Nursing Program Type Definitions

ADN Program, Generic: A program of instruction that requires at least two years of fulltime
equivalent college academic work generally within a junior or community college, the
completion of which results in an associate degree with a major in nursing and eligibility to
apply for licensure as an RN. This may also be called a “traditional” curriculum sequence.*

ADN Program, Bridge: A pre-licensure RN associate degree program with a curriculum
sequence for students having some formal training in nursing or a related field. Bridge
programs typically accelerate the degree completion for students who are licensed as an LPN
or paramedic, for example. Completion results in an associate degree with a major in nursing
and eligibility to apply for licensure as an RN.

DNP Program: A program of instruction that prepares graduates for the highest level of nursing
practice beyond the initial preparation in the discipline. The doctor of nursing practice degree
is the terminal practice degree.*

LPN Program: A program of instruction that requires at least one year of full-time equivalent
coursework generally within a high school, vocational/technical school or community/junior
college setting, the completion of which results in a diploma or certificate of completion and
eligibility to apply for licensure as an LPN/VN. Please combine all curriculum options or
tracks for your pre-licensure LPN program. For example, if your state collects separate data
on advanced placement CNA-to-LPN program tracks, please combine it with data on generic
or traditional LPN program tracks.*

MSN Program – Clinical Track: A post-licensure master’s program with emphasis on
advanced clinical practice, including Nurse Practitioner, Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse
Midwifery, and Clinical Nurse Specialist tracks. If your state collects separate data on
different clinical tracks, please combine them.
MSN Program – Non-clinical Track: A post-licensure master’s program with non-clinical
emphasis, such as Nurse Educator and Management/Leadership tracks. If your state collects
separate data on different non-clinical tracks, please combine them.

PhD Program: A post-licensure doctoral program that culminates in the Doctorate of
Philosophy in Nursing.
Minimum Nurse Education Program Dataset

Post-licensure BSN Program (RN-BSN Program): A program for students who are already
licensed as RNs but whose highest nursing degree is a diploma or associate’s degree. Do not
include unlicensed students in these counts.
Pre-licensure BSN Program, Generic: A program of instruction to prepare registered nurses
that admits students with no previous nursing education, the completion of which results in a
baccalaureate degree (e.g., BA, BS, BSN, etc.) with a major in nursing and eligibility to
apply for licensure as an RN. The program requires at least four years but not more than five
years of full-time equivalent college academic work within in a senior college or university.*

Pre-licensure BSN Program, Second Degree: A program of instruction to prepare registered
nurses that admits students with baccalaureate degrees in other disciplines and no previous
nursing education and, at completion, awards a baccalaureate degree in nursing and
eligibility to apply for licensure as an RN. The curriculum is designed to be completed in less
time than the generic (entry-level) baccalaureate program usually through a combination of
“bridge”/transition courses.*

Pre-licensure MSN Program (Entry MSN): A program of instruction that admits students with
baccalaureate degrees in other disciplines and no previous nursing education. The program
prepares graduates for entry into the profession, eligibility to apply for licensure as an RN,
and upon completion awards a master’s degree (e.g., MSN, MS, MA, etc.) in nursing. Do not
include licensed students in these counts.*

* Source: Interagency Collaborative on Nursing Statistics (ICONS) – some items adapted to
facilitate proper data collection: http://www.iconsdata.org/educationrelated.htm