Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program


Program Description

North Central Texas College's Associate Degree in Nursing program is located on the Gainesville campus and is approved by the Texas Board of Nursing and has full accreditation from the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing Inc. (ACEN: 3343 Peachtree Rd., NE Ste. 850, Atlanta, GA 30326, Telephone: (404) 975-5000)

Programmatic Outcomes

Upon completion of an Associate Degree in Nursing a student should be able to:

  • Act as a Member of the Profession
    • Function within the nurse's legal scope of practice and in accordance with the policies and procedures of the employing health care institution or practice setting.
    • Assume responsibility and accountability for the quality of nursing care provided to patients and their families.
    • Participate in activities that promote the development and practice of professional nursing.
    • Demonstrate responsibility for continued competence in nursing practice, and develop insight through reflection, self-analysis, self-care and lifelong learning.
  • Become a Provider of Patient-Centered Care
    • Use clinical reasoning and knowledge based on the diploma or associate degree nursing program of study and evidence-based practice outcomes as a basis for decision making in nursing practice.
    • Determine the physical and mental health status, needs, and preferences of culturally, ethnically, and socially diverse patients and their families based upon interpretation of comprehensive health assessment findings compared with evidence-based health data derived from the diploma or associate degree nursing program of study.
    • Analyze assessment data to identify problems, formulate goals/outcomes, and develop plans of care for patients and their families using information from evidence-based practice in collaboration with patients, their families, and the interdisciplinary health care team.
    • Provide safe, compassionate, comprehensive nursing care to patients and their families through a broad array of health care services.
    • Implement the plan of care for patients and their families within legal, ethical, and regulatory parameters and in consideration of disease prevention, wellness, and promotion of healthy lifestyles.
    • Evaluate and report patient outcomes and responses to therapeutic interventions in comparison to benchmarks from evidence-based practice, and plan follow-up nursing care.
    • Develop, implement, and evaluate teaching plans for patients and their families to address health promotion, maintenance and restoration.
    • Coordinate human, information, and material resources in providing care for patients and their families.
  • Serve as a Patient Safety Advocate
    • Demonstrate knowledge of the Texas Nursing Practice Act and the Texas Board of Nursing Rules that emphasize safety, as well as all federal, state, and local government and accreditation organization safety requirements and standards.
    • Implement measures to promote quality and a safe environment for patients, self, and others.
    • Formulate goals and outcomes using evidence-based data to reduce patient risks.
    • Obtain instruction, supervision, or training as needed when implementing nursing procedures or practices.
    • Comply with mandatory reporting requirements of the Texas Nursing Practice Act.
    • Accept and make assignments and delegate tasks that take into consideration patient safety and organizational policy.
  • Become a Member of the Health Care Team
    • Coordinate, collaborate, and communicate with patients, their families, and the interdisciplinary health care team to plan, deliver, and evaluate patient-centered care.
    • Serve as a health care advocate in monitoring and promoting quality and access to health care for patients and their families.
    • Refer patients and their families to resources that facilitate continuity of care; health promotion, maintenance, and restoration; and ensure confidentiality.
    • Communicate and collaborate in a timely manner with members of the interdisciplinary health care team to promote and maintain optimal health status of patients and their families.
    • Communicate and manage information using technology to support decision making to improve patient care.
    • Assign and/or delegate nursing care to other members of the health care team based upon an analysis of patient or unit need.
    • Supervise nursing care provided by others for whom the nurse is responsible by using evidence-based nursing practice.

Admission

Being admitted to North Central Texas College does not mean you are automatically admitted to the Associate Degree in Nursing program. To be officially admitted to the Associate Degree in Nursing program at NCTC, students must meet additional qualification requirements and carefully follow the step-by-step process outlined below.
  1. Any applicant who has a history of mental illness or substance abuse must file paperwork with the Board of Nursing (BON) previous to making application to the Associate Degree in Nursing program.
  2. Criminal background checks will be completed on all applicants to the program. The following histories will disqualify an individual from consideration for clinical rotations and acceptance into the Associate Degree in Nursing program:
  3. Felony convictions, even if deferred or adjudicated
  4. Misdemeanor convictions involving crimes against persons (personal or sexual)
  5. Felony deferred adjudications for the sale, possession, distribution, or transfer of narcotics or controlled substances
  6. Registered sex offender
  7. Any applicant who has been arrested or charged must submit a Petition for a Declaratory Order to the Texas Board of Nursing and receive resolution from the BON prior to applying to the nursing program.

