Registered Nursing Workshop Handout

Department of Nursing Student Selection Procedures

Students seeking admission to the Cypress College Nursing Program are required to attend an information workshop. Information about these workshops can be found at the Nursing program web page.

The following is a summary of the Cypress College Nursing Program student selection procedures. Since selection criteria may change, it is recommended that you contact the Health Science Nursing Counselor periodically and/or visit our nursing website for current information.

Application Prerequisites

Initial application may be made after completion of the following prerequisite courses with a “C” or better.

  • Biology 231C* – Anatomy – 4 units
  • Biology 241C* – Physiology – 4 units
  • Biology 220C* – Medical Microbiology – 4 units
  • English 100C – College Writing – 4 units

*Courses must be taken within five (5) years of application.

Entrance Exam Requirement (TEAS)

A passing TEAS score (62 or higher) within 2 years of the application opening date and the most current version is required to apply to the Registered Nursing Program. An unofficial TEAS transcript will be required to be uploaded to your online Health Science application.  Do not submit an official TEAS transcript until it is requested from you.

  • Cypress College does not offer remediation.
  • Cypress College does not review the number of attempts as part of the application process.
  • Cypress College is not a TEAS testing site.
  • All ATI testing options are currently accepted by Cypress College.
  • The current required passing score is 62%. Only Version 7 will be accepted beginning September 2023.
  • For more information on the TEAS, go to:

All qualified eligible applicants who meet the minimum requirements, supported by documentation, will be included on two applicant lists: the Rank Order List and the Lottery List.

Qualified eligible applicants with all required application documents on file will be considered for admission to the Nursing Program each application period. Notification emails are sent in early December for applications submitted in September (for spring start) and early May for applications submitted in February (for fall start). A typical cohort of 40 applicants will be selected each semester, 75% from the Rank Order List and 25% from the Lottery list.

Lottery List

The lottery list will be comprised of approximately 25% of the cohort and will be randomly selected from the eligible applications from the rank list.

Rank Order List

A maximum of 30 points may be earned in accord with the procedures listed below. The Rank Order List will contain the names of all currently eligible applicants ranked by points from highest to lowest.  In the event of applicants with identical points, rank order will be determined by assigning priority based on the higher overall GPA in required prerequisite and general education coursework. When ties still occur, rank is then determined by date of initial nursing program application. A candidate will be able to advance the position on the Rank Order List once a year by updating their application (during the application period) and submitting evidence for additional points in the categories that follow. 75% of the accepted cohort roster will come from the Rank List.


  • Section I – Maximum 15 points
  • Section II – Maximum 10 points
  • Section III – Maximum 5 points

Total Maximum 30 points

I. Grades in Prerequisite Science Courses Maximum 15 Points

Points will be awarded for each of the following three courses based on the grade achieved in that course.  A minimum passing grade of “C” must be achieved and courses must be taken within five (5) years of the opening date of the application.  Repeated courses will not be considered if a previous course fulfills the above requirements.

“A” = 5 points, “B” = 3 points, “C” = 1 point.

  • Biology 231C – Anatomy (with a lab component) – 4 units
  • Biology 241C – Physiology (with a lab component) – 4 units
  • Biology 220C – Medical Microbiology (with a lab component) – 4 units

II. General Education CoursesMaximum 10 points

Additional points may be achieved by the completion of one or more of the following courses.  A minimum grade of “C” or better must be achieved in these courses at the time of application.

Two points each will be awarded for passing these two courses:

  • Psychology 101C # – Introductory to Psychology – 3 units
  • Math 040C # + – Intermediate Algebra or higher – 4 units
  • COMM 100C – Human Communications – 3 units

One Point each will be awarded for passing these six courses:

  • English 100C # – College Writing – 4 units
  • Sociology 101C – Introduction to Sociology – 3 units
  • Humanities # * + – 3 units
  • Art * + – 3 units

# A score of 3 or higher on the Advanced Placement (AP) meets this requirement.
* See Cypress College Catalog for specific courses that meet the requirements.
+ May be waived based on completion of an associate degree or higher at a regionally accredited institution in the U.S.

III. Additional CriteriaMaximum 5 points from Section III.

Academic Degree, Diplomas, or Certificates related to patient care

Each eligible item is worth 1 point. The document(s) will be uploaded within the online RN application when you apply if item is not listed on official transcripts.

