nursing student in lab

Associate Degree Nursing RN

Carl Sandburg College offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science Degree in Nursing. The Associate Degree Nursing program prepares the student for entry-level as a Registered Nurse (RN). Successful graduates will be eligible to take the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.

Registered professional nurses work to promote health, prevent disease, and help patients recover from and cope with illness. Registered professional nurses assess, diagnose, plan, implement, and evaluate care to patients; assist physicians with treatments and examinations; administer medications, and assist in convalescence and rehabilitation. Registered professional nurses also provide patient education to clients and families to help improve or maintain the optimum level of health. 

Application Dates

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

Anyone interested in this program must first complete the steps to enroll to become a Carl Sandburg College student. Apply here! The online application is only available through mySandburg under Student Services.


Admission Requirements

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

We will consider for selection review only those applicants who submit the online program application by the deadline date and have met all admission requirements. We evaluate all qualified applicants according to a point system that allows an objective means for selection ranking. We select applicants with the highest point totals first. Please refer to the Admission Selection Points Worksheet for ranking criteria.

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

  1. Please review the checklist of the application process and complete all of the steps.
  2. 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

For student success in the nursing program, we strongly advise prior to entering the Associate Degree Nursing program to take the following courses. These courses may not have been taken more than 7 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 2 years old at the time of application.

If a student is unable to participate in and/or complete clinical/practicum/internship courses required for the program due to a positive drug test which includes marijuana, they are not 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. Title IX Coordinator: 309.341.5258. ADA/504 Coordinator: 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 health care facilities provide a safe and comfortable working environment. Care is required around the clock, often in 8- 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.


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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

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, it is highly recommended that students have access to a reliable computer with broadband 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.

Click here for a list of the class formats.

Estimated costs for the Associate Degree Nursing program

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) is designed to help 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 inquire 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, Carl Sandburg College Foundation is able to award over $100,000 each year in scholarship dollars to Sandburg students. High school, adult learners, and returning students - everyone is eligible to apply. Apply between October 1 and March 15 for the upcoming year. We encourage all students to apply. 

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Yes, applicants not admitted to the program, including applicants placed on the alternate list and no spaces became available, we will not carry over application files to the next year. Each applicant would need to complete the application/admission process again for the next admission year.


How do you evaluate applications?

We will consider for selection review only those applicants who submit the online program application by the deadline date and have met all admission requirements. We evaluate all qualified applicants according to a point system that allows an objective means for selection ranking. We select applicants with the highest point totals first. 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, or denied. We will notify the applicant 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 your conditional admission email to pay the $50.00 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 fees balance remains, the seat fee will be refunded to the student after financial aid refund after the 100 percent 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. We provide in the admission status EMAIL information regarding registration for the mandatory admission orientation session. At the orientation, we will provide program information and appropriate documents to complete all the necessary nursing program requirements for full admission status.

Those conditionally admitted who do not register for and attend the mandatory admission orientation session will forfeit their conditional admission and we will then offer your seat 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?

We will provide full admission status after the conditionally admitted applicant attends the mandatory admission orientation session and appropriately 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. Sandburg’s agreement offers students who receive their RN degree from Sandburg the ability to 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. Sandburg students 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 would allow students to complete their general education courses at Sandburg, earning an associate degree in nursing, and complete their baccalaureate nursing coursework online through SIUE. Students can take classes at Sandburg and begin a job in their profession while then working online to obtain their BS from SIUE.  

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

Under the agreement, the dual-admissions pathway will allow nursing students to earn an associate degree in nursing at Sandburg while at the same time enrolling in identified courses that are part of the online UIC RN to BSN degree completion program and working in their home region. Upon successful completion of Sandburg's ADN program, students will be awarded their associate degree and continue their 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 

Carl Sandburg College and the University of Arkansas Grantham offers students who receive their RN degree from Sandburg the ability to transfer into their BSN program.


Complete list of our cooperative agreements

Associate Degree Nursing Program Outcomes

Programs Outcomes





NCLEX-RN Pass Rate




Job Placement Rate




Completion Rate





Revised: Graduates will evaluate and analyze the client’s and family’s surroundings to identify potential safety concerns in order to establish and promote a safe environment for their patients/clients and others.


Patient-Centered Care

The graduate will analyze their 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.



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


Critical Thinking and Clinical Judgment

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


Evidence-Based Practice

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



The graduate 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, Illinois, holds full accreditation status by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), 3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400, Atlanta, GA 30326, phone: (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.

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

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 or

For a list of all student organizations