Associate Degree in Nursing

The ADN program at Columbia Basin College (CBC) prepares you for a dynamic profession that encompasses compassion and caring with a scientific approach to promote optimal health for the individual, family and community. At completion of the program, you will be eligible to become a Registered Nurse (RN) through the state licensure examination.

CBC's Nursing programs admit students once per year during fall quarter, and the program is six quarters in length. Students who successfully complete the second year of the nursing program earn an Associate in Applied Science-Transfer in Nursing degree (commonly referred to as an “ADN” degree) and are eligible to take the NCLEX-RN exam. Classroom and clinical instruction takes place at the Health Science Center in Richland and local healthcare facilities. We also have state-of-the-art simulation labs that provide a safe environment for students to practice their clinical skills.
CBC is proud of its reputation for providing a quality nursing education. Graduates from CBC’s ADN program consistently achieve one of the highest pass rates of first-time, ADN-educated candidates on the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in Washington State. Graduates from CBC’s Nursing programs are highly regarded in the healthcare community and consistently find employment in local facilities.

The Columbia Basin College (CBC) Nursing Program offers a concurrent enrollment option for students in their final two quarters of the Associate of Applied Science-Transfer degree in Nursing program. This unique opportunity allows eligible students to concurrently enroll in Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) courses at CBC, providing a seamless transition to further their education and advance their nursing careers. By taking advantage of this concurrent enrollment option, students can save time and work towards their BSN while completing their AAS-T degree. Students will be provided with details about the application and admission to the concurrent enrollment program after they are selected for admission to the CBC AAS-T program. Information sessions will be offered to explain the process of applying and other program details. Students also have the option of enrolling in the RN-BSN Program at CBC after graduation as well.

Individuals who complete an ADN program and obtain a Washington State RN license are eligible to apply to CBC’s RN-BSN program to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The RN-BSN program can be completed in as little as four quarters. The program allows working nurses to maintain their jobs while completing most of their coursework online.

Thanks to the generosity of donors past and present, the CBC Foundation is proud to offer over $200,000 annually in scholarships to students admitted into the CBC Nursing program. These donations make it possible for students to pursue their dreams and prepare for a career serving others. Students entering or continuing in the nursing program can apply each year through a single application to be eligible for scholarships based on each scholarships specific criteria. Students do not have to be WASFA or FAFSA eligible in order to apply. An announcement will go out to all current and incoming nursing students when the application opens in June.

Nursing scholarships available include, but not limited to:

Kadlec Foundation
This scholarship is awarded to full-time (10 credits) students enrolled in the CBC Associate Degree in Nursing Program or Bachelor of Science Nursing Program. Students must have a 3.0 GPA. 

Acel Brown
This scholarship is awarded to full-time (10 credits) students enrolled as 1st or 2nd year ADN students. Students must have a 2.5 GPA. 

Northwest Health Science Initiative - John Williams Jackson Fund
This scholarship is awarded to full-time (10 credits) students enrolled in the CBC Associate Degree in Nursing Program. Students must have a 2.5 GPA. 

Dr. Robert & Ruth Hanf Health Sciences Endowed Scholarship
This scholarship is awarded to full-time (10 credits) student/s enrolled at CBC pursuing a degree in Health Sciences. Student/s must have a 2.5 GPA or higher. 

First Time Pass Rate on National Council Licensure Exam for Nurses (NCLEX)
Program Benchmark: The program's most recent annual licensure examination pass rate will be at least 80% for all first time test takers during the same twelve month period. (January 31 - December 31)
2021 Graduates: 86%, national mean 82.4%
2022 Graduates: 88.6%, national mean 79.9%
2023 Graduates: 100%, national mean 88.5%

Students Completing the Program
Program Benchmark: 70% or more of students who begin NRS 111 will complete the program and earn an Associate Degree in Nursing within two years (six quarters) which is 100% of the usual time frame for the program.
2021 Graduates: 92.3%
2022 Graduates: 86%
2023 Graduates: 89.5%

Graduates Obtaining Jobs within Nine Months
Program Benchmark: 90% of graduates will be employed full-time or part-time within nine  months.
2021 Graduates: 90%
2022 Graduates: 95.5%
2023 Graduates: 93.3%

Students should attend at least one Pre-Nursing Information Session prior to meeting with an advisor. At these sessions, you will have the opportunity to meet with the Nursing program director and CBC's pre-nursing counselors. Information is provided about required prerequisites, the application process and how to progress through the nursing curriculum.

Information sessions are open to anyone interested in a CBC Health Sciences program.

To view upcoming information sessions and register, please check our events calendar.

