The demand for nurses continues to rise all over North America, and schools offering nurse programs in California, as well as everywhere else, are seeing more applicants than ever before. This may be because job opportunities are so wide and varied in this rewarding career. If you have chosen a nursing program in California, you must be familiar with licensing and educational requirements that are set by the state. Below you will find the steps that are needed to become a licensed vocational nurse (LVN) and a registered nurse (RN) in California.
According to the California Board of Registered Nursing, there are over 130 accredited schools in the state that offer programs in nursing. It takes one year to complete the LVN program, with hands-on experience. It takes between 2-4 years to become an RN in California, depending on which degree program you take. The ADN is a two year program while the BSN will take four. Most LVN graduates have the intention of becoming an RN in the future. Becoming an RN allows you the freedom to perform many more duties than a LVN, and you will have more responsibilities.
After your schooling is finished, you are required by the state to take the NCLEX exam. The purpose of the exam is to ensure that you have the ability to complete the duties required of you safely and with a high level of competency. You need to apply to the California State Board of Nursing to take the NCLEX. You must also send in an application, once they have confirmed your eligibility then they will issue you an Authorization to Test (ATT), and then you need to register with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
In California, a temporary license remains in effect until the Board of Nursing (BON) has received your first NCLEX scores or until it reaches the expiry date printed on the license, whichever occurs first. Without the issuance of a temporary or interim permit (IP), you will not be able to perform duties in any field of employment requiring a nursing license. With the IP, you must work under the direct supervision of an RN who is currently licensed, and you are not able to be assigned any charge responsibilities.
The course of study to become a nurse is wide and varied and may sometimes seem a little daunting. Once you have become certified, you can be assured that you will have the skills, knowledge and competence to excel in this exciting career.
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