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Associate Degree Nursing (RN)

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Thank you for your interest in becoming a Registered Nurse. The Associate Degree Nursing Program provides pre-licensure education. Students completing the two year full-time program are prepared to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

Program Requirements

Essential Functions Required of All Nursing Students

Motor Capability

  1. Move from room to room and maneuver in small places.
  2. Transfer patients who may require physical assistance.
  3. Guard and assist patients with ambulation.
  4. Lift and carry up to 50 pounds and exert up to 100 pounds force for push/pull.
  5. Squat, bend/stoop, reach above shoulder level, kneel, use standing balance, and climb stairs.
  6. Use hands repetitively; use manual dexterity.
  7. Adjust, apply, and clean therapeutic equipment.
  8. Perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
  9. Travel to and from academic and clinical sites.
  10. In the average clinical day, students sit 1-2 hours; stand 6-7 hours, travel 1-2 hours.

Sensory Capability:

  1. Coordinate verbal and manual instruction.
  2. Assess a client 10 feet away to observe client's posture and respond to treatment.
  3. Respond to a timer, alarm, or cries for help.
  4. Monitor vital signs.
  5. Auditory, visual, and tactile ability sufficient to assess patient status and perform treatments (Example: color changes in skin, hear heart and lung sounds).

Communication Ability:

  1. Communicate effectively in English with patients, families, and other health care providers, both verbally and in writing (Example: explain treatment procedures, teach patient and families, document in medical records).
  2. Effectively adapt communication for intended audience.
  3. Interact, establish rapport with individuals, families, and groups from a variety of social, emotional, cultural, and intellectual backgrounds.
  4. Assume the role of a health care team member.
  5. Function effectively under supervision.

Problem Solving Ability:

  1. Function effectively under stress.
  2. Test taking within predefined time constraints.
  3. Respond appropriately to emergencies.
  4. Adhere to infection control procedures.
  5. Demonstrate problem solving skills in client care (measure, calculate, reason, prioritize, synthesize data).
  6. Use sound judgment and safety precautions.
  7. Address problems or questions to the appropriate person at the appropriate time.
  8. Organize and prioritize tasks.
  9. Follow policies and procedures required by clinical and academic settings.


The Nursing Program office cannot complete prerequisite course evaluations. If you have taken a prerequisite course outside of Sierra College and it is not listed on the Equivalency Grid under the Application and Selection link, you may wish to contact a Sierra College academic counselor. The Counseling Center can be reached at: (916) 660-7400. Additionally, online counseling is available through the Sierra College website.

All prerequisites must be completed, with a grade “C” or better, and posted to the appropriate Official College Transcript before submitting an application to the Associate Degree Nursing Program.

Prerequisites “in progress” are not accepted.

  • Complete the following courses:
    • English 1A: Composition and Literature
    • Psychology 100: Introduction to Psychology [NOTE: If completed prior to Fall 2011, Psych 1 will be accepted]
    • Human Development 1
    • Bio Science 4 or 8A/B: Microbiology (must be completed within seven (7) years of admission into the Associate Degree Nursing Program.)
    • Bio Science 5 or 7A/7B: Anatomy (must be completed within seven (7) years of admission into the Associate Degree Nursing Program.)
    • Bio Science 6: Physiology (must be completed within seven (7) years of admission into the Associate Degree Nursing Program.)
    • Nutrition 10: Fundamentals of Human Nutrition (must be completed within seven (7) years of admission into the Associate Degree Nursing Program.)
  • Complete ONE of the following Math courses:
    • Math A: Elementary Algebra
    • Math D: Intermediate Algebra
    • Math 12: College Algebra
    • Math 16A or 16B: Calculus Life and Social Sciences
    • Math 29: Pre-Calculus
    • Math 30: Calculus I
    • Math 31: Calculus II
    • Math 42: Business Calculus
    • Completion of two semesters of Algebra or higher level mathematics in high school with grades of “C” or better.

Note: Statistics courses at any level do not meet the math prerequisite.

  • Demonstrate reading proficiency per Sierra College graduation requirements by ONE of the following:
    • Completion of one of the following courses with a grade “C” or better – English 1B, 1C, 11, 50, N; History 35; Philosophy 4.
    • Possession of either a bachelor or higher degree from a regionally accredited institution.
    • Reading Assessment from Sierra College: copy of test result from the Sierra College Assessment Center or printed from mySierra.
    • Reading Assessment Taken at Another Institution: contact the Sierra College Assessment Center (916-660-7430) for information on obtaining a Reading Competency form.

