Nursing Program

The Saddleback College Associate Degree Nursing (ADN) Program was established in 1971 and has an outstanding reputation in the health care community. The program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing, Inc. (formerly NLNAC) and Board of Registering Nursing (BRN) accredited Registered Nursing Program. Graduates of the program are eligible to take the State Board licensure exam for Registered Nurses. The pass rate for our graduates is consistently above the state and national average. Graduates of the program have successfully been employed in a variety of nursing positions and many transfer into upper degree nursing programs. See Saddleback College Nursing Program Outcomes.

The Saddleback College Associate Degree Nursing Program requires background/drug tests on all students entering the nursing program. This policy was instituted because the Joint Commissions requires any health care facility that requires employees to have personal criminal background checks must also require the same background check for students and volunteers involved in patient care.

Saddleback Nursing Program Named 2nd in the Nation

The Saddleback College Nursing Program was ranked 2nd in the nursing category of the 2018 Washington Monthly College Rankings. The annual publication rates colleges and universities throughout the nation based on their contribution to the public good in three categories: social mobility, research, and public service. Click here to view the rankings.

Message for Fall 2020 Applicants

Letters of acceptance/denial will be going out via email by May 1st. We still intend to bring students in this fall term however, paperwork sessions will most likely be via zoom. If you have any questions feel free to email us.


Dear Students, 

To minimize transmission of COVID-19, and to maintain instructional continuity to the extent possible, faculty have been working tirelessly to convert in-person and lecture lab classes to online. 

Unfortunately at this time, all non-essential personnel (students) have been prohibited from participating in clinical activities, internships, externships, preceptorships, and field work experiences at local hospitals, health care facilities and other similar course related experiences. These courses have been suspended with the goal of completing them by the end of the term or possibly into summer.  Students please do not drop your classes. 

The college will send out official notification regarding the status of your classes on Thursday March 19th.  After the official announcement students are encouraged to contact their course faculty for further direction.  

Thank you for your understanding,

Diane Pestolesi, Dean of Health Sciences & Human Services


 Download RN Information packet here

To be eligible to apply you must have the following requirements completed: 

  • Be at least 18 years of age at the time of admission.
  • Applicants must possess a social security card. To enable a background check to be completed and to be eligible to apply for NCLEX licensure upon program completion.
  • 2.8 GPA or better in the following science pre-requisites: Bio 11- Human Anatomy, Bio 12- Human Physiology (must been completed within 7 yrs), Bio 15-General Microbiology. To compute GPA click link here
  • English 1A- Principles of Composition I or the equivalent with a "C" or better. 
  • Pass the ATI TEAS test with a 62% or higher. We no longer accept TEAS version V. We only accept the first score attempt within 365 days. Students do not need to pay to have official scores sent from ATI to the college. They can attach an unofficial copy of their scores to their application. 


Applications are accepted twice a year. Applications are accepted twice a year. We do not have a waiting list. Admission to our RN program is based on the Saddleback College ADN Program Multi-criteria for Enrollment. Those with the highest points will be invited into the program. The point cut off varies each application period. Spring 2020 cut off fell at 76-77 points.

Our next application period will be for Spring 2021 (Jan 19- May 26) entry. We will begin accepting applications August 24th - September 4th, 2020.

Download RN program generic application here. All applications must be hand delivered to HS 235 (no exceptions). If unable to drop off the application in person, you may have someone else deliver it on your behalf. You may also pay for a courier/delivery service. We will not accept mailed applications. We encourage students to reapply, should they not be initially admitted to the program.You will be required to resubmit all documentation attached. We do not keep copies of previously submitted documentation (with the exception to official transcripts, which are to be kept on file with Admission & Records office). 

Transcripts: All relevant official (sealed) transcripts must be sent to the Admissions & Records office prior to submitting application see details here. Official transcripts previously sent to A&R are kept on file and do not need to be resubmitted unless changes have been made or additional relevant coursework has been completed. It is your responsibility to ensure they are received at (949) 582-4555. No transcripts required for Saddleback/IVC coursework. International transcripts must be evaluated by an acceptable third party see link here


All nursing program applicants are required to take the ATI Test of Essential Academic Skills (TEAS) test before applying. The test is comprised of 170 questions set up in a multiple choice format with four-option answers. The test is broken up in 4 sections: Reading/ 53 questions/ 64 min, Mathematics/ 36 questions/ 54 min, Science/ 53 questions/ 63 min, English and Language Usage/ 28 question/ 28 min.

We offer the exam for free, however only Saddleback applicants will be permitted to take the test here. The exam will be offered twice a year usually a month or two prior to the application period. For more information on ATI TEAS test, or to purchase a study guide, log on to the ATI testing website

Note: We recommend waiting to take the TEAS test until AFTER you have completed your nursing prerequisites which are: Anatomy, Microbiology, Physiology and English 1A. 

Our next ATI TEAS test will be offered sometime in July: Please check back for dates/times.

Date: Time: Location:

Once a date has been posted, the application will become available and we will begin taking reservations. Reservations will be on a first come, first served basis until spots have been filled. Once full we will take 10 additional alternates who will be on a wait list. When space occurs, you will be notified by phone or e-mail.

What to bring the day of the exam:  You photo ID, please know your Saddleback College e-mail address and password. Make sure you have an account with ATI Testing, if not please create one here

Special testing accommodations (DSPS):  After you have reserved a spot for those with special accommodations, you will need to provide documentation to the Health Science Division office from the DSPS 2 weeks prior to the test date. Please contact the Disabled Students Programs *office for more information (949) 582-4885

Other testing sites: San Diego State University and Palomar College.


We encourage all students interested in our nursing program to attend an RN information session. No reservation is necessary. Dates/times/locations listed below: 

Date: Time: Location:
Friday, January 17 2020 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM HS 145
Thursday, April 23, 2020 6:00 pm- 7:00 pm HS 145

Note: It is not mandatory to attend one of these meeting for admittance into the nursing program. A Saddleback College parking permit must be displayed in your car windshield to park in any campus lot. If you do not have a Saddleback parking permit, you can purchase a daily parking pass from any kiosk located on this map.


California Nurse Student Association is a professional membership organization that provides members with opportunities to develop leadership roles, network with future and current nurse leaders at the state and national conventions, and help with student mentoring, scholarship fundraising, and community outreach. For more information you can email: 


International Nurse BRN Deficiency- we are unable to offer individual nursing core courses for international RN's who are deficient in Medical-Surgical, Obstetrics, or Pediatrics. Clinical placements are impacted and our Nursing students have priority.

LVN to RN- The Bridge classes N 162 and N 164 have been postponed since 2017 due to limited clinical space. Currently, there is a waitlist, although we highly recommend you apply to the generic RN program if you wish to be placed on the waitlist for LVN to RN program you must meet with a counselor first to see if you are eligible. Please contact counseling at (949) 582-4572 to set up an appointment.


Students may be eligible for financial aid. If interested in applying, please visit Saddleback College's Student Financial Assistance & Scholarship Office


The Saddleback College Nursing Program Mission is to:
  • provide high quality, innovative education
  • support student success
  • instill in the learner the need for life long learning and professional development, and
  • prepare competent entry level registered nurses to provide quality patient-centered care

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