9 Best ADN Programs in Kansas – (2-Year RN Programs)

Written By: Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH

Are you hesitant about becoming an RN because you think a four-year program is beyond your financial means? ADN programs in Kansas can prepare you to take the NCLEX-RN exam in just two years or less. An associate degree in nursing focuses on teaching you core skills and knowledge that will qualify you for registered nursing jobs in hospitals, clinics, and physician practices throughout the Sunflower State. ADN-prepared RNs earn $71,990 per year on average, and demand for their services is expected to rise by more than 7 percent over the next decade. To learn more, check out this list of the 9 best ADN programs in Kansas.


Based on our Ranking Methodology, the following are the 9 best nursing schools for ADN programs in Kansas. You can complete most of these programs in 2 years.

1. Johnson County Community College - Overland Park

Program Details: To attend Johnson County Community College’s 2-year nursing program in Kansas, you must be listed on the Kansas registry as a Kansas Certified Nurse Aide. The 66-credit curriculum includes prerequisites, corequisites, and core nursing courses such as “Foundational Concepts of Nursing I & II,” “Health Assessment and Skills for Nursing Practice,” and “Complex Concepts of Nursing” that aim to build nursing and critical thinking skills.

Johnson County Community College is known for its outstanding nursing simulation lab. The Zamierowski Family Center for Healthcare Simulation was designed to replicate an acute ward in a hospital and is equipped with infusion pumps and other sophisticated medical equipment. You’ll participate in clinical experiences at hospitals and other medical facilities in Overland Park and surrounding communities several days a week for shifts ranging from four to 12 hours.

Why Choose This Program

• You may be able to attend this program for free through the Kansas Promise Scholarship if you agree to work as an RN in Kansas for two years after you graduate.
• Johnson County Community College partners with the University of Kansas on a dual enrollment track that will allow you to enroll concurrently in JCCC’s ADN program in Kansas and UK’s Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree.
• Johnson County Community College’s aggregated NCLEX-RN pass rate for its associate nursing degree graduates exceeds 93 percent.

2. Manhattan Area Technical College - Manhattan

Program Details: Manhattan Area Technical College’s ADN program in Kansas is an LPN-to-RN bridge track specifically designed for licensed practical nurses who want to up their nursing game. The program typically admits no more than 24 students once a year in the fall. All incoming students must pass a medication exam with a score of 90 percent or higher before they can be admitted into the program.

The 24-credit curriculum focuses on the skills you’ll need to make a successful transition to the registered nurse role and consists of three courses: “RN Transition Course,” “Nursing Across the Lifespan,” and “Management of Patient Care.” Clinical, lab, and simulation instruction will also be essential to your learning process. Clinical experiences are integrated into lecture courses and occur at healthcare facilities in Manhattan, Kansas, and other parts of Riley and Pottawatomie Counties.

Why Choose This Program

• The three-year passing rate for Manhattan Area Technical College’s ADN graduates is more than 94 percent.
• 100 percent of Manhattan Area Technical College’s ADN graduates find employment in the nursing field within one year of graduation.

3. Barton Community College - Great Bend

Program Details: Barton Community College’s 2-year RN program in Kansas uses a ladder model. At the end of your first year of coursework, you’ll earn a practical nursing certificate and qualify to sit for the NCLEX-PN examination. Should you decide to continue with the program, you’ll complete your associate degree studies at the end of your second year and become eligible to take the NCLEX-RN test.

The 69-credit ADN track includes prerequisites and core nursing courses like “Pharmacology for Nurses,” “Medical Surgical Nursing I, II, & III,” and “Mental Health Nursing I & II.” Simulations in Barton Community College’s high-tech lab will help you develop the nursing skills you’ll need to handle real-life situations. Barton Community College maintains affiliations with a variety of healthcare facilities throughout Barton County that allow you to gain experience with direct patient care in med-surg, ICUs, obstetrics, mental health, and other practice settings.

