Nursing Programs

Nursing is an exciting and challenging profession of responsibility, integrity, and personal growth. Nursing provides an essential service to others, involving the care of people, sick and well. As career professionals, nurses are dedicated individuals who have committed themselves to improving the quality of health care for others.

Nursing offers numerous career opportunities. The demand for nurses is high and is projected to remain high for years to come. Nursing is both an art and a science; "a heart and a mind. At its heart, lies a fundamental respect for human dignity and an intuition for a patient’s needs. This is supported by the mind, in the form of rigorous core learning" (ANA, 2022). 

College of the Desert offers a range of nursing pathways to suit any educational and career goal. Select the program of interest on the left side tab to explore requirements, application, and career information. 

College of the Desert nursing programs educate individuals to become safe, competent, professional, and caring nurses, with a commitment to lifelong learning, and to contribute to the vitality of the communities we serve. College of the Desert offers a variety of educational entry points into healthcare practice to support the current and future needs of our community. To prepare graduates for safe practice, the nursing program provides diverse academic and community-based settings for learning.

While Social Security Numbers or ITIN are not required to take classes at COD, the facilities used by the Nursing Program for clinical instruction DO require them as part of their security clearance process. Social Security Numbers or ITIN are also required for licensing and/or certification examinations at the completion of the various healthcare programs. If you do not have a Social Security Number please contact the HS/Education office for further instructions.

All nursing and allied health students participating in a clinical rotation are required to have a clear background check. Background checks can be paid for at the COD Bursar's Office.

The affiliation agreements with the clinical facilities 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 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 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 must also be medically screened, prior to the first day of clinical. The 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 unable to complete clinicals. 

Students are responsible for all associated fees.

Onboarding is normally conducted in the months prior to the clinical rotation. Students MUST be available during that time. Missing onboarding may result in the student's inability to continue in the course. Facility clearance is required each semester.