Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN) – In the state of California the entry level nurse is called a LVN and they can provide basic nursing care. In order to receive your license you’ll need to first enroll in an approved LVN school and take a minimum of 1530 hours of coursework. Of that course work 954 must be clinical. Some schools have quick programs that can be completed in about 12 months but on average it take 12-14 months to complete your training.
California has over 96 schools where you can take your training from however half of them are at community college that typically have a long wait list. You will then need to take and successfully pass the NCLEX exam. If you have your high school diploma, GED and are a minimum of 17 years of age you can enroll in a school.
Registered Nursing (RN) – You can first start by earning your AND which takes 2-3 years or earn your BSN which is a 4 year program.
The average Licensed Vocational Nurse in California makes between $35,000- $45,000 per year. Registered nurses demand a higher salary that averages $63,750 but the top 25% can earn in excess of $117,910 per year. There are currently over 300,000 Registered Nurses in California. The higher salary is more than the national average but considering the cost of living is higher in California it close to a wash. The top areas including Anaheim, Berkeley, Burbank, Carson, Costa Mesa, Corona, Fairfield, Garden Grove, Irvine, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Oakland and Riverside. These areas all average $75,000 per year in salary.
California has a lot of different schools that offer both the Licensed Vocational Nursing and Practical Nursing program. Depending on your career goals and what previous education you have you can enroll in any of the different levels and start your career training. You should also research the below areas before enrolling in any school as well as checking the nursing board’s website to make sure the school is fully approved to offer training.
Location – With so many different schools to choose from you should be able to find a nursing school that is close to where you live. You can search by zip code here on our site or by city to find the closest one.
Externship – Finding a good school is important but finding one that has a good externship is equally as important. A good externships will teach you so much regarding how to really become a nurse that is shouldn’t be overlooked. Also many externships will lead to full-time employment, especially if you do a great job during your time there. Be sure to treat every day of your externship as real job.
Equipment – As a nursing student you’ll be trained to use lots of different equipment. When you decide on which school to attend make sure to preview all of the equipment that you’ll be using. Is the equipment the latest on the market? Is it used or in poor shape? These are important things to look at during your tour.
Wait List – Because of the popularity of nursing and the available jobs in California it has put a big strain on many of the schools. Often when you apply you could be accepted but placed on a waiting list. It is important that you get in writing from the school when your start date would be. Some schools can put you on a wait list only to delay your start if they don’t have enough people enrolled to start the program.
Over 60% of all nurses working in the hospital.
About 20% of all RN’s that are currently employed in California were trained oversees.
Over 2/3 of all LVN’s that enter the workforce graduate from a for-profit or private school. Ths is mainly because the community colleges in CA don’t have room and the problem doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
Of the highest paid nurses I the US, California has the top 5 and San Francisco has the highest salary of all at $131,000 per year.
The average RN is 50 years old and 11% are male.
Board of Registered Nursing - http://www.rn.ca.gov/