Riverside Community College Nursing Program Review

Riverside Community College (RCC) serves more than 19,000 students each semester. First established in 1916, it has become a landmark for downtown Riverside, and one of California’s leading community colleges.

Nursing Programs

Vocational Nursing (VN) Program

Licensed Practical (LPNs) and Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) are responsible for giving general care to patients with direction of a registered nurse, physician, or dentist. Students of the VN program will be trained to take patient vital signs, apply sterile dressings, assist with exams and treatment, and will receive patient health education.

Riverside Community College began its VN program in 1953. Students entering the VN program will attend either one year of full-time courses or two years of part time courses. This is a 51 credit program, and after completing the program, graduates are awarded a certificate and may take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-PN) to become licensed in California as a Vocational Nurse.

This program accepts 40-60 applicants in the Fall for the full-time program, and 30 in the part-time program. There is no waiting list for this program, and applicants that are not selected may reapply the following year.

Associate Degree Nursing/Registered Nursing (ADN/RN)

The ADN program at RCC began in 1957, and is nationally recognized as being number one for program completion in the state of California. It is a four semester, 72 unit program. After completing the program, graduates will have an Associate in Science Degree in Nursing and may take the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN). Those who pass this exam will be licensed as RNs in the state of California.

There are between 44 and 100 applicants accepted into the ADN program each Spring and Fall semester. There is no waiting list, and applicants that were not accepted are encouraged to reapply the following semester.

The ADN program at Riverside Community College is accredited and approved by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) and the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN).

ADN Advanced Placement/Transfer/30 Unit Option

Advanced placement and transfer students are accepted into the ADN program each Fall and Spring semester, as space permits. Any student wishing to enter the program past the first semester is considered advanced placement or transfer. This includes nurses who are currently practicing LVNs, and those who have taken a part of the ADN program either at Riverside Community College or elsewhere. Those that wish to enter the program with advanced placement and who do not currently hold a license may only do so during the Fall semester, immediately after completing the VN program. Those students must become licensed LVNs by the following semester.

There is also an LVN to ADN Flexible Program option available at Riverside Community College. The benefit of this program is that while it has the same requirements as the traditional program, the lectures are available in streaming video on the Internet, and may be accessed from anywhere. Applicants may apply to either the program, but those applying to the flexible program need to pass the Advanced Placement Exam as well. Applicants who are LVNs in underrepresented nursing groups and who work in partner facilities in the community will be given preference.

The LVN 30 Unit Option is available to LVN students. Students who pursue this course of study will not be considered RCC graduates, and will be considered to have a Nursing Non-Degree/Non-Graduate Status. This status allows students to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensing exam and to become RNs, but only in the state of California.


Riverside Community College
1533 Spruce St.
Riverside, CA 92507

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