With extraordinary expansion in the CA medical industry, the demand has reached an all-time high for accredited LVN schools in California and for those thinking about becoming a Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) in California. Vocational nursing, as is the case with numerous other medical fields, is benefiting from a period of record expansion and is supposed to create several thousand brand-new employment opportunities in the coming years.

How to become a LVN in California

Becoming eligible to work as a Licensed Vocational Nurse in California requires you to finish a training program recognized by the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Pyschiatric Technicians (BVNPT), earn a passing score on the NCLEX-PN exam and be licensed for employment by the BVNPT.

What is the process for getting licensed as a LVN in California?

The process for becoming an LVN in California can be summarized in the following 5 steps.

Step 1 – Satisfy the standard admission requirements for Licensed Vocational Nurse training

The first step towards becoming an LVN is to be sure that you’ll be able to satisfy the basic admission requirements for vocational nursing courses.

Although these requirements may vary slightly from one school to the next, those shown below are fairly common.

Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful residency
Meet the minimum score on the ACT examination
A minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA in high school (or GED)

Step 2 – Decide on the type of credential you want to acquire

The second decision you will need to make is whether your goal is to earn a an associate degree or a certificate. Each of these awards could help you find your first LVN job, but you will need to be familiar with the positives and negatives to each prior to choosing one.

Diplomas and Certificates

Certificate or diploma courses may often be completed in 18 months or less, and concentrate their curriculum only on the skills and practical knowledge required to start working. Because these are traditionally the most-popular kind of California LVN programs among students, they’re frequently provided both online and on-campus by a wide variety of institutions. By comparison, associate’s degree programs in California call for students to attend other classes in non-related fields.

Associate Degree

LVN associate degree courses in California are typically two years long, and the material covered is much more extensive in scope. CA LVN programs offering this credential are usually located at junior colleges and trade schools, so there are often also higher admission requirements that need to be satisfied. Having an associate degree in California does give you many advantages that one may not have with just a diploma or certificate, however.

Step 3 – Sign up for a BVNPT-approved Licensed Vocational Nurse program

Licensed Vocational Nurse training in California is managed by the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians (BVNPT). For you to become eligible to challenge the NCLEX-PN, you have to first graduate from a training program that is sanctioned by this organization.

What to search for in a Licensed Vocational Nurse training program

It is best to start off by ranking, in order, the things that are most-important to you about a class. For example, if you’re concerned with how much your training will cost, you could begin by eliminating any training programs that are outside your budget. You should then consider the second-most important thing to assist in narrowing your list down even more. Repeat this process for every requirement that is essential for you, and you’ll sooner or later have just a couple of programs to pick from. Ensuring that the class you decide on fits your personal circumstances can significantly enhance your likelihood of graduating.

LVN schools in California

Below is the complete list of approved LVN programs in the State of California.

