What is an ADN Program? - The Complete Guide

Written By: Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org

An ADN program is an excellent opportunity to start off your career in nursing. These two-year programs provide the basic knowledge and experience you need to secure an entry-level position as a registered nurse (RN). Here, you will learn everything you need to know about ADN programs, what they entail, and how to choose the right one for your needs.

What Is an ADN Program?

ADN stands for associate degree in nursing. It is typically a two-year program that provides you with the education and hands-on experience you need to work as an RN in a hospital, nursing home, outpatient facility, clinic, or even as a home health nurse. Program completion allows you to sit for the NCLEX-RN examination in your state, and you must pass this exam to receive your licensure. As an RN, you will work alongside doctors and other healthcare providers to diagnose, treat, and educate patients, families, or even entire communities.


Is the ADN Program for Me?

An associate degree in nursing is right for you if you have an innate desire to help others, a strong work ethic, and the ability to make quick decisions under stress. This degree is also ideal for aspiring RNs who want to enter the workforce as quickly as possible, but who also want a solid framework for further education in the future.

Benefits of ADN Compared To BSN?

For many aspiring RNs, there are benefits associated with pursuing an ADN as opposed to a BSN.

• An ADN takes roughly two years to complete as compared to the four years it takes to complete a BSN program.
• Because this program is much shorter, you can enter the workforce more quickly.
• When it comes to program costs, ADN programs are roughly half the cost of BSN programs.
• More schools nationwide offer ADN programs than BSN programs, so it may be easier to find an ADN program closer to home.

Where is the ADN Program Offered?

ADN programs are offered by a variety of different institutions and organizations. You are most likely to find an ADN program in a technical, vocational, or community college, but some state universities provide this degree, as well. In some states, you may even be able to obtain your ADN degree through hospitals offering training programs.

Why Approval by State Board of Nursing/Regulatory Body (BON/RB) is Important?

When choosing an ADN program, it is vital that it is approved by your state’s board of nursing or nursing regulatory body. In all states across America, you are only eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam if you completed your ADN program at an approved school.

ADN Accreditation

If an ADN program is accredited, this means that it meets or exceeds standards set forth by the organizations that provided the accreditation. Schools offering ADN programs are not legally required to become accredited; it is a voluntary process.

A. Who Accredits ADN Programs?

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) is the organization that accredits ADN programs in the United States. It is recognized by the United States Department of Education as a specialized accreditor for nursing education programs across the country.

B. Why You Should Attend an ACEN Accredited Program?

Attending a program that is accredited by the ACEN is beneficial in a few different ways. First, you may not be able to secure federal grants or loans for a non-accredited program. What’s more, accreditation may be required if you choose to pursue higher education later and wish to transfer your credits or complete a bridge program, whether for a BSN or MSN. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, employers prefer to hire RNs who completed programs held to very high educational standards.

C. How to Check If the Program I Plan to Attend Is Accredited?

To discover whether a certain program you are considering is accredited by the ACEN, you can visit the organization’s website and use their helpful search tool.

D. What If the Program I Plan to Attend Is Not Accredited?

If the program you are considering is not accredited by the ACEN, it is important to reconsider your choice. State nursing boards and regulatory bodies often approve schools based on their accreditation, and if the school loses its state approval before you graduate, you may be ineligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. You may also find that you cannot transfer your credits if you choose to pursue an RN to BSN or RN to MSN degree in the future, which can be a tremendous setback.

State Wise Breakdown of Schools Offering Accredited ADN Programs

State # of ADN Programs
Alabama 22
Alaska 2
Arizona 17
Arkansas 10
California 25
Colorado 14
Connecticut 8
Delaware 3
District of Columbia 1
Florida 42
Georgia 18
Hawaii 4
Idaho 4
Illinois 28
Indiana 6
Iowa 4
Kansas 16
Kentucky 16
Louisiana 11
Maine 7
Maryland 13
Massachusetts 20
Michigan 17
Minnesota 15
Mississippi 17
Missouri 13
Montana 5
Nebraska 5
Nevada 6
New Hampshire 8
New Jersey 15
New Mexico 14
New York 51
North Carolina 21
North Dakota 2
Ohio 32
Oklahoma 15
Oregon 4
Pennsylvania 23
Rhode Island 2
South Carolina 13
South Dakota 2
Tennessee 15
Texas 39
Utah 9
Vermont 1
Virginia 19
Washington 23
West Virginia 10
Wisconsin 21
Wyoming 6
total 714

13 Questions to Ask When Picking an ADN Program

If you have decided to pursue an ADN degree after high school, the following questions can help ensure that you make the best possible choice for a secure future.

