4 years to complete an ADN?!?!

Students General Students


I just found out today that by going to the community college to get my ADN, it is going to take 4 years for me to finish. What the heck is that all about?? I don't understand that because why would I want to waste all that time. I thought it was supposed to be 2 years, not 4. That's a fricken BSN. Is this normal?? This is how it adds up (if you care to follow along): 1st semester is pre-reqs that you have to do (A&P 1 w/lab, English Comp, Intro to Sociology, College Algebra). Then they just added that you also have to complete Microbiology w/ lab and A&P w/ lab the next semester before you can even apply to the nursing program. By the time you complete all of these required pre-reqs, you will have missed the application deadline for fall admission to the nursing program. So you have to apply for Spring admission into the nursing program. Add that all up and that comes to 3 full semesters before I can even start the nursing program itself. The nursing program is then another 5 semesters (no way around that).

What kind of crap is this?? Plus, I'll have to fill up my schedule with a bunch of meaningless courses so that I can stay full-time for financial aid purposes. Is this what everybody goes through for an ADN???

Star Trek Nerd

36 Posts

Ummm, I'm going through this and so are all of my friends and classmates at my school. In fact I personally have never heard of anyone getting an RN in exactly 2 years. Reason being all pre-reqs must be completed before the 2-year program starts. It's not feasible to take Anatomy, Chemistry, Physiology, and Microbiology while taking nursing courses, is it? You need to know all this stuff before you begin, not to mention your performance in those classes will mostly determine if you get into the nursing program in the first place.


135 Posts

Hi Lauren!

Nope! That's not my experience at all.

I'm in level one nursing here in Buffalo, N.Y., and at a community college. I had to do my prereqs - A&P I, English and Intro Psych., then topped it up w/ Nursing Process and Math Dosage. At the same time, I was advised to apply to the Nursing Program for the next semester. My advisor told me that I would initially receive a rejection letter, but after the semester had ended, as long as my grades were good, and there was room, I had an excellent chance of being accepted, which I was in January.

This semester, I'm taking A&P II, Eng. 111, and the level one nursing courses. This summer, I'm taking Developmental Psych, as per program requirements, then it's just the nursing courses from then on. It's a total of 5 semesters, or two and a half years.

Can you take your micro and A&P II over the summer, and lop off the extra year?

It's worth looking in to.

Best of luck!!!


717 Posts

Specializes in ER.

This is the main reason I decided to go for a BSN. It is taking me four years, the same amount of time it would have taken me to get an

ADN around this area. And it was pretty darn easy to get into.

Sorry you are feeling so frustrated.

Good luck with things.


423 Posts

Isn't that what everyone goes through? The actual nursing part DOES take 2 years. But before that you have to do pre-reqs right? From what I have been seeing depends on the class load you take on before you get into the actual program. I know a girl who will have finished all of them in a year after summer school. I might be wrong.


931 Posts

The only people in my ADN program that complete it in the two years are the younger students right out of high school. This is because they were in the honor society in H.S. and took A.P. courses while in H.S.. So, if a H.S. student takes chemistry, advanced placement anatomy and physiology, and things like that then they are exempt from taking them in college. However, they still have to take Psych, Soc, and the electives. Myself, I never had advanced placement classes in H.S. so therefore it is taking me four years to get my ADN. I also work, so it would probbly take me 8 years to get my BSN.

manna, BSN, RN

2,038 Posts

Are you sure you have to have completed all the pre-reqs before you can even apply? For my school, you can still have some pre-reqs in progress when you apply, they just have to all be completed by the time you would matriculate into the actual nursing core.

You could always try to CLEP some of those classes? The timeframe may seem the wsame, but to enter a BSN program you'd probably need to have quite a few more pre-reqs (probably 4 semesters worth - taking roughly 16 hours a semester).

I'm entering a BSN program this fall, which will actually have taken me 6-7 years to complete, but only because I also work and have been doing pre-reqs part time (and only recently decided I wanted to go to nursing school anyway).

Good luck!


15 Posts

I am currently waiting to start a one year lpn course in the fall, in which I will obtain all of the prereqs i will need! After that since most places will reimburse you for school, i plan to do it that way in a couple years down the road.. and from lpn to adn it only takes one year, at least where i am from.. there is also a program from adn to bsn that takes about 18 months. I am having to take out almost 12,000 in loans for just this one year program because i dont qualify for grants and that is my reason for choosing this route. you should check into something of the nature. I have also checked into a program (too late to start this year though) that allows you to get your lpn in one year and continue in school for the next year to get your rn but they allow you to take your board and get started working as an lpn. You do have to have your prereqs for this course though and they take a full semester themselves.. :uhoh3:! anyway i hope this helps!


582 Posts

In California, your prereqs have to be done before even getting into the nursing program. Other states are different. I am finishing my ADN in 2 weeks and yes, it has taken 4 years total. The benefit to me not going the BSN route...I didn't have to get student loans, I am not in debt, and there is no pay difference between BSN/ADN where I am.

allnurses Guide

Spidey's mom, ADN, BSN, RN

11,302 Posts

Yes, for me it is normal to have about 2 years of pre-reqs although some really focused students completed it in one year. I was lucky in that I had already attended college right of our high school and was 4 years into a BS in Social Work when I had to drop out . . long story. Anyway, a returning student at 38, I had to take the science courses (physiology, anatomy, micro). I did it slowly so I could apply to the nursing program when my youngest was in first grade and I wouldn't be away from my kids much. In my program you had to complete all your pre-reqs before applying to nursing school.

4 years is average.



15 Posts

can i pulease ask ... how in the world are you paying for school???? lol i mean i have no other choice but loans.. and to search my heart out for scholarships!!


168 Posts

I graduate an ADN next week and it will 6 years that I have been in school. The actual RN program was 2 years...everything else was pre-preq work. After this I will only have to take an online course to get my BSN.

It seems like four years for your ADN is the norm.

Do what you feel is right.

Pearl :)

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