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Mendocino College currently offers a 2-year Registered Nursing Program and an LVN-to-RN Bridge Program. Students who successfully complete the program are awarded the Associate of Science Degree in Nursing and are eligible to sit for the California State Board of Registered Nursing Licensing Exam (NCLEX-RN).

The Associate Degree program is a 2-year full-time program that offers a series of courses that combine academic classes on campus, skills practice in the nursing skills laboratory, simulation activities, and patient care experience in various hospitals and facilities primarily in the Lake-Mendocino area.

The 2024 RN Application has closed.

The Mendocino College RN program was accredited in 2003 by the California State Board of Registered Nursing; 1747 N. Market Blvd., Suite 150 Sacramento, CA 95834-1924; phone (916) 322-3350; email brn.licensing@dca.ca.gov.

The most recent Board of Registered Nursing (BRN) continuing approval visit occurred in 2019. 

To contact the Director of the Nursing Program, Dr. Suzanne Hewitt, or for program specific information call Nayely Garcia at (707) 468-3099, or email nursing@mendocino.edu.

Nursing Logo

The Mendocino College RN program was accredited in 2003 by the California State Board of Registered Nursing

RN Program

​This type of program consists of a two-year (four semesters) sequence of nursing coursework. Students can apply to the RN program after completing prerequisite courses and meeting other requirements. No prior nursing experience is typically needed, but some programs require a nursing assistant background for admission. Degrees for this type of program include: ADN (Associate Degree in Nursing) which can be obtained at the community college level; BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing), and MSN (Master’s Degree in Nursing), both of which require admission to a four-year college or university. The ADN program can be completed at the community college level and the student can choose to continue their education if desired to achieve a BSN while working as an RN. For a list of RN programs in California go to http://www.rn.ca.gov/education/rnprograms.shtml.

LVN-to-RN Program

​This type of program is usually called a "bridge” or "career ladder" program. This program is for LVNs already licensed in California who want to continue their education in order to become RNs. These students are often given advanced placement when entering an RN program, and may be admitted either in the first or second year of courses. Often, these programs are on a space-available basis in an RN program.  For a list of LVN-to-RN programs in California visit https://www.bvnpt.ca.gov/applicants/program/vocational_nursing_programs.shtml

Types of Nursing Programs Available at Mendocino College

What is a Registered Nurse and what do they do?

Registered Nurses (RNs) have a variety of roles in health promotion, disease prevention, and treatment of illness or injury. Primarily, RNs are patient advocates and consistently apply educational techniques in their care of others. RNs may target their education toward an individual, family, a specific group, or an entire community. RNs are directly responsible for patient observation and assessment and often lead a health care team. RNs may assist physicians during procedures, may complete procedures ordered by a physician, may administer medications, and must integrate a variety of patient information into the formulation of a nursing care plan. The job of an RN involves multi-tasking and critical thinking.

The job opportunities for RNs are varied. RNs can work in a hospital, in a clinic, in an extended care facility, as a case manager, in management positions, as a traveling nurse, as a school nurse, as a home health nurse, and as a hospice nurse. Areas of specialization in which nurses can focus include cardiac, obstetrics, emergency trauma, pediatrics, oncology, AIDS/HIV, diabetes care, surgery, general medicine, wound care, geriatrics, and air ambulance. RNs can continue their education and obtain advanced degrees that give them even more career options such as Nurse Practitioner or Nurse Educator. The current job market makes nursing a career with many opportunities and choices.

Program of Study

Courses in both general education and nursing provide the scope of knowledge required to assure the delivery of quality nursing care. The curriculum allows students and opportunity to apply nursing skills in a variety of health care setting including acute medical/surgical, pediatric, obstetric, geriatric, psychiatric, and community-based agencies.

  • Prior to applying to any nursing program, interested students should meet with an academic counselor for guidance and information about prerequisite coursework and general education requirements.
  • All general education (GE) coursework, institutional requirements, and nursing prerequisites must be completed prior to the semester in which an applicant is applying.
  • An application to the nursing program is required, and only complete applications are reviewed.
  • Applications to the RN program and LVN-to-RN Bridge program are only accepted during specific application periods. Advanced Standing applications are accepted and reviewed on a continuing basis.

Nursing Application Handbooks are only available online during open application periods. You may not enroll in nursing courses unless you have been formally admitted to the nursing program. There is a specific application period for each nursing program.