Annenberg School of Nursing 19300 Sherman Way Reseda CA 91335-5426 818-757-4431
California Nurses Educational Institute 5200 E. Ramon Rd. Suite I-1 Palm Springs CA 92264 760-416-5955
Xavier College School of Nursing 1340 North El Dorado Street Stockton CA 95202-1017 209-941-0968
Shepherd University 3200 North San Fernando Road Los Angeles CA 90065 323-550-8888-8102
Colton-Redlands-Yucaipa Regional Occupational Program 1214 Indiana Ct Redlands CA 92374 909-793-3115
Santa Barbara Business College-Bakersfield 5300 California Avenue Bakersfield CA 93309 661-835-1100
Marian Health Careers Center-Los Angeles Campus 3325 Wilshire Blvd Ste 1010 Los Angeles CA 90010 213-388-3566
Southwestern College 900 Otay Lakes Rd Chula Vista CA 91910-7299 619-421-6700
Stanbridge University 2041 Business Ctr Dr Ste 107 Irvine CA 92612 949-794-9090-5104
Palo Verde College One College Drive Blythe CA 92225 760-921-5500
Hartnell College 411 Central Avenue Salinas CA 93901 831-755-6700
American Career College-Los Angeles 4021 Rosewood Avenue Los Angeles CA 90004 949-783-4800
American Career College-Ontario 3130 East Sedona Court Ontario CA 91764 949-783-4800
Baldy View Regional Occupational Program 1501 Bon View Avenue Ontario CA 91764-5500 909-980-6490
WestMed College 3031 Tisch Way 100 PE San Jose CA 95128-0000 209-386-6300
North-West College-Glendale 221 North Brand Glendale CA 91203 818-242-0205
Mt San Jacinto Community College District 1499 N. State St. San Jacinto CA 92583-2399 951-487-6752
San Joaquin Valley College-Visalia 8344 W Mineral King Ave Visalia CA 93291-9283 559-734-9000
Merritt College 12500 Campus Dr Oakland CA 94619-3196 510-531-4911
College of the Desert 43-500 Monterey Ave Palm Desert CA 92260 760-346-8041
Homestead Schools 23800 Hawthorne Blvd. Ste 200 Torrance CA 90505 310-791-9975
Ukiah Adult School 1056 North Bush Street Ukiah CA 95482-3865 707-463-5217
MiraCosta College One Barnard Drive Oceanside CA 92056-3899 760-757-2121
Charles A Jones Career and Education Center 5451 Lemon Hill Ave Sacramento CA 95824-1529 916-433-2600-1000
Carrington College-Pleasant Hill 380 Civic Dr., Ste. 300 Pleasant Hill CA 94523 925-609-6650
National University 11255 North Torrey Pines Road La Jolla CA 92037-1011 800-628-8648
Concorde Career College-North Hollywood 12412 Victory Boulevard North Hollywood CA 91606-3134 818-766-8151
Glendale Career College 240 North Brand Boulevard Lower Level Glendale CA 91203 818-243-1131-201
California Career Institute 12141 Brookhurst Street Garden Grove CA 92840-2816 714-539-5959
CES College 401 S. Glenoaks Blvd. Suite 211 Burbank CA 91502-2750 818-563-9822-116
Yuba College 2088 N Beale Rd Marysville CA 95901 530-741-6700
Brightwood College-Sacramento 4330 Watt Ave., Suite 400 Sacramento CA 95821 916-480-4201
Imperial Valley College 380 E. Aten Road Imperial CA 92251-0158 760-352-8320
Santa Barbara City College 721 Cliff Drive Santa Barbara CA 93109-2394 805-965-0581
Angeles College 3440 Wilshire Blvd Ste 310 Los Angeles CA 90010 213-487-2211
InterCoast Colleges-Fairfield 2480 Hilborn Road Suite 100 Fairfield CA 94534-6085 707-421-9700
Feather River Community College District 570 Golden Eagle Ave Quincy CA 95971-9124 530-283-0202
Advanced College-Stockton 8838 North West Lane Stockton CA 95120-3145 209-490-4591
Platt College-Anaheim 1551 South Douglass Road Anaheim CA 92806-5949 714-333-9606
Sacramento City College 3835 Freeport Blvd Sacramento CA 95822-1386 916-558-2111
Gavilan College 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd Gilroy CA 95020 408-848-4800
Platt College-Ontario 3700 Inland Empire Boulevard, Ste 400 Ontario CA 91764 909-941-9410
Merced College 3600 M St Merced CA 95348-2898 209-384-6000
Bakersfield College 1801 Panorama Dr Bakersfield CA 93305-1299 661-395-4011
California Career College 7003 Owensmouth Avenue Canoga Park CA 91303-2006 818-710-1310
Unitek College 4670 Auto Mall Pkwy Fremont CA 94538 510-249-1060
Trinity School of Health and Allied Sciences 1149 W. 190th St. Suite 2000 Torrance CA 90248 310-834-3065
North-West College-Santa Ana 1840 E. 17th Street Santa Ana CA 92705-8680 714-550-8000
Unitek College 21615 Hesperian Boulevard Hayward CA 94541-7026 650-871-0701-112
Pacific College 3160 Red Hill Ave Costa Mesa CA 92626 714-662-4402
Santa Rosa Junior College 1501 Mendocino Avenue Santa Rosa CA 95401-4395 707-527-4011
Institute of Technology 564 W Herndon Clovis CA 93612 559-297-4500
Unitek College 257 Longford Drive, Rm 5 South San Francisco CA 94080-1005 650-871-0701-112
Beaumont Adult School 1575 Cherry Ave Beaumont CA 92223 951-845-6012-4
Riverside City College 4800 Magnolia Avenue Riverside CA 92506 951-222-8000-8979
University of Antelope Valley 44055 Sierra Highway Lancaster CA 93534 661-726-1911-125
Career Development Institute Inc 1830 S Robertson Blvd Los Angeles CA 90035 310-559-0225
Advanced College 13180 Paramount Blvd. South Gate CA 90280 562-408-6969
San Diego City College 1313 Park Boulevard San Diego CA 92101-4787 619-388-3400
