Associate Degree Nursing (AAS)

Program Description

New students applying to Black Hawk College should select the AAS/General Occupational and Technical Studies (GOTS) until such time as they have been officially accepted by the department into this program.

The Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program is designed to prepare nurses who, as beginning practitioners, are able to give quality nursing care to clients and function as members of nursing and health teams. Upon completion of the program, a graduate may be eligible to take the examination for licensure as a registered nurse.

Registered nurses are employed in hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, physicians’ offices, clinics, and community agencies.

The curriculum for nursing is career-oriented. The program is accredited by the Illinois Department of Finance and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Integrate EBP with clinical reasoning and nursing judgement to minimize risk to the patient and provider while delivering optimal health care to patients and families across the lifespan in a variety of health care settings.
  2. Collaborate effectively within nursing and inter-professional teams, fostering communication, respect and decision-making to achieve safe, quality health care for the patient, family, and the community.
  3. Advocate for the patient recognizing the patient (or designee) as the source of control and full partner in providing compassionate and coordinated care based on respect for patient preferences, values and needs.
  4. Evaluate outcomes of care processes. Use quality improvement methods to design and test changes that will continually improve the quality and safety of healthcare practices.
  5. Utilize information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, reduce error and support decision making.
  6. Develop a professional identity that internalizes the values, perspectives and philosophical components inherent in the art and science of nursing.

Admission requirements

Each applicant must meet the following admission requirements and will be evaluated on an individual basis:

  1. High school graduate or equivalent.
  2. If applying as a high school student: top 25% of high school graduation class or consent of nursing department.
  3. ACT composite score of 20 or above if applicant has graduated from high school within the past five years and has taken no college courses.
  4. Any developmental courses that are required as determined by placement scores.
  5. A 2.7 (C+) cumulative grade point average in college courses. Minimum of nine college level credit hours required if out of high school over five years or does not meet high school requirements.
  6. Completion of pre-admission exam.
  7. Completion of Prospective Nursing Student Orientation.
  8. Physically able to provide client care.
  9. Transfer students are admitted into the ADN program on an individual basis. In addition to following transfer admission guidelines (see index), a transfer student intending to enroll in the ADN program must produce unofficial transcripts at their individual conference with nursing faculty and/or nursing advisor.
  10. Anatomy and physiology coursework must have been completed within five years of acceptance into the program.

Students should refer to the ADN Program Booklet 2023 (PDF) and student handbook for additional guidelines.

Students with chronic health problems or physical disabilities will be accepted unless the health problem or disability is such that the student would be unable to complete the objectives of the program. (See Technical Abilities Required by Health Care Programs for more information.)

For Licensed Practical Nurses who desire to apply for the ADN program, all admission requirements must be met. There is not advanced standing placement.

All students must achieve grades of “B” or above in BIOL 145 and 146 and a “C” or above in all other required general education courses.

Required general education courses may be repeated until a “C” grade is earned. Students may drop out of nursing courses in order for the general education course to be properly sequenced within the nursing curriculum.

Students must achieve a grade of “C” or better in all nursing courses. If the student drops a course or a lower grade is earned the course may be repeated once. If the student fails to earn a grade of “C” or better on the second attempt, they will be dismissed from the program. A second failure to earn a “C” in subsequent nursing courses, even though the first course may have been successfully repeated, is also grounds for dismissal.

Students returning to the nursing program after a period of absence will be evaluated on an individual basis as to both theory and clinical competencies before re-admission.

Non-nursing courses may be taken prior to or concurrently with the nursing courses in the same level, unless permission is obtained from the Associate Degree Nursing Department to alter the plan.

Laboratory fees for nursing courses are assessed and are in addition to other College fees.

Students must successfully document and meet all health and background checks required by academic programs and/or clinical sites prior to admission to program and/or courses.

ADN 2023-2024 Admission Requirements (PDF)

Applying to the program

Applications are accepted in February for August start and in September for January start.

ADN Application for Spring 2024 admission

NOTE: All applications are due by Sept. 30, 2023, with priority given to applications turned in by September 15, 2023.

