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California Board of Nursing Requirements

Do you live in The Golden State and plan on pursuing a career as a registered nurse there? California might be one of the best states to live in if you want to build a bright future as a registered nurse. The state boasts the highest number of registered nurses employed by a state throughout the country. It also holds the position of the state with the highest average salaries for registered nurses. Despite being the state with the largest number of employed registered nurses, California offers plenty more opportunities in the field. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the state is projected to see a 7% job growth between 2019 and 2029, which is considerably better than the national average.

If you are interested in pursuing a bright future as a registered nurse in California, it is essential to understand the state’s nursing board requirements to become one. The California Board of Registered Nursing has its own requirements you must fulfill to practice as a nurse. Fast CE For Less offers nursing continuing education courses where you can pursue your license renewal after becoming a registered nurse. We have created this guide on the Nursing Board requirements for California to help you understand everything you need to know to become a registered nurse in the state.

From the state’s licensure requirements to become a registered nurse and how to continue practicing through license renewal, this guide will give you an overview of everything you need to begin a successful career as a registered nurse in California.

How to Become a Registered Nurse in California

All states require completing several years of specialized training and education for professionals to become registered nurses. Once you complete your educational requirements, you must obtain a license to practice nursing. After you become a registered nurse in California, you must complete a certain number of contact hours through nursing continuing education courses to renew your license.

In California, the California Board of Registered Nursing handles licensure for registered nurses. Becoming a professional in this field in the Golden State can be simplified into four steps:

  • Complete an accredited four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), earn a two-year Associate’s Degree in Nursing (ADN), or an Entry-Level Master of Science in Nursing (ELMSN).
  • Apply for state licensure in California.
  • Pass the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
  • Maintain your license by recertifying after every two years through nursing continuing education courses.

Obtaining A BSN or Associate’s Degree in California

While you can apply for a license to become a registered nurse in California after completing a two-year ADN, completing a BSN from an accredited institution is a highly recommended approach. It takes an estimated four years to complete a BSN in nursing from an accredited college, but it offers you more in-depth knowledge, making you well-equipped to handle the challenges of being a registered nurse. You can apply for several pre-licensure education courses to become a registered nurse in California. You can check out the list of courses approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing on its official website.

Applying for State Licensure

In California, you can begin applying for your nursing license in California 6-8 weeks before you complete your pre-licensure nursing program. You can go to the California Board of Registered Nursing’s official website and apply for state licensure through their online platform. Once you submit the application and pay the fee for the license, you must have your education institution send your transcripts to the state’s nursing board. After that, you must complete a background check and fingerprints. While you can receive your license after passing the license examination, California allows you to receive a temporary permit that lets you begin practicing until you receive your permanent registered nurse license.

Applying for Licensure as a Registered Nurse in California Through an Approved Exam

After applying for state licensure in California, you must register yourself for the NCLEX-RN exam. If you pass this exam, you can receive your license to practice as a registered nurse in California. The NCLEX-RN is an appointment-only exam you must take at licensed testing centers in the state. Once you pass the test, the California Board of Registered Nursing will automatically issue your license to practice as a registered nurse in The Golden State. The state’s nursing board recommends taking the NCLEX-RN exam as quickly as possible after graduating from the pre-licensure registered nursing education program. According to the trends it has seen, the California Board of Registered Nursing has noted that candidates taking the examination immediately are likelier to obtain higher scores than those who wait to take the exam later.

Continuing Education Courses to Renew Your License and Certification

Every state requires registered nurses to take on and complete a required number of contact hours through nursing continuing education courses. For the Golden State, registered nurses must complete 30 hours of nursing continuing education every two years to recertify their license and continue practicing as registered nurses. Since January 1, 2023, license holders within the first two years of acquiring their license must complete an hour of direct participation in an implicit bias course offered by a provider, the California Board of Registered Nursing has approved, according to the state’s official website. You can check out the state’s specific requirements for continuing education at www.fastceforless.com/nursing-ce-california/.

If you are already a registered nurse who needs to renew your license through nursing continuing education courses, the online nursing CEUs available from Fast CE For Less at www.fastceforless.com offer you an affordable, convenient, and easy solution that is flexible enough to accommodate your busy schedule.

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