1. Is the Program Approved the State Board of Nursing/Regulatory Body (BON/RB)?

You can only sit for the mandatory NCLEX-RN licensure examination if you complete a program approved by your state’s nursing board or regulatory body.

2. Is the program ACEN accredited?

Non-accredited programs pose risks, including the inability to secure student loans or grants and the inability to put credits toward a RN to BSN or RN to MSN in the future. What’s more, non-accredited programs are at a significant risk of losing state nursing board or regulatory body approval.

3. What is the primary mode of instruction?

All nursing programs consist of a mix of instruction modes, and these include classroom instruction, hands-on clinical instruction, and simulated lab instruction. The best ADN programs are those that utilize lab simulations and clinicals throughout the entirety of the program to reinforce classroom lectures and learning.

4. Does the program offer flexible scheduling options?

In today’s fast-paced world, many students attending ADN programs are already in the workforce, whether they work as nursing aides, LPNs, or in another field entirely. Choosing a program with flexible scheduling is important in this case for balancing out your busy life.

5. How qualified is the faculty?

Aside from accreditation, it is also important to take a look at the faculty that will provide your education. Learn about their work history and experience and find out how long they have been nursing educators.

6. How much will the program cost?

Program cost is another important consideration, especially when it comes to ADN programs. Costs can fluctuate significantly from state to state and even from school to school. Look at not only the cost per credit hour or semester, but also the additional costs involved in purchasing books, uniforms, and other supplies.

7. Is financial aid available to students attending this Program?

The vast majority of students who attend ADN programs rely on at least some form of financial aid, whether that comes in the form of grants, scholarships, or even federal student loans. It is important to find out which of these options are available to you and whether or not you qualify for them.

8. What will the curriculum be Like?

Though the core courses required to complete an ADN do not vary much from one school to the next, the methods used to present that curriculum – and the order in which it is presented to you – might. Obtain a syllabus from each school you are considering and compare the courses as well as the order in which they are presented to you.

9. Does this program prepare me for NCLEX-RN?

In order to work as an RN anywhere in the US, you must first become licensed to do so. Simply completing an ADN does not automatically qualify you to work as an RN; you must first sit for (and pass) the NCLEX-RN exam. This is one of the most important questions to ask when considering an ADN program.

10. What percentage of graduates pass the NCLEX-RN Exam?

This is one of the most important questions you can ask about an ADN program. Since these programs are designed to prepare you for the NCLEX-RN exam, pass rates are a key indicator of quality.

11. What percentage of students graduate on-time?

If the vast majority of a school’s nursing students graduate from their programs on time, this is a good indicator of the program’s quality, and it shows that the faculty excels at giving students the education, experience, and tools they need for success.

12. Does the school provide career placement?

Though there is high demand for RNs in most parts of the country, it can be difficult for new graduates to find gainful employment immediately after program completion. Schools that provide career placement services can make it easier for you to get your foot in the door at a hospital, nursing home, or even home health company.

13. What percentage of students are employed upon graduation?

Finally, asking about the number of students who find employment immediately after, six months after, and even a year after graduation is beneficial. This is a primary indicator of how well the school’s ADN graduates perform in the real world.

Is it Possible to Simultaneously Work and Pursue an ADN Program?

Like many other types of associate degree programs, there are many ADN programs that are designed to be flexible enough to fit around your work schedule. If you work a full-time day job, look for programs that offer evening and night classes. Some schools even make some of the classroom curriculum available in an online setting.

When Does the ADN Program Start?

Again, this depends primarily on the school you choose. Some schools only offer a single start date, usually in the late fall. Other schools offer a little more flexibility with start dates in both early spring and late summer.

List of Most Common ADN Entrance Exams

Many of the nursing schools that offer ADN programs will require a minimum score on one of several college preparedness examinations.

SAT Test:

The SAT, or Scholastic Aptitude Test, is a measurement of your readiness for college-level courses. Though some schools do require a specific SAT score for entry, this is typically reserved for the ADN programs with the most competition.