Contact the Associate Degree in Nursing Program Director for additional information. Attending an Associate Degree in Nursing program information session is recommended, but not mandatory. Times and locations for the information sessions are posted and updated on the Information Session link of the nursing program website. Applying for the Next Class has additional detailed information regarding testing including a checklist of things needed before making application to the program.

Step One: Apply for Admission to NCTC through Apply Texas or print the NCTC Admissions Application in PDF format. Complete the college admission process as outlined on the NCTC website: https://www.applytexas.org/adappc/gen/c_start.WBX

An applicant should submit official transcripts from every college attended by sending them to the Admissions Office. To complete the process, an applicant should submit a Degree Audit/Transcript Evaluation form to the NCTC Admissions Office. This must be done early enough so that a degree audit can be completed by the Admissions Office before making application to the nursing program (August 1st for Spring admission; March 15th for Fall admission)

Step Two: Once all admission requirements are met, an applicant will be notified by the Admissions Office of acceptance to NCTC. At this point an applicant may begin the process of registering for the pre-requisite and general academic (non-nursing) courses as needed.

Step Three: After an applicant has completed steps one and two, an applicant should apply for admission to the Associate Degree in Nursing Program. Associate Degree Nursing Applications should be submitted online to the myNCTC page. Copies of transcripts from all colleges other than NCTC and a copy of a degree audit must be provided at the time submission.

Applications may be completed between:

• March 1 - March 31 for Fall Semester admission
• Aug. 1 - Aug. 31 for Spring Semester admission

If an applicant is not admitted to the Associate Degree in Nursing Program after submitting an application, must submit a new application during the next application period in order to be considered for admission in subsequent semesters. There are no waiting lists for applicants.

Step Four: An applicant's transcript will be evaluated to determine eligibility to take an entrance assessment for the Associate Degree in Nursing program. (Refer to the Priority Point Chart).

  • Entry Level applicants must have a minimum of 9 application points to be eligible to apply.
  • LVN-to-RN applicants must have a minimum of 7 application points to be eligible to apply.

Applicants will be ranked according to application points for eligibility to take the Entrance Exam. Typically, all qualified applicants are tested.

  1. 1. Application points will be given for the prerequisite courses of Anatomy & Physiology I, Anatomy & Physiology II and Math Statistics as follows:
    A = 4 points
    B = 3 points
    C = 2 points
    One point will be deducted for any prerequisite course that was repeated for a higher grade.
  2. Points will be given to non-nursing courses completed for Microbiology, Lifespan Growth & Development; Composition I and either Philosophy/Literature/Culture or Creative Arts as follows:
    A = 1 point
    B = 0.5 point
  3. Points will be given for courses completed for the BSN pathway include: Chem 1406 or 1411 Intro to Chemistry or General Chemistry; BIOL 1322 Basic Nutrition; ENGL 1302 Composition II; PSYC 2301 Intro to Psychology; HIST 1301 US History to 1865; HIST 1302 US History from 1865; GOVT 2305 Federal Government; GOVT 2306 Texas Government; Philosophy/Literature/Culture or Creative Arts; 2 hour elective:
    10 courses = 10 points
  4. The TEAS Entrance Exam consists of four areas; Reading, Math, Writing and Science. Applicants will be given one point in each area where they scored at or above the 40th percentile and two points in each area where they scored at or above the 70th percentile.

Step Five: Candidates with the highest application points will be considered for admission to the Associate Degree Nursing Program. The minimum passing score for the exam is 70. Applicants may NOT take the entrance exam more than twice during an academic year (August through July). Applicants accepted into the program will be registered in nursing courses by the nursing program. Students do not enroll themselves in nursing courses.

  • 51 entry level applicants are accepted each spring and fall
  • 16 in-seat LVN-to-RN applicants are accepted each spring and fall
  • Candidates with the next highest application points will be listed as alternates.

If any of those who have been admitted are not able to begin the program for that particular semester, the alternate with the next highest application points will be admitted.

