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Nursing Student at GRCC

Advanced Standing in the Associate Degree Nursing Program (ADN) for Licensed Practical Nurses

(Students should initially enroll in Curriculum Code 329)

Information on enrolling in GRCC's health programs

In order to help Licensed Practical Nurses to become Registered Nurses, the Nursing faculty at Grand Rapids Community College allows advanced standing (ADS) in the College's Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program. Successful completion of the ADN program culminates in the award of the Associate in Nursing degree, and the eligibility to write the NCLEX-RN—National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurse.

The length of time that it will take a Licensed Practical Nurse to complete the ADN program depends on his/her record of college courses already taken, his/her standing in respect to the ADS admission criteria outlined below, and the availability of space in clinical courses in the level at which the student needs to enter the ADN program.

It is CRITICAL for the prospective student to maintain contact with the Health Admissions Coordinator in order to be assured that all requirements for ADS entrance are being met. Please call 234-4348 if you have any questions concerning advanced standing admission in the Associate Degree Nursing Program.


To be accepted for ADS, the applicant must:

  • possess a current, unencumbered practical nursing license
  • have completed one-year courses in high-school chemistry* and algebra with at least a grade of "C-". Suitable equivalent courses are available at GRCC. These are CHM110, Chemistry in the Modern World and MA098, Elementary Algebra.  *NOTE: CHEMISTRY MUST HAVE A LAB COMPONENT.
  • complete the criminal background check process, and 7-panel urine drug screen
  • score at least 75% on the HESI Health Assessment Admission Test (fee)


  • The College Admissions Office handles all new student applications. Students who have attended GRCC previously need to fill out a curriculum plan code change form at the Registrar's office or with the Health Admissions Coordinator in 600 College Park Plaza Building. Students will be assigned to curriculum code 329 at the time of application. This code means "Advanced Standing status (ADS) --admission requirements incomplete".
  • Transfer credits for courses taken at other colleges are valid only when granted in writing by the Grand Rapids Community College Registrar and will be based only on an official college transcript sent directly to Grand Rapids Community College.


  • AFTER the student has fulfilled all the requirements described above, he/she will be assigned the curriculum code 339. This code means “Advanced Standing status (ADS)—admission requirements completed, ready to take ADN courses.” All academic advising after this point will be done by the Student Intake Specialist or the Director of Nursing Programs.
  • Prior to entry into a clinical nursing course, students must take and pass NUR100 Perspectives in Nursing, PY201 Introduction to Psychology, EN101 English Composition and BI121 Human Anatomy and Physiology 1.

PLEASE NOTE THAT BEFORE THE STUDENT MAY ATTEND A CLINICAL CLASS IN NURSING, the required health forms must be on file at the College in the Nursing Programs office.

  • Students can demonstrate competency and earn credit by taking a challenge examination for each of the following courses and performing a satisfactory skills demonstration for NUR 101* and NUR 103. Students must score at least 80% to receive credit. Students must first contact the Nursing Programs office either by calling 234-4238 or by emailing Sue Sarniak ( to request permission to test, and then contact the Assessment Center at 234-3413 to schedule the test. Upon successful completion of the written test for NUR 101* and NUR 103, the student must contact the designated course faculty to arrange the skills demonstration portion of the challenge exam.

NUR101 Medical Surgical Nursing I

*Students testing out of NUR 101 will be assessed a course fee (in addition to the exam fee) for electronic references/software that is used throughout the remainder of the program.

NUR102 Psychosocial Nursing Foundations

NUR103 Medical Surgical Nursing II

Both portions (when applicable) must be completed not less than one month before the beginning of the semester in which the course is due.

  • Students who have one year of full time work experience or its equivalent (2000 hours) in a clinical specialty within the past four years may seek permission from the Director of Nursing Programs to demonstrate competency and earn credit by challenge examination* in the following courses. Students must score at least 80% to receive credit.

AD 175 The Older Adult*

AD 230 Mental Health Nursing *

AD 232 Obstetrical Nursing *

AD 243 Pediatric Nursing *

*Separate fees are assessed for taking each exam. Only one attempt is allowed for Nursing Program Challenge exams. Students are not allowed to take challenge tests for courses in which they have been previously enrolled.


  • NUR100 Perspectives in Nursing
  • BI 121 Human Anatomy and Physiology 1
  • BI 122 Human Anatomy and Physiology 2
  • EN101 English Composition 1
  • BI 127 or BI126 Microbiology
  • PY 201 General Psychology
  • PY 232 Development Psychology


  • After the student is enrolled in a nursing course his/her curriculum code will be changed to 359. This code means "Advanced Standing status (ADS) currently taking Associate Degree Nursing Courses".
  • The entering student must show proof of immunizations and hold a current CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) certificate. (See the Nursing Programs Student Handbook for specific types of CPR certification that are accepted.)
  • Fifteen (15) credits of the ADN program must be earned through class attendance at Grand Rapids Community College. Please see the College catalog for a full description of graduation requirements for the Associate in Nursing degree.
  • The curriculum is outlined in the College catalog and in the program brochure. All non‑nursing courses may be taken before beginning the nursing (AD) courses.
  • Some non-nursing course requirements may be fulfilled by taking and passing several different kinds of examinations. There are fees involved with these procedures. Complete lists as well as detailed information regarding procedures, test dates and the like can be obtained in the Assessment Center, 234-3413.