Admission Process and Acceptance Criteria

  • Nursing Prerequisites

Students can apply to the RN Program after completing general education, institutional requirements, and prerequisite courses, as well as meeting other requirements listed below. Registered Nursing Program major degree requirements include prerequisite courses and Nursing Program coursework. All courses required for the nursing major must be completed with a grade of “C” or better. A “C” minus in prerequisite courses will not be accepted. Courses taken credit/no credit or pass/fail will receive point value of a “C” where GPAs are calculated.

  • Science Course Recency

Anatomy, physiology, and microbiology prerequisites must have been completed within the last 10 years if the student received a grade of “A” or “B” in the course. If the student received a grade of “C”, the class must have been completed within the past 5 years. There is no longer an option to waive the recency requirement for these courses.

  • Orientation Workshop

The orientation workshop is a pre-application requirement for RN, LVN-to-RN Bridge, and Advanced Standing applicants. Workshops are in-person classroom learning sessions designed to familiarize applicants with the requirements and processes for submitting an application. View the Applications& Workshops tab for further information.

  • TEAS Testing

Successful completion of the ATI TEAS Exam is a Nursing Program requirement. ATI TEAS testing assesses and applicant’s knowledge in the areas of Math, Science, Reading, and English. Applicants must achieve a minimum composite score of 62% to be eligible for admission into the Mendocino College Nursing Program. The latest version of the TEAS exam is ATI TEAS VII. TEAS VI results will also still be accepted at this time until further notice. Applicants must provide proof of all TEAS exams taken within the past 12 months with their application.

Applicants must have an ATI TEAS exam composite score of 62% or greater before acceptance is finalized. You do not have to have ATI TEAS results to apply to the nursing program. If an applicant has conditional acceptance status and has not taken the ATI TEAS exam prior to acceptance, they will be invited with their acceptance letter to take the ATI TEAS exam at Mendocino Community College. Applicants will be offered one opportunity to complete the exam at the Ukiah Campus. If the students cannot attend the assigned date of the exam or does not provide an ATI TEAS passing exam score by the deadline indicated in the acceptance letter, the application offer will be withdrawn. 

An applicant who has been accepted for admission who subsequently does not score at 62% or above on the ATI TEAS exam may be eligible to defer their acceptance for one year only with the development and successful completion of a remediation plan. The remediation plan must be pre-approved by the Director of the Nursing Program. The applicant must have also met all other acceptance criteria to be eligible for the deferment option. The remediation plan must be successfully completed prior to the start of the next application period for the student to be considered for admission the following year. The student must also pass the ATI TEAS retake with a minimum score of 62% or forfeit their reserved acceptance.

Potential students are strongly encouraged to use college resources, and their own study materials in addition to ATI prep information to prepare for the TEAS exam.

  • To register for the TEAS exam, or for information and study guides go to www.atitesting.com.
  • Study and testing resources are also available online through the Sonoma County Public Library (www.sonomalibrary.org). As a Lake or Mendocino County resident you may receive a free digital library card. It only takes a minute to apply and immediately receive your number. Once you have your number, you can go back to the SCL homepage, click on “Online Resources” to see all the databases. Click “Learning Express” and search for “TEAS” in the search bar. This may seem like a long process but on this website you will find practice TEAS exams to help you prepare for the test.
  • An informative breakdown of the ATI TEAS test: http://www.mometrix.com/blog/ati-teas-6-test-breakdown/
  • Formula for Acceptance

The initial criteria for admission in to the Nursing Program is based on the California Community College Chancellors Office Formula for Acceptance. Scoring for each applicant is based on a weighted formula that considers Science GPA, English GPA, and overall GPA. A negative calculation is scored if an applicant has repeated one of the science prerequisites (Anatomy, Physiology, ad Microbiology) due to a non-passing grade (D or F) in the previous 7 years. Applicants must score at 80% or above to be considered for acceptance. 18-21 students are accepted per year into Mendocino College's RN program. An alternate list of applicants is maintained in the event that any of the selected applicants decline admittance.  Enter your grades in the Formula for Acceptance spreadsheet to calculate your score. To access the FFA spreadsheet, you must have Microsoft Office Excel on your computer. To open and begin using the spreadsheet, click on the link to open the document, then make sure to "enable editing" by clicking the button on the yellow bar at the top of the document if it appears.

  • Lottery Randomization

Applications that score at 80% or above in the Formula for Acceptance, and meet all other requirements, are chosen by a random computerized selection process, also known as a lottery. Those who are sent offers of admission will still need to meet other criteria as described in the application handbook including a background check and timely response to additional program requirements.

