequently Asked Questions on Criminal Convictions and Licensure document from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Please contact the Assistant to the Dean in Health Professions for more information.

Professional Integrity and Code of Ethics

Richland’s ADN Program holds its students to a high standard. The American Nurse Association (ANA) Code of Ethics will serve as the basis of Richland’s Professional Integrity Policy and Code of Ethics along with the Health Professions Standards of Conduct modeled from the Illinois Community College Board Illinois Essential Employability Skills Framework and Self-Assessment.

Health and Safety Requirements

Affiliation agreements with our clinical partners require students to submit documentation of health and safety requirements. Failure to comply for any reason may result in withdrawal of offer of admission or dismissal from the program.

Under no circumstances are students to attend clinical without current immunizations, initial Mantoux TB, and current CPR. TB and CPR must be current from the first day of the semester through the last day of classes in the semester. Drug screens and background checks are required. The student must provide documentation to the Health Profession’s Division that immunization requirements are met.

Nursing is a profession, which involves contact with individuals and requires the ability to perform wide variety of activities. Nursing students must be able to perform the essential duties and skills required by the clinical agencies. These are addressed in the Health and Immunization Record Form that students receive upon admission. Changes in the following functional performance areas must be immediately reported to the Nursing Program Director to ensure student and patient safety: Gross motor skills, physical endurance, physical strength, mobility, hearing, visual, tactile, smell, reading, emotional stability, analytical thinking, critical thinking skills, interpersonal skills, and communication skills.

Drug and Alcohol Testing

All admitted students submit to an initial drug screening as part of their conditional admission requirements. In addition, any of the clinical sites or faculty may require students to submit to random drug tests or for cause.

Health Insurance

Students are encouraged to obtain their own health insurance coverage. None is provided through the College.

Degree Requirements

The AAS in Nursing is made up of 71 credit hours including general education, elective and nursing core courses. Listed below is a breakdown and description of the degree’s course requirements.

Associate of Applied Science in Nursing
  • General Education and Elective Credit Hours – 28 Credit Hours
  • Nursing Core Credit Hours – 43 Credit Hours
  • Total Credit Hours – 71 Credit Hours
General Education Courses and Electives (28 Credit Hours)

If students do not meet the high school coursework requirements or ACT minimums or have graduated from high school more than three years ago, students will need to complete 15 credit hours from the general education and elective courses listed below in order to be eligible to apply to the ADN Program. The remaining 13 credit hours may be completed upon admission to the ADN and in sequence with the program.

  • BIOL 201 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (4)
  • BIOL 202 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4)
  • BIOL 220 Microbiology (4)
  • ENGL 101 Composition I (3)
  • HLTH 197/297 Topics in Health care (1)
  • PSYCH 110 Intro to Psychology (3)
  • PSYCH 145 Human Growth & Development (3)
  • SOCIO 110 Intro to Sociology (3)
  • Fine Arts Elective (3)

Minimum Graduation Requirements for ADN Students

  • Obtain a “C” or better in all prerequisites and program courses
  • Meet the ANA Code of Ethics and the Integrity Policy

Frequently Asked Questions

I thought this program was called the RN program. Why does everything keep referring to the ADN Program?

ADN stands for Associate Degree Nursing. We do not refer to the program as the RN Program because at the end of the degree, you are not yet a Registered Nurse. The ADN Program provides you the education and training you need to complete the NCLEX-RN licensing exam. Only after you successfully pass the NCLEX-RN can you be considered a Registered Nurse.

Will I get credit for the prerequisite and general education courses taken at another college?

Any official transcript received by Richland is evaluated for the specific program applied for within two weeks of receipt. Students may review the credit transferred in by going to myRichland and looking on the Unofficial Transcript (college) or Exam Record (high school).

What is the difference between the Cumulative GPA and the Program GPA?

The Cumulative GPA includes the grades and credits earned in all coursework attempted at Richland. The Program GPA is calculated using only the grades and credits earned in the general education, elective, and core courses applicable to the program-of-interest. Transfer and Richland credits are used in calculating the Program GPA. If a course has been repeated, the most recent grade is used in calculating the Program GPA, in accordance with the College policy. Although some course work can be completed in program, if a student has completed it prior to admission, it is calculated in the Program GPA. The ADN Program requires a minimum 2.75 Program GPA for admission.

Are applications for the ADN Program accepted after the deadline?

Applications are no longer accepted after the deadline which is September 1 for spring admission and February 1 for fall admission.

I’m an out-of-district student. What are the chances of being admitted?

Because the number of applicants varies each application cycle, there is no way to determine if space will be available but is unlikely. Please check with Enrollment Services to see if you may be eligible for an out-of-district tuition waiver if you work within the College district and you would be considered for admission with in-district students.

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