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ADN Selective Admissions Information

Heartland Community College's Nursing Program leads to an Associate Degree in Nursing and prepares individuals to take the NCLEX-RN exam for licensure to become a Registered Nurse. This degree is a 68-credit hour, two year accredited degree program, including general education courses, nursing courses and practical clinical experience.

As a selective admission program, Nursing Program enrollment is limited to 40 students per year. Admission to the Nursing Program is based on achievement of minimum academic criteria, residency and the quality of the applicant's credentials in relation to those of other applicants.

  • Meet with an Academic Advisor

    Call or visit an academic advisor for assistance with course selection and the application process.

    Attend an Information Meeting

    Visit the Nursing department page for details about information meetings.

    Information Meetings provide an overview of the Nursing Program admission process. Though attendance is not mandatory, these meetings provide an opportunity to ask questions of Admissions and Nursing Program staff and are intended to help make the application process as smooth as possible for prospective students. You can view our frequently asked questions for some additional information on the Nursing program.

    Review Other Program Requirements

    To discuss any questions or concerns, please email the Director of Nursing.

    Review Licensure Considerations

    Passing the NCLEX-RN is required for licensure and employment. The decision to allow an individual to take the examination for licensure or be granted a license after passing the examination rests with the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Committee on Nursing.

    Applicants seeking licensure in the State of Illinois will need to review several licensure questions about their personal history, child support and/or student loans. If you answer "yes" to any of the questions, you will need to email the Director of Nursing.

    Review Program Cost

    The cost sheet (PDF) is a reference to provide information related to potential expenses incurred by the prospective student in the HCC Nursing Program. The totals may vary depending on previous completion of general education courses and costs associated with immunizations and tests. The fees associated with a criminal background check and drug screening are estimates and are paid directly to the company performing the checks/screens. The state license fee and NCLEX application and exam fees are for reference only and are not paid to Heartland Community College. If you elect to take the test and become licensed in a different state, you will be responsible for determining those fees. Travel fees are related to clinical education and vary depending on location (generally held to within 90 miles of HCC) and current fuel costs.

    Contact Financial Aid for information about assistance with program costs.

    Review Nursing Curriculum

    General Education Courses

    General education courses can be completed prior to admission. If general education courses are not completed prior to admission, they must be completed with a "C" or better during the semester indicated in the Course Sequence.

    Nursing Courses

    The ADN nursing courses begin each fall for those applicants accepted into the program and can be completed in four semesters (two academic years). These courses are offered only at the Normal Campus during the day and must be taken in order as outlined in the Course Sequence.

    Students accepted into the ADN Program have the option to take NURS 136 (Practical Nursing) during the summer between the first and second years of the program. Upon successful completion of all first year Nursing Program courses AND NURS 136, students will be granted a Practical Nursing certificate and be eligible to take the NCLEX-PN licensure examination.

    Clinical Education Experiences

    Clinical experiences are completed off campus in various practice settings each semester. Hours vary each semester and can include evening and/ or weekend hours.

    Due to the rigor of the program, students are encouraged to keep work hours at a minimum, no more than 10 hours per week for full-time students and no more than 20 hours per week for part-time students.

  • Heartland Community College is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution. No person, on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, physical or mental handicap, or unfavorable discharge from military service or veterans status shall be discriminated against in employment, in educational programs and activities, or in admissions. Heartland Community College complies with applicable federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Illinois Human Rights Act.

    Heartland Community College further provides that no otherwise qualified disabled person shall, by reason of disability, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of the College (as required by Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Illinois Human Rights Act).

    The Nursing Program at Heartland Community College is a selective admission program. Program enrollment is limited to 40 students per year. Admission is based on achievement of minimum academic criteria and the quality of the applicant's credentials in relation to those of other applicants.

  • Basic Skills Assessment

    • Applicants must complete the Heartland basic skills assessment in English, math and reading comprehension and score at the college level in all three areas unless they have earned sufficient transfer credit or ACT/SAT scores. The required scores will show placement into College level math and literacy.
    • Applicants whose scores are below the levels required for admission must successfully complete the courses needed to reach the college level before being deemed eligible for the program. These developmental courses are not counted in the cumulative grade point average.

