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Is it possible to apply for an ADN (take an online course) at the age of 17 and being a junior in highschool without a highschool diploma?

The course could be through a community college, but it needs to be online. My goal/thought process is to be able to do this and have my ADN around graduation of senior year so I can begin working in the field and gaining experience while then attaining my BSN. Is there another approach I should be taking instead? And can I even apply to a community college for an ADN without a highschool diploma since I am a junior.

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Karin’s Answer

Hi Lucy,

I have no definite answer, but I don't think you can. ADN is 2 years of full-time study to get your associates degree. Entry usually requires a high school diploma or GED. Admission to the program is competitive. I don't think you would get in, but I also don"t see how you would study full time while doing your high-school work. You don't want to destroy your GPA by overloading yourself either.

What you can probably do (if your high-school and the community college allow it) is to take a few college classes to get pre-requisites out of the way. So, you would start college with a few college credits in your pocket.

Please talk to your guidance counselor and the community college. They would be able to give you definite answers for your state/your school/your CC.

I hope this helps. Good luck on your path!

KP
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Lucy,

It is highly unlikely that you can apply for an ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) program at the age of 17 and being a junior in high school without a high school diploma. Most community colleges and institutions require students to have a high school diploma or its equivalent, such as a GED, to enroll in their programs. This is because the ADN program is designed for individuals who have completed secondary education and are ready to pursue higher education.

However, there might be some exceptions or alternative paths you can consider:

Dual Enrollment: Some community colleges may offer dual enrollment programs, which allow high school students to take college courses while still in high school. This could potentially enable you to take some prerequisite courses for the ADN program. You would need to check with your local community college to see if they offer such a program and if you meet their eligibility criteria.

Home School or Private School Diploma: If you are home-schooled or attend a private school, you may still be able to obtain a diploma that meets the requirements for college admission. You should verify with the community college if they accept diplomas from home-schooled or private school students.

GED: Earning a GED (General Educational Development) certificate is another option to consider. It is a high school equivalency credential that demonstrates you have the necessary knowledge and skills equivalent to a traditional high school diploma. Once you have your GED, you may be eligible to apply for the ADN program.

Waiting until you graduate high school: The most straightforward approach would be to complete your high school diploma, then pursue your ADN at a community college. This would make you eligible for the program and allow you to follow your goal of obtaining your ADN around your senior year graduation, working in the field, and eventually pursuing your BSN.

In conclusion, while it might be challenging to apply for an ADN program at the age of 17 without a high school diploma, there are alternative paths you can explore. It is essential to research and understand the specific requirements of the community college you are interested in and consider the options mentioned above to find the best approach for your situation.

GOD BLESS,
James.
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Elda’s Answer

Hi Lucy, my fellow Texan. I live near a community college that offers associate degree in nursing. While in high school you can take your basic courses for college (ex. English, Math, etc.) and receive college credit. But as one of the other contributors mentioned, your core nursing classes will be in person & you will do clinicals in local hospital facilities. I know many students who obtain their certified nursing aide (CNA) license and work as such while going to nursing school. Once you are admitted to the nursing program you can work as a nurse technician to gain more experience.

Austin Community College offers dual credit for high schoolers, where before you graduate high school, you can have your certificate in pharmacy tech, phlebotomy, or EMT which are all a great way to start in healthcare. ACC also has LVN, associates and bachelor programs for nursing so you could also start at any level, work, and continue school.

I wish you all the best; with your foresight and planning I think you're going to do great things in the healthcare field. I know you're focused on your schooling and how fast you can progress to your BSN but remember to enjoy the experience.
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Michelle’s Answer

Hello, Lucy !

You have received outstanding advice here already but I just wanted to add that none of the health careers in which a person works directly with people's safety and well being should be done on line. I would recommend that any nursing course be done in person in a classroom setting during which a teacher can over see your work and you will have hands on opportunities to practice the skills needed.
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John’s Answer

Lucy, I commend your choice to pursue an ADN through a community college. This route is an excellent investment, offering you a significant return. The potential yearly earnings you'll gain will greatly surpass the total cost of your ADN. Over the past 26 years, I've consistently earned 5-12 times my ADN investment annually. It's been the most rewarding investment I've ever made.

In response to your specific question, I suggest reaching out to your community college for a detailed answer. However, as a high school student, you can often access college courses through most state university systems. I recommend looking into this, as even if the nursing program requires a high school diploma, there are co-requisites needed for the degree, such as Anatomy & Physiology, Psychology, and Microbiology. These are usually taken alongside the core nursing classes and clinical rotations, so completing them early will enable you to concentrate solely on the nursing program. Moreover, after your first semester of nursing school, you could qualify to test for a CNA and work in that capacity while finishing the program.

Another avenue to explore is enrolling in an EMT course and securing your license. This would also permit you to work while studying nursing. When I attended nursing school, I was a paramedic and managed to work 12-hour shifts overnight and 24-hour shifts on weekends. This allowed me to work 40-60 hours a week while attending school. It's not a path for everyone, and it's certainly not the easiest, but my strong background and extensive experience made school less challenging for me than for many of my peers.

I encourage you to discuss with your guidance counselor the possibility of taking college courses before you graduate. Also, consult with the community college advisor to confirm what co-requisite courses are needed for the ADN, ensuring you're on the right track. Investigate the CNA requirements in your state and consider the EMT option, as both could equip you to start working in the medical field promptly and gain invaluable experience.

Wishing you all the best on your journey.
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Jerome’s Answer

You can! You just need to get permission from your school. I took a computer college class while still in High School. It was nice to start college with a few units. Sometimes your high school will also give you credit for the class.
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Mahi’s Answer

The eligibility criteria for enrolling in an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program can vary by institution and location. However, there are some general requirements that are commonly in place.

Age Requirement: Many ADN programs require applicants to be at least 18 years old at the time of enrollment. This is due to legal and regulatory requirements for clinical practice.

High School Diploma or Equivalent: Typically, a high school diploma or its equivalent (such as a GED) is required for admission to an ADN program. Being a junior in high school without a diploma might pose a challenge, as most programs would expect you to have completed your high school education or be in the process of doing so.

Prerequisites: Some ADN programs have specific academic prerequisites, such as certain courses in science and mathematics. High school students may need to complete these prerequisites before applying.

Clinical Requirements: Since nursing education involves clinical experiences in healthcare settings, you might need to meet certain health and immunization requirements. These may include background checks and drug screenings.

Online Courses: While some components of nursing education may be available online, the clinical portion usually requires hands-on experience, and online ADN programs typically include in-person clinical rotations.
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