10 Best ADN Programs in Illinois – (2-Year RN Programs)


Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH (Introduction), and Editorial Staff @ NursingProcess.org (School Profiles)

ADN programs in Illinois are the quickest route to a professional nursing career in the Land of Lincoln. Most associate degrees in nursing take two years or less to complete, which makes them attractive if you’re a budget-minded individual. You can always continue your nursing education later on because most ADN programs structure their class credits to be transferable. An ADN will prepare you to work in hospitals, clinics, and physician practices throughout the state, where you’ll earn $82,220 a year on average. You’ll enjoy job security, too, since the demand for ADN-educated nurses is projected to jump by 5 percent over the next decade. This guide to the 10 best ADN programs in Illinois will give you more information.


WHAT ARE THE BEST ADN PROGRAMS IN ILLINOIS (ONLINE AND CAMPUS)?

Based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the 10 best nursing schools for ADN programs in Illinois. You can complete most of these programs in 2 years.


1. Ambria College of Nursing - Hoffman Estates


Program Details: If you are aspiring to become a registered nurse in Illinois then Ambria College of Nursing is a great place to start your journey. The college offers one of the best ADN programs in Illinois that fully prepares graduates to take the NCLEX-RN exam. The program comprises a total of 77 credits in general education and nursing core courses. The nursing core courses, comprising 50 credits, cover topics such as pathophysiology, pharmacology, foundations of nursing, nursing health assessment, nutrition, adult health nursing, psychiatric nursing, maternity nursing, and nursing leadership & management. In addition, the 27-credit general education coursework includes courses in anatomy & physiology, psychology, sociology, and microbiology.


Why Choose This Program

• Ambria College of Nursing’s ADN program is taught by an experienced faculty who is committed to providing high-quality education.
• Ambria College of Nursing’s ADN program provides students with learning opportunities at a state-of-the-art laboratory and simulation center.
• Ambria College of Nursing’s ADN program provides strong support. If you choose this 2-year RN program in Illinois, you will be able to access services such as academic advising, counseling, and resources for the NCLEX-RN exam preparation.


2. John A. Logan College - Carterville


Program Details: John A. Logan College’s associate degree in nursing is designed to equip students with relevant skills & knowledge to practice as professional nurses. This ADN program in Illinois comprises a total of 64.5 credits. The program spans four semesters and covers topics such as human anatomy & physiology, fundamentals of nursing, pharmacology, adult nursing, med-surgical nursing, and mental health nursing.


Why Choose This Program

• John A. Logan College’s ADN program offers flexible scheduling options. Students may opt for part-time, full-time, or hybrid online coursework, depending on their preference.
• John A. Logan College’s ADN program is one of the most affordable 2-year RN programs in Illinois.
• John A. Logan College’s ADN program promotes community engagement. Students participate in community outreach programs where they not only gain real-world practice but also serve the health needs of the local community.


3. Southeastern Illinois College - Harrisburg


Program Details: Whether you desire career stability or want to make a difference in the lives of your community, Southeastern Illinois College’s ADN program helps you reach your goals. Another one of the best 2-year RN programs in Illinois, the program emphasizes the key competencies of patient-centric care, interprofessional collaboration, evidence-based practice, quality improvement, patient safety, and informatics. The program starts with 17 credits of pre-requisite courses, followed by 28 credits in nursing core courses.


Why Choose This Program

• Southeastern Illinois College’s ADN program boasts of a 100% pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam.
• Southeastern Illinois College’s ADN program maintains small-sized classes where the student-to-faculty ratio seldom exceeds 17:1.
• Southeastern Illinois College offers several free student services. Students of this 2-year nursing program in Illinois may avail of services such as career counseling, mental health counseling, and tutoring.


4. Shawnee Community College - Ullin


Program Details: Shawnee Community College’s ADN program is comprehensive and includes rigorous didactic and clinical training. The program starts in the fall semester, teaching you concepts in med-surgical nursing, maternal-child nursing, mental health nursing, healthcare diversity, and med-surgical nursing. Similar to other 2-year nursing programs in Illinois, this program is open to high school graduates who want to obtain the registered nurse licensure. To graduate, students must complete a minimum of 64 credits.


Why Choose This Program

• Shawnee Community College’s ADN program is offered with part-time and full-time options.
• Shawnee Community College’s ADN program is offered in small classes where students receive one-on-one attention. The individualized attention enhances the quality of education and provides an overall engaging learning experience.
• Shawnee Community College’s ADN focuses on practical skills, empowering students with ample clinical training before they transition to the workforce.


5. Southwestern Illinois College - Belleville


Program Details: Southwestern Illinois College’s ADN program provides an excellent stepping stone to a career as a registered nurse. Grounded in the art and science of nursing, the program is counted among the best ADN programs in Illinois. The program is structured to equip students with the essential nursing competencies. Some of the topics you learn about include fundamentals of nursing, nursing ethics & professionalism, adult health nursing, pharmacology, pathophysiology, surgical nursing, maternal & child nursing, and community health nursing.


