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Nursing Programs


AS / AAS Nursing: Intro

Associate in Nursing Degree Programs

Working nurses and health care professionals come to Excelsior because they want to earn an accredited degree through flexible online courses, online conferences, and/or credit by exam options.

AS / AAS Nursing: Important Information block


It is important that all students are aware of the unique features of this online nursing program. Distance education is as challenging as face-to-face instruction, if not more so. The nursing component of the associate degree program requires outstanding critical thinking skills and nursing judgment, along with a commitment to academic rigor.

  • The associate degree nursing program is designed for LPNs, LVNs, paramedics, and certain classifications of active duty military, National Guard, or Reserves within specific military occupations with equivalent scope of practice to LPN/LVN or paramedic.
  • A student’s possession of an LPN, LVN, Paramedic or Military Corpsmen credential does not guarantee success in the associate degree nursing program.
  • Excelsior College is not associated with, nor does it endorse, any external organization, external firm, or group that provides theoretical and clinical learning opportunities for students. Learning opportunities and resources are provided by the College and are described on our Test Preparation Advisory webpage.
  • The School of Nursing offers three modes of delivery for the nursing theory series requirements: online courses, Nursing Theory Conference Examinations (NTCXs), and independent-study examinations. The eight theory requirements cover the same content, regardless of the method of delivery.
  • The associate degree program is designed for individuals with experience in clinical settings. There is no clinical instruction provided in the associate degree nursing program. Students demonstrate their clinical competence during the capstone performance examination, the Clinical Performance in Nursing Examination (CPNE).
  • Students are required to submit a Verification of Health Care Experience Form signed by a clinical supervisor at the time of admission and again at the time of FCCA eligibility. 
  • Students enrolled in the associate degree nursing program are assigned a primary academic advisor but may also work with different members of the academic advisement team during their enrollment.
  • The wait time to test at each CPNE site varies depending on application volume at each site.
  • Repeating any Excelsior College course, examination, NTCX or performance examination will require students to pay the tuition and/or fees that are associated with that requirement. This includes the CPNE application fee, travel and lodging for each administration of the CPNE.  Students will be responsible for paying the Student Services Annual Fee for each year they continue in the associate degree nursing program.
  • Students who fail the CPNE will be required to retake all portions of the examination.
  • A student’s success or failure in completing program requirements (including courses, examinations, NTCX and the CPNE) will affect his or her progress through the associate degree nursing program.  The time limit for completion of the associate degree is seven years.
  • During the CPNE, Excelsior will seek to provide each student with a pediatric patient, however, an adult patient may be substituted if an appropriate pediatric patient is not available.
  • Pass rates for the CPNE and the National Council Licensure Examination-RN (NCLEX-RN) are updated and available on the Excelsior College website.
  • Because each institution of higher education maintains its own credit transfer policy, credits earned in Excelsior’s associate degree in nursing program may or may not be transferable to other institutions.
  • Students are responsible for reading and understanding the RN licensure requirements in the state of their choice when planning for program completion or considering a change in their permanent address. Students may consult with the State Board team and the State Board Requirements web page for current information regarding eligibility for RN licensure in each state and U.S. jurisdiction.
  • Students are encouraged to read the School of Nursing catalog  prior to enrolling in a program of study.

AS / AAS Nursing: Application Requirements block

Application Requirements

Before applying, it's important that you read and understand all of the application requirements for this program. If you have any questions, contact your admissions counselor. 

To be eligible for admission, you need to be employed in a direct patient care setting under the supervision of someone with a health care credential who evaluates your clinical practice. You also must have worked in this setting for at least 200 hours in the year prior to your application.

Note: Most of Excelsior's AS/AAS in Nursing graduates are immediately eligible to take the NCLEX-RN® exam. However, graduates in some states must meet additional requirements or stipulations before becoming eligible for RN licensure.

Program Page: Apply and RFI Links

Catalog: Nursing

Nursing Catalog

Review degree requirements, learning outcomes, course descriptions, and more in the Nursing Catalog.

AS/AAS Nursing: Program Info

AS/AAS Nursing Curriculum

To earn your nursing degree, you'll complete certain requirements, including:

Nursing Theory Series

Phases I and II of the associate program include eight nursing theory requirements that you'll fulfill by taking Excelsior online courses, Nursing Theory Conference Exams (NTCX), and/or Excelsior College Examinations (ECE®) in any combination. Learn more.

FCCA Intro

Focused Clinical Competencies Assessment® (FCCA)

Phase III of the nursing component is the Focused Clinical Competencies Assessment. This requirement consists of two eight-week clinical assessments delivered via the Excelsior College learning management system. Learn more.

CPNE intro

Clinical Performance in Nursing Examination® (CPNE)

In the final phase of your program, this assessment of clinical competencies focusing on your ability to identify, plan for, and meet a variety of patient care needs for adults and children with common health problems. After applying, the average wait time to take the CPNE is 12 months. Learn more or review pass rates.

AS / AAS in Nursing Credit Requirements

AS/AAS in Nursing Credit Requirements

Associate in Science in Nursing
Minimum of 67 credits: 3 in written English requirement, 1 in information literacy requirement, 6 in humanities, 6 in social sciences, 9 in natural sciences, 6 in arts and sciences, 36 nursing credits. Learn more.

Associate in Applied Science in Nursing
Minimum of 67 credits: 3 in written English requirement, 1 in information literacy requirement, 6 in humanities, 6 in social sciences, 9 in natural sciences, 6 in free electives or arts and sciences, 36 nursing credits. Learn more.

Student Learning Program Outcomes

  • Use a caring holistic approach to provide and advocate for safe quality care for patients and families in an environment that values the uniqueness, dignity, and diversity of patients.
  • Apply the nursing process to make nursing judgments, substantiated with evidence to provide safe, quality patient care across the lifespan.
  • Use principles of management and delegation to implement plans of care with members of the intraprofessional team to achieve safe, quality patient outcomes.
  • Demonstrate the standards of professional nursing practice and core values within an ethical and legal framework.
  • Apply principles of leadership and interprofessional collaboration to improve patient outcomes.
  • Use evidence-based findings and information technology to improve the quality of care for patients.

Review information about tuition and fees.


Accreditation: Nursing Specialized Accreditation

Specialized Nursing Accreditation

The associate, bachelor's, and master's degree programs in nursing at Excelsior College are accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN), formerly known as the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). The ACEN is a specialized accrediting agency for nursing recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
3343 Peachtree Road, Suite 850
Atlanta, GA 30326

Recognition: Nursing

Center of Excellence in Nursing Education

The National League for Nursing (NLN) designated Excelsior College's School of Nursing a 2016-2021 Center of Excellence in Nursing Education, for the fourth consecutive time, in recognition of the School's sustained achievements in creating environments that promote student learning and professional development.

Important Info About Test Preparation Providers

Beware of Test Preparation Providers!

Excelsior College does not contract with or endorse the services of, or study materials sold by, any test preparation providers. Be cautious of anyone selling test preparation services or materials; whatever they may say to you, they are not affiliated with Excelsior College. As an enrolled student, you'll be guided to the right learning resources and services. Learn more.

Institutional Accreditation heading block

Institutional Accreditation

Institutional Accreditation universal content block

Excelsior College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. (267-284-5000). The Middle States Commission on Higher Education is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

All of Excelsior College's academic programs are registered (i.e., approved) by the New York State Education Department.

Transparency at Excelsior

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