Best ADN Programs in the Western Region

Written By: Editorial Staff @

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

We evaluated a total of 423 schools offering nursing programs in the Western region.

Ranking Methodology: How Were the Best ADN Programs in the Western Region Ranked?

To come up with the list of best ADN programs in the Western region, we looked into 423 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 Western Region for 2024

1. Sierra College - Rocklin, California

Nursing is not only a remunerative career choice but apart from taking up regular healthcare center jobs also allows you to use your skills to work in diverse positions such as that of an army nurse, school nurse, emergency nurse, and home health nurse. Sierra College offers you a dynamic ADN curriculum that is delivered on a full-time schedule and takes two years to complete. To be eligible for the NCLEX-RN exam it is important to have completed the necessary co-requisite courses prior to your enrollment in this program or at least before the start of your last semester. During your journey here, you will study the fundamentals of geriatric nursing, pediatric nursing, mental health nursing, maternal-newborn nursing, business calculus, sociology, and psychology.

2. Grossmont College - El Cajon, California

Apart from being a highly respected field, there is an ever-increasing demand for skilled nurses all around the world. Grossmont College believes in providing equal educational opportunities to all its students no matter what their financial status is. Here around 58% of students receive financial aid, besides, 34 million dollars were awarded to deserving students in the form of scholarships and grants. Its ADN program systematically includes a perfect blend of clinical experiences at local hospitals and healthcare centers along with theoretical learning through face-to-face classes.

3. Chabot College - Hayward, California

If you enter the healthcare industry with an associate degree in nursing, you will have almost the same roles and duties as a nurse with a BSN. At Chabot College, you will study under instructors that have more than 20 years of experience. Through its affordable ADN program, you will learn in high-fidelity simulation laboratories where you will develop essential critical-thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making skills by working in close to real-life health care situations. The curriculum takes about 2 years to complete and trains you in courses such as adult health, pharmacology, mental health, pediatric nursing, pathophysiology, and microbiology.

4. Great Basin College - Elko, Nevada

The Great Basin College’s ADN curriculum comes with technologically advanced simulation activities and clinical rotations available at several locations that can help you become job-ready for challenging roles in the healthcare industry. This training prepares you to employ clinical reasoning, and evidence-based nursing care within the legal and ethical regulations to support the health requirements of patients across the lifespan. To graduate from this program, you are required to complete 49 credits worth of nursing, humanities, and English language courses.

5. Saddleback College - Mission Viejo, California

Started in 1971 Saddleback College’s associate degree is one of the oldest ADN programs in the Western Region and is well-recognized in the medical community. Back in 2018, the college was also ranked second in the nation by Washington Monthly College Rankings for its contributions to social mobility, community service, and research activities. Before you join this program, you need to have a minimum GPA of 2.8 in a few science pre-requisite courses like human anatomy, physiology, and general microbiology. You can enroll in this 46 credit training in either the fall or spring semester.

6. Victor Valley College - Victorville California

Victor Valley College believes in the values of cultivating intellectual growth, inspiring students through innovative training methods, and accepting students from diverse communities to create a conducive learning environment. Its ADN program prepares you to become a manager, educator, and efficient healthcare provider, enabling you to work in any medical setting. You can start your academic journey here, by enrolling in the fall semester.

7. Pikes Peak State College - Colorado Springs, Colorado

The main mission of Pikes Peak State College ADN program is to extend high-quality education that trains you into becoming an efficient healthcare professional to meet the healthcare needs of individuals in the constantly changing healthcare environment. This coursework is designed based on the theories of leadership, nursing process, communication, health-illness continuum, caring interventions, learning, and holistic care. The college also offers an RN to BSN bridge program that allows you to earn a BSN degree if you wish to study further.

8. Cuesta College - San Luis Obispo, California

Stationed in the center of the charming San Luis Obispo County, Cuesta College is well-recognized in California for its exceptional nursing programs, knowledgeable faculty, and its highly receptive student services. Based on the concepts of caring, the two-year-long ADN program of this college offers you several opportunities to contribute to community–based internships and preceptorships, giving you the real-world exposure, you need. What's more! the college’s continued exceptional performance on NCLEX-RN will not fail to impress you.

9. Monterey Peninsula College - Monterey, CA

Monterey Peninsula College is a public community college in California and is one of the most preferred military-friendly schools in the state. The school is also popularly known for its superior quality academic courses and responsive support services. Its ADN degree trains you both in general education and vital nursing courses. These include applied microbiology, general psychology, lifespan development, pharmacology, humanity & society, interpersonal communication, and supervised nursing skills-laboratory.

10. MiraCosta College - Oceanside, California

At MiraCosta College more than 75% of its ADN graduates are successfully employed within a year of graduation. The program is delivered on a full-time basis and takes 2 years to complete. Its main goal is to provide a solid foundation, individual growth, and a lifetime of learning. The college offers two tracks, the generic ADN track, and the LVN to RN bridge program designed for practical nurses who wish to move forward in their education. Regardless of the track you choose, you will complete courses in public speaking, psychiatric-metal health nursing, medical-surgical nursing, and contemporary nursing practice and leadership.

11. Hartnell College - Salinas, California

The minimum qualification required to work as a registered nurse is an associate degree in nursing. Hartnell College’s ADN program in the Western region, trains you to apply the fundamentals of management, law and ethics, and leadership when providing safe nursing care to patients in diverse healthcare settings. In this four-semester long program, you will have access to several clinical experiences, simulation activities, inter-professional tasks, and one-on-one classroom learning.

12. Rogue Community College - Grants Pass, Oregon

While you can graduate from an ADN program in roughly 2 years, the BSN degree usually takes 4 years to complete. By taking the ADN route not only will you kickstart your career quickly but can also gather some real-world work experience, should you plan to continue your education. Being a part of the Oregon Consortium for Nursing Education, Rogue Community College’s ADN program is competency-based and is thoughtfully designed by nursing instructors from 11 community colleges and the 5 campuses of OSHU. This comprehensive curriculum covers areas such as pharmacology, pathophysiological processes, foundations of nursing, and nursing in acute care.

13. Merritt College - Oakland, California

If you are a practical nurse or an aspiring nursing student, joining an ADN program could be your next step in the right direction. Merritt College’s student-oriented associate degree focuses on motivating students to have meaningful careers by gaining an in-depth understanding of nursing and mastering the necessary practical skills to become a responsible member of the global economy. Before signing up for this curriculum, you need to have a CPR certification and a minimum GPA of 2.0 in English and core biology courses.

14. Pierce College - Lakewood, Washington

Pierce College’s ADN program allows you to gain immediate employment upon graduation or seamlessly move into a four-year college if you wish to study further. The program is divided into 6 quarters in its traditional ADN pathway. If you’re a practical nurse, you can also enroll in its LPN-RN full-time or part-time schedule based on your convenience. The curriculum covers several courses in liberal arts and core nursing. These include general psychology, biology, lifespan psychology, statistics, organic and biochemistry, pharmacology, medical or surgical nursing, and nursing skills in complex chronic illnesses.

15. Kapiolani Community College - Honolulu, Hawaii

To commence your journey in the medical field you can consider becoming a registered nurse by pursuing an ADN that comparatively requires much lesser time and money than any other medical degree. Kapiolani Community College started operations in 1946 as a model indigenous serving school and since then it has been working towards supporting the economic, social, and sustainable development in Hawaii and across the globe. The college offers a 72-73 credit associate degree that trains you to explore lucrative job positions in long-term care nursing home settings, hospitals, clinics, and community health centers.