Registered Nurse (ADN)

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Information Sessions Program Costs
Eligibility & Prerequisites Application Info & Stats
Program Requirements Health Screening

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. To make an appointment to see the Nursing Counselor please email 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.

The COVID pandemic presents a fluid situation. Please continue to visit this webpage for future updates, as they become available.

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

Effective May 24, 2022, this nursing program is a candidate for initial accreditation by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. This candidacy status expires on May 24, 2024.

Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) 3390 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 1400 Atlanta, GA 30326 (404) 975-5000

Note: Upon granting of initial accreditation by the ACEN Board of Commissioners, the effective date of initial accreditation is the date on which the nursing program was approved by the ACEN as a candidate program that concluded in the Board of Commissioners granting initial accreditation.

Group information sessions are offered periodically throughout the year which provides an overview of all COD nursing programs (CNA, LVN, RN, & LVN-RN), pre-requisite courses, admissions process, application, cost, etc.​​​​​​ and a "question and answer" time.

Zoom Link for all sessions listed below

August 8th 2022 5:00PM

August 25th 2022 1:00PM (In person) N9

August 29th 2022 10:30AM

September 29th 2022 5:00 PM (In person) N4

October 11th 2022 5:00 PM

October 26th 2022 1:30 PM 

November 22nd 2022 3:30 PM 

November 30th 2022 5:30 PM (COD/CSUSB BSN)

December 7th 2022 12:00 PM (COD/CSUSB BSN)

December 15th 2022 5:30 PM

January 19th 2023 5:00 PM

February 6th 2023 10:00 AM

February 22nd 2023 5:30PM (In Person)  TBA

For more information, please email

To view a pre-recorded information session, click here.

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Admission to the RN program requires application to the program. Admission is based on completion of eligibility requirements and points earned through the multi-criteria points, after eligibility criteria has been met. 

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. 

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. 

Eligibility criteria for the RN program includes: 

  • Science GPA 2.5 (no grade less than C)
  • Science courses must be within 10 years
  • No more than two repeats in the sciences in the last 7 years.
  • BIO-013: Anatomy & Physiology w/lab-4 units
  • BIO-014: Anatomy & Physiology II w/lab – 4 units
  • BIO-015 Microbiology w/lab – 4 units
  • ENG-001A: College level transferable English course that includes a research component – 4 semester units

Although not required for eligibility, the multi-criteria worksheet is used to establish points for each applicants. The higher the points, the more likely the applicant is to gain entrance to the program. 

Transcripts can be evaluated by a counselor to ensure equivalency of courses at other institutions. For a list of courses, already evaluated and deemed equivalent, click here to use our equivalency database.

In addition to eligibility and prerequisite requirements, once a student is registered, further items are required to begin courses and clinical rotations. You will receive information on how to complete these items once admitted to the program.

Valid Social Security card Valid Government ID
Clear background check Clear drug screen
Malpractice Insurance Physical Exam
Communicable disease clearance (titers & Vaccinations) Current American Heart Association CPR card
Meet core performance standards TEAS exam with a score of 62 or greater
iPad, iPad pencil, iPad keyboard (more information provided 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. 

What is the TEAS test?

The TEAS test is an assessment test that includes basic english, math, science, and reading content. This assessment test is often used for nursing program applications criteria.

How do I learn more about the TEAS test? 

Visit, scroll down the bottom to the section titled “free TEAS resources”. If you have further questions contact our Nursing Counselor at

What is a passing score for the TEAS test at COD?

A 62% or higher is a passing score for COD's nursing programs.

Do I have to have the TEAS test completed prior to application?

No. You may apply for the program without TEAS results. However, applicants are not eligible for points on the multi-criteria under the TEAS category if the results are not posted by the application due date. Additionally, if the applicant is offered a seat, the applicant must have a passing TEAS score prior to the start of the program (specific dates are given to applicants at the time of acceptance to the program).

How many attempts do I have to successfully pass the TEAS test? 

Currently, applicants have unlimited chances to successfully pass the TEAS test. However, COD nursing programs only offer points on the multi-criteria worksheet for the first attempt. It is important that students feel well prepared to take the TEAS test in order to increase their chances of admission to the program.

Do I have to submit official or unofficial results? 

COD Nursing programs will accept an unofficial report of TEAS results for application, however upon acceptance, candidates will be required to submit an official report. 

What version of the TEAS test is required?

Currently COD is accepting the TEAS version 6. The TEAS version 7 is scheduled for release on June 3, 2022. COD Nursing programs will accept TEAS 6 up through June 2023. After that time, only TEAS 7 will be accepted. 

If I already took TEAS 6, and then I take TEAS version 7, does that count as my second attempt?

No. A new TEAS version offers applicants an opportunity for a new "first attempt" score. For example, a candidate took TEAS 6 and passed it on the second attempt.  The candidate could take TEAS 7 and pass on the first attempt, COD nursing programs will take the first attempt TEAS 7 score on the application and for multi-criteria points.