    Nursing Assistant

    • Applicants must be listed as an active CNA on the Illinois Public Health Registry (Health Care Worker Registry) by March 15, 2018. Applicants who take the State competency examination for CNA in January 2018 may experience a delay in being posted to the Illinois Public Health Registry and might not appear on the list by March 15, 2018; these applicants will be handled on a case by case basis.

    Grade Point Average

    • A grade point average of 2.5 (4 pt. scale) is required for consideration.
    • Applicants with less than seven hours of college credit must have a high school GPA of at least 2.5 (4 pt. scale). Applicants who do not meet the minimum high school GPA must successfully complete at least seven semester hours of college level work and achieve a 2.5 GPA (4 pt. scale).
    • For applicants with seven or more hours of college credit, all college level work will be included in the calculation of the GPA. Applicants with a GPA below 2.5 (4 pt. scale) will need to successfully complete additional college level courses to raise their cumulative GPA to 2.5.

    GED Scores

    • Applicants who have less than seven hours of college credit and hold a GED certificate must have a minimum score of 170 on each section of the 2014 Series test.
    • Applicants who do not meet the minimum GED requirements must successfully complete at least seven hours of college level work and achieve a 2.5 GPA (4 pt. scale).

    TEAS Score

    • A minimum comprehensive score of 58.7% (or Proficient) on the TEAS is required to be considered for admission to the Nursing Program.

    BIOL 181 (or equivalent)

    • Applicants who have not previously completed BIOL 181 (or equivalent) with a "C" or better must meet the prerequisite for BIOL 181.


    • Applicants who are legal residents of Community College District #540 will be given preference for admission provided all admission criteria are met. Applicants will be required to show a driver's license or State of Illinois ID as proof of residency as part of the application process.
    • Applicants who are granted the in-district tuition rate because they work in the district or have a parent or guardian who works in the district are not considered in-district applicants for selective admission programs.
    • Out-of-district applicants will be considered for admission after all qualified and eligible in-district applicants have been offered admission. Applicants with temporary visas will not be considered until all qualified and eligible in-district and out-of-district applicants have been offered admission. Learn more about residency and District #540 boundaries.
  • Step 1. Apply to Heartland Community College

    Step 2. Apply to the Associate Degree Nursing Program. Application only available October 1-March 1**

    • Application Dates
      • Application open: October 1
      • Application due: March 1
      • Documentation due: March 15
    • Submit the following required documentation:
      • Nursing Application
        PLEASE NOTE: Firefox is the suggested browser for completing the application document.
      • Official copies of all high school transcript or GED test scores
      • Official copies of all college transcripts
      • Photocopy of driver's license or State ID
      • Listing as active on the Illinois Public Health Registry (Health Care Worker Registry[formerly known as the CNA Registry])

    **Applications may be reopened at a later date if seats remain available.

    Step 3. Take the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)
    The TEAS will be offered at Heartland Community College's Normal Campus:

    • A $58 fee must be paid at the time of testing.
    • To schedule the TEAS test, please log into your myHeartland account, click on appointments, Allied Health, then TEAS testing. Check your myHeartland account for email confirmation.
    • Study guides are available at or the HCC Library.
    • Students may retake the TEAS test one time within the application period at HCC (October - February). The highest grade within the application period will be used for evaluation.
    • TEAS scores are valid for a period of two years.
    • A minimum composite score of 58.7% or Proficient on the TEAS is required to be considered for admission to the program.

    Transfer Students

    Students with credits from another nursing program may apply and must meet the following requirements to transfer:

    • Meet standard HCC Nursing Program admission criteria
    • Must be transferring from a nursing program currently accredited by CCNE or ACEN

    The following materials must be submitted:

    • Letter from the previous nursing program stating the student is eligible for re-entry into that program and in good standing
    • Heartland Community College application for admission
    • Official copies of high school transcripts or GED test scores
    • Official copies of all college and nursing school transcripts
    • Assessment scores in math, English and reading comprehension
    • Photocopy of driver's license or State of Illinois ID
    • Syllabus and detailed content outline of each nursing course completed with a 'C' or better
      • Course syllabi for each course being considered must be submitted for evaluation by the Director of Nursing
      • Only nursing courses in which students have earned an A or B within the last academic year will be considered for transfer
      • Evaluation of transfer credit does not confirm seat availability or acceptance into the Nursing Program
    • TEAS scores within the last two years and show a level of "Proficient"

    Candidates for transfer will be evaluated in November for the Spring term and in April for the Summer and Fall terms. Transfers will be admitted as space permits after regular admission and re-entry students.

