How to Become A Nurse in California

Find out about how to become a nurse in California with this detailed and informative guide. Here you will find information on the education, experience, and licensure requirements for nurses in the US, along with a discussion on the salary and job potential of this field.

Should I Become a Nurse in California?

Nurses are in-charge of performing various medical duties in a healthcare setting. They administer medicines to patients and set up patient care programs. They also operate and monitor medical equipment and teach patients how to manage their illnesses or injuries.

The following table lists down the details of this career, including information on the national and state salaries for nurses in the US.

Education Required

Bachelor’s Degree




Nurses need to be licensed

Key Skills/Qualities

Critical-thinking Skills, Emotional Stability, Physical Stamina, Attention to detail, etc.

Annual Mean Salary (2019) - National


Job Outlook (2018-28)


Annual Mean Salary (2019) - California



Career Outlook

The career outlook for nurses in California is great, with the state being the highest employer for this occupation (302,770). Jobs for nurses all over the US are expected to increase in the coming years. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for registered in the US will see an increase of 12% in the years from 2018 to 2028.

Steps to Become a Nurse in California

Step 1: Complete a Nursing Program

There are several options in nursing programs – an associate's degree in nursing (ADN); associate of science in nursing (ASN) and a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN). These programs expose students to topics such as anatomy, microbiology, physiology, and so on.

Step 2: Pass the NCLEX Exam

All nurses in the US are required to be licensed to practice. For this, they need to pass the National Council Licensure Examination.

Step 3: Look for a Job

Once you have cleared the licensure exam, you can begin looking for a job in a healthcare facility. The top employers of registered nurses are General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Offices of Physicians, and Home Health Care Centers.

How long Does It Take to Become a Nurse in California?

Becoming a nurse in California can take around 2 to 4 years after the completion of high school. The amount of time taken to start working as a nurse depends largely on the educational path you take.

What Are the Requirements to Become a Nurse in California?

In order to become a nurse in the state of California, candidates will have to meet the following requirements:

  • Complete high school
  • Enroll in a nursing program
  • Complete the relevant coursework
  • Pass the NCLEX exam
  • Get a job

What Can You Earn as a Nurse in California?

Registered nurses in California made an annual mean income of $113,240 in 2019, as per data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. California also happens to be the highest paying state for this occupation, followed by Hawaii and the District of Columbia.

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