ACT Test:

The ACT, or American College Test, is similar to the SAT. It is a standardized college readiness test, and some nursing schools require minimum scores for entry.


The ACCUPLACER test is a bit different in that it helps the school of your choice place you in the right courses to match your academic readiness. It is rare for nursing schools to require this exam.

Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS):

The TEAS examination is by far the most commonly-required entrance exam among US nursing schools. In fact, it is often a prerequisite; it shows that you have the potential to take and pass the general knowledge portions of your ADN program.

HESI Admission Assessment Exam:

The HESI exam, which stands for Health Education Systems Incorporated, is sometimes used to predict nursing students’ readiness for their licensure exams.

RN Pre-Admission Exam (PAX):

Finally, the RN pre-admission exam, or PAX, is a standardized entrance examination that some schools use during their admission process. This is uncommon for ADN programs but becomes more common for those seeking entry to BSN or MSN programs.

Are There any Prerequisite Courses Required to Get into ADN?

An ADN program has very few prerequisites. For the most part, you will only need to show that you have a high school diploma, which satisfies core course requirements.

What Are the Admission Requirements for ADN?

Different programs have different prerequisites, so it is important to consider each school’s requirements. Schools that have limited-placement programs have the strictest admission guidelines and prerequisite requirements. On average, you will need the following to enter an ADN program:

• High school diploma or GED
• High school transcripts
• Cumulative GPA between 2.0 and 2.5
• Prerequisite courses such as chemistry, statistics, algebra, or nutrition
• Proof of ACT, SAT, TEAS, or other exam scores
• Physical health assessment
• Criminal background check
• Recent drug screening
• CPR screening

How Long Does it Take To Complete an ADN Program?

Almost every traditional ADN program in the US takes two years to complete. Most are four semesters in length, but others may require five, especially if you must take certain general education prerequisites.

How Much Will the ADN Program Cost?

Costs associated with completing an ADN program vary significantly from school to school and from state to state. Public schools, such as vocational, technical, and community colleges, tend to have the lowest tuition rates. Students nationwide pay anywhere from $4,651 to $135,759 for their degrees. Public schools are more affordable, and students who obtain ADNs from these types of schools pay between $4,651 and $45,282, on average. Private schools cost the most, and on average, students pay between $5,939 and $135,759 to complete their ADN at these types of schools.

Total Cost of Attendance
Type of Nursing School Total Cost
Public $4,651 - $45,282
Private $5,939 - $135,759

Breakdown of Costs For ADN Programs

When it comes to determining the overall cost of completing your ADN program, there are numerous things to consider. Aside from tuition, there are other fees, books and supplies, medical and insurance costs, and even the costs associated with obtaining your license to consider.

A. Tuition:

Tuition costs are the number one consideration for aspiring nursing students. Tuition ranges from $1,896 to $127,957 for the two-year ADN program based on the school you attend and the state in which you live. Fortunately, there are federal grants, financial aid, and even student loans available to help you cover some or even all of these costs. If you are interested in obtaining financial aid, you will need to fill out the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, early on.

Type of Nursing School Tuition Cost
Public $1,896 - $37,480
Private $3,184 - $127,957

B. Books & Supplies:

Other costs to consider include those associated with buying textbooks and necessary supplies. The table below shows a breakdown of the different supplies you may need to purchase during the course of your associate degree in nursing program.

Type Cost
Nursing Books $1,100 - $4,200
Bandage Scissors $5-$10
Blood Pressure Cuff Kit $30 - $65
Calculator $10-$25
Nursing Pin $45 - $100
Shoes $50-100
Stethoscope $25 - $120
Uniforms $200 - $250
Wrist Watch with Second Hand $20 - $120
Total Cost $1,520 - $5,035

C. Fees:

It is also important to consider costs associated with things like background checks, drug screens, application fees, and college readiness exams. Though these are often affordable enough on their own, they can quickly add up

Type Cost
TEAS Test $60
Application Fee $40 - $100
CPR $35 - $122
Criminal Background check $45 - $100
Drug Screen $35 - $55
Fingerprints $30 - $60
Graduation Fee $10 - $45
Nursing Laboratory Fee $250 - $850
Official Transcript Fee $5 - $20
Total Cost $510 - $1,412

D. Insurance and Medical:

Before you can work with patients in a clinical setting, you must be insured to do so, and you must have proof that you are physically healthy. There are costs associated with this, as well.

