2023-2024 Pierce College Catalog 
    Apr 21, 2024  
2023-2024 Pierce College Catalog

Nursing (Full-Time LPN to RN) Associate in Applied Science (AAS) Course Map

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Created by Pierce faculty, this map outlines the initial coursework for this career field. It provides you a clear path to complete your degree by listing a specific set of courses relevant to your program and career.  The map is designed with the appropriate number of credits and meets degree requirements. Courses are organized in a recommended sequence; please schedule accordingly. If a course is unavailable, select the next appropriate course within the sequence. For each course, a purpose statement explains how the content relates to your career field. On this map, there may be instances when you will be required to select a course from several options. Use these purpose statements and notes to choose the course that best aligns with your interests and needs. You will also find action items to complete to assure you progress and graduate on time. 

While this map is a great guide to courses required to complete the Associate in Nursing (ADN), you are responsible for fulfilling all degree requirements

Questions? Your Success Network is ready to help you!



Applicants must meet general entrance requirements for Pierce College as well as the specific pre-nursing course requirements. Prerequisite courses typically take one to two years depending on the number of credits taken per quarter. Some nursing prerequisite courses may have prerequisites. Check with the college early to plan a specific course of study.

The application deadline for admission to the nursing program is set annually. Check the nursing program website for up-to-date information. No waiting list is established. For the traditional ADN program, the admission committee selects students in early spring for a fall start. For the LPN-RN option, the admission committee selects students in late fall for a spring start. Evaluation of a student’s application is based on the following: 1) each prerequisite science course, ENGL& 101 and PSYC& 200 being completed with a 3.0 or higher; 2) other college courses completed for additional points in the application process with a 2.0 or higher; 3) designated tests; 4) one recommendation; 5) essays that are scored according to a faculty established rubric and 6) resume (see nursing program website for more specific details).

Prospective students who have proof of unencumbered Washington State LPN license may apply. A full cohort of LPN-RN students will be accepted each spring quarter. The application process for the LPN-RN option is the same as the process for the traditional ADN student. Please see the nursing advisor for more information.

There are additional courses recommended for students planning to continue their education to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. It is recommended that the applicant make an appointment with an advisor to make sure the planned course of study meets the program’s admission requirements. The pre-nursing advisor’s number is (253) 840-8355.


Graduates of the Pierce College Nursing Program who successfully pass the NCLEX examination for RN licensure may apply to the University of Washington Tacoma or St. Martin’s University to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. An articulation agreement is in place and students who plan to transfer should work closely with their Pierce College advisor to make sure that all requirements are met.

The pre-nursing course requirements apply to other allied health fields or to an associate degree for transfer to a four-year institution should a student change fields or not be accepted into the nursing program.

Program Admission Eligibility Requirements

A requirement for program admission is passing a criminal background check.  Please review the nursing disqualifying factors page for more information.

Licensure Eligibility Requirements

To work as a registered nurse in the state of Washington you must be licensed through the Washington State Department of Health. The Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 246-840-030 outlines the requirements for initial licensing for registered nurses.  As noted WAC 246-840-030 in addition to successfully completing your education program with Pierce you will also need to successfully complete the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses. Pierce College has not determined if our nursing education program meets requirements for licensure outside of the state of Washington.  Visit our NC-SARA Licensure Disclosure page for more information.

This program is for students who wish to enroll in a part-time LPN to RN nursing program. Applicants must be a licensed practical nurse (LPN) within the state of Washington by the start of the program.  

Action Item: Students should also meet with advising to discuss options outside of nursing, such as the Healthcare AAS-T degree, dental hygiene, healthcare emergency management, and paramedic/EMS/EMT programs.  

ctcLink Plan Code: RENNUAPT

Total Minimum Credits Needed to Earn Nursing ADN: 87

Total Credits for First and Second Year: 40

Action Item: Meet with our advisor to review your LPN license and prior coursework before taking the prerequisites listed below. ​

Nursing Prerequisites

General Psychology

  • Course purpose: This course provides an introduction to psychology and a broad overview of the study of human interaction, which is an integral part of nursing.  

Lifespan Psychology

  • Course purpose: This course introduces nurses to human growth and development across the lifespan, which is required to understand how to care for individuals with various disease processes.  

Preparatory Chemistry

Introduction to Chemistry

General Biology w/Lab

  • Course purpose: Overview of biological concepts to prepare for upper level biology courses, and lab experience.  This class is the foundation from which all the 200-level Biology courses are built upon. You will learn about a survey of biological studies, how to properly use a microscope, and other important lab techniques. 

English Composition I

  • Course purpose: Clear and strategic communication with others is a central feature of all careers, including Nursing. This class provides necessary skills in documentation and written communication, which are necessary for all nurses.  


    Note: Your advisor will assist you in reviewing your Guided Self Placement and selecting either the 5-credit or the 7-credit co-requisite ENGL& 101 +ENGLC 101 course. 

Human A & P I

  • Course purpose: Nurses must study anatomy and physiology to understand how the body functions and to help them recognize causes of illness. This leads to application of concepts and practical applications to assess, diagnose, and track patients’ health.  

Human A & P II

  • Course purpose: Nurses must study anatomy and physiology to understand how the body functions and to help them recognize causes of illness. This leads to application of concepts and practical applications to assess, diagnose, and track patients’ health.  


  • Course purpose: Nurses must study microorganisms to understand disease processes caused by them and in order to know how to treat said diseases.  

Action Item: Recommended Courses

Decide to take recommended courses prior to program application.

Total Prerequisite Credits: 47

Action Item: Apply to the Nursing Program

Apply to the nursing program via the online application. Please note that completion of prerequisites and the nursing program application do not guarantee acceptance into the nursing program. 

First Year

Spring Quarter

Apply for Graduation

Way to go! It is time to apply for graduation. Visit the Pierce College Graduation website for details.  

Second Year

Fall Quarter

Winter Quarter

Total Credits for First and Second Year: 40

Total Minimum Credits Needed to Earn Nursing ADN: 87

ctcLink Plan Code: RENNUAPT

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