Registered Nursing (RN)

The Registered Nursing Program provides educational opportunities to qualified students utilizing a curriculum that is designed to prepare graduates who are competent to function as entry-level registered nurses. Professional nursing is a dynamic and interactive process that views the client, family, and community holistically. The curriculum includes a balance of general education, current nursing theory, and clinical and laboratory experience. HCC offers two program options that allow students to choose between a three-year program or a more intensive, two-year program. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

RN Program Pathways

Three-Year RN Program

HCC’s three-year nursing pathway allows students to earn the associate of science degree in nursing in three calendar years. These students finish the majority of general education requirements before enrolling in two years of nursing courses.  Students on this pathway apply for entry into the nursing program after completing a minimum of 12 credits of coursework toward the degree and meeting other admission standards.  Students in the traditional pathway may choose to enter the workforce or transfer to a four-year institution to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing within five years.

Two-Year RN Program

HCC’s two-year nursing program allows qualified students to earn an associate of science degree in nursing in two years instead of the traditional three years. Upon completion of the program, students can choose to begin work or spend two years at a four-year institution to earn a bachelor of science degree in nursing. This program is a good fit for students who are able to take up to 16 credits a semester and who are academically prepared for a more rigorous course load.

Associate to Bachelor's Dual-Enrollment Option

HCC has developed plans to help students earn associate and bachelor’s degrees in nursing in as little time as possible, sometimes just four years. HCC offers an associate to bachelor’s (ATB) program with Frostburg State University and Towson University where competitive applicants can take classes toward their associate and bachelor’s degrees at the same time, minimizing the amount of time needed to complete the BSN. Several other BSN options allow students to apply during the second year of HCC nursing courses and start taking courses toward their BSN online.

Transition Programs

Program Options

Program Literature

Admissions Process


How do I apply to the Nursing Program?

In addition to the general admission criteria, a student must also:

  • Have an overall GPA of 2.0 for all completed college coursework
  • Have a 2.5 GPA for the Nursing Program general education requirement courses
  • Complete the supplemental application for the program
  • Complete and submit TEAS V test scores to the Office of Admissions
  • Have all official transcripts (college and high school) submitted to HCC
  • Have all official AP test scores submitted to HCC

For a fall semester start into the program, students must complete these tasks by the final January 15 deadline. For a spring semester start into the program, students must complete these tasks by the final July 15 deadline.

What classes do I need to take to apply for the RN program?

HCC students must complete or have BIO-103 (Anatomy and Physiology I) in progress at the time of the application deadline. To do this, you must have fulfilled the following prerequisites:

  • Take chemistry in high school
  • Place into MAT-101 or MAT-109 or complete MAT-100 before applying
  • Place into ENG-101 or complete at least ENG-100
  • Complete BIO-099 or pass HCC’s Anatomy and Physiology placement test

What’s the difference between an RN and an LPN?

Registered nurses (RNs) typically work in hospitals, as well as a variety of clinical and social service fields. Unlike licensed practical nurses (LPNs), RNs require two years of clinical coursework to prepare them to deal with any acute care situation that may arise. LPNs typically work in facilities that require long-term care such as nursing care facilities, medical offices, and home health care environments. Some LPNs also work in specialty facilities, such as psychiatric or rehabilitative institutions. The clinical coursework to become an LPN takes 10 months. After an LPN has worked full-time for at least six months, he or she has the option of pursuing an RN degree.