Most Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) programs include traditional classroom experiences, lab work, and a supervised clinical practicum where students can apply nursing theoretical knowledge to real-world nursing situations. And if you are a nursing student searching for the correct-fitting and within-budget LVN programs in California, the good news is that California offers some of the best LVN program options.
In fact, there are more than 125 LVN programs in California available that have received BVNPT approval (The California Board of Vocational Nursing & Psychiatric Technicians, a state agency tasked with the responsibility of protecting the public by ensuring only qualified professionals receive degrees from quality LVN programs in California.
Top 5 LVN Programs in California
|1||The College of the Siskiyous (COS)||Weed, California|
|2||Mira Costa College||Oceanside, California|
|3||Riverside City College (RCC)||Riverside, California|
|4||Citrus College||Glendora, California|
|5||Sacramento City College||Sacramento, California|
Students who have an interest in enrolling in one of the many LVN programs in California typically opt for an associate-level program (An Associate of Science (AS) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS)) or a certificate/diploma level program.
Classes cover a wide range of basic health care and anatomy classes working with infants/children, teenagers, children, adults, and the elderly. They include basic pharmacology, first-aid, psychology, nutrition, and safety, among others. In addition, nursing students will complete clinical rotations, assisting licensed professionals while practicing their nursing skills – of maintaining appropriate hygiene, practicing safe medical procedures, and dressing patients, to name a few.
LVN programs in California that are board-approved programs will ensure program graduates meet the state’s minimum LVN license requirements –
- 954 clinical hours of education
- 576 hours of theoretical education, for a total of 1,530 hours of education, and will be able to pass the NCLEX-PN national exam.
When you are ready to apply for your California Vocational Nursing license, it can be done online by following this link.
All LVN programs in California are required to publicly disclose the pass-rates for their students who have taken the NCLEX-PN. Pass rates tend to represent the quality of the degree offered, although student input is also an important determinant.
The Best 15 LVN Programs in California
The College of the Siskiyous (COS)
The College of the Siskiyous, established in 1957, is recognized among the top ten LVN programs in California by practicalnursing.org. Students enrolled in this highly affordable Licensed Vocational Nursing program can complete this LVN program in only three semesters from either of the College of Siskiyous’ campuses in Yreka and Weed, California. The College of the Siskiyous is affiliated with the state’s community college system.
Mira Costa College
Mira Costa College offers one of the top LVN programs in California that requires students to complete 1,536 hours of lab, clinical, and classroom work. Students enrolled in Mira Costa College’s LVN program (on one of its two campuses) must already possess enough credits or a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) license to apply. Students complete classes in basic pharmacology, body systems survey for health care professionals, and a math competency exam, to name a few.
Riverside City College (RCC)
The school of nursing within the Riverside City College has been offering high-quality, Licensed Vocational Nursing programs in California since 1952. Riverside City College offers two LVN programs that prepare graduates to sit for the national licensing NCLEX-PN exam to gain state licensure in California. The difference between the programs is the general education classes required for the associate degree program, but both program grads are eligible to sit for the national licensing exam to meet California state requirements. The students enrolled in the in Riverside City Colleges Licensed Vocational Nursing program must already possess a Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) certificate to apply. The Licensed Vocational Nursing program requires the completion of 51 credit units.
Citrus College offers one of the LVN programs in California that can be complete in only one year when studying full-time. Students interested in an associate of science degree must complete at least 60 credit units, of which 18 credits must be from the vocational nursing curriculum. The vocational nursing certificate requires 50.5 credit units to pass the program’s requirements.
Sacramento City College
Sacramento City College operates multiple campuses offering one of the top LVN programs in California with its full-time Licensed Vocational Nursing program that offers students an associate in science degree or a certificate of achievement, which requires less coursework. Students of either program are eligible to sit for the national licensing vocational exam – NCLEX-PN. Coursework includes medical language, principles of psychology, human development, and nutrition, to name a few.
Copper Mountain College (CMC)
Located in Joshua Tree, California, Copper Mountain College offers one of the available LVN programs in California that can be completed in only three semesters. Copper Mountain College’s Licensed Vocational Nursing program is a full-time degree that requires five days of classes or lab work and follows a cohort educational format that begins each June.
