nursing student in lab

Associate Degree Nursing RN

Carl Sandburg College offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree in Nursing, which prepares you to be an entry-level Registered Nurse (RN). Successful graduates will be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.

As a registered professional nurse, you'll promote health, prevent disease and help patients recover from and cope with illness. You'll also assess, diagnose, plan, implement and evaluate patient care, assist physicians with treatments and examinations, administer medications, and assist in convalescence and rehabilitation, as well as provide patient education to clients and families to help improve or maintain the optimum level of health. 

Application dates

You must meet with an Associate Degree Nursing academic advisor to determine application eligibility prior to applying to the program. You may apply online to the Associate Degree Nursing program from October 1 through March 1 for a fall semester start.

If you're interested in this program:


  1. If you have not already done so, complete the steps to enroll as a Carl Sandburg College student.
  2. Once you receive the email from the Welcome Center with your student ID, log into mySandburg to find the Apply for Limited Enrollment Programs tile, select the link for your selected program, and complete and submit the application.
  3. Pay the $50 non-refundable application fee.

  4. Submit documentation of C.N.A. certification or work experience if applicable. If you have more than 1 year of clinical work experience as a C.N.A., please fill out the Healthcare Worker Background Check form and email it to Valerie Hinderliter at so we can verify on the IDPH web portal.

  5. Submit transcripts to verify prior degrees or courses required if you have not already done so.

  6. Submit official scores for TEAS/ACT/SAT for the points calculation. Note: TEAS scores are valid for two years, and SAT and ACT scores are valid for five years.

  7. Monitor mySandburg and your Sandburg email accounts for status updates for your application.

The online application is only available through mySandburg. Associate Degree Nursing requires candidates submit a TEAS test score or valid SAT or ACT test score to be considered for admissions. Those interested in free preparation materials for the TEAS test should express interest in the Sandburg PATH to TEAS Excellence program


Admission requirements

You must apply online and be formally accepted into the Associate Degree Nursing program, which has limited enrollment. Applicants need to refer to the eligibility & admission requirements for this program to determine eligibility criteria and the selection process.  

Only those applicants who submit the online program application by the deadline date and have met all admission requirements will be considered. All qualified applicants are evaluated according to a point system that allows an objective means for selection ranking. Applicants with the highest point totals are selected first. Please refer to the Admission Selection Points Worksheet for ranking criteria.

The applicant's TEAS test score, SAT or ACT score is a factor that contributes to eligibility for enrollment in this program. In the 2023-24 academic year, those interested in Associate Degree Nursing enrollment have the opportunity to join the Sandburg PATH to TEAS Excellence program. At no cost to applicants, the Sandburg PATH to TEAS Excellence program provides access to TEAS test preparation materials. Those that successfully complete the practice tests are eligible for reimbursement of one official TEAS test.

All applicants must meet the following nursing program admission criteria for selection review:

All of the following courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher prior to entering the Associate Degree Nursing Program:
  • ENG 101-Freshman Composition I
  • PSY 101-Introduction to Psychology

To achieve success in the nursing program, you should take the following courses prior to entering the Associate Degree Nursing program. (These courses may not have been taken more than seven years prior to the time of application.)

  • BIO 211-Anatomy & Physiology I
  • BIO 212-Anatomy & Physiology II
  • BIO 200-General Microbiology

NAD 205-Community & Mental Health Nursing cannot be more than two years old at the time of application.

If you're unable to participate in and/or complete clinical/practicum/internship courses required for the program due to a positive drug test, which includes marijuana, you aren't eligible for a refund of any tuition, fees or other expenses incurred while preparing for admission into the program and while enrolled in the program.

Although the COVID-19 vaccination is not an admission requirement, most clinical sites require vaccination against COVID-19. Students should check with their program coordinator for more details.

Career and technical programs/courses are offered without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, or status in any group protected by applicable federal, state or local law. For more information, contact the Title IX coordinator at 309.341.5258 or the ADA/504 coordinator at 309.341.5262.

For additional information contact:
Welcome Center


Employment opportunities include, but are not limited to hospitals, clinics and physician offices, long-term care/rehabilitation facilities, home health agencies, public health facilities, schools, churches, informatics, correctional facilities and insurance companies. The demand for registered professional nurses is very high and is expected to increase. It is projected the employment of RNs will grow 16% from 2014 to 2024, much faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will occur for a number of reasons, including an increased emphasis on preventive care; growing rates of chronic conditions, such as diabetes and obesity; and demand for healthcare services from the baby-boom population, as they live longer and more active lives. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor.

