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Nurses promote health, prevent disease and help patients cope with illness. They have a unique scope of field and can practice independently or work with other on the health care team to manage patient care.

Career Field

In a field as varied as nursing, responsibilities can range from making acute treatment decisions to providing inoculations in schools. The unifying characteristics in every role are the skill, drive, and passion it takes to be a nurse. Through long-term monitoring of patients’ behavior and knowledge-based expertise, nurses are best placed to take an all-encompassing view of a patient’s well being.

Special Considerations

The admission process is designed to admit students who are most likely to be successful in the academically challenging nursing curriculum and to do so in an impartial manner. The process includes prerequisite requirements and an admission procedure. You must meet with an advisor to develop a personal academic plan for completing prerequisite course requirements.

Students entering the health care professions must have a positive attitude about the importance of the work that they are being prepared to do. In part, a professional attitude involves personal integrity, the use of positive communication techniques, flexibility in regards to clinical assignments, and taking on a leadership role when necessary.

Prerequisite and Support Courses

Priority admission will be granted to students with all support courses completed prior to admission.

  • BIOL 213 – Anatomy and Physiology I (4 sem. hours)
  • ENGL 121 – Rhetoric and Composition I (3 sem. hours)
  • PSY 161 – Intro to Psychology (3 sem. hours)
  • CHEM 120 – Elementary General Chemistry (4 sem. hours)
  • BIOL 214 – Anatomy and Physiology II (4 sem. hours)
  • BIOL 211 – Microbiology (4 sem. hours)
  • PSY 262 – Human Growth and Development (3 sem. hours)
  • Math placement test results indicating no math course under MATH 158 are needed or completion of MATH 067 Basic Algebra II, or higher.

Nursing Program Courses Include:

  • Anatomy and Physiology I
  • Elementary General Chemistry
  • Rhetoric & Composition I
  • Introduction to Psychology
  • Anatomy & Physiology II
  • General Microbiology
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Pharmacology
  • Fundamentals of Nursing
  • Physical Assessment
  • Health & Illness I
  • Family Nursing
  • Health & Illness II
  • Psychiatric Nursing
  • Health & Illness III
  • Professionalism and Leadership in Nursing

Information Sessions

Applicants are required to attend an information session in order to receive an application to apply.

Students must fill out the form below or call the Nursing and Allied Health Coordinator at 815-599-3679 to register for an information session.

Kaplan Testing

Anyone entering the full or part-time nursing program is required to take an entrance exam. View more details about the Kaplan test, including a breakdown of questions and scores and registration information.

NCLEX – RN Pass Rates

Graduate Year20172018201920202021
National Average87%88%88%87%TBD

Program Completion Rate

Admitted StudentsCompleted Students*Completion Rate
Spring 2017 Part-Time2020100%
Fall 2017 Full-Time322681.25%
Spring 2018 Part-Time232191%
Fall 2018 Full-Time201470%
Spring 2019 Part-Time25Data in Progress**
Fall 2019 Full-Time28Data in Progress**
*Completion calculated for those students who completed the program within 150% of the time. Program length – 2 years; 150% completion – 3 years
**Data to be determined with Spring 2022 graduates

Graduates Who Obtain a Job

*Highland’s expected job placement rate will be at or above 90%

Graduate Year (n=number of distributed surveys)Number of Surveys ReceivedJob Placement Rate*
2018 (n=data unknown)1794%
2019 (n=data unknown)26100%
2020 (n=40)15100%
*Statistics include data from returned graduate surveys only


Associate of Applied Science (AAS)

Program Contacts

Dr. Stephanie Eymann, DNP, RN, Dean of Nursing and Allied Health, 815-599-3439
Alicia Kepner CMA, AAMA Coordinator, Nursing Program and Lab, 815-599-3657
Jessica Larson, MSN, RN, 815-599-3467
Kay Sperry, DNP, MSN, RN-BC 815-599-3684
Chrislyn Senneff, MSN,RN, 815-599-3458
Shelly Morgan, MSN, RN 815-599-3727
Jessica Schneiderman, MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, CCRN-K