Nursing
Applied Arts, Room 237-A

The Field

Nurses care for sick and injured people. They often work directly with patients, assessing their health, administering medicine, giving them important information, and responding to any emergencies they might have. But, nurses also spend a lot of time coordinating care with other health care professionals, like doctors, pharmacists and social workers.

It’s hard work. Most people are amazed at the depth of knowledge that nurses need in order to do their jobs. To make it as a nurse, you have to be dedicated, a team player, have good judgment and, most of all, you have to really care about people.

The Outlook

Nursing is a high-growth and high-wage field.

Many different places employ nurses: doctors’ offices, hospitals, schools, nonprofits–even the military. Nurses also work in various specialties, which can change over the course of a career. And, depending on where they work, they could work at any time of the day or night.

If you’d like to learn more about jobs in nursing, like how much they typically pay and how many positions are open in our area, check out our online Career Coach.

Our Program

Our nursing program means business! It’s comprehensive, clinically based and well-respected in the community.

It also costs a fraction of what a private college or university would.

If you enroll in our program, you’ll start off in an intensive, four-week boot camp, made up of various theory classes and skills lab sessions.

After that, your time will be split between the classroom and the hospital.

On campus, you’ll be taking two theory classes per week, learning everything you need to know about disease processes, patient care and so much more. There will also be about three hours of hands-on skills lab per week, where you’ll learn very specific, advanced skills, like how to start an IV and how to suction a tracheotomy using manikins.

At the hospital, you’ll be working with real patients. Early in the program, you will be caring for a single patient at a time, performing simple tasks, like taking vital signs. But, by the fourth semester, you’ll be caring for four patients at a time, doing almost everything a working nurse does.

We currently have around 25 instructors overseeing students at about a dozen area hospitals, like Kaiser-Permanente, John Muir Health Care System, Alta Bates-Summit Hospitals and the Contra Costa County Regional Medical Center. Our instructors will teach you how to succeed as a nurse in a real-world setting. Then, for the last eight weeks of the program, you will be paired with a Registered Nurse for your preceptorship.

The program takes two academic years, with no classes during summer or winter break. After you’ve completed it, you’ll need to pass the licensing exam in order to get a job.

But, since it’s much easier to get a job if you have or are working toward a bachelor’s degree, you should consider getting one.

You can complete your Bachelor of Science in Nursing with less than one year of classes right here on our campus, or you can do it in about a year and a half at California State University, East Bay, which holds spaces for our students. (You can also apply to any other four-year school that you would like to attend. It just might take longer and be less convenient.)

Advanced placement candidates like Licensed Vocational Nurses, foreign-trained nurses, transfer students, and psychiatric licensed technicians can apply and then enter our program, if appropriate spaces are available.

Admission to our nursing program is very competitive. If you’re interested in enrolling in it, or have any questions at all, please contact the counseling office or the nursing department office about getting more information. They’ll let you know which prerequisites to take, and how to go about applying.