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


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 be assisting 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 RN involves multi-tasking and critical thinking.

The job opportunities for RNs are varied. RNs can work in a hospital, 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, or 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.


Types of Nursing Programs Available at Mendocino College

  • 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 General Education and Prerequisite Courses and meeting other requirements listed below. 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 (Masters 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

Registered Nurse Associate of Science

  • LVN-to-RN Program

This type of program is usually called a "bridge"  or "career ladder" program. This program is for those already licensed in California as LVNs 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 a RN program.  For a list of LVN-to-RN programs in California go to

LVN to RN Career Ladder Associate of Science

LVN to RN Certificate of Achievement

two female nursing students practice caring for a young child


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 an opportunity to apply nursing skills in a variety of health care settings 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. This constitutes a change in the admission process. Previously students could have a minimum number of classes pending while applying. The new policy requires students to have completed all requirements before applying. This new requirement will take effect beginning with the 2020 RN application period.
  • 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 Pre-requisites

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.

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. No online science courses will be accepted as prerequisites.  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 page for further information.

  • TEAS Testing

Successful completion of the ATI TEAS Exam is a Nursing Program pre-entrance requirement. The latest version of the TEAS exam is ATI TEAS or TEAS VI. ATI TEAS testing assesses an applicants 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. TEAS V results will also still be accepted at this time until further notice.

If an applicant has multiple TEAS results within the past 12 months,  the first score from the students earliest testing date is used to determine eligibility. If an applicant has a non-passing TEAS exam score within the past 12 months, they must provide proof of remediation before a subsequent passing score will be accepted. If an applicant does not pass the TEAS exam, it is the applicants responsibility to remediate. Remediation must include the subject(s) in which the applicant scored below 62%. The nursing program application process will disregard any non-passing score received more than 12 months prior to application and applicants will not need to show proof of remediation for a score that is more than one year old from time of application. Applicants must provide proof of all TEAS exams taken within the past 12 months with their application. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

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 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
  • Study and testing resources are also available online through the Mendocino College Library. Click on "Find Articles and ebooks", then "Learning Express Library". Enter the search term "nursing" in the search box on the upper right to view a list of available practice resources.
  • An informative breakdown of the ATI TEAS test:

  • Formula for Acceptance

The initial criteria for admission into the Nursing program is based on the California Community College Chancellors Office Formula for Acceptance. Scoring for each applicant is calculated 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, 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 (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 Nurse 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.


   & Workshops


THE APPLICATION PERIOD FOR THE FALL 2019 REGISTERED NURSING PROGRAM  is CLOSED. Applications will open on February 3, 2020 for the Fall 2020 Nursing Program.

THE APPLICATION PERIOD FOR THE SPRING 2020  LVN to RN BRIDGE PROGRAM  is currently CLOSED. The next application period opens September 9, 2020.


Pre-Application Orientation Workshop

A Mandatory Pre-Application Workshop is required for applicants applying to the Nursing Program. Attendance is required for RN, LVN to RN Bridge, and Advanced Standing Applicants.

Workshops are currently closed for the Fall semester. Additional workshops will become available in Spring 2020.

All workshops are located in Room 6610 in the Grove area of campus. Please note that workshop information and dates may be removed from the website at any time.

Orientation Workshop Criteria

All applicants must attend an in-person pre-application workshop. An online option is not available at this time.

  • Must bring picture ID.
  • Applicants are not required to register as a student at Mendocino College to sign-up for a workshop.
  • Admittance to orientation workshop on a space available basis only.
  • Applicants must attend one orientation every two years if reapplying.
  • All workshops will be held in the Grove area of the Ukiah campus in Room 6610.
  • Must be on time to attend. Latecomers will not be admitted.
  • Campus map.
  • Highway map.



Nursing Program Frequently
Asked Questions

Do I need to be a resident of the District to apply to the nursing program? No, all applications are considered for admission.

Do you keep a waiting list? 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. 

Do you have a part-time or evening program?  No, nursing courses are generally during the day, Monday through Thursdays.  Clinical hours can extend beyond these hours and may include Fridays, evenings and weekends.

How long does the Nursing Program take to complete? It is a 4-semester program with summers off for the full RN program.  For the LVN to RN program it is three semesters.  

How long does it take to complete the program from starting the prerequisites and general education courses to finishing the nursing program? 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.

Can I work while I am in the program? 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.

Can I send in an application now?  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. 

How do you select your students for the program?  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. 

How many students do you accept? Currently, we accept up to 18 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. 

How can I find out if the courses I am taking at another college are equivalent to the prerequisite courses at Mendocino College?  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.

I took a combined Anatomy and Physiology course with a lab. Will that count? 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 online science courses are accepted to meet this requirement.

Will someone in the Nursing Program go over my transcripts with me to see if I am missing anything? 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.

I was educated in another country. Will my coursework transfer to Mendocino College? 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.

How much will the program cost? The approximate cost of the 2-year program is $5000.00. 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 $3000.00.

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

My coursework is old. Do I have to re-take any classes? 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.No online science prerequisite courses will be accepted.

What facilities do you use for clinical experience?  Hospitals include Ukiah Valley Howard Memorial Hospital (Willits), Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital (Santa Rosa), Sutter Lakeside Hospital (Lakeport), Adventist Health Ukiah Valley (Ukiah).  In addition many clinics and offices are utilized for clinical experience.  These are mostly within the Mendocino-Lake College District but some require driving long distances and this should be taken into account when considering the program.

Do you offer transportation to the clinical sites?  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.

Do I have to take the ATI TEAS  test?  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).  If you have taken the ATI TEAS in the last year we only will accept the FIRST score within that time period.  Information can be found on this exam at and it is recommended that applicants prepare in advance for this test utilizing the available study guide (see online link).

Where can I take a CPR class?

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

What is your admission policy for Veterans? Please review the attached policy below for more information regarding Advanced Standing for Military Personnel.

Policy Guidelines for Military Personnel Nursing Admission at Mendocino College

Contact Info

Contact Information

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

Fran Laughton, MSN, RN; Director, Nursing Program:
707-468-3109 Email:

Kimberly Swift, MSN, RN, CCRN, CEN; Nursing Faculty:
707-467-1025 Email:

Heidi Crean, DC, MSN, RN, CNL; Nursing Faculty:
707-468-3017 Email:

Shanti Adhikari, BSN, RN; Nursing Faculty:
707-468-3231 Email: 

Ginger Bushway, MPH; Nursing Program Technician:
707-468-3099 Email:


nursing instructors

nursing students and instructor

nursing student and instructor

nursing students girl and boy

nursing students girls