  • If you have received a degree, diploma or certificate related to patient care, official transcripts from regionally accredited United States colleges or universities with degree posted, or verification of certification are required.

Proficiency or Advanced Level of Coursework in a language other than English

Each eligible second language is worth 1 point.

  • Languages not listed here will not be accepted. Languages identified by California Community College Chancellor’s Office will be accepted:  American Sign Language, Arabic, Chinese (including dialect), Farsi, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog, Languages of India or Southeast Asia.
    • Official transcript from a United States regionally accredited college or university verifying two full (2) years-(4) semesters of foreign language
    • If you consider yourself a native speaker, in English, write a paragraph that describes your level of proficiency and the language you speak.  This document will be uploaded within the online RN application when you apply.

Patient Care Experience – Work or Volunteer – Must include 200 or more documented hours completed within the past 5 years.

Maximum 2 points for this section. The document(s) will be uploaded within the online RN application when you apply.

  • WorkLetter from current/former employer verifying employment.  The letter must be on organization letterhead with an original signature and must include the applicant’s name, (must match name on application), start date and end date (if applicable), employment status (full-time/part-time), number of hours per week (or total hours worked to date), job title, department if applicable, and example of duties including patient interaction.
  • VolunteerLetter from current/former organization verifying volunteer service.  The letter must be on organization letterhead with an original signature and must include the applicant’s name (must match name on application), start date and end date (if applicable), total number of hours volunteered, and example of duties including patient interaction.

Life Experiences or Special Circumstances

Each eligible item is worth 1 point. The document(s) will be uploaded within the online RN application when you apply.

  • Disabilities – Documented disability from college learning disability program or Disabled Student Services (DSS).
  • Low family income – Proof of eligibility or proof of receipt of financial aid e.g. BOGG fee waiver, Cal Grant, Pell
  • Grant or other federal grant, CalWorks.  Do not send financial aid proof of application.
  • First generation to attend college – Submit a letter which describes how you meet this criteria.
  • Need to work – One paycheck stub during period of time enrolled in prerequisite courses or letter from employer (must be on organization letterhead) verifying employment was at least part time while completing courses. Do not send W-2 or tax documents.
  • Disadvantaged social or educational environment – Participation or eligibility for Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS); submit a letter explaining your situation and circumstances.
  • Refugee Status – Documentation or letter from USCIS
  • Veteran Status – Copy of DD-214.
  • Spouse of a deceased, disabled or MIA veteran – copy of marriage certificate and official document(s) from the Veteran Affairs Office.

Student Success Coursework-shown on submitted transcript(s)

Each eligible course is worth 1 point. Courses not listed above will not be considered. Do NOT list courses already used in your Registered Nursing program application to fulfill the prerequisites or general education requirements.

Student success course work from any college or university:

  • Math (beyond intermediate algebra)
  • Chemistry w/lab
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Nutrition
  • Medical Calculations
  • Intro to Nursing
  • Counseling/Study Skills courses
  • Interpersonal Communications
  • Social Justice, Equity and Sustainability (formerly known as Cultural Diversity
  • Pharmacology

Visit the Cypress College Nursing program website for further Registered Nursing program information such as: application link, application preview, program brochure, selection criteria, cost and special requirements, Nursing Advisory statement, general information – first year in the nursing program , and other resources.

Technical Standards for Nursing: Functional Abilities Requirements


Nursing practice is complex and requires varied knowledge, skills and abilities to provide safe care to those they serve. The National Council of State Boards of Nursing has defined the following functional abilities that a nurse must possess to provide safe, effective care. Prior to your commitment to pursue a nursing career, we ask that you review the following requirements to be sure this is the correct choice for you. These requirements address the physical, emotional, and professional demands of a Registered Nurse. Please consider whether you can perform the following functions, with or without reasonable accommodations. If, after reviewing the requirements listed, you determine that you are unable to perform any of the skills listed and you have a documented disability, you will then need to determine if a reasonable accommodation can be provided. Please contact Disabilities Support Services (714) 4847104) to further discuss and present documentation of your disability. Reprinted with permission from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Inc., Chicago, IL.

