Associate Degree Nursing Program

REGISTERED NURSING (ADN/RN)

Acceptance criteria, program eligibility and selection processes are subject to change. Prospective students are encouraged to check the school webpage periodically to remain updated or call (760) 773-2579 or (760) 568-3093.

Program Description

The Associate Degree Nursing Program prepares graduates to care for individuals in hospitals, long term care facilities, doctors' offices and clinics in a beginning staff nurse position.  The curriculum consists of courses in general education and science in addition to prescribed nursing courses. Once accepted to the nursing program, the student will complete four semesters of nursing courses.

The nursing program is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing.  

College of the Desert is designated as a continuing education provider by the Board of Registered Nursing.  The provider number is 00284.  

Licensing Requirements

Graduates are awarded the Associate in Science Degree in Nursing and are eligible to apply to the State board of nursing to take the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX-RN) and become licensed as Registered Nurses.  The role of the California Board of Registered Nursing is to protect the public by screening applicants for licensure to identify potentially unsafe practitioners. A State board of nursing may deny licensure on the basis of: conviction of crime substantially related to the practice of nursing; any act involving dishonesty, fraud, or deceit with intent to substantially benefit self or another or to substantially injure another; any act which is grounds for revocation of a license; making a false statement on the application for license; breach of examination security. Fingerprints are required when applying for licensure.  Students interested in a career as a nurse who have questions regarding licensure limitations should contact the California Board of Registered Nursing at (916) 322-3350 or visit www.rn.ca.gov.

Graduation from the Associate Degree Nursing Program does not guarantee licensure. To apply for licensure, disclosure of your Social Security number is  mandatory on the California Application for Licensure by Examination form.

RN Program Application Process

Application to the nursing program is separate from application to the College. The application form is available during specific application period and can be obtained from the School of Health Sciences & Education webpage or from the Office of Health Sciences & Education office located in the Barker Nursing Complex at College of the Desert, 43-500 Monterey Avenue, Palm Desert, CA, 92260.

Enrollment into the Registered Nursing program is limited.  Detailed information regarding the nursing program, selection, and other important particulars is available on the School webpage.

Entrance and Selection Process

Program Eligibility:

To be eligible to apply to College of the Desert's Associate Degree Registered Nursing Program, the applicant must:

  1. Have a minimum GPA of 2.5 in all college level work taken within the past seven (7) years.
  2. Have a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the following prerequisite science courses with no grade less than a "C", no online science courses:
    • Human Anatomy with a lab component
    • Human Physiology with a lab component
    • Microbiology with a lab component
  3. Have no more than one repeat of any one of the three science courses.  A "W", "I", "D", and "F" mark is considered a repeat.  Repetitions within the past seven (7) years will be used in determining eligibility.
  4. Have a "C" or better in any 3 unit college-level transferable English course.  (English 1A, Freshman Composition, is the highly recommended course. English course must have a research component).
  5. New admission to the program is competitively based on a multicriteria point system. These criteria include: prerequisite course GPA, general education GPA, TEAS test scores, previous degrees, work experience, life experience,and second language proficiency.

Selection Process: Please see the School of Health Sciences & Education webpage for specific selection processes and application dates:

  1. Applications are accepted twice a year. Please see the School webpage for dates.
  2. A diagnostic readiness test will be required of all accepted students. Details are on the School webpage.
  3. Applicants will be notified of acceptance status within 6-8 weeks after the application deadline. All initial communication will be by email.

Nursing Program Options

Advanced Placement Options

Prospective students who have had prior education in nursing or other health related areas may request consideration for entry into the nursing program with advanced placement.  Applicants would include licensed Vocational/Practical Nurses and transfer students from accredited nursing programs. Specific information regarding the advanced placement procedure is available through the Office of Health Sciences & Education.  All advanced standing applicants are accepted to the program on a space available basis.

LVN-RN (Transition)

Licensed Vocational Nurses may  enter the associate degree program at an advanced level.  For the transition option, enrollment is limited and the following is applicable to the LVN-RN option:

Program Eligibility:

To be  eligible to apply to College of the Desert's Transition Option, the applicant must:

  1. Have current licensure in California as a vocational nurse.
  2. Have a minimum GPA of 2.5 in all college level work taken within the past seven (7) years.
  3. Have a minimum GPA of 2.5 in the following prerequisite science courses with no grade less than a "C", no online science courses:
    • Human Anatomy with a lab component
    • Human Physiology with a lab component
    • Microbiology with a lab component
  4. Have no more than one repeat of any one of the three science courses.  A "W", "I", "D", and "F" mark is considered a repeat.  Repetitions within the past seven (7) years will be used in determining eligibility.
  5. Have a "C" or better in any 3 unit college level transferable English course with a research component.  (English 1A, Freshman Composition, is the highly recommended course. English course must have a research component).

