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General Information about the Nursing Program


The Cerritos College Nursing Program welcomes all applicants.  The nursing program has six options of entry (Option A - F) into the program depending on the applicant's needs and current training status.  The various options are discussed below.  There are a number of general admission requirements that must be completed by students applying to the nursing program. In addition, certain “Options” of entry into the program include variations in these requirements. 

"Option A": You are entering a nursing program for the first time and completing the full two years.

"Option B": You are a Licensed Psychiatric Technician (LPT) seeking advanced placement in the program.

"Option C": You are a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) planning to "bridge" into the program to complete an Associate Degree in Nursing, which results in eligibility for an unrestricted registered nurse (RN) license.

"Option D": You are a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) planning on completing only 30 semester units beyond LVN completion, which results in eligibility for a “non-degree” registered nurse license, valid only in California. This option does not provide an AA degree and may not allow you to transfer to a BSN program.

"Option E": You have completed nursing program courses in another associate degree, baccalaureate degree, or military program and are seeking advanced placement into the Cerritos nursing program. You are a "transfer student".

*Cerritos College Nursing Program does not accept transfer students into the first or into the fourth semesters.

"Option F": You completed your nursing education in another country and have been referred to us by the Board of Registered Nursing to complete one or more content areas before qualifying for RN licensure.

*The nursing program does not take BRN Referrals for Medical Surgical courses

** Military Servicemen / Veterans may apply and receive credit for courses, training, experience received in the military.  Please see the Military Policy and Procedure on the website. 



The Cerritos College Nursing Program, approved by the Board of Registered Nursing and accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, offers an opportunity to prepare for a nursing career through mastery of a specific body of knowledge and skills. Technical Standards/Essential Functions are available for your review on the navigation menu. They have been designed to give you more information about the profession and important skills/functions. This information will be helpful to assist you in deciding on your career path.

To qualify for the program, students must successfully complete prerequisite courses and other requirements as stated below (per program entry option).  The generic program (Option A) consists of four semesters of sequenced courses.  Students may receive credit for prior nursing courses taken in another program, to facilitate advanced placement.  These students include Licensed Psychiatric Technicians, Licensed Vocational Nurses, students transferring in from another accredited nursing program, and foreign-educated nurses.

For successful completion of the nursing program, the student is required to achieve a minimum 75% in all nursing and nursing-related courses. This is consistent with the Board of Registered Nursing’s standard of competency for nursing practice. Completion of the nursing program, along with required General Education coursework, provides the student/graduate with an Associates Degree in Arts - Nursing (AA Degree).  This degree meets the qualifications necessary to apply to the California State Board of Nursing to take the NCLEX-RN licensing exam to earn a Registered Nurse license in the state of California.

The core nursing program consists of sequenced course over four semesters (45.5units).  Prerequisite courses are completed prior to these four semesters.  In addition, General Education coursework is required for completion of the Associate Degree in Arts - Nursing (ADN-RN).  Some students may need to take additional courses to meet English, Reading, and Mathematic requirements.    

Further information regarding the length of the program, expenses, and promotion/progression are found below:


Applicant Eligibility Occurs When the Following Have Been Met:

  • High school graduation or the equivalent or higher.
  • Must be 18 years of age.
  • Completion of all Proficiency Requirements for the Associate in Arts Degree, i.e. Math 80 or equivalent, English 100 or equivalent, Read 54 or equivalent.

*The program understands that some pre-nursing students may have taken Math 75 for proficiency requirements. However, in order to appropriately prepare our nursing students for transfer to BSN programs, the program will encourage and require students to take Math 80. Completion of Math 75 in fall 2021 or later will not be acceptable for applying to the Cerritos College Nursing program

  • Completion of all prerequisites: A&P 150, A&P 151, ENGL 100, and MICR 200 with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher.
  • A cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.5 or higher for all college work taken.
  • Only ONE of the prerequisite courses (A&P 150, A&P 151, ENGL 100, MICR 200) can be repeated for a passing grade of “C” or higher. Two or more repeated prerequisites due to initial grades of “D” or “F” (non-passing grades) will disqualify the applicant. “Withdraws” are not considered non-passing grades. Multiple “withdraws” are highly discouraged; however, “withdraw” does not disqualify the applicant.
  • An applicant must be aware that receiving all “C”s in prerequisite coursework may be considered “passing”. However, all “C”s will produce a gpa of <2.5, disqualifying the applicant. Applicants should strive for grades higher than “C”s in the prerequisite coursework to qualify and to be competitive.
  • Pass the ATI TEAS Exam at 62% or higher OR pass the HESI diagnostic assessment test with a score of 70% or higher.  The HESI Exam MUST have a science section or will not be accepted. 
  • Ability to provide a valid U.S. Social Security number or Tax ID number prior to admission into the program.


If you believe that you have met the eligibility requirements and qualifications for admission and are preparing for the application cycle:

*Note: The Counselors will NOT screen through the student’s Multiselective Criteria, total points, or screen supplemental documents. The Counselors will be screening unofficial transcripts for the purpose of prerequisite clearances and GPA qualifications.