    If the student is not in good standing in his/her current nursing program or the last nursing class completed was not within the last academic year, the student will need to go through the regular admission process.

    All non-nursing credits are subject to Heartland Community College's transfer policy.

    Re-entry Students

    Students seeking re-entry (PDF) to the program must meet the Re-entry Criteria as stated in the HCC Nursing Handbook. Students will only be readmitted within one academic year of exit, as space permits and by approval of the Nursing Admission Team. The following material must be submitted to the Director of Nursing:

    • Letter requesting re-entry to the Nursing Program inclusive of:
      • Identification of the causes for lack of progress
      • A plan that establishes strategies for future academic success
    • Official copies of transcripts for all college courses taken since previous enrollment
    • Update of work hours as LPN since previous admission, if applicable
    • Photocopy of driver's license or State of Illinois ID
  • Qualified applicants will be placed in rank order based on the number of points received in the evaluation. *Dates are for Fall 2018 admission.

    Criteria Points Awarded Max Points
    Cumulative college GPA
    High School GPA (if < 7 hours of college credit)
    GPA (on a 4 pt. scale) = points
    Example: 3.5 GPA = 3.500 points
    Required General Education Courses:
    -BIOL 181, 182, 191
    -PSY 101
    -ENGL 101, 102
    -COMM 101
    -SOC 101
    "C" or better required
    .50 points per class with grade of "A" or "B"
    .25 points per class with grade of "C"
    ACT/SAT Scores
    Only 2018 or 2019 high school graduates with less than seven hours of college credit will be awarded points for ACT scores.
    30-36/1400-1600 = 4 points
    24-29/1180-1360 = 3 points
    21-23/1070-1140 = 2 points
    19-20/990-1030 = 1 point
    < 19/<950 = 0 points
    ATI TEAS Score
    Minimum of Proficient (58.7%) required.
    ≥90.0% = 4 points
    ≥80.0% = 3 points
    ≥70.0% = 2 points
    ≥58.7% = 1 point
    College selective* science courses
    High school selective* science courses (2018 or 2019 graduates only)
    *Selective science courses include biology, chemistry and physics
    "C" or better required
    .50 points per selective* science course with grade of "A" or "B"
    .25 points per selective* science course with grade of "C"
    Prior Academic Achievement Bachelor degree or higher = 1 point
    Associate degree = .50 points
    EMT - Paramedic = .50 points
    EMT Basic/Intermediate = .25 points
    One-year certificate = .25 points
    Post-General Education Courses:
    -CHEM 120
    -HLTH 110, 120
    -MATH 141
    -PSY 209
    Points only awarded if ALL eight required general education courses are completed with a "C" or greater
    Points only awarded for courses completed by March 15
    .50 points per class with grade of "A" or "B"
    .25 points per class with grade of "C"
  • The top-ranked 40 applicants will be offered seats in the Nursing Program.

    Applicants will be notified of their status regarding admission via their myHeartland email by April 1st.

    If seats remain available after all applications are evaluated, HCC may reopen applications and applicants will continue to be evaluated until the program is full.

    Applicants who wish to appeal their status must submit a letter explaining any extenuating circumstances to by March 31 to be considered for entry into the Nursing Program in the Fall. Only one appeal per applicant is allowed.

    Applicants not accepted during an application cycle will need to submit a new application for the Nursing Program during a subsequent application cycle. Applications and waiting lists are not maintained from year to year.

    Applicants that are offered a seat in the program must meet the following requirements prior to beginning nursing coursework:

    • Complete "in progress" required general education courses with a "C" or greater AND maintain a GPA of 2.5.
    • Attend Orientation
    • Submit to a criminal background check (PDF) and drug testing (PDF)
    • Fulfill all clinical education requirements
    • Satisfy all financial obligations to the college

Nursing Department

Visit the Nursing Department