Type Cost
Liability Insurance $10 - $35
Malpractice Insurance $15 - $20
Physical Examination/Immunizations $400 - $800
Total Cost $425 - $855

E. Exam & Licensure Fees:

Finally, once you have completed your ADN program, there are further fees involved in applying for licensure and taking the NCLEX-RN examination.

Type Cost
Application for Licensure $100 - $300
NCLEX Exam Fee $200
Total Cost $300 - $500

What Types of Financial Aid is Available for ADN Programs?

Associate degree in nursing can be quite costly, but there are numerous ways to obtain financial help. The following are the most popular.

Federal Aid:

The federal government provides a variety of options for students who need help paying for their education. Grants, work-study programs, and more can cover part or all of your education. To qualify, you will need to complete the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid.


Student loans for are available through the US government, as well. These loans do come with interest, but they do provide you with time to seek employment after graduation before you have to start making payments. To apply for federal loans, visit the Student Aid government website.


Scholarships for ADN students vary drastically from state to state and from school to school. The best way to search for scholarship opportunities is to perform an internet search or speak with the Financial department of the schools you are interested in attending.

What Classes Will I Take During an ADN Program?

Human Anatomy:

You will learn the different parts of the human body, including systems, bones, organs, and how they all work together.

Human Physiology:

You will learn about different types of cells, tissues, and how various bodily systems work together. You will also learn the processes behind common viral, bacterial, and genetic diseases.

Allied Health Mathematics:

You will review basic arithmetic skills and learn about different systems of measurement commonly used in the healthcare industry.


You will study life at the microscopic level and learn more about the processes via which viruses, bacteria, and fungi can affect human health.


You will learn about human behaviors and mental illnesses as well as how people influence one another.


Pharmacology introduces you to drugs and other agents and teaches you how they interact with the human body, viruses, bacteria, fungi, and even each other.

Maternal and Child Nursing Care:

You will learn specifics about pregnancy, childbirth, infant care, and child healthcare.

Mental Health Nursing:

Mental health nursing will introduce you to the concept of how common mental health disorders can affect patients and teach you to provide therapeutic nursing care to individuals with mental health disorders.

Nursing Process & Practice:

You will learn basic concepts that are essential to the everyday nursing practice, including nursing procedures, ethics, and care.

Lifespan Growth and Development:

You will learn about the different stages of the human lifecycle, how human beings grow and develop, and how to provide therapeutic nursing care throughout every stage of life.

Human Nutrition:

You will learn the essential roles nutrition can play in human health and how a proper diet can prevent or even help treat certain illnesses.

General Biology:

This is a study of organisms, including plants and animals, ecology, biodiversity, and ecosystems.

General Chemistry:

You will learn the basic concepts of general chemistry, including volumetric and gravimetric analysis and how to determine the chemical and physical properties of a substance or object.

English Composition:

You will learn the fundamentals of writing, especially when it comes to the writing process. You will also learn how to write with purpose for a specific audience.

Nursing Ethics:

Nursing ethics will teach you about the history of ethics in healthcare, how ethics applies to nursing and medicine in general, and how to provide ethical healthcare to every patient you encounter.

Principles of Sociology:

You will learn about social dynamics as they apply to communities, families, marriages, parent/child relationships, and others.

Acute and Chronic Health Problems:

This is a study of a variety of health problems that plague individuals, families, and communities, as well as the various treatment options.

Family Health Nursing:

You will learn about family development and behaviors, health and wellness, and more as it applies to a family setting.

Public Speaking:

You will learn how to compile and present information to groups confidently.


Finally, a practicum, or “clinicals”, provides you with hands-on training designed to help reinforce classroom coursework and provide valuable nursing experience.

Clinical Practicum for ADN Programs

Clinical practicums are requirements in every ADN program across the country. These practicums are vital for your success and learning more about them can help you better prepare.

What Is Clinical Practicum?

Clinical training provides real-life insight into the daily life of an RN. You will treat real patients alongside a physician or licensed nurse.

How Many Clinical Hours Will I Need to Complete?

The required number of clinical hours varies from state to state, but the average is roughly 200 hours.

Where Will I Do My Clinical Practicum?

You will complete your clinical practicum at a healthcare facility that partners with the school you choose. This may be a hospital, a doctor’s office, a trauma center, or another type of facility.

Does Clinical Practicum Count as Valid Work Experience?