How do I sign up to take the TEAS test? 

Students can sign up for a testing date through

Applicants can utilize the option for "TEAS Online - Proctored by ATI" to take the TEAS test at home if students have a device that meets minimum requirements. 

How many times can I take the TEAS test?

There is no limit on how many times you can take the test, however please note that for multi-critieria points, we only accept your first attempt.

What are the device minimum requirements for taking the TEAS test at home?

System Requirements - Online TEAS Exam
Use Google Chrome™️ Version 77 or later

Test on a PC or Mac ( a phone or tablet cannot be used):

PC - Windows 10 or later, minimum resolution 1024 x 600
Mac - MAC OS® X10.11 or later, minimum resolution 1024 x 600
Have a microphone - either internal or external.

Have a webcam (minimum resolution 320 x 240 VGA) either internal or external.

Ensure your internet speed is at least 0.5 - 1 Mbps. You can test your internet speed using

Please note that costs are estimated. Depending on insurance coverage and financial assistance, costs may vary. Total cost of the program is estimated at $4,505. Click here for a detailed list of associated costs.

All grades must be posted and included with the application in order to receive points.

Effective Spring 2020, the Nursing Program is accepting online/hybrid courses until further notice.

Courses receiving emergency withdrawals (EWs) will not be counted as repeats under our repeat policy (two in seven years).

​Pass/no Pass or Credit/no Credit courses will NOT be accepted for any pre-requisite or degree courses.

All applicants will utilize the updated multi-criteria found here

Applications for Spring 2023 are closed. Please view future application periods tab for our next open application period. 


Fall 2023 - Application open February 1-February 28, 2023

Spring 2023 - Application open August 1- August 31, 2022

All future applications for the RN program will be available in February for fall admissions and in August for spring admissions.

Applications will be digital with automated responses. Please make sure to read the instructions thoroughly before beginning the application. The application will take approximately 1 hour to complete and must be completed at one time (no save option). 

Applicants with a regionally accredited bachelor’s degree from the US will have certain courses waived. 

  • General Education courses already completed will be waived.
  • Courses Required:
    • Science Prerequisites
    • Statistics
    • Psychology 001 or 003
    • English Composition ENG 1a
    • One of the following: Communication 001, 013, or 017
    • One of the following: Sociology 001, 014, 015 or Anthropology 002, or 007.

The admission stats for the period of February 2022 (entrance for Fall 22) are as follows:

Number of Applicants - 169

Number of Eligible Applicants- 147

Highest Score - 84

Lowest Score - 50

Number of seats/admitted students - 30

Score Range for Initial Admission Offers - 84-53


The admission stats for the period of September 2021 (entrance for Spring 22) are as follows:

Number of applicants - 144

Number of eligible applicants - 136

Highest Score - 72

Lowest Score - 47

Median Score - 39

Number of seats/admitted students - 42

Score range for initial admission offers - 72-48

The RN program is in the midst of a curriculum revision which will begin with the Fall 2022 cohort. Pending BRN approval (anticipated June 2022), students will take all of the following courses in the following sequence:


Term Core Course: 12-week Courses Units Specialty Course: 6-week Courses Units
First Semester

NRN 110: Foundations of Nursing Practice

NRN 110C: Foundations of Nursing Practice: Clinical



NRN 130: Concepts of Nursing: Mental Health

NRN 130C: Concepts of Nursing: Mental Health Clinical 


NRN 140: Concepts of Nursing: Gerontology

NRN 140C: Concepts of Nursing: Gerontology Clinical





Second Semester

NRN 120: Alterations in Health

NRN 120C: Alterations in Health: Clinical

NRN 120L: Alterations in Health: Lab




NRN 130: Concepts of Nursing: Mental Health

NRN 130C: Concepts of Nursing: Mental Health Clinical 


NRN 140: Concepts of Nursing: Gerontology

NRN 140C: Concepts of Nursing: Gerontology Clinical



Third Semester

NRN 210: Chronic Alterations in Health

NRN 210C: Chronic Alterations in Health: Clinical

NRN 210L: Chronic Alterations in Health: Lab




NRN 230: Pediatric Health & Wellness

NRN 230C: Pediatric Health & Wellness: Clinical


NRN 240: Health & Wellness in the Growing Family

NRN 240C: Health & Wellness in the Growing Family: Clinical



Fourth Semester

NRN 220: Acute Complex Alterations in Health

NRN 220C: Acute Complex Alterations in Health: Clinical

NRN 220L: Acute Complex Alterations in Health: Lab

NRN 250: Transition to Practice





NRN 230: Pediatric Health & Wellness

NRN 230C: Pediatric Health & Wellness: Clinical


NRN 240: Health & Wellness in the Growing Family

NRN 240C: Health & Wellness in the Growing Family: Clinical





Total Units: 36 units






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.

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 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.