New for Fall 2015 - Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS)

The TEAS V must be completed prior to, and within one year of, applying to the program (February 1st). The official TEAS V results from Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) may be sent to the Sierra College Nursing office; unofficial results may be included in the nursing application packet. Students must achieve a cumulative score of 62% to be accepted into the program.

This link may be helpful for locating testing sites/dates and resource materials:


  • Comm 1: Fundamentals of Public Speaking
  • Soc 1: Introduction to Sociology OR Anth 2: Cultural Anthropology

Advisory: Co-Requisites must be completed before the student enters the last semester of the Associate Degree Nursing Program. Courses must be completed with a grade “C” or better.

Application and Selection

Applications for the Associate Degree Nursing Program are ACCEPTED ONCE A YEAR - during the spring semester - beginning FEBRUARY 1 until 4:00 p.m. APRIL 15 (or the last business day prior).

Only one submission will be accepted per applicant; multiple applications will result in disqualification.

Only complete application packets are evaluated for potential admission. A complete application packet consists of the following:

  1. Completed, signed Program Application.
  2. Official College Transcripts for all prerequisite courses completed at colleges INCLUDING SIERRA COLLEGE. 
  3. Official Transcripts for all colleges referenced in the Program Application (reading competency, etc.).
    1. Official High School transcript ONLY if using high school math to meet math prerequisite.
    2. All transcripts must be included with the application.  DO NOT have transcripts sent to the Nursing Office.
  4. Official course descriptions for all prerequisite or qualifying courses referenced in the application completed at colleges OTHER THAN SIERRA COLLEGE. (See Advisory below for explanation of official course description.)
    1. Note: Course descriptions are not required for courses found on the attached equivalency grid (Updated as of 3/31/14.)
    2. If not listed on the equivalency grid, official course descriptions must be provided for all courses referenced in the application - prerequisite courses and any course documented on the application to meet the qualifying requirements (reading competency, etc.). Co-requisites, if completed, may be listed; however, course descriptions are not required.
  5. Verification of reading competency by course, assessment, or Bachelor’s Degree from a regionally accredited educational institution.
    1. Sierra College students may download assessment results from mySierra.
    2. If assessment is completed at another institution, contact the Assessment Center at Sierra College (916-660-7430) for an equivalency form. This form must be completed by the Assessment Center – not the applicant - and included with the application.
  6. TEAS V Results - electronic copy sent to the Nursing office or a printed copy included with the application.
  7. Copy of DD214 if a veteran.

Advisory - Official Course Descriptions must be from the College Catalog. The course descriptions must state the name of the college, the year, and the semester in which the course was completed as documented on the Official Transcript. Course descriptions submitted without the above “official” information are not accepted. College schedules, counseling notes, and/or course information typed on a sheet of paper by the applicant are not accepted.  

Official course descriptions may be obtained by photocopying the college catalog for the year and semester the course was completed. Official college catalogs with course descriptions may also be available online through the institution’s website.

Once the application acceptance period has ended, all applications will be randomized and evaluated in order of the randomization until a full, qualified cohort is selected; therefore, not all applications will be evaluated.

Selected students ONLY will be contacted via the email address provided on the application within 4 weeks of the close of the acceptance period (April 15).  Please be sure the email address is legible.  Non-selected applicants will not be contacted. 

  • Sierra College does not maintain a waitlist.
  • Sierra College does not retain the applications of non-selected applicants.  A new, complete application must be submitted each application cycle.

Qualification and selection will be based on the following criteria:

  • Submission of a complete application.
  • Completion of all program prerequisites.
  • An 84% Chancellor’s Office Predictor of Success score (Community College Nursing Prerequisite Validation study).

The Chancellor’s Office Predictor of Success formula includes the following:

  • Grade Point Average (GPA) from all colleges attended where prerequisites were completed.
  • Grade for most recent English Composition course completed and documented on a transcript.
  • Cumulative GPA in sciences: microbiology, anatomy, and physiology
  • The number of times microbiology, anatomy, or physiology courses have been repeated (Repeats after withdrawals have the same negative impact as do repeats after a failure).

RN Qualifying Worksheet or RN Qualifying Worksheet. Used to determine individual data elements.

