Best ADN Programs in the Midwest Region

Written By: Editorial Staff @

How Many Schools from the Midwest Region were Evaluated for our Rankings?

We evaluated a total of 660 schools offering nursing programs in the Midwest.

Ranking Methodology: How were the Best ADN Programs in the Midwest Region Ranked?

To come up with the list of best ADN programs in the Midwest, we looked into 660 nursing schools in the region and ranked them based on four important factors - NCLEX-RN pass rates, academic quality, the nursing school’s reputation, and affordability. Following is the weightage we assigned to each of these factors.

1. NCLEX-RN Pass Rates (2019-2022): 60%

• 2019 Pass Rates: 10%
• 2020 Pass Rates: 20%
• 2021 Pass Rates: 30%
• 2022 Pass Rates: 40%

2. Academic Quality: 20%
3. The Nursing School's Reputation: 10%
4. Affordability: 10%

15 Best ADN Programs in the Midwest Region for 2024

1. Fox Valley Technical College - Appleton, Wisconsin

At Fox Valley Technical College, the average starting salary of its graduates is $43,000 per annum. You can sign up for this ADN program to make the most out of your nursing career. Once enrolled, you will be trained to work with patients of all ages as well as develop critical thinking, problem-solving, leadership, and communication skills. The college also gives the flexibility to transfer credits of any relevant courses that you may have already completed.

2. Kirkwood Community College - Cedar Rapids, Iowa

If you are searching for a quicker path to successfully pass the NCLEX-RN exam, then an ADN program can help you achieve this goal. Kirkwood Community College offers ladder training in which you will earn a practical nursing diploma in the first two semesters and graduate with an ADN degree upon completing the final two semesters of your education. From the beginning of your journey here, you will gain practical exposure through laboratory classes, simulation activities, and clinical experiences in actual medical settings under the supervision of its experienced faculty.

3. State Fair Community College - Sedalia, Missouri

The 2-year ADN training from State Fair Community College can be one of the shortest routes to becoming a registered nurse. It offers an affordable bi-level program that allows you to become a licensed practical nurse in the first year and seamlessly move into its associate degree coursework in the final year. Studying in its small-sized classrooms with a student to faculty ratio of 1:17 gives you the advantage of having one-on-one interactive lectures. You can also participate in its 22 student clubs and organizations that allow you to network with peers and pursue extracurricular activities along with your education.

4. Mid-State Technical College - Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin

Through a career in nursing, you can serve the community and at the same time enjoy a stable career and remunerative job prospects. Mid-State Technical College prepares you for this fulfilling career through a 2-year long ADN program that reports close to 100% of its graduates satisfied with the education they receive. You can enroll in this 65-credit program on a full-time or part-time basis where you will be guided through courses like nursing fundamentals, sociology, psychology, nursing health alterations, and clinical care management.

5. Milwaukee Area Technical College - Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Are you looking for the best ADN programs in the Midwest? If so, you should consider Milwaukee Area Technical College as an option. Its campus is located in the vibrant center of the city near Fiserv Form and the new Deer District and can be accessed by several roadways and bus routes. This ADN coursework is delivered on-campus where you can start taking classes in August or January and graduate within 2 years.

6. Waukesha County Technical College - Pewaukee, Wisconsin

An ADN degree can help you become a registered nurse with much lesser resources than other comprehensive degrees. Through its partnerships with around 100 medical facilities, you will gain clinical experiences at a site that is close to you. On completion of four semesters of critical nursing courses, you can qualify for the practical nursing exam after which you can work as a certified LPN while concurrently completing the remaining ADN courses. This 65 credits curriculum is delivered through convenient on-campus, hybrid, and online schedules and takes three years to complete on a full-time basis.

7. Bismarck State College - Bismarck, North Dakota

Bismarck State College is located in the buzzing city of Bismarck, with a view of the scenic Missouri River. Its impressive 120-acre campus also makes it the third-largest college in North Dakota. On joining its associate in nursing degree, you will graduate as a professionally skilled nurse prepared to offer nursing care in a variety of healthcare settings. The program is delivered on campus and allows you to graduate in 2 years. To prepare yourself for the ADN education here, you must complete pre-requisite courses in anatomy and physiology, algebra, and certified nursing assistant.

