5 Best Colleges for an Online ADN Degree | How To Apply

Best Colleges for an Online ADN Degree
Athina Hansen

Athina Hansen

Content Writer at Gradehacker

After long deliberation on whether to pursue an ADN degree or a BSN degree, you’ve decided on the former. In this article, we combined our experience with extensive research of college websites to provide you with this list of the 5 best colleges for an online ADN degree. We consider these online ADN programs the best based on their accreditation, tuition cost, curriculum, and length.

An ADN degree suits your needs because you can get your R.N. license faster and get to working quicker. You’ve also seen how ADN degree programs tend to be cheaper than BSN programs.

You’re confident and happy with your decision; however, there is only one problem. You don’t know which colleges are the best for pursuing an online ADN degree. 

An online program is the best fit for you because you have more than just college to think about. You have a family, a job, and not enough time to attend an in-person program!  

Here at Gradehacker, we are experts in all things college-related. This is because we assist non-traditional students with their courses, exams, you name it!  

Due to our years of experience assisting students enrolled in online ADN programs, we are very familiar with the different online programs out there! 

This list is formatted in descending order, so the best online ADN degrees at the top of the list rank better!

  • Tuition: $510 per credit
  • Location: Albany, NY
  • Accreditation:
     – Middle States Commission on Higher Education

    – Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.

Up first, we have  Excelsior College’s awesome online ADN program! Excelsior College is a private university whose highly flexible ADN program is great for students with demanding time schedules.

You may be thinking, okay, why is that so? Well, this ADN program is highly flexible because it is a competency-based program where you can progress at your own pace! 

As for the courses involved in this program, they are all fully online and will broaden your nursing theory knowledge. Also, you will showcase your RN-level knowledge in a clinical setting.

At Excelsior College, you will have A LOT of resources to support your learning, such as tutorials or webinars. 

You should also know that Excelsior College offers their ADN degree graduates free preparation for the NCLEX-RN exam! 

As for labs, they are generally online, but clinical components are completed in-person.

Nurse Student

Excelsior College ADN Program Curriculum

Okay, now to the fun part! What will you learn if you decide to pursue your ADN degree at Excelsior College? 

Well, some of the courses included in this program’s curriculum are:

To qualify for this program, some prerequisites are:

Why we recommend it:

By choosing to pursue your ADN degree at Excelsior College, you will partake in an extremely flexible program since it is competency-based. And, as an added bonus, you will be able to take advantage of their free preparation for the NCLEX exam!

2. John A. Logan College

2. John A. Logan College

Tuition: $138.00 per credit hour
Location: Carterville, IL
Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission

 Next, we have  John A. Logan College’s online ADN program! This institution is a community college that offers a hybrid online program to pursue your ADN degree. 

Wondering what the ‘hybrid’ portion entails? Well, it is a hybrid program because clinicals and labs will have to be completed on campus grounds. 

But don’t worry, apart from that, all coursework and learning involved are online! 

John A. Logan College’s ADN program is a 2-year program that expands on the knowledge you have from a previous practical nurse program. 

If you decide to pursue your ADN degree at John A. Logan College, you can expect to be prepared in the areas of:

This program aims to prepare you to practice professional nursing as defined by the Illinois Nursing Act.

John A. Logan College ADN Program Curriculum

You’re probably curious as to what you would learn in this program.

Some courses you can expect to see in this ADN program are:

Senior teacher

Maybe you’re wondering what professional opportunities await you after this program. Following your completion of this program, you can specialize in several areas!


You can specialize in:

To qualify for this program, some prerequisites are:

Why we recommend it:

John A. Logan College’s ADN program has a thorough curriculum, which means you will be extensively prepared to practice as an R.N. Also, there are a number of areas you can choose to specialize in following completion of this program!

3. North Central Missouri College

3. North Central Missouri College

Tuition: $9,142 per year
Location: Trenton, MO
Accreditation:                 –  Higher Learning Commission
                  –   Nursing Commission for Nursing Education Accreditation 

North Central Missouri College’s online ADN degree program has a completion time of only 9 months! 

If you decide that this is the college you want to pursue your ADN degree in, you must know that skills checks and simulation labs are completed 2-3 times per semester on campus. 

