William Rainey Harper College Nursing Program Review

Based in the suburb of Palatine, Illinois, Harper College (HC) is a college offering associate’s degree and certificates to over 16,000 students. It was previously commonly referred to by its full original name of William Rainey Harper College. The College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Harper College was established in 1965 and named for William Rainey Harper who is credited with conceptualizing community colleges and also served as President at the University of Chicago.

Harper College also holds classes at the Harper Professional Center (HPC) in Schaumberg and the Northeast Center (NEC) in Prospect Heights. Harper College has partnerships with several institutions to complete bachelor’s degrees online, which eliminate the need for transcript review upon admission to the program.

Nursing Programs

The AAS (Associate of Applied Science) in Nursing program at Harper College is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC). The Practical Nursing program is in the process of gaining NLNAC accreditation and the Basic Nursing Assistant Training Program (to become a Certified Nursing Assistant – CNA) has approval from the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Harper College Undergraduate Nursing Programs

Nursing Degree (RN) Program

The Nursing Degree RN program offers an AAS (Associate of Applied Science in Nursing) degree, which is a type of ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) for students pursuing a career upon earning an associate’s degree. The AAS program is selective and students must meet specific criteria to apply including submitting a separate application to the nursing program. Other requirements for the Nursing Degree RN program include a satisfactory score on the National League for Nursing Pre-Nursing Entrance Exam, a minimum 2.0 GPA and proof of status as a Certified Nursing Assistant. The ADN nursing program can be completed in two years. Upon completion of the program, students take the NCLEX-RN to become a Registered Nurse.


Through the online BSN-LINC program offered at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, nursing students can complete their RN at Harper College and transfer the remaining credits to earn the BSN qualification through the BSN-LINC program. Upon credit and work experience evaluation, students may need just 30 credits to earn the BSN qualification.

Harper College Nursing Certificate Programs

Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Program

The CNA program is a 6 credit, one course program that trains students in basic health care practice for work in hospitals and other health care settings under the supervision of LPNs and RNs. Upon completion of the program students may take the certification exam to become a Certified Nursing Assistant.

Practical Nursing Certificate (PNC) Program

The Practical Nursing program prepares students for an entry-level nursing career working alongside and under the supervision of more advanced health professionals such as RNs and doctors. The PNC program at Harper College is selective; not all students who apply are admitted to the program. Admission requirements for the PNC program include proof of CNA certification, a minimum 2.0 GPA, and a satisfactory score on the pre-nursing exam. The PNC program may be completed in one year plus one additional semester and is 35 credits total. Upon completion of the program, students are eligible to take the NCLEX-PN, national certification for Practical Nurses, to become Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs).

Harper College
1200 West Algonquin Road
Palatine, Illinois 60067-7398

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