Frequently Asked Questions

Degree Requirements

What is the difference between the Associate in Arts (AA) and Associate in Science (AS) degrees in Nursing?
The AA and AS degrees require all the same prerequisite courses and nursing courses.  The AA includes the addition of one approved pair of American History & Institutions courses, or an appropriate score on an approved American History & Institutions exam.  The AA degree is 73 total units, and the AS degree is 67 total units.  There is no difference in the two degrees when comparing nursing curriculum or one’s abilities in the practice of nursing, and employers do not favor one over the other.

Are there additional courses I need if I want to pursue a higher degree, like a Bachelors? 
Most BSN programs in the state of California list Statistics and Chemistry as prerequisites.  Palomar College Nursing does not require these courses, so it is possible you will need to take additional coursework.

Program Information

How long is the Nursing Program at Palomar College?
The Nursing Program is two years, or 4 semesters, in length after the completion of prerequisite coursework.  Students must complete approximately 32 units of prerequisite coursework before being eligible to apply to the program.

Do you offer evening or weekend classes?
We do not offer weekend of evening classes at this time. There is the possibility that your assigned clinical day will be on a weekend. All lectures and labs take place during the week day.

Do I have to be vaccinated in order to participate in the program?
Yes. Our local hospital agency partners require nursing students to be vaccinated against Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Hepatitis B, Varicella, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis, Influenza, and COVID-19. These vaccine requirements are determined by our agency partners, not Palomar College or the Palomar Nursing Program, and are subject to change.

Do you offer CNA or LVN programs?
No, these programs are not offered at Palomar College.  To find a program near you, click here:

Admission Requirements

What do I need in order to be eligible to apply?
To be eligible to apply to the Nursing program, students must have completed the prerequisite courses and have successfully completed the ATI TEAS exam with a score of 62% or higher.

Can I come speak with someone about applying?  Do I need an appointment?
No, you do not need an appointment.  We are located in HS-200, and our regular business hours are Monday-Thursday, 8am – 4pm.
We also offer information sessions and 1-1 booking appointments.

Can I submit additional documents to add to my application after my application has been turned in?
No, all of your application documents must be submitted together. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we are unable to add to anyone’s application after it has been submitted.

Can I apply to the program while my prerequisites are in progress?
No, all prerequisites must be completed and a grade must be issued on your unofficial transcript before applying.  We use your grade point average as part of our application evaluation.

Will my science course taken at another school be accepted at Palomar?
Please meet with a Palomar counselor to have your prior coursework reviewed.  They have the training needed to assess whether your courses are transferable.  The Nursing Department is unable to determine if your courses will be accepted by Palomar College.  To make an appointment to see a counselor, please have your Palomar student ID number and call (760) 891-7511 or visit

If I have a Bachelor’s degree, do I need to take the prerequisite courses?
Yes. The California Board of Registered Nursing requires students to have completed the prerequisite courses to be eligible for RN examination.

What is the cut off score of students that are accepted into the program?
We offer acceptance into the program to applicants in order of highest points to lowest. Information on our application statistics are listed at the bottom of our Generic RN webpage. If you would like advising on how to calculate your points and how you can increase your points, please attend an information session or schedule a 1-1 booking appointment.

How many students are accepted to the program?  Do you keep a waitlist?
We are able to accept 36 students each semester, both in Fall and in Spring.  We do not keep a waitlist.  If you are not initially accepted to the program, we encourage you to reapply during the next application period.  If you would like advising on how to calculate your points and how you can increase your points, please attend an information session or schedule a 1-1 booking appointment.

I have a foreign nurse degree and the BRN is requiring I take additional courses.  Do you offer courses in Med-Surg and OB?
Accommodations are made on a case by case basis, and are dependent on space availability.  The OB portion of our curriculum is taught during the second semester of our program.  The Med-Surg portion of our curriculum is taught throughout all four semesters.  A student requiring Med-Surg would need to have completed all the prerequisite courses and apply to the full 4 semester program.