Selection Process:

  1. Application periods are accepted during the following periods:
    • Application period #1: March 1 - 21 for the following Fall semester
    • Application period #2: August  1 - 21 for the following Spring semester
      (If the 21st falls on a weekend or holiday the closing date for applications will be the next working day. Applications postmarked after the closing date will not be accepted.)
  2. A random selection process of qualified applications will be used to determine entrants once all applications are evaluated.
  3. Applicants will be notified of acceptance status within 7-12 weeks after the application deadline.

LVN-RN (30-Unit Option)

The non-degree option requires that interested students fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Current licensure as a California LVN;
  2. Proof of high school diploma/GED;
  3. Completion of courses in Human Physiology and Microbiology with a minimum GPA of 2.5.

Thirty-unit option students are accepted to the third semester of the nursing program on a space available basis. Students will complete the final two semesters of the nursing program. It is important to note that LVNs choosing to take the 30-unit option can never be qualified as graduates of the COD ADN/RN Program and will permanently be referred to as having attained a Nursing Non-Degree/Non Graduate Status. Lack of a degree may create limitations for licensure in other states. Students who do not receive an A.S. degree in Nursing may not be eligible for licensure by endorsement in other states. Interested students must make an appointment with the Director of Nursing and Allied Health or designee to obtain further information and to complete an application.

All advanced placement students will be accepted on space available basis. Detailed information is available on the School of Health Sciences & Education webpage.

Transfer

Students with previous nursing education from a Board of Registered Nursing approved registered nurse program may request transfer into the program. All transfer requests will be evaluated on an individual basis.  Students should make an appointment with the Director of Nursing and Allied Health to discuss transfer possibilities and materials needed to make the assessment. Transfer students must meet the same enrollment requirements as all students entering the nursing program. General education courses must be completed to correspond with the nursing program's requirements respective to the semester for which the student is seeking transfer. Transfer students must submit a letter from their previous Director/Dean of Nursing stating eligibility for re-entry into the nursing program from which they are transferring. A minimum of twelve units must be completed at COD to earn a degree from COD.  All transfer students are accepted on a space available basis.

Entrance to the nursing program is limited to students who have completed the science and English prerequisite courses, have applied, have passed the TEAS V exam and been notified of acceptance into the nursing program.

Registered Nursing Course Sequence

Students can complete the nursing program in two years once accepted to the nursing program.

It is recommended that students interested in a Nursing degree see a counselor in the counseling department and read the information on the School of Health Sciences & Education webpage

Please note:  Students are strongly encouraged to complete all general education courses prior to program application. Licensure can be achieved when all courses required for the degree are completed.

Associate of Science Degree in Registered Nursing

(Graduates eligible for Registered Nurse Licensing Examination in California)

Program Entrance Requirements: Acceptance to the program under the existing eligibility and selection criteria. 
All courses must be completed with a grade of "C" or better.
Required CoursesUnits
BI 013Human Anatomy And Physiology I4
BI 014Human Anatomy And Physiology II5
BI 015General Microbiology5
PSY 001General Psychology3
or PSY 003 Developmental Psychology
Select one course from the following:3
Introductory Sociology
Introduction To Race & Ethnicity
Mexican American Culture & Society
Cultural Anthropology
ENG 001AComposition4
Select one course from the following:3
Introduction To Public Speaking
Introduction To Interpersonal Communication
Small Group Communication
Intercultural Communication
Humanities - Area C3 requirements for Associate Degree Occupational/Vocational3
MATH 040Intermediate Algebra4
Select any 2 units in Kinesiology or 1 unit of KINE & HS 0702
N 001Basic Concepts In Nursing Practice8
N 002Nursing Common Alterations In Health9
N 003ANursing Chronic Alterations In Health9
N 003BIssues In Nursing0.5
N 004Nursing Acute Complex Alterations In Health9.5
DEGREE TOTAL72