By studying nursing at Oakton, you benefit from our celebrated faculty, rigorous curriculum and commitment to equity. Oakton's Nursing program was ranked one of the 10 Best Schools in Illinois for Registered Nursing Programs - 2020 for its academic quality, passing rates on the NCLEX entrance exam, affordability and reputation.

Since 1984, more than 2,400 students have received an associate of applied science degree in nursing credential from Oakton. Instructional classes and labs for the program typically meet in the Margaret Burke Lee Science and Health Careers Center, featuring a state-of-the-art nursing simulation hospital and nursing classrooms. Students enrich their learning through the clinical experiences offered in a variety of health care settings throughout the community.

Once you graduate from our Nursing program, you will be able to break into a high-demand career. Jobs for registered nurses are expected to grow faster than average through 2026, with a median salary of more than $68,000 per year.

Degrees and Certificates

Oakton offers an associate in applied science (A.A.S.) in nursing for students who wish to start a career in nursing. If you plan to pursue a BSN in nursing, consult the Office of Advising, Transitions and Student Success, as well as the transfer institution's catalog. This will help you select courses that will meet both Oakton's and your transfer school's requirements.

Learn More

The goal of the Perioperative Nursing Certificate program is to provide individuals with the fundamental knowledge and skills required to provide safe, patient-centered care in the operating environment. This three-hour certificate can be completed in one semester.

Learn More

This certificate is recommended for students who enter the Nursing program with the intent of becoming a licensed practical nurse.

Learn More

Job Outlook

The employment of registered nurses is projected to grow 9 percent from 2020 to 2030, about as fast as the average for all occupations.

About 194,500 openings for registered nurses are projected each year, on average, over the decade. Many of those openings are expected to result from the need to replace workers who transfer to different occupations or exit the labor force, such as to retire.

The median annual wage for registered nurses was $75,330 in May 2020.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

An Oakton nursing student wearing green scrubs checks the fluid level on a needle.

What You Need to Know

  • New Oakton students should apply online. Current and returning Oakton students should apply through the applicant dashboard found in the New Student Information section on the home page of their myOakton account.
  • View your Admission Checklist with your New Student Portal, which includes your Admission Checklist and next steps.
  • Submit admission documents, including transcripts (high school, college, AP, military) and proof of residency.
  • Complete all minimum requirements needed for admission.

All applicants must meet with Julie Rosenberg (, health career advisor, and are encouraged to attend a nursing information session.

Nursing is a limited enrollment program. Students must complete a series of prerequisites in order to be considered for admission to the program.

Spring 2023

  • Spring 2023 applications will be accepted March 1, 2022 - July 31, 2022.
  • Prerequisites for students entering spring 2023 must be completed by August 31, 2022.

We are no longer accepting applications for fall 2022.

Call 847.635.1266 with questions or for more information.

Minimum Requirements

  • High school graduation or High School Equivalency Certificate. Foreign high school graduates or students with foreign college credits need to send English-translated copies of their transcripts to Educational Perspectives. Students with foreign college credits should request a catalog match.
  • Official high school and all college transcripts (except Oakton).
  • ACT score of 18 or higher, or SAT score of 960 or higher, or 12 hours of college credit with a minimum grade point average of 2.5.
  • Chemistry (CHM 105 or equivalent) or one year of high school chemistry with lab or equivalent college course completed within the last five years with a minimum grade of C.
  • BIO 231, Human Anatomy and Physiology I, or equivalent college course with lab, within the last five years with a minimum grade of C.
  • EGL 101 placement based on Oakton’s Writing Skills Assessment Test (WSAT), or completion of EGL 101 course or equivalent.
  • HESI Admission Exam taken within the last two years;
    HESI cumulative score: Minimum 75%;
    HESI English composite score: Minimum 80%;
    HESI math score: Minimum 75%;
    HESI science composite score: Minimum 80%;
    Students may take the HESI exam once every 6 months.
    (Register for the HESI exam (Register for the HESI exam online. Go to “Browse Programs, Health Careers, View Health Career Courses, HESI Exam” or register through the Alliance for Lifelong Learning Office.
    Call 847.982.9888 with any questions.
  • Overall GPA of 2.5 or higher
  • ACT score of 18 or higher, or SAT score of 960 or higher, or 12 hours of college credit.
  • Complete a Basic Nurse Assistant Training (e.g., Oakton’s BNA 100) and pass the Illinois State CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) Exam. (Oakton offers a 9 week or 16-week course titled Basic Nursing Training (BNAT).
  • Completion of MAT 070 or a higher-level math course within the last two years or placement above MAT 070 within the last two years.

