Start Your Nursing Career With These 20 Best LVN Programs in California

Learn about LVN programs in California, what it takes to get admitted and to graduate, and how much you can expect to earn as a vocational nurse.
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Updated November 30, 2023

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Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) provide basic patient care, including taking vitals, helping with bathing and dressing, changing bandages, and offering other support as needed. While no difference exists between LVNs and licensed practical nurses (LPNs), Texas and California are the only states that call these nurses LVNs.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects there will be 41,000 new jobs for LVNs between 2021 and 2031, making it a great time to consider this growing healthcare career.

How To Get Into LVN Programs in California

To get into an LVN program in California, you must typically meet the following requirements:

Once enrolled, you need to complete all curricular requirements, which includes 1,530 theoretical and clinical hours.

Online LVN students must still participate in in-person clinical rotations, but they can often complete theoretical coursework online. After meeting all requirements, you'll earn a diploma, certificate, or associate degree.

Did You Know?


  • You'll need to complete 1,530 total curricular hours to work as an LVN in California.
  • Most LVN programs in California require 12-14 months of full-time study or 18-20 months of part-time study.
  • Nearly 150 colleges, high schools, private schools, and regional occupational centers offer LVN programs in California.

AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Top LVN Programs in California

Read About Our Methodology Here

#1 Best LVN Programs in California

Los Medanos College

  • Pittsburg, CA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Students advance their education in 42 associate programs and 37 certificate programs at Los Medanos College. Learners benefit from the public institution's diverse enrollment options, which include online classes and on-campus options from the Pittsburg, California, location. Busy students benefit from the school's flexible options, which make it easier to work while in college.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees strengthen industry-specific knowledge and skills. In associate programs, degree-seekers develop transferable skills during general education classes. Certificate candidates complete courses related specifically to one area of study, with no general education courses required.

With a certificate, graduates pursue entry-level positions in the nursing field. With an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or pursue a bachelor's degree.

Los Medanos College at a Glance:

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,288

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $8,540

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$1,288
Out-of-state
$8,540
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
73%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
9,435
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
24% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#2 Best LVN Programs in California

Napa Valley College

  • Napa, CA
  • 2 years
  • Campus

With 42 associate programs and 29 certificate programs, Napa Valley College offers options for many students. Located in California, the public institution stands out for its flexible enrollment options, which include online and on-campus classes. Many students work while pursuing a degree or certificate.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees gain specialized skills for a defined career path or field. Associate programs include general education classes that strengthen critical thinking and writing skills. Instead of general education courses, certificate candidates take courses in their field of study.

With a certificate, graduates pursue entry-level positions in their field. An associate degree prepares graduates for the workforce or bachelor's programs.

Napa Valley College at a Glance:

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,104

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,464

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$1,104
Out-of-state
$7,464
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
77%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,292
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
33% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#3 Best LVN Programs in California

City College of San Francisco

  • San Francisco, CA
  • 2 years
  • Campus

City College of San Francisco offers vocational and academic programs, with 88 associate programs and 111 certificate programs. Located in California, the public institution offers online and on-campus enrollment options, increasing flexibility for learners. These course options make it easier for students to work while pursuing a certificate or degree.

Many of the school's programs emphasize career training and include practical skills. Associate programs incorporate general education classes that strengthen writing, communication, and other soft skills. Certificate candidates complete courses in their field of study without general education requirements.

Professionals with a certificate enter the workforce and apply for jobs in their field. With an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or pursue a bachelor's degree.

City College of San Francisco at a Glance:

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,968

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
$6,968
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
73%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
24,441
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#4 Best LVN Programs in California

Pasadena City College

  • Pasadena, CA
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Pasadena City College lets learners choose from 78 associate programs and 84 certificate programs. Learners select from online and on-campus courses offered by the public institution from its location in California. Students enrolled at the school rely on the flexible options to balance classes with work.

The school's career-focused programs provide cutting-edge training in specific career paths. General education classes in associate programs strengthen transferable skills like critical thinking and writing. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum that does not include classes outside of their field.