Angeles Institute 17100 PIONEER BLVD, SUITE 170 Artesia CA 90701-2713 562-531-4100
Reedley College 995 N Reed Ave Reedley CA 93654 559-638-0300
Brightwood College-San Diego 9055 Balboa Avenue San Diego CA 92123 858-654-3607
Career Care Institute 43770 Fifteenth Street West Ste 115 Lancaster CA 93534 661-942-6204
Platt College-Los Angeles 1000 South Fremont Avenue, A10 Alhambra CA 91803 626-300-5444
City College of San Francisco 50 Phelan Ave San Francisco CA 94112-1898 415-239-3000
Hacienda La Puente Adult Education 14101 E. Nelson Ave La Puente CA 91746-0002 626-934-2801
National Career College 14355 Roscoe Blvd Panorama City CA 91402 818-988-2300
Porterville College 100 E College Ave Porterville CA 93257 559-791-2200
Casa Loma College-Van Nuys 6725 Kester Ave Van Nuys CA 91405 818-785-2726
Concorde Career College-San Diego 4393 Imperial Avenue, Suite 100 San Diego CA 92113-1964 619-688-0800
Shasta College 11555 Old Oregon Trail Redding CA 96003 530-242-7500
Mission College 3000 Mission College Blvd Santa Clara CA 95054-1897 408-988-2200
Napa Valley College 2277 Napa-Vallejo Hwy Napa CA 94558-6236 707-256-7000
American Career College-Lynwood 3680 E. Imperial Highway, 5th Floor Lynwood CA 90262 949-783-4800
Holy Names University 3500 Mountain Blvd Oakland CA 94619-1699 510-436-1000
American Medical Sciences Center 225 West Broadway, Suite 115 Glendale CA 91204-5108 818-240-6900-100
Carrington College-San Jose 5883 Rue Ferrari, Ste. 125 San Jose CA 95138 408-960-0161
Saddleback College 28000 Marguerite Pky Mission Viejo CA 92692-3635 949-582-4500
North-West College-Riverside 4550 La Sierra Ave Riverside CA 92503 951-351-7750
Medical Allied Career Center 12631 East Imperial Highway Bldg D-108 Santa Fe Springs CA 90670-4710 562-807-2420
Platt College-Riverside 6465 Sycamore Canyon Blvd Ste 100 Riverside CA 92507 951-572-4300
Allan Hancock College 800 South College Drive Santa Maria CA 93454-6399 805-922-6966
Long Beach City College 4901 E. Carson St. Long Beach CA 90808-1706 562-938-4111
American Career College-Anaheim 1200 N. Magnolia Ave. Anaheim CA 92801-0000 949-783-4800
Clovis Adult Education 1452 David E Cook Way Clovis CA 93611 559-327-2800
San Joaquin Delta College 5151 Pacific Ave Stockton CA 95207 209-954-5151
Premiere Career College 12901 Ramona Blvd Irwindale CA 91706-3746 626-814-2080
Healthcare Career College 8527 Alondra Blvd, #174 Paramount CA 90723-5258 562-804-1239
Concorde Career College-Garden Grove 12951 Euclid Street, Suite 101 Garden Grove CA 92840-9201 714-703-1900
Unitek College 4670 Auto Mall Pkwy Fremont CA 94538 510-249-1060
Chaffey College 5885 Haven Ave Rancho Cucamonga CA 91737-3002 909-652-6000
Gurnick Academy of Medical Arts 2121 S El Camino Real Bldg C 200 San Mateo CA 94403 650-685-6616
Cerro Coso Community College 3000 College Heights Blvd Ridgecrest CA 93555-9571 760-384-6100
North-West College-Long Beach 3799 E. Burnett Street Long Beach CA 90815-1770 562-498-4500
North-West College-Pasadena 530 E Union Pasadena CA 91101 626-796-5815
Marian Health Careers Center-Van Nuys Campus 5900 Sepulveda Blvd Ste 101 Van Nuys CA 91411 818-782-6163
Pasadena City College 1570 E Colorado Blvd. Pasadena CA 91106-2003 626-585-7123
Brightwood College-Modesto 5172 Kiernan Court Salida CA 95368 209-571-8777
North-West College-Pomona 170 W Holt Ave Pomona CA 91768 909-623-1552
Summit College 851 S. Cooley Dr Colton CA 92324 909-422-8950-3270
Integrity College of Health 1460 N Lake Ave Suite 102 Pasadena CA 91104 626-808-0215
Cuesta College Highway 1 San Luis Obispo CA 93403-8106 805-546-3100
Downey Adult School 12340 Woodruff Ave Downey CA 90241 562-940-6200
Brightwood College-Vista 2022 University Dr Vista CA 92083-7736 760-630-1555
Butte College 3536 Butte Campus Drive Oroville CA 95965-8399 530-895-2511
Rio Hondo College 3600 Workman Mill Rd Whittier CA 90601-1616 562-692-0921
Brightwood College-Los Angeles-Van Nuys 15400 Sherman Way, Suite 101 Van Nuys CA 91406 818-754-6000
Copper Mountain Community College 6162 Rotary Way Joshua Tree CA 92252 760-366-3791
North-West College-West Covina 2121 W Garvey Ave West Covina CA 91790 626-960-5046
Blake Austin College 611 Orange Dr Ste K Vacaville CA 95687 707-455-0557
Antelope Valley College 3041 West Ave K Lancaster CA 93536-5426 661-722-6300
Los Medanos College 2700 East Leland Road Pittsburg CA 94565 925-439-2181
Citrus College 1000 W Foothill Blvd Glendora CA 91741-1899 626-963-0323
College of the Siskiyous 800 College Ave Weed CA 96094-2899 530-938-5555
Carrington College-Sacramento 8909 Folsom Blvd. Sacramento CA 95826 916-361-1660
Concorde Career College-San Bernardino 201 East Airport Drive, Suite A San Bernardino CA 92408-3403 909-884-8891
Santa Barbara Business College-Santa Maria 303 E Plaza Dr Ste 1 Santa Maria CA 93454 805-922-8256
Career Networks Institute 702 W Town and Country Rd Orange CA 92868-4710 714-437-9697
High Desert Medical College 701 West Avenue K, Suite 123 Lancaster CA 93534-1134 661-940-9300
College of the Redwoods 7351 Tompkins Hill Rd Eureka CA 95501-9300 707-476-4100