Students who complete all prerequisites by Feb. 28, 2022, are ranked and accepted by the following criteria:

  • In-district residency;
  • HESI Admission Assessment Exam cumulative Score (minimum 75%);
  • HESI Admission Assessment Exam English composite score (minimum 80%);
  • HESI Admission Assessment Exam math score (minimum 75%);
  • HESI Admission Assessment Exam science composite score (minimum 80%);
  • Cumulative college GPA. After 12 credit hours earned at Oakton, the Oakton GPA takes precedence.

Gateway Admission (fall semester only)

Students meeting all other nursing minimum requirements, but having lower than the specified scores on the English or science composite section of the HESI exam, may be admitted as “conditional students,” with priority given to in-district students. Space is limited. Additional requirements are completion of BIO 232 and an English or science composite score between 70 - 79. Students are admitted by ranking and must complete an eight-week summer program prior to entering the fall nursing program.

Other Requirements

  • Current physical exam
  • Proof of health insurance
  • Meet physical, communicative/cognitive, emotional/psychological criteria

Students who refuse a criminal background check and/or drug screen will not be considered “clear” and will not be authorized to participate in the clinical component of the health career program, necessitating withdrawal from the program at that time. Individual results of student background checks and drug screens are considered confidential. Determination of whether or not a student can participate in the clinical component of a particular health career program will be communicated to the respective program chairs by the background check/drug screen vendor. Students may view their personal results on the vendor’s website.

For more information contact Margaret Gas, nursing chair, at

HESI A2 Entrance Exam

The HESI Entrance Exam is used by Nursing Programs nationwide as a tool to help them screen applicants. The test is also referred to as the HESI Admissions Assessment Exam or the HESI A2.

The HESI A2 consists of both an academic portion and a personality portion.

The HESI A2 content exams that Oakton has chosen are:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Vocabulary and General Knowledge
  • Math
  • Biology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Learning Styles
  • Personality Profiles
  • Critical Thinking

For more information on the content exams Oakton has chosen, and also in order to prepare for the HESI entrance exam, you can access the HESI information page.

Material for preparation:

  • HESI Admission Assessment Exam, Edition 3 or 4
    This book is available for purchase in Oakton’s bookstore and on

Register for the HESI exam online. Go to “Browse Programs, Health Careers, View Health Career Courses, HESI Exam” or register through the Alliance for Lifelong Learning Office (Room 1420  Des Plaines and Room A120, Skokie), or online. Call 847.982.9888 with any questions.

The Associate Degree Nursing Program at Oakton Community College at the Des Plaines campus located in Des Plaines, Illinois is accredited by the:

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3390 Peachtree Road NE Suite 1400
Atlanta, GA 30326

The most recent accreditation decision made by the ACEN Board of Commissioners for the Associate Degree Nursing Program is Continuing Accreditation.

View the public information disclosed by the ACEN regarding this program.

Oakton’s nursing program is approved by:

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
Board of Nursing
320 West Washington Street
Springfield, IL 62786

Each state and territory has different licensure and certification requirements.  Oakton has researched and/or contacted state licensing authorities to confirm that the program meets the educational requirements leading to professional licensure. Other licensure requirements may include professional certification exams, background checks, years of work experience, fingerprinting, etc.

Licensure information is reviewed and updated on this site in June of each year. Licensure information is reviewed and updated on this site in June of each year. As of July 1, 2020, we have determined that individuals that successfully complete LIcensed Practical Nursing Certificate Program curriculum:

Meets the education requirements leading to licensure/certification in these states and U.S. Territories: Illinois

Does NOT meet the education requirements For licensure/certification in these states and U.S. Territories: 

We have not made a determination if the program curriculum meets the requirements for licensure/certification in these states and US Territories: Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada,New Hampshire, New Jersey,New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

If you intend to practice in any state other than Illinois, you should contact the appropriate licensing agency to independently verify whether Oakton’s program satisfies the educational requirements for licensure in a particular state before beginning Oakton’s program. Be aware that state licensure requirements may change from time-to-time and that states may have conditions for licensure in addition to educational requirements.

This information is provided to meet the Disclosure Requirements for Academic Programs Leading to Professional Licensure or Certification.