A certificate trains graduates for entry-level positions in a specific field. Associate degree graduates can either pursue employment or transfer into a bachelor's program.

Pasadena City College at a Glance:

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,104

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,488

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$1,104
Out-of-state
$7,488
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
79%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
26,971
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
23% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#5 Best LVN Programs in California

College of the Redwoods

  • Eureka, CA
  • 2 years
  • Campus

At College of the Redwoods, learners choose from 50 associate programs and 39 certificate programs. Learners choose from online and on-campus courses offered from the Eureka, California, campus of the public institution. Working students benefit from the flexible course options.

The school's career-focused programs train learners for specialized career paths. Associate programs include general education classes that strengthen critical thinking and writing skills. Rather than taking general education courses, certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum of courses in their field of study.

A certificate trains graduates for entry-level positions in a specific field. After earning an associate degree, graduates pursue employment or apply to bachelor's programs as a transfer student.

College of the Redwoods at a Glance:

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,143

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,783

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$1,143
Out-of-state
$6,783
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
52%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
4,665
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#6 Best LVN Programs in California

MiraCosta College

  • Oceanside, CA
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Students enroll in 80 associate programs and 90 certificate programs at MiraCosta College. Based in Oceanside, California, this public college features both online and on-campus enrollment options, creating flexibility for all types of learners. Working students find the flexible options fit their busy schedule.

Many of the school's programs strengthen career-focused skills that train learners for a particular role. Associate degree-seekers also complete general education courses that build broad skills such as writing and critical thinking. Certificate candidates complete courses in their field of study without general education requirements.

Professionals apply for positions in their field with a certificate. After earning an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or transfer into a bachelor's program.

MiraCosta College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 1

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,104

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,464

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$1,104
Out-of-state
$7,464
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
Not provided
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
12,992
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
54% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#7 Best LVN Programs in California

Butte College

  • Oroville, CA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Butte College lets learners choose from 72 associate programs and 68 certificate programs. Based in Oroville, California, this public college features both online and on-campus enrollment options, creating flexibility for all types of learners. These enrollment options appeal to working students and other busy learners.

Most associate degree and certificate programs build specialized skills related to a defined career path or field of employment. Associate degree-seekers also complete general education courses that build broad skills such as writing and critical thinking. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum in their field with no general education requirements.

A certificate helps graduates advance their career or move into a new role. With an associate degree, graduates either enter the workforce or apply to four-year colleges as a transfer student.

Butte College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 4

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,104

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,720

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$1,104
Out-of-state
$6,720
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
67%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
10,100
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#8 Best LVN Programs in California

Allan Hancock College

  • Santa Maria, CA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Allan Hancock College, learners can study in 68 associate programs and 64 certificate programs. The public institution prioritizes flexibility in its course options, which include classes offered online and on the Santa Maria, California, campus. These flexible options help students work while in school.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees strengthen industry-specific knowledge and skills. Associate programs incorporate general education courses to build transferable skills like critical thinking and writing. Certificate candidates take courses in their area of study, rather than general education courses.

Professionals apply for positions in their field with a certificate. With an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or continue their education with a bachelor's degree.

Allan Hancock College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 8

Total Online Certificate Programs: 5

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,288

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,440

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$1,288
Out-of-state
$7,440
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
67%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,894
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
30% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#9 Best LVN Programs in California

Gavilan College

  • Gilroy, CA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

With 51 associate programs and 31 certificate programs, Gavilan College offers options for many students. The public institution prioritizes flexibility in its course options, which include classes offered online and on the Gilroy, California, campus. Working professionals benefit from the flexibility to attend school without leaving their job.

Many of the school's programs strengthen career-focused skills that train learners for a particular role. The general education courses in associate programs build transferable skills like critical thinking, communication, and writing. Certificate candidates take classes related to their field with no requirements outside of their major.

Certificate recipients can move directly into the workforce in entry-level positions. Associate degree graduates can either pursue employment or transfer into a bachelor's program.

