LPN/LVN Programs in California

Equipped with the skills and knowledge to care for patients in doctor’s offices, hospitals or nursing care facilities, LPNs attend an approved state program to earn a certificate in practical nursing. In California, LPNs are referred to as LVNs, and often complete their studies through a Licensed Vocational Nursing Program. Graduates of an LPN/LVN program in California gain the necessary credentials and training by taking classes in biology, pharmacology, and supervised clinical experiences. Throughout the state, there are nearly 200 options that offer appropriate training for aspiring licensed vocational/practical nurses.

Schools with LPN/LVN Programs in California

Finding an LPN Program

There are many different LPN programs to choose from. Though some people prefer campus based programs, the online option has become increasingly popular, especially in the nursing industry. See a Complete List of LPN Programs...

  • Xavier College, located in Stockton, provides class instruction through a Board-approved Vocational Nursing program offered on a yearly basis – every June and January. Within 11 months, students typically complete a total of 1537 hours by taking classes from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and clinical practice from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (with one evening class per week). Students are exposed to a variety of clinical experiences that involve acute care hospitals, long-term care facilities, as well as school district health services throughout the Stockton and Lodi region. Some of the courses found within the College’s curriculum include Nutrition; Pharmacological Nursing; Human Development; Medical Surgical Nursing; and Mental Health.
  • In Bakersfield, San Joaquin Valley College is a private junior college that has a Licensed Vocational Nursing (LVN) program that teaches patient care basics, nursing fundamentals, healthcare ethics, lab skills, and administrative practices. Students also have the chance to participate in a concentrated externship, which provides solid clinical practice in medical facilities throughout the state. The real-world experiences that a student receives through the program promote better interaction between LVNs and patients and/or medical staff.
  • Rio Hondo College, located in Whittier, offers a Vocational Nursing Program through their Health Science and Nursing Division. This two-semester program follows the completion of prerequisite courses, such as a Health Science Core, Psychology, and the optional Math for Health Professionals. Accredited by the California State Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians, graduates will earn a career certificate upon completion of the program, and are eligible to sit for the NCLEX exam.
  • Students attending the LVN program at Allied Medical & Health Services, Inc. in the city of Glendale, are expected to complete 1,564 hours of theory and clinical training (604 hours of lecture class and 960 hours of practical experience). Before applying to the program, candidates must fulfill a series of requirements that include (but are not limited to) passing an entrance exam for Writing, Reading and Numerical Skills; holding a Nursing Assistant Certificate/License; and completing courses in Pharmacology, and Anatomy & Physiology. Upon successful completion of all requirements, classes start every November and typically takes a student 1 ½ years to graduate.
  • Charter College in California offers a Diploma of Vocational Nursing program that trains students to administer direct patient care upon receiving a certificate of completion. The curriculum is taught through hands-on training, in-clinic training with patients, and a wealth of experiences associated with medical-surgical nursing, family nursing/obstetrics, pediatrics, mental health, home health, hospice, and rehabilitation. The College’s program is offered at the Canyon Country campus, and lasts for 14 months.
  • Carrington College offers three campus locations for their Practical Nursing /Vocational Nursing Program (LPN/LVN) in San Jose, Sacramento, and Pleasant Hill. To prepare future licensed vocational nurses of tomorrow, the College’s curriculum presents a balanced blend of classroom instruction, laboratory practice, and supervised clinical training that includes experiences at a variety of local healthcare facilities. Upon completion of the LVN program at Carrington, graduates will have earned a Certificate of Achievement, and become eligible to take the National Council Licensure Examination for Practical Nurses (NCLEX-PN).
  • Students can enter the American Career College (ACC) Vocational Nursing program, which offers a curriculum that enhances skills important to becoming an LVN, such as communication, leadership, and critical thinking. In addition to a campus location in Los Angeles, ACC offers its VN program at St. Francis in Lynwood, Orange County, and Ontario.
  • The Medical Allied Career Center, located in Santa Fe Springs, offers a Vocational Nursing Program stands by a curriculum centered on theory, laboratory and clinical experiences. Students are expected to complete a total of 1554 hours (594 theory hours and 960 clinical hours) before earning their certificate. The program is offered on a part-time and full-time basis. Part-time students take classes for 18 months on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Full-time students complete the program within 13 months by taking classes on weekdays.

California LPN/LVN Checklist

  • Apply to a state-approved educational program at a community college or other accepted learning facility, which typically takes one year to complete.
  • After getting a certificate in vocational nursing, pass the National Council Licensure Examination-Practical Nurse (NCLEX-PN) exam in California.
  • Gain licensure as an LPN/LVN by submitting an application to the California Board of Nursing, and paying the initial ~$150 fee.
  • Renew LPN/LVN license every two years, and pay applicable renewal fees.
  • Complete continuing education requirements for the state of California: 30 contact hours per renewal period.

Salary Data

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for licensed practical/vocational nurses in the state of California is $51,170. Throughout the nation, LVNs typically find the highest levels of employment for this occupation at nursing care facilities, physician offices, home health care services, and assisted living facilities for the elderly. The BLS also identifies California as one of the top states across the U.S. with the highest employment level for LVN positions.