Any applicant wishing to re-apply for the following semester must go through the admission process again in order to be considered.

Step Six: Those students selected for admission must have the following items:

  • Physical Examination form signed by a physician certifying that the applicant has been examined thoroughly.
  • Proof of major medical insurance coverage or accident insurance coverage.
  • Malpractice insurance. This is added to the tuition/fees bill at the time of registration. Malpractice insurance must be renewed each fall semester.
  • A Urine Drug Screen will be required of all students
  • Proof of current CPR certification (American Heart Association Health Care Provider) and the following required Immunizations:
    • Measles, Mumps & Rubella (MMR) - 2 doses or serological confirmation
    • TDaP
    • Proof of 2 negative TB tests (at least 1 within past 6 months) or Chest X-Ray within 2 years
    • Hepatitis B - series of 3 doses administered over a 6 months period AND serological confirmation one month after the 3rd dose.
    • The first dose must be obtained no later than January 15 for Fall admission or July 6 for Spring admission in order to have the series complete prior to beginning the program)
    • Varicella - (2 doses if the first dose was received on or after the 13th birthday) or a positive IgG titer
    • Flu vaccine

To Earn Your Associate Degree in Nursing

To successfully complete the Associate Degree in Nursing program, earn an Associate of Applied Science Degree and apply to take the state licensing exam for Registered Nurses, students must complete a total of 60 semester credit hours - 36 in Nursing courses and 24 in pre-requisites and required support courses. Transition students are required to complete less hours - a total of 52 hours - due to credit being given for LVN licensure. Nursing courses are grouped in progressive levels of complexity, and students must successfully complete all course work in one level before progressing to the next.

The Associate Degree in Nursing program is designed to be completed in four long semesters. No Associate Degree in Nursing courses are offered in summer semesters. Entry level students take traditional face-to-face courses. LVN-to-RN Transition students take traditional face-to-face courses. LVN-to-RN Transition students have the same clinical course requirements as the face-to-face students.

About Transfer Credit

Admission by Transfer is considered on a space available basis. Applicants must meet all requirements of the nursing program in addition to those of North Central Texas College.

  • All college credits from other institutions will be evaluated on an individual basis to determine their possible application to the nursing curriculum requirements.
  • A letter grade of "C" (75) or better is required for transfer for all previous nursing courses and academic support courses.
  • Students who have not been academically successful in other nursing programs will not be considered for transfer.
  • Previous nursing courses must be from a regionally accredited program of nursing. A transfer will not be considered if the student has missed a full semester of enrollment in a nursing program.
  • The student must submit:
    • A letter stating the reason for transfer
    • Course descriptions and/or course syllabi for previous nursing courses
    • Resume of previous clinical experience to include documentation of skills provided by the faculty of the transferring school.
    • Letter of recommendation from the Department Head of the school from which the applicant is transferring.
    • Students will be evaluated on an individual basis by the Program Director to determine their level of entry.

Succeeding in the Associate Degree in Nursing Program

Progression Criteria

To remain in good standing and progress within the Associate Degree in Nursing curriculum, students must:

  • Make a grade of "C" or higher in all required courses
  • Adhere to the program's course of study - including completion of support courses
  • Maintain current CPR certification and immunization status.
  • Successfully complete the Clinical Math Exams with a grade of 100 or above each semester. Failure to make a 100 will result in a clinical failure and dismissal from the nursing program. Three attempts are given for each Clinical Math Exam.

Students will not be allowed to continue in the Associate Degree in Nursing program without satisfying these criteria. However, when deficiencies are corrected, the student may petition to be readmitted to the appropriate courses. Students will be allowed to continue only with approval of the ADN Program Admission, Progression, and Advisement (APA) Committee.

Grading Policy

Course grades (non-clinical performance) are based on a numerical average with corresponding letter grades. A grade of "C" or higher is required in all courses in the Associate Degree in Nursing curriculum. Grades will not be rounded.

  • 90-100 = A
  • 81-89 = B
  • 75-80 = C
  • 66-74 = D
  • 65 or lower = F
  • Grades for clinical courses are based on performance in the clinical area and other assignments. Failure to successfully complete the Clinical Math exams in each semester will result in clinical failure and immediate dismissal from the nursing program.

