4 Best ADN Programs in San Diego – 2024


Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

Graduates of ADN programs in San Diego earn $117,830 per year. That’s a great salary for a program that can be completed in two years or less, isn’t it? And those two years will give you all the core knowledge you need to pass the NCLEX-RN. Why rack up additional educational debt when you can be a highly valued professional in San Diego’s thriving healthcare industry in just two years? If you change your mind and decide to go back to school later, with an ADN, you’ll have a solid foundation for your BSN studies. Learn all there is to know about the 4 best ADN programs in San Diego for 2024 below.



WHAT ARE THE BEST ADN PROGRAMS IN SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (ONLINE & CAMPUS) FOR 2024?

Based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the 4 Best ADN Programs in San Diego (Online & Campus) for 2024.

1. San Diego City College - San Diego


About San Diego City College: San Diego City College, established more than 100 years ago, has been training students for success in a variety of in-demand health careers, nursing being one of them. With a student population that comes from all walks of life, San Diego City College provides ADN students with a culturally rich environment that enhances professional as well as personal growth.


San Diego City College ADN Program Details: This ADN program in San Diego prepares you for entry-level nursing positions in a variety of healthcare settings, including clinics, home health, hospitals, etc. The program comprising 63 credits, equips you with skills in critical thinking, communication, and professionalism. Upon completion of this program, you’ll be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam. The program spans four semesters, with each course being eight weeks long.


San Diego City College ADN Coursework: The coursework is comprehensive, covering key topics such as foundations of nursing, pharmacology, psychosocial, gerontology, medical-surgical nursing, and leadership in nursing. Upon completion of this coursework, you’ll obtain proficiency in health promotion, healthcare informatics, legal & ethical issues, pathophysiology, patient advocacy & research, and evidence-based practice.


San Diego City College ADN Clinical Training Details: The clinical training for this ADN program in San Diego comprises a total of 19 units. Through lab simulation and practicum experiences, you’ll complete around 200 hours. You’ll obtain practical learning in nursing foundations, medical-surgical nursing, maternal child health nursing, and nursing leadership.


San Diego City College ADN Admission Requirements: San Diego City College’s ADN program is open to high school graduates who have completed pre-requisite courses in biology, microbiology, human anatomy, and human physiology with a GPA of at least 2.5. Additionally, the program requires you to have a TEAS score of at least 62%. To complete the application, you must submit all your official transcripts.


Why Choose San Diego City College ADN Program

• San Diego City College’s ADN program reports impressive pass rates on the NCLEX-RN exam.
• San Diego City College is a military-friendly school that allows for a smooth transition for ADN students coming from the military.
• During the 100 years of its existence, San Diego City College has established strong ties with industry partners in San Diego. Therefore, as an ADN student, you can expect to complete your clinical training at a variety of clinical sites across the city.


2. Southwestern College - Chula Vista


About Southwestern College: If you are keen on enrolling in one of the best ADN programs in San Diego, then Southwestern College’s ADN program can be a great option. The college’s campus, based in Chula Vista is just a stone’s throw away from San Diego. Being located close to the Mexico border, the college serves a diverse student population.


Southwestern College ADN Program Details: Within two years of study, Southwestern College’s ADN program prepares you for the NCLEX-RN and a career as a registered nurse. The program trains you with the relevant skills and knowledge to be able to provide care for male and female patients of all age groups. The curriculum comprises 54 credits of core courses and electives.


Southwestern College ADN Coursework: The ADN coursework begins with the fundamentals of nursing and a class in pathophysiology and pharmacology. In the second semester, you’ll learn about maternal & child nursing. The third semester emphasizes adult nursing, health promotion, and disease prevention. During the fourth semester, you’ll learn about concepts in nursing leadership and gerontology nursing. Also, during every semester, you’ll complete clinicals, simultaneously related to the theoretical courses.


Southwestern College ADN Clinical Training Details: The clinical training requires you to complete around 15 hours per week each semester. To fulfill this requirement, you’ll be required to visit health agencies and hospitals, for which you must be prepared to commute to the site. The total clinical hours sum up to around 200. The clinicals start with the fundamentals of nursing, after which you’ll gain practice in maternal & child nursing, adult nursing, gerontology nursing, and nursing leadership.


Southwestern College ADN Admission Requirements: Admission into Southwestern College’s ADN program is a holistic process. To be eligible, you must have a high school diploma or GED. Also, to complete your application, you are required to submit your unofficial transcripts, your TEAS score of not less than 62%, and a copy of your CPR certification. Other requirements include the completion of prerequisite courses in human anatomy, physiology, microbiology, and psychology. Besides, any volunteering, or work experience in health care will enhance your odds of admission.


Why Choose Southwestern College ADN Program

• Southwestern College’s ADN program, allows a seamless transfer to nursing programs available at San Diego State University which include a BSN, RN to BSN, MSN, and the LVN to RN program.
• Southwestern College’s ADN program offers a wide choice of electives that can be taken to fulfill the total graduation requirements. You’ll be able to choose from topics such as dosage calculation, physical assessment, and critical care, or complete a nursing practicum.
• Southwestern College’s ADN program is offered in a conducive learning environment that promotes equity, diversity, and inclusion.


