Los Angeles Nursing Programs
Los Angeles (LA) is a large, exciting city with a total area of 4,850 square miles and a population of 3.858 million people. There are approximately 100 accredited colleges, universities and online programs with nursing programs. There are 124,390 employed nurses in Los Angeles, and the need for more nurses has steadily increased in recent years.
Los Angeles’s sunny climate offers a wide variety of activities for their residents, such as their beaches, excellent restaurants, a vast array of entertainment and camping, along with hiking in the nearby mountains. Los Angles has excellent public transportation, which includes subways, light-rail, buses and shuttles, however, the freeways are very crowded with traffic.
Nursing Career and Educational Opportunities in Los Angeles
There are several schools providing nursing education in the L.A. metro area, making it a great place to pursue or further your nursing studies. UCLA, is one example of a well-known research facility, with several nursing programs available. The types of programs offered by UCLA, and other nursing degrees in California:
- Bachelor of Science
- MSN Masters Entry Clinical Nurse
- Master of Science in Nursing – Advance Practice
- Doctor of Philosophy Ph.D. – focuses on clinical nursing research
- Post-Master Certificate – Two-year certificate for the MSN who would like to get the education and clinical study to become a nurse practice
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In addition to offering several different types of nursing programs, Los Angeles also boasts are a large number of nursing positions, including those for LPNs, RNs, nurse practitioners and professors. Many hospitals are hiring nurses in a variety of specialty areas and there are positions in executive leadership, management and nursing education open to nurses with a combination of different backgrounds.
Salaries in California tend to range higher than most other states, making it an enticing place to practice. The mean average salary for a Licensed Practical or Licensed Vocational nurse is $50,420 (BLS, 2016). The Registered Nurses (RN) salary averages $95,400 and Nurse Practitioners enjoy an average annual salary of $130,290 (BLS, 2016). Nursing Instructors can expect an average salary of $103,730 per year (BLS, 2015).
The American Nurses Credentialing Center Recognizes hospitals for nursing excellence by awarding the Magnet award. This award is not only based on the quality of patient care, but continuously improving patient care and health of the community are also considerations.There are several designated Magnet hospitals in LA which include:
- Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles
- Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
- El Camino Hospital
- Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian
- Huntington Memorial Hospital
- Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla
- Torrance Memorial Medical Center
Hospitals in Los Angeles
Professional Nursing Supports in Los Angeles
In addition to a good number of nursing schools and job opportunities in L.A., there are several professional organizations that offer support to the profession. There are a number of active nursing associations in California, such as American Association of Critical Care Nurses, Association of Rehabilitation nurses Aging Services of California and the California Nurses Association. Also, the California Action Coalition is working to transform healthcare through nursing as they recognize the important work already underway, but they have a goal of long-term sustainable change. They desire to lead the way to improving the health of the general population, while simultaneously advancing the future of nursing.
California Legislators has passed several bills that affect nursing. Elder abuse that occurs in a long-term care facility must be reported to law enforcement if abuse is seen or suspected. If a healthcare worker comes into contact with a child and suspects abuse or neglect it must be reported as well. Legislators have also approved a bill that allows nurse practitioners to work autonomously without supervision from a physician.
Curriculum, Costs and Financial Aid for Nurses in L.A.
The curriculum of most universities to earn a BSN degree is very similar as they typically require 48 units of general education, with a focus on sciences, which include microbiology, human anatomy, pathophysiology and psychology before beginning the nursing courses.
The nursing specific courses tend to include:
- Fundamentals of Professional Nursing
- Physical Assessment
- Pharmacology and Therapeutics
- Human development or Health Promotion in a Culturally Diverse Population
- Maternity and Pediatric Nursing
- Principles of Community Health Nursing
- Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing
- Leadership Training
- Clinical Internship
Most CA universities require a minimum of 180 units to earn a bachelor’s degree. Tuition varies greatly between universities. The following comparisons are for California on-campus students, based on 2014 information from the schools’ websites.
- The University of California tuition for students living off-campus is $29,200.
- The graduate student tuition at UCLA for CA residents is $15,208 per year.
- The Marian College for a Vocational Nursing Program’s tuition is $23,865.
The financial aid offices at universities suggest completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to apply for financial support. There are several types of aid awarded to undergraduates by the financial office, which include Cal Grant A or B, Pell Grants, University Grant, Work-study, Perkins Loan, Direct to Subsidize Lone, Direct Unsubsidized Loan, Direct Parent PLUS Loan and Private Loan. In addition, Cedars-Sinai along with many other hospitals provide tuition reimbursement for their nurses.