Chancellor’s Predictor of Success Formula: Excel spreadsheet formula (.xls). Used to determine your qualifying score.


Frequently Asked Questions

I know the English 1A is required to get into the program. If I have a better grade in English 1B may I use the English 1B grade in the Chancellor’s Office Predictor of Success formula?
When calculating a student’s predictor of success score, the grade a student achieved in their most recent English composition course is used. This could be English 1A, English 1B, or English 1C depending on when the course was completed.

How many applications do you receive, and how many students are selected?
For the past two years, we have received 300-500 applications for the ADN program. Budget and staffing permitting, we accept 30-40 students and 10-15 alternates, determined by random selection, every Fall semester. Alternates who are not admitted in the class for which they were chosen as an alternate automatically receive placement in the next class.

Do I need to take the CPR course before applying to the program?
No. We no longer require CPR as an application requirement.

I have one pre-requisite course left to take. Can I still apply to the program?
No. All prerequisite courses must be completed and posted to the appropriate transcript prior to applying for the program.

Do I have to have my Communication Studies and Sociology/Anthropology courses completed before I apply?
No. Communication studies and Sociology/Anthropology are co-requisites to third semester of the nursing program. This means you may take these courses concurrently with nursing courses in the third semester or before completion of the fourth semester. This must be completed in order to meet the requirements for the NCLEX-RN licensure examination.

I took my pre-requisites at another college. You are asking for course descriptions for those courses. How do I obtain the course descriptions?
Official college course descriptions may be obtained by photocopying the college catalog for the year and semester the course was completed. Official college catalogs with course descriptions may also be available online through the institution’s website.

I am confused about Math D being required. Can you explain this?
We recommend you see an academic counselor for all graduation requirements.

I see that the science courses and Nutrition cannot be more than seven years old when I begin the program. One of my courses is older than seven years. Do I need to retake the course?
We recommend that you see an academic counselor regarding course repetition and/or course challenge process.

I took my Anatomy and Physiology at a school where the courses were combined for two semesters. At Sierra they are offered separately. Am I still eligible to apply?
Yes. We accept equivalent course work. Two semesters of combined Anatomy and Physiology is equivalent to two semesters of separate course work.

Some of my pre-requisites are upper division from a four-year university. Is this okay?
We will accept upper division coursework to satisfy prerequisites. Students using upper division coursework to satisfy prerequisites will not receive units for the upper division courses and they may need to complete coursework to satisfy graduation requirements. We recommend that these students see an Academic Counselor for guidance.

Is it okay if I turn my application in late? I have a really good reason.
No. All applications must be received by the due date/time. Postmarks are not acceptable.

I was not accepted into the nursing program. Will my application materials be returned to me?
If not selected, all submitted materials will be destroyed; transcripts of selected students only will become property of the District and posted.

My employer wants to write a letter of recommendation for me to get into the nursing program. Should I enclose that with my application?
Our method is random selection. Letters of recommendation are not considered. We request that you not enclose any in your application packet.

I have work experience in the health field. Will this increase my chances of being admitted?
Our method is random selection. Your experience will benefit you on a personal level, but is not considered when applying to the nursing program.

I attended several colleges. Do you need all the transcripts or just those where I took pre-requisites? How do I get them to you?
You must submit official transcripts from all colleges attended in the completion of your pre-requisite courses and all colleges referenced in your application. All official transcripts must be submitted in the application packet. Official transcripts sent directly to the nursing department are not accepted.

Is the TEAS V required to apply?
Yes. Effective Fall 2015 the TEAS V must be completed prior to, and within one year of, applying to the program (February 1st). Students must achieve a cumulative score of 62% to be accepted into the program.

Can I use my assessment results from another college?
If assessment is completed at another institution, contact the Assessment Center at Sierra College (916-660-7430) for an equivalency form.  Include completed form with application.

When should I expect to hear the results of the selection process and how will I be notified?
Only selected students are notified via e-mail using the e-mail address clearly documented on their application. It takes approximately 4 weeks after the close of application acceptance to complete the selection and notification process.


  • Image Location: RN1 100
  • RN1 100
  • 5000 Rocklin Rd.
    Rocklin, CA 95677
  • Fall and Spring M-Th: 7:00am - 4:00pm
    F: 08:00am - 1:00pm

Cheryl Harris Administrative Assistant, Nursing

  • RN1 100
  • 5000 Rocklin Rd.
    Rocklin, CA 95677

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