May 19, 2024  
NIACC Catalog 2020-2021 
NIACC Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nursing (ADN), A.A.S.

Associate Degree Nursing is designed to prepare men and women for general staff registered nursing positions which involve direct care of patients. There are two routes of entry into the program: one for beginning students and one for Licensed Practical Nurses . Individuals considering enrollment or currently enrolled in the nursing program should be aware that prior felony convictions may prohibit eligibility for licensure upon completion of the program.

Licensure application requires legal presence in the United States including a social security number, U.S. visa, or U.S. green card. English proficiency recommendations for the licensure exam are identified by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.

Entrance Requirements

The applicant must complete the application process through the health professions counselor located in the Student Development Office. The ADN program offers two starts: Summer and Fall Terms (refer to the course schedule).

All applicants must complete a high school diploma or equivalency program. The date of formal application to the program will be the date the applicant submits a complete application to the ADN program. Final acceptance to the program will be when the applicant has successfully completed all of the prerequisites for the ADN program. The date of application will be factored in if two or more applicants compete for vacancy. Completed applications are reviewed starting in December for the next academic year.


  • An ACT composite score of 20 or
  • An Associate of Arts degree from an accredited college with a minimum 2.5 GPA or
  • A Bachelor degree from an accredited institution.

The following required course must be completed with a grade of C or higher.

A minimum overall 2.0 NIACC GPA is required to enter the program and must be maintained throughout the program.

Nurse Aide Training

Submit proof of completion of the State of Iowa approved Certified Nurse Aide Program or equivalent. Submit proof of successful completion of Nurse Aide written and skills tests for placement on the Direct Care Worker Registry. A transcript indicating the applicant passed both tests, or a Registry card will serve as verification.

High School Course Requirements

The following required courses must be completed with a grade of C or better.


  • One full-year course (2 semesters) of high school Algebra II / college preparatory algebra or statistics


  • Biology: two semesters of high school/college preparatory biology
  • Chemistry: two semesters of high school/college preparatory chemistry

High School Recommendations/Computer Technology

Four to six semesters of high school English and four to six semesters of Social Studies are strongly recommended. Since the NCLEX-RN licensing exam is a computerized test, two semesters of high school computer classes or one semester of a computer application class are also strongly recommended.

An application to the ADN program, high school transcript, high school equivalency scores (if applicable), all college transcripts, and results of the ACT must be in the applicant’s folder before the admissions committee takes action on acceptance into the Associate Degree Nursing program. Upon acceptance, a physical examination providing evidence of current immunization and sound physical and mental health is required.

The prescribed course requirements scheduled for the freshman year must be taken in the sequence and time lines indicated. However, the support courses (noted with an * in the curriculum) may be taken prior to enrolling or during the time the student is in the nursing program. Note: If support courses are being taken in the sequence with a nursing course, both the support courses and the nursing course must be successfully completed to continue in the program.

Students must attain a C grade in all nursing courses and prescribed courses. An overall 2.00 GPA in the prescribed curriculum and a minimum overall cumulative college grade point average of 2.00 is required for graduation from the ADN program.

Students who withdraw from the program must make formal application for reentry and upon acceptance will be considered on a space-available basis. Readmission criteria are addressed in the ADN Student Handbook. Reentry requirements include current physicals/immunization records, current Basic Life Support CPR Certification (formerly Healthcare Provider CPR Certification) offered by the American Heart Association, and current evidence of TB testing within the academic year. Options will be discussed on an individual basis for students unsuccessful at any level of the program.

Any transfer student applying for admission, who has been enrolled in a nursing curriculum other than NIACC, will be required to meet with the Program Leader, Practical and Associate Degree Nursing, to discuss placement in the curriculum. Course syllabi and clinical site information from the transferring institution will be required for review. The student will also be requested to provide written authorization allowing contact with instructors from the transfer institution regarding class and clinical performance. A letter of reference regarding theory, clinical, and overall student conduct will be required from the chair of health programs at the transfer institution. Information acquired from these contacts will be considered in acceptance and proper placement into a NIACC nursing curriculum.