Because much of your clinical training is simple and performed under the direct supervision of a doctor or nurse, it does not count as actual work experience.

Challenges I Might Face During an ADN Program

An ADN program can be challenging for some students, particularly for those who struggle to work with the sick or injured. This can be overcome with time. You may also find the long hours tiring, especially when it comes to completing clinicals alongside your classroom education. Eating right, staying hydrated, and getting plenty of rest can help you get through this trying time.

Do I have an Opportunity to Specialize?

Though the ADN program itself does not provide alternative courses or clinical opportunities for those who want to specialize in a specific area of medicine, you may be able to request to complete clinicals in a certain area, such as maternity, pediatrics, or emergency care.

Learning Outcome of an Associate Degree in Nursing

During your ADN program, you will learn a variety of skills and hone abilities that will help you provide outstanding and ethical patient care resulting in positive outcomes.


You will develop your critical thinking, decision-making, and interpersonal skills during your ADN program. You will also learn how chart, how to communicate effectively, and how to perform a variety of medical procedures. You will also develop the skills necessary to play a vital role in patients’ healthcare teams as it relates to developing treatment plans and educating patients and their families.


You will also gain a wealth of knowledge covering a variety of subjects during your program. This includes basic medical terminology, human anatomy, pharmacology, and more. You will also gain valuable knowledge regarding legal and ethical healthcare, which will serve you well throughout your career and assist you in treating patients with dignity and respect.


After completing your ADN, you will have gained several new abilities. You will be able to properly measure and administer patient medication, clean and dress wounds, take patient histories, develop effective care plans, and communicate with other members of the healthcare team in an effort to provide the best possible patient outcomes.

Get Your RN License

In all 50 states, you will need a license to practice as a registered nurse. To obtain this license, you must complete an ADN program that is approved by your state’s nursing board or regulatory body. Following this, there are several other steps in the licensure process.

Apply for RN license:

The procedures for applying for a registered nursing license vary from state to state, but in all cases, you must apply through your state’s regulatory body or board of nursing.

Take NCLEX-RN Examination:

The NCLEX-RN examination is provided by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing and is administered by Pearson VUE. After submitting your licensure application to your state, you will need to register to take the exam via the Pearson VUE website or over the phone. You must pay for the exam at the time of registration, as well. The registration fee is $200, and it is nonrefundable. The exam is in multiple-choice format and it is divided into four general categories. You must answer 75 questions correctly to pass, but you may not attempt to answer more than 265 questions in total. Should you fail the exam on your first attempt, you will receive a Candidate Performance Report that lists your strengths and weaknesses, and this can serve as something of a study guide. Your state board of nursing determines how many times you can take the exam and the amount of time that must pass between each attempt.

Maintaining My License:

The rules for maintaining your RN license will vary drastically from state to state. Your state nursing board or regulatory body will provide you with a license expiry date, and you will need to renew it beforehand to continue working. Some states require you to pay a fee and work a certain number of hours to renew your license; others require no fees and give you the option to obtain CE credits in lieu of working the minimum number of hours.

Further Education Opportunities After ADN

An ADN is an excellent entry-level degree that can open many doors for you in your career. It can also be a solid foundation for a higher degree, including a BSN or MSN, which can allow you a higher salary, more lucrative positions, and even different careers within the nursing industry.

RN to BSN:

An RN to BSN program is designed to provide you with additional skills for providing superior patient care. There are roughly 750 accredited RN to BSN programs in the United States, and they take anywhere from 18 months to two years to complete. Once you have obtained your BSN degree, you can seek more lucrative employment, and you will likely earn a higher salary as a result.

RN to MSN:

An RN to MSN program is the next step in your journey if you are interested in career advancement above and beyond the title of registered nurse. With a master’s degree in nursing, you can pursue a specialization or become a nursing educator, both of which offer much higher salaries than an RN position.

Job Opportunities After ADN

After graduating from an ADN program, you can seek employment in a variety of settings. Each of these comes with its own unique set of benefits, and this allows you to choose an employer that fits your lifestyle, your needs, and even your location.


Hospitals are the number one employer of registered nurses across the country. You might work in a specific department, such as trauma, emergency, cardiac care, or maternity, or you might work in a general setting taking care of patients in the hospital for a variety of illnesses and injuries. You may work long hours, including overnights, weekends, and holidays since hospitals never close.