Step 4 – Take the NCLEX-PN assessment

The state LVN exam given in California is the NCLEX-PN. The assessment is made up of segments on each significant area of knowledge you would have covered in your CA LVN program.

Click here for more details about the NCLEX-PN.

Step 5 – Pass the NCLEX-PN and Start Your LVN Career in CA!

In California, and the remainder of the nation, the need is very high for practical nurses. Through the year 2024, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 21% increase in additional job opportunities for practical nurses in California. Common workplaces are in medical laboratories, hospitals and physicians offices.

Below is a listing of the largest metropolitan areas in California and more data on Practical Nursing compensation by location and county.

Vocational Nurse salary in California

LocationPay TypeLowMedianHigh
United StatesHourly$15.63$21.20$29.05
Yearly$32,510 $44,090 $60,420
ColoradoHourly$17.70$23.05$29.56
Yearly$36,810 $47,940 $61,490
Boulder, CO MSAHourly$19.17$24.70$29.77
Yearly$39,870 $51,370 $61,920
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield, CO MSAHourly$20.02$24.63$30.06
Yearly$41,630 $51,230 $62,520
Northcentral Colorado BOSHourly$18.55$22.95$29.14
Yearly$38,590 $47,740 $60,620
Fort Collins-Loveland, CO MSAHourly$18.72$22.92$29.72
Yearly$38,930 $47,680 $61,820
Pueblo, CO MSAHourly$16.42$22.55$29.86
Yearly$34,160 $46,900 $62,120
Greeley, CO MSAHourly$16.58$22.54$30.46
Yearly$34,480 $46,870 $63,360
Grand Junction, CO MSAHourly$16.87$22.04$27.78
Yearly$35,100 $45,840 $57,770
West Colorado BOSHourly$15.32$21.50$26.49
Yearly$31,870 $44,720 $55,100
Colorado Springs, CO MSAHourly$15.93$20.99$27.08
Yearly$33,140 $43,660 $56,330
East and South Colorado BOSHourly$15.59$19.95$25.84
Yearly$32,440 $41,500 $53,750