Oakton ADN Pass Rate

State Pass Rate

National Pass Rate 

Completion Rate

Job Placement



















Meet Your Faculty and Experts

Oakton's professors and lecturers are experts in their fields with advanced degrees and years of real-world experience. In addition to classroom learning, students receive support from our panel of expert advisors.

Margaret Gas, Chair
Professor of Nursing
B.S.N. Lewis University
M.S.N. University of Phoenix
M.P.A. Roosevelt University
Office: Room 107, Des Plaines, Lee Center

Dezrine Dunn
Associate Professor of Nursing
A.D.N. Oakton Community College
B.S.N. Lewis University
M.S.N. Lewis University
D.N.P. Chamberlain College of Nursing
Office: Room 202, Des Plaines, Lee Center

Nefize Fejza
Assistant Professor of Nursing
B.S.N. Loyola University
D.N.P. Rush University
Office: Room 206, Des Plaines, Lee Center

Carla Ferguson
Professor of Nursing
B.S.N. Loyola
M.S.N. Rush University

Office: Room 205, Des Plaines, Lee Center

Mary Kakenmaster
Distinguished Professor of Nursing
B.S. Northwestern University
M.S.N. Saint Xavier University
Office:  Room 225, Des Plaines, Lee Center

Carrie Kelly
Professor of Nursing
B.S.N. Loyola University of Chicago
M.S. DePaul University
Office: Room 205, Des Plaines, Lee Center

Teresa Kirwan
Assistant Professor of Nursing
BS Boston University
M.S. University of Illinois at Chicago
A. S. N. Harry S. Truman College
M.S.N. Rush University
Office: Room 227, Des Plaines, Lee Center

Antoinette Maglione-Solans
Associate Professor of Nursing
A.A. Kendall College
B.S.N. Rush University College of Nursing
M.S.N. Loyola University of Chicago
Office: Room 260, Des Plaines, Lee Center

Ciaran O'Sullivan, Coordinator
Professor of Nursing
B.S.N. Loyola University of Chicago
M.S. National-Louis University
M.S.N. University of Phoenix
Ed.D., National-Louis University
Office: Room 223, Des Plaines, Lee Center

Leandro Resurreccion
Professor of Nursing
B.S. University of Santo Thomas
B.S.N. Aurora University
M.S.N. Lewis University
Ed.D., National-Louis University
Office: Room 223, Des Plaines, Lee Center

Debbie Schiltz
Associate Professor of Nursing
A.A.S. Oakton Community College
B.S.N., University of Illinois
M.S.N., Chamberlain College of Nursing
Office: Room 225, Des Plaines, Lee Center

Winnie Sitt
Professor of Nursing
B.S.N. Loyola University of Chicago
M.S.N. Rush University
Office: Room 227, Des Plaines, Lee Center

Maribel Alimboyoguen
Assistant Dean of Health Careers
Oakton Community College

Sharon Aragon, BSN, RN, PCCN
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

Margaret Gas
Program Chair, Associate Degree Nursing
Oakton Community College

Ciarán O’Sullivan
Coordinator, Associate Degree Nursing Program
Oakton Community College

Wanda Burns
Assistant Professor of Nursing
RN to BSN Completion Advisor
North Park University

Amber Davis
RN-B.S. Nursing Degree-Completion Coordinator
Northern Illinois University
School of Nursing | College of Health and Human Sciences

Sheela Hutchinson
Clinical Information Coordinator
St. Francis Hospital

Michael Kaplan
Regional Administrator
Warren Barr North Shore

Sara Levin
Nursing Professional Development and Research
NorthShore University Health System
Highland Park Hospital

Mary Meyer
Education Manager
NorthShore University Health System
Glenbrook Hospital

Veronica Morrison
Outreach and Engagement Specialist
UIC Extended Campus
University of Illinois at Chicago

Peggy Ochoa
Clinical Coordinator
Grainger Center for Simulation & Innovation
Evanston Hospital

Renée Savarino
Site Clinical Development Specialist--Central Region, Clinical Development
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital

Danene Coroneos-Shannon
System Clinical Development Specialist, Clinical Education
Advocate Health Care

Ellen Stoneberg
Director of Nursing
Presbyterian Homes

Kathy Voss
Director of Nursing Professional Development and Clinical Operations
Condell Medical Center

What's Next?

We are glad you are considering attending Oakton Community College. No matter where you are in your decision-making process, we are here to help you with your next steps. Whether you're ready to apply now, need information on paying for college or have questions and want to contact someone, we're here to help.

Contact Us

Julie Rosenberg