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Frequently Asked Questions about the Nursing Program.

If I become a Licensed Practical Nurse – can I continue my education at RCC to become an associate degree nurse (eligible to be RN)?

A.Yes, LPN’s are encouraged to apply. Our Advanced Placement policy only pertains to General Education courses.  All nursing courses must be completed at RCC. See Advanced Placement Policy.

What is the current salary for people in health care careers?

A. Local registered nurses are making over $25 per hour to start, more with experience. There is extra pay for evening and night shifts, holidays, and weekends. Radiologic technologists make comparable pay.
A.Local LPNs are making over $18 to start – more with experience. There is extra pay for evening and night shifts, holidays, and weekends. Mental health workers often work in group homes or acute care and often make between $8-15 an hour.

Remember – the majority of nurses and other health care workers work some evenings or nights, and some weekends and holidays. Illness does not stop for holidays!

Are there jobs available for people in health careers?

A.There are MANY available jobs. There is a local and national shortage of nurses and mental health workers. Health care will be one of the professions in great demand for years to come.

I have experience as a nurse aide or EMT or in the Armed Services – Do I get advanced placement?

A.No. These trainings prepare you in basic care or specialized skills only. The college health care curricula are at higher levels.

Can I enter the health career programs directly from high school? Or can I transfer credits from another educational institution? What about advanced placement?

A.Yes. There are college level courses as pre-requisites for entry to the associate degree nurse curriculum that must be successfully completed before applying. Transfer credits will most likely be accepted after evaluation by the Registrar’s Office. See your advisor or call the division office to talk to a program coordinator with questions about transferring courses. See Transfer Policy and Advance Placement Policy.

How much time/energy does the successful nursing student devote to study?

A.The nursing programs at RCC are academically demanding. The students in the day programs are in class, lab or clinical 4 or 5 days a week. There is extensive reading and homework requirements. Students often go to the hospital on the evening before their clinical assignment to do research on the patients they will care for. We often tell students that being a student nurse is like having a full time job- it takes just as much time. Nursing students are in clinical for about six hours a day.

Can I work for pay while in the nursing programs?

A.Some students work part time. We recommend that you plan to do most of your work for pay part-time, on weekends and on school vacation time. Students who are working full time have a very difficult time devoting enough time to their nursing studies. They sometimes regret not planning better.

What are the costs of a health career education at RCC? How can I afford school?

A.Please use this link for updated college tuition and fees. There are some additional fees for allied health students and additional costs such as books, uniforms, immunizations, CPR certification, licensure application fees, and preparation course costs for the licensure exam. The greatest outside cost is books – students who are accepted into the program will be given a detailed summary of costs. Please remember to plan for additional personal expenses that will make it easier for you to be successful in the nursing program, for example, day care.

What advantages are there to a health career education at RCC?

A.RCC offers you the opportunity to have health care experiences at some of the finest hospitals in the United States. We have student placements at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, New England Baptist, and Boston Medical Center, to name a few. We also have clinical experiences in the community. RCC offers an affordable option to higher education.
Our programs are relatively small and our full time faculty ratio is high – giving you more individual attention. The nursing faculty is diverse and reflects the student population at RCC. Faculty is sensitive to student’s cultural needs. Faculty recognizes that students are adults with work and family commitments. We take a personal interest in you and your success. We have faculty-led supplemental instruction sessions and mentoring programs, pairing you with a student further along in the program.

We offer articulations with many Boston area colleges and universities- giving you the smoothest possible path to BS and MS degrees.

Can I attend the program part time? What about evenings or weekends?

A.No, we are currently only offering a full-time day program.

Are there men in the health programs?

A.Yes. About 15% of our nursing students are men and there are both men and women in the mental health worker and radiology programs. There are equal career opportunities for both men and women.

What if I completed some or all of my education in another country?

A.Students who have taken college level courses will need to have their transcripts evaluated. There is a fee for this service and the results should be sent to the Admissions Department and Registrar.
Please contact:
Center for Education Documentation
PO Box 326
Boston, MA 02130
Tele: (617) 522-4738

The Boston Welcome Back Center can help individuals who have received health care training and education from other countries. Please contact them at 617-228-4226 or by email at
Graduates of schools of nursing in other countries who want to take the National Licensure Exam (NCLEX) to practice nursing in the United States should contact:
Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools
3600 Market Street, Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19104-2651
Tele:  (215) 349-8767

At Roxbury Community College - a dedicated faculty will work with you to help you succeed academically. If you have further questions – come to one of our information sessions. Call the Division of Nursing, at 857-701-1638 for the time and date of the next open house/information session or look on the website at