It is strongly encouraged to complete nursing prerequisites before applying to the program. These courses provide points for the Admission Index Score. Nursing support courses that may be completed prior to entry include the following:

  • Chemistry, CHEM& 121 or above
  • Human A&P 1, BIOL& 241
  • Human A&P 2, BIOL& 242
  • English Composition, ENGL& 101 or ENGL& 102 or Technical Writing, ENGL& 235 (starting Fall 2023)
  • Lifespan Psychology, PSYC& 200
  • Microbiology, BIOL& 260
  • Introduction to Stats, MATH& 146
  • Communication Studies, CMST& 101, 210, 220, or CMST 260 (5 credits)

Obtaining a 2.0 GPA is required for major courses, major support courses and general education requirements.

To be eligible for the CBC Nursing program, each of the following requirements must be met:

  • Must be a current student at CBC, if not, you can Apply for Admission.
  • Submission of official transcripts from all schools the student has attended; please have these sent to Student Records, not the Nursing program. It is the student's responsibility to follow-up with CBC to assure that transcripts have arrived and have been evaluated.
  • TEAS test on file (test fee is $115). Please see TEAS Testing Schedule.
  • Submit Nursing program application via NursingCAS (fee is $50) by the assigned due date for the following fall quarter program start.

Students are admitted using an admissions index system, which includes the GPA of four selected courses, the TEAS examination score, and course completion scores from all pre-nursing courses. All applications are reviewed at the close of winter quarter. Students with the highest admissions index score will be admitted first. Admission to the Nursing program is limited, and completion of entrance requirements does not ensure admission to the program.

Once accepted into the Nursing program, students will need to submit the following:

  • Required immunization records
  • Current American Heart Association BLS Provider CPR card
  • Satisfactory criminal history background check using a college approved vendor. Criminal history background information is required of all Nursing students. Information obtained will be considered in determining student eligibility to complete clinical coursework. Inability to participate in clinical experiences due to the information obtained from the background check may result in the student’s inability to satisfactorily complete program degree requirements. Any infraction while enrolled in the Nursing program should be self-reported to the coordinator/director. Questions regarding this policy should be directed to the Director for Nursing Programs at 509-544-8318.

Program Approval and Accreditation

CBC Nursing programs are approved by the:

Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commission
Washington State Department of Health, Nursing Commission
Town Center 2
111 Israel Rd S.E.
Tumwater, WA 98501


The Associate Degree Nursing program is accredited by the:
Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400
Atlanta, GA 30326

Continuing accreditation was granted September 2023 until Spring 2031.

Application Process and Admission Index Score

The next opportunity to apply to the Nursing program will be January 2025.

For students enrolled for Winter quarter 2025 for a Nursing prerequisite course, students will be given an opportunity to update their grades and/or licenses on their application in NursingCAS once final grades are posted.

Beginning with the 2023 Nursing application process, to gain the extra 2 points for successful completion of a Pre-Nursing program at Tri-Tech Skill Center or CBC Health Sciences certificate or degree program, students must also have current certification or license.

The program admits one class of approximately 50 students per school year each fall. Students will apply to the Nursing program in January and February prior to the planned entry year. You are strongly encouraged to complete nursing prerequisites before applying to the program. The prerequisite courses provide points for the Admission Index Score.

The CBC Nursing program utilizes three elements for admission. Those elements include cumulative grade point average among selected prerequisite courses, (TEAS) pre-nursing assessment score and departmental course completion score index. These three elements will be combined for a total Admission Index Score based on a total point value of 30 points.

The cumulative grade point of the following courses will be calculated for the Admission Index Score:

  • Chemistry, CHEM& 121 or above: 5 credits*
  • Human A&P 1, BIOL& 241: 6 Credits
  • Introduction to Stats, MATH& 146
  • English Composition, ENGL& 101 or ENGL& 102 or ENGL& 235 - 5 Credits*

*If more than one 5-credit college Chemistry 121 or higher course is taken, or if both ENGL& 101 and ENGL& 102 are taken, the Nursing program will choose the highest grade to use in calculating the Admission Index Score.

The cumulative GPA (from a total possible cumulative score of 4.0) will be multiplied by a factor of 2.5 for 10 total possible points.

Letter grades (including those received from transferring colleges or universities) will be assigned the following decimal scores according to our campus policy:
A = 4.0, A- = 3.7, B+ = 3.3, B = 3.0, B- + 2.7, C+ = 2.3, C = 2.0, C- + 1.7, D+ =1.3, D= 1.0,     D-= 0.7

The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) pre-nursing assessment score will be utilized to assess math, English, and science comprehension at the time of application. The assessment will be provided through the CBC Assessment Center based on student demand and independent scheduling. Results will be forwarded to the Student Records office for placement of score results within respective student files. The test will be provided at specific times throughout the academic year, primarily during fall quarter. Please contact the Assessment Center for test availability dates.

The Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) exam needs to be completed within two years prior to the application due date. Students may take the exam a maximum of two times per academic year. The highest test score will be used in determining the Admission Index Score.

The total pre-nursing assessment score (from a total possible score of 100) will be divided by a factor of 10 for 10 total possible points.

The departmental course completion score is a cumulative score based on the total number of non-nursing courses completed for an individual student. This score is calculated to include winter quarter classes (or fall semester classes where appropriate). The courses and their score are provided below (please note: for transfer courses, a transcript evaluation must be completed by the CBC Registrar's office prior to the calculation of the departmental course completion score. Transfer courses will not be assigned a point value until the official transcript evaluation has been completed.

Course Number Subject Points
BIOL& 241 Human A & P I 5
 BIOL& 242 Human A & P II 5
BIOL& 260 Microbiology 5
MATH& 146 Intro to Statistics 2
ENGL& 101 or 102 or 235 English Course 1
CHEM& 121 or higher (5 cr.) Chemistry  1
PSYC& 200 Lifespan Psychology 1
CMST& 101, 210, 220 or CMST 260 (5 cr.) Communication Studies   1
Pre-Nursing Program at Tri-Tech Skill Center OR successful completion of a Health Science Certificate or degree program at CBC with certification   2

*** Beginning with the 2023 Nursing application process, to gain the extra 2 points for successful completion of a Pre-Nursing program at Tri-Tech Skill Center or CBC Health Sciences certificate or degree program, students must also have current certification.

*** Beginning Fall 2023, ENGL& 235 has been added as an English prerequisite course. 

The departmental course completion score (from a total possible score of 23) will be divided by a factor of 2.3 for 10 total possible points.

The Nursing program Admission Index Score, including the three elements outlined above will total no more than 30 points. When the student makes application to the department, the Admission Index Score will be computed and recorded for class cohort comparison. Those students with the top Admission Index Scores (based on the total number of new admissions allowed in a given year) will be admitted to the Nursing program.

Element Raw Function Factor Total
GPA 4.0 Multiply 2.5 10
Assessment Score 100 Divide 10 10
Course Score 23 Divide 2.3 10

The Admission Index Score helps to provide equity among student applicants. Overall, the Nursing program Admission Index Score computation provides a dynamic index of comparison for students applying to the CBC Nursing program. Those students not admitted will need to reapply the following year.

Element Raw Function Factor Total
Example Student 1:        
GPA 3.76  Multiply 2.5 9.400
Assessment Score 93  Divide 10 9.300
Course Score 20 Divide 2.3 8.696
Total Admissions Index Score       27.396
Example Student 2:        
GPA  3.99 Multiply 2.5 9.975
Assessment Score  75 Divide 10 7.500
Course Score  22 Divide 2.3  9.565
Total Admissions Index Score       27.040

A Microsoft Excel tool has been created to help prospective students calculate their possible Admission Index Score. The Student Self-Assessment Tool was created for prospective student use and is not intended to calculate the official Admission Index Score. After you access the tool, please download the tool to your computer in order to use it. The final Admission Index Score is only valid when calculated by the CBC Student Records office and the Nursing program upon review of official transcripts and other necessary documents to support the final score. If you have problems or need assistance with the Student Self-Assessment Tool, please contact Kim Tucker, the Nursing Program Director.

Columbia Basin College processes applications for its nursing program through NursingCAS, the centralized application service for nursing.

The Nursing application will be available January 2, 2024 through March 1, 2024, at 8:59pm PST.

Please visit the NursingCAS website to create an account to start an application or log into your existing account. The fee will be $55.


If you need help with NursingCAS, visit the Applicant Help Center.

Help Center

Applicant Information

All students have until the end of winter quarter to complete classes that will be counted towards the Admission Index Score. For students taking classes winter quarter, please update your academic history with your grades in NursingCAS after winter quarter grades are published. Students will need to send official transcripts (again) that include the winter quarter grades to NursingCAS. Transcripts must be received by NursingCAS no later than April 23. 2024.

If you have a helath science degree or certificate from CBC, please upload a copy of your official state certification to NursingCAS under the section called "Documents" in the tab called "Admissions Uploaded Documents".

For students that took the CBC Nursing Assistant program, please upload a copy of your Nursing Assistant testing results showing that you passed or a copy of your Nursing Assistant license.

Which courses should I update?

You can update any coursework you initially marked as in-progress or planned, so be sure you reported all prerequisites or health care certificate classes that were in-progress for Winter.

Update Your Coursework

1. Ensure your application's status is Verified on the Check Status tab.
2. Navigate to the Academic History section.
3. Click Transcript Entry.
4. Click Edit under the school you are updating.
5. Click the blue pencil next to the term you are updating (if you need to add a new term, click Add Term).
6. Change the In Progress/Planned box to Completed.
7. Update your courses, credits, and grades.
8. Click Save All

After making updates, click Update My Application to send the changes to your programs. 

