nursing students taking height and weight measurements

Pre-BSN/Educational Advancements

Two types of academic programs lead to RN licensure: associate degree programs (ADN) and baccalaureate programs (BSN). Both programs prepare individuals to give direct patient care, but graduates of an ADN program have more limited career mobility.

The baccalaureate degree is required for public health nursing, school nursing and most supervisory positions at the unit manager level, and to enter most graduate nursing programs. In Illinois, a master's degree in nursing is required to teach in ADN, BSN or graduate-level nursing education programs.

College of DuPage students interested in pursuing the bachelor's degree in nursing can earn an Associate in Science (A.S.) degree while they fulfill all prerequisites for admission to a BSN nursing program. The Pre-Nursing program has been developed for this purpose. The ADN Nursing program, described in another program guide, is designed for students who plan to practice as a registered nurse (RN) immediately after graduation. Other educational institutions offer degree-completion programs for ADN nurses who later decide to pursue their BSN. Degree-completion programs generally can be completed in four to six semesters.

Job Description and Career Opportunities

RNs provide direct care and treatment for patients, supervise, and work as members of interdisciplinary teams in a variety of health care settings, including hospitals, home health services, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, ambulatory clinics and physicians' offices. Bedside services that RNs provide include injections, blood transfusions, intravenous feedings and dispensing of medications. BSNs also work in the public schools, in supervisory/managerial positions in nursing, and in the health department where they perform comprehensive health appraisals and provide patient education.

To practice as an RN, individuals must graduate from an accredited two-year associate degree program (ADN) or four-year baccalaureate program (BSN) and pass the national licensing examination. An RN must have a baccalaureate degree for employment as a public health nurse or school nurse, and for most supervisory/managerial positions at the unit manager level and above.

The employment outlook for RNs in all settings is excellent due to the prevailing shortage of nursing personnel.

On-campus BSN Opportunities

Enrollment Information

Obtain a list of specific prerequisites required for admission to the BSN program(s) you would like to attend. You can obtain these directly from the transfer institution and, for some in-state schools, from COD's Counseling, Advising and Transfer Services. Work with the Counseling, Advising and Transfer Services to select COD courses that fulfill these prerequisites.

Program Requirements

Please consult a faculty member listed on the Program Contacts page before beginning your coursework.


When planning your coursework, use the Student Planning Worksheet. Degree information and the worksheet can be found on the following files:
Student Planning Worksheet

Educational Advancement Opportunities for RN Graduates

  • RN to BSN
  • RN to MSN: Bridge option (designed for the RN with a baccalaureate degree outside of Nursing. This is an entry option to the Masters of Science in Nursing)
  • MSN

Other Options to Advance Your Education

Program Contacts

Please visit the Program Contacts page for detailed information.