Vocational Nursing

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Eligibility & Prerequisite Criteria Application Information 
Program Requirements Program Costs

We are pleased that you are interested in the Vocational Nursing Program at College of the Desert. To learn more about our programs, please attend an Information Session. 

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. To make an appointment to see the Nursing Counselor please email NursingCounselor@collegeofthedesert.edu or call 760-773-2578. Be sure to include your full name, availability, phone number and student ID (if applicable). 

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

If you still have questions after reading through the materials below please feel free to contact either the He​alth Sciences/Nursing Office at (760) 773-2578 or the Nursing counselor. To make an appointment to see the Nursing Counselor please email NursingCounselor@collegeofthedesert.edu. Be sure to include your full name, availability, phone number and student ID (if applicable). Alternatively, you can also call us directly at 760-773-2578 to make an appointment

You can also attend one of the information sessions scheduled during the semester.

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Students must apply to the College of the Desert prior to applying to the nursing programs. Information on application can be found on the Admissions & Records webpage

If you are a past COD student, who has not enrolled in a course over the last academic year, you will be required to reapply to COD. 

*When the application asks you for a major, you will not have an option for "nursing". Please select "health sciences", once accepted into the nursing program, we will manually change your major to Nursing. 

A separate application is required for admission to the VN program. Admission is by random selection of eligible candidates.

  • 17 years-old or older
  • High School Diploma or equivalent (Official high school transcripts preferred)
  • 2.5 combined GPA in all prerequisite courses
  • HS-062: Your Living Body OR Anatomy & Physiology sequence
  • HS-013: General Nutrition
  • HS-067: Introduction to Medical Dosage Calculation
  • PSY 001: General Psychology

In addition to eligibility and prerequisite requirements, once a student is registered, further items are required to begin courses and clinical rotations.

While Social Security Numbers 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. If you do not have a Social Security Number please contact the Dreamer Resource Center for further information.

Valid Social Security card or ITIN Valid Government ID
Clear background check Clear drug screen
Current American Heart Association CPR card Physical Exam
Communicable disease clearance (titers & Vaccinations) Meet core performance standards
Malpractice Insurance iPad, iPad pencil, iPad keyboard (more info upon admission)


College of the Desert Kinesiology offers American Heart Association (AHA) CPR courses for both the first time certification and for recertification. 

For first time certification, students can register for KINE-001

For recertification, students can register for KINE-302

KINE-001 and KINE-302 will be offered during Summer and Winter sessions based on enrollment numbers. 

CPR cards are required prior to the start of the semester, please plan accordingly. 

Please note that costs are estimated. Depending on insurance coverage and financial assistance, costs may vary. Total cost of the program is estimated at $4,869.00 Click here for a detailed list of associated costs.

Fall 2025 application dates TBD.

General Policy

As per 16 CCR 2535, the general policy for College of the Desert nursing programs is to provide all students be given credit for the nursing knowledge and skills they have acquired through education and/or experience and be placed at a level that will assure
successful attainment of educational goals. The form for Credit for Previous Education is located on the nursing website.

Transfer Credit

Transfer credit shall be given for applicants with previous education from an accredited institution who have satisfactorily completed academic course work with a grade of “C” or better in a class and/or clinical laboratory within the last five (5)
years. This includes the following courses:

  • Armed services nursing courses
  • Licensed Psychiatric Technicians courses
  • Vocational or Practical nursing courses
  • Registered nursing courses
  • Certified nursing Assistant courses
  • Other courses the school determines are equivalent to courses required for the Vocational nursing program

CNA Credit

All course work from other nursing programs will be granted credit based on similarity to College of the Desert. A written examination and skills assessment may be required for the purpose of establishing the need for remediation.
All CNA’s are given the option to omit portions of the first four weeks of the first semester of the VN program by applying their 150 hours of transfer credit. Assessment of CNA students may be conducted to establish the necessity for remediation. All
remediation will be completed prior to the first day of the semester.

Transfer Procedures

Students seeking transfer to College of the Desert vocational nursing will need to have all coursework evaluated by the
Director of the nursing program or a designee. The following needs to be submitted to the Director/designee prior to

  • Written letter requesting transfer
  • Official transcripts from all schools attended
  • Copies of course description and outline/syllabus from completed Vocational nursing courses
  • Copy of certificate/licensure as applicable

Evaluation of previous nursing education will be based on a review of these materials. Comparison with the COD curriculum
will be made. Everyone will be granted advanced placement according to the degree to which previous education compares
with COD curriculum based on space available. 

As per 16 CCR 2530, The following clinical facilities that have been approved by the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians for the use of clinical experience at College of the Desert

Site Name Contact Information
Desert Regional Medical Center

1150 N Indian Canyon Dr
Palm Springs CA 92262

Desert Springs Health & Wellness Center

82262 Valencia Avenue
Indio CA 92201

Eisenhower Medical Center

39000 Bob Hope Dr
Rancho Mirage CA 92270  

Monterey Palms Healthcare Center

44610 Monterey Avenue
Palm Desert CA 92260

Rancho Mirage Health and Rehabilitation Center

39950 Vista Del Sol
Rancho Mirage CA 92270  

Vibra Rehabilitation Hospital

70077 Ramon Rd
Rancho Mirage CA 92270

Desert Mountain Care Center (formerly Indio Nursing Rehabilitation)


47763 Monroe St.
Indio, CA. 92201

John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital

47111 Monroe St. 

Indio, CA. 92201


Manor Care Health Services

74350 Country Club Dr.

Palm Desert, CA 92260