Programs to Become an RN in California
The California Board of Nursing (CBON) regulates the field of nursing. The board sets nursing policies to ensure patients and their families of the best possible medical care and regulates licensing and license renewal. Nurses in California are in demand as healthcare options expand and the population experiences greater longevity. Nursing employment will continue grow by 23% through the year 2020 and the greatest demand will be in outpatient care facilities, home health care and physician’s offices.
To become a registered nurse (RN) in California requires the completion of an approved nursing program and a passing grade on the National Council for Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Nursing candidates must earn at least an Associate’s Degree to qualify for the NCLEX-RN. The nursing program must include class work and clinical training. Healthcare professionals recommend nursing students complete at least a Bachelor’s degree, unless the plan is to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN), which takes about 8 to 12 months of schooling to complete, and work as an LPN while completing the work to complete studies for a Bachelors degree. A Bachelor’s degree also translates to greater responsibility, professional advancement and specialization opportunities.
Once the educational component is completed, graduates have to pass the NCLEX-RN program to become licensed. Applicants are required to submit an exam application, including a fingerprint card and criminal background check information, to the CBON and register with Pearson VUE, the exam administrator. Once the CBON approves the application, the applicant is issued an authorization to test (ATT). Once the ATT has been issued the graduate can schedule the exam with Pearson VUE. Graduates may also apply for a temporary RN license allowing the graduate to work as an RN while negotiating the exam process. The temporary license is valid for 60 days or until the exam is passed. If the applicant does not pass or take the exam in the allotted time frame, the temporary license will automatically expire.
The average RN salary in California is $71,000 and the average starting salary for an entry level RN is $48,000. The high end of the RN salary scale is about $130,000. RN’s in a supervisory position such as Director of Nursing (DON) and unit managers will hit close to the high mark, as well as nurses with an extraordinary number of years experience. The actual salary for RNs will depend on geographic location, level of responsibility, area of expertise and longevity.
The duties and responsibilities of RNs are varied depending on the type of facility and where employed. The typical RN duties include dispensing medication according to plan and gauging and tracking reaction and effectiveness, dressing wounds and changing dressings, assessing a patient’s condition and establishing a care plan, performing diagnostic tests, performing emergency procedures, addressing patients concerns, educating patients and families about the patient’s condition and preparing patients for discharge to home or other healthcare facilities.
RNs will find employment in hospitals and nursing homes, assisted care centers, occupational health facilities, clinics, doctor’s offices, correctional facilities, schools and visiting nurse and hospice organizations.
RN Training Schools in California
- At West Coast University, your education can pave the way to your healthcare career
- With West Coast University, you can choose to study healthcare online or any one of the 6 campuses located in California, Texas or Florida
- West Coast University has developed programs with learning options to work around the demands of your life
- Bachelor of Science in Nursing
- MSN - Informatics (Online)
- MSN Advanced Generalist (Online)
- And more...
- 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.*
- Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
- Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help maximize the credit you previously earned.
- *Excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
- Master of Science in Nursing: Nursing Administration
- Master of Science in Nursing: Nurse Educator
- Which career path will you take – Business, Nursing, Education, Psychology? Something else? GCU offers more than 100 majors to get you started!
- Colangelo College of Business: Features more than 25 programs from the bachelor through the master's level, including several high-demand MBA programs and an accelerated accounting degree.
- College of Nursing and Health Care Professions: Rich 25-year history providing outstanding health care and nursing degree programs, including an RN to BSN program & master's in nursing degrees.
- College of Education: Whether you are looking to start or advance your career as a teacher or administrator, GCU offers bachelor’s and master’s in education degrees in key areas.
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences: Provides a job focused education and features a variety of programs from counseling and psychology to justice studies, history and English literature.
- Does something else interest you? GCU also offers programs in Doctoral Studies; Theology; Science, Engineering & Technology; and Fine Arts & Production. Speak with an enrollment counselor today!
- Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
- M.S. in Nursing with an Emphasis in Leadership in Health Care Systems (Bridge)
- Doctor of Nursing Practice
- And more...
- Flexible, online RN-BSN and MSN programs available
- RN-BSN program is designed to help registered nurses earn their bachelor’s in as little as 9 months
- Courses designed to expand on student’s prior knowledge and enhance their patient care skills
- Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration
- Vocational Nursing Program*
About Brightwood College
Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.
About Education Corporation of America
Education Corporation of America's institutions broaden access to postsecondary educational opportunities.
- Vocational Nursing
Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning. Today, we offer an impressive array of more than 130 undergraduate, graduate and continuing education programs across five colleges and the Graduate School.
- Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Leadership Track (MSN to DNP)
- Online Master of Science in Nursing (BSN to MSN-FNP)
- Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner Track (BSN to DNP)
- And more...
For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. Our student-centered approach remains at the foundation of the Keiser University mission and continues to attract students who prefer a more personal learning experience.
- Master of Science in Nursing
Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University. We offer online programs focused on doctoral and master’s degrees in the schools of business and technology management, education, psychology and marriage and family sciences.
- Doctor of Education - Nursing Education
With over 80 years of academic achievements, Jacksonville University is a traditional, longstanding institution consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of America's best colleges.
- MSN Clinical Nurse Educator