Why Choose This Program

• Upon completion of admission requirements, qualified licensed practical nurses can be granted advanced placement into the third semester of Barton Community College’s ADN program.
• Barton Community College maintains articulation agreements facilitating the seamless transfer of credits from its ADN program to RN-to-BSN programs at Bethel College, Chamberlain College, Columbia College, Grantham University, Fort Hayes State University, Mid-America Nazarene University, Tabor College, University of Kansas, and Washburn University.
• Barton Community College has solidified its reputation as one of the best ADN programs in Kansas, with NCLEX-RN pass rates consistently above 92 percent.

4. Garden City Community College - Garden City

Program Details: Garden City Community College’s LPN-to-RN bridge track is another one of the ADN programs in Kansas that aims to streamline the entry of licensed practical nurses into the registered nursing role. The 64-credit curriculum takes three semesters to complete (not including prerequisites) and offers courses like “Advanced Clinical Skills,” “Complex Health Alterations,” and “Transition to Professional Practice.” Several required lecture courses are paired with clinical courses designed to synchronize real-world experiences with the learning of nursing theory. For example, you’ll take “Health Alterations” and “Health Alterations Clinical” in the same semester.

Garden City Community College admits no more than 40 students into this program each year, and student-to-instructor ratios in the clinical setting—at 10 students for every instructor—are low. GCCC’s Erdene Corley Simulation Lab is a state-of-the-art facility boasting medication carts and other medical equipment that will teach students foundational skills. Garden City Community College maintains partnerships with medical facilities throughout Garden City and other communities in Finney County, where aspiring RNs participate in clinical experiences.

Why Choose This Program

• Graduates of this ADN program in Kansas are guaranteed placement in Fort Hays State University’s RN-to-BSN program, provided they’ve attained their Kansas RN licensure and completed all FHSU prerequisites.
• Interested in rural nursing? This ADN program was set up partly to address RN shortages in rural Kansas, so much of its curriculum focuses on the particular challenges that rural RNs face.

5. Dodge City Community College - Dodge City

Program Details: Like several other 2-year RN programs in Kansas, Dodge City Community College’s ADN program is tiered: You’ll receive an LPN certificate at the end of your first year of studies, which will give you the option of sitting for the NCLEX-PN exam, but if you continue through the second year, you’ll receive an associate degree, which will qualify you to sit for the NCLEX-RN exam. The college welcomes a new class of future nurses into its 68-credit program each fall. In addition to prerequisites, you’ll take foundational nursing coursework such as “Nursing Pharmacology,” “Medical Surgical Nursing I & II,” and “Nursing Care of the Adult I & II.”

DC3’s simulation lab has high-tech medical manikins and other hospital equipment. It is so cutting-edge that it’s used for training by emergency medical staff serving all of western Kansas. Clinical rotations take place at healthcare institutions in Dodge City, Garden City, and other communities throughout Ford and Finney Counties.

Why Choose This Program

• Dodge City Community College offers qualified LPNs advanced placement into the third semester of its ADN program.
• As a DC3 ADN graduate, you can easily transfer to Washburn University’s online RN-to-BSN program to continue your nursing education.
• Do you want to work professionally outside of big city health networks? DC3’s nursing program is another one of the ADN programs in Kansas that addresses the unique competencies of RNs working in rural areas.

6. Hutchinson Community College - Hutchinson

Program Details: If you’re a traditional ADN student, you’ll begin Hutchinson Community College’s ADN program in Kansas in the fall. However, if you’re an LPN or paramedic transferring in with advanced placement, you’ll start classes in the spring. Required nursing coursework comprises 67 credits in all and includes prerequisites as well as courses like “Concepts of Professional Nursing,” “Care of the Family,” and “Care of the Adult.” Additionally, you’ll participate in skills labs and practicums paired with lecture concepts—for example, “Leadership and Management Concepts in Nursing” and “Leadership and Management Concepts in Nursing Practicum.”

This 2-year RN program in Kansas partners with the Hutchinson Regional Medical Center and other healthcare facilities throughout Reno County for clinical placements. The college also maintains a simulation lab outfitted with hospital equipment and high-tech manikins where you will learn hands-on skills before you move into direct patient care.

Why Choose This Program

• Hutchinson Community College offers a hybrid course option for its 2-year nursing program in Kansas: You can take selected lecture courses online, though you must attend skills labs and practicums in person.
• This ADN program in Kansas maintains an agreement with the University of Kansas that allows you to simultaneously complete an associate nursing degree and a bachelor’s nursing degree through campus courses at Hutchinson Community College and the University of Kansas.

