COD Nursing Program teaches students to become safe, competent, professional, caring nurses.

PALM DESERT – Citing the strength of on-site counseling and student support, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing authorized the College of the Desert Nursing Program at its September meeting. This accreditation will enable COD nursing graduates to work in federal facilities, such as the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

The ACEN supports nursing education, nursing practice and the public through its accreditation program — a peer-reviewed, self-regulatory process where non-governmental associations acknowledge educational institutions that meet or exceed standards and criteria for educational quality. The ACEN is recognized by the United States Department of Education (USDE) and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

“The ACEN accreditation highlights our culture of excellence at COD’s Nursing Program,” said Director of Nursing Sarah Fry. “This confirms the incredible value of a nursing degree from College of the Desert and all the opportunities that come with it.”

Healthcare is among the fastest-growing industries, and the COD Nursing Program teaches students to become safe, competent, professional and caring nurses. Four paths of study are available: Registered Nursing, Vocational Nursing, Certified Nurse Assistant and Home Health Aide.

All the program’s clinical instructors also work in hospital settings, meaning COD nursing students are equipped with real-world skills they’ll carry to the patient’s bedside. Until then, COD ‘s future nurses learn with the latest technology in the Simulation Lab, practicing on manikins — high-fidelity, feedback-delivering simulators such as a baby and a birthing mother.

The ACEN Board of Commissioners identified specific strengths in COD’s program in its accreditation letter, including the program’s exemplary nursing counselor — a one-stop-shop for all student needs, such as financial aid. Dr. Ana Stockwell, the counselor of the nursing department for the last 15 years, used her extensive background in social work to support students in the nursing program.

Since 1968, the COD Nursing Program has graduated over 3,000 nurses. In a Valley noted for its high-quality healthcare, many COD graduates go on to work at local hospitals.

The COD Nursing Program leaves graduates committed to lifelong learning and service to the region, with 90% accepting nursing jobs right here in the Coachella Valley. It features diverse academic and community-based educational settings to fully prepare graduates for safe practice.

Learn more about the Nursing Program at

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