About Clinicals

Clinical courses require students to travel to sites off the college campus. Clinical sites include - but are not limited to - hospitals and other health care facilities in Gainesville, Muenster, Sherman, Denton, Decatur, Corinth, Flower Mound, and Lewisville. Students must be prepared to drive to ANY of these locations for clinicals; sites closest to your home may not always be available.

Readmission

Students who have an interruption in the normal progression of their nursing studies-whether by withdrawal from a nursing course or earning a grade lower than a "C" in a nursing course - will no longer be enrolled in the Associate Degree Nursing Program.

  • The ADN Admission, Progression, and Advisement (APA) Committee considers appeals for readmission on an individual basis.
  • Students may only be readmitted to the ADN program one time.
  • Students not successful in completing any course in their first semester are required to reapply to the program and start the process from the beginning. Refer to the NCTC Associate Degree Nursing Student Handbook for more detailed information about this procedure.

Cost Considerations for Associate Degree in Nursing Students

Summary of Costs: The total per-semester cost for the Associate Degree in Nursing Program at North Central Texas College is the sum of:

  • Tuition
  • "Combined" student fees (such as malpractice insurance and testing fees)
  • Textbooks
  • Supplies and incidentals
  • Nursing kits
  • Laboratory fees
  • These are extra fees charged for all courses requiring a lab (in addition to the classroom lecture). For Associate Degree in Nursing students, a lab fee of $24 will also be charged for each clinical course. Lab fees for other non-nursing science courses are normally $24.
  • Except for items 4 and 5, charges are calculated the same for all NCTC students.

Due to the special nature of the Associate Degree in Nursing program, expenses in categories 3-5 may be higher than those paid by students in most other majors. Estimated cost for the entire Associate Degree Nursing program is approximately $10,000. Most of this expense occurs at the beginning of the program. The first semester cost is approximately $3,500.

Textbooks:

Nursing textbooks are highly specialized medical books and can be expensive - the cost may be as much as $1,700.00 for books for the program. All books for the ADN program are purchased during the first semester. For students who will be taking general education courses, textbook costs will vary depending on the course.

Supplies & Incidentals:

Students admitted to the ADN program are required to buy

  • Uniforms - specific scrubs for class and clinical
  • Patches
  • Lab coat
  • Nursing shoes
  • Stethoscope
  • Skills kit
  • Wristwatch with a second hand
  • Students will need normal school supplies

Other costs include

  • Major medical insurance
  • Physical examination and immunizations
  • CPR training
  • Graduation fees
  • State Board of Nursing fees
  • NCLEX-RN testing fees.

*ADN students must have access to a computer with internet access.

Credit Hours

  • A 1:1 ratio is used for lecture hours - 1 lecture hour is equivalent to one credit.
  • A 2:1 ratio is used to determine lab hours to credit hours - 2 lab hours are equivalent to 1 credit.
  • A 3:1 ratio is used to determine clinical hours - 3 clinical hours are equivalent to 1 credit.

See catalog course descriptions for the number of hours, lecture, laboratory, and clinical hours required for each course.

Graduation

Graduates may apply to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN), which is administered by the Texas Board of Nursing. Graduates become RNs once the NCLEX-RN is passed.

Graduates must pass the state-mandated jurisprudence exam with a minimum grade of 75 before applying for the NCLEX-RN.
NCTC Associate Degree in Nursing graduates are encouraged to continue nursing education toward a bachelor's degree or higher.
Associate Degree in Nursing students completing requirements for their Associate of Applied Science Degree are highly encouraged, as are all graduates, to participate in the College's formal commencement ceremonies.

BSN Pathway

The Associate Degree in Nursing program at NCTC partners with major universities to offer students the opportunity for a smoother transition from Associate Degree in Nursing to Bachelor of Science in Nursing through the Consortium for the Advancement of Baccalaureate Nursing Education in Texas (CABNET) agreement. Since the BSN Pathway curriculum has been standardized, students that graduate with an Associate Degree in Nursing from NCTC, pass the NCLEX-RN, and complete all BSN pre-requisite courses will be able to complete the BSN program with 30 hours of online courses at one of our partner universities.