  • Background and Drug Screening

In accordance to the Joint Commission standard, clinical facilities may require criminal background checks and urine drug screens for all individuals providing patient care, including nursing students. The clinical affiliation agreements between the Mendocino College Registered Nursing Program and clinical agencies require that background checks be conducted and urine drug screens completed for all students prior to placement in a clinical environment. If a student cannot be cleared for clinical participation due to a background check infraction or a positive drug screen result, the student will not be able to participate in clinical, which is a program requirement. In the event that a student is found ineligible for clinical placement by the clinical facility after admission to the nursing program, they shall be subject to dismissal from the program, as they will be unable to complete the mandatory clinical course objectives.

  • Updated Information Regarding Changes to California State Laws:

Despite the recent change to California State Laws regarding marijuana usage, our clinical facilities still require a clean urine drug screen from all students. Clinical agencies must uphold federal laws and therefore cannot accept a positive urine drug screen, including students with medical marijuana authorization.

Advanced Placement Procedures

Mendocino College provides advanced placement opportunities for students who have previous education and experience relevant to course segments of the ADN curriculum. Students may apply to enter as an advanced standing student if their status is one of the following:

1. Previous student who withdrew from an ADN program
2. LVN-to-RN Bridge student
3. 30-unit option for LVN
4. Veteran with medical experience

An applicant also may apply to challenge course(s) based on Mendocino College policy. Acceptance is on a space available basis. Attrition rates in the MCC ADN program are historically low; therefore, advanced placement options are limited.

An applicant dismissed from a previous ADN program for clinical failure due to safety considerations will not be eligible for acceptance. Applications for transfer students and advanced placement students are accepted on a continuous basis. The program Director reviews each transfer application and determines placement based on a review of the applicant’s transcripts, syllabi, and communication with the former Director or educator.

  • Associate Degree may require additional coursework per college policy.
  • Military records and transcripts must be reviewed by a counselor and the applicant must have a DD214 showing completion of military coursework and service/discharge under honorable conditions.
  • Admission requirements will be the same or similar for all students.

Students who wish to return to the Mendocino College nursing program after a period of absence, students having completed coursework in other nursing programs, or veterans with medical experience are subject to the following criteria:

Because of limited clinical resources and student/teacher ratio, readmission/admission with advanced status will be on a space available basis only.

Individuals transferring nursing credit for advanced placement must submit official transcripts from previous institution(s) including course descriptions and course hours to the Nursing Program Director. All materials will be evaluated to determine appropriate placement in the program. To be considered for placement, all paperwork must be complete and received at least six weeks prior to the onset of the semester for which the student is applying.  Nursing course work from other schools, applicable for advanced status in the Nursing Program must be completed with a grade of “C” or greater and have been taken within one year prior to admission.

When there are more eligible students seeking admission to a class than there are available vacancies, the position(s) will be offered to the applicants(s) based upon the date of receipt of completed paperwork.  An advanced standing/alternate list is maintained by the Nursing Department.

Students may be required to validate current theoretical and/or clinical proficiency by assessment and/or performance testing in any activity that is mandatory for students to advance in the program or unit of material for which they received credit.

Students that wish to transfer into the nursing program must submit an Advanced Standing application, official transcripts from previous institution(s) including course descriptions and course hours, and a letter from their current or previous Dean or Director stating that the student is in good standing and eligible for continued enrollment. All materials will be evaluated to determine appropriate placement in the program. To be considered for placement, all paperwork must be complete and received at least six weeks prior to the onset of the semester for which the student is applying.  Nursing course work from other schools, applicable for advanced status in the Nursing Program must be completed with a grade of “C” or greater and have been taken within one year prior to admission. 

In limited circumstances a student who has withdrawn from the Mendocino College nursing program may return as an advanced standing readmission dependent on continued eligibility and available space in the program. A student receiving a non-passing grade in nursing courses may be considered for readmission at the discretion of the program Director. The student will be required to submit an Advanced Standing application and to provide written documentation outlining the factors that contributed to their lack of success as well as strategies for improving performance. The readmission request will be reviewed and if approved the student may apply to the program as advanced standing status or reapply during the next regular application period. Readmission must occur within one year of departure from the program.  Any student who is absent from the ADN program has the responsibility to maintain currency of knowledge and skills previously learned.

The LVN-to-RN Career Ladder is an 18-month course of study consisting of both classroom and clinical training. The Licensed Vocational Nurse to ADN program at Mendocino College is a three semester program which allows vocational nurses to be enrolled in the generic ADN program with advanced placement. Students can apply to the LVN-to-RN Bridge Program during a designated application period during each fall semester. For specific application dates visit the nursing webpage under Applications & Workshops.

