The Best LVN-to-BSN Programs in California

January 21, 2022 , Modified on May 16, 2022 · 3 Min Read

If you're an LVN, earning a BSN opens the doors to higher pay and career advancement. Find the top LVN-to-BSN programs in California today.

mini logo
NurseJournal.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.

Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

The Best LVN-to-BSN Programs in California
Credit: Charles O'Rear | Corbis Documentary | Getty Images

The Best LVN-to-BSN Programs in California

Licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) are entry-level nursing professionals, known as licensed practical nurses (LPNs) in most states. If you're an LVN in California considering your next career move, earning a bachelor's in nursing may be a wise choice.

With a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN), you can become a registered nurse (RN), earn more, and gain more professional autonomy. This guide to the best LVN-to-BSN programs in California can help you choose the program that fits your needs and career goals.

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best LVN-to-BSN programs in California, making it easier for you to find a program that works for you. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Keep reading to learn more about LVN-to-BSN programs in California, or go straight to our list of the best LVN-to-BSN programs in California.

How Do LVN-to-BSN Programs in California Work?

LVN-to-BSN bridge programs in California take about 2-3 years to complete, depending on the program and your existing coursework. Nursing bridge programs build on your existing nursing license and professional knowledge to help you earn your degree faster than traditional pathways.

The curriculum for LVN-to-BSN programs in California includes:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Health assessment
  • Population health
  • Nursing research
  • Health and nursing informatics
  • Health psychology
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Quality and safety
  • Epidemiology
  • Interpersonal and communications skills
  • Nurse leadership

Depending on your LVN curriculum or other previous college courses, you may be eligible to transfer existing credits for prerequisite courses, such as written and oral communications. LVN-to-BSN programs in California also include clinical hours.

Featured Online Bachelor Programs

Applying to an LVN-to-BSN Program in California

Admission requirements for LVN-to-BSN programs in California vary by school. You must have a current and unencumbered LVN or LPN license. If you're eligible for admission except for certain courses, you can take those courses as prerequisites.

Materials include current and unencumbered LVN license, at least two references, and an essay or a personal statement.

Most programs require a 3.0 minimum GPA. If your GPA doesn't meet the minimum, you may be able to discuss your situation with admission staff, as some schools offer conditional acceptance or consider other factors.

LVN-to-BSN programs in California require a satisfactory criminal background check with fingerprinting,

Why Is LVN-to-BSN Program Accreditation Important?

Nursing accreditation comprises a formal program review by an independent group of experts in nursing and nursing education. This review covers every aspect of a program related to quality, including student grades and scores on standardized tests, like the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), teacher qualifications, and curriculum.

Teaching methods, program management and administration, and resources available to students (like the library and technology systems) are also reviewed.

The goal is to ensure graduates can safely practice nursing, which is why accreditation is so important. Employers rarely consider applications from graduates of unaccredited programs. Aaccredited programs almost never accept transfer credits from unaccredited schools.

This guide only lists accredited programs.

Learn More About the Best LVN-to-BSN Programs and Schools in California

Frequently Asked Questions About LVN-to-BSN Programs in California


How long does it take to earn an LVN-to-RN degree in California?

LVN-to-BSN programs in California typically take full-time students 2-3 years to complete, depending on the program and curriculum, the pace, whether you have all the prerequisite courses, and if you have any other college-level credits that you can transfer.

What is the fastest way to become a nurse in California?

The fastest way to become an RN in California is to earn an associate degree in nursing. This takes around two years. You can also apply for a non-degree 30-unit option, but this is a very limited license.

Then, you need to pass the nurse licensing exam and a criminal background check with fingerprinting. It takes 10-12 weeks to process applications.

Can you do LVN-to-RN online in California?

You can attend an online LVN-to-BSN program in California, but there are more on-campus programs. If you attend an online program, you must attend clinical hours in person.

Find out if you can get clinical placement in your local community.

Can an LVN challenge the RN board in California?

Prospective LVNs can apply to take the LVN examination by challenge. California is the only state that allows LVN nurses to apply to take the NCLEX-RN based on the LVN 30-unit option, rather than the standard pathway through the full RN curriculum. Most other states do not recognize this license, according to the state board of nursing.


Explore Other Programs in California

Popular Resources

Resources and articles written by professionals and other nurses like you.