LBCC nursing program provides stable career options

Story by Michael Nueva Photos by Luis Ramirez

Student Anna Boras and program director Julie McGill discuss information about the Vocational Nursing program offered at LBCC.

The Long Beach City College nursing program gives wide career opportunities to those who want to become nurses after graduation.

The nursing program at LBCC is well known for educating and preparing students for the medical field.

According to the LBCC nursing website, the program “prepares students for a well-paid career in high demand as registered nurses (RN) or licensed vocational nurses (VN).”

Rhonda Alger, the LBCC’s department head for the VN program said, “Our vocational nursing program is a year and a semester long and is designed to assist people who have been a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) to advance their career to an LVN.”

“Nursing is a difficult job, but it’s very rewarding,” Alger said. “What’s nice about nursing is that there are many different areas that you can work in.”

In nursing, future employees can work in long-term care, acute care, home care, and ambulatory care as well as requiring an extensive amount of schooling with a strong background in science such as pharmacology and biology.

Alger discussed how nursing is a rewarding career. “It is rewarding because you work with people and you have to like them to want to be a nurse and jobs are all over the world so you can travel with your license to different states,” Alger said.

Alger explains more in detail how students can get a job in the nursing field.

“During their education, they’re doing what we call practical experience,” Alger said. “They’re out in the hospitals working and those employers see them as students, so they hire them.”

According to a nursing student Jacqueline Sanchez, the nursing program is an intense and a well-rounded course.

“The nursing program here is really good from my perspective because we have hands on training not only here at school but we have mannequins and tools that are exactly what we would use,” Sanchez said.

The National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX) is an important step for RN students and if they do not pass the exam, then they will not be employed as an RN and will need to retake it.

Students, who want to be a VN, need to be a CNA first and maintain a 2.0 GPA or higher to be considered in the VN program and have to meet certain prerequisites required by LBCC.

Marissa Sigala a VN student said, “LVN is a step down from RN and it’s a great opportunity to learn skills…The VN is not as intense as the RN program, but it does get intense so it slowly transitions you.”

Another VN student Anya Thompson said that students who have a great personality and make good impression will make them stand out when seeking a nursing job after graduation.