Why Choose This Program

• Students choose Southwestern Illinois College’s ADN program because it is one of the more affordable ADN programs in Illinois.
• Southwestern Illinois College’s ADN college provides students with exceptional clinical experiences that begin in the first semester of the program and continue throughout.
• Southwestern Illinois College’s ADN classes are offered with day and evening options. Clinical experiences are also scheduled during the day, evening, or weekend.
• Southwestern Illinois College’s ADN was established in 1964. The program is proudly the state’s first ADN program.


6. Joliet Junior College - Joliet


Program Details: Joliet Junior College’s associate degree in nursing combines theoretical knowledge with lab and clinical training to provide students with a well-rounded learning experience. The program leads to the NCLEX-RN licensure and a successful career as a registered nurse. Students of this ADN program in Illinois complete a total of 72 credits in general education and nursing courses. Some of the classes you take include microbiology, human anatomy & physiology, nutrition, basic nursing scenarios, pharmacology, and concepts in nursing practice.


Why Choose This Program

• Joliet Junior College’s ADN program offers students ample clinical practice in its state-of-the-art simulation labs.
• Joliet Junior College’s ADN graduates report an excellent pass rate on the NLCEX-RN exam. The program consistently has above-average pass rates.
• Joliet Junior College maintains partnerships with several four-year institutions to allow ADN students a seamless transfer either to a BSN or MSN program.
• Joliet Junior College offers competitive tuition costs. If you choose this ADN program in Illinois, you’ll be able to save considerable tuition dollars.


7. Kaskaskia College - Centralia


Program Details: When counting the reputable ADN programs in Illinois, you cannot miss out on the ADN program offered by Kaskaskia College. The program equips graduates with the knowledge and skills required to provide competent patient care. The program spans four semesters and includes topics such as the fundamentals of nursing, dosage calculations, basic concepts in pharmacology, lifespan growth & development, and anatomy & physiology. In addition, you also learn about psychology and the nursing care of individuals & families across the lifespan.


Why Choose This Program

• Kaskaskia College’s ADN program not only boasts of an excellent pass rate on the NCLEX-RN exam, but the program also takes pride in the impressive placement rate of its graduates.
• Kaskaskia College’s ADN program provides students with excellent clinical training, starting as early as the first week of the program.
• Kaskaskia College’s ADN students practice skills in a state-of-the-art nursing education center which is a well-equipped simulation lab. Also, students obtain real-world practice at a variety of clinical sites, located rather conveniently.


8. Oakton College - Des Plaines


Program Details: If you are aspiring to a career as a registered nurse, then Oakton College’s ADN is an excellent choice. This ADN program in Illinois is a 67.5-credit comprehensive curriculum that includes general education and nursing courses. While the general education courses focus on liberal arts, the nursing courses cover topics such as human development, microbiology, maternal-child nursing concepts, nursing pharmacology, and basic and advanced nursing concepts.


Why Choose This Program

• Oakton College’s ADN has earned a reputation for the high-quality, affordable nursing education it offers.
• Oakton College’s ADN program has produced more than 2,400 highly skilled nurse graduates who have obtained an ADN and are serving the health needs of the state’s diverse patient populations.
• Oakton College’s ADN students are provided with learning opportunities in a state-of-the-art simulation hospital. This ADN program in Illinois also provides real-world experiences in a variety of healthcare settings.


9. McHenry County College - Crystal Lake


Program Details: The ADN program at McHenry County College, prepares graduates for high-quality patient care as a registered nurse. This 2-year nursing program in Illinois is a 66-credit curriculum, comprising support core and nursing core courses. Students are taught various topics such as evidence-based practice, nutrition, fundamentals of nursing theory, psychiatric nursing, concepts of family nursing, complex issues in healthcare, and nursing leadership. Upon completion of this program, graduates are prepared to take the NCLEX-RN exam.


Why Choose This Program

• McHenry County College’s ADN program partners with several leading four-year institutions that allow for a seamless transfer either to a BSN or MSN program.
• McHenry County College’s ADN program boasts of high pass rates on the NCLEX-RN exam. This 2-year RN program in Illinois consistently reports higher pass rates than state and national averages.
• McHenry County College’s ADN graduates are fully prepared not only to work in a variety of healthcare settings, but they are also well-equipped for different nursing specialties.


10. College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn


Program Details: College of DuPage offers a great option for aspiring registered nurses. Another one of the well-known ADN programs in Illinois, the college’s ADN program not only prepares graduates for the NCLEX-RN exam but also makes them eligible for the PN exam right at mid-point. Therefore, students will be able to work as LPNs while continuing to complete their associate degree courses. The ADN coursework is 70-credit coursework that covers topics such as physical assessment, pathophysiology, pharmacology, complex health problems, human anatomy & physiology, microbiology, and nursing care for individuals and families across the lifespan.


Why Choose This Program

• College of DuPage’s ADN students practice skills using real-world equipment in its advanced four-bed simulation lab. The clinical training also includes practice in 50 different types of patient scenarios.
• College of DuPage’s ADN program has an NCLEX-RN pass rate of more than 95 percent. The excellent academic outcome of this 2-year RN program in Illinois is a result of the rigorous theoretical and clinical training it provides.
• College of DuPage’s ADN program allows for a seamless transfer of credits to several four-year institutions in the state.
• College of DuPage’s ADN program provides qualifying students the opportunity to participate in the Alpha Delta Nu National Honor Society.


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ADN Programs in Other States