Career Opportunities

  • Hospitals, nursing facilities, and clinics
  • Health maintenance organizations
  • Private offices and clinics of doctors and dental surgeons
  • Government agencies and the military
  • Visiting nurse associations
  • Community Healthcare agencies
  • Temporary staff agencies
  • Entrepreneurial ventures


Upon successful completion of the Associate Degree Nursing curriculum and assigned comprehensive review activities, the student is awarded an Associate in Applied Science Degree and is eligible for the NCLEX-RN exam. After passing this examination, the graduate receives registered nurse status.


The program is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Contact information for ACEN:

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)

3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400

Atlanta, GA 30326


Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing – The leading authority for nursing education accreditation (


Further information regarding end-of-program student learning outcomes, licensure, progression in the program and specific program policies is provided to the ADN student in the individual program handbook distributed during the first ADN class. Students are referred to this handbook throughout the program. A copy of the ADN Student Handbook    is available on request from the Health Division and is posted on the ADN program website. NIACC’s ADN Program Outcomes  are also available online. An applicant that plans to license in another state is advised to contact the state board of nursing for specific licensure requirements. Assistance to obtain state licensure requirements is available upon request. 

Students should be aware that they will travel a distance for various clinical experience and that some clinical experiences will be scheduled during evening/night hours and weekends. Online access for web-enhanced course assignments is required. Computer labs on campus are available during designated hours.

Drug testing may be required by individual agencies. Criminal background checks and adult/dependent abuse checks will be required for all incoming students and students reentering the program. Results of the background and abuse checks will be reviewed by the State Department of Human Services to determine eligibility for clinical enrollment in the program, but does not guarantee licensure upon program completion. Costs for requirements will be the responsibility of the student.


For graduates wishing to obtain a baccalaureate degree in nursing, the ADN program provides a foundation for completion of BSN programs in Iowa. The University of Iowa College of Nursing offers the RN to BSN Progression Program in the North Iowa area. Through this program RNs may complete all course work for their BSN locally and online.

Under the RN to BSN 3+1 structure, nursing students can take coursework at NIACC for three years and then complete their BSN degree in only one year through the University of Iowa online RN-BSN program. Students in their fifth term of the nursing program at NIACC, who have at least a 3.0 GPA, will have the opportunity for early, automatic admission into the Iowa RN-BSN program. Other can be admitted based on their application.

NIACC also has a formalized articulation agreement to complete a baccalaureate degree in Nursing with Allen College, Briar Cliff University, Clarke University, Coe College, Dordt College, Grand View University, Iowa State University, Iowa Wesleyan University, Mercy College of Health Sciences, Mount Mercy University, St. Ambrose University, University of Dubuque, and William Penn University.

The Iowa Consortium for Advancing Nursing Education recommends the following courses in addition to the current curriculum for preparation for a baccalaureate degree in Nursing:

Students are encouraged to correspond with the transfer college to obtain specific requirements.

Required Courses/Suggested Schedule

Total: 3 s.h.

First Term

(Summer - 6 weeks or Fall - 15 weeks)

Total: 7 s.h.

Second Term

(Fall or Spring - 15 weeks)

Total: 15 s.h.

Third Term

(Spring or Fall - 15 weeks)

Total: 17 s.h.

Fourth Term

(Fall or Spring - 15 weeks)

Total: 15 s.h.

Fifth Term

(Spring or Fall - 15 weeks)

Total: 15 s.h.

Total Program Hours: 72 s.h.

* Prescribed support courses which may be taken prior to entering the nursing program. Once in the nursing program, courses must be taken in the identified sequence and successfully completed with a C or higher grade for a student to progress in the program.

** Anatomy and Physiology I and II must be completed within five years of beginning the program. Students enrolling in Anatomy and Physiology I or II should plan on taking both semesters of the sequence at NIACC or the same college.

NOTE: A current Basic Life Support CPR Certification (formerly Healthcare Provider CPR Certification) offered by the American Heart Association is required. The current certification/renewal needs to be completed prior to Nursing I or any reentry into the program. A yearly TB test is also required prior to Nursing I or any reentry into the program. Students must be current with these requirements or will not be allowed in the clinical area.

Students seeking entrance into the nursing program should be aware that nursing courses with a clinical component may not be taken by a person:

  1. who has been denied licensure by the Iowa Board of Nursing;
  2. whose licensure is currently suspended, surrendered or revoked in any United States jurisdiction;
  3. whose license/registration is currently suspended, surrendered or revoked in another country due to disciplinary action.