The LVN-to-RN Degree Program requires a one-day a week nursing transition course and skills lab in the Spring semester following program acceptance. Upon successful completion of transition and skills courses students will bridge into the third semester RN program to complete one full time academic year, or two full time semesters with graduation occurring the following Spring semester. The LVN-to-RN Program represents the 3rd and 4th semesters of a full RN curriculum.

Graduates will earn the Associate of Science Degree in Nursing on completion of designated courses and competency requirements.  Communication, language, natural and social sciences and nursing courses must be completed with at least a grade of "C" to be eligible for licensure by the State Board of Nursing. See the Mendocino College Catalog for information regarding competencies and the educational pattern for graduation. Complete admissions criteria are located in the nursing student handbook and on the nursing program website under Admissions Process.

A 30-Unit option is also available for vocational nurses who wish to become eligible to take the NLCEX examination in California but do not want to complete the full LVN-To-RN program. The LVN-To-RN Certificate program does not lead to an Associate Degree in Registered Nursing. The Certificate of Achievement is granted to those who successfully complete the nursing coursework without completing general education requirements for graduation. It entitles the graduate to take the examination for licensure as a Registered Nurse and to practice only in the State of California. The LVN-To-RN Certificate of Achievement is an 18-month course of study consisting of both classroom and clinical training.

Prospective students must meet with the Nursing Program Director prior to application to discuss limitations of the RN role for 30-unit option nurses.

Admission to the certificate program is on a space available basis only. Additional admission criteria are available in the LVN-To-RN application handbook and on the nursing program website under Admissions Process.

Military Personnel and Veterans may be eligible for enrollment into a California Community College Associate Degree Nursing Program based on specific requirements.

I. Including but not limited to Basic Medical Technician (Navy Hospital Corpsman) or USAF Basic Medical Service Technician or Army Medical Specialist.

a) Challenge exam per college policy for the 1st semester of the ADN program.

i. Colleges have an established number of maximum units that can be challenged.
ii. The course(s) challenged are based on the needs and prior experience of the individual requesting.
iii. Candidates must meet the same eligibility requirements for admission into the ADN program as other applicants, including completion of prerequisites and general education requirements.

II. Including but not limited to Basic Medical Technician (Navy Hospital Corpsman) or USAF Basic Medical Services Technician or Army Medical Specialist with an active California LVN license (Licensed Vocational Nurse) either through challenge (BVNPT Method 4) or successful completion of an LVN program.

a) Admission credit may be given to applicants as an LVN to RN candidate per admission policies. This is normally full or partial credit for the first year of the nursing program but may vary from school to  school.

b) An LVN to RN transition course is required and must be completed with a passing grade per individual program policy.

c) The program shall determine which course(s) the veteran or corpsman will need to complete based on the criterion established by the program.

d) Applicants must demonstrate theory and clinical competency in Obstetrics and Pediatrics. Credit for these specialties is required to be posted on the official transcript. ATIs given in the LVN-RN transition course are Fundamentals, Maternal Child, and Pediatrics. Applicants will be required to pass ATI examinations at the same level as RN students.

e) All ADN prerequisites must be completed prior to the LVN to RN transition course.

Registered Nursing Program

The application period for the Fall 2023 Registered Nursing Program has closed. The application period for the Fall 2024 Registered Nursing Program will open on February 1, 2024 and close on March 15, 2024. 

A mandatory pre-application workshop is required for ALL applicants applying to the Registered Nursing Program. Dates for the Registered Nursing Pre-Application Workshops will be posted here on January 16, 2024. 

LVN-to-RN Bridge Program

The application period for the Spring 2023 LVN-to-RN Bridge Program has closed. The application period for the Spring 2024 LVN-to-RN Bridge Program will open on September 15, 2023, and close on October 15, 2023.

A mandatory pre-application workshop is required for ALL applicants applying to the LVN-to-RN Bridge Program. Dates for the LVN-to-RN Bridge Pre-Application Workshops will be posted here on September 1, 2023. 

Pre-Application Orientation Workshop

Dates for the mandatory LVN-to-RN Bridge Pre-Application Workshop will be posted here on September 1, 2023. Please re-visit our website after that date to secure your reservation.

Please note you must attend one workshop within two years of applying.

Contact Information

Mendocino College
Registered Nursing Program, Room 6520
1000 Hensley Creek Road
Ukiah, CA 95482
Tel:         707-468-3099
Fax:        707-467-6047

Nursing Program | Frequently Asked Questions

No, all applications are considered for admission.

No. If an applicant is not accepted into the nursing program, they can re-apply for the next class if they want to be reconsidered for admission. A new completed application (including new official transcripts) is required each time an applicant applies. 

No, nursing courses are generally during the day, Monday through Thursday.  Clinical hours can extend beyond these hours and may include Fridays, evenings and weekends.