Gavilan College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 7

Total Online Certificate Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,104

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,152

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$1,104
Out-of-state
$7,152
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
69%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
5,573
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#10 Best LVN Programs in California

College of the Desert

  • Palm Desert, CA
  • 2 years
  • Campus

The College of the Desert offers vocational and academic programs, with 65 associate programs and 40 certificate programs. Located in Palm Desert, California, the public institution stands out for its flexible enrollment options, which include online and on-campus classes. Many students work while pursuing a degree or certificate.

The school's career-focused programs strengthen specialized skills that prepare graduates for the job market. Associate programs incorporate general education classes that strengthen writing, communication, and other soft skills. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum in their field with no general education requirements.

With a certificate, graduates move into the workforce and pursue entry-level roles. Associate degree graduates can either pursue employment or transfer into a bachelor's program.

College of the Desert at a Glance:

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,297

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $8,577

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$1,297
Out-of-state
$8,577
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
72%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,919
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
29% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#11 Best LVN Programs in California

Charles A. Jones Career and Education Center

  • Sacramento, CA
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Charles A. Jones Career and Education Center lets learners choose from nine certificate programs. From its Sacramento, California campus, the public institution offers online and on-campus enrollment options. Students enrolled at the school rely on the flexible options to balance classes with work.

In the school's career-focused programs, learners gain industry-specific skills. Students strengthen critical thinking and writing skills. Certificate candidates take focused classes in their field rather than general education classes.

Professionals apply for entry-level roles in their field after completing a certificate. Graduates can apply for jobs or continue their education at a four-year college.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
79%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
243
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Council on Occupational Education

#12 Best LVN Programs in California

Santa Barbara City College

  • Santa Barbara, CA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Santa Barbara City College offers 70 associate programs and 66 certificate programs. The public institution, located in California, offers online and on-campus enrollment options, which appeal to a variety of learners. Busy students benefit from the school's flexible options, which make it easier to work while in college.

Many of the school's certificate and associate programs emphasize industry-specific skills that prepare graduates for a particular career path. The general education courses in associate programs build transferable skills like critical thinking, communication, and writing. Instead of general education courses, certificate candidates complete classes related to their field.

A certificate prepares graduates for the workforce. After an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or continue their education at the bachelor's level.

Santa Barbara City College at a Glance:

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,380

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $8,140

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$1,380
Out-of-state
$8,140
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
64%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
14,133
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
43% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#13 Best LVN Programs in California

Hartnell College

  • Salinas, CA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Hartnell College offers 45 associate programs and 30 certificate programs. Learners benefit from flexible enrollment options at the public institution, which include online enrollment and classes on the Salinas, California, campus. Degree and certificate students often balance school with work.

The school's career-focused programs provide the knowledge and skills required for specialized roles. General education classes in associate programs build key soft skills like communication, writing, and critical thinking. Certificate candidates take courses in their field with no required general education courses.

With a certificate, graduates qualify for entry-level roles in their field. After an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or apply to bachelor's programs as a transfer student.

Hartnell College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 1

Total Online Certificate Programs: 1

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,400

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $8,940

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$1,400
Out-of-state
$8,940
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
73%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
13,024
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
17% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#14 Best LVN Programs in California

Cuesta College

  • San Luis Obispo, CA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Cuesta College, learners choose from 71 associate programs and 49 certificate programs. Located in San Luis Obispo, California, the public institution offers online and on-campus enrollment options, increasing flexibility for learners. Students often choose to work while enrolled at the school.

The school's career-focused programs train learners for specialized professional paths. In associate programs, degree-seekers take general education courses that strengthen critical thinking and writing skills. Instead of general education courses, certificate candidates take courses in their field of study.

A certificate helps graduates advance their career or move into a new role. With an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or pursue a bachelor's degree.