  • Applicant to download the appropriate nursing application and application checklist off the nursing website.
  • Complete the application and checklist and sign the application. Have the Counselor sign the application at the workshop.
  • Gather verification of high school graduation or GED completion.
  • Gather Official College Transcripts showing grades for all prerequisite courses. Official College Transcripts must accompany the application packet that will be turned into the nursing office and must be unopened. Student shall not open official transcripts unless asked to do so in the application workshop.
  • Option A applicants: Gather all necessary supportive documents for the MultiSelective Criterion for admission. This criterion is ONLY for Option A applicants.
  • Option C and D Applicants: Obtain a copy of your LVN license, work verification letter (form available on the nursing website), and also your LVN transcripts.
  • Search for a testing location on the ATI website to complete the TEAS Exam. Pass the ATI TEAS Exam with a 62% or higher OR Pass the HESI diagnostic assessment test with a score of 70% or higher.
  • Applicants must turn in a COMPLETE application with supporting documents, at one time, to the Nursing Office during the application cycle (January - March 15th). Once the application is accepted, no additional documents can be added to it.
  • Once the application cycle is complete, all applications will be reviewed for completeness, eligibility, qualifications, and criterion points.
  • *OPTION A Applicants are evaluated according to the number of points accrued in the areas designated in this MultiSelective Criterion. Applicants are ranked accordingly. The nursing program will fill the first 50% of admission seats with the top point scorers. In case of a tie, a lottery draw will be utilized for selection. The remaining applicants will be placed into a Random Selection (Lottery) process and the next 50% of admission seats will be filled through the lottery. The nursing program will then maintain a list of alternates who will be utilized to fill admission seats as needed for applicants who do not end up enrolling.
  • Once all applications have been reviewed, the selections will be made using the Blended Selection approach (50% points / 50% lottery). That application cycle is to secure the new nursing student admissions for the following fall and spring terms.

*Please Note: The Nursing Department will first fill vacancies/seats with qualified students who withdrew from the first semester and who are returning to complete.

  • Notification of admission to the program will be done in writing and admissions will be notified by the 2nd - 3rd  week of June.
  • Admitted students and alternates will be required to attend a mandatory orientation meeting, usually held in early-mid July. During the orientation, important information is discussed regarding the registration process, course demands in the program, time management, college support systems, financial aid, veterans support, health requirements, background checks, drug screens, immunization records, textbooks, uniforms, and other required items.
  • Applicants who do not gain enrollment must reapply the following application cycle. Applicants will be given the opportunity to move their application packet forward to the next application cycle. Prior to the application cycle deadline, the applicant can bring in any additional supporting documents (such as work experience, volunteer hours, new TEAS score) to increase their Multiselective points as desired.
  • The nursing program does not maintain a "waitlist".

Upon Admission to the Nursing Program, Students Must:

  • Be in adequate health to perform the duties of a nurse. Students who are admitted are required to have a physical examination prior to admission into the nursing program. In addition, students need to be aware of the Technical Standards / Essential Functions required in the profession. Students must be able to meet these demands. The department HIGHLY encourages prospective applicants to view these prior to choosing this career path.
  • Submit all current and updated health records that show immunizations to:   MMR, Varicella, Hepatitis B, Influenza (Flu), and COVID.  Students cannot be placed in clinical sites without COVID vaccination. The program also requires a current Tdap and a  2-step TB test and/or Chest Xray. Students must also complete BLS CPR for the HealthCare Provider course every two years.  
  • Provide a Social Security Card or a TIN.
  • Complete a personal background check and a urine drug test. *Although marijuana is now legal in California, applicants must drug screen negative to enter the program. This is required by all clinical sites.


Questions / Answers Re: RN Licensure 

Once I complete the nursing program and apply to the CA-BRN for state licensure, can I work as a RN in another state???

A graduating student from Cerritos College must apply to the CA-BRN to sit for the national licensing exam (NCLEX-RN) in the state of California (CA).  Once the student takes and passes the NCLEX-RN Exam, the student will be provided a RN license for the state of CA.   If a licensed RN in CA chooses to move and work in another state, the RN must apply for "licensure through endorsement" in that state, through their board of nursing.  Each state has their own specific application requirements and timelines, however, there are some commonalities: 

a) you must show proof of graduating from a state approved nursing program, usually by submitting your official transcripts and degree. 

b) Provide verification of no criminal background / convictions

c) current RN license with no disciplinary actions

d) current CEUs towards license renewal

Most states will not require a licensed RN from CA to retest in their state, as the NCLEX-RN exam is a national based examination. 

There are currently 34 states in the nation who are a part of the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact (eNLC).  This compact is an agreement between the states involved in the compact that nurses are permitted to practice in the state in which they are licensed, as well as any other state in the compact.  Currently, California is NOT a part of this compact.   Therefore, RNs licensed in CA who move to another state, must apply for "licensure through endorsement" in that state.  


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Last Update: 10/6/2021