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.

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.

First Time Pass Rate on National Council Licensure Exam for Nurses (NCLEX)
Program Benchmark: Three-year mean for the licensure exam pass rate will be at or above the nation mean for the same three-year period.
2018 Graduates: 94%, national mean 85%
2019 Graduates: 95.1%, national mean 87%
2020 Graduates: 85%, national mean 87%

Students Completing the Program
Program Benchmark: 80% of students entering the Nursing Program will graduate within nine quarters (150% of program length).
2018 Graduates: 94.4%
2019 Graduates: 86.7%
2020 Graduates: 88%

Graduates Obtaining Jobs within Nine Months
Program Benchmark: 90% of graduates will be employed full-time or part-time within nine  months.
2018 Graduates: 94%
2019 Graduates: 95%
2020 Graduates: 90.5%

Students should attend at least one Pre-Nursing Information Session prior to meeting with an adviser. 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. These sessions are held frequently throughout the year.

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
  • 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 $100). 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
310 Israel Road SE
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 in July 2015 until Spring 2023

Application Process and Admission Index Score

The next opportunity to apply to the CBC Nursing program will be January 2022 for a Fall 2022 program start. The last date to submit an application will be March 1, 2022.

Please select Nursing Program Application in the drop down menu below.

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 - 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 English Composition 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   2

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 Stuent 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 application process for Fall 2022 program start will be January 2022.

When the application process is open, students will be asked to visit the NursingCAS to start an application or log into your existing account. The fee will be $50.


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

Help Center

Fall 2022 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, there will be an Academic Update window open in NursingCAS in May 2022. Students must go in and update their accounts to show the winter quarter class, or classes, that they took at CBC or another college. Students will need to upload official transcripts that include the winter quarter classes to NursingCAS.

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

Nursing Program Outcomes - effective with Fall 2020 cohort

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.

Nursing Program Outcomes - present cohort graduating June 2021
  1. Utilizing the nursing process and critical thinking skills to:
    • Assess and diagnose a patient’s ongoing basic and complex health care needs through the lifespan and within the context of his/her environment. Assimilate data from other members of the health care team.
    • Develop outcomes, plans, and prioritizes nursing care for patients and families based upon gathered assessment data. Integrates principles of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Erikson’s Eight Stages of Life, pharmacology and nutrition into the plan of care.
    • Implement the developed plan of care through direct care and supervision of care by other members of the health care team.
    • Evaluate the responses of patients to nursing interventions, and analyze and modify the nursing care plan consistent with intended outcomes.

  2. Integrating cultural awareness and sensitivity in the delivery of patient care in a diverse global Community.  

  3. Using culturally sensitive verbal and non-verbal therapeutic communication skills with patients, families, and members of the healthcare team in a one-to-one relationship or structured group setting.

  4. Identifying the health education needs of patients across the lifespan; developing and implementing a teaching plan utilizing basic principles of teaching/learning which enable the graduate to identify appropriate methods and modify the teaching plan when necessary.

  5. Assuming a leadership role in health care settings by delegating to health care team members with less education and/or experience.

  6. Assessing, reading and summarizing current nursing literature. Analyzing nursing research and applying selected findings to practice. Integrating current nursing literature into patient care planning.

  7. Practicing safely using current standards of care.

  8. Demonstrating accountability, responsibility, and reliability when providing nursing care.

  9. Demonstrating a professional demeanor and respect for the values and beliefs of patients.

  10. Utilizing knowledge of pharmacological principles, including accurate dosage calculation, safe medication administration technique, assessment of individual response to medications and appropriate patient teaching.
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