It is a four-semester program with summers off for the full RN program.  For the LVN to RN program it is three semesters.

It could take from three and a half years to six years (or more) depending on how quickly you progress through the prerequisite and general education courses.

There is no restriction against working while enrolled in the Nursing Program. It is not wise, however, to work more than 16 hours a week as it may interfere with your success in the nursing program. There are many hours per week of reading/studying in addition to course and clinical hours.  You will not be permitted to leave early or arrive late to clinical or class because of your job.  There are clinical attendance requirements that are strictly adhered to.

Applications are accepted only during application periods (each September/October for LVN to RN Bridge Program, and each February/March for 2-year RN Program).  You can check for dates for the next application period on the nursing web pages.  It is your responsibility to submit an application at the appropriate time. 

Applicants who meet the eligibility requirements are chosen by a grade-based formula which takes into account a student’s overall grade point average, the grade point average for Anatomy/Physiology/Microbiology courses, and College English GPA.  We do not accept letters of recommendation or take experience into consideration.  For those who meet a minimum cut score on this grade based formula they are then chosen via a random lottery for admission. 

Currently, we accept up to 20 students per class, and then fill the class to a maximum of 24 with LVNs (who enter with advanced standing) in the second year of each class. 

Students should have a college counselor evaluate inquiries regarding course equivalency for courses taken. Mendocino College will make the final determination of course equivalency at the time of application.

If you took a combined Anatomy and Physiology course, you will need to have completed a two semester sequence combined Anatomy and Physiology that has a lab each semester.  Mendocino College requires at least 8 units of combined Anatomy and Physiology with labs, or a separate 4-5 unit Anatomy course with lab and 4-5 unit Physiology course with lab. 

No, the Nursing Program office cannot evaluate individual transcripts. Please seek the assistance of the Counseling Department (707) 468-3048 and Admissions and Records for transcript evaluation.

You will need to have a professional evaluation of your foreign transcript completed. The evaluation is not simply a translation of the courses, but rather it consists of a careful analysis of the actual content of the coursework you took in your country’s college or university.  This is often a costly process, and it is your responsibility to have this done well in advance of application.  There are several different agencies that can do this evaluation.  Seek assistance from the Counseling Department, or view the nursing application for acceptable agencies.  These courses may count toward general education courses but not for prerequisite courses or nursing courses.

The approximate cost of the 2-year RN program is $6,000.00. This includes tuition fees, books, uniforms, shoes, medical/dental examinations, in-program and NCLEX-RN testing fees, and background check/drug screen clearance. The advanced-standing student (LVN to RN student) can expect to spend approximately $4,000.00.

Yes. Hospitals are now requiring nursing students to have a background check and drug screen prior to entering the hospital for clinical experience.

Anatomy, physiology and microbiology must have been completed within the last 10 years if the student received a grade of “A” or "B" in the course.  If the student received a grade of “C” the class must have been completed within the past 5 years.  There is no longer an option to waive the recency requirement for these courses. 

Hospitals include:

  • Adventist Health Clear Lake (Clearlake).
  • Adventist Health Howard Memorial Hospital (Willits)
  • Adventist Health Mendocino Coast (Fort Bragg)
  • Adventist Health Ukiah Valley (Ukiah)
  • Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital (Santa Rosa)
  • Sutter Lakeside Hospital (Lakeport)

In addition, many clinics and offices are utilized for clinical experience. These are mostly within the Mendocino-Lake College District but some require longer driving distances and this should be taken into account when considering the program.

No, transportation and lodging are the responsibility of the student.  You will need dependable transportation throughout the nursing program and should figure transportation and lodging costs into your financial planning for nursing school.

Yes. Applicants are required to take the ATI TEAS test, which is an assessment of math, science, English and language skills. This test must be passed with a minimum composite score of 62% (as determined by the Chancellor's Office for Community Colleges). Information can be found for this exam at www.atitesting.com. It is recommended that applicants prepare in advance for this test utilizing the study guide on the ATI website. The TEAS test may be completed prior to application or within one month after conditional acceptance to the nursing program. If an applicant has conditional acceptance status and has not taken the TEAS exam prior to acceptance, they will be invited with their acceptance letter to take the ATI TEAS exam at Mendocino College. Only one test date will be offered and the candidate must pass with a score of 62% or higher to be admitted into the program. Those with a score less than 62% will be offered a remediation packet with ATI and will have one year to complete remediation to be considered for the following class.

Local hospitals usually provide CPR for healthcare provider training.  Make sure your CPR is through American Heart and is for healthcare providers.