What Can I Expect in Nursing School?


Although each course differs, a typical week in the ADN(RN) program consists of 5-8 hours of seminar/theory and 12-17 hours of clinical/lab experience. In the VN program there is 5- 8 hours of seminar/theory and 12-24 hours of clinical/lab experience. Class hours are generally scheduled between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:30 pm. Clinical lab experiences usually begin at 7:00 am with some clinical rotations beginning in the evening hours.

RCC is on a 16-week semester, with a six week Winter Intersession and a six week Summer session. Required ADN (RN) nursing courses are held during the 16-week Spring and Fall semesters and during one Intersession(Winter or Summer). The required VN courses are held Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer with graduation in August.


The amount of time needed to prepare and do homework varies from student to student, but the expected average study time is considered two hours of study for each hour of class time. Time is needed before each clinical day to prepare for clinical and laboratory experiences. Seminar, clinical/laboratory, study, and travel time will require 40-50 hours per week of student time.

Life beyond Studying

Many nursing students are employed, have families, or both. The nursing programs are rigorous and students are encouraged to strive for a balance in their academic and personal life. Despite their many responsibilities, most students still find time to be involved in important personal interests such as hobbies, church, and community service.

We asked our nursing students what suggestions they could offer to students considering nursing school, and to those already in nursing school, to make life easier and ensure their success. Read what they had to say at "Tips for Success".


The Student Nurses Organization (SNO) and the Associated Student Body of Riverside Community College (ASRCC) are two organizations that lend support and encouragement to nursing students at RCC.

Student Services offers many other support services such as Financial Aid and Counseling.

The nursing program has a variety of learning resources, Student Outcome Specialist, and a wealth of experienced, knowledgeable full- and part-time faculty to support to students.