7. Salina Area Technical College - Salina

Program Details: Salina Area Technical College’s ADN program in Kansas was established to connect licensed practical nurses with better job opportunities by offering them the opportunity to earn their RN degree. Once you complete the prerequisites, the 66-credit program is just two semesters long. After you complete a basic “LPN to RN Transition” course, you’ll take classes like “Health Assessment and Advanced Nursing Skills,” “Complex Care Needs of the Adult,” and “Nursing Leadership and Management.” Skills labs and practicum components are integrated into the lecture courses.

You’ll acquire foundational nursing skills by engaging in hands-on exercises in Salina Area Technical College’s simulation lab. You’ll participate in practicums and other clinical experiences at healthcare facilities throughout Saline County, including the Salina Regional Health Center, Comcare Clinic, and the Saline County Health Department.

Why Choose This Program

• Salina Area Technical College is the least expensive technical college in the state of Kansas.
• Salina Area Technical College plans to offer its ADN program as both a full-time and part-time option in the very near future.

8. Colby Community College - Colby

Program Details: To qualify for admission into Colby Community College's ADN program in Kansas, you must be a licensed practical nurse, a registered respiratory therapist, or a paramedic. The 32-credit program meets two days a week for lectures and skills labs at the college’s campus in Colby. Classes begin once a year in August, and this program typically accepts 20 students every year. You’ll be able to complete your core nursing courses in two semesters, although it may take you additional time to complete prerequisites.

Core nursing courses include “Nursing Care of Adults III & IV” and “Maternal Child Nursing II.” Theory is concurrently integrated with practice throughout, so you’ll take “Mental Health Nursing II” and “Mental Health Nursing II Clinical” in the same semester. Colby Community College has a simulation lab where you’ll master essential hands-on nursing skills before moving on to deliver patient care in supervised practicums at critical care settings, ambulatory care units, rural hospitals, schools, and other healthcare practice settings throughout Thomas and Norton Counties.

Why Choose This Program

• This ADN program dedicates an entire course at the end of the second semester to strategies for passing the NCLEX-RN exam.
• Graduates of Colby Community College’s ADN program who attained their RN licenses had a 100 percent employment rate within a year of graduating.

9. Kansas City Kansas Community College - Kansas City

Program Details: If you’re fortunate enough to be accepted into Kansas City Kansas Community College’s associate nursing degree program, plan on spending 15 to 20 hours a week on classes and clinical experiences and another 15 to 20 hours a week on studying and homework. This 68- to 69-credit ADN program in Kansas is only open to licensed practical nurses, respiratory therapists, and paramedics. You’ll receive 22 credits of advanced standing upon verification of your professional license. You’ll only need to complete 20 credits of core nursing courses such as “Transition to RN,” “Nursing Concepts for Clients with Complex Health Problems w/Clinical Component,” and “Nursing Management of Care Concepts w/Clinical Component.” However, you must also complete 27 to 30 general education credits to graduate.

KCKCC is located in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area, so it’s not surprising that much of what you will learn in this associate degree program is nursing strategies designed to help with challenges faced by urban RNs. Once you’ve honed essential nursing competencies through skills labs and simulation exercises, you’ll engage in clinical experiences at the Truman Medical Center, Children’s Mercy Hospital, and other medical treatment facilities throughout Greater Kansas City.

Why Choose This Program

• Kansas City Kansas Community College is part of the Kansas Partnership Program, which allows nursing students to pursue an ADN at a community college while simultaneously enrolled in a BSN program at the University of Kansas.
• Do you learn best when you have a mentor? KCKCC’s student-faculty ratio is a very low 12-to-1, so you’ll have plenty of mentoring opportunities if you enroll in this school.


Pattie Trumble, MPP, MPH
Pattie Trumble is a nurse who worked in both California and New York for many years as an emergency room nurse. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Degree in Nursing from the Samuel Merritt Hospital School of Nursing. After 10 years of providing direct care, she went back to school and earned concurrent Master’s degrees in both public policy and public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Thereafter, she worked for various public health agencies in California at both the community and state levels providing economic and legislative analysis.

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