Registered nurse

Acute care nurse

Critical care nurse

Working conditions

Most healthcare facilities provide a safe and comfortable working environment. Care is required around the clock, often in eight- or 12-hour shifts, weekends and holidays, and may involve on-call work. Schools, offices and clinics may offer more traditional work hours. The registered nurse provides direct patient care and must be able to obtain the knowledge (cognitive function), skills (psychomotor function) and demonstrate professionalism (affective function). Please refer to the Essential Skills & Abilities of a Registered Nurse to determine if you are able to meet these functions with or without reasonable accommodations.


In your area, people working as


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Courses in this degree are offered face-to-face in the classroom and through practicums at local medical facilities. 


Sample schedule for the Associate Degree Nursing program

View a sample Schedule for an Associate Degree in Nursing program.



Sandburg offers courses in a variety of formats to best fit the needs of our students. To determine the formats for specific courses, please refer to our course schedule.

Regardless of the course format, you have access to a reliable computer with broadband (high-speed) internet. All courses use online resources and require students to access course information through mySandburg. Accessing courses through a phone is discouraged. Both campuses have open computer labs for student use.

View class formats.

Estimated costs for the Associate Degree Nursing program

View the Associate Degree Nursing cost sheet.

Financial Aid

To apply for financial aid, visit our financial aid page for more information.


Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) helps job seekers access employment, education, training and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy. Contact the local office to see if you qualify for financial support. 

  • Hancock County | 550 N. Madison St. | Carthage, IL | 217.357.6749      
  • Warren/Henderson County |1025 S. 2nd St | Monmouth, IL | 309.734.4745
  • Knox County Bondi Building | 311 E. Main, Suite 612 | Galesburg, IL | 309.343.9832               
  • McDonough County | 440 N. Lafayette | Macomb, IL | 309.837.1280


Thanks to our generous donors, the Carl Sandburg College Foundation is able to award more than $100,000 each year in scholarship dollars to Sandburg students. High school, adult learners, and returning students — everyone is eligible to apply between October 1 and March 15 for the upcoming year.

Frequently asked questions

If I'm not admitted to the program or am placed on an alternative list and no spaces are available, do I have to apply again? 

Yes, application files are not carried over to the next year. Each applicant needs to complete the application/admission process again for the next admission year.


How do you evaluate applications?

Only those applicants who submit the online program application by the deadline date and have met all admission requirements are considered. All qualified applicants are evaluated according to a point system that allows an objective means for selection ranking. Applicants with the highest point totals first are selected. Please refer to the Admission Selection Points Worksheet for ranking criteria.


When will I know if I am accepted to the program?

Applicant acceptance status will be one of the following:

  • Conditionally admitted
  • Placed on the alternate list
  • Denied
The applicant will be notified approximately two weeks after the application deadline date whether they are accepted or not into the nursing program. Applicants who receive conditional admission or alternate status into the program will be notified by email. Applicants denied admission we notify by mail.


How do I hold my seat if I am accepted?

Applicants conditionally admitted will have 14 calendar days from the date of the conditional admission email to pay the $50 seat fee (intent to enter) to the Carl Sandburg College Business Office to hold your seat in the nursing program.


Will I receive credit for the $50 to hold my seat? 

For the student fully or conditionally admitted to the program, the $50 seat fee will be applied to your tuition. If no tuition or fee balance remains, the seat fee will be refunded to the student after the financial aid refund after the 100% drop date for 16-week courses. If an entity other than the student paid the seat fee, the student will not receive a refund. Students who accept their seats and withdraw for any reason will forfeit the seat fee. Alternates who are not admitted will receive a refund.


I have been conditionally admitted do I need to attend orientation?

Conditionally admitted applicants and those on the alternate list must attend the mandatory admission orientation session; information regarding registration for the orientation is provided in your admission status email. The orientation will include program information and documents to complete to fulfill the nursing program requirements for full admission status.

Those conditionally admitted who do not register for and attend the mandatory admission orientation session forfeit their conditional admission, and your seat will be offered to an alternate. Alternates who do not register for or attend the mandatory admission orientation session will forfeit their alternate position.


I have been conditionally admitted; when will I know my full admission status?

Full admission status will be provided after the conditionally admitted applicant attends the mandatory admission orientation session, completes all program requirements and submits all required admission documents by the designated deadline.

Our cooperative agreements

Chamberlain College of Nursing

Chamberlain College of Nursing is a not-for-profit nursing college, offering degrees ranging from bachelor’s degrees through doctoral degrees in nursing. If you receive your RN degree from Sandburg, you can transfer into their BSN program.

Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing

Saint Francis College of Nursing is partnering with the nursing department to offer five guaranteed seats into their BSN program after completing the RN degree at Carl Sandburg College. You must meet certain GPA requirements to qualify for the program. For more information, please contact the nursing office at 309.341.5299.

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Accelerated Bachelor of Nursing

Carl Sandburg College and the Southern Illinois University Edwardsville School of Nursing (SON) have agreed to offer an accelerated path to a bachelor’s in nursing (BS) that allows you to complete your general education courses at Sandburg, earning an associate degree in nursing, and completing your baccalaureate nursing coursework online through SIUE. You can take classes at Sandburg and begin a job in your profession while working online to obtain your BS from SIUE.  

