California has a growing number of opportunities in the nursing field. Within the state, Licensed Practical Nurses make up 21% of the total nurses and the LPN comfort score is 74. This takes into account the average LVP salary, average state salary and cost of living. The California RN comfort score is considerably higher at 143.
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The large difference between the two illustrates that it is advisable to continue your education and obtain an RN degree. California nursing schools and universities can provide more information that can help you pursue either degree. In California there are many cities that will have a high number of potential educational institutions and job opportunities for an LVN. These areas include Bakersfield, Stockton, Fresno, Sacramento, San Francisco, Riverside, San Jose, San Diego, Los Angeles , and Ventura.
Checklist to become a California LVN:
- Earn your LVN Degree, 1 year of courses and hands-on practice.
- Apply for licensure with the California Board of Nursing ($85 fee) – Have your school send your transcript to them as well
- Obtain a CPR card and pass the NCLEX-PN exam
LVN/LPN Salaries in California
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) or LVNs in California earn an average of $24.01/hr and a yearly income of $49,940. Nurses working in metropolitan areas tend to earn higher salaries than in non-metropolitan parts of the state, although there is likely to be a relatively higher cost of living associated in those areas. The Bay Area pays entry-level salaries that far exceed the average in California. California is also known for having generous compensation packages, including matching retirement, liability and life insurance, extra paid holidays, and daycare or preschool benefits.
An LVN/LPN can work in a variety of areas within the nursing field including nursing care facilities, hospitals or a physicians’ office. In California, LVNs working in general medical and surgical hospitals earn more than those working in the offices of physicians. When choosing a career path within the industry, salary is only one piece to consider. Many LVNs find a more rewarding career in a family office rather than a hospital, despite a lower salary. It is advisable for LVNs to look towards home health care agencies and long-term care facilities are the fastest growing potential employers. The LVN with several years of experience and those with certifications in geriatric health are going to be in higher demand. It is crucial to begin trying to figure out which area is the best fit for you as early as possible. Take advantage of all the offered LVN programs in California and educate yourself by researching all the available options before deciding.
LVN/LPN Degree and Education in California
In the state of California, the practical nursing program is the quickest route to becoming a nurse. To earn a degree requires one year of courses as well as hands-on practice. You are required to obtain a CPR card, and pass the NCLEX-PN exam upon completion of the course. The comfort score of an RN is much higher than an LVN and it is important to consider that some universities are now offering alternative programs such as a fast paced two-year Bachelor in the Science of Nursing (BSN) program for individuals who already have a bachelors degree and are looking for a career change. With any questions about LVN schools in California and specific requirements, contact the admissions office of your chosen college or school.
License renewal for nurses in California starts the second year after receiving an initial license, on the month of your birth. From that point forward, nursing licenses must be renewed every two years. Each period requires nurses to engage in 30 continuing education credits.
California LVN/LPN Job Outlook
The nursing shortage in The United States is steadily increasing. There is a rising demand for new and more effective health procedures and life expectancy averages are continuing to climb. These issues will be reflected in the California health industry and help to create an extremely strong job outlook for LVNs.
There are many job openings in California in all fields of nursing. California hospitals, home health companies and doctor offices are now offering flexible schedules, educational benefits, higher pay and other incentives to retain their staff and to recruit new nurses. Some hospitals are even offering sign on bonuses or student loan reimbursement up to certain maximums.
California is a great place for nurses. The pay is among the highest in the nation but is offset due to the high cost of living. In overall comfort, the scores indicate that an RN degree would be worth the continuing education. A career as an LVN in this state can provide opportunities and security.
The California State Board of Nursing Website is www.rn.ca.gov/