Overview & Employment – Nursing Associate Degree

Pin It

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.

The program is approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) (formerly the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Inc.), 3343 Peachtree Road N.E., Suite 850, Atlanta, GA 30326, (404-975-5000),

The application process, entrance requirements and curriculum are provided in the ADN Program Brochure.

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 Term and Fall Semester. A ranking process will be used by the admissions committee in the review of ADN applications. Applicants will receive points for the requirements met and applicants will be ranked by the number of points earned.

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 been selected according to the ranking process and has successfully completed all of the prerequisites for the ADN program. The date of application will be factored in if two or more applicants tie for the same rank. Completed applications are reviewed starting in December for the next academic year.

Applicants will be ranked by the following criteria:

  1. One point will be earned for graduating in the upper half of a high school class or for achieving a GED average standard score of 530 or higher.
  2. One point will be earned for graduating from high school with at least a 3.00 GPA.
  3. One point will be earned for an ACT composite score of 20. Students who have not taken the ACT should contact the Admissions Office or go to ACT’s website ( for information about the test. Some students may have COMPASS or ASSET or SAT scores that were used for initial placement in NIACC courses; these tests will not be used for the ACT ranking points. If an ADN applicant wants to earn this point, then the applicant must take the ACT exams.
  4. One point will be earned for achieving a 2.25 GPA with completion of at least 12 credit hours of the prescribed support courses in the Associate Degree Nursing curriculum. If a student has exceeded 12 credit hours from the prescribed curriculum, these courses will also be included in the calculation of the GPA.
    two points will be earned for achieving a 3.00 GPA with completion of at least 12 credit hours of the prescribed support courses in the Associate Degree Nursing curriculum. If a student has exceeded 12 credit hours from the prescribed curriculum, these courses will also be included in the calculation of the GPA.
  5. One point will be earned for the completion of an Associate in Arts or an Associate in Science Degree,
    two points will be earned for the completion of a Bachelor’s Degree.
  6. One point will be earned for completion with a grade of C or higher, BIO-206, Anatomy and Physiology I, and BIO-207, Anatomy and Physiology II.

Applicants who do not meet requirements or those with a poor academic history may meet entrance requirements by successfully completing approved college courses. These options should be discussed with the health professions counselor. Applicants who do not secure a position in the class must reapply on an annual basis and will be ranked the following year with all new applicants.

Nurse Aide Training:
Successfully complete the 75-hour Nurse Aide Training course (HSC-171 and HSC-174) with a grade of C or higher, or provide a current CNA certification card or proof of employment as a CNA (minimum of 500 hours).


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


  1. One full-year course (2 semesters) of high school Algebra II
    One semester of an equivalent math course (e.g., MAT-092, Intermediate Algebra)


  1. Biology: two semesters of high school/college preparatory biology
    One semester of an equivalent biology course (e.g., BIO-102 Introductory Biology and Lab)
  2. Chemistry: two semesters of high school/college preparatory chemistry
    One semester of an equivalent chemistry course (e.g., CHM-122 Intro to General Chemistry)

Computer Technology/Course Recommendations:
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, GED 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 is addressed in the ADN Student Handbook. Reentry requirements include current physicals/immunization records, current 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 Division Chair 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.

For graduates wishing to obtain a baccalaureate degree in nursing, the ADN program articulates into other BSN programs in Iowa. The University of Iowa College of Nursing offers its satellite RN to BSN Progression Program on the NIACC campus. Through this program RNs may complete all course work for their BSN locally and online.

The ADN program will have additional prerequisites for entry into the program beginning the Summer of 2016.

  • An ACT composite score of 20
  • BIO-102 Introductory Biology (3 s.h.) and BIO-103 Introductory Biology Lab (1 s.h.)
  • CHM-151 College Chemistry (4 s.h.)
  • A college algebra course (3 s.h.)
  • PSY-121 Introduction to Psychology (3 s.h.)

An accumulated GPA of 2.5 or higher is required for the courses listed above.

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

Overview & Employment | Program Information | Curriculum