The Best LPN/LVN Programs in San Diego icon

The Best LPN/LVN Programs in San Diego

| Nalea Ko

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Whether you’re looking to get your pre-licensure degree or taking the next step in your career, the education you need could be more affordable than you think. Find the right nursing program for you.

San Diego, California, offers gainful opportunities for licensed vocational nurses (LVN) and licensed practical nurses (LPN). About 67,590 LPNs and LVNs work in California, which has the second-highest employment level for nurses in the country. California cities, including San Diego, also pay the most in the nation. LVNs and LPNs in San Diego earn an annual mean salary of $62,310.

One-year LVN programs in San Diego County offer a faster path to nursing than becoming a registered nurse (RN), which requires at least an associate degree and sometimes a bachelor's degree.

Nursing students develop practical skills in laboratory simulations, clinicals, and online classes that emphasize the foundations of nursing, including preventive care and bedside nursing protocol. Graduates work under RNs and doctors in nursing care facilities, hospitals, and doctor's offices.

If you're looking to change careers, explore this guide for salaries for LPNs and admission requirements for LVN programs in San Diego.

View ranking methodology here.

Applying to an LPN/LVN Program in San Diego

San Diegans can become LPNs or LVNs in about one year. Applicants to LVN school in San Diego must meet certain admission requirements. Vocational colleges have adopted similar standards, but each school may ask for specific prerequisites prior to admittance. Colleges may require a candidate to take a scholastic exam if they do not possess a college degree.

Aspiring LVNs and LPNs need a high school diploma or GED certificate at minimum. When applying, they also submit documents, such as high school or college transcripts and proof of their proficiency in reading and writing English.

Since students work in practicums with patients, they also need CPR certification, a criminal background check, a toxicology test, and their immunization records.

If you want to become an LVN, consider what the job entails before applying for LVN programs near you.

Featured Online Programs

Explore the Best San Diego LPN Programs and School Info

MiraCosta College View School Profile $ Oceanside, CA 30% 2% 48% Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges

Description:

MiraCosta College, in Oceanside, California, offers a variety of programs in health sciences, including the top-ranked licensed vocational nurse (LVN) program in San Diego County. This program holds accreditation by the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians.

For the convenience of working students, the school offers most courses on weekends and weekday evenings. Enrollees work toward their 1,536 hours of clinical and classroom time needed for licensing eligibility. All students qualify for tutoring in writing, math, and science.

Details:

  • Program(s): LVN
    • Campus: Oceanside, California
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians
    • Tuition: $46 per unit for California residents; $353 per unit for nonresidents
    • Admission Requirements: GED or high school diploma; prerequisite nursing courses including certified nursing assistant (CNA) courses or current CNA license; immunizations
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 97.96%
Southwestern College View School Profile $ Chula Vista, CA 22% 1% 34% Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges

Description:

Southwestern College, located in Chula Vista, California, accepts 30 students every 18 months to its licensed vocational nurse (LVN) program in San Diego County. The program, designed for full-time students, features some classes and/or clinical hours as early as 6:30 a.m.

This program holds accreditation through the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians. Enrollees engage with general education and nursing courses. Southwestern College estimates the total cost of the program at $6,284, which includes textbooks, uniforms, clinical fees, and tuition.

Details:

  • Program(s): Vocational Nurse Program
    • Campus: Chula Vista, California
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians
    • Tuition: $46 per unit for California residents; $335 per unit for nonresidents
    • Admission Requirements: Test of Essential Academic Skills; high school diploma or GED certificate; student education plan; cardiopulmonary resuscitation certification; prerequisite courses; immunizations
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 18 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 92.75%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
San Diego City College View School Profile $ San Diego, CA 20% 2% 35% Western Association of Schools and Colleges Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges

Description:

San Diego City College joins the top licensed vocational nursing (LVN) schools in San Diego. The program includes classroom and clinical hours. This school offers regular informational webinars to help students decide if this is their ideal LVN program. Enrollees complete on-campus and clinical hours on weekdays.

The program includes a bridge to registered nurse (RN) licensure through the LVN-to-RN step-up program. The school also maintains a dual acceptance arrangement with Point Loma Nazarene University's RN-to-BSN program and offers a roadmap to San Diego State University's RN-to-BSN program. Admission is based on a multi-criteria point system. Though certified nursing assistant training or healthcare experience is not required, it can give candidates a competitive edge.

Details:

  • Program(s): LVN-to-RN
    • Campus: San Diego, California
    • Type: Public
    • Accreditation(s): Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing; California Board of Registered Nurses
    • Tuition: Approximately $2,000 per semester
    • Admission Requirements: Test of Essential Academic Skills; prerequisite courses with a GPA of 2.5 or higher; immunizations
    • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
    • On-Campus Requirements: Yes
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100%
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to become an LPN/LVN in San Diego? It takes about one year to complete an LVN program in San Diego. Clinical requirements may extend the length of a licensed vocational nurse program in San Diego. Full-time and part-time enrollment also factor into how long it takes to become an LPN or an LVN.
What is accreditation and why is it important? Accreditation equates to quality. Attending accredited LVN programs in San Diego allows students to receive federal financial aid. It also provides students with the assurance that their education meets criteria set by industry leaders and educational accrediting bodies, such as the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing.
How do I become an LPN/LVN in San Diego? The journey to becoming an LPN or LVN begins at an LVN school in San Diego. Students must complete required laboratory and clinical hours for admission. Future LPNs and LVNs then need to pass the NCLEX-PN. They can begin applying for the exam prior to graduation.
Is San Diego a good area to work as an LPN/LVN? Yes. San Diego employs about 6,190 LPNs and LVNs, paying them a mean hourly wage of $29.96, above the national estimate of $23.32 an hour.

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