Cuesta College at a Glance:

Total Online Certificate Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,288

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $8,848

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$1,288
Out-of-state
$8,848
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
71%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
11,281
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
35% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#15 Best LVN Programs in California

Citrus College

  • Glendora, CA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

At Citrus College, students learn in 49 associate programs and 46 certificate programs. The public institution, located in Glendora, California, offers online and on-campus enrollment options, which appeal to a variety of learners. The flexible course options make it easier for students to work while pursuing a certificate or degree.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees gain specialized skills for a defined career path or field. Associate programs include general education requirements that build broad, transferable skills. Certificate candidates take courses in their field, with no required general education courses.

A certificate trains graduates for entry-level positions in a specific field. After an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or apply to bachelor's programs as a transfer student.

Citrus College at a Glance:

Total Online Certificate Programs: 5

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,104

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,560

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$1,104
Out-of-state
$7,560
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
69%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
13,130
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#16 Best LVN Programs in California

Southwestern College

  • Chula Vista, CA
  • 2 years
  • Campus

Students enroll in 95 associate programs and 97 certificate programs at Southwestern College. Learners benefit from the public institution's diverse enrollment options, which include online classes and on-campus options from the Chula Vista, California, location. Working professionals benefit from the flexibility to attend school without leaving their job.

In the school's career-focused programs, learners gain industry-specific skills. Associate programs incorporate general education classes that strengthen writing, communication, and other soft skills. Certificate candidates take classes in their field of study without general education course requirements.

With a certificate, graduates enter the workforce prepared for many entry-level roles. An associate degree prepares graduates for the workforce or bachelor's programs.

Southwestern College at a Glance:

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,288

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,420

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$1,288
Out-of-state
$7,420
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
75%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
19,231
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#17 Best LVN Programs in California

Sacramento City College

  • Sacramento, CA
  • 2 years
  • Online + Campus

Sacramento City College lets learners choose from 86 associate programs and 75 certificate programs. Learners select from online and on-campus courses offered by the public institution from its location in California. These enrollment options appeal to working students and other busy learners.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees train for a defined career path after graduation. Those in associate programs take general education courses that build transferable skills like writing and critical thinking. Instead of general education courses, certificate candidates take courses in their field of study.

Professionals with a certificate enter the workforce and apply for jobs in their field. An associate degree prepares graduates for entry-level careers or bachelor's programs.

Sacramento City College at a Glance:

Total Online Associate Programs: 9

Total Online Certificate Programs: 6

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $7,824

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
$7,824
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
66%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
20,829
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
37% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#18 Best LVN Programs in California

Feather River Community College District

  • Quincy, CA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

Feather River Community College District enrolls students in 28 associate programs and 29 certificate programs. From its Quincy, California, campus, the public institution lets learners choose from online and on-campus enrollment options. Working students benefit from the flexible course options.

In the school's career-focused programs, enrollees gain specialized skills for a defined career path or field. General education classes in associate programs build key soft skills like communication, writing, and critical thinking. Certificate candidates complete courses related specifically to one area of study, with no general education courses required.

Professionals with a certificate qualify for entry-level roles in their field. After an associate degree, graduates apply for jobs or continue their education at the bachelor's level.

Feather River Community College District at a Glance:

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,380

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $9,360

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$1,380
Out-of-state
$9,360
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
100%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
2,058
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
40% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#19 Best LVN Programs in California

Imperial Valley College

  • Imperial, CA
  • 2 years
  • Campus

At Imperial Valley College, learners can strengthen their skills in 61 associate programs and 58 certificate programs. Located in California, the public institution offers online and on-campus enrollment options, increasing flexibility for learners. Working students often find the flexible options fit their busy schedules.

The school's career-focused programs strengthen specialized skills that prepare graduates for the job market. General education classes in associate programs build key soft skills like communication, writing, and critical thinking. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum that does not include classes outside of their field.

Professionals with a certificate qualify for entry-level roles in their field. With an associate degree, graduates enter the workforce or continue their education at the bachelor's level.