The University of Illinois-Chicago Dual Admissions Pathway for RN To BSN degree

Under this agreement, the dual-admissions pathway allows nursing students to earn an associate degree in nursing at Sandburg while enrolling in identified courses that are part of the online UIC RN to BSN degree completion program, working in their home region. Upon successful completion of Sandburg's ADN program, you will be awarded your associate degree and continue your progress in the UIC online RN to BSN program as degree-seeking students. UIC will confer the bachelor's degree in nursing after graduation requirements are met. 

University of Arkansas Grantham 

If you receive your RN degree from Sandburg, you can transfer into the University of Arkansas Grantham's BSN program. 

View a complete list of our cooperative agreements.

Associate Degree Nursing Program Outcomes

Programs outcomes





NCLEX-RN pass rate




Job placement rate




Completion rate





You will evaluate and analyze the client and family surroundings to identify potential safety concerns to establish and promote a safe environment for your patients/clients and others.


Patient-centered care

You will analyze your client’s and family’s needs, and create a compassionate and culturally sensitive plan of care based on clients’ physiological, psychological, sociological, spiritual and cultural needs, preferences and values.



You will contribute to, function within and, when appropriate, adopt a leadership role within multidisciplinary healthcare teams to create and foster open communication, mutual respect and shared decision-making to achieve quality patient care.


Critical thinking and clinical judgment

You will actualize critical-thinking skills (interpretation, analysis, evaluation, inference and explanation) to make professional clinical judgments regarding patient/client clinical responses.


Evidence-based practice

You will apply and integrate strategic knowledge of best evidence-based practice and standards of care with clinical expertise for the delivery of optimal healthcare, while maintaining client choice and preferences.



You will effectively generate and apply current information and technology to communicate, manage knowledge, mitigate error and support decision making.


The Associate Nursing Degree Program at Carl Sandburg College, located in Galesburg, IL, holds full accreditation status by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30326: 404.975.5000.

The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the Associate Degree Nursing Program is Continuing Accreditation. View the public information disclosed by the ACEN regarding this program at

Illinois State Board of Nursing (ISBN) and the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) have approved the Associate Degree Nursing program.


Graduates may apply to write for the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX-RN). Upon successful completion of this exam, the student is eligible to apply for Registered Nurse licensure in any state. Graduates will need to complete a criminal background check at the time of licensure application and will be evaluated by ISBN before licensure is granted or denied. Please be advised that the Illinois State Board of Nursing (ISBN) can deny nursing licensure and discipline those that are licensed. You can access all licensing and nursing scope of practice regulations at IDFPR.


Postsecondary institutions participating in federal student aid programs are required to make certain disclosures to enrolled and prospective students, parents, employees and the public. The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (34 §C.F.R. 668.43) requires disclosures by institutions regarding educational requirements for programs leading to professional licensure or certification regardless of modality. The institution must make readily available to enrolled and prospective students information about whether programs leading to professional licensure or certification meet educational requirements.

Click here to view licensure information for nursing programs. 

If Sandburg College has not determined whether a program meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification outside the state of Illinois, you should contact the licensing entity to determine whether it meets the educational requirements for licensure or certification in the state you live or work. 

You may contact the Dean of Nursing with questions: 

Emily J Schaeffer, D.N.P., R.N.
Dean of Nursing Professions
2400 Tom L Wilson Blvd
Galesburg, IL 61401

Meet the instructors

Emily Schaeffer, DNP, MSN RN
Dean of Nursing Professions

Stacy Bainter, MSN, RN
Coordinator, Basic Nursing Assistant Program
Coordinator, Practical Nursing Program
Instructor, Nursing

Tina Braun-Smith, MSN RN
Instructor, Nursing 

Nicole Lepper, MSN RN
Instructor, Nursing

Christina Stone, MSN, RN
Coordinator, Associate Degree Nursing
Assistant Professor, Nursing

Tammi Lewis, MSN, RN
Instructor, Nursing

Cindy Koepp, MSN, RN
Instructor, Nursing

Anneke McGruder, MSN, RN
Instructor, Nursing

Department of Health Professions
2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd.
Galesburg, IL 61401

Student organizations

Associate Degree Nursing Club 1st Year

This club is for first-year RN students. We will meet to keep us all informed and together on our classes’ activities, study groups and any professional medical seminars or exhibits that would benefit us as nursing students.


Associate Degree Nursing Club 2nd Year

To promote and foster the future of professional nursing with visionary leadership, elevating the level of community health knowledge, and unity through social and cultural activities.

Advisor: Christina Stone: 309.341.5292 |

See a list of all student organizations