Nursing: Associate Degree Nursing, A.A.S.

Academic Programs

Career Path


Start Term

Program Options

Degree, Certificate or Diploma


Council Bluffs Campus
Clarinda Center

Program Information

The nursing field continues to be one in high demand, and Iowa Western’s Associate Degree Nursing program will prepare you for quick entry into the profession as a registered nurse. The program features clinical study groups and tutoring support, along with faculty support. Graduates earn an Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree, allowing them to write the National Council of State Board of Nursing (NCLEX-RN) examination for registered nurses.

Iowa Western students begin their nursing education by first enrolling in the Practical Nursing program before moving on to the Associate Degree Nursing program. The program offers real-life experiences and is very much hands-on. There are 12 hours per week of clinical LPN work and 16 hours per week for RN work. That means you’ll be fully prepared for entry-level staff nursing positions.

Students also have great opportunities to transfer to four-year schools to complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing, and job placement is very high. Persons of all ages are encouraged to check into this program.

The Nursing programs are approved by the Iowa Board of Nursing, RiverPoint Business Park, 400 SW 8th Street, Suite B, Des Moines, IA 50309-4685, (515) 281-3255.

Students who complete this AAS degree will have earned a Nursing: Practical Nursing diploma by completion.

Job Outlook

2,467 Jobs (2020)

+8.6% Change from 2020-2025

Data is from the Omaha Metropolitans Area, and the seven counties in Southwest Iowa that Iowa Western serves

What will you do

This program is designed to place students into the workforce upon completion of the two-year degree. Registered nurses practice nursing skills in hospitals and clinics, schools, clients’ homes, workplaces, long-term care facilities, and many non-traditional settings. They practice independently, in conjunction with other nurses, with physicians, and as health team members. Nursing care is provided to acutely and chronically ill patients and their families and involves health education and health promotion for clients of all ages. Registered nurses may supervise other personnel, including licensed practical nurses and nursing assistants. Upon completion of the first year, graduates are awarded a diploma and are qualified to write the National Council of State Board of Nursing (NCLEX-PN) examination for practical nurses. Upon completion of the second year of curriculum, graduates are awarded an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree and are qualified to write the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCLEX-RN) examination for registered nurses.


  • Entry: $28.97
  • Average: $36.11
  • Experienced: $55.37

Career Examples

  • Registered Nurses
  • Certified Nursing Assistants
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Travel Nurses- Medical/Surgical
  • Labor and Delivery Nurses
  • Assistant professors
  • Certified Medication Aided
  • Cardiovascular Operation Room Nurses

Program Prerequisites

General Education Courses that must be completed prior to first semester of nursing: 

ENG 105 - Composition I 3.0 Credit(s)
PSY 121 - Developmental Psychology 3.0 Credit(s)
BIO 168 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4.0 Credit(s)
BIO 173 - Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 14.0 Credits

First Semester

PNN 228 - Foundations of Nursing I 6.0 Credit(s)
PNN 290 - Health Assessment Across the Lifespan 2.0 Credit(s)
PNN 721 - Foundations of Nursing Clinical I 2.0 Credit(s)
PNN 201 - Introduction to Math and Medications 1.0 Credit(s)
SPC 112 - Public Speaking 3.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 14.0 Credits

Second Semester

PNN 229 - Foundations of Nursing II 4.0 Credit(s)
PNN 723 - Foundations of Nursing Clinical II 2.0 Credit(s)
PNN 282 - Pharmacology II 2.0 Credit(s)
PNN 446 - Nursing Care of the Growing Family 4.0 Credit(s)
BIO 151 - Nutrition 3.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 15.0 Credits

Third Semester

ADN 213 - Pharmacology Applications 4.0 Credit(s)
ADN 831 - Trends and Issues 3.0 Credit(s)
ADN 106 - Success in Nursing 1.0 Credit(s)
PSY 111 - Introduction to Psychology 3.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 11.0 Credits

Fourth Semester

ADN 421 - Maternal Child Nursing II 3.0 Credit(s)
ADN 171 - Concepts of Nursing I 5.0 Credit(s)
ADN 740 - Concepts of Nursing Clinic 3.0 Credit(s)
BIO 186 - Microbiology 4.0 Credit(s)
MGT 195 - Workplace Empowerment 3.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 18.0 Credits

Fifth Semester

ADN 292 - Advanced Mental Health Nursing 2.0 Credit(s)
ADN 180 - Advanced Concepts of Nursing 4.0 Credit(s)
ADN 760 - Advanced Concepts of Nursing Clinical 4.0 Credit(s)
ADN 499 - Passage to Professional Practice 1.0 Credit(s)
SOC 110 - Introduction to Sociology 3.0 Credit(s)

Semester Total: 14.0 Credits

Total Semester Hours Required 86.0


Courses with a PNN/ADN prefix must be completed in the sequence listed above. Students must earn a “C” or higher in all required courses in order to graduate.


Contact Us

Program Outcomes

Upon the successful completion of the program students will:

Upon completion of the Associate Degree Nursing Program, the graduate will demonstrate the ability to:

    1. Create an individualized plan of care, using the nursing process, for clients across the lifespan, with variable health needs, for the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of optimal health.
    2. Communicate therapeutically with clients and their significant others and effectively with the health care team to promote, maintain, and restore the optimal health of clients across the lifespan with variable health needs.
    3. Implement the teaching-learning process in meeting the individualized learning needs of clients across the life span with variable health needs and their significant others for the promotion, maintenance, and restoration of optimal health.
    4. Manage the delivery of nursing care of groups of clients with variable health needs across the life span in a variety of structured health care settings.
    5. Assume the roles and responsibilities of the registered nurse within the health care environment.
    6. Prepare for licensure and/or advanced education.

Program Disclaimers

  • Salary information from EMSI Analyst Database