3. Glendale Career College - San Diego


About Glendale Career College: Glendale Career College offers one of the best ADN programs in San Diego. Offering high-quality programs since 1946, the college has more than 70 years of experience in training successful professionals. The college offers its nursing education at its Marsha Fuerst School of Nursing where competent nurses are produced.


Glendale Career College ADN Program Details: This ADN program in San Diego is a great stepping stone to a rewarding career as a registered nurse. The program offers a well-rounded education, not only covering all aspects of nursing care but also offering a fine blend of didactic training, lab work, and clinical practice. The program spans six semesters, each semester being 16 weeks long, and taking around two years to complete. Offered at the college’s San Diego campus, the program prepares you for the NCLEX-RN exam.

As a graduate of this program, you’ll be able to explore lucrative employment positions in various types of healthcare settings including hospitals, medical clinics, schools, government health organizations, and home healthcare services, to name a few.


Glendale Career College ADN Coursework: The coursework covers topics such as the fundamentals of nursing, medical-surgical nursing, mental health, obstetrics, pharmacology, and physiology. Some of the courses you take include anatomy, physiology, microbiology, psychology, communications, growth & development, medical surgical nursing, pediatric nursing care, obstetrical nursing care, mental health nursing care, and pharmacological nursing care. The coursework also includes a preparatory course for the NCLEX-RN exam.


Glendale Career College ADN Clinical Training Details: Glendale Career College’s ADN program takes you through extensive clinical training in a variety of healthcare settings. In addition, you’ll also hone clinical skills at the college’s simulation lab. To complete the 200 hours, you’ll participate in patient care, wound care, medication administration, and monitoring of vital signs.


Glendale Career College ADN Admission Requirements: This ADN program in San Diego is offered three times a year, in spring, summer, and fall. To qualify for admission, you must meet the admission criteria. The school requires you to go through two phases of the admission process. To be considered, you must have a high school diploma, and a TEAS score of at least 60%. You are also required to submit two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and your official transcripts.


Why Choose Glendale Career College ADN Program

• Glendale Career College’s mobile simulation lab is equipped with hi-fidelity mannequins, offering ADN students the thorough clinical practice that they need in a safe, hospital-like environment.
• Glendale Career College’s ADN program graduates will be part of a large alumni network, comprising more than 55,000 Glendale Career College graduates.
• Glendale Career College offers a supportive learning environment where the college’s faculty and staff are committed to your success as an ADN student.


4. North-West College - San Diego


About North-West College: North-West College has been committed to allied health education since 1966. With more than 55 years of experience in training skilled allied health professionals, the college has contributed towards better healthcare in San Diego and beyond. It offers a conducive learning environment to ADN students who are ready to kickstart their nursing careers. The college offers its ADN program at the Marsha Fuerst School of Nursing.


North-West College ADN Program Details: Similar to other accredited ADN programs in San Diego, this program too leads to the NCLEX-RN exam. The program spans 96 weeks and requires the completion of 76-semester credits. Upon passing the NCLEX-RN exam, you’ll earn the status of a registered nurse, after which you’ll be prepared to explore employment options in various patient-care settings across San Diego and beyond.


North-West College ADN Coursework: The coursework encompasses key areas of nursing, including nursing fundamentals, pharmacology, medical-surgical, mental health, obstetrics, and pediatrics. The coursework includes courses in anatomy, human physiology, microbiology, communication, sociology, and growth & development. You’ll gain didactic training in the fundamentals of nursing, concepts in medical-surgical nursing, pediatric nursing, obstetrical nursing, mental health nursing, and pharmacological nursing. The coursework ends with an NCLEX-RN prep course.


North-West College ADN Clinical Training Details: The clinical training for this ADN program in San Diego, starts in the third semester. The training typically takes place during the day. You’ll fulfill the clinical requirements in nursing fundamentals, medical surgical nursing care, pediatric nursing care, obstetrical nursing care, mental health nursing care, and pharmacological nursing care.


North-West College ADN Admission Requirements: To apply, you must have a high school diploma or equivalent. Also, you must have a TEAS score of at least 60%. To complete your application, you must be prepared to submit your transcripts, a personal statement, and letters of recommendation.


Why Choose North-West College ADN Program

• North-West College was established by Marsha Fuerst, the family that operates the Marsha Fuerst School of Nursing which offers the ADN program. Here, the environment is driven by passion and commitment to training high-quality nurses.
• North-West College’s ADN program is delivered by caring faculty members who work along with you in helping you reach your academic and professional goals. The instructors provide a perfect balance of didactic and practical training, thereby providing you with a solid professional grounding.
• North-West College offers an optimum learning environment. You’ll study in well-equipped classrooms and practice skills in a hi-fidelity mobile simulation lab.


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