Nursing ADN

Nursing ADN

Hands-On Learning to Create Great Registered Nurses

Use your passion for helping and earn a great living in an in-demand career field! Your future as a registered nurse (RN) starts here at Kirkwood with our multi-tiered nursing programs to provide options. 

The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program functions as a piece of the nursing ladder program in which the first two semesters of the program lead to a Practical Nursing (PN) diploma. With additional semesters, you'll earn your ADN.

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Nursing is the largest health care profession in the United States. The Bureau of Labor and Statistics indicates that employment among registered nurses will grow by 16 percent through 2024. More than 400,000 registered nurse jobs will open up over the next seven years due to increased health care demands of an aging population and decreased supply caused by impending retirements and current nurses. Employment opportunities for licensed practical nurses are also projected to grow, with a projected increase of 16 percent by 2024.
Healthcare Salary Information: | |

Healthcare Labor Characteristics: 
Corridor Healthcare | Corridor Nursing | Cedar Rapids Healthcare | Cedar Rapids Nursing 

ADN classes give you a full range of clinical experience, covering medical, surgical, geriatric, maternal-child, pediatric, and mental health modalities. You'll also get real-world patient care training with supervised laboratory, simulation, and real-life clinical experiences that begin in your first semester at Kirkwood.

Registered nurses in the state of Iowa can expect solid wages and rapid job growth, and nursing is considered a Bright Outlook occupation by O*NET. See an advisor to learn more.

Kirkwood offers more than $3 million in scholarships for students each year, with 35 specifically for students enrolled in nursing programs. Nursing students may also qualify for the tuition-free Last Dollar Scholarship and/or the Kibbie Grant.

Program Costs

Nursing A.A.S. 

School Year: 2023–24

Program Entry Semester: Fall, Spring, Summer

Pre-Reqs First Second Third Fourth Total
Credit Hours per Semester 37 13 12 12 12 86
In-State Tuition $7,770 $2,730 $2,520 $2,520 $2,520 $18,060
Technology Fee per Semester $50 $50 $50 $50 $50 $250
Clinical Expenses (mileage, lodging, screenings, etc.) $528 $0 $0 $35 $0 $563
Conferences/Seminars $996 $0 $0 $0 $0 $996
Course Resources (textbooks, software, etc.) $2,822.10 $1,078.96 $682.80 $0 $0 $4,583.86
Course/Section Fees $40 $60 $75 $80 $100 $355
Laptop (required devices) $600 $0 $0 $0 $0 $600
Testing Fees $120 $673 $400 $483 $450 $2,126
Third Party Credentials $0 $0 $375 $0 $375 $750
Tool Sets $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Uniforms $175.20 $19.20 $0 $0 $24 $218.40
Other $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Total Estimated Cost $13,101.30 $4,611.16 $4,102.80 $3,168 $3,519 $28,502.26


Costs provided are estimated and based on the following current tuition rates: $210 (In-State), $281 (Out-of-State), $400 (International).

To view all costs associated with attending college visit our Tuition and Costs page.

Program Requirements

To ensure your success in the Nursing Program at Kirkwood, please make sure to complete the following:

  1. Apply
  2. Take Placement Exams PRIOR to New Student Orientation.
  3. Register for and attend New Student Orientation PRIOR to the start of classes.
  4. Register and attend a Program Conference DURING your first semester to better understand all program requirements.
  5. Obtain your Certified Nursing Assistant certificate to ensure that nursing is right for you and increase your readiness for Nursing Program admission.

Nursing students are required to purchase scrubs to wear when completing nursing labs, simulations, and clinical assignments. You will also need a laptop computer for Nursing exam software. See requirements below.

You are required to wear your scrubs to the first day of lab. All items listed are available for purchase at the Main Campus Bookstore.

Nursing Patch: It must be worn on the left side of the scrub top.

Nursing Scrubs: Scrub tops and bottoms must match exactly.

Scrub Color: The scrub color must be Galaxy Blue. Purchase the same brand for both as dyes may vary and the top and bottoms must match. It is recommended to purchase two sets of scrubs as they are required for Clinic, Lab, and SIM, and these are often scheduled two days in a row.

Top: The unisex and female tops are the two styles allowed for Kirkwood Nursing Students.

Pant: Any straight leg (no cuff) scrub pant is acceptable as long as it fits well and is hemmed if needed. Pant hems should not touch or drag on the floor.

Jacket: A Unisex White Jacket is optional.

Shoes: Must be clean, have an enclosed heel and toe, rubber soled, with no holes in the top (athletic shoes are allowed), with no neon or extreme colors or patterns. Shoes must be worn with white or neutral color socks or stockings that coordinate with the scrubs and without ornamentation.

Kirkwood Clinic ID: Nursing student clinical ID badge is obtained at the Eaglecard office in the Allsop Computer Lab, Neilson Hall Room 131. Scrub top must be worn in ID picture. Cost is $10.

