Deciding to become a nurse is a big commitment. In California you can earn your LVN nursing license or continue on with your training and become an RN (Registered Nurse). A registered nurse is considered one of the top professions and in many states (California included) there is currently a shortage of registered nurses. The first step is to make sure you are taking the correct number of high school classes while in high school so you can graduate with some of the pre-requisites needed. Be sure you take 4 full years of English and match including 4 years of social studies. In California a foreign language such as Spanish is a great idea to have on your resume. In California you can earn your Associate’s degree in Nursing in 2 to 3 years. If you enroll in California nursing school and earn your Bachelors of Science in Nursing degree it will take you 4 years to complete.
Currently in California there are over 130 different nursing schools throughout the state for you to choose from so you shouldn’t have a problem finding one in your area. Orange County, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego and Sacramento are the largest markets not only for schools but also for employment. After you have successfully passed the NCLEX then you can be licensed in the state. You’ll pay a nominal fee for the application as well as a Live Scan process (fingerprinting and background check).
One of the things to never overlook before enrolling in any nursing school is to make sure they are approved by the state of California. Here is a link to make sure the school you are considering for your RN program is fully accredited and approved by the BRN (Bureau for Postsecondary Education). If they are not on the list do not enroll in the schools, regardless of what they tell you at the college. Schools get revoked all the time and you don’t want to be attending a school that isn’t approved. Also make sure to really research your options and meeting with the nursing instructors. These instructors will make or break you when it comes time to take the NCLEX. If the quality of instructor is poor then more than likely the school has a low NCLEX pass rate. On average you should look for a school that has an 80% or higher pass rate on the NCLEX exam.
According to the BLS the average RN salary in California was $71,000 and the top nurses earned $96,960. The salary is approx. 7% higher in California than other parts of the country since the cost of living is higher and demand is greater.
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