As for clinicals, these are also completed on-campus. 

Okay, what is this program’s aim? This program aims to prepare its students for Missouri R.N. licensure and certification requirements for employment. 

If you enroll in this ADN program, you can expect to receive preparation regarding:  

North Central Missouri ADN Program Curriculum


In order to qualify for this program, some prerequisites are:

Why we recommend it:

North Central Missouri College has an impressive NCLEX exam pass rate. This ADN program is also perfect for those looking to get their degree in a short time span as it lasts only 9 months!

Tuition: $215.68 per credit rate
Location:  Washington, MN
Accreditation:  –  Higher Learning Commission Accreditation
                                  – Commission for Education in Nursing 

Minnesota West Community and Technical College’s online ADN program is designed for licensed practical nurses who want to further their education to an ADN degree! 

As with all ADN programs, this program will prepare you for the NCLEX-RN examination! It does so by building on the knowledge and skills you already have and preparing you to properly deliver care in various healthcare settings.  

Clinical experiences are also involved in this program, and you have to complete them in assigned clinical sites (healthcare facilities located in southwest Minnesota). 

Minnesota West Community and Technical ADN Program Curriculum

As anyone would be, you’re probably curious about what courses you will need to take as part of this program. 

As part of the curriculum, some of the courses you would see are:

Nurse take care

You should also know that this program concludes with an  ATI integrated predictor exam and review course.

In order to qualify for this program, some prerequisites are:

Tuition: $198-$370 per contact hour.
Location: Traverse City, MI
Accreditation:             – Higher Learning Commission
                     –  Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.  

Last, we have  Northwestern Michigan College’s online ADN program. The ADN program they offer is a full-time program. 

You don’t have to worry about whether you will have the time to attend this program as all courses are delivered online. 

However, labs and clinical courses are seen in-person in the Traverse City area. They generally require 2-3 days per week of attendance. 

What can I expect as a graduate of this ADN program? Well, to begin with, you will be able to apply for the NCLEX-RN exam. 

Also, you will be prepared in the areas of:


For this ADN program, some of the courses you will see are:

Maternal & Child Nursing

In order to qualify for this program, some prerequisites are:

Why we recommend this program:

Northwestern Michigan College’s ADN program will thoroughly prepare you in important areas, such as communication and nursing judgment. Also, the curriculum involved is satisfactory!

Which ADN Program Will Suit Me?

Which ADN Program Will Suit Me?

Now, you can finally say goodbye to the anxiety and stress of not knowing which colleges are good options for the best online ADN degree. 

This article will be a great starting point for you because it exposed you to trustworthy and reliable colleges. Now it’s just a matter of deciding which specific college’s ADN program is the best suit for you. 

This is where you come into play because everyone has unique desires and necessities. There is not a “right” or a “wrong” college; it all just depends on what you’re looking for! 

College student

Make a list of those things that you are searching for in an ADN program. Be it a low tuition cost, a part-time program, etc. 

Once you have that list, compare it to the programs we discussed in this article, and choose the best online ADN degree which suits all of your learning needs. 

We understand that it can be difficult to make a final decision on which college is right for you. Hopefully, this article introduced you to valuable ADN programs and will help you decide which online ADN degree is right for you. 

Are you weary of choosing an online format because you believe it’s easier? Check out our article on  Are Online Classes Easier than In-Person Classes? 

Not too sure on the differences between an ADN and a BSN degree? Check out our article on  ADN vs. a BSN Degree: What’s The Difference. 

Would you like to learn about why nursing school accreditation is so important? Be sure to read our article on  Nursing School Accreditation – Why it Matters. 

Are you unaware of what evidence-based practice is? Don’t forget to read our article on  What’s Evidence-Based Practice and Why It Matters So Much for Nurses?

Athina Hansen

Athina Hansen

Athina has worked with Gradehacker both as a content writer and a study consultant, where she assisted college students with nursing courses. Athina has a background of educating others and producing content, having tutored college students and produced articles for her school magazine. She brings her experience to her current role, where she writes content to empower and assist the non-traditional college student who is often overlooked. You can find her on LinkedIn

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