College of the Desert Nursing Program Review

College of the Desert (COD) is a two-year community college that was founded in 1958 and started its first set of classes in 1962. It offers both vocational and technical programs.

It is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges and Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education. As a nursing student, you can choose to do the Nursing Assistant program, Registered Nurse (RN-ADN) program, Vocational Nurse (VN) program, Advanced Placement and Home Health Aide program.

Nursing Assistant program

Admissions are accepted twice yearly to this program. It is approved by the California Department of Public Health and upon successful completion a certificate in Nursing Assisting is awarded by the College. Graduates are also eligible to take the certification examination administered by the California State Department of Health Services. The course covers the roles of a nursing assistant and the essential aspects of nurse-patient relationships. They will be trained to provide long-term care in various health care settings. A CPR certificate issued by the American Heart Association is also part of the admission requirements.

Registered Nurse (RN-ADN Program)

This associates degree in nursing (ADN) program is accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and approved by the California State Board of Nursing. All applicants must pass the four pre-requisite courses prior to submitting their applications in March or August. Additionally, TEAS test scores are required.

Advanced Placement

This course is intended for those that wish to hold licensure as a registered nurse (RN). Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) and other health care providers are the main target audience. Only applicants that submit proof of equivalent courses will be considered for admission. The following programs are available for advance placement:

1)     LVN to RN Transition Course – Nursing 55 (Degree Option): This course is open strictly to licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) that want to be registered nurses.

2)     Thirty-Unit Option (Non-Degree Option): All four prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade “C” or higher to enter this program. No degree is awarded after completion. Only licensed vocational nurses interested in being registered nurses can apply. Applicants must also bear in mind that acceptance of the thirty-unit option does not guarantee academic or professional ascension in other states outside of California.

Home Health Aide (HHA) Program

Only students that are licensed Nursing Assistants in the state of California can apply to this program. Applications are accepted twice yearly during fall and spring semester. They must also be enrolled in the prerequisite course at COD. After successful completion, they are awarded a certificate in Home Health Aide by the College. Once they take the licensure exams, they are certified as home health aides on California.  The course prepares students to understand and provide for the needs of patients that are in their care. They are also trained to work alongside other health care providers. Graduates are eligible to take the certification examination administered by the Department of Health Services. Acceptance into the program is based on the time the applicants are received by using a first come first serve criteria.

Vocational Nursing (VN) Program

This program is approved by the California Bureau of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians.  Students that complete it are eligible to take the (NCLEX-PN) to receive a license as a vocational nurse. The course is built on theory and practical interactions to adequately train students to undertake roles in the health care sector while working alongside licensed registered nurses and physicians. The program allows a maximum of 40 students to enter the program and selection is based on completion of prerequisite courses and GPA.

College of the Desert
43-500 Monterey Avenue
Palm Desert
CA 92260

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