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(LVN to RN Transition, Transfer, International, & Veterans)

Advanced placement is defined as entering the nursing program at a level beyond the first semester.  Applications are available only during the application periods noted below.

The COVID pandemic presents a fluid situation. At this time we are pausing admissions and applications for all programs.  Please continue to visit this webpage for future updates, as they become available.​

Application Packet for Fall 2021​ (Hopefully available in March, depending on the temporary closure conditions) All grades must be posted and included with the application in order to receive points. 

  • Please mail your application to Admissions & Records, through regular mail. Make copies of all your documents for your records. You will receive an email within a week confirming that your application was received. ​

LVN to RN Transition:

The Nursing Department offers advanced placement opportunities that permit students to obtain credit for previous education or for other acquired knowledge in the field of nursing including military education and experience, Licensed Vocational Nurses, or other healthcare workers.  A challenge exam will be required.

Transition applicants 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 window for Transition to Nursing is once a year.

Applicati​on packet link​​​​​  

Multi-criteria worksh​e​et​​​​​​​​​​.​ Please fill out and attach to your application packet.

Transfer Students:

This is for students who have already been enrolled in a nursing program and are changing schools.

Transfer applicants are students with previous nursing education from a Board of Registered Nursing approved registered nurse program. Forms are only available during the application period near the end of the semester. Applications for Spring 2020 will be available Nov 30th  and must be received by 4:00PM on Dec 15th.
  • Spring 2021 Transfer Packet​​​​​​ (link) 

Send or deliver to:

Director of Nursing - BNC 4
RN Transfer Application Fall 2020
College of the Desert
43-500 Monterey Avenue
Palm Desert, CA 92260

​​International RNs:
Registered Nurses from outside the USA needing to fulfill California Board of Registered Nursing requirements.
* Please note: 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. Space available will not be known until after finals week.
Applications for Spring 2021 will be available Nov. 30th and must be received by 4:00PM on Dec. 15th.​  Forms are only available during the application period near the end of the semester.  Please use this application form at that time:
International RN Application​​​​​ (link) 

Foreign Transcript evaluations
Applications should be sent to:
Director of Nursing - BNC 4
International RN Application Fall 2020
College of the Desert
43-500 Monterey Avenue
Palm Desert, CA 92260


The College of the Desert’s Nursing program wants to provide military trained healthcare personnel with the opportunity to earn advanced placement in the nursing program. The following policy is a way to recognize our veterans for their contributions:


Individuals who have held Military Health Care Occupations, specifically: Basic Medical Technician Corpsman (Navy HM or Air Force BMTCP), Army Health Care Specialist (68W Army Medic) or Air Force Independent Duty Medical Technician (IMDT 4NOX1C) may achieve advance placement upon review and approval from the School of Nursing program Director, with documentation of education and experience qualifying them for the specific Military Health Care Occupation, and upon successful completion of the challenge exam, dosage calculation exam, and skills competency evaluation.

  1. Applicants must meet all general entrance requirements of the Associates Degree Nursing program, including a minimal GPA of 2.5, completion of designated prerequisites and the Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) with a minimum score of 62%.

  2. Acceptance of Military Challenge students into the Associate Degree Nursing program is contingent upon space availability, skills competency (determined after meeting with the Program Director), 75% or above on the Challenge Exam and 100% on a dosage calculation quiz.

  3. Military Challenge students applying to the Associate Degree Nursing program after failure at another school will need a letter from the Program Director at the previous school indicating that you were in good standing upon departure from that program.

  4. Applicant must submit DD214 with Application.


Interested candidates must request an appointment with the Program Director at least 8 weeks prior to the application period to discuss eligibility requirements for the Associates Degree Nursing Program.

  1. Applicants who may be eligible for advance placement include those individuals who have satisfactorily completed, within the last five years, education and experience for the following:

    1. Basic Medical Technician Corpsman (Navy HM or Air Force BMTCP)

    2. Army Health Care Specialist (68W Army Medic)

    3. Air Force Independent Duty Medical Technician (IMDT 4NOX1C)

  2. Applicants applying for transfer credit must submit the following materials verifying education and experience:

    1. Official transcripts from appropriate education program(s) demonstrating satisfactory completion of coursework and clinical experience;

    2. At least one letter of recommendation, official transcripts, and DD214 form

    3. Documentation of work and educational experience

  3. After a review of the applicant’s documentation, and upon determination that the applicant has met the educational and experience requirements, as well as the additional nursing program admission requirements, the student will be required to take a written challenge examination, a competency skills evaluation and a dosage calculation exam.

  4. The following materials will be available to the applicant once challenge confirmation is made:

    1. Course syllabus, including course objectives

    2. Content outline

    3. Bibliography and textbook lists

    4. Example of style and format examination

  5. Written and skills competency examinations for advanced placement or challenge must be completed eight weeks prior to admission to the program, unless waived by the Director of the Nursing Program.

  6. Advanced Placement will be granted if applicant meets minimum requirements equivalent to those required of students enrolled in the actual course.


All nursing and allied health students participating in an acute care rotation are required to have a clear background check. Background checks can be paid for at the COD Bursar's Office and the receipt brought to the Nursing Office for processing.

All students will be medically screened, prior to the first day of clinical by the Employee Health Department of the assigned facility. Screening will include a physical examination, TB testing, blood tests (titers) which show definitive immunity to communicable disease, and drug & alcohol screening. Students who do not clear the screenings will be dropped from the program. Students are responsible for all associated fees.

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.

Thirty-Unit (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. 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 the applicant's responsibility to submit all necessary paperwork.