Nursing Care Facilities:

Nursing care facilities are also huge employers of registered nurses. These facilities are often viewed as transitional care centers for individuals who have an illness or injury that makes it difficult for them to live on their own. In this setting, you will not only provide medical care to your patients, but you will help them understand how to care for themselves when they return home.

Doctor’s Offices:

Registered nurses who work in doctor’s offices have a more predictable career. They talk directly with patients about symptoms, answer care questions over the phone, and assist doctors in patient exams. RNs also take vitals and may draw blood for labs depending on the state. If you choose to work in a doctor’s office, you will likely work daytime hours and only on weekdays.

Outpatient Care Centers:

Outpatient care centers range from urgent care centers to dialysis centers. Nurses in these settings perform a variety of duties ranging from medical to administrative. Hours can vary depending on the type of facility and location, but for the most part, they are predictable.

Home Healthcare Services:

More RNs than ever before are entering the home healthcare industry in order to help their patients remain in their homes despite medical needs. If you choose this field, you will travel from home to home to care for your patients, and you may be asked to work days, evenings, and nights even on holidays and weekends.

Colleges & Universities:

Colleges and universities also employ registered nurses in their on-campus medical centers, which are much like doctors’ offices. In this setting, you will care for student patients who are experiencing illness or injury, and you will likely work daytime hours only on the weekdays.

Offices of Other Health Practitioners:

Health practitioners like dermatologists, obstetricians, podiatrists, and even plastic surgeons employ registered nurses to round out the patient care team. Pay and hours vary drastically depending on the practitioner.

Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities:

Retirement communities and assisted living facilities are huge employers of RNs. Elderly individuals who can no longer safety live alone often move into these communities where they can be cared for and looked after by medical staff. You may work days, evenings, or overnights, and because these facilities do not close, you will likely work weekends and holidays, as well.

What Is the Future for an ADN Nurse?

Registered nurses graduating with ADN degrees will experience a great deal of job security in coming years for many different reasons. Employers often hire candidates with ADN degrees to fill entry-level positions in hospitals, assisted living facilities, and nursing care facilities above all else. The aging population will require more health professionals as the years pass, and thanks to recent legislation, more people than ever have access to healthcare allowing them to see their doctors, go to hospitals, and live in long-term care facilities. This, along with advances in medicine and technology, will increase the demand for high-quality care and the demand for RNs to provide it.

ADN Nurses Employment 10 Year New Jobs Growth Projection (2017-2027) Projected Annual Job Openings (New + Replacement)
2017 2027 Growth in Number Growth in %
959,260 1,072,640 113,380 11.82% 64,140
(Source: In-House Research, May 2018)

How Much Do ADN Program Graduates Make?

After you complete your ADN, the salary you will earn for an entry level position depends on your location and your employer. Roughly 10% of all RNs with ADN degrees earn under $47,100 each year, and this is an accurate reflection of the salary for new graduates. However, as time goes on, and as you obtain more experience and a reputation for excellence, you will earn even more. The average RN with an ADN degree in the US earns $70,820 annually, and the highest-paid 10%, representing those with the most experience and best reputations for care, earn above $100,700 annually.

Percent of ADN Nurses Hourly Wages Monthly Salary Annual Salary
10% Under $22.64 Under $3,930 Under $47,100
15% $22.64 - $26.66 $3,930 - $4,620 $47,100 - $55,460
25% $26.66 - $32.55 $4,620 - $5,640 $55,460 - $67,710
25% $32.55 - $39.98 $5,640 - $6,930 $67,710 - $83,150
15% $39.98 - $48.41 $6,930 - $8,390 $83,150 - $100,700
10% Above $48.41 Above $8,390 Above $100,700
Average $34.05 $5,900 $70,820
(Source: In-House Research, May 2018)

ADN Nurse Salary By State

The state in which you live is a huge determining factor when it comes to salary. For example, registered nurses with an ADN in California earn more than anywhere else in the country while RNs with an ADN in Alabama tend to earn less.

