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We are pleased that you are interested in the Registered Nursing Program at College of the Desert. The program is approved by the California State Board of Nursing.


If you still have questions after reading through the materials below please feel free to contact either the Health Sciences/Nursing Office at (760) 773-2578 or the Nursing counselor, Ana Stockwell, 760-776-7380 or email her at


For specific questions about financial aid, FAFSA, BOG waivers, etc., please check with the Financial Aid Office at (760) 773-2532.


You are also encouraged to attend one of the information sessions scheduled during the semester.




Group information sessions are offered periodically throughout the year which provide an overview of the nursing programs and a 'question and answer' time.


Session availability is contingent upon nursing advisor availability.


Come and Find Out....

  • What prerequisite courses are needed

  • How to apply

  • Program particulars


Upcoming Nursing Info Sessions:


No appointment necessary.

Session Date
Starting Time
Apr 24, 20195:30 PMPalm Desert - COMM 204
May 09, 20195:00 PMPalm Desert - Nursing Room 7 (N7)
May 21, 201912:00 PMPalm Desert - Nursing Room 8 (N8)


The admission criteria to the ADN program uses a multi-criteria screening and ranking process. Applicants must meet all eligibility requirements (GPA of at least 2.5 in the prerequisite science courses and a TEAS score of 62% or higher) before being considered for multiple criteria.

Successful TEAS completion is necessary to enter the program. Sign up for TEAS at the PaCE office in the Westfield Mall or call 760-776-7420.

RN FA 2018 Application Statistics:

  • Applicants: 114

  • Eligible: 105

  • Highest Points Admitted: 92

  • Lowest Point Admitted: 65

  • Admitted Applicants: 27

LVN to RN Application 18/FA & 19/SP Application Statistics:

  • Applicants: 31/FA, 31/SP

  • Eligible: 30/FA, 30/SP

  • Highest Pts. Admitted 85/FA,77/SP

  • Lowest Pts. Admitted 78/FA, 74/SP

  • Admitted Applicants: 3 each FA/SP

Health and Background Screening:

Drug Screening and Background Checks

The affiliation agreements with the clinical facilities regulated by The Joint Commission (TJC) require that all students have a clear drug screening and background check prior to each clinical rotation. If not, the student may not be allowed to participate in patient care at a clinical agency, which would prevent the student from completing the nursing program. Students are advised that an acceptable background check done for the clinical facilities does not guarantee the background check conducted by State Boards at the time of application for licensure or certification will be found acceptable. Background checks displaying discrepancies will be reviewed by the Nursing Director and facility assigned to determine if you are eligible to continue within the program.

In addition to screening prior to the start of the each clinical experience, students may be subject to testing for cause; such as, slurred speech, impaired physical coordination, inappropriate behavior, or pupillary changes.

All students will also 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, flu shot, blood tests (titers) which show definitive immunity to communicable disease, and drug and alcohol screening.

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

Students are responsible for all associated fees.

Onboarding is normally conducted in the month prior to the clinical rotation. Students MUST be available during that time. Missing onboarding may result in being dropped from the program. Every semester of the nursing program students are required to have a new attestation form filled out by the Nursing Program Assistant.


The Application Periods for the RN Program are March 1-29 and September 15-30. The links to the packet including the application are only live during the Application Periods. The four prerequisite courses must be completed and grades reported on your official transcripts before applying. Prospective students not already enrolled at College of the Desert DO NOT need to apply to the college until AFTER they have been accepted into a Nursing Program.

Please see Application Requirements and Eligibility Worksheets and review the other RN information links for further details and instructions. Currently there is no weekend or evening program.

When submitting transcripts with an application, make sure that ALL colleges attended other than COD are included. Missing transcripts will result in non-acceptance to the program, and if discovered after program entry could potentially delay or jeopardize your graduation. Please contact Admissions and Records Office if you have questions regarding this requirement.

RN Application Packet​ link​     

Application for Fall 2019 will be available beginning March 4, 2019  



RN students accepted into the program will be automatically registered for their Nursing courses. Students will need to register for any other courses according to their assigned Priority Level.

Please keep in mind that all clinical sections for the RN program are assigned.

Remember to contact the Counseling or Admissions if you need to check on outstanding issues that could be a barrier to getting registered for your class.

Please pay for COD Student ID Cards at the Bursar's Office, and pickup completed ID cards at the ASCOD office (Student Life).

Please check your instructor's web page for ongoing information and updates concerning class supplements, handouts, and announcements.

CURRENT RN HANDBOOK: 2018-19 Nursing Handbook​

Reinstatement​​ (link for continuation/reentry) students:

View the most current guidelines/directions for submitting a request form for reinstatement (aka 'continuation'/'reentry') to the RN program. Please only use the most current form.

Available only during the last 3-4 weeks of the semester.

If above link is not active please continue to monitor this webpage. Forms are only available as noted above.

Important information regarding EMAIL addresses

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.

Want to know how COD Nursing students compare to other programs?