Allan Hancock College (AHC)
Allan Hancock College (AHC), located in Santa Maria, is one of the leading community colleges in the state of California. Allan Hancock College is a one-year, full-time program, which includes the summer session too. This program from one of the more affordable LVN programs in California is designed for those students who have completed California’s prerequisite Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA) licensing criteria. Graduating students from Hancock College’s LVN program are eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam.
North-West College (NWC)
North-West College is one of the most affordable of the available LVN programs in California. NWC’s Licensed Vocational Nursing program exceeds the clock hour requirements as set forth by the BVNPT. This affordable Licensed Vocational Nursing program is available in Long Beach, Riverside, Van Nuys, Anaheim, West Covina, and Pomona.
The College of Nursing & Technology (CNT)
Located in Reseda, California, the College of Nursing & Technology offers LVN programs that prepare graduates for entry-level nursing positions in a number of medical facilities in California. The two LVN programs in California from the College of Nursing & Technology can choose a 16-month daytime schedule or a 19-month weekend/night class schedule.
Annenberg School of Nursing
Annenberg School of Nursing offers a Licensed Vocational Nursing program that can be completed in only four terms that last twelve weeks. Students graduating from the Annenberg School of Nursing’s LVN Programs in California will have met the state’s licensing requirements if they pass the NCLEX-PN national exam. The VN program can be completed in just over one year and requires 1,680 hours of study to meet the criteria. Classes include surgical nursing, immunology, nursing leadership, and professional development, to name a few.
Marian College is a multi-campus school that offers one of the many quality LVN programs in California that are offered on a weekday schedule (with a fourteen month completion option) or a weekend schedule (with an eighteen month completion option), with a total of 1,534 clock hours. Marian College’s Licensed Vocational Nursing program focuses on base care and nursing skills for patients through the human life span.
Integrity College of Health
Integrity College of Health offers a sixty-credit Licensed Vocational Nursing Program that can be completed in just about twelve months. Students graduating from Integrity College of Health must complete a total of 1,560 clock hours, of which 936 must be clinical rotation hours. Graduates from this Licensed Vocational Nursing program are prepared to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam and are qualified for entry-level nursing positions, including direct care.
Xavier College of Nursing
Located in Stockton, California, Xavier College of Nursing offers a Licensed Vocational Nursing program that can be completed in only eleven months. Classes for one of the top LVN programs in California include human development, nursing leadership, surgical/medical nursing, gerontology, nutrition, anatomy, and pharmacological nursing, to name a few. Each week includes at least 30 hours of clinical or theoretical instruction.
Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts (GAMA)
Located in Modesto (and other locations), Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts offers a 13-month Licensed Vocational Nursing program that prepares students to sit for the nation NCLEX-PN exam after completing the program. The Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts also offers students a no-charge prep class to help pass the NCLEX exam.
Located in Irvine, Stanbridge University offers two LVN programs in California that offer students a full-time degree in about fourteen months or a part-time Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) program that can be completed in a little more than two years. Students enrolled in this 1,808-hour program are prepared to take the NCLEX-PN exam each term through the availability of practice questions and exams.
LVN Programs in California Ranking Method
The schools, colleges, and universities noted above reveal the many quality LVN programs in California. For students seriously considering enrolling in a Licensed Vocational Nursing program in the Golden State, it is critical to consider several relevant statistics or metrics regarding the programs you may review. This pertinent data included for each school is –
- LVN program costs vary but must meet a student’s budgetary constraints. Program costs are the latest available as disclosed by the school or the National Center for Education Statistics’ (NCES) website.
- NCLEX-PN pass rate indicates how well other students faired on the national exam after completing the course.
- Student enrollment helps students get a glimpse into the size of the school or college.
- Accreditation indicates the program has been reviewed and approved by the BVNPT, the accrediting body required to meet California’s LVN licensing requirements.
Together, this information should help create a snapshot of the school’s LVN programs in California – its success, its size, and its cost!
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