Students wanting to be considered for the Associate Degree Nursing program need to complete an application.

  • To request transcripts that Black Hawk College has received from other colleges, submit the Nursing Transcript Request (PDF).
  • Take the HESI Test at the Testing Center at the Quad-Cities Campus. Tests will be available in July, August, September, December, January, and February.
  • Admission into the Associate Degree Nursing program is highly competitive. Not all eligible candidates will be able to be admitted regardless of the date of submission of their application.

HESI RN Admission Assessment Exam – All prospective ADN students are required to take the HESI Exam.  Students are encouraged to prepare for this exam in order to assure that the necessary score is achieved to be considered for admission into the nursing program. Study materials can be found at and at the BHC bookstore.

  • A minimum score of 70 is required to be considered for admission.
  • Retests are allowed once per application cycle, but there must be a 3-week gap between the 1st test and the 2nd test.
  • HESI exam must be re-taken if it is over a year from the application due date.


The Associate Degree Nursing program is accredited by the Illinois Department of Finance and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the Associate Degree nursing program is “Continuing Accreditation.”

View the public information disclosed by the ACEN regarding this program at

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400
Atlanta, GA 30326

Student achievement data

ACEN Standard: 6.4 The program demonstrates evidence of graduates’ achievement in job placement.

BHC Expected Level of Achievement (ELA):  80% of graduates are employed or continuing their education within 12 months

BHC ADN graduates employed as a RN within 12 months of graduation:

Semester Spring 2019 Fall 2019 Spring 2020 Fall




Fall 2021

(responses to date)

Spring 2022

(responses to date)

Number of students 20 24 27 14 20 23 28
Percent of responding

graduates  employed within   12 months

85% 91.6% 96.3% 100% 100% 100% 100%

ACEN Standard: 6.2 The program demonstrates evidence of graduates’ achievement on the licensure examination.

BHC Expected Level of Achievement (ELA):  The program’s most recent annual licensure examination pass rate will be at least 80% for all first-time test-takers during the same 12-month period.


BHC NCLEX – RN pass rate by year:

Year Completing Pass Percent
2021 35 34 97%
2020 52 49 94%
2019 39 38 97%
2018 40 39 98%
2017 53 48 91%
2016 57 46 90%


ACEN standard: 6.3 The program demonstrates evidence of students’ achievement in completing the nursing program.

BHC ADN program completion data

Academic year students graduated Students entering program Students completed in 4 semesters (100%) Students completed in 6 semesters (150%)
AY 18-19 72 28 40
AY 19-20 88 36 46
AY 20-21 86 25 35
AY 21-22 78 30 Calculate S23


Discover careers and salaries for this program

Suggested Courses

Course (Credit Hours):

Pre-Requisite Courses

BIOL 145 Anatomy-Physiology I (4)
PHIL 100 Logic (3) or
MATH 108   Statistics for General Education (3)
MATH 110   Math for General Education (3)
MATH 112   College Algebra (4)
MATH 116   Trigonometry (3)
MATH 118   Precalculus (5)

First Semester (Level I)

BIOL 146 Anatomy-Physiology II (4)
NURS 112 Nursing Concepts I (10)
NURS 138 Intro to Professional Nursing (1)

Second Semester (Level II)

NURS 122A Psychosocial Nursing Concepts (5)
NURS 122B Physiological Nursing Concepts (5)
PSYC 200 Human Growth and Development (3)

Summer Semester

BIOL 261 Microbiology (4)
ENG 101 Composition I (3)

Third Semester (Level III)

NURS 216 Nursing Concepts III (10)
SOC 264 Social Psychology of Aging (3)

Fourth Semester (Level IV)

NURS 226 Nursing Concepts 4 (10)
NURS 230 Transition into Practice (1)

Completion of the Associate Degree Nursing program does not automatically guarantee a graduate the right to take the National Council Licensing Examination or to become licensed as a registered nurse. The student is bound by the Illinois Nursing Act. For more information, refer to the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules – Administrative Code:

Minimum total hours required for degree: 66