State Average Hourly Wages Annual Salary Range Average Annual Salary
Alabama $26.94 $40,520 - $75,250 $56,040
Alaska $41.08 $60,230 - $115,310 $85,440
Arizona $35.20 $52,590 - $96,100 $73,210
Arkansas $27.42 $40,370 - $76,400 $57,030
California $48.55 $62,320 - $146,270 $100,990
Colorado $34.06 $51,640 - $94,610 $70,840
Connecticut $37.43 $55,480 - $100,130 $77,860
Delaware $34.12 $52,570 - $94,730 $70,960
District of Columbia $41.46 $55,400 - $124,580 $86,230
Florida $30.17 $45,300 - $81,770 $62,760
Georgia $31.17 $45,190 - $86,510 $64,840
Hawaii $45.68 $61,290 - $122,460 $95,020
Idaho $30.06 $43,790 - $81,190 $62,530
Illinois $33.70 $47,450 - $96,860 $70,090
Indiana $28.92 $42,170 - $79,740 $60,160
Iowa $26.96 $41,010 - $74,690 $56,070
Kansas $28.00 $41,730 - $76,770 $58,230
Kentucky $28.59 $42,130 - $77,680 $59,470
Louisiana $29.24 $41,370 - $81,640 $60,820
Maine $30.84 $45,940 - $85,910 $64,150
Maryland $35.22 $52,330 - $97,060 $73,250
Massachusetts $41.92 $54,640 - $127,400 $87,190
Michigan $32.34 $50,810 - $87,110 $67,260
Minnesota $36.28 $52,470 - $98,280 $75,460
Mississippi $27.05 $39,940 - $75,800 $56,260
Missouri $29.27 $41,580 - $83,590 $60,880
Montana $31.02 $49,150 - $83,270 $64,530
Nebraska $29.01 $44,000 - $77,850 $60,350
Nevada $39.83 $62,290 - $104,930 $82,840
New Hampshire $32.93 $49,530 - $92,550 $68,500
New Jersey $38.14 $56,970 - $102,250 $79,330
New Mexico $32.95 $50,670 - $90,440 $68,530
New York $39.13 $52,280 - $113,630 $81,380
North Carolina $29.06 $43,040 - $79,450 $60,440
North Dakota $29.53 $47,390 - $77,400 $61,430
Ohio $30.52 $48,370 - $81,360 $63,490
Oklahoma $28.63 $42,590 - $77,100 $59,540
Oregon $41.87 $62,950 - $114,660 $87,090
Pennsylvania $32.81 $48,300 - $93,530 $68,240
Rhode Island $35.90 $54,120 - $96,740 $74,670
South Carolina $29.14 $43,220 - $78,570 $60,610
South Dakota $26.71 $40,670 - $74,620 $55,560
Tennessee $28.00 $41,270 - $76,570 $58,240
Texas $33.78 $50,190 - $95,120 $70,270
Utah $29.26 $44,000 - $78,770 $60,870
Vermont $32.64 $50,480 - $92,050 $67,890
$67,890 $31.60 $44,110 - $91,530 $65,730
Washington $37.44 $52,090 - $108,850 $77,880
West Virginia $28.19 $40,700 - $77,480 $58,640
Wisconsin $32.52 $50,980 - $89,030 $67,650
Wyoming $30.16 $44,400 - $82,190 $62,730
Puerto Rico $15.84 $23,170 - $46,440 $32,950
Virgin Islands $27.44 $36,840 - $76,030 $57,080
(Source: In-House Research, May 2018)

I am an International Student Can I Apply for an Associate Degree in Nursing Program?

Students from other countries outside the US can absolutely enroll in ADN programs across the country. Admission requirements will vary from one school to the next, so if you are outside the US and interested in a particular program, contact the school’s admissions department for specific information. In order to work as an RN in the United States, you must obtain the necessary visas and approval to live and work in the US.

Admission Requirements

Though admission requirements will vary significantly from program to program, most schools require the following:

• Proof of an F1 or J1 visa
• Foreign transcript evaluation for prerequisite courses and diploma equivalency
• 3.0 GPA (or the equivalent)
• English proficiency and fluency
• Minimum SAT, ACT, or TEAS scores
• Clear criminal history
• Passed drug screening

How to Find the Best ADN Program Near Me?

If you are interested in pursuing an ADN program, the map below makes it easy to pinpoint the absolute best options in your state. Just click on the state where you live to view a list of schools and programs near you.

Best ADN Programs State Wise
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

  • Best BSN Programs State Wise
  • California
  • Florida
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia

  • Other Nursing Program Guides
  • What is a BSN Degree? - The Complete Guide

  • Best Nursing Schools in your State
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin