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Nursing Schools in Modesto, CA with Degree Program Summaries

The Modesto, California, area has four schools that offer nursing programs. Learn about the degree programs, admission info, and program requirements for three of these schools, none farther than 35 miles from downtown Modesto, to make an informed education decision.

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Modesto, California, Nursing Schools

The Modesto, CA, area provides a few options for students planning careers as registered nurses. This article profiles three schools, all within 45 minutes of downtown Modesto, and the programs they offer. There is also a table of statistics about each school, with information on enrollment, graduation rate, tuition and acceptance rate. At the end of the article is the name of one more Modesto-area school that offers nursing education.

  • Modesto Junior College is about a mile from the downtown area. It offers an associate's degree in nursing as well as a program that allows licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) to earn an associate's degree.
  • About 13 miles southeast in Turlock is California State University - Stanislaus, with bachelor's and master's degree programs in nursing.
  • Students may also pursue an associate's degree in nursing at San Joaquin Delta College, which is about 35 miles northwest of Modesto in Stockton.

Modesto Junior College

Modesto Junior College offers associate degrees and certificates in a variety of areas, such as accounting, computer science, art, business administration, engineering technology, and nursing. Nursing students may pursue a traditional associate's degree program or an advanced program for active licensed vocational nurses (LVNs); both pathways lead to registered nursing.

Associate of Science in Nursing

This 4-semester program calls for students to take four prerequisite courses before being admitted, including microbiology, English, physiology, and anatomy; while not required, a nutrition course is also recommended. Once in the program, students learn through both classroom and clinical experiences. Training explores nursing skills, pharmacology, pediatrics, maternity, and medical/surgical nursing. Graduates are qualified to take the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).

LVN-to-ADN Advanced Placement Pathway

Active LVNs may complete this 2-semester program to earn an associate degree in nursing and qualify for the NCLEX-RN exam. To enter the program, students must provide a copy of their LVN license and complete the four prerequisite courses mentioned above, as well as courses in nursing, sociology or anthropology, psychology, and speech. Classroom and practical training examine the processes involved in mental health and medical/surgical nursing.

California State University - Stanislaus

California State University - Stanislaus is located in Turlock, about 13 miles from the downtown Modesto area. It features undergraduate and graduate degree programs in a variety of fields, such as business administration, teacher education, and nursing. The university's School of Nursing offers students several BSN options and an MSN program.

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

This program provides three pathways to receive RN training and qualify for the NCLEX-RN: traditional BSN, ADN-to-BSN, and the accelerated 2nd-degree-to-BSN option. The traditional 3-year pathway is for those new to nursing who have no prior degree. Applicants must complete prerequisite nursing classes, such as chemistry for nurses, anatomy, and statistics, during their freshman year. Once in the nursing program, students participate in both classroom and clinical practice to learn about nursing practices, pediatric care, adult nursing, pharmacology, nurse leadership, health assessment, and more.

The ADN-to-BSN program is designed for active RNs with an associate's degree or diploma. To enter the program, they must have 60 credits of bachelor's-level college credit. Program courses focus on health assessment, cultural diversity, nursing research, community health, and nursing leadership, and there are practicums for clinical and community health nursing. The accelerated pathway is for students who have a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing who've completed pre-nursing requirements; the program can be completed in 15 months of full-time study, including clinical practice.

Master of Science in Nursing

The MSN program focuses on nursing leadership and research. It requires students to complete 36 credits of core studies that cover pathophysiology, health disparities among different groups, nursing research, and health policy. Students also select a concentration in nursing education, gerontological nursing, or nursing administration, and they complete specialized training in their chosen area. To graduate, students must complete a thesis, a graduate project, or a comprehensive examination.

San Joaquin Delta College

The health sciences department at San Joaquin Delta College features six health-related programs. Students can earn an associate's degree in nursing to become an RN.

Associate in Science in Nursing

The associate degree program in nursing at San Joaquin Delta College qualifies graduating students to sit for the NCLEX-RN. The program requires four semesters of study in areas such as medical and surgical nursing, medication administration, reproductive health nursing, neuropsychiatric nursing, introduction to sociology, and the fundamentals of speech. The curriculum includes labs and clinical practice at local facilities.

Students who already have a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing are still required to take general education speech, psychology, and sociology courses at San Joaquin in order to graduate. Advance placement students, such as LVNs, may be admitted to the program on a space-available basis after completing prerequisite courses and providing required documentation.

Comparison of Schools

This table reports important information about each school profiled in this article. Individuals who are considering their options for nursing training may find this knowledge useful.

Modesto Junior College California State University - Stanislaus San Joaquin Delta College
School Type 2-year, public 4-year, public 2-year, public
Total Enrollment (2011) 17,609* 9,246* 19,495*
Campus Setting Midsize city Small suburb Large city
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees (2012-2013) $1,150 in-state;
$6,046 out-of-state*
$6,582 in-state;
$18,240 out-of-state*
$1,104 in-state;
$5,664 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2011-2012) 78%* 83%* 77%*
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (2011) Open admissions* 77%* Open admissions*
Retention Rate for First-Time Students (2011) 71% full-time;
55% part-time*
83% full-time;
65% part-time*
78% full-time;
51% part-time*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (2011) 17% (15% transfer-out rate)* 49% (6% transfer-out rate)* 25% (14% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

Other School Options

Students can also consider an education in nursing at Merced College, which is about 41 miles southeast in Merced, CA. The school offers programs in vocational and registered nursing.

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