Functional Ability Categories and Representative Activities/Attributes


  • Move within confined spaces
  • Sit and maintain balance
  • Stand and maintain balance
  • Reach above shoulders (e.g., IV poles)
  • Reach below waist (e.g., plug electrical appliance into wall outlets)


  • Pick up objects with hands
  • Grasp small objects with hands (e.g., IV tubing, pencil)
  • Write with pen or pencil
  • Key/type (e.g., use a computer)
  • Pinch/pick or otherwise work with fingers (e.g., manipulate a syringe)
  • Twist (e.g., turn objects/knobs using hands)
  • Squeeze with finger (e.g., eye dropper)


  • Stand (e.g., at client side during surgical or therapeutic procedure)
  • Sustain repetitive movements (e.g., CPR)
  • Maintain physical tolerance (e.g., work entire shift)


  • Push and pull 25 pounds (e.g., position patients)
  • Support 25 pounds of weight (e.g., ambulate patient)
  • Lift 25 pounds (e.g., pick up a child, transfer patient)
  • Move light objects weighing up to 10 pounds (e.g., IV poles)
  • Move heavy objects weighing from 11 to 50 pounds
  • Defend self against combative patient
  • Carry equipment/supplies
  • Use upper body strength (e.g., perform CPR, physically restrain a patient)
  • Squeeze with hands (e.g., operate fire extinguisher)


  • Twist
  • Bend
  • Stoop/squat
  • Move quickly (e.g., response to an emergency)
  • Climb (e.g., ladders/stools/stairs)
  • Walk


  • Read and understand written documents (e.g., policies, protocols)


  • Detect odors from patient (e.g., foul smelling drainage, alcohol breath, etc.)
  • Detect smoke
  • Detect gases or noxious smells


  • Hear normal speaking level sounds (e.g., person-to-person report)
  • Hear faint voices
  • Hear faint body sounds (e.g., blood pressure sounds, assess placement of tubes)
  • Hear in situations when not able to see lips (e.g., when masks are used)
  • Hear auditory alarms (e.g., monitors, fire alarms, call bells)


  • See objects up to 20 inches away (e.g., information on a computer screen, skin conditions)
  • See objects up to 20 feet away (e.g., patient in a room)
  • See objects more than 20 feet away (e.g., patient at end of hall)
  • Use depth perception
  • Use peripheral vision
  • Distinguish color (e.g., color codes on supplies, charts, bed)
  • Distinguish color intensity (e.g., flushed skin, skin paleness)


  • Read and understand columns of writing (flow sheet, charts)
  • Read digital displays
  • Read graphic printouts (e.g., EKG)
  • Calibrate equipment
  • Convert numbers to and/or from the Metric System
  • Read graphs (e.g., vital sign sheets)
  • Tell time
  • Measure time (e.g., count duration of contractions, etc.)
  • Count rates (e.g., drips/minute, pulse)
  • Use measuring tools (e.g., thermometer)
  • Read measurement marks (e.g., measurement tapes, scales, etc.)
  • Add, subtract, multiply, and/or divide whole numbers
  • Compute fractions (e.g., medication dosages)
  • Use a calculator
  • Write numbers in records


  • Establish therapeutic boundaries
  • Provide client with emotional support
  • Adapt to changing environment/stress
  • Deal with the unexpected (e.g., patient going bad, crisis)
  • Focus attention on task
  • Monitor own emotions
  • Perform multiple responsibilities concurrently
  • Handle strong emotions (e.g., grief, trauma, suffering)


  • Transfer knowledge from one situation to another
  • Process information
  • Evaluate outcomes
  • Problem solve
  • Prioritize tasks
  • Use long-term memory
  • Use short-term memory


  • Identify cause-effect relationships
  • Plan/control activities for others
  • Synthesize knowledge and skills
  • Sequence information


  • Negotiate interpersonal conflict
  • Respect differences in patients
  • Establish rapport with patients
  • Establish rapport with co-workers


  • Teach (e.g., patient/family about health care)
  • Explain procedures
  • Give oral reports (e.g., report on patient’s condition to others)
  • Interact with others (e.g., health care workers)
  • Speak on the telephone
  • Influence people
  • Direct activities of others
  • Convey information through writing (e.g., progress notes)


  • Feel vibrations (e.g., palpate pulses)
  • Detect temperature (e.g., skin, solutions)
  • Feel differences in surface characteristics (e.g., skin turgor, rashes)
  • Feel differences in sizes, shapes (e.g., palpate vein, identify body landmarks)
  • Detect environmental temperature (e.g., check for drafts)