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The nursing department offers advanced placement opportunities that permit students with equivalent learning to pursue College of the Desert’s (COD) registered nursing program at an accelerated rate. Advanced placement is defined as entering the program at a level beyond the first semester. Potential students include Licensed Vocational nurses and other healthcare worker related category students who wish to apply for advanced placement (challenge) as a way to continue their education to become registered nurses. Please view current policy information in the college catalog.

NOTE: Current enrollment numbers in the RN program have made placement in the 30-Unit Option track and accommodation of transfer students difficult. Please continue to monitor the Nursing website for updated information.

All students attending COD will obtain a COD email address upon registering. We strongly advise activating this as soon as possible since this address will be used for all official notifications.  Once activated, there is also an option to have emails automatically forwarded to another email address for your convenience.

International RNs needing to fulfill California Board of Registered Nursing requirements.

* COD nursing courses are NOT structured as individual classes in a particular content area, such as Obstetrics or Mental Health. The various content areas are incorporated within the different semester groups.  Upon acceptance, students will be placed in the semester group that best meets their needs as defined by their letter from the Board of Registered Nursing. 

Deadline for Deadline for Fall 2015 is 2015 is May 16th. Please use this application form:

  • International RN Application  (Available May 1st)
    Applications should be sent to:

    International RN Application Spring 2015
    Nursing Program
    College of the Desert
    43500 Monterey Avenue
    Palm Desert, CA 92260.


LVN-RN Transition (Degree Option)

Applicants who are currently licensed California LVN's desiring to complete courses required for California RN licensure must also meet same application criteria as for Nursing 001 (same prerequisites, same GPA minimum). Transcripts for college classes and course catalog descriptions for prerequisite courses (other than at COD) MUST accompany application.  Hand delivered applications will not be evaluated for completeness at the window.  It is applicant's responsibility to submit all necessary paperwork.

Application for Transition to Nursing [Application period is Oct. 1st to Nov. 1st. Check back here for updates.] 

Multi-criteria worksheetPlease fill out and attach to your application packet.


  • See Hospital Facilities Links (in column at left) for health screening and background clearance information for your clinical site.

Thirty-Unit Option (Non-Degree Option) 

Applicants who are currently licensed Vocational Nurses in California and desire to complete courses required for RN licensure may select the 30-Unit Option. This is a non-degree option. After completion of 10 units in physical sciences, the student may apply for this option.   Upon successful completion of this program of study, the student may apply to take the NCLEX-RN exam for licensure.  The student will be licensed as a non-degree candidate.  This option is recognized in California and there is no restriction to practice.  However, states other than California may not recognize this educational track as preparation for licensure. 
Application for 30-Unit Option: 
Schedule appointment with the Director of Nursing, who will then provide application form after meeting with applicant.
Hand delivered applications will not be evaluated for completeness at the window. It is applicant's responsibility to submit all necessary paperwork.

Transfer Students from other Registered Nursing Programs

Transfer applicants are students with previous nursing education from a Board of Registered Nursing approved registered nurse program.
Fall 2015 Transfer Application
(Applications will only be accepted beginning (Applications will only be accepted beginning May 1st and must be delivered or postmarked by 5:00 PM on 1st and must be delivered or postmarked by 5:00 PM on May 15th.
Send or deliver to:
Director of Nursing - BNC 2
RN Transfer Application
College of the Desert
43-500 Monterey Avenue
Palm Desert, CA 92260.
All nursing and allied health students participating in an acute care rotation will be medically screened, prior to the first day of clinical by the Employee Health Department of the assigned facility.  Screening may include a physical examination, TB testing, blood tests which show definitive immunity to communicable disease, and will include drug screening. 

Students who do not clear the screening will be dropped from the program.