Program Type

Associate in Applied Science

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About the Program

A nursing career is dynamic and exciting. No two days on the frontline of healthcare are the same. At Rock Valley College, our nursing program faculty are responding to the ever changing needs in healthcare by offering top quality nursing education from highly experienced instructors who care. With attention to developing proficient hands-on skills, critical thinking to anticipate client needs, and outstanding communication with clients, families and other members of the healthcare team, the RVC nursing program teaches students to protect the cultural dignity of the client within legal and ethical frameworks. The excellent education provided is evident by our exceptional NCLEX pass rates remaining higher than national and state averages.

How to Apply

  • NAD 101 Nursing Aide – Active Nurse Aide Certificate (CNA) with no disqualifying convictions (background check).
  • Overall 2.50 GPA (or higher) in the following courses:
    • BIO 100 or 103 Introductory Biology (3 credits)
    • BIO 185* Foundations of Anatomy & Physiology (5 credits) – OR – BIO 281* & 282* Human Anatomy & Physiology I & II (8 credit total)
    • BIO 274* Microbiology (4 credits)
    • PSY 170 General Psychology (3 credits)
    • ENG 101 Composition I (3 credits)
    • *If an “A” or a “B” was earned on the only attempt of Anatomy/Physiology or Microbiology, there is no expiration of these courses.
  • NRS 104 Pathophysiology: Altered Health Concepts (3 credits); course must be within two years with a grade of "C" (80%) or better.
  • ATI TEAS (Scheduled through the RVC Testing Center)
    • ATI TEAS Test Version Seven (3 ½ hours)
    • Overall Score: must be “Proficient Level” or higher
    • If any of the sub-scores are at a “Developmental” level, a student will be disqualified from consideration and will need to re-take the TEAS.
  • Electives – Any two of the following courses (6-7 credits total):
    • CHM 110 General, Organic, and Biochemistry (4 credits)
    • FWS 237 Nutrition for Optimum Living (3 credits)
    • MTH 220 Elements of Statistics (3 credits)
    • PSY 270 Lifespan Development Psychology (3 credits)
    • SOC 190 Introduction to Sociology (3 credits)
    • SPH 131 Fundamentals of Communication (3 credits)

All prospective nursing students are highly encouraged to watch the Registered Nursing Program video to learn more about RVC's options and pathways. The video focuses on nursing as a career and on admission requirements and is narrated by the Nursing Program Director together with an Academic Advisor.

Nursing Information Session Video

Once you have reviewed the admission requirements and nursing information session, you may complete the Nursing Program Application (PDF) to apply. 

Nursing Program Application


What can I do with this degree?

Potential Careers & Wages

Program Pathways

Students should meet with an Academic Advisor to develop a clear pathway leading to a seamless transfer experience or transition to the workforce. For additional possibilities that may require an advanced degree or certification, make an appointment with an Academic Advisor.

Visit Academic Advising

Nursing at RVC

Check out this short video to learn more about the Nursing program at RVC!

Rock Valley College’s (RVC) Associate Degree Registered Nursing (RN) Program has been approved by the Illinois State Board of Nursing since 1967, and has remained in good standing.

October 2020: The associate nursing program at Rock Valley College located in Rockford, IL is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN). The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the associate nursing program is Initial Accreditation. Rock Valley College’s RN Program will be up for re-accreditation in 2025. 

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) Logo

The Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing
3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400
Atlanta, Georgia 30326
(404) 975-5000

All students who successfully complete the RVC Nursing program earn an Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree and are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-RN to earn the Registered Nurse (RN) credential. All our graduates are employable at all three local hospitals in Rockford, as well as other healthcare agencies. Once hired, these hospital employers are expecting nurses to complete their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) Degree. To help facilitate an easy transition into an RN-BSN Completion Program, RVC Nursing has developed partnerships with five RN-BSN Completion Programs.

The nursing program is responsible for providing our community with quality nurses who care for their clients safely. In order to become a quality, safe practicing nurse, students will be required to attend all classes and all clinicals. Students are expected to provide their own transportation to clinical sites.

All nursing courses require a "C", which is 80% to pass.  Students who do not earn a "C" (80%) or better in any given nursing course will remediate by course repetition.  Course repetition is only allowed once.

All supporting courses/electives required for the degree must also be completed with a "C" or higher in order to receive the A.A.S. degree in nursing. 

Clinical facilities must comply with their regulatory requirements and best practices. The nursing program provides clinical education at various clinical agencies. The nursing program must adhere to these facilities' requirements. At any given moment, clinical agencies may modify the health requirements, notifying educational institutions of changes, which students must comply with. All admitted students will be required to provide the following at the expense of the student. Blood work can be done at your doctor's office, Health Department, or AnyTime Lab (815) 397-8370.

  • Physical exam (with no restrictions, within 90 days of program start)

  • Immunizations:

    • Lab titers to show immunity to:

      • Rubella

      • Rubeola

      • Mumps

      • Hepatitis B

      • Varicella

    • Vaccination Record for:

      • Tdap (within 10 years)

      • Current Influenza vaccination

      • Current COVID vaccination

      • TB (Tuberculous)

  • Proof of current Health Insurance

  • Current BLS-CPR for the healthcare provider (AHA, ARC)

  • 10-panel Drug Testing, including marijuana

  • GSA/IOG Background Check

    • (NOTE:  Clinical facilities reserve the right to change requirements at any given time.)

Upon successful completion of the nursing program, students will sit for the NCLEX-RN exam to earn the credentials of RN (Registered Nurse). This process has additional fees. Approximately $450.

  • Fingerprinting Fee
  • Application Fee for NCLEX-RN testing
  • NCLEX-RN Exam Fee
  • RN Licensure Fee

On completion of the Associate Degree, nursing component of the Rock Valley College Nursing Program the graduate shall practice in accordance with the State of Illinois Nurse Practice Act and shall:

  1. Apply clinical and theoretical knowledge and skills to providing care.
  2. Use effective communication with clients, families, and the healthcare team.
  3. Incorporate cultural variances to provide client-centered care.
  4. Apply ethical and legal knowledge and skills to providing patient care.

NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: The most recent annual pass rate or the mean pass rate for three most recent years will be 80% or greater for all first-time test-takers; or 80% or greater for all first-time testers and repeaters; or at or above the national/territorial mean based on the nursing program type:

Year RVC NCLEX Pass Rate IL NCLEX Pass Rate National NCLEX Pass Rate
2023 100% 85% 89%
2022 86% 77% 80%
2021 83% 82% 82%

Program Completion Rate: 75% of RVC nursing students will complete the nursing program starting with the first nursing course upon admission to the program through completion of courses required for conferral of the Associate of Nursing Degree (ADN).

Job Placement: 85% (of received surveys) of graduates will obtain employment as a RN within one year of passing the NCLEX-RN exam.

You are encouraged to meet with an Academic Advisor to ensure a seamless pathway from prerequisite courses through the nursing program and into a BSN completion program.

The Nursing Academic Advisor is Amanda Lonsway and she is located in the Health Sciences Center.

For more information, please contact Amanda Lonsway at

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