Imperial Valley College at a Glance:

Undergrad Tuition In State: $1,104

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $6,024

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
$1,104
Out-of-state
$6,024
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
77%
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
8,511
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
27% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
No

#20 Best LVN Programs in California

Homestead Schools

  • Torrance, CA
  • 4 years
  • Campus

With two certificate programs, Homestead Schools offers options for many students. Based in Torrance, California, this private college features both online and on-campus enrollment options, creating flexibility for all types of learners. These options appeal to busy students balancing school with other obligations.

Many of the school's certificate programs emphasize industry-specific skills that prepare graduates for a particular career path. Students build transferable skills like writing and critical thinking. Certificate candidates complete a focused curriculum in their field with no general education requirements.

A certificate prepares graduates for entry-level positions in their field.

Average Undergrad Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Average Graduate Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
Not provided
Acceptance Rate
Not provided
Students Enrolled
182
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
4% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools

Why Accreditation Matters for LVN Programs in California

Accreditation matters a great deal when it comes to LVN programs in California. You should only attend a school that holds institutional accreditation and an LVN program that holds programmatic accreditation.

Look for schools accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). At the programmatic level, prioritize LVN programs accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).

Failing to follow either of these steps could cause you difficulties when seeking licensure or finding a job.

What Courses Do You Take in an LVN Program?

Though courses in LVN programs in California can vary, LVN coursework generally emphasizes the knowledge and skills you'll need to be able to work in clinics, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare settings.

Coursework can focus on surgical, maternity, or pediatric nursing. Most programs, even online LVN programs in California, require in-person labs and clinicals so that students can apply their skills in a real-world setting.

Here are some common courses you'll see in LVN programs:

  • Anatomy and physiology
  • General psychology
  • Introduction to pharmacology
  • Maternal-child-adult health
  • Medical administration
  • Nutrition

How Much Do LVNs Make in California?

California offers the second-highest median annual salary for LVNs, making it a great place to start your nursing career. California LVNs earned a median annual salary of $61,600 in 2021, according to the BLS.

LVNs work in myriad settings that can affect their earning potential. Common work environments include hospitals, clinics, correctional facilities, home care agencies, and doctor's offices.

If you want to take your career to the next level, consider pursuing an LPN-to-RN or LPN-to-BSN bridge program to become a registered nurse (RN). In 2021, RNs earned a median annual salary of $77,600.

Do You Need LVN Licensure in California?

Just like RNs, LVNs must have a state-issued license to practice in California.

In addition to earning a vocational nursing degree or certificate, you must pass the NCLEX-PN, an exam that tests your knowledge of practical nursing concepts.

Other licensure requirements include passing a criminal background check and paying a fee. The Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT) takes about 4-6 weeks to process an application.

LVNs who have a license in another state can practice in California if they meet certain requirements, such as proof of passing the NCLEX-PN.

California LVNs can improve their employability and earning potential by supplementing their license with optional postgraduate certifications from private organizations.

Here are some common LVN certifications you can get:

Frequently Asked Questions About LVN Programs in California

How long is an LVN program in California?

According to BVNPT, LVN programs can last between 12 and 20 months, depending on whether you choose a full-time or part-time course of study.

What are the requirements to become an LVN in California?

You can become an LVN in California by completing an approved vocational nursing program or by gaining equivalent experience and education. This includes 54 hours of pharmacology, 51 months of paid bedside nursing experience, and skill proficiency verification, according to BVNPT.

How much is an LVN program in California?

The cost of LVN programs in California can vary drastically, so it's important you check costs for several options before committing to a program. At Pasadena City College, for example, students pay $46 per credit, or $4,463 for the entire LVN program.

What does an LVN do in California?

As an LVN, you can work in a variety of healthcare settings to provide basic nursing care under the supervision of an RN or doctor. You can also work one-on-one in a home healthcare setting, provide extended care in a long-term care facility, or offer support in a doctor's office.

How much do LVNs make per hour in California?

According to the BLS, LVNs in California earned an average hourly rate of $31.32 in 2021, which comes out to an average annual salary of $65,140. Compared to the national average wage of $51,850 for LVNs, California LVN salaries are notably higher. However, the cost of living is higher in California, so you should take this into consideration when choosing where to live and work.


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