Students accepted into the Nursing program are required to have their own personal laptop computer, required software, and other equipment. All required technology is available for purchase at Eagle Tech on Main Campus.

Students who have not graduated from a U.S. high school, community college, or 4-year institution are required to meet the TOEFL requirements set forth by the Iowa Board of Nursing (IBON), to ensure success on the NCLEX.

TOEFL (for International Students)

TOEFL IBT of ≥ 84 with a Speaking score ≥ 26 required for students graduating from a non-U.S. high school, community college. An applicant shall be exempt from the requirement when the education was completed in a college, university, or professional located in:

  • Australia
  • Barbados
  • Canada (except Quebec)
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom

Other foreign language tests may be substituted for TOEFL IBT. Verification of the ability tread, write, speak, and understand the English as determined by the TOEFL or IELTS. A passing score is as follows:

  • 560 for the paper-based TOEFL
  • 220 for the computer based TOEFL
  • 6.5 for the IELTS academic



How much does the TOEFL cost?

The exam cost is approximately $205.00 (price subject to change)

Do I need to take all four exams.

Where is the testing center?
There are a number of testing centers easily accessible for our students.

  • Davenport
  • Des Moines
  • Dubuque
  • Cedar Falls
  • Cedar Rapids
  • Fort Dodge
  • Sioux City

How soon do I need to take the TOEFL?
You will be required to provide your TOEFL scores to register for Introduction to Nursing, and to IBON prior to taking your NCLEX.

Where can I get more information?
Get the latest from TOEFL for more details, and checkout the Kirkwood Library for TOEFL Practice Test books.

Explore More

Lauri Hughes
Pre-Nursing Advisor PRIOR to Assigned Permanent Advisor

Walk-In Advising by Appointment

Linn Hall, Room 2172

If you are new to nursing, looking for more information about Kirkwood's Nursing program, or have not been assigned an advisor yet, self-schedule a meeting with Lauri by clicking the button below. 

Schedule Now


Please take a look at some of the frequently asked questions we get about Nursing.

Within the scope of practice of the registered nurse, the Kirkwood nursing program graduates will: 

  • Patient-Centered Care: Provide compassionate patient-centered care to meet client physical, psychological, cultural, and spiritual needs within the context of the family and the community.
  • Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Collaborate with members of the interdisciplinary health care team to ensure the provision of safe, quality, effective care through the use of communication and relationship–building skills.
  • Evidence-Based Practice: Use systematic assessment, critical analysis, and application of best evidence and practices to implement evidence-based health promotion, prevention, and condition management to optimize patient, family, and population health.
  • Quality Improvement: Participate in the development and implementation of health care organization quality improvements.
  •  Safety: Implement safe care practices for patients, families, communities, and members of the health care team.
  •  Informatics: Utilize electronic medical records, intranet and Internet resources, and other informatics resources and tools to make informed clinical decisions.
  • Patient Self-Management: Facilitate patient self-management of health through planned education coordinated across the continuum of care to promote health, prevent illness, and manage health care conditions in the context of the family and the community.
  • Professionalism: Perform all activities ethically and with integrity, always demonstrating a commitment to provide evidence-based, safe, quality, compassionate care for diverse patients, families, and communities.
  • Leadership: Develop and use leadership skills to organize, motivate, and inspire health care team members to provide safe, quality, effective, and efficient patient care.

Prepare for your new career with an intensive twelve to sixteen week, one-on-one preceptorship with an experienced staff nurse in one of eight local area hospitals. You'll get hands-on clinical experience to create an easier transition to practice, and these preceptorships often lead to full-time positions upon graduation!

Kirkwood ADN (RN) graduates are well prepared to successfully pass the NCLEX-RN. Over the past four years, more than 96% of our graduates have passed the exam. Current NCLEX-RN rates for all nursing programs in the state of Iowa are published on the Iowa Board of Nursing website. This information is first-time/full-time pass with 6 month pass rates.

If you are planning to work outside of the state of Iowa, please meet with the Dean of Nursing to make sure you are familiar with Nursing licensure requirements of that particular state. For more information, visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing website.

With your ADN from Kirkwood, you can easily transfer to an RN-BSN program at a four-year school. Some institutions our graduates have attended after finishing their ADN studies include:

Further education in MSN or DNP programs can open up unlimited employment opportunities as a nurse practitioner, nurse midwife, nurse anesthetist, nurse educator, or nurse manager. Additionally, many area employers provide funding for associate degree RNs graduating from community colleges to complete their RN-BSN degrees. 

  • Allen College
  • Briar Cliff University
  • Clarke University
  • Clarkson College
  • Grand View University
  • Mount Mercy University
  • St. Ambrose University
  • University of Iowa College of Nursing
  • William Penn University

The Kirkwood Community College Associate Degree in Nursing program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation through 2027.


Department of Nursing
2172 Linn Hall