8. Southeastern Illinois College - Harrisburg, Illinois

Since 1975, Southern Illinois College’s associate degree in nursing has helped its graduates become critical members of our medical system by supporting the healthcare needs of varied populations. Here you will go from being an aspiring nurse to a practicing licensed nurse in just two semesters. You can enroll in this fast-track program in the fall semester and learn the fundamentals of patient-centric care, demonstration of evidence-based practices, the application of safe and competent nursing methods, and playing your part as an active team player.

9. Blackhawk Technical College - Janesville, Wisconsin

Completing your ADN coursework provides you much of the necessary clinical training and education for more advanced degrees like a BSN. Blackhawk Technical College offers you innovative schedules that you can choose based on preference. This includes ‘MyEdChoice’ format that lets you decide each time whether to attend classes on-campus, through videoconferencing or online and does not bind you to only one format throughout the program. You also have the ‘flexlab’ schedule that lets you practice in the lab at your convenience, provided it is within the open lab hours. What makes it even better is that you can utilize your previous work experiences as credits that could save you time, effort, and money.

10. Joliet Junior College - Joliet, Illinois

Being among the top 15 colleges in Illinois, Joliet Junior College boasts of a close to 100% rate on the NCLEX-RN examination. Its rigorous ADN curriculum encompasses a mix of face-to-face lectures, laboratory and simulation learning, and a minimum of 18 hours of clinical learning every week. To graduate you will complete 72 credit hours of courses in pediatric nursing, nutrition, pharmacology, speech communication, biology, microbiology, and general psychology. What’s more, here more than 90% of the students get placed with exciting jobs within 6 months of graduating.

11. Moraine Park Technical College - Fond du Lac, Wisconsin

Moraine Park Technical College’s ADN program prepares you for entry-level positions of a staff nurse, primary nurse, or a specialized nurse. The program is offered on a full-time basis, besides, if you select an online schedule you will not be expected to pay any out-of-state fees. This 68 credits program of 4 semesters will help you master clinical care across the lifespan, oral and interpersonal communication, mental health & community concepts, psychology, and advanced nursing skills.

12. Iowa Central Community College - Fort Dodge, Iowa

Becoming a nurse comes with envious perks of low-cost insurance, retirement benefits, constant opportunities to learn, and flexible working hours. You can become a registered nurse by graduating from Iowa Central Community College’s ADN degree. In this dynamic training, you will attend several lectures in its high-tech classrooms and complete as many as 720 hours of practical training. Through its ‘last-dollar scholarship program,’ it offers scholarships to deserving students, so you can graduate with an affordable tuition cost.

13. East Central College - Rolla, Union, Missouri

Did you know that the jobs available for RNs with an ADN degree are expected to grow by more than half a million by 2026? To become a part of this in-demand field you can consider East Central College as an option. The college offers a generic curriculum of 2 years designed for non-nursing students who want to start with their registered nurse coursework, and an LPN to RN bridge program that allows LPNs advance in their education through a 2- semester long program.

14. Century College - White Bear Lake, Minnesota

Century College’s affiliation with the Minnesota Alliance for Nursing provides you the opportunity to complete 4 years of bachelor's training allowing you to earn an associate degree after the first five semesters. You can take this program on-campus or through a hybrid format on a full-time basis. The first 75 credits of the associate degree direct you through courses in chronic and palliative care, acute and complex care, pathophysiology, leadership, nutrition, and pharmacology. This public school receives financial backing from the State of Minnesota making its tuition fees light on the pocket.

15. Columbia College-Lake Ozark - Osage Beach, Missouri

If you want to complete your ADN education from one of the best colleges in the Midwest, then Columbia College will not fail to impress you. Its campus in the Lake of the Ozarks boasts of a 100% rate of passing on the RN licensure exam. Being a veteran-friendly school, the college supports the education of military students by re-scheduling online classes to suit their special schedules. It also organizes events like the ‘Nursing open house’ and ‘ the evening event’ where you can have meaningful interaction with your peers and instructors.