Send Your Updated, Official Transcripts to NursingCAS

Depending on the cycle you are applying in, we must receive your official transcripts by the dates below. Arrange for your updated official transcripts to be sent directly to NursingCAS as soon as they are available.

Transcripts must be received by NursingCAS no later than April 23, 2024.

Each state, the District of Columbia and the U.S. protectorates vary in what professions they require to be licensed and the educational requirements for those licenses. It’s important to understand whether the degree or certificate you obtain from CBC will meet the educational eligibility requirements for a license in the state in which you plan to practice.

View educational licensure requirements by state.

National Background Search & Drug Screen Requirements

As part of the admission requirements for Health Science programs, applicants must successfully pass a criminal background check and drug screen prior to working with patients in clinical areas. The background check and drug screen are paid by the student and administered through a third party company, CastleBranch. In addition to the background check required by CBC, each clinical facility reserves the right to conduct its own criminal background check prior to allowing a student to enter its health care facilities for clinical participation.

Certain criminal convictions, pending charges, or negative actions may automatically disqualify a person from having unsupervised access to vulnerable adults, juveniles and children. Clinical facilities reserve the right to accept or decline a student’s placement in its facility

Mission, Vision & Values of the ADN Program

CBC Nursing Program inspires, educates and supports all nursing students in an environment of academic excellence leading to the completion of an Associate Degree of Applied Science Transfer (AAS-T) Degree-Nursing (ADN) while fostering meaningful employment, engagement in the nursing profession, and a commitment to continual learning in the health sciences.

Columbia Basin College Nursing Program will continue to be a trusted member of the healthcare community, transforming lives by providing excellent nursing education for the future nursing workforce.

Student Learning
We work collaboratively to promote student success. We foster the development of critical thinking, identification with the profession of nursing, and the provision of safe nursing care.

Culture of Excellence
We provide excellent teaching utilizing evidence-based practice with a commitment to patient safety. Faculty mentor students in habits of self-reflection and professional growth.

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
We uphold, teach and model a commitment to care with dignity, respect and sensitivity for all people.

We practice stewardship of limited resources in the provision of excellent nursing care.

We promote a healthy environment for learning which encourages wellness of the nursing student and those in their care.  

Nursing Program Outcomes

As a member of the nursing profession, a provider of patient-entered care, a patient safety advocate, and a member of the health care team, a graduate of the Columbia Basin College Nursing Program will demonstrate the following outcomes.

Member of the Profession

1. Demonstrates professional behavior in the clinical setting and healthcare  community.

2. Demonstrates responsibility for continued competence in nursing.

Provider of Patient-Centered Care

3. Utilizes the nursing process to manage care for patients and families across the lifespan in diverse care settings.

4. Demonstrates caring behaviors with dignity, respect and sensitivity to the needs of all patients.

Patient Safety Advocate

5. Utilizes risk reduction strategies in the delivery of safe patient care. 

6. Applies technology and information management tools to support safe processes of care.

Member of the Health Care Team

7. Interacts with members of the health care team, fostering open communication and shared decision making.

8. Utilizes the quality improvement process in their nursing practice as a member of the healthcare team.

There are two educational paths that can lead to a career as an RN: earning an Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN) or earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing (BSN). Both degrees allow you to take the National Council Licensure Exam—Registered Nurse (NCLEX) exam and become an RN. When choosing which track to take, it’s important to think ahead and determine what the educational preferences are for the type of work you want. Some employers (especially hospitals) require RNs to have a Bachelor’s degree. Many working RNs with an ADN opt to go back to school later to earn their Bachelor’s degree through an RN-to-BSN program.
CBC Nursing Program

Registered Nurses (RNs) assume a wide variety of roles in patient care both in and out of traditional hospitals. Specific job titles and duties will vary depending on where you work and the types of patients you care for. There are opportunities for RNs to limit their work to caring for specific patient populations such as:

  • Pediatric nursing
  • Critical care nursing
  • Neonatal nursing
  • Rehabilitation nursing

RNs might also work to promote public health, run health screenings or blood drives or staff the health clinics in schools. RNs could also become:

  • Healthcare consultants
  • Public policy advisors
  • Researchers
  • Hospital administrators
  • Salespeople for pharmaceutical and medical supply companies
  • Medical writers and editors

The next step in the career ladder for nurses is a master’s degree or Doctorate in Nursing. Master’s programs typically require candidates to first have an RN license, with most preferring a BSN degree as opposed to an ADN and an RN license. Career options for master’s prepared nurses include:

  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Nurse Educator
  • Nurse Midwife
  • Clinical Nurse Specialist
  • Nurse Anesthetist
  • Director of Nursing


Health Science Center